^Juno can’t believe all these gorgeous lakes & waterfalls are in the city! ^^ How gorgeous was this Labor Day Sunset?! ^^ True love is when your husband drafts your fantasy football team while you do your makeup.
Labor Day kind of snuck up on us this year. We didn’t plan any getaways & it honestly turned out to be a great weekend in the city. Friday, Juno (our black lab) & I did an urban hike through Golden Gate Park. We walked about 6 miles in the park & it was awesome. We stumbled upon the amazing waterfall above Stow Lake. I had been to the waterfall before but somehow missed the part where you’re able to walk to the top!! Juno seriously was in heaven. Friday night we reunited with one of near & dear friends & just went out to a delicious dinner & enjoyed being out in SF. Saturday was a true test of our relationship, we had to go to Ikea – hung over, on both a holiday weekend & a college move in weekend!!! Luckily we survived & successfully built our furniture haha. We rounded out the weekend with a little bbq & I made some of deviled eggs & a watermelon caprese salad! Holidays are just the best excuse to make delicious treats! Happy unofficial end of summer all!
Curry is a meal that can seem daunting to make, but I assure you it’s actually much easier than you think! I started cooking curry about 5 years ago, my best friend & I were poor college kids & couldn’t afford to order in delicious Thai as much as we’d like, so we decided to combine our culinary skills & make our own curry. Since then, curry has become a staple meal in our house. I love making curry because there can be a ton of variations, you can change up the protein or veggies for a different taste. In the autumn & winter months I love making curry with pumpkin or squash.
One of the reasons curry makes it on our menu so frequently is beacuse it’s a relatively quick meal that usually is filled with veggies & protein & typically renders lots of leftovers! So this is often one of the “big batches” I make early in the week.
The first step is to cut the protein into small bite size pieces & season with: salt, pepper, garlic powder, curry powder & turmeric. Once seasoned I place in the fridge while the rest of the prep work is done.The next step is to prep all the vegetables. I usually use mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bok-choy, bell peppers. I typically just use whatever’s in the veggie drawer. I truly believe that eating healthy involves eating colorfully so I’m all for any meal that incorporates a ton of veggies.Once all the veggies have been prepped, heat 2 tsp of olive oil in large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add in onions, garlic & seasoned meat. You want to saute the meat until it starts to brown, (timing will vary depending on protein type).Next, add in the chopped sweet potatoes and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, covered. The sweet potatoes & rest of the veggies will continue to cook once the coconut milk is added so don’t worry if you think the veggies are too underdone.Uncover the meat & potatoes, add bell pepper & allow to saute uncovered for 3-5 minutes.Next add in the more delicate vegetables, like mushrooms and bok choy. Put curry paste & additional curry powder to taste. I usually add 2-3 tbsp of paste & an additional 1 tspb of curry powder. Allow the vegetables & seasonings to cook uncovered for approx 4 minutes.
Finally, add in two cans of coconut milk and bring to low boil. Making sure all the curry paste has dissolved. Adjust for taste, adding more paste or powder as needed. Allow to cook at a low simmer for approx 10 minutes. Serve hot over rice.
If you try to recreate this recipe I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Sliced protein to desired bite size pieces, I find the stew meat often needs to be cut into smaller pieces & usually trimmed of some fat. Season meat with: salt, pepper, curry powder (2 tsp), garlic powder & a few dashes of turmeric. Place meat in fridge to marinate.
While the meat marinates, chop all the veggies & set aside.
In a large skillet or large pan, over medium high heat begin sauteing onions, garlic and meat. Once meat begins to brown add in sweet potato. I try to add the vegetables in order of which takes the longest to cook. Once the sweet potatoes have been sauteing for 3-4 minutes along with the meat, add in bell peppers and allow to cook for additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the vegetables have started to cook, add in the curry paste, curry powder & turmeric, as well as the remaining mushrooms & bok choy. Let this cook for approx 3 minutes, stirring in seasoning and curry paste.
Add in coconut milk, bring to light boil & then decrease heat and cover for 15 minutes. Taste for flavor & adjust if more curry powder or paste are needed.
Americana – So nice we went twice. Located in Capitol Hill, known for their ever-changing short stack, this restaurant is sure to give you something to write home about. This was actually our first eating stop in Seattle. Tired, hungry and unable to check in to our Airbnb we hauled ourselves to Americana only to be blown away by the delicious creative comfort food menus in front of us. Their menu is filled with unique breakfast items like Glazed Pork Belly with scrambled eggs, pancakes that change daily & decadent Benedict’s. We went back for Easter Brunch on Sunday & I must say the food was just as delicious as the first day. This is my top recommendation for brunch, you can check out their awesome menu here.
