Friday, May 29, 2009
I'm off to where the buffalo roam and the skies are not cloudy all day. Tomorrow I leave for a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
I worked in Yellowstone in college and haven't been back in almost 8 years. This summer it was time to make the trek to see the buffalos and the geysers.
I promise lots of pictures and stories when I return. I can't wait to have one of Helen Corral's Buffalo Burgers!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Memorial Day weekend was also a very special somebody's birthday so I dragged him out of town on a secret birthday trip to celebrate.
My friend has the cutest little cabin up near Mt. Baker and so there we went. It was a lovely, lovely place and eerily quiet.
It's a short drive from Seattle but a whole other world. The people were friendly, the scenery was beautiful and the memories delightful. We drove up to the Mt. Baker Summit on Saturday, stopping at the Nooksack Falls.
We then headed back to the cabin where we watched movies until it was time for dinner. We headed into Glacier and had a lovely little meal at Grahams. When it came time to go to bed, I almost couldn't sleep because it was so very quiet. It's amazing the difference in sound between the country and the city.
Sunday morning brought treats at the Harvest Moon Bakery in Maple Falls while watching the cyclists in the Ski to Sea competition. We then drove home along Chuckanut Drive but that is a tale for another day. I think Scott had a very happy birthday weekend, well at least that is what he told me.
Happy Birthday Scottmon! I'm so happy to have celebrated it with you!
Monday, May 25, 2009
I am officially a quilter now and I'm pleased as punch. No, really PLEASED as PUNCH!
I started this quilt back in January and after enlisting the help of a few quilting friends, I began working on this piece. There were times that I was stymied by fear but I worked through it with the support of my quilting friends. I'm so happy that I did because now I have a quilt that I'm proud of! Yes, there are mistakes but hey those are learning lessons.
Right now I'm just planning my next quilt because I'm addicted!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Scott and I love this little sandwich place in Fremont. It's seriously tiny and doesn't even have a sign above it's storefront. You know you've reached this place when you smell the roasting chicken and see the hoard of people lined up out front.
I first heard about this place from a friend and honestly I wasn't too excited. Huge sandwiches with caramelized onions and big pieces of meat? Not too sure. Then I became a caramelized onion fiend and knew that I had to get to Paseo.
Of course visiting Paseo's does violate my "No Cash Only Restaurants" rule (which always makes me angry) but you see their food is so good that the cash only thing doesn't bother me now. It just means I need to plan ahead a bit more.
My favorite dish is the "Caribbean Bean and Rice Bowl" which is delicious and huge! It doesn't come with onions so I always get a side of their caramelized onions. This bowl is enough food for 2-3 meals. I like to take the nice chicken thigh out immediately and save that for a sandwich the next day. Then I take half the beans and rice out and save that before digging in to the remaining food which honestly is still alot.
Scott swears by the sandwiches. His usual favorite is the roasted chicken but he also likes to have the pork at times. He then usually finishes off my Caribbean bowl because as he puts it he, "loves the chips!"
So get out there! Try Paseo and you won't be disappointed. Seriously I eat there at least 3-4 times a month and I love it each and every time. Oh and be forewarned, they put mayo on their sandwiches, some people love that but others hate it.
4225 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The International Food Bloggers Conference was simply amazing. I've spent the last few days ruminating on all the great tips and techniques that were shared along with all the great food that was served.
There were two sessions on finding your voice as a writer and I was reminded that personality is an important factor in blogging. The panelists also mentioned persistence, passion and platform as other important factors.
If one does not have an interesting personality that they share along the passion and persistence to blog, then they won't succeed even if their platform (blog) is the most amazing thing out there. I think this is true of life. It's like dating or interviewing for a jog. If you don't show the other person that you have a great personality, passion for what you are doing and the persistence to do it, then why would they be interested in you? But you have to remember to present all of those things on a great platform, be it a stellar resume or a fantastic outfit.
The platform problem is one I often struggle with. I want to have the most amazing, awesome, best website out there but I'm not a web designer and nor do I want to hire a web designer. I can however learn more about web design and pester Scott to help me with web design as he knows a lot about it. I just need to work to solve my platform problem while remembering the other P's.
Other panels covered topics such as technology and blogging, ethics in blogging and photography. The technology panel really brought out my inner geek. I get a little bit excited talking about SEO and how to best monetize your blog. Elise from Simply Recipes talked about how she best uses ads on her site to make money at blogging. Elise's blog is her job and where she makes her income so I was very interested in how she does this. Her site is wonderfully designed and she has taken careful steps to place ads within her site without taking away from the look and feel of it.
The ethics panel brought up a lot of passion. Some bloggers believe that they should be held to the same ethics as professional journalists while others don't see themselves as journalists and don't understand why they should be held to the same standards. I am trained as a journalist so I am a bit biased here. I do believe that bloggers who want to be taken seriously as authority figures should be held to the same standards as journalists. They should be transparent and honest.
The photography panel got me thinking. They talked about using the right props to make your photos pop. They reminded me off how a surface can make or break a shot. Unfortunately there was not a photographer on the panel so I didn't get as much information on food photography as I would have liked.
