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Week in Food: Some Reading and Eating Events

A few highlights from my food reading this week:

Hot Dog Of The Week: Seattle Style

I learned this week that Seattle has its own style of hot dog. I’ve had it and love it, but never knew cream cheese and grilled onions on a dog make it uniquely Seattle.

Props for Local Beverage Makers

Bainbridge Vineyards and Winery received several awards at the state fair, says the Bainbridge Conversation blog. This comes a week after Silverdale’s Silver city took home two gold and a bronze medal at the Great American beer festival.

Sound Bites owners dip into regional flavor

This week, I learned from The News Tribune in Tacoma that there’s a semi-local (Puyallup)sauce, hummus and chimichurri maker called Sound Bites Sauce and Spread Co. They apparently use regional and local ingredients. The big drawback, though is that it seems the closest local retailer to sell it is Harbor Greens in Gig Harbor. It’s mostly sold in Pierce and King Counties.



If you can make it out to Seattle by 6:30, Food Network food geek Alton Brown will be out at Third Place books, 17171 Bothell Way, shilling his new book, Good Eats: The Early Years, about some of his crazy stunts and background from 10 years on the “Good Eats” show.

All weekend:

I’d also encourage folks to take advantage of the waning days of the local farmers markets. Port Orchard and Kingston have their last market Saturday. Suquamish and Bremerton finish on Oct. 14 and Poulsbo and Bainbridge are done Oct. 17 , though a winter market on Bainbridge Island will start in November.

Up in Port Angeles, The 8th annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Sunday. Events during the festival include a Grab-A-Crab derby where you can catch a crab (you don’t need a permit for this one), music, activities for kids and tribal cultural demonstrations and activities and art. The big draw, though, is why this gets included in a food blog roundup: a giant crab feed with fresh Dungeness crab served with coleslaw and corn

Some Food Reading …

Phew! That’s all I can say after coming off a couple weeks of crazy, fast-food-fueled working (ugh, I know, I know). While I didn’t get much of a chance to write, I did take a few moments to read what other people were writing about food. Those of you who’ve been following along with my reading links (at right), it’s not much new. But for those who haven’t, here are a few articles you might find interesting until I can regroup a few thoughts and photos. Most of it was food I dreamed about making and eating while stuffing a slice of pizza in my mouth.

Ready…Aim…Fire (The Grill)
Anthony Bourdains’s 10 simple rules to make yourself master of the grill.

Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Dining on flowers …

The Crisper Whisperer: Kohlrabi Remoulade
Funny little post from the perspective of the often-forgotten Kohlrabi. With recipe.

Rate your food threshold Dana McCauley’s food blog
You can rate yourself on how adventurous your eating is.

Weekend barbeque tip, oysters and beer!
What doesn’t go well with beer?

Quinoa Chicken Salad With Feta, Roasted Peppers & Artichoke Hearts
Recipe calls for big chunks of veggies and chicken and puts the quinoa as a supporting role.

Fiji Water: Spin the Bottle
Report says glossy bottles of the popular drinking water hide the political and humanitarian issues that plague the island nation.

Sliced tomatoes (and smoked tomato salsa)
Remember winter while harvesting those deliciously ripe tomatoes.

A New Note in the Organic Food Debate

Market Fruit
Market Fruit

One of the big to-dos in the world of food last week was British study has recently concluded that organic food has no additional nutritional benefit over standard produce.

Whether or not organic veggies have more or better vitamins and minerals has been hotly debated for years. Especially in these hard economic times, is the benefit worth spending the extra cash for organic food? Even if it is, is all food better organic or just some? This study doesn’t settle the debate, but rather adds another piece to the complex discussion. And as Seattle-based blog the Accidental Hedonist pointed out last week, the study is far from definitive. People buy organic for a variety of reasons including fear of effects from pesticides and the chance to meet friendly faces when you purchase organic produce from your friendly neighborhood farmer.

Do you buy some or all your food organic or do you think the movement is overblown? Why or why not?

