Perfect Holiday Recipe: Green Lake Guest House’s Swedish Pancakes

December 22, 2014 6:36am

Photo via Green Lake Guest House

I’m just going to come right out and say it. One of my favorite things about the holidays is the food – and cooking it with or for family and friends.

Frequently we see the good food that the Green Lake Guest House is cooking up for their guests via their Facebook feed and decided to ask them for a recipe to share with you. They sent us the Swedish Pancakes, a family recipe of co-owner Blayne, that was featured this summer in the new Taste of Washington cookbook. (A family recipe with some cred, we like that!) So here it is. We hope you make this, perhaps now for the holidays on a wintery Green Lake morning, or anytime of year.

Green Lake Guest House’s Swedish Pancakes

8 eggs
½ cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla or almond extract
½ stick of melted butter

Blend first four items in blender on slow speed. Add other items while blender is running. Note: Add melted butter last.

Cook on electric frying pan at 325 degrees F on each side until set and very lightly browned (use non-stick spray like Pam). Remove from pan, spread with butter and sifted powdered sugar and roll up. Garnish with powdered sugar, sliced berries, and a little whipped cream if you like. Serves 7-8.


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Seattle Curbed’s Neighborhood of the Year: Will it be Green Lake?

December 19, 2014 7:30am


Who doesn’t like a little bragging rights? Seattle Curbed has launched its Curbed Cup, its annual Neighborhood of the Year tournament! Previous winners include Greenwood in 2014, Fremont in 2013 and Ballard in 2012.

The candidates will be presented in two match-ups per day through this week, results to be reviewed on Friday. Polls are only open for 24 hours, and, with Green Lake on the docket yesterday (pegged up against the hip and ever evolving Belltown), we’re happy to share Green Lake won by a landslide, taking 90% of votes.

Green Lake, as described by Seattle Curbed:

“In the other corner…Green Lake. Sure Green Lake has shops and restaurants and trendy places to hang out, but it’s got a lake. How cool is that? Actually very cool if you jump in. But, hey, people do strange things there – like race milk carton canoes. Where else can you do laps for miles without having to worry about traffic lights? Watch out for the baby strollers though. Some of them come by pretty fast. You know it was bigger long ago, right?”

So what makes a neighborhood “Curbed Cup” worthy? As stated on the website…”It’s a neighborhood that saw the most exciting things happen in 2013. We’re talking new restaurants (check), new development (Green Lake Village anyone?), newly-created parklets (we have the park), awesome retail openings (check) and that certain undefinable sense that this neighborhood is better than all the rest (absolutely check).”

Green Lake will now move onto the second round, to be pegged against a to-be-determined neighborhood. We will share more news once we have it, but in the meantime follow Seattle Curbed for updates on the standings. You can see all the match-ups here:


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2014 Green Lake Holiday Guide

Green Lake’s Holiday Lights 2014

December 18, 2014 6:30am

N 77th St and Winona Ave

Green Lake may not have one awe-inspiring light show but we think the collective neighborhood can pack a pretty (fa-la-la) worthy holiday punch. So recently, we set out, hot cocoa in hand, to find some of the best lights of the neighborhood. (Thanks to readers Kim and Leya, who also helped with some advice via Facebook.)

We started at the Seattle Public Theatre (7312 West Green Lake Drive North). There we saw quite a few houses decked out with holiday lights, including a penguin-drawn sled light display across the street.

Continuing north along West Green Lake Drive North we spotted an abominable snowman kindly waving at us from atop a house on our left.

Then we turned left onto Winona Avenue and 77th to the house that would make Clark Griswold proud. Last year it won the Seattle Times holiday light display contest.  A fun mix of new and old-timey lights this house may be the most decked out house in Green Lake.

Returning back onto West Green Lake Drive North we turned left onto Orin St, where at Orin and 75th we came to a cul de sac decorated like a giant Christmas tree (something that reminded us of the Dr. Seuss tree at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.)

We meandered through the neighborhood, continuing onto Tangletown where we spotted several nicely adorned houses that were fully decked out in full holiday spirit.

We decided to head up to Greenwood Ave to see more about these lighted monkeys we had been hearing about. There we found 150 monkeys that line Greenwood’s businesses – some hanging off trees and windows. The lighted metal framed monkeys apparently escaped from the Zoo’s Wildlights display, which is where we headed next. There, after paying a small admission fee (Adults $9.75, children 3-12 $6.50 and toddlers get in free) we found 600,000 LED lights throughout the zoo.


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Greenlaker Clarke Gray Wins Award

December 17, 2014 6:30am

Photo via Parkways blog

Ever wonder about that small brick building that houses concessions and the Green Lake Boat Rentals? Years ago Clarke Gray built it in exchange for a 10-year concession agreement. Clarke also brought small row boats, paddle boars, sail boats and paddle boards to the lake through the boat rental service, which I don’t have to tell you, is a very popular activity during the summer!

With all of these Green Lake firsts it only makes sense that Clarke would get a little recognition, which is exactly what happened this past week when the Seattle Parks Department honored him with a Denny Award, specifically the Making a Difference Award.

The Denny Awards are named after David T. and Louisa Denny, who donated land for the first Seattle park in 1884  and what is now known as Denny Park.

According to the Parks Dept Parkways Blog, Clarke has been working with the Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Green Lake community for almost 40 years.

“Beyond his successful business, Clarke has built community goodwill by offering many free hours of use of his equipment for the regattas at the lake and for summer camps for kids. In addition, he has allowed Parks’ Small Craft Center at Green Lake and the Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center on Lake Washington to borrow and test his boats. He eventually sells the water craft to the City at cost,” according to the Parkways blog.

Clarke has also provided his boats for rescue efforts in several potential drownings at Green Lake.

Let’s hear it for Clarke! Thanks for adding so much to the Green Lake community!


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Discounted Swimming Lessons Available in 2015 at City Pools

December 16, 2014 6:31am

We all must have swimming on the brain. Last week we posted about the four places to get your swim on. Then, late last week we received a press release from the Seattle Parks Department announcing discounts for drop-in swim classes at all city public pools starting in 2015. The discounts are available for individuals that qualify based on income and size.

In 2014, Seattle Parks staff taught more than 320,000 swimming lessons at swimming pools and lifeguard beaches across the city.

In Seattle, a city surrounded by water, (and with Green Lake as a major swimming hub!) it is important to make sure that anyone heading into or around the water knows how to swim.

Here’s more from the release:

Drop-in swimming programs offer vital opportunities for basic exposure to the water, development of swim skills and personal health. Currently, many discounts are offered based on age, special population needs, prepaid sessions and frequency of use. With recent City Council approval, in 2015 Seattle Parks will also begin to offer discounts for drop-in sessions to those who qualify. Eligibility will be based on family size and income level in accordance with Seattle Parks established application and approval process. For qualifying individuals, drop-in discount pricing will be $2 for recreational swims such as family swim, public swim or lap swim and $3 for fitness swims such as Water Exercise, Masters, or Swimstrong.

For more information go to

If you have a house of active swimmers, you may want to consider donating to the Learn to Swim Seattle Parks Scholarship fund:


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Beth’s Cafe New Bakery Delivers Baked Goods To Your Door

December 15, 2014 6:27am

Photo via

Did you know that Beth’s Cafe  (yes, the one famous for its 12 egg omelette) has a brand new bakery? And it’s taking the bakery on the road? Well, if the road leads directly to your door that is!

Pick from brownies and bars to friendship bread like banana, double chocolate and pumpkin. While the baked goods look great (we are excited to try a few) the packaging is pretty darn cool a mix of old timey and modern.

For more info, go to their new site.


Photo via



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Ming China Bistro Opens in Green Lake

December 13, 2014 7:34am

Photo via Ming China Bistro

Green Lake is getting a new Chinese food restaurant. Ming China Bistro opened quietly yesterday.  Located across the street from Green Lake Village, Ming China Bistro is taking over the spot previously housed by Cafe MoMo (7119 Woodlawn Ave. NE).

Owner Michelle Zhang says she chose the location because Green Lake has always been a favorite hang out spot for her and her family.

The lunch menu includes a bento-style offering where diners choose one or two of several entree options, which come with choice of hot & sour soup or miso soup, served with organic green salad, edamame, jasmine rice or fried rice.

Dinner options include a variety Chinese fare but several specialty items such as Dongpo braised pork belly, Honey glazed Pork chops, Peking style and a variety of hot pot options.

The restaurant is also slated to host large parties of 40 or more for private dining.

Ming will be open tonight for dinner at 5.
Their regular hours will include lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. everyday except Tuesday.
For more information, go to their website or follow them on Facebook.
Ming China Bistro
7119 Woodlawn Ave. NE
(206) 854-7707


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This weekend in Green Lake: A Holiday Double Hitter!

December 12, 2014 6:35am
BXPE 14Herdman

Photo via SPT

This weekend enjoy one, but two, time-honored Green Lake holiday traditions! On Saturday, December 13th, there will be the Pathway of Lights as well as the opening of SPT’s Bathhouse much adored The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.


To everyone’s amazement, the Herdman kids hijack the annual church Christmas pageant. Chaos escalates as the festivities are turned upside down and the kids ultimately challenge everyone’s traditional notions of Christmas. For young and old alike, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (BXPE) has become a holiday family tradition at SPT and is not to be missed.

This season, teaching artist Emily Purington takes over the BXPE director’s chair and makes her SPT Mainstage debut with a holiday favorite that has become as much a tradition as candy canes and eggnog.

I was curious to learn more about this beloved play and was lucky to have both Emily as well as Shana Bestock, former director, answer a few questions!

Seattle Greenlaker: This will be SPT’s 14th production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (BXPE)! Shana, rumor has it BXPE was the play that “saved the theater” upon its initial run in 2001. Is this true? What happened?

Shana: It is totally true! The previous Artistic Director had programmed the show but had to leave SPT when the board (which had dwindled to 3 hardy souls) couldn’t afford to pay him. SPT hadn’t weathered the transition from scrappy educational touring company to resident professional organization well – there was no real board and no strong direction and definitely no money. A lot of great dreams and aspirations, but they were in danger of dying in the fires of reality. Anyhow, I was young and hungry for opportunity, and had a strong connection to the play. When things started imploding, I asked to direct the play for no money and on no budget. We spent $300 on paint, and the 3 valiant board members somehow kept the lights on and did box office. It was community theater at its finest – an energetic, ambitious, eager ensemble who sold enough $5 and $7 tickets to raise $20,000….And voila! We had a little money and a great deal of energy and momentum to start creating a phoenix from the ashes. Seattle Public Theater exists today due to the hard work and incredible commitment – not to mention chutzpah – of those first BXPE pioneers!

Seattle Greenlaker: So Emily, how does it feel to assume the role of director for a  play that is so loved and with such a long history? Any pre-production jitters?” 

Emily: It’s a mixed bag of emotions. It’s scary for me because I love this play so much. This was my first professional show as an actor, and it is fitting that it is my first show on the mainstage as a director. The history doesn’t scare me though, it only makes it more exciting. Like Shakespeare. Theater is such a subjective experience. I don’t know what others are bringing with them to the theater, but I know what I brought into the rehearsal room: a love of storytelling, and a deep love and appreciation for this play that helped shape me as a theater professional.

Seattle Greenlaker: Can we expect any surprises with this production?

Emily: I hope so! When you cast a show, it’s an investment and a gamble. You never know quite what you’re going to get, but you try to imagine as many possible outcomes and potential chemistry. This is one of the strongest ensembles I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with (and also one of the largest!), which is even more striking given the difference in ages and experience levels. I have laughed through every rehearsal, until my stomach hurt and there were tears in my eyes. I have had the wind knocked out of me when an actor’s character discovery in a single line made me look at the entire play differently. Every rehearsal is a surprise. It amazes me that after all these years we can still find new ground in this play.

Seattle Greenlaker: Emily, what do you most enjoy about being director of BXPE?

