National Doughnut Day (and a Finisher)

This is a real thing, people. One of my favorite days. I innocently asked our work admin if there was a thing planned for work for this epic made-up holiday, because if there wasn’t, then I was going to buy a dozen for my little pod of worker bees. Could I help it if I planted an idea in our awesome admin team’s heads and then this happened: Dozens and dozens of doughnuts from Frost:

WP_20150605_001I’m not going to lie. It was ridiculous, and I probably tasted at least 6 different ones. And I probably would have been perfectly content with one. THE one, my favorite doughnut of all time that I just don’t get very often because Top Pot* where I usualy go doesn’t make them.

I’m talking about the cruller. The French Cruller.WP_20150605_002

I thought an extra cup of coffee would be in order to enjoy the cruller, this one stuffed with unnecessary frosting, but still. Incredible:

(Memo to self, second cup of coffee is NOT a good idea)

Oh, and, sometime this month, this happened. I was heading to the very healthy and good-for-you Evolution Fresh with my pal, let’s call her “Sam”, when I bumped into my work spouse in the elevator. “I’m going to the food trucks,” said the work spouse. I was torn. “Oh go, already,” said Sam. So I did. And accidently ordered a bag of beignets.

WP_20150610_002That won’t happen again! I said to myself. Except it did, when work spouse and I went back to the food trucks a week or so later. Beignets are from Where Ya At, Matt?

*(And, sorry Top Pot for not going to your establishment on this day of all days, but you see me so very often on all the other days, and besides it’s very likely you didn’t even know I wasn’t there. I did wear your shirt in honor of the day, okay?)

That time we met a young gun

This one time my friends and I ended up at Brimmer & Heeltap. It was our lucky day as the Bartender-in-residence was a Young Guns semi-finalist. Willi had a knack for mixing and came up with some delicious concoctions for us. I tried Willi’s Hard Lemonade and it was perfect for the hot happy hour we were having.


I also ordered their seasonal fish, black cod, if I recall (and I couldn’t possibly tell you anymore, except that it was “all right”)WP_20150520_008

Then this happened: Strawberry Chamomile Semifreddo and Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake. Two desserts (shared! Two desserts to share) because, hello! Dessert!WP_20150520_009Definitely need to go back here. Maybe coordinate with Willi dropping by, too.

Retro Foods

So. What happened? My most previous post was dated April 13, one day before my 40th birthday. Almost as if at, bloggers 40 and older are no longer allowed to write about trivial stuff like food and fitness. Their blogging cards are taken away. Or, maybe, shortly after my birthday the family and I left for a fabulous Hawaiian vacation, then I got lazy. I mean busy. Real busy.

But, all along I’ve been taking pictures, so I’ll be posting pics and stories over the next weeks and will catch you up on the goings on at the chattycha household and beyond. Mother’s day and Father’s day have come and gone, but you’ll be able to experience them again right here.

Let’s start with this one, the birthday cake I conjured up. I was feeling kinda retro, it being the start of my fourth decade. I am a child of the 70s, and this is a cake of the 70s (or maybe even earlier. Who knows.These food fads come and go).

A pineapple upside down cake. Marschino cherries, brown sugar glaze. Very easy, very pretty, very tasty.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Kid’s verdict: “I like it, except for the pineapple.” … Ooooookaaaaay then.


Next up: A retro potluck. We were tasked with a dish that grandma used to make, or something like that. I knew I wanted to do a jello salad, then discovered this gem on AllRecipes. Extremely easy: 1 container of Cool Whip, 1 container of cottage cheese, 1 box of orange-flavored Jell-o, 1 can each of mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple.

Mix well, chill and serve.

Orange Jell-O salad AKA Orange Fluff

Comments I received on this one: “Exactly how Mom used to make,” and “That’s not retro, that’s at our Thanksgiving table every year.”

Odd and strange, but surprisingly yummy. Good for one day only. The next day it starts to separate and gets leaky and stuff.

