Category Archives: breakfast

Post-classes: Vacation Day Four (Atlanta: Ria’s Bluebird, Atlanta History Center featuring beautiful houses, & Frank’s Family Restaurant)

Today we started out at Ria’s Bluebird, a local breakfast/lunch place for a decidedly more fancy breakfast than yesterday. We decided to try a nearby restaurant.

bluebird

creepy bbird

menu one

menu 2

We had the french toast and the pancakes (french toast w/Nutella cream cheese and pancakes with pecans and caramelized bananas.) Both were great, but the pancakes were the clear winner, despite how much I love Nutella.

French toast

pancakes

We also tried the house-made sausage patty and it was great; it was flavorful without being too spicy and perfectly cooked.

patty

Then we went to the Atlanta History Center, which features some civil war exhibits along with gardens and an olympic exhibit, as well as a historic house (The Swan House) and entry to the Margaret Mitchell house, along with traveling exhibits. This was in a very nice part of town which encompassed many beautiful homes, which I also was interested in and took many pictures of. I would say it’s worth a visit if you’re interested in civil war history, history of the south, or general Atlanta history. Also if you enjoy pretty gardens and historic homes. If you’d just like to see some gorgeous Atlanta homes it’s worth a drive through the neighborhood. It’s also worth taking a tour of the Swan House.

canon

musical

animals

piggy

rooster

quilty

turtle

clothing sign

dress1

dress2

Next, the houses!!

one

two

three

four

five

six

7

8

nine

ten

11

We also came across a bit of history (see sign)

signpost

description

We stopped at Frank’s Family Restaurant for dinner. It doesn’t look like much and it’s attached to a gas station but it was decent food, considering that.

franks

This was on our way driving south to Tallahassee, not too far from Atlanta. We had the calamari appetizer, salad, sausage and peppers entree and complimentary breadsticks. Overall it was good value for the money and not a bad place to stop in a town that didn’t offer much else.

calamari

salad

bread

pasta/sausage

Post & photos by: Melissa

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Post-classes: Vacation Day Three (Atlanta: Aquarium & Silver Skillet & Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion)

This morning we got up early and promptly went back to sleep after the alarm woke us up. We headed out to the Silver Skillet, a local diner, for breakfast. Afterward, we went to the Georgia aquarium and we finally ended up eating dinner at Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion, which is a Thai/Asian Fusion restaurant.

My mom did both the beluga experience and the whale shark swim. I went around with my dad to ALL the other parts of the Georgia aquarium. But lets start with the breakfast at the Silver Skillet.

Silver skillet

front

menufront

two

three

four

inside

table

I got the sandwich with bacon eggs and cheese, my mom got the ham skillet and my dad got eggs and sausage.

sandwich

ham skillet

egg sausage

We also had biscuits, which were good, and I was SO excited to see this tabletop because it is almost exactly the same as our kitchen counter used to be (our house was built in the 60s.) So I loved it. (those shapes!!)

Next we went to the aquarium.

lionfish

turtle

tanky

seahorse

seahorse 2

jellies

fishes

fin

grouper?

whale shark

penguins

Beluga whales!

beluga

bel

whale

fish

snake

Albino alligator!

albino

two

three

Piranha

fishie

WHALE SHARK!!!!

whaleshark

Behind the scenes: They grow their own coral!

growing coral

more

Sorry Atlanta lovers, as a Seattle fan I’m still a bit upset over the playoffs. 😦

BOO FALCONS

Still a cool dolphin though.

still cool

another

last one

Lastly, we headed over to Poor Calvin’s, and parked by central park.

inside

one

20130502-215652.jpg

Thought I would show the drinks up closer.

drinks

I had the crispy beef, my mom had the unicorn fish, and my dad had the steak. I also ordered the sangria (amazing) and my mom had the “Frankly my dear” cocktail. Both were great, and all the food was too.

We had the calamari as an appetizer.

calamari

steak

fish

beef

sangria

rose cocktail

The staff was really friendly and they also gave us a gift at the end of our meal: a chocolate-covered apple with a 15% off an entree coupon.

dessert

We very much enjoyed our day today and had a much-needed great meal and drink at the end. Glad we didn’t settle for the loud, not-as-great hotel bar. 🙂
If I lived in Atlanta, I think I’d go to Poor Calvin’s to drink as well, seemed like a very nice bar with friendly staff.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Strawberry banana smoothie

This isn’t going to be the longest (or best, or most original or most interesting) post but if you’re interested in a quick, easy breakfast or snack and you possess a blender, keep reading!

