Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Fun Filled 3rd Birthday: A Cars Cake and A Visit To The Fair

My twins turned three and I wanted to do something fun for their birthday.  Their favorite movie is Cars so we got them a cake, balloons, plates, and t-shirts with the Cars theme.  They liked the cake the most and may or may not have had two pieces.  I think they may have inherited my sweet tooth...then it was time to hit the fair!  The Washington State Fair is held every September and this year was held from September 2nd until the 25th.  I think they enjoyed themselves!  Turning three was a blast for my boys!
Vroom, vroom-start your engines and get dressed.  Your Cars shirt is ready to wear!

Balloons are so much fun and are always appealing for the little ones.  Kids can be entertained for some time just throwing balloons around the living room.

It's Lightening and his best pal Mater, plus Guido and Luigi!  The Cars gang make everything great!

Speaking of great, we love bakery birthday cake and can't get enough.  Goodie, because my BD's coming up and that means more cake!

Rides, Rides, Rides!  Welcome to the state's biggest fair.  The Washington State Fair is the place to be.

The area near the kiddie rides is where we spent the most time.  Our sons love rides and would probably have kept riding until the sun went down. 

You've gotta love fair food, right?  Well, we may have chosen hastily because we were hungry.  Can you say unhealthy?  I think we have our fill of nacho cheese for a while.  At least this was for all four of us!

The animals at the fair is another fun part, especially these little piglets.  Can you say adorable?

This pretty hen was inside the kid's petting zoo area. 

This little sheep was also wandering around the petting zoo for the kids.  How cool that the little kids get a chance to touch the animals and learn more about them.

We also tried a Fisher scone for the first time.  We really enjoyed the raspberry filling.  Ok, I understand why everyone at the fair always had a bag of these...

Chicken and Waffles, what we should have eaten for dinner.  Live and learn.  There's always next time. 

Goodnight, Washington State Fair.  It's been a good one.  And Happy Birthday to my little ones! 

Homemade Fresh Strawberry Syrup

When I have a birthday or someone in my family does, I love to make a special breakfast.  Nothing's better than starting your day with some good eats.  My boys just had their third birthday and I wanted to make them French toast, their favorite breakfast food.  To shake things up and make it "birthday breakfast special", I made a strawberry syrup to pour over the French toast.  I found an easy recipe with four ingredients here and then I got to work.  The best part about making the syrup was the scrumptious scent of the strawberries cooking.  Before I knew it, the syrup was done.  Then I bottled it up to use the next morning for our breakfast.   The strawberry syrup was sweet and had the perfect consistency.  It went well with the French toast and as I ate mine, I daydreamed all the ways I could use the syrup.  Poured over pancakes, waffles, strawberry shortcake, get the idea. 

Fresh Strawberry Syrup


3 cups strawberries, diced
1 cup granulated sugar
2 T. lemon juice
1/4. t. vanilla extract


Combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a gentle simmer until the strawberries are soft and the syrup is thickened and reduced by 1/3 to 1/2 in volume, about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.  Syrup will thicken upon standing so simply whisk in more water to reached consistency if needed. 

You can click here for the recipe I use when making French toast.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Date Night at MBar

My husband and I checked out MBar for our latest date night.  They just opened a little over a week ago and it's located in South Lake Union, in the Fairview Building.  The rooftop restaurant and patio on the 14th floor is accessed by an elevator and then a long walk down a hallway with South Lake Union below.  Everything is decorated in art deco with bright blue walls and colorful light installments.  I found the dining room to be electrifying when I entered.  The sweeping views of the Space Needle, Queen Anne, and South Lake Union added to the lure.  Then, a spacious patio with a bar and ample room for seating is right outside. 

Not only is MBar beautiful and eye catching but the main star is the food.  The credit is given to their Chef Jason Stratton.  I watched him on Top Chef and rooted for him because I was excited to see someone from Seattle competing.  He has a real talent in the kitchen and I was excited to try his food.  We were lucky enough to meet him during our meal at MBar and I found him to be friendly, humble, and proud of the food he presented to us. 

We started with cocktails.  My husband had a Stratton Manhattan and I drank a Rum Royale- a drink with Rum, Cantaloupe, and white sparkling wine.  Our drinks were perfect, just like the view.  The Space Needle winked at us as we perused the menu, getting excited for what was to come.  We started with the Heirloom Tomatoes.  They were served with roasted turnips, caramelized onions, anchovy, dandelion, and lime brown butter.  The flavors were new to us and we loved them.  We'd never had the combination of caramelized onions with fresh tomatoes and the flavor worked well.  The dish seemed complex with its ingredients but all of the flavors fit together beautifully. 

Next, we had the Crisp Chicken Wing Confit with burned honey and walnut mayonnaise.  Jason knows his stuff because we were super impressed with the chicken wings.  They're cooked in duck fat and that's why they taste so good.  They are coated in a honey and walnut mayonnaise sauce, giving the wings a sweet element to work with the crispiness of the chicken. 

The Duck Confit caught our interest since it's a favorite dish of ours.  MBar's was a beautifully inspired plate and most importantly, a delicious one.  There was a cilantro puree and colorful beets with a turmeric puree to accompany the perfectly cooked duck.  We were sad when the last bite was gone. 

Then it was time for round two of drinks.  My husband had a cocktail called Rosy Cheeks and I drank a glass of Sparkling Rose.  We were still hungry and we heard the table behind us ordering the Fried Potatoes and we couldn't resist getting some ourselves.  The fried potatoes had chilies and cilantro and have to be one of the best things I've ever eaten.  Perfectly hot and fried with the tantalizing flavors of the chilies and cilantro, they're hard to beat and will probably be a favorite dish at MBar. 

As much as we wanted to keep ordering food, it was time to close with dessert.  We shared the coconut, black cherry, and chocoalte Semifredo.  We each took a bite and closed our eyes in satisfaction.  Very decedent and rich, each bite was better than the last, if such a thing is possible.  I had several sips of my Sparkling Rose left that paired just right.  After paying and saying goodbye to our server, we wandered out to the patio and watched the sunset.  What a dinner and what a place.  People are going to love MBar, I know I did.   


MBar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 16, 2016

Lunch at Jack's BBQ

We had a hankering for some good BBQ so we checked out Jack's BBQ, located on Airport Way in South Seattle.  Upon walking in I liked the country theme and the large and bright dining room.  There was a good sized bar area to the left and everything looked clean and eye catching.  We were seated pretty much right away and were greeted by our friendly server.  We started with an Old Fashioned to share, it was only lunchtime, and an order of the Buttermilk Hushpuppies.  The cocktail was sweet but strong and had a nice kick to it.  The drink whetted our appetite and paved the way for some great BBQ. 

The hushpuppies were hearty with a little bit of heat.  They were fried balls of cornbread and they came with a buttermilk dipping sauce to balance out the heat.  For our entrees, my husband had the Brisket with Cole Slaw and Chili.  Their chili is made from house made brisket and bacon.  The meat was really tender and it was a little spicy and would be just the thing for a cold, windy day in Seattle.  I ordered the 1/2 Chicken which is free-range and brined.  My two sides were Mac and Cheese so my sons could eat that along with some of my chicken.  The meat at Jack's BBQ is Texas dry rub and the sauce is served on the side.  The BBQ was smoky and tender.  It isn't a style of BBQ we'd ever tried and probably isn't as common in the Pacific Northwest.  But something we had eaten before was Pecan Pie and it didn't disappoint us.  Their Pecan Pie was a Texas State Fair Champion and it was delicious.  It was served with unsweetened cream on the side, which balanced out the richness of the pecans, the sweet filling and the flakey pie crust.   How can you resist a good slice of pie? You can't. 

Jack's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato