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Shu Yi (Bellevue)

so have you tried it yet?

Feb 12, 2014
jenn in Greater Seattle

Alderwood Bistro, Sequim

okay so it sounds AWESOME and the menu on the website is yummy but its not open for lunch---is there anything like this between Sequim and Aberdeen thats open for lunch and breakfast?

Feb 12, 2014
jenn in Pacific Northwest

LONDON: Ginger Pig Butchery Classes

thanks for all the thoughts and comments. of course as soon as I got excited about it, I got the email back that they are closed for classes during Christmas---guess I will just have to come back, right?

One note---we are renting a flat or house or whatever. With three adults and three kids this is the only way to travel that makes sense. Had Ginger Pig been open, I am quite sure I would have had a lovely time cooking up whatever my Husband had butchered.

While 135 is steep when you factor in the fine meal and the take-home chunk of food, its actually not that bad.

Thanks again!

Jul 03, 2013
jenn in U.K./Ireland

Ballantine cancels Paula Deen's upcoming cookbook -- which was already #1 on the Amazon list

sweet!

Jun 28, 2013
jenn in Food Media & News

LONDON: Ginger Pig Butchery Classes

Any one tried them? Any thoughts? Any other cooking classes in London that are better?

we will be in London over the Christmas holidays and I was thinking that looked like a rather fine present for my husband.

oh and thanks for "telling" me about Ginger Pig--I've already written them about Christmas goose!

Jun 28, 2013
jenn in U.K./Ireland

Mongolian on Lake City Way

Before I make the schlep with a group of people, is this secret Mongolian menu still happening? Thank you!!!!

Nov 10, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Mongolian on Lake City Way

ooooooo, you have made my day!!!! There was a Mongolian restaurant in LA that was so very yummy but it didn't last. Do they have the palao (sp) with the carrots? Or the garlic carrot stuff? And whats the cross street? I'm not from that end of town....

so this makes the second yummy, yet off the beaten path place to find on lake city way--first being the Xi'an restaurant (sigh...still miss that place). What is it about Lake City way? ;-)

Aug 01, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Fresh or live snails for escargot?

my dear foodAdventurous, I want to tell you, really I do. Alas, it was a slow food convivium event and I was sworn to secrecy......

of course, if you were to search for me on this website going back a few years, you might be able to figure it out. . . .

Jul 27, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Fresh or live snails for escargot?

Periwinkles might be a substatute for the spanish/catalunyan versions of snails but not for the classic french with garlic butter. For the french version, you are removing the snails from the shell then restuffing the shell with the snail and with the parsley garlic butter.

For the other recipes--which is the way I have prepared them--the snails are cooked in a broth with tomato, peppers, onions, mint etc and then to serve you either suck them out of the shell or pull them with a toothpick.

Jul 27, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Fresh or live snails for escargot?

sunshine842, I must disagree.

If you are talking about the preparation of snails with garlic butter, then yes I imagine most people don't make their own. Its too easy in places like Paris to find lovely stores that sell you prepared snails for reheating and consumption or you can find them in the markets. In both cases, they are sold by the dozen based on the size.

But that is not the only method of preparing snails, not even in France. And I would add that in my experience, canned/frozen things in France are way different than in the US and of much higher quality. I would imagine that people who want to make, say escargot in creme sauce with lardons, will probably resort to the canned variety.

The thing is snails are not something you pick off the garden walk and then stick in a cage. You have to go somewhere to gather them---you know just like you do an excursion to the country to pick berries or hunt for mushrooms. And I know it because I work with someone who has donw it while visiting relatives in France who don't live in Paris.

Plus people have to do the prep in order to prepare other snail dishes. Snails are not just a vehicle for garlic butter. Sometimes there is tomato sauce involved!

Jul 27, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Mediocrity in Seattle?

I have to disagree. I've been plenty of small places for breakfast that don't charge $10 for bacon and eggs. Same thing with Mexican places.

Our favorite local sausage gravy and bisquits is silver fork in Columbia city/South Seattle---house made bisquits with big bowl of gravy. 2 bisquits for $2.95...hmmmmmm come to think of it, I think its been toooo logn since we've been there.

