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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wallace Falls

I tend to be one of those people who bites off a little more than I can chew, digs myself into holes, etc. and so forth - but when I get myself into those sticky situations I'm pretty good at staying calm and faking it.

This brings me to the hike the hubby, Mo, and I embarked on this past Saturday - Wallace Falls.  

Its a hike that seems deceptively easy when you read about online, and when you first start out you think to yourself, "Hey - there are 7yr olds & women with babies strapped to their chest hiking this trail, it can't be too tough, right?!"  

When you make it past the lower falls the crowd of hikers starts to thin out and the trail becomes rockier/steeper, and by the time you pass the middle falls you're thinking to yourself, "What in the world did I get myself into?  My glutes are burning,  I can't breathe, and Mo is still sprinting up the trail like cardio Barbie."

But you stay calm and put one foot in front of the other and when you reach the end of the trail, you look down and realize you just climbed to the top of a waterfall. 

(and somewhere there's a cold beer waiting for you, if you ever make it down)

Mo & Ed

Monday, June 28, 2010


I finally cracked and bought something online.

A few weeks ago the hubby ordered a pair of Clark's desert boots, and when they arrived I jokingly put them on and clomped around the house (he's always teasing me we have the same size feet).

They made me feel tough, like I could kick some cactus butt, and I decided I wanted a pair.

It took me a couple weeks to pull the trigger, since my style is generally a little bit girly and I'm not entirely convinced I won't look silly in them.

Therefore the question is: Can I pull them off?

My Proposed Outfit

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On Top

I'm one of those people who looks really weird in most hats, especially knit ones, but there are occasions when hats are a necessity (i.e. anywhere where the sun is truly shining) therefore I'm always searching for the perfect hat.

I have a big floppy straw hat for the beach (from J.Crew, you can basically smoosh it into a ball and jump on it and it'll still magically pop back to its original shape), but I'd like a smaller hat for strolling around town.

Luckily, there are a lot of great summery choices out there.

Panama Hat at J.Crew

Classic Straw Fedora at Forever21
Pins and Needles Fedora w/Bow at Urban Outfitters

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pinxto Seattle - Restaurant Review

The photo above is a mirage. (keep reading...I'll eventually explain why)

If you've ever read my blog - you've heard of my former neighborhood pinxto joint, Txori (if you haven't check out this and this).  

Ever since it closed, Ed and I have been trying to find a replacement "go to" place.  
Tilikum Place Cafe is always an option, but its no longer easy to drop in on the weekend (which is a necessity for a "go to" place) since they've gotten pretty popular.  We checked out Bisato a week or so ago and the food was EXCELLENT (mmm...chilled pea and mint soup & "lasagna" w/morel mushrooms...yummm) - but a little bit pricey for a spur of the moment meal.
Well - this past weekend we finally decided to check out Pintxo, the restaurant that replaced Txori, and boy was I disappointed.

"Why" do you ask?

(1) It was incredibly smoky when we walked in, and not a "yumm, something smells good," smoky - it was a "grab the fire extinguisher, I think my lungs are turning black" smoky; (2) They were out of a Spanish tapas joint; (3) Their bread was really, really stale; (4) They were out of my first two wine picks (one of which was Cava, another staple at a Spanish joint); (5) By the time our waitress brought our drinks (keep in mind, we were probably 2 of 8 customers), I was so over it; (6) Even for a pinxto place...the portions are pretty small (don't be fooled by the photograph above); (7) Everything was a bit bland.

I don't think we'll ever go back.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finding My Inner Artist

I am by no stretch of the imagination a great artist, nor am I really a good artist, but when I put my mind to it I can paint "things."

On Sunday I did just that.  Natalie told me she wanted a painting of a Northern Spotted Owl, and I painted her one. 

See mom - I still craft ;)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Brunch

We finally made it to Spring Hill for brunch today (we first tried about six months ago, but didn't have ressies and they were packed to the gills...this time I made ressies a month in advance).
I perused the menu online before I made our ressies, and at the time they had a few vegan friendly options for Natalie.  Unfortunately, they have since changed the (seasonal) menu.  While Ed and I were able to find incredibly delicious things to eat - Nat had to settle for a cup of tea (even the hash browns aren't vegan! moral of the story: don't bring a vegan to Spring Hill)

Ed had the special saimin (smoked pork belly, six-minute egg, pork & ham broth, fish cake, scallion) and I had two poached eggs (hen of the woods & mini bella mushroom ragout, chive biscuit).  Both were delicious, especially when paired with their Bloody Mary (chili-infused crater lake vodka, house worcestershire, mortadella sausage, pickled vegetables).