I used to be a person who never ate breakfast. At other times I would eat cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, or a full breakfast of eggs, hash browns and bacon/sausage. Lately, I’ve been making this smoothie. Not every day, and not always as breakfast but sometimes as a snack. It’s really simple but tastes amazing, almost like a dessert.

The interesting thing about this smoothie is the chia seeds. They really add a nice texture and make this a lot more substantial than just some blended fruit. The greek yogurt adds a nice thickness and the vanilla adds some flavor (though you could use plain if you wanted, I prefer the added flavor and sweetness.) You can, of course, use regular yogurt if you don’t like greek yogurt and adjust the amounts to your liking.

Ingredients:

1 banana, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup-1 cup chopped strawberries
1/4-1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
(water if needed for blending, less water will make a thicker smoothie)

Recipe:

1. Add all to blender.

lookin good

2. BLEND!

mmmm

3. Enjoy.

yay

Post & photos by: Melissa


Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Somehow this post got erased, even though I wrote it before. No matter, I’ll write it again..

It started off with something to the effect of a rant about how almond poppyseed muffins and mixes aren’t available here, so I had to make my own. Lemon poppyseed isn’t the same. So I went through a few recipes and decided on this one with a few modifications. I also halved it to make 12 instead of 24 because 24 muffins would be so many.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups flour
1.25 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
~1/2 cup vegetable oil (this suggests much more oil, but I think that makes it too oily)
~1.5 eggs (as close as you can get)
1 teaspoon almond extract (or more)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or more)
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (or more, to your preferred amount)

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line your muffin pan. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

all the dry stuff

 

2. Add your milk, eggs, oil and extracts to preference. Add more for more flavorful muffins. Stir to combine.

mixxxxxxed

 

3. Stir in your poppy seeds.

poppies

 

4. Fill muffin pan carefully and bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Mine took about 27 minutes.

batter

 

baked

 

5. Enjoy! These are so easy to make. 😀

muffinnssssss

 

Post & photos by: Melissa


Apple Crisp

My roommate had a large quantity of apples leftover that she said she wouldn’t be able to finish and asked if I wanted some. Naturally, I decided to bake something. I found a few apple crisp recipes online and some muffin/cupcake recipes in a book I had, but I decided to go with a crisp because I already had all the ingredients. Here’s the recipe I used with some adjustments.

Ingedients:

5 cups sliced apples (about 3 medium apples)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick, room temperature)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar

Recipe:

1. Place sliced apples (chopped relatively the same size, shape doesn’t matter) in bottom of 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.

chopped apples

2. Add half the cinnamon, half the nutmeg, and half of the vanilla. Pour the water over the apples (though I recommend using slightly less than the listed amount. Mine was a little goopy.)

with the spices

3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. (This will be easiest if your butter is room temperature.)

apart

together

4. Add the rest of the vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon to flour mixture and distribute evenly over the apples. Spread the brown sugar evenly over the top.

ready to bake

5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Check and bake in 5-10 minute increments until crust is browned (but not burned) and apples are tender. Mine took about an hour and ten minutes total, but I don’t want you to take my word for it and burn your crisp! Carefully remove from oven and enjoy! This is great with vanilla ice cream.

remove and enjoy

Post & Photos by: Melissa


Asiago Cheese Bagels (1st attempt at bagels)

I love bagels and asiago cheese. So asiago cheese bagels are the best! I’ve been intimidated by making my own bagels for some time, and interested in baking bread, so I thought I’d give it a try when I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, How Sweet it Is.

I have to admit that as a first attempt this did not turn out perfectly. I also halved the recipe, because this was supposed to make 12-15 bagels and I certainly don’t need that many. I ended up with 6, though one was horribly misshapen and they all ended up more like mini asiago flatbreads. But they had the right texture and taste for asiago bagels, even though they did not have the full roundness of a bagel. I think I would try a different shaping method next time, but overall I’m satisfied with the flavor, if not the look, of these “bagels.” This is also the first time I’ve used bread flour. And as a last note on the recipe, I also do not have a fancy mixer (so I used a spoon.) Because I’ve posted the link to the recipe, I’m going to simply list the ingredients and my step-by-step simple instructions with pictures here, but recommend referring back to the original recipe for best results (hopefully even better than mine!)

Ingredients:

10-12 oz. grated asiago cheese
2 cups warm water
2 packets active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons honey
3 cups all-purpose flour
2.5 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
vegetable oil for brushing/coating

Recipe:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey and stir to combine. Let sit about 10-15 minutes, or until foamy. 

foamy

2. Once foamy, gradually add salt, 2 cups of all-purpose flour, and 2 cups of bread flour while mixing at a low speed. If dough remains sticky after around 5 minutes, add remaining bread flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and combine.

3. Remove dough from bowl and knead a few times, and form into a ball. Add remaining all-purpose flour if dough is still sticky. Brush a large bowl with oil and place dough inside, turning to coat. Leave in a warm place for one hour, until dough has doubled in size.

coated in oil

4. Once dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide dough into 12-15 equal pieces that are about 2.5-3 oz each. Roll dough into balls and place on oiled baking sheet. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. After 30 minutes, fill a large pot with water and the brown sugar and slowly heat it to boiling. While it’s not too hot, add a dough ball and poke  hole in the middle with your finger, then gently twirl to create a bagel shape. Re-place on cookie sheet while you wait for the water to boil. Repeat with all bagels.

6. After water is boiling, add bagel to water and boil 2 minutes on one side, then flip and boil 30 seconds on the other. Remove and press gently in the cheese to coat, then re-place on cookie sheet for final baking. Repeat for all bagels.

full of cheese

so cheeeeeesy

7. Bake for around 28-35 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bagels are done when dough is cooked and cheese is golden and crisp.

and here she is, ms. america (I mean asiago bagels...)

there they are!

Trust me, they taste great! I’ve had two already and it’s only been one day. But I won’t be continuing at this rate, don’t worry!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Portage Bay Cafe (Brunch) & Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks

I went to Ballard recently(ish) to get brunch with my mom at Portage Bay Cafe and generally just walk around and see the area, while I was home for the holidays. We’ll start with the brunch (which was amazing) and move onto the Ballard Locks which I don’t recall ever visiting before this.

Portage bay French toast - Grains

Eggs to the end of page one

1/2 of menu back

2/2 of menu back

this is one of the walls

My mom and I both decided on egg dishes, though she was tempted by the French Toast. We wanted the toast and potatoes that came with the egg dishes.

I got the chicken sausage scramble, with sundried tomato + chicken sausage, red pepper pesto, roasted fennel, shiitake mushrooms and manchego cheese. It was so good and full of different flavors. It was a little bit spicy because of the sausage and a little bit salty and sweet because of the pesto, mushrooms, and cheese. So GOOD. i also liked the potatoes, though I did salt and pepper them a bit.

chicken sausage scramble

My mom got the Italian omelette, with fennel-spiked Italian sausage, fresh basil, Ladysmith cheese, tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms. She really liked it also and her potatoes are hiding under her toast.

mom's plate

After brunch we headed to the Ballard locks which were almost literally just around the corner. Just click on the name there for some background information, provided by those who I’m sure would do a better job than I. Essentially the locks modify/regulate water levels to allow ships safe passage between Puget Sound and Lake Union/Lake Washington. There’s also a fish ladder with a viewing area to allow spectators to stare at the fish.

The sign for the Locks

welcome!

Time for some garden shots.

welcome to the nursery

words about the garden (sorry for quality)

nice little garden-y place

the gate

we welcome you

garden plants

cool plant stuff

Back to the fish/locks/ladder/etc.

Going with the flow

the water comes from above

and comes out down below

Hiram himself

and a reproduction

that's quite a pickle

so many fish

now for the fish ladder

but wait, there's art!

the noble salmon must be recognized

and finally a chart of the fish

These last two pictures were taken indoors, in the horrible lighting of the fish ladder area. The last one was even more horrible because it was backlit. Sorry. We did see a few (about 3-4) small Steelhead while in the viewing area, but it wouldn’t have turned out on film. All the more incentive for you to visit in one of the busier months! 🙂

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa