Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lemondrops and Cosmos

Alright, my 200th post! Its taken a few years to reach that many posts but here I am.  I'm celebrating the milestone by posting about two of my favorite drinks, Lemondrops and Cosmos.  They're two classic cocktails with Vodka that are sweet and refreshing and perfect for sipping in the summer.    Whether you want a nice drink to pair with dinner or just to unwind at the end of the day, do yourself a favor and skip the mixes.  You can play bartender by making your cocktails from scratch and they will be delicious. 


Lemondrop 
1 1/2 shots Vodka
1/2 shot Triple Sec
1 Lemon
3-4 t. sugar, to taste
1/2 oz. water
ice cubes


Squeeze lemon into shaker.  Muddle.  Add ice cubes.  Add the remaining ingredients and shake well.  Strain into a chilled sugar rimmed martini glass. 
Makes one Lemondrop. 


Cosmopolitan
1 1/2 shots Vodka
1/2 shot Triple Sec
1 1/2 shots cranberry juice
1/4 lime
ice cubes


Muddle lime and fill a shaker with ice cubes.  Add Vodka, Triple Sec and cranberry juice.  Shake well.  Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a lime wheel on rim of glass.  Makes one Cosmo.  Cheers! 








Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bastille Day 2014

I attended the Bastille Day celebration again this year in Madison Valley.  I had a good time except for the hot weather.  Its been awhile since I've sweat that much just standing in one place.  Plus the way that the festival's set up is like a scavenger hunt so I felt like I had to work for my food.  They give you a map of the participating restaurants with numbers.  Then after reading the food descriptions you can walk around the neighborhood and wait in line for the small bites.  By the time I got the food, ate it and walked to the next spot I probably burned it off! We tried some yummy things this year- crumpets with brie and local Rainer cherries from Queen Bee Cafe, paella from the Harvest Vine, pizza with caramelized onions from Pagliacci Pizza and a hazelnut almond truffle from Ascona.









Queen Bee on Urbanspoon Ascona Chocolat Suisse on Urbanspoon Pagliacci Pizza on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 5, 2014

D'Ambrosio Gelato and the Bellevue Family Fourth

My family and I had a fun and memorable Fourth of July.  It was our first fourth with our twin boys and I think they are firework fans.  We were out and about for most of the day but we made sure to be home when it got dark so we could get the boys into bed.  Every year we forget about all the local fireworks that go off all around us.  In the distance we see nothing but fireworks and the neighbors light them off nearby.  It makes for quite a show for us and we don't even have to fight traffic to get home.  The twins loved looking out the window at all the fireworks.  They even went to bed with all the noise of them still going off.  They are rock-stars. 


We enjoy the event that takes place in Bellevue, the Bellevue Family Fourth.  So we took off to the Eastside and first did some shopping at Bellevue Square.  Then I had to get me some Gelato at D'Ambrosio.  They had some Cannoli's that looked good but I had my heart set on trying the gelato.  I got the Tiramisu which I loved.  It was creamy and smooth and tasted like rum and chocolate.  Then we walked across the street to the festival.  This year we discovered the food trucks and venders and we couldn't resist sharing a Lamb Gyro.  I love all the American Flags, the bouncy houses and the live music stage.  If you are looking for a more quiet Fourth of July event, this is it.


I hope you all had a safe and happy day celebrating America's Birthday!











Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A 45th Wedding Anniversary Party at the Stables

I recently shot photos at a 1969 themed Wedding Anniversary celebration.  The venue was in Georgetown at the Stables.  I know, seems like I've been hanging out in Georgetown a lot lately being as my last few post have been from businesses there.  The party was a blast and I loved all the decorations and what I especially loved was the first thing I spotted when I walked in-cupcakes!


They had a cake along with the cupcakes that was very cute since the husband likes to fish and the wife enjoys reading.  Their kids did a wonderful job planning and organizing the event and I could tell that a lot of thought and detail went into it.  They served dinner buffet style with spaghetti, bread, and salads and they also had a bar with beer and wine.  I really liked all of the exposed brick and interesting art on the walls.  The Stables was the perfect spot for this joyous anniversary party! 








Friday, June 27, 2014

American Pie Bakery and Cafe

I've always been spoiled by pie because growing up my mom made the best ones.  Her apple pie is my favorite but she also made and still makes lemon meringue, cherry, peach, huckleberry, mincemeat and strawberry rhubarb.  It was always a good day when I'd come home from school and see a pie cooling on the counter.  She even mailed me one or two in college. 

There's a certain art to baking the perfect pie and not everyone can do it.  American Pie Bakery and Café in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood was worth checking out since I do love me some pie.  It didn't compare to my mom's and was expensive.  It was tasty though and the slice I selected was unique, Raspberry Custard.  It reminded me of cheesecake with raspberries and had a nice crumble topping.  But the slice my husband picked missed the mark.  He bought a classic slice of cherry with a nice lattice top.  But it had Bing cherries and not pie cherries so was sweet but not tart enough.  Maybe warmed up with vanilla ice cream it would have been more noteworthy.  Hmm, if I don't want to spend ten bucks for two slices of pie then I better visit my mom or learn to make it myself!





American Pie Bakery and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Homemade Salsa Verde

My sister-in-law recently visited us from out of state.  She was impressed by all the local produce stands and farmer's markets around Washington.  She found lots of goodies like a honey made locally, fresh red tomatoes, green and red peppers and tomatillos.  I had never heard of tomatillos before.  They are in the tomato family and originated from Mexico.  They are a staple in Mexican cooking and are used to make Salsa Verde- that spicy, green salsa I love to pour over my tacos.  She bought a bag full of them and decided to try her hand at making us some Salsa Verde one night for dinner to go with beef tacos. 


                                                                        Salsa Verde


Ingredients:


1 1/2 lbs tomatillos, papery husks removed, rinsed
2 Serrano Chile peppers, top cut off to expose interior and to remove stems
1 Jalapeño
3 cloves garlic
1 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
1/4 of a whole white or yellow onion
Salt
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped, stems included
cooking oil such as canola oil, peanut oil or grapeseed oil
3 Tbsp sour cream

Instructions:

Put the tomatillos and 3 Serrano Chile peppers in a sauce pan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the tomatillos are cooked, and have changed color, but are not mushy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatillos and Serrano's to a blender. Add 1/2 cup of the tomatillo cooking liquid to the blender, as well as 2 cloves of garlic, a third a cup of your chopped onion, and about 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro (packed). (Remaining chopped onion and cilantro will be used for garnish.) Add one teaspoon of salt.

Purée until completely blended, 15 to 30 seconds. Taste for heat. If not spicy enough add another Chile pepper or Jalapeño (doesn't have to be cooked). Note that sour cream will eventually be added to the sauce which will cool down a lot of the spiciness. Add more salt to taste if necessary. Pour sauce into a skillet, bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat.

Heat the salsa verde sauce again until simmering, then remove from heat. Stir in the sour cream until well blended. 

Note:  We thought the salsa tasted better after being refrigerated for a while so the flavors blended together.  When your salsa is cooled, add to your favorite Mexican dish. 




A bowl of the tomatillos before she made them into salsa verde.



 Jalapeños, Serrano Chili's and onions are some of the fresh ingredients that make up this spicy and flavorfull green salsa.




She made us beef tacos on corn tortillas with green and red peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded mozzarella and the Salsa Verde. 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Recipe adapted from Simplyrecipes.com.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Flying Squirrel Pizza Co.

Georgetown just opened a Flying Squirrel Pizza Co. and we went and checked it out.  We took my sister-in-law who was visiting from out of town and we got our grub on.  We went for lunch and there was only a couple of tables since they're still new.  They have other locations in Seattle and I've always wanted to try it out.  They use fresh and local ingredients so I was intrigued.  It wasn't the best pizza ever but it was good, solid pizza.  We all got personal pizzas which wasn't the best way to represent it.  My crust was bubbly and the sauce had too much garlic.  I ate the pepperoni pizza and the others had ones with chicken sausage, goat cheese and all kinds of veggies.  I tried their pizza and really liked it.  Maybe I just need a break from pepperoni pizza? Flying Squirrel has a great location and between the patio in the back, their nice sized bar and the flat screens, they're going to get their fair share of business. 







Flying Squirrel Pizza Co. on Urbanspoon