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hhlodesign

eG Foodblog: Ling & HhLodesign - The cool kids at Belltown Lofts

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Hello all. When last we spoke, I had just ended my blog after Lorna had been blatantly flirting with me. So I responded in kind and tried to finagle myself into a French Laundry dinner. In case any of you were wondering if I got an invite, wonder no more. You can read all about our trip to SF and Napa here:

Weekend in SF / Napa

We have since been dating long distance between Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA for the past 5 months and thought it would be fun to invite you all into our lives for the next week. We hope you enjoy the experience.

Here's an informal list of the events we have planned for the coming week:

Saturday Aug. 26th

Tapas Party in Poulsbo

Sunday Aug. 27th

Wedding Present Dinner

Monday Aug. 28th

Iron Chef Competition between Ling and HhLodesign

Guest Judges froom Mistral

Tuesday Aug. 29th

TBD

Wednesday Aug. 30th

5 month Anniversary Dinner at Union

Thursday Aug. 31st

Rooftop Cocktail and Dessert Party with Belltown Lofts resident Cocktail expert Morpheous

Friday Sept. 1st

Chinese Banquet

Saturday Sept. 2nd

Rooftop BBQ


Edited by hhlodesign (log)

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Hello all. When last we spoke, I had just ended my blog after Lorna had been blatantly flirting with me.

This is the version of the story Henry loves to tell, but he seems to have blocked out the part about how he had been emailing me in hopes that I'd respond to him months before his blog even started! And the part about how he had a weird EG-foodie crush on me. :laugh:

So we just got back from Poulsbo where we had a great time eating and drinking the night away with some fellow EGers. Charcoop and her husband opened their lovely home to us, and the food was great. I don't think I've ever eaten so many chorizo dishes in my life!

So we left Seattle in the early afternoon after a morning of baking and got a late lunch at the ferry terminal. This is the Uli sausage pizza. (Uli's is local; the sausage was pretty good.)

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on the ferry to Bainbridge:

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Our original plan was to do a Cabrales cheesecake (like the stilton cheesecake they serve at Diva at the Met in Vancouver) but I went to three stores today and none of them had Cabrales in stock, so we had to get another Spanish blue--Valdeon.

Henry made the cheesecake, and though it souffled and cracked because he overbeat it (despite my repeated warnings...he doesn't listen to me :wacko: ), it was delicious.

I made a hazelnut and chocolate ganache tart flavoured with cinnamon and cayenne, topped with caramelized hazelnuts. (The chocolate was 64% E. Guittard--I don't have a huge stock of chocolate at Henry's place, but I do have a small selection that I can photograph if anyone's interested. I chose the E. Guittard because it doesn't have as much fruit or acidity, and would be a nice background for the spices.)

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Check out Charcoop's pad!

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Some mushroom strudel, little tartlets filled with the same mushroom filling, cod pancakes, almonds, mussels

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Abra brought this fantastic white gazpacho, which was my favourite thing of the evening. (I had 2 glasses...mmmm...! There is cucumber, green grapes, almonds, buttermilk, cream cheese, and some dill oil in here, among other things.) BTW, I've had quite a few of Abra's dishes in the past few months and I must say she's a terrific chef. I'm a huge fan of her cooking! :wub:

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salmon, almonds (flavoured with cayenne and rosemary--Henry couldn't stop eating these! :laugh: ), and olives

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bacon and mushroom skewers, chorizo and potatoes (this was also REALLY good!) and a white bean dish that I also thoroughly enjoyed

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Edited by Ling (log)

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littlemissfoodie and her husband brought several wonderful dishes, this gazpacho being my favourite

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Abra brought KatieLoeb's spiced sangria recipe, and it was some potent (and deliciously complex) stuff! There are some figs and serrano ham in the background.

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spanish tuna, anchovy, gherkin, red onion

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here's another one of Abra's creations--two different kinds of chorizo from Oyama (up here in Vancouver--I love their charcuterie) braised in hard cider. I believe the bread is from Essential Baking Co., one of my favourite breads in Seattle.

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quail eggs

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a chorizo and fig dish--this was another one of my favourites. I really liked the piquant sauce.

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a fish dish

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potatoes, peppers, eggs, and a very mild-tasting Catalonian chorizo

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fried meatballs

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The table set with about half of the food. (One thing I neglected to photograph were these great candy-coated Jordan pinenuts that apparently you can get at Spanish Table. I hogged most of the bowl...they were so good!)

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So now we're off to bed with our full tummies! We'll take you along for a bit of grocery shopping for the little tasting menu we're cooking up for some newlywed friends tomorrow. One of them is a southern boy and it's his birthday tomorrow as well, so the dessert will be Red Velvet cake. :biggrin: I am really excited about cooking this dinner tomorrow, as each guest has a unique background that we tried to reflect that in each dish that we're dedicating to him/her. Nothing is set in stone yet (except for the Red Velvet) so we'll see what looks good at the market tomorrow. Neither of us are cooks who follow recipes to the letter, so I hope everything turns out OK.

