Visiting the Space Needle was not on the top of my “must list” when I moved to Seattle six years ago.
To be honest, it seemed like one of the city's miscalculated impulses—like getting a lower back tattoo or a car phone.
Maybe that's because my vision of future worlds is more fired up by the likes of Back to the Future or Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure than that of the Jetsons.
Our offices are right next to Phase 1 of the Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition, so we've had a front row seat to all the machines pick-pick-picking away at the doomed highway. In a surge of nostalgia for the concrete disaster-waiting-to-happen, I wrote a little song about the Viaduct. My husband Daniel Spils, a music producer, added a bunch of layers to fill it out. Then our friend (and musician and animator) David Nixon added video. And "O, Viaduct" was born. Hold hands and sing along, everybody!
Remember that the turkey can sit, cooked, under foil on the counter for 45 minutes and be perfectly fine (actually better!) than if you're rushing it to the table and cutting into it right away.
Meat that is allowed to rest is juicier, so err on the side of having the turkey done early: just tent with foil and use the oven to rewarm or keep warm the green bean casserole and mashed potatoes.
This also means you have plenty of time to get the gravy just right.
In case you haven’t heard, pies are the new cupcakes. And with all the sweet shops dotting our landscape, most of them with tasty enough pies, picking the best one comes down to a couple of things for me: experience and proximity.
Check and check, ever since Chris Porter (below) opened A La Mode Pies on Phinney ridge and 59th a couple of weeks ago.
He not only gave the pie-neglected Phinney/Greenwood/east Ballard neighborhoods a much needed boost but also carved out a mini community center of sorts.
Cocktail hour is essential in my holiday happiness (Don't judge, Schick Shadel).
Luckily my inlaws are Midwestern, so instead of water they just drink Labatts starting at noon. But still, cocktail hour comes around every day around 4pm.
The Seattle City Council is trying again to do away with so-called single-use plastic bags--this time, from all retail outlets (not just grocery stores) and this time, with a twist: Paper bags would still be available, but we'd be charged five cents per (the retailer keeps the money). The idea here is to gently coerce us to get our lazy butts in gear and dig the reusable grocery bags out of deep storage (read: shoved under the back seat).
Fans of “Put a Bird On It!” and the adult hide-and-seek league, brace yourselves. “Portlandia: The Tour" is coming to Seattle.
In case you live under a big unfunny rock, this popular TV series, set in Portland, distills the stereotypical Northwest mindset in over-the-top comic sketches like this one about "Dumpster Divers":
When we're hosting out-of-towners days before the big holiday dinner, I like to cook other things ahead of time, so that I'm not exhausted from entertaining before Thanksgiving even happens.
A day or two ahead of time, I'll throw together my favorite mushroom pate (recipe here).
I use crimini mushrooms, since otherwise, as my father-in-law likes to say, "this pate would cost $100 to make."
One of the easiest but most delicious things you can do to your turkey: make sage butter to rub under and over the skin of the bird.
“Compound butter” sounds fancy, but in this case it is made by pulling the leaves off of the stems of the sage (we have it growing in our yard, but it's easy to find in every supermarket – except the day before Thanksgiving) and putting it into the food processor with a 3 or 4 sticks of butter and a good amount of salt and pepper (feel free to add fresh thyme, too, if you want).
Rising from the ashes of the s-l-o-w-l-y dying Viaduct, this here shiny new waterfront oddity. Good news or bad news? I leave it to you to decide. Read the story on our news partners, KING-TV's website.
With Turkey Day just around the corner (and the busy holiday rush), we’ve got some fun ideas on how to spend time with the fam before you’re off and running. Consider: a wacky night with science, a turkey feast at the zoo, a concert with lots of hula-hooping, a fun tree lighting ceremony, a production about a boy and a wolf and a walk for a great cause.
One week folks; that is, one week until the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. Although I know some will never even bother with bed (many big boxes are opening at midnight this year), my Black Friday approach is a tad more leisurely, hopping into the wealth of great local shops and stops with same great deals running all weekend, and less of the mania. Join me at the following, won’t you?
One of the easiest things to make from scratch is cranberry sauce, and it can be made days (as in, you can make it this weekend!) in advance.
Use the recipe on the back of the bag, which usually involves sugar and orange juice and possibly orange zest. It takes about 10 minutes and it is sooo much better than the canned stuff. (It’s so good that I eat spoonfuls of it right out of the pot while it boils away.) If you're feeling inventive you can spruce it up by tossing a cinnamon stick into the pot while it boils.