food blog

Eating My Way Through Seattle (part 2)

Bright and early Wednesday morning I hustled back to the Pike Place Market for fresh fruit and coffee. Snacking on blackberries while sipping on a mocha latte from the Crumpet Shop began my exploration day. By this, I mean walking around shopping and eating of course:) market-1BLOGO

I must say there are a TON of restaurants and stores in the downtown Seattle area! Counting at least 10 Starbucks, I did make it by the original, but the line was too long. Flip flopping my way into several boutiques and purchasing a super cute dress at All Saints, I quickly worked up an appetite. Yes, I said flip flops! (new sneakers for travel on my to do list)

Where to go for lunch? A friendly recommendation led me to Lecosho. This stylish eatery was nestled in the corner of the Harbor Steps. My camera and I sat down at a lovely outdoor patio perfect for relaxing. Everything on the menu was enticing, but I settled on the tuna melt with a side salad. I am not exaggerating when I say 'best tuna melt' I've ever had! Flavor slap in the face!

Tuna Melt~ house-poached albacore tuna, mama lil's mustard pickle relish & gruyere on toasted potato bread

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Eating My Way Through Seattle (part 1)

Well the title of this blog pretty much sums it up! Last week I took a four day trip to Seattle with my boyfriend. This being my first visit to the Emerald City and I was super excited to visit the market and taste all the goodies. I love to explore any downtown on foot, so upon arrival off we trekked for a happy hour cocktail/appetizer. After a long flight, all I want to do is eat..don't you?! Now even though I shlepped my camera pack with me everywhere on this trip and have the back muscles to prove it...I didn't get pics of every dish. Mainly due to eating most of it before my camera left the bag..whoops! But, I will share with you all of my yummy adventures. (On my next trip I will be sure to pack flash for indoor shots.)

First stop..the Yard House, hello Happy Hour beer flight and fried calamari! New state with lots of breweries means sipping multiple flavors:) The chosen four were: House Honey Blonde (um honey duh had to!!), Beaver PB, Pauline Hefe-Weizen, and the Alaskan White.  Loved the calamari, big pieces and roasted jalapeño tartar..whoa! Not a drop or a crumb was left.

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With full bellies and restless legs we headed to the Pike Place Market to explore.(Check out more Seattle Hot Spots). Everyone has told me to visit the Pike Fish Market to watch them throw the fish while singing sea shanties. If my hotel had a stove or grille, you can bet your butt I would have stocked up on crab legs, rock fish, and shrimp! The good news is that they ship nationwide, score!!

Pike Fish definitely blew me away with their fresh supply and outgoing personalities. These guys know how to charm the crowd:) Its obvious they love their jobs. Next time, I want to catch a fish!!

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Simple Garden Fresh Salsa

salsa fresh-5BLOGO Tomato season used to mean sliced tomato sandwiches on white bread, with mayonnaise and a little pepper.  Thankfully I've become a little more daring with my summer veggie creations. After visiting my parents over the weekend, I came home with a bag of vine ripened beauties. There is never a shortage of mexican spices and ingredients in my house. If we run out of tortilla chips, its an emergency!

Grabing some fresh cilantro and a few limes, it's salsa making time baby:)

Ingredients:

3 cups chopped garden tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1 cup chopped white onion

1/4 chopped green chiles or jalepeno

juice of one lime

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together, can add a little tomato sauce for thickness if your heart desires. I dip with black bean chips and wash it down with an ice cold Corona Light.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Bread

When I get into a baking mood, I want to make all the things! Maybe its because a friend turned me on to the Great British Baking Show and I feel inspired. After enjoying the lemon zucchini bread and giving a banana walnut loaf to my dog sitter, the logical next flavor is chocolate. Chocolate with peanut butter is a perfect marriage that no one can dispute. Some dark cacao powder mixed with fresh creamy peanut spread is hard to mess up. Breakfast, dessert, mid day snack, or late night indulgence dipped in a glass of milk. Maybe just dig into the pan with a fork fresh out of the oven:) Whatever floats your boat!

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Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2/3-3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1/4 cup honey

8 Tbspvanilla  melted butter

3 eggs

3 Tbsp hot water

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 1/2 Tbsp dar cacao powder

1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup fresh peanut butter

(can substitute honey for 4 more Tbsp of butter)

Make:

Mix all ingredients (except peanut butter)

Pour into greased bread pan

Level top of batter

Gently spoon small amounts peanut butter on top of batter

Take knife and gently swirl peanut butter, do not go deep into the batter

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min or until center is fully cooked

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Cooking Classes at Southern Home and Kitchen

KITCHEN-2BLOGO My cooking skills stem from watching my mom, Chopped, and Master Chef with lots of experiments following online recipes. Basically I get a craving, look up lots of ideas then through trial and error end up with something edible. This is why I am better behind the camera than in front of the stove. But, I will say that my culinary/baking skills are improving. I haven't had to many companies or leftovers recently..Yay!!

I do love to eat and have a foodie palate that has me trying everything in sight. Which led me to the doors of Southern Home and Kitchen in Winston Salem, NC.  A delightful kitchen essentials store offering cooking classes.

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph the 'Main Dish Pasta Salads' instruction taught by Chef Michael Hastings. When I arrived, the counter was set for guests and I could smell chicken and pork chops sizzling in an iron skillet. Hello...these are my kinda people:)!

