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Hokkaido Milk Tea

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Hokkaido Milk Tea
This weekend I went to the Boiling Point restaurant in Bellevue, WA for bubble tea. On the menu was "Hokkaido Milk Tea" which I think uses milk imported from Hokkaido, Japan. It was tasty!
#tayloreats #bubbletea

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Tokyo Curry

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Soba and curry Soba and curry
I went to Tokyo, Japan in April. My experience is hard to put into words, but I tell people I want to go back so they understand my general impression. When I see photos or videos that feature Tokyo or scenes from Japan, I feel an ache like the loss of a dear friend. My favorite foods from my trip were curry and katsudon. I ate curry every day, I think. Or, at least 5 times. I could not get enough of how fresh and bright the flavor was in combo with the warm and gooey texture. Pure comfort food. My favorite shop was C&C pork katsu curry near Tokyo station! Go! Go! Curry in Akihabara was popular but not my favorite. My favorite Katsudon came from a little shop between Ginza and Asakusa that I walked into at random. I would like to visit Tokyo again soon.
#Tokyo #Japan #TaylorEats #Curry

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Savory Dutch Baby

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Bacon, cheddar cheese, and m... Bacon, cheddar cheese, and mushrooms.
Seattle has a restaurant popular for serving a dish called a "Dutch baby." They are basically egg pancakes and look like a cross between crepes and omelettes. Mine is not as fancy looking as Seattle's Tilikum place. I will have to work on the recipe and bake temperature to get more of a brown crust.

Nonetheless, this dutch baby in my mini cast iron skillet (5-inch skillet) hit the spot this Friday morning. I am particularly fond of the bacon and cheddar flavor combo!

See fancy dutch baby photos from Yelp: Tilikum Place Cafe
#taylorcooks #dutchbaby #bacon #cheddar #mushroom #skillet #breakfast #TGIF

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Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bake

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Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal ... Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal ...
Six months ago I purchased my first cast-iron skillet. Of all my kitchen tools, there are only three that I consider must-haves: a KitchenAid standing mixer, an Instant Pot pressure cooker, and a cast iron skillet. Since I only have to cook for myself, I picked up mini cast iron skillets the other day to make single serving desserts and egg bakes. Today, I broke in the mini skillet with a peanut butter and banana oatmeal bake. The texture was light and fluffy which made it seem like I was eating an oatmeal cake for breakfast. The bonus is that it's healthy. Highly recommended!

Recipe for a 5-inch mini skillet:

  • 40g (one serving) rolled oats

  • 1 egg

  • 1 over-ripe banana (about 90g to 100g)

  • 1.5 to 2 TB of peanut butter

  • 1 to 2 TB water or milk

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

  • pinch of salt

  • butter for greasing the skillet



Directions:

  1. Set the oven to 300 degrees

  2. Add the egg, vanilla, water, half the banana, and 1 or more tablespoon of peanut butter together in a bowl. Blend together with an immersion blender, hand mixer, or whisk.

  3. Combine the oatmeal, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

  4. Once both wet and dry materials are prepared, pour the dry oatmeal mix into the wet egg and banana-peanut butter mix and stir to combine.

  5. Melt some butter in the mini skillet and swirl it around to help prevent the oatmeal from sticking during baking.

  6. Pour the oatmeal mix into the mini skillet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

  7. Top with remaining banana and peanut butter and serve warm.
#taylorcooks #oatmeal #skillet #breakfast #peanutbutter #banana

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Tsukushinbo

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The line wraps around the co... The line wraps around the corner of the building $9 lunch special: Giant bowl o... $9 lunch special: Giant bowl of shoyu ramen, 3 gyoza, and a half-cup of rice Beautiful color Beautiful color Unagi nigiri Unagi nigiri Sushi chef is torching the unag... Sushi chef is torching the unagi in this photo! After I finished eating there w... After I finished eating there was still a line of people waiting to get in
Tsukushinbo is a Yelp-famous Japanese restaurant hidden in the center of Seattle's International District. For reasons unknown, Tskushinbo has no signage at all. If you were to walk past the building you would never know a restaurant was there. Except for the line of people, I guess. Aside from intentionally hiding their restaurant, Tsukushinbo customer service lacks care. On both visits, my waiter answered with curt replies and rushed away before I could ask them more than a single question. I felt like the staff was putting on appearances with friendly smiles when they otherwise treated me like I wasn't good enough to be in their restaurant... but, does customer service matter if I think their food is worth the indignation?

