Geo, one half of Seattle hip hop duo Blue Scholars, is a fierce lyricist and tireless community activist. The man can also cook.
He and his wife, Chera, have started holding monthly pop up dinners called “Food & Sh*t” at Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine. The menus feature inventive riffs on traditional Filipino dishes and other dishes that reflect Geo’s background and his family’s personal tastes.
Other than my mom’s, the sisig lumpia served as an appetizer at the dinner in September may be the best lumpia I’ve ever had. Sisig is a Filipino dish made from pig’s head and liver, or as Anthony Bourdain described it, “the strangely addictive, sizzling melange of hacked up pork face…oh, sweet symphony of pig parts.”
“We always have something to write about. We are our own reservoir.”
Journalist and chef Kim O’Donnel shared these encouraging and empowering words during a writing workshop I attended at the 2013 International Food Blogger Conference.
One of her tips for breaking through writer’s block is to start with the phrase, “I remember” and write interrupted for 10 minutes.
I recently started a new job and went to a business dinner with my colleagues for the first time. We went to Mamnoon, an upscale restaurant serving modern takes on Middle Eastern cuisines. We ordered a several dishes to share. I was most excited about the samkeh harra, a whole roasted branzino.
When our server brought the fish to the table, I asked if anyone else wanted the head. My co-workers demurred and then looked on (possibly in horror) as I happily dismantled the fish head and ate it–including the fish eyes. (The best part!)
I’m sure it was not a pretty sight, and maybe I should have chosen something I could have consumed more elegantly, but that fish head was good! Cheek meat is some of the best on a fish.
The next night, I had dinner at the Thai-Laotian restaurant Viengthong. This time I was with friends, and we also ordered a whole fish. It was fried and topped with chilis. I think I may have had to fight my friend Mahnaz for the head.
…and had a chicken strip/peanut butter and bacon waffle baby!
(It had to be done.)
The only way to make Off the Rez’s veggie fry bread taco even better was to pair it with a cucumber margarita.
What kind of sandwich should I have expected from a food truck with this badass logo?
A sandwich with THREE different kinds of pork–pulled pork, ham and bacon–topped with apple jalapeño slaw. It was appropriately named, “The Bad Lieutenant,” and it was my favorite dish at the Mobile Food Rodeo.
While celebrating my friend Mike’s birthday at Vessel, I ordered the Lamb French Dip sandwich. Tender, braised lamb is cut paper thin and topped with pickled shallots. And the au jus! I could drink that alone. My friend Katy enviously eyed my meal but is allergic to wheat. The good folks at Vessel kindly created a deconstructed sandwich for Katy with no bread, apple butter and horseradish condiments on the side, and a bigger side salad. It was an elegant solution and much appreciated.
During a visit to Kingston, Washington, I had dinner at the Main Street Alehouse, which was offering the “Heart Beet Salad” that night. I love hearts of palm and beets so I ordered the salad despite its ridiculous name (or perhaps because of it?)
Unfortunately, a blanket of bland shredded mozzarella obliterated all of the salad’s ingredients, including a nicely balanced honey mustard dressing.
If you see me doing a happy dance in the aisle of my local Red Apple grocery store, it’s because I just discovered that it now carries Full Tilt Ice Cream. I used to live within walking distance of the original Full Tilt, and I have missed its friendly vibe and ice cream flavors inspired by the incredibly diverse community in the White Center neighborhood. While I haven’t had much ice cream lately since I’ve been on a raw, vegan and gluten-free cleanse, it’s nice to know that once again, Full Tilt is nearby.
Another favorite sweet snack of mine—Pocky—can now be bought in bulk at Costco. Pocky is a thin biscuit stick dipped in chocolate. Beyond owners of Asian grocery stores, who is buying (and consuming) this much Pocky?!
Like many people, I take a lot of pictures with my camera phone. However, many of them rarely see the light of day. I have hundreds of photos of homemade meals, restaurants, pastries, produce, etc. that remain imprisoned on my phone.
I’m setting them free with a new feature called, “What’s On My Phone Wednesdays.” Enjoy.
I bought this hilarious cookbook for my friend Michelle for her birthday. All of the recipes are written in the style of the BDSM romance “50 Shades of Grey.” It’s an excellent parody, the recipes look pretty good, and the pictures are enticing.
I’m not much of a beer drinker, but when I was a college student in Minnesota, I did enjoy the occasional Leinekugel’s, which is brewed in neighboring Wisconsin. I’ve never seen it for sale in Seattle and was pleasantly surprised to find it at my local Target.
I had a unique dessert at Blind Pig Bistro that absolutely knocked my socks off–a fennel panna cotta with braised rhubarb and apples and a crunchy oat topping.
I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of detox diets. Many of them seem to be based on dubious nutrition claims, and the people I know who’ve gone through these programs were never happy about it. Instead, they were irritable and depressed.
However, after 6 months away from the gym due to a knee injury and an indulgent vacation that included one too many piña coladas, the number on the scale was truly alarming. I weighed almost as much as I did when I was pregnant with my son 5 years ago.
So I started researching cleanses.
Ever since I tried Mark Bittman’s recipe for black kale and black olive salad a few years ago, I’ve been a big fan of kale salad.
So when I was invited to try out one of Aida Mollenkamp’s new recipes for her “Keys to the Kitchen” Virtual Dinner Party, I kept gravitating to the one for raw kale salad with heirloom tomatoes and roasted cashews.
Here in Seattle we were lucky enough to bask in summer weather through the end of September, which means I’m still enjoying tomatoes from my mother-in-law’s garden.
I was going to a dinner party, and I wanted to share some of these tomatoes with my friends. I also had a huge 4-pound bag of kale that I needed to use up. It was the perfect opportunity to make Aida’s recipe.
I’m one of those people who like to channel surf. While I’m flipping through channels, I’ll inevitably wind up watching something on PBS. I love that at any given moment, PBS will be showing something compelling and thought-provoking (“Run to the East”), shamelessly geeky (“History Detectives”) or just weirdly watchable (“Antiques Roadshow”).
In addition, KCTS 9, Seattle’s PBS station, produces great local programming. Last year it introduced a new show called “Check, Please! Northwest.”
The show brings three strangers together to talk about their favorite restaurants. Each person recommends a restaurant, everyone goes to the three places, and then they discuss the food and their experiences.