Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bouncing Back on Boxing Day

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Traditionally, in the UK and Canada, Boxing Day is celebrated the day after Christmas and is the day workers who had to work on Christmas Day, are rewarded with a "box" of wonderful gifts from their employer. Some say it is also a day where things are put in a "box" for the poor. Others will Celebrate by encouraging guests to bring some of their favorite leftovers to friends' homes as part of a larger buffet, to enjoy with friends. As for me, I have chosen to put all my favorite "Christmas" memories in an imaginary box and cherish them for years to come. This morning I will sip iced lemon water, listen to Dueter, simmer orange peels and cloves, and admire our beautifully decorated Christmas tree before it comes down for the season. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I have made an Orange-Peach Smoothie, enough for 3, so I can share with my husband and son. I hope this will get us all charged up for the rest of the day. I blended the following: 2 peeled oranges 3 cups baby spinach 2cups frozen peaches then stirred in 1.5 tablespoons Chia Seeds Enjoy and Happy Boxing Day!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Eve

I have so much to share, but since I don't just write about food, I work in the food industry, which means...I'm busy, busy, busy.  I didn't even try to squeeze in any holiday baking on my time off, I just decompressed.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos This past weekend. I finally had some time to make all my cookie dough and bake a few cookies. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Early this morning, I put a few cookies in pretty little packages for a few friends and work colleagues. Tomorrow my family and I will be enjoying the cookies for Christmas Eve dessert. I'll see you all tomorrow with my secret recipes! xo, Gracie & Sammi

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

bubbly, beautiful GREEN Smoothies

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosBack in my youthful and artistic days, I spent many hours looking for pictures of amoebas to re-create on a canvas with batik. I found so much beauty in the cells as they gathered and made beautiful masses. Call me crazy, but I am now obsessed with the bubbly mess that is created when I make green smoothies. I try to make a green smoothie or at least juice, everyday. I buy organic fruits and vegetables and add either almond milk or coconut water and a few spices and see what happens. Most days I come up with something good, but recently, I find myself making one smoothie at least once a week. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Fall is here and I have already had a few Pumpkin Lattes either from Starbucks or Tully's or homemade, but I'm trying to cut down on coffee, so my new Fall favorite is Spicy Pear Smoothie! no caffeine, but I feel like I have more energy. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Pears are in Season right now, so I am going to makes this smoothie until I get sick of it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sweet Treats on our walk: Crumble & Flake

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos So I'm probably the last person to finally try the yummy treats at Crumble & Flake. I have to admit, I didn't feel like standing in line for a croissant, only to find out they have run out. Besides, I'd like to decide on my own if something is truly worth the wait. I had read a few articles and ran across Facebook posts raving about Crumble & Flake. Well, the rumor are true!!! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Every crumb and flake I devoured was delicious. John got the Pistachio Croissant and I ordered the Goat Cheese and Fig, both delicious. One bummer is there is no seating, however, right outside is a Parklette. No kidding! There is a little deck that has a few plants and a little place to stand and enjoy the view. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos So, as long as I won't need to stand in line, too long, I'll be back.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another morning in Portland

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A little over 3 hours in the car and voila, we can be in downtown Portland. I love the close proximity and I really love the food scene in Stumptown. Before you think I'm going to talk about the food cart scene in Portland, I'm not. It's just not my thing. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos If I lived and worked in downtown Portland, I might wander down for a quick lunch, but with nothing but time, I prefer to sit and be served. Maybe next time... Every time I go to Portland we stay somewhere downtown so we can ditch the car and walk. After dropping off our bags, we headed over to Little Bird Bistro. The decor is very casual and relaxed with a hint of French Bistro. We arrived a little early, but it was Sunday, so we didn't expect to have any problems getting a table. We were lucky to get a table, but the place was packed shortly after we were seated. Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosOK, great cocktail selectionLittle Bird Bistro on Urbanspoon and a new favorite for me! For dinner, he got the Daily Fish Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos. Very fancy and very good.Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I intend to go light, hmm, so I ordered the Truffled Gat Cheese Gnocchi, braised hanger steak with wild mushrooms and onion. I paired that with the Caramelized and Gazed Peaches and Padron peppers...YUMMY! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos So with everything delicious so far, I could not wait for dessert. We decided to share the Blackberry Crepe Suzette Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos not so great. The crepe was served with brûléed, or rather charred, oranges. disappointing. OK, so this is what saved the meal... Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I LOVE Macrons!!! These Yuzu macrons were delicious...seriously...YUM! As we were leaving, we saw the macrons they were making for the next day...OMG! So cute? Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos The following day, I was meeting a friend for breakfast. A couple steps away from my hotel, at Hotel Lucia, where I've stayed before, was Imperial. I was happy to see a cool, modern restaurant had taken the place of the former Typhoon. I vowed never to stay at Hotel Lucia again, because the lobby smelled like Chinese take-out. Anyway, Imperial, I love a good breakfast place. The Semolina Corn Cakes were highly recommended, so I ordered them and I loved them!!!Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did, but the corn cake, bacon, hot sauce, maple syrup and perfectly poached eggs were delicious!!! So good in fact, that I may stay at Hotel Lucia again. Imperial on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Tourist in NY: start at a Deli, end with Dessert

