Beer Can Chicken? Meh.

For a long while now, I've wanted to find or adapt the perfect beer can chicken recipe. Why? I have absolutely no idea. There's something about it that seemed so fun, hilarious, tacky and adventurous at the same time. Beer Can Chicken from Food 52 cooked by Siiri Sampson

Not wanting to start from complete scratch on this endeavor, I happened to skim across Food52's daily at just the right time and found a trustworthy place to start. Their Beer Can Chicken recipe from Cara Nicoletti had lots of promise to point me in the right direction. The recipe doesn't have any faults in it, and I have nothing bad to say about it, truly. I just realized I don't want to spend that much time cooking chicken, wasting propane, or taking that many steps. I just actually do not care enough to make it again.

Avocado and radishes

Maybe because I have a tried and true, special roasted chicken recipe that has never failed me and is just as flavorful. The beer can chicken was extremely moist, for the obvious reason of having a beer stuff in it. The skin was very flavorful and crispy, but no more so than my oven roasted one.

Beer Can Chicken, Chimichurri and avocado radish salad

We served it with a light summer salad of herb field greens, and these luscious avocados and Easter egg radishes.

Avocado and radishes

It was delicious, but I was underwhelmed. I had anticipated being blown away, and wasn't. That's the thing about having expectations you guys, they're RARELY fulfilled. But then, while you're waiting well into hour 2 on the rooftop, something incredibly magical happens and you know you may have missed it if you weren't waiting for the slowest chicken. So, I suppose it was worth it.

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All Rights Reserved.

Besides, I got to spend time with my favorite newlyweds and use their man hands to help surgically remove said chicken from the grill. See?


Seattle Dinner out with the Girls: Shibumi

It is officially summer in Seattle (according to zero scientific sources other than the completely inaccurate and undependable Sampson-ometer) and everything around here is amazing! The weather is warm, travel is in full swing, and I can walk to meet the girls for dinner pretty much anywhere in town. Roasted peppers at Shibumi photographed by Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger for A Half Cup

Once a month or so, I meet up with two of my BOD (Board Of Directors - by which of course I mean all the incredibly intelligent, powerful, selfless, beautiful inside and out women I surround myself with, whose opinions I value highly). These two women are, in addition to all of the above, stunning and hilarious - your basic total package. (Sorry guys, they're taken).

Last time we got together, we had dinner at Miller's Guild, which was completely amazing, although the lighting lent itself more to being romanced by all the incredible food and surroundings rather than taking pictures of all the food.

Seared ahi tuna and server at Miller's Guild discussing menu options.

This time around, we headed up to The Hill to Shibumi Izakaya. One of the BOD knows the chef/owner and we decided to give it a whirl with her. Here's what we had....

  • Spicy pork gyoza
  • Green beans with sesame dressing
  • Burdock and carrot kinpira
  • Pork croquettes (which I think was a special?)
  • All three wagyu zabuton options: sliced, seared and chopped..... AHHHHHHHHHHH MAZING (holy cow I love wagyu)
  • Pork belly kushiyaki
  • Marinated black cod
  • Tonkatsu ramen
  • Dessert: I believe chef said it was a green tea (matcha) mousse ice cream and it had black and white sesame seeds with a vanilla shortbread cookie

Sooooooooo, yeah, basically we ate almost the entire menu, but that's what I love both about a small plates restaurant and the BOD - they're always down to share, stories and dishes!

Of course I really tried not to take pictures and just enjoy the dinner because we don't have them often enough, but after the seared wagyu, I just couldn't help myself....

Shaved Wagyu:

Sliced Wagyu Beef at Shibumi in Seattle, photographed by Siiri Sampson

Pork gyoza:

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All rights reserved.

Pork Belly Tonkotsu Ramen:

Pork Belly Tonkotsu Ramen:

Pork Belly Tonkotsu Ramen

There were definitely some things I couldn't eat (but had a bite of anyway) with my limitations carried over from the Whole30 (still steering clear of legumes, dairy and wheat), but there were some really good bites here. I've heard polarized opinions, but my recommendation is to go check it out and form your own opinion! Try everything with pork belly (the worlds single greatest invention and meat product), and get the seared wagyu, you won't be sorry.


The longest lunch break EVER!

Siiri Sampson having coffee at Cafe Campagne in Seattle's Historic Pike Place Market As in, if I had told you at the end of my last post that I was going to take a lunch break and then post later in the afternoon, it would've been the worlds longest lunch break....

We all know this happens to me sometimes, right? Blogging is just one of those things (for me) that sometimes takes a back seat as the course of life ebbs and flows. And things have been really very exciting around these parts. So I've been dark with good reason. But it's time to fill in the blanks, as it were. I have loaded a ton of pictures, edited some and not others. I made a list of posts I want to get up soon, which will be interesting (let's see how far I get, shall we?), as I continue to work on other food related projects behind the scenes.

I apologize in advance that you are going to read things like a St. Patrick's Day post in June. But I have a feeling you don't much care, so long as I promise to entertain you - and when was the last time I failed that mission?! Perzactly.

Brace yourself for some dusty ideas, pictures, dishes and conversations (with myself) from the archives of the past 2 months. I hope I don't disappoint you! (but then again you can just close the web browser, I won't know!)