Recipes »Glazed Salmon with Cucumber Mint Slaw

salmonfrom Real Simple

I’m almost sorry to admit it with so many friends (lots of pregnant ones at that!) suffering through crazy NYC heat waves, but the summer here has been downright pleasant. Still, even if balmy, it feels right to make hot weather food in the summer.

This Glazed Salmon with Cucumber Mint Slaw certainly fits the bill. It’s refreshing, tangy and slightly sweet and a great new way to make salmon – which we eat a lot of these days as we are surrounded by the best local fish and seafood.

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Posted on July 21, 2013

Movies,TV Shows »Behind the Candelabra

behidn1Directed by Steven Soderbergh (2013)

Wow. I did not expect to love Behind the Candelabra so very much but I found it to be one of the most likable and intriguing things I’ve seen in some time. Soderbergh, with this and Magic Mike (another film I was surprised by but haven’t reviewed because I never saw the last third) has really hit on something interesting.

Both films center around people on the fringe of “normal” society, who are rarely protagonists and even more rarely represented as more than caricatures. With a Michael Douglas’ incredible performance (which has been overshadowed by cunnilingus) as Liberace -”Mr. Showman” – we feel that this is a real, flawed, complex person not just an iconic flamboyant performer. (Same can be said for Channing’s good guy stripper).

Both films also largely play out with low tension and stress. Jim thinks this is an interesting development in movies – that maybe life is so stressful and people are drawn into stories about people’s lives rather than formulaic tension. Of course, the story of poor Scott does spiral into tragedy (that one sees coming a mile off) but Matt Damon’s performance keeps last chapter of the movie from feeling too much like Boogie Nights lite.

Still, predictable blurry hand held cocaine fueled scenes aside, it’s an exceptionally entertaining trip with incredible costumes, sets and a fantastically creepy Rob Lowe.

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Posted on July 21, 2013

Drinks »Victrola

photo411 15th Avenue E
Seattle, WA (and other locations)

While admittedly, I have lots of coffee options still to explore in what is known as a coffee heaven, I hadn’t yet met anything iced quite as satisfying as my old Blue Bottle… until we came across Victrola.

A bustling cafe with beards and laptops that made me feel at home, this Capitol Hill favorite delivers lovingly poured exceptional lattes. Happiness.

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Posted on July 20, 2013

Places to Visit »Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park

farell19545 Redmond Road

A long weekend gave us a perfect reason to finally leave Seattle’s city limits and see the surrounding area. It’s truly a beautiful part of the world and a mere thirty minutes away we found the child friendly farm park Farrel-McWhirter to while away a pleasant morning.

Goats, huge pigs, cows, chickens and horses, all the animals our kids usually only see in picture books were there, up close and personal.

If the sun gets too hot in the open fields that can host picnics and birthday parties, green trails canopied by giant trees offer quiet walks.

Lots of fun to be had on the swing set and van was particularly taken with the potties in converted silos.

It’s a great drive over the water when traffics easy.

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Posted on July 17, 2013

Style Icons: Male »Bert Stern

sternPhotographer

RIP, Bert Stern. I wrote the noted photographer up years ago here. He sadly passed away recently. Here are just a few of the iconic images he leaves behind.

Be sure to check out the lovely Jazz on a Summer’s Day too.

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Posted on July 15, 2013

Desserts,Recipes »Peach Crumble Bars

photofrom Brown Eye Baker

I feel like I completed a mom right of passage: First school bake sale! Delicious summer peaches at the markets inspired me to make these Peach Crumble Bars that taste like a dense crumbly pie.

Once the peeling and slicing is done, these are super easy and they are good enough that I bought a couple myself.

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Posted on July 14, 2013

Recipes »Hamburgers with Lemon and Soy Sauce

photo-5from Real Simple

It may not look like much, but for the first time in a long time Van gobbled every single bite of a meal Jim and I were having. No last minute peanut butter and jelly, just this Hamburger with Lemon and Soy Sauce. You don’t know what a big deal this is.

