Summer is over. I’ve been a bad fussy cow. Whoops. I have been keeping up with photog’ing…and eating though. As we transition into fall and the rainy grayness that will be the next several months, I’m consoling myself with a few key things: noodle soups (yes, a post will come), cozy socks, and cake. Seattle has a cake shop that seems to make things better. A Piece of Cake in the International District can transform my mood. The numerous cakes, many with an Asian flavor profile, are light and moist and never cloyingly sweet.
I recently heard about The Depressed Cake Shop, a pop-up event that sells gray colored baked goods to benefit mental health awareness. I love this idea. However, I can’t help think that A Piece of Cake-bright and enticing-has caught on to something about simple joys in life. Staring wide-eyed at the green tea and mango cakes lined up in the glass I’m not thinking about the grayness outside.
Cheese boards usually go the rustic route–grab a wooden board (or the trendy slate slab) and casually arrange your cheese, fruit, and nuts in small groups. But if you want to upgrade your cheese tray without much fuss consider this option. No fancy new ingredients required. This platter was from my trip to Sonoma’s The Girl and The Fig.
The next option for arranging an appetizer or antipasto platter is so simple I’m just going to post the photo so you’ll have the same “Why didn’t I think of that?!” moment.
I can’t stop thinking about something tasty I ate the other week, something tasty from Tasty n Sons in Portland, Oregon. We drove down to make our first visit to Cannon Beach. We jumped in the waves and flung ourselves happily on our towels to bake in the 80+ degree sun. The next morning we paid our dues in line for brunch (yes, another Portlandia truth). But man, was it worth it! The sweet biscuits with fresh berries and whipped cream were the perfect summer treat. I usually think of this type of dish as a dessert like a strawberry shortcake but I never thought of having it for breakfast or brunch! The biscuits were just sweet and light enough as to not leave you feeling like you had a heavy or rich dish for the morning. But of course we followed up the biscuits we some substantial entrees of polenta with sausage ragu and steak and eggs.
Ok my last post got me thinking about compiling a list of favorite outdoor places to dine in Seattle.
I’ll start out in my old neighborhood West Seattle with the fairly recently opened Marination Ma Kai, a Hawaiian-Korean joint that has hard to resist kalbi beef and sexy tofu tacos. The Ma Kai has added shave ice to the menu too and with flavors such as homemade passionfruit and guava it’s hard to say no to it on a nice day. Well it’s always hard for me at least to turn down shave ice.
Paseo’s-there’s no seating by it is right on the water or you can enjoy your sandwich down the road at the Ballard Locks
Ivar’s Salmon House Fish Bar-Walk around back to the patio and you’ll stumble on truly one of the best spots in Seattle. The amazing view of Lake Union combined with the fish and chips from Ivar’s, the quintessentially Seattle restaurant, is easily at the top of this Fussy Cow list.
When the sun is out in Seattle, people go crazy! If you haven’t experienced this phenomenon check out this clip from Portlandia:
Traffic is bezerk on a sunny day in Seattle. People scramble to stake their spot in the sun. The beaches are packed. But where can one find a spot outdoors to grab a bite and perhaps a beverage? I’m still on a quest to expand my list of options, but a great lunch option on a nice day is Agua Verde Cafe. I always order the bacalao tacos and here you can see why.
The view is stunning as well. You can watch the kayakers paddling along ( and you can join them as well–the Agua Verde Paddle Club rents kayaks along the water below the restaurant).
Wandering and eating your way around Seattle’s International District is a great way to spend the day. We recently discovered a great find at a small family-run Chinese dumpling shop, Ping’s. The standout dumpling is the xiao long bao, a soup dumpling with pork filling and hot broth. You can wait for upwards of an hour at Din Tai Fung in Bellevue (and get some tasty dumplings for which they are famous) or you can pop in Ping’s and have dumplings in front of you in no time and then wander around the ID. And good news, they now offer the xiao long bao every day!!
Where to wander you ask? Uwajimaya Groceries is a no-brainer. Grab some some honeydew melon mochi, peruse the tea selection, and check out the bookstore for a large selection of manga or my personal favorite the Rilakkuma section. For a fun activity visit the Seattle Pinball Museum a couple blocks away. After you’ve worn out your fingers, relax at Oasis with a bubble tea. I can stand and stare at the menu for several minutes as the options can be overwhelming, (there’s easily over 100 drink options) but you can’t go wrong…at least I haven’t yet. I recommend honeydew milk tea or the passionfruit snow.
It’s difficult to stay up to date these last several weeks, but I’ve been photog’ing with the intent that eventually they would reach a “critical mass” as my boyfriend likes to say and I would have to post. So I’ve fueled myself with my favorite bowl of cereal: cheerios, raisins, and bananas and away I go…
I had a recent work trip to Cincinnati, Ohio where I discovered my new found interest in unusual hot dog toppings. Senate restaurant in Cincinnati is serving up quirky hot dogs that are aptly named. Of course I ordered the Hello Kitty 2.0.–bacon, wasabi mayo, ponzu-wasabi slaw. My coworker chose the special of the day…the Tom Cruise–not sure why Tom Cruise =pulled pork, avocado, and Chimay beer cheese but it was reportedly tasty. This makes my brain wonder what other hot dog ideas I might enjoy. Obviously, macaroni and cheese topped hot dog is a no brainer.
Seattle has some standout sandwiches for meat-lovers, the top tier of these being the Cuban Roast at Paseo and any of the tasty creations made at Salumi. I’d like to enter my favorite veggie sandwich into the category of crave worthy sandwiches in the Emerald City. It can be found at one of the best bakeries in Seattle and the country, Bakery Nouveau. Bakery Nouveau excels at pastries and desserts and this sandwich could easily be overlooked by the rows of beautiful creations. It’s also hard not to get side tracked by their freshly made pizzas being off loaded onto trays right at nose level. Focus, the veggie sandwich will give you everything you need: french bread, herbed cream cheese, provolone, kalamata olives, and lightly pickled carrots and cucumbers. Sounds like I’m missing a few ingredients if this sandwich is supposed to go head to head with Paseo’s. Sure you could throw on tomatoes, onions, sprouts, etc…but this sandwich is great in its simplicity. It’s like a bagel with lox and cream cheese. It doesn’t need the works. But it doesn’t hurt to end your meal with something from the dessert counter.
Surprisingly, I was not fussy today…well, I take that back. I did make a rather fussy dinner. I have tomorrow off (it’s my birthday!) so I wanted to spend time making a nice dinner. I’ve been obsessed lately thinking of different crostinis I want to make as appetizers. I’ve made open faced sandwiches before, but crostinis always seemed too “fussy” to bother for dinner. I can admit I was wrong after I tried Cooking Light’s radish and arugula crostini. I was drawn to this recipe by my love of crunchy, peppery radishes. I was slightly unsure about the brie against the radishes but it worked. I would make this again. Very simple to make. I’ll have to make it for my happy hour girls (hhgoods.net).