Monday, February 20, 2017

My tasty review: The Great Seattle Vegan Chocolate Meltdown

Greetings!

What is better than a good old fashion foodie event? A foodie event dedicated to all things chocolate and for a great cause!


theo's chiptole spice drinking chocolate was a hit with the attendees!

The Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P) is a non-profit dedicated to raise awareness about our everyday food choices and making sure food is manufactured in an ethical and safe way.

The Washington  F.E.P chapter hosted The Great Seattle Vegan Chocolate Meltdown on Saturday 18th at The Hillman City Collabatory. What is a better way to spend a Saturday than tasting luscious and heavenly chocolate and chocolate desserts for a compassionate purpose?

Seattle famous theo's chocolate was present and ready with some delicious dark chocolate. 

The vegan hot cocoa bar had a variety of cashew and soy milk based cocoa with vegan treats to top it off. It was perfect for the rainy day!




Anika Lehde, coordinator for the Washington Chapter FEP and chocolate lover! 


From vegan chocolate chip ice cream cookie sammies to vegan hot cocoa to a variety of dark chocolate, there were too many treats to go around for anyone! Be sure to check out FEP's approved chocolate list to make sure you are eating chocolate, that is not only tasty, but sourced in an ethical way.

The Cookie Counter's vegan chocolate chip ice cream sammie made with coconut milk chocolate ice cream. Yum!

Be sure to get your tickets early next year! They sold out in a heart beat!

Happy baking,
Kimm



My tasty review: Seattle's second annual Whiskey + Chowder Event!

Greetings!

Being a food blogger, I love attending local Seattle foodie events to taste and try what the community is eating and cooking. When I heard about an event dedicated to all things whiskey and chowder, it caught my interest. When I won tickets from edible seattle, I couldn't wait to go!





On Friday the 17th, the second annual  Whiskey + Chowder festival took place at The Foundry at Herban Feast. Admission included tastings from distillers and local restaurants/caterers with their one-of-a-kind chowder. From all crab chowders, to seafood soups, to raw oysters, anything chowder-related was present for tasting.

3Howls Distillery was present with  tasty whiskey and bourbon!

Heritage Distillery brought their fan favorites! 




The event was sponsored by metropolitan market, a local award winning grocery store serving the greater Seattle area since 1971 and edible seattle, a local magazine dedicate to all things seasonal, delicious, and devine! Check out edible seattle's recipe section for ideas on tonight's dinner!




What were my all-time favorite whiskey and chowder from the event?

Bainbridge Distiller's Yama Single Grain Japanese Whiskey. It had a strong start with a smooth, slightly spiced finish.


Yama Whiskey from Bainbridge distillery. 



The Carlile's Room seductive cream of celery soup with mushrooms and mussels. The soup was thick enough to be a chowder and the mushroom and mussels gave the celery flavor its depth and layers.


The Carlile's Room cream of celery soup with mushrooms and mussels. 


I am already looking forward to next's year's event!
Kimm

Monday, January 30, 2017

Red Wine Brownies: Your new favorite dessert!

Greetings fellow foodies!

With the celebration of my mother's birthday, I combined our two favorites: red wine and brownies. These brownies are unlike your traditional brownie, the special ingredient, red wine, makes 'em extra rich and more fudge-like. Oh yum! Plus, with the addition of the super silky glaze and chopped nuts, it is sure to win over your chocolate sweet tooth. This recipe is a great way to use up any left over red wine you have sitting in your home...that is, if you have any!


Use any red wine you like. I choose a modestly priced red blend. 



Red Wine Brownies
Yield: 12 brownies. Approx. 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch square
Oven: 350 degrees F
Time: 25 minutes
Pan used: 9 inch non-stick square baking pan. Lightly buttered and lined with parchment paper. 

Ingredients and instruction:


  1. Fill a small saucepot, half way with water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Set a stainless steel bowl over it. Add 4 oz chopped dark chocolate and 1/2 cup (1 stick) cubbed unsalted butter. Slowly, using a spatula, stir the mixture until melted. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup red wine (any variety; I used a red house blend), 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Add 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp salt, and 3/4 cup all purpose flour.
  3. Add the melted butter-chocolate to the sugar-wine-flour mixture. Stir until just combined and there are no visible dry clumps. 
  4. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean when 'poked.'
  5. Let cool on wire rack.
  6. Frosting recipe: Mix together in a small bowl, using a whisk: 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, 2 tablespoon powder sugar, 2 tablespoon light corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon water.  If it comes too thick, add more water. If it is too liquid-y, add more cocoa powder. 
  7. Spread frosting over the cooled brownies. Top with chopped nuts.  (Optional)
  8. Cut 4 by 4, thus equally 12 small brownies. 
  9. Drink with leftover red wine. Share with a sweet friend! 




Happy baking, Kimm


These brownies are perfect size for a wine party! 



Monday, January 23, 2017

Sweet Interview: Anika Lehde, Volunteer Coordinator for the Washington Chapter of Food Empowerment Project

Greeting fellow food readers and lovers,

I love foodie events! I especially love foodie events that are dedicated to a great cause and ethics, like The Great Seattle Vegan Chocolate Meltdown. I recently interviewed the super savvy and smart, Anika Lehde. She is co-owner of Yesler and Projectline Services and Volunteer Coordinator for the Washington Chapter of F.E.P, Food Empowerment Project.




Read my interview below to learn more about F.E.P:


1.     What is the Food Empowerment Project? What is its mission to the community?

 A: F.E.P.'s mission is to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices. One area of our work is educating people on labor in the chocolate industry, the limitations of standard "certifications" and how people can make sure their chocolate isn't sourced where the worst forms of child labor, including slave labor, are still present. If you have a smart phone, you can even get the free Chocolate List app with all the recommended chocolates (lots of awesome Seattle area companies thankfully). All of the chocolate on our recommended list and in our app has at least one vegan option and meets our sourcing requirements.

2.     How did you get involved with F.E.P?

 A: I saw the founder and Executive Director, Lauren Ornelas, speak at a few social justice and vegan conferences. I was so moved by the F.E.P. mission that addresses human rights, animal rights, and environmental justice, that I asked if they would consider piloting a chapter in Washington. It is rare to come across such consistent activism - they have a definition of justice that doesn't leave anyone behind. 





3.     What is The Great Seattle Vegan Chocolate Meltdown? How did it come alive?

A: The Washington Chapter (just a year old now) works to progress the mission of F.E.P. which means tons of education, outreach, and community building. We knew we needed to do something great around chocolate (we all love chocolate!) that could bring out difficult information in a way that is still fun and joyful. To show folks that being choosy about where you get your food and what you eat doesn't have to be hard, painful, or deprive you of tastes you love. We also need ways to raise funds to run F.E.P. programs, keep our app up to date, and all of the normal non-profit stuff, so a chocolate fundraiser seemed perfect. There are also so many great local chocolate companies in Seattle! 