I, astonishingly, had my Bloody Mary w/out the sausage.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gearing Up

Ah - hiking - my newest obsession.
(My hubby asked me what ever happened to my tennis obsession, to which I replied: (1) Do you even really know me? sniff & (2) Don't worry, I'll pick it up again when the weather warms up (maybe))

After last weekend's hiking expedition, I've decided I need to gear up in order to be a proper hiker.  Unfortunately, hiking gear isn't as pretty and fun as tennis gear (no white pleated hiking skirts) - but I'll make due.

On my list:

I WILL NOT be purchasing these ;)


I actually went to REI today and ended up purchasing a different pair of boots b/c they offered more support...I also could resist purchasing a light rain jacket.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Couscous Salad with Chickpeas

I have a couple other culinary concoctions cued up, but just could wait to post the Couscous Salad with Chickpea salad I made last night.

It's a perfect summer weekday meal.  Quick to make, used a few fresh ingredients (mint, tomato, green onion), and it'll pack well if you want to take it along on a picnic.

And - as always - it's super good for you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Will Power

I'm on a self-imposed hiatus from online shopping, since I was getting a little bit out of control. 

Now if I want to buy something, I'm going to force myself to get off my butt and hit up an actual physical store to make the purchase.  gasp. 

It's now been 4 weeks and 1 day since I've purchased anything online, and I think I'm out of the "withdrawal" period.  Maybe.

If I was going to fall off the wagon...I'd probably purchase the following:

(I already have it in white an am dying for another)


(so cute for summer, and inexpensive)

(for days by the pool)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Great Outdoors

Seattle finally had a warm (78 degrees) and sunny Saturday, so Ed and I hopped in the car and headed over the mountain to Roslyn, WA

The town is tiny, picturesque, and brews a great beer (Roslyn Brewing Company).  People wave, smile, and make small talk with you.  Sigh.  I love small towns.

After eating lunch at the Roslyn Cafe we headed out to the Wenatchee National Forest for an easy hike on the Hyas Lake trail.  After getting a little bit lost and a VERY bumpy ride on FS4330, we finally hit the trail head.  (Note: if you don't have an SUV/truck don't even try to get to the trail head.  At two points we actually had to drive through rushing water.  At one crossing I waded out to the middle to make sure the current wouldn't sweep the car away.  brrrrrrr)

I really don't know why it didn't occur to Ed and I that the trail may be a bit snowy/wet, seeing as how we had a pretty cold/wet spring - but it didn't.  Hiking in the snow in 78 degree weather and hopping over run-off streams (or walking across on fallen logs) made it quite a fun adventure.  I love the great outdoors.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Grilled Halibut w/Flavored Butters

Whenever Ed makes a recipe from a cookbook I get a little (okay, a LOT) lazy to post it, because it means I have to type the recipe up rather than just embedding a link (sigh).

But - since this recipe for Grilled Halibut with Flavored Butters (adapted from a recipe from Julie and Jacques Cooking at Home, 1999) turned out so well - I feel obliged to blog about it.

For the Halibut you'll need

2 - 8 to 10 ounce skinless halibut fillets
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs anchovy butter (combine 1 stick room temp butter, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, black pepper, 1/2 lemon, 6-8 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, 1/2 tsp olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth - adjust seasonings to your taste)

Preheat the oven to 200 F and set grill over high heat.

Brush the tops and bottoms of the fillets w/the vegetable oil and salt/pepper.  Sear each side on the grill for approx 1 1/2 minutes.

Transfer the fillets to a baking dish and bake for 5-10 minutes (until flesh is firm yet moist and warm all the way through).  Remove from the oven and top w/a tablespoon of anchovy butter.

