Vibe Israel, Introducing Bloggers to Israel

There is so much that I want you to know about Israel. There is so much that I want you to see. Every single time a a friend comes to visit,  every single time, I need to drag them to my favorite places like Shuk Ha Carmel  (the local market) where I spend my Friday mornings picking produce and saying hi to random people. There is something about that place makes me want to smile and talk to everyone. Something about a small area with so much produce packed into a few streets, a big mess of smells, tastes and people of all walks of life. All this makes me so happy.

I take my friends bike riding to the breathtaking Namal (the port), where no matter what camera you have and what angle you take it from , you will get get at least a few good photos.

Sarona Market has become my newest inspiration, an indoor culinary market with almost a 100 shops, stalls and eateries. Everything you can imagine in one place. Every halva, every chocolate, every exotic fruit. I just love it.

This is Israel for me. It is not the Israel  that you see on the news. It’s just not. Yes, there is a lot of sadness in this country. A lot of bad things. A lot of tragedies. BUT……………

This attitude people have of pushing through, living the moment, just being outside ALL THE TIME, that. Well that is something that I have not found anywhere else.

The other day for example, my kids were home all day for the Jewish Holiday vacation. They played hide and seek again and again. They bickered over everything from how many pieces of cereal they got to who knows how to do cartwheels better. They role-played Elsa and Anna too many times to count.  They tried on all their clothes again and again, they were supermen and superwomen with capes made of oversized sweatshirts, they pranced around in mommy and daddy’s shoes and pretended to bake cakes.

The boredom of being at home was overwhelming. My little girl looked at me with her almond-shaped brown eyes and said ” Mommy, let’s go to the beach” .

I had so much to do. I wanted to cook some lunch. I wanted to fold the endless piles of laundry. But. I just couldn’t. How could you say no to that? How could you say no to sitting at the beach and watching the waves? How could you say no to salty kids kisses and little pudgy hands wrapped around your neck using you as a float? How can you say no to squeals of joy while we ride our bikes to the beautiful beach?

Fifteen minutes later, there was this.  This is not rare for us. We live like this.beach 2

And this………….



Shuk Ha Carmel Tomatoes

That is why I love Vibe Israel. I first heard of Vibe when I worked at Kitchenbug.  Vibe hosts high profile bloggers from all over the word and shows them Israel. They take them to the best food places, they leave them with lasting experiences and most of all connect them with Israelis from all walks of life. There is no politics involved. It’s all about connecting and showing Israel from the eyes of the people of Israel.

Shuk Ha Carmel

Shuk Ha Carmel

Just a few months ago, they flew in Seattle blogger Layla of Laylita’s recipes. I have known Laylita since I started blogging many many years ago!. We met when I hosted a Seattle Food Blogger event and we have stayed in touch every since. They brought her here and showed her around. I got the bonus of spending time with a friend and catching up! Read her take on Israel here

Just last week I got to meet two bloggers whom I have been following for years. I met Jamie Lynn from I am not the Babysitter a.k.a the absolutely amazing mom who breastfed her toddler on the cover of Time magazine. She has an interesting story and has been supporting breastfeeding moms in the most sincere way possible. We worked together in the past and I even wrote an article for her website on breastfeeding twins .

On this same trip of ” Mommy Bloggers” I met Jill from Baby Rabies, Jill and I have been following each other on Twitter since way back when… you know when Twitter was just starting out. We worked together too over the years. Jill is hilarious and she will make you feel good about your toughest mommy moments. She keeps things real in a way that nobody else does. It’s not rare to see her take a photo of her house when it is a mess. She says all the things that you just wish you had the guts to say. Most of all she makes moms feel normal about the natural every day challenges we face.

Jill documents a day in the life of an Israeli mom. Read it here. Here is a photo of us with Heli Gursoy, the amazing mom behind one of Israel’s most popular websites 2bmommy.

For more about Vibe, read more about vibe here. Are you following them on Facebook?

me and jill and

Heli Gursoy, the inspiring mom behind, amazing Jill from Baby Rabies and moi

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Bibovino, Tel Aviv

Once upon a time, on Even Givrol street in Tel Aviv, the sweetest French family in the area decided to bring a taste of French wine to Tel Aviv. They opened a little shop called Bibovino (Even Gvirol 48)  a wine shop where you can get exceptional wine, by the box. In a box, you get the advantage of an eco-friendly option, reasonable prices and the best wines. The box is closed with an exclusive vacuum seal that keeps the wine fresh for longer and locks in the flavor and taste, giving you the opportunity to enjoy amazing wine at home, whenever you want.

I had my last Israel Food Lovers’ event at Bibovino and it was a hit! The French really know how to have a good time. They greeted us with beautiful food prepared by their personal chef and of course lots of wine.  The whole family helped orchestrate the event, each smiling and making sure we enjoyed our Gratin, Risotto, the arrangement of Tartines and the Bibovino dessert that was the talk of the evening. Israel Food Lovers’ is a monthly meetup that I put together to connect foodies from all wakes of life in Israel. To join, please sign up here .If you are looking for a place to hang out with friends or to put together a special event, Bibovino is the place. Call and make sure that they know that you are coming so the chef can put together some French bites for you. For reservations call, 058-4446875. Bibovino is located at Even Givrol 48.

photo credit: onmybikesusie

Bibovino 1

bibovino 2

bibovino 3

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Live Global Telecast on Passover Cooking with Executive Chef Nir Elkayam of Inbal Hotel

What are you making for Passover? Do you need a little help?

The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel is set to share its legendary and eclectic holiday recipes with the world, in the first-ever live Passover cooking broadcast, hosted by award-winning Executive Chef Nir Elkayam. The  cooking session will be broadcasted live from the Inbal’s kitchen onTuesday, March 24 at 18.00 IST, with people around the world able tune in and ask questions via a live chat on the following link:

The menu: American-style corned beef sandwich made of a unique kosher for  Passover flatbread with green and red salsa, an array of eccentric knaidlach (matza ball) soup selections that will completely change opinions of the traditionally bland dish, with fired onion and parsley, Moroccon spicy and sweet chocolate soup choices. Last year’s favorite, the lox and cream cheese bagel, complete with a hard crust and fluffy inside also makes this year’s menu, which is rounded off with a delicious apple crumble dessert created by the hotel’s talented pastry chef, Doron Gruner.

inbal hotel

The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel is an award-winning, five-star deluxe hotel situated in the heart of Jerusalem overlooking the Old City walls, and minutes away from all the major cultural and historical sites. With its Jerusalem stone exterior, the 283-room hotel is known for its intimate authentic Jerusalem character and impeccable world-class service. The hotel was recently voted the most luxurious hotel in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, as well as the best hotel in Israel and fourth best hotel in the entire Middle East by readers of the influential Conde Nast Traveler magazine. More information here.

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Allergies are No Laughing Matter

Yesterday I read something on the internet that made me livid. Most people who don’t have kids with allergies would not think much about it, perhaps my old self, a food writer who “ate everything” 6 years ago, before my oldest was born, would have not thought much of it but this “stupid” sentence  haunted me through the night.  Quaker published in a recent article: “The kids will be home soon, and they’ll be hungry. Are they bringing the friend with all of those allergies? I really hope not, I like her, but come on.”   ( They actually erased the insensitive part of the article but this is what it said) 


The last week, I haven’t slept much because I have been haunted by a story of someone who ate a doughnut that accidentally contained milk and she fainted and was hospitalized. In other words, she almost died. Every time I hear a story like this my sleep is disrupted, I hug my son a little tighter and I get a little more hysterical.  Making jokes about allergies is flat out stupid.  My son is allergic to nuts, all tree nuts, that means if he ingests nuts he can go into anaphylactic shock and die.

Smoked Almond And Cashew


I know you all worry about your kids running in the streets, falling and getting into accidents. I worry about those things too but I also worry every time my son goes to a friend’s house, I have to explain to the parent how to use the epipen and what symptoms to be aware of, I have to invent a persona with a combination of careful and cool, because a lot of the time other parents will say “Oh wow, maybe we should shift the play date to your house”.


Every birthday party is scary. My son begs to try the birthday cake and I have to ask the baker a million questions and then decide if he could have some. Store bought is almost out of the question.  I am a food writer, so my son is no stranger to good food. We make our own cookies and bread, even our own pasta at times. Overall he really wants a packaged granola bar or some packaged cookies like every other kid in his class. Many of our friends have stopped asking us over for dinner, because nobody wants to take the risk.  Restaurants feel like Russian Roulette and play dates at other houses are often just too complicated. So these words, this time, they stung. And yes, there was an apology but it still hurts. Because people aren’t taking this issue seriously. It is as funny as a joke about your kid crossing the road and getting hit by a car. Stop joking about allergies, allergies are a serious problem.

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                                        Making everything at home is the best way to keep our son safe.This was him 3 years ago.

This really feels close to my heart because I am a food writer and an avid recipe collector.  For years, I’ve searched online for recipes.  I worked independently for the longest time then finally a year ago I joined Kitchenbug, an online recipe platform that provides nutritional information for any recipe online. When I started working there, I was excited about the fact that you could search for specific health concerns, like diabetes, sugar-free, dairy-free etc within all the recipes in the system. The cool part about working at a start up is that your voice can be heard and your feedback is taken seriously. After sharing our own personal story of living with allergies, we decided to come up with an allergy plan in the system. .This will be out in a few weeks.  You will be able to put in the search: nut-free or sesame-free and related recipes will come up. This will change the way we find recipes for allergies. My friends are always asking me for nut-free recipes and cakes because they want to  host us and this is an easy way for me to provide them with nut-free recipes. Kitchenbug recently got a Bcorp certification acknowledging its positive influence.  I couldn’t be more happy about this! It’s amazing that with today’s tech that there is a solution for everything. I am really happy to be a part of this.


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How to Plan a Pirate Birthday Party

This year for our son’s 6th birthday, we decided to throw an awesome party. We met at a local park and there were around 30 kids, many from his class and their siblings  too.  We made a list of activities a few weeks before and every day, we planned a bit at a time. Since there were a lot of kids, we divided them into 4 groups and had all the family members help out with the activities. We also had help from our family, babysitters and some of the older siblings.


The little brother in his pirate hat.


Activity List and Party Plan

Activity 1: The Treasure Map 

The kids got maps.pirate hats, eye patches and necklaces. Each kid got a flashlight to help search. They  also got empty goody bags so they could collect prizes at each station. We told them a story about a hidden treasure and we needed their help. We handed each kid a map, that we had made more authentic looking by burning around the edges. We followed the map as a group and stopped for treats at each of the different x’s on the map.


Activity 2: Paper Shredder Treasures

We made a list of treasures and hid them in shredded paper. The kids were divided into 4 groups. Each group had to read the list and find the treasures.There was 5 rings, 5 erasers, 6 sharpeners, some silly putty and more.  Next year, we will do it with leaves so it will be easier to clean up. It took a while to clean up but the kids helped with that too.


Activity 3:  Pin the Patch on the Pirate.

We printed out a huge pirate and used stickers to stick on the pirate’e eye. We needed 4 for the amount of kids so we also bought two games at a party store.

Activity 4: Cupcake Decorating

This was the highlight of the party. We brought out all the candies, icings and little pirate cupcake flags and spread them on the tables that we made of upside down boxes.  The kids had a blast decorating the cupcakes and were really excited to eat their creations. I used the Martha Stewart Cupcake recipe here and baked the cupcakes the night before.



Activity 5: Robot Making Marshmallows

I couldn’t get photos because I was busy helping but here is the post that showed us how to do it. We used edible markers to draw on them too.



Activity 6:  Find the treasure

I bought tiny jars at the dollar store and we filled them letters that made up the word, T-R-E-A-S-U-R-E. We hid them before the party and the kids had to run around and find them with their little flashlights. At the end, when they found the word, we hid a huge bottle filled with coins and we told them we found the treasure.

Activity 7: Pinatas

The last activity was the homemade pinatas that we made of papier mache. SONY DSC







Overall the birthday boy had a blast and so did all of his friends! Even the younger kids were able to enjoy the activities because they all appealed to a wide range of ages.

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Bertie, Tel Aviv.

When I talk about Tel Aviv, my eyes light up. It will always be my first love. It is the place where I worked my first real job, had my first alcoholic drink, my first night club outing  and the place for many other firsts that I just  won’t mention here. There are always people everywhere, the bars are always full , the beaches are crowded with beautiful people and the cafes alive at odd hours of the night.  My favorite thing to do is grab a Tel -O-Fun Bike and cruise through the streets, dropping off the bike at different stops, shopping at my favorite food stores and then ending my ride at a restaurant that looks nice from the outside.

Tel Aviv And Beach Along The Coast


I have to share one of my favorite places in Tel Aviv, it is called Bertie.   Bertie is located in the heart of Tel Aviv, just a couple blocks from Dizengoff on Ha Melekch King George ( Ha Melech King George 88). For some reason, it doesn’t look as busy as  many other restaurants from outside  (on the days that I have been)  but once you go in there, you feel like you have unlocked a hidden treasure. The style is Mediterranean, like a sweet Greek restaurant with a touch of romance, a quiet but classy feel with staff that are genuinely sweet and welcoming.

The food is top notch. Everytime I go I order this dish.

photo (23)This has to be my idea of the perfect Shrimp dish. First of all, nice and large Crystal shrimp,  sitting atop of some roasted eggplant, tahini and just the right amount of cooked tomatoes and some salty feta cheese. It’s the combination of these taste of the sea and the taste of homemade, married in one dish. Bertie ‘s prices are reasonably priced especially for seafood in the area. Some other dishes we ordered and loved were the Fattoush salad, grilled chicken in orange and chili sauce and sea fish ceviche on a salad of cabbage with roasted almonds. If you like seafood, I highly recommend this hidden gem.

