A Saturday Tea

I just love this time of year – the sun shows its face a bit more often, and we pull out our spring clothes – lighter and brighter colors, flowy fabrics, and short sleeves.  It just makes anything you do that much more enjoyable!  Even cleaning becomes fun! 😉

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going out in the sun and wearing some bright-colored, spring clothes to have tea and lunch with a few dear ladies – Marisa, Jocelyn (Marisa’s mom) and Sherry, three of the sweetest ladies you’ll ever meet.

We convened at Three Cups of Tea, a cute little tea shop in Bothell.  It’s such a sweet little place – lots of bright colors, flowers everywhere, and perfectly portioned light entrées.  It really is the perfect place for such a lunch time meeting as this.

Each tea-drinker receives a unique and lovely teacup and a personal tea pot.  I loved the delicate flowers and gold edging on my cup!  If only I could take it home… 😉

Before we knew it, lunch arrived.  I chose a half turkey-cranberry sandwich with a side salad.  This sandwich was a perfect choice!  It had a nice, light amount of turkey, which contrasted nicely with the cranberry-cream cheese spread.  The lettuce provided a nice crunch against the soft, pillowy croissant style bread.  Yum!

Marisa and Jocelyn both decided on the individual-sized quiche.  It looked pretty tasty to me, and both ladies quite enjoyed their choice!

Sherry opted for the curried chicken sandwich with chicken noodle soup.  Despite my lack of curry-love, this sandwich looked pretty tasty.

Look at this adorable heart-shaped scone!  So precious – especially when it’s served with jam, lemon curd and clotted cream in a heart-shaped dish!

The obligatory photo of me eating…did I mention that sandwich was tasty!?  I think my favorite part of this photo, however, is the elderly fellow in the background.  He looks like he’s thinking “Oooooh, is that my lunch coming?”  Love it.

Here’s evidence of Marisa getting a bit silly with the camera.  Because I obviously wasn’t being silly at all!

Now, aside from being insanely cute and having delicious food, Three Cups of Tea has a special spot in our hearts.  Two years ago, the four of us ladies came here for a little brunch get-together.  At the end of that meal, we took photos of each other from across the table.

Here is Sherry and Jocelyn then:

And here they are now:

As lovely as ever!

And now for the children then…

And here we are now:

How time flies!  We almost look like grownups!  But not quite.

I just love spending time with these ladies.  They are undoubtedly my Seattle family!  And with graduation quickly approaching – Marisa’s next weekend and mine in a few months – lunch dates like this become even sweeter and more precious than before.

What joy!

This Saturday (as in yesterday) my roomies and I spent the day adventuring together on Whidbey – I promise, there shall be a full recap!  Once I get my photos organized… 😉

Take care!

Blessings

Beth

Weekending at its Best

Dare I say…Spring has arrived? *crosses fingers*  Two gorgeous weekends in a row, plus nice days in between…it looks promising!

A couple of posts ago, I told you about Evening, the formal event at my school.  Evening was great, but it basically served as a kick-off to a fun and relaxing weekend.  Photo montage……and go!

Our first (major) stop was Millersylvania State Park.

“Millersylvania State Park is an 842-acre camping park with 3,300 feet of freshwater shoreline on Deep Lake. The park, filled with trails, is abundant in old-growth cedar and fir trees. Millersylvania was constructed almost entirely by hand in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.” (source)


This was our lunch view.

And this was our lunch!

We took pictures of each other taking pictures…

…and drew on our Montana roots to make sure we didn’t get lost on the trail where we saw…

…lovely flowers!  Mom, are these some type of lily?

 

After wandering the trails for a bit, we decided to head back North.  After a quick stop by my apartment, we were off to…

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Tortilla chicken soup and green salad for me,

BBQ chicken wrap for Ron!

I may or may not have stolen fries. 😉

By this time, we were still bursting with energy tired like old people, so we headed for some dessert, then Ron took me back to my apartment.  Oh, and I had homework.  But whatever. 🙂  Any guesses on dessert?

Sunday morning, Ron came bright and early to pick me up to head to church, and then, we were off to the Tulips!  If you’ve never been to the Tulip festival…go.  You won’t regret it!

