Pike Place Market

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Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market is the perfect place to while away a (rare) sunny afternoon. It has gorgeous views of the Sound, which is a rippling, blue-gold today. The fish mongers know they’re on display and give the crowds a good show. Pearly pink scallops and bright orange crab claws sit in buckets of ice. Silvery oysters and other assorted crustaceans. And whole and filleted Pacific fish line display counters.IMG_0707IMG_0710 
There are flowers, too.

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And beautiful crates of fresh produce.

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One of my favorite places to get a quick bite is DeLaurenti’s lunch counter. The offerings are simple and classic. My favourite is a slice of the daily primo (pizza). Today I order the meat option, fresh from the oven: prosciutto, blue cheese, red onion, arugula and mozzarella. Exquisite. And then a wander about cupboards and shelves crammed with vinegars and pasta and spices and juicy pickles…

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Brownies with Homemade Raspberry Sauce and Caramel Ice Cream

IMG_0613I was recently trying to find the perfect chocolate dessert for an extra special meal I was planning. I found a great recipe for a French flourless chocolate cake on the Wednesday Chef. But then I thought: why not make brownies? They share the same basic principles: a few good quality ingredients, and chocolate reigning supreme. I made homemade raspberry sauce, and dolloped some Haagen-Daz caramel ice cream on top. The raspberry sauce adds the perfect tartness to the rich, walnut brownies; and the caramel ice cream adds a nice complementary flavour that cuts the one-dimensionality of the chocolate.

I chose Deb’s favourite brownies from Smitten Kitchen. And added a handful of chopped walnuts for some crunch. I followed the standard recipe for a berry sauce.  In the end the raspberry sauce was worth all of the 5 minutes it took to make. A tablespoon of sugar added to fresh raspberries to break down the fruit on the stove top; and a squeeze of lime at the end. The mixture is pulpy and needs to be strained to get the silky, ruby ribbon of raspberry syrup.

Though there was no ‘quinelle’ of ice cream–just a nice spoonful of it–it added the perfect golden, syrupy note. It was the perfect, sinful end to a delicious dinner.

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