Hard Boil Your Heart Out

Eggs

Recipe: Homemade Mayo & Egg Salad

Location: Your Kitchen

After-Taste: I’m slightly ashamed to admit this….actually, very ashamed. I have never made hard-boiled eggs. Yup. I said it. Can you tell why my New Year’s Resolution is to cook more? It’s because I barely know how to do anything in the kitchen and I really want to feel like a real human being and know how to at least COOK A HARD BOILED EGG. Sheesh, sometimes I think I’m very pathetic. But that motivates me – because you know what? When I peeled those eggs and saw perfectly cooked eggs that I could turn into a salad? I couldn’t have been more excited! Seriously, I am a 26 year old that gets giddy after successfully making eggs. Anyway, you get the idea. Me in the kitchen = a (long) learning process. BUT, get this, not only did I make my first batch of hard-boiled eggs, I also made homemade mayo for my first time! Let the giddiness commence! This process was hilarious – it is a very good test of patience…and tolerance. I used my blender and you have to pour the oil at an extremely slow rate. It’s a great workout for the arm, let me tell you! But once the eggs, oil, and mustard salt turn into a thick mayo – it got me jumping up and down with excitement! It made a huge mess, but I didn’t care. It was all worth it! It’s healthy(er) and delicious! Plus, you can add so many things to it to turn into different dressings/sauces/aioli’s/etc. I used this mayo for my egg salad (eggs, mayo, pickles, green onion, mustard, and paprika) and it was a perfect afternoon snack. Most people can do this kind of recipe in their sleep, but I’m very proud of myself! My brother is a chef so everything I do, I proudly send him a pic to show him that I’m trying. After I sent him the picture of my egg salad, he wrote, “Awesome! Nice bias cut on the green onion.” Ummm, bias cut?? I have no idea what that is, but apparently I did a good job! I responded, “I totally meant to do bias cuts…” :) Let’s see what I can come up with next!!

Link: Homemade Mayo

Al Fresca Your Heart Out

Beaches

Restaurant: Beaches

Location: Vancouver, WA Waterfront

After-Taste: My closest friends and family know that one of the things I love most is color. I know, kind of weird. But it’s true! I’ve always loved rainbows, anything multi-colored, especially bright neons – you should see my closet! Well, the amazing dish I had at Beaches was not only a feast for my taste-buds, but also appetizing for my eyes! The restaurant itself is very fun and festive. The interior is painted with fun beach murals and has a lot of wood decor – it certainly helped that it was a beautiful, sunny day! The dish I ordered was the Al Fresca Pasta and it is pasta with tomato, red onion, shiitake mushrooms, lemon garlic butter (yum!), white wine and balsamic. So pretty much it was a pasta with my favorite ingredients! It was so tasty and the balsamic wasn’t overpowering – every time I got a bite with balsamic I would have a smile on my face. This lunch was the end of my vacation down to visit my best friend Shayna, so after we ate, we decided to take a little stroll along the water. Had to work off that pasta somehow! I love that Beaches has spectacular views of the Columbia River, and I also love that it’s right next to the long, meandering path along the beach. Definitely made me look forward to the Spring!!

Link: Beaches Restaurant

Waterfront Lunch Your Heart Out

Saltys

Location: Columbia River, Portland, OR

After-Taste: Salty’s is a fantastic restaurant that has three locations – and they’re all on the water. This Saturday morning, the sun was shining and I was staying with my best friend down south. We decided to try Salty’s and it was such a good decision! The atmosphere feels like a Summer beach house and we scored a coveted window seat overlooking the Columbia River. Now, Salty’s is known for their Seafood, but I ended up ordering the Kobe Beef Burger. A risky choice, but I have to admit, this may have been one of the best burgers I’ve EVER eaten.¬†Seriously. I was in awe with how tasty it was. (I’m sorry, the picture doesn’t do it justice.) The brioche bun was perfectly warm and grilled, the beef was so fresh and the flavors were out of this world. I’m usually not super observant of how different meats taste. I mean, I can tell differences between beef, chicken, yada yada yada. But do I normally tell a difference between good beef and bad beef? No. This may make me seem a bit tacky, but all beef is good beef in my opinion. But this Kobe Beef is officially classified as great meat. I don’t know a whole lot about meat and their standard grades or whatever lingo it is, but these cows must have been eating the finest grade of grass there is. But then to top the meat off with applewood bacon (yes! delicious bacon!), tillamook cheese (duh.), lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onion mayo? Well, pardon my French, but shit…this burger just made my day! I just really hope the Seattle locations’ burger tastes just as good as this one! Because I will be ordering a burger at Salty’s again! I don’t care if “Seafood” is in the restaurant title! I just came up with an idea…you know how Wine World has since updated their name to “Wine World & Spirits“? Well, Salty’s should update their name to: “Salty’s Waterfront Seafood & Super-Delicious Kobe Beef Burger Grill.” Ok fine, that’s a terrible idea, but don’t be fooled – the burger is excellent here!

Link: Salty’s Waterfront Seafood Grills

Voodoo Your Heart Out

Voo Doo

Donut Shop: Voodoo Doughnut

Location: Portland, OR

After-Taste: A trip to Portland is not complete unless you get a donut (doughnut?) from Voodoo! I’ve heard many people say that it’s the “cliche thing to do.” But you know what? If a donut is called “Old Dirty Bastard” and satisfies my sugary dough fantasies – I don’t really care if it’s cliche or not. Portland is known as a Hipster Haven, and Voodoo fits right into that mold. [inner monologue: “We’re hipster…we don’t have a mold.”] Ok, sorry, off on a tangent. I came to Portland to visit my bestie and everything for the weekend was kind of up in the air. I just knew that one thing I had to do was visit Voodoo. I actually have more of a ‘salt tooth’ than a ‘sweet tooth’ but Voodoo is just so unique and quirky that I really like visiting it. Please note: Cash Only! There are so many fun donuts, it was next to impossible to choose! They have donuts with fruit loops on them, gay donuts, penis donuts (we’re talking Portland, people!), even donuts with bubble gum on top. You can go with the popular bacon maple bar, go classy with the lemon chiffon donut, or go on a little adventure and try the Old Dirty Bastard like I did (chocolate frosting, oreos, and peanut butter). This is normally cardinal sin in my world, but I couldn’t finish it. My taste buds were so satisfied after a few bites, I had to share the rest (Me sharing food?! Whoa.). So you could technically look at it as two meals in one! Wahoo! I had a little chuckle when I paid for my donut and got my change back – I got $3 in dollar coins. Of course. Portland isn’t hipster at all. ;-)

p.s. I think it is officially ‘doughnut’ and not ‘donut.’ Spell check is telling me so. Hmm, you learn something new every day! …..but I’m keeping it as ‘donut’ in this post. I like to bend the rules a little bit, just like I prefer to get my dollars back in coins…

Link: Voodoo Doughnuts

NFC CHAMPS Your Heart Out

NFC Champs

Game: Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers – NFC Championship

After-Victory: NFC Champs, babyyyyy!!!! Talk about one of the greatest days of my life!!! I managed to score tickets through my boss (they didn’t hold a fake contest for me this time, so I paid [#worthit]). It was one of the greatest days of my life. That is not an exaggeration! The game was absolutely epic! We crushed the 49ers, had a half-time performance by Macklemore, and oh yeah….WE’RE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!! The energy was through the roof, we all danced and celebrated with the band outside of the stadium. There was not a frown in sight!

Seahawks will be Super Bowl Champs – I can just feel it!!

Pudding Shotz Your Heart Out

Pudding Shots

Recipe: Pudding Shotz

Location: Your Kitchen

After-Taste: Screw jello shots – it’s all about pudding shotz now!! (requirement to be spelled with a z. It’s a thing.) They are the perfect addition to any tailgate or party! I attended the Seahawk playoff game (GO HAWKS!) and I had to bring something to all the tailgates I was going to hit up. There are a couple of bars I know that serve pudding shotz and I’ve always loved them (Leny’s and Kate’s Pub) so I decided to make them in my own kitchen. It requires: pudding mix, whipped cream, milk, and alcohol. Yup, it’s that simple. I decided to go with pistachio and I even chopped up some pistachio nuts to put on top of each shot…you know, to class it up a bit. I made about 50 and they were SO perfect for the tailgates! Seahawk tailgates are the best and I was on cloud 9 the entire morning. My friends were super excited to try the shotz and they were definitely satisfied. Not only are they tasty, but they have just the right amount of alcohol to loosen you up. There were so many people downtown so I was worried about how I was going to go to the bathroom – the closest one was in Krispy Kreme and they required a passcode to use it, plus there was a super long line. Welp, pudding shotz to the rescue! There was an RV next to our tailgate, so I offered a few shotz to them in order to use their restroom and they happily offered it up. Ahhh, I love Seahawk fans. They liked them so much that they kept coming back to get more. WIN! They’re a great bartering tool. :) So forget your diet that you’re on, and make some pudding shotz for your next get-together. They’re a unique party favor that are impossible to not like!

Link: Pudding Shot Recipe

Roux Your Heart Out

Roux

Restaurant: Restaurant Roux

Location: Fremont

After-Taste: “Hi, my name is Mo, and I’m an Eggs-Benedict-Aholic.” My friends decided to grab brunch this morning and I will never turn down an opportunity to try a new version of Eggs Benedict. This restaurant has been buzzed about in Seattle because it was created by Matt Lewis who had a very popular food truck called Where Ya At Matt? He’s known for his French Creole cooking and the buzz is well-deserved. The restaurant itself has an exciting energy to it – lots of dark wood and fresh flowers at each table. You know a restaurant is going to be good when you get served a picture of cucumber water right away. It definitely had a trendy vibe and there were some interesting drinks that I’d like to try on the menu. The Eggs Benedict came and I immediately started smiling. The eggs were perfectly poached and I liked their simple approach to the hollandaise sauce. The true test of a good Eggs Benedict is the ham – this ham was thick and piled on. No thin-sliced deli meat here! This Eggs Benny was unique in that it didn’t include an english muffin. Instead, the eggs were served atop corn bread patties. I was a little hesitant, but after my first bite, I devoured it. It was a refreshing change to a classic recipe, and it fit the Creole theme of the restaurant. The potatoes were equally delicious. Needless to say, I didn’t leave a drop of food on my plate.

Link: Restaurant Roux