Meet Sam Stout: Retail Pastry Assistant Manager

Sam won our 2023 Core Value Award for Embracing Diversity

Each life has its own propensity for illumination, a moment when purpose and passion converge to cast a guiding light. Sam Stout found hers at Macrina, a much larger company than she’d previously worked for. A veteran pastry chef with a resume that includes some of Seattle’s finer restaurants, Sam found her work life abruptly interrupted by the pandemic. After five months of unemployment, a friend mentioned Macrina might be looking for someone with her expertise. With her experience, Sam was hired into the retail pastry department in 2020.

Initially, Sam felt somewhat out of place working within a larger team. “When I started at Macrina, I thought it was going to be temporary until I could get back to a pastry chef position at a restaurant,” Sam says. However, as she settled in to her new role, the quality and creativity of the pastries and desserts impressed her. Even more important was how comfortable she felt in the kitchen and the respect with which she was treated. She developed a special bond with Katarina Ducharme, the Pastry General Manager, and found Leslie Mackie, Macrina’s founder, to be both warm and inspiring. “I was able to see a future with Macrina that promised stability and opportunities to grow.”

Macrina’s retail pastry team creates all the specialized pastries for the cafés, including the mousse cakes, pies, and cakes. Working in the space behind Macrina’s Sodo café, their creations are on display through large windows at the back of the café. “It’s especially fun when the kids watch,” Sam says. “Sometimes we sneak out and give them a cookie.”

Last year, Macrina participated in the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) Spring Spark, a whimsical fundraiser where creativity, community, and confections are celebrated. Leslie and Sam collaborated with PNB star Lucien Postlewaite to invent a new dessert, which they named Oberon’s Rose Pavlova. Comprising a rose meringue with raspberry lychee mousse, fresh berries, and gold dust, it clinched the title for best dessert in the playful competition. “That was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done,” says Sam. “It was the first time I’d gotten to spend a lot of time with Leslie. Creating food with her was wonderful. I’m so glad we’ve been invited to participate again this year.”

Macrina’s Core Value Awards — Hard Working, Remaining Positive, Continuously Improving, Embracing Diversity, and Integrity in All We Do — are among the company’s highest honors. During the presentation of the 2023 awards, Sam sat beside Leslie, who rose to introduce the Embracing Diversity award. As Leslie spoke, Sam was taken aback to hear praise for qualities that mirrored her own. “It took a moment for me to recognize she was talking about me,” says Sam.

Outgoing and friendly, Sam has illuminated the paths of many who work alongside her. She meets people where they are and finds ways to bring out their best. “I love to teach people to bake,” says Sam. “If you’re willing to learn and listen, make mistakes, pick yourself up, and learn from it, I can teach you.”

As Leslie proudly presented the Embracing Diversity award to Sam, it was a moment of affirmation for the values that stand at the center of Macrina. “She has brought so much creative energy to our retail pastry team,” says Leslie. “Sam and Katarina bubble up ideas and exhaust themselves perfecting the recipes. Sam has worked in restaurants for years and has distilled the best of all those experiences into creating an inclusive environment at work. The result is an inspired staff that truly feels valued. We so appreciate all that she brings to our Macrina family.”

Originally from Midland, Texas, Sam moved to Seattle in 2014 and fell in love with the city and surroundings. “Seattle is so beautiful,” she says. “There’s so much water — greens and blues everywhere. I love rain. I grew up with tumbleweeds and tarantulas. I miss my family but not the sun and heat. And I just love the ferries, the many long bridges over water, and the great food around here.”

Meet Alex Kaiser: GM at the Belltown Café

Most Macrina GMs begin their careers behind the counter and gradually ascend to leadership positions. Alex Kaiser is the rare exception. Joining Macrina in January 2024, he brought with him more than a decade of management experience in the hospitality industry. He immediately impressed our leadership team with his people and management skills.

Previously the manager of a popular local sports bar, Alex was looking to transition into a management role in a growing, community-focused company. “I loved Macrina’s products and had heard great things about the company as a place to work,” Alex says, adding that he was also ready to embrace a lifestyle that didn’t involve working late into the evening. “I met the Macrina leadership team and felt really comfortable right away.”

