Salmon Salad



Last Wednesday was my one year anniversary of living in Seattle. One year in and already on my second apartment and second job.  “It’s all happening!”


I’ve never cooked fish before moving here and what better place to start than the paradise known as the Pacific Northwest? I’ve always felt that salmon occupies such extremes. Done well, it is fantastic and over done, it is traumatic. Nervous to join the ranks of the monsters who overcook salmon, I just recently gathered courage enough to make some for dinner.

A few weekends ago I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference here in Seattle and one of the highlights of the entire weekend was the Bristol Bay Salmon table at the opening reception. I ate like 5 salmon cakes, each dunked in a pool of lemon dill aioli. Buoyed and inspired, I turned to Not Without Salt’s recipe for a simple salmon  and chickpea salad as a way to test the waters.  All the fish needed was seasoning with salt and pepper, a slathering of Dijon and about 20 minutes in the oven. I could do that! Reader, I did. And I jumped for joy when it came out just as it should, moist and flaky.

This salad was so simple and perfectly fresh and flavorful. I opted to toast the chickpeas to add some crunch. Oh, I also nixed the olives since they are gross. Capers gave me enough of a Mediterranean feel.



Salmon Salad with Cumin Toasted Chickpeas

- adapted from Not Without Salt’s Salmon and Chickpea Salad


Place your pretty in pink salmon fillets on a tray lined with parchment. Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper on top of the salmon and spread a healthy dose of Dijon on top. Bake in the preheated (350°F) for 20 minutes or until it is done.

While it bakes, chop up 1 small red onion, a handful of capers and some cherry tomatoes. Whisk up 1/4 cup of olive oil, a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and one minced shallot to form a quick vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper and pour over the onions, capers and tomatoes. Let sit to absorb flavors.

Heat up canola oil in a skillet. Drain 1 can of chickpeas and add to the skillet once the oil is hot. Season with salt, pepper and a few dashes of cumin. Stir every so often, letting them pop and get crispy. Should take about 7-9 minutes or so. Once they are done, lay them out on a paper towel to drain and let cool.

Once the salmon is done and cooled a bit, break it up into smaller pieces. Add some chopped fresh herbs like dill, basil or parsley along with mixed greens to the bowl with the marinating onions, capers and tomatoes. Add the cooled chickpeas and salmon. Maybe a bit of feta if you are feeling it. Toss it together and eat!

As Ashley suggested, I took the leftovers to work as a sandwich and I did not regret it.



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T & C visit

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When I get the news that out of town friends are coming to visit, I immediately start planning their itinerary around consuming food and beverages. Great skill and deep thought go into these food themed tours to be sure to hit the requisite tourists spots as well as all the restaurants I save for special occasions with a few scenic views scattered about.

This was no different when Brandon’s brother and his really ridiculously good looking wife came to visit us. Tyler and Christiana, of T&C Photographie, have impeccable taste and an expert eye which meant they needed nothing less than the Luxe Brabby Tour of Seattle.


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Starting the morning with iced coffees from Analog, we then wandered down the hill to end up at Pike Place Market. Here we wandered a bit to see our favorite spots. Confession: I still don’t get the fish throwing guys… I don’t think I ever will. No trip to the market is complete without a refreshingly zesty Rachel’s Ginger Beer. Necessary since everyday in Seattle is 80 degrees and sunny.

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Continuing our traipsing, we wandered Pioneer Square and sat at The London Plane for lunch. I’ve been waiting to take Christina here since I first saw it, as its style and airiness is just her aesthetic. We shared a few small plates, though I think it was the bread and spreads that was the unanimous favorite. After lusting after the server’s aprons, I finally asked where they were from and subsequently have a new Christmas wish item. One Hedley and Bennett apron please!

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Needing to walk off our lunch a bit, we hiked home and drove to coffee at Slate, where the lovely Chelsea curated a tasting for us while I read my Cherry Bombe, as pictured above.

