Monday, May 18, 2015

Beth Turns Two!

The special milestones are the ones we remember the most and turning two is very special, indeed.  The birthday girl may not remember, but all her friends and family surrounding her as she blew out the candle on her cake, will. 

This past Saturday I took some photos at Beth's second birthday party.  It was held at her home and she had fun running around her backyard with her cousins, eating hot dogs, opening gifts and having birthday cake.  Her great grandma bought her a kiddie cell phone, a quite nice one in fact, and she had a blast playing with it the remainder of the party.

I love capturing special moments and now her family will have these pictures to treasure.  Because I'm sure Beth will grow up fast and isn't it fun looking back at these times when they're small?
Beth is two already?  It seems like I was just at her baby shower! 

Make a wish, little Beth!

Aww, she loves her little cousin.  Squeeze him good!

Awesome, my own phone! Now I don't have to use Mommy's!

"Hello?  Can you hear me?"  Guess what?  I'm two now!"

Friday, May 15, 2015

Memorable Museum Interiors

There's nothing like that awe moment when you first enter a museum.  Before anything is viewed and pondered over and admired and criticized, you see and feel the powerful room which houses all that great art.  The inside, the interior rooms and the structure of the museums, is also art.

From the grand and sweeping interiors of the Louvre and the intimate Rodin Museum in Paris, these places are every bit as memorable as the art.  The Bible Museum in Amsterdam has a blue sweeping staircase that's not only picturesque but adds an eclectic note to the place that's worth checking out.  In New York, its MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art.   Spacious and contemporary, each floor has white walls and long windows showing each level, that makes it stand out.  Also home to NYC is the American Museum of Natural History.  Who doesn't love the dinosaur in the lobby, looming toward the high ceiling and making it the centerpiece of the lobby?

The saddest thing for me is when all photography is prohibited.  I understand not photographing the art sometimes, but some interiors just beg to be photographed.

Note: I got inspired last week at Seattle's Asian Art Museum.  It was a surprise and a treat to see the beautiful rooms there.  I'm excited to visit some more museums in my own backyard of Seattle, as their are many more I've yet to see.  The Frye Art Museum is my next visit and I'm hoping I can use my camera.  Click on the links to the museums above and you'll be taken to each one's homepage.
The Louvre in Paris offers plenty of breathtaking rooms filled to the brim with art.  I loved the high ceiling and endless paintings to ogle. 
The famous marble Nike of Samothrace sculpture dominates the room and is perfectly suited for the grandness of the Louvre. 
The lobby of the Rodin Museum in Paris has a gorgeous staircase and high ceilings that called to me. 
The blue staircase at the Bible Museum in Amsterdam that we could walk up again and again... 
Even the walls and windows at MoMA are artistic and unique, just like the art. 
And finally, the iconic Dinosaur that greets each visitor at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Rione XIII

Rome is on my bucket list just like a lot of people I suppose.  So when I discovered a notable Trattoria with traditional Roman dishes, I had to check it out.   I'm talking about Ethan Stowell's Rionne XIII in Capital Hill.  He named it after his favorite district in Rome, Trastevere, in the 13th district.  I'd had my eye on it for a while but was looking for a special occasion to go.  So this Mother's Day my husband and I took a chance and decided to go with our twin boys.  They do have highchairs and are family friendly but its still a nice place and my boys are loud and vocal.  We did draw some attention but we loved the food. 

I enjoy Italian, in fact its my favorite.  Hello, pizza!  Their pizza was incredible, very tasty and notable.  We shared one with roasted mushrooms and the four of us savored every bite.  But first we ate the Burrata and oh my, how can one go wrong with creamy mozzarella?  It also arrived with bread and a delicious, sweet red sauce which enhanced the flavor of the dish.  Our drinks arrived after that and I can't remember the names but mine had grapefruit juice and prosecco and my husband's had bourbon.  Next up was the fried artichoke which was also unique and unforgettable.  They arrived with small tongs to make it sharable and a nice aioli for dipping.  Then the pizza came and after that showstopper, we concluded our meal with the Suppli al Telefono- fried Risotto balls with beef ragu and mozzarella.  We also liked those but they didn't seem as special since we'd had something like it before at other places and can make them at home.  But they were a nice way to end things.

If you're looking for a taste of Rome in Seattle then check out Rionne XIII.  You'll be dreaming of Italy and you'll leave feeling full and satisfied.
This creamy Burrata was a good way to start our meal.





The Carciofi alla Guidia- our fried artichoke with Aioli.

Our Taleggio Pizza.  It had roasted mushrooms, Taleggio cheese and truffle oil.

Suppli al Telefono, our fried Risotto balls. 


Rione XIII on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Huckleberry Croissant Puff

This year for Mother's Day I wanted to start the day off right with some brunch.  So instead of going out to eat,  I wanted to make things simple and faster. Our little boys have a way of making me think this way, by making brunch at home.  I ended up making Huckleberry Croissant Puff, turkey sausage, scrambled eggs with shredded white cheddar and last by not least, mimosas.  Because how can you go wrong with a little champagne and orange juice?  The Huckleberry Croissant Puff I baked the day before so it would be ready and just need some reheating.  Eggs are always quick and the sausage just took a few minutes to cook on the stovetop.  Before I knew it, we were all eating brunch and we had the rest of the day to look forward to. 

