Category Archives: Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle

Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle Book Signing at Barnes and Noble and Sunset Magazine

Is it summer? Sometimes I feel like it is. Sometimes I feel like it isn’t/
That is Seattle summer for you. This year is flying by for me and I am loving the ride.

One of the most amazing things that happened this year was that I was featured in Sunset Magazine. Yes, three whole pages talking about where I like to eat including a full page photo.. This was a dream come true. The article was written by Rebekah Denn, one of my most favorite writers in Seattle.

I am hoping to see you all soon.
I will be doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble at Northgate this Saturday with three other lovely authors, Alice Currah of Savory Sweet Life, Jill Lightner of Edible Seattle Cookbook: The Cookbook and Leora Bloom of Washington Food Artisans. Come out and chat with us. It will be fun. Details are here.

Hope I get to see you!

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Father’s Day Gift, Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle and a Giveaway!

Father’s day is just around the corner and I have a special something for the man in your family. Does your husband like eating out? Does he like exploring new restaurants? Is he the type who likes to barbecue and find the most interesting sauces and spreads or is he just a happy hour chaser who likes to know where to go for the best oysters?

My book the Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle is a perfect gift for any food lovers. For father’s day, I am having a special offer. Buy the book for a special dad and send me some kind of confirmation (a photo, a receipt or just tell me) by email: kerenlovestocookatgmail.com and I will write a personalized restaurant list for your dad, handwritten and mailed the old- fashioned way. Email me details about him; what he likes, his style or the favorite food items that he likes to shop for. Is he a beer lover? Is he a steak and potatoes kind of guy? I will write him a letter and include a customized plan. This offer is valid any time until Father’s day.

The giveaway

I received a pot and a pan for review from West Elm’s Green Pan collection and I have to say that I am in love. Now I am writing this a few months after I got them because frankly I have been a little busy. I use them for everything and I kind of keep them out on the stove because they look pretty. The small pot that I have has become my baby food pot. It just feels the purest for my babies first foods. The heat distributes really well and I don’t need to add any fat because it is non-stick. The frying pan has become our go-to frying pan for the same reasons but mostly because it just cleans so easily and the food just cooks evenly. Just a really good pan. It is also eco-friendly and safe and doesn’t release chemicals if it gets a little too hot.

So I have two items to giveaway to two lucky readers. One 8 inch frying pan and one 5.5 inch saucepan. You have two chances to win one of them. Leave a comment or tweet and facebook (details below). The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, June 12. Update: The winners have been contacted. If I don’t hear from them, I will choose new winners. Thanks for playing.

To enter:
1) Leave a comment for one entry
2) Tweet @franticfoodie for one entry
3) Share on Facebook for 4 entries
4) Follow Foodportunity on Pinterest (and leave a comment letting me know) for 2 entries

In case you missed it, Foodportunity tickets are on sale, get them before they are gone.

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Local Holiday Gift Ideas for Seattle Food Lovers

Shopping for food lovers this holiday season just got easier.
Sometimes a bar of chocolate or a new condiment can be an inexpensive way to spice up someone’s day.
A little goes a long way when it comes to food gifts. The great thing about food gifts is that they can be found everywhere and sometimes it’s easiest just to stop by your favorite market, late at night, when the kids are in bed or late after work where busy lines are a sign of the past.

This post is centered around Metropolitan Market, my favorite place to peruse in the evening hours. Metropolitan Market has kitchen products, specialty foods and lots of local snacks that make up the perfect gift basket. Choose your favorite vessel for your gifts and mix and match to come up with a special combination for your loved ones.

You don’t have to choose a basket for your gift set. Choose something that can be reused after, this makes the gift even more special. Here I used a cutlery caddie (18.99) for picnics or parties that comes in vibrant colors like this blue one. All the items in the basket are local except for the quince paste.

1. Theo Chocolate: Rich Dark and Spicy Chili Dark Chocolate
2. Dilletante Chocolate Marbled Espresso Beans
3. Corazon Del Sol Quince Paste: A thick jam made of the Quince fruit, when cooked it has a sweet flavor with a hint floral flavor. It tastes great with cheese
4. Fran’s Chocolates: Smoked Salt Caramels
5. Seattle Chocolates: Whidbey Wildberry Truffle Bar
6. Half Pops: I just discovered this amazing snack. Popcorn kernels that are half popped. The first time that I had them,I thought I might have to pop them. I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Then I absolutely got addicted to them. Just pop in your mouth. Both flavors , Natural Butter, Pure Ocean Sea Salt and Natural Aged White Cheddar are preservative free and have a natural taste without the chalky powders often found on snacks like these.