Mind you, I never had these foods when I was a kid. Certainly my grandparents, whom I saw only a handful of times on accounting of their living in Taiwan, never ever made this stuff. My parents wouldn’t have, either. It’s all foods I assumed “Americans” ate. It’s the 70s childhood I envisioned. How close was I?

Seattle Restaurants New – Manolin


Fernet Panna Cotta, Bitter Chocolate

Fremont is not the Fremont I remember. Nor is Ballard. Between 1999 and 2004, I lived and/or worked in both of these neighborhoods. From 2004 through 2009 I was a frequent visitor of Fremont because of the boathouse. We left Ballard just as the condominiums were moving in, and these days it’s like a foreign country. It’s like what Bellevue looked to me (before I started working in Bellevue).

Back in the day, like 10 years ago, Stone Way was not the place to be. It was industrial. Now there’s the new Brooks Running building. Fancy restaurants like Joule. And this one. Manolin. I don’t even know what was there before. The buildings on that street were almost invisible, just a roadway to get from 34th to 45th.

Manolin was fun. Bright and airy, yet cozy and intimate. A kind host. A waitress who knew her whiskey. Fun cocktails and more fun appetizers (Plantain Chips! Daikon Dumplings!). But I’m a desserts kind of girl, so here are some pictures of desserts.


Rhubarb Shortcake, Ginger, Bourbon Vanilla

There are two kinds of desserts on the menu, and we ordered both. Because that’s how you do it.

I am in no way complaining about the changes that have happened in Fremont, because, come on. It’s been 10 years since that was my playground. Things are going to change. And I think for the most part, it has changed for the better.

But it’s not me. So it’s weird. I miss it.

Well, okay, maybe that panna cotta is me.

Just a little bit.


Thanksgiving Desserts 2014

pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Pie!!!!

I made a pumpkin pie because I always do. It’s my thing: pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. Seriously, you can’t find an easier job (unless your job is to have your wife make the easy pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.)

This year’s pumpkin pie was the easy one that was essentially the recipe you find on the side of the can, with the most difficult part being making the crust. There’s always this weird part in the process where I suddenly panic that the pie pan/crust is too large for the amount of filling, then I throw it in the anyway and somehow it always works out. I wish my AllRecipes app could let me leave a note to myself for next year that says, “chill out, it’ll all work out” but it doesn’t. So, memo to self to ask the app makers to create a memo section.

The kid and I did this first one together, and by 4 p.m. on Wednesday the pie was already cooling, and I felt like doing something more. The kid had been talking about carrot cake for quite some time so I decided, what the heck, I really want to bring something else. The kid did not feel like helping this time.


This carrot cake is courtesy of AllRecipes (my go-to for these types of things), with a few substitutions. I replaced a 1/2 cup of oil with applesauce. I used a combination of plain greek (2%) yogurt and skim milk/lemon juice as a sub for buttermilk (none at the store, which maybe is what you get for going there on the night before the big day). And left out the coconut flakes due to preference (everyone else’s, I suspected). Also, maybe 1/4 cup of raisins instead of the cup in the recipe. Mainly because of what we had in the house.

It was yum. I used Chef John’s cream cheese frosting, which I couldn’t get quite smooth,but was great nonetheless. In fact, the kid, upon receiving her piece of cake, licked the frosting off, including the middle layer, and left the cake be. She gave it a sideways thumb (unlike the thumbs up she gave that pumpkin pie). I suppose the only reason why it wasn’t a thumbs down was that cream cheese frosting.


Lastly, the husband’s aunt brought a beautiful pie courtesy of Lisa DuPar catering. Pecan, with a spiced whipped cream. Amazing. I may or may not have gotten up at 5:45 a.m. today to cut myself a slice because I didn’t have any at dinner last night, on account of how full I was yesterday.

