Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Voula's Offshore Cafe, a breakfast and lunch joint on the Lake Union waterfront. This place was featured on Guy Fieri's Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," and the restaurant now has the Food Network logo on its awning, a big photo of Guy in the dining room, and a box highlighting Guy's picks on the menu. Voula's is so proud of Guy's visit to the restaurant that you can even watch the episode on their website. Check it out! You can get typical omelettes, pancakes, and sandwiches at Voula's, but Guy evidently preferred the more offbeat house specialties like the hobos, which are mixes of scrambled eggs, mushrooms, onions, hash browns and other ingredients. (I tried the naked hobo, which includes green peppers and is topped with feta or Cheddar and tomatoes, and it was delicious.) He also likes the Chinese pancake, which has minced ham and an egg inside a pancake. Weird. The portions at Voula's are ginormous; one order of the naked hobo provided three meals for us last weekend. Today I ordered two eggs with toast and hash browns and it came with enough hash browns for the whole table of five. I ate the eggs and part of the toast and maybe 1/3 of the hash browns and I've been full all day. Oscar loved his French dip, but not the French fries (they're crispy). Chris's lunch is pictured below; he says it was delicious. He also says it ranks highly compared to other places he's seen on food shows that he's tried. Also, Voula's supposedly has great pie, which I haven't tried yet. And since I'm going on a diet, I won't be eating it anytime soon. Please let me know how you like it if you go!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Christina McDonald, had a Santa party earlier this month. (That's her on Santa's lap below!) She had Santa and a professional photographer at her townhouse, and later gave everyone beautiful prints and digital files as gifts. I thought it was such a great idea! She is very high-energy and organized -- really, the best realtor ever -- and has made us feel so welcome in Seattle. She also grew up in our neighborhood, Wallingford, so she has an encyclopedic knowledge of Seattle. She drove us around tirelessly, remembered to bring snacks and water, and was extremely patient with us. I love her, and can't recommend her highly enough. Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2012! Happy holidays!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Venue in the Ballard district is home to an Art-o-Mat, a former cigarette machine that now dispenses original art for a mere $5. There are more than 90 Art-o-Mats in the U.S. -- from Key West, Florida to Las Vegas, Nevada -- with art from more than 400 artists hailing from 10 different countries. So even if you don't live in Seattle, maybe there's an Art-o-Mat near you! Among the goodies in the Venue machine are postage stamp earrings by Brandi Crye from Eugene, Oregon; mini paintings by Jodi Reeb-Myers of Minneapolis; miniature designer paper bags by Cynthia Larkin of Thomaston, Connecticut; and fused glass bobby pins from Gerry Klein of Omaha, Nebraska. Oscar decided to buy the origami from a San Diego artist named Casey, and was happy with his beautifully packaged purchase. I love the idea of supporting artists -- and of reusing these retro cigarette machines. Buying art this inexpensive is a healthy habit!
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
To me the best Christmas ornaments are the old ones. When I was very young, my parents bought a little artificial Christmas tree for my bedroom. I still have it! The plastic base was destroyed many years ago, but my father made a sturdy circular wooden stand for it. I have many of the ornaments from the same time period. My dog got loose one December and brought this rubber dog head home. We don't know where it came from, but we hung it on the tree that year -- and I still hang it up every year and think of Ginger.
Monday, December 12, 2011
NPR reported that 3/4 of the respondents to a recent poll said they'd rather not have a company party. Instead they want cash bonuses, gift cards, or paid time off. If corporate America is paying attention, the company holiday party may go the way of the rotary telephone by next December. Luckily I got to enjoy a lavish party this weekend, courtesy of Microsoft. The party, held at EMP, was just for the Interactive Entertainment Business portion of the company (the other divisions have their own parties), but it was still huge. Attendees were provided with a map and a schedule. Besides the museum's regular exhibits, there was 5,900 square feet of additional tented space, and bars and food stations (catered by Wolfgang Puck) throughout all the areas. Entertainment included dancing mascots, go-go girls, a comedy show, a dance club, and performances by Blues Traveler and -- most exciting to me -- CeeLo Green (whom I watched while leaning on a case holding Michael Jackson's glove and jacket).
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Yogurtland, which from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. is giving away free frozen yogurt while supplies last. Judging from the steady stream of people snaking through the store, they may not last long! The store also gave away gift cards and T-shirts before we arrived, but the upbeat staff were still handing out free rulers to the kids. (Their slogan is "You rule.") I had mango and cran raspberry tart, topped with fresh mango pieces, strawberries, and dark chocolate bits. Oscar had mango and vanilla topped with mini Junior Mints, sprinkle-covered chocolate chips, Fruity Pebbles breakfast cereal, and coconut shavings. I was impressed by the variety of both flavors (snowflake mint! taro! kona coffee blend!) and toppings. Verdict? We both loved it. Thank you, Yogurtland! You rule!
Friday, December 9, 2011
website, and is in fact its own nonprofit corporation! The group seems to be exceptionally well organized -- maybe better than the school itself.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The Sock Monster caught my eye! Do you think they would scare Santa away?
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Harry & David pears!) It's super, super easy, and since it's homemade, it's fancy enough to serve guests. Here's how: Peel and thinly slice 4 medium ripe pears, and put in greased 8 x 8 baking dish. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon allspice and 1/8 teaspoon ginger and sprinkle it over the pears. Then combine 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 brown sugar, and cut in 1/4 cup cold butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over pears. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes and serve warm.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Evelyn Evelyn graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics, and writes them herself as well (But Who Will Bell the Cat?, The Cat Who Wouldn't Come Inside). Cindy's maternal grandparents lived in the Bronx and ran speakeasies during the Prohibition. Then her grandfather had an ice delivery business. One day her grandfather went out with one of his four children to collect a debt, leaving his pregnant wife at home. He was murdered. In August Cindy raised $16,811 via Kickstarter to publish a picture book for adults and produce an immersive play influenced by Sleep No More in New York City, all to explore this murder. here! Book Two is written, but I need to create and photograph the artwork. To do that I need funding. I'd also like to make a stop-motion book trailer. This also requires funding. It looks like there is another Kickstarter in the near future. I could stop and wait for a publisher or producer to swoop in and buy/option the book, but I feel that that would ruin my momentum. Either way, I plan to go forward full steam ahead. Photo of Cynthia Von Buhler by Margee Challa ©2012 Artwork by Cynthia Von Buhler ©2012
Monday, December 5, 2011
Swedish Cultural Center. I'm not a big pancake fan in general, but Swedish pancakes are so much better than regular pancakes! They're light, like crepes, and the ones at the cultural center were served with a choice of lingonberries or strawberries, with whipped cream, plus a side of ham.