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Three different pasta salads were developed, shrimp, pork, and chicken. Each with a unique twist of flavors amongst contrasting noodles. Fresh ingredients of vegetables, peaches, and seasonings had my mouth watering. I had to lower my camera to enjoy the basil aroma that filled the room.

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Unfortunately I can't share any recipes with you today, but I can recommend joining a class! The best way to learn is to get started and see what you can do. I learned so much by just watching in between pics. So excited to try my hand at poaching peaches as well as making my own salad dressing..stay tuned this could get interesting!

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Summer Time Watermelon

watermelon-1BLOGO I look forward to cold watermelon all year!

My mother used to slice a small melon into quarters. She would place one for each of us on a tray (either a pizza pan or cookie dish). We would sit on the floor in the kitchen or on the back porch with a big spoon and devour them.

I've never mastered the art of melon balls or perfectly symmetrical slices. Basically I just cut until I can break the rind with my hands. I purchase the seedless variety so I can eat without interruption.

My neighbor growing up always sprinkled his with salt! Which of course I thought was disgusting and a waste of perfectly good watermelon. Sorry if thats your preference, but to me it tastes like pool water.

Corking watermelons for a fruity cocktail is definitely a must do! Also, if you have a Cook Out drive thru close by, the watermelon milkshake during July is heavenly:)

Fig and Prosciutto Flatbread

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"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore" "Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli, that's amore"....
Quite often I feel the need to dance around the house and sing to the dogs as I cook:) So after several verses of 'That's Amore', I am ready to eat pizza!
Simple, flavorful, and delicious!
Ingredients:
1 batch pizza dough (soon I will make one from scratch..promise!)..
1/3 cup fig preserves
2 oz. prosciutto torn into pieces
9 oz mozzarella cheese
1 tsp Rosemary
Crushed red pepper
Make:
Roll out pizza dough onto lightly floured surface
Place onto baking sheet
Evenly spread thin layer of fig preserves across dough leaving a 3/4 in border for crust
Next, cover fig preserves with mozzarella
Then add pieces of prosciutto
Sprinkle rosemary and red pepper as top layer
Bake at 475 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges of flatbread are crispy!
Grab a slice and dance around your kitchen:)
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Lunch at Burger Batch

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When a burger craving hits, I start dreaming of melted cheese and juicy beef! There are few menu items  as satisfying as a good burger..just saying. I could really eat any version, no pickiness here:) My recent topping requests are pimento cheese, onions, and bbq sauce. The Burger Batch in downtown Winston Salem has burger and shake enthusiasts lining up out the door. Let's just say this beauty left no crumb behind and I licked my fingers in public!
Did I mention the sweet potato tots?! If you are looking for a place to cheat on your salad with a list of fabulous burgers, tacos, sides, and a cold beer....meet me at Burger Batch!
Next time I will try the Smore Shake!! Stay tuned...:)

 

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Banana Walnut Bread

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There is something about baking bread that leaves the house feeling warm and inviting. Walking into a room filled with the aroma of banana bread instantly brings back memories of my mother's kitchen. I love how smells trigger flashbacks of people and places. Being quite the nostalgic, I fondly recall my childhood and savoring a warm slice with a glass of milk:)
Here is my favorite Banana Walnut Bread!
Ingredients:
3 over ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup light packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Mix all ingredients in mixer or large bowl "except walnuts"
Once combined, fold in nuts
pour into non stick dish
bake for 45min at 350 degrees

 

Lamb Gyro at the Grecian Corner

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 Every city has a go to Gyro spot and I have found mine! I mean, who doesn't like a meat and veggie filled pita? The Grecian Corner in Winston Salem is nestled below I-40 near Baptist Hospital. The old diner atmosphere is filled with the aroma of greek spices. There is always a cake dish full of fresh baklava and friendly people behind the counter.
When I head to this popular lunch destination, I have one thing on my mind...the classic gyro!
Maybe its the crispy pita, or the spicy onions, or the most delicious tzaziki sauce..but this wrap just slaps you in the face with flavor. I hate to say I haven't tried anything else on the menu, because I am addicted to the gyro. I mean when my taste buds crave a favorite, I just can't deny them:) If you know a dish I should try..send me your recommendation!

Avocado Deviled Eggs

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The incredible edible egg!!..Sorry, I had to:) So, being from the south I have tried many versions of the deviled egg. Every southern lady has her own take on this classic concoction. Cookouts, holidays, reunions, birthdays, luncheons, etc...these babies go with just about any food event. Being a deviled egg Connoisseur, I have finally found the right formula for my taste buds.
Yes, they have avocado and splash of pickle juice!!
I like to taste as I cook, so don't hold me to the measurements...just adjust yours as needed:)
Ingredients:
Dozen large eggs (why skimp..you know you will eat them for breakfast the next day)
1 large avacado
white vinegar
pickle juice
mayonaise (Duke's of course)
yellow mustard
paprika
Boil eggs for 10-15min
Place eggs in large bowl and cool with tap water (seriously..took me a while to figure this out as I burned my fingers peeling eggs..where is Mom when you need common sense?)
Cut eggs in half and place cooked yolks in a bowl
Mix ingredients in a bowl..I add a good splash or two of white vinegar, 1tsp of pickle juice and squirt mayo and mustard as needed to make mixture creamy and tangy..I use more mustard than mayo..let the avocado work for most of your mayo needs
spoon mixture into empty egg halves then sprinkle with paprika
Store in fridge..because they are so much better cold!