I cooked his all the way through and broke up the meat while leaving the medium rare, added caramelized onions and a touch of Sriracha to the adults.

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Posted on July 10, 2013

Restaurants »Phinney Market Pub & Eatery

Untitled-15918 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle

I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog lately as our lives are still in constant, slightly exhausting motion. After leaving Brooklyn we were in Colorado for a bit, now in Seattle renting a lovely home but soon to move again as we found a wonderful house to buy in a neighborhood we’ve quickly fallen in live with, Phinney Ridge.

The Phinney Market Pub and Eatery captures the spirit of the area pretty well, even if its fairly new to it. It’s family friendly, relaxed, inviting and just a shade hip – damask wallpaper, tin ceilings and old wood almost even made me feel like I was in Brooklyn.

The food is good, the service comes with a smile and a wooden train set offers fun times for your little ones. I expect this will be a place we visit often once we are finally settled in our new home.

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Posted on July 9, 2013

Web Sites »Humans of New York

Untitled-1 Untitled-2City Portraits

So much of the Internet is negative and depressing but Humans of New York is different. While it can hardly be called constantly uplifting – many of the brief interviews involve questions people’s saddest days – it makes people from all walks of life seem like brothers, sisters, children, mothers, and fathers. Where the Internet has given rise to faceless hate (I just don’t even read comments anywhere anymore), HoNY gives grief, humor, pain, joy a face. It’s one of the only feeds on Facebook that I look forward to seeing.

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Posted on June 29, 2013

Web Sites »Everyone Wants Me Dead

wantsdeadTeenage Diary

Re-reading old personal diaries can be excruciating. Funny? Sure, but it hurts. To share the words of your teenage self to the world? I’m not sure I would have the guts (and sadly, my most angst filled stuff is long gone after a whole big mess where my mom found my diary and drama ensued).

Lucky for us, Lexi Borowitz isn’t too shy to share. Entries on her blog Everyone Wants Me Dead, often accompanied by spectacular illustrations like the “Sexual Baseball Field” pictured, let us relive those roller-coaster adolescent years and all the triumph, self-loathing, embarrassment, heart break, and bitchiness they entail.

Great find, Refinery 29! Now, let’s just hope she keeps the entries coming.

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Posted on June 28, 2013

Songs »The Hoochy Coo

the-fatimas-the-hoochy-coo-original-soundby The Fatimas (1967)

When on shuffle, unfamiliar songs will often pop up and their presence in my library can’t be explained. Sometimes it’s quite annoying (boring indie rock – who put this here?) and other times it is a complete happy surprise.

The Fatimas’ whirlwind chanting garage rock out “Hoochy Coo” is one such delight.

While I’ve learned the song has gained at least a few new listeners from its inclusion on the Girls in the Garage, Part 2 compilation, very little information about the band is readily available.

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Posted on June 28, 2013

TV Shows »Top of the Lake

topofthelake by Jane Campion, on Sundance and Netflix

I am usually hesitant to recommend a show after seeing one episode, but I was so taken with Top of the Lake, I have to share. I’ve long been an advocate for Jane Campion’s other mystery, the unloved and much more explicit In the Cut. Here the master of mood takes us to another world that is at once exotic and strange but is never trite or unbelievable

The series begins with an angry young girl walking into a freezing lake. We soon learn that she is pregnant and visiting Detective Robin Griffin (Elizabeth Moss) becomes involved in the case. The young girl’s father is a dangerous and compelling man that lives in the woods surrounded by equally dangerous family and guard dogs. Near his compound a caravan of damaged women seeking the guidance of enigmatic GJ (a silver haired androgynous Holly Hunter) have come to escape their demons.

It’s easy to compare to shows with similar premises – I’ve read that it’s The Killing meets Twin Peaks, but that denies the unique ambiance of the show which is incomparable and feels like you’re watching a complex novel.

Here I truly hope the series is as engaging, fascinating, and haunting as the first episode. All are available to watch on Netflix. I kind of can’t wait for tonight when the kids are asleep and I can watch more.

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Posted on June 26, 2013

Drinks »Shiner Bock

bockThe Pride of Texas

People get fanatical about Shiner Bock – a Texas beer that outsiders once freaked over if they ever found it outside the Lone Star state. (Now it’s distributed to most of the U.S. with the exception of the NE).

Hill Country in Manhattan wooed the company for years in order to get it served in their Austin style BBQ joint, because it was so key in defining the Texas culinary experience (they finally won them over and now even New Yorkers can partake in the admired brew).

Unlike many things with such hype, though, Shiner is really that great. It’s slightly sweet, rich and malty but with zero after taste. Drinkable and satisfying.

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Posted on June 23, 2013

Style Icons: Male »Rene Gruau

gruau16Fashion Illustrator

Opera gloves, couture gowns, fancy summer beaches - Rene Gruau made glamour more glamorous with his simple, elegant, witty and industry changing illustrations.

Beyond being the pinnacle of couture illustration, Gruau is well known for his sumptuous Dolce Vita poster.

His designs, while accurately portraying the high styles of their time feel modern and getting lost in them is exhilarating and inspiring.

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Posted on June 20, 2013

Movies »Berberian Sound Studio

bss1Directed by Peter Strickland

Highly recommended by a friend, I settled into a strange, uncomfortable little horror movie called Berberian Sound Studio last night. While the title is forgettable, the film lingers in your mind. A Creepy, claustrophobic little homage to Giallo – it was a welcome change from the children’s programming that makes up my days (you know you’ve gone deep when you curse to yourself “Cinders and ashes!”).

Toby Jones plays the celebrated but private and meek sound man Gilderoy who, it would seem, has rarely left his pastoral boyhood home. After accepting a job, he finds himself unable to speak the language in more ways than one when he’s trust into machismo world of horror film making in Italy. The film he’s come to work on is “The Equestrian Vortex”, which he quite naively expects to be horse film similar to the nature movies he’s known for. Instead he finds himself listening to blood curdling screams on loops, stabbing heads of lettuce to folly torture scenes, and recording countless fruits splattering on the ground to simulate smashed brains.

Exactly what happens is somewhat open to interpretation. Unlike the graphic violence of the film within the film, all the horror we experience is implied. Tension and unease are created with sound and silence in stark contrast to the nasty bit of exploitation featuring witches, goblins and blood that slowly gnaw at Gilderoy’s subconscious. While we hear descriptions of the movie and the sounds of terror, we only ever see its opening credits (which are perfectly done – Giallo fans will get a particular kick out of them.) Oppressively, we are locked inside tight, smokey sound rooms and tiny recording closets, only once in a jarring turn seeing the outdoors. It’s very unsettling – a mood second time director Peter Strickland paints masterfully.

While there’s a moment it rather lost me and the conclusion could leave one unsatisfied (I truly haven’t decided if I wanted more or less explanations or if he got the balance just right) the journey is an interesting one with extremely innovative sound design that gets under your skin.

BBS is in theaters and available to rent at Amazon prime.

bss2

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Posted on June 18, 2013

Spend a Couple Hours »Salon at Kids Club

skc2630 NE University Village St, Seattle

Well. Sigh. The day had to come. We always promised we’d get Van his first haircut once he wanted it. I love his long locks, but it was starting to really annoy him getting in his eyes and mouth all the time. So I mentally prepared for a week or so and gave the local Salon at Kids Club a call.

With car seats, boxes of toys and murals, they do their best to make it a fun environment for kids. From what I could see, some hairstylists were better and more friendly than others and we lucked out with  who not managed a squirmy two year old with ease, but adored his long hair (not even once mistaking him for a girl!) and had no desire to buzz it – which was my nightmare scenario.

Van likes the new do a lot and I get a keepsake lock of hair along with a pleasant if bittersweet memory instead of a heartbreaking one.

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Posted on June 18, 2013

Personal »Happy Father’s Day!!

jimHappy Father’s Day!!

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Posted on June 16, 2013