Friday, March 31, 2017

Instagramming my way through downtown


The seven Instagram images below were all taken on my smartphone and I took them all on drives around downtown with my family. My sons love drives around the city because they have a fascination with tall buildings, the Space Needle, and the Ferris Wheel on the waterfront. I wonder where they get this love from, hmmm...maybe from me?

When my family of four goes on a drive around downtown, my husband takes the wheel. I am then the DJ, the snack and Sippy cup person for the kids, and the cell phone snapper. I never expect to take any photos, but sometimes I do. And sometimes I'm lucky to get shots like these. 
The view from 6th Ave, driving towards the Space Needle, is a one way street and is lined with new, sparkly skyscrapers on each side.
The Columbia Tower, the tallest building in downtown Seattle, looms up towards the sky.
One raining afternoon we rented a Car2go Mercedes SUV for forty minutes just for fun and took it for a spin to downtown and back. The kids and I loved the sunroof and I couldn't help from shooting a photo of the Space Needle through the sunroof.
Here it is...the newest skyscraper in downtown, under construction, is located next to the Columbia Tower and should be completed soon.
Seattle's Ferris Wheel, called the Seattle Great Wheel, draws long lines during the day and is a popular attraction.  During the night, it lights up beautifully and is a nice addition to the waterfront.
Also on 6th Ave and under construction are the Amazon Biospheres. When I first saw them I was taken aback, wondering what they were. Seattle is changing fast and I'm glad I'm here for the ride.  
It all happens on 5th Ave, baby. Shoppers cross the street and commuters head home after a day at work. I took this this winter on one of the many rainy days we had (and still are having).




Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me on Instagram at @kelliwongphotography so you never miss an image!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lunch at Southcenter's new Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

If you have a hankering for Japanese food, then head over to the new Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya inside Southcenter Mall. When most people in the states think of Japanese cuisine, they usually think of sushi. But Ramen is another popular dish to try and you will find many places that serve it here now. Besides Ramen on the menu, there is also Izakaya, which means small plates served alongside cocktails. Some of the selections to go alongside your Ramen are choices like Gyozas, Potato Croquettes, Chicken Wings, Vegetable Tempura, and more. 

Since they have a full bar with many choices, and I think that's a wonderful thing to have in the middle of the mall, the world felt like our oyster. So when I saw a drink called a Hello Kitty on the menu, I ordered it right away. It had a Japanese Vodka and cranberry juice, and then the colorful cocktail was topped with whipped cream and two red gummy candies. First I thought it was juice because I couldn't taste the Vodka. It was a very fruity and tasty drink and I could see someone drinking too many and stumbling all over Nordstrom. Ha ha!

My husband wanted to try the Ramen, so he ordered the Chicken Rich Ramen. It came with nice pieces of white chicken, lettuce, and an egg, along with the broth and noodles. I wanted to try the Izakaya dishes, so I ordered the Chicken Wings, the Potato Croquettes, and the Veggie Gyozas.  I was excited to try their wings because lately I've been trying a lot of different versions. I never knew how many different ways there are to do wings and their version hit the spot and had me going back for more. They were house made crispy marinated chicken wings topped with a citrusy garlic glaze. They were da' bomb and I want some more. The Gyozas were pretty standard, nothing I've never had before. I always enjoy the soy vinegar dipping sauce which is usually served alongside the Gyozas. I found the Potato Croquettes to taste good but they were a little soft and mushy for me. I did like the drizzled tonkotsu sauce on top though. I was impressed by the quality of food, service, and ambiance in the middle of the mall. I didn't expect to find quality like this right next to a Sears store in Tukwila, WA, but I'll take it!      

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Reese's Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

When I eat Reese's Pieces it brings me back to being a kid and sitting in the movie theater. I would buy a box of them before the movie started and then sit back and relax and watch a chick flick on the big screen in front of me. When I grew up, something called Netflix was born. What we call today, Netflix and Chill, was an important part of my twenties. On rare nights when I wasn't hanging out with friends or working in a restaurant, I'd be at my apartment. I'd pop a DVD in and then snack on what I considered to be pretty incredible. Chocolate and popcorn together was my first into to sweet and salty. Reese's Pieces and M&M's do the trick just right. Just sprinkle some on top of your popcorn and snack away while you watch the movie. So super relaxing and oh, so tasty. I'm sure you've tried it and loved it, too. 

And if you're a Reese's Pieces fan like I am and you also love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, then you've gotta try these cookies. They are peanut butter cookies with a vanilla pudding mix added in for extra softness. Then both candies are added to the dough and you bake the cookies for ten minutes. I knew I wouldn't be able to stay away from them, so right after baking I stuck half of the batch in the freezer. I'm also glad I have three boys to help me eat them. These cookies are basically triple peanut butter so if you aren't a peanut butter fan they may not be for you. If these sound good to you then I invite you to whip up a batch for your next movie night, or even just to share with the special people in your life. 

The only change I made to the recipe I found here was I didn't add the chocolate chips. I felt like three kinds of candy sounded a little overboard. It looks like I also forgot to cut the peanut butter cups in half. I see now how much better that would have looked. Oh well, because the cookies still taste yummy!

Reese's Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

Ingredients:

     3/4 cup butter, softened
     1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
     1/2 cup sugar
     1/2 cup brown sugar
     2 eggs
     1 Tablespoon honey
     1 teaspoon vanilla
     2 1/4 cups flour
     1 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     1 - 3.4 box instant vanilla pudding
     1 cup chocolate chips
     1 1/4 cups halved Reese's mini peanut butter cups, divided
     1 cup mini Reese's Pieces, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the butter until creamy. Add the peanut butter and sugars and beat again.
Add the eggs, honey, and vanilla and beat until mixed in.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix. Slowly add to the butter mixture until everything is mixed in.
Stir in the chocolate chips, 1 cup peanut butter cups, and 3/4 cup Reese's Pieces gently. Use a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop to make 36 dough balls. Press the remaining candy into the tops of the dough balls. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let rest on the hot cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then gently move to a piece of parchment paper. Let the cookies cool completely before storing in a tightly sealed container.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Feed Co. Burgers

I'm always down to check out burger joints in Seattle. And luckily for me there isn't a shortage of them. So when I read that Feed Co. Burgers had opened in the Central District and that they served not only cheese curds but Huckleberry shakes, it seemed like kind of a no brainer to eat there. The service was spot on. With an "order at the counter and they'll bring your food to you" setup, they were all super helpful and friendly with our requests even after we sat down. 

If you don't want to spend ten bucks for your burger, they have a 4 oz. burger for $5. Since we wanted sides and drinks, we figured that size would be just right for my husband and I, and I could share with my boys. Everything ended up being the right portion and I feel like I didn't over do it, but I also didn't miss out on flavor. The burger ended up being a little too on the simple side, and was a little overdone and under seasoned for us. But for me, those cheese curds and huckleberry shake more than made up for it.

I don't know many people who can resist a cheese curd. Those crispy bites of heaven are hot and cheesy, with a nutty flavor and crispy outside. We also shared fries, which were hand cut and on the thicker side, which I love. But that shake, though. One sip of that and I was back in Montana, where huckleberries rule the land and bring natives to their knees with the tart and sweet flavor. But beware, the small size is tiny and you will probably need another one. So just order a large shake, you'll thank me later. I ended up ordering a small Oreo shake for my boys to share because they deserved a little treat. It tasted like perfection. The shake was thick and topped with a good amount of crushed Oreos.  My husband drank a light beer, a Pilsner, to pair with his burger. So we all left happy and satisfied. Me, dreaming of cheese curds and huckleberries and my kids, dreaming of Oreo shakes. 
Feed Co. Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 23, 2017

General Porpoise Doughnuts and Coffee

When a James Beard Award Winning Chef opens up a doughnut shop, you better pay a visit. And pay you will because at almost four dollars each, you have to pay to play. But oh, the quality of the ingredients are like nothing you've ever found in a doughnut before. And the soft and fluffy, yeasty doughnuts and the homemade curds and jams inside will be something you won't soon forget either. 

Just like her restaurant next door, Bateau, Chef/Owner Renee Erickson has created a bright space with not a single detail forgotten. When you walk in, you just want to look around at everything and take note, because it looks so special. Even the sugar cubes at the coffee station are unique, and if my family wasn't waiting for me in the car for their doughnut fix, I would want to stay awhile. Each day they offer six flavors and they sell out quickly. When you walk in, you'll see them displayed almost like jewels and you can see the sense of pride they have in their product. I chose five doughnuts for my family and I. I decided on two Lemon Curds, one Chocolate Marshmallow, and two Peaches and Cream. I also ordered an Americano coffee for my husband and I to share, because let's face it, nothing is better than doughnuts and coffee. I then paid for my treasures and headed back to our car. 

After a trip to the park, it was finally time to head home and bite into those soft and sweet doughnuts. By then, we had waited long enough and we were all salivating.  We shared all five so we could try the three flavors. The Chocolate Marshmallow doughnut was eaten so fast, it basically disappeared. The Lemon Curd doughnut was interesting because the lemon flavor was so strong and not neon yellow and overly sugary like other doughnut places. The Peaches and Cream filling was light and subtle. But we all agreed that those doughnuts were the fluffiest and softest doughnuts ever. General Porpoise, sign me up for more. 

General Porpoise Coffee and Doughnuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato