Archive for the ‘Farmers Market’ Category

Festivals and Farmers Markets

June 3, 2017

Spring may have come late to Seattle, but this year’s food truck festival and farmers markets are right on time. If you’ve never checked out Fremont’s glorious Food Truck Rodeo, put it on your bucket list – it’s one of Seattle best foodie events. After thoroughly scoping out all the offerings available, I had lunch at It’s Bao Time and dessert at Street Donuts. Not only are the donuts fresh out of the fryer, they have all sorts of clever topping combinations.

I wanted the Dulce de Leche but they were out, so we went with Nutella and powdered sugar.

These were seriously addictive – some of the best minis I’ve ever had. This is a truck worth seeking out if you can track it down.

Several weekends later I lucked out again at the Madrona Farmers Market with a new stand – Sweet Season Bakery. They are actually based in Arlington but should be at the Madrona market all summer and I can safely say you will love anything you buy. I can say it safely because I bought everything.

Okay, maybe not everything, but you can see homemade “oreos,” fudge, peanut butter sandwich cookies, pretzel cookies, and shortbread cookies. They freeze really well so I was able to stop myself from eating everything in one sitting and instead allow myself one or five treats a day. Get thee to the Madrona market next Friday afternoon!

Deborah’s Pies

May 12, 2017

It’s farmer’s market season once again, and why not start with Ballard (my personal favorite, along with the U-District market)? There were all my old favorites – Soda Jerk, Pete’s Toffee, Sweet Caroline… and a new vendor (well, new to me) called Deborah’s Pies.

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Deborah was there, in the flesh, selling a variety of both sweet and savory pies. I appreciated the range of flavors, not to mention the different size options. I went with two small pies – strawberry rhubarb, and marionberry.

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The pies came with specific reheating instructions, which I followed to the letter and served with ice cream. The verdict? Marionberry was the winner (the rhubarb pie was a little runny). We did feel the crusts could have been flakier, but overall, not a bad slice of pie!

Sweet and Savory

January 17, 2017

The only way to get through Seattle’s winter is to get out. I made myself do just that last Saturday – it was sunny, so I decided to visit the U-District Farmer’s Market where I found the delightful new stand Sweet and Savory Catering by Cynthia Brock. Huddled in the freezing temperatures, she was selling her homemade cookies and pastries along with more savory fare like her “winter jam” – a sort of chutney with nuts, quince, and spices that is amazing on sandwiches or paired with Stilton cheese. I chose an assortment of treats, including an apple-fig galette, lemon bar, and apricot bar:

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The lemon and apricot bars were spot-on with a lovely shortbread crust and flavorful topping. The galette was a bit heavily spiced for my taste, although the crust was solid. This woman knows her way around a stick of butter.  Just as amazing were her Christmas cookies:

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I didn’t share. I ate them all myself and didn’t feel bad about it at all – they were that good. Plenty of butter, sweet but not overly so, and tasting so incredibly fresh. This catering company is worth checking out while Cynthia is still at the U-District market!

Marketing in Magnolia

September 18, 2016

I’ve lived in Seattle for a decade and somehow I’ve never been to Magnolia – not even Discovery Park. I decided to rectify this situation while also checking a couple bakeries off my list, including Cereal Box Bakery. Cereal Box doesn’t have a storefront, but operates a delivery service (baked goods and fresh baked bread delivered to your doorstep!) and has a booth at the Magnolia Farmers Market. That’s where I found them, and selected a peach muffin top and a jam-filled scone.

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Both were notable in their lower-than-usual sugar levels, which I actually appreciated. It was more like breakfast and less like dessert, which was fine… because my next stop was Petit Pierre Bakery. No shortage of sugar here!

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I started with a homemade pop tart, which was nothing like the grocery store variety. Flakey, with a lovely jam filling and homemade icing – you don’t need to be a kid to appreciate these. For later, I got a raspberry chocolate brownie type thing, which was less impressive but still enjoyable:

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It was a little on the dry side. I would stick to the pastries and more traditional French desserts – their lemon tarts and macarons looked pretty good. The cafe itself was cute and popular, with excellent espresso and friendly service.

Market Treats Round II

September 7, 2016

The South Lake Union Saturday Market has a wealth of dessert options (including macaron ice cream sandwiches, as mentioned below). One spot that’s gotten a lot of hype is Susu, an on-trend rolled ice cream stand.  If you’re wondering what rolled ice cream is, it’s like a cooler, more modern version of Dippin Dots. The flavored cream is poured onto a freezing surface and spread out like a square crepe. Cookie crumbles or other toppings are added for texture.

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Then, sections are rolled up with the spatula, just like you’d roll up a yoga mat. Susu’s flavor/topping choices range from S’mores to Tiramisu. I got the earl grey tea with sesame seeds.

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The joy of Susu is partly in the flavors, partly in the texture, and largely in watching the process. It’s ice cream art and it’s worth savoring (and Instagramming).

Market Treats… Again!

August 3, 2016

It’s market season in Seattle and once again, my goal is to visit each and every one. It’s a great way to explore small, artisan bakers and dessert makers, and on my recent trip to the West Seattle market I found tiny Shambala Bakery, specializing in vegan and gluten-free desserts. Now, I’m not a huge fan of either category, but I have friends who are so I bought a few items for them:

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That’s a banana muffin and a lemon sugar cookie – both vegan and gluten-free. I missed the wheat more than the dairy – both seemed on the gritty side to me. But my vegan and gluten-free friends said both were really good.  Next up was the South Lake Union Saturday Market, where I found Macadons – Macarons by Donna. The fun part of this macaron stand was that they sell ice cream sandwiches (macaron style, naturally). I got the lychee:

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Mild and sweet, it was an interesting twist on the typical macaron – but I got some of those too:

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Let me take a minute to talk about the durian flavor – the yellow cookie on the left. As most folks know, the durian is a foul-smelling tropical fruit – not your typical macaron flavor (they are packaged separately to avoid contaminating the flavors of the other macarons). Honestly, I took a bite and threw the rest out – I was happy to try it but it wasn’t for me. Much friendlier to the palate was the tutti fruity (red) flavor, the nutella (brown) flavor, and the oreo (grey) flavor. But all (minus the durian) were excellent and recommended.

Fudge Yourself

May 14, 2016

At the Fremont Sunday Market a couple weekends ago, I stumbled across a stand of homemade confections (mostly fudge) that even I’d never heard of. Fudge Yourself Confections had an array of fun fudge flavors as well as various brittles and the lady running the stand made them herself in a home kitchen. She has no online presence that I could find (if you can’t Google it, does it exist?) but the free samples said everything Yelp could not.

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I was very much impressed by everything I sampled, and ended up getting the peanut brittle and the cookies and cream fudge.  Both tasted how old-fashioned candy should: no false flavors, plenty of sugar but not blandly sweet, and freshly made with care.

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This lady is worth seeking out on Sundays, and adults and kids alike will love the fudge flavors. One bite will take you right back to summer vacation…

Miri’s Poffers

February 14, 2016

I’d never heard of Poffertjes until Miri’s appeared suddenly at the Cap Hill Farmer’s Market, but I was instantly sold on the concept: a plate of freshly griddled (and generously buttered) pancakes topped with something sweet or savory.  I could smell the stand from down the block and, feeling hangry, I knew resistance was futile.

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There were a few choices for toppings – traditional simple powdered sugar, a somewhat healthy option (I saw something green and moved on), and a seasonal sweet option: boiled quince. I’d never had quince so I decided to give that one a try.

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Steaming hot and topped with creme fraiche, the trio of textures and flavors blended seamlessly in my mouth. The quince, freshly boiled and chopped at the stand, had a pear-like texture and sweet, nutty taste, balancing the richness of the pancakes (which were made more interesting by the addition of buckwheat in the batter. Poffers, it turns out, are a lovely bressert (yes, that’s a combo of breakfast and dessert). Dig in.

Standard Bakery

January 25, 2016

The Standard Bakery, AKA Pocket Bakery, used to operate a pop-up in the Central District. Sadly, I didn’t make it there before they left to focus on their bread business and pop-ups at the Fremont and U-District Farmer’s Markets. Luckily for me, I got to sample their baked goods a few weekends ago at the U-District Market.

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They have a nice selection of pastries, ranging from plain croissants to seasonal sweets. I went with the twice-baked blackberry croissant and the chocolate chip cookie. The croissant was the standout of the two (the cookie being too salty for my taste):

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The true magic of the pastry was found in the interior, which had layers of buttery flakiness and blackberry preserves. The ends of the croissant were a bit dry and crunchy (maybe from the twice baking?) but overall it was a satisfactory snack.

Last Round of Market Treats

October 2, 2015

Saying goodbye to summer means saying goodbye to many of my favorite farmer’s market vendors, but I thought I’d squeeze in one more round of highlights. The first vendor, Hawaii’s Donut, can be a little hard to track down. They don’t have a website, and their brick and mortar location in Northgate is closed. But they do have a Facebook page, and they’re worth seeking out at one of the markets and festivals they attend.  Their specialty is a Portuguese donut called a malasada. They’re basically dense balls of fried dough filled with cream or jelly. They’re popular in Hawaii, but really they should be popular everywhere.

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What I liked best about this place (which I found at the Fremont Sunday Market this summer) was the freshness of the dough. They fry it right in front of you so that the donut is still warm and moist, and the oil temperature seems pretty perfect.  No soggy or stale donuts here!

Next up is the easier-to-find Honest Biscuits, which also has a new, permanent spot in Pike’s Place Market. Most of their biscuit options are savory, but I went salty-sweet by pairing a warm “Pike’s Place Biscuit” (biscuit with Beecher’s cheese cubes in it) with their jam.

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I was really impressed – biscuit was the proper texture and the cheese chunks added a nice complexity to the whole concoction. Next I’ll be trying some of the savory sandwich options. So yes, I’m sad summer’s over, but on a positive note it means I’ll be checking out some of the many new bakeries that have popped up all over the city!