Friday, March 9, 2012

Bitterroot BBQ, Enchiladas & Lifestyle Happenings

A faux roasting pig greets you at the entrance to Bitterroot

Last Friday night Matt and I decided to try one of Ballard's newest restaurants, Bitterroot BBQ ( or 5239 Ballard Ave Ne, Seattle 98107). We had heard wonderful things about the food at Bitterroot from our friends, but also wanted to go because Matt went to high school with one of the owner's of the restaurant. Bitterroot's website promises 4 things: BBQ. Beer. Bourbon. Ballard. and they definitely deliver on all counts!

We arrived at the restaurant at about 6 p.m. (after half an hour of looking for street parking in Ballard, I should have known . . . Ballard is always a mean bitch) and were easily able to find a seat in the bar. Everything about the bar makes you want to order comfort food and a very hard drink. The line, "can you tell me where a girl can get a hard drink in a dark bar around here?" from Sex and the City immediately popped into my mind when I sat down: so, I ordered a Manhattan. Now, I am not much of a brown liquor girl, but a good Manhattan always makes me happy. This Manhattan was on the sweet side, which I prefer, and I enjoyed it thoroughly after a very long day at work.

Upon reviewing the menu I realized that not only do they have barbecue, but they also have a mac and cheese menu. You can order a mac and cheese and choose from a variety of additions (I think there were at least 8 options) to mix and match and suit your fancy. Seeing as though I am obsessed with mac and cheese this absolutely delighted me. I ordered the mac and cheese with caramelized onions (yum) and english peas. Matt ordered beef brisket with cole slaw and corn bread.

Mac and cheese with caramelized onions and english peas

Our "hard drink in a dark bar" Manhattans

When our entrees arrived I was a bit intimidated by the enormousness of the mac and cheese bowl, but don't worry, I ate it all! The caramelized onions were absolutely fantastic and tasty. My only editorial note would be that it needed more cheese (but I say that about almost everything!). Matt's brisket smelled wonderful when it came out and I had to try a few bites. To fully appreciate how good this smelled one must understand that I HATE barbecue sauce and usually won't eat anything that contains even a hint of it. However, because I am open minded (or at least try to be) I sampled bites of the meat with 2 of the three sauces available on the table. I have to say, I may have found a barbecue sauce that I don't despise . . . in fact, I kind of liked it. It was sweet, savory and smokey and complimented the extremely tender brisket. I don't know if I am ready for a full barbecue entree yet, but I'll definitely steal a few more samplings from Matt the next time we go to Bitterroot.

Also, the next time we go, I am not driving so I can have more than one of those yummy Manhattans!

My chicken enchiladas with cilantro dinner creation

In other, non-restaurant, food related news I discovered (and modified) a new recipe that we Matt and I both love. You will need an 8" diameter non-stick, round pan, 1 large can Safeway select enchilada sauce, a pre-cooked roaster chicken, cilantro, half an onion, chicken stock, corn tortillas, monterey jack cheese and spices. All you do is sautee the chopped onion in olive oil until it starts to brown, add half a cup of chicken stock and sautee until the onion is soft and the stock has evaporated. Add the onion to about 2 cups of pre-cooked, shredded chicken with 1/8 cup chopped cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper and about a cup of monterey jack cheese. Then, fry 8 corn tortillas for ten seconds each in vegetable oil. Put 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the round pan. Roll up about an 1/8 of the chicken mixture in each tortilla and place (seam down) in the pan. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas to coat evenly and top with another cup of cheese. Cover with foil. Cook for 22 minutes on 350, remove foil and return to oven for another 23 minutes. Top with sour cream and more cilantro leaves and serve with beans and rice. A very easy but fabulous dinner for two that will last at least two nights. Be warned though, once you start eating it is hard to stop after one portion!

Now on to the really fun news! Matt and I got our first pet together! Last Saturday we went to Target to buy some closet organizers (more on that later) and noticed that the Petco next door was having a doggie rescue/adoption day. We both want to get a dog, so we decided to go look at the adoptable dogs and somehow we ended up buying a fish . . . we decided a fish would be a good 'trial run'/first step in getting a more demanding pet. Anyway, we named her Coco (after Ice T's wife) because she is golden and very voluptuous. Plus, we love their silly reality show. Below is a picture of our little Coco in her fishy condo (which we thought was the cutest thing ever when we saw it at Kasala a few months back). We have had her a week now and hopefully she'll continue to thrive in our care.

Coco the goldfish in her 'condo'

Our closet with the new chandelier

We have been in our new condo for 4 months now, but we are still settling in, re-organizing and decorating. My latest project, inspired by the HGTV show 'Property Brothers' and the Style network show 'The Amanda's", is re-organizing and decorating our closet. Now, some may wonder: why the hell do you need to decorate a closet?!? Well, I need to decorate our closet because it is HUGE and full and quite unfortunately has NO DOORS. On top of that it is the first thing you see when entering our bedroom and therefore it can't look a mess. I really wanted to create a closet that would be pretty enough to not need doors (and pretty enough to inspire us NOT to throw our clothes all over the floor). I am planning to do this by color coding our clothes, putting everything not hangable in black and white storage bins, hanging a very stylish chandelier and putting a fluffy sheep skin rug on the floor.

So far the project is coming along pretty well. I have about half of the storage bins complete and organized and yesterday the chandelier was delivered and WE (yes, Matt and I, ourselves) assembled and installed it in the closet. I am quite proud of the fact that we didn't need to call an electrician, but setting up a new light fixture was much more difficult than I anticipated . . . 4 hours and many, many swear words and start overs later we finished. Oh well. If you never try, you'll never know what you can really do yourself. I think everyone should try a little DIY, you may just surprise yourself!

I'll post pictures of the final product once I finish. It is so fun to see your ideas come to life!

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