Entries from September 2009 ↓

Nico’s Pizza @ Greene’s Corner

Nico is a dog. Really! The owner of Greene’s Corner named the pizza place after his dog! But the pizza served here is worthy of more human consumption, though maybe the dog likes it, too; I don’t know. I gave Nico’s more than one visit just to be sure the first time wasn’t just a REALLY good day. But hands down, if you’re traveling up Northwest just past the soccer fields, have some of the pizza. It is the tastiest in Bellingham. I think so, and I have eaten A LOT of pizza pizza pizza in Bellingham. It is a staple in my diet.

The space is bright and airy (see open garage door). There are table clothed picnic tables and individual tables. Nico’s Pizza shares the space with Fool’s Onion Catering (sandwiches/salads/pastries) and Hammerhead Coffee Roasters. You can buy by the slice or pie. There are 20 different pizzas to choose from. Yes, 20.

I have eaten cheese, pepperoni, Josephine’s and Homer’s. I have eaten with cheese and without. They were all excellent. The sauce is fresh and rich, the crust thin – next time I am going to order an Aphrodite = fresh garlic, fresh mozz, fresh spinach, feta, olive oil and sliced roma tomatoes. Maybe I’ll feel like one after? Stop it!

Nico’s Pizza Corner of Smith & Northwest, Bellingham     360-306-8137     Open daily 11am-8pm

Harvest Moon Bakery in Maple Falls

In the Nutcracker, children have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. I have visions of Harvest Moon treats dancing in my head after devouring a berry scone! The Beals and  Betsy Swanson are baking up your dream in Maple Falls. So, if you’re in the mood for a drive and your car can tackle the chance of weather – GO!  The Pacific Northwest, where weather is as variable as the Northern Isles.

It was a required stop on our way down from Mount Baker. I think it should be a required stop ANY time. Think family of five after having walked Artist Point and Mount Baker overlooks.

It is a cozy space decorated in cheery oranges and yellows. Artsy accents pepper the space making it feel very homey. The scones are marvelous and the pastry, pie choices abound. Everything is made fresh daily and it’s baking at its best – from SCRATCH. You’ll also find soup and sandwiches, biscuits and gravy on the weekends, chicken and potato empanadas.

Harvest Moon Bakery     7466 Mt Baker Hwy, Maple Falls     360-599-1347     Open daily 7-5

Ethiopian Cuisine with Mulu Belay

I thrive on diversity. It is a part of my youth growing up in NYC with immigrant parents. And that diversity has always included food. First introduced to Central European cuisine courtesy of my mother, to evolve and include others as the face of the neighborhood did. Northern European, then Central and Eastern European, followed by Asian and Indian and Island cultures. You name it, you could find it to eat in Queens (NY).

So, given the opportunity to be WITH Mulu Belay in the kitchen for a cooking class is heaven. Immersion at its best. Mulu gave her first cooking class last night at the Community Food Co-op Cordata kitchen and I got to help. Privilege. It was a team effort with Mulu at its core. Her husband was enthusiastic and her daughter was confident. I happily washed dishes and ate!

The class was packed, patient and well fed. Mulu demonstrated how to make injera (Ethiopian bread), sauteed carrots and potatoes with Ethiopian spices, chicken legs and hard boiled eggs in a spiced stew and red lentils. The dishes all had some combination of garlic, onions, ginger. Spices were peppery combinations of cardamom, black nigella (black caraway seed), paprika and salt. There were 2 highlights:  getting to make injera and EATING!

What I learned:

Injera looks like a huge crepe, slightly spongy. You use starter/yeast bacteria (don’t say yuck if you’ve ever eaten sourdough bread) and  rice, barley & teff flour. It takes 2 days for the starter mixture to ferment before it can be cooked. Mulu heats 4 electric pans at the same time to make enough for the day at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market! She brought one to class and we took turns.

Chicken parts are skinned (to allow the flavors to be absorbed by the meat vs the skin). Then wash in a bowl of salted cold water, add the juice of 1 large lemon and soak for 30 minutes, then rinse. Somehow I just know this must be the right way to prep the chicken for the stew. In Ethiopia meat is a luxury so it is generally only eaten on Holidays or if you have guests.

The class declared that she must open a restaurant and I wholeheartedly agreed. She said she would need all our help!

Mulu and her family are a true delight and I cannot wait to see them again on Saturday! Her lentils are my favorite.

Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine @ Bellingham Farmer’s Market until Oct 3rd

Mulunesh Belay   360-756-1627 or mulubelay@yahoo.com

Pierogi Heaven Discontinued @ TJ’s

Please share your Trader Joe’s discontinued and seasonal experiences with me. This way we can adjust our shopping lists accordingly without multiple visits to the service desk.

The pierogis have been discontinued. Why? Not enough Eastern European’s buying it? It was a weekly staple in my house. Potato dumplings. How could I go wrong? They go with everything and could stand alone. I will have to scout out a new source because I certainly don’t have time to make them. You notice the writing gaps for this blog. It is not my only form of recreation. I eat, too.

In February, Alan Rhodes (LOVE him) mentioned Kira’s Grill in a Cascadia Weekly opinions article.

Located in a dismal shopping center near the Blaine truck crossing, this Ukranian cafe serves up pierogis to die for and the best borscht this side of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi. Leave room for the fried sauerkraut, another life changing experience.

I will report back on MY findings soon.

Kira’s Grill 1733 H St #420  Blaine WA     360-332-2240
Open daily 11am-7pm

Daphne’s Fairhaven

Daphne’s Cafe is coming to Fairhaven at 1200 10th St., Suite 102, as an expansion of the Fairhaven Village Inn.  It is related to Daphne’s in Edmonds, a cozy little cafe and wine bar that bills itself as “Beer, wine, and a little food”. The menu on their Edmonds website reads:

“A rotating list of green, white, red, and sparkling wines and Belgian draught beers. Bread, cheese, salumi, olives, nuts, and handmade chocolates”

The Bellingham Business Journal reports that Brian Taylor and Louise Favie hope to open Daphne’s before the end of the year.