Kitchenbug: "Spicing Up Seattle"

Courtesy of Kitchenbug
As the days of summer start to get warmer and sunnier, how do you pass your time in the sun? I personally love running in the sun along the Olympic Sculpture Park walking trail - full sun and expansive views of the Puget Sound and Seattle's downtown. If I'm not running, I like to keep up with new restaurant news, chef movements, and new recipes developed in or inspired by Seattle. If only there were a way to track the cool things I come across every day...

Enter Kitchenbug. My friend, Keren Brown, shared a new web-based recipe database site that helps track recipes and track the nutrition values of the food we consume. You might think, "Aren't there already websites that have virtual recipe boxes?" The answer is "yes, but..." Kitchenbug doesn't just help you collect recipes from its website - it helps gather them from different websites and works like a website bookmark that doesn't require filling up your Favorites on Bing (my husband was happy when I finally transferred all that information to Kitchenbug.

Anyway, this new site is a fun way to track recipes that you spot all over the great Internet (yes, in capital letters) and want to capture for recipe testing later.

Here's what I've found recently:
Tom Douglas Hot Stove Society
Seattle Magazine Spot Prawn Bruschetta by Chef Holly Smith
Chef Wayne Johnson opens new restaurant in Renton - Shuga Jazz Bistro


Also, don't forget to "like" and "share" this post, because I'm competing with other bloggers to see how many people read our pages! There's a restaurant gift certificate from Kitchenbug in the runnings, so help feed my vice and then join me if we win!


Pork Lettuce Wraps

I found another great recipe for summer grilling on the Whole Foods website - Grilled Teriyaki Pork lettuce wraps. Lettuce wraps are a great way to enjoy a light and fun-yet-messy meal. There are so many ways to enjoy it - Josh and I like to use various Chinese flavored fillings for ours, but you could easily also use Mediterranean flavors and others, too. Get ingredients at your neighborhood Farmers Market and WFM.

Here's Whole Foods' Version: Pork Lettuce Wraps.
Courtesy of Whole Foods Market


Summertime BBQ!

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market
I love BBQ season like I love holiday season - that is to say, not a whole lot. I think that's because we usually feel obligated to prepare the standards and don't often stray. Disagree with me and post recipes, if you can. I think this is mostly due to my not owning a grill, so we cook out only when we camp (dehydrated meals, if you want to know) or if we dine with friends (grill-owners).

Because we eat grilled meals infrequently, I tend to choose the classic seasonal items, just like we do for Thanksgiving. Green Bean Casserole only occurs once - maybe twice - per year, so if you want to eat it at all in the next 365 days, you should make it now. Same for the burger burn and grilled corn. Perhaps others choose burgers when eating at restaurants, but I rarely do, and that includes my roughly annual trips to In-N-out.

Fortunately, the recipe creators at Whole Foods have heard my complaints and have an article clearly targeted at me: Make Grilling Special.

I liked the tips they give for grilling fruits and vegetables, which aren't always on the menu. The best tip - to brush the vegetables with light oil is wise - they are less likely to stick and can develop a nice grill mark pattern. I don't like to use big herbs on grilled vegetables, because they're likely to burn. Step up your grilling game with the Grilled Pineapple with Balsamic Honey Glaze. 

Courtesy of Whole Foods Market


Whole Foods' Fill the Grill Sale for Memorial Day

Look what our friends from Whole Foods have sent! I loved the email, so I included the whole thing - totally uncut. Enjoy, dear readers!


Memorial Day is almost upon us, and for many, that means an extra day to fire up the grill again and enjoy a couple of cold beers. If, like me, you and your readers enjoy experimenting with the best burger toppings, kabob combinations, and overall grilling techniques, then don’t miss Whole Foods Market’s huge Fill the Grill Sale: $10 off every $50 you spend in our meat department for the entire weekend (including Monday)! Whether you’re attending or hosting the party, this deal can’t be missed!

To get you inspired, the links below are your keys to becoming a grill-master in no time, from the tastiest recipes and the best tips to impress your friends and family this Memorial Day. Also, I hope you find the attached graphic helpful when sharing the good news about this sale with said friends, family and fans!

Guide to Grilling – everything you need to know about enjoying the great outdoors with good food and good company. 
  • Grillin’ on a budget? Whole Foods Market makes that easier than you may think. Try these money-saving tips this weekend: leaner cuts can cost less, so try boneless sirloin, flat-iron steak or skirt steak. Grill it hot and fast, then slice it thin. Combined with the Fill the Grill deal, you’re going to be saving money left and right!
  • Want to impress your friends with the tastiest kabobs around? Check out some techniques and mouth-watering recipes here. Spicy grilled peach and chicken kabobs, anybody? My favorite tips when making kabobs is to always cut pieces in similar sizes to ensure even cooking, and to soak wooden skewers in water for an hour prior to using to prevent them from burning.
  • Dinner for one? Make a masterpiece of a meal for yourself in no time. Go to your seafood counter, order 6-8 shrimp and ask them to devein them for you (a free service at most Whole Foods Market seafood departments). While they’re working on that, grab some yellow squash and zucchini from the produce department, and then head to the salad bar for a serving of whole grain salad. Sound delicious? Get the whole story here.
  • Other useful grilling resources: make grilling specialgrilling tips for meat loversgrilling methods and techniquesbest grilling tips.
I mentioned beer in the beginning of this email. If you’re interested in trying new IPAs and getting free swag, then you’re going to want to check out this ‘Ten and Friends’ Instagram contest. Whole Foods Market is featuring 10 Pacific Northwest IPAs and 2 ‘friends’  from outside the PNW to offer at a discount:

Breakside Brewing- Breakside IPA
Pelican Brewery Silverspot IPA
Worthy Brewing- Worthy IPA
Elysian Brewing- Dayglow IPA
Hopworks Urban Brewery- Organic IPA
Goodlife Brewing- Descender IPA
Laurelwood Brewing- Workhorse IA
Rogue Farms- 7 Hop IPA
Columbia River Brewing- Hope Heaven IPA
Widmer Brothers and Boneyard Beer Co.- Black Light IPA

+2 Friends (outside the Northwest)
Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA) - Union Jack IPA
Lagunitas - Hop Stoopid

To enter to win a collection of T-shirts from participating breweries, simply try a Northwest IPA from your local Whole Foods Market and upload your tasting photo to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #tenandfriends. The contest runs now until July 1st. Twitter and Instagrams must be public (unlocked) to be eligible.

Again, the Fill the Grill sale runs all weekend, so don’t be shy, come visit your friendly Whole Foods Market butchers more than just once. Don’t forget to try some new IPAs from Ten & Friends while you’re there. Grilling and beers are the ultimate long-weekend company. And, ask our butchers any questions you have—they’re true experts and there for you!