2 Refreshing Spring Cocktails

Spring is finally here and so are spring cocktails! 

With the weather changing comes a change in our taste buds as well. Hence, why we love lemonade and a not hot chocolate in the spring and summer months.

Bethanie and Brea here to share two of our favorite drinks you can try out when your outside enjoying the sunshine. 

First try the Cherry Blossom Tini.

A sake based cocktail, similar to a Cosmopolitan, making it light and perfect going into spring and summer. Perfect for a brunch or bridal shower, stepping up even the most casual event.  The alcohol content is fairly low making it easy to have simple flavors. 


  • Shaker

  • Jigger

  • Strainer

  • Stir Stick

Glasses of your preference, we used:

  • Martini glasses for the Cherry Blossom Tini

  • Mason jars for the Kentucky Mule

What you need for the Cherry Blossom Tini

  • Ice

  • 1.5 oz of sake (Fred Meyer’s only $8.00 — easy to find!)

  • 0.5 oz Cointreau Orange Liqueur (substitutes are fine!) 

  • 0.5 Cranberry Juice 

  • 0.25 (half of a jigger) fresh-squeezed Lime Juice 

  • 2 dashes of Orange Bitters (less is more!!) 

  • Lime garnish

Secondly, try the Kentucky Mule.

Similar to a Moscow Mule, but there’s a twist. Instead of vodka, you use bourbon (preferably bullet bourbon) for the Kentucky Mule - think Kentucky Derby style. With this kind of taste you can serve it anytime to enjoy with your friends and family to enjoy these beautiful seasons.

What you need for the Kentucky Mule:

  • Ice

  • 1.5 oz of bourbon (bullet bourbon is our fav!)

  • 0.25 (half of a jigger) of fresh-squeezed Lime Juice

  • 6 oz fill the rest with Ginger Beer

  • Lime garnish 

Overall, have fun with it! Get creative with what you have as far as barware, no need to restock your kitchen and who knows you could start a new trend! 

We understand you may want your kids to enjoy or maybe you’re cutting back on alcohol so we wanted to include some mocktails to try out as well:

Lime Rickey: 

  • 30ml Lime Juice

  • 30ml Sugar Syrup 1 

  • 15ml Orange Bitters

  • 120ml Soda Water

  • 1 Lime

The Real Shirley Temple: 

  • 45ml Grenadine

  • 180ml Ginger Ale

  • 1 Lemon

Have fun sippin!

Pike Place Market Food Tour with Savor Seattle

Whether you’ve lived in Seattle for a few months or 20 years there is always something new to see at the world famous Pike Place Market. There are several types of tours visitors and locals go on, however, one is never enough. We decided to go on Savor Seattle’s VIP Early Access Tour at Pike Place Market. From well-known favorites to hidden gems we were pleasantly surprised and left with happy tummies. This tour is also a lot more than just food, too!  We learned so many things about Pike Place that we never knew!  We can't wait to do it again! 

Check out their site for all of the details including 7 other tasting tours: savorseattletours.com - Mark was our outstanding tour guide, maybe you'll have him too!


Stop 1: Honest Biscuits 

Owner Art Stone first started making biscuits when he was only 4 years old with his grandma. After years of trying to replicate his grandma’s recipe, he finally felt he was catching up to her yet incorporating his own style into the biscuits creating the Honest Biscuits we all know and love today.

As described by a local baker as, “fluffy clouds of goodness," the biscuits are baked fresh everyday with all local ingredients including Washington’s Shepherd’s Grain flour. Unique twists inspired by other market favorites are used as well like, Bavarian Meat’s bacon, Beecher’s Cheese, Theo Chocolate and of course local fruit. 

Honest Biscuits are shared among several different farmer’s markets and seasonally alter flavors to reflect all of the different markets. You can check out their Find & Buy page here to see what farmer’s markets they’ll be located around Seattle: https://www.honestbiscuits.com/find-buy 


Stop 2: Indi Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Indi Chocolate is special not only for their great tasting chocolate and variety of products they supply, but because their cacao beans are sourced directly from farmers providing them with higher incomes. Their products made from cocoa butter range from teas to body care — including sun tan lotion!  

Being in Seattle, it also comes to no surprise Indi Chocolate loves their coffee. They have a cafe with specialty coffee drinks and their single origin drinking chocolate. Yum!

Be sure to try out a class here: https://indichocolate.com/blogs/classes


Stop 3: Frank’s Quality Produce

“Quality” is our middle name. 

Frank’s Quality produce is 85 years and 5 generations in the making. With beautiful displays of fruits and vegetables hand trimmed and selected every morning, you’ll never miss it walking through the market.

Not only do they sell at the market but they deliver to many restaurants around Seattle. They hand craft gift boxes and fruit baskets as well. Is there anything they don’t do? 

Be sure to make a visit as their customer service is ‘unsurpassed’ and you'll sample the freshest fruits you've ever tasted.


Stop 4: Pike Place Fish

Pike Place Fish is really what has made Pike Place Market the world phenomenon it has become today. 

From halibut to crab to salmon, there is something for all palettes. Maybe even try catching a fish like Brea! 

Place an order here: https://www.pikeplacefish.com/


Stop 5: Market Spice

Beginning in 1911, Market Spice offers 140 different teas, spices, honeys, cookie, mints, sauces, their own candle line and so much more. 

Want to try a 1st place World Tea Championship winner?  Try the Cinnamon Orange bottled tea, it obviously can’t be beat.   

From their signature blends, to adding essentials oils and yet no sweetener, Market Spice is a must visit to find the spice that fits your life. 

View their extensive product line here: https://www.marketspice.com/


Stop 6: Pike Place Urban Garden

Want to visit a place no one knows about? This urban garden will be for you. With fresh greenery all around and stunning views of Seattle - it’s a perfect place to take a moment to soak in the beauty, and if you’re lucky, maybe some sunshine. 


Stop 7: Miss Cafe - Turkish Cuisine

If you’re a pizza lover and are willing to try something new, Miss Cafe’s signature Turkish Pizzas (Pides) are a must. With the perfect crisp, ground beef and some veggies you won’t be disappointed.  

Notice the little things: 

Rachel the Pig, aka a large golden pig in the middle of the market, is an actual piggy bank.

Supporting The Market Foundation, Rachel raises around $20,000 each year for education, local soup banks and senior citizens. If you rub Rachel’s snout and make a donation legend has it you’ll be going home with some good luck!  

Be sure to grab some donuts at the Daily Dozen Donut Company and trying their maple bacon donut. If you’re then craving some coffee stop by the original Starbucks where the company sold their first cup of coffee. 


Bon appetit!

Wine and Cheese Pairing on a Budget




Is there anything better than wine and cheese? We don’t think so!  We love putting together charcuterie and pairing it with our favorite wines.  But when it comes to entertaining, this can quickly add up.  

Entertaining doesn’t have to break the bank. There are some excellent budget wines and quality cheese that pair wonderfully and taste delicious.  We have put together a few of our favorites so that the next time you entertain, all you have to do is print out the list and go to your local grocery store.  

Most grocery stores also carry pre-packaged nuts and dried fruits.  You can typically find these “pairing packs” in the specialty cheese kiosks at stores like QFC, Safeway, and Hagen.  The one we picked up cost under $7.99 and included dried apricots, almonds, cashews, and cranberries.  Other additions to your charcuterie board can include salami, olives, and fig jam.  These also are easily found at the cheese kiosks. Don’t forget the crackers! 

Now, on to the fun part! 

These three wines and cheeses are all UNDER $20 and received high ratings or QPR (quality/price ratio)




Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Cabernet Sauvignon + Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Gouda

You can’t go wrong with these two! Flavor and intensity are amazing.  The cab has flavors of plum, black cherry, anise & clove. This Dutch classic aged goat gouda is dense and creamy with a long sweet caramelized finish. 

Francis Coppola

Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Vintage — $16.99

Cypress Grove Midnight Moon

Goat Gouda  —$7.00-$8.00



Mark Ryan Vincent Board Track Racer + Esquirrou (ehs-keer-oo)

This wine was one of our favorites. It’s a Washington state red blend and ranks in the top 3% of wines from the Columbia Valley. It has some rich dark notes of blackberry and dark cherry with a super smooth finish. The cheese we paired this with is called, Esquirrou (ehs-Keer-oo). It’s a cheese from France and is made with sheep’s milk. It has a smooth, elastic texture with a nutty sweetness. This was the 2018 grand prize winner at the world cheese championships. You’ve got to try this one!

Mark Ryan Vincent Board Track Racer

Red Blend — $19.99





19 Crimes The Uprising + Montemore 

With aromas of warm vanilla and caramel up front and blackberry jam, plum, and spice on the finish, this bottle is an absolute go-to for inexpensive red wine. The cheese we put with this one is Montamore Cheddar. It’s a sharp white cheddar blended with a moderate parmesan for a super delicious cheese blend! 

19 Crimes The Uprising

Cabernet Sauvignon - $11.99


Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan Blend - $7.50

Our Favorite Salad Recipe! Citrus Cranberry Salad




Do you ever get to that point where you feel a lack of creativity in the kitchen? There’s nothing like sharing recipes to put an end ho-hum meal boredom!  Last week we asked you to send in your favorite go-to recipes and WOW, what fun that was! 

For everyone that submitted a recipe, we put your name in a drawing for $100 shopping spree to Whole Foods Market.  We are thrilled to announce that Terri DiMartino won!  Terri sold her Des Moines home with us a few years ago and we have enjoyed hearing about her and her husband, Pete, in their new ventures since they recently retired.  


Terri submitted this super easy salad recipe that comes together in just a few minutes.  She calls it her anniversary salad because they just celebrated their 9-year anniversary and they make this salad a few times a week.  We can understand why!  This salad adds a twist to your everyday salad and the variety of flavors make it anything but boring!  We especially loved that all the ingredients are winter-friendly, so even when produce is hard to come by in the coldest months, this salad will be an easy one to make! 

Terri says that the best part of this salad is that all the ingredients can be purchased at Costco, a fave shopping place for them.  But really, all these ingredients are easy to find at any basic grocery store, so we love that too. 

Citrus Cranberry Salad

Here is what you’ll need: 

  • 4 cups of Power or Super Greens (usually a mix of baby chard, kale, and spinach)

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed

  • 3 cutie oranges, peeled 

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries 

  • 1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • 1/2 cup of Walden Farms Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing 


Just throw all the ingredients into a bowl, toss, then serve! 

The only work to this salad is cooking the chicken breast.  If you like to meal prep on the weekend, we found that it was super easy to bake, grill, or sauté a few chicken breasts ahead of time. Chop them up, put them in a storage container and VOILA! This salad pretty much comes together in 10 min or less.  

Here are a few other tips we noted: 

  • If you don’t have time to toast the pecans, they taste great raw, too! 

  • We didn’t find the Walden Farms Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette at the grocery store we went to, but we used Marie’s instead.  Pretty much any raspberry vinaigrette should do. 

  • Have fun with the chicken. Salt and pepper are just fine. But we threw some other herbs on it while cooking and it added an element of flavor.  Grilling would also be extra tasty! 

Another thing we loved about the salad is the color.  With the orange, cranberry, and bright greens, this salad is like a gem show!  It’s absolutely gorgeous and will add sparkle to your dining room table… that is if you can wait long enough to dig in! 

Confession time! After we filmed the video for this salad, we all grabbed forks, stood around the bowl, and went to town eating it right out of the communal salad bowl.  It was THAT GOOD!  

We hope you are inspired to try this at home.  Let us know if you do in the comments below!  

