Monday, July 30, 2018

Amuse Yourself with the Perfect Matchbox

When I love a color or pattern, I have to use it. I have to find a way to incorporate it into my life as art, jewelry or something. In this case, the item I fell for was adhesive paper pineapples. They were whimsical, gently colorful and completely wonderful. 

I bought them at a craft store and I knew that I would love seeing them on a small match box. I chose scrapbook paper to complement the pineapples and set to work. 

First I slide the drawer of matches out of the box. I use the box as a template and trace the paper to the size I need. Remember to leave one side of the "strike a match" box uncovered so that you can still light matches. I cut the paper to size and use Elmer's white glue and a sponge brush to apply a thin layer of glue to one side of the box. I gently put the paper in place on the glue, smooth it out and let it dry. Once it's dry you can bend the paper at the corners and get a better/closer fit and you glue the remaining 2 sides. Once the entire box is dry, you may want to take fine scissors and trim off any excess paper. Now glue/stick on the adornment of your choice. Slide the drawer of matches back into the box and you're ready to put it on display.

We spend time buying just the right candles for our home, I think the match box nearby should be just as perfect. If you start looking in the sticker/embellishment department in the craft store, I bet your mind will start racing. Should you go with a theme? color? The choice is yours, just promise to show me when you're finished.

#crafting #crafts #makersgonnamake #matchbox #pineapple #hospitality

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Twixy Shortbread Bars: An Exercise in Restraint

I love to eat a Twix bar when I am rolling my cart through Joann Fabrics. It is the intersection of a sweet treat and a sweet trip. 

So when I saw a recipe for a Twixy Shortbread Bar in Better Homes and Garden magazine, I had to try it. I have been thinking about this recipe for months and I finally tried it this week.

It is really a chocolate truffle on caramel on shortbread. Delicious but almost too decadent. The recipe makes an entire 13 x 9 pan and unlike most cookies, you really can't eat more than one or two. I've been handing them out to the neighbors saying, "Pace Yourself."

I used Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips and that makes a huge difference in the quality of the dessert. I recommend this cookie, but I also hesitate to call it a cookie. It is an exercise in restraint. Enjoy!

#betterhomesandgarden #bhg #finddelight #cookiemonster #recipe #luckyneighbors #shortbread #twix #cookies

Heirloom Tomatoes

My kingdom for a tomato that tastes like a tomato. I love this time of year for every reason under the sun, but especially for the farmer's markets. I love walking in the sunshine, talking to the farmers and ogling all of the gorgeous produce and flowers. I bought 5 of these beauties to accompany a beautiful grilled salmon dinner. 

My favorite sauce for grilling? Mix apricot jam and Dijon mustard and brush over salmon when it is almost cooked. Serve a side of sauce with the meal. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Some Roses, Pincushion Flowers and Love

I love a little bubble gum pink rose, don't you? This happy arrangement is comprised of an inexpensive mystery rose I bought at a garden center, verbena, lavender and the showstopper, deep blue scabiosa (pincushion flower) from my visit to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

I made this bouquet 5 days into owning the scabiosa, so the petals are a little tired, but the color is true!

#flowerarranging #seattle #momentsofdelight #visualvitamins #roses #gardener #coloriseverything

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market: Can You Hear My Heart A Flutter

Sometimes you walk into a new place and see something that confirms you're in the right place. My oh my, look at this kaleidoscope of color. Fresh and fragrant roses on display at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
I have wanted to visit this private wholesale market for ages. I follow them on Instagram @seattlewholesalegrowersmarket so I am reminded regularly of their beautiful and unusual offerings.

On the website, the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market describe themselves as "a co-operative of flower growers and all year round we bring the best flowers in the Pacific Northwest to our member-owned market." The market is open to the public on Fridays from 10-12. 

My 2 college friends, Tracy & Kerry, were in town last week. The day we set aside to tour Seattle coincided with the public day at the market. Get in the car!  
Though this morning is open to the public, the wholesale pricing is reserved for the professionals, which is only fair. I loved walking around the booths and seeing flowers right out of the field. These deep blue scabiosa (or Pincushion flower) won me over and I bought a bundle from Ojeda Farms in Ethel, WA.  
When I was in line to pay, I had to photograph this florist's cart. She had combed the market and selected a riot of color and texture for her client. Go girl go!
#seattlewholesalegrowersmarket #seattle #flowerarranging #slowflowers #smallbusiness #floralstory #flowers #growers #farmers #floralfarmers

Monday, July 23, 2018

Seattle: Matt's in the Market has a Must Try Fishwich

I can count on one hand how many times I've ordered a fish sandwich, yet when I was at Matt's in the Market in Seattle last week, I knew it was the right thing to do. And the fish that day was halibut, and I love halibut.

Well, this may have been the best sandwich I've ever eaten. Truly. The Fishwich is described as iceberg lettuce, mam lil's pepper aioli, bacon and saved sweet onion on brioche. The battered fish was hot and tender; the chew of thick cut bacon gives resistance and heft to each bite; the sauce completely necessary though I have no idea what was in it and the slightly charred fresh brioche bun made me question why I hadn't eaten here sooner.

My 2 college friends were in town and while showing off Pike Place Market, the crowd started to get thick and I suggested trying a restaurant that I had heard about for lunch. It had been a busy morning and we needed a chance to sit down and absorb the experience. Bravo me. I'm so glad that Matt's name came to mind and that I was able to find it. We were on foot on Pike Street and I used Google Maps to walk to the corner of Pike and First. You have to walk up 2 flights of stairs to find it, though we found the easy access elevator once we were upstairs.

The sandwich was served with a side of watermelon strawberry gazpacho drizzled with olive oil. We loved that too and wondered all day if the hint of herb we detected had been tarragon or savory. The next afternoon, we decided to make our own batch of watermelon gazpacho. Thanks for the inspiration, Matt!   

#seattle #pikeplacemarket #mattsinthemarket #fishwish #memorablemeal #friendsintown    

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fruit Cup to the Stars

Now THIS is a fruit cup. One of the vendors at Pike Place Market had unique mixed berry cups for sale for $5. This artistic selection consisted of currents, cherries, golden raspberries and blackberries. 

This is a super smart marketing tool too. Customers can sample unusual berries and fall in love with new varieties, ones they may have never tasted otherwise.