Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Crepes and Chocolates-A Visit to Crepe De France and Fran's

I just spent a rainy afternoon in downtown Seattle.  I wanted to bring my boys to Pike Place Market and show it off, even though they don't really know what they're seeing yet.  When they're a little older they will appreciate the fish being thrown through the air, the musicians performing on every corner and the fresh doughnuts, also being thrown though the air, into bags. 

But today, we had to maneuver the crowds in our double stroller and try and stay dry.  It being lunchtime, we were starved and looking for the perfect spot.  I'd always noticed a crepe place that looked fun and most likely delicious, because aren't all crepes delicious?  Crepe De France ended up working out so nice.  We were the only customers so we had the place to ourselves.  The workers doted over us and made sure everything was perfect.  And it was.  My husband and I shared a Mimosa and an Americana.  We each had a savory crepe- he had the salmon and I ate the ham and cheese.  Each crepe comes with two so one had ricotta and the other, mozzarella.  The boys loved the crepes, too.  All four of us loved the crepes.  Crepe De France is a hidden gem in the market. 

After lunch we walked a couple of blocks north to Fran's Chocolate's in the Four Seasons Hotel.  My husband tried a dark chocolate bar with dried fruit in the past that he had to go get again.  We bought a bar and it was tasty.  I loved the dried cranberries and apricots on top.  It was a specialty chocolate and well worth the price.  A couple years ago, we went to Fran's and got salted caramels that were downright decedent and unforgettable.  Today they gave samples of chocolate truffles, so we walked away full and sated from our afternoon in downtown. 

Crepe de France on Urbanspoon Fran's Chocolates on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Toll House Celebrates 75 Years

Toll House Cookies were the first thing I ever baked.  Over the years I've made their classic chocolate chip cookie recipe countless times.  There's really nothing better then biting into a hot cookie right out of the oven.  And sneaking some cookie dough?  You know you're not supposed to.  It's bad but oh so yummy.  And "cleaning" some off the beaters?  Oh man- I can't decide what I like better, biting into a cupcake or licking dough off beaters.  Both are up there as far as finding dessert bliss.  Toll House is celebrating 75 years and they have some new chocolate chip morsels for us all to indulge in.  Called DelightFulls, you can get em' in mint, cherry, peanut butter and caramel.  I chose peanut butter for my cookies and they were a hit.  I used the recipe on the bag but I didn't use any nuts.  Thanks, Toll House, for all the delicious years of chocolate chip cookies!

Nestle Toll House Peanut Butter DelightFulls Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cups Nestle Toll House DelightFulls Peanut Butter Filled Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixing bowl until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in morsels and nuts.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racked to cook completely.  Makes 4 dozen cookies. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lunch at Buoy Beer Company and Sightseeing in Astoria

Sixteen miles to the north of Seaside is Astoria.  We went for lunch one day to Buoy Beer Company and I had some fried cheese curds, one of the best things I've ever eaten.  They had a Pale Ale batter and some spicy, red pepper dipping sauce.  I took a bite and thought, yes, this is delicious and so memorable.  I've been craving them since.  I also had a cup of clam chowder that was standard and after my third cup that week I may have got my fill for awhile.  My hubby drank a Pale Ale and got the fish and chips.  Dessert rocked.  We shared a piece of triple chocolate cheesecake that was pretty incredible and to top it off, made a pretty food photo.  Buoy Beer is right on the water with a view of the bridge.  We didn't want to wait for a table with a view so we sat in the Taproom.  There were TV's blaring the Seahawks game so I didn't get the feel of the place that I was looking for.  But it was neat to watch the trolley go by and wave to the passengers.  After lunch, I shot some photos of the bridge and then we drove up to the Astoria Column.  The views up there of the area are not to be missed.  Built in 1926, the column is 125 feet tall.  I didn't climb the 164 steps to the top on this trip but I managed to take some photos of the landmark. 

Cannon Beach and Seaside Sweets

When I think of the Oregon Coast I think of fudge.  As a kid, my dad and I loved to visit the different fudge shops along the coast and try samples.  On this trip, I sampled some peppermint and Snickers fudge at the Buzz on Broadway in Seaside and I loved it so I bought some.  I also got to try a chocolate covered Oreo, peanut butter fudge, a salted caramel and a Kahlua and rum truffle at Bruce's Candy Kitchen in Cannon Beach.  Yes on the Oreo and fudge and no on the salted caramel, way to much salt, and truffles.  It was probably the first time I didn't finish my chocolate.  We also popped into a coffee shop in downtown Cannon Beach, Bella Espresso, where we split a piece of Tres Leche Caramel Cake. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lunch at Pizza A'fetta in Cannon Beach

Pizza A'fetta is a small and charming pizza place located in downtown Cannon Beach. We loved the server who was super friendly and accommodating to us and our little ones.  He even offered to take a family photo of the four of us huddled around our pizza.  They seem to take pride in their restaurant, stating how long they've been opened, twenty five years, and that their on a top fifty list for best pizzas in the nation.  The pizza hit the spot.  Hot and fresh with large pieces of pepperoni and a nice thin quality to the crust.  Next time I visit Cannon Beach I'd probably stop back in for more pizza. 

Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock.  Ecola State Park.  The quaint downtown filled with shops, restaurants, coffeehouses and galleries.  I found Cannon Beach to be a captivating and a very photogenic place.  It was only seven miles from Seaside where we stayed so went several different days.  The first day was so foggy that we couldn't see Haystack Rock and the downtown buildings almost weren't visible.  So we went back.  The Pacific loomed before us, magnificent in its power as we watched waves building toward the beach.  Haystack Rock stood proud, surrounded by other rocks and making Cannon Beach one of the best in the nation.  Finally, we visited Ecola State Park which is the exit right before the downtown area.  It offers up views from above Haystack Rock that must not be missed.  To the left is Tillamook Rock, a lighthouse on a rock in the middle of the sea which I found mystifying, I hear its haunted.   Cannon Beach has many memorable aspects and I had a blast photographing the area.