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.

 

 

 

 

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?

{Wine Wednesday} Game day wine pairings

WineWednesday

VinePair always has the best wine pairing ideas and infographics! (See Halloween candy, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cookies.)

They scored once again with these football foods and wine pairings. I’m sure these would all be great with beer, but that’s not my thing, so this is especially poignant for me. Especially since I’ll be spending the bulk of my sportsball-watching at home, in front of the TV with my little guy. Don’t nachos and malbec sound delightful right now?!

 

2015-9-16 football-gameday-wine-pairings-infographic
Happy drinking and go Huskies, Broncos and Seahawks! 

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

 

 

 

Big John’s PFI (Pacific Food Importers)

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, but Big John’s recent obituary made me want to tell you all about one of my favorite stores in Seattle: Big John’s PFI (1001 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, 206-682-2022).

PFI's non-descript entrance

PFI’s non-descript entrance

PFI is a unique store, one that you don’t have to visit weekly, but one that any respectable Seattle-area foodie should visit monthly. We have our favorites and occasionally we’ll expand beyond our standard list: spices, pasta, special flour for the pizza oven, crushed tomatoes, candy, and sometimes meats, cheeses and wines.

Allow me to walk your through the store, and highlight our favorites:

Spices for days!

Spices for days!

About 1 million varieties of bulk salts, including truffle salt, my favorite!

About 1 million varieties of bulk salts, including truffle salt, my favorite!

More spices and grains

More spices and grains

So. Many. Flours. We've tried most of them!

So. Many. Flours. We’ve tried most of them!

Pizza flours. (Brandon's go-to combination is 60% Caputo, 40% Nero)

Pizza flours. (Brandon’s go-to combination is 60% Caputo, 40% Nera)

Bulk sweets: chocolate-covered everything (I'd highly recommend the milk chocolate-covered pecans...So would Brandon's Grandpa!)

Bulk sweets: chocolate-covered everything (I’d highly recommend the milk chocolate-covered pecans!)

From woodland creatures to chocolate-covered berries, they'll have something you'll love!

From woodland creatures to chocolate-covered berries, they’ll have something you’ll love!

Need large quantities of chocolate? You're in the right place

Need large quantities of chocolate? You’re in the right place

Even more sweets at PFI!

Even more sweets at PFI!

Dried pasta section, part one

Dried pasta section, part one

The other side of the dried pasta section

The other side of the dried pasta section

There are a lot of canned goods, vinegars, olive oils, wines, meats and cheeses available that I didn’t include here. Check out the Big John’s website (they have unexpected hours) to make sure they’re open before you head down.

If I’m not busy giving birth, maybe I’ll see you there this weekend? (Saturday… they’re closed on Sundays)

Shopping small

Today marks the start of the Christmas shopping season and I’m posting this from an outlet mall far, far away from Megan’s Island. This is the sixth or seventh year of this tradition and even though I’m not shopping for a new big screen TV or any presents really, I love spending this quality time with these friends, even if it is way too early in the morning.

I’m not against big box stores or easy ordering on Amazon, or even the medium-sized stores, but this year we’ve made a concerted effort to “shop small” when shopping for presents. We’re about halfway done with our holiday shopping and I’d encourage you think small when you shop this year.

To make shopping small easier for you, I’ve decided to highlight several businesses owned by some of my favorite people. Bookmark these links for the future, to shop beyond just the holidays!

Bottle and Bull

Bottle and Bull

Bottle & BullThis new Kirkland restaurant, run by my favorite restaurateur couple Jessi and Chad, opened this week. Stop by to fuel your shopping adventures or pick up a gift card to put in someone’s stocking! Experience the travels of Ernest Hemingway through your palette, eating and drinking your way through the cities that Hemingway loved to frequent; Havana, Paris, Florence and Pamplona (where he discovered his love for bull fighting!) to name a few.

Coloring Nature

Coloring Nature

Coloring Nature. My friend Cari and her husband own this organic landscaping company. Beyond landscaping, they offer holiday wreaths, succulent logs, floral design, corks, and occasional classes. You can find Coloring Nature online and at the Fremont Sunday Market.