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A Trip Through Italy


This is a Guest post by Coral Sisk, author of Curious Appetite  a food blog of Italian travel and enogastronomy. Coral is currently in Seattle starting a business of Italian travel consults and gourmet tours. Thanks to the networking power of Foodportunity, she is now collaborating with the Pike Place Market this fall for a market tour and cooking demo in late October. This culinary event at the Pike Place Market will demonstrate farm-to-table cooking with Tuscan Gnudi while tasting though the Pike Place Market. You can connect with Coral on facebook as Curious Appetite and twitter as “Curious Appetite.”



How to make Italian Gnudi


Part of my job in Italy was to occasionally assist cooks during cooking classes and we made an array of traditional Tuscan recipes. As a result, one of the recipes I mastered was Tuscan Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi dumplings. Let me start by explaining what exactly are Gnudi. In Italian, nudo means naked. And in Tuscan, gnudo (pronounced like gnocchi) means naked as well. Gnudi are what I like to call “naked ravioli,” after all ricotta and spinach are a common filling for ravioli. Essentially- gnudi is a peasant food! Can you believe it? Velvety ricotta, nutty aged sheep’s milk cheese and spinach…poor man’s food? Why yes! Ri-cotta means “re-cooked.” It is the leftover whey from making more noble cheeses like mozzarella and fior di latte. This is part of the reason why the Italians are genius. They found delicious ways to sneak in every part of food so nothing would go to waste.


Gnudi are made by mixing various quantities of ricotta, grated sheep’s milk pecorino, chopped cooked spinach flour, egg (to glue it all together!) plus salt and pepper. The secret ingredient in this is: fresh, ground nutmeg. The mixture is portioned out in small rounds and rolled in flour to give it a protective coating for cooking.


Here are more details for a recipe:


Serves 6-8 people

  • 8oz (1 cup firmly packed) of cooked, chopped spinach
  • 16oz fresh sheep’s ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz (¼ cup) grated pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese
  • fresh, ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • ¼ cup “00” flour for both the mixture and additional for the coating

Gnudi Sage and Butter Sauce:

  • 12 sage leaves
  • 160g (5 3/4 oz)  butter

grated pecorino or parmesan cheese for final topping

How to:

  • Cook the spinach in lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes. OR thaw out some frozen chopped spinach. Drain spinach well and once cooled, chop spinach pretty finely.
  • Prepare a bowl to make the cheese mixture. Combine ricotta, parmesan, chopped (cooled) spinach, sifted “00” flour, eggs and some nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork. The mixture should be pretty smooth.
  • Sprinkle your work surface or a large plate with some flour and start to mold out some gnudi by hand! Make sure the rounds are about 2 tablespoons big- think goldilocks here. Not too big, not too small.
  • Prepare a pot of salted water and bring to boil. Lightly drop the gnudi into your pot. The gnudi need 5 minutes to cook. In the meantime, melt the butter in a small pan with the sage leaves. If overcooked, the butter will turn brown and the sage leaves will burn.
  • When your 5 minutes have passed, toss the cooked gnudi with the melted butter and sage sauce and add some grated pecorino cheese to each plate of gnudi. Gnudi are also tasty with your favorite tomato based sauce.


Gnudi are quite filling- don’t let the portion size mislead you! I would say about 4-6 gnudi a person is a good portion to aim for. Remember- these are pure cheese balls! If you are like me and believe that a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine, I recommend pairing gnudi with a light Tuscan Chianti red wine or a rich, dry Chardonnay, Viognier…otherwise a dry prosecco would also be just fine if you are also like me and look for any reason to sneak in bubbly.


If you will be in Seattle this Fall, I will be offering a Market Tour and cooking demo of Tuscan Gnudi at the Pike Place Market. In Late October, I will be taking folks to taste through the markets and meet its best purveyors of the Pacific Northwest bounty and follow up with a hands-on cooking demo (and light lunch) of these Tuscan Gnudi! Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets here: 10% of the ticket proceeds goes towards the Pike Place Market Foundation. Hope to cook and taste with you this Fall at the market!





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Quorn Dinner at Staple & Fancy

A few weeks ago, I was invited to taste Quorn for the first time at a media event at Staple & Fancy.  I am a huge fan of all of Ethan Stowell restaurants, especially Staple & Fancy and How to Cook a Wolf.   It was in the private dining room called The Cellar.

I have to admit, I was really curious about trying Quorn because I eat quite a few meatless meals a week on a daily basis.  I recently found out that Quorn foods just  launched in the US and can be found in many grocery stores.

The product is made of Mycoprotein. Quorn is  known as fungal protein, is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “the albuminoid which is the principal constituent of the protoplasm of the cell.” “Myco” is from the Greek word for “fungus” (from Wikipedia).  To read more about it on Wikipedia, click here.

In most of the dishes, you could not tell it wasn’t actually real meat. The meat sauce actually tastes like ground beef especially alongside the hand-made pasta.  It is actually pretty amazing that you can get this flavor without meat.   There was a also a mock chicken dish that tasted very close to chicken. I have to say that the ground beef was my favorite but the chicken was a nice substitute too. We also tried chicken nuggets and Quorn nuggets and it was hard to differentiate between them ( very close in taste) though I wouldn’t eat chicken nuggets anyway.




quornIt is nice to know that there is an option if you are not eating meat, that has a flavor that is close to meat flavor. As somebody who is lactose-intolerant, I have tried every type of “fake” cheese and I have not found a brand that actually tastes like real cheese, I wish there were other options. I do still eat cheese with a lactose pill but it would be nice to be able to just swap a slice of cheese for something with a good flavor.

The event was orchestrated by  the folks at Quorn along with Traca, from Seattle Tall Poppy, and they brought some amazing people together to break bread and try  Quorn.

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Kathleen Flinn’s Book Release Party on August 14 and a Giveaway, Win VIP Tickets

burn toast makes you sing good

Author Kathleen Flinn  of “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry” ( a New York Times bestseller) is releasing her second book this month and throwing a party  to celebrate!  We are giving away a VIP package here, including ( the book), admission for two and a special bag!To win, just leave a comment below telling us what your favorite restaurant in town is or just leave a comment. I will choose the winner by Wednesday afternoon. Good luck. I hope to see you there. The link to purchase tickets is below.


Here is the insider foodie invite from Kathleen herself:

Join me for a fabulous party to celebrate the launch of my third book from Viking Press/Penguin Books. Not your usual book launch party, the night will feature live music, and all kinds of surprises, plus door prizes including kitchen gear, private cooking lessons and more. The event is this Thursday and details are below.

Special Facebook ticket price: $10 + purchase of a book includes food, drink, select beer and wine. Type in the password “Facebook”

Seattle’s legendary Elliott Bay Book Company is the official book partner.


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AAJA Chef’s Showcase and Kaisho, Asian Street Food

Last Monday, the Seattle Chapter of the Asian American Journalist Association hosted the first Chef’s Showcase event. The event was held at the Columbia Tower Club and showcased some delicious bites and the best view in town. Local celebrity chefs shared their favorite recipes and cooked for the crowd. There was wine pouring, tasty nibbles and lots of networking.

The line up…

Tyler Hefford-Anderson, who has shown off his culinary skills at Salish Lodge and Spa and Opal and is now executive chef at the Columbia Tower Club.
– Lisa Nakamura, an alumna of The French Laundry and Allium who has delighted Seattle foodies more recently with her sold-out pop-up gnocchi bars.
– Rachel Yang, a James Beard-nominated chef and co-owner of Joule and Revel restaurants in Seattle.
– Prometheus Brown & Chera Amlag, purveyors of pop-up Filipino food venture Food and Sh*t. Brown is also known as Geo, one half of the Seattle band Blue Scholars.
– Steven Ariel, formerly of Canlis and now executive chef of TRACE at W Seattle

columbia tower

chef na

Chef Lisa Nakumura showing the crowd how to make Hijiki rice balls. You can learn more  about her upcoming Gnocchi bar here .


After the event, we stopped to check out the newly opened Kaisho , which serves Asian Street food with Northwest Flare in bustling Capitol Hill. The name, which means a gathering place is the perfect place to go for drinks and some bites with friends in a hip evening vibe. The menu has items like Bao burger, Green Curry Daikon Noodles, Dim Sum and Papaya Quinoa Salad. The fried chicken was a good choice with a nice kick to it and some waffles on the side.

fried chicken

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Kitchenbug Launches New Mobile App at Foodportunity

With  Foodportunity event just around the corner, we are prepping for a fun-filled, tantalizing and delicious time!

This year’s premier sponsor is Kitchenbug.  I joined the Kitchenbug team last year as soon as I realized that there was a smarter way to collect recipes and that this company marries her two favorite things, food and innovation. I am really excited to share what we do at Foodportunity!




Luxury food and drinks on wedding table. Shallow DOF

With Kitchenbug being the premier sponsor, you are guaranteed to get personal in our awesome Seattle Photobooth with crazy props, selfies galore and loads of surprises.  We are teaming up with Chef Wayne Johnson of Shuga Jazz Bistro. After 30 years in the restaurant industry, Chef Wayne Johnson has Seattle jazzing at his new hot spot,  serving upscale and classic southern cuisine. Having earned many accolades for his contributions to the food industry, Chef Johnson still humbly continues to give back. His contagious love and passion for food, as well as his recognized dedication and mentoring to his community synergize into the perfect combination of excellence.

chef wayne

We have surprises including a booth for photos from Seattle Photo Booth. We promise to bring funny and crazy props so we can take photos with our friends and remember this night in photos. After lots of food and wine, it will be so much fun to take all those photos.

seattle photo booths photo


And a little more about Kitchenbug!

KB Logo - W600

Just What You Have Been Waiting For 

Kitchenbug is also excited to announce the launch of their new mobile app available for iPhone. This app will get you a cool recipe analysis that makes cooking healthy, fun and easy. Kitchenbug’s algorithm analyzes recipe content, calculates nutritional facts and shows you all the recipes’ “pros and cons”. This cutting-edge and innovative app can be your daily companion with everything food and dietary related. Just what you have been looking for, right?

Are you coming? Get your tickets here


Foodportunity 2013 Chocolate

Photo credit: Jackie Donnely Baisa



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Apps I Love- Buffer

Do you want to manage your social media better? Buffer is the answer to that.  Say you want to post something to Facebook but you want it to be up at a certain time, Buffer is how you do it.  I know there are plenty of ways to schedule Facebook posts but I found Buffer to be the easiest and smoothest for me.


You download the bookmarklet to your desktop and then just click on the image and Buffer takes the image and puts it into your feed to be posted at the times you scheduled ( in advance)  or if you prefer, the times that Buffer thinks are best.

You can Buffer with many of your social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Groups, Linked In, Google +.   A limited and free account is avalable but for  $10 a month,  you get the  Buffer “Awesome ” Plan which lets you connect another user, posts up to 200 posts and put in 12 social media profiles. There is also Buffer for Business with lot of other features which I have not used because the Awesome plan has been enough.

Buffer also gives you analytics for each post, which is also helpful when you need a quick view of the stats. At the end of the day, the most awesome part of Buffer is how awesome the staff are.  In the beginning, when I was figuring it out, I had questions and guess what, I got instant answers, right away. If you have a question for the people at Buffer, you get responses almost instantly ( or maybe it was my luck). Really, I use them as an example of a company that does things right!


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What’s Your Foodportunity Contest

Dear Seattle foodies, bloggers and publishers. It is time for another “What’s Your Foodportunity” Contest!

Enter our contest to win the opportunity to represent your blog at our next event alongside world-renowned food entrepreneurs,  Kurt Beecher Dammeier ( Beecher’s Handmade Cheese), Maxime Bilet ( Co-author of Modernist Cuisine),  Dror Daliot & Tal Rosenberg (, Janelle Maiocco (, and Jason Wang (CEO of Caviar).

The winner will get the opportunity to showcase their blog, website, or business at the event.

What’s your Foodportunity?

The Details:

We want you to answer this question in a blog post, a photo or a video.. We just really want to hear your story. What does Foodportunity mean to you? Was Foodportunity the place where you came out of your shell? Is it where you get to eat lots of food and live to tell? Even if you haven’t been to one of the Foodportunity events yet, you can tell your story of what you would like your Foodportunity to look like. Foodportunity may be merely the collaboration of your favorite foods. It doesn’t have to be related to the event, we just want to know what an opportunity in food looks like to you! Be sure to use the hashtag #foodprt and @foodportunityse when you share it.  You can also use a post from a previous event with a little update.


photo credit: Jackie Donnelly Baisa


This Foodportunity  event is sponsored by Kitchenbug is an online platform that gives you nutritional and calorie information for any recipe on the web in real-time. Using a bookmarklet, Kitchenbug has the ability to instantly analyze any recipe, from any website. Within seconds, you’ll know the calorie and nutritional information of the recipe. With Kitchenbug you can organize all your recipes into boxes, follow other users’ recipes, adjust recipes from U.S to Metric and search your recipes with search terms like low fat, cholesterol and heart healthy.


KB Logo - W600

So sign up for and put together a recipe box with your favorite recipes and call it Foodportunity (either your own or collections of others) and add it to the post so we can promote your boxes and have people follow you. #kitchenbug #foodprt


Luxury food and drinks on wedding table. Shallow DOF
The Prizes:

Grand Prize:

1) Grand Prize

Your own opportunity to showcase your blog or website at Foodportunity. We will have a high table for you alongside some of the biggest food entrepreneurs in the business. Keren Brown (myself) will help you dream up a marketing plan for the event.
This is a huge marketing opportunity. You will be able to introduce people to your blog and share what you do in front of a large food audience and make sure that the whole Seattle  food scene knows all about you.

2) Second Prize: a 50 dollar Amazon Gift Card (sponsored by Kitchenbug)

3) Third Prize : Two Cookbooks from Sasquatch books, Greg Atkinson’s In Season : Culinary Adventures of a Pacific Northwest Chef and  Honey &  Oats by Jennifer Katzinger.

Deadline: July 7- Winner will be announced that week.

greg atkinson

honey and oats



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Foodportunity July 28, 2014

We have exciting news here:

photo by Nate Naismith

photo by Nate Naismith


“Foodportunity” Is Back With a Splash of Tech


This year’s networking event is sponsored by, an online recipe box, that offers nutritional and calorie information for any recipe on the web, in real time. Kitchenbug will be launching their new mobile app at the event . They will have a photobooth from  Seattle Photo Booths and suprises for everyone.


KB Logo - W600

Seattle’s long awaited “Fete of the Foodies” will take place at the Palace Ballroom on Monday, July 28 from 6-9 p.m.  The room will be buzzing as Foodportunity kicks off the evening with a tech/foodie angle along with tantalizing bites from many of Seattle’s top restaurants.



photo credit: Jackie Donnelly Baisa

Northwest restaurateur and entrepreneur Tom Douglas will provide his Palace Ballroom facilities to host the event and serve tastes from his newest venture, Hot Stove Society (a cooking school offering the ultimate connection between food lovers and the best food instructors). The lineup also includes tastes from Loulay Kitchen and Bar, Luc, Lark, Old Sage, Von Trapp’s, Poquitos, Six Seven and many more. For a complete list of participating restaurants and companies, visit


This year is filled with a star-studded line-up of food entrepreneurs and leaders, who will present their new innovations to the Seattle scene from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  They will be available to answer questions, talk about their journey, and offer food related business tips.


Food Entrepreneurs:


Dror Daliot, COO and Tal Rosenberg, CMO an award winning recipe platform


Kurt Beecher Dammeier, Entrepreneur

Beechers’ Handmade Cheese, Pasta and Co. Liam’s, Maximum/ Minimus,  Bennett’s Bistro,

Fraunhofer Meat & Fish


Maxime Bilet, Chef and Author

Co-Author of Modernist Cuisine and Founder of the Hungry Owl Innovation Group


Janelle Maiocco, CEO of Farmstr and Food Blogger

An online marketplace where you can find and buy organic quality food direct from producers for less than it costs at the store


Jason Wang, CEO of Caviar

A food delivery infrastructure for restaurants with real time GPS tracking


Foodportunity November

Want to learn new networking techniques?  Be one of the first 40 Foodportunity ticket-holders to to reserve a seat for the 8:30 p.m. “speed networking” session led by award winning food writer, Linda Miller Nicholson, of the Salty Seattle.


photo by Nate Naismith

photo by Nate Naismith

Tom Douglas’ Palace Ballroom is located in downtown Seattle at 2100 5th Avenue.  Advanced  pricing is $25 per person and will change to $32 per person at a future date.  Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at Space is extremely limited.


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I Have An Onion Allergy, I am not Kidding You

I am the annoying person who asks a million questions about the food at restaurant. Could you wear gloves? Can you clean your knife? Does that have onion in it? My husband knows that he can’t kiss me if he ate raw onions or I might throw up on him.

Allergies are not a joke (I have a son with a nut allergy, I know this all too well), but weird ones that nobody has ever heard of, those are hard to explain.

I am allergic to raw onions. Yes, anything that has anything to do with an onion that is raw will make me sick. Purple one, white ones. Onions of all kinds.

Red Onions

I only found out about this about two years ago. I have been suffering from Migraine headaches since I was 15. They got worse when I wrote my book, the Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle. They were really bad at that point. They were really bad when I worked at a restaurant at the age of 18. Every other day I came home sick. I was the one making the sandwiches, layered in onions and smoked meat. So how the hell does someone go through their whole life with an allergy and not figure it out?

I had been hearing the word “trigger” when it comes to migraines for years. Doctors had told me to avoid cheese and chocolate when I was tired or hormonal because they might trigger migraines.For years, I tried so hard to identify the silent trigger that was making me suffer so bad.

I could never figure out the trigger until one day after a lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I walked in with the biggest smile ever. I was only 3 bites into my food when I a headache started, then I got pain in my stomach, I ran to the bathroom, my stomach hurt for hours, then nausea and a kind of flurry feeling in my head. It lasted 3 days. I looked at everything and couldn’t figure it out. The next day another migraine. Then every few days it happened. The same sequence happened again: migraine, stomach pain, nausea and an inability to concentrate. Every time I ate Mexican food or anything with raw onion in it. Then I started monitoring it. Every time I ate onions, I got the same reaction. A headache that got progressively worse and sometimes usually lasted 3 days at a time, stomach pain and cramps, nausea and a feeling of disorientation.

I avoided onions and my migraines started going away. They went from several a week to once a month or less. It was like a weight lifted off of me. The crazy part is that I always hated the smell of raw onions but couldn’t understand why ( as if my body was trying to telling me something).
Young woman with handkerchief having  cold. Isolated.

I am very careful now when eating out. Yesterday, I ate a pickle at a restaurant that was right near the onions and it happened again. Every time even a cube of onion touches my mouth I can feel the sequence unfolding. It has even gotten worse with time. A knife that is not clean from onions will trigger it. If you get sick every time you eat onions, then you might have an allergy.

I feel like it is my duty to share this because you never know if anyone has this and doesn’t know.

Here are the symptoms of a raw onion allergy for me…

– headache with aura
– migraine
– vomiting
– nausea
-stomach pain
-leaky gut
-disoriented and confused feeling

If you have a weird allergy, please feel free to share. You never know how you can help others.


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New Updates and Kitchenbug

Where did this year go?

My twins just passed the two year mark, which means they have their own little personalities. Every one of my three kids is finding a different path and it is really nice to see how different they are and what makes each child smile. My 2 year old boy loves cooking and can tell you exactly what you need to make smoothies or a cake. My 2 year old girl loves pink, dresses, leggings and purses. I have no idea where she gets it since she has two brothers and I am definitely not the one to encourage her to wear pink. And my oldest who is five, he loves letters, playing on the computer and guessing how to spell words.
Chloe eating

I have discovered new interests and I have spent the last year examining the tech world, reading all I can find and connecting with start ups because I find it so interesting that a small idea can turn into something that changes our lives. As an entrepreneur, this is where I thrive, I love new ideas, big thinkers and making things happen.

I am sure that I will be incorporating more tech stuff in my blog, I plan to share my favorite start ups and especially the connection between food and tech. I love the tech world, I have been actually looking to join a start up for the last year and have been secretly sending messages to the universe hoping that the right fit will one day come. And one day I discovered Kitchenbug and I fell in love with this recipe box. I joined the team as the Chief Evangelist and I absolutely love it. It is an online recipe box that can give you calorie and nutritional information in real time. You just download the bookmarklet and click on any recipe on the web to get started.

I hope you love it too. Follow me, I have lots of boxes!/user?profile=keren.brown

We are having an awesome contest and the winner wins a beautiful Pro Series KitchenAid. You still have a few days to enter.kitchenaid

Food lovers and home cooks worldwide unite! It’s time to join forces against one of the biggest scourges the food world has ever known – and put it firmly back in its place. From January 15th through February 7th, we’re hunting down the biggest, baddest, and fattiest recipes on the internet.

These recipes that don’t just bust guts – they’ll also clog arteries, send blood pressure soaring and send your cholesterol sky-high! They might be delicious, but they wreck your heart and we won’t stand for it anymore!

With Heart Healthy Month coming up in February, Kitchenbug wants your help in rounding up the most extravagantly sinful recipes on the internet and throwing them into Food Jail. If you find the leader of this criminal gang, we’ll give you your rightful bounty of a $649 KitchenAid Series 7 Quart Mixer.

Kitchenbug is an online recipe box that also has the ability to instantly analyze any recipe, from any website, by using a bookmarklet. Within seconds, you’ll know the calorie and nutritional information of the recipe. Whether you want to eat better or just love to cook, this tool turns a chore into a simple point and click process. With Kitchenbug you can organize all your recipes into boxes, follow other users’ recipes, adjust recipes from U.S to Metric and search your recipes with search terms like low fat, cholesterol and heart healthy.

Kitchenbug CEO, Ofir Shahar said “I needed a way to know more about my recipes and track my health. We take the healthy lifestyle seriously. We have Pilates classes once a week and we have our chief dietician Ramon Einav make a weekly grocery list for our office kitchen with healthy choices!”

With readers of All My Faves choosing it as the best Health and Food Website 2013, Kitchenbug is well-positioned to lead the charge against bad food. Will you heed the call and help us to defeat this scourge on our land? Start collecting recipes here.

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Teatro Zinzanni- A Seattle Experience

Guest blogger Micaela Surdi from She Writes For Food tells you why you have to try this experience.

My first visit to Teatro Zinzanni was an experience I will never forget. The atmosphere, the energy, the enthusiasm, the theatrics, the comedy, the magic, the performances, and the food were all out of this world. Seriously. Upon making my trip over to Teatro ZinZanni in lower Queen Anne, I had no idea what to expect. It is pretty typical of me to research a place before even stepping foot out of my house. I’ll read reviews, I’ll scour for pictures, I’ll talk to friends and scavenge for opinions and thoughts, I’ll even find YouTube videos to keep me hopeful for the experience or to help me be willfully prepared for a poor experience. For whatever reason, I turned in my PFRS badge (Performance Food Research Snob, duh) and began my voyage to Teatro Zinzanni without any opinions or visions of what to expect; my expectations were nonexistent.

I arrived at Teatro Zinzanni and was transported to the early 1900’s with its beautiful décor and welcoming hosts. I came to know that Teatro ZinZanni’s main event is part circus, part dinner theatre, and always magical. It is a three-hour whirlwind of international cirque, comedy and cabaret artists all served up with a scrumptious multi-course feast and elegant libations. Each ever-evolving and constantly changing production (at least 3 new shows per year) combines improv comedy, vaudeville revue, music, dance, cirque and sensuality into a dizzying and colorful new form that is never quite the same from evening to evening. It is famous for its intimate setting, the fast-paced action of the show unfolding above, around and even alongside you as you dine on a gourmet meal.


If you didn’t know, Teatro ZinZanni seats restaurant-style at tables and in booths in the antique cabaret tent imported from Belgium. Yes, Belgium! The tent is circular and intimate (it seats around 285). Anywhere you are seated it’s a guarantee you will feel like you are part of the show and intimately experiencing it. The action of the show takes place all around the restaurant and is clearly visible from all vantage points in the room. As I was personally delivered to my seat, my server’s enthusiasm, joy, and pure excitement for the show became contagious and soon I was anxiously waiting for the show to begin. As I waited, the knowledgeable servers asked about any dietary restrictions, educated me on the nights menu, the wine selections, the performances, and then happily whisked away into the kitchen as the lights went down and the show began.

I won’t get into the actual show performances because let’s be honest, you need to see and hear them for yourself. But I will share my knowledge of the cast members. Practically all of the cast members are internationally renowned performers. Andrea Conway Doba who brings humor and raw talent to the show has spent nine years with Cirque du Soleil, touring Saltimbanco throughout Asia, Europe and North America, performing on the Chinese poles and jumping 35 feet in the air off the Russian swing. Dreya Weber who stars as Cleo in the show is an acclaimed actress, musician, and aerial choreographer. Did I mention she has choreographic credits with Michael Jackson, Cher, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and Pink? These are just two performers I’ve mentioned, though, there are ten in the current show, “Hail Caesar: Forbidden Oasis!” who have equivalent and diverse backgrounds just the same.

Words cannot begin to explain how and why my jaw was literally dropped during the whole show. My eyes opened in shock, disbelief, and utter bewilderment! The way Frank Ferrante (plays Caesar) engaged the audience with impeccable humor and audience participation had my stomach hurting from laughing so hard. I was definitely surprised at the beautiful array and assortment of food the menu had, too. As I am unable to consume gluten, I was still served a bountiful, elaborate multi-course gluten free fare without any fuss. With their Egyptian yellow lentil soup with caraway cream, or the arugula and fresh green leaf lettuce salad with English cucumber, Roma tomato, shaved sweet onions, and Kalamata olives I was beyond spoiled. Then, there was the Halibut. Wild Halibut with basil and fresh fig chutney, served with fine herb cous cous and local seasonal mini-vegetables. What I enjoyed the most regarding the food was when the performers would make an actual performance about our next course. The waiters, chefs, servers, and performers all danced and paraded around the tent delivering our dishes with candid smiles, choreographed dancing, contagious enthusiasm, and with delightful ease. It made eating an exhilarating experience and something I will never forget.

If you are in search for the next birthday present, Christmas gift, Hanukah present, or simple date night out, booking tickets to Teatro ZinZanni is something you will not regret. You will honestly relish in the memories and moments that captured your heart and warmed your spirit as I am doing today.

There are four ways to get your tickets to Teatro Zinzanni:

By Phone

Call our box office at 206-802-0015.

At the Box Office

The Teatro ZinZanni Box Office is located at 222 Mercer Street at 3rd Avenue North, near Seattle Center.