8 Autumn Recipes to Enjoy this Season

One of our favorite things about this autumn/winter season is spending time with friends and family through the beautiful art of cooking. There is just something special about these shorter days! We enjoy warm summer Seattle evenings, but autumn and winter are really the seasons where we love to spend cozy nights cooking at home. Preparing hearty fall meals — even if cooking isn’t your specialty — is an amazing way to gather the ones you love together. Your home should be a place that fills you up, nourishes you, and brings you closer to the people you love. And you know what they say — “the kitchen is the heart of the home!” We hope you all take time this season to slow down and enjoy longer evenings over home-cooked meals with your family and friends.


One of our favorite things about this autumn/winter season is spending time with friends and family through the beautiful art of cooking. There is just something special about these shorter days! We enjoy warm summer Seattle evenings, but autumn and winter are really the seasons where we love to spend cozy nights cooking at home. Preparing hearty fall meals — even if cooking isn’t your specialty — is an amazing way to gather the ones you love together. Your home should be a place that fills you up, nourishes you, and brings you closer to the people you love. And you know what they say — “the kitchen is the heart of the home!” We hope you all take time this season to slow down and enjoy longer evenings over home-cooked meals with your family and friends.


Red Wine Cranberry Braised Short Ribs

Half Baked Harvest

This is my all-time favorite food blog of them moment. If you love tender, fall-off-the bone ribs with a harvest, autumn twist, this recipe is for you! We are all about these delicious hearty ingredients and fun pop of cranberry! If you haven't already fallen in love with Half Baked Harvest, head over to her amazing website and check out all of her delicious recipes! 


5 pounds bone in, beef short ribs

kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 shallots, thinly sliced

4 carrots, chopped

2 cups dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon

2 cups low sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 bay leaves

2 cups fresh cranberries

mashed potatoes, for serving



  1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large oven safe skillet, sear the ribs on both sides. Remove the ribs and transfer to the slow cooker. 

  2. To the slow cooker, add the onions, shallots, and carrots. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, gently stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. During the last 2 hours of cooking, add the cranberries. 

  3. Remove the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Serve the ribs over a bed of mashed potatoes. Drizzle with the pan sauce. Enjoy!


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large oven safe skillet, sear the ribs on both sides. Remove the ribs to a plate. Add the onions, shallots, and carrots, cook 5-10 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize. Add back the short ribs. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Sprinkle over the cranberries. Season with salt and pepper, gently stir to combine. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone.


Butternut Squash and Spinach Tortellini

Julias Album

We are huge pasta fans! Sure a great red or cream sauce is great, but adding in delicious flavors like butternut squash really makes traditional pasta feel like a cozy fall meal. This easy recipe will have your family and friends swooning!


1 cup butternut squash puree

1 cup half and half

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

2 cups tortellini uncooked

8 oz spinach , uncooked, fresh

2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped


  1. Add 1 cup of butternut squash puree, 1 cup of half and half, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, a pinch of paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the large skillet, on medium heat. While heating, stir all the ingredients to combine. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning - don't add all of it at once, add a little and add more, to your taste. Add the spinach on top of the mixture, cover with the lid, remove from heat. Let the spinach wilt in the pan, covered, off heat.

  2. While the spinach wilts, bring the medium pan of water to boil, add 2 cups of uncooked tortellini, and cook according to the package instructions (usually 7 - 10 minutes in boiling water). Once the tortellini is cooked, drain the water.

  3. Add cooked and drained tortellini to the skillet with the butternut squash sauce and spinach and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add more half and half to thin it. Also, taste and add more salt, nutmeg and lemon pepper, if desired.

  4. Serve topped with chopped fresh parsley.


One Pan Chicken and Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan Spinach Cream Sauce

Eatwell 101

All of your ingredients in one single dish so you only have that one pan to clean?! Sign us up! We LOVE one pan meals. This creamy and hearty chicken and potato dish is a fantastic fall dinner staple.


