party house powder bath inspiration

The grossest thing about our original house was that our children's bathroom was also the guest bathroom.  While I know that works for many people, it did not work for me.  The bathroom constantly had toothpaste in the sink, toilet paper shreds on the floor, and pee on the toilet seat.  Before people would go in there I would rush ahead of them and at least wipe everything down with a clorox wipe. I was grossed out.

So with the new house I knew I wanted a guest bath that was exclusively that.  A room for guests to use that my children (particularly the boys) would not use.  Since it's a unique space I have also played around with the idea of a bold wallpaper or something else fun on the walls.  Mr. Hedin hates the idea of wallpaper pretty much anywhere.  I think there's some post traumatic stress from removing early '90's wall paper in a past house.  

  floor plans by David Coleman

floor plans by David Coleman

The architect has called out tiled walls which will look so cool and Mr. Hedin will agree to tile way faster than wallpaper.  Go figure.  I found a beige-y brown color that I love - it has a hint of green in it too - to use for the tile on the walls.  It's such a pretty color with the brass accents that I ADORE. 

There's a chance I'll still put a little wall paper on the wall that isn't covered in tile...  but don't tell Mr. Hedin. 

Ali Hedin | Weeknight Party House Powder Bath

The old "guest bath" had loads of problems.  

1. It was also the children's bathroom which could be gross at times.  

2. The old space was pink + green yet had been renovated at some point with a cheap vanity.  The old toilet was still there and was an off color yellow.  When we put a new toilet seat on it, the whole thing looked even worse.

BEFORE

  This bathroom is becoming the new powder bath

This bathroom is becoming the new powder bath

  This is the original "guest bath"

This is the original "guest bath"

 

The new guest bath will be where the master bath used to be and we're turning the original bath that the kids use into a jack-and-jill with no access from the hall.  This will eliminate (hopefully) my need to run ahead of people and clean before they go to the bathroom.  The new space will create a spot for guests and will be so much nicer than the original bathrooms.  



New Cooking Classes!
Ali Hedin Weeknight Cooking Class

For years now people have asked if I teach cooking classes.  And for years I said no.  I wasn't sure if that was "my path."  Then I met with a mentor figure earlier this spring and she said "Why not teach a class?"  I couldn't answer her.  I mean, "Why not?" 

So I tried one.  It was mostly full of girlfriends and it was a blast.  It was so fun to cook together, fun to eat together, fun to hang out together.  I loved every minute of it.  So we're back with more! 

We'll meet in the kitchen for a quick drink, a small appetizer and some chatting before we delve into cooking.  Together we'll all cook the dinner.  You can be as involved or as 'side lined' as you'd like - we'll all pitch in to get dinner on the table.  Then we'll take dinner into the fire engine bay and eat dinner together with a bottle (or two!) of wine.  

Space is super limited so sign up fast!  Can't wait to see you there.  

End of Summer Cooking   |   September 20th   6-9pm

Fall Soups   |   October 18th  6-9pm

Simple Thanksgiving   |   November 15th  6-9pm

Ali Hedin Cooking Classes
Ali Hedin Cooking Classes
Ali Hedin Cooking Classes
Ali Hedin Cooking Classes
Ali Hedin Cooking Classes
Ali Hedin Cooking Classes
Ali Hedin Cooking Classes
Alexandra Hedin
3 easy road trip dinners that seem fancy
Ali Hedin | Road Trip Dinners

When I tell most people that we love to road trip, they give me a quizzical look and ask about food.  It took me a little while to realize that most people equate a road trip with diners and drive thru food.  I don't.  I see a road trip as a chance to stop at road side fruit stands, eggs at tiny little home stands, farmer's markets, and buy fish from actual fishermen.  

The trick is to plan ahead enough so you can purchase groceries if you need them.  I also like to marinade and freeze the meat before we leave the house so we have menus planned out.  If you take the meat out of the freezer in the morning, it will be ready to cook by dinner.  

 


DINNER #1

Grilled Oysters & Mizithra Pasta

Oysters are prolific on the Pacific Coast.  Almost every town we stopped in had plenty of stops including an old fishing boat (!) that we bought oysters straight from the fishermen.  In the summer, oysters must be cooked in order to kill any bacteria that could be lurking in warmer waters.  In the winter (or any month containing an "r") the water is cold enough that you don't have to worry about bacteria and can eat them raw.  

