Archive for February, 2008

Meet Your Farmers Market Vendors: Trevani Truffles

We’re back! Yes, that’s right. Meet Your Farmers Market Vendors is back! This week’s interview is Anne from Trevani Truffles.

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I’ve been enjoying Anne’s truffles for several months now. She has interesting flavors like Grand Marnier, Pear Ginger, Blackberry, an Espresso Mocha, and of course, rich, decadent chocolate (among others).

I contacted Anne the other day and I’ll let her tell you about her business in her own words.

Here’s my story:  My little Trevani Truffles business began only last summer at the urging of my children.
 For several years the family and close friends were the sole recipients of these chocolates.  But my son, especially, kept bugging me to “DO something with these!”.  The opportunity came when, seeing that my sweet old momie was going to be living with us and needed some serious care, and that I couldn’t take care of her and work outside of the home, too.  I needed to scramble and get SOMETHING going.
I made a phone call to the Renton Farmer’s Market people to get info on how to start at the outdoor markets.  After an initial rejection because I don’t GROW the truffles and the market is an agricultural one, I was informed that 5% of the vendors could be not farmers as long as they were local.  I live in Renton so I was IN!
Now I have two year-round markets, University District on Saturdays and West Seattle on Sundays.  I’m looking to get into the Ballard Market and have Broadway and Renton this summer.

I use Venezuelan chocolate, 58% cocoa mass for the ganache and 73% for the shell.  Only DARK chocolates here!   I like the earthy quality of the Venezuelan chocolate.  It seems more raw.  I use local ingredients when I can.  Like the “CreamyDreamy Pear Ginger”,  the pear is from the Booth Orchards in Twisp. They sell at the Seattle farmer’s markets.  And the hazelnuts, too, are local market vendors. Chili peppers, local. Also organic ingredients when possible.  So ,yes, some of the flavor combinations are seasonal.  Local sweet wines and Whidbey’s Port are ingredients also used. I made a porter beer truffle last week.  And of course coffee!

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As for how do I choose and decide what favors?  It  is a constant and  quite unscientific experimentation.  Just think of a thing delicious to you and if it sounds good dipped in chocolate!  Well, there you are.  A new experiment!  And a possible HIT!
My favorite part of the market scene is meeting the people and chatting with them.. Folks have a way of inspiring me to continue with this venture.  When their faces light up from (surprise?) tasting their 1st bite…OH! I want to take their pictures!  And the little kids who favor dark- not- sweet- chocolate!  who knew !?
Right now the outdoor markets are my “store”.  It has been a cold wet winter!  One day soon I’ll find a perfect little shop, like in the movie, CHOCOLAT.    ‘Til then, pray for beautiful cool sunshine!

Till next time, shop local, cook local, and if you find a new vendor because of this series, please tell them that you read about them on Seattle Metroblogging!

WPZ wants you to name that gorilla

What could possibly ever be cuter than a baby tiger? Until just a few minutes ago, I would’ve scoffed, “Nothing!” and been done with it, but that was before I checked my e-mail and discovered the little darling pictured at right. That, my friends, is a baby gorilla, and if you even try to suggest that it’s not equally as precious and adorable as the baby tiger, I will totally think you’re on crazy pills or something. Look at that face! Gaze into those eyes. ZOMG, the cuteness is so intense I may need a nap after this post. babygorilla.jpg

Before I pass out from the delightfulness, however, I wanted to pass on to you this news: The Woodland Park Zoo is looking for a name for this little sweetheart, a female western lowland gorilla who was born at the zoo in October 2007 and they want you to help. I bet her gorilla mom and dad already have a name for her in gorilla language but for the sake of people, they want to give her a people language name. So, here’s your chance to Name That Gorilla. Specifically, her name should be something in the Swahili, Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa languages. If you think you have a good name, then go here to download the entry form; once you get it filled in, drop it off at any Western Washington Kidd Valley or Ivar’s location between March 2 and 5pm on March 23.