Box Office hours:
Monday, closed
Tuesday-Saturday, Noon to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 6:00 p.m.
(For weekend matinee performances, the Box Office will open at 10:30 a.m. – lobby at 11:00 a.m.)

As A Gift

Teatro ZinZanni Gift Cards are available for purchase online or by calling or visiting our Box Office.

Gift Cards may be redeemed by calling or visiting our Box Office

Micaela is a multi-passionate writer in love with all things that ignite the human spirit. With a background in office management, special education, social media and PR, and Children Studies’ you can tell she has broad interests in all areas of life. Her zealous attitude towards human connection and yearning to experience deeper meaning in life unravels through writing about food, life, and celebrating gratitude. After experiencing a life altering illness in her childhood and witnessing her brother come face to death with, Micaela views each day as a true blessing and contagiously marvels at things big and small. Call her an old soul or a leftover hippie, but know that her drive to influence others in a positive way will never cease.

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Foodportunity Contest Winners

What’s Your Foodportunity?

And the winners are….

Last week we posted the entries. The judges have chosen the winners.

Yashar Shayan is the first place winner and you will meet him at Foodportunity at his very own table. Read more about him and his connection to wine here.
Impulse wine.foodprt tee

The second prize goes to Pastry Craft.

(The second prize winner will receive a cookbook package, including 3 cookbooks, Good Fish by Becky Selengut, Plum, Gratiyfying vegan dishes from Seattle’s Bistro and Trophy Cupcakes and Party Cookbook.)

The two third prize winners will receive gifts too. One will receive a $25 giftcard to Fonte Coffee and Bar and one winner will receive a bottle of Lagrima, the world’s classiest vanilla extract including real vanilla beans in the bottle.

Third prize goes to Miew Foods LLC. and Ricochet Biscuit

Thanks everyone for entering!

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Foodportunity Contest Entries

I am delighted to share all the entries for the Foodportunity contest. The judges are making their decision. I am happy to announce that our judges are Alice Currah from Savory Sweet Life, Linda Miller Nicholson from Salty Seattle and Ronald Holden from

photo credit: Jackie Donnely Baisa

All the entries are below. We would love to hear what you think? What’s your Foodportunity? Which entry is your favorite?

Every Bite, Karen and Carol.

Impulse Wine

Fresh Start Cooking

Menu International

Pastry Craft

Ricochet Biscuit

Asian Spices

Do you have a favorite?

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Trophy Cupcakes and Party Has a New Book. You can win it. Giveaway

There are so many people to meet at the next Foodportunity. We are especially excited to introduce you to Jennifer Shea, the lady behind the legendary Trophy Cupcakes.

Jennifer is buzzing with energy, she is like the Martha Stewart of cupcakes, always doing and creating new flavors, new recipes and inspiration for parties. She will be at Foodportunity to meet you, answer your cupcake/party planning questions and share her wonderful cupcakes. Last year, she made Seattle Magazine’s list of Top 70 Players in the Food World and she continues to make lists of top players with her cupcake, party and entrepreneurial skills.

She just released her new book. “Trophy Cupcakes and Parties!: Deliciously Fun Party Ideas and Recipes from Seattle’s Prize-Winning Cupcake Bakery”. The photos are by Rina Jordan, one of my favorite photographers. This Saturday, Trophy is having their launch party, details here. You can win the book, keep reading.

Trophy Cupcakes
photo credit: Foodportunity photographer Jackie Donnelly Baisa

We hope to see you at Foodportunity on October 28. Get your early bird tickets now (all past events have sold out!).
To win the giveaway, all you have to do is tell us your favorite cupcake flavor in the comments. If you share this post on twitter and tag #Foodprt you get 2 extra entries and if you share on Facebook with #foodprt, we will give you 5 entries.

The winner will be chosen on Monday, October 2nd. The contest is open to anybody in the U.S.A.


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Foodportunity, October 28, 2013

Foodportunity is coming up on October 28.Foodportunity November

The next Foodportunity, a series of networking events for Seattle food lovers and professionals, will take place on Monday, Oct. 28, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Tom Douglas’ Palace Ballroom, 2100 5th Ave.

A group of local food entrepreneurs and chefs will be available for questions and conversation in the lounge of the Palace Ballroom between 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

· Mark Fuller Chef at Ma’ono Fried Chicken & Whisky and 2009 Best New Chef byFood & Wine Magazine

· Heather Christo Chef, Food and Entertaining blogger at and author of Heather Christo’s Generous Table: Easy & Elegant Recipes through the Seasons

· Mark Bitterman of specialty store The Meadow, and cookbooks Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks, and Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral

· Becky Selengut is a private chef, columnist, comedy podcaster, cooking teacher and author of Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast and the upcoming, Shroom: Mind-bendingly good recipes for wild and cultivated mushrooms

Northwest restaurateur Tom Douglas will provide his Palace Ballroom facilities to host the event and serve tastes from his famous kitchen. Additional participating restaurants showcasing and serving bites at the event will include, The Inn at Langley, McCracken Tough Restaurants, Le Zinc, Ray’s Boathouse and Catering, Dinette, La Bodega and many more. For a complete list of participating companies, visit

Foodportunity, created by Seattle event planner and food blogger Keren Brown, is open to food journalists, bloggers, public relations professionals, restaurateurs, farmers, companies and all food-passionate people.

The event will be sponsored by Washington’s Beef Community. Attendees can have a “blind taste test” of different cuts of steak to test their taste buds and expand their culinary knowledge of beef. Participants will have the opportunity to win great beef prizes by interacting with the @WABeef Twitter handle and blog ( Local ranchers will be on hand to connect with and answer questions about how beef is raised here in Washington.

Early admission is $25, $30 at a later date, which includes bites from restaurants and companies. Tickets can be purchased through .

The first 40 Foodportunity ticket-holders to send an email to will get a seat at the 8:30 p.m. “speed networking” session led by award winning food writer, Linda Miller Nicholson, of blog.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Or contact Event Coordinator, Marisa Ingram at


About Keren Brown
Keren Brown, AKA Frantic Foodie, conceived of the food networking idea known as Foodportunity and has held dozens of food-related events in both Seattle and Portland. Recognized by as “Doer of the Week,” Keren is the author of the Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle and organizes events for Seattle food bloggers where she holds Q&A sessions with famous authors, tours of food companies, and other events to help bloggers interact. Keren’s food events information can be found at Frantic Foodie, For more information, visit or follow @foodportunityse and #Foodprt.

About Washington’s Beef Community
Washington’s Beef Community describes the over 9,000 independent farmers and ranchers who raise beef in Washington, along with the processors and butchers who play a significant role in getting beef from the pasture, to the plate. The Washington State Beef Commission represents the beef community through beef promotion, research and consumer education, funded entirely by the $1.50 per head assessment paid by farmers, ranchers and feeders on all cattle sold in Washington State. The commission reaches out to foodies and consumers with beef information through events, Twitter (@wabeef) and Facebook (/WABeef)

About Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas

Tom Douglas creates deliciousness served with graciousness at 13 different joints, all in the Belltown and South Lake Union neighborhoods of Seattle. With more than 30 years dedicated to the Seattle restaurant scene, he is credited with putting the city on the culinary map. Beginning with Dahlia Lounge in 1989, Tom and his wife Jackie Cross expanded their kitchens with Etta’s, Lola, Palace Kitchen, Serious Pie (now with two locations), Seatown Seabar and Rotisserie, Serious Biscuit, Brave Horse Tavern, Cuoco, and most recently TanakaSan and Assembly Hall Juice and Coffee. He also owns the Dahlia Bakery, hosts culinary classes at the Dahlia Workshop, has an event space, Palace Ballroom, and runs Tom Douglas Catering. Tom is committed to Food Lifeline’s mission and is spearheading a capital campaign to raise funds for a new distribution warehouse to better serve the needs of the Western Washington community. More information can be found at

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What’s your Foodportunity 2013 Contest

We are getting excited about Foodportunity here.

All photo credit : Jackie Donnely Baisa

What’s Foodportunity?

Foodportunity is a networking event for Seattle’s food community.

You get to meet people who are passionate about food.
Foodportunity 2013 Chocolate

The best chefs in Seattle put their food out for you to try.


Chefs and foodies come to mingle together.

brian canlis


The event is October 28, Palace Ballroom. All the info and tickets are here. Buy your tickets before they sell out. And more about the lineup here

I can talk all I want about how much I love this event but we want you to tell your story. We want to provide opportunities. We are having a contest for food bloggers or anybody who wants to do something online. We want to hear your story. What’s your Foodportunity?

Here is last year’s first prize winning blog entry by Leslie from Fresh Picked Seattle.

The Details:

We want you to answer this question in a blog post, a photo or a video. Be creative. We just really want to hear your story. What has Foodportunity meant to you? What does Foodportunity mean to you? Was Foodportunity the place where you came out of your shell? Is it where you get to eat lots of food and live to tell? Even if you haven’t been to one of the Foodportunity events yet, you can tell your story of what you would like your Foodportunity to look like. It doesn’t have to be related to the event, just what does an opportunity in food look like to you? Be sure to use the tag #foodprt and @foodportunityse when you share it.

Did you do enter last year? You can add a sentence or two and link to your post to enter.

Please note: The Deadline has been extended.
The deadline is October 7, 2013.

The grand prize is a high table at Foodportunity for you to promote your blog and connect with the entire food industry. The grand prize winner will also receive a phone business consultation with Keren Brown (that’s me) to help you better promote your blog and business.

The second prize winner will receive a cookbook package, including 3 cookbooks, Good Fish by Becky Selengut, Plum, Gratiyfying vegan dishes from Seattle’s Bistro and Trophy Cupcakes and Party Cookbook.

There will be two third prize winners, one will receive a $25 giftcard to Fonte Coffee and Bar and one winner will receive a bottle of Lagrima, the world’s classiest vanilla extract including real vanilla beans in the bottle.

The judges will be announced in the next week, so check back here.

Good luck, feel free to email with any questions.


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Save the Date, Foodportunity, October 28

Save the Date (and get your tickets) for Foodportunity,
Seattle’s premier food networking event
October 28, 2013


Sponsored by Washington’s Beef Community

What: Foodportunity, Seattle food community’s repeatedly sold out premier networking event, with tastes from Tom Douglas Restaurants, The Inn at Langley, McCracken Tough Restaurants, Le Zinc, Ray’s Boathouse and Catering, Dinette, La Bodega and many more restaurants and companies.

Who: Local Chefs and Cookbook authors will be available to answer your questions, share recipes, and inspire. Featured guests include Mark Fuller (Ma’ono Fried Chicken & Whisky, 2009 Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine), Heather Christo (, Heather Christo’s Generous Table: Easy and Elegant Recipes Through the Seasons cooking and entertaining book), Mark Bitterman (, Salt Block Cooking and Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral cookbooks), Becky Selengut (, Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast cookbook)

Cost: $25 early admission, $30 at a later date. Tickets are available at

Where: Tom Douglas’ Palace Ballroom 2100 5th Ave Seattle, WA 98121

When: Monday, October 28, 2013, 6-9 pm

Follow us:
Pinterest: Foodportunity
Facebook: Foodportunity
Twitter: Foodportunityse


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Kitchen Circus, You have to watch this

rovers linkLeave it to Chef Thierry, the Chef in the Hat, to cook up something new and engaging. He is the Chef and Creator of Kitchen Circus, a new online kitchen web series. The premier party will be held in Seattle on July 15 at Palace Ballroom.
The details are here.

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Easy Iced Tea

This is a guest post by Marisa Ingram.

Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.

tea shot outdoors (1)

Several years ago I was planning my first trip to Hawaii when I discovered something rather wonderful. Heading there in late September, I learned that not only were September and October considered to have the best weather of the year (think little rain and perfect waves), but those months also happened to be the low season for tourists! Yippee! When does that ever happen? Best weather + fewest tourists. Hooray indeed. Don’t you just love these types of felicitous occurrences? I certainly do and that is why I want to share with you another felicitous discovery of mine – and just in time for this blazing hot weather.

You’ve all seen countless recipes for iced tea. Generally speaking, two methods pop up time and time again. Boil your water and wait for your tea to cool, or spend hours brewing it in the hot sun. Well, I happen to be a little bit too impatient for either option. So what if I told you brewing iced tea that is ready to drink in the amount of time it takes you to brew a hot cuppa, is not only feasible, but actually tastes much better? Well, I am going to tell you exactly that. Another felicitous occurrence – the absolute quickest and easiest way to brew iced tea also happens to make the very best tasting tea -perfection in a tea glass. Really, it is THAT good. And yet, I have never seen a recipe for this method outside of the very old book I found it in many years ago.

As an iced tea drinker, the bane of teas is the all too often over brewed and bitter variety. I’ve run across this problem often, but with my method you will avoid this every single time. So what is the method I’ve been going on about? It is so simple it isn’t even deserving of being called a recipe. You brew a small amount of tea in the bottom of your pitcher with hot water (not even boiling – just straight from the tap), then fill the rest of the way up with icy cold water and throw in some ice if you’d like (and I promise it won’t be too watered down). Ready to drink in 5 minutes or less. Never bitter so the actual flavor of the tea shines through perfectly. Light and refreshing – it really is perfect every time.

Disclaimer: For those of you sweet tea aficionados, I can’t help you. Despite living in the South for many years I could never quite stomach sweet tea. I prefer my tea refreshing rather than cloying – sorry sweet tea lovers!

