126356hiyashi-chuka https://blogs.columbian.com/home-made/hiyashi-chuka/ /wp-content/uploads/2021/07/IMG_4786-rotated-e1627710549853-1024x768-600x450.jpg

Cue the cucumbers, it’s warm out there and you need to adjust accordingly. A cold noodle salad is refreshing on hot days and these Tokyo-inspired cold ramen noodles are a fun way to wrap up this final week of the Olympics.

Because you will not be using the seasoning packet, you can use any kind of ramen that you like or have on hand. You could also use rice noodles in this recipe. I used buckwheat ramen when I made this to give it an added nutritional boost. Feel free to add or subtract any vegetables or toppings. I left the radishes off but added some lightly salted, cold edamame and snuck some sliced avocado onto my bowl. I like dried seaweed so I used that in place of the wakame. You can swap in extra firm tofu, chilled shrimp or imitation crab in place of the ham. Use a mandolin to cut your vegetables into even sheets before you julienne them, making them very uniform. Or, just use your knife to slice them thinly. A little less precise, but equally pleasing. 

The Ponzu dressing is light and citrusy, just the right balance of salty/sweet. Bottled yuzu juice can be found at specialty foods stores and Asian markets. If you can’t find it or want to make your own, you can substitute 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1/2 tablespoon fresh orange juice. You can also buy Yuzu Ponzu, a soy dressing made with yuzu, and use that in place of the dressing in this recipe. 

A fun supper or easy make-ahead for this week’s lunch, it totes well, too. Assemble the bowls at home and pack dressing separately: enjoy a cool lunch on the go. Thinking ahead a bit, I can imagine this in a school lunch box.  Stay cool and enjoy the warm while it lasts.

Hiyashi Chuka

Ponzu Dressing 

Noodles: Cook according to directions on package; rinse under cold water until chilled. Toss with toasted sesame oil and set aside. 

Egg crepe: pour a very thin layer of scrambled eggs onto a non-stick pan set over low heat. Cook until it pulls away from sides and no longer looks wet on top. Once cool, remove from pan; roll and cut into strips.

Vegetables: rehydrate wakame seaweed, cut cherry tomatoes in half, cut cucumbers and carrots into 3-inch matchstick strips, quarter radishes.

Slice ham into thin strips.

Ponzu Dressing:

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

To serve:

Plate hiyashi chuka in individual shallow bowls, starting with noodles on the bottom. Arrange toppings in a colorful pattern on top of the noodles. Pour about 1/4 cup ponzu dressing over all. Finish with pickled ginger and toasted sesame seeds. Stir and enjoy! 

– recipe by Elena Yamamoto 

109219gardening-and-multitasking https://blogs.columbian.com/gardening-with-allen/2019/05/19/gardening-and-multitasking/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/05/default-avatar.png

Gardening is a fun, creative and healthy hobby. There’s nothing like unplugging from your daily routine and getting down and dirty doing concrete, tangible work. A key part of gardening is how relaxing it is.

In today’s fast-paced advancements in the technological world, you can also multitask while gardening, adding an entirely new dimension to this entertaining pastime. Take a look at some fun suggestions for multitasking while gardening.

Music

Who doesn’t love music? Why not combine two of your passions into a single activity. Listening to music while gardening is one of the most relaxing things you can do.

Studies have shown that music can have a positive effect on workflow and productivity. But even if your aim isn’t to work more efficiently, for most people music is a preferable background to random noise.

This is a great way to revisit old hits or catch up with the newest releases. It’s an approach which condenses two fun activities into one. This is one of the rare ways that you can make gardening even more enjoyable. So kick back, make a playlist and go make the most of your time in the sun.

Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a big hit. They provide an even more convenient way to enjoy literature than e-books. The not-so-good fact is that most of us can’t find enough time to read. Downloading the audiobook of your favorite book or that new novel that you can’t find the time to start reading is a great way to enjoy literature.

It doesn’t have to stop there – you can also find plenty of audiobooks concerning gardening. These can help improve your skills or inspire you with new ideas for your little green corner. Educating yourself on gardening has never been easier.

Podcasts/Videos

Podcasts are hugely popular at the moment. They have almost completely replaced the traditional format of a radio show. If you’re a fan, try listening to one while gardening.

Podcasts and videos offer a wide array of diverse content to enjoy. Listening to something you enjoy while gardening will provide you with a new, unique sense of leisure.

If you’re so inclined, there are many podcasts and YouTube channels which focus on gardening. Check them out for new ideas on how to improve your garden, what to grow and how to grow it.

Where do I begin?

Multitasking and gardening go hand in hand naturally. It’s very easy to start. First things first, purchase a good quality wireless headphone from headsetplus.com. This allows you to enjoy online content while tending to your garden.

A good pair of sound canceling headphones will also help you focus on the work at hand. Not being distracted by ambient noises will help you stay in the zone and make the most of your free time. You will naturally gravitate to what you usually enjoy, but take a look at a couple of suggestions and ideas down below.

Office-work

It may seem counterproductive, but doing some other important work while tending to your garden at the same time can be a good use of your time. It’s important not to go overboard, but if you can delegate, plan or instruct others, doing a bit of work while simultaneously gardening can help reduce stress.

If your line of works allows, taking care of small tasks, delegating it to your subordinates can help reduce the overall amount of work. And when you do have to go to work, you’ll have an easier time there. This is a delicate balance, and obviously isn’t applicable to all lines of work – but if it is for yours, you should at least consider the possibility.

Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.

95879study-common-class-of-drugs-linked-to-increased-risk-of-dementia-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/26/study-common-class-of-drugs-linked-to-increased-risk-of-dementia/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-HEALTHBEAT-FINAL-LOGOrgb.png

A new study found the use of a common class of drugs is associated with an increased risk of dementia – even when taken 20 years before a dementia diagnosis.

The international research team from the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland analyzed more than 27 million prescriptions for anticholinergic drugs. They compared those prescriptions as recorded in the medical records of 40,770 patients over 65 years old with dementia to the records of nearly 284,000 older adults without dementia.

The researchers found a greater incidence of dementia among those who were prescribed anticholinergic antidepressants, bladder medications and Parkinson’s disease medications than among those not prescribed anticholinergic medications.

Dementia increased with greater exposure to the drugs, according to researchers.

Anticholinergic medications block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, and have previously been implicated as a potential cause of cognitive impairment, said Noll Campbell, Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Center for Aging Research investigator and co-author of the new study, in a news release.

“These findings make it clear that clinicians need to carefully consider the anticholinergic burden of their patients and weigh other options,” said study co-author Dr. Malaz Boustani, a Regenstrief Institute and IU Center for Aging Research investigator, in the news release.

Further research is needed to understand the reasons for the link between the drugs and increased dementia risk, the researchers said.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Study: Common class of drugs linked to increased risk of dementia
95882report-clark-county-has-higher-rates-of-female-young-doctors-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/25/report-clark-county-has-higher-rates-of-female-young-doctors/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/doctor-600x398.jpg

While Clark County has more physicians and more primary care providers per 100,000 than the state average, it lags behind in several specialties and psychiatry, according to a new report by the state Office of Financial Management.

Clark County also has a higher rate of female physicians per 100,000 people and has the youngest median age of physicians in the state, according to the report.

The new report by the office’s Health Care Research Center looks at the state’s physician supply using data from 2016.

Clark County has 263 physicians per 100,000 residents – only slightly higher than the state rate of 261. Clark County was one of only eight counties with rates higher than the state average.

County rates ranged from a high of 402 physicians per 100,000 in Chelan County to a low of 19 in Wahkiakum County.

Clark County also has a higher-than-average rate of primary care providers per 100,000 residents: 122. The state rate is 96 providers per 100,000.

But when it comes to specialists, Clark County is below the state rate of 165 per 100,000. Clark County has 141 specialists per 100,000 residents – better than 29 other counties.

Clark County also falls below the state rates for anesthesiologists, cardiologists, emergency medicine providers, family medicine providers, psychiatrists and radiologists. The county exceeds the state rates for internal medicine providers, obstetricians/gynecologists, pediatricians and surgeons.

In total, Clark County had 1,215 physicians, accounting for 6.5 percent of the state’s physician workforce.

The five most populous counties in the state – King, Pierce, Spokane, Snohomish and Clark – had 73 percent of the state’s total physicians while accounting for just 65 percent of the state’s population.

Female physicians in Clark County make up 39.5 percent of the physician workforce compared with 37 percent statewide. Only three counties had higher rates than Clark County: Columbia (42 percent), King (41.7 percent) and Snohomish (40.5 percent).

Across the state, 60 percent of physicians obtained their first state license since 2000. In Clark County, however, 72.6 percent of physicians received their first license since. Only Lincoln County had a higher rate (73.9 percent).

So, not surprisingly, Clark County has the youngest median age of physicians: 47 years old. At the other end of the spectrum is Garfield County, where the median age is 63 years old. Most counties have a median age higher than the statewide median age of 50.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Report: Clark County has higher rates of female, young doctors
95885romaine-lettuce-e-coli-outbreak-continues-to-grow-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/19/romaine-lettuce-e-coli-outbreak-continues-to-grow/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/romaine-339x460.jpg

Want to avoid E. coli? Better stay away from chopped romaine lettuce.

The number of people sickened in a multistate E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has climbed to 53 people in 16 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is recommending people don’t eat any store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes with romaine lettuce. Even those who have eaten some of the lettuce and have not gotten sick should toss the lettuce, the CDC warned.

Health officials suspect that chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region is the source of the outbreak, but no common grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified.

The CDC first announced the E. coli outbreak on April 10. At the time, health officials had identified 17 cases in seven states.

On April 13, the CDC announced the outbreak link to chopped romaine lettuce. By then, 35 people had been sickened in 11 states.

And in the week since then, 18 more people and five states were added to the outbreak. Washington has reported one case.

Ill people range in age from 10 to 85, with a median age of 34. Seventy percent of ill people are women, according to the CDC.

Since the outbreak began, 31 people have been hospitalized with the infection, including five people who have developed kidney failure, according to the CDC. No deaths have been reported.

 

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak continues to grow
95888wsu-researchers-study-effects-of-pot-on-depression-anxiety-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/19/wsu-researchers-study-effects-of-pot-on-depression-anxiety/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pot-smoke-600x361.jpg

Researchers at Washington State University have confirmed what medical marijuana users have been saying for years: Smoking pot helps with anxiety, stress and depression.

The WSU researchers looked at how self-reported levels of stress, anxiety and depression were affected by smoking different strains and quantities of cannabis at home.

They concluded that smoking cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety and stress but may contribute to worse overall feelings of depression over time.

This research is unique because it looked at inhaled marijuana use in the home, whereas most of the previous research has been conducted in a laboratory using orally administered pills, according to a WSU news release.

The WSU researchers assessed how use of cannabis with varying concentrations of chemical compounds tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) affected users’ feelings of wellbeing.

They found that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was best for reducing symptoms of depression.

Those looking to reduce anxiety symptoms responded best to two puffs of any type of cannabis. And 10 or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress, according to the researchers.

While both men and women reported decreases in symptoms for all three conditions after using cannabis, women reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety following cannabis use, according to the news release.

“This is to my knowledge one of the first scientific studies to provide guidance on the strains and quantities of cannabis people should be seeking out for reducing stress, anxiety and depression,” said Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at WSU and lead author of the study, in the news release. “Currently, medical and recreational cannabis users rely on the advice of bud tenders whose recommendations are based off of anecdotal not scientific evidence.”

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

WSU researchers study effects of pot on depression, anxiety
95891research-shows-marijuana-ends-up-in-breast-milk-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/12/research-shows-marijuana-ends-up-in-breast-milk/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pot-600x400.jpg

New research shows that a marijuana compound ends up in mom’s breast milk, but the exact consequences of that are still unclear.

Research published this month in Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at marijuana use among eight women in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal. The women were between two and five months postpartum and were all exclusively breastfeeding.

“This study is just a start to see if marijuana transferred into breast milk. Levels in milk were quite low,” said senior study author Thomas Hale, director of the Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Amarillo, in a HealthDay article.

Still, researchers advised against women smoking marijuana while breastfeeding because there’s no known safe amount.

The anonymous women in the study all used marijuana, but the amount they used varied. Most used it infrequently; one woman said she used it seven to 10 times in the prior week.

The women used a provided breast milk collection kit that included bottles for the breast milk, as well as a new glass pipe for smoking marijuana to avoid contamination from past drugs.

The women were then instructed to buy a specific strain of marijuana from a specific dispensary to ensure a consistent dose. They were asked to stop smoking marijuana for 24 hours prior to smoking for the test.

The mothers then collected breast milk samples one, two and four hours after smoking for the test. About 2.5 percent of the amount the mother smoked was found in the milk. The test looked for a specific compound, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

The researchers said more work needs to be done to get a better understanding. For instance, the study only looked at inhaled marijuana. It’s also unclear whether the amount of marijuana in the breast milk would rise if a woman smokes more or if levels would be different among heavy users.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Research shows marijuana ends up in breast milk
95894survey-young-women-dont-see-std-risk-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/11/survey-young-women-dont-see-std-risk/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-HEALTHBEAT-FINAL-LOGOrgb.png

While more than half of young women are sexually active, more than 85 percent of those who are do not believe they are at risk for chlamydia or gonorrhea, according to a new report.

Quest Diagnostics surveyed thousands of young women 15 to 24 years old, their mothers and primary care and OB/GYN providers about sexual activity, sexual health and knowledge of and screening for STDs.

The results showed a disconnect between sexual activity and perceived risk among young women, as well as poor communication between patients and providers.

The survey found that 56 percent of young women are sexually active, but of those, only 39 percent said their partner used a condom the last time they had sex.

And while STD rates have been on the rise – gonorrhea rates are up 19 percent since 2015, chlamydia rates are up 5 percent – young women are more worried about HIV/AIDs, according to the survey.

About 40 percent of survey respondents said they’re concerned about HIV/AIDS, while 20 percent said they were concerned about chlamydia and only 16 percent were worried about gonorrhea.

Yet of those who are sexually active, only 56 percent said they’ve been tested for an STD, according to the survey.

But the survey also revealed that physicians may be contributing to the problem.

A quarter of physicians said they were very uncomfortable discussing STD risk with female patients. In addition, one in three physicians said they relied on symptoms to diagnose an STD, even though infections can be present without symptoms, according to the survey.

About half of young women said they don’t want to bring up sex or STDs with their providers, and less than 25 percent of women would ask their provider for an STD test.

On the flip side, nearly 50 percent of women said their provider has never asked them if they want STD testing.

And when young women do talk about sex with their doctor, they’re not always truthful. About a quarter of young women admitted they don’t always tell the truth. Among 15- to 17-year-olds, that rate is much higher: 43 percent.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Survey: Young women don’t see STD risk
95897surgeon-general-urges-people-to-carry-opioid-antidote-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/05/surgeon-general-urges-people-to-carry-opioid-antidote/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/naloxone-600x399.jpg

In an effort to combat the opioid’s crisis, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams says more Americans should be carrying the overdose antidote naloxone.

Adams released a public health advisory Thursday, recommending more people carry the medication that is already carried by many first responders. Individuals, including family, friends and those who are personally at risk for an opioid overdose, should have the drug on hand, according to the advisory.

Naloxone, which is delivered via nasal mist or injection, can counteract the effects of an opioid overdose. While it’s not a long-term solution, it can temporarily suspend the overdose effects until emergency responders arrive, according to the surgeon general.

In many states, including Washington, a prescription isn’t required to get naloxone from a pharmacist. Most states also have laws designed to protect providers who dispense and Samaritans who deliver naloxone or call for help during an opioid overdose, according to a news release from the surgeon general’s office.

The surgeon general’s public health advisory is part of the administrations ongoing effort to respond to the rising number of overdose deaths. Since 2010, the number of opioid overdose deaths has doubled from more than 21,000 to more than 42,000 in 2016, according to the news release.

The biggest increase in opioid overdose deaths were related to illicitly made fentanyl and synthetic opioids, according to the news release.

“Each day we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose – that’s one person every 12.5 minutes,” Adams said in the news release. “It is time to make sure more people have access to this lifesaving medication, because 77 percent of opioid overdose deaths occur outside of a medical setting and more than half occur at home.”

Naloxone is covered by most insurance plans and, for those without insurance, may be available at no or low cost through public health programs or retailer and manufacturer discounts, according to the news release.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Surgeon general urges people to carry opioid antidote
95900poll-majority-will-buy-own-health-plan-even-without-mandate-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/04/04/poll-majority-will-buy-own-health-plan-even-without-mandate/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/reform-531x460.jpg

The vast majority of people say they will continue to buy their own health insurance, even without an individual mandate requiring they do so, according to a new poll.

The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll surveyed non-group health plan enrollees about the individual mandate and their health coverage.

As part of the Republican tax plan signed at the end of 2017, lawmakers eliminated the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty beginning in 2019.

Only about 19 percent of respondents were aware the mandate penalty had been repealed but is still in effect for this year. Regardless, 90 percent of respondents said they will continue to purchase their own insurance, even with the individual mandate repeal.

About 34 percent of respondents said the mandate was a “major reason” why they purchased insurance in the first place.

The poll also found that about half of the public believes the health plan marketplaces are collapsing. The rate is higher (about 60 percent) among those who purchase plans through the marketplaces.

Among those who are uninsured, the top reason for not having health insurance is its high cost (36 percent) and job-related issues, such as unemployment or their employer not offering health insurance (20 percent).

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Poll: Majority will buy own health plan, even without mandate
95903medical-costs-still-preventing-people-from-visiting-doctor-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/03/29/medical-costs-still-preventing-people-from-visiting-doctor/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cash-600x384.jpg

In the past year, 44 percent of people report skipping a visit to the doctor when they were sick or injured because of the cost of being seen.

And about 40 percent say they skipped a recommended medical test or procedure because of the cost, according to a new national poll.

The survey, conducted by West Health Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago, asked more than 1,300 adults how they feel about medical costs and how those costs affect their decisions.

More people fear the medical bills that come with a serious illness (40 percent) than the illness itself (33 percent), according to the survey.

Other interesting findings:

“The high cost of healthcare has become a public health crisis that cuts across all ages as more Americans are delaying or going without recommended medical tests and treatments,” said Dr. Zia Agha, chief medical officer at the West Health Institute, in a news release. “According to this survey, most Americans do not feel they are getting a good value for their healthcare dollars, and the rising cost of healthcare is clearly having a direct consequence on American’s health-and financial well-being.”

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Medical costs still preventing people from visiting doctor
95906study-thousands-of-children-injured-in-hoverboard-falls-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthbeat/2018/03/27/study-thousands-of-children-injured-in-hoverboard-falls/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/hoverboard-600x417.jpg

New research reveals that nearly 27,000 children and teens were treated at hospital emergency departments for injuries sustained while riding hoverboards during the first two years of sales.

Researchers analyzed 2015-16 injury data among children younger than 18 and found that injuries were most common among 12-year-old boys.

The body parts most often injured are what you would expect with falls: wrist (19 percent) and forearm (14 percent). Head injuries also accounted for 14 percent of injuries, according to the research published in Pediatrics.

Fractures were the most common diagnosis (40 percent), followed by contusions (17 percent) and strains or sprains (13 percent).

Only three burns were reported during the research period, despite hoverboards being known for spontaneously catching fire during those early years.

None of the burns was caused by malfunctioning batteries. Rather, two of the burns resulted from patients being scalded while riding a hoverboard in the kitchen and colliding with a pot of boiling water. The third was a friction burn that developed after the patient’s finger was ran over by a hoverboard, according to the researchers.

The researchers also looked at skateboard injury data. More than 121,000 children visited emergency departments during that two-year period with skateboard injuries. Again, 12-year-old boys accounted for most of those injuries, according to researchers.

And like hoverboard injuries, wrists were the most frequently injured body part among skateboarders and fractures were the most common diagnosis.

But while the majority of hoverboard injuries occurred in homes, skateboard injuries were most common on the street.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Study: Thousands of children injured in hoverboard falls
85400do-you-have-any-experiments-you-can-recommend https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/do-you-have-any-experiments-you-can-recommend/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Dr.-U-Hero-257x460.png

Dr. Universe: Do you have any experiments you can recommend? Thanks! -Etta, 7, Milwaukee

Dear Etta and Friends:

You can try all kinds of fun experiments at home. It really all depends on what you are curious about. Lately, I’ve seen some really great sunsets and started wondering what gives them their colors.

I decided to ask my friend Tom Johnson, who leads fun physics demonstrations for kids visiting Washington State University. I asked him if he had any simple ideas for an experiment I could try out in my lab, or even the kitchen. One idea he had was to create a sunset in a cup.

Maybe you can try it, too. You’ll need a flashlight, a transparent cup or two, water, and some milk. We cats have a reputation for liking milk. But it really isn’t so great for our digestion. So instead, I like to use it for science.

Once you’ve collected all your supplies, you’ll want to fill your glass about 2/3 of the way with water. Then, you’ll want to add milk until the liquid gets pretty cloudy. Be sure and stir it up well.

Turn on your flashlight and turn down any other lights in the room. Now you can shine the flashlight down into the water and look through the side of the glass. What color do you see?

This time, shine the flashlight through the side of the glass while looking at it from the opposite side. Any changes? Then hold your glass up off the table. Shine the flashlight up through the bottom of the glass and look down into the liquid. What colors can you see now? Perhaps the colors are looking more like those you’d see during a sunset.

Milk in the water scatters the light from the flashlight. It’s similar to the way different molecules and dust in our atmosphere scatter light from the sun.

Light travels from one end of the glass to the other and then up to your eyes. The further the light has to travel through the water, the more blue light gets scattered. That leaves more red light for your eyes to pick up.

Now that we’ve started to get an idea of how light scatters, runs into particles, and travels long distances, you can really get to experimenting.

What happens when you use less or more milk? Will you see any changes if you use a different kind of flashlight, like an LED? What kind of milk gives off more orange or reddish colors? Two percent? Whole milk?

Does the shape of the glass change anything? Why do you think that might be? Make a prediction and give it a try sometime. I’d love to hear more about your experiments and how your own sunset in a cup turns out. E-mail: Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

ABOUT ASK DR. UNIVERSE

The post Do you have any experiments you can recommend? appeared first on Ask Dr. Universe.

85035how-do-we-get-our-personality https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/how-do-we-get-our-personality/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screen-Shot-2016-05-06-at-4.08.12-PM-349x460.png

Dr. Universe: How do we get our personality? – Jamie, 11

Dear Jamie,

Everyone is different. Maybe you are adventurous, shy, outgoing, funny, or kind. Before you were even born, your unique personality was beginning to take shape.

Part of the answer to your question is that some of your personality comes from your parents. Just as parents pass down physical traits like hair and eye color to their offspring, they can also give them different personality traits. They’re in your genes, the information passed throughout generations.

But your personality isn’t set in stone from the beginning. There are a few other things that go into it.

That’s what I found out from my friend Chris Barry, a psychologist at Washington State University. He studies personality in young people, including how people express themselves on social media. He was really excited to hear about your question.