BTW: Feel free to chime in about questions about our day-to-day eating habits, or general questions about what we like to cook and so on. :smile: See you in the morning!


Edited by Ling (log)

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Please send in ingredient suggestions for our Iron Chef Competition on Monday night. We will select one out of a hat on Sunday night and have all day Monday to plan our menus, shop, and cook.

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Saturday Aug. 26th

Tapas Party in Poulsbo

Sunday Aug. 27th

Wedding Present Dinner

Monday Aug. 28th

Iron Chef Competition between Ling and HhLodesign

Guest Judges froom Mistral

Tuesday Aug. 29th

TBD

Wednesday Aug. 30th

5 month Anniversary Dinner at Union

Thursday Aug. 31st

Rooftop Cocktail and Dessert Party with Belltown Lofts resident Cocktail expert Morpheous

Friday Sept. 1st

Chinese Banquet

Saturday Sept. 2nd

Rooftop BBQ

You forgot to add in the pastry/bread run through some of our favourite Seattle bakeries!! (And a few coffee stops along the way.)

FYI: I still live in Vancouver, but I'm taking a week off to hang out in Seattle--and what better way to spend vacation time than cooking and eating, right? :smile:


Edited by Ling (log)

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Hello all. When last we spoke, I had just ended my blog after Lorna had been blatantly flirting with me. So I responded in kind and tried to finagle myself into a French Laundry dinner. In case any of you were wondering if I got an invite, wonder no more. You can read all about our trip to SF and Napa here:

This is the version of the story Henry loves to tell, but he seems to have blocked out the part about how he had been emailing me in hopes that I'd respond to him months before his blog even started! And the part about how he had a weird EG-foodie crush on me.  :laugh:

Thanks for clearing that up guys. You know, I have been lying awake at night, wondering how this all started.. :laugh:

You look really happy together. How wonderful that you share this love for food!

And wow is this blog off to a great start with this party! All the food looks wonderful, and so elegantly presented.

and there is chocolate tart even in Ling's first post!!

I have a very busy week ahead of me but I already know this blog is going to bring me some welcome distraction. Blog on!

edited to add; also, very timely, this blog, because I will be in Seattle one week from now! woohoo! I hope to pick up some more tips (I already have lots printed out from Henry's last blog!)


Edited by Chufi (log)

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This is going to be a great blog. I have been watching your flirtations and now dating with glee because Tapenade and I also met via the internet. Our first real date was 6-1/2 hours. I am really happy for both of you.

I am really looking forward to the Chinese banquet. Since I moved to Israel, I have put my Chinese cooking on the back burner. I used to make homemade egg rolls, some dim sum and lots of different Chinese dishes when I lived in the States and Germany. My roommate in Germany was from Taiwan and we made a Chinese banquet (soup, dumplings, rice, etc.) for 12 people out of one small rice cooker and one small wok. We were young and crazy at the time.

My roommate taught me a few things, like how to make Nepalese Momos, but my real teacher was my grandparents Chinese cook. She was a master cook and I learned a lot about pastry and Chinese food from her.


Edited by Swisskaese (log)

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Have a blast, you two! I'm particularly looking forward to the Iron Chef competition. That should be really fun!

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That party looked FABULOUS!

Ling, I'm sorry if you've discussed this before but how did your love of pastry start? Did you go to culinary school? Are you working as a pastry chef right now?

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Really happy to see this blog with you two blogging together! During Henry's blog, I was crossing my fingers. Ha! I knew it would happen.

BTW, I've had quite a few of Abra's dishes in the past few months and I must say she's a terrific chef. I'm a huge fan of her cooking! wub.gif

I'm a huge fan of Abra's & littlemissfoodie's cooking too and I've never had the opportunity to taste ! You are very lucky to all be so close together.

Please send in ingredient suggestions for our Iron Chef Competition on Monday night. We will select one out of a hat on Sunday night and have all day Monday to plan our menus, shop, and cook.

Henry, where should we send our ingredient suggestions? Shold we post them to the blog?

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Lorna and Henry,

Welcome to the blog, and thanks for photgraphing and memorializing last night so well. The outdoor deck, burbling waterfall, and gorgeous plantings were perfect backdrops for all that inventive and tasty food and company.

We will all enjoy your flirting and cooking this week. And please, Lorna, do tell how you came to be such a dessert master. Have you had this sweet tooth your whole life? Do you exercise?

PS The ganache tart and the cheesecake were BOTH wonderful.

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This blog is going to be pretty sweet. I wish I had an eG girlfriend, maybe I'll pick one up on my next blog.

I love Ling's cooking and loved hhlo's last blog and entire lifestyle. When your powers combine...

Anyway, I, too, am looking forward to the Iron Chef showdown. I might give the edge to Ling, however.

Should be a good week.

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Like Klary, I'm glad you explained how you got together too. I had been wondering.

Ling, I'm really looking forward to following yours and Henry's blog. You have so many wonderful meals planned.

Ann

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Three words:

Best.BLOG.Ever

We're already firing on all cylinders! I can't wait 'till this baby picks up steam.

