Week in Chic: 10/9

Heh, just realized I jumped into the future last week as it actually said 10/9 in the title before I changed it 🙂

Anticipating… A great time in New Jersey/New York due to all the wonderful ideas!!  Thank goodness for blogs too because I just found out that I am going to NY on the first Yarn Crawl of the City!  I hope to visit a few while I am there but neither my mom or my aunt are knitters so I don’t want to bore them.  Between Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, Housing works thrift stores (various locations), Purl Soho, and Mood that is a pretty busy schedule for only 1.5 days of shopping in NY.  The rest will be quality time with the extended family.

Oh and I still need some help with can’t miss NJ/NY food choices too.

If you know of any good places to eat near any of the locations I stated above please do tell.  If you have an eatery suggestion that is not near any of these locations but is so good I need to make the journey, please share that too as the schedule is still pretty flexible.

Loving… My new Cathrineholm pot…soon to be POTS!! I got my first one and the quality of this pot is fantastic!! So the fact that it looks gorgeous is just icing on the cake.    These are not show piece pots though so I will be scoping some recipes that call for dutch ovens so I can giggle to myself now that I actually have one.

Savoring… the new Fall-ish weather.  I love it when it is chilly but not bitterly cold and that time is now.  I am dreaming of stews, crusty bread, and knitting.  LOVE the fall.

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Knitting… The Heathered Hoodie Vest.  I know I said that before but now I have proof!!  The yarn is so yummy.  I am loving this knit.

Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Front Side in Cabinet

Sewing… some quicky projects such as my new reversible sewing machine cover.  I used some Orla Kiely tea towels I found at GW Consignment for $1.99, some fusible fleece, and some leftover ribbon I had from a gift.  Process: I fused fleece to orange side, trimmed everything up, sewed the sides with ribbon in seam, turned inside out, sewed bottoms together.  A few hours later and I had a quick cover for my machine that lives in the cabinet.

Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Front Side Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Back Side Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Side with ties Orla Kiely Sewing Machine Cover - Recyling the tag to spruce up the solid side

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I plan on making another fully enclosed cover for my portable machine and serger.

I am also feeling another Weekender Bag.  I have this great upholstery weight fabric from JoAnn’s that is just screaming to be a Weekender.  Better get out my oyster shucking gloves to fend off all the pin pricks.

Dreaming… about work and my co-workers which is a sign that I am really stressed out.  Hope this vacation gets me back into restful sleep.

Planning… some wallpaper DIY projects.  I got some wallpaper samples from Hygge and West.  One will be to decorate the inside of my sewing cabinet.

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Here is what it SHOULD look like…kinda.

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Also I got this great bird print sample that fits perfectly on a future jewelry box project.

Alright so it is time to get packing I will talk to you all soon!! Have a great weekend

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Seattle – Savor Seattle Food Tour

Recently I took a trip to Seattle with my BFF and partner in crime Jill. Eating is our specialty, in that we do it in mass and often. I knew Seattle was known for its foodie culture but food, although always on the agenda, was not the main intention for our trip to Seattle. However, of the 200+ pictures taken during the trip 190 of them were food, food and more food, so who are we kidding. Seattle is definitely a hot spot for food!

Savor Seattle Food Tour

Emotional Outcome: :mrgreen:

Now I HAVE to tell you about the best part of the trip, our Savor Seattle Food Tour. If you ever visit Seattle, whether it is your first time or a repeat visit you HAVE to go on a Savor Seattle Food Tour. We found Savour Seattle while perusing through various review sites and saw all the wonderful reviews of this tour. I am always a little leery of organized tours but after reading all the rave reviews I had to try it.

There are two tours offered – the Pike Place tour and the Downtown Seattle Tour. We chose the newer Downtown Seattle Tour based on the first line in the tour description…”Do you consider yourself food-adventurous?”. My response of course was “hell yeah!” and the wonderful description of the potential samples only made it better. Given the Downtown Tour was a little more pricey than the Pike Place tour but worth every…single…penny.

I won’t go through all the stops on the trip because you really do need the excitement and energy of Angela, owner and our guide, to truly do the experience justice. However, I will give you some highlights of the tour that will make your mouth water and guarantee that you will be on this tour the next time you are in town.

Serious Pie.

Emotional Outcome: :mrgreen:

The name says it all. This was some serious pie…period! Now when I first saw the restaurant sign I though pie in the sweet filling variety but was not disappointed when I found the best dish of the trip – Roasted Mushroom and Truffle Cheese Pizza.

Just looking at it makes my mouth water. According to the chef the truffle flavor comes solely from the cheese which is only melted and not “browned” or cooked in order to preserve the original flavor and quality of the cheese. The dough was very crispy on the bottom but very light in the middle. The pizza was sprinkled with Murray River Salt, which I need to get my hands on because it really made the pizza pop. Jill and I came back to Serious Pie after the tour and had it for dinner that very same day . Yes…it is THAT good.

Place Pigalle

Emotional Outcome: :mrgreen:

My second favorite place on the tour was Place Pigalle. It was located behind the Pike Place Market and had a great view of the water. Our sample of choice here was the Steamed Mussels Pigalle which is a house specialty.

Now I am no mussel connoisseur they are alright and I can take them or leave them, but at the end of this sample there was nothing left except the shells and had they been edible they would have been gone too. What really made these mussels, outside of their freshness, was the bacon, celery, shallots, balsamic vinaigrette was napped across the mussels and pooled at the bottom of our little sampler cup.

Everyone had their own method for trying to get at the juices once the mussels were gone, whether it be via spoon or crouton, but in the end we were given license to indulge ourselves by picking up the ramekin and devouring the remnants. It was good to the last drop!

Bavarian Meats

Emotional Outcome: 😀

I really liked this stop because it was so unexpected. “uhh…we are going to eat cold cuts?” Yup, and they were good too! The shop ladies were so nice and presented us with a tray of wonderful samplers to try.

My favorite was the landjager sausage. We even received a lesson on distinguishing hot versus sweet mustard so you get the right one to accompany your charcuterie.

Not everyone would put this stop at the top of their list for the tour, but I thought it was very original and a departure from the pop and circumstance of restaurant presentation. Instead it was all about the meat, pure and simple. A definite must for the carnivores of Seattle.

Gelatiamo

Emotional Outcome: 🙂

Our final stop of the tour as Gelatiamo where we were given a tour of the gelato making kitchen and process. Who knew that gelato is not just another code word for ice cream? Probably a lot of people, but did you know that they even have to be stored at different temperatures? Just one of the fun facts you learn on this tour.

Our sampler was coconut gelato and blueberry sorbetto. Coconut…I like coconut…I love the coconut gelato. It was so smooth and had a truly bold coconut flavor.

I even closed my eyes a few times while I let the gelato melt on my tongue. Yummy. It was the perfect finale to our tour.

Now although I picked only 4 places to highlight here, I could have gone on and on, but I will leave that up to Angela who did a great job with this tour. Here attitude about food and Seattle culture is reflected in her choices of featured locations and the true concern she has for her audience. The personal audio devices (think 80’s walkman) was an ingenious touch for this tour. I loved being able to indulge myself in food photography while still being able to hear Angela’s narration.

The other tour touch I liked was the pink umbrella, so simple and so effective. In the market, where there is so much to see and photograph, I never got lost due to the ever visible fuchsia umbrella.

In summary, great tour, great presentation, a must for visitors and seattlites alike. I can’t wait to go back and take another tour because Angela is a true believer of F.L.O.S.S (fresh, local, organic, sustainable, and seasonal) so I know that each visit will hold something new for me to savor.

If you are a true glutton for culinary overload, you can check out my pictures from the trip on my Flickr Account.

Seattle – The Tom Douglas Review

As I mentioned in Part 1, Savor Seattle definitely set a good food precedent for the trip. After all that good food, our culinary palettes were wet, the bar for good food was set, so the rest of our meals had to be pretty damn good to keep the trend going. Seattle, in the form of Tom Douglas, really did deliver the good the majority of the time.

Dahlia Lounge

Emotional Outcome: 🙂

Actually the Dahlia Lounge was our first meal of the trip. We had read that if you were going to try one Tom Douglas restaurant, this was it. So who are we to argue. The wait was not that long and we offered a seat in the bar to enjoy our drinks. Dinner was good.

Tuscan Grilled Bread Salad – This was very tasty. I always forget how good bread salads are. Given they are basically croutons with dressing, coupled with creative additions, but they always seem to be good and this one didn’t disappoint.

Corn and Black Pepper Soup, truffled zucchini, and fried egg – The fried egg had us at hello and we had to try this soup. We even almost got two bowls, which is a foodie faux pas in my book. Thank goodness we didn’t because I was not at all impressed. We even left food behind which is never a good sign.

Lemon ~ scallion Dungeoness Crab Cakes with picnic fries – Jill is a crab cake connoisseur, she really likes crab cakes and was excited by the prospects because this was a signature dish for Tom Douglas. Alas they were just “meh”. They tasted like crab with potato chips on the side. Nothing to call home about.

Rotisserie roasted five spice Peking Duck with Udon Salad – Now here I was impressed. The duck was so good and flavorful. The skin was crispy and well seasoned. The Udon Salad was also a nice accompaniment. The surprise of the dish was the pickled plum which I couldn’t get enough. I was kind of scared of the pickled plum as I have so many memories of the slightly weird salty, sweet plums you get in Chinese markets. But these were fresh and oh so good.

Triple coconut cream pie – Hello Mama!! This was to DIE FOR! In fact, we had this pie twice during our trip. And were it not for fear of hours at the gym we would have eaten it every meal. The pie was custard based with whipped cream and toasted coconut shavings. The crust was flakey and buttery. This is definitely a dessert to be shared as it was quite big and super sinful.

Dahlia Bakery

Emotional Outcome: 😐

Dahlia Bakery is yet another Tom Douglas restaurant. We arrived at the Dahlia Bakery for an early lunch, skipping breakfast due to our late start. Jill had a corn scone and cupcake. I was advised that the corn scone was better than the cupcake. The scone had large granules of salt on top which was a clever addition.

I had a B.L.A.T. (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato) sandwich on bread with corn in it. The “A” in my B.L.A.T was actually an avocado mayo. The ingredients were fresh, but the sandwich was dry. and the bread with all its creativity was just dry and a bit too dense for the sandwich. I can’t say I was very impressed with the Dahlia Bakery

Lola

Emotional Outcome: 😀

Our last night in Seattle we ate at Lola which has a Greek-inspired menu. Once again the wait here was not terrible and we were sat at the bar to wait. The menu is family style with wonderful variety.

Watermelon Salad, Feta, Basil Oil – This salad was chalked full of flavorful surprises. Cardamom on the watermelon, the peppery bite of the arugula, and topped off my the basil oil which really summed up the summer undertones of this salad. Very good and as refreshing as salads should be.

Suckling Pig, harissa-peaches, cilantro, crispy cracklin’ – Pig and peaches…yum yum yum. This dish was very good. There was a mystery spicy, almost hot, green that I assume was the cilantro that I really liked, Jill not so much. I was the only one who partook of the cracklin’ but I loved the crunch and flavor that it brought to the dish after I crumbled it into the dish. One drawback was that the dish was pretty salty. You could only eat so much before you had to cry uncle.

Smashed garlic fried potatoes – At first was I completely unimpressed with this side. The first one I go was overcooked and far too crunchy. I had to just pick it up and eat it which resulted in the roof of my mouth being scratched to bits. But thank goodness I tried another because all the rest had a nice moist inside which was a nice play against the crispy salty outside. I was hoping for these to have a more pronounced garlic flavor but it either wasn’t there or drowned out by the juicy pork.

Pickled beets, skordalia – No thank you. These were just all wrong to me. Salty, too tart, just kinda weird all around. After the first two tastes these were left on the table with no further picking. It just didn’t meld with the food at all.

Apricot crostada, blueberry ice cream – This was supposed to be Huckleberry crostada with huckleberry ice cream but our late night dining left us with the waiter substituting the apricot version. It was just okay for me, in the effort of full disclosure, I really am not an apricot lover but wanted to see if Lola could make me a believer. Well, I definitely believe in the crust and the ice cream. Too bad they didn’t have huckleberry.

Serious Pie.

Emotional Outcome: :mrgreen:

I already gave this restaurant a mini review in Part 1 but lets get into some more detail. The restaurant is pretty small and the dining is at tall family style tables. Don’t come too hungry because although the wait for us was manageable at 30-40 minutes this place can get packed.

Roasted Mushroom, Truffle Cheese Pizza – Good googly moogly. You have got to eat this pizza. The pieces at the food tour were sizable, enough to give you the full flavor and a bite or two to reinforce the amazement but was only a palette teaser. There was no argument from me when Jill wanted to return after the food tour to get a whole one to share.

