Sunday, January 17, 2010

We're Not Here!

Ok, ignore the title of the last post. Given all the changes that have gone on in our life, we're now going to be blogging at: A Bucket of Spice in Greenwood

So change your links and head on over. We'll keep this page up for a while so people can find their way to our new location, but we won't be updating here anymore.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

We are still here!

I disappeared for a while. This blogging is even more difficult to find time for when you are planning a wedding. I've been working 5-6 days a week, plus we are usually working on wedding stuff in the off time. This week I have my first dress fitting and a meeting with our florist. We also are sending off the invitations, finding a reading for Susan and hopefully finalizing the list for the DJ. Honestly, I don't think this will all get done this week, but we will try. If I didn't work until 8:30pm, more would get done--still, I really like my work schedule right now and I absolutely love my new job at Spa Scotta. I am starting my new, fewer hours this week, it's a good thing I am.

I like work, I love life, I adore my soon to be hubby and I've got this amazing family and group of friends to spend time with. There's so much to do in so little time and I want to do it all. I'm so blessed and so lucky! Still I am realizing I need to take more time to be still and just relax and I'm starting to see the effects of being busy ALL THE TIME. So even when I'm over the top busy, I'm approaching it a bit calmer. And I really will try hard to let go of some things, especially after our wedding. We just hired a gardener and that helps, what a relief! Can't wait to get back to walking as well, that always gives me peace of mind. It will be good to have our free time back to do what we used to do, even though this wedding planning has it's own sweet moments.

Here's some of the things we've been up to:

All my girls jumping on Lee at our End of Summer BBQ.

Fresh grilled corn, tomato and avacado salad.
Our wedding invite address party--we watched 'Bride Wars' and 'Confessions of a Shopaholic'. Hehe.
I picked at least 5 pounds of italian plums from our tree. Blanched them, peeled them, pitted them and made the best plum crumble ever!
Little apps we brought to April's house with dill chicken salad, tomatoes and gruyere.
The only thing we got from our garden this year--these two tomatoes. I'll still try again next year, it can only go up from here.
Me and a couple of co-workers at Tamara's wedding.
Caprese salad with local cheese curds and arugula.
Lee's homemade gazpacho with sour cream and avacado beads. Along with a sourdough panini filled with honey mustard, sharp white cheddar and granny smith apples. I loved dinner this evening.
Spa Scotta annual float trip in Leavenworth.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Seattle has got some of that global warming

It's been warm here, for way too long. I'm not really complaining, but I also don't live here because I am a sun worshiper. I live here because I am a rain worshiper and currently we are way over the normal limit of sun that Seattle can handle in one summer. My veggie and herb garden started out the year with vigor, drinking in the sun and heat and growing by leaps and bounds. Now it's stunted, dried out (despite the fact that I water it every day) and seems to have stopped all forming life. I got out of it what I could when I could do it, now I just wait and watch it, hoping the tomatoes will turn red someday. Due to all this weather, we've been out nearly every night for a few months now so there are lot's of pictures to show you. My goal is to stay in as much as I can the next few months, or until our wedding. I need a rest. Still, I cherish all the great memories we've been making with eachother and with friends and family. Here's just a few......Lee staking our place at the Fremont Solstice Parade.
Cypress at her first dance recital.
Gabe showing me his porcine palace on the 4th of July.

The extremely large quantity of trail mix I've concocted for my road trip to Wyoming with Kimberly and the girls. I'm gonna need some help eating this.
West Seattle Street Fair.
Gabe and Katie getting ready to sell Swinery T-Shirts at the Gay Pride Parade.
Sarah came over for dinner and some wine, of course.
Lee and I at the Burning Beast in Arlington, WA.
Nice little after dinner romantic walk one warm summer evening at Golden Gardens.
Breakfast at Senor Moose with Lee's parents--always a good time.
Lot's of raw food at Anchovies and Olives.
Sarah's birthday at Harvest Vine, a favorite restaurant of Lee and I.
Katie and I eating vegetarian for the evening at Carmelita, near our house.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weekend in San Francisco

There hasn't been much cooking going on around here. I've just started a new job and Lee has his testing period at Boeing where he works crazy hours, plus May was one of the busiest months we've had in quite a while. Tonight we had KFC and Cozy Shack Rice Pudding for dinner--it's not always healthy, but it sounded kind of good. I'm excited our garden is growing by leaps and bounds, which means I'll be eating lots of vegetables this summer and from our own garden. It looks better this year than last and I've got lots of ideas for next years garden to make it better, such as an irrigation system and different varieties of veggies. Maybe I'll grow that green thumb yet.
Lee and I haven't been away from Seattle since la
st October and I don't remember the last time I haven't gone anywhere for that long. So what is close, a big city and some place I've never been before? San Francisco! We took a quick trip down there last weekend and it was just what I needed. To get away, relax, be alone with my honey, eat lots of seafood, see some new things and feel very excited to come back home. We really liked it for the most part, not sure we'd go back since there are so many places we love and more we'd like to see. I think we saw
the majority of that huge city in 2 days, but we are a good team and seem to like doing similar things, so it makes traveling easy.

I don't know if Lee and I have this amazing good luck angel hanging above us when it comes to food, but we had another great experience. We dined at the 2 star Michael Mina restaurant and had an incredible meal, probably the second best meal next to Joel Robuchon. Lee asked for a copy of the menu when we were done eating, which he usually does at fine restaurants where we have a memorable meal--it's like a little picture of our evening that we will ne
ver forget. Very romantic I think. Well, this evening in San Francisco Michael Mina himself happened to be cooking in the kitchen. This is very rare for such a well known chef who has several other restaurants and is somewhat of a celebrity in the chef-y world to be cooking in their own kitchen. Our waiter asked us if we'd like our menu signe
d and of course we said yes, then asked if we'd like to meet him! So we went back to the kitchen, yes we did, and met Michael Mina and made small talk-found out he is from Ellensburg and found he's a really nice guy. Most people look up to athletes or actors or whatnot, but my guilty pleasur
e is following well known chefs. I do watch Top Chef, and way too much of the Food Network, so this was a fun experience for me.

My new job at Spa Scotta is so great! It's so great that it d
oesn't feel like I'm working. I can actually talk to my friends and have lunch with them on breaks, we can go for coffee (!!), I have input in all the decisions that are made and no one watches over my shoulder, I get to listen to and dance to every fabulous 80's song, plus I still touch tootsies and love on people all day. I realize these things are normal for most people, but I've been working for a large corporation for many years now and laughing and
hanging out and having large amounts of input in the company weren't possible. It's incredibly refreshing and I am happier than ever at work.

Some of the places we went to eat in San Fran were John's Grill, Boudin, R@G Lounge, Michael Mina, Quince, Buena Vista, Ghiradelli Chocolate Shop and the crab vendors at Fisherman's Wharf.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Best Memorial Day Weekend Ever

Here's a great one of Katie modeling my Mom's Roberto Cavalli jeans with Swarovski Crystals that she bought in Europe. I think they are very Eurotrash so I had a lot of fun making people try them on--now I'm selling them on Ebay!

Lee and David BBQing.
This is the kitchen storage unit Lee built so we can make room for cooking. It has rollers so we can move our cooking station around the kitchen.This is Lee and I at the University District Street Fair-the official weekend start to every summer.
This past weekend was awesome. The weather was so amazing and I think Lee and I got more done in one weekend than we ever thought was possible. We went to the Abney Park concert on Friday night--a steampunk band that we love. Lee was being an assistant DJ at 89.5 last Sunday since he made a donation to them last year and Abney Park ended up showing up at the studio for an interview, which made the concert even more cool. On Saturday we went to a BBQ at our friends house on Capitol Hill, we really like that neighborhood. Sunday was our day to landscape our front parking space, and 33 bags of beauty bark later, we were finally done. On Monday we had a huge BBQ ourselves, complete with both beef and dork (duck and pork) sliders, handmade lumpia (Filipino eggrolls) and Mexican Coca-Cola (no high fructose corn syrup). We also did a little retail therapy this weekend for a few things we've been wanting for quite a while since we have now sold the condo. We bought a new TV for the bedroom, a BBQ and a Playstation 3. In addition, we got a wine fridge from my Dad-it's our first wedding gift.

I've also found my second favorite restaurant in Seattle--Quinn's. It's up on Cap Hill as well. Harvest Vine is my number one restaurant so far. There are so many to choose from and many that I really like, but for some reason I really like the food at Quinn's. It's unique, but it's pub food (well, high end pub food) and I crave it all the time. This last time we went we had the foie gras terrine (while the foie gras protesters were right outside the window!), the pork belly cobb salad, the oyster po boy, the poutine with veal demi glace, fonduata and 3 oz of foie gras on top, the meatballs with polenta and the asparagus with poached duck egg. Yum!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pictures from our big auction dinner

Goat Cheese Quenelle with a Black Pepper Strawberry Sauce and an Almond Tuile
Short Ribs Braised in Coffee and Wine served over Polenta with Frizzled Leeks. A Salad of Fennel, Pecorino and Grapefruit on the side.
Cube of Watermelon with Aged Balsamic and Kosher Salt.
Tomato Tartar with a Gruyere Chip, Basil Oil and Shallot Dressing.
Our Send Home Mignardise of a Caramel Salt, Chocolate and Sea Salt Covered Pretzel.
Tempura Fried Shiso Leaf with Tuna Tartar.
Fried Pork Belly with a Garlic Herb Coulis.
Gougeres Stuffed with Crab, Avacado and Chives.
Our Menu Printed By Kimberly.

The dinner was great! We had so much fun planning and are excited to do it again next year. I'm thinking miniature comfort foods, hmmm.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

A gougere, stuffed with crab, avacado and a mixture of heavenly things.

Roasting tomatoes for the Tomato Tartar from 'Happy In The Kitchen'. A beautiful book by Michel Richard.

Lee and I did a test run for the charity dinner we will be cooking for in a couple of weeks. I don't like to go into things blindly, at least when I'm serving a bunch of people that paid good money for a fabulous dinner. Thankfully, Lee feels the same way, plus it's really fun for us to plan these dinners out and cook together. I'll post more pictures and the official menu after the actual dinner on May 2nd, but for now, here are a few of them to let you know how it all went the 'first time around'. We did a good job, but it took a lot of prep and hard work. And love of course.

The colorful Le Creuset pots on our stove. We made a special trip up to the Marysville outlet mall to get another of the shallow yellow pans that April let us borrow.

I picked fresh flowers from our garden and put them above our new wine cabinet. On the wall is our personalized menu from Joel Robuchon, the first and only 3 star restaurant we've been to. I plan on going to another on our honeymoon!

This is the mignardise I made, hoping I'll get to make these for our wedding favors if I can perfec them. It's a salt caramel chocolate covered pretzel, a bit savory since I don't like super sweet things.

In the food processor, a mixture of herbs to be added to some olive oil. This will be served alongside the deep fried pork belly amuse bouche.