I'm looking forward to the next conference and all the information I can gain professionally and personally. I realy enjoyed learning more about how food bloggers think and how they want to work with companies. It was great to see that blogging is gaining a professional view. I think some bloggers will continue to use their blogs as personal vehicles but it is great to see bloggers taking the bull by the horns and working to make their blog into their jobs. I can't wait to see what the future of food blogging looks like.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
This weekend was the IFBC in West Seattle. The company I work for was one of the sponsors so I was lucky enough to attend and meet some really wonderful food bloggers. I have so many thoughts and ideas from this conference that my head is spinning. Spinning so much that I think I will just focus on all the wonderful food from this weekend in this post.
The morning started with pastries from Bakery Nouveau, a wonderful West Seattle bakery. I've heard reports about these treats but I've never made it to Bakery Nouveau to try them out.
After inhaling a few pastries, I am now an official Bakery Nouveau fan and really must visit the actual bakery.
By lunchtime, the pastries had been consumed and all that was left was one lonely bread basket.
The food at the IFBC was amazing. A portion of Saturday's lunch was made by Kerry Sears from Four Seasons ART Restaurant. He included cured lamb bacon that had been cured at ART and it was amazing.
There were also freshly made donuts along with an delicate stinging nettle ravioli from Cantinetta. Boom Noodle provided a cold dish with a cucumber base and a bruschetta-like spread.
Day two of the conference brought even more amazing food. Breakfast was provided by On Safari Foods with coffee from Stumptown Roasters. There was an egg dish that literally melted in my mouth and the coffee from Stumptown was perfect as usual. Stumptown Roasters actually talked at the conference about their Direct Trade coffee practices and really impressed me. I'll be purchasing their coffee when possible.
Lunch was provided by The Herbfarm, Spring Hill and Six Seven at the Edgewater with foods from 4505 Chicharrones, Theo Chocolate and Salted caramels from Das Foods.
Six Seven and Seattle Caviar made these crepes topped with caviar. The crepes were the perfect host for the yummy caviar.
The Herbfarm provided a lunch that was no more than two days old, except for the cured meat. The radishes were freshly harvested that morning, the eggs were plucked from the hens just hours before and the butter churned the day before. You could literally taste the freshness in each bite.
The Herbfarm raised this pig which was slaughtered last year before they cured the ham into the most delicious salami. The marbling was just right and the meat was tender yet full of aromatic spice.
The food was just as one would expect at a food blogger's conference, which is to say that it was amazing, surprising and absolutely perfect. I'd be thrilled to have attended this conference just for the food but I still have all those thoughts floating around my head. I'll spill those thoughts in another past later this week.
I do have to say that food bloggers might be just as passionate as knit bloggers. I think it is because of the great topics they have fallen in love with.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
I've been busy quilting my quilt up. I quilted for about 4 hours on Sunday and finished about 80% of my quilting. I had to stop though when I noticed my shoulders were at my ears and aching.
I can't wait to finish this project. It's so beautiful!
Thursday, May 07, 2009
My Owl obesession started innocently enough. Someone at work gave me this little Owl candle and I named him Owen (that's my Grandfather's name too!).
Then Owen the Owl was joined by Ollie the Owl Mug at my desk.
Now I've started knitting Owl sweaters!
I do have to say that this wee little vest is turning out super cute. I've been on a deadline to get it knitted up this week since it is for a friend who is allergic to cats. Luckily for her and for me, I'm dog-sitting this week which provided me with the perfect opportunity. She is still a bit allergic to dogs but I've keep it far away from the dog and dog surfaces. Also this house is why tidier than my house so any loose dog hairs are few and far between whereas at my house, the cat fur flies!
Tonight I'll finish up the arm holes, weave in some ends and block this baby up. Then I'll take it to a friends house for pet-free storage and wait for the baby shower.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
It is 'Roid Week on Flickr so I broke out my Polaroid 600 for some shots! I love using my Polaroid cameras but I've been hoarding my film. There is only so much left out there and while rumors circulate about Polaroid film resurrection, I still hoard my film.
I decided to throw caution to the wind this week and I've been snapping pictures with wild abandon. It's been fun.
You can follow my 'Roid Adventures here and the adventures of other Polaroid photographers here
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Sunday morning yoga left me hankering for some fresh, delicious food. Scott and I decided it was time to check out the new Homegrown sandwich and soup cafe in Fremont.
We walked down to the cafe and stepped inside. The menu boards are HUGE! In fact, they are so huge, that they overwhelmed me a bit. My eyes were darting back and forth while my fingers were pointing to all the delicious sandwhiches and salads.
The menu board lists which items are local, organic and/or sustaintable. They also list what local producers provided which items. I love knowing where my food comes from and I feel that the owners of Homegrown do too!
Each table had a culinary herb plant placed on it which was great except that some of them had little bugs on them. This happens with plants, I know! My plants at home have some of these little natty bugs. I find it usually happens from over-watering.
Scott ordered a Ruben sandwich while I enjoyed half a Turkey sandwich with a small Beet salad. Both were delicious.
I did have a few small complaints about this location though. The menu boards are so huge that you are overwhelmed as soon as you step in. Once you are acclimated though, they look great!
The ordering system is a bit strange. You order at one side of the counter and then step to the other side to pay. The guy running the cash register said they were working to change that shortly.
Lastly, all I wanted was some regular ice tea but they only had bottled ice tea. I think it would be a bit more sustainable to just brew up some ice tea in a pitcher and serve it that way. They could even create their own special "Homegrown" brew!
Overall though I'm going back, a lot. I really like this place and I'm glad it is so close to where I live.
3416 Fremont Avenue North
(between 35th St & 34th St)
Seattle, WA 98103