Archive | Inspiration RSS feed for this section

Food Frame Friday

11 Feb

Just eat it.  That’s what this trip should have been called.  I was just looking back over some of the pictures from my trip to Indonesia last September. Gosh, has it really been that long ago already?! It feels like I was just there.  Even though living there might not be my cup of tea, I really do miss all of Paul and my food (mis)adventures!

Quite the combo here; a green tapioca ball with molten sugar inside, rolled in coconut flakes in one hand. Deep fried tofu sandwich with sprouts and veggies in the other. No wonder I'm smiling!

I wanted to bring you all a little taste (no pun intended, honestly!) of what a typical day was like for us on the road in Central Java. 

Continue reading

Food Frame Friday

4 Feb

Every week I will try to share an inspiring picture with you that I’ve taken while out and about in my culinary adventures.  Framing food, whether through a lense, on a plate or in a pan really does make a difference in how we connect with it.  Enjoy!

Copyright Siiri Sampson 2011.

I took this last night, while visiting some local bars, pubs and restaurants for the Seattle Weekly. 

Continue reading

Eat through the cold!

5 Jan

First, don’t forget to enter the fun little giveaway this week for a wonderful start to your new year!

A view from our table on the patio, while we sipped French 75's.

Now, I wanted to boost the mood for you all, with some fabulous summer shots of a local Seattle favorite restaurant of mine, Maximilien in the Pike Place Market.

Continue reading

Turn that recipe on its head!

15 Dec

I just saw this picture on and was thinking I knew what the filling was going to be:


Turns out I was totally wrong, here’s the recipe for Better Homes and Gardens Vanilla and Chocolate Santa’s Sandwiches.  They made a raspberry filling….

However, I would change this up. Without even reading the recipe, I knew what I would do to make this easier, as well as my own!

Continue reading

Inspired places make inspired people.

13 Dec

If you’re still getting into the swing of things for Christmas (or any other holiday you celebrate with your family this time of year), you’ve still got time, but honestly, HURRY UP! WHAT’S TAKING YOU SO LONG!!!???? :)

I just finished decorating my tree last week and you may have seen my tablescape in last Friday’s post.  But today I want to share someone fantastic with you.  My blogging friend, Lauren, from Pure Style Home.

Lauren is so nice, knowledgeable and crafty! She really thinks outside the box, does a ton with limited resources for clients and comes up with stunning rooms. And her fellow bloggers are not the only ones who agree.  She was just featured in Better Homes and Gardens December issue! Her home and family are shown in a seven page spread that is just fabulous.

She shows that style really does reflect who you are, and doesn’t have to be expensive to be upscale, organic, fresh and vintage all at the same time.  I wanted to share a couple images here, but really you should follow her blog or go pick up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens.  Thumbing through her article actually gave me a revived sense of what I wanted to do at my new apartment (first christmas there), and renewed energy to do it all myself since I now live alone.

I hope you enjoy the article and images of her beautiful home and family as much as I have!  Happy Holidays, friends! Only a handful of days till stockings are stuffed!  All this talk about holiday decorating makes me want to throw on an old record and bake some cookies with sprinkles or something!

Gluten Free Baking/Cooking Challenge

15 Nov

Hi guys!

I know I’ve been spotty around these parts lately, and I just have a few minutes to share something with you today.  In prep for Thanksgiving, which is scary close (!!!), I wanted to share my squash soup recipe, just like I do every year.

This year is a bit different though, as there’s a great cause going on around the blogosphere right now for the Gluten-Free folks.  A dear blogging guru friend of many, Shauna Ahern (who is SO SO SO talented and starting her new book tour TODAY), put together a group of folks that would each share a gluten-free recipe on their blogs TODAY, November 15th, in support of all those people out there dealing with holidays while being gluten-free.

If you want to read Shauna’s post today that has a GREAT round up of all the folks involved, check out her post here entitled Gluten Free Thanksgiving 2010.

There are links to tons of recipes, and trust me they are good, even if you CAN have gluten in your diet. Plus, many of them are easy to make, and don’t require crazy ingredients!

