Business trips are better when your business is meat!

Beef Tartare, Rain Shadow Meats Squared (Pioneer Sq)

Beef Tartare, Rain Shadow Meats Squared (Pioneer Sq)

I posted a teaser last week about my business trip to Seattle in which I promised more pictures would be coming. I have finally gotten my act together so here’s how I spent my 5 days “working” in the Emerald City! (As a side note — working in the meat industry really has its perks — we ate constantly.)

On the drive to Seattle from Portland, we stopped in Olympia to get dinner at the Water Street Cafe. The food was pretty fabulous and the pasta special was super good. I’m going to ignore the sprinkling of dried parsley on the rim.

Stinging Nettle Raviolis with Fiddlehead Ferns

The next day, my friend and co-worker Breezy and I embarked on day-long trip around Seattle doing sales calls.

We started in Ballard:

Watching our lunch cook

Watching our lunch cook at Stoneburner

Roasted cauliflower with agro dolce sauce, and an incredible pizza with sausage, olives and mozzarella.

Roasted cauliflower with agro dolce and an incredible pizza with sausage, olives and mozzarella. Oh yeah, and a bottle of rosé.

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One of the best ideas I’ve ever had…

Malibu Rum, Pineapple and Coconut Popsicles

Malibu Rum, Pineapple and Coconut Popsicles

A few weeks ago, while reading a blog, I came across the idea of making popsicles with coconut water for a healthy, refreshing summertime treat. And although it sounded like delicious concept, it seemed a little tame to me.

Coincidentally I had also seen something intriguing on Pinterest — pineapple chunks soaked in coconut rum, a boozy, refreshing summertime treat.

Aha, I thought, now we’re getting somewhere!

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Recreating the best gin fizz ever

Every once in a while I’ve ordered a drink having a good idea of what it will be like, only to be totally shocked when it arrives at my table. I had this happen to me last month while on my husband and I were on vacation. We had taken a catamaran to St. Barth’s for the day and stopped in the first bar we found at the Gustavia Marina.

Having been on a steady diet of rum-based cocktails for three days prior, I decided to branch out and order a gin fizz.

This is what was set in front of me:

Gin Fizz in St. Barth's

Gin Fizz in St. Barth’s — note the empty space between the lime slice and the gin

The top part was almost like a lime sorbet, as opposed to the more traditional frothed egg white. But what really caught my eye was the placement of the lime slice. It was perfectly positioned in the center of the glass, keeping the contents of the cocktail separate.

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Things I miss already…

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I’m suffering from serious vacation withdrawal. The good news is that it’s absolutely gorgeous in Portland right now and I can sit in my backyard with a beer and a book and pretend I’m still in the Caribbean (kind of). And, in my travels, I discovered two delicious things that I can’t wait to indulge in again, this time on domestic soil.

1. A Mojito Royale. All the minty goodness of a rum-filled mojito…copiously topped with Champagne. Yes please!

Mojito Royale from the Rainbow Club in Grand Case, St Martin

Mojito Royale from the Rainbow Club in Grand Case, St Martin

2. Johnny Cakes. How have I never eaten these before?? They are the stuff dreams are made of!

Talk of the Town, St Martin

Shrimp Skewer and Johnny Cakes, Talk of the Town, Grand Case, St. Martin

Cider + Liquor + Cajeta = Deliciously Evil

I love having a signature cocktail when I throw a party. Last year at my honey-themed birthday party I had a station set up where guests could make a Honey Badger (St. Germain, honey syrup and sparkling wine). So when I hosted my harvest-themed dinner party, I decided to come up with something fun to drink besides wine.

Since I had just made my own home-pressed apple cider, I used that as a base. I heated it up with some mulling spices to give it more flavor, letting it simmer for about 10 minutes with a cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice and dried orange peel. Once the spices were strained out, I contemplated my liquor cabinet.

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Additions to the Rumtopf: Perfect Pears

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Sugared Pears for the Rumtopf

It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to my boozy experiment, but don’t worry — I haven’t forgotten it! I’ve got some plums that are almost ready but in the meantime, I just added some perfectly ripe pears. It’s looking quite delightful — can’t wait to get to drink it! (Rumtopf is traditionally eaten around Christmas, so thankfully I don’t have much longer to go.)

Look at that beautiful color!