White Chocolate & Lavender Biscotti Recipe from Seattle Baking Teacher Laurie Pfalzer

IMG_4362This post is part of our Fall Blog Blitz! For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you special posts in support of our Slow Food Fall Membership Campaign. Come back often for more recipes, photos, tips, and resources as we celebrate Slow Food in all its forms!

Slow Food membership supports sustainable food production, teaching children how to grow food, preserving traditional foods, and celebrating food cultures. Together we are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment.  There is a place for you at our table here in our local Seattle chapter. Join now


On Tuesday, we posted a recipe for a Concord Grape & Lavender Shrub from Amy Pennington. If you were inspired by that recipe to pick up some culinary lavender, we happen to have another recipe for you to help use up the tin or bag of that fragrant Washington state product!

Laurie Pfalzer is a Culinary Institute of America-trained baking teacher based here in Seattle. You might have already met her at a local baking class at PCC Natural Markets, a free baking chat through the King County Library System, or one of her own private classes. If you haven’t met her yet, check out her calendar as she has some great things scheduled for this fall (ciabatta and pizza baking or handmade truffles classes with PCC; apples, caramels, and more through her private classes; and a free chat on “Baking with Books” through KCLS).

Laurie was gracious enough to share this recipe for White Chocolate & Lavender Biscotti. It’s a great way to use lavender – the floral note is subtle but present, and the cookies bake up with that satisfying crispy texture one wants from a biscotti. A lovely cookie to enjoy with a cup of tea.

This recipe is straightforward and easy for even novice bakers to have success with. (Please note in the pictures above, our test batch was a bit compromised as we used foil instead of the parchment Laurie recommends. An object lesson in the need for your dough to sometimes have something to grip onto and to be cautious with substituting with recipes – especially baking ones! So please know the spread ends you see above are user error!)

Biscotti makes a lovely host/hostess present or nice holiday present, so you might want to bookmark this one for the holiday season. Thanks, Laurie!  Continue reading

Mushroom Minute: Matsutakes and More

shroomThis post is part of our Fall Blog Blitz! For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you special posts in support of our Slow Food Fall Membership Campaign. Come back often for more recipes, photos, tips, and resources as we celebrate Slow Food in all its forms!

Slow Food membership supports sustainable food production, teaching children how to grow food, preserving traditional foods, and celebrating food cultures. Together we are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment.  There is a place for you at our table here in our local Seattle chapter. Join now


Fall is a great time for mushrooms, and so here is a quick round-up of some local mushroom news.

  • The Last Season, a documentary about two matsutake mushroom hunters, will be showing at 4pm at SIFF on Saturday, September 20. From SIFF’s website: “Amid the bustling world of Central Oregon’s wild mushroom hunting camps, two former soldiers discover the means to gradually heal their wounds of war, bonding over the search of the elusive and lucrative matsutake mushroom.”
  • Speaking of matsutakes, before or after you watch them hunted at SIFF, pick some up at Foraged and Found at University District Farmers Market (Sat) or West Seattle or Ballard (Sun) as they should be in now.
  • www.foodandwine.compromopdfsShroom-Poster.pdf - Google Chrome 9172014 123851 PMBecky Selengut’s cookbook Shroom is out now. If you get some matsutakes this weekend, you could try out her recipe for grilled ones with rosemary and lemon. Or maybe Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Matsutakes and Lemon. Or both. For a sneak peek at some of the recipes from her book for other mushrooms, check out this post on her publisher’s blog. The post includes recipes for Roasted Chanterelles with Bacon and Sweet Corn Sauce; Black Trumpet and Roasted Poblano Chilaquiles with Crema; King Trumpet “Scallops” with Carrot Purée, Leek, and Parsley Vinaigrette; and Shiitake-Noodle Salad with Nuoc Cham and Herbs. If that list doesn’t make you hungry…well, I don’t know what to tell you.
  • Here’s also a quick interview with Becky AND in case you ever asked yourself “What kind of mushroom would I be were I a mushroom?” she can help you answer that question right here in this handy flow chart.
  • Our tickets for our November event with Becky and The Mushroom Hunters author Langdon Cook will be going out for pre-sale this week to members, and then open up to public if space available sometime next. Keep an eye out!
  • BirdsNestFungiIf you are interested in learning more about foraging edible mushrooms, the best (and safest!) place to start is with our friends at the Puget Sound Mycological Society.
  • For a free event that’s not necessarily focused on identifying exclusively edible mushrooms, but will give you a great overview of how the kingdom of fungi works and how they contribute to healthy biodiversity, check out this free mushroom walk with Seattle Parks.


Concord Grape & Lavender Shrub Recipe from “Fresh Pantry” Author Amy Pennington

CONCORD LAVENDER SHRUBThis post is part of our Fall Blog Blitz! For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you special posts in support of our Slow Food Fall Membership Campaign. Come back often for more recipes, photos, tips, and resources as we celebrate Slow Food in all its forms!

Slow Food membership supports sustainable food production, teaching children how to grow food, preserving traditional foods, and celebrating food cultures. Together we are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment.  There is a place for you at our table here in our local Seattle chapter. Join now!


Slow Food Seattle has been thinking a lot about shrubs (aka drinking vinegars). This recent fixation might have started with the Slow Food Speakeasy Contest, which was a cocktail recipe competition focusing on Slow Food Ark of Taste products. The Ark is “a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction.” The shrub is in the Ark to celebrate its colonial past and help encourage its present-day place in cocktail culture.

Our local entrants, Shaun and Christa from Booze Nerds, used a shrub in their July 5th cocktail, which made it all the way to the finals!

Then, of course, came summer and summer fruits, and shrubs remained top of mind as a way to preserve the harvest. We had a blackberry shrub at our August picnic, and from there, further experimentation led us to proposing a partnership with Anu Apte of Swigwell and Rob Roy to offer a shrub class.

That class is on the docket for November, and we’ll have details on that soon! (At this time, it is looking like this class will be a very limited seating that will offered exclusively to our current members and members of the Washington State Bartenders Guild. If you’re interested in being on the list when the ticketing info is sent out in early October, and you are not yet a Slow Food member, you still have time! You can sign up to become a member here. You’ll receive invitations to members-only events like this shrub class and our popular tuna canning event. You will also receive discounts and pre-sale opportunities for our events that are open to the public. Plus you’ll be supporting a great organization!)

GrapesIn the meantime, we’re excited to share this Concord-Lavender Shrub recipe from local author Amy Pennington, author of Fresh Pantry, Urban Pantry, Apples: From Harvest to Table, and Apartment Gardening.

We’re excited because a) it’s a shrub! b) It uses Concord grapes, which have a short season that is happening right this very moment! c) It uses culinary lavender, a wonderful Washington state product. d) It’s from Amy, whose books are full of tasty and creative ways to use seasonal produce.

And e) it’s very delicious. We just shared some at our recent board meeting. It has the refreshing tang one wants from a shrub, with the fruity roundness of that true Concord flavor and a light floral note from the lavender.

Some shrubs take several days to develop, but this one is ready as soon as it cools. The forecast is, of course, always subject to change, but currently it’s looking sunny and warm again this weekend. Essentially, it’s looking like everything – the grapes, the recipe, the weather – have come together to make this coming weekend your perfect shrub-drinking weekend! We hope you enjoy. Thanks, Amy! Continue reading

What is Slow Food? Good, Clean, Fair Food for Everyone

Slow Food International and we here in the local Seattle chapter have embarked on a Worldwide Member Drive!

Look for extra posts on the blog this month during our Fall Membership Drive Blog Blitz! We’ll have great recipes, event recaps, and other news and resources. (Come back later today for a recipe for a delicious shrub drink recipe courtesy Amy Pennington!)

But as the song says, let’s start at the very beginning:

What is Slow Food? What does membership support?

Check out this quick, two-minute video for a great overview of what Slow Food is all about.

Interested in taking the next step and becoming a member? Email us at membership@slowfoodseattle.org for more info or sign up right now on the Slow Food USA site. (If you do sign up for the Seattle chapter, please just shoot us a note at the membership@slowfoodseattle.org note to let us know and to be entered in a drawing with other members for some great prizes at the end of our drive! We’ll also be getting the rosters of new Seattle members from the nat’l board, but if you send us an email, we’ll be able to double check to make sure you get your chance at winning!)

And stay tuned for a lot more during the next few weeks!

Celebrate Fall with Local Food Events

Technically, we still have a few weeks left in summer, but for many of us, Labor Day signals the unofficial end of summer fun. No need to be melancholy, though, as fall (official or not) brings with it the delicious bounty of the autumn harvest (and attendant harvest celebrations).

As noted in our last post on neighbor chapter events, we’re working to finalize our Slow Food Seattle fall programs. We should have those for you in the next week or so!

In the meantime, there are many excellent events happening around our area; here’s a quick round-up of those. They include events focused on fall produce like apples, several free community activities (including a free fermenting class, and a nature walk with beer brewers!), opportunities to learn more about native food systems and sites, celebrations of locally-made products like cider and cheese, and more!

Of special note for Slow Food Seattle members: check out this weekend’s Seattle Tilth Harvest Fest. Local authors Kim O’Donnel and Becky Selengut will be signing at the Readers to Eaters pop-up bookstore. Tell Philip at Readers to Eaters you’re a member when buying one of their books, and he will give 10% of those proceeds to Slow Food Seattle!

And don’t forget to check our last post for some additional events from our neighboring chapters.

Thu, Sep 4, 11am-1pm: FREE! Seattle Public Library Presents Seattle Cooks at South Lake Union Pike Place Express Market. “Watch Seattle Culinary Academy students demonstrate various recipes, then taste the results and get answers to your questions. The Seattle Public Library will have a range of books, available for check out right in the market, to inspire both novice and experienced cooks.” (Repeats weekly through at least Sep 18. Keep an eye on the SPL calendar for more dates as they are added.)

Thu, Sep 4 through Sun, Sep 14: Washington Cider Week. Check out the site at the link for the full calendar of events to celebrate local cider.

applesFri, Sep 5, 7:30-8:45pmRowan Jacobsen and Clare Barboza with Langdon Cook: “The Apples You Never Knew About” at Town Hall. Our book club read American Terroir by Jacobsen, and as part of our meeting, sampled some apple jelly made with apples from Harmony Orchards, the Tieton orchard Jacobsen mentions in Terroir. Based on how good those apples are, we suspect he is a good person to listen to when it comes to this fruit. Sure to be a fascinating talk!

Sat, Sep 6, 10am-4pm: FREE! Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair at Meridian Park.  “Participate in this fun, lively hands-on community festival with workshops, cooking demonstrations and fun activities for all ages. Eat tasty food and enjoy live music with friends and family. Harvest season is a time to celebrate! Bring your friends and family for a seed swap, cider pressing and DIY herb crowns. Kids can participate in crafts in the children’s garden, see a puppet show and take part in the parade at noon (arrive by 11 am) with a marching band!” Below are the times for the Readers to Eaters signings mentioned above!

  • 12-1pm: Becky Selengut (SHROOM: Mind-bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms)

Sun, Sep 7

beers made by walkingWed, Sep 10, 2-5pm: FREE! Beers Made By Walking Hike at Cougar Mountain. “Beers Made By Walking invites brewers to make new beer inspired by plants found on nature walks. We are partnering with the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed for a public hike at Cougar Mountain. Hikers will learn about water issues in the region, and about the edible and medicinal plants that grow along the trail. These plants will later inspire a series of beers that will serve as drinkable, landscape portraits of the trails that we walk. The walk will be attended by brewers from Big Al Brewing, Schilling Cider, and Hi-Fi Brewing.”

Sat, Sep 13, 3-7pm: Farm Faire and Pig Roast at Jubilee Farm. “Join us for fun farm games, face painting, and an authentic barbecue with all the trimmings. Sip a glass of wine or a cold beer, take a tractor-pulled wagon ride to tour the farm, and sit back and enjoy live music!”

fermentsThu, Sep 18, 5-6:30pm: FREE! Easy Fermenting: Why, How & Where to Begin at the Lake City Library. “Fermented foods are pungent, probiotic powerhouses, and are quick and easy to prepare. A Seattle Tilth-certified instructor, Ellie Cohan will demonstrate how immensely fun, satisfying and safe it is to create fermented veggies in your own kitchen.”

Tue, Sep 23, 6:30-8pm: Puget Sound Food Hub: Entrepreneurial Connections in the Local Food World at 21 Acres. “We will be talking about local food systems — the challenges and opportunities of sourcing food from local, sustainable producers. The benefits of doing so for the local economy, farm land preservation and for the environment.  As part of our efforts to foster stronger relationships between small food businesses and farmers who are using the best practices as stewards of the land, we’ll explore ways to remove barriers for buyers related to logistics and costs of Organic Food.  If you are interested in purchasing local, sustainably produced food for yourself or a business or know others who might be, this Tuesday at 21 is for you.”

Sat & Sun, Sep 26 & 27: “The Living Breath of Wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ: Indigenous Ways of Knowing Cultural Food Practices and Ecological Knowledge” at Center for Urban Horticulture. “The University of Washington’s American Indian Studies Department invites you to their second annual two-day symposium…[it] will bring together individuals to share their knowledge and expertise on topics such as tribal food sovereignty initiatives, food justice and security, traditional foods and health, indigenous foods systems and global climate change, and treaty water and fishing rights. Sessions include a plant walk with Valerie Segrest, traditional foods from a chef’s perspective with Ramon Shiloh, creating a traditional foods cookbook with Clarita Begay, living off the grid with Nitanis Desjarlais.”

TOMMESat, Sep 27 1-5pm: Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival. “The Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival showcases a wide array of artisan and farmstead cheeses made in Washington. We invite you to meet the cheesemakers, learn about their products and philosophy, and sample some of the finest cheeses made in Washington. The festival also features other artisan foods and beverages from local producers. Washington State is home to nearly 60 artisan cheesemakers. Download the Washington Artisan Cheese Map and explore the thriving Washington artisan cheese industry.”

Sun, Oct 5, 6-9pm: An Incredible Feast Benefiting Seattle Farmers Markets at Swansons Nursery. “Hobnob with two dozen of Seattle’s best chefs – plus two dozen amazing local farmers – and enjoy a cornucopia of local and seasonal flavors.  Each chef creates a signature dish for the event, with raw ingredients supplied by local farmers and fishers.  All proceeds support the Good Farmer Fund and the Neighborhood Farmers Markets.”

Slow Food Neighbors: Upcoming Events

may valley trail-010The board of Slow Food Seattle met this week to discuss our upcoming fall events, and we have some fun and delicious things in store for the harvest season! We will be announcing more details soon, but in the meantime, check out some of these upcoming events (including one this Sunday) from some of our Slow Food neighbors!

Sunday, August 24, 1-4pm: Slow Food Bastyr: Italian Picnic & Bastyr Gardens Tour. Slow Food Bastyr University still has places available at the table for their program Italian “Scampagnata” (picnic) to be held this coming Sun, Aug 24th  on the grounds of the Bastyr campus. A series of traditional Italian dishes made by a young apprentice chef from Italy will be the treat. A tour of the BU Botanical Gardens precedes the dinner. The brief presentation topics following the dinner will be the young chef’s perspective of his high school culinary arts program and a presentation by the BU team covering the basics re: the nutritional aspects of cheese (several types will be offered in the program). The menu, registration info, and directions to the BU campus are available at http://www.slowfoodsunday.org.

Friday, September 19, 6-8pm: Tutti a Tavola – Come to the Table. Slow Food Whidbey invites you to “come to the table”  Join us in the newly renovated barn at Dancing Fish Farm for a celebration of the food we produce on Whidbey. Dancing Fish Farm is located at 1953 Newman Rd in Freeland, WA. Please bring a dish with the recipe that includes at least one locally produced ingredient.  Dancing Fish Farm will give us a review of how their vineyard if coming along.  We will share recipes, watch a Whidbey TV video highlighting the produce and farmers on Whidbey island and hear about winter CSAs from Deep Harvest Farm.  We will also give you a sneak peak at the upcoming 2014 Taste of Whidbey on Sept. 28th.  RSVP Glo Sherman onespiritgarden@whidbey.net or 360-341-4217 by Sept. 12th.

 Sunday, September 28, 1-4pm: 5th Annual Taste of Whidbey. Join Slow Food Whidbey Island to celebrate unique Whidbey Island food traditions featuring the best of local, seasonal food and beverage. Experience the tastes of over 15 local chefs, vintners and brewers.   The event will be held at the Greenbank Farm, 765 Wonn Rd., Greenbank, WA 98253.  Tickets are $30 in advance ($35 at door), admit one and include 10 tastes (extras: $2 per taste, at event), available now at www.brownpapertickets.com.  More info is available from taste@whidbey.com

For more info on our neighboring chapters: