Caponata alla Margret

I get deliveries from Moondance Farms every Monday evening. CSA boxes are like presents for me. As I sort through all the goodies, I think of favorite recipes. I knew when I saw the eggplant I would make Margret’s recipe for Caponata. It would be the perfect sweet/sour New Year’s dish for Rosh HaShanah.

Margret would make it as an appetizer for family gatherings. It was always fantastic! One Christmas I asked for the recipe and she happily wrote it on the back of  a piece of wrapping paper.

I made it so often the paper didn’t hold up, so I scanned it. Now when I look at it written in her hand writing I smile widely and remember the good times. 9-9-10

Caponata alla Margret

capanata2

The Table, Bellingham WA

Patience is a virtue that pays off.  I was driving to the library and found The Table open for business!

A long table down the center of the restaurant draws your eye invitingly. Open space, high ceiling, earth tones with wood tables and chairs surround you for casual dining.  A look at the menu had me wanting it all.

Starters: Antipasti Platter or Ralf’s Pretzel & Sausage or Beet Caprese (sliced red beets, goat cheese w/reduced balsamic and basil chiffonade, pepper).

Salads: Spinach-Goat cheese or Caeser or Fusilli Pasta.

Sandwiches: come with a side of fusilli pasta salad – Meatball Grinder (pork/bison), Sausage Sub (grilled w/carmelized onions, portobellos) or Veggie Sandwich (toasted foccacia w/lime-red jalapeno hummus, portobellos, spinach, carmellized onions, goat cheese).

Are you drooling yet? Rumor has it the chef is from NY. Italian chef from NY; now there’s a surprise. Here’s more-

Pasta (of course): Mac ‘n Cheese (fusilli, Twin Brooks cream, mozzarella, Tillamook cheddar in a crock topped w/bread crumbs, browned in oven) opt for Italian sausage mixed in, Spaghetti & Meatballs (bison/pork, house marinara), Pink Vodka Penne or Chicken Cacciatore (over roasted red pepper linguine).

A major + is the beer list. Can you say LOCAL?  They will always have Chuckanut Brewery’s Kolsch (my favorite – see Tuesday’s Kolsch night), Leavenworth Whistling Pig, Yakima Craft Brewery Pale and others.  Reds and whites will vary. The wines are pricey and the Townshend Cellars “Table” Blend disappointing at $9 for a small glass. I would be a regular for Thurston Wolfe caliber wines!

I hope they keep their menu small and varied with the season. I like small plates and large plates,  local sources of good wine and cold beer (see Du Jour Bistro & The Vines – they set the bar). 7-29-10

The Table

360-594-6000     100 North Commercial St     M 11-5 T-Sat 11-9

Setting ‘The Table’ @ Bellingham Pasta Company

Update: see The Table Bellingham

Some call it noodles and some call it pasta. I think it depends whether your upbringing had ethnic influences. Pasta is Italian food. Noodles is what everyone else calls the wonderful strands and shapes of wheat dough. In NY and NJ, it was called pasta. Period. And there were so many Italian restaurants, it was impossible to choose. Unless. Unless the pasta was freshly made. Those restaurants won hands down.

And so I am waiting patiently for the opening of Bellingham Pasta Company’s restaurant ‘The Table”. I was driving by the corner of Champion and Commercial last week (old Pacific Cafe space sob sob I still pester Robert Fong). Someone was sitting outside the open door. I chanced a shout out the car window hoping the restaurant was serving. “3 more weeks… maybe”. They will have a retail shop and restaurant in the space.

And so I am waiting patiently. 7-14-10

Bellingham Pasta Co.

360-303-8435  Katie Hinton     360-441-7855  Anna Rankin

Nutrition @ Community Food Co-op

Just to let you know the Community Food Co-op has nutritionist, Tom Malterre, in the store on the following dates:

  • Downtown  Wednesday, Dec 16th from noon-2pm
  • Cordata  Thursday, Dec 17th from noon-2pm

This is an opportunity not to be missed. Tom Malterre has a wealth of information to share. He is a practicing certified nutritionist in Bellingham. He can offer nutritional counseling, education AND personal chef services. He and his wife, Ali Segersten, have a fantastic cookbook  I use often for  its recipes and information on ingredients: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.  They also teach classes through the Community Food Co-op.

***Here are some  new dates for January:

  • Cordata:  Tuesday, Jan 5th from 3-5pm
  • Downtown: Wednesday, Jan 6th from 3-5pm

Magdalena’s Creperie

Magdalena’s crepes are beautiful inside and out. They are fresh, light and help me miss my mother a little less.

Magdalena's Creperie Fairhaven/Bellingham

Magdalena's Creperie Fairhaven/Bellingham

I went for breakfast. The setting was serene and welcoming:  chocolate and cream color schemes, high ceilings and warm greetings upon entering. A butter cookie will be nestled on the saucer of your teacup when your hot pot of Dilmah Earl Grey tea is served. The scent of the bergamot was energizing and luscious.

I ate a savory crepe of mushrooms and onions with sour cabbage. It made me feel nostalgic for childhood meals. It was delicious. Tom ate a Breakfast Crepe:  egg, asparagus, tomato and arugula with capers, mozarella, brie and smoked salmon. The portion was generous in size, flavor and texture. And then, she indulged us with a chocolate crepe and strawberries.

I’m in love.

Magdalena has come here from Poland to elevate your dining experience. You should be very thankful. I know I am.

The menu has savory crepes; I will try the mushroom, onion and lentils with horseradish sauce my next visit. You may like spinach, onion, blue cheese and smoked salmon with olives and capers. There are many wonderful combinations/choices.

There are also baked crepes served with green salad dressed with oil and balsamic vinegar (my favorite). I would try asparagus and prossciutto topped with bechamel sauce. Or maybe bolognaise filling topped with mozzarella, parmesan and bechamel sauce.

I grew up with sweet crepes. During Lent, my mother would make palacsintas or Hungarian crepes. I would grind the walnuts in a hand crank grinder. She would mix them with sugar and sprinkle the apricot jelly filled crepes with it. YUM! Magdalena serves sweet crepes filled with jam or Nutella, fruit or warm applesauce, vanilla cream cheese or vanilla ice cream. I can go on and on…

And then, there is Magda’s Delicious crepes! These are chocolate crepes filled with ice cream or vanilla cream cheese or mascarpone and fruit and nuts and powdered sugar! Oh, my!

She also serves sandwiches:  bruschetta with tomato, garlic, olive oil, fresh cilantro and mozzarella, grilled vegetable, arugula, Camembert and Philadelphia cream cheese are two examples.

Stumptown Coffee is served and Numi or Dilmah Tea. Drinks include lemonade with mint, carrot orange or grapefruit juice and a mix of carrot, orange and ginger juice.

Magdalena is particular about her ingredients. She wants to present the dishes as authentically as she can, but explains the available Philadelphia brand cream cheese is salty compared with the quark cheese she wants to use. Quark cheese is not the same as cream cheese. It is similar to curd cheese. It is soft, white, un-aged, has a low fat content and no salt added. She has suppliers lined up and hopes to introduce this Eastern European cheese in the near future.

Magdalena’s Creperie, review

360-483-8569     1200 10th St, Bellingham
Open daily 7am – 3pm

FYI  Magdalena will host a Romanian Day the first weekend in December. She has a Romanian friend cooking up some dishes to share with us. These along with Magdalena’s pierogis will send you to your happy place.