Easiest Iced Tea
2-3 bags of your favorite tea or one tea ball of loose tea (my favorite for iced is Harney & Sons Black Currant – you can also get clever here and mix several different flavors.)
Place tea in the bottom of your pitcher and cover with no more than 2 to 3 inches of hottest tap water. Let brew as you would for hot tea – following instructions on your tea box. Give a good stir then fill up your pitcher with cold water. Pour in a glass with a few ice cubes.
And there you have it – perfect iced tea in a matter of minutes.

overhead tea shot

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Kathy Casey D’lish Deviled Eggs

This is a guest post by Marisa Ingram.

Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.


I am mad about eggs. I eat a minimum of 2 each day and source the highest quality, pastured eggs that my budget will allow. So you can imagine my enthusiasm upon discovering Chef Kathy Casey’s newest cook book, D’Lish Deviled Eggs. Now I know what you may be thinking “an entire cookbook . . . about deviled eggs?” And I say YES! Wholeheartedly yes.

This small book is a gem, elevating the ubiquitous picnic table staple into a genuine art form – and it is also just plain fun. There is something charming about deviled eggs. Even the task of picking them up as they slip about the plate is a bit of a game – and only adds to your reward when you finally have one in hand. Reading the table of contents of this book will have your mouth watering and you’ll be itching to dig through your grandmother’s china cabinet in search of her deviled eggs platter.

In March I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by Kathy Casey at her Food Studios in Ballard where, luckily for us, she had several of the deviled eggs featured in her book available to sample. Two of my favorites were the Chipotle Deviled Eggs and the Tahini and Tabbbouleh Deviled Eggs – while very different, both had a luscious, smooth texture. Also on offer were her take on a California Roll turned deviled egg as well as a Beet’ing Heart – the egg white turned a rich and beautiful pink from pickled beet juice.

Actually, all of the deviled eggs in this book are beautiful to behold – as evidenced by the rich photography found inside. And with a real eye for detail, Casey has concocted charming garnishes for each variety of deviled egg, adding greatly to their visual appeal. Topped with caviar and a sprinkling of edible gold flakes, Deviled Quail Eggs & Caviar is the most lush.

Once I started perusing the book I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. My list of possibilities was growing long. Some top contenders were Sunny Roasted Red Pepper, Brunchy “Eggs Benedict,” and the simple, elegant Radishes & Butter. However, once I turned to Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs, I knew that was where I had to start.

Having lived in Charleston, South Carolina for 7 years, I consider myself quite the pimiento cheese enthusiast – some might call me a snob. Pimiento cheese is the one food that can instantly transport me back to the languid South. That is why, with a purist’s heart, I stick with a strictly mayo, onion, and pimiento version of this Southern charmer – I want the real deal. So it was with some trepidation that I read an ingredient list that included cream cheese, Worcestershire, and Dijon. I shouldn’t, however, have doubted Casey. This egg comes together brilliantly and the pimiento garnish adds significantly to the flavor.

Funnily enough the other deviled egg I decided I absolutely had to make was on the page facing the Piemento Cheese Deviled Eggs. Being a bit of a Mexican food addict, I was delighted to see the recipe for Chilaquile Deviled eggs. Chilaquiles happen to be one of my all-time favorite Mexican dishes, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much these actually taste like chilaquiles – even down to the tortilla chips softened just enough in the salsa before being blended into the egg. A big hit! Both varieties were, and in fact, there was an even divide amongst my tasters over which was the favorite.

This is the book for you if you are looking for something that is both familiar and inspired. As it turns out, deviled eggs are the perfect vehicle, a blank slate of sorts, for encapsulating your favorite recipes and, more importantly, food memories into a diminutive bite.

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What is Sous-Vide?

Today’s guest post is by Cuisine Solutions, a company that specializes in sous-Vide prepared foods. This is a sponsored post.

So What is Sous-Vide?

You’ve probably heard the phrase before- or believe you’ve heard it. Like so many food terms tossed around in the culinary word, it sounds quick, curt, and vaguely French or Italian. Au gratin, al forno, or any number of words with a deep culinary history that sound familiar even if we can’t always place the meaning.

Sous-vide has a similar sound to it, but its invention is relatively new. First pioneered in the 1970s as a means of preserving the freshness of meats without sacrificing texture and flavor, the food preparation method has caught on rapidly with restaurants throughout both Europe and the United States, and has become popular with top-end catering companies as well. Any style of meat, and even hearty vegetables and pastas, can be sealed beforehand with its sauces and legumes. Once unsealed, the preparation can be slow-cooked to bring out the flavor and texture that has seeped into the food during its sealing.

There are multiple benefits to preparing food in the sous-vide method, and here are some of the big ones:

• Flavor: While flash-freezing or other conventional methods of food preservation run the risk of draining meat of its flavor, sous-vide actually enhances the taste of the meal in question. The process of immersing a food with its accompanying ingredients actually accents flavors that otherwise wouldn’t be noticeable, and can even tenderize meats that might have a tougher texture.
• Preparation: Purchasing sous-vide prepared meals allows chefs – whether at home or in a restaurant – to skip the messier aspects of meal prep and go straight to cooking. Sous-vide sealing allows chefs to set aside the mess and inefficiency of much of the prep process, and focus their energies on simmering, stewing, or whatever is necessary to give their meal just the right texture.
• Texture: Speaking of that last word, sous-vide sealing gives certain meats a tender, rich character that they wouldn’t get from same-day preparation. Since so much meat is sealed or flash-frozen before transport, a necessary amount of succulence is sacrificed in the process. With sous-vide sealing, the meat retains its character while keeping its freshness as well.

There are many reasons to give sous-vide meals a try, and intrepid chefs won’t be disappointed with the results. Whether you’re going for seafood or poultry, lamb or beef, any home chef would do well to flesh out their culinary palette and venture into sous-vide.


More information about Cuisine Solutions can be found here:

Full Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. I found this post relevant and informative and a good fit for my blog.


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Every Day Cabbage Salad by Nutritionist Paula Rosenberg

cabbage saladThis has become my every day cabbage salad. Every day, I eat it.
Every few days, I make a bowl of it and I keep it in my fridge for those moments when I am starving, ravenous, so darn hungry that I could eat the house down. It is also great for those moments, when I need a little snack. And it actually tastes even better the next day.

I got the recipe from Israeli nutritionist and Natural Health Practioner Paula Rosenberg. I have been following her Facebook page and love her healthy recipes. Unfortunately, it is in Hebrew (learning that extra language finally comes in handy) Either way, there is always google translate.

Cabbage Salad with Sauteed Zuchini and Red Pepper


1 red pepper (diced)
1 zucchini (diced)
1 red onion (diced)
Half a cabbage (sliced thinly)
1/2 a cup of whole sesame seeds


1/4 a cup of olive oil
Juice of Half a lemon
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of natural maple syrup (I use date syrup)
A pinch of atlantic sea salt and black pepper

1. Saute pepper, zucchini and onion in a little olive oil for 5 minutes.

2. Mix vegetables with cabbage.

3. Add sauce and mix again. This can keep for up to two days in the fridge.

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Shuk Ha Carmel, Tel Aviv

This is my absolute favorite place in Israel. It is the Tel Aviv Market also known as Shuk Ha Carmel. This is a bustling market filled with rows and rows of vegetables and fruit, spices, breads, toys and clothing of all kinds.

The selection of bread is out of control.

I love dried fruit, especially these that come in every shape and size.

I am bananas for the dried bananas. They are soft and chewy and not at all like the crunchy dried bananas that you get at the supermarket.

Candy heaven.
Just try to forget how bad artificial colors are for one minute. All this candy is out there for you to grab.

People in Israel eat tomatoes every single day, all year long.

There is a booth/restaurant in the Shuk called Bar Ochel (it has a sign that says “Good Food”). This is simple but gourmet food. They have delicious shakshuka, kebabs and chicken meatballs.


I always get a plate of the grilled vegetables. They use every vegetable you can think of including Kohlrabi which I have to say is one of those vegetables that doesn’t inspire me the least bit. Here they make it with lots of olive oil and slightly blackened. These vegetables taste so good with the crusty bread they give you.

shuk veg

This place never gets old, I could go every day and it is a 5 minute walk to the beach


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Dizengoff Center on Friday Mornings, A Tel Aviv Food Fair

I am going to take you on a little eating tour of Israeli food. In Israel, instead of food trucks, some of the malls are packed with stations with mommas and pappas (Imas and Abas in Hebrew) serving you home cooked Israeli food. Israeli food is a lot more diverse than it gets credit for. It is more than just another Felafel or Shawarma. It’s Moroccan food. It’s Russian Food. It’s Italian food. It’s a mix of everything. It has influences from Spain, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Poland, Russia, Yemen and everywhere else you can think of.

Dizengoff center, a mall in the center of bustling Tel Aviv is packed to the gills Friday mornings with families and singles trying to get some home cooked food to start off the weekend. The crowd is a mix of everything; from people walking around with their bikes, to hipsters, to the fanciest strollers you can think of to very cute grannies who have lived in Tel Aviv forever.


This is good ol’ Ashkenazi food. This place called Goldie and Adi. This is the Ashkenazi version of Chullent. It is basically a stew that is put in the oven on Friday morning and cooks all through Saturday (the Shabbat). As religious Jews don’t turn on the oven on the weekend, this is a hot dish that stays in the warm oven. The dish consists of potatoes, eggs, beans, barley and meat. There are many different ways to make Chullent. Sephardic Jews have different versions but it all comes down to the one concept- a one pot meal.



Here are Italian Arancini, fried rice balls, these ones are filled with cheese.



These are Hungarian Cakes called Kurtos Kalas also known as Chimney Cakes. These spiced and sweet cakes are baked on a tapered cylindrical spit over an open fire and covered with nuts.

The next stop is Persian Food. They have many different kinds of rice. The one here has chickpeas, raisins and carrots. Then there is Ghondi. Every Jewish Persian house serves these chicken or lamb meatballs, especially served on Shabat (the Sabbath). This is because back in the day, ground chicken or lamb meat was expensive so it was a once a week kind of treat. The meatballs are made up of meat, ground chickpeas and ground cardamon.



Indian restaurants are hard to come by in Israel so finding Indian food here really made my day. By the way, if you are interested in learning more about Israeli Indian food, check out my friend Shula’s blog.


Every Mediteareanen meal should have olives, these are beautiful.

Yemenite Jews are known for some of the most popular Israeli foods, all being especially indulgent. This is Mallawach. It is a huge pancake, made of puff pastry, brushed with lots of oil and cooked flat in a frying pan. It is traditionally served with grated tomatoes and Shug, a spicey hot condiment. Here it is layered with hummus and the grated tomato sauce.


Arepas are a favorite of mine. Nothing is Israeli about them but I have a dear Seattle friend from Venezuela who says Arrrrrrepa (rolling the r) in the sexiest way possible and since then I fell in love with them (thanks Valentina). I also love getting them at the Farmer’s Market every Thursday in Queen Anne, Seattle. They gained popularity in the last few months in Israel since a Masterchef contestant made them on the show. Until you have had one, it is hard to imagine the taste; a cross between a pancake and a tortilla. The exterior is crisp and the inside is soft. The ones here are filled with fried beef and vegetables and a secret sauce.


There are many other booths and restaurants which I will try to cover in a future post. This food fest is open Thursday afternoons from 4 pm until 10 pm and Fridays from 10:30 AM-4 pm. Come early and avoid the crowds.The same mall has a nice little kids area for free and a kids play gym with an entrance fee. On Fridays, there is a fashion sale where local designers sell clothes at lower prices. This is definitely a mall to explore.

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Seattle Chocolate Salon 2013

This is a post by Marisa Ingram. Marisa is a food Lover and a baking addict with a case of travel wanderlust (more about Marisa below).

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photo of Restless Chocolates.

It’s the rare visit to the grocery store that I don’t get waylaid in the chocolate aisle. With the large assortment available these days – including many local, artisanal varieties – it is difficult to pick just one. If only there was a way to taste each tempting new variety. Enter the Seattle Chocolate Salon. Returning for its sixth year, the Chocolate Salon allows you to do just that – taste away to your heart’s content. It’s like walking down the chocolate aisle and taking a nibble of each variety that catches your fancy, with the added bonus of chatting with the chocolatiers and learning about their sourcing, philosophy, and inspirations.

While sampling the myriad chocolates there were a few that stood out to me. When I first arrived I asked a woman standing next to me, who had been to every table, which was her favorite. She pointed immediately to Restless Chocolates . I headed over there and was surprised to learn that they are a brand new company, and in fact, today marked their debut. I sampled several chocolates and was impressed with their smooth and creamy milk chocolate Peanut Butter Cream variety. I spoke with the owner and learned that they are hoping to sell in farmer’s markets around Seattle this summer.

Another favorite was Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. . At first I wasn’t sure about the flavors on offer. But once I tasted them I changed my mind – very quickly. I was impressed with these chocolates for two reasons. First, this was incredibly creamy, melt in your mouth chocolate. Secondly, unusual sounding flavors, such as Basil, were a revelation. Related to mint, a common partner to chocolate, basil surprisingly made an even smoother marriage with chocolate. And I learned that they extract these delicious flavors through simmering in heavy cream. Another favorite here was the Earl Gray variety – it tasted startlingly like a nice cup of Earl Gray tea but in the most perfect, chocolaty way.

The very last chocolate that I tasted was from Massachusetts chocolatier, Taza Chocolate. This one caught my attention due to its deliberately grittier texture. Inspired by traditional Mexican style chocolate which is stone ground, this chocolate’s unusual texture really added another sensory layer to my chocolate eating experience. I liked it enough that I would make a point of seeking out stone ground chocolate in the future. After sampling several varieties I was wowed by their 87% dark. As I was tasting this one it immediately reminded me of something I couldn’t quite place. I finally realized it had the flavor of a rich, dense, flourless chocolate cake – and it ended up being the one chocolate bar that I purchased to bring home. This was a feat indeed, when considering the multitude of options!

