Halloween Happenings for Seattle Food & Drink Lovers

A string of hanging pumpkin lights with a black background.

1. El Dazzle Halloween and Winter Beer Release Party

Friday October 30th, 6 pm
Tickets: $15 for adults, free for kids
Location: Hale’s Palladium4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle (Fremont)
Phone: 206-297-1405
What To Expect: “Creme Tangerine rocks out with some Beatles tunes, while you enjoy the release of Hale’s winter ales, and your kids enjoy pumpkin carving and a costume party.” Music from 8-11 p.m.

2. Halloween Midnight Circus

Friday October 30th, 7 pm
Tickets: Free w/ RSVP
Location: WeWork, 500 Yale Ave N, First Floor, Seattle (South Lake Union)
What To Expect: “This circus-themed party (Official Closing Party for Seattle Startup Week) might just turn into a genuine circus of insanity, because it’s free AND there’s an open bar provided by LUCID…just RSVP to secure your spot. Come in costume and enjoy music by Integral DJs.”

3. Halloween “Spirits” at POCO

Saturday October 31st, 4 pm
Location: Poco Wine + Spirits1408 E Pine St, Seattle (Capitol Hill)
Phone: 206-322-9463
What To Expect: “Special Halloween ‘spirits’ and films. POCO bartenders will be crafting special themed drinks for the night.”

4. Dia de Muertos

Saturday October 31st, 4:30 pm
Location: Mezcaleria Oaxaca, 422 E Pine St, Seattle (Capitol Hill)
Phone: 206-322-9463
What To Expect: “Known in the salsa dancing social community, DJ Yambu (Cesar Sanchez)’s vinyl collection represents a broad taste of music, from Latin to mainstream. Mezcaleria Oaxaca will be debuting its new fall/winter cocktail selections, and the evening will feature a Hornitos cocktail specially priced and handcrafted by the Mezcaleria mixologists.”

5. Booktoberfest: ‘Ales from the Crypt: Spooky Stories ‘n Suds

Saturday October 31st, 6:30 pm
Location: Brouwer’s Cafe, 400 N 35th St, Seattle (Fremont)
Phone: 206-267-2437
What To Expect: “Sit around and listen to scary stories about beer. While drinking beer! Hear ‘chilling tales of the macabre consequences of bragging under the influence, and of the grim and ghastly fate that awaits those who chug spoiled beer.'”

6. Ghostfish Brewing Halloween

Through October 31st
Location: Ghostfish Brewing Company, 2942 First Ave S, Seattle (SODO)
What To Expect: “Pumpkin carving not your thing? What about pumpkin sharpie-ing? Head to Ghostfish from Oct 27-30 to do so, where they’ll provide all the supplies. Come back at 3 pm on Halloween to vote for the winner, enter the costume contest, and drink special Halloween drinks.”

7. Halloween Hangover Brunch at Linda’s

Sunday November 1st
Location: Linda’s Tavern, 707 E Pine St, Seattle (Capitol Hill)
Phone: 206-325-1220
What To Expect: “If you show up to Linda’s on the Sunday after Halloween still in costume, you’ll get 20% off your tab. ‘A Sunday morning walk of shame never tasted so good.'”

Sources: https://www.thestranger.com/events/food, http://halesbrewery.com/index.php?id=23, http://halloween.wework.com/Seattle, http://www.pocowineandspirits.com/?blog_post=halloween-spirits-at-poco, http://us9.campaign-archive1.com/?u=07b04e0bd2c985891c3afcd1b&id=5f3b5c56ab&e=edabb1a73c

Crafting the Perfect Recipe: A Checklist

Recipe book and various spices on blue wooden background

If you publish and share recipes as often as we do (or even half that), you’ve probably found yourself wondering what makes a good recipe great. Whether you’re a business trying to spark fan engagement, or a home cook trying to preserve a fantastic recipe you scribbled down on a napkin, use this checklist to ensure you’re producing top-notch recipes that are ultra-usable and will live on to be cherished forever.

☐ A Beautiful Recipe Image

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to produce great food photography. Check out our guide to DIY recipe photography for simple tips (think lighting, camera angle, props…) that can help make your dish look just as good as it tastes. Food Network also has a great food photography guide worth peaking at.

☐ Description & Notes

A brief but well-crafted description of your dish will not only entice other cooks to give your recipe a go, but provides a great opportunity to point out less-obvious details about your recipe. Think prep methods (a mandoline may be preferable to a knife), ingredients (need to visit a specialty store to find something?), serving details (maybe your recipe makes 8 appetizer servings but only 4 entree servings)…you get the idea.

☐ Recipe Source

This is a biggie, especially in the world of online recipe publishing. Make sure you always credit the original recipe source, whether that’s a website, an individual, a cookbook, or one of many more source types. Here’s an interesting read on recipe copyright, specifically as it pertains to online sharing.

☐ Recipe Time

I’ve been shocked over the years at how many recipes neglect to state how long you’ll be in the kitchen. Giving an overall time estimate is immensely helpful for people like me who are bouncing all over the place and need to know if a recipe can be completed in 30 minutes versus two hours. Dividing the total time into prep time and cook time wins you bonus points.

☐ Servings

Ever finish cooking a dish and realize you have enough food to feed a small village? Or have the opposite experience, and end up with barely enough food for one? Providing an accurate serving count can solve these problems. Note any possible exceptions in the recipe description or notes area.

☐ Ingredients

Forgive me for getting real elementary here, but let’s review the basics: each ingredient in your recipe should have a quantity (“2”), a measurement (“tablespoons”), a name (“butter”),  and any necessary pre-preparation instructions (“melted”), listed in that order (“2 tablespoons butter, melted”). Make sure to keep your measurements consistent (don’t switch between metric and imperial, for example), and be as specific as possible.

☐ Steps

Make sure to break your recipe down into digestible steps, and write clearly and concisely. If you’re using our app to publish your recipes, you’ll notice we lay steps and ingredients out side-by-side to make the recipe as clear and kitchen-friendly as possible. If you’re not doing this, make sure to note when ingredients are being split between steps.

☐ Bonus: Recipe Categories or Tags

Now more than ever, recipe tags like “gluten-free” or “vegetarian” are key in quickly allowing users to identify which recipes will be relevant for them. It’s also handy to identify the course or dish (“breakfast”), cuisine type (“Mexican”), associated occasions (“Game Day”), or even taste (“spicy”).

There you have it! Even for the pros out there, it’s always a good idea to review the basics and make sure your recipe content is the highest quality possible. Feel free to check out our recipe publishing tools if you need a place to start, and remember to have fun with it! Until next week, folks!

18 Must-Have Halloween Party Recipes

All Hallows’ Eve is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you’re counting down the days to your big Halloween bash not because you have a killer costume to show off, or a truly terrifying basement-turned-haunted house, but because you just can’t wait to concoct some eery edible treats!

Below are 18 recipes that are sure to wow any Halloween party-goer. Some are cute, others creepy, and a few downright frightening. Offer a mix of sweet and savory dishes, and don’t forget something to wash it all down with!

Let the Halloween cooking commence!

Sweet Treats

1. Ghost Cupcakes
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2. Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops

3. Graveyard Mousse Cups
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4. Bat Oreo Truffles

5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Spider Cookies
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6. Spooky Boo Brownies

7. Slice And Bake Candy Corn Cookies
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8. “Turtle” Spiders

9. Chocolate Chip Halloween Mummy Cake
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Savory Bites

10. Ghoulish Breadsticks
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11. Spider Web Avocado Buttermilk Ranch Dip

12. Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs
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13. Ghoul Crackers + Bean Dip

14. Diablo Eyeballs {taco meatballs} and Black Bean Pasta
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15. Egg Eyeballs

16. Hot Dog Mummies
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Drinks

17. Witches Brew Cocktail
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18. Halloween Punch

Did you have any idea how many crazy Halloween concoctions are possible?! Have fun here. Don’t try and do it all, but also don’t limit yourself! Get creative in the kitchen, and your Halloween party is sure to be the talk of the town.

Meet The Seattle Pros

We are fortunate to have many wonderful brands and businesses using Cookpanion to publish recipes on their Facebook pages, but today I wanted to shine some light on a few of our local recipe publishers. Our Seattle Cookpanion Pros range from restaurant groups to television programs to truffle experts, each of whom has brought a unique perspective and a beautiful collection of recipes to the Cookpanion community. Here we’ll take a behind-the-scenes peak at five of these Seattle Pros, and highlight a few of their recipes that we just can’t get enough of.

Skillet Street Food

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Who They Are
With three restaurants, two food trucks, a catering biz, and a line of tasty Bacon Jams, Skillet has become a recognized and beloved name throughout Seattle since their start in 2007. The group is known for serving highest-quality, locally inspired diner fare in a laid-back setting. While their restaurants and food trucks are unique to Seattle, Skillet now sells their Bacon Jam in stores across the country. Since joining forces with us in 2014, they’ve used the Cookpanion app to publish and share dozens of recipes with their 18,000+ Facebook fans. We’ve loved working with this down-to-earth group and can’t wait to see what they cook up next!

Recipe Picks
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The Burger – “This is where it all began — the classic use of bacon jam.”

Seattle Pros 7
Pain Perdu (French Toast) With Bacon Spread & Chicory Coffee Syrup

Skillet’s Bacon Jam Boom
“We had truly just begun selling bacon jam [and] our volume was low — maybe 50 or 100 jars in a month. It was Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving that we received a phone call to let us know that our bacon jam was going to be listed as part of Martha Stewart’s recommended holiday food gift list. We had no idea what that meant although we thought it was good.

And it was good, but we were so unprepared to respond to the volume of orders, [which] started flowing in at the rate of 100 to 200 PER DAY! We didn’t have that many jars or labels. We didn’t have anywhere near the quantity of bacon or other ingredients. We didn’t have enough people to stir the pot or manually fill the jars or pack the finished product in boxes. We didn’t have a UPS account to ship so we bought a lot of stamps. It was crazy.

We survived that holiday season (somehow), and [the experience] showed us that we had a product that people loved. In retrospect, these tales become legendary. But having been there, it’s a bit embarrassing to realize how young we were as a company at that time. But I guess that’s the point of knowledge gained from experience. It always comes one lap too late to handle the first instance.” -Greg Petrillo, CFO

KING5 New Day Northwest

Seattle Pros 2Who They Are
New Day Northwest, KING5’s notable daytime talk show, has been in the recipe publishing business since its start in 2010. The show regularly attracts big-time chefs, health and fitness experts, restaurateurs and celebrities, many of whom share sought-after recipes on the show. New Day began using Cookpanion in March 2015 to accommodate this growing collection of recipes. On their Recipes tab, page visitors can find 630+ recipes as well as seasonal collections, food-related articles, themed menus, and recipe contests. Their profile aims to highlight the diverse population of foodie guests they host on the show, and acts as a hub where the Seattle culinary community can gather to share and discover unique recipes and resources.

Recipe Picks
Seattle Pros 9
Thai Chicken Salad by Sara Wells of Our Best Bites

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Brown Butter Coconut Chewies by Rachel Atwood

60 Seconds with Margaret Larson
We were able to steal host Margaret Larson for a quick Q and A. Here’s what we learned!
Favorite foods: Dark chocolate and Chicken Tikka Masala
Favorite Seattle restaurant: Dahlia Lounge
Favorite food as a kid: Pizza
Celebrity chef crush: Sharone Hakman
Little Known Fact: Larson has won four Emmy awards in the category of broadcast journalism. You go, girl!

Stockbox Neighborhood Grocery

Seattle Pros 4Who They Are
Stockbox is a neighborhood grocery store located in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. The business actually began as a graduate project at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in 2010, and has grown into a thriving Seattle food hub that goes beyond the typical grocery store: “We are working to build a network of stores that are the hub for fresh food, community connections, engaging experiences, and innovation in grocery” (stockboxgrocers.com). Stockbox has been a fantastic Cookpanion partner, publishing beautiful peak-season recipes on their Recipes tab.

