In which my mom came to visit – Part II

And the adventure continues!

On Tuesday we…

Bored my mother out of her mind and presented my research at UW School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Health Sciences Research Symposium | Perfected the art of eating dumplings at Din Tai Fung | Visited the Center for Pediatric Dentistry and got to meet the amazing people I work with | Had a mini winery tour in Woodinville and tasted flights at Novelty Hill/Januik, Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia wineries | swung by Gas Works Park to see the houseboats on Lake Union | ate Paseo sandwiches for dinner | found Graham’s picture on the wall and had Johnny drinks at the Moon Temple & recreated our favorite Bacon and Maple Syrup ice cream with the rest of the Benton’s bacon:

First winery - Novelty Hill/Janiuk

First winery – Novelty Hill/Januik

Watching them fill the barrels

Watching them fill the barrels

Second winery - Chateau Ste. Michelle where we had a flight of bubbly

Second winery – Chateau Ste. Michelle where we had a flight of bubbly

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And to finish it off - Columbia winery

And to finish it off – Columbia winery

As always, crowded Paseo. We were smart and called ahead on our way back from Woodinville

As always, crowded Paseo. We were smart and called ahead on our way back from Woodinville

So good! Mom agreed that this was one of the best sandwiches ever made.

So good! Mom agreed that this was one of the best sandwiches ever made.

Look Graham - we found our picture on the wall!

Look Graham – we found our picture on the wall!

A sweet end to a fun day

A sweet end to a fun day

 

On Wednesday we… 

Got up very early and took the Edmonds-Kingston ferry to the Olympic Peninsula | Froze our butts off on Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park | Visited the longest sand spit in the United States at Dungeness Spit | Ate my favorite sweet potato mexi-fries at Taco Time, a PNW version of fast food | Drove down the western edge of Puget Sound and Hood Canal past oyster farms and adorable cabins | checked into Alderbrook Resort and drank wine on our balcony overlooking the canal and Olympic mountains | Learned to filet Coho salmon from a master chef & finished the night off with a delicious seafood boil of shrimp, clams and dungeness crab:

On a boat!

On a boat!

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You can tell we were trying to fit a lot in when my mom has to start the morning off with a Monster energy drink!

You can tell we were trying to fit a lot in when my mom has to start the morning off with a Monster energy drink!

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It was pretty, but very cold and rainy!

It was pretty, but very cold and rainy!

Lovely view of the very cold mountains

Lovely view of the very cold mountains

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At this point we decided that hiking would just lead to hypothermia, so we headed down the mountain.

At this point we decided that hiking would just lead to hypothermia, so we headed down the mountain.

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Dungeness Spit

Dungeness Spit

Pacific Northwest Beaches aren't like those back East..

Pacific Northwest Beaches aren’t like those back East.. If you can imagine, five miles out into the distance is a lighthouse – it was barely visible for all the fog and rain.

Feet in the sand this time.

Feet in the sand this time.

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This time the danger was tsunamis, not volcanos!

This time the danger we needed to be aware of was tsunamis, not volcanos!

Then down the edge of the Sound to Alderbook:

Alderbrook Resort

Alderbrook Resort

Apparently it's a thing to seaplane down from Seattle to eat at the restaurant. Maybe in a different lifetime we'll be able to do this.

Apparently it’s a thing to seaplane down from Seattle to eat at the restaurant. Maybe in a different lifetime we’ll be able to do this. Or when we win the lottery – which ever comes first!

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View from our seats on the lawn. We make good resort people.

View from our seats on the lawn. We make good resort people.

Unfortunately my real camera is still broken, so this trip was documented through iPhone photos which can't do this place justice. I stole this from Alderbrook's website to give you an idea of our amazing view.

Unfortunately my real camera is still broken, so this trip was documented through iPhone photos which can’t do this place justice. I stole this from Alderbrook’s website to give you an idea of our amazing view.

Delicious dinner!

Delicious dinner!

Mm.. Northwest seafood boil!

Mm.. Northwest seafood boil!

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On Thursday we.. 

Said goodbye to Alderbrook and then drove over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge | Stopped by IKEA on the way back into Seattle so my mom could see what all the fuss is about | Checked out the REI headquarters downtown | Popped into some cute Ballard shops one more time | ate Fish and Chips at Ivar’s happy hour overlooking Lake Union and watched the seaplanes land | packed up and did some laundry & then headed down to Westward for one last meal out:

IKEA! The closest one to mom is 4 hours away in Atlanta. Also I am thinking about buying this mirror - it would fit perfect in this random nook in our bedroom.

IKEA! The closest one to mom is 4 hours away in Atlanta. Also I am thinking about buying this mirror – it would fit perfect in this random nook in our bedroom.

To cap off the PNW Natural Disasters to be aware of the evacuation route from: Floods! Seen in Renton.

To cap off the PNW Natural Disasters to be aware of the evacuation route from: Floods! Seen in Renton.

REI headquarters

REI headquarters

Ivar's for fish and chips. This is where UW Pedo had the applicant dinner when I interviewed, so it was fun to show mom where my Seattle journey truly began.

Ivar’s for fish and chips. This is where UW Pedo had the applicant dinner when I interviewed, so it was fun to show mom where my Seattle journey truly began.

And then Friday morning, it was all over way too soon and we headed back to the airport. I kept saying we needed three more weeks, or at least three more days, but in reality we made the very best of what we had: we ate some of my favorite Seattle food, visited two of the prettiest national parks in the nation, saw all the typical Seattle touristy things plus the all tucked away places that make this city home. We really did win Seattle.

To give you an idea of all the places we visited, I’ve marked them on a map:

This is the greater NW Washington area we covered.

This is the greater NW Washington area we covered.

And a more specific Seattle-area one. We. Covered. Some. Ground.

And a more specific Seattle-area one. We. Covered. Some. Ground.

When I was little people always commented on how much I looked like my mom. As I grew up I realized that this similarity extended far beyond features and the phrase “I am my mother’s child” was especially applicable to me. This trip was not only a chance to show one of my best friends our new city, but it was also a chance to hang out with Future Me. I am so lucky, blessed and grateful. It was so much fun. Can’t wait for the next adventure!

In which there’s ice cream

Doing statistics in the summer and wondering why your data is acting weird calls for ice cream while watching code run. Best part? It’s homemade 🙂

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Goat cheese ice cream with fresh cherries

 

Recipe from Jeni’s Splended Ice Cream at Home. Reprinted here on epicurious.

In which I make foods that start with P

For my second meal planning menu attempt: Spinach and Onion Pizza. It was easy, wholesome and a vegetarian dish my carnivorous other half liked.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces refrigerated fresh pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1/2 large)
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 28.5oz can of whole tomatoes, well drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
  • 4 ounces fresh baby spinach

Preparation

1. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature, covered, 30 minutes.

2. Place a heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep baking sheet in oven as it preheats).

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Remove onion from pan. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oregano, pepper, and salt; cook 4 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates, stirring mixture occasionally.

4. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Carefully place dough on preheated baking sheet. Spread tomato mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with onion and cheeses. Bake at 500° for 12 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is lightly browned.

5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add spinach; sauté 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Top pizza with remaining 1 tablespoon oregano and spinach. Cut into 8 slices.

Served best with a side of DVR’d TV shows

Despite Seattle’s reputation for non-stop rain we have been very lucky this fall. So far the grey-ness is being held at bay and we’re enjoying clear skies and temperatures in the 60’s. The leaves are starting to change and you can smell the crispness in the air. That fresh scent goes great with a side of pumpkins so I brought out the ice cream maker my mom gave us as a wedding gift and made some frozen pumpkin yogurt. Recipe stolen from here.

Ingredients:
1 cup fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 T sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice

Directions:
1.    Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.
2.    Put the entire mixture into an ice cream freezer/maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze any leftovers in an airtight container.

Yields 4 (1/2 cup) servings.
Nutrition Information per ½ cup serving from myfitnesspal.com: 89 calories, 16 g carbs, 0 g fat, 7 g protein, 3 g fiber

I made the mistake of getting plain Greek yogurt instead of vanilla so I just added some vanilla extract to taste instead. It’s quite tangy – maybe more pumpkin than pumpkin pie? Its refreshing and quenches the pumpkin craving I’ve been having since those pumpkin macaroons.