Light and Fluffy Waffles with Chantilly Cream and Maple Pecans

Growing up, we were a pancake and french toast family. My dad would make the french toast, I would make the pancakes. I remember the day I realized that pancake batter could be made from scratch, and that Aunt Jemima pancake mix was simply, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder - it was a major revelation. I also remember the day I transitioned from Aunt Jemima corn syrup to maple syrup, and I kid you not, it was only like 10 years ago. I really really loved pancakes, but felt lukewarm towards french toast. I would have happily traded it in for waffles, but to be honest, I thought that waffles came either frozen in a box or served with vanilla ice cream in sandwich form, at the fair. Really, if someone had of bought me a waffle maker when I was young, I probably could have mastered the art of waffles by now.

A Local's Guide to all the best Eats in Pike Place Market

This month, I am partnering with Expedia and their Viewfinder Travel site, to share my favorite spots to eat and drink at Pike Place Market, here in Seattle WA. I immediately jumped on this opportunity, because it is one of my favorite food destinations in the city, and if you ask me to eat, talk about what I'm eating, and then eat some more, I could do it for hours. But in order to keep this post to a reasonable size and not overwhelm you with too many options, I am going to talk about my absolute favorites and must tries. I will share my favorite quick bites, sit down restaurants, sweets, drinks, and special treats to take back home. I can assure you that I have eaten at the market more times that I can count on all of my fingers and toes, so if you don't see a restaurant in my list that you've heard is just absolutely amazing, chances are it is 1) very meaty 2) chowder-centric 3) plain Jane, and because I am a pescetarian, who doesn't particularly like creamy chowder and who has a high bar for delicious eats, this list is reserved for places that appeal to my particular tastes. But chances are, if you are are here, and follow my blog, we probably have the same tastes: particularly for all things cake, chocolate, and taco, so I'm quite certain that you will also enjoy my list as well!

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

This is not just your ordinary, Sunday afternoon, need to invite my friends over so I don't eat this whole dang thing, chocolate cake. It's a very special cake, dedicated to a special person. A few bloggers have got together to host a virtual baby shower for Jessica from How Sweet It Is. It's really a shame though (that it's a virtual baby shower, and not a real life one), because a party with over 65 food bloggers making delicious food is pretty much my idea of heaven. And it's also a shame that I wasn't able to share this cake with Jessica in person, because I know that she would be the first one to appreciate the extra effort I made into trashing it up a.k.a dumping salty sticky caramel all over the top and then sprinkling with Maldon salt. Jessica's level of commitment to providing the world with the most delicious recipes is incredible. If I'm ever feeling a bit down, or lacking inspiration, I head on over to her blog, which is basically a site for all things tasty. And now she has a cookbook Seriously Delish that is just as amazing, and I'll admit that on a few occasions, I've been caught drooling all over the pages.

Black Bean and Avocado Loaded Baked Potatoes

One of the perks to living in Seattle is our mild winter climate and lack of snow - delicious coffee, proximity to the mountains, clean crisp air, etc etc. I'll shut up now. This means that if you want to BBQ in your underwear in January, then you do it. You'll be cold, probably get a little wet from the 4 months of drizzle that starts at the end of November and continues into February, but you can be rest assured that your personal bits wont be suffering from any below the belt frostbite. Because it doesn't snow or freeze here, there is no need to store the BBQ for the winter. We don't have to worry about our pipes freezing, plugging in our cars, snow tires, ice scrapers, shoveling the driveway, and most importantly we have no need to spend 5 months talking about the weather, the snow and the storms. This free ups lots of small-talk-time that can be dedicated to interesting topics like food and world events. Canadians love to talk about the weather. It's how we small talk. It's safe and it's easy, and a guaranteed conversation starter. It drives me insane.

Gingersnap Pumpkin Tarts

The benefits to celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving the second weekend in October while living in Seattle are 1) most likely, all of your friends will be available to spend it with you, which they will enjoy immensely because who doesn't want two Thanksgiving dinners in one year? 2) there is no chance that the grocery store will sell out of Tofurkey, and you can avoid the embarrassment of experiencing a complete meltdown in aisle three 3) the likelihood of getting into a confrontation over the last lb of brussel sprouts is pretty slim 4) if you're well liked, someone will hopefully invite you over to spend American Thanksgiving with them, so you can also enjoy two Thanksgiving dinners 5) and while the rest of the country is getting ready for their Thanksgiving weekend, you can get a head start on decorating your new house Griswold style and hope to heck you don't offend your neighbors. But if your neighbors happen to get offended by the slightly obnoxious amount of lights you have decided to hang and that funny santa reindeer display you impulse bought at Target, you can try to bribe them with boozy fruit cake.