The Emerald City – Seattle

Oh Seattle! How I love this city with its eclectic culture, breathtaking views, and marvelous cuisine. I first went to Seattle in January of 2010 for a conference. It was actually warmer in Seattle than in Kentucky that year, which blew my mind. My idea was mountains, January, and the Pacific Northwest would be a blistering cold trip for us. Oh how I was wrong. When we flew in to SeaTac the temperature was 55 degrees compared to the single digits in Kentucky. Seattle was crystal clear for the first few days and we got to see spectacular views of Mount Ranier before the drizzle of rain the last few days of our trip.

We ventured throughout the city seeing the iconic sites of Pikes market, the first Starbucks and then a ferry boat ride to Bainbridge. This city was amazing and we even hit a few museums. The Sci-Fi museum is a must for any lover of Star Wars, Star Trek, and ET. On our second journey in 2016, we visited Chihuly gardens and glass museum. It was sheer perfection with the larger than life sculptures. The details that were so life like had you making a second glance to see if it was actually a pumpkin, flower, or not.

One highlight that is very near Chihuly gardens and the Sci-Fi museum is the space needle. Going at night will literally take your breath away. Even in January with the wind biting through your so called windbreaker jacket, it was well worth it. The culture and vibe of a city at night in lights creates the perfect setting for our final night in the Emerald City.

Food, glorious food. The selection of fresh seafood, chowder, teas, and numerous ethnic foods along with my all time favorite cheesecake are literally a block or two away from anywhere you want to go in downtown Seattle. We woke up the first morning and went to Pike’s market. We selected fresh bread and cheeses along with Washington’s number one produce, apples. We followed that up with a lunch of Pacific northwest chowder and cheesecake. I was in awe of the amount of tea shops as we walked the city streets on that first day. The Asian influence in Seattle is evident in the cuisine, tea shops, and spice stores. We walked into a tea shop and had our first tea experience. Little did we know at that time in 2010, we would travel a mere six years later back to Seattle and then leave there for China to adopt our daughter. Isn’t is cool sometimes when you see how this experience set the tone or the pace for an amazing journey years later.

We ventured to Bainbridge Island the next morning, while we were there we felt a bit like we were playing in the best movie of my childhood, The Goonies, the scenes looked so similar but we were not in Oregon. After we ferried back over to Seattle, we tried a flight of local craft beers. Everywhere we travel, we like to try the local food, beer and liquors. We had a crab boil for lunch but I was dying for salmon for dinner. If you are in Seattle you must try salmon. It is fresh from the market and will ultimately change your world.

To bring a little bit of 2010 and 2016 home, I made salmon for dinner. I love when I can find a whole filet on sale. This time I added a bit of flair with a cedar plank. Salmon cooked with a cider plank adds the extra smokiness to the dish. Sides? Well for our family we like potatoes but are love riced cauliflower or rice as a side dish. Our family is a 100% Royal Basmati rice family. My colleague and office mate’s family were from India. She introduced me to basmati rice in 2007 and we have never strayed. The aromatic rice blends well with any meat dish, especially salmon. I typically go for a green veggie when eating salmon or any other colored veggies. Asparagus is always a win with a bit of Stir fry oil and salt lightly baked or broiled to accompany your meal.


  • Salmon Filet, thawed, skin on
  • Cedar plank soaked for a minimum of 30 minutes in water
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of course salt
  • 1 teaspoon of course pepper

Preheat grill or oven (375 degrees), Take cedar plank and place it on a baking sheet if you are going to cook it in the oven. I lined my baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place Salmon skin side down on plank. Mix your seasonings in a bowl and rub on the top side of the salmon filet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes in oven. Grill for approximately the same time. We had enough salmon for two adults and two children, plus seconds for the kids and left overs for our lunch the next day.

Sides: Basmati Rice and Baked Asparagus

  • 2 cups of Basmati Rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker
  • dash of oil

It takes 12-15 minutes to cook the rice, the cooker will automatically kick off and keep the rice warm while your salmon finishes cooking in the oven or on the grill.

Asparagus in my mind needs very little to make it delectable. A little bit of oil (stir fry or extra virgin olive oil) and salt go a long way. I roast this in the oven or the grill for about 12 – 15 minutes on 375 degrees.

Last, we like avocado in our home. We drizzle extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Himalayan Pink salt. When you combine heart healthy foods and kids, you typically do not get great results. However, in our house our kids love grilled foods and veggies. Certain veggies may not be their favorite but they still have to eat it. Our oldest loves the stems of the asparagus and not the tips. Our youngest only wants tips on her plate – so it is a win-win for us. Our kids loved this salmon meal so much the other night they asked for seconds. I hope you enjoy a bit of the Emerald City in your home with this Salmon dish.



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