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15 Travel Photos for 2015

I didn't travel far in 2015.  I didn't leave the country or anything adventurous like that.  But I did see the beautiful Northwestern part of our country.  From the lush and green state where I live, Washington, to where I grew up in Montana, and the Oregon Coast.  I traveled there and lived there but they're all classic spots to visit, too.  And don't forget, to photograph.  As we're staring 2016 in the face, tomorrow is the last day of 2015, its fun to look back at my travel photos and share a little collection here with you.  So sit back and enjoy and maybe this will inspire you to remember your travel's from the year and remember your favorite moments.  Let your past trips invigorate you and get you planning for all the places to see in the new year. 

















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A Food Filled Holiday

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2015 brought lots of good eating.  Our little family of four had dinner together Christmas Eve and then we spent Christmas Day, in the evening, with lots of family.  Since there were so many of us, there was food everywhere you looked.  On Christmas Eve, we started off with a holiday breakfast of French Toast Bake.  I prepared it the night before and then baked it the next morning.  It made a whole pan and it lasted several days.  That night for dinner I experienced with Fireball Whiskey and Eggnog and the results were good.  Full of cinnamon flaver and well, festive! Then my husband made rice balls with cheddar and goat cheese.  First, he made the rice and shaped it into balls with the cheese.  Then he deep fried them and topped them with marinara.  We also had various appetizers and salad.  Dinner with the whole family on Christmas was a variety of many foods.  I made Roasted Brussels Sprouts for the first time that were a hit and my husbands' unc…

Dinner at Goldfinch Tavern at the Four Seasons Hotel

Last night was a night out with my better half at Goldfinch Tavern, an Ethan Stowell restaurant inside Seattle's Four Seasons Hotel.  It was dark, swanky, and romantic and I probably could have stayed at our table for a long time.  We had a view of the Ferris Wheel, all lit up for Christmas, and we each started with a Bailey's and Grey Goose Martini.  It didn't feel like any tavern I've ever been to, maybe the name is supposed to be ironic.  I loved how the restaurant sits on the second floor of the building, making one feel lifted up and able to enjoy the view of the city.  We started with bread with an olive spread and butter topped with sea salt.  Then we shared the Goat Cheese Bruschetta, the Hanger Steak, and finally, the Goldfinch Burger.  The Bruschetta was a nice start, with creamy goat cheese and bing cherry compote which complimented beautifully.   The steak almost melted in my mouth and was perfectly cooked and seasoned.  The burger was really decent, too.  …

Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Candy Cane Pieces

Sometimes an old classic Christmas goodie gets a new twist.  Chocolate covered pretzels were something my mom and I always made at Christmastime together.  It is only a couple of steps and yet, they are delicious.  Who doesn't love sweet and salty?  My mom has kept dipping pretzels every year and recently has added bits of broken candy canes to sprinkle on top of the pretzels, once they are dipped in chocolate.  That just sounded too good to pass up making.  Any reason I can find  to eat peppermint works for me.  So I bought a small box of candy canes, a bag of pretzels, a bag of Ghirardelli dark melting chocolates, and got to work.   First I broke up my candy canes into tiny pieces and then I melted my chocolate in the microwave.  The best way to do that is by heating it only thirty five seconds at a time.  The reason?  You'd burn it and who wants burned chocolate?  It took several turns in the microwave and then I got a bowl of smooth, melted chocolate ready for pretzel dipp…

Chocolate Dipped Clementines with Sea Salt

This Christmas I didn't want to make a lot of really sweet desserts.  I've made my fudge for years but I wanted to make something a little healthier but still sweet and memorable.  I want my boys to be able to share the desserts with me without overdoing it and getting a stomach ache.  So I made Chocolate Dipped Clementines with Sea Salt.  I figure they can have a tiny bit of chocolate but be eating mostly orange slices.  While one of my sons adores oranges and could sit and eat them one after the other, my other boy doesn't like oranges.  So far he's picking the chocolate off and eating that.  Such is life.  Anyway, I didn't like the addition of sea salt and I'm glad I only sprinkled some of the orange slices.  The sea salt doesn't seem to counter balance the citrus flavor and texture of the clementine.  This would be a festive and pretty appetizer or dessert for any holiday gathering.  Their supposed to keep for three days in the fridge, but I recommend m…

The Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle

Our next stop this Christmas Season was a visit downtown to see some teddy bears!  The Teddy Bear Suite is held every year at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel on University Street.  The event is free and you can leave a donation for the Seattle Children's Hospital.  I found the display to be both elegant and whimsical, for the adults and children to enjoy.  An entire suite on the second floor was transformed with lighted Christmas trees and teddy bears of all sizes.  There were books for the little ones to curl up on the sofas and read with a teddy bear.  It was one big photo opp for me and I'm sure many families visited and got a ton of great pictures.  My little boys enjoyed running around the room and hugging all the giant bears.  It was cute and sweet to see them indulging in a little Christmas fun.