Hello, 2017!

Wait, what?! I’m pretty sure 2016 was the fastest year yet. I’m sure returning to work after maternity leave and trying to balance life as a more-than-full-time working mom, actually seeing my kid, and pumping three times a day played a large role. But still, it went too fast.

On the left: 2016 Michael. On the right: 2017 Michael. Same day, different year and such a big little boy!

On the left: 2016 Michael. On the right: 2017 Michael. Same day, different year and such a big little boy!

2017 will be a big year for us. It’s very likely that we’ll be packing up our lives on the Island and relocating across the country for Brandon’s job. Megan’s Island may soon be Megan’s Bayou or Megan’s Desert. (Don’t worry, while I may not be blogging from the Island in the future, I’ll still be there in spirit!)

Because of the big changes afoot, I have one New Year’s resolution this year: Be present.

If last year was any indication, the next six to nine months will be here and gone before we know it. And, since I have to wrap up my 30+ years in this fine city, I’ve got my work cut out for me!

I’ve started a Seattle bucket list and I’ll be trying to make the most of our time here while also saying good bye (just for now, not forever!). The bucket list will be another post, but I’d love to hear your ideas. Until then, I’ve got a kid to play with and a greenbelt to explore.

Cheers to 2017!

My 2017 resolution: Be present.

My 2017 resolution: Be present.

 

 

 

 

Trinity Tree Farm

A couple of weekends ago, Brandon, Michael and I hopped into the car and drove 20 or so minutes east to Trinity Tree Farms, in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

Trinity Tree Farm

Brandon has been trying for a few years now to get me to skip our annual trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot in favor of a U-cut tree lot.

(In my defense, I thought he wanted to drive into the forest and actually cut down a tree from nature– too many Christmas movies, or something, I guess…)

I subscribe to Red Tricycle and they sent out a great compilation of U-cut lots in the greater Seattle area. So, we did our researched and ended up at Trinity.

Due to Michael’s afternoon nap, we got a later start, which wasn’t ideal with Christmas tree shopping. But it wasn’t raining and we did catch some daylight.

Trinity Tree Fram 1

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Trinity Tree Farm was lovely.  It’s a bit out of the way and the signage to get there was very clear and there was ample parking. They offer complimentary hot chocolate and other snacks are available for purchase. My favorite part was the roaring campfire. Michael and I sat around it with several other families. We toured the available trees to cut, but didn’t find the perfect one and ended up buying a pre-cut tree.

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We were hoping to catch Santa, but we he left hours earlier, so Michael sat on Brandon’s lap instead!

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Michael is turning into such a little boy!

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I hope you are having a wonderful pre-holiday and I look forward to hearing where you like to get your Christmas trees in the comments below!

 

$1.31 scoops at Baskin-Robbins

BaskinRobbins

Are you as hot as I am right now? Summer in Seattle is usually lovely, however, we don’t have air conditioning and when it gets much above 80 degrees outside, it stays that hot (plus!) in our house.

It’s 83 degrees inside and 75 degrees outside as I type this now. At 10 p.m. Ugh.

With hot weather comes the need to cool down and boy do I have the hot tip for you: $1.31 scoops at Baskin-Robbins on Sunday! You know why? It’s the 31st of the month.

Turns out Baskin-Robbins does this EVERY time there are 31 days in a month.

I must confess that I’ve kept this information from you for over a year. But, now you have some notice to get to your closest B&R!

Mark your calendar and you’re welcome. Maybe I’ll see you on Sunday? And every 31st of the month after that?

Enjoy your scoops and you can thank me in the comments section below…

 

Dinner at the Herbfarm

Truffle Treasures at the Herbfarm

Truffle Treasures at the Herbfarm

Brandon and I have a lot of stuff. There I said it. So for Christmas, we decided that instead of more stuff, we would do an experience. We’ve always wanted to visit the Herbfarm, so we started scoping out menus and selected the Truffle menu.