After a quick stop for lunch (that I forgot to photo), we were off to Roozengaarde, a very popular tulip destination.

The colors and variety are breath taking.  Don’t believe me?  Scroll down.

Aside from the fields, there are decorative gardens.

The obligatory in-the-tulip-row shots…

And don’t forget the daffodils!

Oh, and here’s my favorite tulip variety sign.  Ever.

Apparently there’s a tulip called “Ice Cream”.  Too bad it wasn’t blooming yet!

After wandering the tulips for a while, we decided to make our way back south.  And we were feeling some pizza!

Zeek’s to the rescue!

They have about a million pizza’s to choose from, but we decided to design our own.  Only after munching on some cheesy bread sticks, though.

Salad was involved, but alas.  I forgot to take a picture.  It was tasty, though!  I mean, it doesn’t get much better than greens piled with tomatoes, cashews and gorgonzola!

But the pizza.  Ohhhh man!

Marinara, mozzarella, chicken, tomatoes and basil.  Simple and delicious.  The best!

Any guesses on dessert? 😉

Shocker, I know!

Did you notice: My bad friend, ED, wasn’t invited…and he didn’t show up.  🙂

Well folks, that sums up my weekend!  It was a nice little break before the madness of finals sets in.  By the way, finals are the week after this.  Oy vey!

Coming soon: a recipe or two, another lovely weekend recap, and some big news!

Blessings,

Beth

Evening – the Event, Not the Time of Day

Hello friends!  Goodness, time flies when you’re a busy college kid.

I don’t know about you, but I had a jam-packed and FUN weekend!  I almost feel like I need a weekend from my weekend, but that’s beside the point.  There is WAY too much to put into one blog post, though, so I’ll start with Friday night.

Every spring, here at Northwest, we have an event called “Evening”.  Basically, think “prom-minus-the-dancing”.  We all dress up, go out to dinner, then meet at a fancy venue where our student committee provides dessert and coffee etc, along with some entertainment.  This year, we heard an improv group…they were alright.  But the real fun of Evening is getting all fancied up and seeing your school friends outside of school.  Are you ready for some pics?  Aaaaaaaand go!

We often go in groups to Evening rather than with one “date”.  My group consisted of (from L to R) Melissa, Marisa and Elizabeth, and….

…Ron, our fearless driver…and my date!

The weather could not have been more perfect!

Ivar’s on the Seattle waterfront was our dinner choice – and a tasty choice it turned out to be!

Oh, and by the way...ED wasn’t invited.  No sir.

Here is my dinner: I started off with a sourdough roll – soft, warm, and basically dinner roll perfection.  And they even gave us SOFT butter!  Next, Ron and I split an appetizer of crab cakes.  They were served with a tangy tomato relish (maybe with balsamic?) and a spicy aioli.  For my entree, I had grilled lingcod with  fresh asparagus and VERY garlicky yukon gold potatoes.  My tummy was full, but it all tasted super good!

 

A sunset of dreams.

And lovely, squinty eyes. 🙂  We were probably laughing.

Evening took place at the Experience Music Project (EMP) at the Seattle Center.  And I can’t go to the Seattle Center without snapping a shot of our dear Space Needle!

The EMP is an interactive museum, mostly of the history of Rock n’ Roll.  This tower-like structure of guitars is one of the most popular highlights.

Here is the “interactive” part of the EMP at its finest!  There are several rooms in which to “jam”…they have some combo of drums, guitar, bass and keyboard.  We like to pretend we’re rock stars, obviously!

As this year’s Yearbook Editor, Marisa had to give a short speech – an introduction to the yearbook, basically.  She rocked it!

Melissa threw caution to the wind and volunteered to be part of the improv show – she succeeded in entertaining us!

Here’s me with the date!

And just in case you ever wondered, me and Beyonce (also known as Michelle) frequently sit together in chapel and make music jokes.  Uh-huh!  And she’s pretty stinkin’ awesome!

