WWGW: Day 4 – Recipe for Recovery

Today’s ingredients include:

Walk: another stop at Colville Street Patisserie, then Starbucks, then Farmer’s Market (take home fresh onions and asparagus)

Pack up and say goodbye to Budda and Erin, Jen, Jen and Pam

Adding a last stop for shopping, complete with an attempt to finish the pint of salted caramel ice cream before it melts.

Mix in another winery tour:

  • A return to Va Piano to exchange the Merlot we walked out with instead of the Cab.
  • A stop at Saviah
  • Lunch @ Andrea’s Kitchen  while tasting at Dusted Valley. A great flight of red wines, taking home a bottle of Squirrel Tooth Alice. Had to buy that one on the name alone – although there were many, many great tastes here.

Finish the recipe with a road trip home (including an airport stop to get Tonia to her flight).

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WWGW: Day 3 – Recipe for Taste Bud (Overload)

Ingredients:

Take seven women and add…

Farmer’s Market – start the morning with freshly made breakfast tacos and a tall glass of vegetable juice (the carrots were awesome with kale, ginger, apples and more)

Jump in the tour van to be escorted to:

  • Seven Hills Winery – complete with a vertical tasting in the barrel room. Purchased a magnum of the 2009 Ciel du Cheval, Vintage Red Wine, Red Mountain for dinner tonight.
  • Long Shadows – a beautiful location with lots of wine choices. Walked away with a bottle of Poet’s Leap.
  • Waterbrook – enjoyed lunch in their private room.
  • Sleight of Hand – packed to the gills, it was a fight to the counter for the next sip.
  • Va Piano – Relaxing stop, enjoyed the wine club track (Jamey signed up right away). Took home their Sav Blanc release.
  • Tertulia – This unknown winery (to me) was a great way to finish the day. Walked out with the Malbac.

Next step: Rest. Similar to marinating the meat pre-grilling.

Refuel: Dinner at Whitehouse Crawford.

Finish the night with a layer of celebration lead by Erin. Powerful reminiscing and sharing. So glad all seven of us where able to spend the day together!

Rest/Sleep/Recover

WWGW: Day 2 – Recipe for Relaxation

Ingredients

Start with:

  • A walk
  • Breakfast at Bacon & Eggs
  • Colville Street Patisserie – not that we were hungry; the pre-visit research said don’t miss this place. So we listened.
  • Goodwill – always an adventure – great way to find the missing elements: house needs more wine glasses, Jen needs swim suit
  • Soak up the sun – Lazy rest of the morning, early afternoon reading, sunning and soaking in the hot tub
  • Lunch – Tracked down Andrea’s Kitchen@ the Co-op, needed to try their fish tacos

Now mix in a bit of downtown

Shopping – Vintage shop(s)  – yes, more than one. Found great necklace that finished a summer dress (already in my closet).

Wine tasting @

  • Da Ma – vinters of the Cowgirl Cab we enjoyed the previous eve
  • Rotie – the winemaker loves his blends – and so did we. Decided on another bottle, Northern Blend. And enjoyed the stop as we felt like we were invading the boys club. Over 15 men to us three women.
  • Kerloo Cellars – Fun stop, we tasted their spring release reds while a group celebrated with champagne. My fav was down to 11 bottles left. And I made it 10.
  • Walla Walla Wild Woman Wine Shop – with that name we had to go in! Tasting: Garofalo Cellars.

More shopping – this time clothing. And in the second shop, they poured wine. Yes, we bought more there. I even found another strapless dress that will help me minimize odd tan lines in the wedding dress

Dinner at T. Macarones – The rest of the team arrives in time for a feast! Pam, Jen, Tonia and Jamey are added to the recipe, making us a double-batch plus

And we finished the night with a “quiet” evening at home. A little wine, a little laughter, and (for some) a little hot tub time.

Walla Walla Girl’s Weekend (WWGW): Day 1

Day 1  – Recipe for Road Trip

Oh, let the fabulous weekend fun begin.

Ingredients:

Amtrak Train – relaxing rhythm of the tracks along the Puget Sound as rays of sun bounce off the water

Train Station – welcome included a video camera and a bouncing, smilaffronaing Erin

McMenamim’s on the Columbia – watching the river life, enjoying a Ruby as Jen joins the party

Road Trip – almost four hour of catching up as we cover the pavement from along I-84 to Walla Walla

Woodward Canyon – roll into town just early enough to catch the last pour at this cab lover’s winery. Bought first bottle: “Artist Series” Cabernet Sauvignon

The Budda House – And we arrive at our little paradise, and enjoy the first bottle of wine: 2009 Cowgirl Cab. So appropriate for the three of us dairy-farm raised girls.

Dinner @ Saffron – Perfect place to start the Walla Walla dining adventure portion of the weekend

A Menu for Red Heads

To celebrate the season of red – and a belated birthday dinner for just us – he made a reservation at the Herb Farm. This week (or maybe month), the menu is titled “A Menu for Red Heads”. And we learned the uniqueness of the menu is that first the wine sommelier (and team) choose the wines from around the Pacific Northwest to feature. Then the chef paired the food (perfectly, I might add).

