8/31/17

TBT: Postcard From Seattle.


Where to eat in Seattle?

It has been about two weeks since I came back from a week in Seattle where I visited family and friends. This turned out to be more of a vacation/staycation because my sister was able to take the whole time off work and our friend Jenny was visiting from Houston at the same time. We ate, danced, went hiking (!!), saw family and friends, and did some touristy things. 

I wanted to give a few shout outs to some of my favorite bites from this trip.

The photo above is from General Porpoise. These doughnuts were worth a hike from the bus stop. I loved the bright interior, gorgeous flowers on the tables, and of course the doughnuts themselves. I had the lemon curd flavor, and was happy that it wasn't overly sweet. Definitely check out this place on your next Seattle visit.

For a neighborhood feel, a great selection of small plates, and a great Happy Hour, we went to Pair. Make sure to order their shakshuka for its smoky flavor, the gougeres if you like carbs, and the daily selection of cheese. The mussels were also superb. Below are the desserts we shared: an in season apricot cake and a mocha chocolate mousse.  


For something away from the city, pack a picnic and head out to Taylor Shellfish Farms. Don't forget your oyster knife and patience: shucking 6 oysters takes forever but is so worth it. The view is stunning and makes you forget about reality.



And finally, The Walrus and The Carpenter. Make sure to show up as soon as the restaurant opens to be seated. The oyster happy hour is the main draw, but next time I'll definitely stay for dinner. These oysters were plump and sweet and I did not have to shuck a single one of them.


8/28/17

Last Of Summer Meatless Monday Salads: Mango, Tomato & Mozzarella


Summer is almost over, so you might as well enjoy a beautiful, colorful salad before summer tomatoes and strawberries disappear for good.

This gorgeous Mango, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad came about as most of my other creations do from random things I had in my refrigerator. 

I had a ripe mango and a bag of arugula from Trader Joe's, organic strawberries and tomatoes from MOM's Organic, and a container of fresh mozzarella.

Having consumed a large amount of Ethiopian and Thai food over the weekend, this salad was exactly what I needed.

Mango, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
mango, peeled and sliced
variety of cherry and grape tomatoes, halved
strawberries, sliced
arugula
fresh mozzarella
chili oil (I used Nudo)
salt
freshly ground black pepper

That's all folks! Arrange in any design you desire.

Happy Meatless Monday.

8/21/17

POPSUGAR MustHaveBox Turns 5!


Earlier this month I received a gift from POPSUGAR: their August Must Have Box on THEIR 5th Anniversary! How sweet is that? One of my favorite gifts inside the box was this Cheers Lacquered Tray from Fringe Studio...because let's face it, everyone can use a little bit of cheer in their life.

The tray is great to hold a remote control, lotions, pens, or iced coffee, an orchid bloom and some ketchup to go with a weekend breakfast of potatoes, a poached egg, and a black bean & tomato salad.

If you are a first time subscriber to POPSUGARMustHaveBox, you can get $10 Off your first box until August 31st

How would YOU use this tray? 

Small print: 
All current Must Have subscribers are eligible for a chance to win! You can sign up before the end of August for a chance to automatically win a *major* surprise each week from following brands: 
Week 1: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from Pehr Designs 
Week 2: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from First Aid Beauty 
Week 3: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from Kendra Scott 
Week 4: Limited # of lucky subscribers subscribers will win something from Tarte cosmetics 
Week 5 (8/31): 5 Grand Prize! Limited # of subscribers something from Cambridge Satchel Co + 1 year Must Have 

Disclosure: I received the MustHaveBox for free but am not being compensated for this post. 

8/7/17

The Bachelorette Finale: Meatless Monday Potluck Dinner


Are you watching The Bachelorette Finale tonight? I am! A few friends are coming over for food, drinks and commentary.

Over the last season, I've hosted about 5 such viewing parties and they are always a success. I get a chance to clean my home, have friends over, and the conversation is always great.

Here are a few ideas for potluck dinners you can put together easily that allow grazing while watching the show. 

Rules:
1. Don't stress
2. Don't do it all yourself: have friends bring a bottle of wine or dessert or a dip with chips
3. Keep it vegetarian for Meatless Monday
4. Use pretty plates and bowls for store bought snacks
5. Don't worry about everything matching

Dinner #1:
Stove top roasted carrots: quarter the carrots lengthwise and saute in olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper until they are golden brown. I kept mine aldente. Garnish with parsley.

Hummus: store bought or make your own.

Beet chips: save the calories from carbs by thinly slicing raw beets!

Tabbouleh.

Baba ganoush.

Cheese.

Sauteed olives with orange zest, red pepper flakes and garlic. {Similar recipe}

Fresh figs and cherries.

Wine: I found a bottle of Moldovan White Cabernet which I really liked.

Dinner #2:
Big Ass Salad: mixed greens, fresh corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, pickled peppers, pistachios.

Cheese and crackers.

Artichoke dip.

Celery, carrots, snow peas.

Cherries.

Chocolate mocha cake.

Wine.



For tonight's gathering, I'm making deviled eggs, putting out store bought baba ganoush with kale chips, and assembling a dessert with store bought pound cake, fresh berries, and home made whipped cream. 

My friends are bringing over sangria, cold soup, and a few other appetizers. Make sure to check out my instagram for photos later tonight.

8/3/17

Watermelon, Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Salad: National Watermelon Day


One of my favorite summer foods is watermelon! Sweet, juicy, refreshing, and guilt free. Growing up in Russia, we only had watermelon with seeds, but over the last two decades in the US, I got spoiled and hate seeds in my watermelon ;)

What are your feelings about seedless watermelons? Yay or nay?


Today is a National Watermelon Day, so I thought I would share with you a quick salad I put together over the weekend. This is not my typical nicely arranged salad. Instead, I threw things on the plate and called it a day. It tasted great regardless of the appearance.

Watermelon, Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Salad: National Watermelon Day

Ingredients
watermelon, cut into triangles
heirloom tomato, sliced
fresh mozzarella balls, torn into pieces
pesto
salt & pepper

Directions

1. Put watermelon and tomato slices on a plate. 
2. Top with torn mozzarella. 
3. Spoon over pesto and season with salt & freshly ground black pepper.

What do you like to pair with watermelon?