St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Ideas

You do not have to be Irish to appreciate that fun and enjoyment that comes on St. Patrick’s Day! Luckily, there are so many local places that you can join in on some of the festivities. Whether you are looking to have a night out on the town, celebrate with the family, or prefer to stay in, our list has you covered.

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on Sunday, March 17th.

Adult Fun Ideas-

  1. The Scottsman Bistro in Mukilteo is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a day early. On Saturday night from 6:00 to 11:00 pm they will be having great food and drink specials and some fabulous local musicians will be performing. For a list of performers click on the link. https://mukilteorestaurant.com/events/2019-03/
  2. Barcrawl.com is hosting their annual pub and bar crawl in Seattle. The Irish Stroll will begin Saturday at 1:00 pm. Chase pints and drinks specials from some of the city’s best pubs. Registration is required. For ticket prices, venues, and registration instructions check out the link. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barcrawlscom-presents-seattle-stpatricks-day-bar-crawl-irish-stroll-tickets-54889639389?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
  3. Shawn O’Donnells in Everett is the place to be on St. Patrick’s Day! They will be celebrating all day long starting at 7:00 am. They will have live Irish music, face painting, Irish dancers, as well as a traditional Irish buffet. While you are there you might as well grab a green beer or two! https://www.shawnodonnells.com/calendar-events
  4. The Irishmen in Everett, just their name suggests that they will be hosting a great St. Patrick’s Day party! Here you will find a beer garden, great Irish food specials, entertainment, and plenty of shenanigans.  http://theirishmen.com/upcoming-event/st-patricks-day-2019/

Family Fun Ideas-

  1. The Irish Heritage Club Festival in Seattle is a two-day event that is perfect for families. They will be holding Irish cooking lessons, have plenty of live music and entertainment, children contests, and a play place. Plus there will be a raffle for a trip to Ireland! You do not want to miss this! For a full list of activities go to the link. http://irishclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2019-Festival-Program.pdf
  2. The Shamrock Run in Kirkland. What a great and healthy way to get the family out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day before you consume all that delicious food and pints after the run! Join other Irish culture enthusiasts, help benefit local non-profits, and have some family fun!  http://www.kirklandshamrockrun.com/
  3. McMenamins in Bothell is welcoming all ages to come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with them. They will have traditional Irish drinks and food on their menu as well as live entertainment for the family to enjoy. Admission is free. https://www.mcmenamins.com/events/199668-st-patricks-day-across-the-land

Prefer to stay in-

Staying in does not mean that you must miss out on all the St. Patrick’s Day fun. Why don’t you try cooking some of these traditional Irish dishes? We have even included an adult beverage that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

  1. Try a Chocolate Leprechaun. https://mixthatdrink.com/chocolate-leprechaun/
  2. Irish Soda bread. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/16947/amazingly-easy-irish-soda-bread/
  3. Corned Beef and Cabbage. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/16310/corned-beef-and-cabbage-i/

5 Unique Restaurants in The Seattle Area

It is that time of year again, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you are looking to treat your special someone to a unique dining experience in the Seattle area, look no further! Here is our list of 5 unique restaurants to try in the Seattle area.

  1. Teatro Zinzanni – Teatro Zinzanni provides such a unique experience that not only offers a delicious meal, but also dining entertainment. Think of it as a cabaret show, mixed with a circus act, and throw in a little comedy all while eating a multi-course feast. This is an experience that will not be forgotten! Click on the link to find out more! https://zinzanni.com/seattle/valentine/
  • Joule – Looking to try something different? Joule has you covered! This restaurant is categorized as a Korean steakhouse, but they are known for the innovation of their dishes. For Valentine’s Day they are offering a 5 course tasting menu as well as a wine pairing. If you are looking for a delicious meal with a relaxing environment check out Joule! Click on the link for more info! http://www.relayrestaurantgroup.com/restaurants/joule/
  • Bizzarrio – While an Italian restaurant does not seem to be too unique, it is the food and atmosphere that make this place special. There might be bikes and skeletons hanging from the ceiling, but this place still feels extremely cozy. Did I mention that almost every meal is handmade in-house? From the pasta to the breads! Click on the link to find out more! https://www.bizzarroitaliancafe.com/
  • The Herbfarm – The Herbfarm is located outside of Seattle, in Woodinville and might just be the perfect place to spend your Valentine’s Day. Not only does The Herbfarm offer a unique dining experience, but they also have a few suites that are just steps from the restaurant. This romantic encounter also comes with a delicious 9 course meal (yes, you read that right, 9 courses!) as well as 5 matched wine pairings. All food is seasonally unique and most menus are only decided on hours before they are served to ensure the most fresh ingredients possible. Click on the link for more!
    http://www.theherbfarm.com/about/
  • Art of The Table – Art of The Table is just that. This restaurant makes food an art. They offer a choice of two tasting menus, a 5 course or a 7 course option. These can take up to 3 hours to complete so it is the perfect place to take someone you love spending time with. All of the food offered is produced right here in the Pacific Northwest. At Art of The Table you will find both an elegant yet relaxing dining experience. Click on the link for more information!
    https://www.artofthetable.net/reservations/

