Thursday, March 31, 2011

Farmers Markets

Every spring, we look forward to the season of Farmers Markets all across the Sound. The Puyallup Farmers Market is our home-town market, we go about once a month and enjoy a German pretzel with mustard or a frosted cupcake; bring home a carton of Black Sheep Creamery cheese or fresh salsa; and if I haven't already purchased our produce, a week's worth of fresh vegetables and fruits. In 2006, my Mom, my sister and I participated in the Des Moines Waterfront Market.  We called ourselves Buttercup Bakery, selling scones, muffins, cupcakes, granola, dessert and yeast breads. This was a great experience, and hard work! It made me appreciate all the efforts that go into providing  homegrown goods.

Missoula, MT Farmer's Market

Here is a regional listing of all the Farmer's Markets I could find in the greater Puget Sound:

King County
Bellevue: Th, 3-7pm, May -Oct, Bellevue Way NE.
Crossroads: T, noon-5pm, May-Oct, Crossroads Bellevue Mall/156th Ave NE and NE 8th St, Bellevue.
Burien: Th, 11am-6pm, May-Oct, SW 152nd and 5th SE.
Carnation: T, 3-7pm, May-Sept, SR 203, Tolt Ave and Bird St.
Des Moines: S, 10am-2pm, Des Moines Marina at S 277th and Dock St.
Duvall: Th, 3-7pm, June-Oct, 1st Ave NE and Stephens.
Federal Way: S, 9am-3pm, May-Oct, The Commons Mall, 320th and Pacific Hwy.
Issaquah: S, 9am-2pm, April-Oct, 1730-10th Ave NE (Pickering Barn).
Kent: S, 9am-2pm, June-Sept, corner of 2nd and Smith St.
Kirkland: W, 2-7pm, May-Oct, Park Ln E, between 3rd and Main.
Juanita Beach: F, 3-7pm, May-Oct, 9703 NE Juanita Dr at Juanita Beach.
Lake Forest Park: Sun, 11am-4pm, May-Oct, Lake Forest Park Town Center, corner of Ballinger Way and Bothell Way.
Mercer Island: Sun, 11am-3pm, Aug-Sept, on SE 32nd St at the north end of Mercerdale Park.
North Bend: Th, 4-8pm, June-Sept, Si View Park at SE Orchard Dr.
Redmond: S, 9am-3pm, May-Oct, 7730 Leary Way at Bear Creek Pkwy.
Renton: T, 3-7pm, June-Sept, S 3rd St, between Logan and Burnett Ave S.
Sammamish: W, 4-8pm, May-Oct, 801 228th Ave SE.
Snoqualamie: S, 10-3pm, June-Oct, King St (next to the Historic Train Depot).
Woodinville: S, 9am-3pm, May-Oct, NE 145 St, just East of St.Michelle Winery.

Seattle Neighborhoods
Ballard: Sun, 10am-3pm, year round
Belltown: Th, 3:30-7:30pm, July-?
Broadway: Sun, 11am-3pm
Cascade: Th, 3-7pm, June-?, Pike Place Market
City Hall: T, 10am-2pm, June-?, Pike Place Market
Columbia City: W, 3-7pm.
Fremont: Sun, 10am-4pm, year round.
Georgetown: S, 10am-4pm, June-?
Lake City: Th, 3-7pm, June-?
Madrona: F, 3-7pm.
Magnolia: S, 10am-2pm, June-?
Meadowbrook: Sun, 11am-3pm, June-?
Phinney: F, 3-7pm.
Queen Anne: Th, 3-7pm.
South Park: S, 10am-3pm.
U District: S, 9am-2pm, year round.
Wallingford: W, 3-7pm.
West Seattle: Sun, 10am-2pm, year round.

Pierce County
Gig Harbor: W, 11am-4pm, June-Aug, 3207 Harborview Dr on the waterfront at Skansie Brothers Park.
Gig Harbor: S, 8:30-2:30pm, Apr-Sept, Kimball Dr. (Park N Ride).
Key Peninsula: Sun, noon-4pm, May-Sept, 15610 92nd St KPN (in Lakebay outside O'Callahan's Pub.
Orting: S, 9am-2pm, July-Aug, Orting North Park.
Puyallup: Sun, 10am-2pm, May-Aug, Pioneer Park (just off S Meridian between E Pionner and 4th Ave SW.
Puyallup: S, 10am-2pm, May-Oct, Downtown (Pioneer Park Pavilion).
South Hill: S, 10am-4pm, May-Oct, Meridian E and 156th.
Steilacoom: T, 3-7pm, June-Aug, Downtown Steilacoom (Multi-Purpose Courts on Lafayette St).
Tacoma: T, 3:30-7:30pm, June-Sept, on North Pine St between 6th Ave and 7th Ave.
Tacoma: S, 9am-2pm, Apr-Nov, N 27th and Proctor St.
Tacoma: Th, 9am-2pm, May-Oct, Downtown Tacoma, Broadway, between 9th and 11th.

Kitsap County
Bainbridge Island: S, 9am-1pm, Apr-Oct, Winter Market: Nov-Dec, City Hall Park, Madison Ave.
Bremerton: Th, 4-7:30pm, May-Oct, Seaside Community Church, corner of Park Ave and Sheldon Blvd across from Evergreen Park.
Kingston: S, 9am-2pm, Apr-Oct, Mike Wallace Park at Washington and Central.
Port Gamble: Sun, 11am-5pm, Apr-Oct, Hwy 104 and Puget Way.
Port Orchard: S, 9am-3pm, Apr-Oct, Waterfront Marine, Behind Bay St.
Poulsbo: S, 9am-1pm, Apr-Oct, 7th Ave and Iverson, Poulsbo Village Medical/Dental Center.
Silverdale Peninsula: T, 11am-4pm, May-Sept, Red Lion Hotel Parking Lot on Bucklin Hill Rd.

Snohomish County
Edmonds Garden Market: S, 9am-2pm, May-June, Bell St and 5th Ave N.
Edmonds Full Market: S, 9am-3pm, July-Oct, Bell St and 5th Ave N.
Everett: Sun, 11am-4pm, June-Sept, 1520 W Marine View Dr, Everett.
Mukilteo: W, 3-7pm, June-Sept, 609 Front St, Mukilteo.
Snohomish: Th, 3-7:30pm, May-Sept, 1st St and Cedar Ave. 

Whatcom County
Bellingham: S, 10am-3pm, Apr-Dec, Downtown at Railroad on Chestnut.
Fairhaven: W, 12-5pm, June-Sept, on the Village Green behind Village Books.
Ferndale: S, 9am-3pm, Apr-Oct, Main St and Front Ave.

Thurston County
Olympia: Thur-Sun, 10am-3pm, Apr-Oct, 700 Capitol Way N.
Tenino: S, 10am-3pm, June-Sept, Tenino Elementary School, 301 Old Hwy 99.
Tumwater: W, 11am-2pm, May-Oct, Capitol Blvd and Israel Rd.
Yelm: M-F, 10am-6pm, S, 10-5pm, July-Oct, 14741 Lawrence Lake Rd SE. 

 Sunny Flowers

 Red Potatoes

Fresh Lemonade at The People's Market, Missoula, MT.

I heart community.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tulip Festival - La Conner

I can't help but smile when I notice the daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinth peeking up through my garden for the first time each year. I don't know if anything shouts Spring louder than these friendly bulbs (except of course actually yelling "Spring!", but that would be strange to do so). Tulips + baby birds singing + crisp, sunny mornings = days like no other in Seattle.

Washington's most colorful treasure is found in the Skagit Valley, nestled between the Puget Sound and the Cascade range.  According to Wikipedia "Tulips are indigenous to mountainous areas with temperate climates and need a period of cool dormancy"...sounds about right. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is one of twelve tulip festivals in all of North America, I'd say that's a rare treat to have in your backyard.

We always enjoy making a day of walking the fields and strolling through the shops in downtown La Conner. If you come during the festival, especially on weekends, be prepared for heavy traffic on two lane country roads.  Many people choose to bike from one garden to the other, my sister and I did this one year and felt that drivers were pedestrian conscious.  The two farms to visit are the sophisticated Roozengaarde, and the lively  Tulip Town, which both have an admission price. Some years we have paid to walk the impressive gardens, but other years, we've been content to visit the free ones, sprinkled throughout the valley.  This is such a happy place, everyone's cheerful mood is contagious.

 Crates of Tulips

 One of my favorite varieties: Angelique

 My husband is so artistic

 What a sweet face

 Even the grassy fields are beautiful

 We have always had good food at Seeds
The sister restaurant: Calico Cupboard Cafe and Bakery 
has a fresh menu of salads, sandwiches, and amazing Peanut Butter Bars.

 Gifty shops, I particularly like Go Outside, located on E Morris, 
which has an assortment of books, gardening supplies, journals, gift wrap, etc.

Old fashioned charm

Another jewel to hit on your way out of town, Snow Goose Produce serves homemade waffle cones and fun ice cream flavors. Bring cash!

For Skagit Valley Tulip Festival dates click here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

Our son just had his 2nd birthday (yay!), and I was very excited to plan his birthday cake. However, I quickly ran into a dilemma, my husband doesn't like chocolate, but everyone else loves it. I contemplated carrot cake, vanilla cake, the family favorite rainbow chip cake...what to do, what to do?  And then, thanks to all the cook books and magazines I have searched over the years, my subconscious emerged with a win-win-win scenario: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, who wouldn't love that??

1. Prepare your cookie dough, just use your favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

2. After you scoop onto baking sheets, flatten dough with your fingers or bottom of a glass, this will make the finished cookies thin and flat.

3. I usually under cook my cookies (about 7 minutes), but for these, I wanted them to be crisp, so I baked them according to directions (8-10 minutes). It doesn't take much longer, they bake quicker because they are flattened.

4. Remove to wire rack, cool. I made the cookies 2 days before the birthday party and froze them in Ziploc bags.

Ice Cream:
1. Buy cheap-o ice cream that comes in the cardboard box.
2. Destroy the box

3. Make a 1/2 inch slice lengthwise.

4. With your trusted biscuit cutter, press into ice cream to get filling for 2 sandwiches.

 5. Remove excess. Using a spatula, place onto bottom of one cookie. Place remaining cookie on top.

6. Wrap in plastic wrap, I gathered the four corners and twisted tightly to get a taut surface on one side. You could wrap in individual bags and tie with a ribbon for a more professional look. The birthday boy got sprinkles on his sandwich!

7. Place in freezer. I assembled the sandwiches the day before the party. This made last minute preparations a breeze. These were a hit, everyone loved them!

Work quickly, the ice cream melts fast...hence, the sub-par photos. : /


Monday, March 21, 2011

Port Gamble

This logging town established in 1853 is a National Historic site and until 1995, was the oldest continuously operating sawmill in North America. The homes and buildings have preserved their 19th century charm with rolling green fields that speak of a simpler time. I think it may be impossible to not feel happy in this beautiful, peaceful corner of the peninsula. This is a growing community with new businesses coming every year, including a Tea Room, General Store, Quilt Shop, Antiques and Kayak rentals. Port Gamble hosts a number of Events, attracting hundreds of guests every year for the Medieval Faire, Civil War Re-Enactments and spooky Ghost Walks. A Sunday Farmers and Antique Market runs May-October.  For the history buffs, you might be interested in finding the grave of the first US Navy man killed in battle in the NW. For those of you planning your dream wedding click here.  I hope you will come here at least once or whenever you need a Picket-Fence-Fix.

 Streets lined with old Maples, Elms and Picket Fences

The Welcoming Water Towers

 For those Girls Days

To satisfy any craving: ice cream on summer days, coffee on winter days, 
the new cafe for any day and a gift shop to browse in between.   

Old Glory
For North Sounders: take the Kingston ferry.
Mid Sounders: the Bainbridge or Bremerton ferry.
South Sounders: go for a drive.
Those of you without GPS, click here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hiking in Leavenworth

Icicle Road

Probably every Seattelite has crossed the Cascades for a day/weekend trip to the iconic town of Leavenworth. You may have savored a danish or two, a pretzel or three, donned a crazy hat, stapled your dollar to the wall, ate too many salami samples, narrowed down your favorite mustard, bought something for your home, yourself, your mom--whatever it may be, your own memorable experience.  I wonder if Germany has a touristy town that's like a little Seattle? Hmm...probably not, but that would be pretty cool. This yodeling town, nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains offers many outdoor activities with pretty incredible scenery. We came here in the spring a few years ago and set out to hike the hills, we got a mile or so in, took a few photos, but had to turn back due to a rapidly rising creek that crossed the trail.

The "Trail"-- ya right.

 Mossy Trees

 Wild Berries

For all things Leavenworth click here

Friday, March 4, 2011

Coulon Park - Renton

Jeremy and I have had memorable moments at this park: summer swims as kids; listening to music for hours trying to decide which songs to use in our wedding slide show; occasional trips to walk the pier; just happening to catch the maples in their Autumn glory; launching our first boat ride (one of the most stressful experiences of our life); and most recently, a family outing with our son.

Places to Eat

Places to Think

This beach holds a lot of recreational opportunities: Fishing, Boating,  Biking the Cedar River Trail, 1.5 mile paved Walking Trail, Guarded Swimming Area, Tennis, Volleyball, Horseshoes, and a large Playground.
Eating opportunities include: Ivars, Kidd Valley and the stylish Peyrassol Cafe.
Seasonal traditions: Summer Concert Series on Wednesday evenings and Christmas time Clam Lights.

The Island 

Magnolia Buds

Tall Grass

Where we spent most of our time. 

For additional information and directions click here