Foodie Friday: Chicken and Dumplings

5433313563_285056a6ea_bSometimes, the simplest dishes make both the most comforting and the most nourishing meal. Making a simple dish with the highest quality ingredients and utmost care will make all the difference in the final product. Therefore, when selecting produce for even the most basic dishes, it’s really important to get the good stuff. Try your local farmers market and even roadside produce stands if you have any in your area. If you are shopping at the grocery store, look for the certified organic veggies and hormone-free organic meat, fish and poultry. Although it may be a little more expensive it’s worth it.

Besides being organic, it’s also key that your ingredients are appealing to your senses. Smell, touch and taste everything you are putting in your meal. This separates a good cook from a great one, and adds a sense of ownership and unrivalled pride. Knowing that you lovingly selected each and every carrot in the soup will give you a deep respect for your meal. Carefully preparing the ingredients in a patient and ritualistic manner can be complete bliss for some. The smells and sounds of the kitchen meld together to create a culinary nirvana in your own home.

The following Chicken and Dumplings recipe is from my childhood and has always been a go-to for colds or warming up after a cold winter outing. Although it’s a fairly involved recipe, it gets easier the more you make it, and it is definitely worth it. You may want to make a double batch. We tend to go through a pot easily at my house. For those of you that are vegetarian or vegan, there is an alternative recipe noted with an asterisk (*) for you to follow. For our gluten free friends try rice, corn, or any kind of gluten free flour you like. And, of course, as with any recipe, feel free to “color outside of the lines” and make it the way you like it. Enjoy!
Read More…

Food & Drink >

Foodie Friday: Pack a Picnic Brunch with Gravlox!

Oh, August! A great time to spend with your friends and family, and brunch is a fantastic daytime, community meal: breakfast for some, lunch for others, but always delicious and on everyone’s schedule.

Instead of having it inside or scrambling to find a brunch spot with a patio, why not bring the party outside? Laying down a blanket on the beach or in the park is as good a spot for brunch as any. While you’re at it, why not enjoy some great bluegrass music or live Shakespeare or perhaps some French Opera? Here’s a list of some outdoor events around the Northwest that would be perfectly complimented by a little picnic brunch action:

Saturday, August 4 I Bluegrass On The GreenMountlake Terrace, Washington

Saturday, August 4 I The 2012 Skagit River Shakespeare Festival’s IronmanMount Vernon, Washington

Saturday, August 11 I 4th Annual PEPSapaloozaWoodinville, Washington

Sunday, August 12 I French Opera Pique NiqueSeattle, Washington

Here in the Northwest, fresh salmon is bountiful, especially this time of year, and we find any excuse to eat it whenever we can. This Gravlox recipe, from our resident foodie Patrick, is a little less salty than your standard cured salmon, letting the flavor of the fish shine through. The whole process takes around 36 hours, but you can make it in advance, as it will keep for a few days in the fridge.
Read More…

Food & Drink >

Foodie Friday: Hooray for Chocolate Chip Cookies!

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a chocolate chip cookie recipe I have been using for years. It’s near and dear to me so I would like to share it with you! Even during these sweltering summer months, there is nothing like a chocolate chip cookie. Try eating them with some vanilla ice cream at your next summer barbecue.
Read More…

Food & Drink >

Foodie Friday: Brunch and Pickled Rhubarb at Skelly and the Bean

A couple Sundays back it was Fathers Day and this proud papa was lucky enough to check out Skelly and the Bean, a spot I have been wanting to check out since reading through their event posts on Brown Paper Tickets.  After a quick tour of the kitchen from Chef Zephyr Paquette, I was able to sit at the bar and soak up the homey, eclectic atmosphere.

While snacking on assorted house made pickled veggies, bread, and butter, I asked the incredibly friendly staff members and regular customers what they recommended. It soon became clear to me that I was going to try the Ham and Eggs. Knowing I was looking forward to a big steak dinner at home I was a little reluctant at first, but let me tell you it was worth every calorie. I cleaned the plate! The plate featured three soft boiled eggs each wrapped lovingly with thinly sliced ham with the perfect amount of slightly chewy crust filled with the lightest fluffiest deviled egg filling I’ve ever tasted. Slightly tangy, the filling offered a perfect counterpoint to the salty ham. A lovely micro green salad in the middle of the plate also got an invitation to the party, giving a crunch and a slightly-bitter-yet-refreshing cleanse to the palate between bites of the delicious eggs (which I frankly attacked with a one-bite method after a quick taste of the filling).
Read More…

Food & Drink >