Eating Love and Happiness

I figure it is just about time for a guest blogger. When she told me she wanted to write about CAKE, how could I hesitate? It is my favorite subject, after all.IMG_6992

When was the last time you ate a bleeding heart?

I just did. No big deal. And it was SO GOOD.

First off, it is a dessert. A seriously divine dessert. A small heart-shaped cake, to be exact.

This cake relies on the classic flavor combination of raspberry and chocolate, made from two heart-shaped layers of chocolate cake filled with raspberry sauce and covered with a thin layer of tender chocolate ganache. The chocolate cake was moist with a perfect crumb. The raspberry sauce is made in-house from locally grown Barbie’s Berries.

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While I often have Game of Thones daydreams, this one was particularly vivid. Was I in the office or was I eating this succulent treat from my bare hands on a raised dais in front of my people while raspberry sauce ran down my chin? Nope, just eating this at my desk while critiquing a group project. Phew. Anyway, we can’t all be Daenerys and I really don’t want to live in Westeros. Yikes.

Little known fact: cake makes critiques better.

Share this with your sweetie, your bestie, or just keep it for yourself. This Bleeding Heart is a love bomb.

Lovingly written by Habiba Sial

A Fond Adieu

I love fondue. I have always been a fan of word play. That is why the title of this post is such. Well, that and I am a bit, how would you say? Eccentric.

Be that as it may, I have an announcement. My job at the Co-op is changing. I am no longer the Prepared Foods Merchandiser. As of December 28th, I am the Prepared Foods Production Manager. What does that mean to you? Most likely, not much. For me? Tons. I will no longer be associated with running the front of the house operations in the deli. I will be overseeing food/baked goods production exclusively.

Will I have enough information to continue to write this blog? We will see. I am thinking I might have even more interesting and entertaining stories than ever! (A lot of crazy stuff goes on in a kitchen.) I will be taking next week off to recuperate from the arduous and wonderful year that was 2014, and I will see ya all again in 2015.

In the meantime, here is a picture of heart:I heart you

Yummy Winter Food

i0000010_resized_1There are days at the Co-op deli where things are magical. Today was one of those days. Why? Because of Porchetta of course! Delicious, heavenly, wonderful Porchetta, made for the Co-op by Kurt Stauber, Cordata deli chef. To the left you will see the Porchetta in process. Layering, wrapping and rolling, then cooking to a golden perfection!

Wanna see the finished product? Come on in to the Downtown or the Cordata deli and take a look in the service case.

You will be very happy that you did.

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New Food and Friends in High Places

Board lunch and deli pics 003 Board lunch and deli pics 017 Board lunch and deli pics 020December! A great month for food, friends, and taking the opportunity to try new things. This particular month, the cooks have created amazing menus for the downtown and Cordata co-ops. If you haven’t checked them out yet, do so. But even greater is that once a week on Fridays, the kitchen comes up with an incredibly delicious special based on customer feedback and creative inspiration.

For instance, this month, the ever-popular and tasty Chicken Adobo will be showing up in the hot bar at Cordata, and every Friday night downtown they have incredible fried chicken breasts, served with potatoes and traditional cole slaw! Wednesdays are Butter Chicken days at the Cordata co-op, and it always sells out, so if you are into it, get there early.

Additionally, this is the ONLY TIME OF YEAR to get the Buche de Noel, so please, if you can, get in there and try that out. It is well worth your time and energy. Even better, order a whole one for your holiday table. Your guests will be truly grateful with every delicious bite.

One Ton of Kale

bountiful foodI was speaking with James Aikins, Downtown Co-op Kitchen manager today, and he told me something I had no words for. It was the first time in a long time that I was actually speechless. His kitchen goes through about one ton of organic kale every month. That is 2000 pounds of kale working its way through the downtown kitchen and into the bellies of people all over Bellingham.

He had a list of other vegetables too; pounds and pounds of organic vegetables that the downtown deli processes every week, month and year. Soups, entrees, salads, grab n go items, all of them full of thousands of pounds of local, fresh vegetables.

It is one of the ways we are so lucky here. The amount of good healthy food to which we have access is astounding, and during harvest season, much of it comes from local farms.

I have worked in so many places where I knew the food that I was serving was akin to poison. Most of it came frozen in bags, and the extent of cooking that went on in the kitchen was meat on the grill and everything else in the deep fryer. On a rare occasion there might have been steamed vegetables or the odd salad, both of which contained ingredients that were at least two weeks old. It arrived on a truck from who knows where. The steamed vegetables were always prepared in a microwave.

This is one of the huge benefits of working at the co-op. The food we prepare and serve here actually nourishes people. It also supports local farmers. In the simple act of conducting business The Co-op supports its community coming and going. And it is only going to grow as time goes on.

It is in the moments like this, when I can see in sheer numbers how much food the co-op provides for the community that I truly understand how lucky we all are to live in Bellingham and how lucky we are to work at The Co-op.

I can’t help but be grateful. I have the perspective of having been through some ridiculous food service situations, and for all the corners most places cut, and for all the sub-par cooking and handling techniques most places employ, it is astounding to me to be able to work at a place where there are no secrets to keep. On the contrary, I am lucky enough to get to shout this stuff from the rooftops!

Next year, the rooftops are going to see a lot of me. There will be so much happening your heads will spin from the amount of 411 I lay down for you.

Stay tuned. One ton of kale is just the tip of the iceberg.