All products are local.
Bamboo Cutting boards (18.95 for 2 sizes)
1. Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle (yes it is a shameless plug, my book). The ultimate guide to everything food in Seattle.
2. Boat Street Pickled Figs
3. Gourmondo’s Cypress Citrus Dressing: Local catering company Gourmondo makes this fabulous dressing made with all natural ingredients. It tastes great on vegetables salads, pasta salads or on grilled vegetables.
4. La Panzanella crackers
5. Beecher’s Fresh Cheese Curds: Melt these curds on homemade fries and add some gravy to make poutine, drizzle your favorite honey on them or serve to guests alongside some goodies from the olive bar.

Fashionable Food Lovers’ Kit

The ultimate gift for the foodie who lunches at work. This stylish lunch bag (25.95) is insulated and hardly looks like your average lunch box. Fill it with your favorite goodies and you are good to go. It even comes with a set of utensils. Here I added Ricotta Salata, a variation of ricotta that has a mild salty flavor similar to Feta cheese but with a firmer texture.

Mediterranean Gift Set

1. Preserved Lemons from Mustapha’s Fine Foods of Morocco: Chop these up and add them to your favorite salads or couscous.
2. Pomegranate Molasses: Pour this on fresh cheese or use it in your salad dressing as the ultimate sweetener.
3. Mama Lil’s Peppers: These Pickled Hungarian peppers are the perfect addition to pizza and sandwiches or just eat them out of the jar.
4. Metropolitan Market’s pita :Finally, pitas that are light and fluffy. A rarity in this city.
5. Ricotta Salata (see description above)
6. Garlic

What are your favorite local food products?

Here is a list of some upcoming events at Metropolitan Market.

(Press Release from Metropolitan Market)

Holiday wine tasting at Metropolitan Market
Join us for complimentary tastings featuring unique Washington wines and fine imported wines. Wines selected are pre-approved to pair perfectly with your holiday meals! When joining us for a complimentary wine tasting, you must be at least 21 and provide valid identification upon your one time entry to enjoy this event (no exceptions). Come raise a glass to the joyous season!

· 5-7 p.m. on Friday, December 2 at Sand Point

· 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, December 8 at Uptown

· 5-7 p.m. on Friday, December 9 at Admiral

· 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 15 at Kirkland

· 4-7 p.m. on Friday, December 9 at Proctor

Meet-and-greet special guests
Come meet Sharone Hakman of Haks BBQ Sauce, a finalist on Fox’s MasterChef, and taste his incredible BBQ sauce. Discover your perfect appetizer condiment, stocking stuffer or gift for the griller in your home!

· 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6 at Proctor

· 12-3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7 at Sand Point

· 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7 at Kirkland

· 12-3 p.m. on Thursday, December 8 at Admiral

· 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, December 8 at Uptown

Co-owner Brooke Lucy of Bluebird Grain Farms will be showcasing their grain side dish ideas, such as the delicious whole emmer faro, for your holiday table and gift giving. Bluebird Grain Farms comes from Winthrop, Wash. Come taste local!

· 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 at Queen Anne

· 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 11 at Sand Point

· 3:30 – 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 11 at Kirkland

· 3 – 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 at Admiral

The Northwest’s lifestyle and entertaining expert, Alexandra Hedin, will be signing her book, Entertaining at Home: Inspiration, Recipes and Crafts for Creations for a Lovely Life. Come get your holiday inspiration from a true professional!

· 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, December 8 at Admiral

· 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 at Uptown

· 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, December 15 at Sand Point

· 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 at Kirkland

Savor the flavor of the season at one of our sampling events
Discover, taste, and learn how to put together your holiday meal! At tasting events, sample delicious dishes chat with culinary artists for recipes and ideas to make your holidays stress free and fun. Come and be a part of the merry time!

All Locations:
· 4-7 p.m. on Friday, December 9

· 12-2 p.m. and 3-6p.m. on Saturday, December 10

· 12-2 p.m. and 3-6p.m. on Sunday, December 11

· 4-7 p.m. on Friday, December 16

· 12-2 p.m. and 3-6p.m. on Saturday, December 17

· 12-2 p.m. and 3-6PM on Sunday, December 18

On December 23 and 24, the culinary artists will roll out the red carpet, trading their chef’s jackets for red coats and serving as personal concierges for customers. Red coats can be found on grocery aisles and will help with stress-saver tips, locating those hard to find ingredients on your shopping list, and suggesting the perfect recipes for your dining and party pleasure. For more information and online holiday meal orders, visit http://www.metropolitan-market.com.

