Monday, January 30, 2017

First Supper Club Meeting: Bottlehouse, Madrona, Seattle

Glass of wine by candle light next to a laptop at Bottlehouse, Madrona, Seattle

We had our first Supper Club at one of my favorite little secret spots in the city. This is a local favorite, not many people know about it and it's off the beaten path a bit. You have to take the 2 all way down to Madrona park and it's a lovely 23 min commute, from downtown, when you don't have your car.

This little oasis is gorgeous in the summer and spring. I fully plan to write another post for you about them, come June. The patio will be open then and they will have little twinkling lights outside with white wine pairings and rosé that's light and crisp and fresh.... I wish it were summer!

Bottlehouse, Madrona, Seattle, in the winter is just as beautiful. The atmosphere is this light and airy feeling through out the old renovated home. It has darling chalkboards with specials written on them and promoting bands that come to play on the weekdays. The menu changes frequently to the seasons and the food. They offer full wine bottles, a glass and a taster. The staff is WELL versed in their wines and all of the cheese and meat plates are prepped to match the wines on your table, e.g. a Camembert cheese was served for the Colosi Nero d'Avola red wine I ordered. They also give a full history of the meats and cheeses and why they did the pairings!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Taco Taco, Boat Boat

Lettuce Leaf filled with ground beef, tomatoes, dairy-free sour cream, radishes, cilantro and topped with lime juice.

Aw yes, my salad friends, the infamous Taco Boat. A super easy, delicious, calorie exempt meal that'll keep you happy all through the night. I decided to post these beautiful little faux floating bites because:

1) I made them
2) Everyone asked me about them
3) The inauguration is today and what better way to avoid it by looking at these cute Taco Boats.
4) My first post Taco Boat post, I labelled them as Salad Bites and it was a very Spring inspired recipe, Pulled Pork Kalamata Apple Salad Bites. (Kind of a mouthful and more savory than fresh).
5) This recipe is not seasonal and is great all year round.

Lettuce leaves filled with taco filling on a white plate and garnished with lime.

What's special about these boats?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How to Start a Supper Club

Clever Bottle, Seattle. Savory Pretzels on white plates with mustard, rosemary and mulled wine.

Salad Lovers! I started a supper club!

What's a supper club, you ask? - Great question. Supper club is a circle that dates back to the early 1930s where , generally, women would get together, drink a lot of wine and trade of recipe dishes to their girlfriends. In modern times, us moderns gals have revamped this idea in trying new and different restaurants in the city to recommend to family, friends and co-workers who are in town visiting, etc.

The reason I wanted to have a supper club is because there is another group of gals that have been holding a meeting once a month and these girls all became great friends outside of their group. They actively try and get together and they try to make each event new and different. I desperately wanted something similar but with a really fun event at the end of the year. So here's how I got mine started:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Almost Classic Chicken Cobb Salad

White bowl on wooden table with ground chicken, avocado, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, bacon and romaine

Remember, in my last post, how all I wanted something fiery and savory and spicy? I couldn't get enough heat in my life? - This salad is not that... Womp Womp! Truth be told, I had every intention of making this a spicy chicken cobb but some personal matters had me up all night and when it was time to cook, I just wasn't in the mood for spice. I still wanted something savory but also something that felt natural and ... peaceful. Ha! This is a peaceful salad, salad friends!

The inspiration for this salad came from a lunch trip last weekend. My sister and I went on an adventure to Nordstrom's The Grill. She'd never been there before. She order a delicious looking Crab Macaroni & Cheese and I ordered their Cobb Salad, hold the blue cheese. I then ordered it with a Dijon Balsamic Vin. I'd never heard of such a mix and don't know why I'd never thought of it before. So, for this Almost Classic Cobb Salad, I decided I would make my own Dijon Balsamic Vin., but creamy.

I love ideas for new recipes and new meals. It's exciting to try out, photograph and have friends try too. This afternoon, to be direct about it, I was upset and I've been going through quite a lot recently. Though I was dealing with my own feelings, one of my darling co-workers told me she forgot her lunch! I had just gotten done making mine and, for the first time all day, got excited about about being able to test it a recipe out on her. So, back to the kitchen to teach her how to make her own. Not gonna lie, hers came out gorgeous and she went home and bought ingredients to make it today.

What I love about Cobb Salads are the color combinations. I love the greens and reds. Almost as much as I love the reds with the whites from the boiled egg. Its colorful and beings joy. I'm happy to say she really enjoyed it and though she opted for my vegan ranch dressing, she was interested in my Vegan Creamy Dijon Balsamic Vin. for the future. Which says A LOT.

Now, I have the stamp of approval from four co-workers and the comments "What a gorgeous salad!" to "You MADE that?" #winning

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two Great White Bean Turkey Chili

Close up shot of a white bowl of "Hot & Fiery Two White Bean Turkey Chili"

Hot and Spicy, that's right, I have been on a kick since I got back from the Holidays. I was out in New Mexico taking care of my beautiful Grandmother during the Christmas season. Unfortunately, I got sick!

If you've been a frequent visitor to my blog, you know I've been suffering with my health over the last quarter of 2016 and it's not normal for me. This is the third time in 2 full months that I've gotten sick. The last two times were over both major holidays. Hence my lack of posting.

While my Mom and Aunt slaved in the kitchen for Thanksgiving, I sat like a buoy on the couch unable to move without coughing and unable to breath when laying down. My senses were shot and food had lost flavor.

I thought all of my dreams had come true the next day. I got 10 hours of blissful sleep and I felt mostly human again. My Aunt had put the fixin's in for a thanksgiving turkey soup, as it had all of the left over bits, in the crockpot that morning. I dreamed of that soup all day long. When I sat down with it ... oh friends .... it was sweet. Sweet beyond words! An unnatural honeyed plague of sadness that just killed my heart. Oh, the drama! All I wanted was turkey soup that was supposed to be: warm, savory and spicy. Alas, that was shot to hell due to my failed senses.

Which brings me to this mother lovin' spicy Two Great White Bean Turkey Chili.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Healthy Greeting to 2017

A tomato smiling in an elevator

Happy New Years, Salad Lovers. I'm happy to say that I've gratefully ended 2016 with health, joy and thankfulness.

My absence over the past month hasn't been for lack of creative energy but from stress and sickness. My beautiful grandmother had a stroke the day after Thanksgiving and I came down with the flu for the second time in November. After carrying that flu right into December and getting better again, I was finally able to travel out to see my grandmother.

My friends, when I tell you my trip was the hardest experience of my life, I hope you'll trust me. There aren't enough words to explain my despair and heart ache of seeing her so sick and frail. My grandmother is one of the strongest women I have ever know. She's incredible. She speaks 5 different languages and understands Latin. LATIN. She's independent and determined and everything you could possibly idolize... and for her to be lost in her own mind... well, it destroyed my whole world. Suddenly we are not invincible and made of iron. Suddenly, this life isn't forever and we age and our bodies fail us.

This trip was an eye opening experience for the New Year. It brought determination to live as hard as I can for as long as I can because even if you get to 80, it'll never be enough if you aren't living a positive and happy life.

I thought it would be fun to share my New Year's resolutions with you. Without further ado:
  1.  Travel once a month
  2.  Take 30 minutes everyday to be creative 
  3.  See my Grandmother as much as I can
  4.  Join a blogging circle
  5.  Take cooking classes
  6.  Take french lessons 
  7.  Learn to be heard 
  8.  Call my family more often
  9.  Have an open heart to love
  10.  Be present 
Here's to a brand new year filled with adventures, hopes, dreams, love and happiness.

P.S. For those of you wondering about the tomato photo, this little guy was just sitting on the rail of an elevator of an apartment complex in Seattle. I don't know who's little master mind he belongs to but it certainly made me laugh and he's a reminder to be spontaneous and to take time to help others smile.

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