Archives For food

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PAX West is just around the corner! My nerdy heart goes pitter-patter just thinking about it. At PAX, I love walking the floor, attending panels, and playing games—but I also love taking advantage of the beautiful host city. Last year, I had so much fun spending a couple of extra days in Seattle, exploring like crazy. Because it’s so massive, the options can be a little overwhelming, so here are my top recommendations for what to do while you’re there.

1. Make Friends with a Bridge Troll

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This friendly troll resides at 4505 North Troll Avenue in Fremont, under the north end of the Aurora bridge. Getting to this troll’s abode means taking a 15-minute Uber from downtown, but it’s worth it. Not only do you get the unique experience of coming face-to-face with this massive monster (which will put a smile on your face), but there are lots of other cool things in the Fremont area—it’s my favorite neighborhood in Seattle.

2. Visit Add-A-Ball in Fremont

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Pinball, arcade cabinets, booze, and an insane Patrick Swayze mural reside in this cozy underground gaming space. Bonus: there’s a nice patio out front with seating if you need to get some air between heated matches of Bubble Bobble. Add-A-Ball is located at 315 N 36th Street, Seattle—just an 8-minute walk from the bridge troll.

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supernatural pie

On July 24th, Utah celebrates Pioneer Day, commemorating the Mormon Pioneers who traveled 1,300 miles by foot and wagon train and finally settled in Salt Lake Valley in 1847. It’s a big deal in Utah– like a second Independence Day– with fireworks, parades, and festivals. Many local businesses even shut down for the day, including local banks.

For those who feel out-of-place in Utah’s greater culture, and for most residents of Salt Lake City, it’s easy to feel outside of the festivities. Luckily, in the last few years, Salt Lake has embraced Pie & Beer Day to celebrate, maintaining the tongue-in-cheek, counter-culture spirit that makes Salt Lake wonderful. This year, more restaurants and bars than ever hosted Pie & Beer Day events. The most popular was Beer Bar‘s second annual Pie & Beer Day bash, featuring a Pie Pass (for 6 slices of pie!) from several local bakeries.

Jeff and I decided to take a quieter route and go to one of our golden favorites: Avenues Proper, a restaurant and brewery in our neighborhood, walking-distance from our apartment. We devoured apple-blueberry-raspberry crumble pie with stout ice cream from Hatch Family Chocolates. It was everything I’d ever wanted, and the stout ice cream was the surprise star of the dish. (Mind you, good pie and ice cream is my favorite dessert, only possibly rivaled by fruit-stuffed beignets, which are basically little fried pies.)

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If you haven’t gathered by now, we love food. Cooking, sharing food with friends and family, and experiencing edible art are a few of our favorite things. One of the things I love about food is that it’s ephemeral. You can have the same dish multiple times, but you’re never going to have it in exactly the same way. Ingredients will vary: one tomato is not exactly the same as another tomato, even of the same variety because ripeness, flavor, and aesthetic differs from one to another. Preparation of dishes also varies. A chef may do their best to achieve uniformity, but there’s going to be small differences every time you have the same dish on different occasions. That’s the nature of chopping, cooking, and pouring– there are so many factors that it’s imprecise to some extent, even at its most masterful.

When you eat delicious food, it’s a transitory moment that you can’t experience in the same way ever again– and I love that. I love forcing myself to focus, to be mindful of my senses, and to thoughtfully process what I’m literally taking in as part of myself. This is why– despite the ridicule of being another basic Instagram girl– I love photographing food, as a reminder of an experience, a memory of a feeling.

Because food is the source of so much of our happiness and gratitude, for Jeff’s birthday we decided to do a progressive dinner around Salt Lake City, visiting our favorite haunts and ordering a dish or two per stop. It was unlike anything we’d done before and not for the faint of heart: 10 straight hours of eating and walking around the city with a couple of our closest friends. It was quite the event, and below you’ll find our itinerary and a documentation of our adventures.

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Mouths Package

If you haven’t tried Mouth Foods, you’re missing out on rare, hard-to-find goodies. We’ve mentioned this one-in-a-million gem before, when they were known as New York Mouth. Not much has changed besides the name. The company still ships high-quality, small-batch foods straight to your door. Now, Mouth Foods doesn’t just ship foods from New York but from all over the country, widening the range of crafted food available through their beautiful site. Perusing the Mouth Foods site, you’ll be overwhelmed by all the cool stuff on display. Try to remain calm. If  it helps, we highly recommend the bourbon-smoked sugar, truffle salami, and banana jam, but our favorite things to order are sinful treats.

When we get a package from Mouth Foods, it’s better than Christmas. We’re always blown away by their extraordinary attention to detail. Every piece of food is individually wrapped and carefully cushioned to make sure it survives shipping. If you think the food looks great on the site, it looks even better in person. What’s more, Mouth includes a free canvas tote, a handwritten thank-you note, and a free piece of chocolate to sweeten the deal. Plus, if your total order amounts to $50 or more, shipping is free. In our latest order, we couldn’t help but go all out.

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If you’re looking to make the coolest margarita mix of all time, you’ve come to the right place. Jeff’s mom is crazy about all things zombies, so we made some special homemade zombie-style margarita mixes for her birthday. We used fresh raspberries and limes to make two different kinds of mixes, and we added food coloring to maximize creepiness. Because they both turned out jaw-droppingly good, we thought we’d share the recipe, so you can make delicious margaritas (just add tequila) or virgin cocktails (just add soda).

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I’m going to reveal the secret to the world’s best sugar cookies. Forget everything else you’ve been told. Ready? Buy some bourbon smoked sugar. Do it. It will be the best decision you’ve made all year. Mouth Foods offers a nice one that we’ve been using in everything from sweet barbecue sauces to hot drinks, and it also happens to be the key to making the sugar cookie that makes all other sugar cookies ashamed of themselves.

What’s more, the secret to using the bourbon smoked sugar is easy. It may sound like an intimidating ingredient, but all you need to do is sprinkle some of this bad boy on top of your cookies (along with a dash of cinnamon) before popping them in the oven. And your cookies will transcend to a new level of delicious.

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At Salt Lake Comic-Con, we had the fortune of finding some of the coolest chocolates ever, made by The Truffle Cottage. We loved them so much, we bought beautifully molded chocolates in the shape of zombie body parts, a companion cube, and a Death Star. And those were so good that when Halloween rolled around, we giddily bought even more unique chocolates from the talented chocolate crafters.

This place is the real deal. Not only are the chocolates lovingly crafted with striking detail, but they are absolutely delicious and come in unique flavors like strawberries and cream and pumpkin pie. As the holidays approach, keep an eye out for gems from The Truffle Cottage. They’re sure to come up with new creations that will make perfect gifts from the holidays. As examples of their awe-inspiring work, here are some of the chocolates they showcased at Salt Lake Comic-Con (now available on their website).

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