Triple coconut cream pie– Yup, the second time. We were going to try the cannoli with lemon ricotta and blueberries but once again we arrived too late. Given, neither of use was heart broken in having to indulge in another piece of pie and gladly shared yet another heart stopping piece.

Despite my rave reviews of Serious Pie. There is one drawback. They don’t sell the shirts!!! What is up with that! The cute little running guy is way too tempting. Please Mr. Douglas start selling the shirt so your devotees can give your free advertising!

So during our trip we sampled 4 out of 6 of Tom Douglas’ restaurants. Based on this visit I would have to reorder the Tom Douglas’ must eat list and put Serious Pie. squarely at the top with Lola a close second.

Now I just need to get back to Seattle to try other three and get me some more pie!

Vancouver – Eating around Town

During our Seattle adventure, we made the 3 hours trip up to Vancouver to visit some of Jill’s friends. Unbeknown to us, Vancouver has it own foodie culture and we had the perfect native Vancouver tour guides. Since we left Seattle at 7:30am, we arrived in Vancouver just in time to be starving and ready to eat (a.k.a. 11:30am) so we journeyed over to Milestones for brunch

Milestones Grille + Bar

Emotional Outcome: 😀

Needing some reward from the long car ride, we stared out with some alcoholic brunch style drinks. Of course we couldn’t just go with the classic mimosa with so many drinks on the Wish List (aka specialty drink list)

I had the Mimosa Kiss – Champagne, raspberry liqueur and cranberry juice and Jill had the Milestones Mimosa – Peach Schnapps, champagne and orange juice. Both were tasty but I do believe Jill got the better of the two.

Lunch was another story because everything was good.

Crafts in Action – Weekender Bag, Barcelona Skirts, Blue Sky Sun Hat

Thanks for all the well wishing with the sunburns and lost photos.  Despite all that I want to reassure you we had a wonderful time!

The question did come to mind while I was traveling, once we make our wonderful crafts and then blog about them, what happens after that? Do they go into the oblivion of our closets? Do they get pampered in relation to our store bought goods? Do they ever get washed 😯 ?

Well, I am normally one of those people that actually use what they make and since I crafted so much before my Hawaii trip I wanted to tell you how each one faired during the journey

Weekender Bag:

This bag really does hold quite a bit of stuff. I used this as my carry-on and it worked out really well as it was perfectly sized for the overhead compartment and was easily accessed during the trip. If packed with a lot of stuff it did become heavy after carrying it around the airport for a while as the straps are not super padded.

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One big thing that occurred during the trip was that the stitching that holds the strap to the side of the bag was not strong enough to support the load. It was not a lot of stuff, but if you actually fill the bag it does put quite a bit of stress on the handles. Despite following the instructions for backstitching at each end, the one line of stitching with just a few backtack stitches was just not sufficient. The bag still held up to the challenge though because of the 3 to 4 times the handles were stitched to the bottom panel of the bag.

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Advice: I would do something similar to the “x” above to reinforce the straps at both the bottom and top stitch point and backstitch across the entire top and bottom stitch line, not just a few stitches.

Layed Barcelona Skirt

My Barcelona Skirt also worked out well for the trip. I was amazed at how many times I actually wore skirts during the trip and may be inspired to wear them more often. I will have to work on fit a little more as the back was a little gappy as my badonkadonk is bigger than my waist causing some fitting issues. When I returned I machine washed the skirt and it frayed quite a bit, which was expected, and took on a wonderfully different look.

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This is after the 10 minutes it took to snip all the frayed edges resulting in a pile of this

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which came from the front AND backside of the top layer of the skirt.
Advice: Hand wash! At least in my case. I don’t know if the skirt will take too many more runs through the washing machine as the fraying on some parts was pretty deep. But I love the frayed look so like I said before, this will be cared for as delicately as I would my hand knits.

Blue Sky Sun Hat

Unfortunately I have no real update for this hat because this hat is a sun hat NOT a wind hat and it was pretty windy the entire time I was in Hawaii, especially at the beach. When the wind would blow it would flop down or back and threaten to take wing and fly away.

Advice: Make sure it is sunny not windy when wearing.

Please note: I still love all my projects and recommend them highly, but like people, they are not without their quirks 🙂 Just trying to let you all know how they faired in action. Good Luck!!