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Filed under books, Cookbooks and Books, Food, Food Lovers' Guide to Seattle

Tom Douglas Cookbook Social

If you love cookbooks, then you are going to love this event. Tom Douglas is having another one of his cookbook socials. Basically, you shmooze and eat and meet all your favorite authors while stocking up on gifts for your friends. I will be there with my book, the “Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle” and some tasty bites.

Now look at this list of authors!

Kurt Timmermeister
Amy Pennington
Jessie Olsen
Maggie Savarino
Ethan Stowell
Tom Douglas
Becky Selengut
Julie Hearne and Sharon Kramis
Lisa Dupar
Greg Atkinson
Frank Curtis
Brad Parsons
Mark Klebeck
Dave Hughes

TOM DOUGLAS’ 2011 COOKBOOK SOCIAL
Date: Thursday, December 1st
Time: 4-7pm
Location: The Palace Ballroom, 2100 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Cost: $20 tax included
Ticket price includes entrance into the event, tastes from each author, and one drink ticket.
To purchase tickets, click here!
Kick off your holiday cookbook shopping at Tom Douglas’ 2011 Cookbook Social! Back for another year, this popular event brings some of Washington’s BEST cookbook authors together in one room for one evening only.
Come join us on the first of December to purchase some amazing cookbooks direct from the authors themselves and try tasty nibbles from one of the recipes in their book. This is a great opportunity to stock up on gifts for the food lovers in your life OR to build your own cookbook library at home.

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A Visit to The Herbfarm

I believe that there is a time and place for every type of restaurant. Some days all I want is a massive burger and a shake but on other days, I want to be wooed, dazzled and spoiled. A visit to The Herbfarm, just a drive to Woodinville is like going to a private island where everyone knows your name.

A dear friend once told me that she lost her glasses at this restaurant and when she came back they were promptly perched on her plate. There is always someone to assist you, bring you a glass of wine or just lead you to the enchanted garden where you can actually feed the resident pigs. It almost feels like this kind of service doesn’t exist anymore but it does. And the thing about the Herbfarm is that you can get away with being pampered all night without feeling uncomfortable. It is not stuffy, everything seems natural and not having to worry about things like what to order and where to park (they have valet parking) is an experience on its own. I do suggest you make accommodations afterwards because if you are going to have wine with every course, you might as well let yourself go and finish the evening in one of the Herbfarm suites or at the Willows Lodge.

The night of this basil-themed dinner, I was already very pregnant. I had to give the usual ” I don’t eat ….” mantra. Luckily all this was taken care of advance with the confirmation phone call. I had nothing to worry about for every dish, if there was something raw in it, a substitution was handled and I never had to think twice. I wish I could have done the wine pairings with every course but the non-alcoholic pairings were definitely gratifying with infused herbs and so many selections.

The Herbfarm is where you take your lover or your friend that you haven’t seen in months, the course by course banquet is a reminder that you can sit and eat and engage in the art of conversation. The decisions are made for you, each plate a work of art and observing the wait staff is a symphony in itself.

Before you sit down to eat, join the garden tour where you will be educated on all types of herbs (a bonus lesson in botany) and take the time to feed the pigs, alternatively you can do that later during courses, when you are welcomed to step outside for some air and a little bit of nature. They even hand you a little feeding kit (yes, they have thought of everything!)

My long lost love other than food is getting all dolled up and I love wearing dresses but don’t be intimidated, the dress code is dressy casual, meaning don’t dress like a shlump but no need to dazzle it up with diamonds.

When you decide on when you want to go, log into the website to choose your theme. There are ideas like Indian Summer, Mycologist’s Dream, Uber Tuber and many more and these themes will further help you decide on when to go. In these photos are the Basil Banquet. For more about the Herbfarm visit here or follow Herbguy on twitter.

I had to start by sharing one of our desserts because I absolutely love this idea.

Little White Strawberry Hood: White Pineapple Strawberries and Hood Strawberry Gelee with Garden Cucumber-Lime Basil Sorbet.

For more about where to eat in Seattle, pick up a copy of my new book ” The Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle”.

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Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen

Do you want to brush up on your cocktail skills? Do you need a drink to impress your friends? Local celebrity chef and master mixologist Kathy Casey has her own show on Small Screen Network. Season two just started with brand new episodes, including drinks like the “Whole Fruit Daiquiri”, “Watermelon Habanero H2O” and “Port of Mischief Punch”.
I am a big fan of hers and have been using her book Sips & Apps to create quick bites and drinks for friends and also love to give it to friends as a gift.

If you have my book, The Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle, you will find an exclusive recipe from Kathy Casey.

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Filed under Cocktails and Drinks, Cookbooks and Books, Food Lovers' Guide to Seattle

Food Lovers’ Guide Book Launch Party and Fundraiser for Farestart

One of the things that people always ask me is why I chose to have a fundraiser for a book launch party. When I was a kid, I had a friend Izzy, she had such a big heart and we did everything together. What I loved about Izzy is that she would go up to the homeless people on the street and buy them lunch, then sit with them and listen to their stories. I always admired her for that, I was too scared to start up conversations with people I didn’t know but I would live vicariously through her conversations. Over 4 years ago, when I started blogging, I had this brilliant idea, it was called “brunch a bunch” or something along those lines. I was going to choose a day and make sure on that day that everyone I knew would buy someone homeless lunch. The only problem was that I didn’t know many people so it ended up being just a few of my friends who actually did it. Fast forward four years later and I know more people and have a book coming out, so Farestart was exactly the non-profit that I wanted to work with. They take disadvantaged individuals and teach them culinary skills. I wanted to make this a fundraiser that nobody had to think twice about. So $5 was a way that everyone could give a bit and together we raised
$1,241.
Now that is a great way to make a difference. The event was sponsored by Fonte. They made it possible to do this and gave out coffee, prizes and more. All the photos are by the fabulous Jackie Donnely Baisa of Baisaphoto.com. The location is the beautiful Shilshole Bay Beach Club in Ballard. Thank you to everyone who participated, all the restaurants, all the companies and thanks to everyone for supporting my book. Thank you to Tiffany Ran for her editing skills. Thanks to Micaela Surdi, Yale Gadin, Meg Landies and Felice Lam for helping me so much on this journey. Special thanks to Fonte Coffee and Shilshole Bay Beach Club.

Did you see this write up in the Puget Sound Business Journal or this one in the Seattle Times?

Everyone was buzzing around the wheel of Fonte. Wouldn’t you want to win a year’s worth of coffee?


And a giant twister game. What kind of party is it without games?

Did you miss this? Come meet me at some of the other signings.

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Filed under Book Appearances, Dining in Seattle, Farestart, Food, Food Lovers' Guide to Seattle, Foodportunity, Frantic foodie events

Art Institute of Seattle, Book Signing

One of the questions that I get asked a lot is “Why did you choose to do what you do?” And though I would like to say that it is what I always wanted to do, this is not true. What I do now has evolved from many different experiences, I dipped my toes in many waters before I got to a place that I love.

I know that every experience has had some kind of impact on my career and every thing that I tried was a stepping stone just leading me to where I am now. In some cases, things came back full circle and when it comes to the Art Institute of Seattle, this place has been an important place in my heart and career.

For one, if you intend to write about food it really helps to learn how to cook and taking cooking classes at this school was such an important learning tool for me. They used to have these intensive beginner classes that you could take. If they still offered them, I would take the whole series again.

Another important experience at the Art Institute was when I got to sneak into a reading by author Michael Rulhman when his book, The Elements of Cooking came out. This was back in 2007 when I was trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. I left there motivated and ready to write or cook but wasn’t sure what I wanted next. Here is the post.. Now, I get to come to the Art Institute for my own book signing. This culinary school has been a significant part of my journey and I am thrilled that I get to come back for this reason.
The Art Institute is a hidden gem where you can get three course dinners for $23 dollars. (see listing in the book) or just come to my book signing.

Here is the information.

“Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle” Book Signing (and Dinner) at Portfolio Restaurant.

Portfolio Restaurant at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Seattle invites the public to a book signing and dinner. Enjoy the breathtaking view of Elliott Bay from the fifth-floor restaurant. Choose from several three-course Northwest prix fixe dinners prepared by upper-level culinary students. Perhaps order a bottle of Washington wine from Restaurant Manager/Sommelier Dieter Schafer. And mingle with food lovers.

Note: You may come for the book signing only, and not stay for dinner.

Thursday, August 18, 2011.
Book signing 4:30-7:00 pm.
Seatings for dinner at 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30 pm.
The Art Institute’s Portfolio Restaurant.
2600 Alaskan Way, Seattle WA 98121.
Book $15, cash only.
Dinner $23, cash or credit card.
Reservations for dinner required by phone 206-239-2363.
Info WineDieter@cs.com or http://www.ais.edu .

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