Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hey! Italian Sandwich

What? A post so soon?  In the same month as another?  I know.  Unbelievable. Just call yourself lucky today!  It's 10/10/10 after all!

Rowdy found this place on YELP (which is our favorite thing ever these days to find reviews for restaurants near by) and we will be forever grateful.  I have been itch'n to go since we heard about it...and finally...we did just that.

Hey Paison!  located at 641 SW 152nd St. Burien, Wa 98166

I love you like a meatball loves marinara.  With garlic bread on the side.  And a slice of cheesecake for dessert.  Just say'n.

PROS:  So so many. The reviews are spot on.  Terrific meatball sandwich.  I am from the East coast and I absolutely loved coming here.  Homemade cheesecake in a glass case while meatball sauce drips down your chin can bring tears to a girl where I am from. Good tears, that is.

The sausage is shipped straight from New Jersey and I spotted a Dr. Brown's root beer in the fridge.  Huzzah.  I also heard that their Philly cheese steak is A*May* we'll have to check out the comparison to our newest Philly love next time we head over.

CONS:  They are only open until 6pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends.  Kinda kills date night around here.  A lunch date with children, perhaps?  They actually provide FREE pasta for the kiddos for eat-in dining. I was lamenting about those hours since I basically work during them, but Rowdy cheered me up by saying that it must be amazing if they can afford to close down shop so early. He was right.

PS *I think there are a total of 4 come prepared to grab and go if you are in a rush.

PPS* My son had to run to the bathroom while we were there and took FOREVER (he didn't have a nap and we certainly paid for it that night.)  I left one last bite at the table and when I came back all the food was boxed and ready for take-out. last bite was no where to be found.  No one will admit who did it, either.  Let's just say I won't make the same mistake twice.

PPPS* The gal at the counter totally hit on Rowdy while I was away.  Marinara with a boost of self-esteem?  Could we get it to go, please?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Philly Cheese Steak, Anyone?

This place is awesome. 
 And I should know.
I'm from Pennsylvania, after all.

We made a quick jaunt to a part of town we have surprisingly never been to.  We knew it would be some good artery clogging stuff, but we have green smoothies daily and figured they might cancel some of the cheeseiness out, right?  Geez, I hope so.

Definitely head on over to The Original Philly's located at 3019 MLK Jr. Way South Seattle, WA 98144.

We ordered the original cheese steak, pepper cheese steak, and cheese fries which our kids gobbled up.  Even as take-out they were super steamy with hot thin steak and melted cheese.  Large sandwich portions so we had plenty of leftovers and it would be easy to share just one. 
It was also a bit hole-in-the-wall which is right up our ally, anyway. 
 (love the pun-intended imagery? funny, right?)

Although they really can't compete with the real deal from PA, it's a quick Seattle fix for sure. turns out that the owner IS from Philly.  A good sign, I think.

As an insanely huge bonus, they had Tastykakes which are a trip down memory lane for this Rowdy Girl.  Butterscotch Krimpet, please.  

YELP gave it 4 out of 5 stars, and we would have to agree.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 DEAL!

hello 5 people who read this.

This week Rowdy and I heard about a killer deal on  Normally, they always have about 50% off.  But right NOW you can get, like, 70% off.  Basically, we got a bunch of $25 coupons for 4 bucks. must have done the math--we actually got ours at 83% off last week.  But 70% is still rock'n for you, right?

Can we say DATE NIGHT?

It's nationwide, people!

Here's how we did it.  Go to and browse what restaurants interest you.  Most have either $10 or $25 coupons for you to buy.  Remember to read the fine print though.  Usually when you get the $25 coupon for 10 bucks, you are required to spend $35-50 in the restaurant for that coupon to be validated. (Still, that's going to be tons off your bill.)

Here's where this awesome deal comes in.

When your cart is filled up with all the places you want to buy, type in SPORK for the promo code.  It's good until September 19th.

We literally paid only 40 bucks for (15) $25 coupons.  Let's add that up, shall we?  Uh-oh...I don't have a calculator.  Let's just say it's pretty awesome.

TIP:  We searched for restaurants near by and then went to YELP for the ratings.  We only got ones that were  3.5+ stars..and are SO excited to try them out.

You'll be hearing about it soon!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


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When people come to visit we always hit the International District. Our last trip on Chinese New Year was fabulous, and we decided to photograph one of our favorite places to eat.

