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


hhlodesign
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^ :laugh:

So yesterday night, I made a chocolate cake. Here's some photos of the process.

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(The liquid is buttermilk.)

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levelled cakes

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making caramel

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ta-da! The velvety effect is achieved by doing a crumb coat with ganache, then letting it firm up in the fridge before you add your second layer and smooth it out. In the meantime, spread your cake scraps onto a Silpat and bake them in the oven at 250 for about 45 minutes. They will dry out and crisp up. Then process them to make crumbs. Sprinkle them over the partially set ganache and you'll get this:

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The mise en place for tonight's dinner:

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vegetarian chow mein

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We were supposed to have a kabocha and black bean crab dish, but someone (*coughHenry) forgot to check on it as it was cooking down in the oven! So a few hours later, all we had was a blackened wok full of dried out kabocha. There was no saving it.

Fortunately, the reigning Iron Chef redeemed himself and saved the day. Here's the crab stir-fried with ginger, garlic, scallions, and black bean sauce.

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Ohhhh yeaaaahhh pork belly!

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A vegetarian fried tofu dish. (We also made another dish with pork.)

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Hunan bacon and cabbage

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mapo dofu

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I made the best dish of the night! :wink: It was the first one gone, and it was our favourite too!

Chinese long beans

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Yeah, we rented a round table because we wanted to do it right!

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We had the chocolate cake for dessert.

Our guests brought over some great wine and beer. My favourite was the Duckhorn Cab Sauv. It was a wonderful evening filled with great stories and laughter.

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This post is a day late, but yesterday morning, we met up with EGer, dandelion, at...

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for...

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The owner, Mario, sat down and talked to us for awhile when I told him I was from Vancouver. He loves the food there! His favourite restaurants are West, Vij's, and Tojo's.

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random interior shots

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They use Cafe Umbria beans and the coffee is quite good. :smile:

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The Chinese banquet wasn't bad, you two ... :wink: I'm glad you included some vegetables to balance things out. Nice save, Mr. Iron Chef, I suppose ... :hmmm:

Any leftovers? Steamed rice? jup?

How about some photos of the war zone ... I mean, the kitchen, before & after clean-up?

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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I was so glad to meet the two of you on Thursday at Senso Unico. I'm happy that you liked the coffee and the infamous Mario.

I really enjoyed the banquet tonight, both the food and the great company. Thanks so much for making the vegetarian dishes, they were truly tasty. Those beans especially -- amazing. And the finishing touch of the chocolate cake, I loved the caramel in there.

Goodnight!

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Wow Henry.. That was really cool of both you and Salumi. Really touching.. Thanks for sharing that..

That was touching, just wonderful... brought tears to my eyes.

I have been following along, only more quietly than usual, since I was sick recently. Plus, I'm almost speechless about how great this blog is! ...Foods of love, and the love of food, thank you both very much. I'll be glued to this up through your finish, and please take the time you need into tomorrow morning to bring it to a close.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Kind off off topic so I'll throw in something food related.

How is the border traffic from Vancouver to Seattle?  I'm an American married to a Canadian( I actually left California for Ontario) and I frequently cross the border into Michigan for groceries and the like.    The traffic is horrible, but the Nexxus pass is a lifesaver.  I'd highly reccomend getting one.

I still need to get my Nexus pass. Its been on the todo list for quite some time now. In the meantime, I've been using the truck crossing which is off the main highway. There is also a little trick of stopping at Duty Free. You get to take the Nexus lane into duty free (which is right at the border) then cut back into line once you've bought something (they check for receipts at the exit.) shhhhhhhhh!

ETA: oops, that was me (henry) not Lorna. Forgot to log in.

Edited by Ling (log)
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Wow Henry.. That was really cool of both you and Salumi. Really touching.. Thanks for sharing that..

That was touching, just wonderful...  brought tears to my eyes.

I should note that...

1. It was Doug (Marine) who wrote me an email BEGGING for some Salumi. So that was not my idea.

2. It was Armandino, Marylin, Gina, and Brian who so generously gave Doug the free box of Salumi with their thanks. So that was not my idea.

3. It was Doug who so generously flew the flag over his base and sent it back to give to Salumi. So that was also not my idea.

The only thing I am guilty of is surrounding myself with warm, wonderful people who enrich my life for knowing them. I DO take credit for that. :smile:

Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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That sentiment deserves a smiling pause.

* * *

Henry & Ling:

Your entire banquet is inspiring. I am low on a few items and one of the better Asian grocers in this region gets a shipment of produce on Saturday afternoons.

Would it be possible to describe how the long beans were prepared? Was there something new you tried that made them your favorite dish of the evening?

I'm glad you are planning to take things easy, today. It's been quite a week. I'll let this serve as an early thank-you for a truly entertaining blog filled with hedonistic pleasures that you both balance with a warm, generous spirit.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Okay, you know when I pass up CHOCOLATE CAKE for another picture, it's something special:

Chinese long beans

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rachel, ready to run out to my Asian market and grab handfuls of long beans. Or short, I don't care. Just so they're sizzled and sauced---SOON. DEE-licious.

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The long beans were nothing special, just something easy I made up.

1. Cut the beans into manageable (about 3.5") pieces.

2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a hot wok. Add perhaps 1.5 tbsp. of minced garlic, a few pieces of chopped chilli, and a bit of ginger.

3. Add the beans and saute. Season to taste. Towards the end, add a few tablespoons of "chee hou jerng" (or chee hou sauce.) I used the Koon Lun brand.

4. Add some soy sauce (again, to taste).

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Wow Henry.. That was really cool of both you and Salumi. Really touching.. Thanks for sharing that..

