I made a quick trip to Seattle last weekend. The purpose was not a celebration or test new restaurants, but to visit a plant nursery. Swanson’s nursery carries an enormous selection of plants, and last summer I saw that they had plants that I was not able to find in Portland. So I told daughter Mindy that I would have to come back with the car (I had started to travel almost exclusively by train) and get plants this May. Between Mindy being busy and all, May was nearly gone by the time we were able to put a 4 day weekend together.
Before I left, I made a dozen Morning Buns to take to Mindy; they are her favorites, and I know how to make them consistently so I thought that would be a treat for her. She, however, out did me!! She had several cookie recipes that she wanted to try, and when I arrived, the last pan of cookies was just out of the oven and cooling. She had made a drop cookie, what I call a molded cookie, and a pan cookie.
The drop cookie started as a Browned Butter M&M Cookie, but she skipped the M&Ms and replaced them with chocolate chips. The author of that recipe suggested half M&Ms and half semi sweet chocolate chips because all M&Ms make the cookie too sweet.
The molded cookie, which turned out to be my favorite, is called a Salted Caramel & Nutella Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookie. In making it, a small amount of dough is flattened into a disk, and a cavity is pressed into it. Then the Nutella and caramel are placed in the indention. A second disk of dough is placed on top and sealed around the edges. Finally, coarse salt is sprinkled on the cookie before it is baked. Mmmm good!
Each morning when we got up, we went walking. For the last several months, Mindy has been walking around Green Lake, and she wanted to explore a couple other parks. So after a first morning of warming me up with a walk around Green Lake, we took the next two mornings to explore other parks. First was Carkeek park. This park has many trails, and is on the side of coastal mountains. After about an hour of hiking, we discovered that we had ascended over 450 feet. There were trail markers that pointed to ridges, but we thought we were doing well without going all the way up.
The second exploration was at Boeing Creek Park, which runs into Shoreview Park; I didn’t figure out when we were in one or the other. Again, there is plenty of elevation on the trails, and we decided that we ascended about 480 feet in our hour walk. I think Carkeek seems more wilderness, even though there is a play area and several picnic areas while Boeing Creek is more closely enclosed by civilization.
While we stopped at another nursery before going to Swanson’s, they did not have much selection. They did have some interesting Hosta, but not the other plants I wanted so I didn’t buy from them. Swanson’s had more than I wanted, and I had to stop myself from buying too much. I did end up with a new Hosta, a Helleborus, and a couple containers of Japanese Blood Grass.