Hiking: Autumn in Mt. Rainier

People come to Mt. Rainier, in the summer for its myriad displays of wild flowers; in the winter for its endless opportunities of winter sports.

But on a beautiful sunny day in the autumn…

14440870_974556396006680_4735849714154030864_n

The view could be equally astonishing.

14457564_974507629344890_7806518816704935320_n Continue reading “Hiking: Autumn in Mt. Rainier”

Advertisements

Brioche

12314024_792462550882733_6314942728324722845_n

The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…
―MFK Fisher

It’s been a while since I baked brioche. I almost forgot how intoxicating it smelled when one is in the oven. This recipe, adopted from L’Academie de Cuisine, yields approximately two pounds of dough, which will make 4 small, 2 medium or 1 large load of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 cups (1lb) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (8oz)  room temperature butter

Continue reading “Brioche”

Apricot Walnut Bread

12239614_785293481599640_3770691655672800380_n

Today a friend asked me what my blog is all about. Without hesitation I told him, it’s about food, it’s about travel, it contains recipes…and then it suddenly dawned on me that most of my recipes are from the food I sampled throughout my trips, inspired by the looks and tastes of a particular local dish and the anecdotes surround it. Cooking or reproducing it simply becomes an extension of the fond memories, back home. Continue reading “Apricot Walnut Bread”

Mont Blanc Day

10712524_567752176687106_5019174403054642322_o

According to La Maison Angelina, November 4th 2015 is la Journée du Mont-Blanc(Mont Blanc Day). Today after a satisfying sushi lunch, my friend and I popped into our favorite Japanese bakery, and found these little goodies on their shelf: Continue reading “Mont Blanc Day”

Chanterelle Mushrooms – Sauté & Omelette

With rain, comes mushroom. This morning I stopped by our neighborhood farmers market and found a bountiful of locally foraged wild mushrooms: chanterelles, black trumpets, lobsters, cauliflowers, and king bolettes, also known as porcini mushrooms.
12193749_782104558585199_1478109018120891045_n11221282_782104565251865_5765073453066149683_n
12187781_782104621918526_5564074276625315185_n12193316_782104588585196_6418159291723988927_n
12189141_782104598585195_11073429023995787_n12066010_782104651918523_3972757105037084767_n
I also found this little girl putting on a beautiful smile which instantly brights up an otherwise wet and greyish Sunday.

Given that it rains a lot in this part of the Pacific Northwest, we can almost ‘harvest’ mushrooms all year round. With proper knowledge and education, you can go foraging on you own. Last year I went with a guide to the Olympic Peninsula, we didn’t have to venture far into the woods to get a bagful of fragrant chanterelles. But admittedly, I prefer to stay warm and dry, so I get mine from this stand at the farmers market.
12189773_782104875251834_3760880515991787505_n
Cantharellus cibarius, commonly known as the chanterelle, golden chanterelle or girolle, is a fungus. It is probably the best known species of the genusCantharellus, if not the entire family of Cantharellaceae. It is orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped. On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap. It emits a fruity aroma, reminiscent of apricots and a mildly peppery taste (hence its German name, Pfifferling) and is considered an excellent edible mushroom.
12065843_782144138581241_8359129543434529320_n
With chanterelle mushrooms, I prefer to prepare them the simplest ways: sauté and omelette. Continue reading “Chanterelle Mushrooms – Sauté & Omelette”

Icelandic Lamb

waterall

Four years ago I took a much needed vacation to Iceland.  it was just a quick get away, labor day weekend plus two days. But it was one of the most relaxing and satisfying trips I’ve taken.

Iceland is perfect for short trips.  For one thing, it is close to the United States, 5 hour flight time from New York and merely 7 hours from the West Coast.  Secondly, it is a land blessed with many natural beauties: glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs and countless waterfalls, not to mention aurora borealis sightings most time of the year.21336068623_2a2604405e_o

Unlike other bigger European countries such as Italy, France or Germany, Iceland provides just enough sights and activities to keep you busy without feeling overwhelmed.  During my short trip, I soaked up the healing powers of the Blue Lagoon on the first day; Visited Gollfoss, the golden circle, and rode snow mobile on a glacier the second day; Treked one of Europe’s largest glaciers on the third day before hopping on a boat at this photogenic glacier lagoon;  And on the fourth day I took a hike in Thórsmörk and checked out the volcano ashes of the Eyjafjallajökulll eruption in 2010.

21892393030_5a3422ca0f_o

I have also had some amazing meals in Iceland with fresh local ingredients, including local seabirds/waterfowls, wild berries, foraged mushrooms and the Icelandic lamb. Continue reading “Icelandic Lamb”

Oysters…Oysters

I’ve been reading this book called “French women don’t get facelifts” by Mireille Guiliano .  Seriously, who wouldn’t want to know the secrets to that?

In the book, Mme. Guilliano named oysters as one of the age defying super foods.  They are packed with omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc potassium,  They are low in fat and high in protein. Great for healthy hair and skin.  Oysters are harvested year-round in the United States so we don’t necessarily have to wait for the ‘R’ months to eat them.

Several friends have asked me where is a good place to eat oysters in Seattle.  So here are a few of my favorite spots in town, along with their pricing.

Taylor Shellfish: where else to have these delicious molluscs but the farm itself.12141598_771885112940477_9076886922004799134_n

A dozen oysters at TSF (Shucker’s dozen) costs $30.  The variety changes based on season and availability.  Yesterday, I had a sample of Olympia, Shigoku, Peale Passage, Virginica, & Kumamoto (as shown above clockwise).  The Olympia oyster is a true west coast native, it has a high copper content and a concentrated metallic taste. One tiny piece costs $2.50, but it is worth every penny of it.  And did I mention, the Olys are Mark Twain’s favorite oysters back in the old days. What a fine taste he has! Continue reading “Oysters…Oysters”

Cheese Straws

Ingalls

Last weekend Grace and I hiked to Lake Ingalls to see the glorious golden larches in their prime colors. Remembered that I had leftover puff pastry dough in the freezer from baking the caramelized apple tart, I made Cheese Straws to bring along as snacks. Continue reading “Cheese Straws”