Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Junction - West Seattle

We recently had a visit from my Aunt from Tampa.  My Mom, sisters and I had only a couple days to show her Seattle, so we had to be selective. We had to think, what would Aunt L'Von enjoy? She is a great cook, she and her family lived in England for 10 years...she was interested in seeing gourmet grocery stores and sampling bakeries. We finally decided the shops on California Ave, lunch at Metropolitan Market and a walk on Alki would do it.

 Husky, a family owned business since 1932, offers a colorful display
of European gourmet foods and treats. Their specialty: house-made
ice cream with unique flavors like Nutella and Coconut--yum!
You can buy it by the cone or quart. We happened to be there during
the lunch hour which is apparently a hot spot with the locals for
made to order deli sandwiches with an assortment of salamis and cheeses. 

 All things British: Twinings, PG Tips, McVities Tea Biscuits

 San Marzano Tomatoes (a favorite of Rachael Ray),
 for a Neopolitan Pizza.

 NW Art and Frame, greeting cards for every occasion, wrappings for any gift,
framing and paint supplies for all your art projects.

 Best discovery of the day, Bakery Nouveau, some of the most
beautiful pastries I've seen. The lunch line was out the door. 
Perfectly glazed cakes, tarts and danishes; rustic pizzas and artisan breads. 
Check out their website to see their award resume...impressive!

Parisian Macaroons. Jeremy tried one at Choclatine in LA 
a few years ago and loved them, I was so excited 
to find them locally in so many flavors.

There are many more stores and specialty food restaurants along California: Easy Street Records; Cupcake Royale; Shoofly Pie Company; Great Harvest Bread; The Tuscan Tea Room; The Matador. For a complete business directory, directions and upcoming events click here.

For some fresh air, be sure to stop at the iconic Alki Beach for the best view of the Seattle waterfront; or the quieter Lincoln Park with a network of hiking trails.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

I owe this post entirely to my Mom, who found this recipe, gathered all the ingredients and brought it to my house.  We made a batch of each: one with Pink Zote (the prettiest), one with Fels Naptha (the best-smelling in my opinion, but they're all a close tie) and one with Ivory (makes clothes and towels the softest). This is a very economical laundry detergent and you won't have to buy laundry softener anymore.  My Mom has replaced all her Tilex and harsh chemical cleaners with this non-toxic soap and as my Mom would say "it works like a charm".


Soaps (one kind per batch)
Slice bars of soap into 1/4" slices, (this makes it easier on the food processor).  Pour a handful of each powder into food processor along with several slices of soap, pulse until a fine meal.

Continue working in small batches until finished.  Mix and store in airtight container...preferably a cute one.

1 to 2 tablespoons per load. Remember: it makes no suds, but cleans super!

 Pink Zote

 Fels Naptha

Sometimes you have to get dirty before you can get clean.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Volunteer Park Cafe & Marketplace - Capitol Hill

My Aunt and Uncle from Tampa were recently here for a visit--Yay! We had only a couple days to show off Seattle, so after spending a few hours at Pike's and sampling donuts, cashews, crumpets, cheese, the list goes on...we ventured to the neighborhoods. Our lunch destination: Volunteer Park Cafe. My Aunt (an amazing cook) and Uncle (who can identify arugula) had seen the Cafe featured in Unique Eats on the cooking channel.  Tucked away on the corner of a residential street, was this charming yellow house with red bistro chairs just waiting for you. It was love at first sight.

 Once a grocery and meat market, delivering their produce in a horse drawn 
wagon.  During the depression, selling gumballs and candies. 
Today, continuing the tradition of bringing community together.


 Every detail welcomes you. 

Chalkboard window--hello.

This farmhouse table which runs the length of the restaurant 
is for any and all.  It reminded me of a boarding house. 
What a good excuse to eat with strangers.

 The perfect balance between rustic and elegant.

 Giant Savory Muffins

 Known for their Miss Piggy Chip Cookies, that's right, 
the secret ingredient is bacon, which of course is the candy of all meats.
Loved the galvanized buckets lined with parchment paper.
 A select menu of sandwiches and salads, with old favorites 
like the BLT and new favorites such as prosciutto and mozzarella.

I ordered the chicken salad on baguette with a hint of tarragon.

For their full menu, history, location and hours click here.

I hope you will get a chance to visit, you will not be disappointed!