« November 2013 | Main | January 2014 »

Martini Ban in Kirkland

I can't believe I have never noticed this sign before.  It makes sense, though, that you should not drive with a martini.  That would be silly...those glasses are fragile and tippy and you would most certainly spill.  A high ball glass or a red Solo cup would be much better choices.

But, seriously Kirkland, be safe out there this New Year's Eve.  Don't drink and drive.  My favorite driver is Eric w/Eastside Towncar 206-715-0322.  Other great local choices on the fly: Eastside for Hire 425-453-9000 or Uber.  Both have apps you can download. Cheers for a Safe & Happy New Year! ~j


Kirkland Polar Plunge 2014


JanuaryEarly 077   JanuaryEarly 078   JanuaryEarly 089  <---there's Brady (7 at the time)

It's that time of year - the one that invokes the sort of love/hate feeling that goes along with jumping into a freezing cold lake to cleanse yourself of 2013 and start anew into '14.  White skin and chattering (but still smiling) teeth will be all along the water's edge on January 1st at 1pm at Marina Park in Kirkland.  If you've never done the Polar Plunge, it's exhilarating and stupidly fun.  If you've done it before, then you're already addicted to the tradition, so I don't even have to tell you.  Have fun and be safe out there.  Happy 2014. ~j  

Open Wide for the Tipsy Cow Burger Bar

TipsyCow 005
Dave Zimmerman and Keith Mourer (photo), owners of Brix Wine Cafe in Juanita Village/Kirkland, just opened a new restaurant called Tipsy Cow Burger Bar on Cleveland St in Redmond ( a block past Matador).  This is a totally different concept from Brix, Tipsy Cow is a true beer and burger hotspot.  We were lucky enough to go to a little opening party where we got to test out some serious food.  

TipsyCow 006<-------------And by serious, I mean, look at this burger called the "Rock Star." You ARE a rock star if you can finish off this battered fried bacon and egg-topped beef patty on a bun. Is that even legal? Not when you put it with some fresh cut potato fries. The Tipsy Cow's beef is from Long Valley Ranch in OR. And the food is served up on a paper-lined tray so you can drop and mess without feeling sloppy. Burgers run about $10-12. Steve and I also enjoyed a taste of the ahi tuna burger (ground, not a filet) that is crested with seaweed and cabbage for a tasty crunch.

TipsyCow 001  TipsyCow 008

This 3000 square foot new space can hold up to 115 guests who can choose from 42 beers on tap (koombucha and rootbeer soon too!).  With high ceilings and a warmed industrial feel, it's a great casual hangout spot with parking out back and lots of TV's (Go Hawks!). Dave and Keith have some of their Brix staff jumping in to help get things started smoothly, so you may even see some familiar faces while you're there. 

TipsyCow 004  TipsyCow 007

Other foods you should try would be the mushroom appetizer that is stuffed with beechers cheddar and topped with tomatoes (photo).  Then the Daily's Caesar which is topped with Daily's bacon (you know bacon makes everything delicious!).  Sweet potatoes fries with dipping sauces are a must.  Just when you can't stuff another thing in, you will realize there are some amazing shakes on the menu- we sipped the Huckleberry shake that was spiked with Huckleberry vodka (photo).  Holy sweet delicious explosion.  Then my friend was raving about the Tipsy Strawberry Lemonade (vodka, lemonade, strawberries, balsamic syrup and rosemary sprig).  There's no shortage of fun creations to try, so bring your appetite. Menu is online too.

Tipsy Cow is open for lunch and dinner Sun-Thurs 11-10 and Fri- Sat 11-11.  Happy hour is 4-6pm and an hour before closing.  16345 Cleveland St., 425-896-8716, weare@tipsycowburgerbar.com. Let us know what you try during your visit! ~j

Holiday Traditions: Eyecandy

Jaymie Weber, an owner at Eyecandy on Central Way, has a really funny holiday tradition to share with us.  I laughed outloud.  And I will remember to never bring her a loaf of banana bread.  She has another treat in store for you, though!  For NEW customers- tell the Eyecandy staff that you are a Kirkland Weblog reader and receive $50 OFF a full set of lashes or $15 off of a fill.  Here's Jaymie's family tradition...

A favorite holiday tradition for me was our Annual Banana Bread Making Day. Just before Christmas, my five brothers and sisters and I would make 70 loaves of banana bread to give to friends and family as gifts.

Making that many loaves took every single one of us mashing, stirring, cracking eggs, and usually the older ones handled the loaf pans. Yes, 40% of my finger prints are burned off…try to catch me now Kirkland PD!  There were usually chunks of dried flour balls and eggs shells lovingly left in at least half of the loaves. When it was all said and done, everyone seemed so thankful that we spent time as a family to make the bread and hand deliver it in time for Christmas.

Now, when presented with banana bread myself, I graciously accept it from my giftor and promptly drop kick it into the trash. I’ll be happy if this mouth never has the flavor of banana in it again!  BUT, if you weren’t traumatized with a child-hood slave labor baking session, give this recipe a shot!





3 bananas, well mashed

1 c. sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c. vegetable oil

2 c. flour (1 c. can be whole wheat)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas in mixing bowl. Add sugar, eggs and oil, mixing well each time. Sift dry ingredients together and add to banana mixture. Pour in greased 5x9 loaf pan and bake 55-60 minutes.

Holiday Traditions: Organized Spaces

Organized SpacesAd 125

Paul Valley, owner of Organized Spaces, not only has a great tradition to share with us, but also a present.  Because I think he knows that once we pack our gifts, trees and tinsel away we will realize what a mess we have on our hands.  A new year is a time for purging and re-organizing.  Tell him you're a Kirkland Blog reader and receive 10% off of your order.  Hooray!  Steve and I love this stuff at our homes, it's just like another big brand (that will remain nameless) but much less expensive.  Here's something fun from Paul...