My goal to taste the best Japanese food in Seattle compelled me to wait in line for over one hour on a beautiful, but cold, morning in December. You see, the window of opportunity to try the highest-rated ramen in Seattle is as short as their customer service: Tsukushinbo only serves their Tokyo-style shoyu ramen on Fridays from noon to 2 pm. On my visit, the line started with me at 10:20 am and had already wrapped around the building 40 minutes later.

With confidence, I will declare that Tsukushinbo's ramen was the best ramen I have ever tasted in my life thus far. Living in America, I do not have a lot of options. However, of all the restaurants I have tried, Tskushinbo's ramen was just outstanding. After waiting in the cold for a little over an hour, the prize of a piping hot bowl of the best ramen I've ever had made me forgive the grief I endured to obtain it.

The sushi served at Tsukushinbo is expertly prepared with huge pieces of fish, which is another win for them.

If you get the chance, I would recommend Tskushinbo for their high-quality food despite their sub-par manners. Your efforts to get in will be rewarded.
#tayloreats #ramen #Japanese #food #Seattle #WA #Chinatown #InternationalDistrict #downtown #Tsukushinbo #comfortfood #winter #December

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Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery

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Peanut butter molten cake with... Peanut butter molten cake with all the fixings + butterbeer in the glass.
I think I found my new favorite dessert place in Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery. I went two days in a row because the food was so delicious. Hot Cakes is perfect for rainy days in Seattle. A warm, gooey meal and rustic ambiance is soothing. The name alone, Hot Cakes, reminds me of cozy winter mornings in front of a fireplace or pancake breakfasts at my grandma's house. Everything on the menu is made to order from local and minimally-processed ingredients. That means the food is as fresh and natural as possible. I ordered the peanut butter and chocolate molten cake which uses my favorite Seattle chocolate, Theo's chocolate, and I couldn't stop gushing over how decadent and rich the flavors turned out. I also appreciated the attention to detail and variety of accompaniments served with the cake such as peanut butter fudge bites, ice cream, chocolate sauce, and roasted nuts. I also ordered the Harry Potter-inspired butterbeer, which was just as rich as my cake and had a delightful buttery flavor I've never tasted in a drink before. I ordered another butterbeer on the second day because it was that good. My friends ordered espresso, chocolate milkshakes, and bread pudding from which I sampled. All were delicious! Before leaving, I ordered cookies and a slice of chocolate whiskey cake to go from the display case to see if the pre-made items tasted as amazing as the made-to-order menu. The whiskey cake blew my mind with its smoky and chocolate-y richness and fluffy chocolate buttercream frosting. I've never considered a smoky flavor in dessert before, but I am happy to have discovered the combination.

In addition to a range of classic American desserts, Hot Cakes also makes grilled cheese sandwiches and egg breakfast sandwiches. They also have something called a grilled chocolate sandwich that piqued my interest. Oh, and they have alcoholic shakes and desserts as well. Basically, the entire menu sounds amazing and it makes me want to go back!

They have a vegan menu, too, which means everyone can enjoy.

Hot Cakes sells chocolates, sauces, and at-home baking kits so you can make sweets at home. The most interesting of their items is the cold-smoked bag of chocolate chips. I imagine they would go great with s'mores or even basic chocolate chip or hot chocolate recipes.

I spent too much money and ate too many calories, but I do not regret my choices one bit. That means this place is pretty great.
#tayloreats #hotcakes #seattle #dessert #favorite #wa #local #rustic #comfortfood

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Tok Dal

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Golden dal with riced cauliflower Golden dal with riced cauliflower
Dal is one of my favorite dishes to get when my boss takes our team out for Indian food. Red lentils were on sale for 61 cents a pound so I decided to try my hand at making dal using a recipe I found in my chef friend's Le Cordon Bleu International Cuisine book. The recipe was titled "Tok Dal" and was a simple dish of boiled red lentils combined with onions and garlic sautéed in turmeric, cayenne, coriander, fennel, salt, pepper, and other spices. Instead of calorie-dense naan or rice I used riced cauliflower from Trader Joe's. Riced cauliflower is an awesome rice substitute since it's high volume and low cal – I can enjoy Halloween candy without any guilt after. Next time I will try using chicken stock instead of water for the lentils to add even more flavor.

