The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company

November 14, 2010

Run! Do not walk to The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company at 2209 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121, ((206) 441-4240).  If you are anywhere in the area and want the best cupcake treats in this known world, get there asap.

I kid you not.  This shop makes the best gourmet cupcakes in the most delicious varieties of flavors, you’ll find on the planet.

I schlepp them across the country to my friends in New York , San Francisco and all points in between.  That’s how unique and flavor full they are!

The Angels are in there baking and concocting the fantabulous confections coming out of these ovens.

And think just the right size…not hulking clomps of batter or so small you wonder how they got devoured before you can taste them…and think light and luscious- Italian cream whirled on top in fantastical shapes and flavors.

Are you drooling yet?

Let your mind wander down ‘mmmmmm’ lanes marked Mexican Chocolate (with a soupcon of cinnamon), Almond Chantilly, Green Tea Berry with the thinnest layer of the best chocolate ganache you ever tasted on top of the fluffy moist cupcake, under the pale green cream top.  Let your taste buds conjure Orange Chocolate, Cashew Caramel, sweet and salty Chocolate Bacon, Rosemary Lemon, Lavender Lemon, Pandan, Red Bean, Stout Beer (oh who would have thunk it would be so outrageously to die for!), Pralines and Cream, Boston Cream, Tomato Soup, Pancakes and Bacon, Passionfruit and Guava; along with Vanilla and Chocolate and Red Velvet-to name a few!

Wipe your face now and go!

Any day you show up, you’ll be greeted effervescently and warmly by Mike Hein and you may find Tony Portugal happily popping out of the back with another of truly inventive and amazing dress rehearsals of the latest flavors and festive frills to go with. The lovely lemony yellow shop has a wide array of teas and is a wonderful place to sit and have a cuppa along with the divine delectables of the day.

For these two entrepreneurs, who are the owners and creative geniuses behind this superb wonderland of cupcake heaven, every cupcake must be perfection.  The Italian cream on top is sweet without heavyness and overkill sugar.  There is a sophisticated simplicity to their works of art on a plate in this elegant little shop where everything is made in house, fresh daily- and though one can rely on finding signature flavors each day, there is sure to be something new and wonderful to try.

So go.  Be daring while you enjoy favorites. You never know how the landscape of your cupcake palate will change and bloom.

Tell them florence sent you.

Can fig and fennel be far behind?

For those of you who are out of the Seattle area, well then at least go to their website and have a good drool!

visit

http://www.theyellowleafcupcake.com/

The photos are not doctored in any way.  Mike takes the pics himself right there in the shop -so go on look and drool all you want!

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The Return Of The Grub

March 29, 2010

Was not rushing back to Metropolitan or anywhere for that matter after the Great Sandwich Debacle.  Just wanted to tuck in and regain energy from the flight across country.  6 hours in curbed-movement and decreased oxygen takes the stuffings out of you.

Tom and I ask ourselves, “Is it just us or is it taking longer to recover from those ‘aero-punishments’ that get us to pleasurable spots in the world?”

And don’t get me started on the food!

We used miles to get upgraded to first class to save our bodies and of course they served a meal instead of lobbing a dry sandwich at you and yelling, “Go long!”

I just asked Tom if he remembered what exactly we were served on that flight and he answered, after a brief hesitation for thought, “Uh, no. I try to forget as soon as possible after landing. I think it must’ve been a choice of some sort of pasta or chicken.”

That sounds about right.

Thinking about this, I remember why I love JFK terminals….. they have Balducci’s!

Now, we’re talking quality back up!

My favorite sandwich of theirs is turkey, apple and Brie on ficelle.

It’s perfect crunch and yum factors are delicious and the sandwich is big enough to share or have some left over for the next day when we haven’t yet gone to the market to stock the fridge.

So, of course, I got one and brought along some of my own snack goodies for the movies.  Yes. Plural. Saw two and played the in-flight game of trivia with others in the cabin.  Love that game and the interaction onboard.