For the first few weeks, Alex trained at the other Macrina cafes, learning from each of the GMs and their management styles. “There were subtle differences in how they approached things, but one thing they all had in common was a sense of happiness and positivity,” says Alex. “It felt like a theme, which made me very comfortable coming in.”

Arriving as an outsider came with its hurdles, but Alex quickly earned the trust and support of his Belltown crew. “I inherited a great team,” says Alex. “Strong people, hard workers, great personalities, and very positive. That made the transition a lot smoother.”

Before moving to Seattle in mid-2020, Alex, originally from North Dakota, spent a decade living and working in Baltimore. His leadership roles there included overseeing the bars and restaurants at a Maryland horse track and managing a prestigious members-only club frequented by professional athletes.

As the pandemic hit, Alex took a two-week hike on the Appalachian Trail. “It was a blast,” Alex says. “It was kind of my first foray into backpacking. I just kind of dove in headfirst — maybe a little too headfirst.” That trip led to a visit to the PNW for another hiking trip. He fell in love with Seattle and the natural splendor of the area, prompting his move to the city with his brother. In his spare time, he continues to explore the outdoors by trail.

Although his brother eventually returned to his hometown in North Dakota, Alex has embraced the collaborative and positive culture at Macrina and found a home in Seattle’s vibrant community.

Shrimp & Crab Salad Sliders for the Big Game

Macrina’s slider rolls, either brioche or potato, are the perfect bun for sliders. Of course, there are many great fillings. But for the big game, you want to bring your A-game. These Shrimp and Crab Salad Sliders are a guaranteed winner, especially with fresh Dungeness coming in from Washington’s Pacific coast. You can make the salad in advance and refrigerate it. Before serving, butter the insides of the rolls and sauté them to caramelize the bread and warm it through.

Makes 12 sliders

Shrimp & Crap Sliders for the Big Game

6 cups water
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, divided
1 lb frozen shrimp, 16–20 size, (deveined, shell on)
8 oz fresh crab meat, cooked
2 ribs celery, medium dice
2 tsp capers, chopped
3 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
3 tsp shallots, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
12 Macrina Brioche Sliders or Rustic Potato Sliders
Butter, softened

In a medium saucepan, add the water, salt and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Add the frozen shrimp and return to a boil, cooking for 3–4 minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked through.

Strain the shrimp and transfer to a bowl. Quickly cover with ice cubes to stop the cooking process. Toss and let cool for 10 minutes.

Peel the shrimp and coarsely chop them in ½-inch pieces

In a medium bowl, add the diced celery, capers, tarragon, shallots, remaining ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Mix well. Add the crab and chopped shrimp. Stir to combine.

Cut the slider rolls in half horizontally and brush with butter. Pan sauté the interiors to caramelize the bread and warm it through. Divide the shrimp and crab salad between the slider roll bottoms and add a top each one. Serve with your favorite chips or green salad.



Recipe of the Month: Hazelnut Raspberry Linzer Cookies

This is our Valentine’s Day version of the beloved Linzer cookie, made with ground hazelnuts rather than almonds. These shortbread cookies are great just as they are — tender, delicately sweet, with a subtle, nutty flavor and a hint of cinnamon — but with the raspberry, they’re divine. We cut these into heart shapes and make them into beautiful window cookies. In addition to the raspberry hearts, you’ll also wind up with smaller, chocolate-rimmed hearts. We like heart-shaped cookies all year long but feel free to adapt the shapes to any occasion or even enjoy the hazelnut shortbread in its pure, unadorned form. At the Macrina cafés, we are selling a Hazelnut Shortbread Cookie Mix, which is very similar and will make it quick and easy for you to make this impressive cookie.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes nine 3 1/2 inch cookies + nine smaller cookies.

Hazelnut Raspberry Linzer Cookies

½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cornstarch
1¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or substitute Bob’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup raspberry jam
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup red and white crystal sugar

Line 3 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine brown sugar and cornstarch on low speed for about 1 minute to remove lumps. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, and ground hazelnuts. Mix until combined.

With the mixer running, gradually add cubed butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the vanilla extract and mix for another minute to allow the dough to come together.

On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a 10-inch square. Divide in half and roll out each half to a 1/4-inch thickness, ensuring evenness. Cut out 9 large hearts from the first half for the bases and place them on one prepared baking pan.

From the second rolled-out half, cut out an equal number of large hearts. Then, using a smaller heart cutter, remove the centers to create heart frames. Place these frames on the second baking pan, and the small heart cutouts on the third pan.*

Chill the baking pans in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble the cookies, spread raspberry jam on the heart bases. Lightly dust the heart frames with powdered sugar and place one on top of each jam-covered base.

Melt chocolate chips in a water bath, double boiler or microwave. Dip the edge of smaller heart cookies in the chocolate and then in the crystal sugar. Allow them to set up on parchment paper.

Enjoy making someone feel special with these delicious cookies for Valentine’s Day — or any day!

*Note: Any dough scraps can be brought together in a ball, re-chilled, and rolled out again for extra cookies! 


Recipe of the Month: Basque Cheesecake with Buckwheat Honey

The deep brown, almost burnt caramelized top of this Basque country cheesecake glows with goodness. The crustless, rustic dessert from northern Spain has a light, custardy interior that isn’t too sweet. As it bakes at relatively high heat, the interior rises and, as it cools, sinks slightly, making it perfect for a drizzle of buckwheat honey and seasonal fruit. It’s best served at room temperature, either once it has cooled after baking, or stored chilled and then allowed to come to room temperature. Before garnishing, it’ll hold in the refrigerator, well covered, for up to a week. I love the simple splendor of this cheesecake — a marvel, given how easy it is to make.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes one 10-inch cheesecake.

Basque Cheesecake with Buckwheat Honey

24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (remove from refrigeration 1 hour prior to using)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or Bob’s gluten-free blend)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup buckwheat or Manuka honey
1 cup seasonal fruit (such as orange segments or raspberries)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 10-inch x 3-inch springform pan* using two pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang to form a collar. Press the parchment firmly against the pan’s base and sides and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the room temperature cream cheese, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with a paddle attachment. Mix until smooth and lump-free, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the sour cream to the mixture and blend until incorporated. Follow with the heavy cream and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to be sure everything is well combined.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Gradually add this to the cream cheese mixture with the mixer on low speed until it’s fully incorporated.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl to be sure the eggs are fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and place on a rimmed sheet pan. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 45 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 375°F and bake for another 15 minutes, until the top is deep brown and the center is set.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool for 1 hour. Gently remove the cheesecake by lifting the edges of the parchment paper (remove

Allow the cheesecake to rest another 30 minutes. Carefully invert the cheesecake onto a flat plate, remove the parchment paper, and then place upright on a serving plate.

Drizzle the buckwheat or Manuka honey over the top and artfully arrange the fresh raspberries. Enjoy!

*This recipe can be achieved with a standard 10-inch x 3-inch cake pan with the parchment paper lining.

Product Feature: Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf

This is one of our most flavorful breads, shining especially bright during the gray days of winter. Its mild sour flavor results from our natural starter and a long, slow rise. The locally grown and milled coarse whole-wheat flour from Fairhaven Mills contributes to its hearty texture and natural sweetness. Turkish apricots, cranberries, walnuts, and pecans add flavor and crunch. You’d be hard pressed to identify the faint hint of anise and cloves — that je ne sais quoi that sets it apart — if they weren’t listed among the ingredients. The net effect is a bread with surprising balance and delicious taste.
The festive flavors make this loaf a natural for the holidays. Serve warm slices at your holiday brunch with creamy cheeses like Brie or ricotta, maybe a drizzle of honey. Or keep it simple: toasted and buttered is one of our favorite ways to enjoy it. But perhaps its highest and best use during the holidays is for the Prized Leftover Ham or Turkey Sandwich.

Prize Leftover Ham or Turkey Sandwich

Serves 4

¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup leftover cranberry sauce
½ cup leftover gravy
2 cups mixed white and dark turkey meat, leftover
2 cups leftover stuffing
8 slices Macrina Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf, cut on the bias
2 Tbsp butter

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Set aside.
Pour the gravy into a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once the gravy is warm, add the turkey meat and cook until just warmed through, about 4 minutes.

While the turkey is warming, heat the stuffing. You can do this in a microwave until it reaches about 165°F, or in another skillet if you prefer.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of the Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf. Place the bread slices buttered side down in the skillet and toast until just crisped, about 2 minutes each.

Assemble the sandwiches: Spread the mayo-cranberry mixture evenly over the non-buttered sides of all 8 bread slices. On four of the slices, layer the warmed turkey and top each with a quarter of the warm stuffing. Place the remaining bread slices, mayo-cranberry side down, on top of the stuffing to close the sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

12 Days of Christmas Treats

Holiday gatherings and great food go together, but let’s face it, the festivities also bring a dash of stress. Our fresh, handmade baked goods, sweet and savory, help you pull together great meals with confidence. Macrina has been a secret ingredient in transforming many families’ holiday gatherings into tasty, joyous occasions for over two decades. Knowing your guests will love the food goes a long way to letting you settle into the convivial glow of family, friends, and festive cheer.

1. Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf

One of our favorite breads for toast, this loaf is perfect for a holiday brunch. Made with locally grown and milled coarse whole-wheat flour from Fairhaven Mills, the hearty texture gets flavor and crunch from Turkish apricots, cranberries, walnuts and pecans. Mildly sour, the savory sweet bread has a hint of anise and cloves. It’s great toasted with butter, or on a festive platter spread with creamy cheeses such as Brie or ricotta.

2. Salmon Spread

Made in-house with premium smoked salmon, lemony cream cheese, briny capers, and fresh herbs, our Salmon Spread makes entertaining PNW-style easy. It’s versatile enough to use spread on toasted baguette slices on a holiday platter, as a brunch addition with our MadRy bagels, a key ingredient in a sandwich, or tossed with fresh pasta as a creamy and flavorful sauce.

3. Cookie Box

We’ve been making holiday cookie boxes since 1994. The cookies are an assortment of Leslie’s family favorites, make great gifts, and are perfect for cookie exchanges with family, neighbors and friends — or you may just want the cookies all for yourself! This year’s lineup includes our Crisp Gingerbread, Chocolate Crinkle, Mexican Wedding Balls, Cranberry Orange Biscotti, Pecan Rosemary Shortbread, and Rugelach.

4. Eggnog Cheesecake

The creamy filling is rich with eggnog, flavored with a touch of brandy, and finished with white chocolate ganache over a ginger molasses cookie crust. Beautifully garnished with seasonal fruit.

5. Mini Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Cake

These single-serving size layer cakes make an excellent dessert centerpiece. Arrange them artistically on a platter with holly leaves or pass them around at a holiday party. Bittersweet chocolate pot de crème is topped with a white chocolate peppermint mousse and covered in chocolate ganache.

6. Black Forest Cake

Our version of this classic German cake is both visually striking and delicious, featuring layers of fudgy chocolate cake soaked in cherry syrup and cherry brandy, layered with sweetened whipped cream, cherries, and ganache.

7. Gingerbread Spice Cup

Single-serving size cakes that will sweeten any holiday gathering. These light, ginger-spiced molasses cakes are baked in an individual paper tulip cup, topped with cream cheese frosting, and a candied ginger garnish.

8. Chocolate Pecan Babka

We make our Chocolate Pecan Babka just a few times a year. The loaf is rich like brioche bread, with an added swirl of chocolate glaze and roasted pecans. It’s delicious simply toasted with butter, but for a special brunch, use it as a base for French toast and serve it with your favorite breakfast sausage, raspberries and sweetened whipped cream!

9. Panettone

Our holidays wouldn’t be complete without this traditional Milanese Christmas bread. The festive toque-shaped yeast bread is lightly sweet, enriched with eggs and butter, and studded with raisins and candied orange and lemon peel. Grab a bottle of prosecco and some mascarpone and invite some friends over for a very Italian holiday celebration.

10. Winter Pear Crown

This savory crown makes a beautiful table centerpiece, or slice into wedges and top with Cambozola for a showy appetizer. Before hand-forming the bread into a crown, we dice the plumpest, Washington state Bartlett pears available and gently mix them into the dough with just enough black pepper to casually announce itself.

11. Gingerbread Decorating Kit

This fun activity is for kids (and kids at heart) of any age. It includes gingerbread figures, red and white sprinkles, three piping bags, and instructions for easy frosting. Use a few drops of food coloring to create colorful frosting options. If sprinkles aren’t enough for you, level up by cutting sartorial accessories like belts, bow ties, gloves and scarfs from candies like licorice and jellybeans. Unleash your creativity!

12. Italian Cream Cake

One of Leslie’s all-time favorites, this luscious, light yellow layer cake has raspberry jam and mascarpone that soak into the cake layers giving it a pudding-like texture. Kumquats add a burst of tangy citrus flavor.

Recipe of the Month: Breakfast Bagel Tartines

Breakfast Bagel Tartine

There will always be a place in my repertoire of favorite brunch items for this quick, luxurious riff on a bistro classic. Tartines, warm open-faced sandwiches, are a staple in Parisian cafés and bistros — and the quality of the bread is paramount. Our MadRy Sourdough Bagels provide a sturdy base for the toppings, and their subtle sourdough taste complements the other flavors. Additionally, the bagel’s center hole is ideally suited for nestling the porchetta, creating a snug pocket to perfectly cradle an egg for baking. Our MadRy bagels come in plain, sesame, poppy, sea salt, everything, and cheese. Choose your favorite. They all work well in this recipe.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes 4 tartines.

Breakfast Bagel Tartines

1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cup fresh chopped herbs (parsley, basil, or oregano work well), divided
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 Macrina MadRy Sourdough Bagels
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (4 oz) spreadable cream cheese
4 slices porchetta
4 eggs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, gently toss the cherry tomatoes with olive oil. Arrange the tomatoes on one of the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with half of the fresh herbs and the kosher salt. Roast for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Slice the bagels horizontally to maintain their ring shape and arrange them, cut side up, on the second baking sheet. Butter the bagels and toast in the oven for 3 minutes.

Spread a quarter of the cream cheese on each bagel half. Add a slice of porchetta on top, nestling it into the bagel hole to create a pocket. Carefully crack an egg into each pocket and garnish each with a quarter of the roasted tomatoes and a Tbsp of Parmesan cheese.

Return to the oven and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

Finish by sprinkling the remaining herbs over the tartines. Serve warm and enjoy!

Breakfast Bagel Tartine

Appetizers for Your Holiday Gatherings

Keeping a stash of Macrina’s flatbread and crostini on hand helps make holiday entertaining easy — with impressive results. This month, I’m showcasing two elegant appetizers that use our new holiday spreads, alongside two treasured standbys. In addition, I’m sharing my recipes for two great holiday appetizers: Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream and Chinese Meatballs with Peanut Sauce. Some of these dishes take longer to prepare than others, but all are relatively quick and present well. Holiday entertaining can be stressful, but these crowdpleasers will lighten your load and bring joy and satisfied smiles to your festivities.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Each appetizer serves 8.

Macrina’s Rye Crostini with Our New Kale & Roasted Artichoke Spread and Buttered Dungeness Crab
In a small sauté pan, melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter. Add 2 oz of fresh crabmeat and cook just long enough to warm it through (less than a minute). Turn off the heat. Season the crab with ⅛ tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of Kale and Roasted Artichoke Spread onto each, then evenly top with the warm, buttery crab. Drizzle with any remaining warm butter from the pan. Garnish with finely chopped fresh chives or parsley.

