Friday, October 21, 2016

Red Cedar & Sage

Our second night in Seattle, we met a friend (SF) for dinner. It was kind of last minute. We had made reservations at Red Cedar & Sage in Pike Place Market and then SP & SF finally reached each other and SF decided to join us for dinner.  
I was surprised that we were the only people in the restaurant and it remained that way throughout the evening. Maybe no one dines out on Sunday in Seattle? Maybe they eat much later than 6 pm? After poking around a bit, I think maybe they opened not too long ago and since they're kind of tucked away in PPM, maybe not too many people know about this place? At least, it seemed tucked away to us but we aren't too familiar with the layout of PPM. It took us a bit of looking around to figure out where to go/how to get to it, and yes, there is an elevator so it is wheelchair accessible. Inside is bright, spacious, lots of windows. Lots of wood and white & red. We sat next to a window which was nice.
While SP & SF chose wine, I opted for a cocktail: Not Your Papa's Old Fashioned (Bourbon, Muddled Lemon, Orange & Cherry with Cointreau and Orange Bitters). I wish I'd chosen wine. I didn't like this at all. It was just too strong for me and whatever bourbon was used, it wasn't to my liking. I ended up swapping drinks with SP.
For an appetizer, the 3 of us shared Crab Stack (Dungeness Crab, Avocado, Cilantro, Fresh Lime, Mango, Citronette Dressing & Balsamic Dressing). We've had this, or similar dishes, before, and this was a good version of the crab stack.
For my meal, I chose Short Ribs (Red Wine & Orange Braised, with Parmesan Basil Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Red Wine Vinaigrette). The description said asparagus, but I didn't receive asparagus. I think it was broccoli, or broccolini. This was quite tasty. A large portion of tender short rib. Delicious potatoes. I couldn't eat it all so I gave the leftovers to SF.
SF chose Scallops (Pan-Seared Scallops topped with a White Wine & Lemon Cream Sauce). He said they were very good, cooked nicely and the sauce was yummy.
Not surprisingly, SP chose fish: Cedar Plank Salmon (Red & White Quinoa, with Red Onions & Peppers, Kale, Lemon Beurre Blanc & Roasted Vegetables). It was a nice portion, cooked nicely, and he liked the quinoa and veggies with it.
For dessert, we shared Tiramisu. It was not what I expected but it was a tasty version of tiramisu and it was not too dense & filling.

We all enjoyed our food at RC&S. SP & SF were able to easily finish their food, but my portion was too big for me, so I'm not sure if the actual portion was larger or if I wasn't really hungry or if beef is just more filling. Our server was young but friendly and checked on us frequently to make sure everything was good and we had everything we wanted.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

This week is annoying.

The birds are at it again, flying into the windows. There were two loud thunks late Monday afternoon on the big kitchen window. That evening as we ate dinner at the table in front of the window, there was the oh so appetizing sight of bird goop and feathers stuck on the window. SP confirmed that there was a dead bird in the driveway under the window when he got home from work. Gross. Happily, the cleaning lady was here Tuesday and she has a thing about dirty windows. She took one look at the bird goop and started pulling the table out so she could clean the window. All better now.

I received a jury summons. For 3 days before Thanksgiving. Terrific.

The kitchen faucet is dripping. I don't mean a slow, one drip every few minutes drip. I mean multiple drips per second drip. Basically, constant stream. So the hot water is shut off because that's the one dripping. It wasn't even a slow onset. It didn't want to shut off Sunday night. Fortunately, SP got it in the "right" position. But then Monday night he couldn't find any position that would not drip.

So we have 2 new faucets sitting on the kitchen counter. One cost twice as much as the other but is a "prettier" style and more of what I really want. But since we've been sort of considering (for the last 5 years) replacing the counters and sink/faucet and adding a backsplash and replacing the light fixtures, I'm wondering if now is the time to invest in a pricier faucet or if we should just go cheap. Or we could go pricier and just live with what is a perfectly acceptable kitchen even if our counters aren't granite/quartz and even if we don't have a pretty backsplash and even if I despise the island lighting. Or maybe we'd keep this faucet if we make any upgrades.

You might be wondering why we don't just repair the leak. Probably just need to replace a washer or something, right? Well, we do not have much plumbing knowledge. We have no idea how the current faucet comes apart to investigate/replace any part that needs replacing. We have no paperwork from that faucet. We could call a plumber but last time we called a plumber, it was $95 just to come look at our issue + repair/replace costs. The time we had a plumber fix my drippy tub, we paid a plumber $300+ to replace a "special" washer. If we go with a cheap faucet, which SP can install himself, it costs us less than $95. That's why we decided on replace not repair.

Meals This Week: We made chicken breasts with a pan sauce and we've been eating a salad with the chicken. We've been spiralizing an apple into the salads and I am loving the super thin apples swirls.

The other meal was supposed to be a goat-cheese-prosciutto-fresh tarragon frittata. Unfortunately, despite greasing the not non-stick pan, the eggs stuck and when SP tried to slide the frittata onto a plate, it plopped out in blobs and some had to be scraped out of the pan because it was stuck and pretty darn browned. So frittata night turned into scrambled eggs night with roasted tomatoes on the side.

Dessert is blondies we baked. They have white and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

TV Update: I think I'm going to give up on Westworld. I gave up on Divorce on HBO. I started watching Ina's new cooking show and we started watching Worst Bakers in America and Halloween Baking Championship on Food Network.

We did not watch watch the debate last night. I can't even watch for entertainment value. I'd rather read about what outrageous/despicable/ridiculous lies/half truths/accusations were uttered.

Movie Update: None. Haven't been to the theater. Haven't watched any on TV. Haven't watched any on Netflix. But I did get sucked into Jurassic World a few times this week (just for 15-10 minutes each time).

Book Update: I read Reckless Creed by Alex Kava. I think it's the third in the Ryder Creed series. Like the others, I enjoyed it and it was a quick read.

Magazines: Still buried. I read 2 new issues but there are still a lot more to read.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Radiator Whiskey

We flew to Seattle on a Saturday, leaving Pittsburgh on a 7:30 am flight and arriving in Seattle around 1 pm Pacific time (after a 2 hour stop in Denver). After getting the rental car, stopping at a Costco for bottled water, and navigating our way into the city and our hotel, we decided to simply walk around Pike Place Market before our dinner reservation. We were feeling a little tired and a lot hungry (I ate the worst & most expensive bagel ever in Denver - that place should be embarrassed to even sell that "bagel" and the bagel police should arrest them for crimes against bagels). Our dinner destination: Radiator Whiskey in the Corner Market Building at Pike Place Market.
Fortunately, we made a reservation. The 2 couples in front of us turned around and left because they were full and the wait was long. We were seated right away, right next to one of the wonderful arched windows. It was open on a lovely day. There are a lot of bourbons and whiskeys on the drink menu. A lot. Happily, it turned out we were there during Happy Hour.
We both ordered a cocktail and iced tea. For SP, a Manhattan, the Einstein Classic (templeton rye or buffalo trace bourbon, carpano antica angostura) and for me, Phil Collins (buffalo trace bourbon, lemon, soda, house grenadine). Both were good.
We sipped our cocktails while munching on popcorn and enjoying the open window and thinking about what to order. We easily agreed on sharing the Side of Heirloom Tomatoes:
They were really juicy and just so darn good. We both really like tomatoes so we ordered them every chance we got in Seattle.
For his meal, SP chose Lamb Neck Sloppy Joe (coleslaw, fried onions, bun). He really, really liked it. Really liked it. Talked about it off & on throughout the rest of the trip.
I chose a special Happy Hour sandwich: Debris Sandwich (pulled pork, smoked cheddar, fried egg, Fritos). I was a little sad the Fritos were those BBQ ones. I only like plain Fritos. But the sandwich was delicious if a little salty for my taste.
We both really liked Radiator Whiskey. It's a boisterous yet relaxing, casual environment, with great service & tasty food. If we hadn't been tired form getting up so early and traveling, it would have been nice to linger and have another drink. It's a 21+ only place and I'd suggest reservations if you plan to dine there on a weekend.

Radiator Whiskey Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

We've been home 6 days and I still don't feel settled back into normal. One reason is that we're both sick. SP did indeed get a cold from the sick person he sat next to on the plane, and of course he's trying to share his cold with me. Thanks but no thanks. Basically, neither of us feels much like doing anything other than sleeping/watching TV.

Another reason is our schedules are not back to normal and that's not because of jet lag. Thanks to being able to start/end his work day when he wants as long as he works an 8 hour day and as long as he attends all meetings, SP chooses to start/end his work day later than most people, mostly to avoid rush hour traffic. That means we go to sleep much later than most people we know and we get up much later than most people we know. This schedule suits us.

Except for when it doesn't. Like when there are doctor appointments, which we try to schedule before work in order to minimize the amount of work he misses. Which means we're driving to them in rush hour traffic. Which means we have to allow at least an hour to get from our home to the doctor. Which means we leave the house before we are usually out of bed. Which means we are getting up much earlier than normal. Which means either less sleep or trying to get to bed earlier (which is usually not too successful).

Sadly, this week there are 3 days in a row of super early doctor appointments for us. So we are struggling with post vacation stuff, sick stuff, and super early doctor stuff. We're both looking forward to sleeping in on the weekend.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday.

Meals This Week: Lots of homemade chicken noodle soup. And two nights of braised beef ribs. With snickerdoodle cookies for dessert.

TV Update: Wow did we have a lot recorded on the DVR after 2 weeks away. We did some serious TV watching last Friday-Saturday-Sunday. We have not yet started watching Luke Cage on Netflix, but we are otherwise caught up on TV.

We both are really enjoying Designated Survivor. We're still watching Gotham, Supergirl, Quantico, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. I'm still watching Grey's Anatomy & HTGAWM plus I decided to watch Notorious since it's on in between those 2 shows (but I'm not sure if I am fully committed to it). I also started watching This Is Us, which somehow always makes me teary.

We started watching Westworld on HBO. SP really likes the show. Me? I'm not so sure. I'm just not a huge sci-fi/robots/AI kind of person. Plus in that first episode they relived a few scenes over & over a la Groundhog Day and I realize I am in the minority, but I can't stand that movie.

And how could I forget? We've been enjoying the current season of Worst Cooks in America. It was hilarious watching them butcher chicken last night. To be fair, I've never done it, nor do I wish to, I'd probably massacre the chicken, but things like watching Situation eat his fried chicken and watching Rachael Ray when she realized the competitors left the plastic covers on the meat thermometers - it makes us laugh. And last week was homemade sausage week - oh my gosh we laughed so much during that episode!

Movie Update: None. Haven't been to the theater. Haven't watched any on TV. Haven't watched any on Netflix. But we did watch Deadpool twice on vacation (after seeing it in the theater last February).

Book Update: None. I had to return one I didn't get to and I have one sitting next to my recliner plus 3 ready for pick up plus I added 5-6 to my request list.

Magazines: Uhhh. Yeah. I'm buried. Today when I bumped the table, the stack slid off the table and onto the floor. Apparently they all arrived while we were away and now I have new issues of Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Food Network Magazine, Cooks Illustrated, and Pittsburgh Magazine plus an old Saveur and a really old National Geographic that's been sitting there so long acting as a coaster it's like I don't even realize I've never read it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Home from Seattle

Seattle & Mount Rainier from the Great Wheel
In late August, we decided to take a vacation to Seattle. Seattle has been on our vacation list for a very long time. We had a trip planned to Seattle in 2013, but then I broke my hip and we had to cancel the trip. Since then, Seattle always kept "losing out" to other vacation destinations. We decided it was time to finally cross it off the list! 
View from Smith Tower
We've been home from Seattle for 5 days now and I'm still trying to get back to normal! We had a great time there. SP lived there a long time ago and he had a great time seeing what stayed the same, what changed, and giving me a tour of his old neighborhood. We went for nearly 2 weeks so we got to see a lot and no one day was super busy and tiring. 
We spent a lot of time at Pike Place Market, eating and drinking our way around.

We also went to:
Chihuly Garden & Glass (never tire of looking at Chihuly glass)
EMP Museum (Yes, I paid extra & saw the Star Trek exhibit. I am a good wife.)
Wandered around Pioneer Square & toured Smith Tower 
Klondike Gold Rush Park/Museum (neither of us had realized the role Seattle played in the gold rush to Alaska/northwest Canada)
Watched boats move through the Chittenden Locks and looked for salmon
Wandered around the Waterfront & rode the Great Wheel
Gazed at the water from Olympic Sculpture Park
Experienced information overload at the Museum of Flight (so interesting - we could have used 2 days here)
Watched people play chess, Jenga, and Connect Four in Westlake Park
We slept in late, walked around a lot, relaxed in parks a lot, ate a lot, and drank a lot of tea (from Starbucks, where else?!).
Seattle has eyeball benches, too
As usual on vacations, we also made some "day trips" for more sight-seeing:
Olympic National Park (we spent 2 days driving around & stayed in a cabin at Kalaloch Lodge)
Bellevue (where SP used to work/live - I got to see his old apartment and where he used to hang out)
Gorgeous sunny day at Mount Rainier
SP didn't get to go to an amusement park on this trip but he did get to geek out at the Museum of Flight & the Northwest Railway Museum (and at that Star Trek exhibit). I like to tease him but truthfully, I thought both were really interesting. I think my inner nerd came out. I enjoyed seeing the first planes and planes throughout history and seeing the old rail cars. I loved riding the train and the falls were beautiful:
Snoqualmie Falls
I am very happy that we had as many rain-free days as we did. In fact, it only rained on us our first night in Olympic National Park when we walked from our cabin to the bluff overlooking the water and then to the lodge for dinner. The only other rain managed to fall while we were inside a museum or driving in a car, not when we were walking around. We had a good number of sunny days which means we were able to see Mount Rainier in the distance when we were in Seattle.
Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park
 We also were able to get together with some friends who live in the area. Seeing old friends and enjoying long meals eating & catching up is always nice.
Olympic National Park - beautiful even when cloudy/gloomy and chilly
 The only bad thing about vacation was that the cold I started to get before we left became a "real" cold so we had to stop at a Walgreens near the hotel and buy ridiculously over-priced cold medicine. I may have spent the drive to Mount Rainier with tissues shoved up my nose to stop the drips! And then, of course, we sat next to a people with the plague on both flights home so SP is now sick and I think I am getting sick again. I don't understand how the sick people always end up sitting next to us on plane flights.
Seattle & Mount Rainier from Space Needle
I'm really glad we finally made it to Seattle. It's a great city and the Pacific Northwest is beautiful. I had a great time (in spite of my cold) and I hope SP did, too. Hopefully someday we'll get back to see the things we didn't see, revisit our favorites, and see old friends again.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

This week on Thursday Thoughts I have only these thoughts:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

De Young Cafe

This is another long delayed post. It's from our July vacation in San Francisco. One day we were at Golden Gate Park and it it was about lunch time so we were hungry. We decided to try the de Young Cafe at the museum - fortunately you don't need to be visiting the museum to have lunch there.
SP started with a tomato soup that had a swirl of infused olive oil atop it. Maybe basil? He liked it.
We shared a tri-colored orzo pasta salad. I remember tiny bits of onion, red pepper, peas, pine nuts, cheese and a tangy dressing. I also remember it being pretty darn tasty because I couldn't stop eating it.
Finally, we shared Sun-dried Tomato + Artichoke Quiche (mixed greens, red wine vinaigrette). I had never had artichokes in a quiche before. Or with eggs. Or even thought of trying that combination. But it worked - it was really tasty. Tangy from the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes. But one of the tastier quiche slices I've had.

It's a little pricey for lunch, and the menu is maybe a little limited. You order at a counter and then take a seat and they bring your food to you. Some things, like the orzo salad, are pre-made. It was good. It was convenient. It was nice to sit inside at a table and relax even if it was kind of a cafeteria feel. It was just a bit of a pricey lunch, but that's to be expected at a museum in a park.

De Young Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato