Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Heart Seattle

While I'm excited to move to New York, Seattle will always hold a special place in my heart. I know I'll be back often and not just because my in-laws live here. It's a beautiful city, full of vibrant culture, incredible displays of nature and as you may have noticed, food worth writing home about. Here's my little tribute to the Emerald City in photo form. Farewell, Seattle.

the Olympic Sculpture Park on a sunny day

my favorite food truck

cherry blossoms in bloom

coffee as an art form

the fresh flowers, flying fish and fruit stands within Pike Place Market

afternoon snacks from Le Panier

the colorful locals (this may be the best representation of Seattle's population on record)

a solution for east coast pizza cravings

Rainier cherries

living an hour away from waterfalls

tea and crumpets on a rainy day

challenging goats at the zoo to staring contests


Trophy cupcakes

ferry rides

the inordinate amount of lavender

watching the sunset from these chairs

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Plum Fantastic

Have you ever tried a dinosaur egg pluot? And yes, that is the technical name. It's a speckled plum apricot hybrid, and it's adorable. Tasty too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Work and Play


My apartment is currently filled with boxes, some full of dishes, picture frames and books scattered across my living room floor and many, many more empty and leaning against any available wall waiting to be filled. I had no idea how much stuff I had.

Luckily, I was able to escape from the sea of cardboard for a couple hours on Saturday to go to the opening of the new Lake Union Park here in Seattle. Sunshine, model boats, live music, fresh flowers and a free bite-size coconut cream pie were just the break I needed.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Weekend!

There's some serious packing happening at my house this weekend. Hopefully, it's not too painful. What will you be up to? Basking in the glory of fall I hope.

[photo: Brian Greathouse]

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not Everything is Black and White

The first time I had a black and white cookie I was 18 and it was my first visit to New York City. I knew all about the black and white thanks to an episode of Seinfeld, and although, the cookie didn't sit well with Jerry, I figured it must be something special. It lived up to my imagination. The beautiful contrast of the glossy chocolate frosting and the matte white, the soft cake-like cookie and the hint of lemon coming through, I was sold.

Then there's the second time I had a black and white cookie. My mom was heading back to Savannah after helping me move into my dorm room my freshman year at NYU. We sat in a bakery on Broadway and shared one. I took bites between tears, then put her in a cab and said goodbye.

It seemed fitting to make a batch as I prepare to leave Seattle and head back to the city where I fell love with these cookies and so many other things. In many ways, this little dessert represents the way I feel about New York. I've just always thought they were something special.

Black and White Cookies
Recipe courtesy of David Lebovitz

For the cookies:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. table salt
6 Tbs. whole or low-fat milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon, preferably organic
1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the icings:
2 cups plus 2 Tbs. powdered sugar, or more if needed
4 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbs. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
To make the cookies:

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and cake flours, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, mix together the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and lemon zest. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until completely smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk mixture, then stir in the remaining flour mixture and beat until the batter is smooth. Drop 2 Tbs. batter in mounds spaced 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the cookies feel just set in the centers, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheets.

To make the icings:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups confectioners' sugar with 2 tsp. of the corn syrup, the lemon juice, the vanilla, and 3 Tbs. water until smooth. Transfer half of the mixture to a small bowl and whisk in the cocoa and remaining 2 tsp. corn syrup to make the "black" icing. Add up to 2 teaspoons more water, if necessary, to make the icing spreadable; it should not be too thin, so begin by adding 1 teaspoon and add another teaspoon only if needed. Whisk the remaining 2 Tbs. confectioners' sugar into the white icing. The two icings should have the same consistency: thick, but spreadable. (If the white icing is too thin, add a bit more confectioners' sugar.) With a small icing spatula or a butter knife, spread white icing over one half of the flat (bottom) side of each cookie. Spread black icing over the other half. Let the icing set for a few minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy Birthday to my dad! Here he is back in the eighties being cooler than me. He still is.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coloring Books

The only thing better than old books is color-coordinated old books. Retro Reading does all the finding and matching for you. So clever!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pike Street Fish Fry

This weekend, I hit up one of my favorite Seattle snack spots, Pike Street Fish Fry. It's a tiny, hole-in-the-wall place, but boy, they fry up some goodness. Everything's made to order -- fish, shrimp, calamari, oysters and pommes frites. And then there are the sauces: housemade tartar, lemon aioli, curry ketchup, salsa verde and smoked chili mayo. You'll usually get a fried lemon slice atop your order, which is like biting into crispy-coated sunshine.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Road Trip!

The last few weeks have been filled with list-making, apartment-hunting and excitement mixed with momentary freak-outs. The husband and I are leaving Seattle and moving cross-country in less than three weeks. Good gravy! There's the scariness of organizing and packing and lifting heavy things, which somehow always digresses to a version of this with less laughter and more tears.

But one part of this whole adventure that seems like it should be just about a hundred percent fun is our road trip across the northern U.S. I've been planning our route, and so far we'll be visiting Yellowstone, stopping by Mount Rushmore, spending the night in Minneapolis with friends and dining on deep dish pizza in Chicago. If you have any must-see or must-eat recommendations between Seattle and New York, send them my way. Happy weekend, lovelies!

[spotted on: etsy]

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mr. Jimmy

Jimmy Fallon and myself, circa 2002

After reading about Melisa's run-in with Gavin Rossdale the other day, I got to thinking about celebrity encounters. My freshmen year at NYU meeting/stalking famous people was like a hobby. It's what my friends and I did instead of rushing.

I had been in love with Jimmy Fallon since he first popped up on SNL when I was teenager. I was pretty sure we were going to get married, so this was a big moment. What I remember most is that he smelled nice -- like cinnamon. Look how young and happy we both were.

Yeah, it was a different time. Now Jimmy's a big fancy talk show host, and I wear brown eyeshadow instead of purple. Any fun celebrity encounters out there? Do tell.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pattern Pictures

These prints would look so bright and happy hanging on a white wall. It's amazing what a few stripes and crisscrossed lines can do.

[spotted on 20x200; artists: Jonathan Lewis and Joe Kievitt]


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