She Left the Building

After the removal of a body part and 16 days in bed (Eeeek!  Sixteen days?  Where did they GO??), it was time.  I left the building.  Not surprisingly I determined that my re-introduction to the outside of my house needed to involve, amongst other things, {great} food.

It involved my BFF & driving for the first time in 17 days.  And sweat pants.

It involved copious amounts of Hot Chocolate.  And whipped cream.  Of course.

It involved croissanterie.  A Ham & Cheese Croissant, in fact.

And a Cheddar Chive scone.

It involved 2.5 hours.

It involved 2 kinds of quiche: Mushroom, Shallot & Gruyere and Bacon, Leek & Cheddar.

And it involved large quantities of pastries.

It involved spontaneous bursts of barely controlled ooohing & aaaahing.  Especially when the Chocolate Mousse with Cherry Crémeux got involved.

It was exhausting…but SO worth leaving the building for.

Honore Artisan Bakery, I think you got better while I was sleeping.

Honore Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Deeply, and in key » Foodie Footnotes - [...] She Left the Building [...]

The French Bakery » Foodie Footnotes - [...] shop on the Eastside for those times when I just didn’t have time to haul all the way up to Honore in North Ballard and back.  I was on a bit of a [...]

Simply, Because It Wasn’t Raining » Foodie Footnotes - [...] au Chocolat home from Le Rêve.  I knew just by looking at it that it wasn’t going to knock Honore Bakery from top spot on the Seattle Croissanterie ladder, but you still have to eat it for the final [...]

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Taste

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

Adorable Server:  “Where would you like to sit?”

The Girls:  “Can we sit anywhere?”

Adorable Server:  “You pick and I’ll follow”.

And so began the Big Breakfast Adventure to Taste @ SAM (Seattle Art Museum).  Clearly, this was going to be a good adventure.  We just didn’t have a clue quite how good it was going to get, but with a welcome like that it was sure headed in the right direction.  Our Adorable Server also laughed at all of my silly attempts at humor, left us languishing as long as we wanted & brought us everything that our hearts desired – including allowing me to bring the dessert menu home since I had gotten so attached to it.

I have decided to do this post a little differently 1. Because I feel like it  2.  Because I don’t think there are enough descriptive words to cover all of the {fabulous} food that we ate (which was a lot) and  3. Because I couldn’t stop shooting images, it was all so beautiful.  If I wrote as much for each image as I normally do this would take me 10 days to write & you 2 days to read, neither of which I think either of us are up for.

So here, Lovely Viewers, are the images for your visual pleasure.  If the food looks awesome to you, trust us, it tasted even better.  See…even the salt was beautiful.

Breakfast breads: sweet muffin, savory scone, butter & jam

Adorable little muffins & scones

Once perfect Blueberry Muffin & salted butter

Planked Benney: grilled walnut bread, poached eggs, jambon, bloody mary hollandaise + skagit river ranch smoked bacon (hiding behind the lettuce)

Chicken & Biscuit: stokesberry chicken confit, big herb biscuit, sausage gravy, braised greens

TASTE Potato Gratin: rogue blue & local cheddar


Inside Out Sassafras Float: sassafras ice cream, vanilla soda, vanilla cookies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream Sandwich: apricots, chocolate egg cream, candied bacon

Theo Chocolate Orbit Cake: honey yogurt, raspberry preserves, cocoa nib toffee

Outrageously good: honey yogurt, raspberry preserves, cocoa nib toffee

Just a few notes on our Taste highlights:

Adorable Server, Makoto – humble, jolly, efficient, adorable.

Menus – fun, adventurous, unusual & we pretty much wanted to eat everything.

Grapefruit Juice – took the roof of my mouth off.  Love that.

Skagit River Ranch Smoked Bacon – amazing flavor, probably the best bacon I have had in America.  (They were awarded with Best Bacon in Seattle.  I concur.)

Jam – rhubarb & wonderful, like rhubarb apple sauce.

Blueberry Muffin – small & perfectly formed.  And bursting with blueberries.

Chicken – unbelievably moist & delicious.

Biscuit – great texture, tasty, probably the first biscuit in America I have really enjoyed eating.

Potato Gratin – ridiculous.