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Before dinner, we took T&C to Golden Gardens to show off the views Seattle offers.


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Essex not only consistently yields some of my favorite drinks in the city, their glassware is uniquely gorgeous. We slowly sipped our cocktails while munching on a few small plates. It is tricky, this Essex and Delancey thing since you want to eat everything at Essex but you know you need to save room for the star of the show next door.


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My favorite is always the white pizza topped with whatever the daily offerings are. Sadly, I again did not have any room for this perfect chocolate chip cookie so I was forced to carry it around and munch on it throughout the night. Utter torment.


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The next morning we brunched at Arabica , then road tripped down to Lincoln City, Oregon. The boys found some choice tunes from Brandon’s teenage years and for some reason found great pleasure in torturing us girls with its nonsense. Luckily we were treated to fantastical scenery that distracted us from the pain in our ears.

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T&C’s trip was way too short, and with so many restaurants in Seattle it is imperative that they return. But we look forward to visiting them in North Carolina this October!

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An Herbaceous Corn Salad




I whipped this up and had it in my mind that it was a salad, then I noticed a bag of tortilla chips on the counter and somehow the corn salad ended up perched on a chip and suddenly, it became a salsa.

I’m well aware that it is incredibly boring to talk about the weather, but just bear with me because we have been abused with a seemingly endless monotony of 85 degree weather with clear, blue skies and it is getting out of control. I was actually excited when there was a relatively cool, overcast day last week. Seattle is magical. It takes me to places I never thought I’d go, like craving cloudy skies.

During all this sunny, sweltering weather I’ve craved light, fresh and flavorful salads. Pairing this herby, corny salad with chips and an ice-cold gin and tonic (with extra lime!) is definitely what you should have for dinner.


 Herb and Corn Salad/Salsa

Shuck 4 ears of corn. Coat two in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil/Grill those 2 ears of corn until beautifully charred. They should get a nice dark brown, but don’t burn them for God’s sake. Check on them every few minutes and turn to make sure they brown evenly.

Cut off the kernels of the remaining two cob ears of corn. (Food 52’s tips on how to do this safely and cleanly here). Add kernels to a bowl. Dice up a about half a small red onion and a jalapeno into very small pieces. Add to the kernels. Chop up whatever fresh herbs strike your fancy. Here I used cilantro, flat leaf parsley, chives and a bit of mint. Whichever you prefer and however much you’d like. Add it all to the bowl and add some crumbles of cojita or queso fresco.

Mix up a quick vinaigrette with olive oil, lime juice, a dash of cumin, salt, pepper and thinly sliced shallots. Pour over the corn and herb mixture, stir to combine and let sit in the fridge until the charred corn is done to let the herbs wilt just a bit. Once the charred corn is done ( and cool enough to handle!), chop off those gorgeously tanned kernels and add to your bowl. Mix it all up and serve with tortilla chips and a chilled beverage.


I added a can of black beans and few handfuls of massaged kale to the leftovers and took it to work for a lunch that was the envy of all.


Practice makes … better




Though there are endless quotes and stories of people who achieve incredible things after a myriad of failings, it is still intimidating to begin or jump in to something new. Sure, these stories and quotes are inspirational and motivational for a moment, but what keeps you working, toiling, searching and plodding along in failure or mediocrity until you reach something akin to success? Obviously, it must be due mostly to some innate tenacity within the individual which is how they, the few, become lauded. I’m really not trying to say anything vital here, just thinking in writing and lately I’ve been asking myself why I get intimidated to begin something new.

“Well, I don’t know how to do that!” is what I tell myself. But that isn’t a good enough excuse not to begin to learn something! How are you  supposed to just KNOW something without any learning, experimenting, practicing and exploration?

“But I’m not talented enough!” Pfft, so damn what. Is something only fun, challenging and exciting if it comes out perfect and world changing? Sure, that is exciting, but it isn’t the point of creating and doing something you enjoy, to actually ENJOY it?