That was touching, just wonderful... brought tears to my eyes.

I have been following along, only more quietly than usual, since I was sick recently. Plus, I'm almost speechless about how great this blog is! ...Foods of love, and the love of food, thank you both very much. I'll be glued to this up through your finish, and please take the time you need into tomorrow morning to bring it to a close.

The day the flag came to Henry's building, they also flew the flag on top of the roofdeck during one of their roofdeck cocktail parties, and all of Doug's friends (including me, although I've never met him!) took turns taking pictures standing next to the flag. And they sent Doug and the troops and email that contained all the pictures. :smile:

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We just had lunch, which was cold leftovers from last night's dinner straight from the fridge. We ate it standing up, talking about what we're going to do today.

Up next--we're visiting a Latin coffee shop called El Diablo. It looks really funky and my friend who emailed me about this place says they have great Mexican hot chocolate!

Then we're going to walk down to Pike Place market and grab a few more provisions for our picnic. We have some leftover rabbit and foie gras pate from Porcella, and some blue cheese in the fridge, so that'll round out our dinner.

See you in a few hours!

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We had a really relaxing day today. Started off with cafe cubano for myself and an iced Americano for Henry at El Diablo.

The decor is really something. Henry couldn't stand it, as it was the total antithesis to his preference for stark, modern, and linear architecture. I thought it was really charming.

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It's really...yellow in there. :laugh:

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No we didn't sit here...we're not that corny. :laugh: But you gotta admit it's cute! :smile:

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nothing is safe from those wacky paint jobs...not even the stools....

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this was great!

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Henry went crazy with the mix-ins, like cocoa and cinnamon, because he doesn't really like coffee.

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I just started playing Scrabble, so Henry and I try to get in a game a week. He's one of those uber Scrabble nerds who's memorized all the weird 2 letter and 3 letter words, like "qat", "ae" and "xi". So it's not often that I win.

However...today, the Scrabble gods were with me. Check out the scores--

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363 for me, 307 for Henry. Take that to the bank and cash it, Mr. Lo! :laugh:

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(BTW--we know now that "hed" isn't a word, but I bluffed my way through that one. :wink: )

After coffee/Scrabble, we got some drinks and a snack at Metropolitan Market. He had the Cock and Bull ginger beer (really good! extra ginger-y), and I got the rhubarb soda. The Michel Cluizel bar was only $5.49....I've been playing like $11Cdn per bar up in Vancouver. That's robbery! I know now to get it in Seattle.

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Edited by Ling (log)
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We had a nice relaxing day today. After coffee and Scrabble, we took a walk down to the Pike Place Market to pick up some picnic supplies.

We stopped at one of our favorite places. La Buona Tavola, they carry all things truffle:

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They even let you try everything!

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we stopped at Pure Foods to pick up some pepper smoked salmon.

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We picked up some figs from frank's produce. Frank ws kind enough to give up some of his private stash that he grew himself at home. They were the perfect level of ripeness.

we brought everything home and assembled a plate to bring to the roofdeck and enjoy a nice summer day in Seattle.

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Figs, a domestic blue cheese, rabbit foie gras pate, pepper smoked salmon, and le Panier baguette. In the foreground you can catch a hint of our favorite butter, Cremerie Classique. we find it much more flavorful than Plugra. It has some truffle salt sprinkled on it in the photo.

We also had an extra plate of figs with a le Panier almond croissant. The good (and bad) thing about the croissant was the fact that we got it fresh out of the oven. So it was hot and fresh, but it steamed in the bag on the way home, so it was less flakey than it should have been. still very good.

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we drank some prosecco and Pelligrino

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For dessert I got to choose for once,

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Carnation Ice Cream sandwich!!! And I'm not ashamed to admit it. We tho0ught we'd end the blog on a classy note. However, Lorna and I differ on the preferred temperature of service. She likes her sandwich soft, while I like my sandwich frozen and rock hard.

It was a nice light dinner and a perfect way to end a wonderful week of culinary adventures.

Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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We stopped at one of our favorite places. La Buona Tavola, they carry all things truffle:

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The white truffle cream is one of my favourite jarred products. We have this at home and spread it liberally on La Panzanella crackers all the time.

random fact: Henry designed the La Panzanella bakery.

(And only Henry would call a dinner of rabbit and foie pate, almond croissant, ice-cream, smoked salmon, blue cheese, and an entire La Panier baguette a "light" dinner. :laugh: )

Edited by Ling (log)
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wonderful, wonderful blog. (and the same to all others who have undertaken to blog)...

you guys eat like i wish i had time to eat!! and unfortunately, i'm sure no one is interested in this is what i cooked for my toddler today blog.

maybe all of the napa folks can get together & try to do a co-blog... but hats off to you two. i have such a hankering for seattle its making me antsy!!

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We thoroughly enjoyed our week together. Not only did we have some really great food, but this is the longest continuous length of time we've spent together (8 days!) and we are happy that we shared it with so many of you.

Thanks to everyone who commented and asked questions. You made our blog so much more interesting. We know we'll have many more culinary adventures to come, and hope that you'll be a part of that too.

We feel fortunate to have met so many EGers in real life, like the ones we had dinner with at foodiegirl's tapas party, to heyjude and her amazing cookbook collection, and most recently, dandelion.

One of the things Henry and I share is our belief that everyday should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. I do hope that feeling came through in our blog. And something delicious can be in the form of many things, from peach "foie gras", to bacon-wrapped rabbit loin, to simple childhood pleasures like ice-cream sandwiches.

So now it's time to say goodbye, and thank-you once again for reading!

Love,

Lorna and Henry

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