Thursday, June 16, 2011

What A Great Foodportunity

This past Monday our owner, our friends at Ritrovo and myself were fortunate enough to attend a food fancier's dream event and what a "food-portunity" it was! Being invited to Tom Douglas' Palace Ballroom was exciting enough, but attending alongside many food writers, chefs and food purveyors from all over Seattle made it a night to remember.

Corky from Ballard Bee Company, Amy Pennington of Go Green Garden and, even Lisa Dupar herself, were all there. Food bloggers like Shirley of LovelyLanvin and Alice of Savory Sweet Life were there in abundance and of course our proprietor herself, Karen of Frantic Foodie did a fantastic job of mingling among the masses. If the attendees didn't have our hearts palpitating from excitement, the nibbles from the hottest restaurants around town had our taste buds exploding!

Chez Shea, Nettletown, BuiltBurger and Emmer & Rye were all there sampling their culinary masterpieces, much to our delight. Foie Gras on a homemade nutmeg hinted cracker with a crisp apple relish on top. Fresh strawberry milkshakes with a strawberry puree garnish. Gluten free cupcakes and granola, that were both delicious, stole our owners heart. And the creme de la creme: a pork and duck terrine atop a lard-fried brioche with slivers of pickled rhubarb on top with a fresh sprig of fennel.
~ To.Die.For! ~ Seriously, the best thing I think I've ever eaten!

But beyond the food, it is always a fun experience meeting new people who are as intrigued and smitten with food as you are. It makes for great conversation and perhaps new lasting relationships. We walked away from an evening and an event we thought was executed perfectly and conceptualized by a foodie genius.

Thank you Karen for a fabulous FoodPortunity event in Seattle, we look forward to taking part in the next one!

See the rest of our photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Meri Meri Sneak Peak

Meri Meri Easter Bunny cake stand
Everyone loves Meri Meri. For real, it’s one of our most popular lines at It’s no wonder, since Meri Meri makes well designed, artful party decorations, stationary and tons of other cool stuff. So, I thought I’d let everyone know that we here at are hard at work readying a couple of new Meri Meri lines for debut on our website later this summer (we have to “build” products, which entails photographing them, writing about them and doing a bunch of insane computer stuff that I don’t know anything about).

First up, we’re introducing a line of Halloween items. I think Meri Meri is pretty well known for its elaborate party centerpieces, but they’ve really reached another level this year. One of the Halloween centerpieces is a gigantic haunted house complete with a blinking light, flying ghosts, a witch with a cauldron, scary trees – and even a scary fence! It is – as Meri Meri’s catalog says – “spookalicious.” Another piece that’s pretty cool is a tarantula cupcake holder; you put a cupcake on his back, and his body (he’s a smiling tarantula) is suspended in the air by 8 big legs. 

We also have a huge line of Christmas items. My favorite is a group of items – cupcake kits, gift bags, greeting cards, party plates, place cards – based on a design Meri Meri found at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The designs are all a beautiful silver/gold and have extremely intricate patterns – these things look like they could adorn wallpaper at Buckingham Palace

Meri Meri is also introducing a line of birthday party pieces based on the “Fun With Spot” books. There are birthday cards, cupcake kits, garland, party plates and a lot more. If you do not know Spot – and his friends the alligator, the hippo and the monkey – your kids do; this line keeps alive Meri Meri’s tradition of making cool things with timeless characters, like Peter Rabbit

Finally, a Meri Meri contest: Congratulations to the winners! You'll be notified soon. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garlic Dill or Bread and Butter? BOTH!

Cucumbers are in season at the farmers markets here in the Seattle area, which makes me crave PICKLES!!!
Do you prefer dill or bread and butter?
I like them both! In fact, I love pickles - go ahead and call me Snooki. (Never mind, please don't!)

I just recently started making my own pickles. The first batch a couple of years ago weren't crunchy enough for me, so when I made pickled green beans, I started experimenting and didn't blanch the beans first. They came out perfect. So I used that same recipe with cucumbers and the pickles turned out crunchy, garlicky and super dilly - just the way I like them.

Last year I headed over to my mother-in-law's house and we tried a new recipe for refrigerator pickles - talk about easy. You just throw all the spices and vinegar together, slice up the cukes, put it all in a jar and voila, Instant crunchy pickles. I think my mother-in-law had yummy pickles all summer long since her cucumber crop last summer was so abundant.

But I've never made my own bread and butter pickles. Anyone have a great recipe? I really want to try to make those and pickled asparagus this year. With all of my cute vintage Ball jars and canning tools, I'm ready to go. Looks like a trip to the farmers market and a sunny weekend of canning is in my future ...

Do you can your own pickles, green beans or asparagus? Post your recipes here and we can start our own Canning Recipe Swap! Happy Canning!