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Earthship “Trash Studio” Rises in Columbia City
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By Sam Hylas UW Newslab

Earthship Seattle is raising awareness for eco-friendly construction by building a radically sustainable structure in Columbia City using only repurposed materials such as tires, clay, bottles, and wooden pallets.

Earthship is an organization that promotes a building method called Biotecture, a system based on the work of architect Michael Reynolds that focuses on maximizing energy efficiency by reducing waste wherever possible.

The shed-like structure, dubbed the Seattle Trash Studio, is being erected on the property of Roxanne Reeves, a Columbia City resident who envisions it as a community resource for showing what can be created with the materials that sit in our landfills. The construction began in early September and after a few minor delays is scheduled for completion by the end of the month, depending on the amount of volunteers.

“Tires are very easy to come by. Tire stores are really happy to give you the things that they would have to throw away anyway” said Reeves regarding the main materials used to create the walls of the structure.
To create the...

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Mt. Baker Lofts: Worth the Wait
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By Taylor Winkel UW Newslab

Craig Cundiff considers himself lucky.

“I actually quit my job just to become an artist, full time,” he said grinning. Cundiff was holding his wiggly, toddler-aged son in his right hand and gesturing with his left.

And although his work with oil pastels clearly demonstrates his talent, most people would call him crazy. But because of an extraordinary, new community flourishing in the Seattle Metro area, Cundiff feels supported enough to chase after his dreams.

In July, he moved into the Mt. Baker Lofts, the newest establishment by the national, non-profit real estate developer, Artspace. Now for the first time in life, Cundiff has a studio space of his own. “I got a chop saw in there. I’ve got my easel. I can be messy and close the doors. I’ve never had a spot where I could actually be free,” he said. “I never thought I could make a living off of [art], but this place gave me the opportunity to actually do it.”

Artspace designed these lofts to provide affordable housing for Seattle-area artists and...

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Soup’s On!
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I thought soup would be a good subject for a seasonal blog. When I have friends who live in warm areas visit, they request a fire and soup. Especially those who are originally from the Northwest. What is it about soup that brings comfort and warms the soul? For me it generates the same warmth as curling up and sipping tea on a cold day. According to food historians, soup is likely as old as cooking. I find that most folks have a favorite soup and a soup story. Soup is also cultural-centric, meaning every culture has one, thus it is a great conversation starter and it can be a cost-efficient (inexpensive) way to have folks over for a meal.

I have a girlfriend who host an annual holiday get-together. It is a potluck and she provides the main course. She serves three soups; a bisque, a soup for vegetarians and a soup for carnivores. Guests bring breads, salads, desserts and beverages. Inspired by her I hosted a soup tasting. It was quite a hit. It was also a satisfying alternative to a tea party or wine tasting. I recently co-facilitated a year-long leadership program. A core learning was “gracious space”. So participants take on...

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NW Wine Academy a Southend Must-See
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This time of the year I usually write about high school football and encourage you to support a local team. “My bad”, I have not wrote about high school girls’ varsity soccer. But this is the season for that sport too and the games are inspirational for our girls. Schedules for both sports can be found in the Seattle Times under “High School Sports”. However, instead of sports I am going to talk about an economic way to treat yourself to some of the finer things in life like multi-course meals, high tea and wine tasting.

I recently returned to working at South Seattle Community College and was immediately reminded of all the deals one can find on community and technical college campuses. From full-course meals to car and cosmetology services. At South there is an Arboretum and Chinese Garden which are inspirational, filled with many gardening ideas and a great place to take visitors as there are awesome views of the City.

Adjacent to the Arboretum is a student run garden center and the culinary program has impressive lunches, baked goods and even high tea. Features and services at the colleges vary depending on what type of training is offered....

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Mixed Media, Paintings, & Sculptures in Normandy Park
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By: Hailey Way
U.W. News Lab

Residents and people new to Normandy Park, attended an art display exhibiting multiple forms of visual presentations last Thursday, July 18th. The exhibit was tucked away in, the now vacant, Old Liquor Store at Manhattan Village. An array of metal sculptures were scattered throughout the room. Along the perimeter, there was an assortment of ink illustrations, acrylic paintings, watercolors and sketches.

