At first glance, the kitchen of Trophy Cupcakes and Party could be taken for that of a gourmet restaurant. Pure Madagascar-Bourbon vanilla and Valrhona cocoa from France line the shelves, and local sweet-cream butter, free-range eggs, and fresh fruit fill the fridge. These are the ingredients Jennifer Shea uses to craft her daily rotating cupcake flavors, from chocolate nutella to gluten-free red velvet. With the help of husband Michael Williamson, she distributes her decadent handheld desserts to three Seattle boutiques, which have garnered press attention to rival that of the city's finest eateries. Martha Stewart gushed about Jennifer's innovative and widely varied flavors, and Seattle magazine picked six Trophy creations for its 2008 list of the city's 95 best desserts.
To complement their cupcakes, Trophy Cupcakes stocks a curated selection of party supplies. A cocktail-style party room in Wallingford Center, which can accommodate up to 30 guests, is available to rent for birthday parties, baby showers, and superhero business meetings.
Garden Delivered upholds a simple yet powerful mission: Make the Spokane community healthier with better access to locally grown organic fruits and vegetables. Each week, its staff members gather harvests from area farms within a 200-mile range and compile those crops into boxes that members can pick up or have shipped directly to their homes. The packages of in-season produce rotate weekly, and previous boxes have included romaine lettuce, zucchini, carrots, and red chard. The Garden Delivered staff keeps members informed on each week’s selection of produce with a scratch-and-sniff list posted on its website, and it also stuffs each package with a recipe specific to the box’s contents. The friendly staff loves chatting with members when handing over produce and will dispense advice on how to handle, store, and prep each fruit and vegetable.
Cutters Point Coffee—named for the small boats Peter Puget and Joseph Whidbey used to explore Puget Sound in the 18th century—stocks its shelves with premium coffees acquired through direct relationships with farmers in some of the world's most esteemed coffee-growing regions. Varietals hail from everywhere from Ethiopia to Costa Rica, and can be enjoyed freshly brewed in the cafe or in take-home bags that let you brew at home. However you buy your coffee, Cutters Point puts some of these sales into their own foundation, David's Stone Foundation, which donates to non-profits around the world.
Cherry Street Coffee House displays local art, hosts live music, and holds events at each of its locations. Steam rises from blends of house coffees, forming the shape of perfume bottles that spritz the cafes with the aromas of Brazil nuts and dark cocoa. A medley of coffee beans from Papua New Guinea and Central and South America flavor the signature espresso, which guests can enjoy in between bites of house-made breakfast bagels, quiche, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Cherry Street's kitchen staff supplies a list of ingredients, highlighting which vibrant dishes are vegan, contain dairy and nuts, or plan to transform into dairy and nuts.
"The menu includes prosciutto, a raw delicacy that has been served in Italy for centuries. Sink your teeth into Groupon’s guide to the salt-cured meat.
At first glance, prosciutto seems like a cross between raw bacon and smoked ham, but it's actually quite different from either. The Italian delicacy is still meat from a pig—the haunch, specifically—but unlike other cured meats, it doesn’t contain nitrates or even need to be cooked. Rather, prosciutto is slowly matured with little more than salt, air, and plenty of patience. The end result is a silky, sweet-tasting ham served thinly sliced and at room temperature, often as the centerpiece of an antipasto or charcuterie plate.
While individual methods vary among producers, prosciutto is created following simple, ancient practices. First, a pig or boar leg arrives fresh from the butcher; different makers may prefer different breeds, ages, and weights. Next, a curer coats the leg with sea salt to draw out moisture, then leaves it to dry in a special curing room. They may also coat the exterior—also referred to as the rind—with lard and grease to prevent the meat from becoming dehydrated. How long the haunches need to be cured depends on the desired taste, but most mature anywhere from one to three years.
The exact origins of prosciutto are unknown, but it’s likely been an edible favorite for millennia—the Roman statesman Cato mentioned a similar delicacy in his writings, and the ancient Celts are believed to have consumed salt-cured pork. Even the name hints at ancient roots: “prosciutto” comes from the Latin word “perexsuctus,” meaning “dried” or “deprived of all liquid,” as when Caesar shouted it from the theater steps when Brutus drank the last of his soda. "