Welcome To My World

I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Memories Made, French Fries at Hal's

Yesterday I decided to have a very simple but fun Mother Son outing at a local burger joint called Hal's.

It has a fun 1950's theme of black and white checked details and those well know shades of turquoise and pink adorning the walls and decor. The outside of the building has signs that read sundaes, burgers, milkshakes, all of the culinary delights that you might expect to come out of an old school drive through. The girls that work there all wear pink Hal's shirts and for some reason pink bandannas around their foreheads and under their pony tails, perhaps as a tribute to rocker Bret Micheals of Poison. Not a look that I would want to embody, but to each their own. There are lots of vintage signs for different soda pops and beverages of the era they are trying to evoke in the theme.

The inside of the restaurant is cozy with only five booths and three tables. There is also a great collection on the wall of actual bottles of vintage sodas along with some that are more modern but still have a neato aesthetic of a elaborately decorated glass bottle. It's so much fun to sit and wait for your order because no matter how many times you've been there its still entertaining to be able to take the time to soak in a little small town culture. After I got married I found out that my mother in law grew up in the same town as my mother and was just a few years behind her in school. They both have memories of Hal's in their home town. My mother in law (Bobbi) got a job there being a cook when she was twenty, and as for my own mother (Gretchen) she actually was not allowed to go there as a young girl because my Grandpa said it was a "hang out," and "no daughter of his was going there."

French Fries and Tartar Sauce

Modern day Hal's has the same reputation as its past, good food, good friends, and good times. Above is a picture of an order of fries that olie and I shared.

I showed him how to double up on the dipping of sauces, first tartar, then ketchup, then eat and repeat. It's a necessary process.

Good thing we also recently received this combination Harness/Backpack/Leash thingy from Bobbi for Olie and I. It's pretty adorable actually. Its a super soft lion that can fit a few toys or small books in the zipper pouch part, and it clicks in the front to keep it locked on easily. In the back the "tail" acts as a leash to allowing your tenacious toddler to roam free but only with in a few feet of yourself. Olie absolutely loved it! I couldn't believe it to be honest. I thought he wouldn't go for it and maybe chew or pull on it like a puppy, but I could tell that it gave him the opposite effect. A sense of doing something on his own which is becoming very important to him.

So the next time you find your self up river in good 'ol Sedro-Woolley in Skagit Valley Washington stop on by Hal's on State Street for a time warp and an order of fries with tartar.

Bye Bye for now!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fresh Mango Compote Parfaits

Mango Compote Parfaits

Today I was in my kitchen being indecisive. I knew I wanted a snack, but what? So I decided to go through my fridge, which is beginning to look sparse because its the end of the month. Three ingredients stuck out to me, Mango, Vanilla Yogurt, and a Lemon. So I put those on the counter and started to slice up my Mango. Slicing a Mango can be tricky. If you've attempted it before you will notice it has a rather large pit.

My Method for Cutting Mangos:

Lets see if this Make Sense...

1.) Stand up the Mango so its tall and cut down the broad flat sides first.

2.) Slice those broad slices in half and run your knife starting at the tip of the slice where the flesh and skin meet all the way down & discard the skin.

3. Then I cut the smaller sides and the little tops and bottoms away from the pit and do the same process of removing the flesh from the skin.

4.) Lastly I cut them into thin slices and then in half again Julianne style and then once again into
a small dice.

I saw some delicious local fire weed honey in a mason jar that my mother in law gave to me so I added that to the chopped Mango in a small mixing bowl . Then I added a sprinkling of salt, some powdered ginger, the zest of half a large Lemon, and a squeeze of Lemon Juice. I mixed it all together and let it just sit together and marinate for a bit.

While the compote was compoting, I saw that I had a box of Grape Nuts and a few Pecans.

Thats when it hit me.

Mango Parfaits Baby. Oh Yeah.

(Completed Mango Compote)

So I grabbed my stemless red wine glasses which now double as elegant parfait glasses, and began to layer like I've never layered before. First some Vanilla yogurt, then the Grape Nuts Nuggets ( I like the word Nugget,) then the star, the Mango Compote ( compote is another word I like, dont ask why.) Then to make it really special another sprinkling of Nuggets and a half a pecan.

Luckily My Mother stopped by today so I could share this delicious treat with her. She LOVES to pose for pictures with my son, her only grandson, the most perfect child alive, Olie. Okay I'm getting a little carried away.

Now don't you want that kind of smile on your face?

Recipe for Mango Compote
  • 1 Mango peeled and chopped into a small dice
  • 1/4 C Honey
  • Zest of 1/2 a Large lemon
  • A Sprinkling of Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Powdered Ginger
  • A Little Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Combine all ingredients above. Layer Yogurt, Grape Nut Nuggets, Mango Compote, and garnish with more Grape Nuts and a Pecan. Maybe even a few.