Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Everything

Well, this weeks food theme was pumpkin. Now that I know how easy it is to cut a pumpkin in half, bake it, puree it and make a tasty pumpkin mess that is ten times better than that stuff you buy in a can in the store, now I'm totally into doing anything and everything with it. Sarah and I made pumpkin ravioli this week with a brown butter sage sauce and toasted hazelnuts, and a side of broccolini fresh from the Ballard Sunday market. Then I made toasted pumpkin seeds--the key to a good pumpkin seed is to boil them in salted water before baking them. Now I'm on to making pumpkin soup for our Halloween party on Friday. And if I get a chance, pumpkin bread will be this week as well. I guess I'm surprised at how inexpensive sugar pumpkins are and how much pulp I get from one pumpkin. Tasty, nutritious, cheap and easy to prepare. And now I can do this with ALL squash--very exciting in my world.

Work has been very slow for me lately, turns out being in a luxury business isn't so good when the economy is bad. And on the other hand, Lee has been working a ton of overtime, not that it's his choice. Therefore, I haven't seen much of him lately which makes me a little lonely. So I'm filling my time with walking and friends and cooking, getting lots of errands done and working in the yard. Today I bought a new pair of running shoes for when I walk the half marathon. They tested me on the treadmill, then tested where I place pressure on my feet and then filmed the way I walk to show me how I walk like a duck. Apparently my feet are all messed up, pronated and need serious repair. I could have told you this because I always get blisters and currently have plantar faciatis, but I just work through it and walk even more and eventually it gets better. I mean what else am I going to do?! Sit down all day and prop my feet up and watch soaps? I don't think so. So I got these shoes, and the insoles are more expensive than an average pair of shoes in my closet. But....I'm telling you, it's worth it. I could already tell I'm walking better, any pain is completely gone and they feel like heaven. So worth it, considering I will be walking a long, long way.

This is a picture of the last performance Lee had playing Rock Band with his loyal fan Sarah beside him. His X Box died the next day. Very sad day for him, and I never even got to play one song on the new Rock Band list.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Crab Feed

Every year I look forward to my Mom's crab feed. It's the only time I can eat as much dungeness crab as my heart desires, enjoy it as long as I want and get as messy as I possibly can doing it. Hopefully since I'm my Mom's daughter I always get invited, but there is usually a different crowd every year, which is possibly why I eat like this could be the last time I will ever have crab. I was in charge of making the salad this year, my Mom always bakes fresh bread with lots of garlic butter and we chow down. Apparently my salad was a hit this year--probably because it's somewhat seasonal and goes well with crab. I started with a layer of butter lettuce, topped by some arugula, grapefruit, avocado and homemade honey poppyseed dressing. I'm thinking it could use some pistachios, or pomegranate seeds when winter really kicks in.

I was jealous of Lee's huge crab pile. He spent a good hour on all the hard work of getting it all out and I thought I should take a picture of his masterpiece. And no casualties either, unlike clumsy me who sliced her finger open.

As for dinner this evening? It's a trip to Mr. Gyros for us. Tasty, quick and cheap--plus it's supporting our 'hood.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joel Robuchon

This last weekend we went to Vegas and of course we had a ton of fun gambling and seeing shows and laying by the pool, but the highlight for me was dining at Joel Robuchon, my first 3 Michelin Star restaurant experience. It was worth every penny and I think I have a new addiction, or at least a goal in mind for every few years. This is something that everyone who loves food should do at least once in their lifetime--it's really an experience you won't forget. There is no need for more than once glass of wine because you feel drunk and high from being so happy and well taken care of. We did the tasting menu and although every course was unique and wonderful, my favorite was the caviar course. I never liked caviar before this and now I will seek out the best. There was also a beautiful pumpkin gnocchi that was amazing. I would say Joel had a theme of gold and foam, which doesn't sound appetizing, but was really quite tasty. The decor was a combination of masculine and feminine with black and pink being the primary colors. We were treated like kings and queens, with about 6 waiters to our table. The man, or I should say my man, was the only one who got the menu with the prices and when we left all the ladies recieved a gift of lemon pound cake to take home. I'm still enjoying this and thinking of the experience with each slice of cake. Yumm. And what a great way to make the experience last!Aside from dining well, we barely slept and Lee seems to have a knack for gambling. Although I knew this was the case--he's not only lucky, but extremely intelligent and good with numbers. So I would go lose the money and he'd spend all night making it back, therefore the poor guy didn't get a wink all weekend. But we did come out even and got a lot of game playing in. He made all my lost money back and rubbed my sore feet every night--he really is the best guy on earth. We were starving when we got off the plane and into Seattle, so we took the comfort food route and headed to Senor Moose in Ballard for some homemade chilequiles. Lee fellfast asleep on the table.

And in other news, since going to Maschiko gets expensive, we made sushi last week. It's so easy, even the tempura roll. And aside from perfecting the sushi rice, which I have yet to do, I got my sushi craving fixed. For under $25, and serving at least 4 people stuffing themselves silly. Yay!

Monday, October 13, 2008

So glad fall is here

This is my favorite time of the year. It's perfect walking weather, all of the great veggies are being harvested, Halloween decorations come out and the sun looks amazing on the city of Seattle. It's also the time when I want to cook more, spend less time and money eating out and watch all the movies I haven't seen for the last 6 months. This week I made a potato gratin from white potatoes and several cheeses I had remnants of from our fridge, amongst other goodies. We also had some haricots verts with tomato, garlic, walnuts and basil. Both really good. And in the interest of saving money, we are making sushi this evening. We love going to Maschiko over in West Seattle, but inevitably come out a couple hundred dollars in the hole (yes, I know that's expensive for a regular sushi habit, but it's the best sushi around). So I learned how to make Hajime's (the chef/owner of Maschiko) sushi rice and will be making my favorite rolls this evening with Sarah and Lee. I have a lovely hunk of sashimi grade ahi and some excellent crab. My favorite roll? It's called The Red Violin. Ahi, Siracha, Cilantro and avacado. I crave this probably more than anything I've ever had cravings for.

Meghan and Andy's wedding was this past week and it was beautiful. She looked unreal and we are so happy for them. Now they get to go to Italy and France and live it up as newlyweds-- so romantic.

Cypress's 4th birthday party is also this week. She had a Zoo theme and got all toys. You know, those first few years of life you get a lot of educational gifts and clothes and things you perhaps need more than want. Maybe because you don't really know what you want the first few years of your life. But this year she got all toys, and it was so fun to see her open all those cool things that I would have been so excited to get and play with as a kid. There isn't much sense to any of it, but it's just so much fun to play. Hey, Lee still get's Transformers. It's really kind of adorable.

Just a few more days until Vegas. It's 85 degrees there so I plan on reading a book poolside, gambling, exploring and eating well. I also signed up officially for the half marathon today. Looks like the route is from Seattle Center to the U District. I'm a little nervous, but also excited.