Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Apples Inc.(Inclusive)

Apple cakeDSC_3269

Who comes up with those names for apples? That would be a fun job to name products or produce wouldn’t it? Often I stopped to see whether new variety of apples are in while I‘m at grocery store. If there is I buy at least one. My latest find was Japanese variety called Kiku (chrysanthemum) at where else – a Japanese super market! It’s large in stature yet tastes like a baby sister of Fuji apple or Honey Crisp, not fully developed but still has potential. This is what I think and not reflecting people’s opinion.DSC_3246

On Saturday morning, I give my husband a JOB of making something with the apple. No, not the computer! This apple cake recipe was found on cookpad.com and use only uno apple, good as I only have one. Yes, you may listen to your iPhone-podcast while you are making the cake.


Prepare a 7-1/2 inch round pan by putting in parchment paper or spraying the pan.

  • 1 apple peeled and cored then cut in 6ths. Make 5 slits in the curve of apples. Splash lemon juice all over to prevent discoloration. DSC_3256DSC_3258
  • Butter 60g room temperature
  • Sugar 80g
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Cake flour or weak power flour 150g sift together with baking powder.
  • Baking powder 3g or 1 teaspoon
  • Milk 3 tablespoons
  1. Put butter in a bowl and mix with hand mixer until creamy and pale in color.
  2. Add sugar a little at time and continue mixing.
  3. Add egg and keep mixing. Time to heat oven to 360F.
  4. Fold in 1/2 of the sifted flour and baking powder mixture then add milk.
  5. Fold in rest of flour and baking powder mixture.
  6. Pour the batter into a prepared pan and arrange the apples on top.DSC_3260DSC_3263
  7. Bake about 40 to 50 minutes. After it’s cool, you may sprinkle powdered sugar on top to conceal the imperfections.

This understated sweetness is perfect for Saturday brunch. I wished he had doubled the recipe though.DSC_3268DSC_3271DSC_3276Thank you honey it was delicious!

DSC_2896Ambrosia – the flesh is somewhat soft so would be good for sauce.

DSC_2996Winesap. I made this bread with this apple. The color is very deep.DSC_3298

DSC_3001Autumn glory. It tastes something like a Jazz apple.

DSC_3000Fortune apple. Memorable name. 

DSC_3644Piñata. Time for a party. Good  for salad.

Though cold today and raining, we had fairly nice day the other day. My husband and I strolled through our neighborhood and took some pictures. We can see the signs of Spring everywhere.

DSC_3398Can you spot the bee?DSC_3403Chelsea the cat. She is lovable. DSC_3409DSC_3412DSC_3416DSC_3418DSC_3421DSC_3422DSC_3432This cat stopped and made a pose for us but didn’t smile.DSC_3433When we got back from our walk, Chelsea had taken a new position. Is that you ride?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Sweet, Savory SeattleDSC_3598

No surprise! It was colder and raining when we drove three hours north to Seattle. The familiar Bellevue cityscape showed us an indifferent face yet rendered a nostalgic feeling. Look! I said pointing to the high rise office building my husband used to work when we drove past it. My husband nodded, I know, he said without words. It was pretty good company to work for but was bought out by much larger company. He could stay there but took another path. For a moment I entertained that what if question in my head. Whatever, our kids adjusted well with the move and I should be grateful for that. Only three more blocks to our destination – the Westin Hotel.

‘I just going to park it myself’ my husband responded quickly with the bell man’s question- Park yourself complimentary parking or valet parking for $30 a day. Wow! Who come up with that number? A San Francisco developer? DSC_3657DSC_3602These real orchids are gorgeous in hotel lobby. DSC_3603DSC_3606Loved the balls!DSC_3608I think this is an eye catching whatever.

Our dinner reservation at Chez Shea on Pike Street is for 6:00 in the evening and is still a couple of hours away. We checked out the Bellevue Uwajimaya (Japanese Super Market) first to get some snacks. Full scale Hina dolls (雛人形) display remind me that March 3rd, Girls Day, is fast approaching. Living in a America for so long, some Japanese traditions leaves no mark in my calendar. DSC_3571DSC_3652Philippine made cracker with an extra u. Cute!

The French restaurant Chez Shea is in an old building across from the famous Pike Place Market.DSC_3577Chez means cottage in French though the restaurant doesn’t seem look cottagey at all. More like industrial rustic urban chic deco,,,,with high ceiling. I thought a little too dark and too close to the next table. We just need to converse entirely in Japanese hoping neighbors don’t speak the same language. But the staff welcomed us warmly and was very attentive. Chez Shea offers two menus. The Chef’s sampler menu which comes with a little bit of almost everything for $75 or a-la-carte pricing of the seasonal menu. I find the pricing reasonable and their delicate dishes are worth a few blocks walk on a chilly Seattle night.DSC_3585DSC_3583DSC_3586DSC_3588DSC_3592DSC_3594DSC_3599

The wind was really cold the next morning. We walked about 10 minutes from hotel to Belle’s French Pastry. Perfectly flaky croissants and rooibos tea. We gave in to temptation and ate dessert too.IMG_0035IMG_0039IMG_0040IMG_0041IMG_0042IMG_0043IMG_0044
Deja vu! We felt like we’re in Japan.

We drove to see our our old home then to downtown Kirkland. Ahhh,,, memories kept flowing back.

DSC_3617This is not our boat.DSC_3618DSC_3615DSC_3619DSC_3620DSC_3622This is interesting.


DSC_3625It was cold so we sought refuge in a coffee shop for hot chocolate.

DSC_3628DSC_3632DSC_3634We had lunch at Dozo Café in downtown Kirkland.

DSC_3636Lynn’s bistro – another favorite French restaurant in Kirkland.

DSC_3641I found this sugar/creamer set for $15 at Estate Interior consignment store in Bellevue to add to my Blue Danube collection.