Recipe Picks
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Carrie’s Pickled Tomatoes

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Orange-Ginger Sauce

Meet the Stockbox Team
“Our team has pretty diverse hobbies – one team member who designs costumes, another who is crazy about growing plants, another who knows the best spots in the city to play basketball, and another who enjoys playing music in a punk band.” –Kate Bandzmer, Marketing manager

Stockbox Staff Pick
“For an easy, filling, thirst-quenching snack my go-to is the Honeycrisp apples. I had one in my gym bag the other day that was close to a week old, but I was super hungry so I ate it. It was still the best apple I’ve had yet this season, because it retained all that flavor and juiciness. But right now I’m also into kale-melon-pear smoothies with soy milk, so I’m always picking up those ingredients at Stockbox.” –Kate Bandzmer, Marketing manager

Truffle Dog Company

Seattle Pros 1Who They Are
Truffle Dog Company offers a variety of services and goods centered around truffles (the subterranean variety, not the chocolates!), including professional and recreational truffle dog training, harvesting services for orchards, consultation services, and truffles available for purchase. They are knowledgeable about this unique culinary gem, and are experts when it comes to training man’s best friend to harvest them! Truffle Dog Co has been a fabulous local partner that we’ve been lucky to work closely with. They have provided invaluable feedback that has helped us significantly improve our app, not to mention they publish some darn tasty recipes!

Recipe Picks
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup With Truffle
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup With Truffle

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Matsutake Gohan With Hand Harvested Alaria

What the heck is a truffle??
“Truffles are the fruiting bodies (spore-bearing mechanisms) of underground mushrooms. The actual fungus from which the truffles grow are formed by an underground network of mycelium in a symbiotic relationship with a host plant. This mutually beneficial arrangement occurs when the fungal mycelium and the root cells of the plant grow together to create mycorrhizae. The plant provides sugars to the fungus through photosynthesis, and the fungus provides the plant with minerals, water, and other nutrients from the soil that it could not get by itself.” (truffledogcompany.com)

Why use dogs for harvesting?
“Why not, we say! Properly utilizing dogs (or pigs) for locating truffles is more gentle on the environment (and we think more fun!). Unripe truffles lack odor, and therefore don’t have much culinary value. Using dogs allows us to find only the ripe truffles with their amazing aromatics, thus preserving and ensuring optimum culinary value. Dogs also pinpoint the location of ripe truffles and thus less of the environment and fragile duff layer of the soil is disturbed when collecting.” (truffledogcompany.com)

TaylorMade Meals & Catering

Seattle Pros 5Who They Are
TaylorMade Meals & Catering is a young Seattle business founded by Janna Taylor, a nutritionist and Bastyr University graduate who is passionate about healthy home cooked food. We first met Janna at the Queen Anne Farmers Market a few months back and were taken with her bubbly personality and excitement surrounding all things food. She describes her concept as “mama’s home cooked meals, but delivered to your door and healthier,” and offers delivery and catering services for both individual and corporate clients.

We got the chance to throw some questions Janna’s way and here’s what she had to share:

[Q] What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?
[A] Hands down my wooden reamer. A reamer is used to juice citrus fruits like lemons, limes or oranges. Fresh lime/lemon juice is far superior to its bottled counterpart and adds brightness to any dish. A reamer is small, efficient and less than $5. I use it with every meal I make.

[Q] What was your biggest “oops” moment in the kitchen?
[A] I was prepping homemade jambalaya for well over 200 people, and realized my knife was getting a little dull, so I  honed it to get a better edge on it. Not 30 seconds back in to dicing [peppers], I cut myself….really bad. I went to the hospital and 2 hours later I was leaving with 5 shining new stitches in my pointer finger. Thank goodness the jambalaya event wasn’t for another two days!

[Q] Any obscure foods or restaurants that you love?
[A] I’ll take a raw oyster over a cooked one, any day of the week. [My] favorite places for raw oysters [are] Ballard Annex, The Walrus and the Carpenter, and Taylor Shellfish Farm.

[Q] What’s your biggest “guilty pleasure” food?
[A] I love bread and butter. With all the hype about gluten-free being healthy, sometimes I hide my bread love from people out of fear of judgment. But there’s no stopping it! I even make my own bread from scratch and churn my own butter.

[Q] Any little-known facts about you or your business?
[A] Everything I cook with is made from scratch. Butters, ketchup, mayo, mustard, salad dressings, marinades, stocks, sauces, pickles, jams, yogurt, the list goes on  and on. When I moved into my house my partner had to build me another pantry just for my homemade condiments!

 

We adore each and every one of our Cookpanion Pros, and as you can see, each one really has a unique story to tell. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about the folks behind the magic. Now go enjoy cooking up some of their fabulous recipes!

Check in next Tuesday for our next post, and until then, happy cooking!

Seattle Farmers Market Roundup

While the sun-kissed days of summer may be behind us, many of Seattle’s farmers markets are still in full swing, and are bursting with beautiful fall produce and all sorts of other treasures. I took the liberty of visiting these markets one-by-one to check out the goods, and here’s what I found.

University District Farmers Market

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Location: University Way NE (the “Ave”) between 50th & 52nd
Hours: Saturdays 9-2
What stood out: Appel Farms, a family-run dairy farm in Ferndale, Washington, had an impressive lineup of tasty handmade cheeses, with flavors ranging from jalapeño gouda to Greek olive feta to bacon cheddar!
Tip: This is a sizable market with tons and tons of beautiful produce. Take a lap before deciding which booth to buy from! Also, if you’re planning on stopping for lunch (or even if you’re not), stop for a naan at Tandoozy. Just trust me on this one.

Capitol Hill Broadway Farmers Market

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Location: Broadway Ave E & E Pine St
Hours: Sundays 11-3
What stood out: As a Cap Hill resident and regular market-goer, it’s hard to play favorites with this one, but I will say that the Malus Ginger Beer I tasted for the first time last week was phenomenal, and the folks serving it were just as lovely. Steel Wheel Farm and El Chito (delicious tamales) are other favorites.
Tip: If you’re there on a nice day, pick up picnic makings (fresh fruit, bread, cheese…even wine and smoked salmon can be found!) and walk a block east to Cal Anderson park to enjoy your goodies!

West Seattle Farmers Market

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Location: California Ave SW & SW Alaska, in the heart of the West Seattle Junction
Hours: Sundays 10-2
What stood out: Growing Washington has a great selection of produce. I also know several folks who are part of their Food Box delivery program and love it. For prepared food, I highly recommend trying a toasty empanada at Pampeana. I went for the Spinach & Cheese variety and it was dreamy.
Tip: This is a fairly small market; if you have time to kill after making your way through the vendor booths, take a stroll along California Avenue. Pop into Pegasus Book Exchange, grab a pastry at Bakery Nouveau, or browse vinyl at Easy Street Records.

Ballard Farmers Market

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Location: Ballard Avenue NW, between Vernon Place NW and 22nd Avenue NW
Hours: Sundays 10-3
What stood out: It was fascinating talking with the folks at Farmbox Greens, who have taken on the complex challenge of vertical urban farming. Their gorgeous microgreens are delicate and delicious, and there is much to learn from the knowledgable owner!
Tip: While you’re in Ballard, take a tour of the many breweries nearby. NW Peaks Brewery, Lucky Envelope Brewing, and Stoup Brewing are all worth a visit.

Bonus: Vashon Island Farmers Market

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Although this market is a ferry ride away from the city, I’d highly recommend stopping by if you’re ever on the island, or are looking for a fun day trip. Also note that this market stops running between December and April.
Location: 17519 Vashon Highway SW
Hours: Saturdays 10-2 (April through December) plus Wednesdays 3-6 (June-September)
What stood out: Perhaps my favorite sample of the day (and there were many) was provided by Seattle Canning Co. Their Tomato Relish and Spicy Eggplant Kasundi (chutney) are both to die for.
Tip: Bring the little ones! This is a super kid-friendly market, with face painting, live music, and plenty of space to spread a blanket out on the grass!

As you can see, Seattle’s farmers market scene is still bustling, even with the weather turning colder. Enjoy exploring the bounty our beautiful region has to offer, and take the time to meet the people behind the magic! The farmers, cooks, craftsmen, and business owners behind the booths LOVE sharing their story!

Look out for next week’s post, and until then, happy cooking!