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Category: Holidays
December 16, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Year-old eggnog? Delicious!

The aged eggnog from Sun Liquor (Erika Schultz)

The aged eggnog from Sun Liquor (Erika Schultz)

Here is your holiday exhortation: you will make your own eggnog — no more of that thick mess out of the carton, that stuff that goes straight to the gut and balloons your belly.

Shared below is the better eggnog, redolent of grated nutmeg and cream, spiked with brandy, bourbon and rum — truly a taste of Christmas.

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0 Comments | Topics: Barrio, Eggnog, Rob Roy

July 3, 2013 at 6:00 AM

8 tips for summer grilling

File photo by John Lok/The Seattle Times

File photo by John Lok/The Seattle Times

You get the hamburgers and hot dogs. We’ll grill the experts. Here are tips from recent barbecuing and grilling books that should help make your Fourth of July meals a flaming (or, er, glowing) success:

Clean machine: Most experts stress the importance of maintaining clean, lightly oiled grill grates. The editors of Bon Appetit go beyond that in “The Grilling Book” ($45, Andrews McMeel), suggesting using a toothpick to make sure all burner holes on a gas grill are clear of debris. “If the burner holes are clogged, the flame will be low or nonexistent and heat levels will drop dramatically.”

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0 Comments | Topics: barbecue, Bruce Aidells, burgers

December 20, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Yesterday’s Mavens, Today’s Foodies: latkes, you’ll eat!

I moved to Seattle in 1988, and still recall that whenever I needed a taste of “home”– chicken soup with matzoh balls, a plate of blintzes — I’d frequent the deli-restaurant Matzoh Momma, late of Capitol Hill. The name lives on as Matzoh Momma Catering, with owners Pip and Miriam Meyerson presiding. From mitzvahs to mourning, feeding the needs of the community is all part of their “Jewish-lifecycle business,” as they define it.

Happily, the Meyersons have been the driving force behind the annual Night of a Thousand Latkes, a Hanukkah fundraiser for MAZON, a Jewish agency providing hunger-relief for people of all faiths and backgrounds. Sadly, they won’t be holding the event this year due to the recent passing of Miriam’s mother.

As for those latkes, enjoyed year-round but especially at Hanukkah — the eight-day Festival of Lights that began Dec. 20 at sundown — “You’ve got to eat them while they’re hot!” they implored, welcoming me into their home to watch as Pip fried his potato pancakes and Miriam garnished the goods with sour cream and applesauce (you’ll find that recipe here).

They made ‘em, I ate ‘em. Latkes, with sour cream and homemade Honeycrisp applesauce.

[Seattle Times/Greg Gilbert]

“Oil temperature is critical. Do a little drop-test first,” Pip instructs, adding a smidgen of batter, which crisped up quickly. “And salt them after,” he says, generously sprinkling the end result. “Eat!” Having never before officially met the Meyersons, I immediately felt as if they were family.

That sense of familial embrace extends to “Yesterday’s Mavens, Today’s Foodies: Traditions in Northwest Jewish Kitchens,” a community cookbook published in November by the Washington State Jewish Historical Society. Among its 250 recipes are Miriam’s mother’s hamantachen (a tri-cornered pastry) and Pip’s justly famous latkes.

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0 Comments | More in Cookbooks, Holidays | Topics: Family tales

November 16, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Get cooking for the holidays: Seattle chefs share their tips

Looking for holiday cooking tips, techniques and culinary advice — plus a raft of great recipes? So were we. For this year’s holiday guide we tapped local chefs and restaurateurs for ideas and inspiration.

We came up with a heaping helping of appetizers and desserts from Dish D’Lish diva Kathy Casey; memorable main courses from the chef-instructors at Seattle Culinary Academy at Seattle Central Community College; satisfying sides from contemporary Northwest cookbooks; and a sideboard of standbys from The Seattle Times files.

You’ll find the complete Holiday Cuisine recipe-package (including turkey basics from the USDA and words of wine wisdom from my pal Paul Gregutt) linked here.

Roast turkey, or chestnut-chanterelle pork loin roast: you decide. [Seattle Times/Ken Lambert]

Meanwhile, I yakked it up with a host of local chefs, and here’s what they had to tell me:

Yes, we talked turkey

“My grandmother was a great Cajun cook, and her chicken stew would bring you to your knees,” recalls chef Kevin Davis, a Louisiana native. “But mawmaw always overcooked the turkey.” Turns out mawmaw didn’t have the right tool: a digital thermometer. Today, “there’s no reason to be without one,” says her grandson, owner of Seattle’s Blueacre Seafood and Steelhead Diner. “It takes the guesswork out of everything.”

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November 2, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Halloween candy leftovers: ideas?

Did you see the Seattle Times story suggesting ways to recycle leftover Halloween candy? If not, have a look here. I’m all for saving candies for decorating gingerbread houses, and know plenty folks (hello, Nate!) who’d be sweet on the proffered recipe for “Easy Candy Bar Milkshakes.” That said, I will not — as suggested — be putting candy corn in my Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. Next to my delicata squash? That’s another story.

Anyway, I thought I’d ask if you had ideas of your own for making use of Halloween leftovers. (Yeah, yeah. I know, “What leftovers?) Me? I’m convinced I had the best leftovers of all: caramel sauce! Unlike in years past, I decided to make my own caramel sauce for caramel apples. I found a simple recipe, which called for honey as the sweetener of choice, and I gave it a go.

Nice try, Nance. This sauce didn’t thicken properly, leaving my apples naked. The neighbor kids missed out this year, but I’m not complaining.

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0 Comments | More in Holidays, Recipes

October 31, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Halloween onigiri: the Great Pumpkin says “Hai!”

I’m not big on “cute” in the kitchen. Unless you count the adorable little lady apples I like to dunk in caramel to give to the neighbor kids on Halloween. But last week while we were out and about, Nate and I couldn’t help but admire these mini-pumpkin onigiri. We were so impressed by these holiday treats I begged the Japanese language teachers who’d made them for their recipe.

Japanese rice balls get the Halloween treatment. Love those snap-pea stems!

If you’re not familiar with onigiri, you haven’t spent enough time in our local Japanese restaurants (and if so, may I suggest you head over to Maneki?). While there are many ways to prepare and enjoy onigiri (check out this Q&A on the subject), I figured I’d get in the spirit of the day and — just for grins — share their recipe:

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0 Comments | More in Holidays, Recipes

April 22, 2011 at 8:55 AM

It’s a good Friday — for restaurants, and recipes

Good Friday to you. It’s been some week of eating, both for me and for my Seattle Times colleagues. Need proof? See Providence Cicero’s review of Munchbar, dubbed the “new Bellevue-by-way-of-Vegas restaurant and night spot” in Bellevue Square. And check out Lynn Jacobson’s take on The Spice Room — a date-night-worthy Thai place in Columbia City. Need a drink and a nosh? Tan Vinh got happy at Mulleady’s Irish Pub in Magnolia (barrel-aged Negronis? the pipes, the pipes are ca-awl-ing!).

As for me? I got that old-time religion again this year with the Monday night reading of a newfangled haggadah and plenty of fabulous foods at a Passover seder. There was chicken soup with matzo balls, roasted chicken, matzo roca and yes, controversy aside, we ate quinoa, a tweaked version of the nutted rice recipe from the original Silver Palate Cookbook — with the grain taking the place of the rice and the addition of dried cherries along with the raisins. There was also some fine wine, as well as the less sophisticated and cloyingly sweet ceremonial grape-juice of my childhood (talk about plagues).

We laughed (oh, how we laughed!), we sang, we ate, we recounted the story of the Exodus. Dayenu.

Though I won’t be joining the masses at Qwest Field on Easter Sunday, I will be joining friends for leg of lamb at our annual Easter dinner since, as you likely know by now, I’m an equal opportunity enjoyer. Need a lamb recipe, a ham recipe, or an idea for a not-so-traditional but most delightful Easter cake? We’ve got you covered there. And if you’re wondering whether — and for how long — your hard-boiled Easter eggs are edible, you’ll find that answer right here.

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0 Comments | More in Holidays, Restaurants

December 29, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Sweet treats: it ain’t over till it’s over

I don’t know about your house, but thanks to the kindness of friends and family, my home looks like it’s been attacked by the Sugar Plum Fairies. We’re awash in sweet holiday treats, including a tin of “Nonni’s biscotti” (no, not that Nonni’s) from Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero; homemade peanut brittle (thanks,…

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0 Comments | More in Holidays | Topics: Baking

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