2 tablespoons butter

1 pound chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil – combined)

2 cups baby red potatoes, washed and quartered

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 cup fresh spinach

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup (240ml) chicken stock

1 cup (240ml) half and half (half cream mixed with half milk, for a lighter cream)

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper


  1. Season chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side; drain excess fat and set aside in a plate.

  3. Melt remaining tablespoon butter in the same skillet. Add garlic, paprika, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, then add potatoes and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. 

  4. Stir in tomato and chicken broth and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.

  5. Stir in and half-half, grated Parmesan cheese, spinach and crushed chili pepper flakes. Reduce heat to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

  6. Return chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until chicken and potatoes are cooked through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional red pepper flakes and parmesan, enjoy!

Autumn Pumpkin Apple Stew

Well and Full

The name, Autumn Pumpkin Apple Stew says it all. We love this delicious, plant based dish! Adding apple to a stew may sound odd, but trust us, you’ll love these autumn flavors, and a cozy stew is the perfect fall weekday meal!


Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sautéing

1 White Onion diced

4-5 Cloves Garlic finely minced

1 Cup Chopped Kale packed

1 15 oz Can Fire-Roasted Tomatoes diced

1 Cup Pumpkin Purée

4 Cups Vegetable Broth

2 Small Macintosh or Macoun Apples peeled and diced

1 Tsp Dried Parsley

1 Tsp Paprika

Lots of Fresh-Cracked Black Pepper

Pinch Cayenne

1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano


  1. In a large pot, bring a glug of olive oil to medium-low heat. Add in the diced onions and sauté until soft, a few minutes.

  2. Then, add in the garlic and stir until lightly fragrant, about a minute or so. Be careful not to let the garlic brown!

  3. Add in the chopped kale and stir it up well with the garlic and onion, for about another minute or so. 

  4. Then, add in the fire-roasted tomatoes, pumpkin purée, vegetable broth, diced apples, and all the spices. Whisk everything until it's all evenly mixed. Taste and adjust the spices if you'd like.

  5. Reduce heat to low, and let the stew simmer for about 30 minutes. 

  6. When done, remove stew from heat and ladle into bowls. Top off with a crack of fresh black pepper, if you'd like.


Sweet Potato Pesto Gnocchi

Charley’s Health

Don’t let the sound of making home made gnocchi intimidate you! We love this easy, 20 minute pasta recipe! This dish is sure to impress your guests with is delicious fall flavors and beautiful presentation!


1 cup mashed sweet potato

Pinch salt and pepper

Dash mixed herbs

1/3 cup gluten free flour

1 clove garlic

Olive oil for cooking

Handful fresh spinach

Sacla Free From Pesto


  1. To make the gnocchi, combine the sweet potato, seasonings and flour and mix until well combined and you’re left with a dough mixture.

  2. Spread a little flour onto a cutting board and roll out the dough to form a long sausage shape. Cut into small thumb sized pieces.

  3. To create the rolled effect, press each piece of gnocchi against a fork and roll towards you.

  4. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add in the gnocchi and allow to cook until they start to float to the surface, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place onto a side plate.

  5. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add in the gnocchi and crushed garlic. Sauté so that they start to lightly crisp and then stir through the spinach and a few spoonfuls of the pesto.

  6. Once the spinach has wilted, serve onto plates and enjoy!

Autumn Harvest Salad with Pomegranates

Fox and Briar

With all of these amazing hearty meals, a lighter fall salad can be so refreshing! We love that this healthy dish still includes so many fun fall elements like delicata squash, farro, and pomegranate! This dish is great for busy weeknights when you’re looking for quick and healthy alternative to heavy fall dishes!


1- 2 bunches kale, center ribs removed and torn into small pices (6-8 cups)

1 delicata squash, de-seeded and cut into half moons

1 cup cooked farro

4 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre)

arils from one pomegranate (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon chili powder




2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Toss delicata squash in 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and chili powder, arrange in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, Roast for about 15 minutes, or until golden and tender. Set aside.

