Pike Place Mac n CheeseTo wrap up posting about Courtney’s visit, I wanted to share the recipe we made while she was here, with ingredients primarily purchased at Pike Place Market in Seattle! While the market was manic the Friday we visited, we still managed to get harassed by Pappardelle’s Pasta as we walked by, forced into trying some dark chocolate pasta. Upon discovering that was good, we tested some others and settled on getting some garlic and chive shells to make for dinner. Without much more of a plan, we kept shopping and thinking about what to make. We were planning to swing by Beecher’s cheese for the samples anyways, when it dawned on us to make a mac ‘n cheese from our ingredients! We picked up their flagship cheese, plus some Gruyère to round out the flavors. We had our plan and went about the rest of our day in Seattle.

IMG_4393Admittedly, this seems a bit odd that I’m writing an “on the road” post about our own town, Tacoma, but with Courtney in town, it felt like we were equal parts guests as we are locals! It was beyond fun taking her to all of our favorite local joints for food, beer and so much more. We knew Tacoma was a pretty cool city, but being able to show it off to someone over the course of a few days made it all the sweeter. I’ll keep the chitchat to a minimum and encourage you to read/view on to learn a little more about our adventure around town, primarily through pictures, because let’s be real: we’re millennials and we like taking pix of our food, k??
(PS – We’re always welcome to host visitors whether it’s for an afternoon or several days! Just hit us up to get on our calendar! *cough cough* family and friends *cough cough* #westcoastbestcoast)
(Also, cute picture of Otis looking longingly at his ball in the park up the street, Wright Park, while we were on a walk with Courtney. Ball is life.)

IMG_4367As many of you probably already figured out, you haven’t heard from us in a week because our friend Courtney was in town! We had a blast showing her around Tacoma, Seattle and Mount Rainier and we definitely ate all the things. Had we not kept a running Instagram log of what all we were consuming (#courtneysees253), I don’t know if I would remember it all by now! We only cooked once (!!!) during the entire weekend, so instead we took her to a bunch of restaurants we love, as well as some new joints. We will be sharing our Pike Place Market-inspired recipe at a later date!

IMG_4313This past weekend it was my birthday and we decided to take the day to explore Vashon Island, which is a sub-10 minute ferry ride from Tacoma. We packed up Otis in the car, jacket and all, and drove the Point Defiance to catch the ferry on what was admittedly, not the nicest of days. Chance of rain, chance of sun, guarantee of high winds – somewhat typical day here in Tacoma! Either way, while I was at The Humane Society in the morning to do a cat behavior training class, Will did some research of what we could do at Vashon all day. When I returned home, he declared we were going to the island and had made a card of all the options of things to do! It was supposed to be an “either or” type of list, but we checked off almost everything on there! It involved the consumption of many things, which is why I felt it was appropriate to share here 🙂

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As I was trying to come up with which “perfect” recipe to share in my 500th post on Cooking With Willis, it occurred to me that there is no such thing as a “perfect” recipe. I toyed with finally getting around to sharing about our cooking experience in Cape Town, another new wonderful muffin recipe (I’ve been on a muffin kick recently), some of the vegan dishes we’ve been making as of late, or a host of other things. But instead I thought why not write about something a little less typical? There’s nothing particularly significant about crossing the 500 threshold at this point in time, particularly when my enthusiasm for the blog has been clearly waning, in light of new opportunities filling my time. So why not write about what I want to write about, instead of going through the litany of detailing a new recipe, which involves photo editing, uploading, recipe writing, content writing, etc. It’s not that I lack content or recipes – I think I’ve just needed a little break from trying to keep up the pace we were going! It’s harder than it looks, even if you’re just an itty bitty little blog.

If the Thanksgiving post was tardy, then this post is so beyond belated. I want to wrap up as many 2014 recipes IN 2014 as I can, before the new year full of new recipes arrives. This last week of December will essentially be a race to the finish, to see if I can share what we were up to, in the appropriate year! That being said, we’ll be traveling so much in the next two weeks, that we may not have any recipes to post in the new year, if I meet my goal. HAH who am I kidding? Of course we’ll be cooking along the way, especially considering we’re celebrating two Christmas’ before 2015 arrives.

I’m so proud to share a documentary that my neighbor and friend Alexis made, with her colleagues at The Health Journal (subsequent article here). The importance of knowing where and who your food comes from, is so crucial to the sustainability of the worlds future supply. While I am toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian (more on that later), this film really hit home as to why it is so significant to find farmers you know and can trust, to provide you with the best-quality meals possible, whether that’s veggies/fruit, dairy products, eggs or meats. If that means buying organic/free-range/cage-free foods at the grocery store, then that’s at least one step in the right direction. To get the opportunity to work with a co-op, a local market or going to a farmers market to purchase your foods, is completely worth it in my opinion because the food that you put into your body is what you thrive on. As humans, we need food to survive, so why not provide the vessel with which we walk this Earth with the best possible nutrients we can? Being cognizant of what you put it can only benefit how you feel, your overall health and the longevity of your life.