Saturday, February 14, 2015

Chocolate Italian Love Cake

This year for Valentine's Day I baked a Chocolate Italian Love Cake.  What's unique about it?  The chocolate cake layer and the ricotta cheese layer switch while baking.  It's magic and it also tastes yummy.  It bakes for one hour and needs to be refrigerated for at least six hours.  So it isn't a super fast recipe from start to finish but when its baking your whole house will smell like chocolate and that's no joke.  In fact the longer it stays in the refrigerator the better it will taste.  That way the flavors have more of a chance to set up.  I noticed that cheesecake does the same thing.  So cuddle up with your Valentine and eat cake, I'm gonna! I found the recipe here

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Museum of Flight

My family and I checked out The Museum of Flight for First Thursday this month.  Every month, the first Thursday is free at many of Seattle's museums.  The admission price is twenty bucks per adult at The Museum of Flight so its a pretty good deal.  It was only my second visit there, the first time was in 2011 with my parents who were visiting from out of town.  The whole place remained unchanged so it wasn't too exciting for me but my sons seemed to enjoy it.  They liked seeing all the planes hanging from the ceiling and they loved running around on the ramps.  There's also a large gift shop and cafeteria, too.  The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S. in Seattle. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Dinner at Stellar Pizza

Everyone has that go to restaurant where they love the food and keep returning.  Mine is Stellar Pizza in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood.  Their pizza is top three for me because of their unique, spicy red sauce and their crust.  I always get the pepperoni pizza, so to mix things up this time I tried the Fildalgo Four Cheese which had Mozzarella, shredded Parmesan, Provolone and Gorgonzola cheese.  My first bite was a bit too cheesy because my palate had to get used to the flavors.  But the next bite and the next and the next was oh so good and memorable.  The pieces were big so I saved my second slice for later when I ate it cold which also tasted awesome.  The atmosphere is eclectic and edgy but also family friendly.  The food is all fresh and cooked to order and they use local ingredients, too.  I will also love you, Stellar Pizza.

I sipped on a Stellar Margarita which tasted delicious and hit the spot.

My husband drank a Long Island Iced Tea.

I also like their kid's menu for the little ones and my little ones shared a plate of Macaroni and Cheese.

My husband started with an order of the spicy chicken wings.

As my appetizer I got the Caprese Platter.  I liked the baby mozzarella and the fresh tomato and basil.  The capers added a unique touch and you can't go wrong with any of Stellar's bread products. 

Cheese, cheese and more cheese!  The Fildalgo Four Cheese Pizza.  Stella Pizza is located in Georgetown at 5513 Airport Way S.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Seahawks Chex Muddy Buddies and Schwartz Brothers Cookies

Today's the big game! Its Superbowl XLIX and the Seahawks, my home team, are playing the New England Patriots!  Its awesome that our team is playing in the Superbowl two years in a row.  I hope we kick some butt today!  Wouldn't it be sweet if we win again this year?  To snack on while we watch I made some Chex Muddy Buddy Mix with green and blue M&M's and white chocolate chips.  Its sweet, crunchy and way addicting.  I also picked up some tasty sugar cookies with really thick blue and green frosting from the store which are baked my Schwartz Brothers.  Whatever ends up happening today our sugar cravings will be taken care of!

Chex muddy buddies

Prep time: 15 minutes.  Start to finish:  15 minutes.  18 servings (1/2 cup each)

9 cups Rice Chex, Corn Chex or Chocolate Chex cereal ( or combination)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside
In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high one minute.  Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.  Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage bags.  Add powdered sugar.  Seal bag; shake until well coated.  Spread on waxed paper to cool.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator. 

I found this recipe on a box of Rice Chex.  I've always wanted to made homemade Chex Mix and found it wasn't too difficult and tasted better that the store-bought.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Seattle's Urbanspoon and Zomato Event at Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room

I recently attended an exclusive event at Seattle's new Starbucks Reserve Roasting and Tasting Room.  The foodie meetup was for Urbanspoon bloggers to meet and greet each other, sample some food, go on a tour of the roastery and to also meet the new Zomato staff.  Zomato has partnered with Urbanspoon to create a bigger platform of reviewing online. 

I was impressed with the size and futuristic look of the store.  At over twenty five thousand square feet I didn't know where to go or look first.  All of the beans made in the Roastery are the ones that are distributed all over the world.  Starbucks Reserve Roasting and Tasting Room is the first of which will be many locations.  Starbucks has also teamed up with Tom Douglas so all the pastries are from his company and there's also a Serious Pie located inside.  At the event we were treated to his pizza's and they tasted delicious.  Wood fired with many unique toppings, they're a winner and its no wonder Starbucks has partnered with one of Seattle's biggest Restaurateurs.

We started off with cocktails and wine while we mingled.  Then after sampling food from Serious Pie we took a tour of the whole space.  To conclude the event we tasted some decaf Starbucks Reserve from Costa Rica, the Bella Vista.  It was rich and bold and blended well with the mini Triple Coconut Cream Pie.  It was a fun evening out in Seattle and I enjoyed meeting other bloggers and getting to experience the new Starbucks.

We started with some Wood Fired Roasted Carrots.

A Chatcuterie Board with Salami Cotto, Country Style Pork Terrine, Panchetta Cotto and house pickles.

I sipped on a Tuca, a Tequilla drink which was strong and flavorful.

The Roasted Seasonal Mushroom Pizza with Truffle Cheese.

The Sweet Fennel Sausage Pizza with Roasted Peppers and Provolone.

The Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza with tomato sauce and fresh basil.

Trying some coffee beans on our guided tour.

Some of the fresh pastries on display at the coffee bar. 

Tom Douglas's famous mini Triple Coconut Cream Pies.

   Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room on Urbanspoon Serious Pie on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 16, 2015

Homemade hot chocolate for a rainy afteroon

Simply a sinful and decadent drink, this hot chocolate hits the spot.  Especially on a rainy, winter day.  This recipe is from Joy the Baker and I found it in her cookbook a couple of years ago.   It uses both white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate, milk, a pinch of salt and a little bit of instant coffee.  The chocolate went down smooth and was very rich.  It was simple to whip up on the stove and it also makes two cups. 

The Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 heaping tablespoons white chocolate chips
2 cups milk
Pinch of Salt
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder

Melt chocolate either in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted or over two inches of water into a medium saucepan over medium heat.  When the water comes to a simmer, place the bowl or water on top but not touching the water.  Stir until chocolate is melted.  In a small saucepan, heat milk until almost boiling.  Whisk the melted chocolate, coffee powder, and salt into the heating milk and whisk until smooth.  Pour into two cups and serve immediately. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lunch at Geraldine's Counter

I've never seen such a busy lunch spot on a weekday like I did at Geraldine's Counter.  Every table was taken and my family even had to wait a minute.  On a Thursday, no less.  So I was expecting to be blown away by the service and the food.  Turns out it was just standard breakfast and lunch fare, small portions and kind of high prices.  I've heard nice things about the French toast and it was good but I didn't go crazy over it.  I was surprised they chose strawberries in January to top it with.  I would have gone with something seasonal to make it pop.  They did have a nice kid's menu with everything being five bucks and the plates a pretty good size.  My boys had the Kid's Counter with eggs, hash browns and wheat toast.  I got the half order of French toast along with a side of chicken sausage and my husband ate the chicken pot pie.  All in all, kind of a pricey lunch out but we finally got to check it out.  Geraldine's Counter is located in Columbia City and we've driven by it countless time and I've always been curious.  They serve breakfast all day and are family friendly.  I liked how bright and airy the space was and the art gracing the walls. 

Geraldine's Counter on Urbanspoon