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For our 1 year anniversary, the spouse got me a little light so I wouldn’t have any more excuses not to practice food photography. For a while now, I’ve blamed the lighting and the grotesque countertops that populate our kitchen as the reason why I cannot possibly play with food, camera and photoshop. Sure those are real, but they are just stupid excuses because I know that the photos I take in this unpracticed state won’t look amazing. Which is why I don’t practice. WHERE IS THE LOGIC? Precisely. There is none in this argument.

As someone who prizes logic and sense above all, I shouldn’t let it continue. I love following food bloggers with incredible photography ( Cannelle et Vanille, Local Milk, Leela Cyd), which is inspirational but it also tends to shut me down since I assume the first photo I take won’t be as good as their most recent one. And why should it without the education and carefully practiced skill they have? Anyway, this entire rant, Gollum style, is just to say that I want to push myself to practice many different skills, projects and techniques in the future. And I want to post it here as a way to see the growth that will (hopefully) occur and to not let non-perfection damper practice.

The practice



I’ve been taking Skillshare classes on Indesign, hand lettering and food photography. While watching the hand lettering one, I almost fell into the another trap after seeing how incredible  Mary Kate McDevitt’s lettering was. Because obviously she came out of the womb with a freshly sharpened pencil and a perfectly calligraphied message, “Hello World”. But as I kept watching, she continued to erase, and start huge chunks of her project over if they didn’t look right. Her gorgeous final project was not a first draft, or a second or even a 10th. She erased, started over, traced and re-sketched continually. Her exquisitely whimsical end was the result not only of an official education and personal talent, but a dedication to her craft and the hard work it will take to get there. I’ve learned many fun things from that class, but I keep going back to that “lesson”.


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Another story that I keep going back to is Julia Child. Anyone who has turned on a stove to cook something probably looks to Julia, but I recently read “My Life in Paris” which just shocked me with how (relatively) late in life she officially learned how to cook. She started taking cooking classes at age 37 and it took 10 years of intense writing, cooking and experimenting to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Just think of that when you are like 23 and dramatically lamenting that you don’t know what to do with your life. Also, this quaintly illustrated book about her life looks delightful.

What are you too intimated to begin for lack of knowledge and experience? Lets both through nonsensical intimidation out the window and get to work.

“The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake”

For July, the Kitchen Reader book club read “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake“.  


Lately I’ve been gravitating towards books about food whether that be day in the life’s,  memoirs or essays on women chefs. Before this, I would almost exclusively read novels. But since getting on this food book kick, I’ve stuck with non-fiction since that seems to be the most common type in the gastronomic genre.  The Kitchen Reader book club selected a novel for its July selection and I was intrigued. I went through a few different levels of interest while reading this book.

I know, never judge a book by its cover but you know what, I do. At least initially. That is what catches your eye and piques your interest. Or, at least it is supposed to. This cover paired with its cloying title immediately made me think it was going to be about some lovesick career woman who can’t find love when its right in front of her and wallows in lemon cake. Eye roll. Who wants to read that? As I sat down to read it, preparing my eyes for rolling, I discovered it wasn’t about this at all. The premise was quite interesting and I became curious. It took a bit to reel me in, but after actual things started to happen I was intrigued. Though I couldn’t help but be disgusted by the protagonist’s necessary diet of factory created food, I was a fan of the idea that she could taste the feelings of the people who created her meals. We all do that a bit right? A rushed plate of spaghetti and carefully prepared ravioli with perfectly crinkled edges will be completely different. I enjoyed this phenomenon being explored in a charmingly mysterious way.