You see, the Herbfarm does theme eating monthly. Right after my own heart! We opted for the “Truffle Treasure” of January and we were very glad that we did!

The Herbfarm is an award-winning restaurant in Woodinville, a suburb of Seattle. It’s on the expensive side and the nine courses (nine!) are paired with drinks for the most part. It also takes several hours. We won’t be going back monthly, but this was a great experience and one that I would recommend you do at least once during your time in Seattle! 

My parents watched Michael and we feasted on…

Herbfarm first course

Herbfarm first course

Truffledom: White truffle shumai; black truffle soup with red beet cream; Dungeness crab with truffle butter; and, beech mushroom tempura, truffle salt, Idaho lemon wedge.

Drink pairing: Blue Mountain Vineyard Brut, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Herbfarm second course

Herbfarm second course

Albacore & Pickles: Grilled rare Oregon Albacore tuna, assorted pickles put up from our larder.

Drink pairing: 2013 Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling, Columbia Valley

Herbfarm third course

Herbfarm third course

Earth ‘n’ Trees: Oregon chesnut angolloti, cipollini onion, chervil, Oregon white truffle sauce.

Drink pairing: 2002 L’Ecole No. 41 Semillion, Fries Vineyard, Walla Walla

Herbfarm fourth course

Herbfarm fourth course

Black, White & Blue: Buttermilk-poached blue-footed chicken breast, chicken-skin-crusted salsify, sauce perigourdine.

Drink pairing: 2012 Broadley Vineyards Pinot Noir, Jessica, Willamette Valley

Herbfarm fifth course

Herbfarm fifth course

Mr. Kuro Goes to Washington: Bay-braised Gold Beach Oregon Wagyu beef short rib in feuille de brick, turnips & their greens, our Roy’s Calais Flint corn polenta, huckleberry sweet-sour sauce, black truffle puree.

Drink pairing: 2012 Gorman Winery Winemaker’s Reserve Malbec, Red Mountain

Herbfarm sixth course

Herbfarm sixth course

Parsnip in a Pear’s Pad: Grated parsnip and pear, shave Willamette Valley Boerenkaas cheese, nocino sauce.

Herbfarm seventh course

Herbfarm seventh course

Glass & Ice: Sorbet of muddled Idaho Valencia orange rind and sake, gin glass, Douglas Fir snowbank.

Herbfarm eighth course

Herbfarm eighth course

Oh, Sweet Truffle: Sourdough ice cream, black truffle-caramel apples, fromage blanc, Oregon olive oil cake.

Drink pairing: 2005 Thurston-Wolfe 8-year cask-aged Tawny Port

And course nine: 

Extra desserts!

Extra desserts!

Accompanying dinner: truffled wood-oven foccacia

Thankfully little Michael had equally as fun of night with Grandma and Grandpa. He passed out!

Sleepy Michael

Sleepy Michael

Next on our Seattle food bucket list? Canlis. Maybe next Christmas?

La Spiga’s “Chef’s Table with Gnocchetti 101” class

DyneHave you heard of Dyne? According to them, Dyne is a better way to book and enjoy the dining experience, to discover secret menus, pop-ups, and special offerings at select partners in Seattle. Based on this experience and the offerings I’ve seen, I would have to agree!

Brandon and I had the pleasure of using Dyne to attend a very select class this past June, in the private dining mezzanine (upstairs) at La Spiga Osteria, one of our favorite Seattle spots.

“Chef’s Table with Gnocchetti 101” was limited to 20 people and led by La Spiga owner and chef Sabrina Tinsley. Sabrina walked us through a demonstration-style cooking class on the techniques to master gnocchetti (the soft, delicate pasta cousin of gnocchi) followed by a three-course dinner with optional wine flight. Brandon opted for the wine flight, I opted against it.

For $48 per person (plus $25 extra for the wine flight), this was a deal — and an experience — that we couldn’t pass up!

Our group of Dyners

Our group of Dyners

THE MENU

First Course: Insalata Primavera con Carciofi Croccanti
Spring salad with crispy fried artichokes, spring peas, asparagus, fava, bibb lettuce and pecorino fresco

First Course: Insalata Primavera con Carciofi Croccanti

First Course: Insalata Primavera con Carciofi Croccanti

Second Course: Gnocchetti al Norcina
Gnocchetti pasta with pork sausage, truffle and cream sauce

Second Course: Gnocchetti al Norcina

Second Course: Gnocchetti al Norcina

Third Course: Panna Cotta
Strawberry panna cotta with 30th Anniversary balsamic vinegar

Third Course: Panna Cotta

Third Course: Panna Cotta

Dinner was delicious (as we’ve come to expect from La Spiga) and the best part of the evening was that we got to take recipes for each of the courses home with us! And now I will share the Gnocchetti alla Norcina (ricotta gnocchi with sausage, truffle and cream sauce) recipe with you!

Gnocchetti 101 class at La Spiga

Gnocchetti 101 class at La Spiga

Gnocchetti alla Norcina from La Spiga Osteria
(Ricotta gnocchi with sausage, truffle and cream sauce)
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ricotta, drained overnight
  • 1 egg
  • ~1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T truffle flour (optional)
  • 2 c all purpose unbleached flour + extra for dusting
  • 6 pork sausage links
  • Olive oil
  • 3 T truffle butter (optional — available for purchase at La Spiga)
  • 3 c heavy cream
  • Parmigiano Reggiano

Make the gnocchetti

  • Mix together the ricotta, egg, salt, a little fresh ground pepper and the truffle flour, if you’re using it.
  • Add the all purpose flour and blend until smooth. The dough should be a workable consistency and may be sightly sticky. (About 2 minutes)
  • If the dough is too sticky, you may add up to a 1/4 c extra flour, but resist the urge to add any more.
  • Dust your work surface with plenty of flour and roll out the dough in small batches into 1/2″ cylinders with your palm.
  • Cut the cylinders into 1/2″ pieces like the below photo.
  • Dust the pieces with flour and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment, you may freeze at this point, if you’re enjoying them later.

Little gnocchettis

Little gnocchettis

Make the sauce

  • Remove sausage from the casing (Sabrina recommends using sausage WITHOUT fennel– it’s her preference) and saute in a sauce pan with 2 T olive oil. (Sabrina only uses Bono Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which I have only been able to find at La Spiga, not at PFI), lightly salt the sausage to prevent the loss of flavor to the cream.
  • When the sausage has just cooked through, add the optional truffle butter and allow to melt.
  • Add the cream once the butter has melted.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and remove from heat. Don’t worry about boiling the sauce down or reheating it. It will do this on its own.

The best sauce EVER: sausage, truffle and cream

The best sauce EVER: sausage, truffle and cream

Cook the Gnocchetti

  • Bring salted water to a boil. The water should “taste like the sea”
  • Cook the gnocchetti in small batches. Do not stir.
  • When the gnocchetti rises to the surface, allow it to cook for about one more minute. Skim the finished gnocchetti off of the surface with a slotted spoon and transfer to the sauce pan.
  • Continue to cook all of the gnocchetti in this method.
  • Dress the cooked gnocchetti by folding it into the sauce. Take care not to break up the gnocchetti and serve immediately. (This should only include ~one minute in the pan)
  • Add garnish (microgreens pictured here) and/or Parmigiano Reggiano

Second Course: Gnocchetti al Norcina

Second Course: Gnocchetti al Norcina

AND ENJOY!!! Now I’m hungry and want to go make a batch of this Gnocchetti alla Norcina! Thanks for the recipe, Dyne and La Spiga!

 

Seattle’s Sweet Week: Sept. 14-20

Seattle's Sweet Week

Seattle’s Sweet Week, Sept. 14-20

Guess what next week is? SWEET WEEK! Seattle Magazine has the full scoop, and here are the highlights:

Now in its second year, Sweet Week, which runs Sept. 14 to 20, features 20 of the city’s best sweet shops offering special $5 desserts or samplers, some of which are not usually on their menus:

Hot CakesBallard: Apple Cardamom Ginger Crisp with salty molasses caramel and vanilla ice cream; Capitol Hill: Cherry Fig Fennel Crisp with salted caramel and vanilla soft serve

Hello RobinIce Cream Sandwich with Chocolate Chai Brownie Chunk Cookies, Molly Moon’s Stumptown coffee ice cream, and pop rocks

Sweet Mickey’s: Fudge Sampler Box

Theo ChocolateFlight of fall flavors: Pear Balsamic Ganache, Apple Cider Caramel, and Fig Fennel Ganache

Full Tilt Ice CreamBlueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Bars

Dahlia BakeryS’mores Chocolate Tart

Dahlia Workshop‘City of Seattle’ Italian plum and ginger Basque cake

Le Panier‘La Vie en Rose’ sweet rose mousse and raspberry cream in choux pastry

Fresh FloursTea-infused macaron sampler: Chai, Rooibos, Hojicha, and Matcha

Violet Sweet Shop‘The Opera Bundt Cake’ all-vegan vanilla bundt cake brushed with espresso syrup, covered in dark chocolate ganache, and filled with espresso creme

A La Mode Pie‘Cookies & Cream Tuxedo Pie’ crumbly chocolate-graham cracker crust, with layers of rich ribbons of chocolate, crushed Oreos, delicate homemade custard, more crushed Oreos, and whipped cream topping

MacrinaMini Banana Chocolate Cake, layers of banana and chocolate cake with sweetened whipped cream and rum roasted bananas, glazed with ganache

ChocolopolisFlight of Brown Butter and Salted Caramel drinking chocolates with a salted caramel covered in dark chocolate.

Canal MarketApple Rosette with pistachio ice cream

PieTrio Of Mini Mini Pies, pick three: Beechers Apple Pie with local Flagship cheddar, apples, and brown sugar cheddar crumble; Boozy Blackberry with local berries and Schilling Cider’s Mischief Maker, Crème Fraiche Pecan, Pumpkin Cream, and Raspberry Chiffon

Gelatiamo‘Gelato d’Autunno’ trio of gelatos using pears, figs and hazelnuts, served with a caramel cookie

Cupcake RoyaleButtered Popcorn and Caramel Crunch Babycake with buttered popcorn and peanut crunch ice cream, and KukuRuZa Hawaiian sea salted caramel corn

Flying ApronVegan & Gluten-Free Yeasted Cinnamon Roll with cream cheese frosting

ParfaitChewy Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie Sandwich with butter toffee ice cream, rolled in hazelnut toffee

Bluebird Ice CreamSmoked Chocolate Porter Ice Cream with Hot Cakes’ smoked chocolate

$5 desserts!? YES, please! I don’t even know where to start!!

Planks in the Park (Free barre class!)

dailey-method-Oh, hi! Sorry to interrupt your holiday weekend, but I think I have some information that you’d be interested in!

My barre studio, the Dailey Method, is offering a free “Planks in the Park” community class THIS Saturday (9/12) at the Mercerdale Park (77th SE & SE 32nd) on Mercer Island.

If you’re interested in trying out barre, you should definitely check out this free community class. {Read my initial barre observations from early 2014. It’s been my go-to workout since then, excluding the queasy part of my early pregnancy and larger part of my later pregnancy.}

What should you bring? 

Bring a yoga mat, a water bottle and yourself! They’ll have a DJ and a great time. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The class will run from 9-10 a.m. and is open to all ages and fitness levels!

Will I be there? 

Maybe. The kid doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to join us outside of the womb, so while I won’t be doing barre (yet), I very well might be there to hang out and say hello to my long-lost barre friends! I hope to see you there and maybe I’ll bring orange slices Capri Suns, like my parents used to bring to soccer games?

Planks in the Park -- free community barre class by the Dailey Method

Planks in the Park — free community barre class by the Dailey Method