Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Only in Washington

Check out these three beautiful pictures from my work colleague, Dean Forbes. Dean is quite the photographer and these images of Center for Wooden Boats, Snoqualmie Falls and Mt. St. Helens were chosen for an exhibit at the Washington State Trade and Convention Center. Congratulations Dean!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil


Another Everyday Italian success from Giada! Delicious, light, summery meal and very easy to make. My mom and I made it this weekend and we think the only change should be add some crushed red pepper flakes and more arugula! You can never have too much!

For the lemon oil:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested

For the pasta:
1 pound linguine pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces frozen shrimp
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces arugula (about 3 packed cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the lemon oil:

Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blood Diamond, Iraq For Sale

I watched both of these films this weekend and they were great! If you haven't seen either, I highly recommend! After I finished Iraq For Sale, I did some browsing on the Internet about the documentary and I came across this site, FreeDocumentaries.org.

It is a completely legal site that has over 100 documentaries on their site available for streaming, free. I love watching documentaries because I feel they hold a very important place in society. They talk about issues going on in the world that don't always make it into the Nightly News.

Definitely check out their site and I hope you learn something new!



image: FreeDocumentaries
image: Wikipedia

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Simon's Cat

For anyone who has a cat - this video is for you!!! My mom and I were cracking up because it is exactly like our own cat! (Who is fact is doing that as I type)!





video: Simon's Cat/You Tube

Erika and Jessie - Roman roommates!

I have so many wonderful memories of my time abroad in college, and part of what my made experience so wonderful was the great group of people in my program, including my wonderful roommates, Erika and Jessie.

We still keep in touch and got together after work on Friday - which always brings back great memories. Erika and I had been friends previously in college and then met Jessie and an orientation and immediately clicked so we all decided to live together.

They are such great friends and I have many fond memories of our times together!
mouth of truth


beach in Sperlonga, Italy

St. Peter's

One of my favorite pictures -sitting by a canal in Venice

Katie Couric duing the Today show visit to Rome

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tini Bigs

Tini Bigs is a great martini bar located in lower Queen Anne. I met up with my good friends Heather and Carrie for a catch up after work. If you ever go here, I recommend the Aloe Martini. It sounds odd, but is is really delicious! The aloe juice makes it extremely fresh and there are even health benefits to drinking aloe juice! Bottoms up!

image: Tini Bigs

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes


Since the past few days have been colder, grey weather, I've enjoyed coming back from work, staying inside and doing one of my favorite pastimes - cooking! Most of my favorite recipes come from Giada de Laurentis, she can do no wrong! Everything is so delicious and pretty easy. I made this the other night and it is definitely a favorite - and very easy to make! Bon appetit!

1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 pound orzo pasta
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 ounces (2 links) mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

Using tongs, place the bell peppers over a gas flame. Cook, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Alternatively, place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, until charred.) Place the charred peppers in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the peppers to steam for 20 minutes. Under running water, peel away the charred skin from the peppers. Pat the peppers dry with paper towels. Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, water, and kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sausage mixture, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to combine all ingredients, adding reserved cooking liquid, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Top with the ricotta salata and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve.

recipe and photo: Food Network

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happiness and dancing transcend boundaries


White on the topic of uplifting videos - I absolutely love all of the Matt Harding video's but his latest one is by far my favorite! If you don't know the back story of Matt, in 2003 he quit his job and decided to travel the world and had the idea to make videos of him dancing at his destinations His videos became a hit on YouTube and he is currently sponsored by Stride Gum to make them all. (Let me just say right now how jealous I am of him and how much I want to travel after watching them!)

What I love so much about his latest video are all the people who have joined in, smiling and laughing and the great message it portrays. Happiness and dancing transcend boundaries and occur in practically every human society. The video is a dramatic example that humans from all over planet earth feel a common bond as part of a single species - no matter what our race, religion, age, language or political belief, we have more similarities than we think.

Enjoy and I hope this brings a smile to your face as it did to mine.