Macrina’s Greek Olive Crostini with Softened Goat Cheese and Project Barnstorm Plum Conserve
Bring 4 oz of goat cheese to room temperature (about an hour). In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, ¼ cup whipping cream and ⅛ tsp kosher salt. Use a whisk or fork to blend the mixture until you have a spreadable consistency. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of the mixture on the crostini and top with 1½ tsp of Plum Conserve.

Macrina’s Sardinian Flatbread with Holiday Smoked Salmon Spread* and Microgreens
Take two flatbread sheets and snap each of them into four pieces. With the curved side up, spread 2 tsp of the Smoked Salmon Spread on each piece. Top each with a pinch of microgreens and a dash of fresh lemon juice.
*Our Smoked Salmon Spread will be available in December. We recommend our Smoked Trout Spread for gatherings in November.

Macrina’s Cranberry Apricot Nut Crostini with Burrata, Coppa and Pomegranate Seeds
Cut the burrata ball in half. Then cut each half in 4 slices. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate and top each with a piece of coppa, a slice of burrata, and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Garnish with finely chopped fresh rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into quarters
3 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 egg
2 Tbsp gluten-free flour mix (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
⅛ tsp black pepper
1½ tsp chimichurri seasoning
½ cup pure olive oil, divided
8 shelled raw shrimp (16–20 size)
2 Tbsp white wine
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup sour cream

Place the potato in a saucepan, covered with water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the water and let cool.

Using the medium holes of a box grater, shred the cooked potato. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded potato, scallions, egg, gluten-free flour mix, 1 tsp salt and the pepper. Mix well.

Season the shrimp with the chimichurri seasoning and the remaining 1 tsp salt.

Pour ¼ cup oil into a large cast iron or non-stick sauté pan and set it over medium-high heat. Once hot, add golf-ball-sized scoops of the potato latke batter. Flatten and fry until both sides are crisp and browned. Avoid overcrowding; you will likely need to sauté the latkes in two batches. Once cooked, set them aside to keep warm.

Clear away any stuck bits from the pan, then add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Just before the shrimp is finished, add the white wine and butter. Swirl the pan to create a simple sauce. (Note: if there is excess oil, pour it off before adding the wine.)

Top each latke with a shrimp, a spoonful of the pan sauce, and a dollop of sour cream. For a great presentation, garnish with chopped herbs.

Chinese Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp onion, finely diced
1½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp soy sauce
8 oz ground chicken meat
¼ cup scallions, finely diced
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 egg

½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
¾ tsp sriracha sauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and sauté for about 1 minute until they turn translucent. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and allow it to cool.

In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and soy sauce. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes.

To the cooled onion mixture, add the ground chicken, scallions, cilantro, and breadcrumb mixture. Mix thoroughly. Then, incorporate the egg to bind the ingredients together.

Form the mixture into quarter-sized balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water or vinegar to your taste. The sauce will hold in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Serve the warm meatballs on a pool of the peanut sauce, each skewered with a toothpick.

Pan de Muerto: Order Ahead for Dia de los Muertos

Pan de Muerto is a soft, round, sweet yeast-risen bread –– similar in texture to challah –– with a crunchy cinnamon sugar glaze studded with fresh orange zest and spiced with orange flower water, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. We lay two crossed links of dough over the top to symbolize crossbones, representing those no longer among the living. The bread is excellent sliced and toasted for breakfast or dipped in Mexican hot chocolate as an afternoon snack.

History of Pan de Muerto

The bread of the dead — is traditionally placed on Dia de los Muertos ofrendas to celebrate a family’s ancestors. The Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 1–2, is a time when the souls of the dead reunite with the living. Pan de Muerto is taken to the gravesite, often along with photos and the favorite foods of the deceased and is eaten there. Food is very important to the celebration, for it is believed that the dead are drawn back to the living by the scent of their favorite foods. The tradition dates back hundreds of years and honors the belief, held by many in the Latino and Indigenous communities, that their ancestors are a part of the community — present on another plane of existence. Macrina’s Pan de Muerto is made in honor of this wonderful tradition.
Our Pan de Muerto is available online and in cafés until 11/2. Each loaf feeds four living souls or countless spirits present on another plane.

Order ahead now!