Emily: Honestly, getting to work with such an amazing group of people. Everyone is invested in telling this story, and I am thankful to have been given this opportunity. I still pinch myself to make sure I’m awake. I love getting to tell stories about people being fundamentally people—the good, the bad, and the messy. Stories about family, friendship, and the mysteries of the universe.

Seattle Greenlaker: Thank you Shana and Emily! I can’t wait to see the play!

For tickets call the SPT Box Office at 206-524-1300 or visit our website at



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Four Places to Get Your Swimming Lessons On

December 11, 2014 6:45am

Via Swim Guru’s Facebook Page

As a part of the Greenlake Moms group, I see lots of chatter about everything from yoga classes to consignment stores. After seeing a recent email that included lots of (very) passionate feelings about area swimming classes I felt compelled to share those recommendations with all of you. Let’s dive in! (Sorry, had to do it.)

Evans Pool, Greenlake Community Center, 7201 E Green Lake Drive N, 206-684-4961. After a few recommendations from friends, I signed my little one up for the Tot Swim Lessons at Evans Pool over the summer. Although the pool had a tendency to be a bit on the chilly side – there were definitely some chattering teeth by the end of the 30 minute session! – we enjoyed splashing around with the other parents and tots, and our instructor couldn’t have been sweeter.

Plus, classes at Evans Pool are definitely affordable at $60 for six 30-minute group sessions. Winter class registration is open now, but spots are limited! Get more details here.

Seattle Children’s Hospital Therapy Pool, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, 206-987-2547. Some say this is the area’s best kept swimming lessons secret! Although it’s primarily used by hospital patients, the Therapy Pool at Seattle Children’s offers limited group swimming lessons to folks in the community. Since the classes are so small, they’re notoriously hard to get into, and there are some pretty strict policies about keeping the pool infection-free given it’s in a hospital.

However, classes are small, so instruction is personal, prices are reasonable at around $50 for a six-week session, plus the pool is toasty warm. Get more details here. You might be too late to snag a spot for Winter, but the next session starts right around the corner in March:  still plenty of time for your little one to brush up on those swimming skills before summer.

Safe N Sound Swimming, 2040 Westlake Ave. N, (206) 285-9279. Although it’s slightly out of the neighborhood in the Westlake area, Safe N Sound Swimming came so highly recommended by a post from the Greenlake Moms group that I had to include it here. Safe N Sound specializes in swimming lessons, but they also offer camps and other fun activities during the summer months.

You can sign up for lessons here on a monthly or individual class basis, picking a pricing model that fits your needs and budget (for example, eight 15-minute lessons run $188, or you can get weekly lessons for $119/month). Pricing information and more details can be found on their website,

Swim Guru, 10545 Aurora Ave. N., 206-200-9449. Located at Aurora & 105th in Underwater Sports, Swim Guru touts itself as “Seattle’s Most Effective Swim & Water Safety Instruction.” Lessons are private, so the pool is calm and students get individual attention. And according to one local mom, they’ve successfully taught kiddos as young as two years old to swim like a pro.

Sounds pretty perfect, right? Well, all that awesomeness comes at a price; six 30-minute classes can run you as much as $540. But who can put a price on a great backstroke, really? Get all the details here:




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Pet Food Donations Needed: Trupanion Challenges Public to Donate

December 10, 2014 6:20am

Photo via Seattle Humane Society FB page

Nearly four tons of donated pet food will be loaded onto trucks headed for the Seattle Humane Society later this morning. That’s thanks to an effort by employees at local pet insurance company Trupanion who are hoping to help local animals in need. And while that’s a lot of food (or as they stated in their press info, the equivalent of 5,578 Venti Peppermint Mochas or 8 King County Metro Buses or 41 Marshawn Lynch’s or enough to fill 7 Seattle Great Wheel gondolas!) it doesn’t fill the need in our area.

Trupanion is challenging the public to help as well by donating to local animal shelters during the holidays.

Here’s just a few local charities to consider:
Seattle Pug Rescue
Seattle Animal Shelter
Seattle Area Feline Rescue


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