Ooh, my favorite!


SODA pop
March 28, 2013, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Bubbly, Restaurants, Seattle

sodapop

Sitka & Spruce Quince and Taragon | Bar Sajor Quince and Sour Blackberry | Rain Shadow Celery

My bubbly fascination is in hyperdrive and it’s not for that from a wine bottle. Surprise, surprise but lately I’ve found myself craving the house soda’s at Sitka & Spruce and Bar Sajor. The perfect amount of sweet syrupy goodness + the most glorious flavors. They always seemed kind of a secret at Sitka since somehow that is the quintessential glasses-of-wine-with-lunch-spot but they are there, and the flavors change often. Think Lemon Verbena, Quince, or Elderberry.

At the new Bar Sajor they are front and center on the menu, so if you find yourself there you must try the cucumber whey or the sour blackberry. There’s also the drinking vinegars and those are epic. There was a beet one that looked beautiful. Ah, but don’t worry. After your soda you can have a glass of wine or cider. That’s usually how I roll.

Also, if you hop across the street to the new Rain Shadow Meats 2 they have the best sandwiches and salads for lunch, but they also have a killer celery soda. A take on the traditional Jewish deli staple this one was so good with my mortadella sammie and potato salad yesterday.

I’m actually encouraging you to skip the sparkling wine and try one of these concoctions on your next date. Then tell me about it later so we can gush.



Askinosie White + Cocoa Nibs
March 27, 2013, 11:42 am
Filed under: Chocolate, The Finer Things

Askinosie1

White chocolate’s not chocolate…whatever. This bar of Askinosie white chocolate is everything: single origin, direct trade, small batch, cocoa butter made in-house, four quality ingredients, and farmers with a stake in the outcome. Even farmer Peter Cruz is featured on the package. Yay for socially responsible chocolate.

Askinosie3But more than the bean to bar production the ingredients in this bar make me giddy. Giddy like skipping down the street or tap dancing around the kitchen (which is exactly what I do). There’s the rich and earthy tang from goat’s milk (such a sexy pairing!), the layer of roasted cocoa nibs on the bottom, and the micro grains of sugar bits that you savor as the chocolate melts in your mouth. I’m basically saying that this white chocolate in no way resembles the horribly waxy bunny-shaped bars we’re all used to. It’s the perfect balance of white chocolate sweet, goaty-milky tang, and a satisfying-crystally crunch.

Askinosie2Grab a bar online here. Or if you’re in Seattle check in with Karyn at Sugar Pill Apothecary or Chocolopolis at the top of Queen Anne.

My other favorite version of this bar has pistachios in place of the cocoa nibs! Don’t be shy. Try them both.

INGREDIENTS: Organic cane juice, cocoa butter (made by Askinosie with Trinitario Davao cocoa beans), roasted cocoa nibs, goat’s milk powder.




illesteva umbrellas
March 26, 2013, 10:50 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Fashion

illesteva

If there was ever a place where one would want to splurge on a sexy umbrella, it would be here in Seattle.

If there was ever a place where one would want to stand out amidst a sea of yoga wear, ski jackets, and plaid, it would be here in Seattle.

This is precisely why I am building a case to add one of these handmade Italian beauties into my umbrella repertoire, which right now consists of one beautiful color wheel umbrella from the MOMA Store. The pricepoint is a bit higher but Illesteva’s line of umbrellas (and eyewear!) has me excited for both April showers and the possible sun that will follow with the flowers in May. Bring ’em on.

Illesteva umbrellas. Handmade in Italy. $250umbrella-3



Salt & Pepper
March 25, 2013, 10:14 am
Filed under: Home, Organization

saltnpepIn part of a larger attempt to get organized I finally got around to coralling our crazy collection of salts and peppers. It’s a small step but a welcomed change that has already streamlined how we work by giving our and most-used peppers and salts (believe it or not we have more!) a permanent place.

For the peppers I went with a set of white Vic Firth pepper mills. Remember my earlier comps trying to decide on colors and shapes? Right now they are housing white, black, pink, and grains of paradise. For the salts we have a mishmash of containers but it works perfectly and it’s easy to switch them out for others. The tray is from a bathroom set at West Elm ($16). We’ll see how the lacquer holds up in the kitchen, but for now it’s perfect.

One nook down and three more to go. I still don’t know what to do with our huge collection of spices, teas, and supplements. I will take any suggestions…please! It’s driving me nuts.



Animal Camouflage
March 21, 2013, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Nature

orchidmantis

This is a Malaysian Orchid Mantis. I had no idea there was such a thing but I am so happy there is because she’s fascinating! Casually lounging among the orchid blossoms, patiently waiting for dinner to come along, and looking damn good while doing it. I like her style.

This and more great animal camo images from photographer and Biological Photography teacher Alex Hyde over at the Daily Mail.



Bookshelves
March 20, 2013, 11:52 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

bookshelvesWhen I was in school I worked as a production assistant at small book publisher that designed the most beautiful museum and coffee table art books. My collection of books mostly consists of those that I worked on, but Andrews collection is the coolest library of literature, poetry, travel guides, cookbooks, and random reference books. One of my favorite things that I’ve learned from Andrew is taking the time to research from a book rather than just jumping online to Google or Wikipedia. There’s something kind of romantic and rewarding about it, and it makes me happy. While my books aren’t part of the mix yet, and incorporating them is going to be quite a task, his wall of books so easily became ours with just a few little touches like the vintage persimmon print and the vision board.bookshelves2

My first instinct was to rearrange the cookbooks by color and then it dawned on me…I am so over color-coded books. Yes I remember things by color, but I also remember by shape and size and placement. So arranging for the sake of arranging is just so bleh, and I’m tired of contrived interiors. I liked them as they were so now I have to have Andrew move them back.



sweet & savory
March 19, 2013, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

savorygranola

My favorite breakfast…lately at least. I have been loving the sweet and savory tastes of this mix and I owe it all to the inspired snack I had from Kylan at the Pioneer Square Pantry tasting party a few months back. (Production is limited so homemade granola is the next best thing.) Here’s my take:

[Sheep milk] yogurt +[homemade] granola + drizzle of [local] honey + drizzle of [arbequina] olive oil + pinch of [black] sea salt.

The addition of the olive oil and the sea salt is genius! It’s the perfect balance with the tangy yogurt and the sweet crunch of the granola. I’ve added the type of ingredients I’ve used above [in the brackets] but you should use whatever your favorite ingredients are. Just be sure you use a killer granola and have a nice finishing olive oil and a chunky and crystally sea salt. Below are links to my faves.

My favorite finishing olive oil | My favorite black sea salt | My favorite local honey




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