Archive for May, 2009

Food-Filled Weekend with Headchef K

May 20, 2009

Headchef Kerry came to visit this weekend from Boston, and the stars aligned for an action-packed weekend that included a visit to the International Food Bloggers Conference, a long bike ride down the Burke-Gilman Trail to the Ballard Locks with Carl, attending the Ruth Reichl reading at the Pan Pacific, eating our way through the Seattle Cheese Festival at Pike Place Market, rooting for our respective teams as the Mariners played the Red Sox at Safeco, dinner at Chez Liang, and lots of meals in between. Good times, huh?!

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Our first stop on the gustatory tour was Barrio on Capitol Hill for a lunch of guacamole, tacos, and chopped salad. The guacamole was fresh and creamy, the salads crisp and refreshing. I still think the non-Happy Hour taco prices are entirely too high, but the chicken adobo tacos with cotija cheese (shown above) *are* delicious. The seared salmon tacos (also shown above), which I tried for the first time on this visit, were little bland, and needed lime juice, salsa, or a little marinade to spice them up. I do enjoy this place, though, and highly recommend their Happy Hour for tacos, chilaquiles, and cheap Mexican beer.

After Barrio, we moseyed over to the new Molly Moon’s outpost for some creamy frozen goodness in the form of maple walnut (me) and salted caramel (Kerry) ice cream cones. We hit the place at the right time and only had to wait in line a few minutes, which passed quickly as we debated which flavors to try post-tacos. The maple walnut had just the right amount of sweet maple flavoring, with the added crunch of walnuts, and is my new favorite – followed closely by the classic balsamic strawberry.

Our next food foray was a late night visit to Serious Pie after the reading Saturday night. We joke that Kerry has to visit at least one Tom Douglas restaurant on every Seattle visit, and it was fun to hobnob with the girls from Cleveland sitting next to us while we enjoyed the cherry bomb pepper and fennel sausage pie and a seasonal pie with green onion pesto, sheep’s milk cheese, and morels. That one was truly amazing, with the creamy cheese providing the perfect base for the salty, fresh pesto and earthy morels. No photo available as it was inhaled quickly!

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Kerry, preparing for Ms-Sox with a little pre-game Skillet action.

Next up: Skillet Street Food, which is now set up outside the south entrance of Safeco at every home game and which I’ve been dying to try. To save room for beer and peanuts later, we split a fried chicken sandwich with apple and celery root slaw. The sweetness and crunch of the slaw went so beautifully with the crispy, salty and chewy chicken and the toasted brioche-like bun, it was perfect food for eating outdoors in the sun, which we did!

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On Sunday night, we grabbed Carl and headed over to Ku, Adrian, and Mia’s place for out-of-this-world bouillabaise, grilled asparagus, barbecued pork, Adrian’s homemade angel food cake, Beard Papa cream puffs, and a couple of cheeses we’d picked up at the Cheese Fest that morning: Barely Buzzed from Utah, a chedder washed in espresso and lavender; and Cirrus camembert from our own Mt. Townsend Creamery. It was a great evening with wonderful friends and the entertainment of Mia, Chowder, and Carl playing with the Cat Dancer.

Dinner at Chez Liang would have been the perfect end to a great weekend, but there was still more to come! We managed to squeeze intwo more stops before heading to Sea-Tac Monday night: Oyster Happy Hour (and then happier dinner!) at Carl’s old stomping ground, Elliott’s on the waterfront, where we had tasty oysters, smoked salmon, crab cakes, mussels, and cioppino; and a quick run to the West Seattle Cupcake Royale to try out Peppermint Pattie and Holly Hobby cakes. Sue McCown has really upped the ante on those cakes, which are now much more moist, rich, and tasty than ever before!

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Carl’s Taku River salmon at Elliott’s

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Cupcakes royale.

As sad as I was to see K. go on Monday night, as I waddled home I was so happy to have had a wonderful foodie weekend with my great friend! Can’t wait for the next trip.

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Argentine lunch on the lawn

May 20, 2009

Occasionally I get the chance to enjoy a meal prepared by Janet Hedstrom and her team at the winery. Janet is an amazingly inventive chef, who always seems to know the perfect foods to pair with whatever wines or special occasions are being showcased. Yesterday’s lunch on the lawn was a perfect example. 

Knowing that our guest is fond of South American cuisine, and faced with a wide variety of wines to be poured, from a kabinet-style Riesling to a big, bold Cabernet Franc, Janet came up with an Argentine-inspired feast that blended Latin flavors with Northwestern seasonal ingredients like asparagus, Yukon Gold potatoes, and some of the first Copper River salmon of the season.

I wasn’t able to take photos, sadly, but the menu included grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, yerba mate-marinated salmon with spring onions and roasted peppers, meat and veggie empanadas, grilled asparagus, grilled pineapple on puff pastry, alfajores, and a massive cheese plate featuring, if I’m not mistaken, some Purple Haze chevre from Cyprus Grove and possibly Mt. Tam from the Cowgirl Creamery.

The alfajores, which are apparently an Argentine specialty and are like caramel cookie sandwiches, were particularly sweet and delicate, and a great way to end the meal. If only lunch on the lawn, in the sun, with food like this was an everyday occurrence!

Spring is Here, Time to Grill!

May 12, 2009

Had a great weekend in Seattle full of tugboat races, the sun on the water at Shilshole, homemade biscuits on the back porch, and a great Mother’s Day bike ride around Seward Park with Carl’s family. To celebrate the glorious weather on Saturday, we decided to grill up some halibut and veggies. Carl made an amazing salsa-relish of grilled corn, tomatoes, black beans, chives, hot peppers, coriander, and lime to go on the fish. Even though it was too chilly to eat in the back yard, the meal sure tasted like summer.

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Action shot: veggies on grill

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The finished product. So fresh, tart, crunchy, and flavorful!

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Uncle Carl and the kids at the park, post-bike ride.