Our summer vacation commenced on July 4 as we dashed out the door not looking back and remembering to bring Lou’s milk cup, which was left to fester in a sealed up apartment enveloped in full blazing NYC summer heat. We left Harlem behind for Los Angeles pastures including immediate cocktails and barbecued kalbi. It’s only in the summer that you work to keep yourself busy with such leisurely activities – making peach cobbler due to an abundance of mom’s garden grown peaches, swimming at the pool for a number of reasons and figuring out what the night’s drink will be to go with whatever’s being grilled. Lou has discovered the beauty of having space, a backyard and a vehicle. Staying with my parents is always (usually, no, for the most part 😉 ) a delight and there is no place like home like their backyard next to the hot grill and fire pit going on a 7th s’more.

Enjoying a sunny day in Seattle is finely celebrated by going to the beach. The water may be still be frigid in June but when the sun comes out, it’s GLORIOUS! Couple that with a sautĂ©ed prawn, garlic tapenade and caramelized onion sandwich from nearby Caribbean food outpost Paseo and you’ve got yourself a winning day.

Paseo Caribbean Restaurant – Ballard
6226 Seaview Ave NW

What better way to celebrate Father’s Day then to put Lou to sleep in the stroller before heading to Le Pichet in downtown Seattle for a generous plate of Charcuterie, baguette, house smoked salmon with a spiced yogurt bulgur salad and several glasses of rosĂ©. It’s not everyday you please a French person with French food in America and the chicken liver terrine, pork rillettes, pork pĂątĂ©, beef tongue and saucisse lyonnaise certainly did their tricks this afternoon. It was all so delicious and Lou gave us a break all through lunch up until we made it to the park.

There is something so beautiful about the way Lou smiles when she hears Olivier getting home from work. She squeals with delight for papa and runs to him before giving him the tightest hug ever and nestles her little head into his neck. They have such a special bond and it’s amazing to see, especially the way she cradles his head and plays with his face when he carries her on his shoulders or the way they spoon while sneaking in more rest on a weekend morning. Olivier is incredibly gentle, loving and patient and It’s not enough just to say thank you on just today (hope the charcuterie helped)! Tchin Tchin to our amazing papa!

Ramps and fiddleheads are currently the happening at the Union Square Farmers Market. This was my first time cooking either and together they formed a lovely union with linguine, garlic, bacon and pecorino romano. Ramps are wild leeks and fiddleheads are ferns. The mélange of veggies added awesome earthy nutty flavor and texture to the pasta. I first cooked the bacon to a slight crisp and set it aside so I could cook the garlic, bulbs of the ramps and the fiddleheads in the bacon fat. I then added the ramp leaves to the pan since they take less time to cook. This took all of 10-15 minutes and I modestly salted each stage of cooking. Finally I added linguine and the bacon to the pan to toss together and served with gratings of salty pecorino romano and generous squirts of olive oil. So simple to make and perfect to take on a pre-summer picnic! Miam!

We got to celebrate with Oli’s lovely maman who is visiting from France. I wanted to prepare light cuisine as far from France as Hawaii is so I made Onigiri stuffed with Nametake to go with our Salmon. Onigiri is a Japanese rice ball and delicious Nametake mushrooms are seasoned and sold in jars. I had no idea how to describe its taste and I’ve eaten it all my life usually with natto (fermented soybeans), which I think I’ll save for the next holiday – Memorial Day, perhaps. Happy Mum’s Day xo

Ever cooked up veal thymus aka sweetbreads? I topped off mixed greens tossed in Dijon mustard vinaigrette with these babies I fried in butter along with shallots this past V-day. An illustrious baguette accompanied the salad. The texture was quite unique, soft yet chewy and the flavor was mild though next time around I would dredge them in flour for an attractive crisp (the few times I've had sweetbreads in restaurants, like at Prune, they were served heavily breaded and fried). It was a pretty light precursor to dessert - Charlotte aux Marrons (cake constructed with walls made of rummy simple syrup soaked lady fingers and an interior filled with a mixture of sweet ass sweet faugier créme de marrons and whipped cream, recipe courtesy of Anthony Bourdain). I picked up the sweetbreads at Eataly. Lou happily ate the leftovers the next day.