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Welcome to our beloved Kau Kau located at 656 S King Street Seattle, Wa 98104. Hands down the best bbq duck and pork we have ever had.

Here's what we usually order:

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The best duck EVER. They have this kind of marmelade sauce to dip it in. It's goooooood.
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Fried Rice
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Hong Kong Cho Mein is the way to go. We love the crunchy noodles and the bok choy is cooked perfectly.

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Chinese BBQ (Aaron's Fav). The spicy mustard and sesame seeds add superior flavor to this already superior main course.
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The atmosphere at Kau Kau is what you would expect, which doesn't matter because the food is great and the prices are even better. We love getting the "round table" where we order everything family-style. The portions are large... so the items listed above serve at least 4 people.

Another restaurant definitely worth mentioning:

Sea Garden. Honey Walnut Prawns. Enough said. It's located at 509 7th Ave South Seattle, Wa 98104

The way we get our groove on:

We park at Uwajimaya because this store is AMAZING. They have anything Asian. And I mean ANYTHING. We literally "tour" the aisles when people come into town, and inevitably pick some ingredients up on the way out. Their food court is pretty fab in itself, ranging from Thai to Chinese to Japanese to Hawaiian. Fun quick fixes fo-sho. After we have eaten we head on back through the store and buy whatever rice or ingredients we need and then get our parking validated.  If you have ingredients to pick up, then parking here during your visit to Chinatown is the way to go.

I'm sure we'll be posting more restaurants later...but here's our faves for now!

Friday, July 2, 2010




+ This


= This


Risotto is probably a dish we have 1x a month in our home. If we are entertaining, we make this. If we need a last minute side dish, we make this. If we are hungry, we make this.

Don't let the rumors fool you... it is an easy meal to cook and although time consuming stirring over the stove, completely worth it.

Here's the recipe:
4-6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup water
2 cups diced onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
8 oz of sweet Italian sausage
1/8 cup chopped shallots
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup arugula leaves or to taste
1/2-1 cup fresh parmesan-reggiano

-Heat chicken stock and water in a large saucepan and keep warm
-Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat and add sugar and onions to pan. Saute until golden brown and very soft and then set aside in a small bowl.
-Remove sausage from the casings and cook until browned.
-Add shallots to the pan of sausage and saute about 2 minutes. Add rice and saute 30 seconds. Add white wine and stir until absorbed into rice. Add warm broth 1/2 cup at a time and stir until each portion is absorbed before adding the next. This takes about 20-30 minutes until rice is tender and creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the arugula, caramalized onions and parmesan. Voila!

  • Vegetarian Risotto: Replace chicken stock with vegetable stock and omit sausage.
  • Mushroom Risotto: Saute mushrooms (combo of cremini, shitake, porcini, etc) in place of sausage with 2 tbsp butter until soft. Remove from pan and set aside and proceed with above recipe. Add mushrooms at the end with parmesan.

You can thank me now.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

muffin muffin, who's got the muffin? {Recipe of the week}


Have I got a muffin recipe for you!

It's light, good for you, and doesn't taste like it. At all. Once you start becoming a "gotta lose the fat while saving the taste and nutrition of the muffin" connoisseur like me, you realize that certain ingredients or techniques allow you to do just that.

For instance, reducing the butter and adding yogurt allows you to retain fluffiness while reducing fat and increasing nutrition. Adding things in a certain sequence creates a better texture and composition. High quality ingredients increase flavor and stamina. You know, things like that.


Want some? Here goes...

Light Blueberry Muffins (adapted from America's Test Kitchen)


3 cups whole wheat pastry flour plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon raw sugar
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
1-2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
2 cups fresh blueberries
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift the 3 cups of flour,baking powder,baking soda, salt, and 1/4 cup of the sugar together and into a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat the rest of the 3/4 cup of sugar with the butter until creamy and fluffy (a few minutes). Add the eggs in while mixing on low one at a time, and then add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and yogurt alternately (1/3 of each mixture at a time) while mixer is still on low speed.
Mix the additional 1 tablespoon of flour into the blueberries to coate, and then lightly fold into the batter.
Scoop into muffin cups and sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of raw sugar throughout the tops of all the muffins.
Bake 25-30 minutes.
Hints and tricks:
  • To make these into a lemon-blueberry muffin, change the plain yogurt to lemon. It's delish.
  • Fact, these are not the high fat super light and angel fluffy muffins that you might be used to. They have substance (the whole wheat flour), so if you DO want those kind, use all purpose and/or cake flour.
  • I use really small blueberries (my favorites are the wild boreal blueberries from Trador Joes). I think it distributes the flavor better and makes eat bite more simple and less intense. The ones you pick yourself are always the best, though!
  • Using yogurt when baking is a HUGE way to substitute the fatty ingredients (like oil), not to mention it helps create a fluffy texture. Most of my recipes have yogurt and/or applesauce for that very reason.
  • Since you're going lighter on this muffin, give yourself permission to use that real butter. It's worth it. Then go running. Like, far.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cheese Extravanganza