About Marisa:
Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.

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Margarita Mixes, Acrobats and More

This is a guest post by Marisa Ingram.

Crowd Shot (2)

Cinco de Mayo is almost here. To celebrate I attended a party hosted by Demitri’s to launch their new Margarita Mixes. Hosted at newish (and fun) Capitol Hill event space Fred Wildlife Refuge, this was a lively party made all the more festive by 7 piece Latin band the SuperSones . Acting as the perfect accompaniment to Margaritas, Mexican food was prepared by Executive Chef, Jaime Mendez of Los Agaves Wandering around the party I felt almost like I was at a circus gone crazy! Not only was there a performance by the mind-boggling aerialist Sally Pepper adding another layer of excitement, but there was also a photo booth and 2 miniature donkeys were hanging out upstairs!


About Marisa:
Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.

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Jerusalem, Cookbook Review


I am in love with this book beyond words. I love anything that has to do with Yotam Ottolenghi. A year ago, I wrote a review of Plenty, the vegetable cookbook by the same chef.
Plenty is my favorite cookbook. Everyone knows that bloggers should never say they have a favorite anything. I mean, we are supposed to not be able to choose, just like we can’t choose a favorite restaurant because it really depends on the mood but I can clearly say and yell to the top of my lungs. I love “Plenty” so friggin much.

I was incredibly excited when Yotam Ottolenghi came out with his second cookbook ” Jerusalem”. This time, in collaboration with Sami Tamimi. The story is sweet: an Israeli chef opens a restaurant in London with a Palestinian Chef. Together they collaborate, work beautifully together, feed hungry hearts and souls- a symbiose that can only be found over food. They end up opening more restaurants together and coming out with a cookbook that presents recipes from both backgrounds, colliding, high fiving each other with Mediterranean elements and every vegetable you can think of.

I have been to Jerusalem quite a few times but have never connected with the place. Mind you, I haven’t explored Jerusalem food in the last decade, my only memories of the place is that The Wailing Wall is beautiful and that it gets really really cold. I know I am totally wrong and I will take the time to explore soon but to me Telaviv is the place to go in Israel. Give me action. I like busy life, gay friendly, lots of colors, bicycles, markets and I am a happy camper. I could eat somewhere different every night in Tel Aviv and never get bored (post on Tel Aviv is coming soon).

The book, though called Jerusalem shows foods that will you find all over Tel aviv and all over Israel.

What to expect:

-In true Ottolenghi style, the recipes have a long list of ingredients. If you want your food to have all the flavor profiles of an Ottolenghi dish then you probably need to get most of them, if not all. His stuff is always worth it, every time.

-Lots of vegetables. He uses eggplants, tomatoes, fennel and lots of fresh herbs.

-Home Cooking. Culturally, home cooking is everywhere in Israel. Kids finish school early every day. They eat lunch at home. You walk into a house and you will always find pots on the stove. Lunch is usually some kind of meat dish and evenings are salad, eggs and cottage cheese or creamy cheese and bread. Even with people working many hours and having very busy lives, home cooking is everywhere. Grandparents are always bringing boxes of food over for their kids. Even if you go to the park in the afternoon, you will see parents with containers full of food, feeding their kids.

– Stories of what every food means to the authors and cultural backgrounds. This is the best part for me, learning about the foods and their stories. That is what cookbooks are for.

Some of my favorite recipes are the Marinated Sweet and Sour Fish, Mejadra (lentils with rice), the Musabaha (warm chickpeas with hummus) and the roasted butternut squash with red onion, tahini and za’atar.

If you like your recipes exotic with interesting herbs and spices, then you will love this book.


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Frolik, the New Restaurant in the Red Lion Hotel

Guest Blogger Marisa Ingram visits Frolik, the new restaurant and bar in town.

frolik 1

One word comes immediately to mind when I think of new restaurant and bar Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails – FUN. Just opened at the Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue, Frolik’s name alone will give you a hint of what to expect. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as to-go options, the real party takes place between 4-10pm every night when Frolik hosts “happy evening.” Not just one “happy hour,” but 5 hours – every night of the week. To add to the engaging environment they have an enormous outdoor deck (Seattle’s largest) with seating, a fireplace table, shuffleboard, and ping pong. And the glorious views of the Seattle skyline will remind you that you haven’t, in fact, been whisked away on holiday.

Frolik 2

The fun continues on the inside with Xbox consoles as well as board games. I very much look forward to cozying up with a board game, some friends, and one of Frolik’s craft cocktails. I tasted several and my favorite, a “Rosemary Runamok,” was slightly sweet, but still light and refreshing. The cocktail list is quite long and you may also choose from a list of local beer and wine.

With award winning Chef Shailu Salian at the helm, the real highlight of Frolik is the food. Chef Salian has created some lovely bites . Sourcing from many local food purveyors including Salumi salami, Beecher’s Cheese and Taylor Shellfish Farms – Frolik makes an effort to offer local foods on its menu. Of the many bites I sampled, tops for me were “Grape, Goat Cheese, Pistachio Bon Bons,” and “Caprese Skewers.” I also sampled a luscious tiramisu – one of the best I’ve tried.

Frolik is located at 1415 Fifth Ave, Seattle WA. (206) 971 8000

frolike 3

About Marisa:

Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.

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Azuki Bean Brownies, No Flour, No Eggs, No Nuts, No Kidding

Yes. Azuki beans in a brownie.

No. They don’t taste like beans. They taste like dense, chocolatey, delicious brownies.


They don’t have flour in them. They don’t have eggs and they don’t have to have milk either.

My kids are obsessed with them, especially the babies. I have already had twelve people taste them and not one person could guess the secret ingredient.


I got the idea from Chocolate Covered Katie. She has the most awesome recipes if you are trying to eat healthier desserts.

I used her Black Bean Brownie recipe with a few changes. I used Azuki beans because my nutritionist/naturopath ran some tests on me that revealed that I am slightly lacking in iron.
His first suggestion was to get some Azuki Beans. And of course, my first suggestion was that I make myself BROWNIES.

I used date syrup as the only sweetener in these and I used Kinder chocolate fingers (and just a few) instead of chocolate chips. I also made the same brownies with black beans but I found that the Azuki beans added a slightly better taste, maybe a tad bit sweeter.

This batter is totally fine for kids. No raw eggs or loads of sugar. My one and a half-year old tried it out for you. And yes, he wears his twin sister’s pajamas and his big brother’s shoes backwards. He is obsessed with everyone’s shoes but his own. He won’t keep his own shoes on for more than an hour.

Enjoy the brownies. SONY DSC

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River Cottage Handbook Book Review

Today’s post is by guest blogger Marisa Ingram.

Have you ever fallen head-over-heels in love with a cookbook? I’ve had just that experience with Pam Corbin’s Cakes (River Cottage Handbook.) From the moment I cracked it open and landed on the recipe for “Cornish Fairings, a close cousin of the gingernut” it was love. It is such a lovely and charming little recipe book (and it is little, part of a series of small handbooks from the UK’s River Cottage that I took it to bed with me the first night in favor of the novel in which I was currently engrossed. I read of such things as Welsh Cakes, Jammy Dodgers, and Golden Syrup Cake. And as a lover of all things British, this book stoked my Anglophile (is Britophile a word?) fires right along with my palate. This is a good time to note that this book is imported from the UK and so it follows that the recipes in this book are in the metric system and use some seemingly (to my American ears) unusual ingredients. But I was in luck as I took an extremely useful class last year at Book Larder called “Baking in Translation – How to Bake British Without Freaking Out” taught by Paola Thomas who blogs at One of the key takeaways from that class (that will undoubtedly help you with any British baking book) was that the “self-raising flour” called for in British recipe books is NOT the same thing we see on American shelves called “self-rising flour.” Fortunately, for us Paola has spent some time perfecting a substitute that you can make right at home – 1tsp baking powder to one cup or 150g all-purpose flour. If you are unfamiliar with British cooking terms and metric measures, the plethora of information on the internet will be your guide.

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Here are some of my top picks from Cakes:

– Flapjacks are an altogether different entity in Great Britain than they are in the US. A British flapjack is more closely related to a granola bar – a softer, chewier and much more indulgent version (although the instructions do note you may cook them longer for a crisper flapjack.) Do make sure you aren’t greedy and impatient like me though. Make sure to let these cool in the pan completely, otherwise they may fall to pieces.

– Rhubarb Pudding Cake with Custard is possibly my favorite recipe in the book. Served warm from the oven and drenched in a pool of custard (I made mine from scratch but feel free to cheat with Bird’s tinned custard powder) this is all that a cake should be. Not too rich, yet warm, cozy, and comforting. And the distinct taste of rhubarb added that extra oomph to brighten this up into a lovely springtime dessert. This is one that I will return to again.

– I’ve long been a lover of scones but was almost entirely unfamiliar with their Welsh cousin, so I was quite intrigued to try my hand at Welsh Cakes. The ingredients are very similar as is the preparation of the dough, however a Welsh cake is fried up in a griddle – just a few minutes per side until it is a warm golden color. It is also much thinner than a scone and surprisingly tastes almost like a scone crossed with a pancake. Quick and easy to prepare, I have no doubt I will be making these lovely little cakes again soon. Corbin suggests these may be eaten with a bit of butter or some jam but they were so tasty just as they were.

– Cardamom Cake, redolent with a warm, cozy spice, this doesn’t sound like a springtime cake. However the spice in this cake is so light and bright that I was proved wrong. The cake may sink a bit in the middle, but as Corbin says, “don’t worry, just think of this as another of its charms.” And let me tell you, it has many. One being this is an understated cake, in the very best sort of way. While it is a spice cake, the flavor is perfectly balanced – leaving a subtle spicy aftertaste on your tongue after the last bite has been (sadly) consumed. Secondly, this cake has a delightfully crusty exterior that gives way to a wonderfully moist and delicate crumb.

If you can’t tell – I absolutely adore this baking book. I have baked quite a few of its other treats and none have disappointed, and I have an ever growing list of not-yet-trieds. This book is filled with simple yet supremely tasty baked goods. If you are looking for something fancy, you will need to look elsewhere for it does not put on any airs. It is a book to turn to when you are looking for a slice of comfort – something that can be made quickly and with relatively few ingredients on those days when you are craving a homey treat. This book and its recipes will warm you up from the inside out and have you dreaming of a cozy English kitchen with an Aga in the corner and a cup of tea.


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About the author of this post:

Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.

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Culination will Bring Kathy Casey into Your Kitchen

Today’s guest post is by Marisa Ingram.

Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.

deviled eggs

Wouldn’t you love to have a professional chef with you at home in the kitchen?

A new tech startup, Culination, would like to help you do just that. I had the pleasure of attending a preview party for Culination, hosted by Kathy Casey at her Food Studios, where I learned about this up and coming “online collaboration between home cooks and culinary professionals.”
One of the primary features of Culination is connecting you, at home in your kitchen or on the go with your mobile device, with a professional chef who can help you learn how to cook – one of whom is Kathy Casey herself. While the internet is flooded with recipes, not many of them actually teach you how to cook, Culination would like to help you bridge that gap via multimedia lessons. Culination was conceived in part from its founders’ desire to educate. And what better topic than food – something we all share – a universal connection point. Culination will be launching an Indiegogo campaign on April 9th. Sign up here for the most up-to-date information on this exciting venture.
As host for this event, Chef Kathy Casey treated us to a sampling of several of the delectable deviled eggs in her new book “D’Lish Deviled Eggs.” If you haven’t checked out this book yet please run out and get a copy – it won’t disappoint. Each deviled egg that I tasted was packed with a phenomenal amount of flavor in a perfectly sized and visually appealing package. A favorite was the Chipotle deviled egg and I look forward to preparing it in my own kitchen very soon – as well as many others. Stay tuned for more on this delightful cookbook . . .

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Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwich

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This is the sandwich that I have been thinking about it all week.

It is nothing complicated but just the right combination of sweet roasted vegetables and creamy, oozy and slightly tart goat cheese. I use whichever vegetables I can find in the bottom of my fridge; the purplest of cabbage, juicy eggplant, slices of sweet potato and red and yellow peppers.
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Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwich

Purple Cabbage
Sweet Potato
Red and Yellow Peppers
Any bread. I used Ciabetta here.
Goat Cheese or Chevre of choice (one that will melt well)

1. Cut vegetables and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast at 425 degrees until you get the color you want (I like them a little burnt on the edges).

2. Layer vegetables on the ciabetta and cover with thin slices of goat cheese.

3. Grill in panini press or if you don’t have one then you can use a frying pan with a heavy pot on top to flatten the sandwich.


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Teaching your Child’s Class about Nut Allergies

I remember the moment that I realized that my son would never have nuts again.

It hurt so much that it made my toes curl. I felt like someone sucker-punched me in the stomach and I cried so much that my sockets looked like enormous peanuts. My first reaction was denial.

Maybe there was a mistake. Maybe he moved too much during the allergy test. Doing an allergy test on a two year old is virtually impossible anyway. He must have fidgeted too much and he really must be allergic to some kind of vegetable that nobody wants to eat like peas (by chance he is allergic to those too).

I realize that this was a bit melodramatic of me. The kid is healthy. It isn’t a deadly disease and nuts can be avoided. I had just finished writing my book, the Food Lovers Guide to Seattle and he had nuts many times throughout the research. There was no reaction that I had noticed until the one night. I was at my own party when his neck started to swell and he started talking funny. And there it was, he was on his way to anaphylaxis land, where people stop breathing because of a damn hazelnut, a cute innocent hazelnut. But we were lucky that Benadryl stopped the swelling. His first scary reaction was stopped by the Benadryl. I have heard that this first reaction is the free pass. The one where you know but you don’t really know. Nobody wants to really know.

My son will never have these beautiful macarons made with almond flour. Photo credit: Jackie Donnely Baisa

I made the mistake of overgoogling. I saw horrendous photos of other kids with blotches everywhere. I read stories about moms who didn’t have play dates because they didn’t want their kids exposed. I read about people who don’t go into bakeries or restaurants or basically never leave the house. I am a food writer. How could I do this? How could I live my life in fear. Would I ever fly again? Could I take my son on an airplane full of people eating nuts around me. I didn’t sleep for a few nights because all I could think about was nuts. I dream that a Nutella jar with hands and feet was chasing us. For real, I did.

My son has a tree nut allergy. That means he can’t have tree nuts or else he can go into anaphylactic shock. He can’t have anything that touches them either. You can’t spoon some nutella in your mouth and leave the spoon on the counter. He can’t have marzipan or pesto or muffins with nuts. He is not allergic to peanuts. I can’t tell you how many times people have offered him a food with nuts in it and said, “there are no peanuts in it”. Peanuts are a legume and he can eat them as much as he wants.

We have learned to live with his allergy and gone past those over-dramatic days. We eat in restaurants, we fly across the world and we have lots of play dates.
He is now 4 and understands it. He won’t eat anything without asking if there are nuts in it. He remembers his Epipen every time we leave the house.

When my son started a new daycare, I wanted to make sure that the kids knew about his allergies and understood them so I put together a small lesson plan and came in to talk to the kids.
I brought ingredients and together we made homemade tortillas. I told the kids about how I like tortillas because they are my favorite type of bread. I like that they are flat and can be rolled up and don’t take up much room in the fridge. We talked about all the different types of bread and why we like them. Then we talked about how all breads are different but so many are still delicious. Then I explained that all kids are different. We talked about how one child might have glasses and one might have an allergy. We are all special in our own way.

We also talked about things that we shouldn’t touch such as medicine or cleaning products. We talked about how parents put these products high up because they can make kids sick. I explained that nuts may be okay for most of the kids in the class but for my son, they make him sick.

I also prepared a list of foods that may contain nuts along with a photo of his to hang at the daycare. This way, any teacher that comes in to help, can see this form. I took the epipen instructions and enlarged them so that they are clear and easy to see.

Being a part of the lesson plan gave my son confidence (I got to come to school with him), it helped his friends understand his allergies and the kids love pretend checking labels to see if nuts are anywhere around. I feel much more at ease now that I can educate his friends and his friends can watch out for him.

Do you have any tips for parents with allergies? How do you deal with allergies?


Filed under Nut Allergy Friendly

Thankful. Posts That Make You Weep.

I admit it. I am a wuss. I love heartfelt posts. I love reading about people’s lives. I spend my toughest moments reading posts about people’s lives, reading their life lessons, reading their coping mechanisms and reading about being grateful. Writing is such a beautiful thing. Reading is a beautiful thing. The internet makes sure that every waking moment there is something to absorb. Since the internet, we are never alone. We now know that if we are going through something, there is always someone who has been through it and can tell their story. The day that I discovered that I could blog, my life changed forever.

My mind pulls together pieces of information like a Tetris game. Today I want to share some of my favorite reads. They are not food-related. They are posts that will make your heart swoon. Some might make you cry. But most of all you will remember why every single one of us, has a story to tell and why life is so beautiful because we are different especially because our challenges are different.

My best reads.

1. Enjoying the small things. Kelle Hampton tells the story of her daughters, one who has down-syndrome and the other, the big sister, who loves and takes care of her sister. She takes beautiful photos of her kids, they are always dressed in the prettiest outfits and she makes me cry a lot. She reminds me that life is what you make of it. Start here..

2. You probably know Jamie Lynne Grumet as the foxy mom who posed breastfeeding her son on the cover of Time. I know many of you think it was too much but of course, remember, it got your attention and got everyone talking about breastfeeding. Ok, now let’s move on. She is a mom of two boys, one adopted from Ethiopia and she breastfed them both (or still does). Visit her blog here

3. My friend Jess Thomson is an incredible writer about everything food. I love her writing but I also really love reading about her son Graham who has Cerebral Palsy. This post tells the story. Then go back and read his birth story and then go read about all about the awesome books she wrote this year.

4. My dear friend Micaela Surdi lives life to the fullest. She reminds you to enjoy life and love yourself.

We each get a package and we need to find the happiness in the package. We need to unwrap the package and think of every layer as something that WE were given. Sometimes the paper is creased, sometimes it tears, sometimes the tape gets stuck to it. At the end, every layer is something for us to learn from, something to grow with, part of our own personal gift. The wrapping paper is really ugly sometimes or tacky or unexpected but it is your job to take it and remember that it’s the thought that counts. The paper is only a reminder that there is something there, something to appreciate, something to uncover.

What are your favorite heart-to-heart blogs? Share your favorite reads..

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Mini Peanutty Chocolate Cheesecakes Recipe

This is a guest post from my friend, Deanna Morauski who will be featured on the Live Well Network this month. She cracks me up time and time again and makes me want to move into her B&B, the Old Hen. You can see Deanna on Joey Fatone’s new show “My Family Recipe Rocks” on the Live Well Network this month on October 27th.

Mini Peanutty Chocolate Cheesecakes Recipe

One of banking coworkers from the nineties was a saucy belly dancer with a motherly love for the twenty-year-old me. She went on to write a few romance novels right after we parted ways, but I remember her for something far more delicious – her peanutty chocolate cheesecakes. She is a lovely, colorful lady I will never forget and her racy little cheesecakes shall remain close to my heart as well.


1 package graham crackers (9 crackers)
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
11 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 325F.

Crush graham crackers in food processor then slowly add melted butter and sugar. Line 48 mini muffin tins with mini muffin liners. Press 1 teaspoon of graham cracker into the bottom of each.

Place softened cream cheese into mixing bowl and use whip attachment to whip well. Add sugar and vanilla.

Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler then stir into melted chocolate.

Stir peanut butter into remaining cream cheese.

Place one teaspoon of chocolate mixture and one teaspoon of peanut butter mixture into muffin liners.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave cheesecakes in pan until cool, the place them in fridge to chill.

Serve garnished with whipped cream and sprinkles just to satisfy your naughty side.

About Deanna Morauski

You can see Deanna on Joey Fatone’s new show “My Family Recipe Rocks” on the Live Well Network this month on October 27th. She will be making four scrumptious recipes throughout an entire episode filmed at her B&B, The Old Hen. The episode was deemed “One of the best episodes of the season” by the show’s producers. Follow along on with Deanna on Facebook or on Twitter for updates .

Deanna’s love for baking and cooking began as she sat upon a baker’s stool as a little girl. Her love for people grew in the midst of church potlucks. She expresses her loves today creatively through speaking, writing for her foodie blog, television appearances as well as hosting guests, including celebrities, at her inn, The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington. She has never read a romance novel but she has indulged in many delightful sprinkles.

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Foodportunity Food Blogger Contest Winners Announced

What’s your Foodportunity? We asked local bloggers to enter our contest and tell us what their Foodportunity is about. The winners have been chosen.

The judges are three popular and seasoned Seattle bloggers, Linda Miller Nicholson from Salty Seattle, Amy Pennington of Go Go Green Garden and Ronald Holden of

The Grand Prize goes to Fresh Picked Seattle. Check out her post about her Foodportunity. You will also find the most thorough food event calendar around on her blog. Check it out for free events, things to do and so much more.

The Second Prize goes to Peas On Moss for her post. Her blog chronicles the journey of a nutritionist and chef, read about how she dives deeply into everything food.

The Third Prize goes to Kristin Pot Pie. Bake her Pot Pie recipe and follow this blog all that talks comfort food, events and event planning ideas.

Follow @Foodportunityse on twitter where we will be tweeting the other inspiring entries over the weeks. See you on October 22.

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Foodportunity Contest – What’s Your Foodportunity?

Dear Seattle Food Bloggers

I would like to invite you to participate in a special contest.

What’s your Foodportunity?

The Details:

We want you to answer this question in a blog post, a photo or a video. Be creative. We just really want to hear your story. What has Foodportunity meant to you? What does Foodportunity mean to you? Was Foodportunity the place where you came out of your shell? Is it where you get to eat lots of food and live to tell? Even if you haven’t been to one of the Foodportunity events yet, you can tell your story of what you would like your Foodportunity to look like. Is a Foodportunity, the mere collaboration of your favorite foods? It doesn’t have to be related to the event, just what does an opportunity in food look like to you? Be sure to use the tag #foodprt and @foodportunityse when you share it.

The Prizes:

Grand Prize:

1) Your own opportunity to showcase your blog or website at Foodportunity. We will have a high table for you alongside Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille, Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, the Chefs and Owners of Spur, Tavern Law and the Coterie Room. You will be showcasing in the room with local authors like Jill Lightner of Edible Seattle Cookbook, Leora Bloom of Washington Artisans Cookbook and Judith Dern of the Food and Cooking of Scandinavia.

This is a huge marketing opportunity. You will be able to introduce people to your blog and share what you do in front of a large targeted foodie audience.

2) You will also receive a phone consultation to help you market your blog with ideas, tips and more.

Second Prize:
3 Cookbooks : a signed copy of Aran Goyoaga‘s new book, Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking, Washington Food Artisans by Leora Bloom (a signed copy) and Desserts in Jars by Shaina Olmanson. (The winner will have to pick these up at the event or somewhere in the city).

Third Price: TBD but something for food Lover’s for sure!
(Check in as we will be adding prizes!)

The Details: The deadline for Submission is October 11, 2012. A panel of local food bloggers will be judging the entries based on 3 topics 1) Creativity 2) Food 3) Opportunity. The Judges are three popular and successful Seattle bloggers Linda Miller Nicholson of, Ronald Holden of and Amy Pennington of gogogreengarden.

That’s it. Go crazy. Have fun. Make a video. Make a recipe. Write a blog post. Please be sure to send it to us and we will tweet it out, share and spread the love. Use our hashtag #foodprt and please include details about the event so people can check it out. Tickets can be found at Brown Paper Tickets or more information about restaurants and companies at


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Suncadia with the Kids, a Vacation Near Seattle

It started with a phone call.

My friend: “So you are going on a relaxing getaway”. I answered with a “yea” and just left it at that. In my head, I was really thinking. Relaxing? Are you kidding? With infant twins and a 4-year-old? My friend laughed as if she could read my mind.

This trip really surprised me. It was somewhat relaxing, not sunbathing topless near the pool relaxing (not that I would know), not hmmmm I love being bored relaxing but really pretty amazing.
Warning: the word relaxing has been used way too many times in this post but it is really because I want to remind myself to relax and not worry about finding other words to describe this nice tingly feeling.

Suncadia, located just 90 minutes East of Seattle is a year -round mountain resort with lots of recreational activities: golf, kayaking, biking and during the winter, skiing and other winter sports.

Here is the bedroom.

The bedroom overlooks a little garden with a hot tub.
This is the most amazing detail of this trip, especially because we could put the kids to bed and then relax in the tub.

The trick was that they have happy hour every day from 9 pm at the Portals restaurant. One of us would go down and get some wine by the glass, (5 dollars a glass) and the other would put the kids to bed. I highly recommend this to twin parents who never get a break, or parents of any age or just anybody who needs a break.

The kitchen and living room are fully equipped with a washer and dryer, full kitchen including a blender, dishes, toaster, dishwasher and everything that you need to assemble dinner (except the food). We cooked and made our own dinners for some of the time. Note for next time, we should have gone shopping before we came because going to the grocery store seemed like a daunting task when you have a beautiful resort that you never want to leave!

We dined at the Portals restaurant.

The panoramic view from the restaurant is breathtaking. The restaurant was kid-friendly but still classy. This is not easy to pull off for a restaurant, it was almost as if all the kids that came in were on their best behavior. I think it was more the fact that the restaurant is roomy enough that you don’t really feel all the children in the room. I expected the restaurant to be really expensive as it is many times at these types of resorts. The prices were surprisingly reasonable, entrees at $12-15 dollars. I made a remark about the prices and they explained that this lower priced menu has only been around for about two months (the menu on the website is still the older one). The food was executed very well and we tried a myriad of items with Northwest ingredients.

They spoiled our son with a perfect fruit salad as we discussed what to order.

Every time, the babies needed a few minutes to expend energy, I took them to the little waiting room equipped with lots of kids books right near the dining room.

The view from the dining room.

We spent our day at the pools. They have water slides for the older kids and indoor and outdoor pools.

The spa was beautiful. I had one of the best massages of my life. It was the Glade Spring Signature massage which included a Paraffin Wax treatment for my feet. I really hate people touching my feet but this was such a warm and comfortable feeling and my feet were so soft afterwards.

In the morning, we had a little visitor. He was hanging right outside of the hot tub.

If you are planning a weekend away, the 7th Annual Harvest Festival is coming up on October 5-7th and October 12-14. These family friendly weekends include live music, kids activities, pumpkin patch and tons of stuff to do. More details can be found by calling the Suncadia Resort.

If you are going to visit Suncadia, bring your bike and go on a little bike ride in the wilderness. They have many bikes for rent as well. They also have activities like kayaking and other sports. Evenings can be spent around the bonfire, making s’mores pack up those marshmallows and your fancy chocolate.

If you are looking for a special place to spend your summers or winters, Suncadia just recently sold 30 Lodge condominiums during a sales event conducted by Kennedy Wilson. During this event, more Lodge residences were sold in one day than in the last two and a half years at the resort. In addition, Suncadia recently released more than a dozen new homesites in the Rope Rider neighborhood with prices starting under $100,000. Hmm. One can dream. Right?

Do you like reading about things to do with the kids? Do you need another vacation idea? Maybe a staycation? If so, read about my staycation downtown here.

Disclosure: I occasionally receive compensations in the form of trips, dinners or cookbooks. In this case the trip was covered by the public relations company handling Suncadia. I will say without hesitation that my responsibility is to my readers and that this will not affect my view or review. This trip was truly wonderful!


Filed under Kids Stuff in Seattle, Things to do in Seattle

Foodportunity, a Giveaway and an Announcement.

I just recently announced that Foodportunity is coming up and that there is an awesome line up. What I didn’t mention yet is that we will have a surprise guest flying in for the event.

We have featured authors and chefs at Foodportunity. This idea came out of my own personal need to connect with these people. When I started blogging, I wanted to meet chefs and cookbook authors but I was always intimidated. The first time I had to interview a chef, I was sick to my stomach, like literally so nervous I couldn’t sleep the night before (including sweaty palms and everything).

Fast forward five years later and I don’t get nervous anymore, I have met so many of the people I admire. Yes, practice makes perfect with everything in life. Even meeting new people.

Every Foodportunity we have featured authors and chefs. They hang out in the front room (a.k.a the lounge) between 6:30 and 7:30. And they are there just to talk to you. You can ask questions, beg for recipes if you want, get books signed (bring your books) or just say hi. On October 22, be there. You can meet Brian McCracken and Dana Tough (Spur, Tavern Law, The Coterie Room), Jill Lightner (Edible Seattle: The Cookbook), Leora Bloom (Washington Food Artisans, Cookbook) and Judith Dern (A Taste of Scandinavia, Cookbook).

And now for the surprise. Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille is coming to visit. Her photography is gorgeous, like heart pitter-pattering beautiful. Her recipes are delicious and inspiring. Little tarts, cakes and just so many desserts and dishes that are all gluten-free. You might have seen her on Oprah, Martha Stewart or when she was mentioned in Times Magazine, as one of their favorite bloggers. Just look at her blog and you will understand, her photography will make you swoon. She is coming out with her new cookbook the week of Foodportunity.

You get to meet her, talk to her and even win a book here.

The giveaway. Win the book. I have 2 copies!: Just leave a comment to enter the contest, share on Facebook (5 entries) or twitter for an extra entry. Just remember to comment and let me know. The contest is open to anyone in the U.S. but if you can make it to Foodportunity, you can get it signed. Winner will be chosen on Sept 20.
Update: The winners are Tamiko and Helen Anne.


Filed under Cookbooks and Books, Food Bloggers, Foodportunity, Frantic foodie events

Foodportunity October 22nd 2012

Save the date (and get your tickets) for Seattle’s premier food networking event

October 22, 2012 Palace Ballroom

Sponsored by Washington’s Beef Community / @WABeef
Join us as we challenge your taste buds in a blind beef tasting. Meet a local cattle rancher and learn about how beef is raised in Washington.

What: Foodportunity, Seattle food community’s premier networking event with tastes from Tom Douglas Restaurants, Din Tai Fung, TRACE, ART Restaurant, Hitchcock, Phnom Penh Noodle House, 35 th Street Kitchen + Bar and many more restaurants and companies.

Where: Tom Douglas’ Palace Ballroom, 2100 5th Ave Seattle, WA 98121

Who: Local chefs and cookbook authors will be available to answer your questions and get to know you. Come meet Brian McCracken and Dana Tough (Spur, Tavern Law, The Coterie Room), Jill Lightner (Edible Seattle: The Cookbook), Leora Bloom (Washington Food Artisans, Cookbook) and Judith Dern (A Taste of Scandinavia, Cookbook)

When: Monday, October 22, 2012, 6-9 pm

Cost: $25 early admission, $32 at a later date. Tickets available at
Get your tickets before they sell out.

Do you have questions? Do you want to showcase your business?
Contact: Keren Brown –

photo credit: Jackie Donnely Baisa


Filed under Foodportunity, Seattle Food Bloggers, Seattle Food Scene Tips

Savory Sweet Life Cookbook

I have this friend, Alice. She is the friend that came to my house when I was on bedrest and ordered me not to move so she could cook dinner for my family. She walked into my house with a bag chock-full of groceries and cooked up a stew and some greens and then she walked out. Just like that. To do this, she left her 3 kids, her work and everything because she wanted to make sure that we were not hungry. I know everybody is busy but Alice Currah will always make time for her friends even when she is writing books, managing her incredibly popular and award -winning blog and juggling her family. Alice has so many life lessons to share, a conversation on the phone with her will leave me grateful and full of ideas. She always reminds me to take a step back and savor the moments.

She recently came out with a book called “Savory Sweet Life, 100 Simply Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion” named after her blog. I love this book for many reasons but the number one reason is because her food is impressive for the eyes but really easy to make. Every time I make something, people think I have been slaving for hours but in reality, everything is quick and easy. I also love that the book is organized by life experiences with chapter headers like “Snow Day”, “Welcome Home” and “Lunch Between Friends” so you don’t have to start pasting together recipes but you can choose a section and just go for it. It helps that all the ingredients are easy to find and many times already in my pantry so all I have to do is pick a recipe and go. We have made everything in the Father’s day chapter numerous times because we are kind of obsessed in this house with the peanut coconut sauce and the coconut rice. The photos are gorgeous and she took them all herself. The book is a great gift to give to a mom or anybody looking to cook impressive but not having the time to slave over the stove. Her photography is beautiful and the photos of her family are inspiring. She is a super mom and it is nice to see that if you work hard, you can have a nice balance of family and work.

Of all the things that I love about Alice is the fact that she is always ” Keeping it Real”. She is an honest person, who worked hard to get where she is; a talented photographer, cake decorator and cook. And she is always there to give good advice. Pick up her book at any bookstore and enjoy a Savory Sweet Life.

Here we are signing books together at Barnes and Noble. This was fun.


Filed under Cookbooks and Books, Seattle Food Bloggers

Kitchen Circus, the Ultimate Kitchen Competition

Do you love cooking? Do you think you can run a 4 -star restaurant? Rover’s wants you.

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Feast Portland is coming this September and a Giveaway!

I have Portland on the brain right now as I am heading there this weekend for the International Food Bloggers Conference. I can’t wait! I will be speaking at the conference on the subject of building community online and offline. I really love IFBC because it is an intimate conference with awesome food and a great opportunity to connect with people.

Portland is the ultimate getaway for me ; only a 3 and a half hour train ride where I get to relax and read or sleep and everything is walkable with creative restaurants everywhere. If you are not going yet, you should try to snag a ticket because this will be a conference that you will want to attend.

Photo credit: Jackie Donnely Baisa

Anytime I hear the name Portland, my eyes light up so imagine how exciting to see information about Feast, the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting on September 20-23. This is a huge event bringing together famous chefs from all over the world. The line up includes food celebrities, writers and chefs like Mark Bittman from the New York Times, April Bloomfield from the Spotted Pig, Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetit and many more. The event is about getting these culinary talents together, from PDX to New York City, everybody will be mingling and cooking together. There are private dinners, educational panels, tastings and so much to do. The event is sponsored by Bon Appetit Magazine, This is going to be rocking event and your opportunity to taste from Portland’s best restaurants as well as food from some of the top chefs across America. Get tickets here

Giveaway: You have the chance to win an exclusive tasting package worth $350 for this event. The package includes: Two tickets to the Sandwich Invitational, Two Tickets to the Coffee That Rocks panel with Andrew Knowlton and Two Tickets to the Friday Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting. Descriptions below. Just leave a comment to be entered to win. Share my blog and this contest on Facebook and receive 3 entries (comment back to let me know). Share on twitter for an extra entry. (I just added this one to give you more opportunities) The winner will be chosen on Monday September 3. The winner is Jasmine Campbell. Thanks for entering.

Portland Monthly Sandwich Invitational
Presented by Widmer Brothers Brewing
Location: Director Park
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm
Price: $95
Experience the creative spirit of America’s most innovative culinary talent through their chef’d-up interpretations of sandwiches brought to a whole new level at Feast Portland’s kick-off flagship tasting event. From po’ boy to banh mi, savor the best sandwiches you’ve ever tried paired with craft beers made by Portland’s landmark Widmer Brothers Brewery under the stars at Downtown Portland’s chic Director Park. Though the definition of sandwich – and even what counts as bread – is up for creative interpretation, the end result will be pure magic.
The Lineup:
Adam Berger, 24th& Meatballs (PDX)
Ben Bettinger, Imperial (PDX)
Ned and Jodi Elliott, Foreign & Domestic (Austin)
Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ (Austin)
Jason French, Ned Ludd (PDX)
Duff Goldman, Charm City Cakes (Baltimore/LA)
Ken Gordon, Kenny & Zukes (PDX)
Tommy Habetz & Nick Wood, Bunk Sandwiches (PDX)
Jenn Louis, Lincoln (PDX)
Molly Moon Neitzel, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream (SEA)
Rodney Muirhead, Podnah’s Pit BBQ (PDX)
Naomi Pomeroy, Beast (PDX)
Sarah Schafer, Irving Street Kitchen (PDX)
Ethan Stowell, Tavolata, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Ballard Pizza Company (SEA)
Cheryl Wakerhouser, Pix Patisserie (PDX)

Coffee That Rocks
Location: Director Park: Drinks Pavilion
Date: Friday, September 21, 2012
Time: 10:00am- 11:00am
Price: $45
Bon Appétit Restaurant and Drinks Editor Andrew Knowlton and Portland coffee experts give the lowdown on choosing the right equipment and showcasing fun ways to prepare coffee at home. Learn the pour over, Aeropress, siphon brewing, and a culinary coffee trick or two to make the most of your morning ritual.
Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appétit (NYC)

Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting: Friday
Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square
Date: Friday, September 21, 2012
Time: 2:00pm-5:00pm
Price: $60/day or $100/both days
Portland’s so-called living room transforms into the city’s dining room for two days as dozens of the region’s most celebrated wineries, breweries, vendors and artisans take over the award-winning Pioneer Courthouse Square for Feast Portland’s premiere daytime event. Experience the scene, meet the chefs and winemakers you’ve read about, and enjoy cooking demonstrations from celebrated chefs like Chris Cosentino, April Bloomfield, and Naomi Pomeroy at the KitchenAid Main Demo Stage.
KitchenAid Main Demo Stage Schedule
Chris Cosentino, Incanto, Boccalone (SF)
Friday at 2:30pm-3:30pm
Amanda Freitag,Food Network, Cooking Channel (NYC)
Friday 3:45pm-4:45pm

Correction: The date of the giveaway has been updated.


Filed under Food events, Seattle Tips

Chipotle Parties at West Seattle Farmers Market Sunday August 19

I am a huge fan of Chipotle for many reasons. I love that the food is healthy, kid-friendly and most of all nut free. My son has a tree nut allergy and we eat there all the time because we feel safe. Not to mention, they strive at making food with intergrity and I don’t think I have ever seen a dessert on the menu which means less temptation at a weeknight dinner.

On Sunday, August 19, Chipotle will partner with the West Seattle Farmers Market for one of four stops on its West Coast Farmers’ Market Tour.

The event will include:

· Fresh Tomato Salsa demo using products sourced from the farmers’ market

· Info booth featuring buy one-get one-free cards as well as Chipotle Burrito Bucks good for one free burrito

· Live music from singer/songwriter and former professional surfer Timmy Curran

A musician, retired professional surfer and a spokesperson for the Surfrider Foundation. During his successful surfing career, he was one of the best surfers on the World Championship Tour. It wasn’t until he was in his late twenties did he fully realize the gifts of song writing and vocal talent. Today, Timmy has been touring for 5 years, and has released three full-length albums

Last week Chipotle announced that 2012 will mark the second year in a row the company has committed to serving at least 10 million pounds of local produce. In Chipotle’s case, locally-grown means that the produce originates no further than 350 miles from the restaurant in which it is ultimately served.

In 2011, this goal translated to more than 320,000 lbs of Northwest produce – bell peppers, jalapeños, red onions, and oregano – served at Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon. Most notably, Chipotle served up 25,800 lbs of bell peppers from Fewel Farms in Prosser – or 96% of the total bell peppers served at Chipotle locations in the Northwest.

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Vegetable Hack for Kids

When I hear people say that their kid’s don’t eat vegetables, it makes me so sad.  An entire food group! This is their base in life. This is where it all starts.  Not only are we building their healthy little bodies but we are building their habits for life.

Here is a little hack that I learned. Just make a fruit smoothie and hide some greens in it. Work up to it gradually. The kids will get used to it. In the beginning, I used to put a few leaves of lettuce. Now my kids wait for the  “green shakes”. This one has bok choy, and different sprouts, figs, white dragon fruit and peaches. Any fruit works.  Go for it. Try making a smoothie with some greens and let me know if they try it.   You will be surprised how many things you can sneak into a smoothie. So many types of greens and chia seeds, basically anything you want.  The power of fresh fruit.

BOK Choy (2)

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Meal Planning Tips for When Your Are Busy

meal planninh

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