The Adventures of a Calamari Queen

Filipina Foodie

Spring is Here!

Hello everyone! I can finally “see” spring in our own yard! I cleaned some parts of the yard today because the gardener who was suppose to take care of our messy yard got sick and who knows when he will get better. So I just started to clean some parts and will continue to do so in the coming days. I don’t mind because the weather today was sunny and the perfect time to spend outside. I will probably buy some flowers and herbs/veggies next month so I can start gardening. I’m kinda excited!

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Cherry Blossoms!

I’ve been living here in Washington State for the last 7 years and I’ve never seen the Cherry blossoms at the University of Washington (the area is called the Quad). This weekend the Hubs and I went to see it, and it was so pretty. It rained a little (for like 5 minutes after we got there) then the sun showed up and it was lovely. Riley had the most fun because there were dogs at the Quad and he loves Springtime;)

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After our little Cherry blossom outing, we had sushi and ramen at Genki Sushi in Factoria Mall (Bellevue,WA)

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Steamed Clams in white wine!

My hubs prepared these manila clams in white wine sauce early this week. It’s one of my favorite dish because it’s quick and easy to make (aside from cleaning the clams). I make sure that it’s really clean by brushing each clam, it can be time consuming but I really enjoy the broth so I want to make sure there’s no sand in my soup. I normally add flour and soak for 30 minutes then start brushing the shells.  Ina Garten says the flour helps remove the sand (I totally agree!). We get our manila clams from the Asian market in Bellevue,Wa.

5 lbs. of yumminess!

5 lbs. of yumminess!

butter

butter

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YUM!

YUM!

Steamed Clams in White Wine

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry Vermouth
2 pounds of clams (Littlenecks or Manilla), rinsed and cleaned
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
*optional 1 small lemon cut into wedges

 

Directions:
Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant but not burned. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high until wine is brought to a simmering boil. Add clams and cooked covered for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until clams have opened. Discard any clams still closed. Add parsley and give the pot a quick stir. Transfer clams and broth to a large serving bowl, serving with lemon wedges on the side.

PokPok / Podnah’s / Salt&Straw!

While in Portland, we visited our favorite places again( we didn’t really branch out). We went to PokPok thai restaurant for their fish sauce chicken wings. I personally love their wings,while the Hubs finds them OK. I’m disappointed with their other dishes though(just like the first time we were there) but I will still go there for the wings alone.

Lunch at PokPok:

People are waiting to get in..

People are waiting to get in..

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mango drink

mango drink

Hubs!!

Hubs!!

Fish sauce chicken wings

Fish sauce chicken wings

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Bye PokPok, till next time!

Bye PokPok, till next time!

Enjoying some Ice cream at Salt&Straw (PokPok and Salt&straw are just walking distance from each other). We sampled 4 different Ice cream flavors and my favorite was the Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black pepper, sounds weird but I really enjoyed it.

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Salted Caramel cupcake,Strawberry Honey Balsamic with black pepper,coconut with Petunias salted caramel bars, Rose city riot

Salted Caramel cupcake,Strawberry Honey Balsamic with black pepper,coconut with Petunias salted caramel bars, Rose city riot

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Podnah’s Barbeque (we stopped at Podnah’s to get some bbq for my In laws who took care of Riley for 2 days). Podnah’s was featured by Guy Feiri on his Foodnetwork show; we’ve been here before so we know it’s really good bbq).

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Ribs,Brisket (my fave),chicken BBQ from Podnah's Pit

Ribs,Brisket (my fave),chicken BBQ from Podnah’s Pit

 

Portland Trip!