Do you have a favorite restaurant in the Seattle area? Let us know!

Happy Thanksgiving!

**This post is a bit lengthy, but there are some incredible recipes ahead!**

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week?! We sure can’t! This year feels like it is flying by and if you are anything like us, that means that you may not be fully prepared with your Thanksgiving menu yet. Have no fear! We have included some on our team’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes for you to borrow, no need to thank us!

Katie has provided her favorite slow cooker turkey recipe. This recipe is great because it frees up your oven, which everyone can agree is very useful on Thanksgiving! Olga gave us her roasted potatoes recipe, because as she says “potatoes are a must on Thanksgiving!” Chloe contributed her honey-roasted carrots recipe. Healthy items are not always on the top of the Thanksgiving menu, so including this was very important to her. Julia gave us her simple yet delicious cranberry sauce because no Thanksgiving meal is complete without cranberry sauce. Toni (me!) went the opposite direction of Chloe and thought to add a little naughtiness to the menu. Pumpkin pie always gets the dessert spot, but how incredible does a salted caramel pumpkin cheesecake sound? Lastly, we wanted to provide you with a beverage recipe as well to really complete the menu.

We hope that you find these recipes useful! We would love to know if you end up trying one and what your thoughts are! Make sure to let us know.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for people like you!

Katie’s Recipe | Slow Cooker Turkey
INGREDIENTS:
Rub Ingredients for the Turkey:
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Crockpot:
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, scrubbed, no need to peel, chopped in halves or thirds
2 celery stalks, cut in thirds
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 whole lemon, quartered
8 to 9-pound turkey

DIRECTIONS:
Combine all rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Prep the vegetables and place inside the slow cooker (I use a 7-quart oval one).
Remove turkey from packaging, remove neck and pouch with organs. Discard or save for use in another recipe. Optionally, rinse turkey with water. Pat dry with paper towels.
Fold back the wings. Rub smashed garlic all over outside of the turkey. Put one garlic in the slow cooker and the rest inside the turkey. Put the rub all over the outside and inside the turkey. Add the quartered lemon to the inside of the turkey. Tie the legs with kitchen twine.
Place turkey on top of the vegetables, you may need to move the veggies around depending on the size of your slow cooker. Cover slow cooker and cook turkey on low for 6-8 hours. (I used a 9.82-pound turkey, it took about 6 1/2 hours. The time will depend on the size of the turkey & slow cooker)
Remove turkey and place in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes but watch it carefully. It may take less time or a little longer, depending on the temperature of the broiler in your oven, you don’t want to burn your turkey.
Allow turkey to rest after removing it from the broiler for 25 to 30 minutes.

Recipe Link

Olga’s Recipe | Asiago, Garlic & Herb Roasted Red Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:
3 Pounds Petite Red Potatoes – cleaned & halved (or quartered if large) & completely dried
3 TBS Olive Oil
6-8 Cloves Garlic – minced*
2 TBS Fresh Rosemary Leaves – roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
1 TBS Fresh Thyme Leaves – plus more for garnish
½ Cup Asiago Cheese – finely grated and                                                                            packed, plus more for garnish
1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt
¾ tsp Ground Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Place a large, rimmed baking sheet inside the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Place potatoes in a large bowl and add the garlic, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, asiago, salt and pepper. Toss until potatoes are well coated.
Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and dump the potatoes out on the baking sheet and spread out into a single layer.  DO NOT overcrowd the pan!
Roast in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, flipping twice through cooking process*, until golden browned and crisp. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve: Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with additional asiago cheese and rosemary if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Recipe Link

Chloe’s Recipe | Honey-Roasted Carrots With Cumin

INGREDIENTS:
1 pound carrots
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
3⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Trim away the carrot greens (you may leave 1 inch of greens for presentation, if desired). Peel and place in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk the oil, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper. Toss with the carrots until they’re evenly coated.
Lay the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle any remaining liquid from the bowl on top. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until lightly caramelized and tender. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve hot.
Note: For an alternate version, try cutting the honey in half to 1 1⁄2 tablespoons and adding 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup.

Recipe Link

Julia’s Recipe | Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce (so easy but very tasty)

INGREDIENTS:
12 ounces Fresh Cranberries
3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Loosely Packed Orange Zest
1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 stick Cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:
Pick through the cranberries and discard any that look shriveled or mushy. Rinse the remaining cranberries well, then place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon stick. Give it a stir, then place the pan over medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes to ensure the bottom doesn’t burn.  After 15 minutes, the cranberries should all be popped. Remove the pan from the heat, and remove the lid. The sauce will look very liquidy, but as it cools, the sauce will thicken up significantly. After the sauce has cooled completely, you may add additional water if you desire a thinner texture. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

Cranberry sauce can be made 2–3 days ahead of time before serving.

Recipe Link

Toni’s Recipe | Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake
INGREDIENTS:
For the Crust
1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 T granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
For the Cheesecake
3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin
3 and 1/2 T all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
4 eggs, room temperature
Salted Caramel Sauce
Whipped Cream

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar together. Pour melted butter over the crumbs and stir until moistened. Press the mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 8-9 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 F. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the pumpkin, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Break the eggs into a small bowl and lightly beat with a fork. Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture and stir just until well combined. Don’t over beat the mixture, or the cheesecake may crack. Pour on top of the graham cracker crust.
Bake at 325 F for 1 hour. At the end of the hr, turn off the oven and leave the oven door shut for another hour and a half before opening the oven door. The long cooling period, will help minimize cracks. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool completely. Serve with Salted Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream.

Recipe Link

Team’s Recipe | Thanksgiving punch for a crowd

INGREDIENTS:
(TO FIT A 2-GALLON DRINK DISPENSER)
2 gallons apple cider (not spiced)
12.2 ounces caramel syrup (1 bottle)
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Cinnamon Sticks
Sliced Apples

DIRECTIONS:
Pour apple cider into a drink dispenser (all but 1/4 of the 2 gallons).
Then pour in entire bottle of caramel syrup.
Stir in pumpkin spice, using a whisk. (Some of the spice may continue to float to the top).
Add cinnamon sticks and sliced apples.
Serve chilled, at room temperature or warm. Stir occasionally to keep the flavors equally distributed.

Recipe Link

NEW HOME? HERE’S HOW TO SAVE

Here are a few things new homeowners can do to save on energy and maintenance.

When you’ve just purchased a new home, there’s a ton on your mind. There’s moving, decorating, getting to know your new neighborhood, and more. Here are a few things that should be at the top of your to-do list, because they’ll save you a lot of money.

Check on your water heater
Set your water heater for 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is plenty hot enough for bathing, washing dishes, and any other household use of hot water, so heating water above 120 degrees is a waste of energy and money. And if your water heater is an older model, it’s worthwhile to invest in a water heater blanket to keep it insulated.

Replace air filters
Sellers often put in a lot of cosmetic work to get the home move-in ready, but they often skip or forget about air filters in the HVAC system. Filters can be found at your local hardware store (just make sure to get the right size) and are easy to replace. Doing so will improve air flow and quality, and save on energy costs.

Get a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat, such as Nest, will cost you some money up front but is well worth the long-term savings. It’s programmable so that your AC and furnace run at lower levels when you’re not home, so you’re not wasting money to cool or heat an empty house.

Set up a space to air-dry clothes
Whether it’s a rack in your laundry room or a clothesline in the back yard, air-drying clothes is a big money saver over even the most energy-efficient dryers. Air-drying your garments will also help them last much longer.

Check for leaks and running toilets
A leaky faucet or a constantly-running toilet will use up water unnecessarily, and that’ll show up on your utility bill. And in the worst case, they’ll cause expensive water damage and mold.