West Seattle. You know I love you. (Part 1)

I am not going to be all mushy, sweet and go cuddly-bear on you my dear readers but I thought I’d tell you all why West Seattle (WS) is dear to me. My home away from home (My other home being Manila, since most of my family live there). I’ve lived in WS for almost 7 years now. My first and only home ever since I’ve moved to the States.

My husband and I are on our second apartment in WS and currently we’re very close to C&P Coffee. To those that haven’t visited C&P, you better start doing so since this is the best place for those where-do-we-go-it’s-raining-and-it’s-the-weekend days. You get to be warm and cozy with a cup of joe, while listening to some good live music. You probably have an idea about where I’m headed with this post. List of my favorite places in West Seattle. I’ll give you some highlights for now since I gotta finish this post before my little dude wakes up from his nap.

Favorite Bakery: Bakery Nouveau

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Twice Baked Chocolate Almond Croissant

There is not a week that goes by that I don’t get myself a Bakery Nouveau fix. From the guy who beat the French in French Pastry making, there’s no where else to go but here for some Twice Baked Chocolate Almond Croissant. Need a little something something to give your hunnylove? Bring home some macaroons in a heart shaped box. Not feeling sweet? Their pizza’s are amazing! My personal fave is their foccacia pizza and pork sandwhich with pickled onions.

 Favorite Parks: Lincoln Park and Ercolini Park

It’s hard to just have one favorite park in WS since there are so much it offers. But for my husband and I, Lincoln Park and Ercolini Park tops the list. Lincoln Park has the heated salt water pool, wading pool for the wee ones, tons of space for cross country running, picnic areas, hiking trails, and you also have the best view of the Puget Sound. It’s one of the biggest parks in Seattle and I’m happy that it’s in WS.

I’m mentioning Ercolini Park because right now it’s the best place for my little one. Best place for toddlers I would say. I love how people leave/donate their toys there so that other kiddos can play with them. It’s also a good place for mommies to meet other mommies. My son isn’t a crawler or walker yet but I look forward to the day when he starts climbing the little gym area.

I have more favorites I’d like to post but I have to keep this short for now. In the meantime, come visit me, and we shall go to Bakery Nouveau and get some yummies, and then go to the park of your choice to let the kiddos play.

 

 

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Healthy but. . .

So last night I roasted some asparagus, roasted some beets, baked some fish and made Israeli couscous for dinner.

I ran out of fish for lunch today and decided to just put all the leftovers together.

I realized after eating my lunch that it’s not going to be so pretty in the bathroom later. Beets and asparagus, yummy in the tummy but not so sure about the after effects.

I just had to mention that.

No on Snow

I was complaining to my brother about how Seattle is going to get about 6 inches of snow by Thursday. I am not happy about that.  I have a lot of friends that love the mountains, the snow, and of course snowboarding but that is soooo not me.  This tropical lady needs to get out of Seattle ASAP!

As I was venting to my brother he says to me,  “At least you can make halo halo fresh from Heaven.”  I don’t have to shave the ice.  Haha!  Shaved ice from Heaven is a good way to look at it.

Halo-halo

All you need is Love

Love


Nick and I don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s day with fancy gifts or eating  at fancy restaurants.  Sometimes we do go to a fancy place but not that often.  It usually depends on how we’re feeling that day.

I know that a lot of people despise Valentine’s day especially if they’re single.  They rant about how couples are too mushy and annoyingly flaunting their love to single people.  Like saying, “Eat that! I’m married and you’re not.”  No it’s not like that.

What they don’t understand is that it’s a great excuse for married couples to have a reason to go out on a date.  Especially if you have kids.  I know we should go on dates despite whatever day it is.  But it’s still a good excuse just to be out with your spouse.

It helps build and strengthen the marriage.  I’m not saying that couples should just go out and leave the kids at home.  Families can celebrate Valentine’s together as well.  It helps the kids show their love for their siblings.

I remember when I was single, I truly enjoyed Valentine’s day.  I enjoyed seeing other couples because it gave me hope of how wonderful it would be when I can finally spend it with the man that I will love forever and ever.

Samurai Noodle

Samurai Noodle


When Nick was asking me what I wanted to do on Valentine’s day I told him that I don’t really care what we did, as long as I had Filipino food that night.

Well that didn’t exactly happen.  On our way to the Filipino restaurant I changed my mind and said,  “I want ramen!!!” Nick quickly made a U-turn and we were on our way to my favorite place in Seattle.  Samurai Noodle.

Soy & Pork Broth Ramen

Soy & Pork Broth Ramen


Ramen is comfort food for me. And Samurai Noodle is the only place I go to in Seattle for that. Nick being the loving husband that he is, took me to Samurai Noodle because I was craving for it so bad. I was the happiest girl in the world! I mean come on, look at how delicious looking that ramen is. How can one resist that?

Soooo Happy!

Soooo Happy!


He loves the soup!

He loves the soup!


Slurp!!!

Slurp!!!


I thank my husband for a great Valentine’s date. Simple yet my heart was filled with love.

*that was a very mushy post

Free lunch, well sort of

I found a deal online for a cafe near our office last Monday and thought, “Dude, I’ve always wanted to try that place!”

As I was paying for the deal, I found out that I had credits for referring a friend to that deal website. So lo and behold, instead of paying for a $10 lunch that’s worth $25, I paid nada.

Oh yeah!

I told my co-worker, “You and I are going to have lunch tomorrow.”

And so we went.

We went to 5 Point Cafe.  It was sunny and beautiful outside last Tuesday and it was worth the walk of a couple of blocks to get to the cafe.

Abby

Coffee

I was brought back to my childhood when I ordered the hamburger steak.  I used to order it all the time at this place called “Pancake House” in Manila.  Yeah, that Pancake House serves the best hamburger steaks.   So when I saw the hamburger steak on the menu, I had to order it for nostalgia’s sake.

Hamburger Steak

It’s the kind of place that I would go back to on a Saturday or Sunday brunch with the husband or friends. The place, with servers covered in tattoos, gave me a really cozy feeling. I felt like I was at a friend’s house with their grandmother cooking in the back and the cousin was serving our food.

Good times.
5 Point Cafe

Oh I mentioned “sort of” a free lunch since the bill went up to $28 including tax plus tip. So out of my pocket I only paid $6 for a really good lunch with coffee. It was worth it. I mean $6 is worth a teriyaki chicken with rice. haha!

December and Shrimp Fried Rice

December has been really busy that’s why I haven’t been posting as often as I want.  There are times when I look at the calendar and I get stressed with the amount of stuff that I have to go to. It’s really not work related but mostly just being at a lot of places in one day. This is usual for our family during December so I just have to deal with it.

I can’t wait for Christmas vacation and for the actual celebration of Christ’s birthday. Ahhh I get to relax for a little bit.

I noticed that my blog is turning into a food blog. I am wondering if I should have a separate blog for the food and for life. I don’t know. Just throwing the idea out there.

For now, I’ll try and catch up on my posts with December events and what I have been cooking.

So the other day, I remembered I had left over shrimp in the fridge. Again, I wanted something quick and easy. So I ended up with Shrimp Fried Rice. This is the Chinese part of me that comes out once in a while. For those of you that don’t know, my great grandfather on my dad’s side is Chinese. I remember, every time it was my grandmother’s birthday, we’d always go to a Chinese restaurant. On some of her birthdays the cook at my grandma’s house will make something Chinese. I especially love their steamed fish with scallions. Oh wow. Heaven!

Fried rice is a staple in the house I grew up in. My eldest brother and I, when we wanted some midnight snack, we always made fried rice. He’d always find some left over meat and add it to our rice and it was such a comfort food that up to now, I still make the same kind of fried rice that we used to make growing up. I guess we learned how to cook because if we didn’t, there will be no midnight snack to eat.

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For this recipe, I went to Steamy Kitchen for the basics. I skipped the corn starch and forgot the sesame oil. haha! But it still turned out good. In our home, there’s always left over rice. If there wasn’t, then it’s definitely the end of the world for me. I started with the garlic on this one, I know it doesn’t say anything about garlic in the recipe but hey, I’m Filipino, I can’t skip the garlic in fried rice.

Unfortunately, Nick didn’t get to have some because he was out somewhere. So I had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Don’t you just love going to work knowing you have some good food that you’re going to eat for lunch?

Comfort Soup

One of my favorite soups that my dad would make is sopas. Sopas is soup in Spanish, but when you say sopas in the Philippines, it means elbow macaroni in a creamy soup. The meat in the sopas is usually chicken, but the way my dad would make it is with ham.

Nick and I were buying some groceries at Safeway when I saw a package of smoked ham hocks sitting in the shelf. The first thought that came to mind was my dad’s sopas so I just had to get some some carrots and celery, and I was ready to make it.

And because I was originally making Chicken Afritada for Nick, I cooked both the Afritada and the Sopas at the same time. Take note, it was 9:30pm when I started cooking. Talk about late cooking in the Hayes household.

In the Philippines, we usually eat sopas for merienda (midday snack). I remember eating it for lunch in high school on those cold rainy days in June. Ah those days. It seemed like it was yesterday when classes would be cancelled midday because of a typhoon and we’re already in school so we have to wait for my dad to pick us up. Where else would we hang out but the cafeteria. The lunch ladies would be ready for the onslaught of orders from the excited kids who want to eat as they wait for their parents to pick them up. But I digress…

Below is the Chicken Afritada I made for Nick. I wasn’t in the mood for it since I felt that I was making it a lot, but since Nick wanted it, I made it for him.
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Instead of using elbow macaroni, I used the egg noodles that we had. It was kind of the same. Texture-wise, I think I like the elbow macaroni more. I remember the days of eating soggy macaroni in the sopas. Ahhh heaven.
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I know if my dad saw the photo below, he’d be so proud of me. I think my future kiddies would love this. It’d be their favorite and they’d ask me to add extra milk in it. Just as I did when I was young.

My dad would be cooking the sopas. I’d watch the whole process of how he did it and learn from him. Well sometimes he’d walk away to do other things while the sopas is simmering. What I would do is sneak in more milk into the soup to make it extra creamy. I don’t think he ever noticed. He would then say, “Wow this is really good.” He’d be so proud of what he made. And inside I was thinking, “That’s because of me, I put the extra milk in there to make it yummy.”
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