Even as little babies, people start to express their own personalities, he said. Maybe you were a really fussy infant. Maybe you laughed or smiled a lot. As you grew up and learned how to communicate, your personality started to grow, too.

You’ve had a lot of different life experiences and those play into your personality, too. Barry reminded me that humans are social animals. He explained that as the brain develops, you become much more aware of the world around you.

For example, when you were little, you could run around with spaghetti all over your face and no one would think much about it. But now that you are an 11-year-old, running around with spaghetti on your face could be a little embarrassing.

Perhaps your family and friends would suggest you find a napkin. Barry explained that as you get older you are not only more aware of different social situations, but also your own personality.

Humans are often looking for information from other humans to figure out how to navigate the world. Meanwhile, an almond-shaped brain structure called the amygdala is especially helpful as you figure out these new situations and emotions.

You may notice that your family, friends, or others may react to the way you behave. You might learn to change your behavior depending on their reactions. While everyone has their own personality, in a way, other people are helping shape it, too.

Humans have all kinds of words to describe each other’s personality traits. In fact, some researchers have come up with a list of more than 600 characteristics.

Barry explained that we still have a lot of unanswered questions to explore when it comes to understanding personality. He said that while your personality develops a lot as you grow from a baby into a kid, it probably won’t change too much once you become a grown-up.

Based on your question, it appears that you are very curious. That can be a great personality trait. Have you ever thought about become a scientist or researcher one day? Keep asking great questions and you’ll be well on your way.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

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Why do cows moo? -Sam, 11, Gahanna, Ohio

Dear Sam,

If you’ve ever been near a herd of mooing cows, it might have sounded like all their moos were the same. But just as each person’s voice is a little different, so is each cow’s moo.

Human ears might not always pick up the small differences in moos, but cow ears sure can. In fact, cows have great hearing. They can even tell that different moos mean different things.

That’s what I found out from my friend Amber Adams-Progar, an animal scientist at Washington State University who studies cow behavior. She learns a lot about how we can better care for cows and spends time visiting our herd out at the Knott Dairy Center in Pullman, Wash.

Adams-Progar explained that before humans domesticated cows and started raising them on farms, these animals lived in the wild. In nature, mother cows go off on their own to find a spot to have their baby.

Sound is a big part of how a mother and baby cow bond. While a calf might send out one kind of moo when she is hungry, another moo might mean she’s lost.

“Sometimes a calf will go running off and the mom will look around. All of a sudden you hear her moo and then somewhere in the distance you hear a little moo respond back,” Adams-Progar said. “It’s kind of cute.”

Some cows will also moo when they are looking to find a mate. Finding other cows in the herd is part of why these animals moo, but there are other reasons, too.

In the wild, cows are prey animals. Sometimes mooing attracts predators, but sometimes cows can also use their moos to help keep each other safe. They can use their moos and their great sense of hearing to let other cows in the herd know there might be danger afoot.

While mooing can help cows find and protect one another, they also use other kinds of behaviors to communicate. Sometimes cows will grunt. Usually when we see cows grunting, they are pretty content, like when they are eating. They may also use their grunts when they are defending themselves or letting other cows know about their rank in the herd.

A wag of their tail can also help communicate to animals around them. When its tail is between its legs, the animal may be cold. A wagging tail could also mean it is in pain or just irritated. Cows also use their tails to swat away flies and sometimes calves wag their tails when they are nursing.

It’s a great question you ask, Sam. Maybe the next time you pass a herd of mooing cows you can think about all the different communication that is going on out there in the pasture.

In fact, your question leaves me with even more questions about animal communication. Why does a bat screech? A bee buzz? Or an elephant trumpet? What is your favorite animal? What sounds does it make to communicate? Tell me about it sometime at Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

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Can video games help us learn? – Isaac, 12, Clyde, N.Y.

Dear Issac,

All kinds of games can help us learn, including some video games. They can be a fun and useful way to help you remember what you learn, too.

Our brains work hard each day to take in and process information. Ever since video games were invented, people have been asking if and how they might change our behavior and brains.

For example, people once thought that video games left players with poor eye-sight and poor attention. Some scientists decided to actually test out these ideas. Their studies have shown that some video game players actually have better attention than non-players. Other studies have shown how some video game players also have sharper vision.

When it comes to learning new things, being able to focus and quickly process visual information can be helpful. But those aren’t the only things that help with learning.

That’s what I found out from my friend and Washington State University education researcher Raed Alsawaier. He studies how different elements of games can help us learn in our classrooms or other settings outside of the virtual, video game world.

“Almost all of us grow up learning through playing,” he said.

Just think back on a time when you played a game with friends. Maybe you worked with as a team. Maybe you used some creativity and imagination to face a challenge or solve a problem.

It appears that there are two elements to video games, in particular, that can really help us learn, Alsawaier said. One of these elements is collaboration. Learning through video games often happens when you are working with others to reach a goal. This can happen in the game or outside the game.

For example, some games like Minecraft help kids learn to read and write. But the game itself doesn’t actually require you to read or write. The game also doesn’t come with a lot of instructions. Players read other people’s experiences online and write about their own.

The other element of learning through video games is, well, fun. When playing video games, people use a lot of their senses during the experience; sight to watch the screen, hearing to listen to their fellow players, and touch when using the controller.

Our senses and experiences are also tied closely to our memory, Alsawaier explains. Not only can video games give us skills that help us learn, but there’s evidence that they can help us remember what we learn, too.

We still have a lot to learn about different video games and how they affect us, but we can say, at least in part, that the answer to your question is yes.

Now that you know about few elements in video games that can help us learn, what kind of video game would you design? Tell me about it sometime at Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

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84409why-does-hair-turn-gray https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/why-does-hair-turn-gray/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Dr.-U.-Gray-Hair-2-1-600x354.jpg
Dr. Universe examines a gray hair.

Dear Dr. Universe: Why does hair turn gray? –Darae, 10

Dear Darae,

Hair comes in lots of different colors. There’s black, medium brown, auburn, light brown, strawberry blonde, and copper, to name just a few. But in the end, almost everyone will have hair that’s gray or white.

Ever since you were born, different cells have been working on your hair. Each hair sprouts from a follicle, a sort of little hair-making factory under your skin. Here, some of your cells are making your hair and others are coloring it.

The cells that color your hair are called melanocytes. They produce a pigment, or natural coloring matter, called melanin. This is the same pigment that gives your eyes and skin their color, too.

I decided to visit my friend Cynthia Cooper, a biologist and researcher at Washington State University, for help answering your question.

A close-up look at cells 

Cooper and the other scientists in her Vancouver, Wash., lab are really curious about cells. They are investigating questions about how some cells end up becoming the kind that produce skin pigment.

As people get older, she said, the pigment-producing cells in their hair follicles gradually die. They can no longer make enough pigment to keep coloring their hair.

If we took out all the pigment from your hair, it would be totally white.  So when melanocytes stop producing melanin altogether, your hair turns white.

“Why hair follicle melanocytes die over time, and are not replaced, we don’t entirely know,” Cooper said. “Our skin doesn’t turn gray, so the biology is quite different,” she adds.

While Cooper works on pigment in skin, she said some scientists are also working on other big questions about the pigment in hair, too. These scientists are especially curious about the inner-workings of the cells and how gray hair is part of people’s DNA.

Perhaps, you’ve heard someone say their kids are giving them gray hair. But scientifically, if anyone is giving someone gray hair, it’s likely their own parents. Those that come before us pass down their hair color to us through the genes we inherit from them. It’s the same with graying hair.

Scientists have even pinpointed specific genes and parts of cells that are involved in growing gray hair. The new knowledge is helping us put together a better picture of how pigment works. Still, there’s a lot more to discover.

Maybe as you get older and find that first gray hair, you’ll remember some of the science that’s at the root of it all. If you have a cat or dog, maybe you’ll notice that they’ll go gray around their muzzles, too.

I’ve actually had gray and white hair ever since I was a kitten. I think it’s pretty great. Our pigment, or lack of it, help make us all unique.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

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Dr. Universe: Why do we get a fever when we are sick? – Marcelina, 11, Ovid, N.Y.

Dear Marcelina,

Lots of warm-blooded animals get sick, including cats. I’ve had a fever before, but I wasn’t entirely sure why we warm up when we get sick. I decided to ask my friend and professor Phil Mixter at Washington State University.

Mixter is curious about the germs, or microbes, that we all carry around with us. In fact, scientists estimate that humans carry more than 100 trillion of these tiny microbes with them wherever they go. Not all of these microbes are bad, but some of them can make you sick.

Thankfully, a lot of animals—from starfish to cats to humans—also have an immune system that helps them fight off bad germs. In humans, fevers are one way your body helps fight back.

It’s sort of like that story about Goldilocks and the three bears, Mixter said. In the middle of your brain is a control center, the hypothalamus, which helps your body know if it’s too hot, too cold, or just right.

Maybe the last time you went in for a check-up the doctor took your temperature and told you it was somewhere around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit—or 37 degrees Centigrade for readers outside the United States. That’s a pretty normal temperature for humans.

Cats run a little warmer, with temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. As we go about our day, sometimes our body temperatures will rise or fall just a little. But if germs come on the scene, things can really heat up.

When your immune system realizes something unusual is going on, some of your white blood cells will release a substance into your blood stream. The substance is made up chemicals that your brain can detect. When the hypothalamus receives the chemical message, it sends an alert back out to the body: Turn up the heat! We’ve got to slow down these germs.

Many microbes that make us sick do best in an environment that is about 98.6 degrees F. The temperature is just right. When we get a fever, the heat helps slow down these troublemakers. You might feel sweaty and hot on the outside, but the microbes are also getting too hot. The heat helps keep them from multiplying rapidly.

One thing a fever can’t really tell us is what kinds of germs are in our system. Sometimes there might be something else going on and we might need to visit with a doctor.

A fever may not make us feel great, but it’s usually a good sign that our body’s immune system has kicked into gear and that we’ll get better real soon.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

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Dear Dr. Universe: How does a light bulb work? When one bulb in a string of lights goes out, why do they all go out? – Molly, 8

Dear Molly,

Just the other day I was taking down a string of lights from my lab, when I discovered the bulbs were burnt out. I visited my friend Aaron Crandall, an engineer at Washington State University, to see if I might get them working again.

Crandall explained when you plug in a string of lights to a power source, like an outlet, an electrical charge flows into the wires. A lightbulb works when an electrical current runs through thin metal wires in the bulb and electrical energy gets converted to heat and light. We can get this current of electricity to follow different paths, depending on how we wire up the lights.

When the electricity reaches the first bulb in a string of lights, it flows up a tiny vertical wire inside the bulb. Here, it crosses a tinier horizontal wire, which acts kind of like a bridge, for the electrical current. The current follows another tiny vertical wire down and out the bulb. The current moves on, powering up the other lights, until it gets back to the power source. It’s all part of a looped pathway.

My string of lights is on one long path, or circuit— if one of the lightbulbs goes out, they all go out. Usually this happens when the tiny wire bridge that connects those two vertical wires inside the bulb melts or breaks.

Crandall said in some sets of lights you can gently shake the bulb to try and get the tiny horizontal wire to reattach to the vertical ones. I attempted this with my broken lights, but didn’t have much luck. I decided to pick up a new set of lights. This newer set has individual loops, or circuits, for each light. It also requires more wire to work.

You might think of this type of circuit like the monkey bars on a playground. Imagine the view from the top. There are two parallel bars that connect to rungs (the part you swing from). Let’s say you and a few friends are lightbulbs. You each hang from your own rung.

A circuit called a series circuit would be kind of like if you and your friends (the lightbulbs) were all holding hands and the current was flowing down the line. If one friend left, it would break the connection.

