Holiday Tamales at Agave Cocina & Tequilas

Tamales Issaquah Agave Cocina Grand Ridge Plaza

Tamales Issaquah Agave Cocina Grand Ridge PlazaIt wouldn’t be the holidays without tamales at Agave Cocina & Tequilas.

From December 1 through 24, tamales will be featured on the menu at Agave Cocina & Tequilas. Large takeout orders are also available for holiday gatherings. The 2017 varieties include Roasted Poblano and Cheese, Shredded Chicken and Vegetables, Pork Ribs, and Pineapple and Coconut.

If you love Mexican cuisine, you’ll know that tamales are a tradition that’s bar none. Agave Cocina & Tequilas, co-owner Faviola Ramos learned the art of tamale-making from her mother, Maria Ramos. Faviola, who co-owns Agave with her brother Federico, loves sharing this tradition with the community. “Agave’s holiday tamales are made from a cherished family recipe that my mother and I cooked together for gatherings and Christmas Eve,” she said. “The sharing of traditions makes the holiday season so special, and trying new foods is a wonderful way to experience those traditions first-hand.”Agave Cocina Issaquah Tamales Mexican Food

The finest tamales take hours to prepare and are made from fresh masa and corn husks. Chefs dedicate at least three hours to the process, but many cooks report that it can take all day. Preparing the masa is the most time-consuming step of the recipe. In fact, the daylong process has become a social event called a tamalada.

The return of traditional foods such as tamales is a hallmark of the holidays. Whether you’re dreaming of honey-baked ham, cedar plank salmon or Agave’s tamales, we hope you’re enjoying this peak foodie season.

To place a special order from Agave Cocina & Tequilas, call 425-369-8900.


5 Tips for Great Pet Photos with Santa

Issaquah Highlands Pet Photos Santa

Issaquah Highlands Pet Photos Santa‘Tis the season for photos with Santa Paws! This holiday season, Grand Ridge Plaza is offering four pet-friendly days to capture magical moments with the Big Guy in Issaquah. Bring the whole family and your four-legged friends for pet photos with Santa Paws on Saturday, December 2 from 11 am to 7 pm; Wednesday, December 6 from 11 am to 7 pm; Wednesday, December 13 from 11 am to 7 pm; and Wednesday, December 20 from 10 am to 8 pm. Visit Santa at his cozy cabin next to Regal Cinemas.

To help make the season bright, a portion of proceeds will be donated to Homeward Pet Adoption Center, a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter serving the greater Seattle area. Please feel free to bring donations of pet food for the shelter to Santa’s cabin too.

Our pet-loving Santa Paws shared this advice for a wonderful visit:

  1. Get gorgeous and give your pet a bath or trip to a professional groomer before your photo session.
  2. Festive attire is encouraged, but not required. If you’re planning to dress up your pet in holiday bling, wait until you arrive at your session to put it on.Santa Pet Photos Grand Ridge Plaza Issaquah Highlands
  3. Tired pets are happy pets. Consider a walk or play time before visiting Santa.
  4. Bribery works like a charm. The keyword of the day is “treat.”
  5. Hold your pet while posing with Santa Paws and position larger dogs on the floor. While some pets are relaxed and friendly with strangers, others become nervous. Being held in a pet parent’s arms creates the best environment for photos.

Bonus tip: Keep pets on their leashes at all times to prevent them from taking a solo stroll through Grand Ridge Plaza.

Homeward Pet Adoption CenterHoliday Pet Food Drive: You’re invited to join Grand Ridge Plaza in donating pet food to Homeward Pet Adoption Center’s food bank. Homeward will distribute pet food donations for pets belonging to low-income seniors, families in crisis and other community members in need. A large selection of dog and cat food is available less than a block away at the Civilized Nature Pet Supplies shop. Thank you for your generosity!


NaturoMedica Introduces Aesthetic Medical Services

Aesthetic Issaquah Highlands Naturopath Skincare Seattle NaturoMedica

Aesthetic Issaquah Highlands Naturopath SkincareThe Eastside recently gained a new resource for achieving glowing and healthy skin: aesthetic medical services with master esthetician Gosia Reade at NaturoMedica, the naturopathic medical clinic at Grand Ridge Plaza. Working together, Reade and the physicians treat conditions ranging from acne to rosacea, in addition to concerns such as hyperpigmentation, dryness and premature aging. Reade’s services include facials and chemical peels, which are customized to meet individual needs.

“I’ve been a skincare professional for many years and it’s such a pleasure to work alongside the NaturoMedica physicians to provide tools, education and skincare advice to achieve beautiful skin,” said Reade. “For each treatment, I like to emphasize a graceful aging process while minimizing the effects of the passage of time on the appearance of skin. I also work with teens as their skin changes during Aesthetic Issaquah Highlands Naturopath Skincare Seattle NaturoMedicapuberty, helping to manage acne.”

For those who are unsure where to start, Reade recommends a European medical grade facial, also known as a medi-facial. Unlike typical spa facials, a medi-facial is an enhanced facial that is geared toward achieving specific results. Reade designs each medi-facial to repair, restore and rejuvenate skin using prescription-grade skincare products. There is no downtime or discomfort, and results are seen immediately. A medi-facial takes about an hour and includes cozy pampering as you lie on a heated bed and relax. During your treatment, Reade shares valuable skincare advice for your skin type, plus recommendations for combatting seasonal weather changes including dry winter skin.

Issaquah Highlands Naturopath Skincare SeattleThe focal point of NaturoMedica’s aesthetic medical services is HydraFacial MD®, a technology that combines the benefits of hydra-dermabrasion exfoliation, a chemical peel, automated painless extractions, and a special delivery of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid peptide-rich serums into one treatment. It’s appropriate for all skin types. In addition, Reade offers Intraceuticals Oxygen Treatments that infuse molecular hyaluronic acid along with Vitamins A, C an E. This unique procedure diminishes fine lines and hydrates the skin.

Medi-facials such HydraFacial MD® can also improve collagen and elastin production in the skin, thus slowing down aging. Reade recommends a series of three medi-facials to treat concerns like pigment spots, sun damage, dehydration and broken capillaries. It’s a great option to get your skin looking its best before a special event or family photo shoot.

NaturoMedica Issaquah Highlands Naturopath Skincare SeattleWorking closely with NaturoMedica physicians, Reade also offers customized medi-facials for patients who are being treated for underlying issues that can affect the skin, including hormonal imbalances, digestive problems and chronic inflammation.

To learn more about naturopathic or aesthetic medical services, visit or call 425-557-8900. When booking an appointment with Reade, mention this blog and receive $50 off your first medi-facial.

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC


Santa’s Grand Arrival in Issaquah Highlands

Santa Photos Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge Plaza

Santa Photos Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge PlazaSanta will make his grand entrance in Issaquah Highlands on Sunday, November 19. The festivities kick off at 11:30 am at Grand Ridge Plaza, home of Santa’s Winter Woodland. Watch snowflakes fall, enjoy live music and entertainment, savor free treats and warm drinks, and take selfies with Santa next to the Giving Tree.

All are welcome at this FREE community event!

  • Timberlake Church will set the tone for a magical holiday season with live entertainment, music, balloon artists and more
  • Santa will greet everyone and pose for free photos
  • Restaurants including Caffe Ladro and PinkaBella Cupcakes will serve complimentary cookies, cupcakes, savory treats, hot cider and more
  • Santa will merrily accept donations for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank holiday gift drive

Santa Photos Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge PlazaWho: Kris Kringle — aka Santa — makes his grand entrance at Grand Ridge Plaza in Issaquah Highlands

What: Santa’s Grand Arrival

Where: The Giving Tree at the Grand Ridge Plaza fountain, located next to Regal Cinemas at 940 NE Park Drive in Issaquah Highlands. Take Exit 18 off I-90 and follow the signs to Highlands Drive

When: 11:30 am on Sunday, November 19

Why: It’s time to kick off the holiday season and collect donations for the Giving Tree!

Giving Tree: You’re invited to support neighbors in need by donating toys to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank holiday toy drive. Donate a new, unwrapped toy or gift item and bring it to Santa’s cabin or Regal Cinemas by December 4. Choose a gift you know a child will love, or pick a gift tag from the Giving Tree. Gifts are needed for children ages birth to 18. Santa and his elves will ensure that donations are delivered safely to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank’s gift barn, where adult family members will select the perfect gift for each child.

Santa Photos Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge PlazaFood Donations: Throughout the holiday season, Santa will be delighted to accept donations of non-perishable food items for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Drop by the Winter Woodland and give your donations to Santa himself.

Photos with Santa: Professional Santa photography will be available at Grand Ridge Plaza beginning Friday, November 24. Throughout the holiday season, Santa resides in a cozy cabin at his Winter Woodland next to Regal Cinemas. Santa photographers Arthur & Associates will offer photography for purchase seven days a week.


Spread Joy and Donate Toys

Giving Tree Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge Plaza

Grand Ridge Plaza Giving Tree Issaquah HighlandsDid you know that the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank (IFCB) needs new toy and gift donations for kids?

This holiday season, Grand Ridge Plaza is partnering with IFCB to host a toy and gift drive to make holiday wishes come true.

From November 17 through December 4, you’re invited to choose a gift tag from the Giving Tree located next to Regal Cinemas and donate the item. Donations can be dropped off inside Regal Cinemas, and Santa’s elves will ensure safe delivery to IFCB.

Each donation will be given to a child whose family may not have the funds for new gifts. Kids may be in a foster home or temporary housing—somewhere where access to toys is limited.

Last year, IFCB provided gifts to more than 1,300 kids in the Issaquah School District. In 2017, IFCB will once again host the Holiday Gift Barn, where adult family members can select the perfect gift for every child in the family. With the community’s support, the Holiday Gift Barn will be filled with new toys, games, clothing and stocking stuffers donated during the toy and gift drive.

Giving Tree Lighting: FREE event! Join the community at the lighting of the Giving Tree to benefitGrand Ridge Plaza Giving Tree Issaquah Highlands the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank at 4:30 pm on Friday, November 17. Enjoy performances by the choirs of Clark Elementary School and Liberty High School. Indulge in free treats and sweets from Grand Ridge Plaza restaurants and more at the plaza next to Regal Cinemas.

Choosing a gift to donate is easy: Choose a gift tag from the Giving Tree or select an item that you know kids love—something that’s a tried and true favorite in your home.

Donation guidelines: Toys must be new and unwrapped. Popular gifts include board games (Monopoly, Battleship, etc.), card games such as UNO, art supplies, puzzles, books, and scrapbooking supplies. For older children and teens, the most desired gifts including curling irons, hair straighteners, makeup and hair products. Warm jackets and hoodies are also popular. Gifts can vary in price and value; there’s no minimum value.

Grand Ridge Plaza Giving Tree Issaquah HighlandsDonation drop off: From November 17 to December 4, donations can be dropped off at Grand Ridge Plaza inside Regal Cinemas. After November 24, you can also drop off gifts inside Santa’s cabin. Santa’s elves will ensure that donations are safely delivered to IFCB.

Thank you for your generosity. Happy Holidays!

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC