Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last day of the gastronomic journey but mostly,

the last day with Amy and Rachel. How sad. I always look forward to going home, especially from a trip without Jim, but I sure have fun with them. I thought I'd write before heading off the the airport, in fact before enjoying today's delightful pasteries from Cafe Besalu, which I discovered on my last visit.
But, not to get ahead of the story, first a recap of dinner at Senor Moose, which was thankfully a good 7 blocks to walk each way.
Amy and Rachel had beer and margarita, respectively while we waited the 45 minutes for a table. It is a small place with 1/2 of it bar and the kitchen, the heat from which warms the whole place. The dining rooms seats, maybe 28 with another 10 at the bar. The tables were covered in salmon-colored, flowered, oilcloth tablecloths. On the wall were paintings by a painter who traveled and painted while on sabbatical.
The menu looked great. We began by asking the waitress which of the appetizers she recommended, but with the first words out of our mouth, Equites,she closed her notebook pad. We said, "But, no we want to ask about these others and see which you recommend", she said no need equites is THE choice. Roasted corn off the cob with espazote and cream. Wedges of lime are squeezed onto the mix, stir it up and dip with the three (wish it were 9) tortilla chips. We ate the rest with a spoon. So tasty! In the picture unfortunately, it looks like popcorn.
I decided the sangria looked so good I wanted a taste so ordered one with Amy promising to drink the rest. It was the best I ever had-can't tell you why, just good.
I had the FILETE ENCHOCOLATADO-Oaxac. Strips of skirt steak sautéed and finished with bitter chocolate, white wine and onion. Served with mashed potatoes and calabacitas guisadas. Delicious! Rachel, again consulted the waitress and the waitress said she knew what to bring her. It was the CAMARONES ENCHIPOTLADOS-Veracruz, Shrimp sautéed, finished with cream and smoky chipotle sauce. Served with black beans and rice. It had at least 8 or 9 shrimp and Rachel oohed over it. I tried the sauce, rich and spicy.
Amy went for the vegetarian offering of ENCHILADAS DE PUYA, Three tortillas rolled around two cheeses, doused with spicy chile de puya salsa and topped with cream. Served with black beans. Everyone was well satisfied and leftovers were taken home in recyclable boxes. Another one of the things I like about Seattle, it is so enviro-friendly. Everyone recycles. Yard waste is mandatory, and most households recycle kitchen scraps for the city compost, in addition to the "usual".
More speed Scrabble, with Rachel winning 2, Amy-1 and me-1.
Okay, Cafe Besalu in the next post, complete with pictures!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Birthday Dinner

Well, you must return to the blog later for the pictures of this fantastic meal! They are on my phone so I'll upload Sunday along with all of my Seattle pictures. But, this meal is not to be missed. Last night, Amy and Rachel prepared Roasted Vegetables en croute with a homemade tomato basil sauce and salad of Arugula, basil, carrots with a balsamic vinaigrette. The main course had oven-roasted eggplant, onion, yellow squash, zucchini squash, and fontina cheese in a Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry crust brushed with egg. It was baked to a golden brown, sliced and served on the tomato basil sauce. Yummy! And it was beautifully plated. The aroma while cooking was delightful.

The afternoon was spent at the Seattle Art Museum. I really liked the Hopper exhibit and particularly, a sculpture of an open Kimono-like huge metal flowing coat bigger than my living room in diameter, made of military dog-tags created by Do-Ho Suh, and titled Some/One. Another photo worthy of a peek. I wish I had someone standing by it for perspective.

A quick walk over to the sound for another look and a soda, hummus and pita at nearby pub. We took the bus to town which was interesting as always.

The wonderful dinner was followed by our games of speed Scrabble, I continue to be the champ!

Today, our first sunny day this week and a nice change from SNOW yesterday, I worked on my website while Amy was at school and work. When she got home, we walked to Miro, again, for an apple basil panini. Such creatures of habit! Today we had a pot of pomegranate white tea.

Tonight- Senor Moose, the gastronomic adventure continues.

An art journal about Lincoln

Enjoy this fun journal posted in NY Times. I am having a hard time getting this to show up. Blogger doesn't like a short post evidently!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Seattle Report, part ll

My days have been very relaxing. I get up and have coffee made in the percolator-the way of my first childhood coffee-drinking, when my paternal grandmother would pour a tall glass of milk and when I'd consumed half, filled it back up with coffee and added sugar. I still like milk and sugar. I remember knowing my grandfather was awake by smelling the coffee. I was an early, early riser but knew to give him time to read a bit of the newspaper before I went down to the kitchen. I sensed he liked some quiet time alone to start his day.
I check out the Today show and read while I savor the coffee. I've read two books so far. The Appeal by John Grisham, and Hold Tight by Harlan Coban. Nothing like some light reading!
The Seattle weather has finally caught up with me. I have been so lucky on all prior trips, regardless of the time of year, to have nice weather. Not this time, so I haven't been my adventurous self. I really hate a cold, windy rain and prefer to be cozy inside.
I did, however, venture out, my first time driving in Seattle, to pick Amy up at UW and head to one of my favorite stops, Impress Rubber Stamps . I bought a new background stamp, two ink pads, which they re-ink for free, some cute, tiny epoxy heart stickers, and a dot and line stencil for paper piercing or doodling. I love to look around and get ideas. They do some fun things and I always get an idea of something new to do with supplies I already have.
I bought two cheery primrose for Amy and she bought me a great clay bird for my yard for my birthday. Next stop was Miro, I want to own a business like this. We had a pot of Golden Oolong tea and an apple and basil panini. Yum!
Next stop-Cupcake Royale, again. I feel my arteries clogging even as I write. Oh, I stopped in for a free cholesterol check at the drug store yesterday. A non-fasting finger stick test put me a bit over 200, what was I thinking doing one of those on vacation?? Today's flavors for us were, Mo Fro, Vanilla Lavender, and Red Velvet.
Can you say "yummy"?
Back to the apartment for a rainy afternoon of reading.
Dinner was homemade Pad Thai and Gyoza. Another treat.
The last two nights we've played rounds of speed Scrabble. I like it because it is fast and sometimes I have to completely rearrange my letters, I love a challenge. You turn all tiles upside down, each drawn 7 and turn them over at the same time and as soon as one person has arranged and used all of their own letters, they say "draw" and everyone takes another letter. Each works on their own "board". The first to use all they had to draw is the winner.
Tomorrow is the Seattle Art Museum. I also spied a paper store I want to explore near there.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sounds of the Sound, my travel journal

I can't upload a picture, because my computer won't connect here for some strange reason, but I will add it at some time. I love to go to Peugeot Sound for a variety of reasons. Yesterday we went to Pike Place Market, a favorite of mine. I wanted a halibut sandwich at Market Grill. I've had at least one every visit here. Rachel loves them, too, so I had no trouble convincing the "girls" to go to the market on our only day together. It was nice enough to eat outside overlooking the sound. The seabirds are entertaining there and I love to watch the cargo ships head out and the ferries come and go to the small islands nearby.
I sampled chocolate-dipped, Washington cherries and purchased some for my sweet neighbor who has loaned us an extension cord the two times we have been without power in the last 5 months, bought sweets at Three Girls Bakery (raspberry scone, chocolate drops and lemon ginger cookie), smelled lavender sachets, feasted on the beautiful tulip bouquets, bought soap from a soaper, Seattle Rainwater Soap Co.,I hadn't seen before ( Mosaic soap-lovely browns, Classic Trails-an evergreen, and Ginger Zest with lime.) Beautiful 3" rounds. The fish monger calls to potential customers are everywhere.
We headed to the Sculpture Garden, pics later, which is also on the sound several blocks away. The sound I loved there was the difference between the surf retreating on rocks instead of sand. I recorded it on my iphone. It has such a lovely, melodic ripple. I took a picture of myself mirrored in a shiny sculpture there and got a great picture of the Space Needle seen through a Calder sculpture, too.
From there we headed to Vital Leaf Tea Company for an afternoon tea tasting. With lovely music in the background, we sampled about 10 teas, served in beautiful tiny cups with white interiors, which I have decide is vital for appreciating the beautiful colors of teas, from white to deep pumpkin orange. We savored every tiny cup, ooing and ahing, over the Dragon Well Green at 240.00 a pound, Ginsing Oolong, Siberian Rose, White Peony, Jasmine Pearl,Blueberry Red, Monkey Pick- good for digestion at 180.00 a pound,Lychee Black,Chrysanthemum, Golden Throat Ginsing (Amy had a sore throat). I bought two ounces of Lychee black and Siberian Rose for us to enjoy this week as a treat. Tim, our host, also included a small packet of Osmanthus to add to the rose to enhance the flavor. He used leaf Stevia in some of the teas when brewing. I found out that green tea should be brewed for a brief 10 seconds with water at a temperature of 165 degrees. Americans, in general, are brewing tea for toooo long. I bought a little white, handle-less cup at the World Bazaar across the street to enjoy it in. The girls have two white sake cups. A trip to Trader Joe's for chai tea mix, chocolate Joe Joe's, completed the trip.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And then there are these cute pincushions!

An even easier cute one from Sage Mommy. Dec 4, 2008 post

Day starters

Since my artwork is limited these days, I thought I'd share some others aspects of myself. I start my day with these blogs on my igoogle home page. I get to a lot of others during the day especially while I'm on a "sort of" vacation. I have a great time going to the Crafty Crow everyday for kid fun! I also start my day checking out Yogi's blog and my dear friend, Sue's blog. She finds the coolest things and is the coolest person I know. Sue inspires my spirit, Yogi, my creativity, and the Crafty Crow, the child in me. Enjoy! The picture is just for fun-Ezra's 4th birthday, celebrated yesterday! Can you see him?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Teacup Pincushions

I loved this Martha Stewart craft of the day today, I have to go in search of wool sweaters at Goodwill!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine Countdown

These are the final days of Lisa Vollrath's Valentine Countdown of printables. Check it out.

Monday, February 09, 2009

CBH Gold challenge

This week's Created Byhand Challenge is to use gold. I happened to have a few gold elements pulled out so created this atc. The front and window are from a card I received that I cut atc size for later use (today!). That is mounted onto an atc size alcohol ink background that also uses gold leafing pen. I stamped this tree from Quietfire Designs with embossing ink and heat embossed with Pirate Gold ep. If I could write I would have written the quote "Love is a sheltering tree" on the front as well.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

two more atcs

Enough for today! I used two backgrounds I had in my stash. I love the red-orange one, i did it with paint and paper towel, it feels like felt.

Left-handed art!

This is my left-handed art for the CBH challenge for this week. Also will work for the byhandartists monthly atc swap for February's love theme. I decided a simple background was crucial so I did an 8 1/2 x 11 glossy page with alcohol inks, eggplant, wild plum, and cranberry, a little silver leafing pen and some blending solution added in the shape of hearts (not too noticeable). The quote is from Quietfire Design, my latest purchase, stamped with Stazon, Jet Black. Heart stamp is unknown source and stamped with VersaColor Amethyst.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Here are pics of my new outrigger splint, okay, I thought it didn't hurt, but, now I've changed my mind!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Last Yalpha Mingle

This is the last month for the Yalpha mingle on the byhandartists yahoogroup. Mine is a watercolor butterfly "B" on white cardstock. Used a black zig pen for outline and quote of unknown poet:
Flutter by Butterfly, floating flower in the sky. Kiss me with your petal wings. Whisper secrets, tell of spring.
The yellow edge is paste paper.