Category Archives: cupcakes

Bite of Seattle 2013 & Olympic Sculpture Park, plus some Chihuly

This weekend is the bite of Seattle. Naturally this means I’m quite excited and had to partake in the festivities. Twice. Once on Friday and once on Saturday. I highly recommend going to the Bite of Seattle, or any other “bite” type activity you have in your area, as it’s a great way to enjoy a variety of foods from the area at a reasonable price. In my case I went to “the alley“, which is the event’s largest fundraiser, donating the money to Food Lifeline, a local charity. The menu is different on all 3 days, so I posted a link to it above (“the alley” link) but I’ll explain as I show you the food below. But first, the Space Needle. You can also see the fountain spraying water below the Space Needle, which is a fun attraction especially for children as they try to run away before they get wet.

needle and fountain

Friday:

friday food

From the yellow rice, clockwise, and then the middle:

Far-Eats: Tender chicken morsels simmered in an aromatic sauce with herbs & spices then slowly baked with basmati rice until flavors blend
Dahlia Lounge: Ginger pork salad with blueberries, mint and chilies
O’Asian Kitchen and Lounge: Baked Barbecue Pork Pastry
Purple Cafe: Summer Quinoa Salad
Din Tai Fung: Veggie & pork wonton with spicy sauce
Yippie-Pie-Yay: Peach-Bourbon Hand Pie
Belltown Pub: Chicken & Seafood Gumbo

I really liked everything, except for the Belltown Pub’s gumbo. However, if you like extremely smoky flavors, you might have liked it. My favorite was the Dahlia Lounge’s ginger pork – it was amazing. Another favorite was the wonton from Din Tai Fung. Fortunately, the wonton was served on both days that I visited.

Saturday:

saturday foods

From the bun, clockwise:

Local 360: Root beer glazed pork belly
Palace Kitchen: Slow cooked brisket, blueberry BBQ, sweet corn pudding & blueberry pickles
O’Asian Kitchen and Lounge: Baked Barbecue Pork Pastry
PinkaBella Cupcakes: Root beer float cupcake
Din Tai Fung: Veggie & pork wonton with spicy sauce
Shanik: Roasted spiced eggplant, squash & tomatoes with crispy wheat flatbread
Salty’s on Alki: Fresh Oregon BayShrimp Cocktail with marinated local vegetable slaw finished with a house-made cocktail

The brisket was amazing, (and of course blueberries are my favorite food) and the shrimp cocktail and spiced veggies on flatbread were respectively fresh and nicely seasoned. The root beer float cupcake was delicious, though very heavy on the frosting, to the point that it fell over in my corn. But it was still good!

After we left the bite we walked around the area, and ended up at the Olympic sculpture park where there were a few interesting pieces that I hadn’t seen before, and a few I think I just haven’t taken a close look at before. We also wandered by a new Chihuly piece which was visible from the walkway. They reminded me of Dr. Suess flowers.

Metal tree!

metal tree!

Eyeball chair! As demonstrated by lady with stroller.

eyeball chair

The infamous naked fountain, though the other figure is obscured by water.

fountain

I’m told that this sculpture is fashioned after an old-timey eraser with a brush on the end. I thought it was some kind of sea creature…

eraser art

Temporary art installation:

the roofroofing

And the flowers.

dr suess

fun times in suessland

Post and photos by: Melissa

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Spring Break: Orlando/Cocoa Beach – Sunday & Monday morning

On Sunday we went out for brunch at First Watch.

brunch is great!

I had the Parma Hash which they describe as: “Two eggs* any style atop a hash of fresh, seasoned potatoes, Italian sausage, house-roasted Crimini mushrooms, onions and tomatoes with melted Parmesan, mozzarella and fresh herbs.”

As you can tell from the description, it was amazing. It came with an English muffin, but I chose to substitute a fresh lemon poppyseed muffin for $.90 more.

with a cuppa fruit

so cheesy!

After that we went to Cocoa Beach. It was packed, as some spring breaks are occurring at the moment. However, it was really windy and cold. We stayed for over an hour and then went around town a bit before heading back. And of course from my picture you can’t tell it was crowded, you’ll just have to believe me!!

Cocoa beach

The other place we visited in Cocoa Beach was Ron Jon’s surf shop, which if you’ve driven on a highway in northern/central Florida, you’ve probably seen a sign for.

ron jons

RON JON

Apparently they’re open 24 hours. Seems like that would be a big draw in a place where a lot of things seem to close around 5. We ended up going to Downtown Disney to look around and have dinner. We chose Wolfgang Puck Express based on their menu, which included creme brulee and pizza.

I had the 4 cheese & pesto pizza.

pizza

And of course creme brulee. It was very filling.

so big!

The next morning, we went to breakfast/brunch before it was time for me to drive back home. We went to Toojay’s.

Toojay's

I had the Meat Lover’s Skillet, which included sausage, bacon, onions, green peppers, tomato, eggs (obviously), and cheese. It also came with toast and we ordered a grilled blueberry muffin to split.

eggs and such

toasty

muffiny

The muffin was so good. We stopped by Sweet by Holly next door as well, for their Monday special (mini cupcakes for $1 each)

I got a lemon mini and a white chocolate raspberry. I could eat about 50 of those raspberry cupcakes and probably still not get enough; it was amazing. The lemon one was okay.

sweeeeeet

so cute

perf

Post & photos by: Melissa


Shopping in Ballard & Hale’s Ales (+ Cupcake Royale and Majestic Bay Theater)

Near the end of my time visiting home I went to Ballard with my mom. You will have already seen some of the things we did, but here’s the last post from that time period!

Ballard! We parked near here

My mom and I planned on going to The Hobbit at the Majestic Bay Theater in Ballard. This is a small (though 3-story) locally owned theater which has nice, big screens, comfy seats, and no annoying ads at the beginning of the showings (which I appreciated). We had a lot of time (though not too much) before the movie, so we went to a few of the shops around the area and I took pictures at one, which was called Lucca.
They had some really cute things that I thought I would share here, although I can hardly summarize the number of things in the store. This is just a sampling.

Then I thought I would share the two interior nighttime pictures I took of the theater.

And, while we split a cupcake we didn’t eat it right away. But we did buy it before dinner, right next door to the theater at Cupcake Royale which was luckily open till 10 pm!

We split this one:

Then we finished the night at Hale’s Ales.

We ordered the fish & chips to split. The fries are under the fish.

Then we each ordered a beer, my mom got 2 of the 5-oz tasters whereas I just got a pint of one kind. We did each try all 3 beers though. First, the drink menu:

So here are the beers we tried:

El Jefe

El Jefe and Kolsch

And I’m 90% sure that the last one was the “visiting” Double Mountain India Red Ale.

We all preferred the two tasters, but I thought El Jefe was alright as well. Just not my favorite. As far as beer goes, though, I liked all of these and my favorite was the Kolsch. Which isn’t seasonal, so I guess that’s a good thing. Overall we had a good time in Ballard and I’d definitely come back to Hale’s. We sat in the bar and everything was great; it might be fun to come here just for drinks sometime.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Orlando Adventure Day One: 4 Rivers and French macarons

I went to Orlando over Veteran’s Day weekend to visit a friend and we went out to eat a couple of times and to Disneyworld, among other things. I’ll tell you about a couple of them below. 🙂

I think I’ll split these posts up  a bit to keep it to a readable level.

On Friday, after I arrived, we went to 4 Rivers Smokehouse and had some delicious piles of meat, accompanied by bread.

I opted for the Brisket Sandwich and my two sides, BBQ beans and bread pudding.

We also took a look at the Sweet Shop in the back of 4 Rivers, and it turns out that they carry a dorito and mountain dew cupcake, but none of us wanted to try it that badly. That’s the green/orange one on the top tier below, surrounded by much more normal options.

That night we also headed to the Wine Bar, which was a fun experience and reaffirmed in my mind that my favorite type of wine is an Italian Moscato. Hope I got that right. I didn’t try any red wines, because that’s not generally what I like.

That night we also walked around Park Avenue (where the wine bar was located) and stopped at Le Macaron.

I picked out 2 delicious macarons (which I didn’t end up eating till Saturday night, but they were still very good.)