Champs Gourmet Deli on Urbanspoon photo utf-8BUmV1YmVuIFNhbmR3aWNoIGF0IGNoYW1wcy5qcGc_zps28b23111.jpgOn a recent visit to New York, my family and I had planned many days of "touristy" stuff and a lot of EATING!!! We were staying in a hotel on 57th and Lexington, so getting around was just a subway ride and a few steps away! One stop included a visit to Ground Zero. I didn't take any photos when I was there. I felt like I would be disrupting the calm that existed there at the time. Wow what an experience. We walked away with a little sadness, but a feeling of unity with all the people, from all over the world, who were there with us. We left Ground Zero and did a little touristy shopping, fun, but exhausting. Time for a quick lunch! We had planned for a lot of eating later that night, so a quick lunch was in order. We had many recommendations for New York Deli's, but we didn't want to take the time to look for places, when we didn't have much time. If you find yourself in the Financial District and you want a quick bite, check out Champs. It iChat be a chain, but it was just what we needed. Not the huge Carnegie Deli (which I've experienced in Las Vegas), but a normal sized sandwich with decent sides and friendly service. Good people watching too! We made a few stops, did a little more shopping, then head back to our hotel in time for Happy Hour!!!  photo photo_zps1b56b31b.jpg Geat place to take a break, refresh and jump start the New York Nightlife. I would've ordered a Manhattan, but the Spiced Apple on the cocktail menu, was calling me. A perfect mix of Apple bourbon, chardonnay, apple juice, cinnamon syrup, orange bitters, may sound a little Holiday, but I was on Holiday, so "Cheers!" Delicious!!! Opia on Urbanspoon So after more exploring, we head over to Monkey Bar for dinner. Loved it!!! You can't tell from the entry, but inside is so cool. I felt like I just entered old New York, yet the food was very old with a new twist. Make sense? We had some crazy throw back cocktails and started with Clams Casino. Our entrees were the Lamb, NY Strip Steak and I had the Steak Tartare, paired with Sishito Peppers and Field Mushrooms. Delicious!  photo utf-8BbW9ua2V5IGJhciBidWlsZCB5b3VyIG93biBzdW5kYWUuanBn_zps3cef26dd.jpg Dessert...Build your own Sundae and guess what? Mint Whoppers were on the sundae menu!!! Yay and YUM!!!Monkey Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Where do you get a good bagel in this town???

Years ago, my mom would drive my sisters and I to New York Bagel Boys in Bellevue just to get "really good bagels, freshly made".  My mom would pick Plain, Garlic and Salt bagels.  Those bagels were the best, chewy and dense.  So Good!  New York Bagel Boys closed a long time ago and some company bought the rights to their name and started selling bagels in the local grocery store...NOT THE SAME.  There are a few bagel places that are fine, but NOT THE SAME.

To be honest, I haven't given bagels much thought over the years, I just think of bagels as the vessel that hold cream cheese and lox, which is plentiful in the Northwest.  Anyway, this past Mother's Day we were in New Jersey, and my brother-in-law and nephews, treated my sister and I to a lovely bagel brunch with all the trimmings!  Lucky me!!!  What a treat and awesome bagels, no joke!

OK, back in Seattle, bagels...NOT THE SAME!!!  The whole bagel brunch just stirred up all the memories I had of New York Bagel Boys.  I bought some bagels from the store and they just got moldy after now one ate them.  I bought a pretty good bagel from Blazing Bagels, which is my son's favorite, but a little too bready for me, if you know what I mean.  I like warm, fresh and chewy.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Eltana Wood-Fire Bagels. I know all my New York and New Jersey friends will not think these hold a torch to any of their favorite bagels, but for me, although they are still not the same, they are my new favorite. The bagels at Eltana are not huge, but they have a great texture and good flavor. I'm hooked! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos The Everything Bagel at Eltana is great even without the lox, but get the lox and all the trimmings...YUMMY! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos John got the fig apricot compote with his Plain bagel, a delicious alternative to lox. I've been to Eltana a few times. There are 3 in the area, but I've only gone to the one in Capitol Hill. If your looking for a good bagel, check them out!Eltana on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 16, 2013