However, I soon became quite frustrated. The story, while unpredictable, went to places that I didn’t feel I could follow. I wanted to keep her “power” and its origins more of a secret and some of the revelations seemed incoherent or quite frankly, kind of dumb. The explanations were hard to follow and Rose became harder and harder to understand. The non-culmination of her romantic feelings was not explained in any sort of satisfactory manner and I was just continually frustrated by the lack of communication and relation between all of the characters. I just couldn’t understand it or get behind it. Once Rose starts to cook for herself things picked up a bit, but again the explanations of her own feelings didn’t make sense to me. I’m not really one for poetry and some reviews I’ve read of this novel mentioned that it was like poetry. Maybe that’s why I liked the initial conceit, but not much else. I do wish I had some cake though…



Mediterranean Potato Salad




Today, whilst poking about Twitter and the general internets, I noticed that the phrase “potato salad” kept creeping up. Usually when a particular subject is bandied about online all at once, it is fairly easy to find out what the source is and why everyone is giving their 2 cents about it. I mean, you can kind of know why they care, but also, WHY do they care ya know? Who’s to say? So naturally, I had a tense few minutes reading “potato salad” all over the place in case it suddenly became a fad and I couldn’t post this recipe because, like the hipster I am, I can’t conform to mob mentality. Anyway I found out it was because some guy apparently had never made potato salad, so it being 2014, he naturally took to Kickstarter to fund this noble mission and… well just read about it for yourself here.  Out of control. I just wish I had thought it of first, since this is also my inaugural potato salad. Drat.


Moving on, it was the 4th of July and people everywhere are cooking out, BBQ’ing, picnicking and all around frolicking to celebrate our freedom and the colors red, white and denim. The spouse and I don’t have  huge circle of friends here in Seattle yet, and so opted for some quiet exploring, R&R and finishing Arrested Development season 4 ( for the third time) for our American celebration. Wanting to semi-particpate in the culinary delights of 7/4, we made some umami salmon burgers with avocado and some TJ’s Unexpected Cheddar. That stuff is the shit. For a side, I decided to go as traditional as I could, in that I’d make a potato salad. However, not being a fan of bland, mayo drenched dishes, I made up this one. I think its got a nice, flavor packed punch of liberty and isn’t so creamy that it makes nasty, glooping noises. You know what I mean right? This side dish has got some sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, oil, vinegar and capers which is a combination of ingredients that works with like, an infinite amount of things. To make it a little creamier, I added just a few dollops of greek yogurt. I think it was kick-ass. Perfect for Independence Day right?


As Nora Ephron said “I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.”


Mediterranean Potato Salad


Boil a bunch of small potatoes ( I used fingerlings cuz they are adorable) for about 10-15 minutes, until soft but not mushy! Chop up and combine in a bowl:  basil, flat leaf parsley, sun dried tomatoes, diced shallots and capers. Heat up some oil in a small pan and add 1 or 2 diced garlic cloves with about a tablespoon of anise seeds. Stir till the garlic just barely toasts and remove from heat.

Once your potatoes are done boiling, drain the water and submerge in cold water. When they cool down a bit, dry, chop up and add to your bowl. Pour the oil, toasted garlic and anise seeds on top of the potatoes. Stir it all up. Make a quick vinaigrette with olive oil, a dash of red wine vinegar and whatever dried herbs you have on hand. Stir up quickly and pour over your mixture. Add a healthy dose of sea salt and black pepper to taste. If you want it a bit creamy, add a couple dollops of plain greek yogurt. Enjoy!

Roasted Potato, Broccoli and Cheddar Galette


Ugh, my kitchen lighting is literally the worst. This is as good as it is gonna get.

My baking practice with simple, free forming galettes continues with this comforting dinner. Thinking about it now, it would probably “fit” better in the Fall, but oh well.

I don’t usually enjoy making a dinner where one element has to be assembled then chilled for an hour before I can even start cooking the other ingredients. However, visions of buttery, flaky crust, melted cheddar and spicy roasted potatoes convinced me one evening the other week. Since it isn’t very healthy, I threw in a handful of broccoli, which I’m sure helped immensely. Plus it reminded me of when I was a kid and my mom would entice us to eat our veggies by topping them with wisps of bright orange, sharp cheddar cheese. That is probably why I’ve never met a broccoli cheddar quiche I didn’t like. Also probably why anything less than Double Xtra Sharp cheddar is dead to me.

