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


hhlodesign
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Lorna, when you get a chance, I'd love to know more about the gastrique and the avocado foam.

The gastrique was made using the regular method. I used a mix of champagne vinegar and balsamic vinegar (only to cut costs--the balsamic he has is pretty pricey), and then the sugar came from a combination of peach preserves and fresh peaches I pureed. Then I strained the reduced mixture and came away with a few tablespoons of peach gastrique. To that, I added diced poached, and skinned peaches for "peaches in peach gastrique". (I would give you measurements, but I didn't use a recipe. Actually, now that I think about it, neither of us used any recipes for any of our Iron Chef dishes.)

The avocado cream (not foam) is pureed avocado with lime juice, salt, pepper, and cream cheese. Just whiz that up in the food processor until it's smooth and creamy.

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WOW!! Porcella's looks like a real find! I wish we had something like that out here in the Fraser Valley. I imagine there must be a few like that in Vancouver but I've yet to discover them.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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"Better Than Butter!"

Okay, a few questions:

1) How am I, a mere cook, going to be transformed into a real gourmet chef simply by replacing butter with rendered duck fat? Aren't there some more steps involved?

2) And where should I use it? I'm assuming that I shouldn't make biscuits with it, but are they suggesting that I should use this for my white sauce? To baste the turkey at Thanksgiving? To sauté? In puff pastry?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Well, I definitely wouldn't use it for puff pastry, as it seems to soften at room temperature a lot quicker than butter. I did freeze it and grate it into my pastry for the wattleseed lamb pies a few days ago (when someone had a dairy allergy, and I wanted to use as little dairy as possible for the menu). It was fine in the pastry, but it melts really quickly in the oven, I'm assuming, which made the pastry dissolve on your tongue as soon as you bit into it.

I use duck fat mainly for cooking meat and potatoes, though I would also use it for sauteeing vegetables. Oohhh duck fat white sauce. That's a new idea...let me know if it turns out well.

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Ok, I see that Bellevue is going to have to become terra cognita.  Like you guys, we go there as little as possible, but it looks like Porcella might become a must-go destination.

I know you would LOVE Porcella! Their charcuterie is really amazing...it's also a lot fattier than the stuff from Oyama (Vancouver), which I know you love.

Personally, my ranking is:

1) Porcella

2) Oyama

3) Salumi

ETA: I just put a chocolate cake in the oven. The bowl of cake batter I ate was very promising, so I have high hopes for this new (to me) recipe.

Edited by Ling (log)
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It’s amazing how much food you two can pack into a day.  How has your relationship changed the way you each eat and see food?

Are we eating that much? :laugh: Honestly, I think Henry and I just eat a lot on a regular basis so the amount of food we're putting away doesn't seem too excessive to me. I fully expect to gain maybe a pound or two by the end of the blog week, as the food we're eating is a little rich. I didn't even bother to photograph a lot of the random cookies and other junk I munch on everyday, so you guys are seeing, only like 70% of the food I'm eating. :shock::smile:

I think you asked a great question. I didn't eat a lot of spicy food before meeting Henry, but now I enjoy it a lot. I've probably have had more tasting menus after I've met him as well. Because I visit Seattle regularly now, I'm eating a lot more bread. In Vancouver, the artisanal bread scene is a bit lacking. I don't regularly buy baguettes in Vancouver, unless I'm at Granville Island and can get something from La Baguette. I normally eat HK-style milk bread (fong bao or chan bao--I like them both) when I'm at home, which you can get at all the Chinese bakeries in my town.

In Seattle, one of the best things to eat is some Columbia City Bakery baguette with Cremerie Classique butter (from Oregon) and a sprinkle of truffle salt. We snack on this all the time!

One of the great things about dating Henry is I have a whole new city to eat in. And the vast majority of the places we eat at are very good, because Henry has pre-screened these places already.

Our conversations usually run like this:

H: So...are you coming down this week?

L: It's your turn to come up.

H: OK.

L: <pause> So...what do you want to eat on Friday?

We plan our days in Vancouver or Seattle together around our meals--going to new restaurants, shopping the markets, cooking for friends, or trying new places. I am really fortunate to have met someone who's as food-obsessed as I am. :biggrin:

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How has your relationship changed the way you each eat and see food?

