Archive | December, 2012

No More Restaurants

31 Dec

I have eaten out more than I have stayed in while on vacation and to be perfectly honest, I’m starting to get sick of it. Don’t get me wrong, the meals have been delicious and I have enjoyed the company immensely, but there’s just something I enjoy about making my own food.

This morning I had brunch with my friend Taylor, who just returned to the United States after living in Cairo, Egypt for awhile. We met at one of my very favorite Seattle spots, Portage Bay Cafe.

When I was a sophomore in college, my apartment was located just a few blocks from this place and I spent many a weekday morning there with my roommate and friend, Amy. We had a physics class together in the morning twice a week and would always precede it with an early morning hot yoga session, followed by breakfast at Portage. Believe me when I say their breakfast is the best way to start the morning.

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My favorite part about the restaurant is the fruit bar. If you order any of the pancakes, French toast, or yogurt parfait selections, you have access to an unlimited buffet of toppings for your meal. The toppings include fresh fruit, nuts, maple syrup, butter, and freshly made whipped cream.

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They also make a mean omelette and wonderful scrambles. One of my favorites is called migas and is a southwestern-inspired egg scramble, wrapped in a tortilla the size of a small baby. Unperturbed by its size, Taylor ordered it and dug right in!

20121230-221521.jpg Portage Bay meals are some of the very few that are too large for me to finish and I always end up taking a box of leftovers home. Today was no different and I am excited to eat my last piece of French toast for breakfast tomorrow!

We had a fabulous time catching up and I loved hearing about her adventures in Egypt. I am amazed that she managed to live in Cairo as long as she did. I have been there a couple of times and while it’s an incredible place to visit, it is much too chaotic and crowded for me to ever want to live there. It was fun to live vicariously through her, though!

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Braeburn Brunch

29 Dec

Today’s wake-up call was at 8 AM so Stef and I could drive to the ferry and head over to Whidbey Island for brunch with our friend Grace and her boyfriend, Tom, who was visiting from Switzerland. Grace studied abroad in Geneva (where she met Tom!) at the same time I lived in Rome and we each got a chance to visit one another. Over the course of the year we became very close and now I consider her one of my dearest friends.

The ferry ride is only about 20 minutes and Stef and I found an abandoned puzzle to work on during the crossing.

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While we didn’t finish the puzzle, we were plenty excited for lunch at one of Whidbey’s best breakfast spots, The Braeburn.

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Right away I ordered a pomegranate mango hot tea to warm my tummy. Aren’t the water glasses beautiful? They are hand blown on the island!

I ordered the Saratoga omelette, which is cooked with avocado, goat cheese, sliced mushrooms, and spinach. It was served with a side of homestyle potatoes and whole wheat toast. I had absolutely zero problem scarfing it all down.

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While I was sipping on my tea, Grace and Stef each enjoyed a mimosa made with freshly squeezed orange juice!

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How adorable is she?

We stopped by Grace’s house quickly to pick up the Swiss chocolate Tom brought over for us! So, so yummyyyy!

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Grace’s family still has their tree up and it is SO beautifully decorated, so I had to snap a picture of the adorable couple.

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Soon it was time to make our way back to Seattle because Stef had a soccer tournament to go to. It was tons of fun to visit Whidbey and see friends we haven’t seen in awhile.

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Tagine

28 Dec

We are coming up on the last few days in Seattle and I am scrambling to see everybody I haven’t seen in awhile, while juggling family time. Luckily, my step-siblings are in winter break so I have been able to spend lots of time with them as well.

The other day, my dad and stepbrother were playing soccer in the house.

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My stepmom hates that. I caught in on camera.

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After getting the boys in trouble, I scurried off to Stef’s where my mom and I were having dinner that night. His mom was testing out the Christmas present Stef and I bought for her: a Moroccan tagine.

She used lamb as the protein and added all sorts of yummy things to the sauce, like chestnuts and tons of onions.

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The pomegranate seeds on top added a gorgeous pop of color. It was the perfect meal when accompanied by some buttery couscous and a fresh salad.

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I am headed out soon for a double-date with Stef and our good friends, Chris and Valerie. They both go to school at USC in Los Angeles right now, so we haven’t seen them in awhile. On the agenda is dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Seattle, a Greek place called the Continental, followed by a movie. We agreed on Lincoln, though there are a million others I am impatient to see!

I am looking forward to catching up with old friends! Hope everybody else has a wonderful Friday night.

Precious

27 Dec

Good morning, readers!

Boy, is it nice to be back home in Seattle. Time is flying and I can’t believe Stef and I are halfway through our trip! It has been such a pleasure to spend time with friends and family and I’m not ready to go back to real life when I could do this:

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or this:

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I have been forgoing my usual diet and exercise routine in favor of family time and scrumptious meals like this:

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and this:

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and plenty of these:

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I figure I’ve got plenty of time to hit the gym when I’m back in DC. For now, it’s all about the precious time with loved ones.

Food For Thought: Does your diet/exercise routine change when you travel?

Merry Christmas!

25 Dec

Wishing everyone a blessed day today, whether you’re celebrating Christmas or just enjoying a day off.

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I celebrated Christmas with my mom and half my family when I first arrived in Seattle on Saturday and then Stef’s family did all their Christmas shenanigans last night on Christmas Eve. Today will be spent with my dad and his family who don’t celebrate Christmas, but the day will be filled with joy and love nonetheless.

Much love to you and your families!

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