Thursday, October 14, 2010

Meatballs Galore.

source: Bon Appetite

I love sandwiches.  It's a deep, deep love.  I eat them whenever I can.  Recently, during a weekend getaway with some friends to Leavenworth, I was sucked into an issue of Bon Appetit magazine with a feature on meatballs.  This reminded me how delicious they are on sandwiches, and then I flipped the page to the pork meatball bahn mi.  Cue the heavenly choirs.  Sunday I went to the store and got all the fixins so I could make it ASAP.  It.  was.  amazing.  I modified the recipe a little and used asian quick-pickled cucumbers instead of the radish, and did a lime-sesame oil sriracha dressing instead of the mayo-based one.  I liked it so much, I ate it again for lunch the next day.

Tonight?  Another meatball extravaganza:

source : Bon Appetit

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Adventures

The weekends have been wonderfully cool, crisp, and sunny recently and I'm taking advantage of early fall by doing some of my favorite fall things.  For one, walks around our neighborhood are wonderful this time of year.  It's an old Seattle neighborhood with great big deciduous trees that are just starting to turn and shed their foliage.
This is a photo of Andrew laughing at me because I kept trying to get an action shop of him walking, but he would stop and pose.  There was a lot of "ok now look at me," [Andrew stops, faces me in sort of a "ta-da!" stance] "No!  I need you to keep walking!"  This was repeated multiple times until I was crafty enough to catch him off guard before he could fully turn.

So then on Saturday, the weather was wonderful and I took Andrew up to the Skagit Valley to pick apples.  I'd been planning it for a few weeks as a surprise and it just happened that the weather worked out.

Yes, that's me in a cartoon barrel of apples.  I love stuff like that.

I made Andrew pose as the honeybee.

It ended up taking all of thirty minutes to collect fifty-five pounds of Jonagold apples.  They are delicious.  I gave a few to some friends and family, but I have grand plans of pies and cider.

I stayed to the low branches, and there were plenty of good-sized apples to choose from, but Andrew was reaching for the higher ones, just because he can.

It was a good time.  After we'd picked a wagon full of apples, we wheeled it back to the barn and bought some cinnamon doughnuts and fresh cider, plus a bottle of hard cider for later.

As part of our journey, we drove down the road to my aunt and uncle's restaurant, The Rhodedendron Cafe.  Uncle Don was working in the kitchen, so we called him out and chatted for a while.

Here's the thing I love about this place:  It's not what you'd expect.  It's way out in the country and looks like your grandma's home kitchen.  You might expect simple diner fare.  No, ma'am.  Don and Carol close the restaurant for several weeks in the late fall through the winter and go travel looking for cultural immersion and culinary inspiration.  We're talking places like Tanzania and Spain, folks.  Their menu is phenomenal.  I'm never disappointed and always impressed.

So in short, fall is in full swing here in Monicaland.  Next up?  Pumpkin patch adventures?