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Italian Parsley In A Pinch

It is rare I am not inspired by the flowers when I make a quick dash in to do a little grocery shopping. But it was the case this week-end, so the Italian parsley we already had sitting on the counter at the house was called into action for this heavily blue table setting. The lacy greens adding a nice color balance. Add an assortment of shells from past beach walks and we were on our way to Sunday supper at WestWard.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 136

Objects from travels as well as things that are gifts from friends are a reminder of your past. Surrounding yourself with them in your home creates a layered feel that becomes a look back into your history as your eye glances over them.



 

 

Tulips, Shells & Votives

I just can’t get enough of these ruffly creamy yellow-ish tulips I have now snatched up for the 4th week. They grab my attention each time I am pondering which color to buy when standing at the Alm Hill stall in the Market. They open so beautifully, each bloom so unique, each doing their own special dance. They worked perfectly for a Vashon Island dinner with shells strewn about on the zinc topped table along with a grouping of clear votive candles, and made supper with our nieces extra special. They are the winner once again for the Flower Friday floral stars of the week.



 

 

Mushroom Melange & Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Frittata 

A frittata is one of my favorite things to make and it is quite easy. You can fill it with just about any combo of things you like, and it works for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I almost always serve it with a salad, even for breakfast. We had our niece Aisling visiting from Troy, New York out to the island this week-end along with her sister Haley, who lives in Seattle. I whipped up this version for a late breakfast before we headed back into the city on Monday. You can make these big or small, depending on your skillet size and how many eggs you use.

I like to get all the ingredients ready as this comes together quickly so you want the mushrooms sautéed and the cheese cubed or shredded before you begin cooking the eggs. Aisling picked up a beautiful bag of mixed wild mushrooms at the West Seattle Farmers Market that I cooked in butter, after cutting off the better part of the stem. Beecher’s is our neighbor in the Market and I adore their Flagship cheese, so I just cubed up a chunk for this.

Non-stick pan is key. Add a good sized knob of butter to the skillet and melt on low. While that is doing that, crack 8 eggs into a bowl, add a splash of whole milk, salt & pepper and whisk away. Add eggs to the buttered pan and keep on fairly low. Cook a bit and then scatter the mushrooms about and then add the small cheese cubes around the mushrooms. While this is cooking away turn on your oven broiler. You only want the eggs to cook enough so the bottom has started to set. The middle will still be quite undone. Once you can lift up the sides of the frittata a bit, it is now ready for the broiler. Here is where you must be diligent. Place the pan under the broiler and do not walk away or do another task. I even leave the oven door open a bit so I can watch it. I turn the skillet every now and then to make sure it is cooking evenly. It will puff up and get gloriously brown and the cheese will melt and it will be so good and you will be so proud of yourself because you will feel a tad chef-y. Insert smile. With a potholder carefully pull out of the oven. The handle will also be hot. It will deflate a little, but that is just part of the charm. Slice up, serve with toast or baguette. Enjoy, enjoy.



 

 

Andrew Will Winery Klipsun Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

The gift of wine can be such a lovely thing. During the Holidays we are given some pretty special bottles as our friends know how much we enjoy them. It is a huge treat to prepare a special meal around one of these special bottles. This Wine Wednesday post is as much about our love of all things Andrew Will Winery on Vashon Island as it is about this particular bottle. This Klipsun Vineyard Red Mountain Cab is pretty out of this world. Perfect for a chilly eve and a hearty meal to go with this meaty red. When you are perusing the wine shelves at your grocer or wine shop or scanning the wine list while dining out, if an Andrew Will catches your eye and intrigues you, go for it. Same with any wines from grapes grown on Red Mountain. I promise you won’t regret it. Andrew Will is owned by our pal Chris who is the partner of Robin Pollard who makes our POLLARD private label Watson Kennedy coffee for us. 

A bit about Chris and Red Mountain where the grapes for this bottle were grown, by way of wine.com. Andrew Will Winery was started in 1989 and is owned by Chris Camarda. The winery was launched out of a love for wine that Chris developed while working in the restaurant trade for almost 20 years. Named after his son Will and nephew Andrew, Andrew Will has been a major contributor in putting Washington State on the map as a world-class wine-producing region.

A coveted source of top quality red grapes among premier Washington producers, the Red Mountain AVA is actually the smallest appellation in the state. As its name might suggest, it is actually neither a mountain nor is it composed of red earth. Instead the appellation is an anticline of the Yakima fold belt, a series of geologic folds that define a number of viticultural regions in the surrounding area. It is on the eastern edge of Yakima Valley and its slopes face southwest towards the Yakima River, ideal for the ripening of its grapes. The area’s springtime proliferation of cheatgrass, which has a reddish color, actually gives the area the name, “Red” Mountain.



 

 

They Keep on Giving 

The flowering kale ‘cabbage roses’ were still going strong after several weeks, giving us tons of enjoyment for our Thanksgiving table. They had started to fade which worked perfectly against all the sun-bleached shells from the beach strewn about. They are our Flower Friday blooms as we begin the holiday of THANKS week-end.



 

 

Seattle Canning Co. at Watson Kennedy 

Just In, a tasty new line of treats for us from our beloved Vashon Island, by Seattle Canning Company. A maker of handmade, small batch, specialty sauces, chutneys, relishes, and pickled fresh vegetables. They preserve natural goodness one jar at a time! As we head into the busy Holiday season, lovely to have jars of things at the ready when you are hosting as well as to have handy for gifts. A person favorite, Vashon Island pickles. Oh my! Look for lots of new things being highlighted in the next two months on my daily blog posts. Not all will make it onto the Watson Kennedy website, but never fear, just give us a ring during shop hours toll-free at 1.800.991.9361 if anything catches you eye. You can also e-mail me directly too. Happy Saturday!



 

 

Sunflower Sunshine

The sky was hazy but there was nothing but sunshine when we pulled up to Northbourne Farm last eve to check and see what gems that had to offer at their farm stand. The sunflowers from their ‘U-Pick Flower Garden’ could not have been more perfect. As the state flower of Kansas, where I was born, sunflowers bring back such fond memories. They instantly became the Flower Friday blooms of the week.




 

 

A Blue & White WW Table

I had a meeting with an editor yesterday that worked on into dinner. I really wanted to set a simple table using the hydrangea that were a gift, now almost a month ago, that just keeping going and going. The varying shades of blue in the blooms becoming the theme of the table, with a leaf for each placed under the clear drinking glass that was the vessel holding the flower.

The custom anchor plates that we sell at Watson Kennedy being the hit of white, along with napkins, and vintage English dinner plates, to bring the whole blue & white theme together. A balsamic dressed arugula salad with feta and sliced Rainier cherries along with an herbed chèvre stuffed chicken breast was the meal as we chatted on into the eve.



 

 

A Fishy Table for Deux

Often it is one element that can start a table setting. In this instance, oversized French dishtowels with fish swimming all over them that are new to the shops was the driving force. I ended up using them almost like a runner or placemat, laying them side by side over an actual table runner. That got the whole ‘fish’ themed idea off and running. The hydrangea that were a gift last week truly being the gift that keeps on giving, as they made the ferry ride over to the island dotting the middle of the setting. A crazy beautifully sunny & warm evening supper for two was on the menu as we watched the boats sail on by.