Summer

Weeks during the summer seem to fly by more quickly than others. We are having a Seattle heat wave right now but it barely reaches 90 degrees, so no complaints! This year, we bought a portable air conditioning unit and it makes things so much better. We retreat into the bedroom early in the evening, usually after a post-workout shower. Cool air and rest after some hard work really feels good.

Last weekend, I celebrated a milestone birthday. The big 4-0. I didn’t feel traumatized. I actually felt invigorated and excited for the next decade. Honestly, I am in the best shape of my life. I have so much energy even with waking up once or twice a night for Sagan. He doesn’t keep me up but it’s sometimes hard to fall back to sleep. There is still quite a ways to go in terms of meeting my fitness goals but I feel so much stronger and fitter.

Mike and I also got done with our Whole30 this past week. It was a good challenge that we undertook together with some members of our Crossfit box. We were already on our primal way of eating but Whole30 was much stricter – no sugar, no alcohol and no dairy. I really missed my cheese. I didn’t miss my alcohol. I love a good cocktail but I did not feel deprived. Sometimes just having the option is enough for me.

Sagan turned one 2 weeks ago. He is already walking, my friends. Walking more than he crawls. How did he suddenly become a toddler? Such a big boy. He loves anything with wheels on them – trucks, cars, motorbikes, shopping carts and even garage doors. We does his rounds in the morning, opening and closing every cabinet door in my kitchen. He opens them, pulls out one or two things and then leaves them open. Most of the time, I just navigate around them and then do a little “closing” after he’s done his rounds and goes off in a different direction. I do this a few times a day. He loves to eat eggs, cheese, sausage, hamburgers, applesauce, peaches, blueberries, oatmeal, yogurt, crackers and dried apricots. He is starting to transition to cow’s milk but is still nursing in the evenings and before naps. He still is not a fan of sleeping in. He wakes up by 5.30am, raring to go. Just like someone I know, someone he calls “da-dee”. He says quite a few words now, like “da-dee”, “neh neh” (for milk or me), “ma ma” (for me or grandma – the tone is different), “pa pa” (for grandpa), “fow-fuh” (flower), “bot bot” (robot), “bux” (box), “drin drin” (rolling his Rs, when he wants some water) and “duck” (truck). He does love his daddy. I love to watch the both of them together – M would toss him in the air, hang him upside down and rough-house with him, S would just giggle and laugh with so much excitement. He drinks from a sippy cup or a Camelbak bottle. That way I don’t worry when I forget his cup. He can always take my Camelbak bottle. In fact, he prefers it. He just wants to be all grown up. I can go on and on about him but I have to go. He is being quiet and usually that means he’s having a moment that will require a diaper change or getting stuck in something.

We leave for our first family road trip tomorrow. Just a weekend to Portland where delicious eats await. Can you say Pok Pok? And Salt & Straw? Also, since S goes down to bed early in the evening, we’re packing a lovely indoor picnic when we get there. I hear the charcuterie at Olympic Provisions are to die for. Meat, cheese, olives, wine and some fruit. Perfect summery fare.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer!

Beard Papa Cream Puffs

Beard Papa Cream Puffs

I first had these delicious cream puffs when I was back home in Singapore (Dec 2006 – see Christmas package above). I waited patiently for them to find their way up here from CA (or down from BC). Now, they have arrived in Seattle – Safeco Field and Uwajimaya. I am not sure if their Uwajimaya location has opened but the Safeco Field one has, so YAY!

I hope they are as delicious as I remembered. Soft not too sweet custard filling and slightly crispy fluufy shells!

Danish Butter Cookies

Nostalgic cookies from my childhood. We used to get tins of these from food baskets/hampers that my dad’s business contacts. Scrummy!

Still making our own traditions

Before we got married, Mike and I were so excited about starting our own traditions. We’ve been fairly successful along the way despite several moves, but it had gotten easier since we are now settled in Seattle. There is a sort of permanence which comes with roots and even though they are still shallow roots, they make it easier to start traditions.

One example: going to the symphony. To make things better, we have found the perfect spot to have a great meal before those concerts. Steelhead Diner has become a quick favorite – a casual dining spot close enough to Benaroya Hall, with amazing food made with the freshest ingredients.

I could let the reviews speak for themselves, but I insist on describing the last meal I had there. It was the special du jour.

Petrale sole fillets, lightly floured and pan-fried, topped with a flavorful garlic-tinged sauce with cranberry beans and sauteed spinach chiffonade with fresh diced tomatoes.

Heavenly.

