Tag: Molly Wizenburg

Weekend Finds 3:22:14: Seattle Favorites

I write about Seattle all of the time, because it’s where I’m from and I go visit my family an awful lot because, you know, I love them. You can find bits and pieces throughout this blog of things I’ve done when I’m there, or things I like to do, but I thought it might be nice to compile them all in one place. Now, you can’t go watch movies at my mom’s or cook dinner at my dad’s, but you can partake in some of my other favorite places. Scroll down to see some of my favorite things to do and eat and drink.

Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerWeekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler


Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerWeekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Eating & Drinking


Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerWeekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler


Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerWeekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler


  • The Blind Pig for a very creative meal. If you can swing it, I recommend doing a tasting menu and trying every dish on the board.
  • Bar Sajor for another beautiful meal. Definitely try the smoked yogurt!
  • Joule
  • Revel
  • The Whale Wins
  • Artusi
  • Delancey for quite possibly the best pizza in town.
  • The Walrus and the Carpenter for an oyster bar meal. But it has oh so much more – The Walrus and the Carpenter made Bon Appetit’s top restaurants in the country last year.
  • Rainier BBQ for a crazy good, authentic korean barbeque.
  • Bake’s Place is in Bellevue, technically, but they always have great bands playing, and the food is pretty darn good too.
  • La Bête

Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler


  • Canon for an incredible dealer’s choice cocktail.
  • Liberty for an awesome liquor and cocktail and really unique cocktails. The Seattle Sour is one of my favorites. If you get a chance, sit at the bar so you can watch the bartenders work their magic, and ask them questions. If you get hungry, you can order some sushi.
  • Knee High Stocking Company for the speakeasy feel – you have to text to make a reservation, and ring a doorbell to get in.
  • Essex
  • Rachel’s Ginger Beer for some amazing ginger beer, which they use to make awesome cocktails, including possibly the best hot toddy I’ve ever had.

Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Books about food: What could be better?

Lately, the only books I have been reading are food memoirs. And by lately, I mean the past… year or so. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you as it is the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Also, it’s that time when sometimes you buy holiday gifts for people, and I think any one of these would make a lovely present.

Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton: This is the book that started me on this food/chef memoir kick. Recommended to me by my dad’s girlfriend, Darla, this is a very well written story about Hamilton’s journey as a chef, the opening of her restaurant Prune in NY, and her marriage. Because this was the first chef memoir I read, I was totally enthralled and unable to put it down, which worked because at the time I read it I was without internet, without TV, and without a job. Hamilton also went to school for writing (a theme among cooks, I’m finding), so the story is very well written, engaging, and beautiful. No one can write about Italian tomatoes the way this woman can.
J: This book reminded me of the power that food has to bring people together and help us celebrate life.  The chapters about the author’s childhood reminded me of the parties our “yard” of three families used to host in the summer where we would line up tables in the yard and people would bring food, we would grill, and have a good time.

Heat by Bill Buford: This book is all about Mario Batali. Well, kind of. It’s about Bill Buford, a writer at the New Yorker, leaving his job to follow in Batali’s footsteps. First by procuring a job at Batali’s NY hotspot Babbo, and eventually by traveling to Italy to study under the same little old ladies in rural villages as Batali did. This book is a little more academic in some sense, as Buford delves in to the history of Italian cuisine and the methods of certain dishes. He also teaches us how to properly make pasta and how to butcher a pig (brought up to his NY apartment via vespa and elevator).

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg: I went on a trip with my dad this past summer, and he brought this book, which I promptly stole and started reading. Wizenburg is a beautiful writer, which is one reason I love reading her blog. This book is a series of short stories from her life, all of which mention or are centered around food. What I love about this book is that she shows us her connection to food from a young age, and you see her passion develop from her childhood to adulthood. I also love that she provides recipes for the foods she talks about, making it even easier to connect to her and her stories because it’s so easy to go into the kitchen and make her wedding cake, or make her father’s potato salad. The story isn’t necessarily linear, which I actually liked because it was easy to read a chapter before bed without getting totally wrapped up in the story. (P.S. I made her wedding cake, also called “Winning Hearts and Minds” cake for a friend’s birthday. It was kind of like a very cakey chocolate souffle, or just chocolate butter. It was really lovely, and I totally recommend it.)

Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl: If you don’t know who Ruth Reichl is, shame on you. She is a very (very) famous food critic for the New York Times, food writer, and editor-in-chief at Gourmet Magazine. In fact, she has another book about being a food critic that I can’t wait to read. This book, however, is similar to A Homemade Life. Reichl tells us about her relationship to food from a very young age: her mother was a self-taught cook, not following recipes, pairing odd ingredients, and often encouraging her family to eat dishes long after they had gone bad in the refrigerator. Reichl, perhaps because of this, learned to cook, and was known amongst her friends as the one to be fed by. Accompanied by recipes, Reichl tells us stories of dishes from her childhood through her adulthood. I haven’t yet made any of these recipes, but I’m sure that when I do, they’ll be good.

Life, on the Line by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas: This is probably my favorite chef memoir that I have read so far. Buying this book was hard for me. I was at Powell’s, looking at their little table of highly recommended or newly released or whatever it was, and I didn’t even pick this book up. Why? Because if you click on the link above, you’ll see the cover, where Achatz looks, in my opinion, more than a little full of himself. But Jonah picked it up (yay for him for literally not judging a book by its cover), read the back, and handed it to me. I was then convinced to buy it. A book about two things I have a relationship with: food and cancer? I’ll bite. What I liked about this book is that Achatz and Kokonas aren’t necessarily the best writers ever, but this story is so cool that this book is impossible to put down. Achatz makes a completely different kind of food (big into molecular gastronomy, which some people hate, I know, but it’s extremely interesting), one that is still pushing culinary boundaries. So to read about the development of these dishes and the method behind the food is really amazing. Also, to read about the business side of opening a very risky restaurant was very interesting. Achatz’s cancer, which I thought would play a much larger part in the story, really came closer to the end, almost as a epilogue or afterthought, but made you root for him even more. Bottom line, this is a cool story about cool food.

Hopefully that can add a few things to your “to read” list! If you have any other questions about these books, ask away!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

When you have found possibly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever, it is hard to find recipes for chocolate chip cookies that still inspire you. You know what I mean? It’s like, well I found the best ones, so why not just make those? I’ll tell you why: while they are delicious, they require buying fancy chocolate (instead of just using the perfectly good chocolate chips you already have in your kitchen) and sifting. I’ll sift for Thomas Keller, but only so often.

So when I wanted to make cookies a while ago but not the fanciest best ones ever, I went to one of my favorite (food) blogs: Orangette. I have used this blog before, but I have re-fallen in love with it since reading the author’s book, A Homemade Life. Now, I feel that Molly Wizenberg and I were meant to be friends, and I am determined to make it happen. If you like reading about food, I definitely suggest it. There are also recipes in it, so if you don’t like the story, you can at least make some delicious food. Anyway, she had this recipe for whole wheat chocolate chip cookies that just looked so simple and divine… So I made them.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies


3 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into ¼- and ½-inch pieces, or bittersweet chips


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or just butter them. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (if you’ve got it. If you don’t, I advise bringing your butter to room temperature before you mix it). Bring the mixer up to a lower speed and mix JUST until the butter and sugars are blended (this should take about 2 minutes if your butter is cold). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Add the vanilla, mix. Now add the flour mixture, and mix on a low speed until it is just mixed (have you noticed a key with this recipe is not over-mixing it? Honestly, that goes for most recipes. But moving on…) Add in your chocolate and mix. This is where it gets tricky, as the dough is fairly dry. Just do the best you can.

Using a spoon, put ~3 Tbl. sized scoops of dough on the cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room between the cookies (I would say at least 2 inches, 3 to be safe). Mine didn’t spread as much as the ones on Orangette, but always better safe than sorry. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly browned. I have found, when it comes to baking cookies, that I need to take the cookies out of the oven sooner than I think I do… I have a tendency to over-bake. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Enjoy with a nice glass of cold milk.

Granola by Orangette



I am a big fan of homemade granola. I used to not like granola very much. The stuff you buy in the paper bags at the store was just too hard and crunchy for me, and I didn’t like not knowing what all the seeds and dried fruits in it were. This all changed when I had a roommate for a summer who made her own granola. The stuff used to make our entire house smell like heaven for days. It was amazing. So then I started using her secret recipe (secret being the operative word here, otherwise it would be on the blog, trust me) to make my own as well. I added some flax seeds here and some raisins there, and before I knew it, I became a lover of granola.

Remember those salted chocolate cookies I made last week? Well on the same blog, the post before those cookies is a recipe for Olive Oil and Maple Granola. That sounds…um…heavenly. Right? Am I right? You will, especially after I tell you the ingredients. Anyway, so I decided to make it. I love having granola around, it’s another quick alternative to cereal (try this granola with some Greek yogurt and slices of banana).

Olive Oil & Maple Granola


3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1 1/4 cups raw pecans, whole or chopped
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil (plus some for coating the pan)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with baking oil or just pouring on a little olive oil and spreading it around.

In a bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut chips, pecans, light brown sugar, and salt, and mix it all up.  Add the olive oil and maple syrup, and stir until the dry ingredients are evenly and well-coated.

Spread the oat mixture onto your baking pan in one even layer. Put it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, stirring around every 15 minutes. When it’s done, the granola will be golden brown and toasted. Take it out of the oven (add more salt if you want to, but do a taste check first), and set the pan on a wire rack to cool. If you want to stir in any dried fruit – think cherries, raisins, or cranberries – now’s the time.

The granola will store well in an airtight container. It’s delicious, perfectly sweet, and nutty – try not to eat it too quickly. One great thing about this recipe is that it makes about 7 cups, so plenty of granola to last you at least a couple weeks. Enjoy with some rich greek yogurt!