Category Archives: Food

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

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and a Giveaway

Admitting ones eating habits is not the easiest task, many spend their time eating behind fridges, stocking up on Ramen or just hoarding convenient snacks with zero nutritional value. In this newly released book, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, local writer Kathleen Flinn creates a project that will examine the eating habits of average women, while providing them with a toolbox of alternatives, teaching them the basics, educating them and teaching them the benefits of a home-cooked meal.

Read along as these women embark on a palate adventure, taking cooking classes to delve into a deeper world of food, learning that simple food can easily be made from scratch and that dollars can be stretched. Watch as these women flourish and nourish while picking up tricks from Seattle’s favorite foodies including Robin Leventhal and Thierry Rautureau.

Each chapter includes basic recipes for things like Blissfully Simple Chicken Stock, DIY Vinaigrette, Creamy Chocolate Frosting, Paella Valenciana and more. Now, even if you are familiar with making these foods, there is something about reading this book that will motivate you to make them again or better yet get you in the kitchen exploring the same night that you are reading. Get the book here or at your local bookstore and check out Kathleen Flinn’s website.

Luckily I have a copy of the book to giveaway. Do you want it? Just leave a comment telling me about the one thing that you like to make it home and refuse to buy. Each tweet tagged #foodloversea will get you an extra entry. Contest ends October 4 and the winner will be chosen randomly by drawing.
Thanks for playing.

Did you get my book? For more about the food scene in Seattle, pick up a copy of my book, “The Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle”.

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Filed under books, Food

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