It’s my birthday week and that makes me extra happy! I think everyone should celebrate their life for at least a week, don’t you? I mean let’s face it, sometimes life gets in the way of the celebration and we forget how much fun we are having. I am extra lucky to have so many friends and a wonderful family, and I like to celebrate them during my birthday week, as much as I like to celebrate me! My Aunt Susie gave me a great idea last year and so we are expanding on it this year. She bought a gift certificate for $41 (that was my age last year) and we kept a customer count so that we could give it to our 41st customer of the day! It was really fun and everyone involved was happy all day. This year we will give out a $42 dollar gift certificate, and several other ‘birthday gifts’ as the day goes on. I always have free coffee on my birthday, so folks can stop by and have a cup and a chat, or just take it away and have a happier day knowing they got a free cup of coffee. If you get a chance to stop in on Thursday, that is the day we will be birthday partying it up!

Last week my friend Kat and I went to Island Jamz for a marketing meeting. It is a Caribbean restaurant in Keyport and they have some great food! We tried the fried plantains (SO tender and yummy!) goat curry, and jerk chicken. We definitely want to go back to try more of their great food! It is spicy, though not picante, just very tasty.

On Saturday we met wonderful friends in Seattle for dinner at Purple Cafe & Wine Bar. It is a beautiful, very modern, cool space with the neatest wine ‘rack’ I have seen in Seattle! The food and wine lists are very long and we tried many things. The standouts were the Spanish style prawns, and the absolute best thing was the lobster mac & cheese. It was better than I even thought it could be! And the portion was not so big that it would overwhelm you. I did not have that dish, and believe me I regret it. I will be going back for it!

We have big news at the cafe this week! First of all LESLIE GOT ACCEPTED AT THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA! The one in New York even!!!! We are SO proud of her! And jealous!!! She will be leaving us in January and we hate that part, but we are so excited for this new adventure that she is on! She has been celebrating and one of the places she tried was Burrata Bistro in Poulsbo. She says the food is great, and if you go for only one thing make it dessert. We can’t wait to go try it and if you do please let us know what your favorite thing is!

The other big news is that Lori and Josh’s baby Lyla came home! They are spending their first week at home as a family that is not commuting to the hospital every day and I can only imagine the bliss they are feeling. I can’t stop smiling as I think of them!

Mark and I worked as vendors at the first annual Kitsap Wine Festival and I sure hope they bring it back next year. The $45 tickets were a bargain for all the tastes and food that were available and we had a ball talking to everyone! We gave out tastes of our crusty Italian bread and our excellent olive oil. We sold cookies and at the end gave out free coffee. We had so much fun! If they do it again next year, you must get your tickets early because they sold out pretty quickly!

This week we are doing the Kitsap fair for the first time ever. We haven’t done a fair in ages and honestly I have only done the state fair in Monroe in the past. I have been to the Puyallup a couple of times, but I LOVE the state fair and so if we get a chance that is where we go. We are going to check it out on Saturday (after work and the Sounders game if I can find a place to watch it!) so maybe we will see you there!

So we have gotten to a couple of new places this week and yet there are so many more to go to! One place we are trying to find time for is the new pizza place called Delancey in Seattle. Brandon and Molly are minds, bodies and hearts behind this labor of love and so far all we have been able to do to show our support is send emails to them. We are trying to get out there and maybe you will get a chance to before we do! If you get to that area, go have some hand made pizza because they are using the freshest, in season and local products as they possibly can and you know we love to support that!!!

One last thing to tease you about: I am working with the KCAA on a harvest meal and tickets will soon be available. Several chefs and professional chefs will be gathering locally grown and produced ingredients to create a feast!! We will be celebrating local food, along with Farmer Nash Huber, as well as Kate Dean from Mt Townsend Creamery. Check out the link for more info and of course, I will keep you posted.

No recipe today, I have got to get in and cooking for a cater tonight and of course, it’s almost the lunch rush. Keep me posted on the restaurants you try and if you have a request for a recipe, let me know!