I, like so many others, love avocado. On toast, on chips, in sushi, on any type of taco imaginable, alone with a pinch of Tajín… you get it. I very clearly remember my first experience with an avocado. I was about 6, and wondered how a fruit could be green and not even sweet. To say I was perplexed by this contradiction was an understatement. This skepticism lasted throughout my early years, but when I finally did give those little green fruits a chance, it was love at first bite.

 

In addition to being delicious, and a versatile food appropriate for any dish, avocado is amazing for you. It is a healthy source of fat, is a solid source of fiber, and has even more potassium than a banana. I love to keep these in my kitchen whenever possible.

 

However, living on my own, I find that I often miss that perfect window of opportunity to catch my avocados at their ripest, ripe-but-not-too-ripe, state. Or I’ll buy avocados and just get too many, and can’t eat them all before they turn to brown mush.

 

I’ve done some research, and can’t wait to try freezing avocados. Yes, it is possible. Here’s a quick how to, and some tips that I will be trying as I try to save the ‘cado.

 

  • Before freezing, wash the outside of the avocado and thoroughly dry.
  • You can freeze your avocados in two ways:
    • Cut the avocado in half, drizzle on some lemon or lime juice to prevent browning, and place each half in a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible.
    • Pureé the avocado as if you were making guacamole, or in a food processor for a smoother consistency. Mix in some lemon or lime juice to prevent browning, and distribute the mashed avocado into portion sized, freezer safe containers.
  • To thaw your avocados, place the frozen fruit in the refrigerator overnight, or for about 6 hours.

 
No matter which method you choose, you’ll want to eat the thawed avocado shortly thereafter, so have your toast or tortilla chips ready! ¡Buen provecho!

 

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Brunch is, by far, the best meal of the day. It is your friend in all weekend scenarios. For example:
– You decided to treat yourself to a bit too much to drink the night before. You wake up at 5am desperate for some water, and pass out again until 10, effectively missing time for your usual breakfast of a protein bar and a diet coke (I know… I know…). It’s too early for lunch, so put on some yoga pants have a cup of coffee and get yourself to brunch by 11. That hangover will not cure itself.
– You find the you are now a more responsible adult by default since getting an alarm clock that cost you over $1,000, and insists on waking you up promptly at 7 (I am of course talking about my puppy and all of his related expenses). Did I mention that there is no snooze button? You have stopped hitting the bars until the wee hours of the morning, in favor of waking up ready for the dog park. With all that money saved by not drinking, you really should treat yourself to a nice meal. Thankfully, your new alarm clock loves to nap, so day drinking and nursing a food baby is totally acceptable. Treat yo’self, dress up, and go to brunch.
I have recently found my favorite brunch pairing yet in Seattle – Tallulah’s and Hello Robin in Capitol Hill. You know you are in Seattle, as these two gems sit on the same block, separated only by a super cute local/artisanal/gourmet convenience store and a homeopathic remedies shop. I am craving a slice of avocado toast, a glass of green juice, and a bourbon cookie as I type this. I recommend anything pictured below – see captions – but I’m sure everything else is fabulous. The best part about this brunch, is that it is actually pretty inexpensive despite how luxurious the food is. I have been to this combo twice now, and have not broken $25 total (ordering a shared toast plate, eggs benny, green juice, and some cookies).

IMG_4226Avocado toast on Macrina multigrain bread

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Eggs Benedict with Virginia Ham on Macrina Brioche toast

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As you enter Hello Robin, you are greeted by both an overwhelmingly delicious aroma, and an overwhelming selection of the best cookies you could dream of.
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Whipping up some Mackle’smores en masse.

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Enhance! Just look at how delicious that mountain of dough is.

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We ended up with a little box of a half dozen cookies: Brown Butter Bourbon, Mackle’smore, Totes Oats, Whole Grain Sea Salted Chocolate Chip, Molasses, and Pumpkin (ranked in order of deliciocity)

 

 

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As a kid, Christmas always seemed to be ages after Thanksgiving. The waiting was always super intense; but I managed to fill the time with wish list refinements, holiday music, shopping with my mom, and decorating. I have to say, not much has really changed now that I am an “adult”.