A few random food pics of sweet things from yesterday:

My snack before heading over to "Papa and Gaga's" ... Added to the list of pumpkin stuff I tried, and liked. Prior to the eating workout I went for a run. 4 miles = 400 calories = justification for a second slice of dessert

My snack before heading over to “Papa and Gaga’s” … Added to the list of pumpkin stuff I tried, and liked. Prior to the eating workout I went for a run. 4 miles = 400 calories = justification for a second slice of dessert


I don’t drink soda much anymore. But it’s hard to pass up a glass of Martinelli’s.


The two-layer cake was surprisingly successful. How do I repeat this every time?


Busy kitchen

PLUS, the Seahawks won! WOOT. Truly thankful, indeed.

What’s for dessert?

No, kid, you don’t get dessert every night. Why? Because I say so. Because I’m the Mommy. Because I certainly didn’t have dessert every night when I was a kid.

But, you know, I can’t help that I have a horrendous sweet tooth. I’m actually a dessert-first kind of gal. Not something I can admit to you right now, but you’ve probably guessed it. So, here, have a couple of gummy bears and be on your way. Tomorrow, you’ll get that Dum-Dum lollipop. The following day, okay, a cookie. Just one! Okay, just two!!

Okay. But, wait! What do I have here? You want dessert, how about a whip up a little bit of trail mix right before your eyes. Roasted coconut chips … banana chips … walnuts and almonds … some raisins … Voila! Dessert created, right before your eyes.


Yes, this is dessert. Now, on your way!

Chocolate summer

I melted about 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and here’s what happened…

It all started because we had a few very ripe bananas waiting around for us. This is rare occurence in the chattycha household as the family tends to eat all the bananas before they get super-duper ripe. Lately the husband has been buying more bananas, and maybe it was the heat that was ripening them quicker. Anyway. We had this one large banana that was on the verge of mad ripeness when I saved it for a Frozen Banana Pop recipe I read in a PCC Newsletter.

Super easy. I combined the chips with about a teaspoon of coconut oil in a makeshift double-boiler. Under low but boiling watter/heat, I stirred the chocolate until completely melted. Then we spooned the melted chocolate onto two Banana Pops (peeled the banana, cut it in half, used our reusable frozen popsicle holders and carefully stuck them through the banana). On the kiddos not pictured, we sprinkled some starry sprinkled on the chocolate. On mine I used up some leftover coconut and almond slices. Laid them on wax paper on a tray and left in the freezer until the next day. A deliciously refreshing result.


The thing is, we still had quite a bit of melted chocolate to go after making 2 banana pops (we only had one ripe banana, so making more banana pops was not an option). Thanks to some quick thinking, I did these other two treats:

1) Chocolate Almond Butter Cups. Lined a few mini-muffin tins with mini-muffin paper cups. Poured enough chocolate on the bottom of hte cups to line them. Took a teaspoon or less of almond butter and added into each cup. Covered the tops as best as I could with more chocolate. Refrdigerate for at least 30 minutes. I probably made about six of these.


2) The messiest s’more. The best-iest s’more. This one needs very little explanation. Marshmallows get roasted using the broiler. Graham crackers get drenched in melted chocolate. Everything gets smooshed together. Chattycha gets excited because after running around with a pan of melted chocolate for 15 minutes like a madwoman, she can finally sit down and have sweet treat.


A really messy s’more

I need to make a point of keeping chocolate chips in the house!

Strawberry Picking – First Pick Best Pick

Seems summer has decided to show up in Seattle a little bit earlier than usual this year, and I am not complaining. It’s been lovely to see the longer days and to actually have the weather to complement (Suck it, June-uary). Might not last for long, but I am taking full advantage.

And so is Biringer Farms, who opened its doors to U-Pick season for strawberries on Saturday. We showed up bright and early Sunday to indulge. Can’t go wrong with being among the first to pick the first of the crop.

003 006 012We ate more strawberries than we should have today, but so worth it. Bought some shortcakes at the farm (they know how to get your $$, just keep these by the cashier), and with some homemade whipped cream, had a final decadent dessert, to end a very enjoyable weekend of grains. Lots and lots of grains.

