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26 May 2016

Tonight's Episode: Touring Seattle one bite at a time

Heading into the heart of the tourist season here in Seattle, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce you the "Eat Seattle Tours." I had the chance to spend the day with the delightful and engaging Chef Liz McCune as we wandered the Pike's Place Market and all its bounty. Through her connections with the amazing local purveyors we were able to taste local cheese, bean to bar chocolates, tangy pickles, rich non-corporate Seattle coffee, and much more. 

 What is "Eat Seattle" and what do you think people will enjoy most in spending some time with you?

Eat Seattle is a company that operates food tasting tours and cooking classes in the Pike Place Market. We focus on the “Meet the Producer” motto of the market by highlighting what’s local and seasonal in the Northwest. We only do one public tour a day Thursday thru Sunday and 1-2 public cooking classes a month. We have lots of fun private party/team-building options for food tours and cooking classes as well that can be scheduled based on our team’s availability. 
How did "Eat Seattle" come about, and what is your background in food?

In 2014, my husband and I spent a year vacationing in Europe. We knew that being a tourist for a year would become exhausting so we sought out ways that would help us integrate into each region faster. Since I’m a trained Le Cordon Bleu (from Paris) graduate and food has always been a large part of my life, it seemed natural to discover each region through its local food scene. We would seek out food bloggers, do cooking classes with chefs, use apps that would allow us to dine with locals in their homes (, wine tours etc. As I learned about agriculture, the state of the Mediterranean, farming practices, traditional dishes, I started researching more about what we were doing in the Northwest. I was fascinated to learn about how much the Northwest was producing, the steps we make to take care of our environment and I was anxious to seek out these types of foodie experiences when we returned home. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this educational element and thought it was  an opportune time to create a platform where chefs educate visitors and locals about our special area by tasting delicious food and, for our cooking classes, actively use our ingredients to create a meal. 
We all know the amazing diversity of Seattle food. What about this region's bounty inspires you most?

What impresses me the most about our bounty in Seattle is that we live in a cosmopolitan city and we don’t have to go far at all to forage for our own food, if we so choose. We have an array of wild products right in our own city: nettles, mushrooms, crab, blackberries, seaweed just to name a few. It doesn’t get cooler than that! 
What 'Tourist Trap' is still worth braving long lines for?

If you’re referring to a touristy experience then I would say the Underground Tour is incredibly interesting. I recommend it for locals and tourists.  Otherwise, I’d like to point out that the Pike Place Market isn’t a ‘tourist trap’ what-so-ever. I work closely with the Market and they make sure that they are supporting local producers providing the best products. This approach organically attracts top Seattle chefs and appreciating locals who shop and hang out in the market year-round.
The one dish in Seattle that you can't live without?

There isn’t one dish per se. The types of restaurants that capture my palette’s attention are those that use fresh locally sourced ingredients. I’m a big fan of Rene Erickson’s restaurants.  I love what Blaine Wetzel is doing on Lummi Island.

The dishes that we eat in our cooking classes are made using the finest Northwest products and the recipes are designed by talented chefs. We even grow some of our own food. Some of my favorite meals last year were in our very own cooking classes! 

The one culinary trend you hope sweeps Seattle next?
Understanding where are grains are coming from and how they are processed! This movement is just beginning and I look forward to seeing it take shape to bring awareness and change as to how our country grows, processes and labels our grains. 
Any plans to expand Eat Seattle in the near future?

No plans to expand. Right now, we are focused on providing the best quality experience possible. I would only consider an opportunity if it added more value to what we currently offer.

Eat Seattle Tours is a wonderful introduction to the bounty of Pike's Place Market and the history of the Market. At $49 + tax, it is a fun and affordable way to spend a few hours in the heart of the Emerald City.

19 May 2016

Recipe: Pickled Red Onions

This is one of the simplest recipes in my arsenal, and yet it is one I am most asked for. Pickled red onions are a beautiful and tangy addition not only to taco night but excellent in sandwiches (particularly Cubans and Grilled Cheese), chopped up into egg salad, or mixed in a bitter green salad.


1 1/2 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup white sugar

1/4 cup plum vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 large red onion, sliced into rings

(Optional 4 habaneros, with one small incision in each)


1) Bring the white and plum vinegars, sugar, bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt to boil in a large pot. Stir to combine

2) Add onions and habaneros (If you want them spicy). Allow to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature

3) Serve! These will hold well refrigerated for up to one week

Recipe: Honey Garlic Chicken for the Slow Cooker

This is a nearly idiot proof one pot meal for the slow cooker. Hearty restaurant style dinner with minimum effort.


4 Chicken Thighs, Bone in skin-on

8 ounces red potatoes, quartered

8 ounces French green beans, trimmed

2 large carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced

4 sprigs fresh Rosemary

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper


1/2 cup Soy Sauce 

1/2 Cup Honey

1/4 Ketchup

4 gloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary 

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


1) Place chicken thighs in center of slow cooker, skin side up. Season with salt and pepper and place sprigs of rosemary on chicken.

2) Place carrots and potatoes in slow cooker

3) Combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, ginger, oregano, rosemary, red and black pepper in a large bowl. Pour into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours

4) In last half hour add green beans

5) Serve with diced parsley 

(To take it to the next level, before serving preheat broiler. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet, skin side up, and place under the broiler 2-4 minutes until skin is crisp but not burnt)

25 March 2016

Pop Culture: Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

Lets get this out of the way....Batman v Superman isn't a good movie. It just isn't. Structurally it is a mess. You can almost hear the way they put the writing room together. "Hey guys, we can't screw this up, all hands on deck." The writing is so poor that it is hard to understand how Batman v Superman made it to screen in its current form. There will be plenty of people who really enjoy this movie, but I love They Live and I know its not a good movie. If you saw the trailers and were worried that they told you the movie, well you had a legitimate worry. Before we go deeper into the negative lets go positive.

Ben Affleck is an amazing Batman. If you, like I, love the Frank Miller Batman then you will see this as the definitive interpretation of the Caped Crusader. But be warned, this isn't a child friendly Batman. He kills. He kills a lot. His fighting scenes are the best Batman has looked in battle since...ever. What makes it work is the opening 20 minutes of Batman v Superman. Here the spectacle of Man of Steel, the destruction of Metropolis, becomes Bruce Wayne's personal horror. Those first 20 minutes are beautifully presented. Unfortunately the next two hours happened.

Sticking with the good, Jeremy Irons as Alfred is the standout of this movie. The few scenes he is in make me want to order my tickets to The Batman right now. He represents the only moments of joy and levity in what is a dreary depressing movie.

Wonder Woman is fine. She isn't great, but she works. I think she would have had a bigger impact if not for the reveal in the trailer that ruined the movie. Gal Gadot looks the part, and delivers most her lines with enough charm that I am cautiously optimistic for her stand alone film.

Almost every scene with The Daily Planet is pointless. They don't matter. Just fluff.

Well, just like Wonder Woman, I can't ignore the horror any longer and must dive into what was wrong with Batman v Superman. This movie is all over the place. There is no editing through line to hold it together. Instead of focusing on the destruction of Metropolis as the tie to hold the focus they invent other set pieces as the main impetuous of the plot, and it never pays off. By the time you get to the rushed and forced final battle with Doomsday (again ruined by the marketing) there is no emotional engagement. You just don't care.

Then there is Lex Luthor. *sigh* Why? Just.....why? His motivation is...moving the plot forward I guess? He is never, in the entire movie, not once menacing. He is just annoying. You never understand why he is doing anything, nor do you believe that he is a threat. I hope Jesse Eisenberg never reappears in the DCEU, just retcon him out.

Doomsday is a low rent Hobbit extra with random undefined powers. He comes in and disappears with little resonance. He only exists for the twist in the last 5 minutes.

Lois Lane is in the movie. Yay? She isn't so much a character as a thing for Superman to save. And the chemistry that they had in Man of Steel is GONE.

The rest of the Justice League is introduced. In the least realistic manner possible. One in particular is completely laughable. DC wanted to do something different than Marvel did. The story pays a heavy price for it.

The epic fight scene between Batman v Superman is wonderful. Fun. Exciting. It is straight out of the Dark Knight Returns. And ends with a total whimper. They completely cop out of any weight or stakes by finding a way to have every fight scene magically take place in an uninhabited area.

The running easily 20 minutes too long. So many unnecessary, unfocused scenes. Batman v Superman is 5 separate better films blended together into a dense mess.

Then there is the final 5 minutes. WB swings for the fences with a huge unexpected turn. At first I was bewildered. Then I was PISSED. Then I was grudgingly admiring. By the last minute I think to myself 'you know what, that kind of saves the film.' Then the last 5 seconds of the film negate all the emotional weight of the movie.

Batman v Superman isn't a good film. But it is not awful. There are elements of greatness in this film. The elements of this film that are good, are REALLY REALLY GOOD. The fight scenes look great. Batman is compelling. I didn't even mention the dream sequence that is stunning. But neither Lex nor Superman have any real motivation. Much of the dialogue is stilted and wooden. The editing is horrific. I am torn on the future of the DCEU, especially if Zack Snyder directs Justice League pt 1, but there is enough meat on the bone for me to BARELY recommend you seeing Batman v Superman in the theater


PS: When filming a tight shot with just a character's face on the screen YOU ARE ALLOWED TO USE A STEADY CAM

PSS *Spoiler* They kill Jimmy Olsen. With out bothering to mention his name.

04 February 2016

Tonight's Episode: Up your Super Bowl Party

So you want to throw a Super Bowl party. Don't settle on Generic Wing Emporium when you can class up the party with these amazing wings.

.3 cup Crown Royal Canadian Whisky®
.3 cup Honey
.25 cup Soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Thai chili sauce
1 packet (0.75-ounce) stir-fry seasoning
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
4 pounds chicken wing drumettes
3 scallions (green onions), finely chopped (optional)
.25 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

Directions:In a large bowl, combine whisky, honey, soy sauce, chili sauce, stir-fry seasoning, and garlic. Add drumettes, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Set up grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. Let drumettes stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place on hot, oiled grill. Cook for 12 to 18 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally. Transfer chicken to a platter. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and peanuts (optional).

You have the wings. You have guacamole. You have veggie plate no one will touch. Don't settle for bottles of pale flavored fizzy water. Upgrade your Super Bowl with these delicious cocktails

The Golden Gate
1.25 oz. Bulleit Rye 
0.5 oz. blackberry syrup
2 dashes bitters
Add ingredients to an ice-filled rocks glass. Stir and serve. 

KEEP POUNDING PUNCH (Serves 25):*recipe created by Kevin Deidrich
750 ml. Bottle of George Dickel Rye
10 oz. Lemon Juice
5 oz. Ginger Syrup
15 oz. Sparkling Water
7 tbsp. Simple Syrup
Muddled Raspberries
Muddled Mint leaves
Mix ingredients in punch bowl, add muddled fruits, chill and serve with ice.

9 oz. CAPTAIN MORGAN® Coconut Rum
9 oz. Orange juice
6 oz. Cranberry juice
3 oz. Ruby red grapefruit juice
Combine all ingredients including Captain Morgan Coconut Rum in a pitcher and stir.


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