Sometimes we just have to take our comfort with us and with airlines’ mishagos, you just have to pretend you’re at a personal growth workshop and self-care.

Went back to Metropolitan Market, explained the return; ragged wrapper and all. Apologies were tendered, sandwich-swamp taken back and money refunded promptly, with attitude of only regret for my inconvenience and disappointment.

“Would you like to try another?” was all that was asked of me.

Since I’d had nothing but good tastes with their turkey, Havarti with lettuce, tomato, Dijon mustard and mayo before, I tried another and it was delicious.  So I guess shift happens.

When one picks up take-out for that meal you don’t want to wind up cooking at the end of the day at home and you are soooo looking forward to shedding your duds, hopping in the shower and kicking back in your comfies and comfort zone for the evening…and you find the food lurking in your take-away container either isn’t what you ordered, missing pieces or another plate from ‘international drek,’ that is another story.

Like some of you have shared, I too get all ‘fertootsed’ and the inconvenience facing me is having to throw stuff on, jam back and waste half of my night dealing with a redo.

Not bloody likely.

Once I’m in the jammies, I’m in.  After the call to the venue, I’m stuck with foraging and making do.  So, the inconvenience meter ticks to higher levels ’cause I now have no food or have to take more time out of my night or next day doing double energy output because they didn’t do…what?

Their job.

Here’s where I feel they not only owe a do-over but a comp for my extra time having to deal with their mistake.

Get creative out there.

That would keep me coming back as a loyal customer.

And there are some really good and honorable places that do that….make it right….show good faith….and want you to come back. These establishments want your business. To them you are not just a number or a cha ching on the register. You are valued and they want you to know it. That ‘s how I do business. My bad?  Your good.

Thanks you guys for your input and sharing your thoughts and how it works for you.

Who has messed up and made it right for you?

In Light & Love,

Florence

When Good Food Goes Bad

March 27, 2010

January 20, 2010

Sometimes the food experience is a one time thing and can’t be replicated,

Like today…when we remembered to eat actual food, we went to the refrigerator and pulled out the container of one of Tom’s fav mushroom soups which he’d gotten at Metropolitan Market on Queen Anne hill and my most recent fav sandwich from them of turkey and Havarti with tomato, lettuce, mustard and mayo on a hearty white artisan bread.

I washed and cut up two Pink Lady apples- each the size of a child’s hand- a sweet fruit with a delicate, crisp tartness.

Our paper plates and cups looked like a foraged indoor picnic and we slurped the soup, thick with a variety of mushrooms and herbs then took bites of our sandwiches and spit out the mouthfuls at the same time….yuch!

They tasted like someone’s rancid, awful perfume!

One more bite seemed ok and then Tom bit into a piece of hard-core tomato and I found something akin to plastic webbing in mine.

Upon closer examination -under the good light in the kitchen- the hard mesh-like piece was determined to be more tooth cracking, tough, greenish- yellow top of tomato.

My love affair with this sandwich was doused in more ways than one.

I decided to pack the pieces up and take them back to Metropolitan and let them know that whoever is making the sandwiches needs to be fragrance free and wearing gloves-and there needs to be closer scrutiny as to what goes in between the bread slices.

At $6 a pop, folks, I want the perfection I had the first time I ate this Dagwood.

At any price, I want chemical free and trash free food.

With yuck replacing the usual delicious factor, it was just a waste of money.

Something I don’t want to do.

What a disappointment.

I’d made a special trip to this market in cold and rain just to get this sandwich and would have bought a couple more if there’d been any left.  (We do like to have our favs on hand for days like today when we don’t want to go out.)

Burping at the end of this meal interuptus was toxic.

After some taste bud space, I switched over to baby carrots with my fav accompaniment I’d schlepped across country from Whole Foods in NY: fresh Genji Miso Ginger Dressing for dipping (they have it in the sushi bar section), and a little Cambozola soft spread cheese on Crunchmaster Artisan Cheese Rice crackers from Costco in Seattle.

