Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto

Visiting Shimogamo Shrine on a beautiful February morning

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was a pure bliss. Continue reading “Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto”

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Recipe: Root Vegetables Farro Salad

For someone who get most of her produce from an outdoor farmers market, I have to admit, this time of the year in the Pacific Northwest isn’t all that exciting. My favorite vendor of wild mushrooms and other foraged food is on a three-month hiatus. And there aren’t many choices of green vegetables, if any at all, to choose from.

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But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a delicious healthy meal. I made this salad over the weekend. I love the nutty flavor and the chewy texture of the farro and the natural sweetness from the caramelized root vegetables. I highly recommend it. Continue reading “Recipe: Root Vegetables Farro Salad”

Wild Mushroom Risotto

This wild mushroom risotto recipe is adapted from “Cooking Wild in the Northwest“, by Seattle chef John Sundstrom.

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It delivers a creamy texture and is packed with rich flavors.

Ingredients:
For the mushroom stock:
Continue reading “Wild Mushroom Risotto”

Bostock

Two things I miss most from visiting b.patisserie in San Francisco: one is chef Brenda Leong’s delicious kouign amann – I have yet to find anything like it in Seattle.  The other is Bostock.

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Bostock is toasted brioche soaked in pastry syrup, topped with almond cream(frangipane) and sliced almonds. It is quite easy to make, as long as you have day-old brioche. I didn’t have day-old brioche at hand, so I made one from scratch and waited till the next day to make bostock. I know it sounded like wasting a good loaf of freshly baked brioche. But when one wants a bostock, one must have it!

Ingredients:

Orange Pastry Syrup
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
orange juice, Grand Marnier, Cointeau or Triple Sec (to taste)
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring syrup to a boil. Once sugar dissolves, remove from heat and cool. Add orange juice or liquer to syrup. Syrup keeps up to one month in the refrigerator. Continue reading “Bostock”

Brioche

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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”

Quinoa & Veggie Souffle

“The only thing that will make a souffle fall is if it knows you’re afraid of it”

-James Beard

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The first time I made a soufflé, it was a screaming success! I mean look at it – it rose up high and even, had the right amount of air pockets; The texture was light and fluffy, and the taste amazing. Continue reading “Quinoa & Veggie Souffle”

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.
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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.
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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.
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With chanterelle mushrooms, I prefer to prepare them the simplest ways: sauté and omelette. Continue reading “Chanterelle Mushrooms – Sauté & Omelette”

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”