Stash Tea

6 01 2017

img_8244My favorite tea happens to be local, founded and headquartered in the Pacific Northwest! Stash Tea began in a Victorian house in Portland, Oregon in 1972 and expanded its headquarters just over the West Hills to Tigard, Oregon. Stash quickly grew to become a top specialty American tea company, selling products online, in a variety of stores, and around the world. Stash teas come in a variety of flavors and forms including loose, bulk, bagged, pods, sachet and iced. The company also sells treats and any kind of teaware imaginable.

Stash Tea derived its name from tales of early travel when merchants traded and transported tea by ship. Ship captains received the finest teas as gifts and stashed them away for safekeeping. Admittedly, my daughter and I do the same with our favorite flavors of Stash Tea!

To see all that Stash Tea offers and learn all about tea, go to www.stashtea.com!

 

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Rice Cereal Treats

23 12 2016

img_0850The holidays coincide with birthdays in my home, so while everyone else plans holiday parties and menus, I focus on keeping my children’s birthdays separate and special. Rice cereal treats with a twist landed on one of our birthday menus, and fruity rainbow bars won over the many options of flavors and colors. This simple and economical treat can be changed to accommodate a variety of occasions and preferences. Here is the base recipe:

 

Ingredients

  • 3 T butter
  • 1 Pkg (10 oz) regular marshmallows or 4 C miniature marshmallows
  • 6 C puffed rice cereal

 

Directions

Melt butter on low heat in a large saucepan. Stir in marshmallows until melted completely. Remove pan from heat. Stir in rice cereal until all is mixed in and coated. Press into greased 9×13-inch pan with a greased spatula. Cut into desired shapes after cooled. These treats are best when served soft the same day but stay fresh for a couple days in a covered container.

 

Here are other versions of rice cereal treats:

 

Fruity rainbow:

Mix 3 C regular puffed rice cereal with 3 C fruity rainbow-colored puffed rice cereal

 

Chocolate:

6 C chocolate puffed rice cereal or mix 3 C chocolate puffed rice cereal with 3 C regular puffed rice cereal

 

Chocolate peanut butter:

Mix 3 C regular puffed rice cereal with 3 C peanut butter-flavored cereal

 

Cookies and cream:

Mix 5 C regular puffed rice cereal with 25 chocolate and cream sandwich cookies, chopped

 

S’mores:

Mix 3 C regular puffed rice cereal with 2 C graham-flavored cereal and 1 C chocolate chips, frozen

 

Holiday:

Mix 5 C regular puffed rice cereal, 1 C dried cranberries and 1 C white chocolate chips, frozen

 

Dipped:

Make the base recipe, cut into shapes, dip one part of each into melted chocolate or white chocolate, embellish with sprinkles or crushed candy or nuts

 

Frosted:

Make the base recipe, cut into any shape, top with frosting and decorate

 

You have infinite possibilities of variety by tweaking the base recipe and adding your own creativity. Have fun and enjoy!

 

 

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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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