Seattle YogaTreat Launch: Food, Yoga and Friends

We organized the first Seattle YogaTreat yesterday (February 7th 2015) These treats combine an enriching yoga session with a meal. The yoga session was envisioned and led by Sweta Saraogi and I cooked and curated the meal. We asked Richard Kinssies of Seattle Wine School and Wine Outlet (whose classes are a must attend) to help pick wines that would compliment the different courses.

The afternoon started with the yoga workshop Sweta created.

Sweta created a wonderful atmosphere for the participants. The session was coupled with city views of Seattle!
Sweta created a wonderful atmosphere for the participants. The session was coupled with city views of Seattle!
A moment before the session where participants are settling in!
A moment before the session where participants are settling in!
A moment captured during the session where participants were concentrating on their practice.
A moment captured during the session where participants were concentrating on their practice.

Afterwards everyone relaxed and lounged for 30 minutes after the two-hour workshop coupled with stories. I offered them my mint-pom-berry juice that I blended right before they got out of the session. As they were in the session, I prepared the dinner set-up with the help of my wonderful husband Matt Powers.

Cooking for crowds would never be possible without the love and support of Matt. Here he is captured preparing the wine before the meal.
Cooking for crowds would never be possible without the love and support of Matt. Here he is captured preparing the wine before the meal.

I served my grandmother’s Bosnian borek and told stories of how I learned to make it. I hand roll the dough and with a lower back disc that loves to slip, a back doctor would announce me to be “crazy” to indulge in this activity. It is back, skill and patience building but the result is well worth it.  The outcome is the borek of a half-Bosnian Turk who lives in Seattle. To reflect on where we live I filled the borek with regional mushroom,spinach and feta and dripped on top a few drops of heaven also known as white truffle oil. I picked the oil from the Olive Oil Tasting room in Queen Anne which is a unique store that allows you to taste all oils before purchase.  I also had a Bosnian cucumber salad on each table with cracked pepper, mustard seeds and sour cream.  We served Pinot Grigio of Terlato from Sonoma County (2011) with these first dishes.

The cucumber salad was served family style.It is refreshing allowing to move from course to course.
The cucumber salad was served family style.It is refreshing allowing to move from course to course.
Personalized menus, some French salt and antep pepper that I brought back from Gaziantep, Turkey was on each table!
Personalized menus, some French salt and antep pepper that I brought back from Gaziantep, Turkey was on each table!
Our wonderful participants (and friends) conversing during the appetizers. The tulips are from Pike Place Market!
Our wonderful participants (and friends) conversing during the appetizers. The tulips are from Pike Place Market!

For the main course, I made a trio of stuffed things. I talked about the battles over dolma and told everyone that we settled that battle with my friend Dimitris Kozas of Kozas restaurant in Stegna, Rhodes. (You have to go there it is amazing)  So I made a stuffed tomato that made me think of Greece and called it the Greek. I stuffed it with the lemon garlic orzo of the Pappardelle of Pike Place Market. I coupled that with a stuffed swiss chard of lamb and a bulgur chickpea stuffed dried eggplant from Gaziantep, Turkey. Each stuffed good was also a happy food memory. Underneath this trio was a touch of (Greek) yoghurt and mint oil.  We coupled that with two wines: one from Puglia Italy – a Nero D’Avola of Merchesi Del Salento (2013) and another wine from Mendoza, Argentina – a Malbec of Greg Norman Estates (2012).

The life of a cook is to determine where the sauce goes best. This is such a moment.
The life of a cook is to determine where the sauce goes best. This is such a moment.
The cook is happy when the sauce looks pretty!
The cook is happy when the sauce looks pretty!
The tomato stuffed with orzo and baked was my tribute to debates over origins of dolmas and sarmas.
The tomato stuffed with orzo and baked was my tribute to debates over origins of dolmas and sarmas.
We coupled each course with conversation and joy!
We coupled each course with conversation and joy!

And finally – what is life without desert (just sheer sadness!) so we concluded the evening with my  home-made chocolate bars with cashews, cranberries and fleur de sel and a mastic pudding of my great aunt Mehtos. with pomegranates with a creme brulee crust. I learned how to make this pudding a childhood favorite from Mehtos, my mothers aunt who taught all her nieces and nephews how to twist. Now living on the beach, whenever I visit her Mehtos shares with me her pudding and now I share her pudding with my friends. We also served a desert wine which was a crowd favorite a sparkling Moscato D’asti of Bera from Piemento Italy (2012). For those who know my one work hazard of burning myself I am happy to anounce that I am yet to to burn from the blow torch. We are so far friends.

It is a traditional mastic pudding with a caramel topping.
It is a traditional mastic pudding with a caramel topping.

We are thinking of turning the Seattle Yogatreat into a private club of like minded food and yoga lovers. Get in touch if you want to be a part of this experience.

Our club members enjoying their meals!
Our club members enjoying their meals!

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