Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Christmas Christmas!

Just want to briefly wish everyone a merry christmas! Stuff is busy, I am tired, and extensive blogging is just not going to happen. However, here are some pics of olde timey ornaments that came in a box from my grandparent's (gdads and nonos) house in delavan.
 Some nice painted ones
 I think my great grandma (gg) made these.
She is fishing for stars or something...

OK, and then I also decorated our seattle apt with some new additions and such.
 Some elves I made.
 A santa in the woods.
 mom made a skating scene for under the cloche

 and another scene in a apothecary jar

We have had a nice holiday with a few bumps. First of all, Graham, Reid, and Lindsay all got a terrible stomach virus and so we were not able to celebrate with them on christmas christmas so we are observing it tomorrow on the MacGregor side. : ( We also received sad news that our dear old lady friend Vivian Davies has passed on this week and so we are thinking of her family this christmas.
Hope to post more extensively soon! Peace and Love!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A visit from friends

Ali and Michael came to visit us last weekend from San Francisco. 
FRIDAY: walked to this french bakery in Wallingfort that was tasty. I don't remember the name as it was french. Then we went to Archie McPhee's novelty store, which is full of all kinds of crap you can't even imagine. Lots of silly things, but it was fun to poke around. This was followed by lunch at Best of Bento on the Ave. Although the compartmentalized food appeals to me, I'm not crazy about Japanese cuisine for the most part, so I got stone bowl bibimbop, which was amazingly good. The bowl is (big surprise) hot stone, so it continues to cook as you eat it and makes the rice all crunchy. Then we went to Pike's place.
The weather was lovely and Ali diligently photographed and documented a lot. I was less good about carrying my camera around all weekend. Anyways, it was clear and you could see Mt Rainer to the south and the Olympics across the sound.
 The sunset and you can see the silhouetted mountains a little. They always look much bigger in real life.

More pike's place sights
I must have 10 pictures of this sign, but I think this is my favorite so far.
 Dandelion Junk Queens perform the saw and accordion. 
 Home again and we decided to use the fire place for the first time, play settlers of catan, and Nathan made mustard pork for dinner.
 Mustard Pork (Nathan got it from Andy, who got it from the NYT:)

Twice-Cooked Pork Tenderloin

Yield 4 servings
Time 25 minutes
These medallions are broiled, sliced, crisped, and sauced – a bit of work, but worth it. Brown the whole tenderloin; let it rest for a few minutes, so the meat firms up a bit. Then slice the tenderloin into medallions, about an inch thick. Brown the slices on both sides and build a sauce in the pan.
  • 1 boneless pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, extra virgin olive oil, or a combination
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, lemon juice or Calvados, optional
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish, optional
  • 1. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat; a minute later add 2 tablespoons butter and/or oil. When butter foam subsides or oil dimples, add meat (curve it into skillet if necessary). Brown it well on all sides, for a total of 4 to 6 minutes. Turn off heat, remove meat from pan, and let it sit on a board. When skillet has cooled a bit, proceed.
  • 2. Cut meat into inch-thick slices. Once again turn heat to medium-high, add remaining butter and/or oil and, when it\'s hot, add pork slices to pan. Brown on each side, about 2 or 3 minutes each. Turn heat to low and remove meat to a warm platter.
  • 3. Add 1/2 cup water to pan, turn heat to high, and cook, stirring and scraping, for a minute. Lower heat slightly, add cream and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in mustard, lemon juice or Calvados, if you\'re using them, then taste and adjust seasoning. Serve meat with sauce spooned on top, garnished, if you like, with parsley.
Source: The New York Times
Then we went to the Rat and Raven where there was a hip hop show going on randomly and that was pretty cool and some dancing was had.
SATURDAY: We did a lot on friday, so we made up for it on saturday by really not doing much of anything. Slept in, went to brunch at Mars Cafe, explored Capitol hill a bit with Michael and Ali on my way to work and they had dinner at Plum Bistro. They were very impressed with the vegan cuisine. Then I got off work early and we walked downtown where there was a fun little festive square.

 Thought this was cute, but were were not hungry after plum.

We then walked to the Space Needle, but unfortunately it was closed for a private party so we couldn't go up. We called it a night as we were le tired.
SUNDAY: Unfortunately I did not have the foresight to bring my camera on our trip to freemont. We went to the freemont market and had Ebleskivers and empanadas and tacos for breakfast and looked around at all the stuff. Then we went to Theo Chocolate Company--one of only 20 chocolate makers in the united states who make their chocolate from bean to bar. First of all, you smell the aroma of chocolate as you approach the building, and then the entrance leads you to a chocolate show room complete with fireplace, couches, and free samples of almost every kind of chocolate they sell. And you are encouraged to try everything! We got to take the factory tour thanks to some people who didn't show up for their reservation, and got to learn all about every step of chocolate producing, see the equipment and staff in process, and taste lots and lots of chocolate. It was amazing. They had lots of interesting flavors like fig & fennel, coconut curry, and chai. My personal favorite was the gingerbread bar, which is a holiday special, and ali and michael both liked the Bread & Chocolate bar best, which is made with actual bread and butter that has been crumbled in like a more delicious crunch bar. Additional coolness is that every aspect of the company's operations meet the highest standards of fair trade, and all the chocolate and everything that goes in it is completely organic, and there are lots of other cool business practices, like they sell the coco shells as very inexpensive and attractive mulch, they also sell the "reject" chocolate bars in bulk for a reduced price, and pay all their workers living pay. And despite all that, their quality chocolate is actually quite reasonably priced. 
Alright, so after the chocolate factory we went to see freemont landmarks, Lenin (who was decorated for christmas and hanukah) and the troll under the bridge. Sorry about my lack of pics. We then ate at baguette box, which I felt was pretty underwhelming, and walked to gasworks park to see the great view of the city. I took a bus from there to work, so as far as I was concerned, that was the end of Michael and Ali's visit. It was a lot of fun to see friends and we are looking forward to seeing more over the holidays and hopefully in the new year!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Cruise!

Eric and Adam gave us a dinner cruise for our wedding and we went on it a few weeks ago (sorry I'm reeeeally behind with the blogging.) Anyways, it was great! Here are the pictures.
 Our boat!
 The dining room viewed from our table--shiny! 
 This is our reflection in the ceiling. We had our very own horseshoe-shaped booth. Perfect for snuggle-eating.
 1st course (of 4! Plus delicious bread) Smoked salmon tartar. I even ate some of it! Nathan helped with the rest.
 So, our boat followed around the "christmas boat" which had carolers on it, so we could go on the deck and hear them sing. Lots of other little private boats followed along too--all lit up for the christmas boat parade.
 Nathan got salmon for course no. 3. I got lamb. I had to help nathan finish his.
THis was a chocolate tower of decadence or something like that. I had raspberry cheesecake, both were amazing, we took half our desserts home and enjoyed them another day, however.