Concerts & the Coast

(sorry I like alliterations)

This Saturday we went to our friends Lich's symphony concert. It happened to be the kids one but that meant we got to see Peter and the Wolf played as well as done with a ballet. The kids in the ballet did a fantastic job! It truly was fantastic.

But then we got in some much needed hang out time with Lich and his wife Suzie. They live in Edmonds, WA and it is a cute almost vacationy town where you can walk everywhere. Plus the ferry port is right there as well as a bunch of sailboat and small piers. We walked up and down the beachfront for awile and just talked, even the rainstorm didn't deter us.
But we ended the afternoon with all 4 of us indulging ourselves with bread and hot clam chowder and playing a few rounds of rummy.
They are such encouraging, positive people and it was so fantastic to get to spend some time focusing on getting to know them better!

(Sorry all the pictures were taken on my phone- which takes terrible pictures!)

taken by Suzie


After-Holiday Aquarium Work Party

My work doesn't have a holiday party around any particular holiday, so they just had it in February :)
We got the Aquarium all to ourselves all night. NO kids or fighting to touch the starfish- just wine, food, baby otters, jellyfish, and finally I got to watch an octopus not just sleeping. It was so much fun to bring Joshua along and introduce him to everyone. We had a really spectacular time!

Jellyfish are my absolute favorite!!!!!

the photo booth!

They gave us a special feeding of the baby otter so we could see him active. He wasn't very good at swimming yet which just added to the entertainment

A guy from our work's flamenco band even played
And all the adults acted like kids at the area where you could touch the animals


Stuffed Zucchini

We have fallen in love with zucchini lately.
It was one of those foods I used to stick my nose up at
(my poor mother all 4 of us were so picky as kids it's a wonder she could find anything we'd all eat)
But now we throw it in soups, stir fry, with pasta, in eggs and now we Stuffed them!

These are really simple to make
they would be great to bring to a potluck event, as a snack for 1 or 2, or even for dinner with some bread
We used mini zucchini but the big obviously would work too


4 mini zucchini; cut in half
1 red onion
1 bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
salt & pepper
red chili flakes
preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1   using a spoon dig out the seeds and insides of each zucchini half, don't dig down too far!
2   then chop the onion, pepper, mince the garlic and saute them on the
     stove in a little oil until they are cooked
3   in the meantime chop the zucchini insides and add them to the veggies on the stove
4   shake a little paprika, S&P, and red chili flakes onto the hollowed out zucchini halves
5   then place the sauted veggies into the halves, squich them down a bit to fit more in
6   finish of with a little S&P
7   place in oven on baking sheet for 15-18 minutes
pull them out and enjoy!


The Pink Door

 I took Joshua to the Pink Door for his birthday dinner. It was fantastic. We got to take home cute little plastic monkeys too :)
They hung off of our drinks- it was called Monkey Biz!

The food was super delicious! But the main reason I picked the place besides the food and it being downtown was that a girl performs ever 45ish minutes. We were fortunate enough to see 3 of them. Once she did a really beautiful lyrical number on a piece of fabric hanging from the air. It was amazing the way she'd roll herself up in it and then plummit! It was really cool!
It was like we got a mini circus act performed right in front of us!

It was one of those nights that feels like it stretched out for a long period of time but only in the most relaxing, fun, perfect way. It was really nice to end the weekend with just him, especially after all the people we hung out with on Saturday :)

The waiter and I sung happy birthday to him. Then we devoured a molten chocolate cake with a nutella cookie and ice cream!

There is no sign but it is down one of the alleys in Pike Place Market and the directions said look for a pink door. Come on that is not ver pink! Needless to say we passed it up the first time, but we were on top of it the second time

She also did one on a trapeze bar where she hung at one point just by her toes off the end of it!
And the final one was on a hoop which was really cool to watch because she was working in a circle.

(sorry - I know the photos are blurry But I liked them better that way)


Vanilla Latte Cake

My hubs LOVES vanilla lattes. I think he tries to convince me to go walk and get one with him at least 3 times a week. So I decided that his birthday cake had to reflect this obsession.
So I made a vanilla bean cake (the vanilla)
with toasted marshmallow filling (the foam)
and an espresso frosting (the espresso)
It could have used a little more coffee flavor but it was still super tasty and Joshua was very excited about it.
It was a good thing I had enough batter left over to make the mini versions because Joshua really really wanted to have enough left ofver for breakfast
(yes we eat cake for breakfast- my mom always said we could)

It was my first time using real vanilla bean! I love it! I can't believe how many seeds it holds

Vanilla Bean Cake Recipe:
Adapted from this recipe
I only made 2 layers and then made the rest of the batter into mini cupcakes

1 1/2 cups of butter; room temperature
 2 2/3 cup sugar
9 egg whites; room temperature
4 1/2 cups of flour
2 tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups of buttermilk
1 vanilla bean- seeds
1 tsp ground vanilla
1 tbs espresso powder
preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1   mix the butter and sugar for a few minutes until it is light and fluffy
2   then on a low speed mix in the egg whites, one at a time
3   in another bowl mix the flour, powder, salt
4   then mix the vanillas and espresso powder into the buttermilk
5   rotate mixing in 1/4 - 1/2 cup of dry mixture with the buttermilk mixture into the butter and sugar
6   mix gently towards the end and possibly even end with hand mixing, don't over
     mix! It will make your cake have tunnels
7   then pour the batter into the cake pans
     (grease, flour and put parchment paper on the bottom of the pans first)
Note- this cake doesn't rise very much so be more generous with the batter than you would with normal cakes or you could end up with really thin layers
8   bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
9   let cool and then begin your filling and icing

Toasting the marshmallows for the toasted marshmallow  filling

It was so gooey, luckily warm water melts it all off and you don't even really have to scrub

Marshmallow Filling Recipe:
adapted from this recipe

1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 cup of butter; room temperature
1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
2 tbs. milk
1 tbs. espresso powder
1 tsp. ground vanilla
pinch of salt

1   toast marshmallows in oven on 350 degrees F until they start to turn brown
2   let them cool for a little while
3   mix the the rest of the ingredients sans marshmallows together until well incorporated
4   then dump in the marshmallows and mix for a few minutes
I then pulled out any large chunks of toasted marshmallow so that the only solid marshmallow pieces left were small
5   spread onto cake layer
6   then I spread marshmallow fluff onto the other layer and sandwiched them together.
for the mini cupcakes I just put a dolop of the marshmallow fluff on top of each and then added the icing over it!

The mashing of the marshmallow fluff against the toasted marshmallow filling

the white chocolate writing doesn't work as well as regular chocolate.The white chocolate never really hardens back up fully. If you lay it down on the cake it would work fine, but mine standing up started to wilt.

Espresso Frosting:

it is the same as THIS frosting
that I've previously made but with 1 tbs. more espresso! and a little less almond extract

espresso beans and a few white chocolate details!