Here was our fun dessert, Instagram style:

Life is good.

Slow Cooker Paleo Apple Crisp (take two)

I attempted a paleo apple dessert in the slow cooker again and am much happier with these results. Here was my previous attempt.

paleo apple crisp done in the slow cooker

paleo apple crisp done in the slow cooker

Apple Filling

  • 3 large apples (I used Granny Smith), peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 c unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp raw honey


  • 3 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 c unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1/2 c walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 c almond flour
  • 1 tbsp. raw honey
  • More cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, adjusted to your preference
  • boiling water (to soften dates)

Place pitted dates in a small bowl or ramekin and pour enough boiling water to cover them. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and slice the apples, creating even slices of about 1/2 inch thick. Toss apples into the greased slow cooker (I used cooking spray). Combine the rest of the filling ingredients into the SC, adjusting spices and sweetener to your preferences and stir until it is well combined.

Drain the water from the dates and use a fork to mash the dates and create a smooth paste. Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix until very well combined, then spread evenly over apples.

Set the SC on low for 5 hours. At 5 hours remove the lid and continue on low for another 15-30 minutes. Serve warm!

Or not!

I removed the lid as we sat down for dinner (a delicious repeat of this dish), and by “dessert time” everything seemed set. The apples were soft and the dates provided a dried fruit/sweeter experience. I bet it tastes great with ice cream, or perhaps some coconut milk sprinkled on top.

Kiddo didn’t care for it this time (though she’s been spoiled with birthday desserts this week, including strawberry shortcake and homemade tootsie rolls from a friend’s party today).

I enjoyed it as is. Had two helpings, I did.


Pumpkin pie chia pudding

A few things to review here. First, here are my three fave paleo sites for food inspiration. All of these bloggers, I believe, also have print books out now as well.

  • PaleOMG. Funny posts. Lots of desserts. Very personal, fun to read.
  • NomNomPaleo. Asian flair, amazing photography, though can be intimidating (sous vide? Really?). These guys also have an app that is fun, easy to use with more great photography.
  • Elana’s Pantry. I get the feeling she’s been cooking paleo before paleo was “in”. It’s a family lifestyle by necessity, and there are so many traditional recipes catered to a gluten-free audience. Also lots of baked good here, too.

Okay. That is out of the way. On to part two. I am what you might call frugal. If I’m going to spend $2 on a can of coconut milk, you better believe I’m gonna use all of it, even if the first recipe I use it for call for just a 1/2 cup. But, you see, I’m frugal in a ridiculous way. Because in an effort to use up the rest of the coconut milk I needed for my not-quite quiche, I went out and bought a can of pumpkin and some new pumpkin pie spice (which, during the off season, is a bit more expensive). How smart am I?

Anyway, I got into my head that I should make a pumpkin custard. All three sites above have some great pumpkin dessert recipes, but in the end I cribbed from PaleOMG again, and created an interesting dessert, pumpkin-pie-chia-pudding. This is based on Juli’s Pumpkin Pie Blizzard.

pumpkin-pie-chia-pudding3 Medjool dates, pitted
1 c full fat coconut milk
1/2 c canned pumpkin
3 tbsp chia seeds
Boiling water
Pumpkin pie spice (PPS)

  1. In a ramekin place pour boiling water over the dates and let them sit and soften for at least 5 minutes. Once they are softened, mash them a little bit and throw them in a blender.
  2. Add coconut milk and blend until smooth.
  3. Add pumpkin and blend some more.
  4. Sprinkle PPS to your heart’s and taste’s desire. I gave it a good 10 shakes or so, then blend again.
  5. Pour into a container. Gradually fold in chia sends, one tbsp at a time, until well mixed.
  6. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight. After the first two hours, take it out to stir and taste.

It’s like a whipped pumpkin pie dessert. Tasty.

Good news. I have finished my open can of coconut milk. Bad news, I have an open can of pumpkin I need to use. Sigh. I think some pumpkin recipes are in my future.