If you can’t get enough, or if you know someone that cannot have gluten, how about getting them an early Christmas present like Shauna’s new book, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef!  You can get it on (click that linked title) for a reasonable $20 which is probably way less than you’d spend on a shirt, or something less helpful!

I have a couple more things to tell you, but without further delay, here’s my contribution to her awareness efforts:

Siiri’s Famous Squash Soup

 1 large Acorn Squash
1 medium Butternut Squash
1 large yellow onion (yields about 1.5 cups chopped)
4-6 cups low sodium, fat free chicken or vegetable broth
2-3 cups corn (you can use frozen, just double check label for gluten-freeness, yellow is sweeter, I like this)
1 cup fat free or regular half and half
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 medium sweet potato (optional)
1 cup pumpkin (optional)
½ tsp. Poultry seasoning
In a large soup pot (10-12quarts) chop onion with 1 tsp olive oil. Keep on low heat,  add all spices and caramelize. Should take about 20 minutes. Once caramelized, add broth and bring to a simmer. Lower temperature to keep warm, but not simmering.  Puree corn to a paste consistency in blender using a bit of liquid from pot; add back to pot, stirring occasionally.
Cut squash (all of them) and sweet potato in half length wise, remove any seeds, baste with olive oil, and bake in 425°F oven for 30 minutes (or until fork tender) cut side up. Next, remove pulp from squash and potato and mash into a paste (throw away skins). Transfer to pot. Stir and bring to simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cover for about 20 minutes. Stir in half and half.
Tip: Use a whisk to incorporate each new ingredient. The whisk will help break up clumps of squash or anything else that enters the soup as a paste. Your goal is to have a well blended soup that still has some chunky consistency, but is well incorporated.
Add more spices to taste. Will stay in pot in fridge for up to two weeks. Can freeze if desired.

Is it possible? ANOTHER Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!

19 Oct

It’s true, friends, I’m doing TWO giveaways in ONE week this week.  Why? Because we have something fun to celebrate!

Yours truly has started a fun side gig with a local newspaper, The Seattle Weekly.  Starting today, and coming out every Tuesday, I am writing a blog column, The Eatside, for Seattle Weekly’s food blog, Voracious.  I cover all things on the Eastside of greater Seattle (so that’s East of Lake Washington).

Today’s article is on a fun little joint called Lil’ Jon.  Go check out the article when you have time:

Meanwhile, we’ll start a giveaway today to celebrate my new adventure!  Sooooo, what’s up for grabs today?

It’s a Lasagna Lover Stoneware dish from Rachael Ray:

That’s right! It’s blue, shiny and just BEGGING you to splatter tomato sauce and noodles into it’s softly curved corners.  It’s dishwasher, microwave, freezer and oven safe to 500 degrees. AND, it has a glazed interior that’s nonporous so your food won’t stick!  It’s 9″ x 13″ with extra wide handle holes.

What are you making, and what time should I be there? Ha ha, just kidding. But seriously, send me your address, I’ll bring the wine.

So, if you’re interested in winning todays giveaway, here’s how**:

1. Go read my article (which will take you about 3 minutes), and share it with a friend (you’ll see at the bottom there’s a button to email it to a friend, or you can use the buttons at the top to share via a social media outlet like Facebook or Twitter).

2. Come back to the blog and post a comment letting me know who you shared it with (you can just give me a first name), and any feedback you have for my column.  This could be a critique, a place you think I should review, or just plain advice you think would benefit my column!

3. We’re using the honor system here, kids, so don’t let me down. I’ll have no way of knowing if you really shared the article, so do me proud!

The giveaway runs from October 19th at 9am Pacific Time to October 25th at 11:59pm Pacific Time.  Good luck and thanks for all the support! I’m excited to take you on this wild ride with me!

**By entering the giveaway, you agree that if you win, you will use the product and leave your honest feedback/review on the page for the product within 30 days of receiving it from A Half Cup.  One entry per person.  All valid entries will be entered into a random drawing, one winner will be chosen and given 14 days to claim their prize. An alternate will be chosen in the event the winner does not claim their prize.  You may only win 1 prize in a 30 day period from A Half Cup.
%d bloggers like this: