Friday, April 29, 2016

The Conservatory in Georgetown

Down in Georgetown, a neighborhood in South Seattle, you'll find The Conservatory.  They serve coffee and tea, but they also have a stage for live music, Burlesque shows, and life drawing.  The coffee shop is a long and narrow space with large windows in the front with a counter and then you walk to the back to order your drink.  There is plenty of seating for sipping coffee with friends or discussing business with clients over tea and a pastry.  The d├ęcor is interesting, too, with books displayed on a bookshelf and an animal mount on the wall.  There are even skulls and lanterns that give the place an edgy kind of vibe.  I just needed a break from my littles, so I left them in the able hands of my husband and booked it down the street to Georgetown.  I got a small Chai and a brownie.  Life can be stressful so sometimes a coffee break is just the answer. 

The Conservatory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

National Pretzel Day

Pretzels are the perfect food.  They can be enjoyed a variety of ways, both savory and sweet.  Today is National Pretzel Day so thinking of all the ways to eat pretzels is a way to celebrate this popular snack.  Enjoy my collection of pretzel photos I've taken and expect to get hungry!
One way to eat pretzels is having them soft baked and topped with salt and cheese dipping sauce on the side.  These pictured here are from Buffalo Wild Wings. 

Another fun and delicious way to have pretzels is to dip them in melted chocolate and top with candy cane pieces for the holidays!

Make some Peanut Butter-Pretzel Truffles for another way to eat pretzels.  You can find my post here for the recipe for this sweet and salty treat.

You can also try making your own homemade ice cream with pretzels.  This ice cream had Cookie Butter and crushed up chocolate- covered pretzels.  I also used a chocolate -covered pretzel as a garnish.  My husband and I are still talking about how good this was and I made it months ago!

You can't forget about cookies with pretzels! That's also a delicious combination.  These are the Loaded-Up Pretzel Cookies that also had M&M's and coconut I recently baked! Click here for the recipe.

Sometimes bigger is better when enjoying a pretzel!  Try a large soft pretzel with a cheese dipping sauce from the Tap & Barrel in Vancouver, BC.

You can find awesome ice cream with pretzels at the grocery store, too!  Pictured here is some Salted Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream.  Have a scoop with a slice of chocolate cake and you'll be super satisfied!  Happy National Pretzel Day!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Lunch at Bitterroot BBQ in Ballard

Ballard is another Seattle neighborhood with many, many great restaurants and bars.  They seem like a dime a dozen and some of the best and most popular restaurants in the city are in Ballard, either on Market St. or Ballard Ave.   Its always fun to stroll down the tree lined streets and window shop and spot my favorite places or the places I want to check out.  I'd been hearing about Bitterroot BBQ for years and it sounded like a nice place, with an interesting interior, a good bourbon and whiskey selection and really decent BBQ.  My parents were in town so I suggested going to Ballard and eating there.  Plus, the restaurant's named after the Bitterroot River in Montana, the state we're from.  I thought they'd like a little piece of home while seeing us in Seattle. 

We all loved the look of the restaurant when we strolled in.  We were sat by the entrance and I liked all of the natural light from the windows.  The food was pretty standard BBQ with three sauces to choose from on the tables.  What I thought stood out was the pretzel bread buns for our pulled pork and pulled chicken sandwiches.  The meat tended to be a little dry but the sauce helped that along.  I stole some of my dad's hand cut fries and I regretted not getting some, too.  My son's had the Macaroni and Cheese with English Peas and Pulled Pork.  The serving size was huge.  There was plenty left over for lunch the next day.  My mom had the catfish sandwich with Cole slaw that also looked promising.  My dad drank a hand mixed cream soda that was infused with fresh vanilla.  I've heard the happy hour is a good deal and that the cocktails are decent.  It was on the pricey side for lunch, though.  I would recommend checking out the happy hour because the whiskey drinks sound too good to pass up.    

Bitterroot BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Deep Dish Maltesers Cookies, Baked in the Microwave

"A playful crunch with a slow chocolatey crunch".  If you've ever eaten Maltesers, you know the description on the bag sums up the candy perfectly.  Available in Canada, Australia, and the UK, these little malt balls of goodness are like the American chocolates, Whoppers.  Recently in Canada, I couldn't resist grabbing a bag of some Maltesers when I saw them.  They have them in Seattle at some specialty candy stores but they are expensive being that they're imported.  The chocolate coating on the malt balls are so smooth and remind me of other chocolates I've had in Europe.  I first found them in Amsterdam and loved them.  Now I'm always looking for the bright red bag of them when I travel.  The big bag I bought in Vancouver the other day was tempting me and I was afraid to open the bag.  I didn't want to eat them all myself so I made a quick treat for my family.  I didn't want to bake a whole batch of cookies because I was low on butter, so I just baked two deep dish cookies in the microwave.  They're so easy to whip up and you still get that warm fresh baked taste of homemade cookies.  I chopped up the Maltesers so we'd get little pieces in each bite.  The cookies tasted yummy and we really felt like we were indulging.  But the baking process was simple and we didn't overeat. 

Deep Dish Maltesers Cookies

2 T. Melted Butter
2 T. White Sugar
2 T. Brown Sugar
6 Drops of Vanilla Extract
2 Egg Yolk
2 Pinches Salt
1/2 C. Flour
1/4 Cup Maltesers chocolates, chopped

Melt butter in microwave for 10 seconds, then add the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Stir together.  Transfer the cookie dough into two microwave safe small bowls or ramekins.  Then microwave each bowl separately for one minute.  Let cool for five minutes and dig in!  Note:  A little bit of ice cream on top would be great, too! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Metropolis Metrotown in Burnaby, BC

Metropolis Metrotown mall in Burnaby is British Columbia's biggest shopping center.  It has four hundred stores!  We probably could have stayed there all day, there was so much to see, buy, and eat.  There was even a train for the kids that went through the mall.  It was perfect for our kids and our cousin's kids, too.  We decided to have lunch in the large food court upstairs.  My husband was craving Pho, Vietnamese noodle soup, and I decided that's what I wanted, too.  The food court is impressive with pretty high quality food and we ended up enjoying the pho at Vina Vietnamese.  We got a plate of chicken and rice for our boys and my husband was swayed by the chicken wings. We also had a bowl of Lemongrass Chicken Pho.  Pop Bar caught my attention for dessert.  It seemed unique, like something I can't find at home.  They offer either gelato, sorbet, and yogurt on a stick and you can customize the toppings and sprinkles.  I had the peanut butter gelato pop dipped in milk chocolate and then sprinkled in caramel corn.  Let me tell you, it was divine.  The best thing I tasted the whole weekend.  I just loved the flavors, its that simple.  I couldn't stop talking about how good it tasted.  I shared with my boys and they loved it, too.  I should have gotten two!   

Popbar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Vina Vietnamese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Looking for more ideas about what to see and eat in the Vancouver area?  Check out these below and click on the links in the descriptions for more info!

Granville Island in Vancouver is a must see.  You can even take a boat across the water from downtown.  There's a Public Market with tons of fresh foods and pastries sure to whet your appetite. 

Check out the Richmond Night Market in the summertime.  It's the largest night market in North America.
For a sweet treat head to Thomas Haas for authentic French pastries, macarons, and chocolates.  
One of the best cupcakes I've had came from the cupcake shop called Cupcakes.  I loved the carrot cake one, pictured here.  There are locations all over Vancouver.