Wanna learn how to WOW your audience? Make them jealous of your coolness? Pimp your entertaining status up a bit?

Hello, Cheese Platter.

I am not talking about going to Costco and grabbing their platter of cheddar and crackers. Oh no, my friends. I am talking about creating a cheese extravaganza so cheesy that your heart skips a beat just viewing it's goodness. I hope you are not lactose intolerant. I really really hope you are not.


How to say cheese:

1st. Get yourself a cheese board. I like having one because it has a purpose to do just that... be a cheese board. Of course, you don't have to have one at all because any cutting board or platter will work just fine if you need it to. It is also wise to buy yourselves some cheese spreaders. Without them, it can be quite the awkward cheese-spreading experience.

2nd. Go to the cheese counter/deli. There are many places that provide you with A LOT of different and fabulous cheeses in one stop. Our favorites in the area are:


Cheese counters/deli's can be REALLY overwhelming. However, the wonderful thing about these counters is that there is usually a cheese guy behind them. He is your key to opening this new refined door in your life. Sometimes we tell him exactly what we want, sometimes we ask his opinion considering what we are using the cheese for (a certain pizza or cheese platter or picnic), and sometimes if they allow it (Delaurenti does), we ask to sample.

Sample Sample Sample. This is VERY important, especially if you are new to this cheese thing.
Your sample-tasting experience usually goes something like this:

You: So, behind-the-cheese-counter-guy, we're having a picnic tomorrow. We already have Brie and some cheddar and figs and grapes, so we're trying to find more of a blue-cheese-type to contrast with that fruit.
Him: How about this? (handing us a piece to taste)
You: Yuck.
Him: How about this?
You: We're getting warmer.
Him: How about this?
You: Perfect. Now can you write that down for me? I want to remember that for next time.

Easy Cheesy.
*PS. If you can't go to this type of counter to taste... your local grocery store is still a good stop. We usually buy a few creamy cheeses like Brie and Chevre there.

Cheeses we love: Brie, Stilton, Gorgonzola, Parmesan-Reggiano, Gouda, Chevre, Cheddar, and a good sheep's milk cheese. (when preparing a large platter, a mix of soft and hard cheeses with some strong and mild are a nice taste for all palates.)


3rd. Hit the Meat Counter, too...
Meats we love: Speck Prusciutto, Alps Prusciutto, Columbus Calabrese (a salami)
(We prefer a prusciutto for the mild and soft texture that pair nicely with the smoothness of the cheese. But flavor-wise, it's fun to have spicy and robust salami)


4th. Gather together those sides.
  • Sweet- Cheese and fruit are like bread and butter. They compliment and contrast. They meld the flavors. They make you sit, savor, and saddle (I couldn't think of another s -word.) The fruit we like are apples sliced very thinly (not too sweet, like pink lady perhaps), green grapes, and figs. I have come to love fig bread (found at Whole Foods). LOVE IT.
  • Savory- Artichoke hearts, cherry peppers, roasted red peppers, etc. When making sandwiches or panini's with your cheeses and meats, these are such a nice compliment.
  • Substance - You have to have something to hold it all together, right? We have found that you don't have to go all-out-gourmet on the crackers. Although we ask that you stay away from Ritz crackers (due to the Costo similarity again and the crumbly texture), we are a fan of triscuits and wheat thins or a simple rosemary flat cracker. When it comes to bread, we like a crusty loaf. Ciabatta is our favorite because of the sandwich capabilities for later.




Fifth. Say Cheese and Enjoy!

Sidenote: We KNOW how expensive this experience can be. However, we also know that such gourmet cheeses are usually not eaten in one sitting. You only need a little to go a long way. We usually get at least 2 meals out of the situation (with guests over as well). One time in an appetizer fashion and sandwiches/panini's are perfect for the next day. The leftovers go into the fridge (vacuum sealed) for next time.

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