4.     Why should the everyday consumer be concerned with ethics in food? 
A: This is such a good question. Food is actually very powerful. Food is an area where massive injustices take place (think farm labor abuses, animal exploitation, etc), inequities exist in our society (food insecurity, lack of access to nutritious food), and also impacts our environment (water quality, pesticides, environmental racism, etc). You can look up many of these issues at www.foodispower.org. But it is so powerful because most folks eat at least three times a day, which means it is a very large place where our decisions make a difference (vs something we only do once a year or even less).  As an example of the scale of food, you might find an injured dog on the side of the road, take her to the vet, make sure she finds a new home, etc. (which is awesome), but you might only do that once or twice in your lifetime. Where as if you eat animals, the average U.S. citizen will eat the equiv. about 25 land animals (cows, chickens, etc), 12 fish, and 100+ shellfish in just a single year so by going vegan, one can reduce the demand and killing by hundreds of animals in a lifetime. Or another example, you may do a beach clean up once a year with your family (again, very awesome), but by switching to organic produce (if you can afford it), you will decrease demand for chemically produced foods that poison the soil, water, and air, many times a week as you shop and eat. You'll eat thousands of pounds of produce in your lifetime. When it comes to chocolate, I think it is even more unjust, that something that should be a pleasure, that is a luxury, is not a necessity, has to come to us via such human rights abuses. The children who are working the cocoa fields don't even know what chocolate is, have never tasted it. Then we here in the U.S. gobble it up (9lb+/year each) without even considering how it got to us. We can do better. We don't have to give up chocolate, we can just ask that companies be transparent about source location and then only support those who do not source where child labor is present. If you readers are interested, here is a recent in depth article http://fortune.com/big-chocolate-child-labor/

5.     What is your favorite Seattle chocolate you recommend? 
A: Oh, this is SO HARD! Of course I love Theo and Franz, but I just recently tried a fancy raw truffle from Soulever Chocolates, which was so unique (www.souleverchocolates.com). Olive Oil Sage I think? I also recently tried the new ice cream from Frankie and Jos. Have you heard of it? Devine. Truly.  https://frankieandjos.com


Anika Lehde, chocolate lover and volunteer coordinator for F.E.P.



Bio:

Anika Lehde is the co-owner of Yesler and Projectline Services, two sister brands under the same parent company (www.projectlineservices.com). She is a wicked-proud graduate of Seattle University with a degree in History and Women's Studies and a Seattleite through and through. She is also passionate about social justice and animal liberation so spends her spare time as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Washington Chapter of Food Empowerment Project (www.foodispower.org). Anika also founded the community blog, Seattle Vegan Score (www.veganscore.com) and is a co-organizer of the Seattle Feminist Drinking Club. Things she likes: graffiti writing, walkers not talkers, logic puzzles, taking the bus, funny people, potlucks, optimists, vegan nachos, playing, chocolate dominoes, standing up, speaking out, taking care of business, and of course, chocolate. 

Did I mention tickets are only $10 for an adult?! 
For tickets to The Great Seattle Vegan Chocolate Meltdown, click here.

Thank you Anika for sharing your words of wisdom!
Happy Vegan Cooking!
Kimm 


Monday, January 2, 2017

My top 5 favorite things I ate in 2016!

Happy new year fellow foodies!

What a delicious year it has been! Last year, I had some pretty tasty treats, sweet and savory. Here are my top 5 delicious items:





  • Kimchi croquette for Tous Les Jours Bakery (Bellevue, WA). Tour Les Jours, inside Bellevue's H-Mart supermarket, is an Asian-influenced bakery with a collection of sweet and savory treats. Their unique kimchi croquette contains tradition kimchi filling and super crispy potato exterior. I wanted to eat two, but stopped myself. I regret that decision.



  • Pumpkin spice doughnut from General Porpoise Doughnuts (Seattle, WA) General Porpoise is a dedicated doughnut shop from well-know restauranter, Renee Erickson. Their homemade yeast doughnuts are filled with local and seasonal ingredients, like pumpkin or nectarine jam. Enjoy 'em with a cup of artistan coffee in a lovely and cozy shop. 


  • Breakfast paella at Medina Cafe (Vancouver, BC) Medina cafe is a super popular and hip brunch spot in downtown Vancouver, BC. Their breakfast paella, made with orzo, has spicy chorizo, charred tomato salsa, and a runny egg to top it off. Craving something a sweet treat? Try their homemade liege waffles with berry compote. My tip: get their early! The restaurant fills up in a heartbeat!

  • Sea bass with smoked farro at 99 Park (Bellevue, WA)  Sea bass is my favorite fish because it has a light and tender texture. Plus since sea bass is a fatty-fish, it is naturally full of flavor.  This entree was paired with smoked farro (grain) and crunchy hazelnuts, oh yum!

  • Vietnamese coffee Popsicle at Stateside (Seattle, WA)  Coffee and chocolate are a popular combination in Seattle and the popsicle at Stateside does not disappoint. The coffee flavor was soft and the chocolate was 'just enough.' FYI: you have to order them because they popsicle is not on the regular menu. 
I can't wait to taste even more treats this coming year! What was your favorite thing you ate last year?? 

Happy cooking!
Kimm

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sweet Week Seattle: My reviews!

Greetings fellow food lovers!


Last week, was Seattle's Sweet Week. What is Sweet Week? Local participating restaurants and bakeries offer a delightful $5 treat for your delight!! Now, how sweet is that??!

Of course, I had to jump at the chance to enjoy some tasty (not to mention, cheap!) treats. Here are my reviews:

Trove's Honey Moon Parfait.


Trove Seattle: Honey Moon Parfait: Graham cracker cookie, marshmallow filling, burnt honey frozen custard, and magic shell.
I love the crispy graham cracker with the slighty bitter and sweet custard. The marshmallow filling was not super sweet and, yes, I ate the entire jar. (And kept it! Trove lets you keep the fun jar as a goodie to take home.)

Hello Robin's Open Faced Ice Cream Sammie.


Hello Robin: Open faced Ice-cream sandwich with Hello Robin's signature chocolate chip cookie,  homemade fudge sauce, vanilla whipped cream, and rainbow sprinkles. 
I am a true cookie monster and Hello Robin does not disappoint! The super moist cookie was extra tasty with the whipped cream and creamy vanilla ice-cream. Plus, the rainbow sprinkles made me feel like a kid again. 

Cafe Trophy's macaroons.

Cafe Trophy: A trio of macaroons: Lavender latte, elderflower, and rose.
Cafe Trophy, formerly Trophy Cupcakes, are offering, not only more sweet options but also savory options as well. A true French macaroon lover, I am delighted they are offering a wide selection of flavors. All of 'em were super light and paired lovely with my Americano. 

Hot Cakes: Chocolate and Stout Sundae.

Hot Cakes: Chocolate and Stout Sundae: House made Pike XXXX Stout caramel sauce, dark chocolate crumble, barley crumble, Pike XXXX stout, and Bluebird vanilla ice cream. 
I love the bitter and sweet flavors in this sweet treat! The barley crumble gave a nice crisp and texture to the super creamy vanilla ice cream. The brownies were full of chocolate flavor, but overly sweet. This by far, was my favorite treat during sweet week!

I hoped everyone got a treat last week!
Happy Baking,
Kimm

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sweet Week Seattle: Check it out from Sept. 12-18th!

Greetings fellow foodies, readers, and bloggers,



Chocolopolis specializes in artisan chocolate.
Photo credit: Seattle Sweet Week



Sweet Week  is back, Seattle! What exactly is Sweet Week? A week dedicated to all things luscious, candy-coated, and sugared!

Gelatiamo is well known for its delicious homemade gelato. Photo credit: Seattle Sweet Week,


Local Seattle/Eastside restaurants. cafes, and bakeries offer a special dessert treat for only $5. Just head into a participating establishment and ask for the "sweet week treat." Want to see what other dessert-lovin' peeps are enjoying? Use the hashtag #sweetweekseattle, on social media, to find what  delectable and delightful treats Seattle-ites are consuming.



Hello Robin combines Molly Moon ice cream for its sandwiches. Photo credit: Seattle Sweet Week.
Here is the list of participating businesses for Sweet Week: 

Trove creates unique and creative parfaits. Photo credit: Seattle Sweet Week.

High 5 Pie is offering a seasonal apple treat. Photo credit: Seattle Sweet week.


Check out more information, here, for Seattle Sweet Week.

Happy baking,
Kimm