With much admiration,

Bueno

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Wonderful photos of the tapas party, thank you Ling!

I am so happy you 2 sweeties are together and doing this blog...it's going to be lots of fun to follow along with you this week... :smile:

Leslie

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This blog is going to be legendary :biggrin:

Iron Chef Competition between Ling and HhLodesign

*grabs bowl of popcorn and a ringside seat and prepares for a smackdown*

I wish I had an eG girlfriend, maybe I'll pick one up on my next blog.

New eGullet feature: foodie matchmaking service?


Edited by lexy (log)

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I'm so excited to see this you two blogging. Henry, you captivated me with your view of the food world through the eye of an architect. Ling, you have such a mature grasp of cooking and baking, it's hard to believe you are as young as you are.

The tapas party looks incredible. What a treat it is for you to all be close by each other and share your love of food. Is there any way I can hear more about the a chorizo and fig dish?

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This looks to be a great week for us blog addicts. Your pics are great please take lots of them of anything and everything.

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Look who forgot to post a picture of my Valdeon Cheesecake. I guess someone doesn't want to be associated with any less than perfect baking project! :raz:

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Edited by hhlodesign (log)

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I am really looking forward to reading your blog.. That Iron Chef thing is going to be very funny.. I have had a lot of my friends propose an Iron Chef type thing, but I could never imagine it working well with only one kitchen.. I am curious to hear how it will go down..

You are both talented and really live well. This is going to be fun..

Have a great week you guys..

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That cheesecake was really an awesome mouthful, especially with the Oloroso that accompanied it. It had a very Seattle look, a little scruffy, proudly funky, really delicious. The chocolate tart was excitingly spicy and rich and gorgeous, but of course, we expect that from Ling. I wouldn't put actual money on either of them for the Iron Chef, since they're both very accomplished cooks.

The whole party was a blast, and the Seattle group did itself proud. We're a pretty kick-ass bunch of cooks here, and we love to feed each other. Not to mention that I'm absolutely sure it's the first party ever where a lesson was given in how to say "don't piss on the rabbits" in Hindi!

I'm really looking forward to learning more about your Chinese banquet. Are you cooking that, or is it going to be out somewhere?

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Re: the name of this blog

Something I touched on in the last blog was the fact we are friends with many people who live in my building. I believe the community aspect of the building balance out living in a less than ideal urban area. We have our fair share of shootings, stabbings, public drunkeness and urinating in the neighborhood, but the building has fostered such a wonderful community, that the negative aspects of urban living are far outweighed.

From an architectural standpoint, the building is centered around an open air courtyard which provide both visual contact between neighbors and promote interaction and communication.

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We have an art gallery in the lobby with a rotating exhibit and resident curator. Art openings happen every few weeks, which is a great way to meet new residents.

We also have a few rooftop decks (both public and private) which are the perfect places for summer parties.

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Here are some shots of our recent 4th of July Party on one such roofdeck:

4th of July Party

We wanted to share this week with our friends from the Belltown Lofts, and hope to introduce all of you to our urban family!


Edited by hhlodesign (log)

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RE: Iron Chef Ingredient

Maybe we'll just take a tally and the ingredient with the most votes by midnight PST tonight will be our ingredient. Please vote on the following list:

Peaches

Eggs

Garlic

Bacon

Cheese

Mushrooms

Salmon

Just post your vote in the thread. thanks!


Edited by hhlodesign (log)

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Ling, I'm sorry if you've discussed this before but how did your love of pastry start?  Did you go to culinary school?  Are you working as a pastry chef right now?

One of my fondest childhood food memories was eating my mom's cream horns (puff pastry she made from scratch, then rolled, baked, and filled with slightly sweetened whipped cream.) My mom baked quite often when I was younger, but when my two other siblings came along, she was too busy balancing her career and feeding our family three meals a day to bother much with baking. So I started baking when I was about 11 or so, using her dog-eared, stained copy of The Five Roses cookbook. My first cake was the mocha chiffon cake that I've since adapted as a coffee chiffon cake, b/c my parents didn't buy much chocolate when I was a kid.

So after the baking bug bit, my goal as a kid was to make a new cake (or cookie, or pie) each weekend from the cookbook. I went through a period where I became really discouraged as a child because my aunt gave me a fancy cookie cookbook from Australia and I didn't realize that the measurements were different from N. American ones. :laugh:

I also had some pretty remarkable failures--in particular, I remember one of the first cakes I made at 11 was for my little brother's birthday. I always wanted to "experiment", so I made two banana cakes, stacked them, and filled and frosted them with a "banana" icing (which I believe was just mashed banana mixed with a 7-minute boiled frosting...I know! :laugh: ) Of course, the banana in the icing started turning brown before we were finished with dinner, so I coloured it with yellow food colouring. The result was an unappetizing, mottled yellow-brown, lumpy cake. :laugh:

I haven't been to culinary school and I haven't had any experience in professional kitchens, except for the odd stage. :smile:


Edited by Ling (log)

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