All of the roomies – together in our finery!  I simply adore each of these girls.  They are all beautiful (beautiful) gifts from God, willing to help me as they can on my journey, because they love.  Ohhhh I love these girls!

Stay tuned for the rest of my weekend!  It was jam-packed, let me tell ya!

Blessings,

Beth

A Lunch Date

Hello, friends!

Spring break is a lovely time.  Being home, free from lots of homework, no terribly demanding schedule…love it!  Okay, maybe I don’t love the homework part, but you know…it’s less stressful 🙂

My dad works early in the morning and later in the afternoon, and because mom works at a school (during the day, obviously), I get to chill with Dad during the day when I’m home.  Today, we had a little lunch date!  Dad suggested we go to Coffee Traders, a local “hot spot”, and let’s just say…no complaints from me!

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Coffee Traders is a cafe and coffee shop (shocker!), featuring locally roasted coffee, and a relatively healthy menu with quite a few locally sourced ingredients.  For lunch, the cafe has a “soup and sandwich/wrap” kind of menu, but “sandwich” is a broad term.  A basic turkey sandwich?  Sure!  Tofu wrap?  Why not!  Burger?  You betcha.  As far as soups go, veggie chili is always on the menu, and you basically can’t go wrong with any of the rotating choices.  Fresh salads, quiche, burritos…and the baked goods.  Ohhhhh man.  Basically what I’m sayin’ is that you need to make a little trip to this place!  You won’t be disappointed 🙂

You may have noticed that I’m quite the soup-lover.  For evidence, just take a look-see at my recipe page…proportionately, there’s a lot of soup.  So naturally, when deciding what to have for lunch, my attention went straight to the daily soup board.

After deliberating between the clam chowder and the vegetable barley, I settled on the chowder.  Creamy but not tooooo creamy, this soup had tender clams, smooth baby red potatoes and the perfect amount of celery and onion.  I didn’t love the red pepper chunks, but I could pick around them 😀  The salad served as a great light and fresh contrast to the creamy soup, and the bread…so tasty.  Oh, and don’t mind the onions off to the side…I always forget to ask for them to be left off!

Dad opted for the manly burger.  No, that’s not what it’s called on the menu.  Yes, this is what I just decided to call it 🙂  I didn’t taste it, but let me tell ya, it looked (and smelled) good!  And dad approved.  A side of fruit rounded out his meal nicely.  Yay for a tasty lunch!

From an eating disorder perspective, this would seem like a pretty successful lunch, right?  Right.  I mean come on…clam chowder?  Do you realize how creamy this stuff is?  In making my meal choice, I thought to myself “You know, there’s probably a good amount of calcium in that soup, so I’ll order a cup”.  But that’s where the little issue arose.  I ordered a cup.  The cashier wrote down “cup“.  But friends, they didn’t bring me a cup.  Scroll back up to that photo.  Look close.  That’s a bowl.  A bowl of creamy chowder.  I didn’t panic, but I certainly experienced a big ol’ moment of uncertainty.

And then I dug in. 

No, I didn’t eat the whole bowl.  I ate quite a bit of the stuff out of it, leaving mostly broth (and red peppers!) behind.  But I ate it.  I didn’t make a fuss.  I mentioned the mix-up to my dad, and then we went on with the meal.  I could feel that ED voice flinging arrows, though.

You should have gotten the vegetable barley.  At least then, the BOWL wouldn’t have been so bad.”

But the chowder sounded good.

Why didn’t you just the sandwich and salad?  Then you wouldn’t have even had to worry about this.”

I didn’t want a cold sandwich.  It was snowing, after all!

So.  I managed to eat and enjoy my lunch despite ED’s nagging.  And anyways…how dare ED barge in on my lunch date with my dad!

And guess what!  Later in the afternoon, I had a little snack.  And so far, I’m okay 🙂

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

Blessings,

Beth

A Weekend Adventure

Well hello!  I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post!  Let me tell ya, I was up to HERE in homework.  So much reading.  SOOOO much reading!  But the good news is, I survived, got it all done, and had a good weekend to boot!  But this post isn’t about this last weekend…it’s about the weekend before.  Tricky, I know.

Part of the birthday gift for my roomie was a “surprise adventure trip” and we chose last weekend to adventure.  Marisa had no clue where we were going…only that she should wear layers and good shoes, and that we needed to leave at about 10:15 am.  Yay surprises!!!!!

So after getting some cash and some gas, we were off to our first stop: the ferry.

And now we know that our general destination is Whidbey Island.  Hooray!

Notice the sky: it’s blue.  Not gray, blue.  And there are no clouds.  And if we looked the other way, we’d see the sun.  Basically, God blessed us immensely with BEAUTIFUL weather!

The weather…I just can’t get over it!  We could have stood for hours just looking at the beauty and soaking up those rays! 🙂

After disembarking the ferry, our next stop was in Langley – a lovely little cafe called The Braeburn

This place…ADORABLE!  Delicate plates line the walls, and local artists’ prints (and originals?) are featured and for sale.  There’s an apple theme (refer to the name…) and every table has a little tub of apple butter.  SUCH a lovely place!  I would highly recommend it.

The spring-like weather must have affected my tastes, ’cause I craved fresh and light food.  Soft mozzarella, juicy tomato and fresh basil were accented by a balsamic mayo, all held together by a (locally made) light white bread.  The salad was pretty basic, but it completed the meal perfectly…so tasty!

Marisa felt a breakfast vibe, and went for the eggs benedict, which came with rosemary potatoes.  If you’re looking for a meal to stick to your ribs, this would do the trick!  I was fortunate enough to sample some of the potatoes, and man.  Let me tell ya…AH-mazing!  Salty, buttery, and perfectly seasoned.

After our delightful lunch, we were reading to head to our intended destination: Fort Casey!  Fort Casey features Admiralty Head Lighthouse, as well as trails, breathtaking views, rocky beaches, and, everyone’s favorite, WWII bunkers!

Take a look in Marisa’s sunglasses….totally accidental, but no complaints here!!

The bunkers are legit.  They didn’t see any battle, of course, but they’re well equipped, and perfect for fun!  Although I’ll admit…the darkness from the solid cement and no windows does get SUPER a mite creepy.  But we found a room with perfect acoustics, and sang eerie, pentatonic-scale songs, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  It was like being a kid again!

We wandered down to the beach and just sat on a log for a moment, enjoying the view.

And I couldn’t go all the way to Fort Casey without snapping a shot of my favorite lighthouse!

Even though this was the end of our Whidbey-exploring, the fun wasn’t over yet…we did still have another ferry ride, and plans for ice cream…

I saw this van behind us…and laughed for a long time!  They look all ready to head out……glad I’m in front of them 😉

One cool thing about being an adult?  I can eat ice cream at dinner time if I want to!

And so we did.

Two things:

#1. Ivar’s soft serve…SO good!  It’s thicker and creamier than Dairy Queen’s, and oh-so nummy.  But a word of caution…what I have there is the “child’s size”.  So order carefully!

#2. I realized a while ago that I don’t have any pictures of me eating.  Pictures of food?  Yes.  Pictures with food?  Yep!  Pictures eating food?  Nope.  So we were intentional to take pictures of me actually consuming food.  I think ice cream is a good first shot, yes?

That pretty much sums up the day!  A relaxing day spent with a lovely friend, enjoying God’s beautiful creation?  Blessings.

Take care, friends!

Beth

P.S. If you haven’t like Make Food Not [Body] War on Facebook yet, just click here

A Date With my Roomie

Finals officially begin tomorrow.  Oye vey!  I’ve hit that wall where I can no longer study tonight, so I thought I’d catch you up on the delightful dinner out with my roomie (Marisa) last Friday!

For awhile, Marisa worked for a catering company.  The owner of the catering company also runs a restaurant called Pomegranate and let me tell you…it’s legit.  The menu changes seasonally, highlighting fresh, local fare, always with a classy yet home-made vibe.  Options range from fried chicken or grilled cheese & tomato soup to white fish tacos, flat bread pizzas, and phenomenal desserts.  And they even have a coffee and pastry bar open all day long!   Basically what I’m saying is that if you’re anywhere near Redmond, you have GOT to go to Pom.