Blarch Badness 2008: Squirrel Bracket Cancelled

I give up. There’s just so much gaming and governing and finger-pointing that I don’t have a choice, regardless of whether Seattle Bubble already withdrew.

I said if anyone was cheating, I’d throw everyone out. So, everyone in that side is hereby disqualified. The other semifinal on the Coyote side continues, at least for the moment.

Honestly, I don’t feel much like continuing this tournament. This was supposed to be fun, and it’s far from fun now. I can’t deal with the melodrama, or chronological adults acting like a bunch of spoiled kids.

The antics of Lookout Landing have left me embarrassed to say I’m a Mariners fan. And considering the sort of crap the M’s have pulled the last 13 years, it’s awfully hard to get me embarrassed about being an M’s fan.

Hockey Challenge 2008 This Saturday

If you’ve been meaning all season to get around to going to a Seattle Thunderbirds game, you’re running out of time: there’s just a few games left in the regular season. Playoffs are always fun and dramatic, but, really, do you want to be the sort of sports fan who only shows up for the playoffs? Even if you haven’t given a thought to going to a game, you still might want to get yourself a ticket to this Saturday’s game, anyway, as it is time once again for the annual hockey challenge. tbirds 02.10 (2)

The Hockey Challenge is an an event in which local sponsors raise funds to form teams to compete against each other on the ice with all the money raised by the teams going to the Seattle Ronald McDonald House, a favored charity of the Tbirds. (Besides the Hockey Challenge, every year the young men on the team visit the kids at the Ronald McDonald House and everyone has a good time.) After a series of games by these once-a-year amateur teams (Windows v. Exchange, Visual Studio Women v. Exchange Women, Microsoft IT v. Mobile Services and Windows Live v. SQL Server), the Seattle Thunderbirds take on their likely match-up for the first round of playoffs, the Kelowna Rockets at 6:05 pm.

After the Tbirds/Rockets game comes one more game to cap off the night: the Hockey Challenge 2008 Celebrity All-Star Game. Former Tbirds scheduled to appear include Jamie Huscroft, Pat Smith, Al Kinisky, Regan Mueller, Blake Knox, Troy Hyatt and Lloyd Shaw. Celebrities include Tom Arnold (Pride, True Lies), Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville), Jason Thompson (General Hospital), Cameron Bancroft (24: Day 4, Hockeyville on CBC), Brian Basset (cartoonist of “Adam @ Home” and “Red and Rover”), Kelly Tysland (formerly Kelly Stephens 2006 U.S. Women’s Olympic hockey bronze medalist), Bill Wixey (KCPQ news anchor), Brad Goode (KING news anchor), Ian Furness (KJR 950 AM Host) and Steve The Producer (KISW 99.9 FM Host).

Mark your calendars: Brides of March

Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to marry a bit of Seattle again. March 15th falls on a Saturday this year, and co-incidentally, the Catholic Church has moved St. Patrick’s Day to March 15th in order to minimize conflict with Holy Week. Brides, Ides, and St. Patrick’s Day all at once? This is some sort of important cosmic convergence.

Girls, let’s talk. I don’t know about you, but after seven years of shotgun weddings and wrenching separations from betrotheds including the Hammering Man, the Space Needle, the monorail, (and let us not forget Satan), and on and on, we’re feeling a little… how shall I say this delicately…unfresh. Let’s be honest. The blush is off the rose, isn’t it? We’re just a spoiled peach. What once seemed so, so GLAmorous now just seems…taaawdry. Doesn’t it darlings? We’re old. Used. Diiirty. Why, we’ve shredded two dresses to filthy rags just dragging them along the grimy streets of the big city.That’s why it’s time to refresh! Rejuvenate! And wash away those sinful stains, at the Brides of March 2008: Purity Party, which will conveniently kick off at Capitol Hill’s 12th Avenue Laundry. Never content with a mere metaPHOoric washup, we’re going to LITrally WASH. THOSE. STAINS. All you need do is bring One Soiled Unmentionable. We’ll toss them all together in one big washload and watch ’em spin while we sssip champagne. (And we do need a couple of dandy gents to pour for us, so boys, please check your closet for that tux!) While we’re waiting, we’ll discuss “the importance of saving ones virginity and practicing abstinence until marriage.” Once our drawers and souls are sparkly clean, we’ll go marry that big butt plug in Cal Anderson Park, make a few stops at The Crypt and the Castle Superstore, and then find a nice gay bar to dance the night away! Saturday, March 15, 7pm 12th Ave Laundry, 1807 12th Ave Be prompt: the wash-load goes in at 7:30 (But shhh… it’s a secret from the laundromat!) Want to catch up later in the evening? Keep tabs by text message! Just befriend Ivan C. at dodgeball.com!

Brides of March is always fun, because nothing beats seeing big hairy men squeezed into pretty white wedding dresses. I’ve seen ladies wearing the dresses from their own failed marriages, but I got mine at Goodwill for $3.

Weekend Movie Agenda

  • The Business of Being Born, a film created by actor/talk show host Ricki Lake and filmmaker Abby Epstein opens tonight at SIFF.
  • NWFF brings you Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters, Robert Altman’s Popeye, and What the Funny: Season One, about a Seattle comedic troupe.
  • Head down to Central Cinema for a pizza and the film version of Hair. (Warning: It might take a while to get the songs out of your head again afterwards.)
  • Week 3 of the Cinema Obscura series at the Grand Illusion brings Teenage Hitchhikers, another not available on video sexploitation film which they tell us is a genuinely funny sex comedy. Two tough guy films from the fifties, both directed by Phil Karlson, also play: Five Against the House, a casino heist film, and Brothers Rico, in which a criminal gang searches for a missing one of their own.
  • Since I dislike gore, you won’t find me at the Egyptian this weekend for their midnight film but those of you who are into it won’t want to miss Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive.

Qube: The Third Power Overpowers

Asian-French fusion restaurant Qube has a singular concept. Take an ingredient and serve it three different ways. Then take that course and serve it along two others with the same approach. Three courses times three ingredients–it’s cubed! And the restuarant is called Qube! Do you get it? DO YOU GET IT??

Despite such an overly cute approach to cuisine, Qube is still excellent. My meal started with strutting through the diaphanous veil of the hosting area into the minimalist dining room crafted out of hard white surfaces, wall-sized wine racks, and pitch-perfect lighting. The service is exactly what you expect from a good restaurant, which I can only describe by recounting that the server asked what kind of water we each would like. Not that a restaurant can’t be good if the server doesn’t do that, but it’s those sorts of little courtesies that define an ineffable quality that comes to be called good service. Although the server did ask to see both of our IDs (when only one of us had ordered, no less), which always grates on me. It’s law, I know, but if you have a platinum card you most likely are over 21 (or have a trust fund, or both). Sheesh.

We selected the “turf” menu, if only because the other two options, vegetarian* and “surf,” included evil fennel. The first course featured foie gras as a creme brulee, torchon, and seared. The creme brulee was nicely blended sweet and salty; the torchon was intensely creamy; and the seared presented an interesting textural combination with nuts. But there was immediately a problem, a problem I never thought I would have. It was way too much foie gras. Lots of foie gras sounds like a good thing, but really? No. It is not. Having too much foie gras just makes you start thinking about where it comes from, and that really detracts from the whole experience. Each portion was what I would usually expect from a foie gras course, but instead you have three of them!

The next course presented Wagyu beef** tartare***, flat iron steak, and braised cheek. The braised cheek, served over “potato puree,”**** was truly wonderful–just salty enough, with the texture of a well-made pot roast. That is a high compliment coming from me! The flat iron steak was similarly excellent, precisely medium-rare and drizzled with a luscious ume-truffle butter. The tartare? No idea. By the time I was down to my last bite of steak I was stuffed. Couldn’t even touch it.