I found the recipe for the croissant puff here, at The Girl Who Ate Everything blog.  Her recipe uses blueberries which I substituted for huckleberries.  I loved how tart and creamy it turned out.  We reheated ours but it tasted better cold later and reminded me of cheesecake.  The only thing I would change was that I didn't soften my cream cheese enough and it didn't mix well enough with the sugar and egg mixture.  It looked clumpy but it still tasted yummy!

Ingredients:
  • 3 large croissants, cut up (about 5 to 5½ cups)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen huckleberries
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place croissant pieces in a 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with huckleberries.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add milk, beating well after each addition. Pour evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 20 minutes.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until set in center and golden brown. You may want to cover it with foil for the last 10 minutes if the tops are getting too browned.
  5. Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  6. Variation: Instead of baking in a square pan bake individually. Place croissant pieces evenly in 10 (1/2-cup) ramekins; sprinkle with huckleberries and pour cream cheese mixture evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 20 minutes. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until set in center and golden brown.


Don't forget the champagne!  It's not Mother's Day without some orange juice and bubbly!


Some gorgeous green hydrangeas from my husband brightened our dining room and was a sweet gesture for Mother's Day.


Friday, May 8, 2015

A Visit to the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park

This month I decided to check out another museum for the free first Thursday event in Seattle.  I'd never visited the Seattle Asian Art Museum so I decided it was the perfect time to go.  It's located in Volunteer Park near Capital Hill.  A spacious and lush park with many attractions, the art deco building that houses the museum is a gem that should not be missed.  Collections from China, Japan, India, Korea, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas can be seen along with special exhibitions. 

Being showcased during my visit was work by the artist Chiho Aoshima. She used imagery she created from computer graphics to make futuristic scenes with creatures.  There were many paintings with buildings and fairy-like faces featured.  She even created an animated 3D Soundscape which was also on display.  It was large, spanning the whole wall, and loud and vibrant.

I loved the bright airy rooms and the general feel of the museum.  My favorite part was the room overlooking the park, giving it a feel of a museum in Paris and New York.

The Seattle Asian Art Museum is located at 1400 East Prospect Street in Seattle.














Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dinner at Flying Squirrel Pizza Co.

Last night the fam and I had dinner at the Flying Squirrel Pizza Co. in Georgetown.  We ate there last year shortly after they opened, for lunch, and it was worth checking out again for dinner.  On our last visit my sister-in law and my husband and I all tried their personal pizzas.  But I didn't think that was a good representation of their crusts.  The toppings were fresh and unique but the crust was too thick and bubbly.  This time we shared a large pizza and it was perfect.  The crust was thinner yet had a solid base to hold the toppings.  The tomato sauce was also nice.  Pretty light and not all in your face salty or spicy.  It had a good amount of cheese and I liked the toppings I chose.  Pineapple from Maui and artisan ham.  So delish.  My husband had meatballs on his side which he really liked.  We started with cocktails and the Homemade Meatballs to nosh on.  My husband drank a Rum Derby which had rum, lime and maple syrup and I drank a Tinnie's NYC which had bourbon.  Then to finish off we all shared a piece of the Key Lime Pie.  I liked the whipped cream and strawberry on top and the tartness of the pie.  It was a nice and light way to end our meal of Italian food.  I was impressed this visit and was glad to see the place pretty busy, too. 
A Tinnie's NYC drink to start our dinner off right.

A Rum Derby with rum, lime and maple syrup.

Homemade meatballs with grass-fed, local beef and veal. 


A Surfin' Squirrel, artisan ham and pineapple from Maui on one side and meatballs and cheese on the other.

A little key lime pie for dessert.



Flying Squirrel Pizza Co. on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rock Box

Date Night came around again and this time the hubby and I did Karaoke at Rock Box.  We had the time of our lives and had a blast singing for two hours to our favorite songs.  The unique part about Rock Box is they rent out private and soundproof rooms, or boxes as they're called, where you can sing your heart out.  There's a tablet with songs and you just sit on the couch and search through the database and then sing to your hearts content.  There even have waiter service to bring cocktails and snacks to you.  They are partnered with Cure, the restaurant next door which serves charcuterie and cheeses.  So along with Rock Box snacks you can order meat and cheese plates, which we did.  We loved it and hope to return soon to sing, drink and eat some more! 
Rock Box is located on Capital Hill at 1603 Nagle Place.  They're the only karaoke place in Seattle with private rooms. 

This is one of the larger rooms which would be perfect for a bigger group. 

Our little room for two.  We began with some cocktails and started off by belting a little Usher. 

My drink was called a Hello Kitty and tasted like coconut and pineapple.   My husband drank a Citrus Manhattan. 

We snacked on some Yakkari Pop-duck fat popcorn with yakkari and salt.

I also sipped on some house sangria which was super refreshing and fruity and paired well with our snacks.

We also tried the gracamame, fresh avacodo with edamame guac and chips. 

The Fromage Blanc Crostini-goat cheese drizzled with truffle honey and served with almonds and crostini from Cure's menu.

The Smoked Duck Breast-duck breast with fig jam and some sliced baguette, also from Cure's menu.

All of our snacks and drinks- fun times and yummy eats.  Don't forget the awesome music and singing!

Rock Box on Urbanspoon Cure on Urbanspoon