Thursday, March 11, 2010

If you only had a weekend in Seattle where would you go and eat?

Picture from Roger Reyes Photostream

Recently I got an email from someone that was coming to Seattle just for the weekend and wanted restaurant recommendations. This is very difficult because the restaurants I think should all be in the Seattle downtown and not only should they be in good locations, but the food should be memorable.  That is so hard to narrow down.  Especially since one of my favorite restaurants is located outside of Seattle, Café Juanita which is in Kirkland. So if you are staying downtown, want walking distance to your places, and you only have a few days in Seattle I would recommend going to some of the following places:

Serious Pie – Excellent Pizza, does not take reservations so go early but it is also open for lunch.  Best pizza in Seattle.
316 Virginia St. (bet. 3rd & 4th Aves.)
Seattle, WA
Serious Pie on Urbanspoon

Matt’s in the Market– Local food great atmosphere.  Highly recommend for a fist time visitor.
94 Pike St. (1st Ave.)
Seattle, WA
Matt's in the Market on Urbanspoon

Canlis – Excellent Food but very expensive. Also need a taxi for a few minutes.  Or you can take the SLUT
2576 Aurora Ave. N. (Halladay St., south of Aurora Bridge)
Seattle, WA
Canlis on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Zoe – Excellent food, also the same owner as Quinn’s.  
2137 Second Ave. (Blanchard St.)
Seattle, WA
Restaurant Zoe on Urbanspoon

Shiro’s Sushi – Favorite Sushi Place in Seattle.
2401 Second Ave. (Battery St.)
Seattle, WA
Shiro's on Urbanspoon

Campagne or Café Campagne – Excellent French Food great place for brunch or lunch.
86 Pine St. (1st Ave.)
Seattle, WA
Cafe Campagne on Urbanspoon

Dahlia Lounge – Local place good solid food and order the donuts for dessert.
2001 Fourth Ave. (Virginia St.)
Seattle, WA
Dahlia Lounge on Urbanspoon

Le Pichet – French little bistro great for breakfast or lunch.
1933 First Ave. (Virginia St.)
Seattle, WA
Le Pichet on Urbanspoon

Tamarind Tree – Excellent Vietnamese Food.  Probably need a taxi from downtown but should only take a few minutes.
1036 S. Jackson St. (12th Ave.)
Seattle, WA
Tamarind Tree on Urbanspoon

Wildginger – If you can’t go to Tamarind tree then go here.  It is a large place and always very crowded but the food is really good. This is Asian Fusion type of food and not Vietnamese
1401 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101-2105
(206) 623-4450
Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon

If you are scrolling through Pike Place market and you just want to grab a sandwich go to DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine in Economy Market Building and then go to Daily Dozen Doughnuts right outside for some fresh warm donuts.

Hope you enjoy your time in Seattle.  Let us know where you went and what you thought.

For Seattleites, what would your list be if you only had a weekend in Seattle?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mixing Bowl

Picture from Bed Bath and Beyond


One day I was cooking at my uncles and needed a bowl, I just picked up this bowl to use for mixing, and it wasn’t moving from the counter top.  I just thought wow what a great bowl, this is stable and just awesome.  After that weekend I went to Bed Bath and Beyondand bought myself a set of Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls.  I have other bowls in my kitchen but only for serving, these are the only bowl that I use to prepare things in my kitchen, they are solid, durable and VERY stable.  This is a must have kitchen gadget and also a great gift for someone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Schnitzel is a traditional Austrian dish and is a popular part of Viennese and Austrian cuisine.  It reminds me driving on autobahn as a kid stopping at these little German restaurants on the way and having this delicious schnitzel. Most of the time Schnitzel is served with lemon and potato salad.

The word Schnitzel is believed to come from the word der Schnitz which means a slice or a cut, similarly Schneider means a tailor.

To prepare schnitzel you can use veal cutlets, thin cut pork loin chops or chicken if you wish, it is really up to you.  The preparation is the same.

Today the store didn’t have veal cutlets so I decided to use think cut pork loin chops.

With your schnitzel I recommend either roasted potatoes or potato gratin and mushroom sauce.


