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April 2013

Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme

Sumptuous, smooth, velvety chocolate pots de crème. When you dip your spoon in for the first time, you’re probably expecting a custard, or a mousse, or even a ganache-like fudge. But when done right, pots de crème are none of the above.

The pot de crème is a loose custard, wherein a decadent combination of cream and chocolate result in a silky, creamy consistency. The flavour is luxuriously chocolatey without being overly rich. And it pairs  incredibly well with either whipped cream, or my personal favourite, crème fraîche.

This luscious dessert can be made a few days ahead of time, if you can resist it for that long. Luckily, if you do give in to temptation, another batch can be whipped up in no time at all.

Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme 2

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The Walrus and the Carpenter Lamb Gelatine

Restaurants like The Walrus and the Carpenter are the reason I dine out. It’s easy to miss the small sign at the entrance to this lively restaurant that’s tucked away at the back of a former ship-parts factory, at the end of a long, narrow hallway. As you near the restaurant though, you hear the din of happy chatter. Walking into the Walrus and the Carpenter is like a breath of fresh air. The space is bright, cheerful, and inviting.

If you’re into seafood, you will adore the menu. First of all, it’s an oyster bar, so there are oysters galore for you to choose from, nicely showcased in buckets of ice behind the bar. There is a bevy of fish and shellfish dishes on the menu (sardines, trout, mackerel, herring, scallops, you  name it). At this point, you might be wondering if I simply observed at this dinner, since I don’t eat much seafood. Have no fear – there are enough meat and veggie options to choose from as well if you prefer land-based foods. In fact, I ate an entire meal without consuming anything from the sea…

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Batch Cooking 04-14-13

Excited to be cooking with rhubarb this week! I seem to always miss rhubarb season, but not this year! For dinner: melt-in-your-mouth braised beef brisket with rhubarb. And I’m experimenting with a rhubarb topped panna cotta recipe. I’m making up for past years :)

For a side, some cauliflower, a vegetable that I don’t give enough love to. Browned in butter and then quickly braised in stock and tossed together with some capers and lemon juice – very tasty!

For lunch, another salad, pretty much same as last week: lettuce + steak + strawberries + avocado + bocconcini + olive oil = not a combination I’m likely to tire of any time soon.

And for snacks/dessert I have that panna cotta that I’m experimenting with and some fantastic chocolate pots de crème that I’ll be posting this Friday.

Now I have food for most of the week – such is the joy of batch cooking :)

What are you eating this week?

Fridge 4-14-13

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Coconut Macaroons 5 (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

These delicious coconut macaroons are the perfect snack to have in your repertoire. Most of us have shredded coconut in our pantries, and eggs in the fridge. And that plus 10 minutes is basically all you need to whip these up. Which means, you can make them on a whim for a healthy sweet tooth fix, snacky kids, or unexpected guests. They also pack well for hikes, road trips, etc.

They’re a great way to use up unused egg whites, and who needs an excuse to eat more coconut? These little guys are also pretty versatile. You can swap the lemon zest for lime, Meyer lemon, orange, etc. And to dress them up, you could drizzle them with or dip them in some dark chocolate.

So, next time you have leftover egg whites, or are looking for a quick homemade snack that will fill your home with aromas of lemon and coconut, why not make a batch of these lovely coconut macaroons!

Coconut Macaroons (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

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Andina Beef Heart Kabobs

In the first part of this post, I reviewed: Evoe, Pearl Bakery, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, and St. Jack. The culinary adventures continue here as I comment on my visits to Podnah’s Pit BBQ, Salt & Straw, Andina, Tasty n Sons, and St. Honoré Boulangerie, as well as Cacao and Stumptown Coffee.

It was a gorgeous weekend for visiting Portland, and one of the best things about checking out restaurants in a town you’re not familiar with is exploring all the various neighbourhoods. One of my favourites was Nobb Hill, home of Salt & Straw and St. Honore Boulangerie (as well as many other spots I didn’t visit). The neighbourhood is lined with cute shops, restaurants and cafes, and also gorgeous trees like the magnolia one below. Overall, a great weekend, and I look forward to returning and eating my way through more of Portland’s awesome food scene.

Portland Magnolias March 2013

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