Gruyere & Parmesan Madeleines

I helped make Madeleines, a French pastry dish, this past weekend in an attempt to pursue more French cuisine as well as drool over my very, very hopeful someday trip to France. In addition to my newfound love of French food, I also happen to love mini food items. This partially stems from the fact that I do not feel as bad indulging in decadent desserts and savory treats as long as they are in mini form (i.e. mini cookies, mini quiches and mini cakes) and as long as I do not eat too many of them because that in fact would totally negate the purpose!

For those unfamiliar with Madeleines, they are a petite sponge-y cake with a distinct shell shape. Traditional recipes includes nuts and lemon; however, for this past weekend’s purposes, we decided to go the non-traditional route (of course) and tried two different types: Gruyere & Parmesan (savory) and Kahlua-Chocolate Chip (sweet).

Step 1: Create Dough By Combining Dry
Ingredients Separate from Wet Ingredients



Step 2: Slowly Stir Wet Ingredients
Into Dry Ingredients; Add Cheese

Step 3: Chill Dough and Place Into Mold

Step 4: Bake and Eat!

Although I did not include pictures of the Kahlua-Chocolate Chip Madeleines, they did not look that different  than the savory Madeleines we baked pictured here. I liked these recipes; however, we had a bit of trouble converting the metric system and translating the cookbook (did I mention the entire cookbook is in French?). But, I enjoyed the learning process and will look forward to make small additions in the future to make these versatile pastry dishes just that much better!

Cheers!

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Weekend in Seattle

The Space Needle, Pike’s Place Market, the birthplace of “Grunge”, and the destination for corporate giants such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Nordstrom are a few characteristics that describe the city of Seattle. In addition, Seattle is home to many different culinary tastes ranging with everything from classic American food to Seafood to the authentic flavors of the International District. Since I’m a natural “foodie” at heart, I couldn’t help but document a few culinary adventures I had while visiting Seattle this past weekend.

GaudiLately, I’ve been trending towards eating smaller and lighter meals (essentially tapas, as mentioned in a prior post here). We choose to go to Gaudi which is a Spanish inspired restaurant in the Roosevelt neighborhood. We enjoyed a bevy of items from the menu including Papas Bravas (potatoes with spicy sauce), Bavas (Spanish meatballs), Jitanitos (dates wrapped in bacon), Mojama (fresh cured tuna), and a few other items. But, our favorite part about Gaudi was the dessert we shared: a sponge cake filled with apricots and cream and topped with a raspberry glaze. Besides the fact that it just LOOKED pretty, it also tasted wonderful too.

Apricot and Cream Filled Sponge Cake
With Raspberry Glaze


Homegrown
Sandwich shops have a hard task to accomplish: to develop sandwiches that are fresh, flavorful, and cannot be easily replicated by any random Joe. To be perfectly honest, what differentiates the turkey sandwich made at an independent sandwich shop from the sandwich made at home or from a nationally recognized sandwich franchise? The key differentiator resides in ingenuity of ingredients. That being said, after glancing at the menu of Homegrown, I noticed a multitude of unusual and unique components within the sandwiches. After much contemplation, I settled upon the Roast Pork sandwich (Stumptown Coffee and cayenne rubbed pork loin, pickled red onion, apple butter, mixed greens, and sage aioli served over whole grain bread). After first bite, savory (pork and sage aioli), sweet (apple butter) and tangy (pickled red onions) flavors simultaneously combined to create a medley of enticing flavors. So, unlike the standard and ordinary sandwich shop, Homegrown mastered the art of combining diverse ingredients and creativity to make delicious sandwiches.

Roasted Pork Sandwich and Lentil Soup

High 5 Pie — I absolutely love and adore pies. Not only do I love combining fruit into desserts, but I enjoy making non-traditional fruit desserts or putting a different spin on a classic pie. That being said, High 5 Pie in Capitol Hill in Seattle serves pies that definitely match this description. The selection at High 5 Pie consists of “Pie Jar” (pies in a jar), Flipside (hand-held pie turnovers), Cutie Pie (mini pies), 7″ Deep Dish (classic pie), and Pie Pop (literally, a mini pie on a stick). Flaky crusts, pie fillings bursting with flavor, and a hip venue unite to make this a pleasant stop for a weekend afternoon. Plus, where else can you purchase pie on a stick?

Classic Caramel Pecan Pie


Pie Pop — Cherry Almond
& Cutie Pie — Berry

Good times and good eats this past weekend in Seattle. All in all, I definitely enjoyed these places and hope to visit again sometime soon!

Cheers!