Foodie Friday: Seattle Coffee Fest 2013

Since sometime between the 14th and 15th century people have been cultivating and processing the coffee bean. Power packed and delicious this unassuming seed is used in a multitude of fantastic ways in almost every major culture around the globe. From the coarsely ground French press coffee method to the finely ground and steam brewed espresso, if you are looking for a little extra energy you can count of the coffee bean to get you going.

Last weekend, a few thousand coffee lovers gathered to taste and sample the coffee and tea industry’s current up-and-coming products as well as a few tried and true products. Coffee Fest was held this past weekend at the Washington State Convention Center. The three-day, caffeine-filled event included vendors of all kinds showing their coffee-related products to a very receptive and, obviously, energetic crowd.
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Foodie Friday: Lemon Granita

8177806260_bd3ba3ac5a_zAs summer starts to plateau into a steady heatwave, life starts to slow down. But, for those of us who are handy in the kitchen, turning those long sultry afternoons into productive and refreshing culinary adventures can be the perfect way to pass the time.

Italian lemon ice or lemon granita is a simple and refreshing frozen treat that will definitely cool you off on even the most sweltering of summer days. You can replace a portion of the lemon juice with any other type of fruit juice for a creative twist on a classic and if you have an ice cream maker you can use this recipe to turn out a delicious sorbet.

Stay cool!
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Foodie Friday: Strawberry Shortcake

20130609_204256Satisfying a sweet tooth doesn’t always have to be complicated.  There are fantastic and simple flavors found in all sorts of fruits and berries.  Composing a compote and whipping some cream can suddenly create a masterful dessert that will quiet the toughest of critics.

This week I wanted to visit a childhood favorite and offer my rendition of what has to be one of the most popular desserts of all time.

For my vegans readers you can try substituting coconut milk for the dairy products. The vanilla extract can also be substituted for a fresh vanilla bean if that’s your preference. Just split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a small knife then scrape out the gooey vanilla bean paste from the inside and add it to your cream. When it comes to a vegan alternative to the whip cream there are a bunch of recipes that I was able to find easily online. All of the coconut whipped cream recipes require you to chill the coconut milk over night in the fridge. This will separate the water from the thicker richer cream element that you would then skim from the top of the can, carefully making sure not to include the water at the bottom of the can. It is a good idea to add sugar to taste when using coconut cream since it is naturally sweet already. I have included the measurements for my vegan version along in the recipe. The items that are measured differently are notated with “*V” for vegan. There is also a recipe included for a whipped vegan coconut cream that is a delicious and super easy vegan alternative to whipped cream.
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Foodie Friday: Holiday Sweets

3123693806_4cb1ca16d9_zIn the realm of pastry, the most overlooked and under-appreciated types of confections are usually the most common. It’s easy to take something like ice cream for granted if you get yours at the supermarket.

However, the trend of over-indulgence on store-bought goodies is something that we foodies need to nip in the bud. Sure, it’s easier to grab a bag of Chips Ahoy at the supermarket and keep them around in the cupboard where they, eerily, don’t get stale. But where’s the fun in that?

It’s no secret that everyone eats more sweets this time of year but while, personally, I am unable to enjoy sweets, I sure do like to make them for my friends and family. There is something very satisfying about giving your loved ones a gift of homemade confections that you put so much effort into making.

This edition of Foodie Friday, I want to share a couple cookie recipes that I have been honing for some time now. Remember, recipes are just a guideline and there is one, very important, ingredient that you never write down… love. Enjoy!
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