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Fresh Sheet: Froth artists invited to Latté Art Celebration

Barista artists can show off their latte talents during a competition hosted by Caffé Affogato. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Barista artists can show off their latte talents during a competition hosted by Caffé Affogato. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Latte art competition

Caffé Affogato is hosting its second annual Latté Art Celebration on Thursday.

The coffee shop will be giving away cash prizes: $250 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third. Plus, there will be free food, drinks and live music.

The event is 6 to 9 p.m. at Caffé Affogato, 19 W. Main Ave. Call (509) 413-9809.

Soup’s on

Tomato-basil soup is a staple at Stella’s Café, the popular soup-and-sandwich shop just across the Monroe Street Bridge on West Broadway Avenue.

It was inspired by chef and owner Tony Brown’s trip to Tuscany 10 years ago. And, it’s non-traditional; there’s no stock or even water in the soup.

Don’t bother coring or skinning the tomatoes, either, Brown said. Just “throw everything in whole. It’ll all boil down.”

To prevent burning, Brown makes the soup in a double boiler covered with a few layers of plastic wrap. As the mixture cooks, the plastic wrap will expand and “it’ll look like a little space ship.”

Find Brown’s tomato-basil soup at Stella’s, 917 W. Broadway Ave. Call (509) 326-6475. On Facebook: www.facebook.com/stellascafe1/.

Or, make your own at home.

“The smell that comes out of it almost knocks me over every time,” Brown said. As for the flavor, “it’s so fresh-tasting.”

Stella’s Tomato-Basil Soup

From Tony Brown, owner of Stella’s Café in Spokane, Washington

2 pounds roma tomatoes

5 basil leaves

3 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1/8 cup sugar

2 teaspoons fennel seed

1 teaspoon chili flakes

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all of the ingredients in a double boiler. Cover the pot with approximately three layers of plastic wrap – “You want it to be sealed,” Brown said – and let mixture cook for about 2 hours, adding water to the base pan as needed. Let mixture cool slightly and, working in batches, process it in a blender with the cap or stopper removed. Cover the hole of the lid with a towel, and hold it in place with your hand. Start the blender on low, slowly lift the towel to let some steam escape, then continue to process on medium or high until the mixture is “really blended.” Then, work the puree through a fine-mesh sieve, and serve.

Yield: about 6 servings

Crisco’s Pie Hotline

Expert pie makers are available to help home cooks with their holiday baking questions.

Hotline hours are extended for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call (877) 367-7438 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time from Nov. 14 to 23 and again Dec. 19 to 23 to troubleshoot and get tips.

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