Monday, August 6, 2012

off to seattle

Moving on to week 28, we begin with some strawberry shortcake. Steve had gotten yet more strawberries at the farmers market that week, so I suggested he branch out from making tarts and try baking some buttermilk biscuits for strawberry shortcake on Sunday. Using the recipe from Ad Hoc at Home, he did just that. The biscuits came out a little flatter and denser than I would have hoped, but the flavor was good. And the strawberry shortcake was good too.

190/366 strawberry shortcake

I wasn't feeling very creative the next day, so I decided to take a picture of the biscuits by themselves. I figured Steve would appreciate having a shot of them alone for his recipe program anyway. Since then, he's managed to get subsequent batches to be fluffier. His biscuits from his third attempt, yesterday, are about right. Unfortunately, the official picture is still of the hockey puck version, at least until I take a new one.

191/366 buttermilk biscuits

On Tuesday, I had my 24-week appointment with my OB. I left myself plenty of time to find street parking this time, which of course meant that I found a spot right away near the medical center. To kill time, I walked around a couple blocks and found these white-tinged hydrangeas to photograph.

192/366 fancy hydrangeas

Wednesday was packing day, since we were leaving for Seattle on Thursday. Therefore, I took a picture of my mostly packed suitcase. (Very exciting.) I brought a gift for Elliott, Chrissy's 4 month-old, and ended up stuffing my suitcase completely full of hand-me-down clothing from Elliott on the way back. Good thing it was expandable. It's actually the same suitcase I used for the Spain and Italy vacation last year; I was just more careful to pack everything in ziploc bags with the air squeezed out for that trip.

193/366 packing up

We arrived in Seattle just after lunchtime on Thursday, and Chrissy picked us up at the airport. That afternoon, we took a walk through Chrissy's neighborhood to Sunset Hill Park, with a stop at a Swedish bakery on the way for some snacks to eat while we were there. The park itself was pretty, with a nice view of the water and the mountains in the background, but I didn't really take many exciting pictures. I opted for a sleeping Elliott shot for my picture of the day instead.

After Kevin got home from work that night, we headed to Delancey for dinner. It was one of the few must-visit places on my list and a repeat from the last trip. And it just so happens that Chrissy and Kevin live mere blocks away. When we got there, the dinner rush had already started, so we gave them a phone number and walked to a bar for some drinks while we waited. By 9pm, we had our table at Delancey, where we ordered 4 pizzas to share. They were all great, but the surprise favorite was actually Chrissy's choice of bacon and onion. It had a nice balance of salty and sweet. 

194/366 warning: extreme cuteness

Unlike most trips that Steve and I take, this one was not highly planned out. We were staying with Chrissy and co., so I knew we'd need to be flexible. Elliott would need to eat and take naps throughout the day, as babies do. We had also already been to Seattle two years before—for Chrissy and Kevin's wedding—and we were able to check off most of the key tourist destinations then anyway.

One of the places we didn't really get to explore fully in 2010 was the neighborhood of Ballard, so it worked out great that Chrissy and Kevin had moved there. On Friday morning, we walked with Chrissy and Elliott to Honore Artisan Bakery, next to Delancey, for breakfast. It had been closed by the time we got to Ballard for dinner two years ago, so we hadn't gotten to try it then. We remedied that on this trip, and the pastries were worth it. While we were eating inside, it started to storm. Kevin graciously dropped off a couple of umbrellas and Chrissy's rain jacket on his way to work, so we were able to walk back home without getting too wet. Incidentally, the weather reports for our time in Seattle were pretty useless.

After chilling at Chrissy's house for a while, playing with Elliott during the last of the morning's storm, we headed back out and over to downtown Ballard. We did some shopping, had BBQ for lunch at The Boar's Nest, and then walked to the Ballard Locks. The locks were another thing that had been dropped off my to-visit list for lack of time on the last trip, so I added it to my shortlist for this trip. At the locks, we watched some boats go through (see below) and looked at the fish ladder from the viewing windows underneath. It was probably the most touristy thing we did on this vacation, but it was fun.

For dinner that night, we attempted to eat at Staple & Fancy Mercantile in downtown Ballard, but we got there late enough that we wouldn't have been able to get a table until about 10pm. So instead, we got an early reservation for the next night, went back to Chrissy's house, ordered Chicago deep dish pizza, and played Cards Against Humanity. (It's like Apples to Apples, but much less appropriate/PC and much funnier.)

195/366 ballard locks

Saturday started with another trip to Honore Bakery for breakfast. Then it continued with some Cuban sandwiches from Paseo Caribbean Restaurant for lunch, followed by Chrissy helping me take my weekly self-portrait. (Of course, it wasn't a self-portrait this time, since I didn't bring my tripod.) In the afternoon, we drove back to downtown Ballard and walked around a bit. There was a small Bastille Day celebration, as well as the larger Ballard Seafood Fest, so there was a lot going on that day.

At the appropriate time, we headed over to Staple & Fancy for our dinner reservation. That was the other restaurant idea on my list for this trip, because Steve and I hadn't made it to an Ethan Stowell restaurant on the previous visit. We purchased Ethan Stowell's cookbook last year, so we had even more reason to try out his food this time. And being located in Ballard, Staple & Fancy was the logical choice. Chrissy and Kevin decided to share a first course and an entree, as did Steve and I. For that first pasta course, Steve and I chose the tagliarini with clams, pictured below. It just seemed like an Ethan Stowell dish to me with the fresh pasta and the seafood. It was spicy from the red chiles, but the housemade pasta was great. Meanwhile, Chrissy and Kevin shared the gnocchi. For our entrees, both couples ended up getting the strip loin with apricots and goat cheese. I thoroughly enjoyed it. What's not to like about stonefruit and goat cheese with steak? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

196/366 staple & fancy dinner

That wraps up the first half of the Seattle trip. More in the next post!

1 comment:

  1. How nice that you and Steve got to go visit Chrissy and Kevin, and meet that adorable little Elliott. Love your pics as usual. I liked the locks picture...reminds me of the Soo Locks, one of my favorite places to go in the U.P. It's fascinating to watch those huge ships go through. BSD