Consider pairing this with a light salad dressed with tangy vinaigrette to break up the heaviness.


Roasted Potato, Broccoli and Cheddar Galette

barely adapted from  Joy the Baker’s recipe


Stir 1 1/4 cups flour1 teaspoon of  sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add 1 stick (or 1/2 cup) of cold, cubed butter and use your fingers to break up into the mixture. Some pieces will be larger than others, which is fine. Pour in 1/3 cup of cold half and half and stir till the flour is moist. Assemble dough into a ball or disk type shape, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for an hour.



Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Using a mandolin or a knife, chop  1 or 2 large potatoes into even discs. Spread them out on a cookie sheet, pour olive oil over them and season how you’d like. I used coarse salt and black pepper with some cumin and some paprika type spice. Joy uses Old Bay Seasoning. Roast these potatoes till they get soft, maybe a bit crunchy depending on your preference, about 15 minutes or so. Roast about a handful or so of broccoli covered in olive oil, salt and pepper till they get a tad crispy or however you prefer. These will probably roast for closer to 7-10 minutes. Be sure to check on them and stir once in a while.

While these are roasting, shred as much sharp cheddar cheese as you’d like and chop up some fresh chives. Once your dough has chilled for at least an hour, roll out the disk on a floured surface. I like it best when it have uneven edges and I just call it rustic. Place the rolled out dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I’ve found folding it lightly in half twice will make the dough easier to pick up and place on the pan. Once your broccoli and potatoes are done roasting, it is time to assemble! Basically, layer it all into the middle section of your large round of dough. I put a layer of cheese on the bottom, put some potatoes on top, arranged some broccoli and sprinkled chives. Do that until you either run out of filling ingredients or your galette is about to explode. Fold the dough around your filling, layering the folded corners on top of each other pressing lightly to keep together. If you want an egg wash for the dough, beat one egg and brush it on top of the dough of your galette. Sprinkle the dough with salt and pepper and put into the oven for about 15 minutes or so, until its golden brown and smells intoxicating. Sprinkle some more fresh chives on top and serve!



Foodish Podcasts

Since moving to Seattle last fall, I’ve gotten way into podcasts. I used to only listen to Meet the Filmmaker to hear interviews with the cast, crew and creators of movies and TV shows. Except, for some reason it stopped updating regularly in my podcast app, which made me frustrated so in retaliation,  I haven’t listened to it in a while. Obviously that is their loss.

Anyway, I’ve found a few food themed podcasts to listen to on my walk to and from work which have kept me vastly entertained. I’m the weirdo chuckling to myself, making odd faces or grunting agreeing noises as I stumble down or trudge up the hill.  My tendency with podcasts is to find one, and listen to just about every available episode in some sort of binge listening spree. Then, I get unfairly annoyed when there isn’t an unlimited amount of new content at my beck and call, so I’m forced to find another show to start the cycle over again. These are my favorites:




This is obviously at the top of the list, since I am proud to be their Production Assistant. But I wasn’t when I started listening! I was just another rabid fan like you are about to become. I discovered the Spilled Milk Podcast through reading Molly Wizenberg’s blog, Orangette, as she hosts the show with Matthew Amster-Burton. Each episode centers on one food item, which is tasted and explored in more ways than you ever thought possible. They are a hysterical duo who never miss a chance at a good (or bad) innuendo. Lest you think that these food writers only speak on haughty, artisanal ingredients, let me point your attention to a few previous episodes: Fast Food Frozen Treats, Halloween Candy and Whipped Cream. The episodes are about 15-20 minutes long and occasionally educational along with being hilarious. Check out their amazing, clever and beautiful Facebook page and get ready to be addicted. New episodes are delivered to your podcast app every Thursday.




The Dinner Party Download  is set up around the conceit of a dinner party with various segments. They always have a guest give etiquette tips, tell a little known story from history with an accompanying cocktail, eavesdrop on someone telling a story and have musicians compile their perfect dinner party soundtrack. The episodes are about 50 minutes long and they have top notch guests, like James McAvoy, Kevin Spacey and Wes Anderson. They usually explore some new, experimental or interesting thing going on in the food world as well. I love this podcast as I learn a lot of fun trivia and informational tidbits about an array of topics that wouldn’t normally occur to me to explore. They have a trove of episodes so get crackin. New episodes come out on Fridays.


Splendid Table



 The Splendid Table is hosted by Lynn Rossetto Kasper whose melodious voice will make you salivate and swoon. Especially when she says “garlic”. Episodes are on a variety of different subjects and have interviews with the famous along with the obscure. Most episodes have a segment on Roadfood with Jane and Michael Stern   (where does one get their job!?) and there are a few segments that occur every so often like Key Three, where cooks or chefs teach Lynn her/his 3 most vital dishes. There is a plethora of recipes on the blog and in every episode, Lynn takes calls from listeners with questions. It is a fun, educational and always interesting podcast. Well, as long as anything within the realm of food and drink interests you. Some of my recent favorites are True Chef, Tasting in the Dark and Artisan Bread. By the end you’ll wish you were BFF with Lynn. New episodes come out on Thursdays.


Radio Cherry Bombe is brand new with only 6 episodes out so far. It is part of Heritage Radio Network and comes from the creators of the Cherry Bombe magazine.  Julia Turshen interviews women within the food world, from Jeni from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams to the chef and the food stylist behind Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food. I adore learning about the creative processes behind these women and their hard work to bring their creations to reality. The episode airs live on Wednesdays at 2pm EST and I think is updated as a podcast shortly after. Julia has the same 8 question, rapid fire Q&A for each guest and its so fun to see how each woman answers.



I’ve only listened to one of these, but since chefs are my rock starts and I love learning their backstories, I know Chef’s Story will become a favorite. Hosted by Dorothy Cann Hamilton, the founder of the International Culinary Center, each episode consists of her chatting with a chef. I just listened to the Barbara Lynch episode which was fascinating and such a compelling story. I’m now desperate for her memoir to come out. I’m stocking up on these episodes so I may be hard to reach for a bit. This is also from the Heritage Radio Network and airs live on Wednesdays at 12:00 pm EST, and is up as a podcast after.


Looks like this Heritage Radio Network will supply me with food centric content for a long time to come…

Book Review : “A History of the World in Six Glasses”

This is my first month doing book reviews alongside The Kitchen Reader online book club. May’s selection was “A History of the World in Six Glasses” by Tom Standage.


As you can gather from the title, this is a work of nonfiction and explores the narrative of humanity through the lens of 6 definitive drinks: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and Coca-Cola. The premise is vaguely interesting and I was curious to learn some little known tidbits about these drinks, their discovery process and culture shaping tendencies. The book is divided into one section for each drink and follows a sort of liquid timeline exploring each libation in its heyday, from invention to acceptance to mass consumption.

Contrary to its damp subject matter, I found this book kind of dry. While each drink had some curious insights, for the most part I think the author placed too heavy an importance on the evolution of these liquids and their influence on the annals of history. Surely they were formative, but I had a hard time giving them the clout he did. He dedicates the rise and fall of civilizations, societies, the Enlightenment and British Imperialism to these powerful elixirs which eh, seemed like a stretch to me.

Though Coca-Cola is my least favorite of these drinks, I enjoyed that chapter the most. Probably  because it was the most modern setting and there were some fun facts about its infiltration around the world. The brand recognition and its association with the spreading of Western culture were vastly interesting points. All in all, this book isn’t gripping or life changing, but it could be worth a skim for history buffs just for a different perspective. I recommend reading in a comfy chair, surrounded by many leather-bound books while sipping an old fashioned and occasionally spinning an antique globe. Smoking jacket optional.



