Culinary Bucket List

***Update: I have decided that it is just not possible to only have 30 things on my “Culinary Bucket List” or to complete it by 30. I’m sure much of what I want to check off could take me the rest of my life. As I continue to cross things off, I will continue to add new things on, so… here’s to getting started!***
Most people have a bucket list for general life goals, but lately I’ve been inspired (thanks to my friend Hannah who loaned me the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver) to create a cooking/baking bucket list. This list will probably take me forever into my 30’s to complete, mostly because a lot of these endeavors require special equipment and my tiny apartment is not large enough to accommodate more kitchen gadgets, but I would love to see most of these checked off the list before, well I die 🙂 the big 3-0 hits. Some (like the bread) seem simple while others (like the cheese making) seem daunting. I’m hoping to cross off one item every -every/other month and learn a thing or two along the way!

1. Make homemade bread
2. Make cheese from scratch
3. Learn to can
4. Make eggs benedict
5. Make a pizza entirely from scratch
6. Make corn tortillas from scratch
7. Make tamales
8. Make re-fried beans from scratch
9. Make a meal entirely from local ingredients
10. Learn the mother sauces
11. Make sausage
12. Make gnocchi from scratch   (will post recipe soon)
13. Make sorbet
14. Cook a recipe from each of the cookbooks I own (as of today, I’m sure the collection will grow)
15. Make Creme Brulee
16. Make a souffle
17. Make meringues
18. Make sushi
19. Cook duck
20. Make Beef Wellington
21. Create a “signature” bbq recipe
22. Make a flavored vodka
23. Roast a rack of lamb
24. Make kimchi
25. Make an authentic German meal
26. Successfully make caramels
27. Make bananas foster (or just light something on fire)
28. Make soup in a pumpkin
29. Confit something
30. Cook a whole fish
31. Make a pop over
32. Make cobbler in a mason jar

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Wing Challenge #1

I love wings. OK, so I know I say I love a lot of things… but I do love wings. I didn’t really start eating them until I met my boyfriend (so thank you Fisher) but after the first one, I was hooked. A few weeks back, I was chatting with a friend of mine and happened upon the subject of wings and how much we both love them. He had found an article on “the best wings in W.Seattle”  and we immediately decided we needed to give them a try, and thus the wing challenge was born.

The first two stops on our list were Alki Tavern and Tat’s Delicatessen (which I had NO idea even had wings, they are famous for their glutenous sandwiches).  We first stopped in at Tat’s, no lines at 5pm PS. They offer one type of wing, authentic buffalo (regular or hot), served with blue cheese and ranch. They describe their wings as “crispy” and we for the most part agreed. We got the hot authentic buffalo and felt the heat was good, it left a bit of a sting on your lips, but was no where near unbearable. The wings were smaller than we are used to, which we surmised lead to the crispy texture. Aside from the minimal amount of veggies on the side, we were pleasantly surprised at how solid these wings were.
Wing Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Second on our list was Alki Tavern. I had never even heard of this place before I read the article posted above, but was excited to try Sweet Lou’s wings. On Monday’s, he sets up a fryer outside of the bars entrance and does wings all night (but only on Monday’s). It’ll set ya back $5 for 10 wings. (probably can’t see this picture very well, but I’m posting it anyway – It’s the sign talking about “Trophy Wings” near the window where you order)

These wings were less spicy, but still had a good flavor. They were less crispy than the Tat’s wings, but the meat was juicier and the wings were plumper. The only thing that could have made this wing better was a tad more spice and a bit more crispiness. Sweet Lou even delivered the wings himself.
He even provided us with an empty container AKA the Bone Yard (as he called it) for our bones.
Wing Rating: 8.25 out of 10

Overall, two pretty solid wing spots! Next on the list is the International District, for a different take on wings. What’s your favorite wing place?

This Made Me Smile!

A very big thank you to Pretty Birdie Brown for this fun nomination! You’ve definitely inspired me to try some new and different things with my wardrobe – hats off to you my friend!
The rules of this nomination are:
I get to tell you seven random things about myself as well as pass on the award to seven other great bloggers.
Nominees, in order to accept this award you must:
-Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.
-Write seven random things about yourself.
-Award seven other awesome and inspiring bloggers.
My Random Facts:
1. I love penguins. My sister adopted me one in Antarctica for Christmas two years ago – his name is Phillip.
2. I have ran 3 half marathons – my fastest time was 2 hours 5 minutes.
3. My comfort food is cream chipped beef on a baked potato, not toast.
4. I have 4 unfinished knitting projects at home, all scarves.
5. At a Backstreet Boys concert 3 years ago, I got Nick Carter’s autograph… on the back of my Dave Matthews Band ticket.
6. My boyfriend and I treat our precious lime tree like a pet
7. I’m really good at Mario Tennis (if I play as Peach)
And the Nominees are: 
Thank you to all these bloggers for inspiring me to make the best out of life!

The Pizza Delivery Competition

First off, a little background. Seattle Pizza Club was founded in 2010 as a way for friends to discover new pizza places, share favorite pizza places and mostly to eat pizza. The club is so official, it even has its own set of rules including always having cash (to make the bill process easier), no left-overs and always ending the night with the S-P-C cheer.  SPC has been to over a dozen pizza restaurants and eaten well over 100 different pies.

Last week the Seattle Pizza Club gathered in West Seattle to taste test 8 different delivery pizzas. All were ordered to be delivered at the same time, however only 2 showed up at the same time… awkward! (In case you were wondering, Pizza Hut showed up first.)   A few of the pizza places were unknowns to most of us, but they ranged from local pizza joints, to a few of the main pizza delivery places. Below are each of the different delivery services and what we ordered from each along with the results by person.

Locations/Types 

Zeek’s – half Puget Pounder, half Cherry Bomb
Pizza Hut – Stuffed Crust with Cheese
Pizza Gallery – Veggie Special
Papa John’s – Pepperoni, Jalapeno and Pineapple
Red Star  – 1. Hawaiian 2. Pepperoni (also got cheese bread with sauce)
Luciano’s – “House Special” aka Kitchen Sink
Domino’s – 1. Cheese 2. Pepperoni, Olive, Mushroom and Canadian Bacon
Olympia Pizza – Spicy Pepperoni

Results*

*The (-) means that the person did not try that type of pizza – no points were awarded for no tastes. 

Zeek’s was hands down the favorite, while Domino’s came in dead last. Much to our surprise, Red Star – one of the unknowns came in second. All in all it was a successful competition, even though – there were left overs.

Stay tuned for next month’s meeting at Stellar Pizza in Georgetown!

Summer in Seattle

It hit 80 degrees today in Seattle…. which as most of you know has hardly happened this summer. To celebrate this lovely occasion, a girlfriend and I headed to the Ballard Locks today to soak up some sun. Our hunger soon got the best of us and we decided to hit up Trader Joe’s for an antipasti style lunch. We had a caprese salad (marinated mozzarella from TJ’s, brown and yellow tomatoes and some fresh basil), a meat and cheese plate (the Spanish meat trio from Tj’s, Iberico cheese, goat cheese and some crusty bread) and a sparkling pino grigio. How did you enjoy your sunny Saturday???




Happy weekend everyone! Enjoy the sun 🙂


On the Horizon

I have SO many things on my to do list – mostly just projects around the house, but what I’m really excited about doing next weekend is trying my hand at pickling. No, not the real steam bath or pressure canning, but the refrigerator type. I’ve decided on a few things to pickle – garlic, jalapenos, tomatillos and of course, cucumbers. My mom used to can a ton when I was younger and I could hardly wait for those pickles to be ready during Christmas time. There was a great post by Shauna aka GlutenFreeGirl inviting everyone to a pickle party… all though I’ll be late to the party, I can’t wait to attempt pickling (even if it is the easy kind!) She has a very comprehensive list of pickling recipes in this post, some are of the refrigerator variety, some of the steam bath canning variety. I wish I had time to try them all! Ps- if you don’t follow Shauna on Twitter or read her blog regularly, I highly recommend it!

The other thing I’m really looking forward to trying is making churros. My friend Emily and I went to Spain together during college and quickly found out that in almost every single cafe they sold churros. Luckily we walked enough so we didn’t gain too much weight, but just thinking about those delicious fried sweet treats brings a smile to my face. I got a new Rick Bayless cookbook last week and there it was, a recipe for churros. My mom has a cookie press that luckily has an attachment for churros -what luck! A few other things on my long list of things to make are homemade tortillas and tamales… probably during a crappy fall day 🙂

So with that being said, I all ready have my whole next weekend planned out!

I’m headed to Texas today for work – it will be an interesting time. My first time meeting with some of the dealers that I work with, some good ‘ole Texas boys as I’ve been told. I will finally be getting a good dose of heat I’ve been so desperately needing (a BIG dose, since the highs there are in the low 100’s). But what I’m most excited for is being able to legitimately being able to wear my beloved cowboy boots. This is my very first business trip – and I’m dorkily nervous! I’ve been working with car dealers for almost 4 years now, so I should know what to expect… but meeting face to face is totally different.

Packing was a total disaster! I’ve been to Texas before, but never in the summer. It’s also a challenge to pack for business. Normally I would pack suit pants, nicer dresses that kind of thing – but West Texas is a whole different story. Things are a little more laid back there, so I kept it business casual (more business than casual). The other challenge is trying to look nice without sweating my ass off – so I packed 2 short sleeve dresses (long enough to where I don’t look trashy), a pencil skirt with a short sleeve blouse and nice black capri pants with another nice short sleeve blouse. I brought a few pairs of heels and my cowboy boots of course.

I’m guessing I won’t have time to post this week, unless I find myself really bored in my hotel room – but I all ready can’t wait until I’m back in Seattle on Friday! Until then…