The Dash

29 10 2016

 

cemeteryWhat does every engraving include on a headstone? The dash. The dash is that small line—or dash—between the dates of a person’s birth and death. The dash appears so insignificant on a grave marker, and although a person’s birth and death are notable, it’s the time in between those first and last days that define the individual. The dash is memorialized at funerals. The dash is our legacy, good or bad.

Regardless of how much time our dashes each represent, we all have one. We’re living our dash right now! Do you like what it represents so far? Do relationships, accomplishments or failures highlight your dash? Do you want to change its story? You still have the opportunity to direct the outcome of your dash however you choose. Yes, you choose. Our everyday choices affect our own dashes.

Most of us share names, birthdays, and some day, the date of our last breath with someone else, but we will never share the same dash. It’s all yours. It’s all you. Live intentionally, paying attention to your dash before others do when a final date defines the end of it.

 

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PNW Outerwear

26 10 2016

fullsizerender-1We’re barely into our wet season in the Pacific Northwest, and we’ve already endured tornadoes, damaging winds, and record rainfall—and we haven’t even gotten into our rainiest months yet! I hear the grumbling all around me. But, life outside our doors can’t wait until summer. We live in the Pacific Wonderland, as our license plates proclaim, and we have the availability of nearly every outdoor activity imaginable.

So, what do we do? We don our moisture-wicking, water-repellent attire and footwear and get outside. Notice, I did not include umbrellas, because although we all secretly have them, we rarely use them. Die-hards even shun them. If we all used our umbrellas at once, mayhem would ensue. Umbrella gridlock would destroy our peaceful existence with what we call “liquid sunshine.”

Our more practical, less obstructing approach of layering outerwear benefits both customers and businesses. The PNW has a variety of superb local companies that can outfit you perfectly for any activity in any weather. I support local businesses even if they’ve gone global, because they’re still part of our family. Here’s my short list of PNW companies with quality products: REI, Columbia Sportswear, Nike, Pacific Trail, K2 Sports, Eddie Bauer, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Northwest Riders Clothing Company, Zumiez, and Coastal Farm & Ranch. These businesses will cover your needs and keep you going comfortably so wet or cold weather won’t keep you from enjoying your outdoor activities.

 

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Egg Substitutes for Recipes

14 10 2016

img_0035Summer turned to autumn overnight in the Pacific Northwest, and social media was deluged with posts about baking. Even well before the holidays, our foggy mornings or rainy days send people to the comfort of their kitchens. With all of our baking and cooking, sometimes we lack an essential ingredient—the egg. Ah yes, we’ve all discovered only two eggs in our refrigerators when a recipe called for three. What do we do? We use other ingredients from the pantry to replace the egg!

Here is my list of egg substitutes:

  • Banana

¼ C mashed banana equals one egg

Adds a sweet taste

  • Applesauce

¼ C unsweetened applesauce equals one egg

Does not alter the taste

  • Pumpkin

¼ C canned pumpkin equals one egg

Adds a pumpkin taste

  • Prunes

¼ C pureed prunes equals one egg

Adds a sweet taste

  • Cornstarch (or potato starch)

1 T starch mixed with 3 T warm water equals one egg

Set aside for 5 minutes before using

  • Potato

2 T mashed potato equals one egg

  • Flaxseed

1 T ground seeds mixed with 3 T warm water equals one egg

Set aside for 5 minutes before using

Grind whole flaxseeds at home using a coffee grinder, and store in refrigerator

  • Flaxseed meal

1 T flaxseed meal mixed with 3 T warm water equals one egg

Set aside for 5 minutes before using

Flaxseeds in any form add a slightly nutty flavor

  • Flour

2 T flour, ½ tsp oil, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 T liquid of choice mixed equals one egg

Liquid can be water, milk, juice, thin yogurt, buttermilk, cream, dairy-free milks

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Flying M Ranch

17 09 2016

img_8495-1I love visiting Yamhill County, Oregon where picturesque farms, majestic vineyards, and quaint towns reside. Yamhill, one such homey town within this small county, nestles near the Coast Range between Interstate 5 and U.S. Highway 101. For decades, my destination to Yamhill has been the Flying M Ranch where I’ve camped, hiked, swam, ridden horses, and enjoyed quintessential ranch breakfasts. It also hosts a private airport and a popular wedding venue. Flying M Ranch is open all year, so pay them a visit and enjoy the county’s scenery along your way. Find them at 23029 NW Flying M Road, Yamhill, Oregon 97148, www.flying-m-ranch.com, flyingmranch71@gmail.com, or (503) 662-3222.

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Toadstool Cupcakes

8 08 2016

IMG_7855My cousin recently brought Toadstool Cupcakes to a family gathering, and when I peeked inside the box, I saw the cutest variety of tiny cupcakes I’d ever laid eyes on. I’m not much of a cake lover and I never eat dessert first, but when another cousin prompted me to try one, I dove right in—before the potluck started! To my delight, the Toadstool Cupcakes tasted even better than they looked. They are topped with creamy fillings and hand-dipped in white or chocolate ganache, then finished with signature decorations unique to each flavor.

Toadstool Cupcakes bakes all cakes on site and offers over 50 flavors daily including wheat-free and vegan. Tiny Toadstool Cupcakes are nearly the size of a standard cupcake and cost $2.75 each or $30 per dozen. Some flavors of the Tiny Toadstool Cupcakes include: Salted Caramel, Snickerdoodle Dandy, Strawberries & Cream, Oregon Marionberry, Confetti Cake, Double Fudge, Strawberry Cheesecake, Mocha Buzz, Oregon Hazelnut, Green Tea Chai, Fudgy Pudgy Brownie, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, and Banana Split. Giant Toadstool Cupcakes cost $5 each and if you buy 11, you get the 12th free. Giant Toadstool Cupcakes are double flavor, side-by-side treats in these six daily flavors: Red Velvet Double Fudge, Caramel Macchiato, Razzle Dazzle Lemonberry, Candy Bars, Neopolitan, and Cookie Monster.

Toadstool Cupcakes is open daily from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and is located in Portland, Oregon at 3557 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 97214. Contact Toadstool Cupcakes at (503) 764-9921 or www.toadstoolcupcakes.com. Visit the shop or the website for a full list of gourmet flavors.

 

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Big League Chew

13 07 2016

IMG_8022Whether it’s baseball season or not, the classic Big League Chew bubble gum remains popular as new generations discover this unique product. Although the traditional pink, original-flavored bubble gum expanded into a variety of colors and flavors (chocolaty candy bar, sour cherry, strawberry, grape, sour apple, watermelon, and cotton candy), its iconic shredded texture and foil pouch packaging stay recognizable across generations and around the world.

The concept of Big League Chew began in the Portland Maverick’s bullpen in the 1970s. The Portland Mavericks were a new independent team in the Class A Northwest League created by Bing Russell, an actor in the hit TV series Bonanza and father to actor Kurt Russell. Left-handed pitcher Rob Nelson noticed teammate Todd Field “chewing” shredded black licorice as a healthy substitute for tobacco, and he instantly got the idea of shredding gum instead. Nelson approached teammate Jim Bouton for help in developing the gum. Bouton brainstormed the name of Big League Chew, financed the initial operation, and eventually pitched it to the Wrigley Company, owner of the Chicago Cubs. The teammates hired MAD magazine artist Bill Mayer to design the final packaging.

A secret formula keeps Big League Chew’s shredded gum from sticking together in the pouch, allowing customers to dip into any amount desired. This ingenuity didn’t happen overnight. In early 1979, Nelson ordered a gum-making machine from a magazine and attempted his first batch of licorice-flavored brown gum in Field’s kitchen in Southeast Portland. Nelson became the new pitching coach for Portland State University and tested batches of his homemade gum to his players who were not fans of it. He continued experimenting while Bouton sketched pouch designs. Nelson hired an art studio in Portland to render Bouton’s drawings into a professional sample to show Amurol, a subsidiary of Wrigley. Amurol’s President tested about 20 Big League Chew pouches at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Naperville, Illinois and they sold out immediately.

After months of tweaking the gum’s colors, flavors and packaging, former teammates and new business partners introduced Big League Chew in May 1980. Over the decades, Big League Chew fans rave that this particular gum continues its use as a healthy alternative to tobacco. For others, it’s a fun, flavorful, storable chewing gum.

 

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Summer Fairs and Festivals

14 06 2016

 

IMG_6960Americans will spend the next few months participating in various summer fairs and festivals around the country. Some will be professional city events while others will remain casual community affairs. Do you hold out for the grand, end-of-summer state fair or do you dip into small-town festivals throughout the season and soak up their unique cultures? Whether you prefer flashy or quaint, you’re certain to find one just your style. Be adventurous and discover something new this year!

 

 

Fairs and festivals offer an array of activities:

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Auctions
  • Carnival rides
  • Ceremonies
  • Contests
  • Demonstrations
  • Exhibits
  • Food booths
  • Games
  • Live shows
  • Livestock
  • Pageants
  • Parades
  • Vendors

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