Greenlake Guest House

7630 E. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle, Washington 98103
Innkeeper(s): Blayne and Julie McAferty

Get Outdoors in Seattle This Summer 27 May 2020, 4:39 pm


kayaker waving on the water
Blayne kayaking on Puget Sound

Practice Healthy Habits and Get Outdoors

This will be a unique summer in Seattle, as we gradually re-open businesses and resume more normal life during the Covid-19 era. We anticipate that, as usual, July, August, and September will be the best times to visit this summer.  Those who choose to travel can look forward to cheaper airfares and fewer crowds because most conventions and cruise ship sailings will not be happening this year.

What can healthy travelers do to have fun in Seattle this summer, while maintaining safe practices like social distancing, wearing a mask when spending time in close spaces with others, and frequent handwashing? We know that being outdoors is generally safer than being inside, so our recommendation is to focus on outdoor activities this year. Enjoy mild weather, many hours of daylight, and stunning outdoor scenery that is typical for summer in our corner of the world.

We anticipate that most Seattle leisure activities will be available in a few weeks. Restaurants will be opening up limited indoor and patio dining in Phase 2 of our pandemic recovery, probably in early June. Non-essential travel and many leisure activities (except for large sporting events and conventions) will be opening up during Phase 3, probably in early July. For more details on Washington’s planned re-opening, see

Here are our top picks on what to do in Seattle this Summer!

Green Lake at dusk

Local City & State Parks

Over 100 years ago, Seattle city planners created an ambitious plan to create a park or playground within one half mile of every home in Seattle. There are nearly 500 parks in Seattle. Here are just three of our favorites for exploring this summer:

Green Lake Park offers 2.8 miles of walking and jogging trails  around the lake, staffed beaches in summer, non-motorized boat rentals, tennis courts, and a community swimming pool. It’s located right across the street from our B&B.

Discovery Park is the largest park in the city. It offers numerous hiking trails and access to Puget Sound shoreline.

Volunteer Park & Conservatory is located a few minutes away on north Capitol Hill neighborhood. This beautiful park offers an observation deck as well as the historic conservatory and is home to the Seattle Asian Art Museum. It’s also fun to walk around the nearby mansions just north of the park on Seattle’s historic Millionaire Row.

Lake Union and Seattle Skyline

Outdoor Attractions & Gardens

Seattle is fortunate to have a number of outdoor attractions open year-round that are perfect for spending time outside and allowing more distance from others.

The Olympic Sculpture Park is located on the waterfront in downtown Seattle and was created by the Seattle Art Museum back in 2007.  This 9-acre, free public space offers a number of large art installations as well as access to Puget Sound and the beach at Myrtle Edwards Park.

We also love spending time at the Hiram Chittenden Ballard Locks & Botanical Garden, especially in the summertime. It’s fun to watch the boats coming and going through the historic locks and walk through the lush garden and go under the water to the viewing window for the fish ladder. One of our favorite summertime activities is to bring a picnic to enjoy at dinner and watch the sunset in the distance to the west.

University of Washington’s Arboretum & Japanese Garden is located just a few minutes’ drive southeast of Greenlake Guest House, on the shores of Lake Washington. This 200-acre park offers several gardens with extensive plantings and walking trails. Its 3.5-acre Japanese garden is a gem within the park and is considered one the oldest and most authentic Japanese Gardens in the United States. While currently closed due to the pandemic, the Japanese Garden is normally open March -November and has a small entrance fee. We expect it will re-open soon.

Finally, the Woodland Park Zoo & Rose Garden is located inside Woodland Park, just 2 miles south of Greenlake Guest House, and adjacent to Green Lake Park. The large, award winning zoo is known for its natural looking and humane exhibits and spectacular plantings. The Rose Garden is located on the south side of the zoo and is the site of numerous small weddings in the summer. The zoo is currently closed but we expect it will re-open in early July, or whenever the state is in Phase 3 of re-opening.

young people with paddleboards on boat dock
Renting Paddleboards at Ballard Kayak

Boat Tours & Rentals

Seattle has many bodies of water within the city: Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Green Lake, to name just a few. We tell guests that you can’t really experience the true Seattle without getting outside on the water. Here are a few of our favorite options.

Ballard Kayak is located at Shilshole Bay Marina in the nearby Ballard neighborhood and offers kayak and stand up paddleboard rentals, as well as guided tours. Highly recommended for all ages and abilities.

We’ve also rented boats at the Electric Boat Company on Lake Union several times with friends and family. These private rentals are quiet and easy to drive and can accommodate up to 10 people. Lake Union is a working lake with lots to see, including houseboats and seaplanes. Stop and pick up dinner at the boat dock at Ivar’s Fish Bar or bring a picnic with you on the boat. It’s a great way to see Seattle.

The Greenlake Boathouse is located across the street from us on the north side of the lake. They rent stand up paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, sailboats, water bikes, and paddleboats. We have some beach towels and chairs available for guests to borrow at the lake.

Argosy Cruises are another great option for getting out on the water that is less active and more relaxing. They offer 7 narrated cruises on Puget Sound, Lake Union, the Locks, and Lake Washington. Our personal favorite is the 2-hour Locks Cruise. We appreciate this tour for the variety of the scenery and the fun experience of actually going through the locks. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available on these spacious boats. In the past, the boats have offered snacks and cocktails for purchase. Argosy Cruises will be re-opening on June 26.

