So you may be wondering how I have been or more likely where I have been. It’s hard to believe that Fall is officially here. Summer flew right by and was over before I knew it. First off I must apologize for neglecting pretty much everything. Most of my summer consisted of a large painting job at home (that still isn’t completed) and then off on vacation for two weeks in September. Labor Day weekend we boarded a plane to head west to embark on a one week cruise around Alaska. We were boarding the ship in Seattle and disembarking in Vancouver, two of the most popular foodie destinations in the country. We decided to take advantage of this and spend a couple of days in each city.Pike Place Market in Seattle
The highlights of our time in Seattle were visiting the world-famous Pike Place Market, brunch at Seatown Seabarwhere I had my first west coast oysters, and a visit to the King Tut exhibit before it heads back to Egypt forever. This exhibit has been on my bucket list for years and it was as amazing as I expected.This is pretty much the entire town of Skagway, Alaska
The cruise to Alaska I could write about all day. This was our seventh sailing with Disney Cruise Lines and they never fail to wow us no matter where we are heading. With stops in Skagway (population 860), Juneau and Ketchikan and a sail up Tracy Arm to see the Sawyer Glacier. Ironically our two full days at sea were the only bad weather we had the entire trip, pea soup fog the first day and rain the last day. We did get light rain in Juneau but it did not stop us from hiking Mt. Roberts. We totally lucked out in Ketchikan with temperatures in the 60s and partly sunny. Not bad considering it is the wettest city in North America.The view from 2200 feet above Juneau
Our day sailing up Tracy Arm was one of the most amazing experiences ever. We spent most of the day outside on the top deck of the bow and boy was it ever cold! But this was something to see outside and the cold was not about to stop us from seeing the glacier, which I still can’t believe we saw even though I have hundreds of photos to prove it. Skagway was fun and believe it or not we had people who live there to visit. One was a former coworker of Carlos and then we visited our friend Ashley’s parents whom we had never met before but made us feel so welcome as we chatted over Alaskan Brewery beer at the local brothel (now a restaurant), the Red Onion Saloon. I hate to admit that one of my favorite memories was our time in Vancouver. I don’t know where to begin except for I loved this city. We did not have one bad bite of food in this city. We walked from one side of this city to the other in all directions in one day. The people of Vancouver were so polite. Not once did a driver try to run us down as we legally used a cross walk and one driver actually apologized for being stopped on the cross walk. Boston drivers take note!Granville Island Public market from the bridge
Our first stop in Vancouver was the highly recommended Granville Island and its public market. Technically you can walk to it from downtown Vancouver, but I wouldn’t recommend it, take one of the ferries over (in Boston we call them water taxis). We spent quite a few hours on Granville Island, most of it eating or salivating at what was being offered. Fruits and vegetables that we never see here in Boston, local cheeses, charcuterie, candy….anything you could imagine and more. If we hadn’t been flying home the next day I would have filled up a suitcase with all the options. After walking the whole market area we decided to take a break at the Granville Island Brewery, it was a fairly warm day and we could use something cold to refresh us. This was the perfect place to do it as they offered flights of beer. The favorite for both Carlos and I was the False Creek Raspberry Ale. Slightly fruity but not at all sweet, this was the perfect beer to relax with on a warm Vancouver day. We then headed to lunch at Edible Canada across from the public market. This bistro is local food at its best! Local beer, wine, spirits, chicken, bacon, vegetables, whatever you can imagine, all brought together under one roof in amazing dishes that are a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. This is a bacon-centric place and I was in heaven starting off with a bacon bloody mary. A freshly made bloody mary rimmed with bacon salt and garnished with a slab like piece of bacon. Not to be outdone I then had a grilled cheese, apple and bacon sandwich with a side of duckfat fries with a bacon aioli and house-made ketchup. Carlos started off with a corn veloute which was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Silky, smooth and sweet, this veloute was corn at its best. I tried to recreate it when I got home to no avail. I will leave it to the talented chefs at Edible Canada. Carlos then had a cheeseburger made from local beef topped with bacon of course. For dessert we shared a corn panna cotta. Delicious, creamy, smooth and served in a mason jar. Not overly sweet and mildly savory this panna cotta was the perfect ending to a great meal. I must admit that we sat at the bar and the bartender for some reason was not bringing his “A game” to the table this day, but Courtney, the manager, somehow picked up on this and more than made up for the bartenders shortcomings and made us feel so welcome that she made up for it. She is clearly a true professional and turned what could have been a bad experience into a great one. Edible Canada is one of those destination restaurants, you know the ones that you visit a place just to eat there. Up until now my only other destination restaurant was Calypso Grill on Grand Cayman island. So aside from Carlos’ luggage getting lost by the airline going to and coming from, it was all in all a great trip with once in a lifetime experiences. I can now cross visiting Alaska and seeing a glacier calve (this is when part of the glacier falls off into the water) off my bucket list. So now to get back to what I love to do and learning how to make the dishes of Guatemala and share them with the world. Coming up I have Chile Rellenos, Escabeche, Coffee Gelatine. No coffee gelatine is not a Guatemalan dish but it is great made with Guatemalan coffee and is a recipe that my Nana used to make for me when I was a kid.
For now I am going to leave you with another recipe from my childhood that is perfect for this time of year when everyone is hitting the orchards to pick apples (which I did the other day), Apple Pancake. As I remember it my mom used to make this dish on Sundays when we used to have breakfast for dinner. As a kid that was so exciting. After a busy weekend climbing trees and roaming the woods that surround my parents house, there was nothing more exciting than having breakfast for dinner and especially this dish which is basically a cake, but is made with pancake mix. So it was almost like having cake for dinner. No we did not eat this every Sunday so don’t freak out that my mom was serving us dessert for dinner every Sunday. This was a treat! This is such an easy recipe that it can be on the table in under thirty minutes start to finish and that is if you peel the apples. Recently I asked my mom where she got the recipe from and she doesn’t remember, but I can only guess from the back of the Bisquick box as it was a staple in our house back then. I now use Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Pancake Mix. I have strayed a bit from my moms recipe and add some cinnamon sugar to the sauteing apples and not just as a topping. We love cinnamon in our house!
- 3/4 cup pancake mix
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 cups sliced apples
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Combine pancake mix, milk, eggs and 1 teaspoon sugar in a medium bowl and mix well.
- In a 9 or 10 inch oven proof skillet (such as cast iron), melt the butter over medium heat and then saute the apples until they start to soften.
- Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle some over the cooked apples.
- Pour the batter over the apples and top with remaining cinnamon sugar.
- Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and bake for 10-12 minutes or until pancake is puffed and cinnamon sugar has melted.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pancake to loosen it and cool slightly.