In the Kitchen: An at-home birthday dinner

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My mom celebrated a landmark birthday this week and requested a quiet dinner at home. With Mike in Chicago, the full weight of eating well fell on my shoulders. My dad volunteered to ace the salmon as always. Late September is a bit tricky. Do you want to savor the lightness and color of summer or are you ready to dive into the coziness of fall? Meh. Split the difference.

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(L) spinach, raspberries, flaked goat cheese, chopped almonds
(R) Fingerling potatoes seared in a cast iron with butter, olive oil and dill

Happy birthday, Mom!

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Grill master.

Top Secret Mission

I’m going to Oregon on a TOP SECRET MISSION next weekend. I am literally dying of excitement but I can’t tell the internet (yet).

IT’S GOING TO BE SO AMAZING. I’m bringing my Paris shoes. Obviously. Top secret missions demand snakeskin stilettos.

Weekend Brunch: Apple Pie

Recipe: Kat’s Family Secret (I turned my head when the Crisco was measured so I could live in innocence)

Soundtrack: The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae

This only counts as brunch because I definitely had a reheated slice for second breakfast this morning (happy Hobbit Day!). It’s rainy in Seattle today and it just feels like the perfect day to curl up with a blanket and warm pie.

Kat handles the sweets in our friendship. She’s a good one like that. In exchange for peeling approximately 845 apples I got a glass of wine and pie. Not the worst deal in the world.

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And because Kat is the cutest, I put her on instagram. AND THEN JOY THE BAKER LIKED MY PHOTO. And I died. Ps. Joy totally follows me on IG. Yeah, I’m that awesome.

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Washington State: Apple Picking

Is there anything more perfectly NW than apple picking? Hilariously, our group was about a third native Washingtonians and two thirds New Englanders/former residents of the Northeast. Bless their hearts, those crazy imports were waxing on and on about the size of their trees and u-pick farms, etc., etc. To which I say, show me your 70% market share and then we can talk.

And let’s talk about the on-the-fly drive mix my carpool made en route. Obsessed. Been listening all weekend.

apple picking amy and liz

apple picking apple gothic apple picking flying leo apple picking group jump

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Out and About: Park(ing) Day

Park(ing) Day is an international art project where artists and designers take over parking spots and build mini pop-up parks. There’s a permanent one recently completed on Olive Way. I met up with Rach and Leo to explore several of the ones on the hill.

liz and leo eltana

Leo and I let Rach eat lunch with both hands. We’re generous like that.

We learned about bees from an urban bee farmer (<3 you, Seattle), sampled some freshly pressed cider, and tried habanero chocolate chip cookies (there’s no such thing as a bad cookie). It was such a beautiful day, a great way to celebrate the last day (!) of summer.

leo and rach orange chair

Relaxing post-cider.

 

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Parklet on 12th

Check out the PI’s fun photo round up. Such creativity!

Silver Linings: Emotional Reboot

Maybe it’s the full moon but this week had a bunch of emotional ups and downs. Even the little boy I nanny for was in a funk all week.

An emotional reboot is a hot shower and nine hours of sleep.

It’s a clean bill of dental health with a view of Elliott Bay.

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It’s a yoga class with an emphasis on heart openers. (But seriously, how did you know I needed that?)

It’s a sweet letter from an amazing friend.

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It’s Band of Horses on infinite repeat.

It’s hanging out with Leo.

Bon voyage, Mike!

On Wednesday morning, my younger brother boarded a plane to move to Chicago. He got a killer bar tending job for one of the most innovative bars in the country and took it. He set a goal to move and achieved it. That is some kickass stuff. And I’m so excited for him.

My dad told me once that my brother and I would be better friends as adults. It was sometimes hard to see that possibility through rocky moments fighting as teenagers and being on totally different wavelengths (and opposite work schedules) in our early 20s. Occasionally my preteen dream of having a cool, protective older brother would resurface. Over the last year or two we’ve both gotten to places where that can become a reality.

Mike, I’m so proud of your hard work and dedication. Your colleagues always speak so highly of you and I can personally attest to your cocktail magic. Chicago is one of my favorite American cities and I’m looking forward to your tales of exploration. Good luck and give ’em hell!

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Family dinner at the supremely excellent Rock Creek in Fremont

Pizza Night

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Pizza Night is actually the most awesome. Everyone is warm and welcoming. People bring ingredients to share and pitch in to collaborate on pizzas. While people are waiting their turns in the kitchen, everyone hangs out in the living room drinking beer and listening to an excellently selected playlist (every Thursday deserves Thriller on vinyl).

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I was introduced to Pizza Night through Fling; his neighbors host weekly. Since it’s drop in style, some weeks there are eight people, some weeks there are 30. Last night I met a woman recently arrived from Montana with her boyfriend. She was a friend of a friend of a friend and told to show up. As we talked more she told me they had only arrived two days before! Two days in Seattle and you walk into Pizza Night. I was impressed.

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Fling, former pizza parlor employee that he is, whipped up this insanely delicious Thai Chicken pizza. Wasn’t happy with the first (everyone else wolfed it down), made some tweaks, and emerged with a perfected second. High fives all around.

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