Christian the Lion




How sweet is this video?! It is so touching and brings tears to my eyes every time I see it. It is the reunion of two British men and a lion they had bought when it was a baby. It is just so sweet and you can see the genuine happiness in the men's faces. Great story!




images: Daily Mail
video: You Tube

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Boating and dinner at Palisade


Sunday started off with a nice walk around Queen Anne and some delicious Jamba Juice for breakfast!

Later that afternoon I went boating with Brooke, Daniel and their friends around Lake Washington. It was so relaxing out on the water and I always have a great time with Brooke!

As a belated birthday dinner, my parents, my brother Mike, Nick and I went out to one of my favorite restaurant in Seattle - Palisade! The view there is unbeatable and the food and service are amazing. This is definitely the place to to go celebrate a special occasion or impress out of town guests. You get a view of everything that makes Seattle so wonderful: the skyline, the sound and the mountains. I love getting to see my family and it's an added bonus when it's over delicious food!

beautiful interior of Palisade

Elliot Bay Marina by Palisade


image: Flickr
image: Flickr
image: Flickr

Bite, BBQ, Katie's visit, Carrie's birthday


Saturday was super busy but lots of fun! Nick and I met his friends Scott (Dirt), Sam (Baker) and Chris (CK) (they pretty much only go by their nicknames) down at the Bite of Seattle at the Seattle Center. We had a pretty good time, but if you don't like crowds this isn't the event for you! They were expecting an estimated 450,000 people over the weekend! Last year was rainy and muddy so it was nice to have some sun this year.

Later that afternoon we went to a BBQ at our friend's Shane and Carrie's new place right by Greenlake. Shane BBQ-ed up some amazing salmon that Carrie had caught herself in Alaska. And, I got to play with their adorable new baby kitty! She was only 12 weeks old, 2 pounds 6 ounces.

After the BBQ, I got to hang out with my wonderful friend Katie who was in town from San Francisco! We studied abroad in Rome together our senior year (so many wonderful friends and memories from that trip) and it was so great to see her again and catch up in person rather than over the phone or e-mail. I'm already looking forward to her next visit in August!!

Nick and I then ended the night at the Frontier Room in Belltown to celebrate Carrie's 25th birthday.

Katie and me during our study abroad days with our teacher, Leonardo!

study abroad friends hiking in Capri, Italy

me with the baby kitty!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale


It's here! Everyone's favorite time of year - the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! I'm heading downtown after work today to do some shopping with my friend Brooke and hopefully get some great clothes!

image: Nordstrom

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Drinks on the Links - week 4



Check out our new team picture! And we were featured on the homepage as the faces of putt-putt! And, even better - we are in FIRST PLACE! Next Wednesday is the final game and we will for sure bring it!

Last night we were really on our game and were totally focused - obviously! After putt-putt we headed over to Pesos in Lower Queen Anne for their late night happy hour and the best nachos in town!

Team Grip it and Rip it!


image: Drinks on the Links
image: Flickr

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ototo Sushi


Another lovely evening in Seattle - Meghan and I are craving some sushi! We love Ototo Sushi on Queen Anne (in part because it is so close to our place) and since we can eat outside there! Dinner outside with fresh, delicious sushi! Then it's Drinks on the Links time - week 4! What a great Wednesday!


image: Flickr

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Greenlake walk with Erin


This evening I went on a walk around Greenlake with my best friend Erin. I absolutely love Greenlake and it is one of my favorite places to be anytime of the year - the cute houses, people roller blading or walking their dogs and of course the crew team out practicing. I love hanging out with Erin and we always have so much fun - even if it is just a simple walk outside!



image: Flickr
image: Flickr
image: Flickr

Monday, July 14, 2008

Travel thoughts of the day: Greece


During my lunch I skimmed through an old issue of Town & Country Travel magazine and got lost in an article on Greece and just sat wishing I could be there! Greece has always been one of the top destinations on my list and I can't wait to actually go there.

Destinations around the Mediterranean have always been some of my favorites. The laid back atmosphere, the clean air and wonderful light cuisine are unbeatable.

