Personal Connection to Dinner

Just over ten years ago we took a summer trip out West visiting Seattle, Portland, and Lake Tahoe. I immediately fell in love with Seattle, an area I would definitely consider living. A highlight of the Seattle leg of trip was catching the last Mariners game in the Kingdome. It was my first indoor Major League Baseball game, fun but strange. With a home field of Wrigley there is really hard to go indoors. First off the grass was too green, the lighting was too bright, it was all just very artificial. The topper of the experience was the fireworks, indoor fireworks are just not right. The indoor stadiums have come a long way since then, with the retractable roofs and all. I even rather enjoy Milwaukee’s new stadium.

One of the things I loved best about Seattle was Pike Place Market. Pike’s Place is great open air market filled with fresh seafood (and the infamous fish throwing), fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade food products, homemade crafts, and so much more. I would love to have something like that nearby. What a treat that would be to be able to shop the fresh food whenever you chose. We do have great markets in Chicago, but nothing permanent like Pike Place.

One of the vendors at the market we quickly became fans of was Papparddelle’s pasta. They have fabulous homemade pasta in a wide variety of unique flavors. They also have orzo in equally great flavors, oils, and vinegars. We always try to pick something up from them when we are in Seattle. One of my favorite products they make is the Tuscan Dipping Oil. It is beyond delicious for dipping fresh bread. The tang of the aged-balsamic, the fresh olive oil, garlic chunks with all the herbs. Mmm mmm, so good!

My latest project has been to inventory and go through and use up our stocks of food. Our freezer is overloaded and our cabinets are out of control. Last night I used up the second to last fresh pasta we had to make this Lime Cilantro Pasta with Chicken in a Citrus Cilantro Sauce recipe. I changed it up a bit, using small scallops in the place of the chicken. It was really tasty and perfect for the snowy night. I loved the line sauce which I was a bit skeptical how it would taste. I don’t like olives but did not at all mind them in this dish, though my husband was not a fan of heated capers. Overall it was thumbs up recipe.

Papparedelle’s does have a presence in Illinois, but not at any of the markets close to my house.  Though being low on provisions and no West coast trips planned I am going to have to make a trek to one of the markets that sell their products. Better yet, maybe we need to work on family vacation to Seattle since only the oldest has been to Seattle.  Though realistically I will just break down and order on-line, but it just isn’t the same.  You lose the personal connection to the food, which is a big part of the overall experience.

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