Safe, known and healthier for my digestive system which is still sensitive from the 6 hour flight and 3 hour time change from NY to Seattle.

Still pounded Pedialyte and water and began to feel less light headed from the dehydration of travel.

Maybe later there will be Thai food.

In Light & Love

Florence

Passion Fruit

March 27, 2010

January 19.2010

Eating one beautiful apple or one luscious pear in the warm sunlight on a back porch after a morning of love-making.

Listening to your hearts beat, the wind soughing in the trees, and sharing the simplicity of a piece of Mother Earth gifts.

The feel of the sun on your skin.

Sucking in the juice of the fruit with the appreciation of every drop of life; its and yours.

Every cell of pure joy and gratitude for the miracle and beauty of living meets in these moments.

It cost little or nothing to have these precious experiences and to share a meal like this.

One ripe plum of loving stays with you and fills your stomach and soul forever.

In Light & Love

Florence

Food Glorious Food!

March 27, 2010

January 18.2010

I  got busy with the idea for this blog and brainstormed with Tom til after 4 pm.; writing, finding a comfortable position for my body at the computer, laughing, researching words and colloquialisms and phrases. So lunch was not even on the radar.

We actually replaced food with thought.

I remember a time with my sister, Dorothy, where, after a busy day zipping around doing chores and running errands, we decided to take in a late afternoon movie.

“Oliver” was playing in town.

We barely had time to park the car and zip into the theatre.  Hurry. Hurry. The movie had begun.

As we slinked down the aisle, hunkering down as much as humanly possible so as not to block the seated patrons view with our tardiness, up on the screen the orphans in the scene were scooping  gruel from their bowls and the lead boy, fair-haired Oliver, was holding his out in his tiny, begging hands, asking as politely as he could, “May i have some more please?”

Stopping mid aisle, we looked at each other, turned and ran back up the aisle; stomachs grumbling and rumbling.

We’d been so busy all day that we had forgotten to eat!

We hit the snack bar and walked back into the theatre, armed with popcorn, hot dogs, jujubes, something chocolate and carbonated beverages just as the chorus of urchins were singing, “Food, glorious food!”

The lesson of the importance of eating was not lost on us that day.

Have you ever forgotten to eat?

In Light & Love

Florence

Foodiction

March 27, 2010

Jan 17,2010

food: a planetary addiction: everything has to eat.

savor every bite

might as well delight.

for every day & nite

we have to eat!

So why not enjoy the daylights out of it?

I don’t mean stuff your face with pork rinds and slather lard on everything in sight til you drop from a coronary.

I mean do this necessary thing with joy or at least some enjoyment,

like making food for your kids fun, interesting and tasty.

Why treat your self with any less care?

Today I began with 36 ounces of water taken in before even brushing my teeth,  then a cup of oatmeal containing a fiber and probiotics stick and a banana cut up in it over conversation with my dear Tom, as we looked out at the foggy Sunday over Elliot Bay, the Space Needle and the city of Seattle.

People were walking up and down the hill all decked out in athletic gear with backpacks, dogs on leashes, head phones in place on caps and, in between musings and noticing the mailman was in shorts on a January day, I took a plethora of vitamins and herbs: for keeping my immune system from succumbing to flu season or winter S.A.D. (really, no lie. It does help the mood dips)

Add to that some calcium to keep me from being the osteo statistic on my block, c, e, alfalfa, zinc- cause I’m stemming off a head cold- Baxyl hyaloronic acid for my joints and spine challenge, B12, Neuro PS Gold and ginkgo for energy and you get a picture of my attempt to keep brain functioning out of the forgetfulness mode and joints happy enough to allow me to ‘move about the cabin.’

The combination of self caring and easing into the day, enjoying our surroundings on a gray misty day felt like being cosseted in a peaceful blanket.

We could take the day slowly and unplanned………..and forage.

In Light & Love

Florence

How It Began

March 26, 2010

Fresh Off The Palate by Florence Ondré 1/16/10

Food is so much more than just food.