My wife and I with our 2 daughters go down to Westlake late in the afternoon in December and get in line for a photo with Santa.  We have 18 years of Santa photos in our hallway and almost all of them are with the same Santa.  After Santa, we have dinner at the food court (our girls picked the food court for dinner) and get in line for a Carousel ride.  While the girls waited in line to ride the ponies I would go get us hot chocolates and Eggnog Lattes.  We always finished the night getting the girls matching pajamas that they open Christmas Eve.

The girls are now 18 and 23 years old, they are telling me we have seen our last Santa photo.

 Merry Christmas Kirkland!

Holiday Traditions: John Nuebel/Eagle Home Mortgage

John Nuebel Website Ad new smaller

John Nuebel with Eagle Home Mortgage  said it best: "Everything tastes better with bacon."  Yes, it does John! He also mentioned this is the way he got his kids to eat vegetables.  Pretty sneaky.  And now you and your children can too....

Beans and bacon
Green Beans with Bacon
- even your kids will love these


Green Beans – Fresh green beans or my kids also love the frozen French green beans from Trader Joes.

Bacon – 4 pieces of your favorite kind

Olive Oil

Garlic cloves



Start by frying the bacon (about 20 minutes on med-low heat).  Fry the bacon until done (we prefer crispy) and blot dry on paper towel.  Let it sit for 5 minutes – this allows it to harden up a bit and easier to crumble when the time comes.  Save bacon grease in the pan.

Steam the green beans until they’re 95% done.

I usually dump out about ½ the bacon grease out of the pan then add another 2 Tablespoons (or more) of olive oil to the pan so it’s about ½ bacon grease and ½ olive oil.

Put the pan on medium heat and add about 3 cloves of minced/pressed garlic.  When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the steamed green beans and toss the beans in the pan so they get covered by the oil and garlic.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss some more.  The goal is to cover the beans in all the ingredients in the pan.  If you’ve timed it right, your beans are still hot so you’re goal isn’t really to cook them more.

Drain (most) the grease then put them in a bowl. 

Chop up the 4 pcs of bacon, or if it’s crispy enough just crumble it with your hands, over the bowl of beans and toss 1 more time.

Serve and enjoy!


Holiday Traditions: 1st Rate Insurance

K ad 2
Finally, a recipe that will put me on a sugar rush! Ken and Diane Martin, owners of 1st Rate Insurance (moving to Market St in 2014), are sharing their famous Scotchroo secret with us.  And I happen to know that this is a super-fun party to anticipate each year. ;-)

Holidays are a great time for new traditions and old.  One of my wife’s favorite traditions is her annual “cookie party”.   This is an event where she invites 30+ of her closest girlfriends to spend an afternoon of swapping cookies, sharing cookie recipes, having an ornament exchange and enjoying everyone’s company. A requirement to get in the door is a either a toy or donation for toys for tots.  It is an event that is looked forward to every year.  One of her favorite cookie recipes shared at the party is :


Original recipe makes 1 - 9x13 inch pan

1 Cup White Sugar

1 Cup Light Corn Syrup

1 Cup of Peanut Butter

6 Cups Rice Krispies

I Cup of semisweet Chocolate Chips (I use the whole bag)

1 Cup of butterscotch Chips (I use the whole bag)


Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan.

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and corn syrup, and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter. Mix in the rice cereal until evenly coated. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.  When pressing in the mixture in a pan use a buttered spatula
  2. In a glass bowl in the microwave, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips, stirring occasionally until smooth and well blended. Spread over the top of the bars. Chill until set, then cut into bars.

Holiday Traditions: Ambrosia Medspa & Wellness


Stacie Lindal, owner of Ambrosia Medspa & Wellness, has a family tradition to share with us.  I could almost smell the pine needles reading this entry- love it!  Bonus- you can check out Ambrosia's holiday specials here- what a great gift to give or receive. 

  Lindalfam   Lindaltree

Every year since my girls were babies, we have packed up and bundled up to go cut down our own tree near my in-laws place at Hood Canal.  We easily spend a few hours trying to find just the perfect tree.  Our first house had an open ceiling so we went for the 14 footer (try putting lights and decorations on that).  We slowly scaled back over the years to a perfect 8 foot noble.  Every year we spend the day together decorating the house and tree.  My husband does the lights and the girls and I decorate the tree and house.  We usually end the day cuddled up on the couch watching a movie or playing board games. The next day we usually will find a recipe of cookies or pie to make in preparation for Christmas dinner.  This year it was a healthier version of cheesecake.  It is something the girls look forward to every year and something that will continue until they are old enough to start their own traditions…which I hope is a long time from now!!

Holiday Traditions: Columbia Athletic Club at Juanita Bay

Sue Dowling, the new General Manager at Columbia Athletic Club at Juanita Bay, has a great family tradition to share. I love her list too.  My question is-- what did you do when it was 1999? .....

KaleEach New Year we will commit to doing 14 new things in the next year. 2013=13 new things, 2012=12 new things etc. Then at xmas time, we all share what our new things were for the year. Some of our friends who have a larger family actually take it a step farther and the parents vote on the best new thing their kids did that year. The winner gets a $100 gift card.

So, this year... some of which is on my 2013 new things list will be:

* Zumba

* a facial (I know ..first one)

* Kale (yuck)

* presentation of a research study to City Council

* Skate Skiing

* Ride the Wave bike event

* paddle boarding