We painted the walls Origami White by Sherwin Williams. The concrete floor will get a clear varnish over the top.
The exterior was painted to resemble a Pendelton blanket now it’s a very dark gray/blue (really, it’s nearly black) with white trim. Deck stain TBD. Wedding day, birth of my children, pub day, hanging that sign in the window. Memorable life moments.
My absence from the blog as of late is not solely indicative of pure summer fun although there has been plenty of that. Lately there’s been more manual labor than desk time as we are working so hard to build our dream; the first ever Not Without Salt Shop!
As I type splatters of black and white paint dot my fingernails and a big grin that just won’t quit covers my face as I attempt to find the words that will sufficiently illustrate my excitement. This space, located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle (which is a must visit according to me and TheKitchn), will primarily be the place for me to take photos, develop recipes, write and for Gabe to continue to create the videos that we’ve been sharing the last few months. We’ll also have all of our retail products plus a few of my favorite things (I feel like Oprah) to sell and we’ll host intimate lifestyle workshops (the space is just shy of 500 square feet) and private dinners so I can pretend that I still work in restaurants. It’s a place for us to interact with you all beyond the computer screen and that is what I’m most excited about. My goal from day one with this space is that when people walk in they will feel like they are stepping into my home. Most likely there will be fresh baked cookies available upon entering.
Two weeks ago this place was a hair salon appropriately named the Hairstream. It’s 10 x 40 simple structure that does indeed resemble a trailer. There were walls in various shades of yellow and green with antiques and artwork filling every bit of its diminutive size. We purchased a shop vac to rid the space of the hair although a few stray strands may be providing a nice texture to the freshly painted white walls. My friend Chloe has stepped in to help us with the design and I am currently stressing about finding the perfect table and which stove is best and what color should I stain the deck and will people actually come?!
Those of you who follow me on Instagram and are kind enough to humor me by watching me fret about all these decisions on Insta-story have been incredibly helpful. I’ll be sharing the entire process over there and here I’ll step in every now and again to give an update. But don’t worry I have my absolute favorite roast chicken to share with you real soon. In the meantime, back to painting.
Left: Paint, cleaning wipes, sand paper and watching Friends on the computer while I paint for hours on end. Right: Thank goodness for all the delivery options in Seattle. This is from Billy Beach – do not live your life without enjoying the Ballard Crunch Roll. Speaking of delicious things – when you come visit me in the shop do yourself a favor and enjoy the best iced mocha or your life from Chocolate Vitale.
Falafel is not something that I often make at home. It’s not that it’s particularly difficult but it does require a bit of frying and that is not something I do on an ordinary Tuesday. But that’s the beauty of date night – the food isn’t ordinary.
The food itself is often the indicator that this night is special. That and the fact that I’ll clear the table, set it and perhaps apply my red lipstick before dinner. It should feel special. Setting aside the time to connect with my husband is incredibly important and the evening should reflect that.
Which is not to say that you need to be standing at the stove all day. This recipe is a perfect example of special food with not a lot of effort. Most of the ingredients you probably already have on hand. Perhaps a quick trip to the grocery store is needed to load up on all the fresh herbs this recipe requires but beyond that you’ll mostly be tucking into your pantry and freezer.
The green peas, not traditional in a falafel recipe, lend a nod to early summer along with a bright fresh flavor and a stunning chartreuse color that I love. If fresh peas are in season feel free to use those instead. Cook them quickly in boiling water then submerge them in ice cold water to stop the cooking. Depending on your peas you may have to adjust the amount of flour which is why I’ve given a range here.
If the evening allows, take this meal outside. It’s the sort that sits beautifully on a giant platter with an assortment of puffy pita and piles of whatever happen to be in your crisper to tuck into the pita along with the falafel. But really, the tart yogurt laced with a flurry of fragrant herbs is really all that is needed to top the falafel. Everything else is just a bonus.
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs (parsley, mint, chives)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 large onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 to 8 tablespoons flour
3 cups flavorless oil (such as canola) for frying
Thinly sliced red onion, cucumber, cilantro, mint, pita bread, chopped tomatoes, herb yogurt sauce
Herb Yogurt Sauce
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove
Chef 1: First things first, pour two glasses of Chardonnay.
Chef 2: In the bowl of a food processor combine the peas, chickpeas, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, herbs, garlic, and onion. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureéd. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Add the baking powder and flour and process until well combined. It will be quite sticky but holds together.
Chef 1: In a medium saucepan add the oil and heat until 375°.
Using two spoons scoop roughly 1 tablespoon of the falafel batter and use the other spoon to slide it off into the oil. Fry until deep golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Chef 2: Prepare the yogurt sauce by stirring together the yogurt, herbs, lemon, garlic and salt.
Chef 1 & 2: Serve the falafel with the yogurt sauce. Enjoy.