We went to Portland this week for 2 days because I wanted to watch the NBA game between Portland Trailblazers and Dallas Mavericks. I’m a big basketball fan (the Hubs not so much) and Portland is the closest team to watch. I’m still sad that Seattle gave up the Sonics and we no longer have an NBA team. It was a great time with Hubs, this was our 3rd NBA game that we’ve seen (we’ve been to Madison square, San Antonio’s stadium and the Moda center). We stayed at the Marriot which is really close to the stadium.  We took a taxi going there so we didn’t have to deal with parking and we took a pedicab after the game to enjoy the City view (it was pricey but fun to see Portland at night!). I do enjoy watching the whole “behind” the scenes at the games because it’s so different when I watch it on TV.  You miss the entertainment of the stuff going on between time outs, halftime show and the energy the crowd the whole time. Thanks to my Hubs who took time to bring me to watch the game. Till next time:)

entering Oregon

entering Oregon

checking in

checking in

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view from the hotel!

view from the hotel!

our attempt to take a selfie and about to take a nap before the game!

our attempt to take a selfie and about to take a nap before the game! lol

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Too funny! Death to false pizza!

Too funny! Death to false pizza!

hour before the game!

hour before the game!

Dirk is the guy wearing gray shirt, he was practicing before the game started! Truly a class act, he took the time to take pictures and sign autographs  to fans, you can really tell he appreciates them and happy to do so!

Dirk is the guy wearing gray shirt, he was practicing before the game started! Truly a class act, he took the time to take pictures and sign autographs for fans, you can really tell he appreciates them and happy to do so!

bad angle but I wanted to take a selfie with Hubs!

bad angle but I wanted to take a selfie with Hubs!

pathetic cheese burger and an OK hotdog!lol

pathetic cheese burger and an OK hotdog!lol

we got a decent view!

we got a decent view!

Yup I caught the Hubs reading his kindle!lol

Yup I caught the Hubs reading his kindle!lol

we had meat and cheese after the game at the hotel bar!

we had meat and cheese after the game at the hotel bar!

our Hotel

our Hotel

enjoying some drinks

enjoying some drinks

Hawthorne bridge on the back

Hawthorne bridge in the back

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LOL!

LOL!

see yah later Portland!

see yah later Portland!

Home!

Home! entering washington

got starbucks for the roadtrip!

got starbucks for the roadtrip!

Mt Rainier!

Mt Rainier!

so happy to see my Puss!

so happy to see my Puss!

 

Kukai Ramen & Izakaya

The Hubs and I went to Kukai Ramen last Thursday because of the cold weather we have here, a bowl of ramen will just hit the spot! We’ve never been to Kukai before but with all of the good reviews we decided to try this “authentic” ramen from the famous Japanese chain (we learned that they only have 3 restaurants here in the US, two here in WA and they just opened one last year in Portland).  We got there early because we wanted to avoid the long lines, lucky for us we were seated right away. The place is kinda small and the tables are really close together.  We could hear the other table’s conversations, but it’s  OK, after all we are there for the Ramen (which didn’t disappoint!). It’s so GOOD! The broth was so flavorful and the noodles are the best for me, the perfect consistency. It was quite expensive but at least it’s quality ramen. The hubs ordered their special “Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu ramen”, it was really good. I had the spicy ramen, also a great choice, but personally I preferred the Hubs order. We added pork belly and eggs on our ramen and ordered 2 appetizers. It was a great experience and we will probably go back again if we’re craving ramen (it’s only 20 minutes drive from our place).

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take outs galore!

take out galore!

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kukai unigiri

kukai unigiri

Spicy Ramen

Spicy Ramen

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Hubs Ramen

Hubs Ramen

 

Surf n Turf Dinner at Home!

Hi Friends! I prepared a nice “surf n turf” dinner at home last Friday night! I told hubby that instead of eating out for our “date night” we should just make something yummy and watch Netflix after ( we end up playing Dominion), a game that my In laws gifted the hubs for Christmas. I got the lobsters and the steak at our local Safeway (I’ve been shopping there lately) because it’s only a 4 minutes drive from our house, it’s so close!  This one is a little more upscale and nice compared to the other one in downtown Issaquah in my opinion.  I also made Mashed Potatoes with gouda cheese, and grilled broccoli.  I’ve been loving grilled broccoli lately!  It was such a lovely night with my Hubs and Riley. We will definitely do something like this again in the coming weeks.

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I baked the lobsters 350F for 15 minutes (seasoned with salt,pepper,butter)

I baked the lobsters 325F for 15 minutes (seasoned with salt,pepper,butter)

I made this blue cheese steak sauce (Ina Garten recipe)

I made this blue cheese steak sauce (Ina Garten recipe)

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YUM!

YUM!

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Gamenight and hot chocloate later that night!

Gamenight and hot chocloate later that night!

Roquefort Chive Sauce (Ina Garten recipe)
1½ cups heavy cream
2 ounces French Roquefort cheese, crumbled (4 ounces with rind)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has become thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, salt, pepper and chives and whisk rapidly until the cheese melts.

Serious Pie!

If you happen to be in Seattle and you love Pizza, I would recommend that you go visit the Tom Douglas’ Pizza place called “Serious Pie”. It’s more pricey than your typical Pizza place, but OH so worth it!

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we had the roasted seasonal mushrooms and truffle cheese; and penn clove clams,pancetta tesa,lemon thyme

we had the roasted seasonal mushrooms and truffle cheese; and penn clove clams,pancetta tesa,lemon thyme

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no leftovers! this is not your typical pizza people!

no leftovers! this is not your typical pizza people!

One thing I hate in Seattle is the expensive parking fee!

One thing I hate in Seattle is the expensive parking fee!

Valentines weekend!

Hope you had a great weekend friends. It was Valentines weekend and we celebrated it with my In laws. I personally don’t make a big deal out of this “holiday” because I try every day to celebrate my loved ones and friends in the best way I know how, no need to have a certain date for that.  Although my Hubs and I had doughnuts and coffee, spent time watching “Elementary” before having dinner with my In Laws at Maggiano’s (Bellevue). We had a lovely time enjoying Italian food and desserts.  The restaurant was packed and they ran out of their “braised short ribs” that I originally wanted to have :(  It was all good, I end up ordering their sirloin steak (decent but nothing out of the ordinary). Everybody enjoyed their dishes and all agreed that their meatballs were out of this world (especially the DILaw).

my other favorite Valentine, Riley!

my other favorite Valentine, Riley! A.K.A “The Lovebug”

YUM!

YUM!

I watched the NBA All star weekend too!

I watched the NBA All star weekend too!

Our Maggiano’s dinner! We used my Sis In laws phone so the pictures are not the best quality (the restaurant was kinda dark too).

My In Laws!

My In Laws!

Julia and I

Julia and I

Hubs

Hubs

My steak and mashed potato

My steak and mashed potato

Fried Mozzarella

Fried Mozzarella

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Spinach and artichoke dip!

Spinach and artichoke dip!

Veal Piccata

Veal Piccata

Dessert Sample (creme brulee, cheesecake,truffles,tiramisu,apple ice cream some kind of dessert)

Dessert Sample (creme brulee, cheesecake,truffles,tiramisu,apple ice cream some kind of dessert)

Lunch Dates!

I’ve been enjoying some lunch dates with Hubs lately (at least once a week!), because the Hubs works at home he has the flexibility to manage his schedule. It doesn’t happen a lot of times but lately we did go out for lunch dates several times. Lunches are fun because it’s not as busy as dinner and it’s cheaper too.

Flat Iron Grill at Issaquah

Flat Iron Grill at Issaquah

Aji Sushi lunch!

Aji Sushi lunch!

my fave date!

my fave date!

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Lunch date with my In Laws after church!

Lunch date with my In Laws after church!

Pho time!

Pho time at our local Vietnamese place

My hubs is not a big Pho fan so he always gets their sandwich and durian shake

My hubs is not a big Pho fan so he always gets their sandwich and a durian shake

we enjoyed some tacos last week!

we enjoyed some tacos last week!

this too!

and a burrito too!

 

 

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