Ingredients – Marinade
½ cup white wine
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Soy sauce
Black pepper
1 tsp rice vinegar

1 egg
Bread crumbs

Pound your cutlet to ½ inch thickness then let them sit overnight or a few hours in the marinade.  When you are ready to prepare dry them off from the marinade batter them in 1 egg beaten and then cover them in bread crumbs.

Heat up your frying pan with some butter and vegetable oil, wait for it to get hot and then lower to medium heat and put your cutlets on your frying pan.  About 1 ½ minute on the first side and 1 minute on the other side.   You can put them in your oven to keep warm or serve right away.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Norm’s Eatery & Ale House Review

My dog turned 6 this week and we have always wanted to take him with us when we go out and eat, so we tried out Norms.  We also invited his other friends and met for Friday night happy hour at Norms.  3 couples and 3 dogs.  I didn’t know what to expect at first but the place was great.  Most folks that go there have dogs with them, the dogs are very well behaved too.  No barking or fussing.  The décor has dogs all over, some are cute some are very funny.  We got a booth and the dogs are even allowed to sit with you on the seat.  Ther is a menu for the dogs too but we didn’t order any of that.

The food and the happy hour is pretty standard, with $3 drafts and $5 appetizers. We tried a bunch of different things, their hummus platter, chicken wings, potato chips, beef sliders, coconut shrimp. I think the hummus platter and the sliders were the best.

The food is not the best but the place is still great and you get to enjoy it with your dog.  I would definitely go back.  On top of that the staff is very friendly.

Norm’s Eatery & Ale House
460 N 36th St (Francis Avenue N)
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 792-5572
Norm's Eatery & Ale House on Urbanspoon



Friday, March 5, 2010

Roasted Potatoes

I love roasted potatoes; I think it goes with almost everything. I think the trick to roasted potatoes are choosing the right kind of potatoes.  I like fresh potatoes, and they are hard to find.  Usually you find them in a farmers market but if you can’t find them get fingerling potatoes.  Those are great potatoes. You can also add any spices you want, for this dish I chose marjoram.


Roasted Potatoes

 350 F

1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Marjoram
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 lbs of fresh fingerling potatoes

Boil the fingerling potatoes for 10 minutes.  But the potatoes in half and put them in a bowl.  In the bowl pour the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and marjoram and mix it all up make sure all the potatoes are covered. But the potatoes on cookie sheet and into the oven for about 30 minuets or until brown.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Swedish Pancakes “Pannkakor”

Swedish Pancakes or in Swedish pannkakor [pannkakoor] are very common in Sweden, it is really a type of bread that gets fried in a frying pan.  Traditionally pancakes are eaten on Thursdays in Sweden after you have pea soup. Those pancakes get served with lingonberry and whipped cream.

I grew up with pancakes in Sweden with jam and whipped cream, usually you can find pancakes or waffle stands in Sweden and get fresh pancakes with jam and whipped cream.  Those are my favorite but there are many ways of eating your pancakes and many different types of filling.

Here are some filling examples that I enjoy:

Sugar & Cinnamon
Jam and Whipped cream
Banana, sugar & cinnamon
Apples, sugar & cinnamon

Let me know what your favorite filling is.

Swedish Pancakes

Yields: 10-12 pancakes | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Bake Time: 20 minutes

3 eggs
1 ¾ cups flour
3 1/3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tbs vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs butter

Mix the eggs and a little of the milk.  Add the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla.  Then add the remainder of the milk.

Warm up the frying pan with a little bit of butter. Pour in the batter, about 1/2 cup per pancake. Let the pancake stiffen before you turn it and let it become golden brown before it is done.  Also stir the batter before you pour  the next batter to make sure the flour isn’t sitting at the bottom.

Use one of the following fillings and then roll your pancake and enjoy.

Sugar & Cinnamon
Jam and Whipped cream
Banana, sugar & cinnamon
Apples, sugar & cinnamon

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chocolate Tasting

Picture from The Wandering Eater


Sometimes when I have a girls get together I also organize a chocolate tasting and it is usually a huge hit.  I am not a big dark chocolate fan, I love milk chocolate, but for chocolate tasting you need dark chocolate.  I have done a few chocolate tastings and here is what I learned:  Do not choose anything greater than 80% cocoa and choose chocolates in the same % range.  I usually choose chocolate around 60-70% cocoa. Pick around 10 different chocolates and put them in small bowls with a number and remember to put the same number on the original wrapper so you know what it what.  Give everyone a piece of paper and pen and let folks start the tasting.  Don’t forget to also have a trash bowl for chocolate folks do not like.  Tell folks to rate their chocolate 1-10 and then collect everyone’s numbers and rate the different chocolates. I usually give the remainder chocolates away. 

Here are a few items to tell folk on what to think about when you do a chocolate tasking: 

Look at the Chocolate in bar form and scan for any air bubbles, streaks, or discoloration.  You do not want any of those in or on your chocolate.  You want to see a nice shine on the chocolates surface.  

Smell the entire bar before breaking off a piece.  Get the full aroma of the bar and try to pick out the distinct aroma of that particular bar.  Many times you will be able to know what the bar will taste like by smelling it.  You can also smell apart a bar filled with sugar and a high cacao content bar. 

Listen to the snap of the chocolate as you break a piece off.  Should be a nice clean loud snap. 

Most important! The look, smell, and snap could all be perfect but if it doesn’t taste good then it is meaningless.  Break a small piece of chocolate and put it on your tongue. Let the chocolate melt on your tongue and start to push it around between the roof of your mouth and all area’s of your tongue.  This will allow you to taste all the flavors that particular chocolate has to offer.  Take it nice and slow so you can really taste out any and every flavor that presents itself. 

Chocolate’s texture can big an important part to some people and not as important to others. You can have a sandy, grainy, chalky, smooth, waxy, and even slimy texture. Smooth slick texture is usually preferred but you can like whatever you want. 

If you want to get into this even deeper, here is a great Adobe Acrobat PDF that describes the testing experience in detail from  Chloe Chocolate

Let me know how it goes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pickled Red Beets

I don’t know about you but in the last few years I have become a beet lover. I never used to be but if there are beets on the menu I order them. And I always have beets at home for my cravings. You will notice I will post several different beet recipes in this blog, you will be surprise all the things you can do with beets. If you have some good beet recipes please let me know, I am always up for new beet recipes.

There are many ways to prepare your beats. You can microwave them quickly, that is the easy way. You can boil them in a pot of water, 2nd easiest way. Or the best way and the tastiest way is to bake your beets, that is what I always do, unless I am in a hurry. Here is a great recipe for pickled beets, I think they go with a lot of different things as steak and meatballs.  Enjoy!

Pickled Red Beets

Yields: 4 cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 60 minutes | Pickle Time: 24 hours

Oven 350 F

2 lbs of red beets
¾ cups vinegar essence (6% acidity)
¼ cups water
5 whole cloves
½ cups sugar

First bake your beats by putting foil around your beets and put them on a platter, make sure you have something under the beets in the oven because juices will come out and you do not want to ruin your oven. Leave them in the oven for about 1 hour for medium sized beets. If your beets are larger or smaller your time may differ, it is easy to check just poke a fork in them and make sure they are soft. Take them out and let them cool. Once you have baked them in the oven the skin is really easy to peel off, just make sure you wash your hands right afterwards or they will stay red for while.

While you are waiting for your beets to cook you can prepare you marinade.

In a pot add the vinegar, water, sugar, cloves and let it boil.

Once your beets are cool enough to chop, slice them to your liking. I like my slices pretty large. Then put them in a jar or container of some sort. And then pour your liquid into the jar and place into the refrigerator. Your beets will be ready to eat the following day. These will last a few weeks in the jar.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dine Around Seattle

Picture from Dine Around Seattle Website

It is that time of the year in Seattle; Dine Around Seattle is starting tomorrow. This is a great time for Seattle restaurants to show what they can do for a reasonable price and get customers they would usually not get, but also this is a great time for us foodies to go to our favorite places and get a good 3-course meal for only $30.

I already know the places I will be visiting:  Campagne, Chez Shea, Restaurant Zoe, Chez Shea and Barking Frog.  Those are my favorites on the list.  I will report back on the once I go.

But if you have never been before, you can attend any of the below restaurants from March 1-31, Sundays through Thursdays, these restaurants offer 3-course dinners for $30. This includes selections for appetizer, entrée, and dessert. This is a great deal.  Read more about it here Dine Around Seattle and let me know which places you are going to.

35th Street Bistro
709 N 35th St. Seattle, WA 98103
tel: 206.547.9850
Lunch & Dinner, Not Offered Monday
407 Olive Way NE
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: 206-382-6999
Lunch & Dinner, No Sunday Lunch, No Monday Dinner
Artisanal Brasserie
The Shops at The Bravern
11111 NE 8th St. Bellevue, WA 98004
tel: 425.372.2200
Lunch & Dinner
Barking Frog
14580 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
tel: 425-424-2999
Lunch & Dinner, No Sunday Brunch
Bastille Café & Bar
5307 Ballard Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98117
tel: 206.453.5014
86 Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: 206-728-2800
Dinner, Closed Monday
Dahlia Lounge
2001 4th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
tel: 206-682-4142
Lunch & Dinner, No Sunday Lunch
Earth & Ocean
1112 Fourth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: 206-264-6060
Lunch & Dinner, Closed Sunday, No Monday Dinner
Eva Restaurant
2227 N 56th
Seattle, WA 98103
tel: 206-633-3538
Hunt Club
900 Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98104
tel: 206-343-6156
Lunch & Dinner
615 19th Ave. E Seattle, WA
tel: 206.325.2111
Monsoon East
10245 Main. St. Bellevue, WA 98004
tel: 425.635.1112
3130 East Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98112
tel: 206-322-5800
Palisade Waterfront Restaurant
Elliott Bay Marina
2601 West Marina Place
Seattle, WA 98199
tel: 206.285.1000
Lunch & Dinner
Ray’s Boathouse
6049 Seaview Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107
tel: 206-789-3770
Restaurant Zoë
2137 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
tel: 206-256-2060
Serafina Osteria and Enoteca
2043 Eastlake Ave. E
Seattle, WA 98102
tel: 206-323-0807
Lunch & Dinner, Not Offered Sunday Brunch
Steelhead Diner
95 Pine Street, Suite 17
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: 206-625-0129
Lunch & Dinner
Twisted Cork
900 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 100 Bellevue, WA 98004
tel: 425.637.0808
Lunch & Dinner, Not Offered Sunday Brunch
Mama Melina
4759 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
tel: 206.632.2271
ART Restaurant and Lounge
99 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: 206-749-7070
Lunch & Dinner, Not Offered Sunday Brunch
Nell’s Restaurant
6804 East Greenlake Way N
Seattle, WA 98115
tel: 206-524-4044
Barolo Ristorante
1940 Westlake Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: 206-770-9000
Lunch & Dinner, No Sunday Lunch
Ponti Seafood Grill
3014 Third Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98109
tel: 206-284-3000
Chez Shea & Shea’s Lounge
94 Pike Street, Suite 34
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: 206-467-9990
Dinner, Closed Monday
Salish Lodge & Spa
The Dining Room

6501 Railroad Ave.
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
tel: 425.888.2556/425.831.6517
Lunch & Dinner, Not Offered Sunday Brunch
2020 Western Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
tel: 206-443-6000
Lunch & Dinner, Not Offered Sunday Lunch
3321 W. McGraw
Seattle, WA 98199
tel: 206-284-7305
Lunch & Dinner, Closed Monday
Friday, February 26, 2010

Roasted Vegetables

Pictures from


I got this idea originally from Barefoot Contessa on the food network.  This recipe has been adjusted from the original Barefoot Contessa recipe. 

I love roasted vegetables and I do not know why but I also love sweet potatoes.  This vegetable mixture just creates a great mixture of vegetable flavors but also textures.  This side dish goes with a lot of different dishes and it is easy and quick too. 

Roasted Vegetables

Adapted From: Barefoot Contessa

Serves: 6-8 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 35 minutes 

1 lb carrots, peeled and cut
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 (2 lb) butternut squash, peeled & seeded
2 parsnips
1 large sweet potato, peeled 

1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
2. Cut the vegetable 1- to 1 1/4- inch cubes.
3. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don’t cut them too small.
4. Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on two sheet pans.
5. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, & pepper.
6. Toss well.
7. Bake for 25 to 35 minuntes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula. 


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