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Mr. Toast

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  1. A few minor additions: Oobas, in Woodinville. This is a favorite of ours. There's also a little Italian place in the same strip mall; I don't remember the name. We ate there once recently, and enjoyed it. Fireside Cellars, at Willows Lodge. This is a recently opened wine/tapas bar, apparently operated by Barking Frog. Has anyone been there yet?
  2. We eat at the Golden Goat occasionally and while I can't speak to how good it was a few years back, we've had some good meals there this year. They're now offering wine sales through an email list and associated with that they have occasional wine maker dinners. We went to one of these a few weeks back and by pure chance got seated next to the winemaker himself. We didn't get any extra wine from the proximity (well, at least not much) but he was a friendly fellow and the food was all quite good. We're going to another winemaker dinner there in two weeks.
  3. You're too kind. This should be a lot of fun, though. I'm really curious to see what Chef Gabriel teaches us in this class.
  4. That wasn't spelled out at all clearly, at least not in the session I was in at Salumi. I could look at my notes to tell you the exact total weight of rub but not the details of the mix, which Armandino prepared in advance and acted a bit secretive about.
  5. We've eaten two dinners at Pomegranate recently. It's a pretty nice menu. There are enough appetizers that you could make a meal from them, several salads, maybe ten firebreads, and a selection of entrees. Last Friday my sister brought in some freshly-picked figs from her tree and the chef used them to make us a very tasty fig dessert. Pricing is a little higher than I would like (e.g., the steak entree is around $27) but we'll be going back for sure.
  6. Larry's in Redmond often carries fresh foie gras. I don't remember the price offhand. Quality is mixed - if you get an unopened package that just arrived from their supplier, it's probably just as good as Seattle Caviar's. And apparently they'll break packages open and sell you smaller amounts. But the one time I bought a repackaged partial lobe from Larry's it was obviously well past its prime. Buyer beware...
  7. Really Nice! hooked me on AC a few years ago. I'm definitely non-professional , and I do cook from it. Most recently I fixed a coffee-laced duck breast pastrami sandwich that was fabulous.
  8. We're going to the Copper River Salmon and Oregon Pinot Noir Extravaganza at Ray's Boathouse a week from Thursday. We've not been to this annual event before but friends have, and they rave about it.
  9. That concern kept me from trying for quite a while, too. While watching the aforementioned Margaret Morris video I learned that humidity control can be easy: just put the fresh cheese in a plastic storage bin with a lid. For the first few days you leave the lid a bit ajar and wipe down any condensed moisture daily. When the white mold starts to develop in a few days, cover the container completely. The entire process should take about a week, if I remember correctly. This initial aging should take place at around 50-60F. In my case I just put the storage bin with cheese into my garage. After 5 days nothing had happened but at that point I checked the temperature and measured 42F. So next I moved the bin to a warmer location and just one day later the cheese was starting to cover over nicely with the characteristic white P. Candidium mold. A day or two after that the cheeses were all ready for refrigeration. I have a few photos showing mold formation and could be convinced to post them if you think they'd help. After refrigeration, Camembert takes another 2-4 weeks to ripen. I'm about 1 week in at this point, and really curious about how my end product will taste.
  10. I started making mozzarella from mailorder curds around 5 years back. More recently (a year or two ago?) I saw that Larry's Market was selling mozzarella curds with an attached instructional DVD - pretty clever idea, but I haven't noticed the kit recently so maybe the business went bust. Anyway, since September I've been focusing on hard and sem-hard cheese. Last month I did a 4 gallon batch of Camembert, and earlier I was quite successful with Monterrey Jack, Cheddar, and a few other hard cheeses. I'll second the recommendation for the Glengarry Cheesemaking website. The owner, Margaret Morris, sells an excellent video showing the production of four cheeses. If you need a leg up, you'll probably find the video a really useful adjunct to the various beginning cheesemaking books.
  11. Chop up some Chinese black beans, and a little soy and rice wine, a touch of sesame oil, maybe some pepper flakes or other form of heat. Actually the Tom Douglas rub is pretty good too. We've gone through a couple jars of it over the last few years.
  12. Being on his honeymoon, Mr. Toast was focusing on items other than vanilla beans while in Tahiti last year. At the end of the trip Ms. Toast collected all our remaining foreign currency and spent it on vanilla products (including fresh beans) in the airport. Very nice, indeed.
  13. I was at the Saturday charcuterie class along with a couple of obnoxious friends . This was my first class with Culinary Communion and I was pretty impressed - so much so that I signed my wife and I up for the foie gras class in February. The prices are high enough that we won't take a lot of classes at CC, but considering the overall experience they're really not overpriced.
  14. Not really true Mexican, but a favorite of ours is Ooba's. They have restaurants in both Redmond and Woodinville.
  15. Huh. I get sucked in by Barking Frog 25 for 25 every year or so; I guess it's about time again. Background: We live just a couple miles away from BF. The menu is tempting; they get some pretty good reviews. I really want BF to be a favorite of mine. But every time we go there I leave disappointed. The food is generally good, not great, and the prices always feel high to me for what I'm actually getting. Still, it's been a year or two since our last visit so if there's an eGullet gathering at BF count us in. ← Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll? ← OK, I finally posted a review under a new topic ("Barking Frog"). In short, I was quite happy with my meal this time.
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