This the first year the Normandy Park Arts Commission has put on an eye-fetching showcase open to the public. Raymond Street, Yancy Way, Paula Odor, Don Liljar and Annastasia Mackal were the celebrated artists.

“As long as there’s people who want to attend, we will continue to do this,” said Amber Nichol, arts commission member.

Every work stimulated the senses, provoking questions to whether there was an intriguing back-story that lead to a particular work. Musician and instrument repairman Don Liljar took his craft into sculpting using various sheet and scrap metal. Though he passed away in 2008, his family members were in attendance and happy to share his work with observers.

Bob Frey of the arts commission, said...

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Sub Pop Keeps Rocking With 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee in Georgetown
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U.W. News Lab

The sun was shining while hundreds of people crowded the streets of Georgetown. From three blocks away the sounds of distorted guitar vibrated through the air. Sub Pop celebrated its 25th anniversary as an iconic Seattle institution last weekend with a free all-day music festival on Saturday.

People came as they were: young and old, rockers and rappers, longtime Sub Pop followers from the ‘90s and kids possibly attending their first festival. Sub Pop Records Silver Jubilee turned Georgetown into a Sub Pop rock city.

“There is a guy over there letting people staple money to him, for money,” noted my friend Daniel Criem. (This “performer” was not one of the scheduled artists.)

The event featured longtime Sub Pop favorites like Built to Spill and Mudhoney and new favorites like King Tuff and Shabazz Palaces. About five city blocks were closed to car traffic and...

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Livin’ Easy BBQ Menu – Sourced in the Southend
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“Summertime and the living is easy.” That is what the song says and the living should be. I subscribe to several homemaker type publications and just finished perusing the June issues. Everything I read says summer is the easiest time of the year to entertain and feature outdoor entertaining and carefree menus. Very inspiring…. But, Seattle is not a featured location. Weather for outdoor entertaining is not always guaranteed. Still, this is the season for barbecues, picnics, strolling the beach and hanging out at parks and on decks. Plus everyone loves and remembers a picnic-even if it rains.

I kicked off the season with a barbecue for my hubby’s birthday. At our home the birthday person selects what is for dinner. Hubby chose sliders. What fun! I discovered sliders are a wonderful way to have a carefree meal. I went to Bob’s Meats in Columbia City and got an assortment of ground meat in one pound orders. Bob’s had beef, buffalo, lamb, veal, chicken, turkey and a variety of ground sausages. One pound made 8 slider size burgers if you use an ice cream scoop to form them as I did. I seasoned and marinated the meats the night before. I scooped them...

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You Can Pickle That
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There are some foods that are just too damn exciting, and not just to the palate. Nukazuke, rice bran pickles, fall into the “I wish I would have done this sooner” category. Not only are they crisp, their flavor is subtle, but with a complexity unique to each vegetable’s qualities. And, just as significant, the fermentation process for making them is very simple and downright entertaining. My own definition of what cures me is any activity or experience, which engages, vitalizes, and catalyzes healing. It might be hard to imagine that a traditional Japanese pickling process could elicit such fizz in me. But it does. I always pay attention when any food processing activity excites, or as my friend Danny says, gives me juice. We all know this…if what we do gives us energy then we must be on the right track.

I found out about nukazuke pickles in the most traditional way — from my neighbor, Stewart. He borrowed one of my most cherished books, The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz, made a batch of the nukazuke pickles, and then gave me some samples. In due time, he offered me a lesson on how to ferment vegetables using this method. Because Stewart has spent significant time in Southeast Asia and had...

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Breaking Good with Massive Monkees: “Each One, Teach One”
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When the world renowned, Seattle-based bboy crew Massive Monkees opened their own studio to teach breaking a few blocks from my home, I knew I had to check it out because I love watching break dancers perform live. Now I even study there with international bboy champions… though not exactly in dance. One of Massive Monkees original founders, Jerome “Jeromeskee” Aparis, offers endurance training integrated with simple breaking elements. I am usually one of the few non-dancers in that class.