Craving Pho

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosSo, you don't know what you have until it goes away. I use to work near the Pike Place Market and complain about all the tourists, paying for parking, panhandlers and walking up hills to get away from the market. What I have been craving lately is good pho. I use to be able to take a walk and just a few steps away from the market, in Belltown, the best pho in Seattle is quietly hiding...Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant. Located on a quiet part of 1st Avenue, Green Leaf is in the basement of a historic building, kinda weird, but once you start smelling something yummy, you're there. I like the Combo Pho, mostly because I can never make a decision after looking at all the choices. Drink of choice, tea. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I don't really over analyze pho, but I like the broth to taste homemade, not from a can or bouillon cube. The broth in broth in the pho here is clear, not too salty and flavorful. The serving is huge, unless you are starving and the condiments are plentiful. Slurp, slurp, enjoy! Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

YUM Food: Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack and Watering Hole

So, you're looking for a place to eat a little comfort food and you don't want to deal with any "foodie hype".  Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack...a few quirky locals, servers who might be artists and some damn good chili!!!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I work in the food industry and right now I am sick of the snobby "hand crafted cocktail" places. Don't get me wrong, I love a good cocktail, but not every eatery is the right place for a complicated cocktail. I know I am going to get crucified for saying this, but please, "someone just give me a cold draft beer!!!" Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos If you are a first timer to Slim's, order the Texas Red with The Works. The other choices on the menu are good, but you may as well start with something traditional, then go for the other stuff on your next visit, because, "You'll be back!" Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Seattle Night Bites: RN74

So you're out in Downtown Seattle, dinner was hours ago and you don't need another of whatever you've been sipping on all night...I WANT FOOD!!!  OK, the sidewalks are flooded with the upscale gourmet hotdogs, but you don't want to be reminded of those tomorrow.  Ugh.  Wander down to RN74 and get a Maine Lobster Pot Pie!

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Here's how it looked when it's delivered to the table. Then the server chops off the crust and releases Lobster Heaven! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Warning you might fall in love with this pot pie and crave it every night. Be careful, this little yummy is listed at MP, Market Price, so the cost will fluctuate, but...WHO CARES!!! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Life is short, so ENJOY!!! RN74 on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Smoothie du Jour: Green Nectarine

I am really hoping for another warm day today, so my brain freeze smoothie for today should get me ready!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos This is such a refreshing smoothie and I almost forgot I was drinking spinach.

The Green Necarine Smoothie
2 cups spinach
1 cup coconut water
1 ripe nectarine
1 cup frozen green grapes

 Blend the spinach and coconut water first, when the mix is smooth, add the fruit. Blend. Enjoy!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Getting back on track...starting with Mondays!

Good Morning and Happy Monday!  It's almost summer and time for some of us to get on the road to "Fit and Fabulous!"

I haven't been going to the gym regularly, running has taken a back seat to a lot of extra "lounging" and very little cooking at home.  I called my friend and trainer Tim Koffler last week.  He was in SanFrancisco preparing for the SF Half Marathon, then off to Mexico with a client after that...nice life!  Unfortunately, I'll have to depend on old workout routines that I can barely remember or I can dust off my P90X DVD and get some ideas.  I'll probably just go to the gym and do cardio until Tim can set up a new program for me.
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OK, eating!?!  I've been doing a lot of that.  Actually, if you love food, you should have hung out with me the last few month...YUMMY.  I'll share those food finds later!

For now, I am committing to moving more and eating green, meaning I will be seeing more of the gym and eating more organic, grassfed meats AND loading up on fruits and veggies.  Again, Happy Monday  and cheers!  Enjoy an espresso and an Apple-Beet-Carrot-Ginger Juice.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Las Vegas Essentials: Caffeine and Sun Screen

Many people who travel for work often complain, "I hate living out of a suitcase in a hotel!" I often tag along with my husband when he goes on longer business trips, especially if he's going somewhere warm. Well, I have to say, "I could live in a hotel, some are better than others, but come on, room service, housekeeping every day, snacks get refilled regularly and a mini bar!!! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I think when business travelers complain, it's because they are working...I'd complain too. Well, there is one thing I do hate about some hotels, no coffee maker. I could be organized and order coffee the night before, but I never know when I am going to get up, OR I could get dressed and buy coffee in the lobby, but "NO", I'm on vacation. Here's how I handle the problem Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I love Illy coffee. I'm in Las Vegas right now and I remember from my last visit, there is an Illy Espressamente in the Venitian Hotel. Well, that was one of my first stops, so I could solve my "no coffee maker" problem. I got these for the room... Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos and this for my walk back...yummy! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Ok, one other must have when I tag along on these warm weather escapes...sun screen!!! This if what I put on my face every day Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos but on vacation, I carry my SPF face cream and SPF face powder with me, so I can re-apply if needed. Also, SPF body sunscreen Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I'm pretty bad about re-applying sun screen when I'm out and about, but I'm trying to get better. Well, don't feel sorry for me, I love the hotel I am staying in, I have my coffee supply and I am safe from sun damage. "Wish you were here" xoxo, Gracie


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