Category Archives: books

Local Holiday Gift Ideas for Seattle Food Lovers

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

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

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

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

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

Fashionable Food Lovers’ Kit

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

Mediterranean Gift Set

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

What are your favorite local food products?

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

(Press Release from Metropolitan Market)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

· 4-7 p.m. on Friday, December 16

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

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

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


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

Cook without a Book, Meatless Meals Book Signing

Award-winning author, Pam Anderson is coming to town. Pam’s book Cook without A Book, Meatless Meals; Recipes and Techniques for Part-Time and Full-Time Vegetarians is the ultimate tool for people who want to learn to create healthy, family-friendly recipes at home. You won’t miss the meat. This book is already one of my favorite books this year and I have only had it for a week. I love the chapter on salads.

Drinks & Meatless
LOCATION: Book Larder
4252 Fremont Ave. N,
Seattle WA 98103
DATE: November 21, 2011
TIME: 6:30-8:30pm

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The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and a Giveaway

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

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

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

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

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


Filed under books, Food

Taking it off for a Good Cause- Nudie Foodies

Spearheaded by Seattle’s Linda Miller Nicholson of the risque blog Salty Seattle, Nudie Foodies is a new book featuring bloggers sporting sexy food in the nude. The ultimate coffee table book and conversation starter, bloggers from all over the globe take off their clothes and put on food to support Japan. The book designed by the extremely talented Denise Sakaki of Wasabi Prime is bound to make you blush and smile at the same time.

I bet you are wondering what these bloggers do by day. There is Jackie I am a feeder a food writer and journalist from the U.K, Sara OC2 Seattle a lawyer and Irvin Eat the Love is a professional baker and graphic designer.

This controversial book has been stirring up the pot for many opposed to nudity. Nicholson explains “we know that this is controversial but we hope people realize that no money is going to the bloggers, all the money will be donated to help Japan. I have learned to develop a thick skin, at the end of the day, this might not be a fit for everyone, but the ones who are open to it have been embracing it.
It is the sexy photos that initially draw people to the book but the recipes by the bloggers have been turning people on to the idea and creating a buzz. If the project really piques your interest and you want to become a “Nudie Foodie” , you can enter the contest on their website. The book can be purchased on their website as well.

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Craving Success- Book and Party

There aren’t many people like Melody Biringer. This start up junkie is the founder of Crave, and has built over 20 companies in her life. What really is interesting about Melody is that she is down to earth, motivating and inspiring and when she told me she was writing a book, I was excited. When I got my hands on the book and saw that she really did share her secrets to success and her lessons learned. I was so intrigued. I read it all one night. Anyone who can learn from her is very lucky. If you have a business, want or dream of one then you need to read this.

Her launch party is coming up and it’s a really cool dance party. Put it on your calendar. Ok?
Date: Tuesday April 12th, 2011
Time: book launch 6:30–8pm, dance party 8–10pm
Place: Republiq, 2946 1st Ave S (at S Hanford), Seattle
More information:

Hope to see you there!


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What to Drink with What You Eat Giveaway

There is one food-related book that really stands out on the shelves of the cookbooks that line my room. This same book has been the one book that I reach for every time I experiment with food. There is no two ways about it. It’s the one book that I would buy YOU as a gift, if you like to cook (and have some experience) and the one book that I recommend that every cook should have. “The Flavor Bible”. I wrote about it here.

Another book by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is called “What to Drink with What you Eat”. The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea – Even Water – Based on Expert Advice from America’s Best Sommeliers.
It is the same concept as “The Flavor Bible” , where foods are paired and spices are matched, but this time, drinks are paired with your food.

Not only does it have wines, spirits and everything else but it also has non- alcoholic beverages. You basically look up the food that you are going to cook or eat and then you find a list of beverages that will pair well. It is a reference book that every cook should have, and anyone who likes to entertain. Even restaurants with sommeliers should have it.

It’s not a quick reading book but a useful reference book that is the easy way to quickly choose what to serve with your dish. And even better news, they have an Iphone App Too.
For more about the book and more, look here.
Do you want to win a copy? Just leave me a comment letting me know about your guilty drinking pleasure and your name will be entered into a raffle. For extra entries, tweet about it and I will put your name in for each tweet. The giveaway will end this Friday and I will choose a winner by raffle. Thanks for reading!


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A list of Cookbooks, Food Books and a Giveaway

 My list of food books this year is very different than last year. The main reason is because my priorities have changed. I don’t have much time in the kitchen with my new little boy ( he is one now) and have really been looking for quicker alternatives.

I was inspired to make a list this week after reading my friend Nurit’s post from 1familyfriendlyfood.

I am not going to note books only from this year because I haven’t bought that many books this year. Another reason is because I really like to refer to my classics and I am sure it would be more useful for you to know which books I love. Here is a list of mostly new books.

Book Number 1: My number one book this year, without a doubt is Molly Weizenberg’s book, ” A Homemade Life“.  All I can say is that if there is one book that you should cuddle up in bed with, it’s this one.  You will be inspired. Read my post here

The rest of the books in random  order.

Book Number 2:  “Cooking and Screaming” by Adrienne Kane. This story about a woman who is hit by a stroke and manages to cook her way to recovery will leave you in awe. Just a reminder, to make the best of your life.

Book Number 3: “Hungry Monkey” by Matthew Amster -Burton. If you have kids or plan to, you will love this book. Read my thoughts here 

Book Number 4:  “Too Many Cooks” by Emily Franklin.  Read about the food adventures of a mom with her kids and how to make sure your kids learn about different foods.

Book Number 5 : Julia Child ” My Life in France”. Legends are legends and the romantic story of Julia is one we can all connect with.


Book Number 6: “The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook” by Jaden Hair.  This is where the transitition from mom takes me to another place. Although I love long recipes and taking my time, getting dinner on the table is a challenge. I usually chop onions with Baby E tugging at my leg and screaming.  Blogger Jaden of  Steamy Kitchen managed to put together a book of extremely easy Asian recipes.  A must for the busy mom and anyone else who likes Asian Recipes that are great for dinner or entertaining.

Book Number 7:  The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg. Not from this year but a must- have for the experienced foodie or anyone looking for more experience. I love using this as a reference when developing new recipes. Read about my Seattle food blogger event with them  here

Book Number 8: “The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. Every recipe is described in detail. Learn all the basics of baking.  I also love her book for kids ” Baking Kids love”. Her daughter Bella has a sweet personality and creative ideas. The ideas in the book are perfect for a rainy day with the kids.

Book Number 9: Fields of Greens” by Annie Sommerville. The ultimate vegetarian cookbook. Since I am very much of a healthy eater this book  offers vegetable ideas like no other. Every recipe combines versatile flavors using the healthiest of ingredients.

Book Number 10: Memorable Recipes by Renee Behnke. First I will say that I received this book at the IFBC conference. It took me a really long time before I actually cooked something from the book. The reason is because I am not one to use a collection of recipes. Most of the books that I read have a theme such as vegetarian recipes, or Italian or whatever. You could say that I am a snob because I am not interested in cooking what would be someone else’s collection. Once I started making recipes from this book, I was really surprised. Every recipe that I tried came out really well. The flavors are interesting and there are flavors from all different cultures. The book also tells you which recipes go together which makes planning a menu easy.

Giveaway:  I hope you enjoy my list.  I think I will make another list soon since there are so many more books that I would like to mention.  I am giving away a copy of “Memorable Recipes so just leave me a comment here and tell me what your  favorite cookbook is and I will ship it to you.  I will choose the winner at random on Monday the 28th.

Do you know about the writing class with Rebekah Denn?


Filed under books, Meetings with Authors