But on the monkey bars you aren’t holding hands. You have your own connection (rung) to the lines the electricity is flowing along (the parallel bars). In this kind of design, each light or a series of lights has its own loop, or circuit. If one route along the electrical pathway is not working or blocked, the rest of the bulbs can still light up.

I’ll put up my new lights next year, but I think I’ll break apart my old set of lights to do some experiments with circuits. With some help from an adult, you can check out how to make your very own circuit with old holiday lights. Tell me how it goes sometime at Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,

Dr. Universe

 

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Dr. Universe: Why do some animals live in groups?

– Mrs. Rubert’s students, Foothill Knolls STEM Academy of Innovation, Upland, Calif.

Dear Mrs. Rubert and Students,

Fish swim in big schools. Baby ducks waddle in a straight line. Ants and bees divide up labor. The world is full of animals that live in groups and they do it for a few different reasons.

For one, living in groups helps some animals avoid getting eaten by predators. Some even join forces to take down prey bigger than them with less risk and effort. Working together can also help them find more food. Ravens and rats, for example, will return from a hunt and let the rest of the group know where to find their next meal.

Being part of a big group is also helpful when it comes to caring for young animals. Sperm whales, warthogs, and some fish will care for young that are not their own. In the future, others in their group will return the favor. That’s what I found out from my friend Charlotte Milling, a researcher at The Ohio State University who studied wildlife sciences at Washington State University.

While there are advantages to living in a group, Milling said, there are also down sides. Sometimes a group gets so big it attracts the attention of predators. When food is scarce, having so many mouths to feed can make it harder to find food for everyone, too.

If there aren’t enough resources or the animals start getting really sick, it can be hard for other animals in the group to survive. Milling explained that while there are benefits to living in groups, it only works if the benefits to an animal are bigger than the costs in the long run.

Believe it or not, finding out how animals work in groups can also help us engineer and design new technology, like self-driving cars. My friend Kshitij Jerath is an engineer at Washington State University. He studies how individual things make up groups and looks for big patterns to help us solve problems. He used a flock of birds as an example.

Jerath explained that we can use math to calculate information about how a bird flies with its flock. How many neighbors does a bird have and how many can it see? How far away are these neighbors? How fast does it need to fly to stay with the group?

Using a similar idea, Jerath’s research helps us learn more about swarms of drones and self-driving cars. A single self-driving car can move on its own but it has to interact with lots of cars on the road, too. Using math and engineering, Jerath is working to help us understand how self-driving cars can better avoid accidents or prevent big traffic jams.

We still have a lot of unanswered questions about groups and systems in our world. Whether you’re looking at a pack, a pod, a school, or a flock, maybe one day you can help us learn more about animals and why they live in groups. Who knows? Learning from nature might even inspire you to come up with new ideas and inventions.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

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Dr. Universe: How is glass made? And, what is it made out of? What about thick glass like they are putting up on the Space Needle? – Tali, almost 8 years old, Seattle, Wash.

Dear Tali,

We can make glass in factories and we can find it in nature. Some volcanoes make glass. When they spew out lava, it often cools into obsidian, a black glass. Glass can also form on sandy beaches. Small tubes with smooth glass on the inside may appear after super-hot lightning strikes the sand.

In fact, sand is one of the most important ingredients we use to make glass. We may also use things like seashells, salt, and other chemicals. That’s what I found out when I visited my friend John McCloy, an engineer at Washington State University. McCloy and graduate student Jose Marcial were testing out different materials to make glass in the lab.

smiling cat in a lab coat

Marcial explained that glass is made of molecules—think of them as building blocks—arranged in a pretty random order. Most of the time we think of glass as a solid. But the way its molecules are arranged actually allows it to act as both a solid and a liquid. When we heat up the mix of sand, seashells, salt, and other chemicals, it can become molten, kind of like lava.

In the lab, Marcial poured a mixture of solid materials into a tiny metal cup. He heated it way up until the mix turned to something in-between a solid and liquid, similar to a thick honey. It was so hot that as Marcial poured it out onto a table, the molten material started glowing orange. As the mix cooled down, the molten liquid turned to a solid piece of glass right before our very eyes.

Marcial said that in factories, glass is made in a similar way. We take sand, add in different chemicals, heat it up, and pour it out onto a bed of molten metal. Just as oil sits on top of water, the lighter, liquid-like glass material floats atop the metal.

As everything cools down, the metal stays molten, but the glass on top solidifies. The glass might end up in a pair of eyeglasses, a computer screen, fish tank, or window. The big pieces of glass you see in buildings or observation decks are often made up of thinner layers of glass that have been combined.

As you’ve observed, the Space Needle is getting a big renovation. According to friends at the Space Needle, more than 10 types of glass will be used to renovate the landmark. They will also bring in 176 tons of glass during construction—that’s more than twice the weight of a NASA space shuttle.

As you can see, glass is made in lots of different ways. Believe it or not, you can also make something very similar to glass in your kitchen. Instead of grains of sand, salt, and seashells, you can use tiny grains of sugar.

With the help of a grown-up you can make your own edible sugar glass by mixing together ingredients like sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar. Try it out sometime and let me know what you learn at Dr.Universe@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

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Dr. Universe: Do all animals pass gas? Do cats fart?

Hasandi, 11, Jeddah; Harrison, 10, Albany, Ore.

Dear Hasandi and Harrison,

If you’ve ever been near a cat or dog when they tooted, the smell might have sent you running right out of the room. A lot of animals pass gas. But believe it or not, some animals do not.

First, let’s talk about the gassy ones. When us cats and humans eat food, we are also swallowing air, or gas. It’s made up of elements like nitrogen and oxygen. The gas travels down into our digestive system and can take up space in our stomach and intestines. In our digestive systems, we also find tiny living things called bacteria.

You might blame the dog for your farts, but the real credit goes to your bacteria. Not all bacteria are bad. In fact, a lot of bacteria are helpful. Some of them help break down your food into its simplest form, like proteins and sugars that you can use for energy and growing. Some get rid of waste. But as they do their different jobs, they produce a bit of gas.

That’s what I found out from my friend Kristen Johnson. She’s a researcher at Washington State University who has tackled some big questions about how cow gas impacts the environment. She explained that while each bacterium makes a small amount of gas, there are millions of them doing it. It really adds up.

This gas needs to leave your body somehow, so you can release it either as a burp, a fart or by breathing. But if you were a clam or other mollusk, you wouldn’t toot. If you were a sea anemone, you wouldn’t fart, but you could probably burp.

Last year, a bunch of researchers listed which animals they studied farted. According to their list, it appears that some worms don’t pass gas either. Then there are some animals that scientists aren’t sure about, like spiders and parakeets. One researcher even found that some millipedes have hard valves on their rear ends that silence their toots. It would be nice if some other animals I know had those.

Birds have the equipment to fart but apparently don’t. Some scientists have found that a lot of them don’t usually carry the same kinds of gas-forming bacteria in their guts that humans and other mammals do.

As it is, humans toot around 20 times a day, producing enough gas to fill up about half a two-liter bottle of soda. A lot of the time these farts don’t smell. But sometimes your bacteria release sulfur and other things that can get pretty stinky. It might not always be pleasant, but it’s totally normal. Silent or deadly, a fart is usually a sign that our bodies are healthy.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

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Outfit of the Week: Taxi Outfit of the Week: Taxi

Does it look like I’m hailing a cab? Check out these sweet taxi mittens that my cousin sent me that pair nicely with my dark, neutral outfit. They look like they would be perfect for New York City, which is exactly why she sent them to me. 

I’m moving to the Big Apple! Which means that this is my last Everyday Style post. I know this column has been a bit short-lived, but it’s been a blast. I’m so thankful to The Columbian for giving me the space and resources to share my opinions about fashion. I’ve always dreamed of having a style blog but never had the means to, so being able to create one for such a great platform has been amazing. 

For this week’s outfit, I’m wearing my trusty winter coat from GAP, a cozy turtleneck that I’ve had for ages from Forever 21, and Anne Klein earrings. My taxi mittens are from Kate Spade. 

If you would like to follow along with my adventures in NYC, you can find my instagram at instagram.com/marielabbene. If you would like to contact me after my departure from The Columbian, you can email me at mariel.abbene@gmail.com.

Cheers my friends, and thanks for reading! 

Photos by Ariane Kunze.

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Taxi
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Streamline your style by color-coordinating your closetIf you peek into my closet, you’ll see my clothes all fall into a limited color palette. Everything looks like it goes together, and that isn’t an accident. 

For several years now, I’ve done my best to visually streamline my closet. Not only does it make it look neat and tidy when I slide my door aside to pick out an outfit; creating a cohesive color scheme has a lot of other benefits.

First of all, it expands your options if most of your clothing items don’t clash. It also allows you to purchase more interesting pieces. Patterns, metallics and other fun details become a lot more wearable if you have the right colors to pair them with. Traveling is also simpler because you’ll be able mix, match and rewear a few items that all go together. 

I would also go out on a limb to say that having a color cohesive wardrobe can reduce impulse purchases. Knowing what colors you like, what hues look good on you, and what shades will match with your current clothing items can steer you away from that crazy fluorescent pink miniskirt that is destined to hang in the back of your closet with the tags still on. Once you discover your preferences, you’re more likely to stick to them.

The method

Now the question is: What’s the best way to get to this point without shelling out lots of money? 

The most important thing to remember if you’re aiming to streamline your closet colors is to be aware that it will happen over time, not immediately. There’s no need to spend your whole paycheck or throw out large portions of your current wardrobe. It took me several months of (normal levels) of shopping before I started to notice cohesiveness emerging in the items I purchased. 

The first step is to take a look at your current clothing. Are there any pieces you own that don’t look good on you? If yellow makes you look sallow or purple just isn’t your thing, get rid of it. My philosophy is that there’s no reason to keep clothing you don’t like unless you need it for utility or professional purposes.  

Secondly, the next time you shop, start building up a base of neutral colored pieces. When I was a teenager, I thought neutrals were boring. Now, I love them for their flexibility. If you’re someone who starts snoring at the thought of black or beige, think of neutrals as a way to try out different shapes, materials and details. For example, a black shirt with bell sleeves and a ruffled collar is far from dull. In addition to navy, black, gray, brown and white, also consider what I call secondary neutrals, which include colors like olive, camel, and cream. They are versatile and are great if you fancy warmer hues. 

Next, based off your personal preferences and what is already in your closet, determine what non-neutral colors you like to wear. Personally, I tend to favor toned-down primary colors, and gravitate toward red, blue, yellow and green. However, if you’re like my mom, who likes jewel tones, your closet might be filled with violet, emerald and turquoise. I would choose around three or four colors, each of which look good with your complexion and make you feel great. 

Lastly, think about accent colors. For me, red is the perfect pop for almost any outfit. For example, I have a great tan raincoat that has red lining and drawstrings for the hood, which make it look more preppy and adds some interest. I also own no less than three red bandanas that I pair with everything. You can utilize these colors in any kinds of accessories like purses, hats, scarves, jewelry and shoes. 

Whew! That might seem like a lot, but don’t freak out. The most important thing is don’t expect everything to come together immediately. Keep your eyes peeled when shopping, and notice what you gravitate toward. Also, this is by no means a hard-and-fast method. If you see a shirt that you love that is out of your chosen color range, that’s fine! This approach aims to give you more options and streamline your style, not to stifle your creativity. 

Already have a color-coordinated closet? Email me a photo with your name and neighborhood and I’ll feature it for inspiration at the bottom of next week’s online post!

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Streamline your style by color-coordinating your closet
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Outfit of the Week: Embroidery Outfit of the Week: Embroidery Outfit of the Week: Embroidery

This week’s outfit is special, because it has a handmade touch to it: the collars are hand embroidered. I bought this white button-up shirt from H&M almost six months ago with the intention of personalizing it. I embroider all the time, yet I didn’t get around to it until recently. 

