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Too Many Cooks

Archive for September 2012

Get yourself to the Greek

The 77th annual Greek Festival is underway at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1703 N. Washington St.

Lunch started at 11 a.m. and is served until 2 p.m. today and tomorrow. It's a beautiful day for souvlakia from the outdoor tent. There are Greek salads and vegetarian options.

Dinner is served tonight, Friday and Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets for dinner are $15 at the door. Did I mention the incredible honey-drenched desserts? Coffee? Cheeses? Appetizers?

Get a taste of Greek culture and take the time to tour the beautiful church while you're there.

There are more details on the festival website.

Go now.

Washington produce featured on school salad bar

The kids at Grant Elementary School in the Perry neighborhood got a taste of fresh Washington fruits and vegetables on the salad bar on Wednesday.

The Washington Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Nutrition Assoication teamed up for “Taste Washington Day” at school districts across the state.

At Grant, waves of kids came through the lunch line were able to choose from apples, peaches and pluots grown near Othello and carrots grown in Cheney. Older students helped the younger kids pick out produce and encouraged them to try something new.

Brian Estes, Eastern Washington coordinator for Fresh Food in Schools, said they hope the exposure will help kids discover new flavors they love and in turn encourage their families to buy them.

Doug Wordell, Director of Nutrition Services for Spokane's School District 81, said a new mandate from the USDA means children must choose a fruit or vegetable with their lunches. He said they expected to increase spending on fresh fruits and vegetables by about $250,000 this year to meet that new rule, but now estimates the increase at about $500,000 because kids have been eating more healthy produce.

There is some waste, Wordell said, but getting more fresh fruits and vegetables onto kids' lunch trays is good news. They'll be working on ways to reduce waste soon.

Wordell said the district always buys some Washington grown produce, but Wednesday's fruit and vegetables were all from the state. It helps to highlight the farm-to-table connection and the importance of helping local farmers by buying their produce, Estes said.

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart stopped by to see the efforts as did councilman Jon Snyder.

Coeur Coffeehouse hosts latte throwdown

Mike Garrison first noticed the art deco building with the corner door on a drive to Spokane Art Supply.

He didn’t have plans for a business, but the space somehow convinced him that he needed to open Coeur Coffeehouse. Garrison, who grew up in Coeur d’Alene, settled on plans to sell coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters while remodeling and repairs were finished at 701 N. Monroe St.

Garrison wanted the most ethically sourced coffee he could find and liked Stumptown’s commitment to forging relationships with coffee growers and paying higher than fair-trade prices.

Coeur Coffeehouse uses local milk from Spokane’s Family Farm and baristas make syrups from scratch. In addition to espresso, Coeur Coffeehouse offers popular slow-brewing methods, including Chemex and Aeropress. Stumptown Coffee is sold by the pound.

Garrison and the Coeur Coffeehouse crew will host the latest round of the latte art and brewing competition for local baristas Thursday. Thursday Night Throwdown: Inland Northwest starts at 7 p.m. Local baristas are invited and must register by 6 p.m. Coffee lovers can come taste the results of the battle.

Coeur Coffeehouse is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

No-Li vs. Ninkasi

It’s Cougars vs. Ducks at Saturday’s game in Seattle, but the real winners will be hop heads.

During Saturday’s match-up between Washington State University and the University of Oregon at CenturyLink Field, Spokane’s No-Li Brewhouse will take on Eugene’s Ninkasi Brewing Co. in the first Hop Cup. The first brewery to kick two kegs wins the Hop Cup trophy. No-Li will be serving Born & Raised IPA, while Ninkasi pours Total Domination IPA.

For more information, go to

West Wing closes

A sign on the door of the West Wing announces the bad news for garlic lovers.

Raci Erdem, owner of the beloved White House Grill in Post Falls, has shuttered Spokane's sister restaurant. The West Wing, 4334 S. Regal St., opened in November 2010.

The sign said it was a difficult decision, but that Erdem wanted to concentrate on the White House Grill. No word on the Oval Office, which is also owned by Erdem.

I'll check in with him and report back.

The White House Grill is at 712 N. Spokane St. in Post Falls. Reach the restaurant at (208) 777-9672 or (208) 964-2077.

Applesauce cake recipe

I made this cake for last week's appearance at the Kitchen Engine.

I can't stop thinking about making it again. I sprinkled just a tiny bit of extra sea salt over the glaze before it set to give it that popular salty, sweet pop of flavor.

The recipe came from the popular website Food 52, which is filled with recipes and food porn galore. Bloggers and other community members can share their favorite blog posts and recipes on the site.

Writer and cookbook author Amanda Hesser is one of the founders of Food 52. She famously appeared as herself in the movie Julie and Julia and was the editor behind the The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

This recipe was picked as a favorite by the Food 52 community.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened (preferably homemade) applesauce

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the caramel glaze
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 to 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and spices and set aside. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the eggs with both sugars until light. Mix in the applesauce, oil and vanilla until smooth.

  2. Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for 10 minutes in the pan on a rack before turning it out and cooling completely on the rack — make sure the cake is not at all warm before you make the glaze.

  3. TheRunawaySpoon wisely advises that you put a piece of foil or paper under the cooling rack to catch any drips before you start the glaze. Put the butter in a medium saucepan with the brown sugar, cream and salt and set over medium heat. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute exactly, and then pull it off the heat.

  4. Leave the pan to cool for a couple of minutes, and then gradually whisk in the powdered sugar until you have a thick, but pourable consistency (you may not need all the sugar). If the mixture seems too thick, just add a splash of cream to thin it out a little. Immediately pour the glaze over the cake, moving slowly and evenly to cover as much surface area as possible. Let the glaze set before serving the cake.

Tomatoes galore

If you have a lot of tomatoes, this traditional recipe for tomato preserves is a fun way to use them.

Savory and sweet, it makes a nice addition to a meat and cheese tray.

Tomato Preserves

From “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.”

1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 1/2-inch piece peeled gingerroot
4 cups granulated sugar
2 medium lemons (unpeeled), seeded and thinly sliced
3/4 cup water
6 cups peeled small yellow, green or red tomatoes (see note)

Tie pickling spice and gingerroot in a square of cheesecloth creating a spice bag.
In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan combine sugar, lemon slices, water and spice bag. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and boil gently, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are transparent. Remove from heat, cover and let stand in a cool place for 12 to 18 hours.
Prepare canner, jars and lids.
Using a slotted spoot, transfer tomatoes and lemon slices to a glass or stainless steel bowl and set aside. Discard spice bag. Bring syrup to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add reserved tomatoes and lemons. Bring back to a boil and boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headpsace, if necessary, by adding hot preserves wipe rim. Center lid on jar Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes for elevations up to 1,000 feet. Add 5 minutes of processing time for elevations up to 2,000 feet. Add 10 minutes for elevations up to 3,000 feet.
Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Yield: 6- 8 ounce jars.
Note: To peel tomatoes, place them in a pot of boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins start to crack. Immediately dip in cold water. The skins will slip off easily.


Come see me

Good morning.

Come see me at the Kitchen Engine this morning at the Flour Mill. I have goodies.

I'll be there with food and newspapers from 10 a.m. until noon today and 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

I'll have tastes of this Danish Puffs recipe (pictured above) from the Dorothy Dean Homemaker's Service.

I also have these vegan Almond Jam Thumbprint Cookies.

And perhaps I'll even break into this Applesauce Cake with Caramel Glaze.

I'll have copies of the recipes.

I can't wait to see you.

Roasted peppers at the farmers market

Jeanette Herman has a new toy.

Although she is best known for her organic fruit from Cliffside Orchards, Herman and her husband Jeff also grow tomatoes and vegetables on their farm. They sell their produce at the Spokane Farmers Market.

She roasted peppers in a drum roaster for the first time at today's Spokane Farmers Market. When I arrived she was spinning sweet bell peppers in the drum as the smell of roasting peppers filled the air. As the peppers began to sizzle, bits of charred skins also flew into the sky.

She's selling the roasted peppers for $5 for a scant 1 pound container. I'm adding one to my sandwich at lunch today. (I was inspired by market manager Diane Reuter, who came over while I was talking to Jeanette to show off her sandwich made from mostly market ingredients: Bouzie Bakery croissant, lettuce from Tolystoy Farms and a roasted pepper … among other goodies.

Herman said she'll be there Saturday roasting peppers, too. She has an assortment of sweet and hot peppers for sale.

The farmers were also talking about this week's freeze, which hit parts of Tolstoy Farm and Deer Park among other areas. Get to the market to support local farmers before the season is over.

The Spokane Farmers Market is Wednesday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here's a link to our listing of area farmers markets.

Best fair food

I have not yet made my annual trek to the Spokane Interstate Fair, but I'm looking forward to checking out the fare offered this year.

Judges have already done some of the hard work finding the best food.

Bob Rogers, executive chef at Masselow's at Northern Quest, caterer Eric Wilson and photographer Megan McCorkle judged Best Fair Food Contest on Saturday.

They picked foods based on taste, appearance, originality, portion size and value.

Here are the results:

Best Signature Dish / Entrée – King Burrito ($9) at Baja Bowl

Best Dessert – Tiramisu ($5) at Lasagnas On Ya

Best Deep Fried Food – Greek Nachos ($9) at Azar’s

Most Creative – Bacon Wrapped BBQ Hot Dog ($8.50) at SandwicHAVEN

What is your favorite thing to eat at the Spokane Interstate Fair?

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We never really believed that old cliché anyway. We're collaborating to share our cooking inspirations, favorite recipes, restaurant finds and other musings from the local food world and beyond.

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Adriana Janovich writes for and edits the Wednesday food section.

Carolyn Lamberson Features Editor for The Spokesman-Review. She's a foodie who has no time to cook. Still, a girl can dream ...

Ruth Reynolds is a copy editor at the SR. "I would bake and cook more than I do if I didn't have to keep cleaning off my kitchen counters. My favorite kitchen appliance is my rice cooker. No. My immersion blender."

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