September 9, 2010

Birthday Lunch

We spent a long afternoon at La Boucherie in celebration of my birthday. We started off with the pate plate; pork liver pate with pistachios, a salty rich head cheese and a buttery pork rillette. Accompanying this lovely charcuterie platter was Island made goat cheese, cornichons, dijon mustard, peach confiture & Bill's bread. The salted pork rillette was my favorite, slathered on slices of Bill's bread followed by the tart crunchiness of a cornichon.

A long lunch always beckons for a glass of wine, we chose the Sea Breeze 2005 Sweetbread Cellars Revolution Nine. A fitting name for this celebratory 9th day of September. With a nose reminiscent of a childhood candy that both Travis and I traded whenever we found it in the bottom of our Halloween goodie-bags. What is that smell? Red....plastic.....Barbie doll shoes... Blurg! It's the doppleganger of red licorice, I shouted out, "Twizzlers!" We both agreed that, yes indeed it was that ridiculous superficially sweet Red Vine look-alike. A little worried, we both took a sip......smooth, fruity, a touch sweet, dried cherries....all good things! Once past the nose of Twizzler we were onto the traditional fruitiness of a classic Bordeaux.

I finished up the Pate plate and Travis moved onto a large Grilled Pork Chop served over Lentils de Puy.

We were hoping to tour Sea Breeze Farm, however they offer tours only Friday and Saturday. Darn Birthday falling on a Thursday this year! We are planning a trip sometime soon to tour the farm full of happy pigs, cows & lambs. Can't wait!

As a child I wasn't interested in Birthday Cake; The candles, yes and making a wish, of course, but the actual cake and frosting, not so much. In fact, the only cake and frosting I seemed to enjoy eating was Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Working at Macrina I definitely gained a much greater appreciation for both cake and buttercream. I love making cakes and cupcakes and occasionally eating them too, but mostly I just love the baking, whipping, beating, filling, piping & frosting.

One sweet that has always been a constant throughout childhood and adulthood, is ice-cream & gelato! Yum, now who doesn't love ice-cream? So Travis and I hopped back onto the ferry and ambled down Ballard Avenue until we reached D'Ambrosio Gelateria Artigianale. I was delighted to find Fichi Caramellati (Caramel & Figs), delizioso this is a flavor I never happened upon while living in Italy. I paired this with Pistachio. The salty sweet crunch of the pistachios played nicely with the creamy burnt sugar oozing out of the figs. It's going to be difficult to beat, but next time I have my tummy set on Bacio Dama (Almonds), a twist on another favorite of mine Bacio (Chocolate & Hazelnuts). This gelateria is a new and welcome addition to Ballard. The owners use only Organic cream, milk, eggs & fruit. They use traditional recipes, Sicilian pistachios and make their gelato from scratch every morning and sell what they haven't sold in scoops during the day as discounted pints at the end of the night, so you won't find any old gelato here. On my next visit we are stocking up on day old flavors for our freezer!!

Thanks sweetie for a lovely birthday filled with culinary goodies!


  1. Happy late birthday!!!! And I LOVE Sweetbread Cellars. Good vino!

  2. Nom nom nom sister ! love ya !

  3. Grazie mille Lucas! And a very happy happy late birthday to you too!! Are you coming back to the PNW anytime soon or spending the holidays in Morocco?