While at the studio, I began to wonder….are the Massive Monkees a for-profit organization? And can you make a living out of break dancing?

The answers are, yes and yes. But the Massive Monkees’s success as a business is rare in the bboy industry, where dancers are usually hired as individuals.

How break dancers became business partners

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“Made in Seattle” Cinema Series Comes to Columbia City
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Submitted by Rustin Thompson on behalf of SEEDArts and Columbia City Gallery

Seattle documentary filmmakers, the kind who work for no money and make even less of it, will showcase their work in Columbia City, April 5-6, as part of the first ever SEED Arts Cinema Series. The series features four homegrown documentaries covering a range of topics, from an independent music fest to reformed juvenile delinquents, from off-the-grid hippies to the first-person story of a mixed race woman searching for identity.

The series, titled “Made in Seattle: Homegrown Documentaries” will screen at Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S Alaska St, Seattle, WA 98118 and each film will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmakers, all of whom live in Seattle.

The Rainier Valley director Eliaichi Kimaro will open the series Friday night with, “A Lot Like You”, her film about reuniting with her Tanzanian father and Korean mother. The movie has played in dozens of film festivals, as has director Kevin Tomlinson’s “Back to the Garden”, in which he revisits a group of back-to-the-land hippies to find out if all that free love was really free. He and producer...

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Southend Foodies! Get Your Global Menus on at Plate of Nations 2013!
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Urban adventurers and global foodies! Hankering for simmering Somali goat stew or Lao papaya salad with Blue Crab? What about Vietnamese Claypot fish and Ethiopian dry-cooked lamb? Or how about Okonomiyaki Japanese cabbage pancakes with hazelnut risotto cakes? MLK Jr. Way South, home to some of Seattle’s best, independently-owned ethnic eateries, has all of these exotically tasty dishes and more to offer during the Third Annual Plate of Nations event. From March 24 to April 6, ten MLK restaurants will offer special $15 and $25 meals to be shared by two or more people.

2013 participating restaurants include:
Bananas Grill (Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern Halal)
Café Ibex (Ethiopian)
Deo Valente Café (Little Italy)
Joy Palace (Cantonese)
Karama (Somali)

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Rocking Renton’s Non-Profit Restaurant & Red House
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The other day I met a friend for lunch at Luther’s Table in Renton. I like going there because they have good food and support local organizations. It’s a friendly, casual environment and they offer a lot besides just being a restaurant—live jazz, open mike, wine tastings, board game night as well as a worship service every Sunday. They also offer vegetarian and gluten-free options which is great.

My friend had the Vicar (turkey) sandwich with potato salad which was very generously portioned and tasty. I had the Saint (vegetarian) sandwich and substituted the regular bread for their gluten-free bread, plus coleslaw—also delicious! We both had leftovers to take with us. The restaurant is a ‘no-tips’ establishment. Instead, you can choose to make a donation that will go to one of the local non-profit organizations.

After lunch I needed to pick up some wine for a birthday gift, so I popped into Red House, another great Renton restaurant plus beer and wine shop. I had a list of a few wines I was looking for and right away someone helped me and I had two bottles in hand. Awesome! I also learned that now they...

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High Quality Italian Pizza Maker in Columbia City, Seattle
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As a reputed real estate agent in Seattle, we have been closely following the developments in the region including the various facilities available for dining and entertainment in places like Columbia City. People looking for a home in this region give equal emphasis to the dining and entertainment options as they give to other important facilities such as medical and schooling.

The region in and around Columbia city has a number of dining attractions serving different type of cuisine for the city dwellers. These restaurants also cater to the taste of the visiting travelers coming on a business visit or on a vacation with their family. Among the different dining attractions in Columbia city that have grown by leaps and bounds in last few years, Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria occupies a special place in the hearts of the local people.

Located in the Rainier Avenue South in Columbia City, Tutta Bella has become a popular attraction along with other major attractions in the neighborhood such as the Farmers Market and the Columbia city theater. Tutta Bella has got the unique distinction of being Northwest’s first certified Neapolitan Pizzeria. Only a very few Pizza restaurants have got this certification...

