Food

Roasted and stuffed portobello mushrooms on the menu

I’m giving away the menu, Mary Lou Oberson and Betty Schmidlin. For the past couple of years, Mary Lou, Betty and I have renewed our friendship from our days at Portland State. During our working years, we went for long stretches with little communication, except for those Christmas cards. Now we meet for lunch about […]

New Hydrangeas Bloom Longer

Some of the newer hydrangea varieties are both longer blooming and smaller in size. It is great to see these newer varieties which are extending our shrub blooming season. A few are available in a standard tree form. The Endless Summer series was one of the first to introduce the re-blooming trait in hydrangeas. There […]

Water Trees and Shrubs Deeply Now

Our extended period of hot dry weather has caused some trees and shrubs to develop premature yellowing or browning and dropping of leaves and needles. Trees and shrubs which do not receive irrigation when adjacent plants are watered need deep watering now. Water should be applied for a long enough time period so it reaches […]

Fertilize Container Plants

Most container plants have had all the fertilizer that was initially in the soil used up or washed out by frequent watering. Plant roots have a more limited growing area in containers. Container soils are more porous to insure good drainage. These two factors make it necessary to water more frequently. As a result, fertilizer […]

Disease Resistant Roses

I love roses but have just about given up growing them because I don’t have time to spray them regularly for diseases. Are there roses available which are disease resistant and bloom all summer? There are a number of recent varieties of shrub roses which are very disease resistant and continue to bloom throughout the […]

Is Your Tree Too Big?

I am often asked to evaluate a situation where home owners want to drastically reduce the size of a large tree. When I ask them why they want to reduce a mature tree’s size, the response is often “It is just too big. We didn’t realize it was going to get this big when we […]

Coconut Macaroon Nests

Coconut Macaroon Nests will totally be on the table at Easter brunch next weekend.  Although they’re a bit messy to make, they look adorable and taste great.  Feel free to make these a day or two ahead so you have less to manage on Sunday. Coconut Macaroon Nests Makes 24 nests Ingredients: 1 14 oz […]

Super Lemon Coffee Cake

I’m a food nerd.  Completely comfortable with this title, it means I read cookbooks for fun (yes really), take pictures of everyone’s food at restaurants (sorry not sorry) and take about 5 hours in any kitchen store (I told you to get a coffee and bring a book). Food nerd status also means I love […]

Pecan Caramel Clusters

Pecan Caramel Clusters don’t require any baking.  Quick and easy, these treats would be a perfect addition to Mother’s or Father’s Day brunch.  You can also substitute in your favorite nut mix.  A coworker has asked me to try making these with a pecan, cashew and pistachio combination.  Sounds even better, can’t wait to give […]

Fudge Buckeye Cake

Fudge Buckeye Cake combines dense chocolate cake with sweet, squishy peanut butter filling.  A great option for Father’s Day, you can substitute 9 inch round cake pans for the fancy rectangular ones.  Buckeye is a reference to a super popular treat originating from the Midwest. Fudge Buckeye Cake Serves 12 Ingredients: Cake 2 C sugar 2 C flour […]

Simple Spice Cake

Simple Spice Cake is a throwback recipe to less complicated time.  It’s easy to get caught up in the super complicated gourmet recipes people seem to favor these days, I like to things my grandma would have made 70 years ago.  Feel free to add raisins and pecans if you love them, only about a […]

Creamy Coconut Cheesecake

Confession time.  We made 3 of these in a week.   Although we only ate 1 at home, the other 2 went into work because the office had a cheesecake emergency and everyone HAD to have a slice. Be sure to find coconut milk powder ahead of time, I ordered from Amazon Prime and it was $7 […]

Strawberry Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts

Spring is  around the corner.  From an errant daffodil in our front yard to needing only one coat to walk the dog in the evening, better days are definitely on the way. Strawberry Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts use real fruit in both the cake and the glaze, making for a bright and tasty treat. Strawberry Buttermilk Baked […]

White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

While chocolate is not technically chocolate.  It has cocoa butter, sugar and milk but no cocoa solids (aka cocoa powder).  Feel free to share this bit of knowledge to annoy your friends… I definitely have. White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting don’t need cocoa solids.  Clocking in with a whopping 3 […]

Yellow Snack Cakes with Vanilla Cream Filling

I got a Twinkie pan for Christmas!  Technically, it’s a “cream canoe pan,” although I have no idea what cream canoes are exactly.  This recipe can be made as cupcakes but it’s much more fun to create Twinkie look-alike treats.  Be sure to read about whipping egg whites if you’re new to the kitchen, stiff peaks are […]

Lemon Cheesecake Bites

Lemon Cheesecake Bites are perfect miniature treats.  With a lemony crust, sweet cheesecake filling and tart lemon topping, these little beauties will impress anyone.  Need extras?  (Hint… you’ll need extras).  The recipe doubles easily. Lemon Cheesecake Bites Makes 24 miniature cupcakes Ingredients: Crust 3 oz cream cheese, softened 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened 1 […]

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw: Cooked wins

Healthy Living Question:  Does your body desire cooked vs raw food?  Do you strive to eat more raw foods and feel sluggish and bloated?  Consider switching to consuming more cooked food to jump start your healthy living eating program.  I am currently enrolled in Vancouver Yoga Center‘s 200 hour yoga teacher trainer course instructed by […]

What Can I Plant Now?

I have noticed geraniums and marigolds in the garden stores. Is it okay to plant those now? What about tomatoes? Geraniums, marigolds and tomatoes are very sensitive to frost. We could get frost for several more weeks, especially in the higher elevations. They are all warm weather plants, which means they will not make much […]

Tom’s “Too Tall” Tree Story

Tom and Mary moved into a home that was only 2 years old in a nice neighborhood. The previous owner had planted a lawn, shrubs and a shade tree about 20 feet west of a large picture window. The tree was large enough to partially shade the hot afternoon sun on the window. By the […]

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bones

  As the dreary gray days continue here in Clark County coupled with the switch this weekend to daylight savings time (HATE!), so many people at my gym Battleground Snap Fitness – have shared with me that they’re feeling bluesy, tired, sleepy and depressed. What can you do about it?  Consider evaluating your Vitamin D […]

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