Monday, July 28, 2014

TRAVEL: New Orleans

Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's
A little while ago I went to New Orleans with some friends for the weekend. I love New Orleans. It's one of my favorite cities. I love the history, the architecture, the food, and their drinks! I can do without the humidity, but that just makes the drinks taste that much more refreshing. It was my best friend's birthday, so we started the celebration by having some drinks at one of our favorite spots, Pat O'Brien's. My favorite drink at Pat O'Brien's is their Hurricane. It tastes just like fruit punch and they go down easy. Almost too easy.

Pat O'Brien's Rainbow and Planters Punch
Some other drinks we had at Pat O'Brien's were the Rainbow and Planters Punch. The Rainbow is a colorful drink of Grenadine, Vodka, Blue CuraƧao and Pat O’Brien’s® Sweet & Sour Mix. Pat O'Brien's has a large selection of other great drinks that will quench any thirst on a hot summer evening.

Creole Trio at Desire Bistro and Oyster Bar

For dinner we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Desire Bistro and Oyster Bar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. I couldn't decide on just one dish, so I ordered the Creole Trio. It's a combination platter of gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice with smoked sausage. It all tasted great!

Andouille Hash at Vacherie
 After a good night of great food and drinks, we had breakfast at Vacherie on Toulouse Street at the corner of Dauphine. I ordered the Andouille Hash. It comes with local Andouille sausage, diced potatoes, diced onions, red peppers, green onions, topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise. I ordered a fresh biscuit on the side. I love Andouille sausage, and this hash tasted like authentic New Orleans.

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
You can't visit New Orleans without stopping by the famous Cafe Du Monde. You have to try their Beignets. They are square French-style doughnuts. They can be ordered plain, or as most do, covered with heaps of powdered sugar. Be prepared to have your face and most of your clothes covered in powdered sugar! The original Cafe Du Monde coffee stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pimm's Cup at Cafe Amelie
Another one of our favorite places in New Orleans is Cafe Amelie. It is located in the historic 150-year-old Princess of Monaco Courtyard and Carriage House on Royal Street. It has a beautiful courtyard for dining, and a great bar that serves a delicious Pimm's Cup. Like the Hurricane, a Pimm's Cup is very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Bloody Mary at Touche Bar
After breakfast, we strolled around the French Quarter and popped into the Touche Bar for a Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary was tasty with just the right amount of spice. It was the perfect drink before heading back to the airport to catch our flight back to Seattle. If you haven't been to New Orleans, I highly recommend it. The city is rich in history and has a long history of great food. I hope to visit back again to try even more great food!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

FOOD EVENT: Bite of Seattle

July 18-20, 2014

Seattle Center
Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Friday, July 11, 2014

FOOD EVENT: Madison Valley Bastille Bash

Tomorrow is Madison Valley's 3rd Annual Bastille Bash! This year's event will be bigger than ever! The event will take place on East Madison Street from 27th to 30th Avenue and down 29th off the main street. The event is from 3:00 to 8:00pm with plenty of events scheduled. Admission is free and food and drink tickets will be available to purchase at the event. Food and drink tickets are limited, so it is recommended to purchase tickets ahead of time at Brown Paper Tickets.

Some of the event highlights include:
- French inspired food from area restaurants
- Northwest and French wine tastings
- Live music and entertainment
- Bastille week specials and a one-day sidewalk sale
- Giveaways from Madison Valley businesses
- Art classes for kids

Come dive into French culture at the Madison Valley Bastille Bash!

Visit the official website at Madison Valley Bastille Bash 2014.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

FOOD EVENT RECAP: Macy's Great American Grilling Guru Sizzle Showdown

The Grilling Guru Contestants: Jack Scalfani, Edwina Gadsby, Margee Berry.  Photo: Chow Down Seattle
Last Saturday the grills were on fire with the Macy's Great American Grilling Guru Competition! Three West Coast Regional Contestants faced-off in the Semi-Finals for a chance to win a trip to New York City for the Sizzle Showdown Finals on June 28th.

The weather couldn't have been any better for the grilling competition. Macy's put on a great event that included a County Fair themed fairway with fun and games for the entire family. The main event was the Grilling Guru Competition. The event started at 1:00pm and it was hosted by Seth Wayne of KOMO 4 TV.

KOMO 4 TV's Seth Wayne
Macy's Culinary Council, Tom Douglas

 The event was judged by Seattle's own Chef Tom Douglas! Tom is a member of Macy's Culinary Council that is a national culinary authority comprising some of the nation's leading culinary masters. The three grilling contestants had one hour to prepare their food.

Chef Tom Douglas with contestant Margee Berry
As the contestants were grilling up their food, Chef Tom Douglas interviewed them to learn more about the food they were preparing. Margee Berry from White Salmon, Washington grilled up some Smokin' Hot Summer Wood Planked Shrimp Tacos with Seared Slaw.

Chef Tom Douglas with contestant Edwina Gadsby
Edwina Gadsby of Hayden, Idaho grilled up some Sweet Chili Salmon Noodle Salad.

Chef Tom Douglas with contestant Jack Scalfani
 Jack Scalfani of Anaheim, California grilled up some Beef Short Ribs, which is a recipe from his late Mother.

As the contestants were grilling away, Tom Douglas and his crew prepared some samples for the crowd. First was was a huge, delicious prawn with an olive in the middle. It was perfection!

The second sample Tom Douglas prepared for the audience was a beautifully decorated slice of salmon with a slice of lemon. Seriously some of the best salmon I have tasted!

Next was the taste test of each contestants grilled creations. Seth Wayne helped Chef Tom Douglas sample some of Jack's Beef Short Ribs.

Chef Tom Douglas samples Margee's Smokin' Hot Summer Wood Planked Shrimp Tacos and offers his critique.

Chef Tom Douglas samples Edwina's Grilled Sweet Chili Salmon Noodle Salad. After sampling all three of the contestants food, Chef Douglas had the difficult decision of choosing a winner. In 3rd Place was Margee Berry's Shrimp Tacos. 2nd Place went to Jack Scalfani with his Beef Short Ribs. Leaving 1st Place for Edwina Gadsby!! She won the ribbon for her Grilled Sweet Chili Salmon Noodle Salad. Edwina will be heading to New York City on June 28th to compete with the other five regional winners. The grand prize winner of the Grilling Guru Sizzle Showdown will receive $10,000 and a trip back to New York City in 2015 for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Celebration! Good luck, Edwina! I hope you bring home the grand prize!

1st Place winner Edwina Gadsby with Seth Wayne from KOMO 4 TV and Chef Tom Douglas.

Jack Scalfani with his Beef Short Ribs.
Jack is a You Tube celebrity and has his very own cooking show! Check out his You Tube Channel!
Margee Berry's Wood Planked Shrimp.

Edwina Gadsby's 1st Place Grilled Sweet Chili Salmon Noodle Salad.

Me with Grilling Guru Edwina Gadsby and her winning dish!
I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Culinary Council. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

EVENT RECAP: Bacon and Beer Classic

We received mini glass red Solo tasting cups!

Yesterday at Safeco Field was the Bacon and Beer Classic. It was a day filled with restaurants featuring food samples all with one common ingredient, bacon! There were also breweries sampling over 100 beers. If that wasn't enough, there was entertainment by three bands, and also some fun games to try out. I had a great time at the event! Here are some pictures I took throughout the event. I hope Safeco Field hosts this event again next year!

There was a large crowd for the first session of the Bacon and Beer Classic. Most vendors had long lines.

Von Trapp's Bacon Potato Salad

What else goes great with beer? Pretzels! There was a pretzel necklace-making table.

Bacon and potato dumplings from Pel'meni Dumpling Tzar.

Do doesn't enjoy a good game of over-sized Jenga! Just watch out when it falls!

Elysian Brewery serving up some tasty beer.

Snoqualmie Falls Brewery keeping the people happy.

Spiced Chocolate Cookie with Maple Bacon Custard from Lecosho.

Stay Crispy, Seattle!

Local Seattle band, Hey Marseilles, performed a great set at the Classic! Seriously, check them out. They are an amazing band!

Deschutes Brewery serving up some Black Butte Porter.

Temporary Bacon tattoos!

Local Favorite Redhook Brewery serving up their much loved beer.

Chocolate Bacon Gelato from Sugars Gelato.

House Smoked Bacon-wrapped Sage Sausage Balls from Bill the Butcher. The only meat to eat!!

Skillet's Bacon Jam Brat.

Campfire OK opened the Classic with some great music.

The guys from Morsel creating some bacon goodness.

Diamond Knot Brewery serving up some brew.
Seattle-based, Creme Tangerine, a Beatles Tribute Band, gave more cowbell to some great classic rock!

The Bacon and Beer Classic was a lot of fun! I hope it's back again next year!

Unfortunately, some tasting cups were sacrificed during the Classic. But luckily they provided many good beer tasting samples before their demise.

I would like to thank all the restaurants and breweries for providing such amazing food and beer! Also thanks to Campfire OK, Hey Marseilles, and Creme Tangerine for their great music. And last, but not least, thank you to Safeco Field and all the sponsors and promoters for putting on such a great event! Bacon, beer and a baseball stadium are a winning combination! I hope to see you all again next year! Cheers!

SIMPLE MEALS: Eggs in Bell Peppers

Here is an easy way to change up the way you eat your eggs in the morning. Just cook them in some bell pepper rings! I saw a picture of some eggs cooked like this the other day and I figured I would give it a try. It's very easy to do and the presentation can add a little touch of fancy to your next breakfast! If you don't use all of the bell peppers, just save them and add them to your next salad, or add them to your next juice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BEER AND FOOD EVENT: Bacon and Beer Classic

Do you like bacon? How about Beer? What about some live music? Now what if I said you could enjoy all three at Safeco Field? Pretty cool, huh?! Well this Saturday Safeco Field will host the first Bacon and Beer Classic! 

Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Times: Session 1 (12-4pm) and Session 2 (6-10pm)
Place: Safeco Field - 1250 1st Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134

The Beer and Bacon Classic features 50+ chefs dishing out bacon-inspired tastes! Below is a partial list of the restaurants who will be at the event. Check out a complete list on the Bacon and Beer Classic website.









100+ craft breweries will be pouring some of their best beers! Below is a partial list of breweries. Check out a complete list on the Bacon and Beer Classic website.










Live music will be provided by:

There will also be some food demos and beer school!

Be sure to try out some of the interactive games!

Download the Bacon and Beer Classic Mobile App to get a complete festival schedule, map, beers on tap and restaurant exhibitors!