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Island Oasis in Foodie Paradise
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Submitted to by Stacia Loo

One of the best things about Columbia City is is the food, and that’s really saying something considering how amazing Columbia City is! So while you are out doing your holiday shopping in this community, don’t forget to stop and eat.

Columbia City is a true foodie paradise. The ethnic diversity of this urban neighborhood is being expressed perfectly in it’s wide range of quality restaurants and cafes. But one, for me, really stands out. Enter Island Soul Seattle.

The first thing you notice about Island Soul Seattle, and this is even from the street, is how perfectly the decor matches the name. Inside gold walls and tropical art abound (was that Bob Marley playing guitar?) bringing a great vibe before you even bring fork to mouth. The music is awesome too.

The oh so friendly staff complete the vibe perfectly. The hostesses and wait staff are warm and knowledgeable their love for Island Soul as clear as can be. If you have the chance to meet Theo Martin, one of the owners, don’t pass it up. He’s the perfect mix of hip, cool and passionate a true embodiment of what’s to love about Columbia...

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Remembering Garlic Gulch: Eat, Drink & Be Happy!
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In the spring of 2012, RVHS launched its new collection building project, Remembering Garlic Gulch. This article is based on oral history interviews with Bill Ferrari, Lucy Polet Brusha, Douglas Chiechi, and Vincent “Buster” LaSalle, all descendants of Gaetano and Pasqualina Polet, as well as John Croce.

Gaetano and Pasqualina Polet came from southern Italy in the 1890s with five children; five more were born in Seattle. In short order, they purchased five acres of land and a house at 25th and Atlantic Street, where the I-90 lid is now, with the grand front entrance of Colman School plainly in sight. Louie Polet, their second son, and his siblings were raised in the neighborhood that became known as Garlic Gulch.

The Polets were a self-reliant, resourceful family, and they soon prospered. In 1913 the family opened a succession of small shops, notably Polet’s Meat Market & Grocery at 1352 Rainier Avenue. The shop became known as the Atlantic Street Grocery next to Tony LaSalle’s shoe repair and Frank Orrico’s barbershop.

One side of the store sold grocery staples, including imported Italian olive oil, anchovies, and Romano cheese. Vincent LaSalle recalled, “My grandma...

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“One Square Mile” of Movie Magic
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The neighbors of Upper Rainier Beach got a little taste of movie magic in August and September with the shooting of “One Square Mile,” an independent film featuring Kim Basinger, Cam Gigandet (Auburn native, Easy A, Twilight) Richard Jenkins (Step Brothers, Cabin in the Woods), and starring relative new comer Kelly Blatz (Prom Night, From Within) in the leading roll.

Directed by Sundance Film Festival award winner Charles-Oliver Michaud, the plot centers on a teenager struggling to overcome tragedy, through the unwavering faith of his high school track coach. The film has an anticipated release date in 2013, through independent channels.

We caught up with Location Manager Dave Drummond with Drummond Media to ask him about how Rainier Beach came to be a primary location for the film and abut the crew experiences here in the Southend.

SES: Why was Upper Rainier Beach chosen...

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Roasted Tomato Sauce
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Finally, the sun has hung around for a while and everyone is anticipating tomatoes! My niece requested a salsa recipe. My neighbor cannot believe that the scrawny plants she gave space in her yard are like shrubs and loaded with fruit. All around the neighborhood plants in pots, gardens and borders look as if they are ready to earn their keep. I have heard from many gardeners that tomatoes are like weeds and will grow anywhere if they have sun. I think this may be true. But, the last couple of years have not been good for tomatoes. I know folks who even gave up on them. I think this will be a bumper year for tomatoes, especially if the temperatures hold. I have talked to many folks who have plants laden with fruit, but nothing has turned. We planted a little early and covered ours, so they are producing. However, we also have quite a few un-ripened ones. What is next?

The last couple of months, most home and garden magazines have been full of recipes for tomatoes, from the usual tomato sandwiches, salsa and salads, to ketchup, tomato sauces and tarts. I even saw a recipe for tomato pie in the July 2012 “Southern Living” magazine. Leave it to Southerners! With the first pickings, I start energetic and put-up...

