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Taco Bar: Feeling Cheated by the Filling (A Review)

new york times tofu chorizo | dailywaffle

The main attraction for tacos is the filling.

And when it comes to fillings, it pays to be equal opportunity. Who doesn’t love a good carnitas taco with a little onion, cilantro and green salsa? Grilled chicken with a little pico or al pastor with grilled pineapple and green onion. I’m good with all of it. Gringo tacos with ground beef and Alton Brown’s Taco Potion #19? It’s in regular rotation. Even a vegetarian version with lentils and whizzed up cauliflower, yeah, why not? Where I draw the line, and this might surprise you, is at tofu.

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FridayNightSlice: The Neil Diamond (Cherry, Baby)

The Neil Diamond_Cherry Arugula Pizza | dailywaffle

Today’s Friday Night Slice was inspired by a pie posted by @baconluv, an Instagram friend who lives down in Portland. A few weeks ago she posted a killer looking cherry pizza from a place called Lucca. I filed it away in my brain and last night, with a handful of cherries chilling out in my refrigerator, it was finally time to have a go at a pizza pie with cherries. This one I’m calling the Neil Diamond (Cherry, Baby). In retrospect, looking at the pictures, maybe I should have called it Purple Rain.

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Urban Craft Uprising: Pretty Kitchen Stuff

Raspberry Mint Sorbet | dailywaffle

In the way back times of the Internet, circa 2000, people were predicting you’d be able to watch TV shows online and be able to immediately click and buy the clothes Rachel or Monica were wearing. And though product placements have gotten waaaaaay more overt on TV and elsewhere, I’m still not seeing them convert that directly to purchases. What’s interesting is ID’ing items, whether paid placement or not, has made its way into the food world to some extent.  Have you noticed that Food and Wine has been adding prop captions to their photos?

For those of us who have too many dishes and utensils, but always seem to find room for more, I love not having to see if they’ve included sources at the back of the magazine.  I can’t say I’ve bought anything as a direct result, but clearly there are a lot of us coveting pretty dishes and linens and utensils. This weekend, I went to Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle and picked up some tea towels and other kitchen accoutrement that I’m sure you’ll soon be seeing here.  So today’s post isn’t really about the raspberry mint sorbet, it’s more of an excuse to show off some cute kitchen stuff I’ve picked up along the way.

I will say, by Seattle standards, it was hotter than Hades this weekend, and when it’s that warm, even ice cream seems a little too mookie to really provide the refreshment you need. Hence, the sorbet.

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Taco Bar: Mexican Rice & Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

red chorizo tacos | dailywaffle

Tacos seem like a simple food. A stack of tortillas, a little meat, a little onion, cilantro, a spoonful of salsa. Hit your local taqueria, order 2 or 3 and there’s lunch.  At home, tacos quickly spiral out of control. No taco plate is complete without rice and beans. And wouldn’t some escabeche, pickled carrots and jalapenos, be good alongside? And what about guacamole? You’ve gotta have guacamole.  Suddenly, your quick and dirty dinner has dirtied every pan in the house.

 

But what can you do? Summer, right about now, might just be the best time for a taco bar. Tomatillos and tomatoes are just coming in at our market, summer squash is plentiful. Chiles aren’t far behind. There was no question we’d wrap the July 4th holiday weekend with tacos – with two different approaches to pork tacos from the Homesick Texan Cookbook and the accompanying sides.

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Make Strawberry Jam Before It’s Too Late!

washington strawberries | dailywaffle

Strawberries have a lot in common with regret. And with the old adage, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

If ever there was such a thing as a fleeting moment, strawberry season in the Northwest truly is it.  The first local strawberries seem to appear in early June and by the end of the month, they’re nearly gone.  If you want to get technical about it yes, there are ever-bearing varieties here, but the June bearers – the Puget Crimson, the Puget Reliance, the Rainiers – seem to make the most flavorful jam.

For a kid who grew up in California, strawberry season stretches from as early as late January nearly all the way to the fall, before starting again. It’s a luxury that we just don’t have this far north.   You’ve got to pay attention to the calendar and the moment the strawberries come in, start tasting and making jam.  Unlike last year, when I first started dabbling with jam, I only made strawberry once, and as a refrigerator jam to boot, not realizing what I’d be missing come January and February.  This year, I was ready. Sort of.

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