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


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
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped, stems included
cooking oil such as canola oil, peanut oil or grapeseed oil
3 Tbsp sour cream


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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lunch at 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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Portraits at Lincoln Park

Last week I did some children portraits at Lincoln Park.  The park is located in West Seattle and is near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal.  There's many options for backgrounds with your choice of the beach or the grassy park with a view of the water.  I got to photograph two adorable kids, ages two and five.  They had lots of fun running all over the park in the late spring sunshine.  Here's some of my favorite shots from the photo session with Laney and Jonah. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Anniversary Lunch at Dahlia Lounge

My husband and I just celebrated seven years of being married. Where did the years go?  Its true what they say, time flies when you're having fun.  We wanted to have a nice lunch out to celebrate at a restaurant we've never tried.  I chose Dahlia Lounge- a Tom Douglas restaurant.  We've tasted the delicious homemade doughnuts at his bakery next door, Dahlia Bakery, but I really wanted to check out one of his sit down places.  Right away I loved what I saw, from the lighting to the red booths and the paintings on the wall.  The service was outstanding and our server was so attentive.  Just an overall classy place in the heart of downtown Seattle. 

We wanted to try a couple of items so we shared the Cheeseburger and the Fried Chicken Chopped Salad.  The burger came with fries and had a brioche bun.  It was tasty but pretty standard fare, an overall classic burger.  The salad was presented well and had snow peas, mint, cucumber, radishes, lettuce and fried chicken on top.  It was unique and something we've never eaten but also seemed a little lacking.  Thank god for the juicy, cheesy burger to wash it down with!

Then came my favorite part of any meal, dessert.  I've been hearing for years about Tom's famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie so I had to order that.  It was very satisfying, yet light and went perfectly with our coffee.  The piece was huge, so I was glad we shared.  All in all Dahlia Lounge was a memorable meal with a romantic and urban feel in downtown Seattle.

Dahlia Lounge on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Hangar Cafe

I found a hidden gem in Georgetown called The Hangar Café and I can't wait to go back.  Its a breakfast and lunch place.  I've been kind of big on breakfast and brunch lately so this place hit the spot.  They serve crepes which I love.  I had a Black Forest Ham with Spinach.  My family was celebrating Father's Day and we wanted something memorable to celebrate my husband's first year as a dad.  We started with Mango Mimosas and coffee.  We'd never drank Mango Mimosas before and the drink got our meal started on the right foot.  I really enjoyed my ham crepe, the size alone was awesome and the potatoes served with it a nice touch.  My husband ate a Rueben Sandwich and thought the flavor was really right on.  For dessert we shared the special of the day, Bread Pudding French Toast.  The French Toast was huge and we couldn't even finish it.  It was topped with blueberries and raspberries, turning our carb lovers dream into something sort of healthy.  The unique aspect of the café is that it used to be a house.  Plus they have outdoor seating and you can watch, and listen, to all the planes flying to Boeing Field. 

Hangar Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

El Quetzal

South Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood churns out some interesting places to eat.  I recently checked out El Quetzal and it was really just OK.  We started with some chips and salsa and a giant Coca-Cola.  The salsa was really thin and without much consistency.  I did like the ambiance though and the service was pretty good.  The prices were high however and I felt kind of bad paying $14 for a plate of beef that I could have cooked at home.  I ate the skirt steak with onions, tomatoes and jalapeños.  It came with a little bit of rice and a small portion of refried beans.  The slice of watermelon was a nice touch.  I had my choice of either corn tortillas or flour for my sliced steak.  All in all, the food was good but didn't blow me away and I didn't love the prices.  When I eat Mexican, usually the more melted cheese the better.  I think that's why El Quetzal didn't leave such a lasting impression because its not what I normally eat. 

El Quetzal on Urbanspoon