We served with Rice Pilaf with Pepper, Peas, and Asparagus - the recipe for which is in the same cook book.  If you want the recipe let me know, and I'll muster up the energy to type it out :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Granola" Bars ;)

My stepdaughter, Natalie, inspired me to try my hand at making homemade granola bars after I told her about my recent addiction to Zone bars, to which she replied, "Do you even know what they put in those things?"

Hmmm...I think I glanced at the ingredients at some point in time, and I know there must be some sort of additive to ramp up the protein content...but who really knows.  All I know is that they satisfy my 10AM cravings and I feel like I'm eating a candy bar.

Well - Nat suggested I try my hand at making my own granola bars and last night I did.  I must admit I cheated a little and picked a recipe that is more on the rice krispy treat side of the granola bar spectrum - but hey, at 143 calories each I don't feel that guilty.

Check out the recipe for Cranberry Crisp Bars here

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back From the Concrete Jungle

NYC is one of those cities I think is wonderful to visit (the magnificence! the history! the stimulation!), but I couldn't live there - mainly because: (1) I "heart" Seattle, (2) the never ending NYC crowds would eventually lead me right to a bottle of Xanax, (3) I only like heat/humidity when I'm on a beach in a bikini, (4) I'd go into debt ($17 cocktails! $4800 for rent! eek!).

But - if someone magically gifted me with an unlimited pass to NYC Broadway shows, I may reconsider my stance. 

I arrived to NYC clutching a ticket to the Wednesday matinee of Promises, Promises and a chatty seat mate convinced me I had to catch another show on my only other full day (Thursday) in the city.  Therefore, after a morning relaxing in the urban oasis know as Central Park - I stood in line (for an hour +) at the same day ticket booth (TKTS) for a ticket to A Little Night Music.

The Line

It was totally worth it!  I was 13 rows away from Angela Lansbury (and I got the ticket at a 40% discount)!  She was captivating. 

I also must say - Catherine Zeta Jones can really sell a song.

Yay Broadway!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Perplex me American Apparel

This is not a rant...since I'm really not that ticked off...

But I must say - I probably will never again shop at again.  Let me explain why.

American Apparel is one of those stores that scares me (a little).  It's a place where I know I don't belong.  Their target market is really hip & risque early twenty somethings, whereas I'm basically a yuppie without all arrogance and superficial trappings. 

But - I was perusing their website the other day and decided I HAD to have a couple lace t-shirts and quickly pulled the trigger.  Making the purchase online seemed so safe - so far removed from the judgemental stares of AA sales people.

Everything was going great.  I received my first order confirmation and it was perfect, but then I received the second and it looked a little odd.  Somehow my cream and black lace t-shirts morphed into two nude camis and a black lace t-shirt.  I thought, "Okay, it's probably still fine but I'll confirm with customer service."

Let's just say customer service told me what I wanted to hear ("everything is ok") and I received a black lace t-shirt and two nude camis, yet they charged me for my original order.

At that point I still wasn't too miffed, since I figured I could just pop over to my local AA and return the extra cami.  Then I checked out their return policy, and learned I can't return/exchange in store - I have to ship the items back.


At that point I was done.  I gave a nude cami to my step-daughter, and called it a day.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pan-Fried Egg Rolls

Interestingly, we discovered you can make this Pan-Fried Egg Roll recipe vegan merely by omitting the shrimp.  The egg-roll wrappers, which we assumed had egg, did not - nor did the recipe call for any. 


All in all - it turned out well for Nat, Ed's daughter, who is vegan.

The recipe also turned out well for all of us since the egg rolls were not deep fried, but retained all the crunchy deliciousness you come to expect from an egg roll. 

At only 103 calories a pop, you think Ed would have let us have more than two :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lemongrass and Garlic Shrimp

I'm out of town this week, but I've cleverly scheduled a couple blog posts - mainly featuring all the yummy food we made last week (please note: when recipes do not turn out yummy, I do not blog about them - hence the over-use of the word "delicious" in my blogs).

First up - Lemongrass and Garlic Shrimp

Since I knew the shrimp needed at least 45 minutes to marinate in the refrigerator, I got to chopping and prepping right when I arrived home from work, so that by the time Ed walked in - I was ready to rumble.

The hardest part of the recipe was waiting for it to marinate.  The best part (which far outweighed the agony of waiting) was eating it.