Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.
















Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Copper River Salmon

Yes, it's our favorite time of year! You might think it's because the sun is finally showing it's existence after a long dreary winter, or that our peony's are just on the verge of blooming or that there are only 19 school days left. But it's not because of any of those also very good reasons. It's our favorite time of year because it's Copper River Salmon time.

Oh, yes we anxiously await this exciting few weeks every year. And believe us if you've never had Copper River salmon before it is worth waiting for. We go super simple when preparing Copper River salmon because it needs so little to be amazing. This time we went with the sockeye.

We rub it with a light coating of extra virgin olive oil and a generous sprinkling of Tom Douglas' Rub with Love and we call it good. On the grill until lightly firm, we like a medium-rare piece of salmon.

For this occasion we served our salmon along side some grilled asparagus and a 2010 Napa Chardonnay from Freemark Abbey. A new winery to us. But this was a slightly oaky Chardonnay that paired well with the salmon. We typically serve salmon with an Oregon Pinot Noir or a Washington Rose' but lately G has been liking the California Chardonnays.

Copper River is only here for a short time so we hope to indulge and have at least a time or two more before we have to wait again until next spring.If you can find some we recommend taking the splurge and enjoy some the best tasting salmon.





Monday, May 28, 2012

Coconut-Cashew Chicken

Having now adopted about an eighty percent Paleo diet into our life it seems the dishes we've most often been eating haven't been "exciting" enough to share but we're trying to jazz it up a bit now that we "get it" so hopefully our posts will become more frequent again.

This particular dish from The Paleo Diet Cookbook is actually a very share worthy dish indeed. For this Thai food loving Foodie Couple having a meal with these familiar flavors just again confirmed for both of us that this eating style really meets our needs flavor; and health wise both.

The night we made this dish was a beautiful warm spring evening here so we actually grilled our chicken breast on the Weber. The recipe calls to broil it.

Really Paleo lifestyle or not this is a dish we recommend if you are a fan of curry and coconut flavors.


Recipe;

Cocounut-Cashew Chicken

2 Skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, pounded then (we skipped the pounding)
2 tblspn extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 1inch piece of ginger root
1 tsp salt free garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
8 ounces whole cocunut milk.
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1 handful cilantro

Heat oil, add onion and tomato. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add garam masala and currry powder continue to simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into blender and puree until smooth. Return mixture to skillet and add coconut milk. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes.

Grill (or broil) chicken breast until cooked through. Pour coconut-curry sauce over the chicken top with chopped cashews and cilantro.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lark


Lark has been a Seattle “Gotta Go” to Restaurant that we’ve been wanting to try for a while now. It’s known as one of Seattle’s best artisan style restaurants. So when we already had plans with some other food lovin’ friends to go up and pick up our wine club shipment we knew it would be a good excuse to go try a new restaurant while we were there.  

Originally we were going to give Quinn’s a try but it was a busy Friday night on Capitol Hill so that wasn’t going to happen and Lark just happened to have a table for 4 when we arrived. It was meant to be.  

We walked into Lark’s warm and homey restaurant and were immediately glad to be there.   Their focus is on small plates (one of my fav eating styles) featuring local ingredients. The menu is pretty impressive it was difficult to weed out what we did  and didn’t want. 

We finally narrowed it down. Our server suggested 5-6 plates for the four of us.  

Being 4 Northwest wine fans we ordered a bottle of 2009  Yakima Valley Owen Roe. It was a good choice for our meal.  

We started off with the Landjager served with 2 different mustards. G somehow knew Landjager was a salami like meat. It was also a good choice. Almost like a pepperoni in texture. And the horseradish infused mustard gave it just enough kick for my liking.  

Next we had my personal favorite dish of the night; Penn Cove mussels with chorizo and a velvety piquillo pepper broth served with  a crisp and crunchy garlic crouton. I could of swam in this broth if it was an option. The mussels were perfectly cooked and supple.  

Then came the surprise of the meal, Ricotta gnudi with nettles, garlic and pine nuts. No one in our party was really clear what exactly gnudi was but we were predicting it would be similar to gnocci. And OMG..I’m telling you it was this tender, delicately flavored goodness that was beyond expectation. Sooo….Good!  

Up next we had the Grain Farro with ramps, oyster mushrooms and mascarpone. This was good but not in our top favorites of the meal. It was buttery to the point that all we really tasted was butter. Maybe if the other dishes weren’t so over the top fantastic this would have been more likable but when you are eating dishes like the others it was hard to compete.  

We chose the Spanish mackerel with fresh wasabi as our next pick. Having not eaten mackerel before it was the wasabi and dashi mayo that really attracted me to the dish. The mackerel was dense and tender and the sauce was again perfectly delicate.  

Our next dish was G’s pick and overall favorite; Pork belly with Peas. And I have to say in the past pork belly hasn’t really been my thing but this was pretty amazingly good. Tender and flavorful, a melt in your mouth dish.  

Our final main dish of the night was the Wagyu hanger steak with asparagus, crispy potatoes and ramp butter. This steak was definitely another melt in your mouth experience with each bite.  

As a table we did partake in a few delicious desserts; The date hazelnut brown butter cake was a definite stand out Jim’s favorite of the night and G was in heaven with his Theo dark chocolate pave. (Sadly I was so full by this point in the meal I couldn’t even get photos of our desserts.)  

Lark was an amazing restaurant experience. I know this is a restaurant that we will be visiting over and over again now that we finally made it there.    

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kabobs, Kabobs & Some More Kabobs


This month for our May Supper Club hosted by Derek & Lisa the theme was Kabobs. It was a brilliant idea. Any time we have a hands on theme we always have a great time.

We were assigned appetizers. We made two options.

A twist on one of our favorite summer salad choices, melon, mint and prosciutto on a kabob. Fresh, sweet and salty altogether.

And our second offering was another favorite summer salad of ours, the classic caprese.

Fresh mozzarella, small heirloom tomatoes and basil on a stick.

Served with a balsamic and olive oil dipping sauce. Both were simple to make just laborous in the time it takes to get them all on the stick.

Lisa & Derek had made a variety of marinades for the protein options. Two different chicken choices one more citrus flavored and the other more Asian inspired.

Two different shrimp offerings.

And two beef; one Korean bbq style the other a chimchurri flavor.
They had some beautiful veggies and fruit to skewer them with as well. Truly they had thought of everything.

Crazy kabob making ensued.

While the creative kabobs grilled we gabbed and caught up with each other.

We had fun critiquing each other's creations. This shrimp & chicken kabob got a bit of razzing for not alternating the veggies and the meat.

 Hey we didn't have rules.

Shannon & Robin brought a beautiful green salad to accompany our kabobs.

Additionally Lisa made some savory dipping sauces to enhance our kabobs. I tried them all and they were fantastic.

After stuffing ourselves thoroughly it was time for dessert. A moist and dense bundt cakes. I couldn't resist this. And it was worth the dessert splurge.

It was a great night spent on the deck enjoying some tasty food and great people.

As always there is laughter and fun along with the food. Earlier in the night Jenni's plate split evenly in half and her dinner ended up directly in her lap. She's such a supper club pro that sporting a towel most of the night didn't phase her a bit.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Moving On and The Wild Sage in Spokane

Choosing your attitude or approach to how to handle situations is a belief I give high regard. It's something I work to to model for my staff and students daily..."You can choose to whine about only 38% of your class meeting standard or you can figure out what to do differently based on that data." or "You can choose to cry about dropping your lunch on the floor or you can get back in line and get a new lunch."

It's also how I choose to live my life. Closing my father's estate is consuming a big chunk of our life right now. Its not fun, sometimes its sad and some times its even slightly maddening. We inherited a storage unit that sits 500 miles across the state that my father has been renting for @ least 15 years ( we figured out he'd spent over $20,000 on that unit...he should of owned that 8x12 foot space wouldn't you think?) . He'd talked about getting over there to deal with it for years and it just never happened.
So we, along with my sister & Mike, decided we were done paying that rent and made a trek over the mountains to Spokane to get it done. It definitely was not a weekend any of us were really looking forward to but we choose to make the most of it, get the job done, try to enjoy;a cocktail or two, maybe a good meal and each others company ...so that's what we did. We left Friday after work and didn't get checked into the hotel in Spokane until after midnight.

Saturday morning after a diner breakfast, that stated ," we have the world's best hash browns" we made it out to the storage unit. We really had no idea what we would find or want but we knew it had to be done. After the kind helper sawed the lock open for us we found a storage unit covered in 15 years of dust. I don't know if I've ever truly seen 15 years of dust before this experience. It was a long day of, "Oh, remember this" , "My goodness he really had all of those" and "Wow, what are we going to do with this." We all worked hard and after renting a UHau trailer and a trip to the dump we got it done, for my dad and for us.

After accomplishing this daunting task we were all parched and hungry. We decided after getting back to our hotel and getting cleaned up that we'd take a cab downtown and figure out where to go once we got there.

We had the cabbie drop us off by the mall and from there we went to O'Doherty's Irish Grille that G and I have visited on several different Spokane trips. Just a great place for beer, pub food and trying to figure out "how did they get those dollar bills on the ceiling?"

While there we met a friendly couple from Trail, Canada who recommended that we have dinner at the Wild Sage. They said it was the best food in Spokane. We went with it. We were lucky enough to snag an eight thirty reservation. Which we all thought was perfect because it allowed us sometime to check out somewhere else on the way.

And we stumbled across, Bistango Martini Lounge. And we are glad we did. G is convinced he had one of his top 5 cocktails there. Tracy & I each had our own version of a swanky drink.

Something with jalapeno for me.
And something with cucumber for Tracy.
But we all agreed the boys chose best. They had the bartender make them a special spicy Serrano Chile drink with cilantro that was by far the most yummy of our 3 choices.
Next we were off to Wild Sage. We finally found it after having our smartphone maps lead  us a stray a bit. And we are happy to have found it.

We started off with the tapas sampler dish that our friendly Canadians also recommended and another round of tasty drinks. This time something called the Robjito that was like a citrus flavored mojito and really very tasty.
The ambiance was great, the energy level was alive and the service was fantastic.
Tracy had the breast of duckling that she really enjoyed.
Both Mike & G had the wild prawn pasta.
And I had the "from the water" dish of the night that was Parmesan crusted halibut over polenta.
We also decided to splurge on a bottle of Abeja Merlot.

We ended our night full and exhausted. The next morning we headed back home with our uhaul trailer full of dad's stuff.

We ended our trip visiting Mike & Tracy's wedding venue Swiftwater Cellars at Suncadia.

It was a beautiful afternoon to take in the views and

 enjoy some winetasting before getting back home.

This task accomplished is just one step closer to moving on in accepting our father's passing and work towards just remembering and missing him!