Coloring Nature

Coloring Nature

Coppersmith Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy is my favorite physical therapy clinic for all that ails me. In fact, I’ve been a loyal customer for more than 30 years, since the clinic is owned by my parents. If you have physical therapy needs, I highly recommend you head to Coppersmith PT! (Thanks for being blog readers, Mom & Dad!)

Dailey Method. The Dailey Method is a unique combination of ballet barre work, core conditioning, muscle strengthening, yoga, and orthopedic exercises. Owners Brenda and Michelle are killer yet magical instructors and they offer online purchasing options as well as gift cards. They even feature local businesses (like Little Britches Bakery) in their lobby. Extra shop small points for the Dailey Method!

Davenport Cellars. I love myself some wine and Davenport Cellars is run and owned by two of my favorite winemakers. Not only are their wines fantastic, their price point can’t be beat. My “favorite” bottle of Davenport flips on a weekly basis, from the Cab-dominant Continuity to the Merlot-dominant RHD. I have recruited several friends to join the Davenport wine club and I’d encourage you to head over to Woodinville, taste some wine and support Washington winemakers and this small business.

Davenport Cellars

Davenport Cellars

Style By Wendy helps those who feel outdated, frumpy, or insecure to discover more confidence in their closet. Whether it is a closet clean-out, creating outfits with your clothes, personal shopping, or determining your color wheel, Wendy makes you feel good about yourself and what you wear every single day. 

Libby's Paper Party Hats

Libby’s Paper Party Hats

Libby’s Paper Party Hats. My dear friend Libby (and future business partner, if everything goes as planned!) makes paper party hats, banners and more, selling her wares on Etsy. Libby’s paper party hats are beautiful and crafted with talent and love. I received a my very own University of Washington-themed paper party hat for my 31st birthday. It’s great, isn’t it!?

Me & my dead duck friend. Hat from Libby's Paper Party Hats! Thank you, Lib!!

Me & my dead duck friend. Hat from Libby’s Paper Party Hats! Thank you, Lib!!

Little Britches Bakery. Shameless plug right here! Little Britches Bakery is my part-time gig and my creative outlet. It isn’t a real bakery, instead its completely inedible, practical and completely usable baby gifts that look like your favorite bakery treats. (They’re “too sweet to eat,” get it!?) You should for sure follow Little Britches on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and think of Little Britches next time one of your friends announces a pregnancy. I ship anywhere in the US and offer completely customizable baby gifts!

My Little Britches Bakery onesie cupcakes

My Little Britches Bakery onesie cupcakes

Vine Trainings. The perfect party: you, your friends, and some delicious wines. My friend Zach teaches Vine Trainings classes, including a minimum of seven wines, several hours of personalized and hands-on instruction, and a whole lot of fun. All you need is seating for 10-12 people and somewhere for the wine glasses! Prices start at $35/person, and the specific wines and styles are customizable and negotiable. I wrote about Vine Trainings earlier this year.

Our Vine Trainings set up

Our Vine Trainings set up

Seafood Lover’s Pacific Northwest. I may link to Amazon, but you can find this at a local independent book seller. (We bought our copy at the University Bookstore.) This is my friend Karen’s first book and she set the bar high for her upcoming projects! Her book is great– it has a little bit of everything: recipe, recommendations, lore, and more! The book has inspired Brandon and I to explore the well-known gems and the diamonds in the rough that we had no idea about. After hearing about all of Karen’s oyster experiences, I’m going to give them another shot! Spoiler alert: we bought extra copies for Christmas presents!

Seafood Lover's Pacific Northwest

Seafood Lover’s Pacific Northwest

I have several photographer friends and would recommend any and all of them. Here are the local Seattle-area photogs: Erin Schedler PhotographyKristi Waite Photography, and Mike Fiechtner Photography (you’ll see our wedding photos on the home page!).

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and I hope you take some time to “shop small” this holiday season!