A Bellingham Foodie Blog Restaurant Reviews Bellingham Washington 98225

October 21, 2009

Black Forest Cherry Torte

Filed under: Bellingham local,local,Pacific Northwest,restaurants — Bellinghamster @ 7:53 pm

A long time ago, I went to a company party with a HS friend. It was held at Terrace On the Park in Flushing Meadows, NY. It is in one of the few structures left from the 1964 New York World’s Fair, which was themed “Peace Through Understanding”.  The building represents a 120-ft high heliport built for the transportation area. The windows form a large T on its sides. For Transportation. There was an exhibit floor, bar floor and restaurant at the top – “Terrace on the Park”.

As with most parties, you get a party favor to take home. I still have the one I got: a cookbook. Benson & Hedges Entertaining With Style:  Recipes from Great American Restaurants. It is small, hard covered and my first cookbook. Think Windows on the World, Russian Tea Room, Mader’s, The Palm, Frog, Washington Square Bar & Grill, Brennan’s to name just a few of the featured restaurants. Each restaurant profile includes a brief bio and a story of the origins of the featured recipe, plus courses to pair with it. My book includes many food-stained pages, but the one most abused is for Black Forest Cherry Torte recipe from Mader’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A Birthday Supper

Fresh Asparagus with Lemon Mayonnaise
Cold Smoked Turkey and Ham
Hot German Potato Salad
Sliced Tomatoes
Black Forest Cherry Torte*
Wine: Mosel Riesling

I would make the Black Forest Cherry Torte for birthday’s, holidays, parties.  Even Homer Simpson admits that Black Forest Cherry Torte is the ultimate bribe. Marge Simpson let Homer eat a whole cake once so she could Ultimate Fight an arena owner in a challenge bout….which gave me the idea for this post. And the DESIRE to make one of these cakes this week. I’m wondering what I bribe MY Homer to do…

October 14, 2009

Homemade Pizza, Doh!

Filed under: Bellingham local,local,Pacific Northwest,Seattle — Bellinghamster @ 9:47 pm

There is only one thing that drives me to distraction in the kitchen: trying to shape pizza dough.

I watch intently at my local pizzeria. I watch youtube videos. I read different recipes. They all do it the same way:

  • floured board and hands
  • a perfectly round mound of dough
  • gently press the edges flat
  • lift dough over back of hands/knuckles to gently shape/stretch the EDGES only because gravity will take care of the center

Gravity takes care of the center of my dough with a hole.

If the dough stops stretching, did you know it is because you have to let the GLUTEN REST? for a few minutes? If you handle the dough too much it will get tough!

  • if dough loses its elasticity, lay it down to rest and WAIT
  • then repeat knuckle shaping edge of dough to 1/4 ” thick
  • BUT make sure you keep a lip on the edge of your dough
  • arrange the perfectly shaped dough on floured surface
  • slide it onto preheated baking stone in oven

Don’t get me started on shaping gluten free dough. It was easier to learn to roll sushi. Rice behaves.

October 3, 2009

Sheela Bristol’s Home-Style Indian Dinner @ Community Food Co-op

Filed under: Bellingham local,local,Pacific Northwest — Bellinghamster @ 5:22 pm

I was at it again: a Community Food Co-op cooking class. It was a wonderful experience. The tastes and aromas were delicious and comforting. Sheela Bristol was our host and she is very personable and approachable. She grew up in Malaysia and South India before coming to the US. She cooked a great meal!

The dishes were vegetarian: paneer vegetable korma, basmati rice, papadums, parathas and aloo gobi along with sweet ginger chai.

Sheela was in command and Dorothy and I her helpers. We set up the room for a full class while Sheela prepared sweet ginger chai.  It was a sweet and peppery pick me up. Then, a great group of people showed up – hungry and eager to take it all in.

The first dish was paneer vegetable korma. It is a combination of vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas) and paneer (cheese) in a creamy sauce (yogurt). The interesting part of this recipe was the ‘tempering spices’ of cinnamon sticks, cardomom pods and cloves. Each spice is popped in a small quantity of hot oil to bring out its distinctive flavor. If the spices are combined, the taste is different. It tasted wonderfully complex with just the right amount of fire. Sheela served papdums with the korma. They are crispy lentil based wafers about 4″ diameter.

The second dish was aloo gobi made with potatoes, cauliflower and blend of spices:  mango powder, cumin seeds, asafoetida, coriander, paprika, chili, garam masala, turmeric. These are the mixtures that dance on your tongue. The spices you crave when you want Indian food. It was excellent!

This was served with Indian bread called parathas. We also made parathas in class. They are a whole wheat flat bread and very easy to make. I took home some extra dough and made more – YUM!

It is evident from spending 3 hours with Sheela that authentic Indian cooking is within my culinary reach. And, therefore, yours too.

October 2, 2009

Bloom Vegan Restaurant, Bellingham

Bloom is a new restaurant that will be opening this year. So what? Lots of restaurants open every year? Well, not vegan restaurants, and in Bellingham to boot! A Community Food Coopster told me it will be located on Cornwall Avenue in the old Billiards space (across the street from The Vines).

Vegan/Vegetarian. PERFECT. Although there are many places to eat in Bellingham that serve vegetarian options, it can get a little dicey if you’re concerned about cross contamination the way a vegan or gluten free diner would be. So a restaurant serving exclusively vegetarian meals could address this concern.

I will be sampling the menu when they open. I do eat poultry and fish, but I thrive on veggie meals – light, filling and easily digested keeps me going. And I have a LOT going.

Bloom  (restaurant)   1320 Cornwall Ave Bellingham WA

Update:  Gluten-Free Doctor reports Bloom had a soft opening October 13th. It will be open Tuesdays thru Fridays 8am-2pm and on Fridays it will reopen as a lounge at 5pm.

Update 10/2009: Been visiting Bloom on a regular basis.. super foods, super greens, super comfortable. Enjoying the big tables and wifi as well. They have posted their daily menu on their new website – so check it out BloomBellingham.com.

September 23, 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

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