Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inaugural Dinner Party

One of the best ways I've found to christen a new home is to have friends over for dinner. However, given my schedule and commitments, I haven't really had time to unpack, let alone had the opportunity host. But I've made a pledge and am taking the steps for my first (of many, I hope) dinner party in my new home:

  1. Figure out guest list - check
    I've chosen group of amazing colleagues that I've been working closely with for several months, yet not had the opportunity to get to know. Figure it's time for us to bond personally.

  2. Set a date - check
    With my own schedule and everyone else's, working something out with this group was akin to herding cats. Just when we thought we had a date set, we had to reschedule. Hopefully it is just this once.
    TIP: MeetingWizard.com - a great site that helps with finding mutually available times with a group of people, and requires no downloads and no cost.

OK, this is as far as I've gone so far. Quite frankly I'm impressed to finally have #2 taken care of. Now, next steps:

  • menu planning
  • shopping
  • cooking plan

Luckily, I won't have to tackle them alone. One of my colleagues is interested in cooking with me, and I'm just thrilled. Talk about a great bonding experience. If Anthony Bourdain is right, and “cooking for someone is maybe the most selfless thing - short of oral sex - you can do for somebody,” I wonder what cooking together means.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sundays in the Market w/ Daphne

Now that I'm back in Ballard, I look forward to spending Sundays, after my pundit shows, at the Ballard Sunday Farmers Market. Today, I was lucky enough to spend it with a dear friend who normally works on Sundays as a nutritionist near University Village, and it was a very special day -- her birthday -- and I'm so touched she decided to spend it with me. We got to browse and taste through some wonderful vendors who make my weekly trips so worthwhile.

One of my favorite stops every week, Taylor Shellfish. This week,
looks like Bill's got geoduck. Sigh, if only I knew how to cook it.

As always, a long line for Veraci Pizza.
It's amazing to me that they bring their stone oven with them every week

Artisan-made bowls for the Empty Bowls Fundraiser to benefit the Ballard Food Bank

Of course a nutritionist would be looking at the fresh produce

Tasting some seasoned nuts
Yes, this guy gives architectural advice for 5 cents.
A great way to spend an afternoon, tasting wines at Portalis

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Back in Ballard!

I'm now officially out of Queen Anne and back in Ballard, the place I dare call a Foodie Paradise. We've got an excellent Sunday Farmer's Market, the Ballard Market, and delicious restaurants galore to fit almost any palate and budget. I look forward to re-frequenting some old haunts like Thaiku (my most favorite bar design ever) and Snoose Junction Pizza while checking out some of new ones.

I did try Ocho last week and was pleasantly surprised how some elbow grease and grand imagination could convert Matt's Hot Dogs into such a wonderful hideaway from the world. Tapas and wine galore, I already feel nostalgic for the pan con chocolate which combined chocolate, toast, almonds, sea salt and truffle oil. Believe it or not, it was amazing. Hmmm, maybe I'll stop by there after my walk through the Market this afternoon.