Ready

  •  Rutabaga Root Soup, Quinault Steelhead Caviar, Shiso, Horseradish Cream.
  • House-Cured Copa, Egg Salas, Sea Beans, Oregon Olives, Elderberry Capers.
  • Batter-Fried Sablefish Brandade, Dill, Beet-Onion-Apple-Celery Root Remoulade.

2007 Indigo Sparkling Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Red Wine with Fish

  • Seared Coriander-Crusted Pacific Albacore Tuna, marinated Jerusalem Artichokes, Baby Leeks, Guanciale Vinaigrette

2010 Teutonic Wine Company “Bergspitze” Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Pig in the Patch

  • Pork Cotechino Sausage, Pumpkin Sauce, Wild Mushroom-Kale cannelloni, Cold-Pressed Oregon Koroneiki Olive Oil

2010 Palotai Kadarka, “Bull’s Blood”, Southern Oregon

All Quaked Up

  • Lavendar-Cured Moulard Duck Breast
  • Charred Pears and Turnips with Black Pepper, Oregon Black Truffle Sauce

2010 Idilico Graciano, Upland Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Long-Braised Short Rib

  • Grilled 72-hour Braised Painted Hills Angus Short Rib
  • Caramelized Cauliflower Puree
  • Pagout of Controne Beans, Cauliflower & Chickpeas, Watercress Pool

2010 Avennia Arnaut Syrah, Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley

Noix et Roie

  • Coco-and-Boletus-Mushroom-Coated Duck Foie Gras Torchon
  • Walnut-Prune Compote, Sourdough Waffle, Green Walnut Nocino Syrup

Red Ice. Blue Cow.

  • Rogue River Blue Cheese Chantilly Cream,
  • Wild Huckleberry-Ruby Port Granite, Rosemary Meringues
  • Oak. Smoke. Shocolate.
  • Spiced Chocolate Bavarian, Smoked-Salted Caramel, Cherry-Oak Sherbert

2010 Brian Carter Cellars Opulento (Touriga Nacional, Souzao, Tinto Cao), Yakima Valley

The location:

The Herbfarm | 14590 NE 145th Street |  Woodinville, WA 98072 | 425-485-5300 | Website

Le Cuvier 2009 Zinfandel

A great night to grab a bottle from our wine club shipment. We choose the 2009 Zinfandel from Paso Robles.

The crazy, verbose winemaker writes:

Silk draped across a shapely thigh, trailing down fine long legs, redolent of scarlet raspberries crushed in a mortar with pungently fresh oregano & the dark red essence of a tea rose at high noon; note the scent of plum frangipane passionately wresting with Limousin clafoutis: the kind baked with cherry pits for deep flavor, touched by camphor & with a fresh grind of white pepper corns.

My notes:

Yummy. Bold. Fruity. Delicious. One adjective to count my decades.

Pairs wonderfully with Pizza. Birthday Pizza.

2012 :: The End

It has been years that I have celebrated the eve of the new year out on the town. I am guessing 15 years have elapsed since the last night out. Many years have been spent with family in the snow (so we are too tired to make it to midnight) or socializing with friends.

This year, tradition was thrown out the window. And, together  we hit the town with a late dinner at Staple and Fancy (finally!). It has been on our dinner out list for months.  And for New Year’s Eve, the crew at one of Ethan Stowell’s hot spots did it right (by us).

THE VINO

We checked out the wine list prior to arrival. We were pleasantly surprised by the low prices of several local wines that we like. So we decided to leave our bottles at home and see what they would bring us from the international scene. They conspired and took us to Spain for a delightful, fruity and full-bodied wine: Ribero Del Duero, Teofile Reyes, 2009.

FIRST COURSE

  • Chicken Liver Crostini with golden raisins.
  • Cotechino with lentils (I may have loved the lentils most).
  • Shigoku Oysters with lemon, horseradish and olive oil.
  • Treviso Salad and anchovy dressing. (He had a moment with this dish).
  • House Smoked Ricotta over grilled bread and driseled honey (I want smoked ricotta gnocchi).
  • Hamachi Crudo with avocado, chili and lime.
  • Porchetta di Testa and pear mostarda.

PASTA

Mine: Potato Gnocchi :: Manila clams, mascarpone and lemon.

His: Rigatoni Amatriciana :: Guanciale, chili, tomato.

MAIN

His: Muscovy Duck Breast :: Glazed root vegetables and chestnut purée

Mine: Grilled Albacore Tuna :: Tomatoes, capers and olives.

DESSERT

Ours: Ricotta Cheesecake :: Cranberry compote and Warm Panettone Bread Pudding :: Salted caramel gelato.

Of course, we finished our multi-course glutony about 10:30 so we had time to kill to make it to midnight to share the first kiss in the first moment of the new year. We meandored the streets of Ballard until the cold set in our bones, then headed up to Capital Hill to view the Seatlle downtown as the weather was clear and cool. The city view did not disappoint, but the firework-watching crowds were gathering so we drove the long way home and got ready slowly for sleep. We made it to bed in time to watch the ball drop, share a first kiss, and for me to fall soundly asleep at 12:01 a.m. on January 1st, 2013.

The Location:

Staple & Fancy | 4739 Ballard Avenue NW | Seattle, WA 98107 | 206.789.1200 | Website