Calories: 329
Protein: 17 g
Fat: 7 g
Carbs: 50 g
Sugar: 5 g
Fiber: 11 g
#taylorcooks #indian #tok #dal #ricedcauliflower

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DIY Cafe Yumm bowl

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My DIY "Jazzy" Yumm bowl: ... My DIY "Jazzy" Yumm bowl: The mix of bright colors adds to its appeal
I was first introduced to Cafe Yumm during PAX West in September (see here). The food was so delicious that I went back the following day for more. It's impractical to travel to Seattle every time I want a Yumm bowl, but luckily the internet has the tasty dressing recipe for me to make my own Yumm bowls at home. You can find the recipe I used at food.com or search Google for other variations. The bowl ingredients are listed on Cafe Yumm's website. It was easy for me to prepare a batch of rice and beans and portion them out for a week's worth of Yumm bowls! The yumm sauce has that "umami" quality that makes it quite addicting.

Ingredients
Jasmine rice, 3/4 cup (45 g raw)
Avocado, 36 g
Sliced black olives, 16 g
Homemade Yumm sauce, 61 g
Salsa, 1/4 cup
Small red beans, 3/4 cup (54 g raw)

Nutrition Info
Calories: 560
Protein: 23 g
Carbs: 91 g
Fat: 25 g
Fiber: 29 g
#taylorcooks #cafeyumm #yumm #avocado #burritobowl #rice #beans

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Ishoni Yakiniku

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Oishii! Oishii!
Last night I got to try yakiniku for the first time! Ishoni is the only true Japanese yakiniku restaurant in the area. In order to get a seat you must make a reservation because they only have a few tables. Each table is also given a 1 1/2 hour time limit so more people have a chance to get in. I've never tried Japanese pudding, plum wine, cuttlefish, beef tongue, karubi or other cuts of beef before, so I got to try a bunch of new experiences during my visit. Of the red meat, beef karubi with BBQ sauce was my favorite. I primarily ate from the seafood platter and enjoyed the scallops and shrimp the most. The shrimp were big and juicy! I overcooked a few pieces of the spicy miso cuttlefish, but they had a good amount of heat and a pleasant texture otherwise. We ordered cucumber and Korean kimchi for sides and I liked them, too. The biggest surprise and treat of the night for me was trying Choya plum wine. I've never had plum wine before, but now I am determined to find and sample more. The sweet flavor was striking.

Ishoni is a great place to experience if you get the chance.
#tayloreats #yakiniku #Bellevue #WA #Ishoni #Japanese #BBQ #plumwine #Choya

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Le Pichet oeufs, jambon et fromage

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Simple elegance from Le Pichet... Simple elegance from Le Pichet in Seattle, WA
We had perfect weather this weekend in Seattle. The sunny skies and changing trees were breathtaking. I went to Le Pichet on Sunday morning and enjoyed a lovely French breakfast. Oeufs, jambon et fromage translates to eggs, ham and cheese. I was served a broiled-to-perfection slice of ham topped with two eggs and gruyere cheese, salt, and pepper. Baguettes are complimentary so I dipped the fresh bread into my egg yolks. So good! The coffee we ordered came from a local roastery called Caffe Vita, which was a good dark roast. My chef friend describes Le Pichet as "simple elegance," which definitely described our breakfast experience.

After breakfast I walked down to Seattle's famous Pike Place Market: browsing the variety of shops and colors on a picture perfect day is a treat in and of itself. We bought honey-covered pecans from Chukar Cherries as a holiday treat for my family back home. I also picked up some fresh salsa verde and spices from Market Spice and World Spice for my burrito bowls this week. Breakfast at Le Pichet inspired me to find a baguette to take home and I've enjoyed baguettes from Le Panier and Three Girls Bakery at Pike Place before. However, since it was so nice out, I went ahead and made a trip to one of my favorite bakeries in Seattle, Columbia City Bakery, for a sourdough baguette. The baguette elevated the soup I made for lunch and my egg breakfast this morning! I love Seattle because it has such high-quality foods and ingredients.
#tayloreats #lepichet #ham #eggs #gruyere #cheese #french #breakfast #PikePlace #Seattle #ColumbiaCity #WA #bakery #baguette #chuckarcherries

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