 

After that, we went out to visit Universal CityWalk (not sure about the spacing there) and to Dave & Buster’s. It was my first time there and it was really fun! I won a bunch of tickets on the Wheel of Fortune game (which I thought I didn’t get to keep unless I solved the puzzle but I GOT THEM ALL ANYWAY.)

We also spotted this Doodle Jump game, which I was happy to see because I love playing it on my phone. We ended up leaving with a pint glass and a stick of candy each.

Next, I’ll post everything about day 2 (and may combine day 3, depends on how many pictures I decide to keep in there.)  🙂

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Bite of Seattle 2012 (Saturday)

I went to Bite of Seattle today with my mom. I haven’t been there in several years, but today was sunny and I had lots of fun. There were performances on stage:

Initially we looked around…

Then we headed over to the Alley and the wine tasting. The Alley is a $10 donation to food lifeline (per plate) that gets you food from 7 restaurants. We also shared in one wine tasting for the $12 happy hour price, which included 5 tastings and a commemorative glass.

Here is the plate of food:

The food includes (according to Saturday’s Alley menu):

Palace Kitchen: Flat iron steak with tomato salad and blueberry vinaigrette (bottom middle)

Al Boccalino: Bruchetta con la muffoletta (bottom right)

Belltown Pub: Semmelknoedel – German bread dumplings made with rye bread, parsley, onions and garlic (middle)

Salty’s: Mini salmon brat with fennel sauerkraut and Walla Walla onion mustard served in a house made Brioche bun (bottom left)

Fremont Fire Pit: Pulled Pork sliders (top right)

Din Tai Fung: Taiwan’s famous, hand-made, steamed pork dumplings filled with soup (top middle)

Pinkabella Cupcakes: Strawberry mini cupcake (top left)

We got the food from these  food stands:

More to come (ran out of time) on the non-food side of things, and more on the seeing-Seattle side of things!

We also enjoyed some free samples (of many random things like sweeteners, etc.) There was also a free So Delicious brand fudgesicle-type dessert made from coconut milk and free applesauce and peanut butter. We also tried Amy’s organic rice macaroni and cheese, and some Santa Cruz organic lemonade.

I will leave you with PUNK ROCK AEROBICS. Something that reminds me of Seattle.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Hummingbird cupcakes with zesty lemon cream cheese frosting

Hello!

Long time no see. Recently I purchased the Food Network cupcake app and I thought I would share my experience with one of the recipes. (All credit to Food Network!)

I decided to make the Hummingbird cupcakes because I already had many of the ingredients, including pineapple and bananas. So let’s get into it! One note: I made a half batch of frosting because I don’t like to over-frost, and I left about 4 cupcakes unfrosted for those who like it a little less sweet. Also, as a note, I used a KitchenAid Mixer for mixing (courtesy of my mother.)

Serves: 24

Ingredients for cupcake:

2.5 cups chopped ripe bananas
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
2.75 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large, room-temperature eggs
1.75 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Ingredients for frosting: (this is the half batch I made, double for a “full batch” or lots of frosting)

 1, 8-oz package of cream cheese (room temperature)
.75 stick (3 oz) of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used the full teaspoon though I was making a half batch)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Line your cupcake tins.

3.  Chop bananas, pecans, and pineapple, and combine in bowl.

thin slices

4. Add 1/2 cup flour to bowl with fruit and nuts.

5. In another bowl, combine the remaining 2.25 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

6. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until it thickens (about 5 minutes).


7. While beating, gradually add the oil and scatter the dry ingredients from above over the top.

8. Next, fold in the banana/nut mixture.

9. Fill muffin cups.

10. Bake! I baked for 25 minutes, though you may need to adjust your time depending on your oven.

11. Enjoy! Wait for these to cool before frosting.

Recipe for frosting:

1. Add cream cheese and butter (both softened) to large bowl and combine with mixer until smooth.

2. Gradually beat in lemon zest and vanilla.

3. Add confectioner’s sugar to mixture and beat until smooth (again).

4. Refrigerate mix about 20 minutes, or until set.

5. To finish cupcakes, ice as desired.

6. At last! Enjoy!

photos by: Melissa
post by: Melissa