Monthly Archives: January 2015

Christmas in Seattle

Once again, I went to Seattle for Christmas. There were some secondary reasons for the trip; Mindy wanted to see first hand how to make Morning Buns. But, as usual, we visited some of our favorite restaurants, and tried a few new ones.

We decided that I should take Amtrak again into Edmonds which is north of Seattle. There is only one train that goes north of Seattle; it leaves Portland about 2:45 PM and finally gets to Edmonds after 7 PM. It continues on to Vancouver, B.C. then returns the next morning on its way back to Portland. The first time I went by train, the return trip was somewhat delayed; the train had a “flat tire” the Amtrak people told us and was running a couple hours late coming back from Vancouver. I don’t really know what a runnable flat tire on a train is, but it did slow us down substantially and vibrate pretty badly. They put us on a different train in Seattle for the rest of the trip.

So again, going up to Edmonds was no problem, but when it came to coming back, there was a problem. There had been a mud slide north of Edmonds and they had routed the train onto a track that did not go through Edmonds. So they bussed us down to Seattle where we met up with the train.

Before I got to Shoreline, Mindy had made some Pecan Pie Bars. This is one of her favorite cookies, but I haven’t made it yet, and it is not in this blog. I will have to do something about that. I had brought a dozen Morning Buns to start us since they take a couple days to make the way I suggest in the recipe. Before I packed, I checked with Mindy to see how well her kitchen was stocked with what we would need for making the Morning Buns. Then I packed all the items that Mindy didn’t have, like the rolling pin, and a Polder timer/thermometer.

I promised Mindy that I would take her some more Kookie Brittle; I think that is one of her favorite cookies. I also took some Snickerdoodles and some Toll House cookies.

So going, I had my suitcase, and then I had a backpack with a pan of Morning Buns, a lot of Kookie Brittle, Snickerdoodles and Toll House cookies, a rolling pin, and a couple muffin pans. (Boy, we were ready to get snowed in and still eat well!)

I supervised Mindy making a second dozen Morning Buns so that she could do it by herself in the future. Of course, she will need to buy a rolling pin and muffin pans, and maybe some other ingredients that I have forgotten were in my backpack.

On Christmas Day, we made some cheese spread snacks- those are already published. We made Paté and Deviled Ham Cheese Logs.

The restaurant bit is an interesting exercise, and I have to say that Mindy does an excellent job of making our eating plan. The problem is that restaurants like to close on holidays, and some even close on the eve of the holiday. As a result, Mindy has to google each possibility to find out what its schedule is going to be. One time before she started doing the checking, we were surprised when the restaurant we were planning to visit was closed for the whole of Labor Day week. We had to make a last minute adjustment.

We are starting to believe that there are only a couple good breakfast places that we visit each time I go to Seattle. One is Fat Hen, and the other is Serious Biscuit. We both had a new treat here; baked eggs. They are cooked in a small casserole with a ham and cheese topping; very good, and they are still served with biscuits, but on the side.

We did find a couple new breakfast places that we felt were good, and deserve a revisit next time. They are Skillet Diner in Ballard, and Le Reve on Queen Anne hill. We both had a Brioche Breakfast Sandwich at this place.

Our supper places also contain some old revisited places, and some new. In the catagory of revisited places would be Cactus and Elliott Bay Public House and Brewery. And the new places include the BluWater Bistro near Green Lake, and the Metropolitan Grill in downtown Seattle. Mindy took me to the latter for my birthday dinner; it is very upscale, and I doubt that we will be visiting it again.

Perhaps one of the most enjoyable parts of my visit was discovering Green Lake park. That park has a walking/running path completely around it- they claim 2.8 miles, and it is level ground compared to anything I walk or run in Beaverton. We walked it 4 times while I was there for a week, and it just begged me to kick my heals up and run. You can’t possible image what level ground means to someone who walks/runs in the south part of Beaverton!

I hope my reporting on eating facilities in the Seattle area will help you find a enjoyable meal if you should be in the area. Now that we are repeating places, it should give you an idea of some very good places to try.

Deviled Ham Cheese Logs

Not only is a cheese log tasty, but it is also attractive. If you have a simple party coming up, this is a real treat that you can serve with crackers of almost any kind. It takes only a few minutes to make, and you can make it ahead of the guests arriving. I think the up-coming Super Bowl would be a great time to have these Logs and some crackers ready. And it is still good if your party size is only two.

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I have to admit that daughter Mindy does a much nicer rolling of the logs in the chopped nuts. I may need to take another lesson from her.

Deviled Ham Cheese Logs

  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheeese, shredded
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 1/2 oz. can deviled ham
  • 1/2 cup pitted chopped ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Have cheddar cheese at room temperature. In a small
mixer bowl, beat cheeses together until well blended.
Beat in deviled ham; stir in olives and chill.
Shape into two 8″ logs. Wrap in cling wrap and chill
until ready to serve. Then unwrap and roll in pecans.
Serve with crackers or small breads


Here is a very simple recipe that makes a great spread for crackers. It is easy to make, and is great for the small party you might be planning like for Super Bowl Sunday. Even if you small party size is just two, this will make an excellent snack.

pate 002


  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. pkg. braunswager or liver sausage, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • dash of salt and pepper

Combine softened cream cheese and sausage, mixing until
well blended. Add rest of ingredients and mix well.
Place mixture on wax paper and shape into a tree or
whatever you wish or pat firmly into a mold that has
been lined with cling wrap. Chill.

Unmold onto serving plate and decorate.

We made our paté for Christmas, and so I shaped it into a tree and decorated it with chopped parsley and pimento pieces. Really, it doesn’t need to be decorated at all; just put it near the crackers and your guests will be scooping it up with the crackers. Maybe the right shape would be a football for Super Bowl Sunday.