Also, my kids eat oysters and enjoy them.  If yours don't, then just buy 6 for you to eat and the kids can stick to the pasta.

The best part about this dinner is that it's done in about 15 minutes because really all you have to do is boil the water.  So when you arrive to the campsite later than expected and everyone is starving, instead of immediately devouring a bag of potato chips, you can have this on the table.

Ali Hedin | Road Trip Dinners
Ali Hedin | Road Trip Food
Ali Hedin | Road Trip Food

12 oysters

1 lb spaghetti

2 lemons, 1 of them zested & juiced

1/4 cup grated mizithra cheese

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 clove garlic, grated

 

STEP 1

Bring a pot of water to a boil and pop the oysters on the grill.  

 

STEP 2

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, zest, garlic, and parsley.  

 

STEP 3

Strain the pasta when cooked and reserve some of the pasta water.  Toss the pasta with the reserved lemon juice until coated.  If the pasta seems dry, add pasta water 2 tbs at a time.  You will probably use about 1/4 cup. 

 

STEP 4

Toss pasta with cheese & serve with oysters.  You'll know they're done when they begin to pop open.  Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

 


Ali Hedin | Road Trip Food

DINNER #2

Beer Brats & Onions

In every small town there is a meat shop that has local sausages.  I don't know why.  I have yet to fail to find a little spot to buy local sausages.  I don't know if they are as exciting to most people as they are to me, but it's so fun to seek out the locally produced goods.  Cooking these brats over the open flame with a little beer and a bunch of onions brings out the flavor of the sausages.  Serve these on a kaiser roll and a big green salad - OR even better - some sliced peaches from what ever farmer's market you found the sausages.  

Ali Hedin | Road Trip Food
Ali Hedin | Road Trip Food
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

4 brats or local sausages

2 onions, sliced

1 can of pale ale beer

salt & pepper

 

STEP 1

Place the pan over the open flame and heat for a minute.  Add the sausages and shake to brown on both sides.  You can also use tongs or a fork.  The goal is to get them slightly browned - not cooked through yet. 

STEP 2

Add onions and move them around with the tongs or a fork until lightly browned.

STEP 3

Pour in 1/2 cup of beer and cover with a lid.  Move off of the direct heat and off to the side.  This is when you are cooking the sausages all the way through.  Cook until they are done.

Serve with a kaiser roll.


Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

Dinner #3

Hawaiian Barbecue Packets

Anything on a kabob is a big hit in my family and this dinner is fabulous both as a kabob and as a 'packet.'  Cooking it packet style keeps the moisture in and eliminates the crispy char on the outside of the meat.  It also reduces prep time by more than half.  Not threading skewers but popping everything in foil makes for a quick prep - and a quick clean up!  

I make rice on the stove while this cooks on the grill but you can use quick rice or camping rice if a trailer stove is unavailable.  

DSC_0220.jpg
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

1.5 lb pork chops, cut into cubes

1 can pineapple rings

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tbs fresh ginger, grated

1/4 cup soy sauce

 

STEP 1

Toss pork with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.  Let rest.  You can do this in the morning or have it frozen ahead too.

 

STEP 2

Tear off 4 sheets of foil.  Fill one side of each one with pork, bell pepper, onion, and pineapple.  You can customize what goes in for picky eater - just remember to label the top with a sharpie.

 

STEP 3

Place packets on the edge of the fire away from direct heat, but still in the heat.  So basically, not on top of a flame but just off to the side.  Alternately, you can bake these in an oven or pop them on a traditional barbecue.  Cook in any situation about 15 minutes until pork is cooked through.  


What do you cook while you're camping?  Want to see more of my "food from the road?" in the future?  Most of my recipes are healthy-ish and at the very least, an improvement on drive through options!  Let me know in the comments.


Ali-Hedin-Roadtrip-Food.jpg

HOT TIP

In the trailer, I'm a big fan of keeping everything in jars so we can refill at the bulk bins at stores we stop by.  We don't need LOADS of everything, but we do seem to need "everything."  


fun & funky Pacific Coast Highway road {round} trip
Ali Hedin | PCH Roadtrip to San Francisco

So here's the deal.  I don't camp.  I love the idea.  I love the woods.  I love spending that time in nature with the children.  But I do not love sleeping in a tent.  I do not love awkward bathroom situations.  So we haven't camped as a family until last summer when we decided it was time to do something fun with our children before the oldest entered middle school and was way too cool to be with us.  