I'd say the biggest change for me is the inclusion of sweets and desserts in my diet. Lorna is always baking some wonderful item. It's hard for me to pass on that stuff. I used to think I didn't like sweets and such. I'd still say I don't prefer sweets anbd desserts to savory items, but when they are well made, they taste pretty good to me. Another major change for me is the re-intriduction of GOOD Chinese food back into my diet. Regular trips up to Vancouver mean I get to try numerous Chinese restaurants. Even though Cantonese is the predominant style of cuisine up there, I've been searching out Szechuan, Hunan, Taiwanese, and Shangainese restaruants. I've discovered quite a few good ones. Of course, I have the best guide to Richmond one could ask for :wink: .

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Lorna,

There are lots of great coffee roasters in Seattle. Just don't ask that non-coffee-drining-boyfriend of yours because when it comes to coffee, he doesn't have a clue! Two great coffee houses that are a little off of the beaten track are Cafe Apasionato (the main location by Fisherman's Terminal) and Lighthouse Roasters in Fremont.

a2k

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I have a different kind of question: How is your week of foodblog eating different from a "normal" week of eating for you two? Are you eating out more often? You may have answered this before; I'm not sure.

Lorna, when I read that you had a great lunch and were about to try a new wine bar, after yesterday's grand dinner, I was thinking that you live a charmed life. That goes equally for you, Henry, especially because you get to spend so much of it with Lorna. When you did your blog, you presented yourself very attractively as a man who has a great life with only a woman to share it with missing. Congratulations!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Lorna,

There are lots of great coffee roasters in Seattle. Just don't ask that non-coffee-drining-boyfriend of yours because when it comes to coffee, he doesn't have a clue! Two great coffee houses that are a little off of the beaten track are Cafe Apasionato (the main location by Fisherman's Terminal) and Lighthouse Roasters in Fremont.

a2k

Henry says you don't know anything--you're a vegetarian.

:shock:

I'll keep Cafe Apasionato and Lighthouse in mind. Thanks for the tip!

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Sandy,

Also, eggs fried in goose or duck fat are delicious.  Instead of butter, it's very good lightly smeared on bread with a sprinkling of sea salts or fleur de sel.

YES! :biggrin: I often eat this for breakfast--4 fried eggs with runny yolks, and a sprinkle of truffle salt. That is actually my standard breakfast when I'm in Vancouver 5 days a week (plus usually a leftover pastry or slice of cake I made the night before.)

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We stopped into Mistral tonight to meet up with William. He wanted us to check out a new wine bar in Ballard opened by some friends of his.

We stepped into the back door and were greeted with two glasses of wine.

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then stacy made a few desserts for us to try.

Chocolate croquant with jalapeno marshmallow on chocolate brownie in mexican chocolate soup.

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never had jalapeno with a dessert before. Very nice with the chocolate.

Passion fruit, pinapple sorbet and mango, lime sorbet. Separated by a thin slice of Mango.

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Stacy gave us the desserts on the condition that we photograph her with her melon:

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they also gave us some p fingerling potato puree

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and lamb sous vide

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We finished up with some Vin Santo

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Charles hard at work

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then it was off to DiVino, a new wine bar from a Sicilian family who own two other Italian Restaurants in town.

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They have an interesting cocktial menu

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and very affordable food prices

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I ordered a grape caiparinia, and Lorna had a rose

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Here are some fo the dishes we had.

Cheese plate

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Caneloni with veal, spinach, and bechamel

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Salumi plate

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Bruschetta plate

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Handmade gnocchi with fennel, parm, and pancetta

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Cheese stuffed canellini with arugula

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We're full!

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I have a different kind of question: How is your week of foodblog eating different from a "normal" week of eating for you two? Are you eating out more often? You may have answered this before; I'm not sure.

Lorna, when I read that you had a great lunch and were about to try a new wine bar, after yesterday's grand dinner, I was thinking that you live a charmed life. That goes equally for you, Henry, especially because you get to spend so much of it with Lorna. When you did your blog, you presented yourself very attractively as a man who has a great life with only a woman to share it with missing. Congratulations!

That is the sweetest thing, Pan. :smile:

To answer your question, this week of eating is an accurate representation of how we eat whenever I'm in Seattle or whenever Henry is in Vancouver. We cook (not always multi-course dinners, though), and we hit up a few places for some good food. So while we don't do this everyday of the week, we do this 2-3 days of the week. The blog week is an exception in that I'm down here for seven days, and I'm on vacation. On the 5 or so days when we're not together, I bake a lot so I eat a lot more baked goods. I just didn't have that much time this week to do as much baking as I normally do. I only baked three times this week, and I normally bake five times a week--but often it is very simple stuff, like shortbread cookies or a plain chocolate cake without the filling and frosting. Another thing I bake a lot of is lemon tarts, because they are one of my favourite pastries and I haven't found one in Vancouver that is tart enough.

