Tag Archives: pesto

Post-classes: Vacation Day Five (Tallahassee: Graduation, El Tapatio & Kool Beanz)

I graduated! PROOF:

class of 2013

ME

I am now a master of science.

None of us really ate breakfast this morning (as we frantically raced toward the civic center instead), but we did have lunch at El Tapatio, which I enjoyed. Both times I’ve been there I got the carne asada and was not disappointed.

asada

I also tried to show my parents around Lake Ella, but it started raining. We got in a look at some food trucks that happened to be there, as well as the rose garden by the church.

pizza

tacoooos

menu

flowers

The main attraction of the day for me was a well-deserved graduation dinner at Kool Beanz, my favorite Tallahassee spot. My hints: get there early and be prepared to wait. Fortunately we spent time at a local boutique, Cole Couture, while we waited for our table. I also forgot that Kool Beanz always gives you delicious bread and butter before your meal. The bread is so crusty and the butter is so creamy, I could eat the whole basket.

menu

My mom and I each also had a glass of wine.

wine1

wine2

We had the clam appetizer, the spring salad, and the two pasta dishes at the bottom (the crawfish and the scallops/shrimp.) It was ALL amazing but we couldn’t pass up dessert.

clams

le salad

cheesy

mine

Lastly, the dessert menu and our chosen dessert (the smoky bacon brownie!)

desserts

Sorry the picture is dark, it was getting late! This was wonderfully unique and smoky and delicious.

ours

Post & photos by: Melissa

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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


Ciabatta double-meat sandwiches with pesto

Here it is, as promised! My favorite sandwiches. These are great for lunch or dinner, but they are best served soon after cooking because they are delicious warm. You can use whatever meat you’d like, as long as it’s lunchmeat. I would recommend beef but pork would be ok too. I wouldn’t use chicken, but if that’s what you like then go for it. You can also use your favorite cheese. I think provolone and pepperjack both work well, but another cheese I’d recommend is asiago as it’s my favorite. 🙂

Ingredients:

2-5 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 T olive oil
Pastrami (lunchmeat)
Black pepper beef (lunchmeat) 
Ciabatta bread (you can learn how to make your own HERE.)
A little less than a cup of less-liquidy basil pesto, stirred (homemade or store bought)
Cheese of your choice (but we are using provolone, I got tired of pepperjack!)

( A pound of meat makes about 4 sandwiches)

Recipe:

1. Mince garlic.

2. Bring olive oil to medium high heat in a pan and add garlic. Sautee garlic until golden brown.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Add meat to pan.

5. Cook meat until slightly charred at edges.

6. Cut ciabatta bread into desired sandwich-sized pieces and in half.

7. spread one half of each sandwich with pesto and the other half with cheese.

7. Stack meat on pesto side of sandwiches.

8. Place in oven and check every 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

9. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich? Have you ever tried pesto? If not GO FOR IT. I definitely recommend the homemade bread. 🙂

Post by: Melissa Rook
Photos by: Colin Diltz