Jul 25, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Tomato Farmer formerly at Farmer's Market

I know who you mean---its not Billys nor Kittitas Valley Greenhouse--both are at their usual places .

I think it was Snoqualiamie something. Anyrate, I regret to inform you that he retired last year. I miss him too. My tomatos thus far have not been nearly as good.

Jul 25, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Sichuan in Seattle

AH-HAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am NOT imagining it. We were just at Bamboo Gardens last night and for the first time, dare I say it, I was <shudder!!!!> disappointed.....the paucity of the Sichuan peppercorns was QUITE noticeable.

And where the heck was Ming? The best we could get out of the other waitress who knew us was that Ming wasn't there any more. .....boo hoo!!!

Oh Equinoise and HungWeiLo, any leads?????

-----
Bamboo Garden
202 106th Pl NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

Jul 25, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Fresh or live snails for escargot?

there are two types of snails roaming the US. The ones I have been most successful in finding in the wild on the West Coast are the petite gris which are the same sort you find in Italy and Spain and sometimes in France. While I have successfully gathered them "other places," I have never seen them in the Seattle area......

Jul 25, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

a couscous question

Ptipois,
not to fear! We---and I include the chowpups--- much prefer dining at tasty holes in the wall over anything else. good food outranks good decor anytime. Having traveled a lot in China and eaten everywhere from street food to stuff from people peddling on train station platforms, are pretty unflappable when it comes to appearance of our restaurants.

Feb 19, 2011
jenn in France

a couscous question

what an amazing bunch of replies! Thank you! To be honest, I'm only just checking because my stupid computer claimed that the post didn't go through, it was the end of the day and I just gave up in disgust. But what a lovely pile of information to discover as I sit here actually in Paris with my morning coffee. Thank you, thank you.

In Chinese restaurants, our family typically orders an obscene amount of food and we all share. So there will be more than one dish per person when we are hoping for leftovers for lunch and less than one dish per person when we have no idea what to do with leftovers. At this point, I can't imagine going to a Chinese restaurant and just having one thing to eat.

I am thinking Chez Hamadi for our first experience---we are often in the neighborhood and the monsters will be amused because Hamidi is the name of a character in a Canadian series they like to watch.

That said, Ptipois if you would care to share the names of any Sahelian restaurants you find brilliant, we would be most interested. I figure Paris is a great place to try foods from African countries that haven't made it to the US yet---at least in any large numbers.

Now to send larger monsters to the grocery store to practice their minimal French by buying milk for their banania........

thanks!

Feb 18, 2011
jenn in France

a couscous question

so I did do a search of Moroccan food and I did write down some names of places to try but now I have a question.

I have never eatten couscous in a restaurant before. Is it like ordering Ethiopian or Chinese food where the order is made for the table and its served and everyone shares?

or is it more French where you order the plate and its all yours?

thanks!

Feb 16, 2011
jenn in France

Din Tai Fung: Opening date?

about that overpriced issue---I'm curious as to the cost of a meal at Din Tai Fung for say, 4 people. We are used to dropping a considerable amount [3 digits] at Bamboo Garden or Li's dumpling [much more than an average person would--we do like our leftover Chinese for lunches] but a friend told me that I would have to pay out the nose to feed my crew at Din Tai Fung. . . .As a person who cut my "chinese food teeth" on food in SGV and in China, the thought of paying hundreds of bucks for mediocre food troubles me.

Thoughts appreciated.

-----
Bamboo Garden
202 106th Pl NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

Feb 07, 2011
jenn in Greater Seattle

Must Do Foodie Visits in Paris and Throughout France

uhhh, France has buses that go to the small towns. .......I know, I've ridden them. In my experience, British guidebooks have better information on bus riding than US ones. Try rough guide. . .

Feb 07, 2011
jenn in France

Restaurant reservations for the Salon d'Agriculture?

We are also planning to attend the Salon d'agriculture. Can someone tell me if the restaurants in the pavilions take credit cards/debit cards or if one must bring cash?

Also, just to be clear, are their free samples or a charge for everything one might nibble?

Thanks!

Feb 01, 2011
jenn in France

Which culinary books did you receive for Christmas?

clearly, chefathome was a much much better person than I was this year.

I got two cookbooks and two books. The cookbooks are:
River Cottage cookbook ---from my darling closing in fast on 11 year old daughter and
French cooking at Home from my husband.

In the plain books catagory, I got vol. 1 of the Mark Twain autobiography and a very intimidating book on Fair Isle Knitting that my oldest son is sure I can handle. . . yargh!

I asked for the River Cottage mushroom book but everyone was sure I didn't mean it since its all british 'shrooms. I did mean it so I'll just have to save my pennies.

My husband feels I have way way too many cookbooks but knows I like them and is not Christmas time for giving people things you know they will like? So he buys them anyway. Typically he buys more me than one book but this year we agreed to save pennies and limit the gifts because we are toodling off to Paris in February with all the hungry chowpups and plan to spend all our money there.

Dec 29, 2010
jenn in Home Cooking

Goose on a spit- advice?

I do goose in the oven every year for christmas--have done it for 10 years now. I think an open fire goose would be tricky and labor intensive not to mention how sad it would be to lose all the lovely goose fat. I would think that unless you had a machine or a small boy [like in ancient medieval castles] to turn the spit, you would run a grave risk of too much fat rendering off one side and the goose turning tough. I also think that the goose and the pig wouldn't cook at the same rate which might also cause issues.
That said, if you do it anyway, be sure to tell us how it works.....

Dec 29, 2010
jenn in Home Cooking

making haggis at home. . .

hmmm, given the long cooking, I would be a bit concerned about the plastic in the oven bag and what might leach into the haggis. I might be more inclined to use a muslin wrapper as one can do with a Christmas pudding. . . . Or perhaps some cleaned tripe or what have you? I found that the stomach cleaned much easier after I soaked it over night in vinegar water.

Dec 29, 2010
jenn in Home Cooking

cassoulet

re the lamb---typical problem I have found with American lamb. It is slaughtered so young that it really doesn't develop the flavor necessary with these long cooked recipes. Another example would be the 7 hour leg of lamb that slowly cooks in wine---with american lamb I think it tastes like way too expensive pot roast with no lamb taste at all. I have MUCH better luck when I substitute goat in any recipe that requires long stewing of lamb.

and $15 for two tiny legs of duck confit is why I make my own. Try a local Asian grocery store for your duck if you are not seeking organic etc.

Dec 23, 2010
jenn in Home Cooking

cassoulet

Agree Completely. Plus the long recipes were also meant to cook unbothered while overly busy women did other stuff. No one had HOURS to stand by a stove---they tossed it together and headed out to deal with chickens/pigs/whathaveyou and came back in between tasks to check on or tweak what was cooking.
Which is why everyone should be making cassoulet this winter!

Dec 23, 2010
jenn in Home Cooking

Christmas Food Traditions

you hit a sore spot! ---- posadas! Not a sore cranky spot, just an emotional sore spot of a thing I miss. In LA we lived in the, as my husband put it, Salvadorean section of K-town. There were always people pushing shopping carts selling tamales and chili relanos but best of all, at Christmas there were the posadas. It was so neat. Now we live in the most diverse zip in the country [98118] but alas, we have seen no posadas. . . maybe I need to look harder. Thanks for the wonderful description.
merry xmas, God Jul! Noel!

Dec 23, 2010
jenn in General Topics

food apps----any to recommend?

I have joined the 21st centrury. . . .well sort of, as I now own an Itouch. It does not have permanent wireless connection--I must be connected through whatever Wifi. This is NOT a non-sequiter as my question relates to food related apps.

I purchased the BBC's Good Food Festive food app and love it. Tons of yummy british holiday food recipes. Plus the whole thing is downloaded so I can ride home on the bus persuing recipes and deciding what to make for dinner while walking through the market.

I downloaded the Jamie Olivier tester pack. Not bad but only 10 recipes. BBC's good food was $3 or $4 dollars on Itunes for nearly 200 recipes so I'm not inclined to buy Jamie's app.

I downloaded the free Epicurious and find its not bad as long as I'm looking at stuff I've looked at before as it requires an internet connection.

I downloaded the Food Network Canada's app and like it but like Epicurious, it doesn't really work if I'm not connected to the internet.

Finally in the course of researching an upcoming trip to Paris, I found a free app that lists hundreds of cheeses available in France and even has pictures. Alas, it is all in French and requires WiFi to work properly but still, the photos are some nice food porn if you like cheese.

does anyone have any really good free food apps to recommend? Or any that you have bought that you feel are worth every penny?

Dec 21, 2010
jenn in Food Media & News

Christmas Food Traditions

My parents divorced when I was young, my mother never big on cooking and the rest of the family lived far away so I never had the nifty grandparent multi-generational Christmas dinner some of you describe. Heck, I'm not even sure what my maternal grandmother made for Christmas dinner. Anyrate, for the first 12 years of my life, my mother had a tradition of making chili for dinner for Christmas Eve and then Christmas day dinner was spent at the homes of friends who had turkey or ham or some such thing. The only thing I really remember is a dark french fruit cake that one friend's mother always made and having marzipane stollen while opening gifts.

Which meant that when my husband and I married, we were able to launch our own traditions for our family and we did it in spades. Christmas Eve is a full giant Swedish/Nordic buffett with ham, pickled fish, jansen's tempation, smoked salmon, meatballs, boiled potatoes, lefse, crispbread, cheese, liver pate, glogg and cookies for dessert. The green veggie is usually kale or peas and sometimes there is lutefisk. My husband lived in Sweden for many years and it was there that Christmas became special for him. So in honor of that and a daughter in Sweden and a godmother of Norwegian descent, thats our Christmas eve. On occassion--this year will be one of them---we do not have the ham. We always bought our cured ham from a scandinavian deli but alas, the place closed and when it would have been time for me to deal with it this year, I was busy with a sick cat.

Then there is Christmas Day. We went for goose--the first year was a "what the heck" as neither of us had ever had goose but after one goose, we were hooked.. This year I will be cooking my 10th goose. The goose will go in around noon or maybe even a bit later. We roast it surrounded with crab apples [when we can get them] and quinces and little potatoes which roast in the goose fat. We always pour off the goose fat and save it for cooking potatoe or making confit the rest of the year.

In as much as we spend much time on presents and just hanging, during the day there is no formal lunch prepared but we do bring out all the leftovers from the night before.

The rest of the Christmas dinner menu is more flexible depending on our moods. Typically have smoked salmon and maybe some more chicken liver pate and lots of cheese for appetisers and then have some sort of veggie or salad. Stuffing is something we make on the side. The appertiff is sparkling wine, there is red wine with dinner [sparkling cider for the pups] and a digestive after everything. Dessert is typically some sort of steamed pudding---persimon when I remember to freeze persimons in season and store bought plum pudding when I don't. This year we are feeling very english so around Thanksgiving I actually made my first plum pudding from scratch ---along with a batch of mince meat ---and we will be desserting on plum pudding and mince pies.

We considered changing our program once but the elder pup looked at us aghast so we dropped the idea. I guess if we have established something that is that memorable and important to him at 12, we have succeeded.

Happy holidays to the universe!

Dec 21, 2010
jenn in General Topics

And thus endth the debate over Rizzo's meat. . . . .

yowey! Like a bad tv show. . . . .

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html...

Dec 21, 2010
jenn in Greater Seattle

cassoulet

concurr whole heartedly on the long overnight cooking. With 3 starving pups and me working full time, we rely heavily on the ability to stuff the le crueset in the low low oven over night. I find most people are very timid about not only the overnight cooking but the idea of low tempature cooking in the oven. No one seems to realize that 175-200 is actually gosh darned HOT!

Now you have me wondering if there is any more lamb neck left in the freezer. . . . .

Dec 20, 2010
jenn in Home Cooking