Since we had access to an Airstream trailer, it now actually seemed possible for our family to camp.  To camp and enjoy it.  Words I never thought I would say.  

I have wanted to travel the Pacific Coast Highway for a long time.  Ideally down to the end and back, but since we are starting at the top in Seattle and taking three young children, that seemed possible but not for a summer vacation.  So we settled on traveling the PCH from Tillamook, Oregon to San Francisco.  It was gorgeous and perfect and really fun.  

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

First stop after leaving Tillamook, Oregon was in Newport.  Newport is known for their oyster beds.  In fact, it was the naturally occurring oyster beds that first attracted settlers to the area in 1862.  By 1866 the first tourist destination resort was built by the man who had actually named the town after his favorite town on the east coast - Newport, Rhode Island.  

The early 1900's were hot in Newport.  Luckily, the seafood industry still is and we found amazing oysters and halibut to grill up for lunch.  

Ali Hedin | PCH Roadtrip to San Francisco
Ali Hedin | PCH Roadtrip to San Francisco
Ali Hedin | PCH Roadtrip to San Francisco

HOT TIP #1

Time your first stop to be around 10 or 11am.  It's the perfect time to buy something for lunch.  Then make another stop an hour or so after you leave for lunch.  It breaks up the day and gives you something to look forward too every hour instead of in four (or more!) hours.

 Lunch at Cape Perpetua outside of Newport featuring fresh grilled (it's summer!) oysters and pasta tossed with lemon and parsley.  Also, we split a beer because we're old.  

Lunch at Cape Perpetua outside of Newport featuring fresh grilled (it's summer!) oysters and pasta tossed with lemon and parsley.  Also, we split a beer because we're old.  

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

Our second night was spent in Bandon, Oregon.  In hind sight, we were clearly racing to get to the Redwoods and didn't pay a ton of attention to where we were staying before we got there.  We chose an in-town RV Park which was lovely but we learned quickly that we are not RV Park people, we are Parks people.  National or State, it doesn't matter, but a Park.  There's a big difference.  

We also made the mistake of being in Bandon on a Sunday.  When you are city people, you don't think of things like "town closes on Sunday."  We were planning on shopping in town on the cute boardwalk.  Nothing but a darling little tavern was open on a Sunday.  In an effort to be good parents, we did not go in the tavern.  We bought fish & chips from the stand in town and came back to the RV Park.  

HOT TIP #2

Always buy the fish & chips.  This isn't the time to 'watch what you eat.'

 The best part of an RV Park is the signs they have up for 'residents'

The best part of an RV Park is the signs they have up for 'residents'

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

I remembered going to the Trees of Mystery when I was a little girl.  I remember loving it.  I remembered it being so cool.  It still is.  Trees of Mystery is the kind road side attraction that every road trip needs.  It's kitchy, touristy, vintage sight seeing spot that is well worth the stop.

While we were there the children became enamored with Paul Bunyan.  There are little recordings you can listen to as you walk through the park that give glimpses into the stories of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox.  By the time we got to the gift shop, we knew we needed a book with the stories of Paul Bunyan, which - of course - we found.  We had chosen to have a 'screen free' trip which meant that we needed to keep the kids occupied while we drove.  Or at least not arguing.  I made little books with games and coloring for them, but those were not always the biggest hit.  Reading a chapter or two of the book each morning while we drove kept everyone happy and we could then talk about the book as we continued on our drive.

HOT TIP #3

Find something your kids are into and cling to it.  Make it a theme of the trip.

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

You literally can't go on a road trip without having an argument at some point.  Samoa Cookhouse was ours.  From where we were on our trip, Samoa Cookhouse was a healthy 30 minute drive out of the way.  I had read about it online and really really wanted to go. REALLY.

But the thing we learned while dragging a trailer on the small and winding roads of the PCH was that everything takes much longer than any maps app says it will.  We cannot drive as fast as a regular car and it took multiple stops at little beaches and coffee shops to keep everyone happy.  So a 30 minute "detour" for a "funky" lunch was really pushing the limit at this point.  

Ironically, Mr. Hedin was a forestry major in college.  Part of the School of Forestry is competing in forest related games which are evidently really fun and they travel for competitions to other forest type places.  One of the places they traveled was to Humboldt.  You know, like where the redwoods are.  Like where we were on this trip.  And one of the places he ate was at this "funky" restaurant that he really wanted to go to.  But he couldn't remember the name.  

UGG.  We literally spent two days debating going to this restaurant before we realized we were talking about the SAME DAMN RESTAURANT!  If anything was worth an argument, it was Samoa Cookhouse.  It is epic.  It's old school epic.  It's the kind of restaurant where you order breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I don't mean you look at a menu and order.  I mean, you say "We'll have breakfast" as long as you are there before 10am, that will happen.  And they bring you what they are serving.  There are no choices, no edits, and no one leaves hungry.  It's an obscene amount of food.  

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
 RV Park Camping is not as glamorous as the trees, but when you're just outside of San Francisco, your options are limited. 

RV Park Camping is not as glamorous as the trees, but when you're just outside of San Francisco, your options are limited. 

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

San Francisco was our "final destination" mostly because I am a city girl and I knew I would be craving 'big city' at this point.  And I was.  But no one else was.  Lesson learned that we probably don't need to make a 'big city' a part of this kind of trip. 

But I do love San Fran.  It's changed a lot over the years but it was fun to take my children to places I remember from my childhood and places that Mr. Hedin and I have gone when we've visited.  We got to go to Chinatown and get fortune cookies from the factory, Chinese food at Mr. Hedin and my favorite spot, went to Gumps where my mother used to love to shop, we saw Lombard street and had a milkshake a Ghiradelli.  I wouldn't change our trip for anything, but next time, we'll fly.

Perhaps the most strategic part of our trip was the 'round trip' situation.  We live in Seattle, we were returning to Seattle and most 'road trips' that I saw online started in one city and landed in a totally separate city and didn't have a route for the way home.  San Francisco marked the 'turn around' for us.  

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

Our first stop on the return trip was at Point Reyes.  I was so stinking excited about Point Reyes.  I wanted all of the blue cheese and I had read about the Farmer's Market in town.  I love a good Farmer's Market.  It was just as fabulous as expected.  Not only is there the cutest little general store in town, but on the weekend there's a market in front of the general store with darling crafts, flowers, fruit and vegetables, fresh cheese, everything you could want.  BONUS there was a children's crafting station at the market where the children were totally entertained while Mr. Hedin and I shopped around.  It was my favorite stop.  It was darling and lovely and a perfect respite from our two days in a cement jungle of the San Francisco RV Park.  

HOT TIP #4

Make sure you have something scheduled that everyone is excited for.  For me, it was the Farmer's Market.  The wear of daily driving and 'managing' the situation can be weary if you don't have something to look forward to.  

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

The best part of this trip was seeing the kids climb and explore and do things that city kids just aren't used to doing.  We don't live in an apartment and we do have a yard and places for the kids to ride bikes, etc.  But in large part, our life is in the city.  

I don't know that we realized that's why we were taking this trip when we started.  We saw this as a fun family trip to make memories and have an adventure together.  It was that, but the connection to nature that occurred was a surprising bonus.  It's greatly influenced how we will spend our 2018 road trip. 

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

On the way down the coast we basically skipped it.  We skipped the sand dunes, etc. knowing that we would come back to them on the round trip side of things.  It also gave us something to still look forward too since I think we all agreed the redwoods were our favorite thing.   

HOT TIP #5

Schedule fun stops the entire trip, not just on the way down.  A round trip can seem boring on the way back since "you've been there" so have something to look forward too for the entire time.

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

As our family gets bigger (size wise, not adding people) it will be more challenging for everyone to sleep in the 19' trailer.  We could always add a tent or a sleeping spot in the car, but we don't really have those children.  We have the children who would be totally into a family bed if Mr. Hedin and I would allow it.  And they do attempt it at 3am when we are not awake enough to protest.  Until the day when we just simply can't make it happen, we'll continue to take our little adventures as a family staying in parks (but not RV parks).  

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip
Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

Are you traveling somewhere this summer?  Would you travel in a trailer with your children? 

Pin this for later and take your own Seattle to San Fran trip.

Ali Hedin | Pacific Coast Highway Trip

SHOP MY TRIP


let's cook together!
Summer Cooking Class.jpg

I finally did it!  I finally posted a cooking class.  It's real.  I'm really doing it.  I have been nervous because what if no one shows up?  What if I forget to buy some groceries?  What if the wine is corked?  I have 1,000,000 excuses not to do it, but I've REALLY wanted to, so here it goes!  

It's going to be a full dinner class so come hungry.  When you arrive, I'll have small appetizers and a cocktail waiting for you.  We'll start by marinating a steak in a simple (and really fast) marinade, then we'll start making the rest of the dinner.  Once the steak comes out of the oven (yes!  steak in the oven!) we'll slice it up and eat it together in the converted engine bay at a huge oak table.  We can chat about what you liked, what you didn't, what we can cook next time, or just gossip.  Your call.  

Can't wait to see you there!

Ali Hedin | Cooking Class!
Ali Hedin | Citrus Steamed Clams
pineapple party + teriyaki chicken burger recipe
Ali Hedin | Pineapple Graduation Party

Happy Summer!  Are you celebrating something?  You should be, there's lots to celebrate.  Celebrate the kids who have graduated from school; celebrate the parents who made it through another school year; celebrate the baseball teams/soccer teams/volleyball teams that had a great season.  

You did it!  

We made it to another summer.  

Ali Hedin | Pineapple Graduation Party

To celebrate, I leaned into the pineapple trend that everyone is loving and turned it into an edible trend.  If pineapples are cute, then eating them has to be freaking adorable.  Right?  I made a simple little menu with teriyaki chicken burgers that can cook on the grill while everyone sips delicious coconut pineapple cocktails that can be spiked or un-spiked for the younger celebrators.  

Ali Hedin | Pineapple Graduation Party

TERIYAKI CHICKEN BURGER

serves 4

STEP 1

In a microwave safe bowl, combine soy, pineapple juice, ginger, garlic, and sugar.  Set aside.  If you’re making rice, start it now. 

 

STEP 2

Pour half of the pineapple mixture over the chicken.  Let rest 5 minutes, but no longer or the pineapple with begin to ‘cook’ the chicken.

 

STEP 3

Grill chicken about 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.  

 

STEP 4

Whisk cornstarch in the pineapple mixture and microwave at one-minute increments whisking between each minute.  Continue until slightly thick.  

 

STEP 5

Whisk together mayonnaise and sriracha.  Spread mixture on one side of the Hawaiian buns.

 

STEP 6

Layer chicken, pineapple, and lettuce on top of each burger.  Serve with rice.

4 chicken breasts, sliced into cutlets

1 can sliced pineapple rings

¼ cup soy sauce

Pineapple juice from the can

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tbs corn starch

8 Hawaiian hamburger buns

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tbs. sriracha

Iceberg lettuce

 

 

Ali Hedin | Pineapple Graduation Party
Ali Hedin | Pineapple Graduation Party

PINA COLADA SPARKLERS

In a tall glass scoop two to three scoops of coconut sorbet.  Top with Pineapple Dry Sparkling until the glass is full.  Float 2 oz. of dark rum on top for the adults in the group.

Ali Hedin | Pineapple Graduation Party
Ali Hedin Pineapple Party

1./ 2. / 3. / 4. / 5. / 6. / 7. / 8. / 9. / 10. / 11. / 12.

Ali Hedin | Pineapple Graduation Party

let's celebrate memorial day
Ali Hedin | Memorial Day Weekend

Long weekends are the best.  Three whole days to hang out with the kids, barbecue, and not have to pack lunches.  I've crammed this post full of shopping, cocktails, and recipes for you to use for your own shin-dig this weekend.  Enjoy!

xoxo, ali

Ali Hedin | Memorial Day Weekend
Ali-Hedin-Strawberry-Soda.jpg
Ali Hedin Memorial Day
Ali Hedin Memorial Day

1./  2./  3./  4./  5./  6./  7./  8./  9./  10./  11./  12.

Ali Hedin | Memorial Day Weekend

Alexandra Hedin
premier chef's dinner with Fred Hutch
Ali Hedin | Premier Chef's Dinner with Fred Hutch

It occurred to me this weekend that I actually have no idea how many years Mr. Hedin and I have been going to the Fred Hutch Premier Chef's Dinner.  This event is my favorite event of the year (no offense to other events, it's just the best).  The evening celebrates local chefs, wineries, and finding a cure for cancer. 

