No, it’s not Valentine’s Day – but fall has definitely hit us like a ton of bricks here in the Pacific NW. Fortunately we had a spectacular summer, so I am actually just fine that fall came a little early for us. Normally September is one of our most beautiful months – but this year I feel like I live on the east coast. The leaves are already starting to turn – go figure?
Today was a hard day – I have been dreading it for months – my older daughter got braces. Now normally that wouldn’t be such a big deal – but my daughter is not a tough cookie. She reminds me of the Princess and the Pea. She definitely would know if there was a pea underneath her mattress, and wouldn’t sleep a wink. Every little slight deviation in her body bothers her – and unfortunately I can’t relate. I am basically on the opposite end of the spectrum. The only reason why I stay home from work when I am sick is not to get other’s sick – and rarely do I take any type of medication. Well, dinner was a tear-fest tonight, as she took a bite of the very soft homemade macaroni and cheese I made for dinner (leftover from last night, so even softer). Then I tried giving her some chicken soup and dumplings (homemade ricotta dumplings that basically melted in your mouth), and that worked a little better – but the tears kept flowing. She was in pain – and I could tell that she was thinking she would actually stay home from school tomorrow. That didn’t last long – when both my husband and I agreed out loud, that she needed to toughen up. I can’t believe this actually came out of my mouth – but I told her if she thinks this is bad, just wait until she goes into labor. My husband didn’t think that was funny.
Ok – onto more brighter topics – food. So, I am sure you are all waiting at the edge of your seat to find out about the second day of the IFBC. It was pretty spectacular. It started off with one of the best breakfasts I have ever had at a conference. As if the yogurt, granola and hard-boiled eggs didn’t make me happy enough – the two types of biscuits, and smoked ham that someone was carving fresh – really took it over the edge. I had to go back for seconds.
Next we had a sushi cooking demonstration – and tips from the NYTs food photographer Andrew Scrivani. He was so good, I decided to go to his session next – and learned a ton about workflow. I was a little overwhelmed at this point – but reminded me, this is just for fun, someday I will have lots of time to really perfect my photos. Now is not that time in my life. After that, there was another tasting show – with tons of wonderful products (the cheeses really blew me away) to sample. The last session of the day for me was a Food and Wine Pairing by Chateau St. Michele – it was something else. Six wines, with six different bites of food. They were spoiling us rotten – and this was all before Saturday night.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better – Urbanspoon came along. They arranged over 20 wonderful dinners at local restaurants – and let me tell you – the list was extremely impressive – but all a secret from us. I was supposed to go to Bellevue (John Howie Steakhouse), but I really wanted to stay on the Seattle side – so I got lucky. They ended up sending me to my favorite restaurant in all of Seattle – Lloyd Martin. Sam created a delicious 3-course family style dinner – that was just incredible. Every course was paired perfectly with wine (thanks to Jennifer!), and there was so much food – we couldn’t possibly eat it all. Fortunately I was local, so they packaged up some leftovers for me, and the girls and I had a wonderful dinner on Sunday night as well (my husband missed out because he was travelling).
If you are curious about the entire menu – here it is:
First: Bacon wrapped Dates; Bar cheese with house crackers; duck rillettes (OMG amazing); spicey coppa; smoked almonds; watermelon salad; heirloom tomato salad; foie gras mousse; albacore crudo
Second: Fettuccini with wild mushrooms and black truffle (homemade pasta, melt in your mouth delicious…)
Third: Lan roc pork roast; summer squash and zucchini with hazelnut agradolce; ramano beans with kimchi spice; parmesan risotto
It was a perfect way to end a wonderful foodie weekend. So I leave you with these delicious little morsels. If you are not feeling the fall yet – just pop these babies into the oven, and your entire house will smell of spice. They are wonderful with a nice espresso – as you sit and watch the leaves turn (ok, who has time to do that??). Hey – and they would even be perfect come February. Too bad my daughter won’t be enjoying these over the next couple of days. I better work on my jello skills…
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 14-ounce package frozen puff pastry (such as Dufour), thawed
- All-purpose flour (for dusting)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix sugar and spices in a small bowl. Unfold pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a 14×10-inch rectangle, rolling out if needed. Brush lightly with butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup spiced sugar over. Cut in half lengthwise. Fold both long sides of 1 pastry strip so that outer edges meet in the center of strip. Brush with more butter; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons spiced sugar. Fold in half lengthwise, forming a 14 inch-long log about 1 inch wide. Repeat with remaining pastry strip.
Place logs on prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
DO AHEAD Palmier dough can be prepared 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight in freezer. Thaw overnight in refrigerator before continuing.
Preheat oven to 425°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut each log crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Lay slices flat on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake palmiers until golden on bottom, about 8 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, turn palmiers over. Brush lightly with butter; sprinkle with more spiced sugar. Bake until sugar is bubbly and pastry is golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer palmiers to a wire rack; let cool.
DO AHEAD Palmiers can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
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