Eating Our Way Through Vancouver & Seattle


Larry in front of the first Starbucks, located in Seattle.  

Hi friends– Been meaning to post these pics of all the eating that went on during our travels in Vancouver and Seattle!!  Such fun food that I just have to share it– hoping maybe you get up to Vancouver and Seattle soon and try it for yourself!

My favorite food stop in  Vancouver wasn’t a restaurant– but the amazing Granville Market!!  Spent a whole morning there wandering past bright produce, beautiful baked goods and intriguing groceries.  So Fun!

     

     

Just around the corner, also on Granville Island, we turned in to Edible Canada with dear friends, Paul & Sue.  Loved the stylish interior, interesting menu and the small “made in Canada” store at the back of the restaurant.

     

Searching for Vancouver eating spots on PInterest, the one that came up time and again was the Cafe Medina.  Just brunch and lunch service, with Mediterranean inspired plates.  But they are famous for their Belgian waffles with inventive toppings (mine was gingered orange marmalade).

     

Another Best Stop near Vancouver was The Cliffhouse at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park– a new beautiful space with windows overlooking the cliffs and forest.  Amazing seafood chowder and good old fish & chips!

     

And here are the heart pounding cliffs for which the Cliffhouse was named!

And then we “trained” down to Seattle, watching the sunset over the Pacific as we traveled. Lots of good eating there as well…

We developed the indulgent vacation habit of stopping for coffee and pastries once a day between meals–The London Plane shop was a combination bakery and flower shop. I’d love to be the proprietor there!

     

One of the Tom Douglas string of restaurants was the very cool Serious Pie.

     

And Seattle’s version of our In and Out–called Great State Burgers.
     

On Sunday afternoon we took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island and walked along the waterfront to The Harbor Public House.

    

Our last morning we trekked down to the Macrina Bakery for breakfast– Best pastry of the trip in a beautiful seat by the window.

    

Thanks Larry for being my dining buddy on this trip and all the meals for the last 43 years!

Salt Tasting Room In Vancouver– design your own tapas plate with food from all over Europe– delish! 

 

Fruity Avocado & Chicken Couscous Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette


Hello all–  How is your summer rolling along??  We’re trying to keep cool and our ice cream consumption is definitely on the rise!  And if we can manage dinner without turning on the oven, all the better.

So here’s a cool, fresh, filling salad that’s just right for a hot summer evening. Add something cold to drink and a bit of crusty bread.  Perfect. I think you’d like it.

FRUITY AVOCADO & CHICKEN COUSCOUS SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

Salad:
1 cup couscous
14 oz. can chicken broth
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 avocado, peeled & cut to chunks
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. seedy mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring the chicken broth to a boil on the stovetop.  Pour in the cup of couscous. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Scoop the couscous into an ample bowl and let it cool to room temperature.  Drop all the salad ingredients into the bowl and stir them up.

To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake the container until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.  Mix it into the salad and refrigerate it until you are ready to eat.  Enjoy!

 

Maple Pecan Banana Muffins


Good Morning– Isn’t it nice to have help in the kitchen??  Had one of my favorite kitchen helpers with me yesterday morning to mix together these happy muffins.  They are sweet and tender– just like little Lois!  And we all sat around the coffee table for breakfast to munch muffins and drink coffee, while we watched the World Cup this morning!

MAPLE PECAN BANANA MUFFINS
2 bananas, thoroughly smashed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1  3/4 cups four
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Plus more chopped pecans, to top the muffins

Smash the banana with a fork in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the milk, oil, vanilla and maple syrup.  Then mix in the flour, baking power, salt and cinnamon.

Spoon the batter into muffin tins that have been lined with muffin papers. Sprinkle the extra pecans on top on top of the muffins.  Drop them into a 350 degree for 18 to 20 minutes.  What a smell when you lift them from the oven!

Actually, Lois likes tasting the batter as much as mixing it!

Easy Chicken Parmesan


Hello– This was dinner tonight and I’m definitely adding this recipe to my chicken dinner rotation.  So quick & easy and it turned out tender and so savory good. To keep it light, we just added a big bright salad and some chunks of sturdy bread.  Super summer supper.

EASY CHICKEN PARMESAN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
3/4 bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tab. olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, broken to bits
1/2  cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. dried basil
garnish: fresh basil or marjoram*

Slice the chicken breast horizontally to form two flatter chicken filets.

Take 3 flat bowls.  In the first put the flour.  I the second put the egg, well beaten.  And in the third the bread crumbs and parmesan, mixed together.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Then dredge the chicken filets first in the flour, next in the egg and lastly in the crumb-parmesan mixture.  Lay the chicken in the hot skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned and cooked through.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet or baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with with the mozzarella and set under the hot broiler for just a minute or two until the cheese is well melted.

Take if from the oven and top with a mixture of the tomato sauce and dried basil.  Garnish with fresh basil or marjoram and serve it up hot.

*I used marjoram because it grows like a weed in the side yard.

Coconut Cake with Raspberry Filling


Hello there– How’s your summer going??  We are melting here!  A couple days ago the weather AP said it was 109 degrees in our town!  Yikes!  So it’s lots of fizzy water and air conditioning on for us here.

All of which, has nothing to do with Coconut Cake!  But I’m just hoping you’re staying cool too.

Made this cake for dinner at Jeff & Betty’s on the 4th.  About 30 of us end up there every year for a grand pot luck and sitting in lawn chairs and listening to Jeff’s rousing patriotic playlist while we watch the city fireworks!!  It’s sweet & creamy & fruity.  Just right for cutting into with friends!

COCONUT CAKE WITH RASPBERRY FILLING

Cake:
1 white cake mix
water
vegetable oil
3 eggs
1  1/2 cup coconut

Fosting & Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 coconut
garnish:  1 cup of raspberrries, camomile daisies & leaves

Make the cake according to the directions on the package.  Mine called for 1 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs.  Beat the batter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Then fold in the coconut with a spoon.

Pour the batter into three 9″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake them about 20 minutes, until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch.  Let the cakes cool completely before you add the frosting.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer and beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.  (Start the mixer on low or the powdered sugar will fly out of the bowl!)  Beat until it’s creamy.

Take out 1 cup of the frosting to another bowl.  Beat in 1/4 cup of the raspberries with the mixer to make the filling.

To put the cake together, set the first layer on a pretty plate and top with half of the filling. Then set the second layer on top and cover with the second half of the filling.  Top that with the third layer.

Spread the white frosting from the original bowl on the top and sides of the cake.  Then pat the coconut all over the sides and top of the cake.  (this is trickier than it sounds!)

Garnish with the leftover raspberries, daisies and leaves.  So pretty!

Lemon Curd


Hi all– Are you a Lemon Curd lover??  I first met Lemon Curd in Gibraltar!  The years we lived in Spain, a van full of us would drive south to Gibraltar twice a year of a bit of British shopping.  We’d pick up English books, Christmas treats and then hit the market for cheddar, cereal, walnuts… (things we couldn’t find in Seville back then).  And Lemon Curd.

I’ve bought it here since– for scones or toast.  But this is the first time I’ve made it myself!  Easier than you’d think and so sweet-tart delicious!  Here’s how you do it:

LEMON CURD
6 tab. butter (3/4 stick), room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 tab. finely grated lemon peel
pinch salt

Grate the peel off 1 lemon (should make about a tablespoon).*  Juice 2 or 3 lemons to get the 3/4 cup lemon juice.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until they are light and creamy.  Then beat in the eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon peel and salt.

Scrape this all into a sauce pan and stir over low heat just under simmering for 10 to 15 minutes until the curd thickens.  Take off the heat and let it cool completely.


P.S. The little sprig of green is marjoram.  It grows like a weed in our side yard and it’s blooming right now!  (Planted by the previous owners 25 years ago– it just keeps growing).

Open Face Sandwich Board


Hi all– My buddy Janet came over for lunch today so we could plan a project we’re working on together.  so instead of making her a sandwich (a little dull), I set out all the fixings on a board so we could pile up our own open face sandwiches (more fun).  And we had mini ice cream cones from the market for dessert– only 110 calories each ((but I wont’ tell you how many we ate!!).

It isn’t really a “recipe”– just an idea!

OPEN FACE SANDWICH BOARD
Thick sliced sour dough loaf
Sliced turkey
Sliced ham
Colby Jack cheese
Fresh mozzarella
Sliced avocado
Arugula
Orange marmelade
Seedy mustard
Mint
Sea salt
Fresh apricots (for munching, not sandwiches)

Find an ample board or platter and start arranging!  Good bread and whatever options you can find in your kitchen to pile on top!  It’s that simple.