I have always loved the history, culture, architecture and food of Greece and the scenery there just looks amazing! Sitting outside at a nice little cafe, watching the sunset over the Mediterranean, enjoying the delicious food. Someday. Until then, I just have these wonderful pictures to enjoy!





image: Flickr
image: Flickr
image:
Flickr
image: Flickr
image: Flickr

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Madison Park Beach


After Nick and I got back this morning, it was too beautiful to stay inside so we went to Madison Park. We tried to rent canoes at the University of Washington, but everyone had the same idea as us, and the wait was way too long!

The park is really nice and the community it is set in is just too cute! I would love to live around there someday! And I even ran into two of my good sorority friends - Hailey and Alison so I got to chat and catch up with them! It was a great way to end the weekend!

(How neat is that picture! It's the beach area back in 1930!)

image: Flickr

Weekend at the cabin/Crystal Lakes hike


As much as I love living in Seattle - it's equally as great to get away from everything once in a while. Nick and I have been so busy lately, we really needed a nice, relaxing weekend. My family's cabin is located about 20 minutes down the road from the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, around the Mt. Rainier area. It's an easy 1 hour 30 minute drive from Seattle and it's a great place set in a wonderful cabin community.

Nick and I headed over Friday after work and then on Saturday morning we went into the Mt. Rainier National Park and went on the 8 mile (round trip) Crystal Lakes hike with my parents. We made it up to 6,200 feet and got some amazing views of the mountain and the park. Parts of the trail were pretty steep and we even had to hike up through some snow patches! Who would have thought in the middle of July! There was not a cloud in the sky, the air was so clean and it was a great way to embrace such a beautiful day.

After the long hike, we relaxed out on the deck, took a more leisurely stroll and of course, made s'mores!

Crystal Lakes Trail

Upper Crystal Lake (look how clear the water is!)

Lunch break by the lake

Upper Crystal Lake with Mt. Rainier in the background

We made it! 6,200 feet!

Team Mom and Dad

Thursday, July 10, 2008

TED Conference


Last year, Nick introduced me to the TED conference website and ever since then I have been a huge fan. TED stands for Technology, Engineering and Design and is an annual conference held in southern California that features some of the most brilliant minds delivering the lecture of their lives (about 18 minutes) on everything from science, art, politics, global issues and entertainment.

TED's mission is "ideas worth spreading" and while attending the conference is very exclusive (invitation only and $6,000 to attend) their website features all of the talks for free, and I have downloaded many of them onto my ipod.

I have found these talks, no matter what the topic, to be extremely eye opening and enjoyable. Instead of listening to music next time you go on a walk or drive, try switching on one of these pod casts! I guarantee you will enjoy them!

image: TED

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Concert at Marymoor Park


Nick's all time favoriate band (his equal to my Justin Timberlake obsession) is Live. When he found out they were doing an outdoor concert in Redmond's Marymoor Park with Collective Soul and Blues Traveler, he had to go and I agreed.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting very much, but I ended up really enjoying myself. It was a beautiful, sunny evening and it was so relaxing just sitting on the lawn and enjoying the music - even though I didn't really know any of the songs. But of course we had to head up to the front when Live came on!

Overall it was a really good time and it was a great way to spend a summer evening! I would definetly head over there for another one of their concerts!

Nick was so excited!

very end of the concert

image: Marymoor Park

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dinner at Serafina



A tradition I have with my friends Meghan and Brynn is that we always take each other out for a nice birthday dinner. We always choose great restaurants and never skimp on where we go. We've been doing it for about 2 years now and what better way to spend a birthday than in the company of two of my best friends.

Since our good friend Ivy is our new neighbor and Courtney is in the area for a month before medical school, we were able to include them in the festivities as well! The more the merrier!

Tonight they took me out to a fantastic restaurant on Eastlake called Serafina. I had not been there for a while and it was as good as I remembered! It serves wonderful Italian food and has a rustic, yet sophisticated atmosphere that is so welcoming. I took Brynn's recommendation and had the lasagna - amazing! If you have not been there yet, I highly recommend this charming spot.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Beijing Bound


Nick was so excited to recently learn that one of his friends passed the Olympic trials and is on her way to Beijing! Nick threw javelin with Kara Patterson at Skyview High School and he could not be more happy for her. We will certainly be cheering for her in August!

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