No matter what is going on in our lives; no matter how well or ill we are; no matter our status, work or relationships; dreams or goals, wrecked or reached, we have to eat.

Several times a day, we have to tend to this thing which sustains our life force. And if we don’t, can’t or won’t, we will wind up consumed with the thought of nothing else. Our minds will shut off all auxiliary channels and narrow our focus to a pinpoint of seeking sustenance.

In disasters of cataclysmic proportions, everything we ever thought was important goes out the window with the hurricane, flood, earthquake or famine and all we can think of is food and water. How to feed ourselves, our children, our families; survival’s basics, push all else to the four winds.

What we do for a living, who said what to us, when we’ll get the latest whatever, evaporates in an instant the moment we are faced with catastrophic clearing; flattening us like pancakes. See this?  Even the words and phrases we use have many roots in food.

Nothing sates, softens, sharpens or soothes empty bellies, edges, senses or souls like a cool drink of clean, clear water and, since not many of us are on the level of existing on manna from the heavens or nectar from the gods yet, we do have to find and create foods from mother earth and out of human creativity several times a day… each day…every day of our lives. Seasoning one’s meals, seasons one’s life; one’s very essence of being.

They don’t call it Soul Food for nuthin.

Food.

We are addicted to it…we have to eat!

In this new year of 2010; this new decade, I want to do more of what gives me joy; what makes me smile, uplifts me and makes my heart sing. So I tuned in to see what popped as to what I like most.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed solid work completed, as well as good projects half to three quarters done. There are so many areas of endeavor in which I like participating, yet never enough time to do everything I like.

But “what do I love? what are my passions? what endeavor would hold me to the goal of completion and still feed my heart and soul?’ became the central questions preluding a choice of where I’d like to place my focus, time and energy.

I’m great at what I do, whether it’s my work doing a role on stage, writing assignments, preparing a meal or giving from my heart; loving and putting out good energy into the world and universe for highest good for all. And, when I add the secret ingredient of love, everything tastes and runs better on that fuel.

Also, I’m a real ‘putoffski.’ Probably a trait held over from another life in Russia that still runs through my veins with the essence of borscht or blinis. And, OK I admit it, since I’m a procrastinator (there I’ve said it out loud and in print) everywhere in my life but work, I thought doing what I love might get me the hat trick of accomplishment, discipline and joy in each day, if I could narrow down what, without doubt or hesitation, makes my river of happiness run full flowing.

Work with a specific end-goal time works best for getting me across the finish line. Even when writing and producing theatre, I’d get the gig date first and then pull the show together. The same with client deadlines and writing assignments. The day before or day of, you’ll likely find me doing some of my best work.

I’d like to change that pattern if possible, have some more ease and joy in my life. If there has to be any pressure or deadlines, why not make them in areas I most love and make the effort richer; fuller in enjoyment on that path of endeavor?

So the question is: “What do I love?” (besides my dear Tom & my family & friends of course)

I love food.

I’ve been afraid to admit that to anyone out loud for fear they will think I’m a glutton or call me fatso. Yes, I’m a bit plumper than I might like but, after being rail thin for most of my life; a dancer, model and performer; then being physically challenged in a wheel chair for the better part of the last 10 years from a spinal injury, who wouldn’t be?

I love to write.

And when I do write, my style is densely descriptive and experiences are word painted and stuffed with food analogies and metaphors.

Hmmmm….Why not combine the two loves and see where it leads?

And I love sharing.

Sharing what I enjoy with others and hearing what other people find delicious and enjoyable in life is such fun.

So, I’ve made a commitment to myself; set a goal to write for the next 365 days about this subject of food and its far-reaching effects on life and in our lives; one whole year of coming to this contraption; typing whatever comes up regarding and revolving around food; sharing with you each day, as close to experiencing and tasting as humanly possible, what goodies I’ve enjoyed or discovered.

In other word’s, what’s Fresh Off The Palate!

In Light & Love,

Florence


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