The table setting…so simple yet elegant.  I adore the bottle of water, and the soft glow of the candle.  Perfect ambiance.

Well hi there, Marisa! 🙂

See the windows on the left?  That’s a view into the kitchen.  SO cool!

Marisa had a pretty good view of the pizza oven from her seat.  She even got to see them tossing the dough!  Lucky girl.

And then dinner came!

Marisa stuck to her Italian roots, and dined on Mac n’ Cheese and fresh Rustic Bread.  That Mac n’ Cheese is basically amazing.  The top is covered in bread crumbs and baked for a few moments, giving the top layer a bit of crunch.  Marisa skeptically opted for sausage, but after a few bites, the skepticism vanished.  And the bread!  Soft, chewy…perfect.  Her only complaint?  Cold butter.  But she could deal 😉

I chose the Niçoise Salad – mixed greens with juicy tomato, crunchy green beans, soft, cooked (and cooled) potato, salty olives, hard boiled egg, and rich tuna, all covered in a delicious, tangy dressing…oh.my.wow!  The bread (which I only took a few nibbles of to avoid much wheat) was essentially Pom’s pizza crust with cheese and olive oil.  And the tomato soup…definitely the best I’ve had in a long long time.  Rich, thick, salty, creamy…out of this world??!  No wonder it’s on the menu every day!

And did you really think two girls would go out for a nice dinner without dessert?  HA!

It’s a foregone conclusion that Marisa would be ordering the House Made Nutter Butters with chocolate soup.  They’re just that amazing!  Soft, pillowy cookies encase a sweet and creamy peanut butter filling…all doused in bittersweet chocolate.  What’s not to love?

And my dessert: Chocolate Coconut cake!  The bottom layer – a layer of coconut, mixed with something to keep it all together, then baked to brown it.  The middle layer, well…I don’t actually know what to call it.  Creamy?  Yes.  Sweet?  Yes.  Coconutty?  Yes.  So we’ll just call it delightful and move on to the GANACHE!  That top layer?  Solid ganache.  In case you didn’t know, ganache is basically bittersweet chocolate melted and mixed with heavy cream.  Holy yum!  But oh so rich.  I ate about a third and asked for a box.

Besides the food, here’s a few favorite moments of the night:

Favorite family: the one with the dancing little girls.

Favorite seating arrangement: Ours!  We sat at the end of the family table with 6 people at the other end.

Favorite story topic: Our ridiculous childhood crushes.

Favorite quote: “Hey, there’s a doughnut in my purse!” (Marisa)

Favorite end-of-dinner-quote: “Hey, there’s STILL a doughnut in my purse!” (Marisa)

So as you can see, there is no other descriptor for the night except lovely.  Especially when we secretly decorated Marisa’s parent’s house while they were out and about 🙂

And in other news, the SEAHAWKS WON!!!!!

Blessings,

Beth

It’s like Gladiators…But on Ice

No, but seriously!  Hockey IS like Gladiators on Ice!  Now that you’re thoroughly confused, let me explain:

In my last post, I mentioned that my dear roommate, Marisa, would be taking me on a surprise adventure the next day.  My surprise adventure?  A trip to my very first ever HOCKEY GAME!!  It’s like soccer on steroids…but seriously!  It’s faster, more intense, and waaaaay more violent!  …I digress.  Would you like to hear the story?  Okay. I knew it! 🙂

We had the day off from school yesterday, so the day basically became a blank canvas with which to create something delightful…and relaxing!  It seriously felt like Saturday, which makes yesterday (TRUE Saturday) totally seem like a bonus.  Marisa and I were invited to a friend’s home for lunch, then we came home to do homework watch Psych and get ready for the evening’s mysterious events.  At 4:52 sharp, after much running back and forth to grab this and that (totally all me) we were out the door!  After a quick stop at the gas station, Marisa was left to stall for time…we were early!  The horror!…so we took the long way around to…Eastside Foursquare church?  Yeah.  I was confused.  Dark completely enshrouded the parking lot, and I was convinced Marisa would soon be selling me for drugs.  I mean, she did promise an adventure, right? 😉  But thankfully, such an adventure would not be had, although a mysterious car pulled up next to us….