The last course, dessert, was the one weak spot. Themed around huckleberry, the course started with a housemade huckleberry-vanilla-ginger soda. I couldn’t taste anything, my date tasted Nyquil. Either way, not a success. Next came Humboldt Fog goat cheesecake with huckleberry “caviar,” which tasted pretty much like regular cheesecake. Except to my date, who all of a sudden in the middle of the cake got a huge chunk of goat cheese. Yikes. Finally came two adorable tiny beignets with star anise caramel for dipping. I didn’t try the caramel because of the evil anise (part of the Axis of Evil: anise, fennel, and licorice), but the beignet was incredibly dry. I ate it all at once since it was appropriately bite-sized, but I ended up chewing possibly for longer than I have ever chewed in my life.

So all told, I am still highly impressed with Qube. The foie gras and steak courses were both remarkable, even if the dessert ended things on a low note. If only they would shrink the portions by about 1/3–now that would be a cube I could get behind. And by get behind I mean actually eat.

* Shouldn’t vegetarian be “turf”? As in grass?
** I assume, the menu just said “Kobe style” (sic). What does that even mean?
*** The menu said “tartar,” but since there was no tartar sauce I’m going to go ahead and guess they meant tartare.
**** That’s like mashed potatoes for fancy people!

Qube Restaurant in Seattle

in other blogs: messes, thieves, flight, cars, showers

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photo by patrick wright [flickr] via our group pool [#]. dive in!

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  • Student ‘bloggers [heart] Obama because he’s nice to them. alt: it’s not that Hillary hates kids, just that they were utterly unprepared for Washington to matter. [crosscut]
  • Sea Serpent on the loose! [myballard]
  • Charles Muedede’s office is a huge effing mess. Discuss. [slog]
  • A sign of changing demographics? Flee Ballard! [mysterioustraveler]
  • SDOT answers a whole bunch of questions about streetcars. lowlight: few proposed lines will have their own right-of-way. [seatrans]
  • Surprise: Gold’s Gym is hella gay. [capitolhillseattle]

Beveridge Place Barleywine Bacchanal

March is officially barleywine month in Seattle. We have two festivals dedicated to these high alcohol, malty monsters. First up is Beveridge Place Pub’s Barleywine Bacchanal. Starting this Friday, over half of BP’s 24 taps will be reserved for the 30+ festival barleywines, including several vintages of some beers. New ones will be added each day between this Friday and 3/08. There will also be several rare bottles of barleywines from the US and UK. Here’s a list of all the draft beers they plan on serving:

Alaskan Big Nugget ’05, ’06, ’07
Anacortes Old Sebastes ’06, ’07
Anchor Old Foghorn ’06, ’07, ’08
Anderson Valley Horn of the Beer
Boulder Killer Penguin
Boundary Bay Old Bounder
Bridgeport Old Knucklehead
Diamond Knot ’06
Dick’s Barleywine ’05
Elysian Cyclops
Fish Leviathan ’06, ’07
Full Sail Old Boardhead ’06
Great Divide Old Ruffian
Hales Rudyard’s Rare ’05, ’06
Heads Up 9 Millimeter FIRKIN!
Hood Canal Briedablik ’05, ’06, ’07
John Barleycorn
JW Lees Harvest Ale ’05
Lagunitas Old Gnarleywine ’04, ’06, ’07
Leavenworth Old Grumpy
North Coast Old Stock
Pacific Rim Castaway ’06
Pike Old Bawdy ’07, ’08
Pt Townsend
Rogue Old Crustacean
Scuttlebutt Old No. 1 ’06
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot ’06
Skagit River Two Penny ’06
Stone Old Guardian
Walking Man Old Stumblefoot ’06, ’07
Water Street Old Wookie

Looks to be a pretty thorough pick of all the Pacific Northwest examples of the style with a few from California and Colorado thrown in for good measure. There’s a bit of overlap with Brouwer’s Hard Liver festival later in the month, but there are still a good number of selections particular to this festival. Barleywine fans should be excited.

From The Group Pool

This very surreal picture is from our Flickr Pool member sea kay. Both cute and creepy at the same time, only film could make something this magical.

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