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I sketched the design on the collar with a disappearing marker, then sewed it with a simple backstitch. If this DIY project interests you, it’s super easy to try. Embroidery materials are cheap, and there are plenty of tutorials on hand embroidery on the internet.

I paired my newly embroidered shirt with my favorite coat from GAP, a pair of Madewell jeans, and my Cole Haan booties. When it comes work wear, I usually lean toward menswear-inspired outfits. Buttoning up my shirt and the structured style of my coat helped me give off a more polished look. 

It was really cold and windy out when these photos were taken, but photographer Ariane Kunze did an amazing job of utilizing the lighting. A big shout out to her for making me look like a fancy model!

Photos by Ariane Kunze

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Embroidery
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What to wear, what to wear? Your wardrobe may surprise you

Have you ever woken up in the morning, washed your face, brushed your teeth, and then sat in front of your closet, wishing a fabulous outfit would materialize in front of your eyes? I’ve been there. It’s hard to pick out an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable when your closet seems tired and boring. 

In lieu of going to the mall and buying an entire new wardrobe, I thought I’d share some tips that I use to pick out an outfit when I’m really stuck. 

First of all, choose an item that you really like. It could be anything, from a killer pair of boots, to a new sweater, to a cute pair of glasses. Hopefully there’s at least one clothing item in your closet that you can get behind. Don’t be afraid to grab something fun, sparkly, or colorful.

The next step is to start building an outfit around what you selected. Look at your item: What colors are in it? What texture is it? What colors go well with it? Is there anything unexpected you could try on with it? Utilize any neutrals you have, even if the rest of your outfit is all black. After all, black is the new black, folks. 

After that, accessorize! Use the same techniques in the previous step to choose jewelry, a hat, or a scarf. Don’t feel the need to go overboard, but sometimes the perfect pair of earrings or a cute hat can really make an outfit. 

The last step is important: Don’t give up after the outfit. Outerwear matters! What a shame it would be to put together a great outfit and pair it with a junky raincoat or sad cardigan. This might be a hole in your wardrobe (which is understandable because coats can be a big commitment), so if it is, make note for later. There are tons of great resale stores, such as Buffalo Exchange or Goodwill, where you can find great quality, super stylish jackets. 

After that, you’re ready to go! Grab a snack, get out there and rock what USED to be your tired, boring closet. 

Illustration by me.

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

What to wear, what to wear? Your wardrobe may surprise you
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Outfit of the Week: Gingham

Outfit of the Week: Gingham

It’s rare, but once in a while, I will get the urge to bare my legs during the winter for the sake of fashion.

On Monday, I mixed patterns and textures by pairing an H&M gingham shirt dress with a cozy marled cardigan from Target’s latest brand, A New Day. I love the curved collar of the cardigan that makes me feel like I’m wearing a fancy, classic coat.

I also wore a Madewell bandana (surprise!) for a pop of color, and my Doc Martens boots to finish things off. Thank goodness for sunny days in November!

 

EDIT: My apologies if you read this post before and were confused – it looks like the paragraphs got mixed up while we were trying to fix some technical issues. It’s fixed now.

-M

 

 

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Gingham
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Outfit of the Week: Winter Wear

With the weather getting colder, it’s time to dig out the heavy layers. 

Today, I’m wearing my favorite coat, which I found at Buffalo Exchange for $30. I remember trying it on and sending a photo of it to my boyfriend at the time to ask him what he thought of it. He said, “Eh, it’s all right.” I promptly bought it and have worn it every day since, weather permitting. 

This Gap scarf is one of the oldest items in my closet, but I still love it. The colors are trendy, yet are easy to match with other clothing. 

I’m also wearing Madewell overalls (if it seems like half my closet is from Madewell, that’s because half of my closet is from Madewell), and Doc Martens. I’m actually from Portland, so there’s probably some kind of contract stating that I have to wear Doc Martens for 30 days a year in order to be considered a resident. Or something. 


 Photo by Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Winter Wear
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Four ways to wear button-up shirts

One of my favorite things to do when I get dressed in the morning is to pick an outfit I’ve never worn before. I repeat combinations sometimes, but I try to avoid wearing the same outfit twice. 

You may be thinking: “How big is this girl’s closet?” while picturing one of those crazy Pinterest-style rooms stocked with shoes and clothes. If only that was my secret.

In reality, I scope out clothing items that are versatile and get creative with layering and accessories. I also try to keep all my clothing within the same color family, so that everything goes together and can be interchanged. I own a lot of neutrals, which gives me more options and allows me to add colorful and fun accessories to spice things up. 

By far, the most useful items of clothing in my closet that serve as a great base for any outfit is a button-up shirt. They can be worn in so many different ways — buttoned or unbuttoned, dressed up or dressed down. Some brave folks even wear them as a skirt or make them into off-shoulder tops. The options are plentiful and varied.

This week, I decided to show the ways that I usually wear my button-up shirts, and the things I consider when putting together an outfit in order to make it different and more interesting. I selected one top and assembled four outfits around it.

The shirt I chose is a denim Madewell top. I love the boxy structure and the raw hem, which makes it flattering tucked or untucked. Plus, a denim shirt is a great staple, and it’s likely that many readers have one in their closet already, and may be able to relate and experiment with their own looks. 

Four ways to wear button-up shirts

Buttons undone: 

This style is perfect for showing off your favorite necklace or scarf. If you read my first post, you’d probably be unsurprised that I chose a bandana. This one is a basic red one from a craft store. I’m also wearing a crescent necklace from Etsy. This basic, super comfy skirt is from GAP, and I’m wearing my favorite winter shoes — my Doc Martens boots. 

Four ways to wear button-up shirts

Buttoned up: It’s not as common for women to wear their shirts buttoned all the way up, which is one reason that I love this style. It’s unexpected, but it looks sharp and put together. I’m wearing my favorite pair of pants: floral print, tie waisted trousers that are as comfortable as pajamas. I’m also wearing my favorite shoes, which are fabulous Dankso clogs with fringe that I found at Nordstrom Rack. This outfit shows how you can easily turn something casual, such as a denim shirt, into a dressier outfit.

Four ways to wear button-up shirtsUnder: Wearing a crew neck sweater over a collared shirt is a classic workwear staple. I mixed it up by layering this long V-neck sweater from LOFT over my shirt. The relaxed joggers, which are also from LOFT, make it a little more casual, so I chose sleek Cole Haan booties to finish off the look and prevent it from looking sloppy. 

Four ways to wear button-up shirts

Over: This style is easiest when going for a casual look. Maybe I have been watching too much “Stranger Things,” because this outfit has a bit of an ‘80s vibe. Under my denim shirt, I’m wearing a striped tee from Madewell, tucked into these great high-waisted corduroys from Urban Outfitters. I’m also wearing a belt that I stole from my mom’s closet, and my Stan Smith Adidas sneakers to keep the look casual, comfy and sporty. 

Button-up shirts, especially in a neutral color or fabric such as denim, can yield a large plethora of different outfit options. Layering, tucking, or buttoning can create totally different vibes and makes it easier to make good use out of the clothing you already have. It doesn’t take a giant closet full of clothes for outfit options — just a bit of creativity. 

Four ways to wear button-up shirtsFour ways to wear button-up shirts


 Photos by Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Four ways to wear button-up shirts
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Outfit of the Week: Leather

Do you ever get that feeling when you buy some new clothing and you just want to wear it all at the same time? Well, this outfit is a product of that feeling. 

I recently bought this super cool top from Zara, that features a boxy cut and some striping down the middle and on the sleeves. 

I also finally found a leather jacket that suits me! It’s faux leather, which is totally fine with me, both because I don’t want to kill a cow for fashion and also because it was $35 on Asos.com. Win-win.

The bottom half of my outfit isn’t new, but worked well with showcasing my fun items on top. I chose plain skinny jeans (sans rips, of course, since I wore them to work), and my waterproof Cole Haan ankle boots which were perfect for a drizzly day like today. 


 Photos by Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

Outfit of the Week: Leather   Outfit of the Week: Leather

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

Outfit of the Week: Leather
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It’s all right  to wear white

Well, here we are. It’s weeks past Labor Day, and I’m wearing white. 

Not just white shoes or a white scarf — all white. 

Before you call Stacy London of “What Not to Wear” in outrage, let’s chat about the origins of this age-old adage and whether or not it should be preserved.

According to a Time article from 2009, this fashion rule began in the early 20th Century. For the most part, people wore white during the summer because the dark, heavy clothing they would usually wear was too hot for summer days. When fall returned, they would revert to their usual black, brown and gray. This could be one reason for the rule. However, it’s possible the true origin of the “no white after Labor Day” rule was created out of snobbery. 

During the early 1900s, members of the old-money elite could afford to take long vacations, unlike their social inferiors. During these high-class holidays, they would wear their smartest white linen and finest ivory accessories, giving off an air of casual luxury. These outfits created a sharp contrast between the rich folk and the drab fashions of the general population. Labor Day was an unofficial end marker to summer, as it is now, and the trend of storing away white clothing as summer came to a close became a hard-and-fast etiquette rule for the elites. It was a way to separate themselves from the burgeoning middle class that was becoming increasingly wealthier and closing the social gap. Those who weren’t in the know were easily identified and viewed as outsiders.

Fortunately, it’s not the 1930s anymore, and we don’t have to dress based on our social status in society. White clothing can provide respite from the drudges of the endless black, navy and gray that colder months often entail. There are many ways to style fall and winter whites, and I went all in for this outfit. I have not yet been snubbed, which is a good sign that this rule is a bit outdated, and at it’s core, fairly ridiculous. 

What I’m wearing

Today’s outfit is centered around some great ivory crop flare jeans from Madewell. They are one of my favorite pieces for fall, because the off-white color makes them a versatile neutral that looks great with a variety of other colors, both dark and light. 

If you want to be an etiquette rebel, you can go for the all white look, like I did today. My top is a soft, grayish-white flannel, which also happens to be from Madewell. I chose this shirt because it’s fuzzy texture and thickness definitely says autumn. Plus, it has pockets. 

As a self-proclaimed scarf aficionado, you can spot me with a bandana around my neck at least three days a week. Today was one of those days. This artsy, abstract bandana from Zara works great because the colors have nothing to compete with, since I’m wearing all white. There is also a bit of cream in it, which reflects the color of my pants and ties the outfit together. Lastly, I am wearing a great pair of mules, which were a steal from Target at $22. Talk about bargain shopping!

It’s all right  to wear white

If you’re still wary of wearing white after Labor Day, here are some tips to make your outfit more cold-weather friendly:

Photos by Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian

 

 

 

 

Mariel Abbene

Mariel Abbene is a designer and illustrator at The Columbian. Once a fashion merchandising major in college, she is obsessed with clothes and putting together comfortable yet stylish outfits. You can reach her at mariel.abbene@columbian.com

It’s all right  to wear white
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Male Western Tiger Swallow-tail butterflies will sometimes congregate in wet areas seeking nutrients.  The term for this behavior is mud-puddling.  These butterflies were seen today on the west side of Gee Creek downstream from Abrams Park in Ridgefield.  There were 32 that Paul Snoey counted with some leaving and new arrivals dropping in on occasion.

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The Ridgefield Lions Club will be serving burgers again this year at their famous corner booth at the Clark County Fair. While they are trying to increase membership in the club, they still need many, many volunteers to help at the booth. They have set up a sign-up list on their website www.ridgefieldlions.com and ask that anyone interested, signup for any 6 hour shift. You will get free entrance to the fair for the day and have a good time with the other Lions in the booth.

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Workers are hurrying to finish the ground work before paving Main Avenue in downtown Ridgefield this summer. The deadline of course, is the 4th of July so the road will be in good shape for the parade. Let’s hope we don’t get any rain before then. These photos are looking north and south on Main Avenue.

Road Work Continues in Ridgefield

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Windy Hills Winery in Ridgefield is putting the final touches on their grand rock facade between now and their opening of Memorial Day Weekend. Owner Dave Kelly, right, and winemaker, Bob Mayfield are excited to be a part of the growing Clark County wine scene. (Photo by Viki Eierdam)

This from winemaker Bob Mayfield: “They said it couldn’t be done, and they were almost right. After nearly two and a half years of planning and building, Windy Hills Winery is finally going to open. Owner Dave Kelly texted me at 1 pm Friday to let me know we got the final OK from the county, and here we go! We’ll be open Memorial Day Weekend, noon to five, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The winery is at 1360 S. 38th Ct. in Ridgefield.

The Windy Hills lineup consists of two vineyard designated Pinot Noirs, a bodacious Reserve Pinot blend, a Tempranillo, and a party red blend. We needed to source juice from elsewhere to fill out our roster, so we grabbed some amazing Viognier (seriously!), Malbec, Syrah, and a Bordeaux blend, all from Walla Walla. We’re starting with two tasting menus, $10  for a flight of five wines, wines by the glass, and beer from a Hood River brewery, whose name I cannot remember.

As wine maker, I will be releasing my wines under the label Spudders Crest (I just got labels approved this morning!), and I’m starting with an estate rosé of Pinot Noir, though I have to call it Homegrown (don’t ask), and a fabulous Sunnyside Vineyard 2014 Pinot Noir. I also have an O! Naturelle wine (no sulfites added) that I hope to release next week, a couple more rosés, and in a couple weeks a Cheep Cheep White Wine, an Auxerrois, some fruit wines, and a hopped apple cider. Phew!

BTW, I promise, I will not spam anyone, and will only send out emails to people who really want them.

And finally, Windy Hills is a fabulous building, a first class event center (I know what you’re thinking, how did I get involved?), just a gorgeous location.

That’s all for now. I hope to see ya’ll soon. It’s gonna be crazy!

Cheers,Bob

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Join host, ethnobotonist and author Kat Anderson at theCathlapotle Plankhouse for a special presentation, “Beauty, Bounty and Biodiversity,” and night hike on May 26 from 7-8:30 pm.

“Kat Anderson will share connections with California and Pacific Northwest tribes, by examining traditionally managed edible wildflower gardens of California. She will also explore the implications that these gardens have for fostering pollinator habitat, increasing biodiversity, and the ways in which these plants have evolved to meet the needs of people.”

Then at 8:30 pm explore the Oaks to Wetlands Trail on a naturalist guided hike, “The Refuge at Dusk”. RSVP required, email sarah_hill@fws.gov to save your spot today!

 

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You are invited to the Ridgefield Art Association sponsored Bruce Crockett Memorial Quick Draw Friday, May 5th, at the Ridgefield Community Center, 210 Main Ave.

You will be able to watch eight artists create original artworks while you enjoy food, beverages and live music. A caricature artist will draw portraits, and there will be interactive art and both live and silent auctions.

A portion of the proceeds benefit the Ridgefield High School Art Department.

You may buy tickets from any Ridgefield Art Association members, or call Patricia at: 360-931-9573. You may also email the Ridgefield Art Association at: ridgefieldartists@live.com to purchase tickets.

This is going to be a great opportunity to see artists in action and get to know your Ridgefield neighbors. Newcomers to town are especially welcome.

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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 Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner Melonie Nielsen LMP and E-RYT 500.

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked wins

Wowza what a course – not only are we learning about traditional yoga asanas (poses), body alignment, and body biomechanics… we are also learning about the power of the mind, benefits of meditation, ayurvedic principles, natural healing, healthy living, breath work and I’m sure a whole host of other topics yet to be discussed in our final 3 immersion weekends.  Its been a great way to jump start my journey to better health of my mind body and spirit.

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked winsPart of this month’s assignment was to complete a 5 page comprehensive ayurvedic health history to help me determine my mind-body constitution – otherwise known in ayurvedic terms as my prakriti. My prakriti corresponds to the type of dosha I have – either vata, pitta or kapha or a combination of dosas.  In a nut shell the vata dosha = cool, dry, irregular; pitta = fiery, hot and good leaders; and finally kapha = oily, wet and easy going.  I believe I’m a vata pitta dosha – it will be interesting to get validation once my assessment is complete in the next few weeks.  For more info on doshas.

Each meal I ask my body what she wants.  For some reason over the last week, my body wanted more cooked foods over raw foods.  My vata constitution said “heck yeah!”  No problemo – pulled pork crockpot, non dairy salmon chowder, oatmeal with cherries and walnuts, and lots of vegetable stirfrys.  Not one RAW SALAD ALL WEEK!  My body and mind felt nourished and more alive.  My body easily digests and metabolizes cooked foods over raw.  This gives me so much energy or digestive fire Agni.  I feel more alive which I believe is due to better absorption of nutrients.  When I am eating a diet consisting of more raw fresh fruits and vegetables my body feels sluggish with more bloating and more gas.

I remember I did a similar week long cooked food vs raw food protocol experiment 2 years ago as part of my Nutritional Therapy coursework at Portland Community College.  I remember feeling this same amazing on top of the world feeling then too.  Why didn’t I continue eating/cooking this way?  I dunno life got in the way I suppose.  Nevertheless, I am reminded yet again that my body really enjoys cooked food over raw foods and have posted a note on the fridge to help me remember how wonderful I am feeling!  Read more about Ayurvedic Perspective on Food from the Chopra Center

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked winsSo in celebration of this refreshed “cooked over raw” ayurvedic approach to food preparation I prepared a wonderful breakfast for myself of black bean noodles with red curry sauce and sauteed vegetables.

Black Bean Noodles:  Prepare black bean noodles according to package directions.  Once drained, toss noodles with 1 tsp olive oil

Sauce:  16 oz can of light coconut milk, add 1 TBS red curry sauce, 1 tsp of tumeric, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp of 5 powder spice, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.  Bring ingredients to a boil then reduce to a simmer until desired consistency.  Warning – watch the boiling stage – easy boil over stage.

Vegetable saute:  1 cup of carrots sliced, 1/2 red onion chopped, 2 cups of romaine lettuce chopped, 1/4 cup red cabbage sliced, 1/2 yellow pepper.  Saute vegetables in 2 tsp of olive oil until desired consistency.

Serve:  3/4 cup of noodles, add 3/4 cup of sauted vegetables, and 1/2 cup of sauce.  Enjoy!

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked wins

  #healthliving #satedsensitive #yum #healthybreakfast #ayurvedic #igotthis

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

Healthy Living Cooked vs raw:  Cooked wins
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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 levels!  Vitamin D is NOT just for bones – it may just help boost your mood, and improve your memory too.  

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bones
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which helps support bone health, muscle function, cell growth, immunity and so many other body functions.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium for healthy bones and teeth and helps protect older adults from osteopenia or osteoporosis.   Even if you have a calcium rich diet (plenty of low fat dairy foods and green leafy vegetables), without enough Vitamin D you can’t absorb the calcium into your bones and cells.  Without enough Vitamin D and calcium, vitamin deficiencies may pose a health risk to the 40+ adult leaving their bones at risk for bone fractures.

Vitamin D aids in other areas in our body. It helps muscle function in that nerves need Vitamin D it to carry messages between brain and every body part. The immune system uses Vitamin D to help fight off invading bacteria and viruses.  Vitamin D also helps promote normal cell growth and prevents inflammation throughout the body making it a promising anti-cancer agent as well as an inflammation reducer.

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bonesVitamin D is obtained in 3 ways:

Vitamin D comes in 2 forms – D2 (ergocalciferol) found in some plant life in response to UV radiation (mushrooms) and in most fortified foods. D3 (cholecalciferol) is the more potent and most biologically active. Studies have shown that both forms are equally good for bone health.

Some FAQs:

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bonesThere is continued ongoing research on additional benefits of Vitamin D from helping to prevent colon, prostate and breast cancers to preventing and treating diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and multiple sclerosis. There may also be a correlation with vitamin D deficiency and auto-immune diseases.  I am curiously looking forward to reading the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Dr. Joann Manesults of a the V-I-T-A-L (VIT comes from vitamin D; A from OmegA-3; and L from Trial) 3 year trial that is exploring the potential role of vitamin d and omega 3 fatty acids in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Over 25,000 men and women were involved with this study.  Check out VITAL Study.

As a Nutritionist, I highly recommend taking advantage of the Pacific Northwest sunshine with outdoor activities at least 15 minutes a day 2 – 3 days a week during the spring and summer to naturally stockpile Vitamin D. During the fall/winter its best to supplement with Vitamin D to ensure proper Vitamin D levels. I personally take Genestra Brands’ “D-Mulsion 1000” liquid vitamin supplement in Citrus Flavor. Each drop contains 1,000 IUs of cholecalciferol with .01 mg of stevia. I prefer the easier to swallow liquid form over a capsule; each day I add my vitamin D drops to my liquid calcium/magnesium supplement to boost my mood.

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bones

Come “Stump the Nutritionist” Denise Hays most Thursdays 1 – 4 PM at BG Apothecary located at 314 NE 1st Ave, Battleground WA. I’m always happy to talk nutrition, health, and wellness! See you soon.

 

 

#satedsensitive #healthyliving #glutenfree #dairyfree #eatrealfood #soyfree #naturalremedies #nutritionaltherapy #nutrition

 

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

MOOD BOOSTER Vitamin D – NOT just for bones
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As part of its 2016-2017 U.S. tour, World Help is proud to present Children of the World International Children’s Choir. The choir, comprised of orphaned and disadvantaged children from several different countries, will be performing at Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene on Saturday, March 25th at 6:30pm and on Sunday, March 26th at 9:00 and 11:00am.  This event is open to the public.  There are no tickets, but a free-will offering will be taken to support the ministry of World Hope.  For additional information about the concert, visit the church website at www.ridgenaz.org or call the church office at 360-887-3576.

The choir represents a rich and culturally diverse set of backgrounds and experiences, each with an urgent story to tell. This year’s Rescue Tour calls attention to the staggering impact that poverty, malnutrition, and dirty water have on millions of children around the world.

Through the powerful medium of song, dance, spoken word, and creative media, Children of the World provides a compelling message of hope and opportunity, leaving an unforgettable impression with audiences across the country.

The children have performed in such venues as Focus on the Family, Brooklyn Tabernacle, and Disney World.

About World Help

World Help is a faith-based humanitarian organization that exists to serve the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world.  World Help is committed to meeting people’s physical needs by providing humanitarian, medical, and educational assistance and ensuring access to clean water to as many communities as possible. We promise to meet people’s spiritual needs by providing Bibles and establishing churches.

Since 1991, World Help has impacted over 73 million people in 69 countries worldwide, offering both physical and spiritual restoration for individuals, families, and communities.

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Every 3rd Sunday, I bake healthy gluten free treats for the Battleground FourSquare Church – so I’m always searching for new and exciting recipes!