When I am back home, I usually eat four meals a day--early dinner around 6pm and another late dinner at around 11pm. And I have a few cookies or a few slices of cake here and there.

A "typical" day in Vancouver for me:

10am: 4 fried eggs, truffle salt, a slice of cake or some ice-cream

1pm: lunch (often leftovers) and some chocolate

3pm: chocolate/baked goods

6pm: mom makes dinner. More often than not, it is rice, a Cantonese soup (i.e. wintermelon soup), a protein dish (e.g. Chinese stir-fried beef with lots of scallions), a vegetable (e.g. garlic chives in scrambled eggs), and one more dish that can be either meat, fish, or tofu. Usually it is tofu. My mom loves tofu, but my dad doesn't, so she makes a smaller dish of tofu.

11pm: same stuff as my earlier dinner

I work mostly from home, so that's why I have so much time to eat. :laugh:

Edited by Ling (log)
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Lorna, I am gaining weight just reading what you eat everyday. My metabolism has always been bad and I could eat a crumb and gain weight. I so envy you.

Eventhough you haven't shown us any Chinese food yet, I think I am finally inspired again to start cooking Chinese again.

Thanks for this wonderful blog.

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The food at DiVino looks quite nice and home-style delicious, but I'd go there just to look at those light panels behind the bar. They're really striking in the photos. Do they call it their bar code?

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I didn't even bother to photograph a lot of the random cookies and other junk I munch on everyday, so you guys are seeing, only like 70% of the food I'm eating.  :shock:  :smile:

Oh, good lord, you mean there’s more?!

Regular trips up to Vancouver mean I get to try numerous Chinese restaurants. Even though Cantonese is the predominant style of cuisine up there, I've been searching out Szechuan, Hunan, Taiwanese, and Shangainese restaruants. I've discovered quite a few good ones. Of course, I have the best guide to Richmond one could ask for  :wink: .

AAAW!!

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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ling gnawing on that lamb is priceless! love it.

i have been glued to this blog all week. the pictures are absolutely beautiful, and you have taken such care in describing all of your adventures this week so we can all experience them vicariously.

congratulations to both of you on your impeccable taste in food, drink, and men/women. :wub:

"It is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you."

-Nigel Slater

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A "typical" day in Vancouver for me:

10am: 4 fried eggs, truffle salt, a slice of cake or some ice-cream

1pm: lunch (often leftovers) and some chocolate

3pm: chocolate/baked goods

6pm: mom makes dinner. More often than not, it is rice, a Cantonese soup (i.e. wintermelon soup), a protein dish (e.g. Chinese stir-fried beef with lots of scallions), a vegetable (e.g. garlic chives in scrambled eggs), and one more dish that can be either meat, fish, or tofu. Usually it is tofu. My mom loves tofu, but my dad doesn't, so she makes a smaller dish of tofu.

11pm: same stuff as my earlier dinner

I work mostly from home, so that's why I have so much time to eat.  :laugh:

A typical day for me:

Breakfast is usually some kind of juice mixed with pelligrino.

Lunch is a sandwich from some local sandwich shop that I love.

Dinner is either a casually cooked dish at home (I make use of my indoor grill often!), home-cooked meal at a neighbor's house, or takeout.

Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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ling gnawing on that lamb is priceless! love it.

Errr...I hope it's obvious from the background that I'm gnawing on the (sous-vide) cooked lamb chop in the kitchen, not in the dining room! :wink:

The food at DiVino was pretty good. The cheese plate was interesting enough, but not overly challenging, so I could see it appealing to many people.

Of the dishes last night, my favourite was by far the gnocchi. Delicious.

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I was thinking that you live a charmed life. That goes equally for you, Henry, especially because you get to spend so much of it with Lorna. When you did your blog, you presented yourself very attractively as a man who has a great life with only a woman to share it with missing. Congratulations!

Yes, I feel incredibly lucky to have met such a marvelous woman. Thanks to eG, no less.

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Lorna,

There are lots of great coffee roasters in Seattle. Just don't ask that non-coffee-drining-boyfriend of yours because when it comes to coffee, he doesn't have a clue! Two great coffee houses that are a little off of the beaten track are Cafe Apasionato (the main location by Fisherman's Terminal) and Lighthouse Roasters in Fremont.

a2k

Never trust a person who doesn't like bacon!

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