Lunch @ Fu Lin


Yesterday, my folks, Mike and my brother came by the office to swoop me up for lunch. We went to a favorite noodle shop here in the International District (ID). They sell traditional Japanese style ramen as well as bento boxes and other Chinese stir-fry and noodle dishes.

Dad had crispy noodles, some of us had the tonkotsu char siu ramen and starters were wonton in spicy sauce (Szechuan or Taiwanese) and fried shiu mai (these are usually steamed at dim sum places but the fried version was quite good too).

Today is my “Friday” and I’m off for a long weekend. Brother is moving in to his new house so we will be helping out there. We may also catch a movie or 2 in and around that.

I hope that everyone’s week is starting to wind down and you have fun plans to welcome the new year.

Oh, and don’t forget to kiss someone you love and sip a favorite cocktail!

Fu Lin Restaurant
(206) 749-0678
512 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104


On the brink of December

Garland on stairway

Here we are, on the brink of the final month in the year. I can almost say that it’s my 2nd favorite month. August definitely reigns supreme in that contest. It’s cold here in Seattle (well, for Seattle). There is talk of snow in the next 24 hours – what a surprise since Father Frost often skips us and leaves us in the capable hands of his rainy sibling.

We all know how Christmas often races close at the heels of Thanksgiving and here at Scarlett, we’ve started with some of our Christmas decorations. There is talk of going to a tree farm for our tree and I’m still cracking my brain on the theme for the tree. I put up some garlands, some lights and some baubles but it was more to do an inventory of what I had. Right now, I’m very tempted to make a tree full of painted salt dough ornaments.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying my dad’s leftover katsudon from Hiroshi’s with this delicious apple juice from Nantucket Nectars, prettily called Cloudy Apple. Scrummy.

Mom Lynn leaves for home today, it was so great having everyone here at Thanksgiving. I cannot be grateful enough.

Baby/Mini Kiwi


Today was the last day of the Columbia City Farmers’ Market so I thought I would catch it before it goes into hybernation. It will be a long wait till May next year.

I just wanted to share this really unique kiwi fruit – baby kiwi. It’s about the size of grape [small] and the whole fruit is edible. I took a pic of it with a penny so you can see the relative size. These were so sweet and less acidic than the larger kiwi fruit.

In my basket also went some winter squash and coffee cake. Yum!

Bick’s & Caipirinha


We had a lovely dinner at Bick’s last night. It was girls’ night out at work so we picked one of the ‘Dinner at 8’ restaurants. In the end, we didn’t select anything from the special menu but settled on their usual menu. It was the only way we could get a feel of what they served and what the restaurant was truly about.

I started off my meal with a caipirinha [nothing like some good cacha├ža to help the unwinding] and some Fry Bread [a Navajo bread made with masa corn flour & flour and served with tomato-serrano salsa]. My main course was Big Creamy Crabcakes [very delicious crisp round cutlets of crabmeat – they were generous!). I didn’t order dessert but Bick’s had a long list to choose from. My coworkers had a coconut ice cream pie and a warm mug of mocha mousse served with chambord cream. I had a taste of both and they were quite scrummy!

I wouldn’t say that dinner was spectacular but it was good enough for me to want to go back and try the other dishes.

Edit: Rachel Ray had recommended Bick’s on her $40 a day show.

Fiori: Blossom

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I’m a chocolate fiend.

To most other chocolate fiends, I’m probably just a newbie. I’ve barely scratched the surface of good chocolate in the world. All the more reason that my journey from here should continue.

A while ago, I started to question my perspective towards chocolate. Asia didn’t have the best chocolate but due to the colonial influence in Singapore, we import some of the best chocolate from Europe. And as a result of growing up, my idea of a good piece of chocolate has developed from round more-sugar-than-cacao gold-wrapped coins to half pound milk chocolate bars to truffles and dark chocolate.

True, I’ve been wooed with boxes of Godiva and Leonidas and those are respectable, especially the latter but today, I tasted some amazingly scrummy truffles, made here in Seattle where we live. Fiori is top of my list now. [Thanks Viv for recommending them @ Motore.]

Someone lucky will benefit from these chocolate truffles and well-deserving he is.

You must be thinking: how can she even enjoy such sinful goodness when there isn’t any good news in the world these days? That’s precisely it, if we can’t enjoy a small moment like that, what good will it be if it’s all gone tomorrow?

Scotch Kisses

Look, Cindy, I got it!

My previous See’s assignment was not successful but today I found what I’d been looking for. Soft marshmallow coated in caramel and wrapped in a translucent wrapper.

Scrummy but these are not for me as I have to send them home to Cindy, so I have to stop tempting myself.