Every year a fabulous chef is brought in as the guest speaker, last year it was Alice Waters (whom I adore) and this year we heard from the D A R L I N G and idol worthy Dominique Crenn.  She's the gal from the Visa commercial who makes the giant soufflé.  She's also the gal who has two Michelin Stars (the first lady to ever receive two stars in the US), best female chef in 2016, and most recently, Best Chef West by the James Beard Foundation just this year.  That's all to say, her culinary chops are legit.  She's also the cutest thing you've ever seen and a motorcycle jacket just jumped up on my wish list.  

  image courtesy of Seattle Met

image courtesy of Seattle Met

5 FAVORITE THINGS FROM THE CHEF'S DINNER

1. The "whoop" that went out as soon as I finished presenting about Two Mountain Winery.  My friends are the best.
2. Daisley Gordon's Asparagus Tart (below) which I might have eaten that whole sheet of...  the pickled asparagus salad on top was to die for.  
3. Dominique Crenn's motorcycle jacket.  #goals
4. Braised Short Ribs as big as your hand served on the creamiest polenta I think I've ever had.  
5. Raising more money than ever before for the study and research of cancer prevention.  
Ali Hedin | Premier Chef's Dinner with Fred Hutch
Ali Hedin | Premier Chef's Dinner with Fred Hutch

The way the evening works is unique for a charity event - at least in Seattle.  If there's an event like this near you I'd love to hear about it!  

Chef's throughout the city of Seattle are invited to cook for the meal.  Each chef cooks half of the courses so that you and your date are each served something different at each course.  The idea being that you switch halfway though and you each get to eat two plates per course.  Since there are four courses, that's a lot of food.  A lot of amazing food.  

  image courtesy of Seattle Met

image courtesy of Seattle Met

Ali Hedin | Premier Chef's Dinner with Fred Hutch

With each course of food, a wine is paired to compliment it.  Generally the wines are all local, this year we featured three Washington wines and one from Oregon.  I had the privilege of speaking to the meat course wine provided by Two Mountain Winery - one of my favorite wineries in the state.  

Ali Hedin | Premier Chef's Dinner with Fred Hutch
  Elijah DiStephano's Duck Breast

Elijah DiStephano's Duck Breast

  Samuel West's Braised Short Ribs

Samuel West's Braised Short Ribs

Two Mountain paired their 2015 Cabernet Franc with a Duck Breast from chef Elijah DiStephano from Thackeray Kitchen & Bar AND a Braised Short Rib cooked by Samuel West from San Fermo.  The Cab Franc is literally my favorite wine that Two Mountain makes - it's easy to drink, rich, and bold without overpowering anything, and just delightful.  

The wine was grown in the Copeland Vineyard on the Two Mountain property.  It's the first vineyard Matt planted in 2000 when they started the winery.  It's 95% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot - a perfect food friendly wine with good acid, tannin and structure.  Hints of oak, rose petals, and vanilla lend it to pair really nicely with red meat or dense mushrooms.  

Ali Hedin | Premier Chef's Dinner with Fred Hutch

Unless you're friends with me, you may not have heard of the winery.   It's actually owned and managed by Matt and Pat - brothers who grew up in Seattle and Eastern Washington where they lived on the family orchards and learned the agricultural business.  When they lived in Seattle they lived on the same block as Mr. Hedin and their families have been great friends ever since.  

In 2000 when we all graduated from college, Matt convinced his uncle to let him plant grapes in part of the orchard.  When Uncle Ron died unexpectedly, Matt and Pat took over orchard and - by then - a growing winery business.  Between the two of them, the brothers do everything; the wines are estate grown, they are blended by the brothers on the property, and most of the sales calls are handled by them as well.  It's truly a family operation.  

  image courtesy of Seattle Met

image courtesy of Seattle Met

  image courtesy of Seattle Met

image courtesy of Seattle Met

I would love to have you join us next year at this amazing event.  It's a foodie's paradise - when else do you get to eat the food of 10 amazing chefs in one night?  Here is the landing page for the Chef's Dinner and as soon as the event staff has come up for air from this year, they will begin to update with next year's information.  If you really want to be on top of it, send an email to the email address on the page and they will get you on the list so you will be one of the first to know when next year's event happens.  

Did I mention it's a fundraiser too?  The remarkable people in the room raised more than $1.4 million dollars for cancer prevention.  Come be a part of that life changing conversation.  If we can prevent cancer, we don't need to cure it.  

Hope I see you there next year

xoxo, ali

  image courtesy of Seattle Met

image courtesy of Seattle Met

  image courtesy of Seattle Met

image courtesy of Seattle Met


weeknight cocktail | double watermelon daiquiri
Ali Hedin | Watermelon Cocktail with DRY Sparkling Watermelon

HAPPY SUMMER!  Is it summer where you are?  Seattle is full on starting summer.  The weather has creeped up into the 80's (!!) and the sun is out.  It's glorious.  My tan from Palm Springs hasn't faded so I'm really relishing this weather.  Which means we need a cocktail.

This cocktail is great for a party because you can make it boozy, new-mom-friendly, or in a punch bowl so you don't have to serve anyone.  I highly recommend having these made ahead of time so when your ladies arrive, you can hand them a cocktail immediately and they can get into the mood.  

Ali Hedin | Watermelon Cocktail with DRY Sparkling Watermelon

DOUBLE WATERMELON DAIQUIRI

STEP 1

Blend watermelon, lime juice, and rum (if you're using it) in a blender until fully combined and the watermelon is liquified.

STEP 2

Fill cups half way with watermelon puree or pour all of it in a punch bowl.  Top with Watermelon DRY Sparkling.  

STEP 3

Serve with lime wedges

1/2 watermelon, pureed (4 cups watermelon juice)

2 cups light rum

1/2 cup lime juice + wedges

2 cups Watermelon DRY Sparkling

Ali Hedin | Watermelon Cocktail with DRY Sparkling Watermelon
Ali Hedin | Watermelon Cocktail with DRY Sparkling Watermelon
Ali Hedin | Watermelon Cocktail with DRY Sparkling Watermelon

celebrating ladies | a simple spring luncheon salad
Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies

This time of year is like a ladies party extravaganza.  If they aren't getting married, they are having babies.  And those are both really good reasons to celebrate.  You know I'm a big fan of the simple celebration so I've put together a really good spring luncheon that gives you a reason to celebrate with your ladies even if no one is having a baby (reason to celebrate!) or getting married (again?).

Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies
Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies

I'll be totally honest.  I had a salad at a restaurant recently that was and amazing cobb salad and I had this fabulous brainstorm to make a cobb salad using all of the fresh spring ingredients that are popping up in the farmer's markets right now  Think asparagus and radishes and tiny potatoes and peas all arranged beautifully on a platter.  Then right before I had my photo shoot, another local blogger created E X A C T L Y what I was thinking.  Clearly, we eat at the same restaurants.  

Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies

I was so bummed.  Mine was different because it does have eggs and doesn't have beans (which you could add when you do the asparagus!) so it's not the same.  But I like to be unique.  Do something different.  It's a personal goal that often gets busted by the bazillion recipe developers that are out there, but I try.  

So I decided I could use the same ingredients (which are A M A Z I N G right now!) and toss them like a chop chop salad.  Not only do you get the same delicious flavors but, you also can't screw this up.  I know if I made a cute arranged salad I would hear "mine won't look like yours" or "pinterest-fail" and I don't want you to ever feel like a fail.  Also, when you toss this thing together the egg yolk "melts" down a little bit with the dressing and creates a really good creamy texture without any actual cream.  You could almost call it healthy then.  

Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies
Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies

SPRING CHOP CHOP SALAD

serves 4

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Place raw eggs in a pot of cold water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain off hot water and fill pot with ice and cold water to immediately cool the eggs.

STEP 2

Toss potatoes with olive oil and salt.  Place on a baking sheet and roast 10 minutes until fork tender.

STEP 3

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Fill a bowl with ice and water and set aside.  Quickly lower asparagus into hot water.  Cook until just bright green – about 2 minutes.  Remove from water and pop into ice bath.  

Repeat with the peas.

STEP 4

Mix together 2 tbs bacon drippings, red wine vinegar, dried basil, honey, and Dijon mustard.

STEP 5

Chop all ingredients and toss together with salad dressing. 

1 bunch Asparagus

1 cup Fresh peas

6 Radishes

2 cups Artichoke hearts, cooked and sliced

6 Hard boiled eggs

¼ lb Tiny red potatoes – sliced in quarters

2 tbs olive oil

8 strips Bacon

2 tbs Chives

1 head romaine lettuce

 

 

DRESSING

2 tbs reserved bacon drippings

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard 

½ tsp Dried Basil

1 tsp Honey

Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies
Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies
Ali Hedin | Celebrating Ladies