  3. Whisk together all ingredients for dressing (I use a mason jar to shake them until combined)

  4. In a large bowl,add kale, delicata squash, farro, goat cheese and pomegranate arils. Pour dressing over and toss to fully coat everything in the dressing.


Roasted Sweet Potato, Squash and Chickpea Fall Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing

Running to the Kitchen

This hearty and healthy dish is a great alternative to meat heavy dishes! Chickpeas are a fantastic source of protein, and mixing chickpeas with maple tahini?! YUM! We are loving this unique dish full of flavors we are loving this season!


1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 small delicata squash, seeded and chopped (you can leave the skin on)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

salt and pepper

1 - 15oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup fresh cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1/4 cup minced red onion

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (I used sage and rosemary)


1/4 cup tahini

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 small clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Toss sweet potato and squash with the olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet.

  3. Roast for about 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.

  4. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

  5. When squash is finished roasting, add to the bowl and toss to combine.


  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

  2. Pour into bowl with the salad ingredients and toss until evenly coated.


Creamy Chicken Marsala

The Recipe Critic

A good friend texted me this recipe and gushed about how amazing it was. It’s simple, fast, and delicious! She swapped out the chicken breasts for chicken thighs and also added more mushrooms. I have this on my dinner menu this week.


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced*

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1½ cups sliced mushrooms

½ cup Marsala wine** see note

½ cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Fresh Chopped Parsley for garnish


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the chicken and lightly salt and pepper. Cook until lightly brown and cooked throughout. Remove chicken and set aside on plate.

  2. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes. Add marsala wine and bring to a boil over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes. This allows the alcohol to burn out. Add the chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, ground mustard, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Place chicken back in the sauce and continue to simmer for about 1-2 minutes.

Notes from The Recipe Critic

*I like to slice my chicken breasts in half or buy them thinly sliced so that they cook quickly and easily.
** The alcohol in the marsala wine burns off during the cooking process. If you are worried about cooking with wine, they say this recipe makes a good substitute.
1/4 cup of white grape juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar

Loving this season of delicious produce as much as we are? Check out our blog post all about supporting local farmers and enjoying amazing fresh fruits and vegetables! Happy cooking, everyone!

An Easy Way to Support Local Farms

Shorter days and earlier evenings fill me with a sense of coziness. It’s the time of the year that spending more time in the kitchen and gathering around the table with friends and family is pure, simple joy. Life slows down, conversations linger, and warmth envelopes the soul.  

When I married Kevin 22 year ago, I knew little to nothing about cooking. It wasn’t something I enjoyed and when you tasted a meal I prepared, you could tell.  But I slowly began to fall in love with spending time in the kitchen.  Eventually, the kitchen transformed from a space that represented work, cleaning, and chores to a sense of family, gathering, and love.  With that transformation I also began to love the process of preparing a meal.  To take some time in the evening to carefully prepare fresh produce and transform it into a tasty and nourishing meal, all while having gentle conversation with my family, gave me a sense of accomplishment and drew our family closer together.  

While cooking may never be your thing, I’d highly recommend taking time to prepare at least one home-cooked meal a week and enjoying it around your table with the ones you love.  Homes are our haven. They are places that should refresh and draw us closer together. The kitchen in my home has done that for me and it’s now one of my favorite places to be. 

Now that I love cooking, I have also become aware of how important it is to use fresh, local, and seasonal  ingredients.  This not only makes the food we eat more tasty, but it also helps to support our local farmers and community.  A easy and fun way to do this is to join a CSA (community supported agriculture).  When you join one, you are essentially buying a farm share from a local farm or a group of farmers. This helps the farmers to have operating capital and in return, you get a delivery of the freshest produce (and sometimes meat, dairy, and more) delivered to your doorstep.  

So, how does a CSA work? 

In this area, there are a variety of CSA’s that can cater to your needs.  Typically, you pay in advance of the growing season so farmers have operating capital. During the growing season, members receive a box of produce from the CSA on a regular schedule (usually once per week). Some CSA shares are delivered directly to your home, and others must be picked up from a designated location during a set time frame. Some CSAs only offer produce, while others you may also have the option of purchasing a share that includes eggs, meat, dairy, baked goods, fresh flowers, or other farm products. Most CSA’s have pre-selected items that go in the box—produce that is in season and just picked—while others allow you to pick and choose what’s in your box. 

I have been a member of Full Circle Farms CSA for a number of years.  You can pay weekly for your upcoming share and you can get meat, dairy, baked goods, and a number of other products in your weekly delivery.  You can also change the produce selection each week if you aren’t fond of the current selection.  Since it’s so flexible, this works really well for me but it’s equally fun to support the smaller farms and receive surprise ingredients that add to your cooking repertoire! 

No two farms do CSA the same way so it’s great to shop around for one that you feel good about supporting and works for your family. To help find the right program for you, we have put a list together of some of the local CSA’s to select from.  I hope you find this helpful and that it sparks your interest to consider joining a CSA, too!  Remember, you’ll be supporting our local community and the hard-working farmers that are vested in it. Isn’t that worth consideration? 



 The Local Choice Food Box

Season: June-November

Type: Multiple Farm

Cost: $19.50/week


Season: Year Round

Type: 3rd party CSA service

Cost: $35/week for a full share for 20 weeks, $20/week for a half share for 20 weeks

Amaranth Urban Farm

Season: April-November

Type: Single Farm

Cost: N/A

Magic Bean

Season: June-December

Type: Single farm

Cost: $295 for 16 Boxes



Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Season: June-November

Type: Single Farm

Cost: $600 for a 20-Week Share $150 for a 4-Week Share

Goose and Gander Farm

Season: June-November

Type: Single Farm

Cost: $480 Regular Share / 22 weeks $640 Large Share / 22 weeks

Full Circle

Season: Year Round

Type: Multiple farm

Cost: All Prices based on WA delivery - Seed size w/Free home delivery $22.95; Sprout size w/Free home delivery $27.95. Garden size w/Free home delivery $34.95; Harvest size w/Free home delivery $44.94. Alaska prices vary. Visit http://www.fullcircle.com/or



Provisions CSA Mushroom Farm

Season: June-October

Type: Single farm

Cost: Weekly; full share $200, half share $150

Filbert Acres

Season: April-October

Type: Single Farm

Cost: Full Share: $560/ 18-week season Full Share - minus salad: $465/ 18-week season Half Share: $275 Half Share - plus full share salad: $335, Half Share:$275/18-week season

Soos Creek Farm

Season: June-October

Type: Single farm

Cost: $30/week

Green Valley Farm

Season: June-October

Type: Single farm

Cost: $25/week paid monthly

Terra Organics

Season: Year Round

Type: 3rd party CSA service

Cost: $17 per week ($16.15 preorder) Medium: $26 per week ($24.70 preorder) Large: $42 per week ($39.90 preorder)

Take a Root

Season: Year Round

Type: Single farm

Cost: Varies with season

The Mason Jar

Season: May-November

Type: Single farm

Cost: $788.50 full payment weekly standard share 

Zimmerman Farm

Season: Year Round

Type: Single farm

Cost: N/A

Tahoma Farms

Season: June-November

Type: Single farm

Cost: $17 per week ($16.15 preorder) Medium: $26 per week ($24.70 preorder) Large: $42 per week ($39.90 preorder)

Whistling Train Farm

Season: April-January

Type: Single farm

Cost: Spring: invitation only, Summer: 20 weeks at $400 for small share, $650 for large; Winter: 10 weeks at $245 for small share, $375 for large

**CSA farm information from Local Harvest

Where to Shop Organically in Kent




Shopping completely organic and healthy can be easy in Seattle, but when it comes to finding locations in South King County, there are fewer options. Luckily, there are health foods stores that are dedicated to organic and healthy living in the Southend!  One of our favorites is Nature’s Market in Kent. 


Nature’s Market is unique because it not only brings organic, natural foods to Kent, but it also has been family owned for 41 years! The small and intimate atmosphere helps its customers feel comfortable and well taken care of. From their top quality supplements, organic produce, cosmetics and cleaning supplies, and even the amazing juice bar, you’ll find everything that you need without having to go to a big chain grocery store! Offering over 30,000 products, they really do have it all! We love to shop local, and shopping local organics are even better.

“When you add organic produce, dairy, frozen food, beer and wine, and hundreds of items for special diets, Nature’s Market becomes your one stop shopping spot.”

You know you will be given the best possible service and advice when you go to Nature’s Market. The owner, Sally, puts all of the employees through an extensive training process. They really go out of their way to make sure that you have the best possible experience. If they don’t have something that you’re looking for, they will even special order it for you.


Their fresh pressed juice is another reason to stop by Nature’s Market! Their nutrient packed juices, delicious smoothies, and the daily hot soup is such a fantastic way to get some of that organic health on the go, or enjoy a fresh treat during your shopping experience!  

Nature’s Market is also a fantastic place to shop if you are gluten free, or have other special dietary needs. They carry the largest selection of gluten free foods! They carry a wide selections of alternatives to things like pastas, chips, or grains.

Come check out Nature’s Market today and find out why the South End loves this store so much!

Best Vegan Restaurant In Seattle


How amazing would it be if you could go to a restaurant and enjoy your evening without the hassle of looking at a menu and deciding to order? And what if that experience was not only sustainable and environmentally conscious, but also completely vegan? This is the amazing dinner experience that you can have at Harvest Beat. Located in the Wallingford district of Seattle, this small business provides a unique eating experience. 


Harvest Beat is here to provide an eating experience that is also going to extreme lengths to be aware of the environment from their dishes to their kitchen. 

“We are earnestly trying to keep our carbon footprint as light as possible. Some of the ways we’re doing this include using eco-friendly paint inside and out of the restaurant, using beach wood for our bar, using a recycled bar top, organic hand sewn cloth napkins, etc. We are composting all of our food scraps and growing some of our food in our garden. Our coffee (from Pangaea Roasters) is walked over to us in glass containers, eliminating all transportation waste.”


From the moment you walk in to when you finish your desert course, the service and the atmosphere is relaxing, friendly, and community driven. Harvest Beat’s menu is inspired by the change of the seasons. 

“By changing the menu so often, our chef is able to create food that is intuitive and inspired. Creating as little waste as possible. By offering a prix-fixe menu that respects food of the moment, we are eliminating the need to stock, and most likely waste, food that may not be ordered.”

At Harvest Beat, guests can arrive thirty minutes early to enjoy drinks before the official dinner commences. It is such a unique experience to have a restaurant feel, but be seated and served the same meal at the same time. This dining style provides an amazing community atmosphere between the guests as they are all enjoying the same meal together. The dinner begins with a ringing of the gong, and a quick explanation of the meal, and a moment of gratitude toward the farmers that have contributed to the meal. The meal is served in a five course style with a completely seasonal array of foods. Along with each dish, there is the option to choose either an alcoholic or non alcoholic beverage pairing that has been carefully selected with each dish. 


This 1.5-2 hour experience is filled with artistic plates and unique flavors. We love that Harvest beat uses local organically grown ingredients. It is so important to support local farmers, and the way that Harvest Beat focuses on respecting the earth while showing gratitude for the community and local growers is so inspiring. A restaurant that practices what it preaches so flawlessly makes the whole dinner experience that much more incredible. 

We love that Harvest Beat can be enjoyed by anyone from meat eaters to children. This community building experience is such a fantastic experience over all and we are so glad that it’s in our own backyard, Seattle! Make your reservations today and enjoy this unique dinner full of creativity, sustainability, and delicious flavors.