Week In Food: A Few Tidbits from the Past Week

Continuing with my roundups of the food news I haven’t elaborated on, but are still worth a little taste, here are some happenings in the local (and occasionally national) food world:

Checking in With Local Restaurants

A little past the last week, but still worth noting since I missed a mention in my blog-world absence: Local food reviewer Bernard Jacobson headed to Poulsbo for a taste of Sogno di Vitto and offered this review: “For the most part, too, the food and drink measure up to the buzz created by this exciting space,” and rated the food an 8 out of 10. And if you want a health overview of restaurants in general, the latest Kitsap food inspection scores were released last week.

Reading Up With Beer

Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo has been marking its presence in the social media sphere, and this week offered up part two of a food-related blog post that brings together both two of my loves in a way I thought was pretty darn clever. They matched fine literature with craft brews. It goes beyond just taking a drink mentioned in a book in say the way you’d pair a Jack Rose with “The Sun Also Rises” or an orgy of rum over ice with “The Rum Diary”. The blogger (maybe stretching a little) matches characteristics of a brew with the character of the book.

Loving Local

In Washington state, next week has been declared Farmers Market Week to celebrate locally grown food. Locally, a few markets, such as the one in Port orchard have a few activities planned, according to a story by South Kitsap’s Chris Henry.

And speaking of local food and local, the Orchard Theatre is among the latest to Proceeds will go to benefit the blossoming Kitsap Food Co-Op effort.


Going further afield, across Sound to Seattle, last week marked the alternative newspaper Seattle Weekly’s annual roundup of “Best Of”-ness. Among the many and often creative categories, the Weekly compiled a list of best restaurants, best local food blog, best places for free happy hour food and other “best-ofs” including things like “Best Carb-on-Carb Action Since Hawaii Invented the Loco Moco.”

Grocery Recession

Even Seattle foodies are apparently trying to save a little cash at the register. The Seattle Times reports that food shoppers are trading down on expensive items like soda, wine and snacks. The one possibly good thing to come out of this recession may be that people will learn what Europeans have known for some time: that you can have a good, tasty bottle of wine for under $20, even (hold your breath) an occasionally drinkable bottle of Two Buck Chuck.

Local Representation on Iron Chef

It looks like Seattle will have some representation on the television reality competition series “Iron Chef” in the form of Holly Smith, of Cafe Juanita and Poco Carretto, according to former P-I food writer Rebekah Denn. She joined nine other top chefs in a five-week worldwide competition show, which premieres Oct. 4. I know folks who hate it, but I’ve found much to love about the show since my first peek at the original Japanese version of the show. The original was billed as a way to bring out the artistry and deadline-induced creativity of cooking. Both the Japanese and U.S. versions do bring out a measure of that, what I really love about the show is the way it captures much of the heated process and sometimes mistakes that occur in the kitchen, the charred-beyond-recognition grilled meats, the sauces forgotten on the burner. It makes me feel a little better about my food failures.

Speaking of Representation …

In response to a spate of food scares in foods from spinach to peanuts during the past year, the House of Representatives recently passed a new package of food safety laws. Among other things, the measure would require the Food and Drug Administration to conduct inspections every 6 to 12 months at food processing plants that it deems high-risk. Lower-risk plants would be inspected at least once every three years, and warehouses for packaged foods at least once every five. To pay for it all, the bill would impose a yearly fee of $500 on food processing plants. The measure moves to the Senate for scrutiny, etc.

Getting Geeky

For foodies who also are technophiles, Mashable compiled a list of food buying, cooking and eating web and phone applications that included things like an online marketplace for locally created and artisanal foods called Foodzie and one of my newfound jungle to get lost in, the food-based wiki Foodista to restaurant review sites like Urban Spoon.

Week in Food: Food Flicks, Fundraiser and Found Links

It’s been a busy week, and while I haven’t spent nearly as much time in the kitchen or out in the eating world as I like, I’ve been reading about it. Here are a few tidbits I found and a couple local food-related events happening in the upcoming week:

You probably don’t want to know

A new Web site called What’s on My Food lets you search your favorite foods — from almonds to winter squash — and see how often toxic pesticides have been detected on them. Let’s see, I’ll have a dash of Piperonyl butoxide, Chlorpyrifos and Boscalid on my almonds, please …


Sometime in the past few years the cupcake has exploded on the scene as the dessert of choice, moving from papered kiddie party staple to an adorable, delectably delightful dessert of choice. In Seattle, one shop, noted this week by the Tasting Menu blog is Trophy Cupcakes of Seattle. They deem the cakes at the Wallingford adorable, creative and I assume tasty, though they really focused on the adorable.

For the Love of Sandwich

Restaurant reviewers over at The Stranger this week compiled a list o Seattle’s best sandwiches in case you find yourself in need of a noontime pick-me-up. Their vote for best sandwich in the city happens to be my favorite kind, though from a place I’ve yet to try, a Reuben from I Love New York Deli on Pike Street. Mmmmm … corned beef and rye.

Rolling in Rhubarb

For those of you, like me, trying to figure out what to do with the armfuls of rhubarb either growing in your garden or gifted to you by family and friends, there will be more on that in this blog. In the meantime, the Amateur Gourmet blog has a quick and easy recipe for roasted rhubarb to serve with yogurt. And a little more than a week ago, Anne from the Small Potatoes blog offered up a recipe for strawberry rhubarb muffins


This weekend

The annual Taste of Tacoma kicked off Friday and runs through Saturday (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.). The event features 32 restaurant booths (though some are repeats) each with options for $6 or less. A wine-tasting area also is set up with 10 wineries to choose from with a set of 5 tastes costing $15. You also get music and comedy while you eat.

Also this weekend, Sustainable Bainbridge will host two food-related matinees for $9 at the Lynwood Theatre on Bainbridge Island. On Saturday, they will show “Food Fight,” an 83-minute documentary about agricultural policy and food culture in the 20th century and a counter-revolution against agribusiness. Afterward, Lari Setlzer of Real Foods in Winslow will lead a discussion. Here’s a trailer for “Food Fight”:

On Sunday, they’ll show “Homegrown Revolution”, a 16-minute film about a Pasadena, Calif. family who began growing their own organic food, using solar energy and biodiesel. A post-film discussion will be lead by Anne Willhoit, a volunteer with Sound Food.


Your hunger Wednesday could help support The Kitsap Food C-Op if you satisfy it at Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe. From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., a portion of the food sales will go to the co-op to help them raise funds for things like a feasibility study. Folks from the Co-op effort will be there to answer questions.

Week in Food: Fiery French Fries, Shellfish Galore and More

Here are this week’s random food news tidbits:

Shellfish to be Had

The lowest tides of the season are this week, and the Seattle Times rounded up some of the best (which happen to be in our neck of the woods) places to find clams and oysters.

French Fries can be bad for your house, too

The Tacoma News Tribune reported Wednesday that accidents with homemade french fries are responsible for a half dozen fires in Tacoma. The firefighters there reminded folks that the fryer should not be left unattended, nor should you pile paper up against it.


Also in the News Tribune, is a profile of a mom and daughter who make a living out of making empanadas.

Tipping at Weddings

Seattle Weekly’s Voracious blog asked a bartender this week about the etiquette for tipping at the bar (and other places) at weddings and other events. Answer: yep, tip, and how much depends on what you order. They have suggested tip amounts for other things in the post.

Grocers Woe-ing, but not Uwajimaya

People’s need to save money at the grocery store has hit some companies from Safeway to Costco with revenue drops. But not Asian grocer Uwajimaya, says a Seattle Times article. The Seattle-based chain — which once was rumored to be interested in downtown Bremerton, among other grocery chains, though that information could not be confirmed. They’re doing OK for themselves and even expanding in Renton.

Cheetos Kisses?

The Mental Floss blog posted this week about a few companies’ past creations to extend their brands into new markets. Some are from food companies that are creating things that aren’t edible (or from good taste), such as Cheetos-flavored lip balm, which I guess are for people who prefer salty kisses. Others are from food companies that went beyond the traditional food, such as Gerber’s attempt at making food for adults and Colgate’s recipe guide.

Week in Food: Some Tidbits

Here is a random (very random) collection of news tidbits that appeared (or that I found) online this week:

One Less Bremerton Breakfast place

Some sad news from the Bremerton Beat blog, August Wynn in Manette apparently has closed its doors and shut down its web site.

To market, to market?

Former Seattle Post-Intelligencer food writer Rebekah Denn wrote about a recent study on the growing number of farmers markets and asks at what level we reach the saturation point. The study, based on information collected in 2006, seems to show that with the growth in farmers markets has come a decline in sales at each of those markets.