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Fond of Fonda La Cantina and Mexican fare
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My friend and I went to La Catrina on a Thursday evening. The main room was mostly deserted, probably because if was a bit warm inside, but we managed to snag the last free table in the patio out back. The patio is nicely set up, two levels with growing vines, nice plantings, with the standard Mexican restaurant music playing, only occasionally drowned out by the planes flying overhead.

The drink menu has an extensive selection of tequilas and unique drink specials. I gave the “Pepino Margarita” a try, which was a muddled concoction of limes, cucumbers and tequila. It came in a tall pint glass dusted with chili salt on the rim. I found it very refreshing, and pleasantly cucumber-citrus without being too sour or sweet. My friend had a Georgetown standard, the Lucile IPA.

We started with chips and salsa, both freshly made. The chips were substantial – thick crunchy and dusted with salt, and the salsa was pleasantly spicy hot without being overpowering, and generously mixed with fresh cilantro.

My friend had the enchilada verde with chicken, which he described as flavorful but not too spicy. La Catrina has quite a few vegetarian options, so I tried the mushroom tacos, which came...

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The Silver Fork!
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As much as I love chowing down on a good cheesesteak sandwich for lunch, or taking in an intimate waterfront dining experience for dinner, my favorite meal out is breakfast. I particularly enjoy the leisure it affords compared to the usual weekday rush of a bowl of cold cereal.

Since three of my regular breakfast stops have fallen by the wayside, I needed to refresh my Southend menu options. I tried a few popular places in Georgetown and Columbia City. Maybe they were off days, but I couldn’t see what the fuss was about and had no desire to offer second chances. And then one day, there it was, Silver Fork. I’d been passing this place in the heart of Rainier Valley for almost fifteen years, but when it came time for breakfast, it was never on my radar. Perhaps it was the drab, unassuming exterior that made it unmemorable. I was ready to give it a try.

My friend and I arrived for a late weekday breakfast and the place was quiet, perhaps a third full. Most of the folks had the leisure demeanor of regulars. The large room was as drab on the inside as the outside. Our server greeted us and invited us to sit anywhere.

I barely had a chance to peruse the extensive menu when the server arrived...

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Duck with Tamarind Sauce or ped makham, a piquant surprise!
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Duck is one of my absolutely favorite eats from the poultry family. Rather than mess about with the whole duck, I buy the breasts which are one of the choice parts and much easier to prepare than the whole bird. Duck has a substantial layer of fat under the skin to be coaxed out as it cooks and saved for later to cook potatoes and other tasty treats. The meat is dark red and flavorful. PCC and Viet Wah are two local stores where breasts can be purchased. This dish is a combination of Thai & Chinese cuisines. Duck is not a traditional ingredient in Thai cooking. When it does appear, it is often cooked using roasted duck prepared in the Chinese style. Not so for this particular dish, which uses fresh uncooked duck. In this preparation, the duck is meaty and succulent, paired with the piquant flavor of the tamarind fruit. Yummy!
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Duck w/ Tamarind sauce
Serves 4

4 duck breasts, with skin
2 T Thai fish sauce

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Pork Tourtiere, French Canadian meat pie
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My recipe this month is an homage to the Quebec winter. After making it through our recent winter weather, I realized I needed new boots to slog through the elements. I found a sturdy pair on sale at the mall. They were overstock from the chains’ store in Quebec. If they were sturdy enough for the great northeast, I figured they would hold up for our weather here on the west coast. So, in honor of my new boots and warm feet… Pork Tourtiere. This particular meat pie came with the French when they migrated to the wilderness of Quebec. You will find many variations of this pie. Each family passed down their own version to other family members over time. This savory pie “sticks to your ribs”.

Tourtiere (serves 6-8)

Double crust pie pastry (or use pie crust for the bottom and puff pastry for the top which will be very flaky)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground pork
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 pound chopped mushrooms (I used crimini mushrooms, also known as baby portabellas because they add texture and have a wonderful meaty flavor)
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped

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Gnocchi with Spinach and Roasted Squash
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Now that making pasta from scratch is a staple in my cooking repertoire at home, I told myself it’s time to move on to making gnocchi. I love gnocchi but only seemed to eat it when dining out. Well, how hard could they be to make at home? That thought in mind, my hubby and I decided to take a gnocchi making class at PCC. After the class, we practiced a few times at home and mastered the technique to making light little potato pillows. These dumplings provide a great back drop for sauces with veggies or meat or just sauces period! Since there is always a 10lb bag of potatoes in my pantry ready to be transformed into a tasty meal, I thought I would share my recipe for gnocchi with spinach and squash.

Potato Gnocchi
(This makes enough for 6 servings)

3 pounds of russet potatoes, unpeeled (These work best because of the high starch content.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 extra large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of olive oil
6 quarts of water to boil the completed gnocchi
Also set up a 6 quart ice water bath in another bowl adjacent to the stove
The gnocchi will be put in the ice water bath...

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Peruvian Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lime
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The simplicity of roasting a chicken makes it a quick and easy meal to prepare. In this recipe mint, oregano and smoky paprika are the stars of the dry brine rub. The mint and oregano combination approximates the flavor of huacatay (, an herb used in Peruvian cooking. You can find the herb in our local La Tiendas, jarred and sold as Peruvian black mint paste. This time I used game hens, but normally make it with a 3-4 pound whole chicken. You will end up with a chicken that has crispy flavorful skin. This will become one of your favorite “go to” recipes for roasted chicken.

Ingredients for Peruvian Roasted Chicken;
(This serves 6 people)

3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
2 T kosher salt
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped (I add more, 8-12, because I like the taste of
1 T ground black pepper
1 T ground cumin
1 T sugar
2 t smoked paprika
2 t dried oregano
2 t finely grated zest and 1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
1 t minced habanero, aji pepper or whatever you like
1 4 pound whole chicken
Vertical roaster or can...

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Mad Skills & Creativity at the South Park Art Under $100 Event
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Submitted special by Jen Nye,

South Park artists will knock your holiday stockings off with original, edgy works not seen at a typical holiday sale. Mad skills and creativity show through in many forms: jewelry, ceramics, metal work, neon, fabrics, painting, photography and more. South Park Arts, an all-volunteer organization, is hosting the 7th annual Art Under $100 event in a new location this year. Art Under $100 takes place Saturday, December 3, from 3pm to 10 pm in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood at South Park Community Center, 8319 8th Ave. S, Seattle, 98108. Sponsored by South Park Arts, Art Under $100 showcases work by artists who live and work in the south end.

It’s an incredible bash that outgrew its britches. The goal of the organization is to promote the immense and varied talent of South Park. And the best part? Nothing is over $100. You can own original art for yourself or buy that perfect unique gift for someone you love—and support local artists to boot. Sure you’re shopping but it’s also undeniably THE neighborhood holiday party of the season.

Cozy in the same location for years, the sale’s growing popularity forced us out of the charming...

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A Thanksgiving Treat: Rosemary Honey Apple Galette
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Thinking about local seasonal ingredients to cook with, I looked in my own backyard. I have an apple tree that consistently produces a bumper crop of fruit. I don’t know what type of apple it produces but they have a wonderful sweet tart flavor and get a slight red blush as they ripen. Many fall to the ground, but most I am able to harvest, slice and freeze for use later in the year. This is ingredient one.

The next ingredient is honey given to me by a friend in the neighborhood who keeps bees. When I told my friend that my garden was full of honeybees this past summer, he said it was likely some were from his hives. Apparently they fly many miles in their search for pollen. Who knew, pretty cool! The last ingredient is again from my own garden, rosemary. It is one of my favorite herbs, easy to grow, beautiful to look at, with a wonderful piney fragrance and a humming bird magnet. The combo of apples, honey and rosemary means an apple pie in the making. I’m not too keen on the double crust kind, so most often I make a freeform single crust pie, or galette.

As with other pies, the filling can be sweet or savory and I have done both in the past. For this recipe I added almond filling or frangipane...

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