Oscar Night Dinner

Planning a little dinner party for 8 on Oscar Night. Festive, yet casual with star-strewn linens, lots of candles, maybe a little extra glitter tossed around.

On the Menu:

Steak Oscar with Filet Mignon and fresh Dungeness crab from Central Market, and fresh asparagus from QFC capped with more than a drizzle of Bernaise sauce.

True Grit roasted potatoes. Russets from QFC scrubbed, peeled and cut into bite size pieces. They are placed in a large rectangle baking dish and tossed with olive oil, Lipton Onion Soup Mix and pepper to taste. Roasted in a 350° oven appox 1 hour until crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.

Biutiful Salad made with a mixed greens of iceberg, baby spinach, Romaine, Arugula tossed with shredded carrot, sliced green onion, tomato wedges and garlic croutons. Choice of Ranch, Blue Cheese or Balsalmic vineagrette.

Wines:  Monte Aribaldo 2007 Dolcetta D’Alba  &  Michele Chiarlo 2008 Barbera D’Asti From the wine selection at Central Market

For dessert how about Red Carpet doughnuts [really Red Velvet] from FROST Doughnuts Evolved in Mill Creek? I hope FROST won’t mind. I love their doughnuts as an alternative to cake or cupcakes. They are so rich and fancy, they shouldn’t just be for breakfast and snacks. Do tell.

Mill Creek Little League

The Mill Creek Little League is still in the process of registration for the 2011 season. Wow, with all this snow falling and forecasts calling for temps in the teens, it seems funny to be thinking about baseball, but in fact, the season will be here before we know it.

If you have a child interested in or planning on trying out for a team and they haven’t done so, you better get going.

T-Ball (ages 5-6) registration closes March 18th

Rookies (ages 7-8) registration closes March 14th

Farm (ages 9-10) closes March 14th

Minors (ages 9-11) teams have been selected as well as the Majors (ages 9-12)

Junior Tryouts (for ages 13-14) are over, but there are a few spots left and registration will stay open until the spots are filled.

Senior and Big League Baseball Tryouts (that’s for ages 15-18) tryouts will be held on March 5th 10-11:30AM and on March 6th Noon-1:30PM at Cedarwood Elementary School.

Softball Tryouts for players (ages 9-16) entering the draft for Minors, Majors, Jr. and Sr. Divisions will be on Feb 26th and 27th at Jackson High School. Times and information are linked on the Mill Creek Little League website. Click on link below.

This information was obtained from the Mill Creek Little League website and there is a ton of information there, so please visit: www.millcreeklittleleague.com if you have any questions or want more details, including contact information, volunteer opportunities, information on umpire clinics, and much, much more. Do tell.

Mill Creek Garden Club

Mill Creek is home to several social/philanthropic groups. One of these is the Mill Creek Garden Club.  They meet at the Mill Creek Country Club for a program and lunch at 11:30 AM on the 2nd Wednesday of the month- September through May. The group collects annual membership dues of $25. In addition to the dues, the cost of lunch of $23 for members and $25 for guests. The programs cover a wide variety of gardening and horticultural topics.

In addition to the luncheon meetings the group plants and maintains flowers in several public sites within the city limits, and recently provided holiday arrangements for the dining tables at Emeritus Senior Living in Mill Creek. There are tours to places of interest and other activities planned throughout the year.

Currently, The Mill Creek Garden Club is taking orders for Spring Flower Baskets. The profits raised from the sale of the baskets goes to a scholarship for an Edmonds Community College students enrolled in the Horticulture Program and toward grants available by application to local elementary schools.

For more information, to see about becoming a member and/or to order a Spring flower basket go to: www.millcreekgardenclub.com Supply for the baskets is limited and the deadline to order is April 1, 2011 for delivery May 5th and 6th. Do tell.

City Council Meeting

The Mill Creek City Council meets every 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesday Of the month at 6PM in the Mill Creek Council Chambers located at 15728 Main Street in Mill Creek, Washington.
That means the next meeting is tomorrow evening! The public is very much encouraged to come and participate in their local government.
For more information and links to city documents and agendas visit: www.cityofmillcreek.com

Parking [or not] on Main Street

Is it just me or does anyone else have an issue with the inconsiderate people who take more than one parking space on Main Street in the Town Center? I realize they are not the roomiest of spaces to begin with, but come on people. The trouble is if one car is parked over the line a tad, a domino effect is created. I, for one, will just keep going and not patronize a business if I can’t find a decent parking place.

Now before you say,  “Well get off your duff and walk”, I do.  I often park away from shops for the purpose of walking, but there are the times I want to just get in and get out such as Starbuck’s, Coldstone Creamery and the like where I don’t want to have to park a block or more away, and it is annoying to see someone take more than one spot.

While I am on the subject of parking another pet peeve is the people who apparently work at the Town Center taking the premium parking spots. [A certain red truck, I think you know who you are] Or, is it someone parking and riding the bus? hmm— All I know is that virtually every day in front of U Bookstore, Boston’s and in that general vicinity the same truck(s) are parked. Do tell.

Recess Monkey Coming to Mill Creek March 12

Recess Monkey is coming to Mill Creek University Bookstore. So what exactly is a Recess Monkey? Should I be running for cover? I’ve heard of a Rhesus Monkey, but . . . . Well I did a little research and it turns out Recess Monkey is not one but three elementary school teachers from Seattle who have a band. Not just any ordinary band but a very successful band playing music inspired by their classroom experience plus The Beatles and The Who.  This makes for a musical experience geared for kids but delightful for parents as well.  A happy laughing child = a happy laughing parent.

“’This is his fifth Recess Monkey concert,’ says the man next to me, whose 3-year-old son has already been led up front by Mom. Only a bit abashed, the 40-something father holds up his iPod, confessing, ‘Yes, it’s loaded with Recess Monkey songs.’ Such is the phenomenon and cross-generational pull of Seattle’s Recess Monkey: a band of three private-school teachers whose growing fame as purveyors of kiddie rock/pop has reached the ears of the Dalai Lama.” —Excerpt from an article by Megan Sheppard –Special to the Seattle Times

Recess Monkey has produced 6 CDs  with titles like Tabby Road, Field Trip, Final Funktier and two-part DVD series Field Trip which features music and video from their tours local and cross-country.

“They continue to be praised across the country for singable danceable songs that parents enjoy as much as their kids.” —Recess Monkey site

“Self-proclaimed graduates of ‘Monkey U,’ three teachers make up Recess Monkey and pay homage to The Beatles, The Who, The Byrds and other bands through mellow, light- hearted tunes on their third CD …This is a perfect selection for long roadtrips — quick jaunts across town will deprive listeners of the full, continual experience of Wonderstuff.” —Nashville Parent

Mark your calendars now. Load up the kids and prepare for some fun.

Final Funktier
photo Kevin Fry

Appearing at the University Book Store in the Mill Creek Town Center on Saturday March 12 at 11 AM  as part of the Kindiependent Series with Top Pot Doughnuts. Do Tell.

La Palmera Family Mexican Restaurant

I simply have to review our recent experience at La Palmera II Family Mexican Restaurant. We went in on Valentine’s Day evening with a group of 17 people. Yes, Valentine’s Day. Very romantic, si? This happened because it was the only time we could get together with our family plus some out-of-town business associates [who had invited us] and their families and we were all fine with it.

The husband and I were the first to arrive at about 5:30 and we asked about a reservation; we were reminded they don’t take reservations, but no problem. We thought there might be about 12 of us, and the staff set right to work arranging a large table for us complete with all the service items, waters and menus. The showed the two of us to our seats and brought chips, salsa and (my favorite) pico de gallo.

As others in the party began to arrive it became clear that there were going to be more than we thought. Someone mentioned 17! Without batting an eye the staff, including Hector the owner, began rearranging the furniture and resetting for 17. Did I mention that we were comprised of 12 adults, 1 teen, 1 tween, 1-4 year old, 1-1 year old and a 5 week old infant.

I do mention this because this could have been a recipe for disaster in some restaurants, but Hector and his staff handled the whole thing with aplomb. While refilling our chip basket and our waters, they brought chips with salsa for the rest of the table and took beverage orders with nary a hiccup.

All the plates came out [I didn’t time it, but it seemed] in less than 10 minutes, and we were all served as close to the same time as you could ever imagine. How often have you had it happen when you’re in a large group, that the meals come out one-at-a-time and one or more diners are forgotten? Not here!

From the excellent quality of service, on to the quality of the food. I didn’t query anyone else after they finished, but when I glanced down the table  all I could see were clean plates. As for myself, I ordered the Steak Fajita. The grilled steak arrived sizzling hot as it should, perhaps a little heavy on the onions, but including tender yet still snappy green and red peppers. The sides included a container of warm tortillas, and a plate of rice, beans, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, guacamole, and a sprinkling of olives. Except for the rice being a little on the cool side, it was perfect and plentiful; I did have to ask for a “doggie” box.

There were a total of five couples and it may not have been the romantic evening with our sweethearts we might have planned, but it turned into a fun, happy multi-family night. The 5 week old slept through it all with bliss,  and we all got a chance to hold her.

We commend the owners and staff of La Palmera for obviously loving their guests, their business and their jobs. It shows. Thanks for showing us such a great time.  Do tell.

Books For a Cold Winter’s Night (or day for that matter)

When the weather is dreary like this, my thoughts turn to getting cozy with a good book in a comfy chair, perhaps by the fire. Did you know that Mill Creek is teeming with Book Clubs? Even if you are not into joining a group you can get some ideas for your next read.

The University Book Store 15311 Main Street in Mill Creek has a special shelf loaded with the latest selections from local groups including three book clubs of its own.

The Main Street Book Club is reading Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. They will meet to discuss the book on Wednesday February 23 at 6:30PM. Recent past choices include: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, Straight Man by Richard Russo, and Winner of the 2009 National Book Award, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann.

If you are more in the mood for a classic, The Creek Classics Book Club is reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.  “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” This would be an excellent choice for that cozy spot by the fire with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, all while listening to the wind howl outside and the rain on the window. Ooh, I’m scaring myself. Is that Mrs. Danvers I hear creeping down the stairs? Come to discuss on March 8 at 6:30PM

The bookstore also hosts @thecreekbc – “a book club for readers of the best in young adult fiction.” Their current pick is North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley. They will meet to discuss on March 7 at 7:00PM. This group can also be followed on facebook and twitter.

In addition, The Mill Creek Library Book Club and Mill Creek Library Non-Fiction Book Club are represented. They are reading The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls and Charlatan by Pope Brock, respectively.

I counted 9 additional neighborhood book clubs with their current picks available! These are private groups that have formed in the area. They have registered with University Book Store, and they keep the manager informed of their picks. The U Bookstore endeavors to keep a certain number in stock and club members can purchase the books and receive a small discount. Some of the current selections are:

  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
  • The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • Mourning Becomes Cassandra by Christine Dudley
  • Letters From Yellowstone by Diane Smith (sounds interesting)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (loved this one)
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: a Novel by Jamie Ford (on my list)
  • Sea of Poppies by Amitov Ghosh
  • Pulitzer Prize Winner The Dead Hand by David E Hoffman (looks good)

Well, I hope this list helps, and you are inspired to read. At least you know what your neighbors are reading. Do Tell. The University Book Store and the Mill Creek Library have shelves and shelves more.  So no excuses; get cozy and get reading.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope you all have plans with loved ones and/or you are able to find yourselves cozy tonight whether out on the town or at home. It is an ugly, cold, blustery, wet day for sure. Ugh, just one of the too many we’ve endured this winter. Is it just me or is this an unusually gray, soggy, dreary winter? Alas, I will snap out of this; enough of the whining! It is good to see all the red and pink in the stores just to brighten up the view around here. And of course in the Northwest the abundance of greenery including our iconic evergreen trees helps. Sigh.

Have a Heart – A Town Center Charity Event February 14-28

Charity Event Has a Heart.

Was walking through the Paddywack pet store on Friday and noticed a brochure on a table near the door. Have a Heart – Mill Creek Town Center 2011 Giving Guide.  Seems that several merchants in the Town Center have joined forces to collect funds for some of their favorite charities.

Between Valentine’s Day – February 14th and the end of the month – February 28th 2011, participating shops will offer special purchases, raffles, or a percentage of sales to go to the particular merchant’s favorite charity.

What a great idea!

Merchants listed are: Tablas Woodstove Taverna, Boston’s, Nest Home & Gifts, Frost, Kafe Neo, Musings Artists Inspired, Run 26, and the aforementioned, Paddywack.

Go to:  www.millcreektowncenter.biz for updates and more info