Mar 2012
A Black Forest Adventure, with Cake

“So, do you want to maybe go to Germany today?”  Anne-Marie asked us. Not your usual breakfast time conversation but it’s one of the benefits of spending time in the Alsace region of France. Taking a brief drive to have lunch in Germany is a fully realistic option. And we took our friends up on it during a trip in the fall of 2010, piled in the car and in ...

Oct 2011

San Juan Tour

Sometimes the impromptu things end being the best, right? The last-minute let's-go-out-for-dinner plans with friends who also happen to be available? That's the spirit behind next weekend's Gourmet Game Night gathering on Orcas Island at Allium restaurant in Eastsound. Sunday night October 16 during happy hour (5:30 to 6:30), I'll be hanging out in the bar at Allium ready to play games, share tips for game night planning, talk about some favorite game night snacks and drinks. And of ...

Sep 2011
Escape to Bainbridge, with Dinner at Hitchcock

After a particularly hectic, demanding, tiring summer, we were in need of a quick and relaxing get-away late last month. Though the Seattle-area has loads of regional escape plans that radiate out from the city--Whidbey Island, Walla Walla, the ocean coast, Port Townsend, Hood Canal--I wanted to be unwinding sooner than later, so minimum highway time was a plus. We opted for Bainbridge Island, a quick 30-minute ferry trip from downtown ...

Aug 2011
Albacore and Ale in Astoria

It had been a good 15 to 20 years or so since my last trip to Astoria. So I was especially happy when an invitation came through from the Oregon Albacore Commission and the Western Fishboat Owners Association to join on an albacore escapade to Astoria last week. Didn't hurt that I'd recently put my latest cookbook to bed. The prospect of a mini road trip to the ocean coast sounded like just what the doctor ordered after a particularly hectic few months ...

Jul 2011

Games on the Go

I wrote last summer about the sometimes-conundrum of how much luggage space you can--or should--devote to games when you're traveling. It's similar to what happens in the "what to pack?" question for clothes, too, never know what the weather's going to be like, what mood I'll be in any given evening relative to dinnertime togs. As usual, I opt more for playing it safe and over-packing a bit (as I did with that heavy set of dominoes last summer!) ...

Jun 2011
Austin Impressions: The Community of Food

It's a rather odd phenomenon that occurs when involved in a conference as intensive and engaging as that of the  International Association of Culinary Professionals, which just wrapped up this weekend in Austin. The days are long, from that first sip of coffee each morning, chatting with tablemates before heading to the day's first session, to the inevitable last glass of wine/martini/beer before calling it a night after a full and ...

Feb 2011
New York, New York: A Delectable Town

I sit here at my desk, typing away while looking at the now-sunny Seattle sky, seagulls passing, Olympics peaks just beyond view in the distance. A few days ago, I was working on this same laptop from my desk in the 45th floor hotel room I was staying in, midtown Manhattan, a view of countless high-rises, the bright lights of Times Square reflected in their windows. Enchanting. Purely enchanting is that city. Spying the Empire State ...

Dec 2010

Much as I like to think I'm an organized person, inevitably there are trips when I realize too late something that I failed to pack. Usually remedying the problem just takes a trip to the drug store for some toothpaste, or relying on the room's alarm clock rather than my favorite travel version. But last weekend when I unpacked at the hip and wonderful Hotel Modera in Portland, as I was hanging up the cute tops I'd brought for dinnertime outings, ...

Oct 2010
Europe Adventure 2010: France and Italy

Home again, home again jiggity jog...... What a trip that was, three weeks so full and enriching and reviving that it felt like we were gone for two months. So I suppose we got our money's worth. And our time's worth. But it's great to be home. Another sign of a good trip!! Great restaurants and stunning countryside, inspiring history and phenomenal markets -- but in the end it's hard to beat the comfort of being back in your own bed. Planes, ...

Aug 2010
Just Wild About Harry’s

I have got to make a point of getting to Vessel sometime in the next week or so. Just got an email reminder that they're celebrating one of the most venerable drinking establishment in the world--Harry's Bar--with signature items from their menu (beef carpaccio was created there, so the legend goes) and the quintessential Harry's libation: the Bellini. A trip my husband and I took to Italy in 2007 included two major pilgrimages for me. ...