Patio Dining at Duke’s

Outdoor Dining with a View

Seattleites love the opportunity to eat outside when the sun comes out. This summer is the perfect time to eat under a patio umbrella or directly under the stars. With our northern latitude, it stays light until well after 9pm for most of the summer. This year, restaurants in Seattle will look a little different. Expect tables at least 6 feet apart, and servers that are wearing masks and maybe gloves. To promote social distancing, you might be ordering your meal at the counter or from an app on your phone. Even so, expect great food and warm hospitality from this “foodie” city. Many restaurants are also offering takeout. Here are a few of our tried and true favorites for outside patio dining with great food and a view. We expect that patio dining will be available in early June.

Duke’s Greenlake is located just a few blocks away from our B&B and has a lively patio with a view of the lake and park and really fresh seafood. Casual and friendly.

Ray’s Boathouse & Café is located on Shilshole Bay in the nearby Ballard neighborhood. The view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains never gets old. The upstairs deck at the casual café is a personal favorite of ours for enjoying fresh seafood, burgers, or cocktails, especially at happy hour. The sunsets are incredible too!

Westward is located on the shores of nearby Lake Union. The outside deck and “beach” with a fire pit and Adirondack chairs is a lovely way to spend an hour or two. The view of downtown cityscape beyond the lake is stunning too. The food is mediterranean with an emphasis on seafood. It gets very busy, especially on weekends.

Ivar’s Salmon House & Fish Bar is practically an institution in Seattle. It sits on the north side of Lake Union and has a great view of downtown Seattle and all the marine traffic on Lake Union. Watch the sailboats, seaplanes taking off and landing, and kayakers as you enjoy unpretentious salmon or fish and chips from the deck of either the extremely casual fish bar or the less casual Salmon House.

Terra Plata is located on the east side of downtown next to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, on the edge of Capitol Hill.  We love the fresh and innovative farm to table menu and the magical atmosphere of the rooftop garden overlooking the city neighborhood. More expensive than some of the other options but well worth it if you want to splurge a little.

Mountain with lake in front
Mt. Rainier National Park

Day Trips

Want to eplore further? Try one of our recommended day trips to Mt. Rainier National Park, Whidbey Island, or the Bloedel Reserve on Whidbey Island. We’ll be happy to share the insider tips on how to make the most of your time.

table and chairs outside on patio with coffee cups
Patio available for guests to enjoy

Stay at Greenlake Guest House

When you are ready to travel again, we hope to see you in Seattle at the Greenlake Guest House. We are located in a residential neighborhood across from beautiful, spacious Green Lake Park and are just a few blocks away from a number of restaurants. Downtown Seattle is an easy 10-15 minute drive away. We have free on-street parking. With our small size, flexible low-contact check in and breakfast options, and meticulous houskeeping standards, we believe we are a great option compared to a large, impersonal downtown hotel.

The post Get Outdoors in Seattle This Summer appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

Preparing for Re-Opening 4 May 2020, 3:50 am

Two chairs on the back patio overlooking a beautiful landscape
Enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of wine on our patio.

Updated May 4, 2020. Original post published April 29 2020.

We have not had guests here for about 6 weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Blayne and I have been thinking about the future and what it will be like to be open for business as guests begin traveling. Based on updates from our governor and Public Health authorities, we understand that restaurants will be re-opening their dining rooms after May 31, and many state parks and outdoor recreation opportunities are opening over the next few weeks.  As life gets more normal around the country, we expect that guests will start to travel again.

When that happens, we want to be here to provide a safe and welcoming home away from home for you. We also want to keep everyone healthy. We live here on the property, so we take our responsibility to keep everyone safe very seriously.With those goals in mind, we have put in place what we like to call our “Safety First” amenities when we open in late May.

Wear a Mask sign
Please wear a face covering when in close spaces per King County requirement.

Healthy Practices & A More Flexible Cancellation Policy

We request that our staff and guests wash their hands or use our provided hand sanitizer upon arrival and frequently throughout the day. Please wear a covering over your mouth and nose inside the house  if you anticipate you will be closer than 6 feet from people other than your immediate travel companions. Naturally, we urge you to stay home if you are feeling ill, for the safety of yourself and others. If you are feeling unwell, you now have the option of canceling as late as 24 hours prior to arrival (rather than 7 days) with only a $20 cancellation fee.



We’ve been researching the best cleaning products and cleaning practices for Coronavirus and will be doing even more than ever to sanitize everything thoroughly between guests. We’ll also be cleaning the common areas throughout the day, especially the places guests touch most often like door knobs and hand rails. For your safety and ours, we will be offering daily housekeeping only upon request and will be coordinating with you to exchange towels, remove trash, and re-stock supplies as needed. We plan to schedule at least one extra day between guests to be able to spend extra time on cleaning and to limit the number of rooms available for reservations this summer to allow for more social distancing on the property.


Breakfast Platter with banana bread, fruit, yogurt and granola and hard boiled eggs
Sample Continental breakfast board for 2 put in the guest refrigerator to be enjoyed at your leisure.


To keep you safe, we will also be adding some new changes to breakfast. We will wear a mask and gloves when preparing and serving your food or if we anticipate we will be closer than 6 feet to you.

Guests may order a fresh, high quality, homemade continental breakfast board to be placed in the guest refrigerator the night before and eaten at your leisure in the privacy of your own room, or on the patio.

The breakfast will include freshly cut fruit salad, homemade pastries, hard boiled eggs, and a choice of Greek yogurt or homemade almond chia pudding. Gluten free pastries will be available on request. We’re still here to make you a fresh pot of local Storyville French Press Coffee, local Market Spice Tea, or a latte during regular breakfast hours from 8-9:30 and we have our Keurig machine 24/7.

We plan to offer a seated, hot breakfast option in the dining room when the current COVID-19 dining restrictions are lifted on June 1. Tables will be spaced at least 6 feet apart.  After the restrictions are lifted, guests will continue to have the option of the continental breakfast available in the room or patio upon request.


Wine Hour

Wine Hour is currently on hold due to social distancing requirements, but we will be offering a complimentary bottle of wine (for guests 21 and up) and a snack plate including our famous homemade cookies upon arrival.


Check in

We plan to encourage minimal or no-contact self-check in procedures in order to keep a safe, 6-foot distance. Of course, we do live on site so we will be reaching out via text and phone as you arrive to direct you and answer questions and will be around the house to wave hello from a short distance. If you need in person assistance, we are always here for you!


guest room with french doors looking at back garden
The Ravenna room now has french doors leading to the back patio and garden.

A New Private Entrance for Ravenna Room

We’re excited about the new changes to our Ravenna room, and we hope you are too. This main floor room has some newly liberated French doors to our back patio so that you can come and go  from your own private door (with only 2 steps!). Feel free to enjoy your own table and chairs for a glass of wine or coffee on the back patio, which has a special designation for guests staying in the Ravenna room.

Note: All guests have access to the patio in the front garden and the sitting area on the front porch too.

Thanks for reading about our “Safety First” amenities. We hope you interpret them in the way we intended, which is to show how much we care about you and keeping you healthy. As we move to phase 2 and phase 3 of the recovery from the pandemic, we will make more adjustments.

Please be confident and know that when you are ready to travel again, we are ready for you!

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Greenlake Neighborhood Restaurants Offering Takeout and Delivery Options Now (updated 6-16-20) 26 Mar 2020, 12:21 am

mexican food on a plate
Rosita’s Mexican Grill is now offering more takeout and delivery options

Neighborhood Restaurants with Takeout and Delivery and Patio & Inside Dining (updated 6-16-20)

Seattle restaurants closed back on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are just starting to re-open at 25-50% capacity during the week of June 7.  Here are some of our favorite neighborhood restaurants that are currently offering takeout and  delivery. If they are offering in-house dining we’ll update that as we hear more. We are thankful for these Greenlake neighborhood restaurants that are choosing to remain open, despite a challenging environment.  Note: We recommend calling ahead or checking website to confirm hours of operation as it seems to be changing quickly.

Chocolati sells handcrafted artisan chocolates, pastries, fancy hot chocolate, and espresso drinks from their walk-up window. Less than 5 minute walk away. Open every day from 8-7. 206-527-5467

Duke’s Chowder House has a large patio and is known for fresh, sustainably caught seafood and chowder. Gluten free menu available, as well as grass fed burgers. Dining room and patio open daily for lunch and dinner. Takeout and delivery available. 206-522-4908

Greenlake Grill is a homestyle local restaurant currently offering $15 takeout dinners and half-priced bottles of wine to go Tuesday-Saturday from 4-8. Prime Rib is available on Friday nights. 206-729-6179

Eight Row is a local farm to table restaurant offering several takeout options, including a lunch box and a tacos +wine+ pie meal that serves . Open Wednesday-Saturday, 11-8. 206-294-3178

Latona Pub has been a neighborhood favorite for over 30 years. Beer, wine, and growlers are also available for takout. Try their unique Caesar Salad with Grilled Pineapple (Blayne’s favorite). Closed Monday & Tuesday, open for lunch Friday- Sunday. Re-opening dining room at limited capacity on June 10. 206-525-2238.

Mykonos Greek Grill is a small, family-owned hidden gem of a restaurant offering reasonable prices and their full menu for takeout orders 11am-9pm, closed Mondays. 206-523-8929

Nell’s Restaurant offers inventive, European -inspired seasonal dishes. Large and small plates available, plus wine and cocktails to go. Takeout available 5-8pm every day, dining room is now open at limited capacity. 206-524-4044.

Rosita’s Mexican Grill is a family-run, longtime neighborhood favorite, and is open for takeout as well as delivery from 4-8pm Tuesday & Wednesdays and 11:30-8:30pm Thursday-Saturday. Closed Mondays. Dining room now open at limited capacity. 206-523-3031

Shelter Lounge Greenlake offers creative, pub-style food in a light and airy building with tall ceilings and big windows that open wide on warm days. Opening soon. 206-420-7452

Tapas Lab has some of the tastiest and most creative food in the neighborhood; small plates with a Korean twist. Available for takeout or delivery 11:30am-8:00pm. Closed Mondays. 206-775-1744

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers offers an amazing variety of burgers and toppings and homemade shakes. Based out of Hawaii, this franchise is locally owned and the owner is a leader in the Greenlake business community. Available for both takeout and delivery, open 11am-8:30pm daily. 206-582-1885.

Urban Bakery offers espresso, homemade quiche, sandwiches, soups, and incredible pastries an for pick up between 6:30am and 6pm. 5 minute walk from our B&B.  206-524-7951

Zeek’s Pizza at Greenlake offers handcrafted pizzas and super fresh & creative salads with wine and beer for takeout or delivery. Dining room and patio now open with limited capacity. 206-285-8646

Zoey Yogurt is a locally owned frozen yogurt shop with self serve, to-go  many flavors of frozen yogurt and toppings. Open Monday-Thursday 1-7, and Friday-Sunday 1-8.


Support Our Neighborhood Restaurants

We love this Greenlake neighborhood so much and we want our restaurants to survive, so please do your best to support them if you are in the area. All of the restaurants listed below are within walking distance from the Greenlake Guest House. The situation has been changing rapidly, so be sure to call ahead to be sure they are still open

The post Greenlake Neighborhood Restaurants Offering Takeout and Delivery Options Now (updated 6-16-20) appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

COVID-19 Update from Greenlake Guest House (updated 4-23-20) 25 Mar 2020, 4:15 pm

daffodils by side of walking path at Green Lake Seattle
Springtime along the popular Greenlake walking path

Background-COVID-19 in Seattle:

Here in Seattle, we’ve been feeling the effects of the COVID-19 impact since the end of February. Since then, the virus has become a worldwide pandemic. Seattle schools are currently are closed through June. Restaurants are open, but are now limited to take out and delivery options. Only essential travel is recommended at this time and many attractions and businesses are temporarily closed until May 4.


How We Are Responding to the Pandemic (updated 4-23-20):

We are here, but are not hosting guests until mid May. In order to do our part to “flatten the curve,” of infection rates, we are practicing CDC recommended practices including social distancing and frequently washing our hands. We ask any guest who feels ill to please stay home.

As a former RN, Julie has always been diligent about working with our staff to keep guests safe by maintaining good hygiene and sanitation standards throughout the property while cooking and cleaning. As a licensed B&B, we are regularly inspected by the health department and follow their recommendations. The COVID-19 outbreak has helped us look even more closely at our processes and please rest assured that we will continue to meet or exceed the highest standards recommended by Public Health and the CDC to help keep you safe.


Safety First Amenities during COVID pandemic:

  • Fortunately, our property is small and guests have less exposure to others than they would have at a bigger hotel.
  • Guests  normally sit at well-spaced, individual tables rather than in a group at breakfast.
  • To comply with COVID-19 restrictions in place by our governor, we are currently able to offer a fresh, high quality continental breakfast packed ahead of time and waiting in the guest refrigerator. You may enjoy your homemade breakfast at your leisure in your room or outside on the patio or in a quiet nook in the common areas.
  • For safety reasons, we will wear a mask & gloves when preparing your food and taking care of you.
  • We plan to offer a seated, hot breakfast option in the dining room when it is safe to do so and COVID-19 dining restrictions are lifted.
  • We are doing extra cleaning between guests and extra sanitizing of surfaces throughout the day in common areas.
  • During May and June and as needed through 2020, we are limiting the number of rooms available for reservations to allow more social distancing on the property.
  • Wine Hour is currently on hold, but we are offering a complimentary bottle of wine and a snack plate including our famous homemade cookies upon arrival.
  • We are currently offering self- check in, which is the same procedure we have always offered for late arrivals (Of course, we live here and are available to answer questions in person or by phone, text, or email too).
  • Daily Housekeeping is only available upon request for the safety of our guests and staff. We will coordinate with you to exchange towels, replenish supplies, and remove trash as needed.
  • In addition, our Ravenna room on the main floor now offers a private entrance and dedicated outdoor seating on the back patio.

More Flexible Cancellation Policy:

In the meantime, we recognize that travel plans may need to change suddenly at this time. To add less uncertainty, we have updated our cancellation policies to make them more flexible until at least July 1, 2020.

  • We will charge the first night of your stay at the time of reservation.
  • We will charge the remainder of your balance 24 hours (vs 7 days) prior to arrival.
  • For cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to arrival, we will refund any nights that we are able to re-book.

Thank You for your Support:

We are thankful for our loyal and supportive guests. Many of you have been staying with us for years while visiting local friends and family or here working on business. We appreciate you and miss seeing you. We are taking time now to work on maintenance and improvements to the property while business is slow. We are sorry to say that we had to temporarily lay off our staff, but we hope to bring them back in a few weeks when business picks up again.

To be honest, this is a very tough time for us as a small business, as it is for many of you. If you are in a position to help us, please consider making a reservation or purchasing a gift certificate for a future stay now.  We also suggest ordering some of our amazingly soft and durable Comphy sheets to enjoy at home (we offer free shipping on the sheets). If you had a great experience here, please tell your friends and family or write a review.

In the meantime, please stay safe. We know this pandemic won’t last forever, and we look forward to seeing you in the future at Greenlake Guest House.

The post COVID-19 Update from Greenlake Guest House (updated 4-23-20) appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

25 Days of Christmas Cookies at Greenlake Guest House-A Recap 16 Jan 2020, 10:00 am


If you have been a guest with us in the past, you may be aware that we have been baking “25 Days of Christmas Cookies” each December for the past few years. This year may have been our best yet. Julie and all of the staff including Jane, Linsy, Katie all look forward to planning and baking and decorating these special cookies each year. Our interim innkeeper Coral also helped with the cookie baking during the first week of December this year when Julie and Blayne were in Europe. We baked some of our family and staff favorites as well as some brand new recipes. Inspired by Julie and Blayne’s trip to Europe and the famous Christmas Markets there, we also added some special new European cookies this year.


How do we manage 25 Days of Christmas cookies in December?

First, we start planning a month or two ahead of time by looking at recipes and talking with our friends, and family, guests, and staff. Julie puts together a master list that includes a mix of fancier, time consuming cookies and some easier recipes for the busy days. In addition, we try to balance out the workload by doing some prepping ahead of time.

For example, on a slow day we might mix some sugar cookie or gingerbread cookie dough that needs to be refrigerated. We mix the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator or even the freezer. Then, we shape and bake the cookies the next day (thaw overnight in the refrigerator if dough is frozen). Finally, we frost and decorate the baked cookies on the third day. Other cookies, such as the date nut pinwheels, can be prepped and frozen (unbaked), then thawed in the refrigerator overnight and baked the next day. In addition, some cookies such as the miniature cheesecakes are typically stored completely baked and frozen so they can be made up to a few weeks ahead of time. Cookies can also be prepped and baked in partial batches.  It’s possible to have a variety of fresh baked cookies  on hand to give as gifts or serve at a party with a little planning.

We don’t use a lot of special equipment to bake these cookies. However, Julie really loves her silicone mat for rolling out cookie dough easily without sticking. Other tools that are nice to have include parchment paper and insulated cookie sheets for baking the cookies and and a piping bag and tips for frosting the cookies. It’s also handy  to have a variety of cookie tins for storing the cookies and giving them as gifts.


a collage of delicious christmas cookies


What makes a cookie a Christmas cookie?

In our opinion, this decision is somewhat arbitrary and personal. At Greenlake Guest House, we bake lots of different cookies every day of the year. Here are the criteria we used this year for our Christmas cookies (yours might be different):

  • Christmas cookies can’t be cookies that we bake at other times of the year
  • The cookies should reflect the flavors of the season: chocolate, peppermint, ginger, cinnamon, and so forth.
  • Ideally, the cookies should be very photogenic and festive looking in addition to being delicious.
  • We included family recipes of cookies that we enjoyed during the holiday seasons of our childhoods.
  • This year, we were inspired by the European Christmas markets and made a greater effort to include cookies that reflected our Scandinavian and German heritage.

How do we find our recipes? 

We find recipes in a variety of ways. Julie enjoys reading cookbooks and food blogs and finds many recipes that way. Some of her favorite recipe sources include Epicurious, Better Homes & Gardens, and Smitten Kitchen.  Others are shared by friends and our staff. Finally, some of the cookies are family recipes that she has been making for years. Here is one from the “family recipe” cagegory: Miniature Cheesecakes. Julie’s Aunt Bette makes these every year and they are always a hit with the whole extended family.


woman holding plate of Christmas cookies


Aunt Bette’s Miniature Cheesecakes:

Step 1

2 ¼ c. crushed graham crackers

3 Tbsp. sugar

6 Tbsp. butter

Melt butter, add sugar and crumbs for crust. Put scant Tbsp. in miniature muffin liner and press down with flat glass (small shot glass works great).

Step 2

16 oz. cream cheese (2 cups)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

¾ c. sugar

Mix at medium speed for 20 minutes (yes, twenty!). Put 1 teaspoonful on crust and bake in 325F oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn heat to 425F.

Step 3

1 ½ cup sour cream

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Mix and spread about 1 teaspoonful to edges of cake. Bake at 425F for 5 minutes. Decorate with tiny bits of maraschino cherries (red and green) before last baking if desired. Remove the paper cups in 10-15 minutes.  Freeze separately on parchment-paper lined cookie sheet, then place in large freezer bag or food storage container. Serve frozen or refrigerated. Makes 60-70 pieces.

Note: You will need 3-4 dozen miniature muffin tins and miniature paper liners to make these in 2 batches. Well worth all the work! Freeze separately on parchment-paper lined cookie sheet, then place in large freezer bag or food storage container. Makes 60-70 pieces.


Here is the complete list of cookies that we baked this year.

December 1: Date Nut Pinwheels

December 2: Mexican Wedding Cakes

December 3: Christmas Fruit Drop Cookies

December 4: Mint Chippers

December 5: Pecan Dreams

December 6: Chocolate Cutout Cookies

December 7: Cranberry Ecstasy Bars

December 8: Peanut Butter Balls

December 9: Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies

December 10: Aunt Bette’s Peanut Blossoms

December 11: Chocolate Mint Crinkles

December 12: Black and White Cookies

December 13: Spritz

December 14: Christmas Sugar Cookies

December 15: Rosemary Pecan Cookies

December 16: Cinnamon Star Cookies (Zimtsterne)

December 17: Peppermint Fudge

December 18: Chocolate Kiss Cookies

December 19: Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

December 20: Gingerbread Cookies

December 21: Vanillekipferl Shortbread Cookies

December 22: Chocolate Almond Biscotti

December 23: Nanaimo Bars

December 24: Norwegian Krumkake Cookies

December 25: Miniature Cheesecakes

We shared photos on social media on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Please reach out to us via email if you want any of the recipes or if you have any suggestions or recipes to share with us for next year. We look forward to hearing from you!

The post 25 Days of Christmas Cookies at Greenlake Guest House-A Recap appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

Recipe: Blayne’s Swedish Pancakes-A Special Christmas Breakfast 14 Dec 2019, 9:09 am

Swedish Pancakes are a McAferty family tradition. Blayne’s dad always made them for the family when Blayne was growing up, and he continued the tradition with our boys. Blayne prefers to cook them on a round electric skillet so that he can keep the heat evenly distributed. When our boys went away to college, Blayne even found the exact skillet we use at home on Ebay (Farberware) and gifted each boy his own so they could make them at school.

