Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Beecher's Handmade Cheese

In our first days in Seattle, kiddo and I killed a lot of time by walking down to the market. One of the places we've enjoyed visiting a few times was Beecher's. On our first visit, I picked up some of their Flagship cheese and enjoyed a cup of French Onion soup while kiddo munched on a Grilled Cheese. Kiddo really enjoyed it, not because of his lunch, but because he could eat it while sitting up against the glass, watching them make the cheese on site. In fact, while out wandering the next day, he insisted we go back again for lunch. This time I had a Crab Grilled cheese, which was really tasty. Since then, we have picked up their "to go" Macaroni & Cheese for dinner one night. It too, was a hit. Since the waist line has been expanding since I got here, we have avoided our daily trips to the market, but I recommend a visit to Beecher's if you are in Seattle. And if you are in the area, let me know so I can join you for lunch!

Cafe Nola

While the movers were busy packing up our belongings in Austin, I caught part of a "Giada's Weekend Getaways" episode. It featured Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis exploring Seattle, so of course I paid attention. She explored Pike Place Market, ate at Lowell's (not impressed with the service we received there), and took the ferry to Bainbridge Island and had brunch at Cafe Nola.

Since, we were 12 days later than planned closing on the house, we had another weekend to kill in the city, so decided to take the ferry to Bainbridge on Sunday for something to do and decided we would check out Cafe Nola for ourselves.

Our first mistake was an error in programming our navigation system in the car when we got off the ferry. We headed off on our search for a late brunch, and once well off Bainbridge realized we were no where near our destination. With a quick reprogramming of the Cafe Nola address, we were turned around on our way back to the street next to the ferry terminal! Oh well, we had a lovely drive (despite a small snow/freezing rain storm) and found Cafe Nola with no problems.

It was much smaller and much less scenic than I was expecting. None the less, it was quaint and tastefully decorated and most importantly, we still had 1/2 hour left to order brunch. Despite the horrid service (not rude, just slow and inattentive), the food was really good. Hubby had fish and chips and kiddo and I shared the french toast. It came recommended by Giada and it was wonderful.

It was made from challah bread, covered in caramel and pecans and served with maple syrup and fresh fruit. Decadent!

Although there are many other items on the menu I would love to try including the Roasted Beet Salad and Crab Melt, I won't be rushing back there anytime soon. I think it would be worth giving them another shot at the service, but wouldn't bring kiddo with me.

P.S. As I was checking out Cafe Nola's website to link in my blog, I found this link to the recipe for their french toast. Guess I won't have to rush back to get my fix. Now I just need my new kitchen to cook it in. ;)

It's been awhile

Yes, it has been a while. A long while. I'm now in a new state, waiting to get in the new house, and looking for a new job. Hubby took a job with Amazon.com and we moved to Seattle 3-1/2 weeks ago. I have been living in a corporate apartment on the 19th floor of a high rise downtown since then. Let me tell you, as great as it is to be in walking distance of some great restaurants, great shopping, including the infamous Pike Place Market, urban living isn't all it is cracked up to be. Having to share such space with a stir crazy five year old and taking to large dogs down 24 levels to get to the waterfront to go do their business has definitely become old!

However, there is an end in site (we closed on the new house this morning) and we are trying to make the most of our time here.

We have visited the Seattle aquarium, the Space Needle, made a trip to Target, Crate & Barrel, and Pottery Barn(not as convenient as it was in Texas, which is probably good for the pocket book), enjoyed a homemade Easter dinner (and my 35th birthday, blah!), and most recently took the ferry to Bainbridge Island for a tour and brunch (see my next post for the details).

So, before I get entrenched in unpacking and setting up the new place and interviewing for new jobs, I will try to get a few foodie blogs in about my culinary finds so far!

And I'll try to be more consistent about updating my blog too! ;)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The New Gig

I know it's been awhile, but I thought I'd let you all know what I'm doing now. I'm working at Lifetime Fitness (my gym) in the Cafe as a Prep Chef/Supervisor. I have a reasonably regular schedule now. Besides making smoothies, sandwiches, and salads, I'm making chicken, aiolis, salsa, hummus, sauces, dressings, etc. Nothing too exciting, but it's going pretty well.

I may have a couple of catering opportunities coming up as well. Nothing concrete, but we'll see what happens.

I'll check in again soon!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A New Addiction

I seem to be the type prone to addictions; bags, sneakers, chocolate, magazines, etc... Well, besides needing some serious therapy (and not the retail version), I have a new addiction. I'm addicted to Mrs. Meyers.

Mrs. Meyer's is a line of cleaning products. I have seen it many times on my shopping trips to my local World Market stores, but now it is at my local grocery store. They had it featured a couple of weeks ago (end of the aisle shelves), so I picked up some All Purpose Cleaner, Surface Scrub, and Counter Top Spray all in the Lemon Verbena fragrance. I love it! They are very mild, so I haven't used them to clean the shower yet (for some reason I think I need a lot of heavy chemicals to clean the shower right), but wonderful for everyday.

I'm sure my best friend Ang would love the counter spray (we are kind of weird when it comes to our counters).

I haven't ventured into the other flavors, like Geranium and Lavender, since I'm a citrus flavor kind of gal. But I did pick up another product today; Lemon Verbena hand soap pump for the 1/2 bath.

I may have issues, but at least my house will smell great!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Update on the New Job, and my aching feet...

Well I just completed week 2 of the new job. The first week didn't really count. I only spent 2-1/2 days in the kitchen last week. The rest was spent on training on the front of the house (customer service/hosting/computer system stuff).

However, I spent the entire 5 days this week in the kitchen. Monday, I worked with Lysa and then Tuesday thru today I was on my own with my own entrees to do. I started out pretty slow, but took about an hour off my time between Tuesday and Wednesday (with more work thrown in). And today, I got out of there at a reasonable time even though I seemed to have a slow start. I really like being in the kitchen. I like the food prep stuff. I have to admit that I'm not loving (or even liking) the "packaging" side of it.

Here's a quick summary of what I worked on Tuesday-Friday:

* Cut and butterflied 504 steaks
* Hard boiled, peeled, and chopped 192 eggs
* Prepared and packaged 516 chicken breasts
* Marinated and packaged 84 pork tenderloin
* Packaged 252 fish fillets
* Misc. other activities - white sauces, marinades, salsas, etc.

But here's the part that gets me... opened, filled, and closed approximately 1290 Ziploc bags. That doesn't even touch the foil pans and lids, glad containers, marinade cups, etc. It would be pretty easy work except for the Ziploc bags!!!

Plus, after 10 years of a desk job, my feet and back are having to adjust to my new routine. We don't typically take more than a 20 min. break a day, and I have been working anywhere from 8 to 11 hours a day. Hopefully my feet will be ready to return on Monday morning!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tomorrow It Begins...

Well, this is it. Friday was my last day as an Engineer. Well as a working Engineer anyway. So tomorrow I begin all over again. As a rookie in the food biz. I'll let you know how it goes! Wish me luck. Prep Chef Heidi will keep you posted. ;)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Dave Lieberman visits Austin!

I was fortunate to be invited by Kelly, Manager of the Central Market cooking school, to a special class being taped for TV! Sunday evening I was fortunate to attend the Austin Music on the Menu class with Trish Murphy. It was taped for an upcoming episode of Dave Lieberman's show.

You probably recognize Dave Lieberman as the cutie boy-next-door star of good Deal on the Food Network. At only 27, he has accomplished a lot. You can check him out at DaveCooks.net. I was fortunate to chat with him a few minutes after class and have him sign my Dave's Dinners cookbook and pulled out my Food & Wine 2005 issues in which he was featured.

An unexpected surprise was getting to listen to Trish Murphy. While I admit, I only recognized her from her Henna Chevrolet commercials here in town, and from hearing about her classes at Central Market, I'll be looking to pick up her Cd's. She is a great songwriter and singer. Also, with each strum of her guitar, she hits the heartstrings of the girl you are and the girl you wish you could be sometimes. She is also the gal pal you want to have a shot of tequila with and forget your problems!

So between songs, here is what Trish prepared and served in class (yes she's sexy, a talented musician, and she cooks!)
* Pan-Roasted Mushrooms with Crab meat and Pernod
* Fried Okra Salad w/ Oyster and Shoestring Sweet Potatoes (plus a bunch of other great stuff)
* Lemonade Cupcakes

I had such a great time. However, the drive home in the crazy Texas thunderstorm was less than desirable. Thanks again Kelly for the invite. And I'll let you know if/when the show airs!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I feel like Russian tonight?!

It has been a couple of months since I volunteered at the Central Market cooking school, but it was so good to be back. I worked Friday night for a Private dinner party featuring Russian Food. The class was presented by the ever popular CM House Chef Vance. And although we couldn't drink Vodka, a think a good time was had by all (including the class crasher). CM Chef Paul and one other volunteer also worked. So it was an absolutely great group to work with! I just love those guys!

Here is what we served:

  • Pel'Meni (Meat dumplings served in broth)
  • Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Fig Conserve (I made this one)
  • Beef Stroganoff (Bef Stroganov) (I made this one)
  • Salad Olivier (Salat "Olivie") - Poor Terry, so much work!!!
  • Turnips with Malaga Wine Sauce (Repa s Sousom iz Malagi)
  • Breaded Cauliflower (Tiortykh Sukhariaki)
  • Apple Dessert with Cinnamon and Wine (Kholodets iz Iablok)

To be honest, I was expecting quite a bland menu, but everything was so tasty. A truly enjoyable evening, although my feet were a little sore (out of practice).

I found out today that I'm working the Sunday evening "Istanbul: A Food Lovers Paradise" class. It was a great class last year, so I'm looking forward to trying Ozlem's new menu.

I'll keep you posted! :)