….and out came Josh, our small group leader!  Moments later, another car pulled up…it was Tim, the 4th member of our 4-person small group.  Both gents hopped in the car, and we were off!  I was slightly surprised by the identity our adventure compadres, but hey…Marisa had it all planned out!  Jokes were made about our destination as we made our way North, going from I405 to I5.  And I was still clueless as to what the heck we would be doing.

Soon, we were exiting I5 into Everett…so maybe we were going to an Aquasox game?  But the stadium looked pretty empty, so maaaaybe not.  We continued into the Everett City Center, deciding that dinner would be in order before the revealing of the night’s activities, and seeing as Josh couldn’t stop talking about burritos, I decided on his recommendation, Gorditos!  Large amounts of Mexican food were consumed!

Josh and Tim decided to split the “Baby Burrito”, named for it’s baby-like size.  Bursting with rice, beans, chicken, lettuce, tomato, beans and beans, then drenched in sauce and cheese, this meal is NOT for the faint of heart…or the small of stomach!

Before…

…and after.

Good thing they split it!

Marisa and I were slightly more conservative in our choices, Marisa opting for a breakfast burrito filled with egg, chorizo and tomato, and I for a taco salad, piled high with lettuce, tomato, rice, beans, guacamole and sour cream.

For the record, Marisa, I like your guac better! 🙂

During dinner, Marisa decided to tell me where we were going.  She said “Beth, remember that church we passed back there?  Well, we’re going to a concert there!  A Gregorian chant concert!”  I responded with excitement, but somehow, I just didn’t think we were really going to a concert.  I mean, Marisa insisted I dress warmly, and this church didn’t look like it would be cold.  But what did I know?  However, using my best tact, I didn’t outwardly show my doubt…what if we really WERE going to a Gregorian chant concert?!?

After devouring a baby, erm, dinner, we headed out to the concert.  But we stopped in front of a big building, with lots of people wearing “Silver Tips” jerseys.  And Marisa said “Beth, I have a confession.  We’re not really going to a chant concert…WE’RE GOING TO A HOCKEY GAME!!”  And the poor girl…she was afraid I’d be unhappy with the hockey game after the excitement I showed over the concert!  But she wouldn’t have to worry…I was stoked!

We grabbed our tickets from will-call and headed in!

Josh picked up some pucks for me to throw during a fan game…with which I didn’t find much success.

Hey, they’re really hard to throw!

Well….???

Hockey is an exciting game!  The players throw and smoosh each other up against the wall for no apparent reason.  Oooooh and we saw a legit fight!  As in, a LOT of players ripped their gloves off and threw them on the ice in anticipation of an all-out war!  Only four dudes ended up actually fighting, but that was enough for us to say “we saw a legit hockey fight!”

At times, I began to wonder if the game isn’t more about the fans than the actual game.  They had a kiss cam (awkward camera-person focuses on an assumed couple and they’re supposed to smooch) and a dance cam (less awkward camera person focuses on people who are gettin’ their groove on).  Entertaining…yet slightly uncomfortable….

But we had fun anyways!  Marisa wasn’t really that scared…except for when we almost got beaned by a hockey puck!!!!!!!

Josh had become convinced that because there wasn’t a net in front of us, we were doomed to get hit by a puck.  “Yeah right!” we naysayers uh…nayed?  At any rate, we highly doubted we’d get hit…until a player hit the puck, and it went high…and right towards us!  It caught a lot of air which slowed it down, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was coming right for us!  But Tim saved the night and caught it.  No harm 🙂

The Silvertips lost soundly, but we all had a fun night anyways.  We didn’t even let the crazy-apocalyptic hail dampen our spirits (ah-ha-ha)!

But seriously….this was intense hail!

Marisa planned an excellent night!  The surprise stayed a surprise until the very end, and I very much enjoyed the free time with friends.  Thank you, Marisa!  😀

Check back soon for a recap of my lovely birthday dinner (last night) with Marisa’s family!!

Beth