Vanilla Cookies – no clue how they got such an intense (and delicious) flavor into such a tiny cookie.

Honey Yogurt Ice Cream – really ridiculous.

Raspberry Preserves – speechless, literally.

Lucy Damkoehler (the Pastry Chef) – clearly LOVES her job.  Incredibly inventive desserts.

The Girls – incredible friends who gladly dragged their a** out of bed just because they knew today was important to me.  Thank you.

If I have to find some small ‘fault’ with Taste it would be that their website & all their literature, their front door & their receipts all say that they open at 9 am.  They don’t.  They open at 10 am.  Luckily we booked, otherwise we would have had a {very} cold hour before brunch this morning.  Oh and I went to Taste to eat the Best Northwest Chicken & Waffles in Seattle but they are no longer on the menu.  Rats.

Parting comment

One of The Girls:  “Shall we go?  Are you ready?”

cb:  “Actually, I think I’ll just sit here & wait until it’s time for dinner”.

TASTE Restaurant on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

bob - I saw the chicken and biscuit on the menu and really fancied it. Thanks for choosing it!
Now I’ve seen the great photo on the blog post and it looks delicious.
Thanks for taking it!
The only problem now is that I am 8000km away and can’t EAT IT!
So thanks for eating it for me!!!!
Keep up the good work (can we call this work?).

cb - Oh Bob, you have no idea. This is darned hard work :-) :-)

Tweets that mention The Big Breakfast Adventure | Taste » Foodie Footnotes -- - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LA Times Food, Seven Seas Travel and Foodie Footnotes, Foodie Footnotes. Foodie Footnotes said: Simply stunning. THANK YOU @tastesam [...]

Tracy Reynolds - Wow!
Everything looks so picture perfect! Well I guess it is because your pictures are perfect :)
What a spread of wonderful looking food, wow!
Nice find!

Isey Vangel - Everything in here is awesome! What a great blog. Or photoblog. Whatever, your words are as amazing as your pictures. Judging from how perfect everything is in here. Now if only more and more people knew such a wonderful site existed! Anyways, bless you and keep going!

Warm, with no ice » Foodie Footnotes - [...] The Big Breakfast Adventure | Taste [...]

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Pete’s Egg Nest » Foodie Footnotes - [...] was at Pete’s to eat The Best Bacon in Seattle, a title shared with Taste.  That meant that I could have whatever I wanted on the menu as long as I added bacon to it.  [...]

The Same, But Different - Foodie Footnotes - [...] on Sunday you can be sure I’ll be going somewhere”.  We had planned on going to Taste at the SAM, but their new hours don’t have them serving up food until 11 am, and there is no way I can [...]

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Spring Hill

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

Today was bound & determined to be a GREAT day.  How could it not be?  Breakfast at one of my 2010 favorite breakfast spots with one of my {very} favorite people followed (after a few hours break, I might add) by dinner with another one of my {very} favorite people.  Put a nap & some chocolate in-between (plus my {very} favorite kitties) & I was sure that today couldn’t actually get any better.  I was right.  Of course you probably don’t care, but if you are wondering why I am packing so many food adventures into one weekend here’s the scoop.  There’s an event happening next week that has the potential to change the course of things, and it was {really} important to me that I spend some time with these favorite people ahead of that.  And hanging out with them over some good food just makes it all the more delightful.  And yes, there’s another full day of food & favorite people tomorrow.  Talking of events coming up…how on earth did it get to be nearly the end of January already?

When I got to Spring Hill this morning I was about starved.  Yesterday’s fabulous dinner of leeks & parsnips certainly…um…how to say this politely?…got things moving…so by the time it got to 9:45 am I was feeling empty, skinny & oh so ready for a great Big Breakfast Adventure.  I was pretty sure it was going to be a great breakfast since I had a great breakfast there in June & another great breakfast there in August.  Spring Hill had 3 of the 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle awards bestowed upon it.  Best Gluten-Free, Best Corned Beef Hash & Most Creative Egg Dish.  Today I was having the egg dish & I suggested to my breakfast buddy, the Extraordinary Ms. Fusman, that she might enjoy the Best Gluten-Free, mainly because she is a gluten-free girl but also because that Bone-in Ham Steak is utterly delicious.  Plus, selfishly, I just wanted to enjoy the aroma wafting over the table from it.

Bone-in Ham Steak & Cheese Grits

Since Ms. Fusman co-owns Seattle’s “Best of the Decade” Hair Salon & Spa, Mode Organic, I always panic a little before I see her in case my hair isn’t perfect.  Today was definitely a not-perfect hair day for me, so once we’d settled into our window seats I apologized profusely for my lack of hair perfection.  It was then that she whispered, “I wanted to just sling mine in a ponytail today but because I was seeing you & you are one of my customers I felt I needed to have perfect hair”.  How we laughed.  We girls can be so silly.  So we made a pact:  we gave ourselves permission to deliberately both have a bad-hair-day next time we had breakfast together.  Deal!

 The Most Creative Egg Dish turns out to be called Spring Hole: griddled bread with two eggs, sausage gravy.  The bread, when it came, could only be described as a hunk.  1.5 inches thick & fried until gorgeously golden brown with a hole cut in the middle wherein were deposited two eggs.  Served with a small bowl of sausage gravy & the ‘hole’ placed back on top of the bread.  Not something that I had ever encountered before although my breakfast buddy attests that it is more commonly known as Toad-in-the-Hole or Egg-in-the-Basket.  In England, Toad-in-the-Hole is sausages baked in Yorkshire Pudding batter.  Not to be confused with Pigs-in-a-Blanket.  Get all that?  Me either.  Whatever it’s called, it was terribly tasty.  Hang on.  I’ve never had a piece of fried bread that wasn’t terribly tasty.  Is it possible to have an un-tasty piece of fried bread?  Spring Hill get their bread from Dahlia Bakery, so really it was going to be a home-run once the chef had fried it.

Spring Hole: Fried bread with eggs in the middle & sausage gravy

 The sausage gravy was very flavorful; there just wasn’t enough of it.  The dish it came in was very annoying, albeit cute-looking.  Every time I went to dip, the gravy spilled over the lip, and I didn’t want to lose one tiny gram of that stuff.  In retrospect I should have ordered a side of zoe’s apple wood smoked bacon or some breakfast sausage along with my Spring Hole.  Not only was there a hole in my bread, but after I had gobbled it all up there was still a hole left in my tummy.  At which point I could really only go for the fruit & yogurt or apple beignets with vanilla sauce.  No prize for guessing which one I ordered up.

Apple Beignets, vanilla sauce

Having just spent 15 minutes being annoyed by the little dish that the sausage gravy came in, I was rather dismayed to see a matching dish carrying my vanilla sauce.  This one turned out to be even more difficult to navigate since the vanilla sauce was not as think as the gravy.  I dipped.  I dripped.  Repeatedly.  Those cute little dishes are just not designed for dipping.  Love the dishes, love the sauce, just not together.  The Apple Beignets were huge. In reality they were really very thick slices of apple dipped in batter and deep fried, which, while tasty (great job on keeping the apple firm, not mushy!) were not what I was expecting.  I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that American beignets are a pretty different animal to French beignets & that I need to change my expectations accordingly.  I ate them all.  They were a nice end to brunch, but I am not sure that I would order them again, simply because they differed so wildly from what I believe a beignet to be.  I still prefer Kate Shaw’s.  I am certain that they would hit the spot very nicely for most Americans.

Now, back to the Extraordinary Ms. Fusman’s plate for a second.  She loved it.  She loved the greens, loved the grits & loved the ham steak.  She also ended up having the same issue as I had when I ate it back last June:  mouth didn’t want to stop eating it, but stomach simply couldn’t hold any more.

wood grilled kassler bone‐in ham steak ‐ soft cooked egg, beecher’s cheddar grits, sautéed greens

 I have loved every brunch I’ve had at Spring Hill.  There are still about 6 dishes on their menu that I have to try.  They are definitely on my list of places to return to when I have finished the Big Breakfast Adventure.  I am almost there.  If I had one gripe about Spring Hill it would be that wretched 10 o’clock start time.  I have to snack before I go.  Can we have breakfast start at 8 am please?  Or even 9 am?  Please?

Spring Hill on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Kate Shaw - SO very honored! Your breakfast adventures look even more lovely from where I now sit (up to my chin in homework with cereal to eat).

cb - There’s a time and a season….. :-)

Mark Reeder - The “Spring Hole” is called a ‘One-eyed Reilly” in New Zealand.
I assume it has Irish origins!!

cb - Mark – It’s amazing the number of different names this dish has globally, I am discovering! And that in all my travels I have never had it before. Thanks for connecting :-) Hello New Zealand!

What A Dork! - Foodie Footnotes - [...] to that which you would receive at Buckingham Palace, Ma’am.  Or, over in West Seattle, Spring Hill would, for $19, give me all that plus smoke from their real apple-wood [...]

Because Breakfast Isn't Breakfast - Review at Ma'ono & Shoofly Pie - [...] favorites such as the Bone-in Ham Steak (I can still taste that bad boy almost 2 years later), The Spring Hole (that Sausage Gravy is the bomb) and the Corned Beef Hash (be still my beating heart), and headed [...]

Just Wing It

A month or so ago I sent a note out to my whole team asking them each to send me an email telling me their 4 favorite flavors of ice cream, with the promise that when we were all together in one place in January I would make them the top 4 voted flavors.  Within literally 10 seconds of pushing <SEND> I had an email back from The Boss (he’ll hate that I called him that…he doesn’t call me a PITA for nothing :-) ) with one word contained in it: CAROB.  Since I was pretty sure there’d be no more votes for carob (who even knows what carob is anyway?), I kinda pushed it to the back of my mind.  But it was still there lurking.

As Team Week drew closer the word CAROB appeared to take on a life of it’s own inside my head, popping up in the middle of the drive to the office, shouting “Hello!” during trips to Trader Joe’s to gather a gazillion eggs & their entire delivery of heavy cream for the day.  It cooed at me while I was drifting off to sleep & was still there cooing in the morning when I woke up.  I tried to quieten it by telling myself (and The Boss) that I couldn’t possibly make all the ice cream for the team AND carob ice cream for him in the same week.  He would get his Carob Ice Cream, just a few weeks down the road.  But as the week passed by in a blur of ice cream custards & whirring churners and I got nearer and nearer to filling the freezer with all the ice cream for our fabulous sales force, it became harder & harder to rationalize it away.  Made even harder by The Boss telling me that Haagen Dazs used to make fantastic Carob Ice Cream 20 years ago & he has been missing it ever since.  Incidentally, while I was searching for a recipe online it seems that there’s a whole nation of people lamenting the long-ago demise of HD’s Carob Ice Cream.

So Friday found me scouring the web for carob ice cream recipes (of which I found exactly none) & then wandering the aisles for both carob powder & carob chips down at PCC Natural Market.

So Boss, here’s my self-assessment for the Carob Ice Cream Commitment: even if it turns out under-performed on taste, I am expecting an exceeded on execution & effort.  (You can see The Boss’ assessment for the Carob Ice Cream Commitment after the recipe.)

I had no reference point for this ice cream with no recipe & no idea what it *should* taste like.  So I was left with no choice but to just wing it.  Here’s what I came up with.

Carob Ice Cream (cb)

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tbsps carob powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup carob chips
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 3 tsps vanilla extract

Sling the cream, carob powder, sugar & salt in a saucepan & stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring to the boil & simmer for 1 minute, whisking constantly.

Remove from the heat & add the carob chips.  Stir until the chips have melted completely.  Carob tends to be a bit sticky (and the powder doesn’t dissolve too readily) so this will take more stirring than chocolate chips.  When the chips are completely melted, pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl in order to catch any chips that haven’t fully melted & any powder that hasn’t dissolved.  You will be left with a pretty gooey sieve, but that’s OK.

Add the milk & the vanilla extract to the carob cream mixture & stir well.

Pour into a blender & blend for several minutes.  I went off and loaded the dishwasher at this point.  Blending definitely helped with adding body & smoothness to the mixture, so I don’t recommend skipping this step even though you will have a blender to wash up afterwards.  Just do it.

Cover and chill the carob cream mixture thoroughly in the ’fridge (overnight is good), then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Find someone who likes carob.


For me, finding someone who likes carob was the easiest part of the recipe.  When The Boss first asked for Carob Ice Cream over a year ago I seriously thought he was just being funny.  He’s a very funny chap.  So I never made it for him.  Turns out The Boss really does love carob.

The Boss:  “This is incredible.  Best ice cream I’ve eaten in 20 years”.

cb:  “Really?  I was worried about the slightly grainy texture”.

The Boss:  “It’s fabulous”.

cb:  “As good as Haagen Dazs Carob Ice Cream?”

The Boss:  “Oh WAY better than the Haagen Dazs”.

 So, in the end I exceeded at the Carob Ice Cream Commitment after all.  And to think I lost sleep over this ice cream.  If you like Carob & you like Ice Cream, you might want to try this one out.  Apparently it’s really good.

Thanks Boss!

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Tweets that mention Just Wing It » Foodie Footnotes -- - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Foodie Footnotes, Foodie Footnotes. Foodie Footnotes said: Missing Haagen Dazs Carob Ice Cream from 20 years ago? Or even just like carob? Try this: [...]

It’s All French To Me

Every time I eat brunch at Cafe Campagne I feel compelled to go get pastries at Le Panier afterwards.  Maybe it’s just the whole French thing…eating {great} French cuisine at Cafe Campagne gets me in the mood for eating {great} French food for the rest of the day.  Maybe it’s just because it’s right there.  Maybe it’s just because my pastry-chef brain is simply drawn to anywhere that sells pastries.  Who knows why.  It’s just the way it is.  And I am SO not disappointed about that.

 The first time I went to Le Panier I didn’t post afterwards because…well…because I ate the pastries before I had a chance to photograph them, and having no food shots just ain’t right.  This time I was determined to get the goods home in one piece so that I could do a proper job.  So my point is that this isn’t the first time I’ve been to Le Panier, it’s just the first time I’ve had enough self-control to photograph first, eat later.

I {finally} decided on a Chocolatine (a cross between an Almond Croissant & a Pain au Chocolat) & 4 macarons – orange-chocolate, lemon, raspberry & chocolate.  Miss Connie & the lovely Linda had just as hard a time deciding, so that made me feel better.  I have no clue what they got, but we all left with our own cute little bag of yummy stuff.

Chocolatine: Pain au Chocolat with Almond paste & almonds

Now if you’ve been following along for a while (THANK YOU!) you may remember how I blasted Bakery Nouveau over in West Seattle.  And how much I love Honore Artisan Bakery up in Ballard.  And how I was undecided on Cafe Besalu.  Well now I can tell you that even after a couple of visits I am still undecided on Le Panier, which is a surprise to me since so many people just rave about this place & it’s a rare day when there isn’t a line snaking around the inside & out the door.  I wanted to love their pastries.  I still want to love them.  I’ll go back and try more.  I know, it’s a hard life :-)

The Chocolatine was decidedly better than the Almond Croissant that I had at Bakery Nouveau, but it wasn’t a patch on the Croissanterie that I’ve had at Honore.  You know how I am about pastries…just incredibly picky.  I make no apologies.

This particular Chocolatine may have benefited from a few seconds in the microwave, or simply from being eaten sooner.  My little Saturday shopping expedition had me running around town a  lot longer than I thought – it was that gorgeous bright {kiwi} green leather chair & footstool at Kasala that got me all discombobulated – so shooting & eating was unquestionably delayed.  Having said that, it was still a {wonderful} treat for a dreary Saturday evening.

Next up: the macarons.  (PS. They are not neon colors in real life.  The little on-camera flash just makes for bad images.  Sorry about that).

As with the Chocolatine I am also undecided about Le Panier’s macarons.  I preferred Honore’s even though I ended up with flavors that I didn’t care for.  IMHO I think Honore’s texture is better, but Le Panier’s flavors won out – I could tell what they were even with my eyes shut, which was not the case at Honore.

All in all, I do like Le Panier & I especially love their location.  For me they are just part of the whole Pike Place Market thing.  They are also next door to Sur La Table, a store which is completely *impossible* for me to walk past without going in.  Darn French stuff.  It’s a conspiracy.

Le Panier on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

How Could I Possibly Leave? » Foodie Footnotes - [...] On a par with Cafe Besalu & Le Panier [...]