Jam on johnson

I never lived on Johnson Street, but my cats did. So did my sister and her cat, Guinness, who is now the unofficial mayor of a neighborhood in Seattle. Long the home of rentals, one-way traffic, a liquor store and a rock shop, Johnson Street is being lit up by new businesses. Forequarter- with its delicious cheese boards- led the way, and now Macha Tea Company, a shop named after the best kind of lunch and a new bar with kegged cocktails are joining the party. Last Friday night Half-moon, my friend Sam, and I went to Jam on Johnson to celebrate this street’s new life.

We started at Juneberry Studio and Marketplace, where Sam bought some Wisconsin art and I was charmed by a pink octopus that looks just like my favorite hotmail emoticon.

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We crossed the street and headed for Drunk Lunch (sidenote: one of my favorite drunk lunches took place in Seattle and involved my sister and old roomate Brett from when I lived in Wyoming. We ate crab salad sandwiches and drank pomegranate mimosas- the second round’s drinks were considerably larger due to the fact that we weren’t “annoying” our waiter, like his other tables.) While there were no drunks or mimosas to be found at this new style shop, we did glimpse Santa and some sweet taco-related keychains.

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Next up was the Good Style Shop (one of my favorite thrift stores) where we found Chad Vogel (Barmadillo!) and some of his kegged Strawberry Hibiscus soda. Chad’s new bar The Robin Room, will be opening up a couple of doors down from Good Style in December or January.

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We were waiting for a table at Salvatore’s, so we headed to the new Macha Tea Company where we chatted with the owner and sampled some teas.

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Next we headed for Salvatore’s Tomato Pies where we met up with Dan and sipped on creamy 3 Sheeps Pale Ales (on nitro!) and waited for our table. The pizza I had been thinking about all week came topped with crispy kale and tangy banana peppers. Oh yeah.

Jam on, Johnson Street.

 

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You had me at kale

In a few days this (b)log will be celebrating its fifth birthday. It’s fun to go back and read the beginning of what has become, for me, a source of joy in my life. I get to be creative and think about food and words and pictures, and it helps to keep some of the other noise out of my head. I think what I’m trying to say is- I really love writing.

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This is also the second edition of Wisconsin Whisk‘s “All Whisked Up!” For this round I got to make to make something from Vicky Cassidy’s blog, Things I Made Today. Vicky’s blog is beautiful- I am mesmerized by the ever-changing drawn pictures of fruits and vegetables that grace each page- and full of delicious sounding recipes (she also loves blue cheese as much as I do, so I know we’ll be friends.)

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This unseasonably warm November weather has been incredible, but it is confusing my taste buds. The early darkness of the day calls out for soup, but the warmth is crying for something lighter. In the end I decided on Vicky’s kale salad with maple citrus dressing because it all goes back to kale (and I already had a bag of it in the fridge from my friend’s garden.) I also felt bad for badmouthing squash the other day, so I decided to give it another chance. This salad is incredibly tasty. I accidentally devoured the leftovers before I remembered that I was supposed to photograph it, which is testament to the salad, I suppose. I substituted raisins for the dried cranberries (the co-op was out of dried cranberries and I could not bring myself to pay $4.16 for a bag of 11 organic dried cherries) and I used an unidentified winter squash, but I am posting the recipe as it appeared on Vicky’s site, as it was meant to be. We ate bowls full of the salad for dinner along with a Madison Sourdough Co. baguette. It was pitch black outside, but the windows were wide open to the warm November wind.

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Kale, Squash, Quinoa Salad with Maple Citrus Dressing

From Things I Made Today

INGREDIENTS
For the squash:
2 medium sized patty pan squash, cut into small wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt

For the dressing:
zest and juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt to taste

For the salad:
½ cup red quinoa, dry
1 large bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS
Roast squash:
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, combine squash, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, and salt. Mix well so squash is covered. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning half way, until squash is tender and slightly browned.
Let cool to room temperature.
Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for dressing. Set aside.
Make the rest:
Combine dressing with kale in a large bowl. Let sit while remaining ingredients come together.
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
Combine dressed kale, quinoa, roasted squash, feta cheese, and dried cranberries and mix well.

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Enjoy.

To see other All Whisked Up recipes, click on the smiling frog: