Thursday, October 21, 2010
On my trip to Seattle, I was able to fit in an afternoon visit to Chinatown. I like to go to the different Chinatowns when I travel, just to see and compare them.
I didn’t even know Seattle had a Chinatown until I opened my tourist map and saw Chinatown as one of the features. There is an even a free bus downtown that you can take to reach Chinatown.
The Chinatown in Seattle was pretty deserted. Definitely not like the extremely crowded Chinatowns of San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City.
There were the typical chinese bakeries, grocery stores. I stepped inside one chinese bakery and was really surprised by how expenisve the breads and pastries were. Usually they are cheaper in Chinatown, but they were a lot more expensive than I am used to.
There is also a large shopping center, Uwajimaya, which has a food court,a Kinokuniya bookstore, and a large grocery store.
Inside, I spotted a Beard Papa’s, and of course had to stop for cream puffs. We got a matcha one and a vanilla bean one.
502 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104
We initially did not plan on eating in Chinatown, but when I happened upon a Taiwanese restaurant, I couldn’t help but wander in. In hindsight, this was not a great idea. If I wanted to eat, I should have probably tried many of the other numerous restaurants I had passed, many of them Cantonese. Most chinatowns have a higher Cantonese population and usually don’t have much of a Taiwanese population.
But it’s hard for me to resist Taiwanese food, especially when there was an article posted outside their door talking about their famous stinky tofu.
Soon after we ordered, I heard the staff talking and realized they weren’t Taiwanese, but were Cantonese. Not a good sign.
We ordered a rice roll and I was pleasantly surprised to see it used purple rice, as it’s hard to find rice rolls with purple rice. The rice roll tasted pretty good, but there were some ingredients that are not usually found in rice rolls like soy sauce eggs.
We also ordered the beef noodle soup, made with handmade noodles. I liked how the noodles were thick and chewy. The beef soup on the other hand, was horrible. It was seriously lacking in flavor and the broth was very watery.
We also ordered the stinky tofu. They used some sort of curry sauce. I didn’t like the tofu at all.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I didn’t do too much baking this last week. I usually do a lot of baking on weekends and since I went home this past weekend for my mom’s birthday, I didn’t have a chance to bake much before I left. And this week, with the rain and cold weather, I haven’t had much energy to do anything.
Before I left, I made some vanilla bean cupcakes. I had some leftover batter, and I thought of trying my hand and making some mini cupcakes. Not being very good at piping, attempting to pipe these mini cakes were even harder!
After many screw-ups, I finally managed to get a few decent ones. I love that these are bite sized. I have a ton of recipes I plan on trying out in the next two weeks, so hopefully I’ll have some more fun recipes to share with you soon!
Mini Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 tbsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 tbsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and
salt. Whisk together and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, add in the softened butter (you can stick it in the microwave to soften) and the vanilla bean paste and beat with electric mixer, until light and creamy in color.
3. Add the sugar to the butter mixture. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
4. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring
cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately
with the wet ingredients.
5. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each
about 2/3 of the way full. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in
the center comes out clean.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1. Heat heavy cream in a small pot. Once it begins to boil, remove from the stove.
2. Pour heavy cream into bowl of chopped chocolate. Stir and mix until chocolate is completely melted.
3. Place bowl of chocolate ganache into fridge for a few hours (2-3), until the ganache becomes stable enough for piping.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
12172 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Rd
Saratoga, CA 95070
As I wrote my post about my mom’s birthday dinner, I realized I haven’t yet posted on my dad’s birthday meal that was last month.
We paid a visit to Shanghai Dumpling, which I haven’t been to in a while. The food was great. This spot is famous for the xiao long bao, or pork soup dumplings. They have a little station where someone is always making the dumplings.
I didn’t really want to get in the way with my picture taking, so I only snapped a few quick pictures of food that was brought out early.
Cold platter with various items like drunken chicken, smoked fish, duck, etc.
Tea smoked duck:
Braised pork knuckle:
Fish with wine sauce:
There were a couple of other dishes I didn’t take a picture of. Overall, everything tasted pretty good. Looking at these pictures, I need to come back here and eat next time I’m home.