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


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Our dinner party is ending, as Atta and Michelle have newborn girl (Mayson!) who needs to get to bed. Dinner was a great success, if I do so say so myself. :smile: (BTW, Pontormo, the duck fat was used for the pastry, not for the Red Velvet cake, which contains oil.)

Dinner didn't take that long to cook, as our menu was pretty simple. One thing we had to change was the tomato confit, because Henry let them burn. :wink: (This does not bode well for the Iron Chef!) We just used sliced grape tomatoes instead.



Rootbeer sauce for the ribs...we followed the directions posted by Chef Jeff of Aurora Bistro in Vancouver. He posted the method and loose proportions (1 part root beer, 1 part stock, thyme, garlic, 1/8 part pureed tomatoes) in the Vancouver forum awhile back. I must say these ribs were INCREDIBLE! I wanted to add mirepoix and red wine like I do for all my braises, but decided to make the recipe as written, and was really glad I did! We did reduce the sauce before serving with an extra bottle of Thomas Kemper root beer and extra stock so the root beer flavour came through more.


lamb filling, wattleseed duckfat pastry


shelling peas for the soup...this was the most boring job ever!


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After seeing the Forbidden Shots of the aisles of Asian foods, I am intrigued by the idea that there might be a battle of Chinese regional specialties in store for us with all the dried mushrooms packaged there. 

Given what the single most stocked item in my Asian market is, I'd vote RAMEN! Let's see what Lorna can do for dessert with a packet of Tom Yam Mama Ramen noodles!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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The main event:


For the edamame puree, I sauteed onions in the beef fat from the ribs and I think that really made it extra delicious.


The pastry made with the duck fat had an interesting, dissolving texture. It was not flaky...it just melted away on your tongue. Really good! The drizzle is parsley oil. (And perhaps I should explain that a pea floater in Australia is a meat pie in the center of a plate of mushy peas...so we took our liberties with this dish by changing it to pea soup.)


The ribs were sooooooo good. I urge you all to try this sometime! The only change I made was to add a chopped onion to the braising liquid.


Sorry about the pic quality...I am a little too tired to Photoshop them to make them brighter and sharper right now. I'll upload the picture of the Red Velvet cake tomorrow. :smile:

(BTW--the recipe I used is Jaymes's recipe, but with 1 cup + 12 tbsp oil, which is in between the amount of oil I found in similar recipes online and the recipe Jaymes's posted in Recipe Gullet, because the Red Velvet I made according to that recipe was a little oily. I do not use the cream cheese recipe, but used 2 eight oz. packs of cream cheese, 1/2 cup icing sugar, and 8 oz butter. I also reduced the sugar in the cake. The most significant changed was I wrapped the hot cakes with saran wrap to "steam" them a bit, which is a method I learned from a Scott Wooley chocolate cake recipe. I thought this Red Velvet cake was absolutely delicious...and probably the most fattening thing on earth you can eat!! :laugh: )

edit: corrected amount of oil used in cake

Edited by Ling (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:

Wonderful story Ling, thank you.

Obligatory Pocky Shot


Just picked up that melon Pocky last week...it may be my second favorite after the coconut chocolate. and also got the 'new' carmel flavor which we are eating right now!

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Wow, take an overly-long nap and look what happens! Actually, it must have been a reeeeeeelly long nap--I totally missed the whole start of youze guys' relationship, let alone the start of this blog. Needless to say, I'm totally delighted--and very entertained--by both. :smile:

If I'm not too late to vote for an Iron Chef ingredient ... well, my brain is too tired to come up with any amusing ways to game the system by my choice, so I'm just gonna go with my gut and vote for the obvious: BACON! :laugh:

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It's after midnight, but I"ll slip in a vote for peaches.

Beautiful dinner last night, guys! I thought the plating artistry was exceptional.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Obligatory Pocky Shot


I just LOVE this blog---you two have enough combined energy to power a spaceship. And your cooking styles and choices mesh so well---great meals planned, I see.

DD brought me my first Pocky last week from our fave Asian grocery. I just looked at the beautiful box for a couple of days--I think it's the exact brown one in the middle row. They were chocolate-dipped crunchy sticks with ground toasted almonds. Then Chris somehow set a big camera case on the box, and it got smushed---but the crumbs are delicious.

Then I thought: Ling would make cheesecake crust with this!! Just a thought.

Edited by racheld (log)
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Damn! This is what happens when I skip a blog or two. Congrats, Lorna and Henry. You two are so cute together, and I’m loving this blog so far.

What kind of vegetables are you going to serve? How about some pea sprouts with garlic? It's a nice change from spinach or Chinese broccoli.

What's "vegetables?"

HA! A match made in heaven! :biggrin:

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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Pacific Northwest/Vancouver.  (What, pray tell, do Canadians use to speak of that part of North America?) 

Well, the weatherperson calls it the South Coast, so that is as good as anything ; )

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Thanks to Pontormo for the official vote tally. See below:

Below are the votes cast before midnight, tabulated. Mizducky offered the final vote before midnight.

If anyone voted for more than one ingredient, the first item mentioned was counted, the second one ignored. One vote per person, period.

If anyone changed his or her mind, as long as a final vote was cast before midnight, the final vote counted and the earlier votes were ignored.

If anyone wrote in both an item on the list and one that is not, only the item from the official list appears below.

If someone votes only for a write-in ingredient and nothing official is named, only the new write-in ingredient is mentioned.


Peaches: 12

Eggs: 1

Garlic: 1

Bacon: 3

Cheese: 1

Mushrooms: 4

Salmon: 0







This is being sent at 8:07 Pacific Time.

Peaches is it!!!


Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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Any pictures of the Red Velvet cake, yet? I'm anxious to see the red interior.

Okay, I'll be the one to vote for (wild) salmon. You're in the right neck-of-the-woods for it.

edited to add the vote.

Edited by Toliver (log)


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


Tim Oliver

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^The camera battery is charging right now, so I'll post the Red Velvet pic when we get back from the market. :smile:

We just spent the last 20 minutes or so writing up our menus for tonight. We told each other what we're planning to make, so there aren't any secrets or anything. The plan is to get back home from grocery shopping around noon (PST), and then Henry has to do some work and Abra is going to drop off some chocolate for me an EGer sent her from the other side of the world. :biggrin: Then we'll start cooking in the early evening, and the judges are set to arrive at 7pm (PST).

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I'm interested to see how you guys are going to handle the competion, with just one kitchen to work with. I've seen some pictures of hhlodesign's kitchen in another post so I know it's big, but it's no Kitchen Stadium! Please do post pictures of the cooking and the process as well as the final products.

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Dinner suggestion for Tuesday - if you can talk your way in: Evening at Boomtown Fundraiser at Palace Ballroom, presented by Lark. Sold Out.


Only the lower Queen Anne Larry's will become Metropolitan Market. This replaces their soon-to be-demolished store on the hill. It will become a QFC along with a bunch of housing. Neighbors are not happy. If you ever go to West Seattle, stop at the Metropolitan Market (Admiral Market) and get a prime rib sandwich. Generally great (it is possible to get a sandwich maker who doesn't get it right.) These are far better markets than Larry's, but Larry's was wonderful at the beginning, and Met Market is pricey. They only have a handful of stores.

The rest of the Larry's? Soon to be GI Joes.

Edited by tsquare (log)
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I am not a Southerner. Nor am I a fan of desserts and sweets. Given those caveats, THIS WAS A DAMN GOOD CAKE!!!!

The Southern Boy was happy! To say the least.

My (veddy) Southern MIL would claim that cake in an instant.

What a lot of fun this blog has been! Yeah, you two are the bomb(s).

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Ling & hhlodesign,

When you take photos of your culinary creations, would you please include pictures of the ENTIRE presentation (food, plate et al.), as the diner would see it, not just the super close-ups only? With those close-up pictures (i.e., the red velvet cake), I don't get that sense of "space" when I don't see the entire cake and the plate that's used.

BTW, Henry, I am rooting for you. I'm also rooting for Lorna as well ...

Allez cuisine!

cue Iron Chef music or "O Fortuna" from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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oooooh, I know what I'm gonna do first thing as I arrive at the office tomorrow.. see how the competition went!

that Red Velvet cake, to someone from Europe, looks spooky. But if Ling gives her stamp of approval I'm sure it's good!

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But where's the Men's Pocky?!  :shock:

Funny you should ask--it was Henry's first time seeing the "Men's" Pocky, so he asked, "Where's the WOMEN'S Pocky?" And I said, "Everything else you see in the aisle is Women's Pocky!"

Did you see the GIANT pocky?? I told Dayne I might buy it for his stocking at christmas if he is VERY good! haha!

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