We are excited to share our family recipe for our traditional Christmas breakfast (although in our opinion they are delicious anytime).  At home, we might make them with just butter and powdered sugar. However, we think that the berries and whipped cream kick it up a notch for guests.  Typically we would serve this breakfast with our homemade Greenlake Granola and a side of bacon.

This special recipe has also been featured in a few cookbooks and online. Try it at home for yourself and let us know how it turns out!


Swedich Pancakes on a breakfast plate


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.

The post Recipe: Blayne’s Swedish Pancakes-A Special Christmas Breakfast appeared first on Greenlake Guesthouse.

Innkeeper Jane’s Favorite Recipes for Feeding Friends & Family During the Holidays 19 Nov 2019, 5:08 pm

Woman holding plates with breakfast food
Innkeeper Jane at Greenlake Guest House

Hello, this is Jane writing a guest blog for the Greenlake Guest House. I’ve been working at the inn for over 10 years. I love cooking delicious, healthy food and recently completed a second degree in nutrition and culinary arts. The Holiday season is here, and many of us will be entertaining and feeding friends and family. You probably have some family recipes you enjoy, but if you are like me, you may want to try something new, as well. Here are a variety of recipes you can add to your menu repertoire this year.


Baked Apple French Toast

Innkeeper Linsy serving that amazing Baked Apple French Toast

One of our favorite breakfast recipes at the Greenlake Guest House is Baked Apple French Toast. I passed this recipe on to my sister several years ago, and she now makes it every year at Thanksgiving when she has a house full of people. It needs to be put together at least a day ahead, which means you just toss it in the oven in the morning. If you want to get things ready even further ahead, it can be frozen. Pull it out the day before you need it, and thaw in the refrigerator.


1 loaf French Bread, sliced 2 inches thick, or Texas Toast (layered 2 slices thick)

8 eggs or 2 cups pasteurized liquid eggs

3 cups milk

½ cup sugar, divided

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 apples, peeled, cut in half, cored, and sliced about ¼ inch thick

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

Maple Syrup (optional)

Dried cranberries (optional)



Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Lay the bread slices in the pan, cutting some to fit into gaps, if needed.

Place eggs in a large bowl and beat lightly. Add milk, ¼ cup sugar, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour half of the egg mixture over the bread.

Arrange the apples, domino style, in rows, on top of the bread. Pour remaining egg mixture over the apples.

Mix remaining ¼ cup sugar with cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over the apples. Distribute small chunks of butter over the top. Wrap and refrigerate overnight, or freeze for up to 1 month. (allow to thaw in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before baking)

Bake at 375o F for 50 – 60 minutes, or until set. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Cut into squares or rectangles, and serve with maple syrup, and dried cranberries.

Serves 9 to 12 – depending on the serving sizes.

Preparation time: about 30 minutes, plus 1-hour bake time

Recipe revised by The Greenlake Guest House. Original recipe from The Bowman of Port Angeles Bed and Breakfast.


Massaged Kale & Apple Salad


If you are looking for a new winter salad recipe, you may want to try Massaged Kale and Apple Salad. In the Pacific Northwest, these ingredients are in season now. Kale can actually grow all year round in the Seattle climate, and apples are coming to us, fresh from Eastern Washington orchards. A kale salad can be made just before serving or even several days in advance.  Many people I talk too, have tried making Kale Salad, but were not impressed with the outcome. The trick to kale is that it needs to be massaged if eaten raw. Massaging is done after the leaves are washed, dried and cut into ribbons. It is more like the action of kneading bread, and serves to soften the leaves and mellow the flavor.


1 large bunch of kale

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

¼ cup diced red onion or sliced green onions

1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins

1 large apple, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar



De-stem kale by pulling the leaf away from the stem. Wash the leaves. Spin or pat dry. Stack leaves, roll-up and cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade).

Put kale in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, and massage salt into the kale with your hands, for about 2 minutes. The volume will reduce dramatically as the kale leaves wilt. Place massaged kale in a clean bowl and discard the liquid extracted from massaging.

To toast seeds, put in a dry skillet over low to medium heat and stir constantly for a few minutes, until they change color and give off a nutty aroma.

Stir onion, dried cranberries (or raisins), apple, and toasted seeds into kale. Dress with oil and vinegar and toss well. Taste for salt and vinegar, adding more if necessary.


Preparation time 15 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe by Cynthia Lair, Feeding the Whole Family (Sasquatch Books, 2016)


Warm Pear and Gingerbread Torte


Is there anything better than the scent of gingerbread baking? Well, maybe cinnamon rolls can win this competition, but for a lovely holiday season dessert one of my go-to recipes is Warm Pear and Gingerbread Torte. It’s a fairly simple cake with extra ginger flavor and lovely pears baked right on the top.  It’s a little on the less sweet side, so it could be great as a breakfast bread, or served with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. This recipe has some history to it, which you can tell by the inclusion of hot water or hot coffee. Apparently, hot coffee was originally used in Gingerbread, for flavor and to activate the baking soda. During the Great Depression, coffee was in short supply so bakers began using boiling water. You can decide which you will use when baking it. Either way, it turns out delicious.


2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup molasses

1/3 cup brown rice syrup

¾ cup melted butter

2 eggs

¼ cup chopped crystalized ginger

1 cup boiling water or hot coffee

2 medium-ripe pears, cored and cut into thin slices



Preheat oven to 350oF.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the molasses, brown rice syrup, melted butter, eggs and crystallized ginger; stir to blend well. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Carefully add the boiling water or coffee, a little at a time, until you have a sticky and glossy batter.