My pre-Christmas routine didn’t differ much from the norm this year, as my Mom came out to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving with me. My Dad is a hunter, so fall is really his only time to enjoy his hobbies in Texas. As a result, he pretty much spends all of Thanksgiving out in the wilderness every year. This usually results in my Mom and I turning Thanksgiving into girls’ weekend.

Here are some of the highlights of our trip… Get ready – this is a doozy, people.

Monday: After spending some time getting some work done, we had planned on going out to dinner somewhere. This didn’t actually happen, as we got too wrapped up in catching up over Deep Eddy Ruby Red cocktails – which happens to be our favorite way to spend an evening.

Tuesday: Tuesday marked Sandy’s first food truck experience. It was super misty and gross out, but I had to show her how awesome eating food out of a vehicle could be. We went to Nosh – and ordered some Fish and Chips. After taking her on a tour of my office, she went off shopping…. without me 🙁 Four hours, and five pairs of shoes later, I met up with her and all of her purchases in time to go to dinner with one of my friends and her puppy. We went to Belltown Pub, and it might be one of my new favorite places. Not only is it super dog friendly, but it also serves my fav drink (see above) and it happened to be playing the SMU basketball game! Go Mustangs 🙂
Wednesday: I was lucky enough to only have to work some of the day on Wednesday, so we took advantage of the afternoon and drove out to Woodinville to sip on some wines! I had been to a few wine tastings the previous weekend, and knew it would be a hit. We only went to Chateau St. Michelle, but really maximized our time there. Finally, I learned how to properly taste wine from a very nice employee named Tom. Now I won’t feel like such a fool as I gulp down wines and say “Very nice” to everything I try.
We also ventured out to Snoqualmie Casino to try our luck on some slots. After about an hour of utter failure, we parked ourselves at the Michael Jackson machines of all places. My luck was a bit better than my Mom’s so I got to pick up our tab for dinner…
Since it was already suuuuper dark outside, I suggested that we stop by Bellevue Collection – which sounds quite fancy but is basically just a very nice semi-outdoor mall. There, we shopped until the stores closed and enjoyed some pink drinks (Grapefruit Martini for Mom, and Rosé for myself). I bought just a few things, but I’ll save those for a later day. 🙂
Thursday: Turkey Day. To prepare for our literal monumental dinner, we absolutely needed to do something at least semi-active early in the day. Again, the weather was not on our side, so the options for hikes were limited. I hadn’t yet been to Alki Beach, and now I’m wondering why I had waited so long! The views are beautiful no matter what part of the trail you are on, though you simply can’t beat the view of the Seattle skyline! 
From there, we proceeded to prime our systems for the meal ahead with a small lunch of smoked salmon, fresh baguette, brie, and wine. We were both so excited for our meal at the Space Needle, and it definitely didn’t disappoint! I ordered the traditional turkey dinner, while my Mom went for the uber rich filet mignon and lobster tail. I 100% endorse the dessert choices there, as well – apple cobbler with snickerdoodle crust? Yes please! One of the most entertaining parts of the dinner was reading all of the notes that some of the kids (and adults!) from other tables posted to the window as the tables spin around the city. 
Friday: Oh boy. We walked something like 11 miles that day, just checking out all the Black Friday deals. Add to that at least 3 inches of rain, and people protesting just about everything imaginable, it made for quite an interesting day downtown. I didn’t actually end up buying anything because the crowds were just too insane, unfortunately. At one point we may have been locked in the mall by protestors? After reading that tweet from the Seattle PD, we figured it was about time to go home. Makes for some memories at the very least! 
Saturday: Sadly the last day of our Thanksgiving weekend. My Mom flew home that afternoon, but not without one last surprise. SNOW! Admittedly, I didn’t get much where I live, but it still counts. I had to document this beautiful moment on my pathetically bare patio 🙂
Mom – I had a lovely week hanging out with you in my new ‘hood! I can’t wait to come home to spend the holidays with you, Dad and the dogs in just a few weeks!
(If anyone else read this far, I applaud you.)

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As previously expressed, I love fall. I love the chilly weather, and am learning to love the Seattle rain that comes along with it. After work, there’s nothing better than cozying up to a nice hot dinner, but I am not going to lie – sometimes the last thing I want to do is spend a ton of time preparing a lavish meal. Okay, I lied a little bit; I pretty much never want to spend a ton of time cooking on a weeknight. 

This year, one of my favorite winter recipes has made its way into rotation a bit early – Blended Carrot Soup. It’s a very easy soup that one of my friends made quite often during college. Since I first learned the recipe, I have even found a few ways to spice up the inevitable days of left overs.


A trip to the farmers market inspired this dish. I found some of the fanciest lettuce I’ve ever seen, and just knew that this soup would be the perfect compliment – in both flavor and color – to this spicy lettuce and flower blend. Don’t judge me if I actually turn orange from all the carotene I’ve ingested recently. I just love this soup, okay?



 Blended Carrot Soup


Ingredients

– 2 lbs large carrots (tip: baby carrots DO NOT work for this)
– 1 large white onion
– 1 small russet potato
– 2 tbsp salted butter
– 32 oz chicken or vegetable broth
– Fresh rosemary
– Creole Seasoning

– Large soup pot
– Immersion blender

1. Warm up the pot. Meanwhile, chop the onion, carrots and potato. It doesn’t really matter what size you cut everything into since everything is going to get blended together anyways.

2. Once the pot is nice and warm, throw in the butter and onions to cook. It will give a nice buttery flavor to the whole pot of soup, without having to use a ton of butter.

3. When the onions have browned, pour the carrots, potato and broth into the pot. Throw a bit of rosemary in there for good measure, and flavor. Let the soup boil. 

4. When all the veggies are – for lack of a more appetizing word – mushy, take the pot off the heat and let it rest for a minute or two. Remove the sprig of rosemary, shake in as much creole season as you’d like and get to blending. Make sure that all of the vegetables are blended in properly, but be careful and don’t let the immersion blender come up too close to the surface. Otherwise you’ll be cleaning soup off of the entire kitchen.

5. Serve topped with a bit of rosemary, and season to taste.

– This soup tastes awesome with some fresh bread on the side. I picked up a fresh loaf from the french bakery in my building, and it was all I could do to not eat the whole thing.

– Suggestions for jazzing up leftovers include: adding a dollop of greek yogurt, or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, or a tiny bit of chili infused olive oil, or just more creole seasoning…. gotta stay warm somehow! 




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Call me basic, but I love Fall. It’s a season that doesn’t really exist in Texas, which is a shame. However, it’s in full force here in Seattle! I wake up almost every morning to a nice cool fog, but the sun has come out just in time to enjoy the afternoon almost every day this week. With the mornings as grey as they are, I figured I’d treat myself to something bright.

Every Thursday some of the vendors from Pike Place Market venture north a few blocks to set up shop in South Lake Union. I love all the farmers markets in and around Seattle, and this is no exception. I am so glad that I can walk a block away from my office, and find some great local food and flowers. I had promised myself that I would buy myself flowers as soon as I got settled in, buttttt – I hadn’t done that yet. I picked out a sweet little $5.00 bouquet of dahlias, but could have gone with any of the dozens of choices. It’s so hard to pick just one!

I also felt the need for a little dessert, and one of my coworkers suggested Ellenos. OMG, this is the most autumnal yogurt that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Yes, that is actual Pumpkin Pie in there. I may or may not have licked the bowl when I ate this at home…

The farmers market runs for the rest of October, but then sadly takes a break for the winter. I’m definitely going to try to get out there for the next couple of weeks. #treatyoself

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