Needle & Thread- this isn’t exactly an eating recommendation, it’s more of a sipping recommendation. Nonetheless Needle & thread is home to Seattle’s best cocktails, I’m convinced. There is no drink menu, in fact there’s no sign on the sidewalk, a hard to come by reservation will lead you to a rotary phone that’ll lead you up to this second story bar, that has seating for maybe 20 people. Once inside you’ll experience custom cocktails crafted to your specific tastes. This experience was so worth the splurge! I’ve been to places that make individual specialty drinks before, but none of them have had the quaint, relaxed atmosphere like Needle & Thread. In NYC I went to a bar / speakeasy that would make custom drinks, but I remember being so intimated pushing through the crowd to tell the bartender what ingredients I liked, that I didn’t find the experience as enjoyable. At Needle & Thread our bartender came up to our table & spent the first few minutes just chatting with us about what kind of drinks we like, what aspects turn us off of certain drinks etc. After we chatted & he got a good feel for what our tastes were, then behind the bar he went to concoct delicious our beverages. It was such a cool experience & I would recommend it for anyone who is in the area & can appreciate a well crafted cocktail.
^^ Overlooking the harbor – so gorgeous.
The Harbor Public House – this recommendation isn’t in Seattle proper, but if you find yourself on a ferry to Bainbridge (which I highly recommend here ) then I hope you find yourself sitting down for a meal at The Harbour Public House Overlooking the docks, you can enjoy oyster shooters & some of the freshest seafood you can find on the Puget Sound. Note: this place is 21 & over.
Taylor’s Shellfish – We found ourselves in a caffeinated haze leaving the Starbucks Roastery & we wandered a few blocks away only to find the perfect mid day glass of wine & plate of oysters. Taylor’s Shellfish has been farming shellfish in the Pacific Northwest since 1890, needless to say they know their stuff. They have Oyster bars throughout Seattle each location reflecting the casual laid back vibe of each neighborhood. We visited the Capitol Hill location. Taylor’s Shellfish lets you design your ideal oyster plate & the staff are super knowledgable & can help you pair your choices with the perfect glass of wine. Oysters were certainly a theme this trip. I love them but Chris thinks they’re disgusting so I like to optimize ordering them whenever I’m out with my best friend because she can put down just like me when it comes to shellfish. If you like oysters than I 100% recommend checking out Taylor’s, I’ll certainly be going back next time I find myself in Seattle.
Quinns – this pub doesn’t just serve your standard bar fare, instead they whip delicious combinations of seafood as well as comfort food. Their Poached Washington Halibut is to die for, I ordered it twice! Also located in Capitol Hill, this gastro pub is a must if you’re looking for a delicious casual dinner. You can look at their menu here.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery – for all my coffee lovers, welcome! You can’t go to Seattle & not stop by the Starbucks Roastery & tasting room. Here you can experience caffeinated bliss, with two coffee bars, two roasters, & unimaginable drinks that you can’t find at your Starbucks around the corner. You’re able to try speciality coffees, they offer flights of coffee which we chose to try on our first day. The second time we went back, yes we went back. We tried drinks that are only made at the roastery, to be honest I can’t remember exactly what I ordered in that photo but I know it was creamy & delicious. The Starbucks Roastery is a fun place to visit, enjoy a flight of coffee and maybe stay a while if you catch yourself in some Seattle rain. However I will mention that the roastery itself isn’t very organized, you’re left to wander around and explore yourself, so it’s a good idea to have in mind what you’re looking for that day.
The Public Market Center is a great place for a casual lunch. The middle photo overlooking the Ferris Wheel was our view the day we went for lunch. I honestly have no clue where we ate. We were just walking around the market & in between all the fresh seafood & floral arrangements are little delis & restaurants. We stumbled into one, took one look at the view & were sold. The public market is absolutely a must when visiting Seattle.
Unicorn – we found our way into this unique carnival themed bar our first night out in Seattle. It may sound cheesy but it was definitely worth checking out. And I have to say that their adult root beer float was seriously amazing, that paired with pinball & good people watching made for a fun first night out. It was wasn’t very crowded, we went on Thursday night and there were plenty seats & no lines for drinks. So if you’re looking for a bar that is a little quirky & you enjoy arcade games or carnival food / drinks in the slightest than this spot might find its way on to your itinerary.
The Comet Tavern – ALERT: SEATTLE SERVES SHINER BOCK! This casual bar plays great music, has tons of seating & serves SHINER! As a Texas convert I get super excited whenever I can find Shiner outside of the lone star state. I don’t have any photos from Comet Tavern, but I definitely recommend checking it out. We went here before watching a show at Neumo’s & it was a great place to grab a quick drink.
Do you have Seattle Musts that should make it on my list for next time? If so I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Chorizo & Potato Hash with sauteed mushrooms, topped with micro greens, cherry tomatoes & an over easy egg! So.Nomz.
Our Cheat Day Cheese Board
Slate Board & Cheese Knives : Williams Sonoma Here & Here
The first two weekends of 2016 have been pretty low key I’ve had to work all or part of the weekends so we’ve been just enjoying San Francisco Winter! Juno has been enjoying kissing / biting all the Christmas Trees good bye around our neighborhood, it’s kind of hilarious.
In terms of New Year resolutions? I’m sure ours are a lot like some of yours. I have a few for 2016 that I listed below. The last two years I’ve tried to step up my reading game. I fell short of my resolution last year to read 15 books, I managed to read 13 so I’m still counting that as a victory! My reading resolution makes the list again this year.
Read – I dropped my goal back down to 10 books for the year. Stay tuned for some of my favorites & what books that will be making this years reading list![pro tip: if you want to try this I highly recommend choosing lighter reads toward the end, I was trying to finish a pretty dense & lonnnng book & ended up struggling the last two months.]
Consciousness Eating – This year I’m going to try to stick to allowing myself one cheat day per week as well as minimizing my snacking at work. The nursing station is littered with temptations: chips, donuts, candy, you name it, it’s there.
10k Steps – I started the new year with a new Fitbit & I couldn’t be more excited for this resolution. When I graduated college I had one of the original Fitbits & I was really into all the tracking. Over time & two trips in the washer (oops!), it eventually died. I’ve been talking about replacing it for ages & courtesy of my husband I’m back tracking steps, flights, mileage & I love it.
52 Week Money Saving Challenge – this is part resolution part challenge. If I just resolved to “save money” I’ll fail. I need specific, goal directed, assessable, realistic goals / resolutions. So using a simple week by week saving chart keeps me on track & motivated; The same way my Fitbit keeps me motivated to get active. Here’s the challenge I’m doing, thanks to the Stingy Saver!
This past Sunday was my cheat day & earlier in the week I had decided I was going to try and make a Chorizo Hash for breakfast! Well it turned out even better than expected, it was so good I forgot to put cheese on it… that never happens! But don’t worry cheese came later in the day when Chris & I broke out our fancy Cheese / Charcuterie set & enjoyed pre – dinner appetizers & cocktails & started Making a Murderer (so good!).
Hope everyone is having an amazing start to the year! Do you have any awesomely attainable New Years Resolutions? If so I’d love to read about them in the comments section below!
Calistoga you are a dream come true, located 75 miles north-east of San Francisco, experience the same warm weather, fantastic wines but a fraction of the Napa crowds.
Lincoln avenue is lined with tasting rooms, restaurants & boutiques.
Most tasting rooms we found had excellent prices & generous pours of delicious local wines.
^^These pours were found at Huge Bear Tasting Room, which was once the location of the Calistoga Bank.
At Romeo Winery tasting room you can be surrounded by tall redwoods in their outdoor tasting garden.
A can’t miss Calistoga experience is the gondola at Sterling Winery.
A 4 minute gondola ride leads to outrageous views of the valley.
Off in the distance you’re able to see a castle…
Three miles away Castello di Amorosa winery awaits you. $25 buys you general admission & the basic wine tasting which includes 5 wines.
Visitors are able to wander the castle grounds or enjoy the sunshine in the courtyard.
My pretty friends 🙂
After a day of gondolas & castles & many wine pours later we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Sam’s Social Club, located in downtown Calistoga.
^^ Those deviled eggs were no joke; a must if you’re there.
We stayed at The Roman Spa, not only is this resort just one block from Lincoln Avenue, but the resort has 3 mineral pools that stay open until 10:30. The pools range in temperature from 90 degrees to 104.
Aside from the pools, Roman Spa has luscious gardens that I could spend all day capturing.
Hope you can see why & how we fell in love with Calistoga.