Butter and flour a 9 X 13 inch baking dish and spoon in the batter. Arrange slices of pear over the surface, tucking them down into the batter slightly, to anchor. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.


Recipe adapted by Jane Blaisdell. Original recipe by Lynne Vea, of PCC Cooks!


Eat Your Veggies Chili

Bowl of colorful chili
Eat Your Veggies Chili

After the big Holiday meals, you may want to serve some lighter fare. I like to skip the meat and focus on a more vegetarian diet after all of the indulgence. Soups and salads are a delicious way to eat more vegetables.  Eat Your Veggies Chili, is an easy soup to make. A single recipe can feed a few, but can be easily doubled, tripled, or more, to feed more guests. Purchase or make some cornbread or a loaf of crusty bread, and you have the makings for a “meatless Monday” meal.


½ tablespoon butter or oil

½ medium onion, about 1/3 cup, diced

1 tablespoon hot red pepper, minced (optional)

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon whole cumin

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 can (about 15 ounces), Kidney beans or black beans, drained

1 can (about 15 ounces), diced tomatoes

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ cup corn, canned or frozen

1 medium carrot, diced

1 cup mixed power greens, coarsely chopped (or any combination of spinach, kale, collard greens, and/or bok choy)



Heat a medium size saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the butter or oil, then the onion, red pepper, whole cumin, and salt, and cook gently for at least 15 minutes, or until the onions are tender.

Add the ground cumin and chili powder and cook for a few minutes (until fragrant).

Add the beans, tomatoes, oregano, corn and carrots. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Add more salt and chili powder if needed for desired taste.

Stir in the greens and continue to cook the soup until they are wilted.

Serve immediately!


Prep time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2 large servings, or 3 medium servings

Original recipe by Jane Blaisdell, 2017


I hope you enjoy these recipes. We plan on sharing more recipes in future blogs and in our newsletters and social media. We look forward to seeing you again soon at the Greenlake Guest House!

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Greenlake Guest House Top 10 Picks for What to Do in Seattle During the Holidays 27 Oct 2019, 12:49 pm

walkway lined with luminaria by a lake
Greenlake Pathway of Lights

December is such a fun time to be in Seattle, despite the rain and the short days. It’s cozy and bright inside, and not terribly cold for being outside.  We love the Christmas Lights and special holiday shows and traditions. Here’s our “Top 10” list of fun holiday events around here this month:

  1. Kick off the holiday season with Julefest at the nearby Nordic Heritage Museum November 23 and 24. Enjoy live music, authentic Nordic food and spiced wine, see the museum exhibits, and find perfect handcrafted gifts from dozens of vendors.
  2. Our personal favorite: the annual Greenlake Pathway of Lights. This event is always held at Greenlake on the second Saturday in December (December 14, 2019). Volunteers line the entire 2.8-mile pathway with luminaires, and thousands of people come to walk the lake and enjoy live carolers, hot chocolate, and lights. Even the kayaks and canoes are decorated with lights.
  3. See a Christmas play at Seattle Public Theater’s Bathhouse Theater at Greenlake. This year you can choose from “Christmastown” or “A Very Die Hard Christmas.”
    The Theater is a 10 minute walk from Greenlake Guest House with several local restaurants along the way to stop for dinner or dessert before or after the show.
  4. Attend Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker” at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall. This Nutcracker is a magical production of the popular ballet, with over the top sets and costumes and runs all month. A Seattle tradition!
  5. Holiday Shopping in downtown Seattle or nearby University Village, an upscale outdoor mall with a mix of local and national stores. Enjoy the decorated windows and lights and a wide variety of stores while you finish up your shopping
  6. Visit “Wildlights” at the nearby Woodland Park Zoo, with over 600,00 lights in animal shapes, food and wine, and carolers. A 5 or 10 minute drive away from Greenlake Guest House.
  7. Visit the amazing Gingerbread Village inside the lobby at the downtown Sheraton Hotel. Admission is free. These houses are designed by architects, and donations benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. This is one of our annual family traditions.
  8. Ride the Argosy Christmas Ship and see the parade of decorated boats throughout the month of December. Join the parade, or listen to the live carols broadcast from the ship from a beach bonfire at one of 45 locations throughout the Seattle area.
  9. See the sweet holiday lights at nearby Ravenna neighborhood’s Candy Cane Lane, a Seattle tradition since 1949.
  10. Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Space Needle watching a free light show and midnight fireworks show shot right from the top of the Needle! Or be fancy and get tickets to a New Year’s Eve Party at the Chihuly Garden & Glass or at the Sky View Observatory at the Columbia Center or right at the Space Needle (21+).

You have many choices to make fun memories during the holiday season in Seattle. Spend a night or a week here and enjoy the B&B fully decorated for the holidays and special Christmas cookies baked daily. We love this season and look forward to sharing it with you.


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Innkeeper Linsy’s Top 3 Local Hikes 25 Sep 2019, 9:55 pm

Innkeeper Linsy hiking in the Cascade Mountains

Hi there, this is innkeeper Linsy writing for the Greenlake Guest House Blog.

Born and raised in the neighborhoods of the greater Seattle area, I grew up exploring, playing, and getting muddy all around the Pacific Northwest.  There is still plenty I’ve yet to explore, but what I have found is that there is something to offer everyone, no matter the age or physical restrictions. There are lots of great day trips and weekend trips to pull together. On days when I’m really craving a nature fix in my life and don’t have the time to get far out of the city I have three hiking spots where I typically end up. Hopefully you find a little magic in them.

Discovery Park beach at low tide

Discovery Park – Seattle

If you are looking for some of that classic PNW trail, greenery, and views without heading too far out of the city and not too taxing on the body I’d recommend heading over to Discovery Park, about 20-30 minutes from Greenlake Guest House, depending on traffic. This loop trail is 2.8 miles roundtrip, just the same length as Greenlake, but with more hilly trails and waterfront. If you start out at the Visitor Center you can grab a map and start exploring.

You could easily spend up to 3 hours or more wandering around this park and discovering all the gems or you can choose to do a quick loop in a little over an hour. Do check a tide chart before heading out and try to get down to the lighthouse during low tide so you can peruse the beach for shells and crabs and anemones! On the way to the lighthouse, depending which way you start the loop, you’ll find lots of birds, ferns, historic buildings and more.  And even if you get down to the beach in high tide there is lots to play in and discover.

Poo Poo Point – Issaquah

Poo Poo Point is a near and dear hike to me as I’ve spent many years returning to this trail and rediscovering myself. I’d also consider it a ‘backyard’ hike in my books as I went to high school in Issaquah and could pop on over as I pleased in those years. Now the highlight of this hike is timing everything just right to catch the paragliders jumping off the top of the mountain in late Spring and Summer. If I recall, around 12p, 3p, 5p, and 7p were when the crew would jump off but it is all dependent on weather conditions and bookings.

Depending on your experience I’d plan 1-2 hours to hike to the top. I think it is on the more moderate side of hiking difficulty. Of all the trails I’ve done, this one always seems to get my knees a bit cranky on the way back down but I can’t seem to resist the views. So, bring some walking sticks, a good amount of water, and some sunscreen/sunglasses and you’ll be good to go. If you are stopping for some food or sips in town I’d recommend Rogue Issaquah Brewhouse where the locals go, or anything along Front street if you’re fancying a little more variety.

Twin Falls – Cascades

There are a plethora of easy/moderate hikes in the foothills of the Cascades but if you are looking to make it a day of seeing waterfalls I’d recommend hiking Twin Falls in North Bend. I like to start my own hiking season with this one as I’m just starting to get into shape. If I recall this is about a 2 hour hike roundtrip give or take depending on your speediness to get through. It is a heavily used trail so parking may be challenging on the weekend. However, on a week day you should easily get in. A Discovery Pass is required for this hike which you can find at the local Seattle REI, or for purchase at the trailhead entrance to Twin Falls.

This is a great hike to soak in some of that piney Pacific Northwest air, vibrant moss, and lots of falling water. Afterward, you can head into North Bend for a bite and sip or head over to Salish Lodge to rest your legs and see beautiful Snoqualmie Falls. A classic destination point for many locals and tourists, Snoqualmie Falls never fail to impress. The Falls are great on their own, but I enjoy making a day of it by doing a day hike to Twin Falls and grabbing a small bite or beer at the Salish Lodge and Snoqualmie Falls on the way back into town.


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What to Do in Seattle this Fall 23 Aug 2019, 7:10 pm

Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year to visit Seattle. The afternoons are typically dry and warm and sunny even if the mornings and evenings are cooler. It’s the perfect time to be outside before the winter rainy season begins. Here at Green Lake, the Maple trees across the street along Green Lake Drive put on a spectacular show of color with vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. It’s a beautiful sight see. Enjoy the changing season with some fun, fall-themed events around the area. Here are some of our recommendations:

Seattle Cider Summit September 6 -7

Washington State is famous for its apples, and is becoming known for its craft cideries as well. This event features over 200 ciders, cider cocktails, and apple spirits. The Cider Summit takes place on September 6 and 7 at nearby Lake Union Park. Blayne attended this event last year and really enjoyed it!

Green Lake Oktoberfest September 14- 15

people celebrating OktoberFest, drinking beer

Prost! This  brand new Oktoberfest celebration in the Green Lake neighborhood will include live music, dancing, German-style food, costumes, games, and local craft beers and ciders. Sponsored by the Green Lake Chamber of Commerce. Since we are members, we definitely plan to attend.

Fremont Oktoberfest September 20-22

Fremont calls itself the “Center of the Universe” and is located just a few minutes south of Green Lake. Celebrate the fall with a traditional German Oktoberfest with beer, food, music, and games September 20-22. We are told that the Fremont Oktoberfest is considered one of the top 10 places in the world to celebrate Oktoberfest.

St. Demetrios Greek Festival September 20-22

Enjoy homemade Greek food, live Greek music and dancing, Greek wine tasting, and church tours in Seattle’s nearby Montlake neighborhood on September 20-22. A Seattle tradition since 1960! It’s been a few years since we attended this event, but it is a Seattle classic.

Fall Festival at Craven Farm September 21-October 31

Craven Farm’s Fall Festival is now in its 37th year, with a pumpkin patch, corn mazes, food, farm animals, and hayrides happening September 21-October 31. Located in Snohomish, a 30-minute drive from Greenlake Guest House.

In closing, we encourage you to visit Seattle and Washington State in the fall! It’s a nice time to visit because the summer crowds have died down a bit, the weather is still warm and pleasant, and there are so many festivals and beautiful fall colors to enjoy.

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