Coffee City

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When discussing our upcoming move to Seattle last fall, there were consistently two comments from our friends and family. “Seattle!? It rains all the time there!” and “Oh, they’ll have some great coffee since that is where Starbucks started! “. We’ve since discovered that the weather is really pretty fantastic, some  of the best I’ve experienced living in the States. I wore my winter coat for about 6 days between November and January. Sure it rains sometimes, but more often than not the forecast that predicted 70% chance of rain all day is, in actuality, a crystal clear blue sky. And I happen to enjoy the occasional cozy, rainy, melancholy day. What I could not take any more, were the six month long, frigidly soul crushing ice baths that the Mid West calls “Winter”. You know in Game of Thrones, when Fryanyzne of House Cargartenthylisa whispers in abject fear  that “Winter is coming”?  The entire city of Chicago walks around like that from the end of September until the bitter, unceasing winds eventually cause them to become hermits or perpetually angry. bundled up white walkers.

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Also, Starbucks barely sells coffee anymore, and seems to now concentrate on selling chai with bits of real Oprah*. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t sure how being Starbucks’ origin city would mean that spectacular coffee would be flowing through its streets. But, I stand corrected since Seattle has some incredible coffee establishments. Some are ideal for working on a laptop all afternoon, some require a paperback and a few are best for bringing along nothing at all. Well, maybe a friend and some money. Read on for my favorites:



Slate Coffee Bar  

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetThis city has constantly surprised me with its affable and laid back vibe. In Chicago when people were friendly, I’d be suspicious. Like, “Why are we talking right now? What are you trying to get out of this conversation?” I know, I’m the worst. But seriously, it was rare to be chatty out and about at bars or coffee shops. But Seattle has made me less cynical. You can easily become a welcome regular and the people working usually take a few minutes to chat and are genuinely interested in connecting. Nowhere is this more evident than Slate Coffee Bar. I’ve only been here twice but Chelsea recognized me and even remembered that I had a food blog! Plus, their coffee is brilliant so I am now a devotee for life. The small space in Ballard can accommodate about 10-12 people  and I love to sit at the bar to see all the goings on. They love to chat about their coffees and the menu is extremely simple since their coffee needs no crazy embellishments. I suggest bringing just yourself and trying a tasting flight. You are in good hands with those baristas.

Analog Coffee

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This is literally across the street from my apartment, so they are probably used to seeing my Saturday morning disheveled self stumbling in for a to go cup to drink while I cook myself breakfast. With a simple coffee menu and a few snacks, Analog is an ideal spot to hipster watch and work for a couple hours. They provide killer tunes from their record player and have a nice selection of magazines, newspapers and comic books scattered about. I love their cold brew and have been known to enjoy a macchiato from time to time. I just wish they were open later than 6 pm!


Milstead and Co.

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Down the street from the Troll in Fremont, Milstead and Co. is roomy, light and airy. You just feel happy walking inside, as long as you can find a table. It can get a bit crowded sometimes. Their beans are from a few different roasters and it always makes me smile to see those familiar, red Intelligentsia bags. This is a good spot to work or read for a few hours on their rustic, pretty wooden tables. I also adore their gorgeous Coffee Plant artwork. I usually get an aeropress of whatever they recommend.


Vif wine and coffee


Up the street from the charming Book Larder and the perpetual line that is Paseo, sits a lovely cafe/bar with walls of windows. Vif  has a casual, luxurious feel that begs for a novel, light afternoon snack accompanied with a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Its morning, afternoon and snackette menu feels fancier than your normal breakfast sandwich and its wine shop is a nice browse when you need to stretch your legs. They often have wine tastings in their space, so just check their website if you are planning to go for a long while.



* Everybody gets a CHAIIII!!!!