Speaking of Farmers …

The local food movement has been growing for the past couple years, and some folks are trying to help it grow further. Early this week, The (Everett) Daily Herald reported on a farmer who is hoping to show city folk what farming is all about by starting up an agro-tourism (can I claim to coin that term?) operation at his farm. And locally, farmers looking to expand are learning a whole lot about the complex system surrounding water rights.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for … what is that?

Ice cream is delicious in so many varieties, but a couple of the flavors in a recent Women’s Day article on the top 10 innovative ice cream flavors may stray a bit from the “delicious.” I haven’t tried, so I can’t really judge, but among the flavors are caviar ice cream and candied bacon. Yeah, yeah, savory and sweet go together, but in my world, ice cream is sacredly sweet or sour or a combination of the two. Other flavors there, however, I could definitely dig my spoon into, including strawberry balsamic, bourbon and cornflake.

While not mentioned in the article, but of local interest, was that one of those unusual flavors can be found at a local ice cream shop. Mora Iced Creamery on Bainbridge carries a Goat Cheese and Fig (though it’s seasonal and not available right now), as well as other non-traditional flavors, such as lavendar, a mojito sorbet and a sabayon, which is like an egg custard with wine.

Wine Online

It’s not enough to just get together with friends for a few sips. Cue the smooth jazz: Web site Snooth has created a social network and website around wine. You can search for wine reader reviews and recommendations, and talk to other wine lovers. And yes, there’s an app for that, launched this month.

Lifehacker’s Food Week

The above find came from LifeHacker, who declared this week Food Week, where they offered plenty of links to sites that show you things from how to season a cast iron skillet to how to choose the healthiest (or unhealthiest) items at fast food restaurants. A couple of my favorite highlights: Making your own ginger ale, baking fresh bread in five minutes, and making brown bag lunches more appealing.

Week in Food: Heaping Helping of News

Found a lot going on in the world of food this week, so let’s get to it:

Food News

Today Was Doughnut Day

Get your coffee cups ready for a cheer. Today is National Doughnut Day. Krispy Creme and Dunkin’ doughnuts are offering free treats. We don’t have those in Kitsap, as far as I know, though. If you hear otherwise, let everyone know!

Sipping in the Sun

Both the Seattle Weekly and the Seattle TImes served up lists of places to enjoy dishes and cocktails outside. The Times’ Nancy Leson wrote a roundup of best restaurants with waterfront views. The Seattle Weekly published it’s annual Summer Guide and offered photos of a few of their favorite spots.

Starbucks Going Healthy

According to Reuter’s, Starbucks is going to change up its food menu at the end of the month to try and draw health-conscious customers, who apparently are healthy but don’t mind drinking things like a 360-calorie grande Caramel Frappuccino with whipped cream). That’s not really fair. What they’re doing is changing up ingredients to remove preservatives where they can and include things like low-calorie salads and reworking some of their baked goods to have simpler, and in one case, organic ingredients.

Another Food Recall

Just when you though “natural” food was the only safe thing to eat, a wave of natural and organic food recalls have crashed over the food industry in the past year. The latest on the list this week was a recall of ground beef, including some larger packages of Cascade Natural Beef brand.

Global Groceries

Serious Eats blog had a wrote a post about an interactive site application called Global Grocer that lets you find out how far some of your food travels before it gets to your grocery store.”

Save Room for Clichés

The cozy interior of the Epicurious blog this week included a big gulp of reality for food writers. One of their bloggers apparently have had it with the yummy, decadent desserts described by some food critics, and compiled a list of their Top 5 Most Annoying Food-Writing Clichés, all of which I’ve used in this entry (and then some). The article is washed down with a generous serving of equally annoyed commenters’ cliché suggestions.

Food as an Agent of Change

KUOWs “The Conversation” Thursday included an interview with Tom Standage, business editor at The Economist and author of a new book called “An Edible History of Humanity”. He talks about how food has been an agent of change in our history from the stationary communities created when we learned to farm to the industrialization of agriculture.


  • On Saturday, you can eat food and support cancer research in Kingston. Businesses there are hosting a “Walk for Chocolate” to benefit the North Kitsap Relay for Life team. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. you can use a $5 “passport” on a stroll through the town to stop into businesses and take in a few chocolate samples. Passports are later entered for a prize drawing. So not only do you get to donate money to a cause, you also can walk off the calories from your bites.
  • While I was looking at some classes at Seattle-base Cooksworld.net, I ran across an announcement for a mac ‘n’ cheese cooking contest: Entry is $10, you bring enough to serve eight people and the recipe to the store on near University Village in Seattle on June 17. The top three tasty concoctions get store gift certificates and merchandise. It’s limited to 14 competitors. So, where do I sign up to be a judge?
  • Speaking of contests, Port Orchard’s Morningside Bakery announced recently that they’ll be hosting a cake decorating contest on June 20 to benefit Kitsap Foster Care Association’s DREAM Project. The contest is split into divisions for kids, amateur and professional adults. There’s even a cutest cupcake category. Entry is $10 if you enter by today, $15 until the June 16 entry closing date.

Anthony Bourdain in Seattle, and Other Wednesday News Tidbits

One of the things I’ve always loved about Wednesdays are the food sections in the big daily newspapers. I’m not entirely sure sure why it’s Wednesdays, but it may be linked to all the grocery ads that ran on the same day.

Though most of these sections have become skimpier, relegated to a small page (sadly, like ours, which is now down to a couple columns that run on Sundays in print and online with an occasional restaurant review in A&E) or done away with altogether because of budget cuts and the emergence of some really good food bloggers, a few gems can still be found in a newspaper.

Mostly, this is my long way of getting into a few items I saw in todays papers:

In the Seattle Times, they had a Q&A with my favorite television food star, Anthony Bourdain of the “No Reservations” show on the Travel channel. He will be with chef Mario Batali Saturday at The Paramount Theatre. Sadly, I have another commitment that night, plus the $45 to $175 tickets were a bit on the high end for me right now.

The Times also had some excerpts from food writer Nancy Lesson’s blog, namely a note on a new Queen Anne restaurant and new features at a Georgetown restaurant.

In the Tacoma News Tribune, their food feature was about South Sound cooking classes. Apparently more folks are trying to cook good food at home for various reasons, from seeing others do it on the vast number of cooking shows and to save a few bucks. They list three cooking classes and prices.

I think I’ll steal their idea and compile a larger list of Kitsap-side cooking classes. That’s the other thing papers are good for, stealing ideas. And wrapping your fish.

If any of you hear of any cooking classes, let me know. I’m not kidding about stealing that idea.

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to type out in a few minutes … Until next time.

Week in Food: Eats Events

In celebration of this THREE DAY WEEKEND!!! (really, it deserves caps and exclamation points), this week’s food news is dedicated to local events, some you can do this weekend, some you can do the following regular, ordinary weekend. Weather this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous, so if you’re not going anywhere, the least you can do is break out the barbecue.


If you’re already on the West side of the Hood Canal or are taking a trip out there on this weekend, Brinnon has a ShrimpFest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 to 5 on Sunday. They’ll have food booths, crafts, music and other activities.Oh, and it’s free.

Bite of Port Orchard

Sunday in Port Orchard, a dozen area eateries will set up a Bite of Port Orchard as part of the Harbor Festival. Food can be had from 3 to 6, and for the lush-minded, there’s a beer garden from 3 to 7. All in Port Orchard Marina Park.


The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) has a ton of food-related films. Click on any of the film links for showtimes, etc. from SIFF:

  • “Chef’s Special” is about a Spanish chef with a restaurant in Madrid who is trying to work out family issues while pushing for culinary superstardom. It plays Saturday and Monday at the Egyption and Pacific Place, respectively.
  • “Apron Strings” is about the food and traditions of two Kiwi (New Zealand) families struggling with culture and connections. It plays May 30 and June 1.
  • “Food, Inc.,” focuses on corporate bulk food practices (which may not make you want to eat)and “Know Your Mushrooms”. It plays May 30 and 31 at the Egyptian Theater.
  • “School Days with a Pig” is based on a true story of a Japanese class of elementary students who struggle with their relationship to a piglet destined to become a pork chop.

Edible Gardens

Tuesday is the last day to sign up for discounted tickets for the May 30 Bremerton Edible Garden Tour. It’s a bus tour showcasing some of your urban food-producing neighbors. Cost is $8 before Tuesday, $12 after. More details at www.bugskitsap.org.