La Panaderia

Okay, I Guess It's Fall

Summer departed abruptly, probably from having burnt itself out with those hot, smoky days, one after another. The house sits at 67F, but we refuse to turn on the heat until October 1 because — well, because you just have to stick to your principles. No heater till October 1, no flannel sheets, no fires in the fireplace. No matter if the lows are already dipping into the high 40s.

Although we might shiver in the house, I have waved the white flag in the kitchen. No more barbecue — it’s time for the the slow cooker and fall fruit. This upside-down pear-apple-almond cake, to begin with:


Martin Family Orchard had some lovely, ripe Bartlett pears and Gala apples, and the two of them made a tasty combination in Deborah Madison’s recipe. The recipe only calls for two pears, but since I only had 1.5 pears left, I substituted a half an apple. Perfect. Also a perfect excuse for everyone to try “a sliver” of each flavor.

I’m not the only one thinking fall…Check out these Halloween-themed cupcakes at La Panaderia:


How cute are they? Eyeballs, ghosts, tombstones,…something pink? Talk about being done with summer—they’re even through with September and most of October. Since we only have a few Market days left, you may need to skip ahead as well! And if you haven’t had their tamales yet, don’t let another week go by. I got two beef tamales last week, to supplement the light dinner I’d prepared, and you should have seen the mournful eyes when everyone finished their half a tamale and wanted to know why on earth I hadn’t bought more!

Aspens [pic by my friend Alice]

Aspens [pic by my friend Alice]

Despite all the fall-ness and making the best of it, I still have my fingers crossed for a few last gasps of summer. The Louisiana Sweet watermelon I got at Alvarez last week was one of the best of the season, ranked right up there with the darker, more spherical Sugar Baby I bought midsummer.

There’s still time for a last half-flat of berries to freeze and a few pounds of peaches and nectarines. It may be fall-ish here on Thursday, but it’s still summer somewhere in Washington!

I'm Melting, or, What Counts in Bellevue as a Heat Wave

Supposing you take a break from opening and closing windows in your house, positioning fans, and looking for a cool spot on the bed sheets, and head to the Bellevue Farmers Market!

Surely the most beautiful picture of pops ever

Surely the most beautiful picture of pops ever

There was an old Coca-Cola ad that used to run when I was a kid: during the heat of summer, they would show people frolicking in the snow. Along those lines, I thought I'd refresh you all with some heat-relieving Market offerings. 

If you haven't tried Seattle Pops yet, they're luscious, not to mention seasonal, fresh, and local. Better yet, they have a punch card, to encourage you to try every one of their tempting flavors.

Then there's the slushies at Martin Family Orchards...

Take my word for it, they're there

Take my word for it, they're there

Whether you favor pear- or apple-cider slushies, they're worth the brain freeze.

And of course you've walked by Bluebird Ice Cream, with its small-batch artisanal flavors:


You may have inexplicably missed Solstice in Fremont this year (or you were too busy parading to stop in at the store), but that doesn't mean you still can't sample Bluebird's wares.

And then finally, I noticed La Panaderia keeps its cupcakes nice and chilled, so all that generous frosting doesn't melt into puddles...


Pair a cupcake with one of their agua frescas and you're good to go.

Apparently, everything from road rage incidents to bench-clearing baseball brawls goes up during hot weather, so keep the peace by keeping your cool, Bellevue.

Rain or shine, heat wave or cold snap, we'll see you at the Market tomorrow. 

The Penultimate Pluot

Just two more Bellevue Farmers Markets to go in 2017. Which means, this week, you're down to your penultimate pluot, pizza slice, and pepper, and your second-to-last soups, shave ice, and cinnamon roll.

Thanks for the mouth-watering picture, Wikipedia

Thanks for the mouth-watering picture, Wikipedia

As our farmers and vendors will tell you, some of them can still be found in our "off-season," holding down wintry booths at places like the University District Farmers Market, and now that I have a UW student, I might venture over once or twice, but, for the most part, we will have to say good-bye to fresh and super-local for a few months.

My husband ripped out the tomato plants last weekend, leaving us only a couple dozen fruits left to ripen as best they can on the countertop. They're kind of banged up at this point (since I accidentally kicked and squashed some in the garage when they were lying on newspaper in the darkness there), but they're still good enough chopped up or thrown in stir-fries or sprinkled on pizza.


We must force our hearts to let go of summer and turn to fall. Grab a pumpkin this week, or a squash, and make your first pie of the season. Or give in to that rich scent of tamales wafting from La Panaderia. Or snatch up a generous bag of crisp fall apples, and whip up a tarte tatin. I did this week, and, despite not reading the recipe through and messing up the glaze step, it tasted delicious. All of which is to say, I don't have a picture for you because the thing was ugly. All you need to know is that it called for "six small apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths."

If you've been a Marketgoer this year, there's going to be an end-of-season partay on Thursday, October 26th, 5-8pm! A ticket gets you drinks and appetizers at the 520 Bar and Grill on Main Street that evening, and you'll enjoy live music, shared stories, and an opportunity to show support for our beloved local Market. Kids are welcome. Pop by after work or stay for the whole time! Click here to buy a ticket, so the 520 Bar and Grill can have the right amount of food on hand. 

Like this, only less blurry.

Like this, only less blurry.

Two. Weeks. Left.

See you all there. I'll be the one with a tamale in one hand and a pluot in the other.

Strawberry FOMO and Market Consolations

Did you arrive at the Market last week to this sign?


Yeah, me too. I knew 4:15 p.m. was going to be too late to catch the very first local strawberries of the season, but it was still a blow. This week I plan to get there at opening. And won't it be nice when we reach the part of the season (approaching rapidly) when there are multiple berry farmers with different varieties and we don't have to view our fellow marketgoers as adversaries?

Of course there were consolations for missing the first strawberries. For one thing, Alvarez Organic Farms had the sweetest, crunchiest sugar snap peas, which we've been eating raw in salad or steamed all week. Just try them with a little homemade Green Goddess Dressing!

Green Goddess Dressing

(from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp tarragon or cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp chopped chives or scallion
1-1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (or 3/4 tsp dried)
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1/4 tsp salt
Mix everything in a blender until smooth and pale green. You can add a couple tablespoons of water to thin, or leave it thicker and "dip-like."

Other consolations? Well, Martin Family Orchard brought a new batch of Fuji apples and Anjou pears out of cold storage, and they are the best we've had since last fall! I bought a bag of each, but I think I'm going to need another two bags this week to tide us over because it's all downhill on apples and pears until the next crop this fall.

And then, given the heat last week and the line at Seattle Pops (where we bought our treat the week before), we opted for a Shave Ice from new vendor La Panaderia.

La Panaderia by

La Panaderia by

I'd put the ice consistence as in between shaved ice and a snow cone

I'd put the ice consistence as in between shaved ice and a snow cone

The proof is in the punch--or the genuine fruit puree and juice, I should say

The proof is in the punch--or the genuine fruit puree and juice, I should say

Not only was the Mango shave ice luscious and refreshing, but La Panaderia also offers giant lemon, cinnamon and orange cookies and tamales. Wowza. They hope to earn money to open a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle, possibly near the Olympic Sculpture Park, so I hope we'll all take one for the team and sample the goods this season.

Don't miss out this week on strawberries or other goodies! Hit the Market this week early and often.