I spied this B-A-K-E-D Sweet Potato Donuts with Chocolate Coconut recipe from Ambitious Kitchen blog 

Inspired, I made a few changes for us Gluten Free and Dairy Free Sensitive bakers.  Here’s Sated Sensitive’s take on this scrumptious breakfast treats:

mmmmm Healthy Living Baked Gluten Free and Dairy Free Do’h nuts

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (or canned pumpkin)
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled (olive oil also works well)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 TBS vanilla                                                                                               1/2 cup coconut flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together gluten free all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together the sweet potato (or pumpkin), honey, egg, coconut oil and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Avoid overmixing here as it can make the donuts tough instead of light and fluffy. Spoon the batter into the donut pan, filling almost to the top.  Bake for 13 – 16 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Turn the donuts onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Once donuts are cooled, mix together the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Dip each donut in the icing then immediately dip into the coconut flakes, then transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining donuts.

You can skip the icing and coconut flakes however the baked donuts are just not that pretty on the up side so they kinda needed something to spruce them up.

Homer Simpson votes YES for these healthy living donuts!

mmmmm Healthy Living Baked Gluten Free and Dairy Free Do’h nuts

 

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

mmmmm Healthy Living Baked Gluten Free and Dairy Free Do’h nuts
97778gouger-cellars-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/fyi98642/2017/02/07/gouger-cellars-2/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Gary-Gouger-with-tank.jpg

Gary Gouger with hie new tank

Gougér Cellars of Ridgefield is the first winery in Clark County to have a high pressure tank made specifically for producing sparkling wines. The tank was custom made in Italy and took over 6 months to receive. The tank will enable Gouger Cellars to expand their sparkling wine offerings which already include a Sparkling Rose and Sparkling Pinot Noir.

Gougér Cellars was established in 2009 and produces premium international awarded wines from grapes sourced from two states. Winemaker, Gary Gougér, enologist (winemaker) graduated from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and is known for sparkling and bold red wines such as Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sparkling Rosé and Sparkling Pinot Noir.

 

Gougér Cellars is at 26505 NE 10th in Ridgefield.

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Many years ago when I transitioned to dairy free living, I sadly gave up my coffee creamer.  Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps it should have been an easy transition back to black coffee (lol!) but it wasn’t.

Over time, I got used to a new way of dairy free healthy living.  If the coffee place was cool and it wasn’t too busy I’d be brave to order a cubano espresso (where the barista adds a 1/2 packet of raw sugar on top of the ground coffee in the portofilter).  Super yummy!  But most times, if the place was jammed I’d order just a plain americano with no room.  Black coffee became my norm – but I still missed my creamer from time to time.

I have experimented with many dairy free milk alternatives when I owned and operated an Airstream Cafe which served up small batch artisan drinks, eats and treats.  (I was so ahead of my time!!…). Here’s what I found using cappuccinos as the benchmark:

Almond Milk

Soy Milk – Comparable to dairy in every way especially the microfoam department.  Pretty tasty. If you’re soy free – nevermind. It is commonplace to see this in most coffee places but quickly being replaced by almond milk.

Hemp Milk has a nutty light consistency.  It steams up nicely but loses it’s texture super fast. I don’t really see this at most coffee houses.

Coconut milk has a super water consistency very hard to make long lasting dreamy microfoam.  Hard to make microfoam.

It’s nice to have a splurge coffee out in town but who can afford it these days?!  $3.00+ for a latte.  I save that for a special occasions.  As far as what I use at home… again I mostly drink black good quality micro roasted coffee.

Then I saw this product!  I was walking through New Seasons Market Fishers Landing just this past weekend and this beauty Califia Farms DAIRY FREE BETTER HALF UNSWEETENED COCONUT CREAM & ALMOND MILK caught my eye in the dairy aisle.  It is the first creamer in along time that spoke to me – into the cart it went to give it a try! I just love New Season’s for all the wonderful food sensitive products they offer!

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD – Black Coffee and Delish Dairy Free Creamer Ingredients:  Almond milk, coconut cream, natural flavors, calcium carbonate, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, potassium citrate, locust bean gum, gellan gum.

Nutrition Facts:  Only 15 calories per 2 TBS.  Total fat 1.5 g.  Sodium 30 mg.  Sugars 0.
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD – Black Coffee and Delish Dairy Free Creamer

Nutritionist Denise Hays Review:

Sated Sensitive Denise Hays Review:  Nice taste.  Nice texture.  No bitter aftertaste.  Yes ~ it does smell like coconut.  It was on special at New Season’s –  priced (I recall) at either $3.99 or $4.99 for the pint carton.  That’s 16 servings at $4.99 which equates to $0.31 cents per cup of coffee.  On their website the 16.9 fl oz product is listed at $8.99.  Wowza!  I would definitely purchase again as a nice treat for my black coffee every once in a while.
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD – Black Coffee and Delish Dairy Free Creamer

If you give this product a try let me know what your thoughts are!


#dairyfree #dairyfreelife #dairyfreeliving #glutenfreedairyfree #godairyfree #sodeliciousdairyfree #glutenanddairyfree #dairyfreelunch #dairyfreeproducts #dairyfreenom #dairyfree4good #becausesomeladiesareglutendairyfree #dairyfreediet #dairyfreefood #dairyfreeeaster #dairyfreedelicious #healthyliving #satedsensitive #foodsensitivities #foodallergies #foodallergy #readthelabel #labeling #nutrition #coconutcream #almondmilk #califiafarms

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD – Black Coffee and Delish Dairy Free Creamer
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It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits For centuries, people in every culture have used herbs and spices to enhance the taste of food and drink as well as to support, protect and heal their bodies. Passed from generation to generation, the wealth of information about the healing powers of herbs and spices for our physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual selves continues to hold true today. One way to enjoy the health benefits of herbs and spices is by drinking herbal tea. Herbal teas or tisane (pronounced “tea-ZAHN) is an infusion of herbs, spices, leaves, flowers, fruits, berries, seeds, bark or roots. The plant constituents from this infusion is extracted in hot water and then enjoyed as a beverage either hot or cold. In drinking well-steeped herbal tea, we receive all the plant’s benefits to help heal and protect our bodies in an easily digestible form. What are some of the health benefits of drinking herbal tea?

It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits

314 NE 314th Ave Battle Ground WA

Did you know there is a wonderful bulk herbs, teas and tinctures place in Battle Ground called the BG Apothecary located at 314 NE 1st Ave, Battle Ground, WA 98604.  BG Apothecary stocks so many wonderful proprietary house blend herbal teas. A few of our offerings include:

With well over 1,000 herbal tea recipes, Diana would be happy to help blend a special offering just for you. Just last week I helped mix up a small batch of Nerves tea with passion flower, skullcap, chamomile, lavender plus a few other goodies.  Sure could use some of that with all the wonderful exciting weather! It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits Sated Sensitive Denise Hays recommends enjoying the health benefits of herbal tea by incorporating these delicious beverages into your diet on a more regular basis. Moderation is key with any food or drink. So go ahead ~ brew up some delightful herbal tea today. There are so many BG Apothecary herbal tea blends to chose from – my favorite is a special one Diana made up for me it’s a blend of Immuni-Tea with just the right amount of rosemary for that cognitive pick me up! I’m onsite at BG Apothecary most Thursdays from 1:15 to 4:30 – come on in I’d love to meet you! Let’s talk about healthy living, nutrition, yoga, wellness or ? Have a great day!  Namaste,  Denise It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

It’s TEA time ~ Herbal Tea Healthy Living Benefits
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The snow storm that hit Tuesday evening was the largest we’ve had in several years.   It left a foot of snow on the ground in the Ridgefield area, closed schools and public offices, and with the continued cold will likely last until midweek next week.

The photo above is of a robin eating fruits from a tree on Pioneer Street.  These fruits have been available for several months and are only now being eaten.  It suggests that they are only being eaten because the birds have little choice.

It’s the same thing with berries on holly trees.  During prolonged periods of cold with snow on the ground some holly bushes in Ridgefield have been stripped of their berries.  The fruits may not have the nutritional value that more available foods may have.

Fruits remaining on trees can ferment after the first frost and become toxic.   Deep snow means a challenge to wildlife that cannot forage for food on the ground.  Robins eat fruit but also worms, insects, and spiders. Robins don’t feed from bird feeders but will take food scattered on the ground.   The Audubon society recommends putting out foods such as chopped apples, grapes, and raisins.  They will take meal worms that can be purchased in pet stores as well.

Since the deep snow and cold are going to last for a time, it makes sense to help wildlife by putting out food for them.  Scott and Kathy Hughes have food for birds and squirrels at the hardware store and Petco has mealworms.  Robins and other birds need a water source to drink and bathe so if it’s not too cold a birdbath can provide water.  An upside down garbage can lid filled with water works as temporary birdbath.

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A Refreshed Healthy Living Path for 2017

Happy 2017 – celebrating with vegetables and fruits for a refreshed new year

FROM THE KITCHEN OF SATED SENSITIVE DENISE HAYS

With the first few days of 2017 under our belts and the unusual weather pattern of more snow and ice…It’s that time of year when we typically go inward to assess last years performance – and chart a refreshed healthy living path for the new year.

Looking back over last year, using the measures of very good, good, and fair – what grade would you give yourself for achieving your health goals in 2016? Using the table below select the most relevant grade. Be honest with yourself. Whatever report card you give yourself try to do it from a loving place without judgment. It’s just a starting point to explore what behaviors worked and what didn’t work for you last year.

Very Good Most of the time I consume healthy foods & exercise frequently
Good Often I consume healthy foods and sometimes I exercise
Fair Some of the time I consume healthy foods and I exercise when it suits me

Whether you gave yourself very good, good or fair rating – guess what? 2017 you can refine or make changes with a refreshed healthy living path going forward. YOU GOT THIS!

Check back here at the beginning of each month, I will recommend a practical step for you to consider implementing in your life for a healthier you. Follow these steps each month and by the end of 2017 you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you.

First Steps to a healthy January:  Bump up your daily water intake to six to eight 8 oz of water per day. Yup that’s 48 to 64 oz of water a day.

Frequently asked questions:

1)    May I include coffee and tea? Absolutely!  Caffeinated beverage are made primarily of water so it’s okay to include these in your daily requirement however try to limit to 2 glasses a day of your overall daily water intake. Plus 4+ cups of coffee per day is not really a good thing – can make you very jittery and anxious.

2)    I’m not a fan of straight water - may I include lemon? Sure!  Water and lemon is a great refreshing combo. Another way to add flavoring is to stop on in to BG Apothecary (located at 314 NE 1st Ave, Battle Ground, WA) for a special tincture. I personally use one – I add a dropper full of a special mix of sweet fennel and peppermint – it boosts the flavor of water and it helps reduce gas.

3)    Do I need to start drinking 64 oz right away? No – just add one additional 8 oz glass of water a day per week until you get to 6 – 8 cups a day.

Why do we need to pay attention to hydration? Water is an essential component to lubricating our joints, keeping our skin supple, helping to eliminate waste and helping to reduce caloric intake while increasing our fullness after a meal. If we are dehydrated we have less blood in our bodies, forcing the heart to pump harder to deliver oxygen cells to our muscles. Increased water intake reduces dizziness, clumsiness, irritability and headaches too. So drink up!

As we walk our refreshed path to healthy together – I’m starting to hum a familiar Lesley Gore “It’s my party” song… only with new words. It’s my healthy party… I can try if I want to… try if I want to …. Try if I want to!

Need an in person pick me up – no problem – I am onsite most Thursdays starting at 1 PM at BG Apothecary located at 314 NE 1st Ave, Battle Ground, WA for a visit.  I would be happy to chat with you about your 2017 healthier you goals and any holistic healing, nutrition, fitness or wellness topics of your choice.

Check out BG Apothecary at www.bgapothecary.com

Be well!  Hope to see you soon!

Denise Hays

www.satedsensitive.com

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

A Refreshed Healthy Living Path for 2017
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“I think we can all do things. Sometimes fear holds us back. Maybe when people read this story, they’ll think: If she can do that, we can adopt a kid and give them a life.”~Julia Griffith

Some members of the Griffith family take advantage of warm spring weather as they sit down to a homecooked meal Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. Pictured are Jennica Griffith, 12, clockwise from front left, Mirlie Griffith, 18, mom Julia Griffith, Silas Griffith, 16, and Samson Griffith, 15. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Julia Griffith, from left, shares a laugh and a hug with her daughter, Mirlie, 18, as Samson, 15, and Jennica, 12, are seen in the background Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Julia Griffith feeds some of her feathered friends before the family sits down to dinner Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Julia Griffith joins hands with her daughter, Mirlie, 18, on Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Mirlie Griffith, 18, pauses to look over family photos while enjoying a sunny evening on the farm Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Samson Griffith, 15, from left, his brother, Silas, 16, and his sister, Mirlie, 18, watch as Silas’ shot goes into the hoop Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Jennica Griffith, 12, from left, greets some of the family’s animals as her mom, Julia, checks the temperature of her brother, Samson, 15, after he complained of feeling under the weather Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Silas Griffith, 16, left, and his sister, Mirlie, 18, share a sweet moment with the family Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Single Mother of Seven Adopted Children Finds Balance in School/Kids/Farm

Members of the Griffith family pose for a family picture Thursday evening, April 21, 2016 in Ridgefield. Pictured are Jennica Griffith, 12, Samson Griffith, 15, mom Julia Griffith, Mirlie Griffith, 18, and Silas Griffith, 16. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

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“I think things are fine. A lot of fabricators are busy,” said Michael Moore, business development manager for Thompson Metal Fab. “Commercial, industrial and residential construction means masons, carpenters and fabricators are doing really well.”

Employee John Laughter takes measurements on a pipe Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Thompson Metal Fab

Production journeyman Andrey Nikiforov, center, lends a hand while joining other welders at work Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Thompson Metal Fab

Crews work behind the scenes Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Thompson Metal Fab

Employees George Mason, left, and Mike Marsh look over shop drawings Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Thompson Metal Fab

A tape measure is seen hanging from the pocket of employee John Laughter on Friday morning, March 25, 2016 at Thompson Metal Fab. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

 

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“You just forget yourself for a few minutes. When I get mad, I work. When I get sad, I work.” – Mandi Vee

The Homeless Artist

The Homeless Artist

Entering the downtown Vancouver Community Library, on any given day, you might notice one of the tables covered in a purple velvet cloth belonging to Mandi Vee. There’s not enough room to make jewelry in the broken-down van where she sleeps each night with her husband, K.C. Vee. At the library, she can spread out a bit, get something to drink and charge her cellphone.

Vee said she’s long struggled to hold down a regular job; her part-time job at Michaels craft store in Jantzen Beach is her longest stint yet. She’s been homeless off and on for most of her adult life.

Vee and Ruth Shafer, program services manager at the library, are working together to host an art gallery featuring the works of homeless artists. The two are trying to get more momentum around the idea and are accepting submissions from anybody who’s homeless or has experienced homelessness.

Click for full story

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“I just want each painting to say something. Even though it is a portrait, can they see the joy in these womens’ faces?” – Hilarie Couture

36 Portraits

Artist Hilarie Couture painted 36 portraits of influential women in Clark County. The portraits will be on display at popular Vancouver locations from May to December.

Click for full story

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Blog RESTART with healthy living tips

Another year older, wiser and happier!

Sated Sensitive back in business after a long hiatus… figuring things out.  I’m now living a fuller life with the integration of more healthy living tips into my daily routine.  Thank you for your patience.

I’m a mid life career changer.  I’ve done a little bit of this and that – US Marines, dot.com’er, wa state employee, small business owner and operator… to parts unknown recently.  For the last year I’ve been off studying Nutritional Therapy at Portland Community College’s Institute for Health Professionals.  

I’m now ready to incorporate what I’ve learned into this blog and explore healthy living tips in and around Clark County and beyond, share some helpful tidbits for living a life with food sensitivities (gluten free, dairy free and soy free)  and just plain food ramblings from this food enthusiast and culinary creative.  Come along for the journey into health and wellness with me.

Blog RESTART with healthy living tips

 

 

 

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

Blog RESTART with healthy living tips
60060forward-past-portland-timbers-2016 https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/forward-past-portland-timbers-2016/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/03/TIFO-600x270.jpg Portland Timbers open the season defending their MLS Cup this weekend and I can't even begin to imagine the atmosphere we'll witness. For those local to Portland - what a day this will be! For those watching on national TV - I hope the play-by-play is worthy as the atmosphere is sure to be unlike any other!  The tingles down my spine are already happening and we haven't even heard the national anthem (sung by the Timbers Army at every season home opener) yet! All that said - it's time for one of my favorite words....  grist - let's get to the grist of Timbers as this season begins anew. Defending the Cup! If you listened to our latest Rose City Soccer Show you know the thoughts from Kip Kesgard, Will Conwell, Dan Adams and myself on some of these topics below relative to 2015 and how they fit into success for 2016:
  1. Diego Chara becomes lone CDM & Darlington Nagbe shifts to central midfield.
  2. Timbers find their goal scoring form in the last 10 games.
  3. Timbers consistency in the back four.
  4. Timbers bench/depth.
Here's mine on all four. Darlington Nagbe and Diego Chara play the double pivot in a singular way Diego Chara becomes the lone CDM and Darlington Nagbe shifts to central midfield: If anyone expects Caleb Porter to begin the season abandoning the late season success of this tactical change - fahgetaboutit - not going to happen! But..... I would offer the attacking scheme might not play the same - game in and game out. Here's why. If you watched the last pre-season match, against a VERY MUCH IMPROVED Chicago Fire, you would know the Timbers found it extremely difficult to push down the middle.  The reason for that was down to the opposing Head Coach - Veljko Paunovic. Chicago opened in a 5-3-2 defensive scheme (low block in the middle) that switched to a 3-5-2 in attack.  A reasonable tactical move but not one seen effectively executed in MLS for awhile. So if/when an opponent adjusts their defensive scheme, to clog the middle, the Timbers (both players and coaching staff) NEED to read and make attacking tactical adjustments quicker.  It wasn't until the 2nd half where the Timbers began to deliver more (early) crosses from higher and wider up the pitch. When taking that approach it is believed the early ball will increase the chances of catching the low block (5-3) out of sorts.  When that happens unplanned spaces can open up where subsequent passes (from a strong passing team like the Timbers) can take advantage of that space in order to create better chances in scoring a goal. Bottom line here - a simple transition of Nagbe to the center, with Chara as the single defensive-minded midfielder, is not going to win games just for the sake of winning games.  But... it will force opponents to spend more time developing defensive tactics - and that time working their defense efforts takes time away from them developing more attacking schemes. Timbers find their goal scoring form in the last 10 games: Fernando Adi   For me, this is an effect - and the cause of that effect is the first tactical change.  Therefore I don't see this as a positive outcome, of substance, on its own. Put it this way. If they didn't find their goal scoring form in those last ten games (given the tactical change of moving Nagbe more central) we wouldn't be having this discussion.  Instead - we'd probably be talking more about what additional personnel changes were made to fix the paltry scoring habits we saw earlier last year. I think it's worthy to remember the Portland Timbers were one of the worst goal scoring teams (up until the final ten games) in MLS. I, for one, certainly recall the major topic of discussion last year was their inability to score goals.  And the problem wasn't quantity it was quality.  When Nagbe moved more central that created more space and time elsewhere.  Let's hope that trend continues this year. Finally - the move of Nagbe to the center of the ptich wasn't an independent decision; a good portion of that decision being an option was the development of Diaron Asprilla taking over the right wing. Others may disagree - but if I'd offer if Asprilla isn't ready to take on those right wing duties Caleb Porter really doesn't have any other choice but to leave Darlington Nagbe on the right side. Timbers consistency in the back four: Mr. Consistent Even with all the clean sheets the Timbers had last year I wouldn't offer they were consistent - at least man-for-man across the entire back four. If I had to use the word consistent - the only name that comes to mind (for last year) is Jorge Villafana. Now that's not intended to be harsh - I fully get that the regular back four was strong - with that many clean sheets credit is due - but...  the credit for clean sheets can also go to the Timbers playing two central defending midfielders as well as having a very strong goal keeper - Adam Kwarasey. So, for me, from a team perspective, the consistency wasn't about the back four it was (mostly) about the back seven. In looking at this year - a direct replacement for Jorge Villafana has yet to take shape - and with Jorge gone can the Timbers sustain their low goals against with only one CDM? I don't know - we'll have to wait and see. Timbers bench/depth: Asprilla For me this was the single, most critical, aspect to the success of the Timbers last year. If Dairon Asprilla doesn't develop... If Jack Jewsbury doesn't come in and replace the injured Ben Zemanski and Will Johnson... If Gaston Fernandez and Maxi Urruti don't score some late goals in early games... If Taylor Peay doesn't come in and shut down the likes of Graham Zusi and others... and If Norberto Paparatto doesn't come in and throw a shut-out (Timbers don't lose any games he starts) I don't think the Timbers make the playoffs! Translating the success of last year to this year: Attacking midfielders: Fullbacks: Center-backs: In looking at the CDM's: Wingers, wide-outs, and forwards. Striker. Goal Keepers.   2016 Bench: In closing: As noted after the season last year (Through the Looking Glass - Defending the MLS Cup) moving on and not getting complacent is critical. In listening to some of the interviews Caleb has had this off-season he seems well entrenched in recognizing that. I have confidence he will continue to develop his team in order to get to that point where any one of 18 guys can start and execute his game plans.  But I don't think he's at that point yet. Fixing the bench may not translate to winning the Western Conference - but as we saw last year - you don't need to win the Conference to win the Cup! RCTID!  Kickoff in 43 hours 20 minutes and 10, 9, 8 seconds... Best, Chris 82286garage-sale-man-4 http://clarkcofaces.columbian.com/824/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/11/985778_2-21_portrait_Dean_Yankee_303-600x418.jpg

“I have two associates, two bachelor’s and a master’s. Now I sell junk. I’ve done a lot of different things in my life.” – Dean Yankee

Garage Sale Man

The sales and salvage side of Yankee’s Custom Farming was born as a garage sale no one else wanted to have. Yankee would take in boats and tractors, fix them up and offer them for sale on his property. Now he cleans out foreclosures and estates and takes in drop-offs of seemingly everything but radioactive waste. It may seem a mess, but Yankee keeps a mental inventory of all the odd parts and furniture and antiques.

“I built big green fences, because Californians don’t like the look of anything obnoxious.” – Dean Yankee

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“I realized that everybody can do something. All of us can help. Because if you treat the animal humanely, then you’re naturally going to treat each other better.” – Caroline Reiswig

The Animal Rescuer

Today, Reiswig, a retired corporate manager who has lived in Camas 12 years, pours her energy into animal welfare causes. She’s coordinator of a Larch Corrections Center program in Yacolt that pairs inmates with shelter cats until the cats are ready for adoption. She works with the Animal Society of America and has volunteered for two local shelters. She’s found homes for more than a dozen animals on death row in California shelters. And she’s personally adopted several dogs and cats that had been severely abused and neglected in their former lives.

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“The best day now is a warm day in August. No wind… and we’re trolling for salmon and steelhead. And we catch a couple. And we’re home by noon and have enjoyed the day.” – Larry Snyder

The Fisherman

The Fisherman

Larry Snyder of Vancouver has spent thousands of hours in the past 50 years fishing for salmon in the lower Columbia River and steelhead in its tributaries. The retired schoolteacher has spent thousands more hours as a sport-fishing activist, doing everything from hosting candidate forums to placing coho carcasses as nutrients in local streams.

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“My favorite part about bowling is getting strikes.” – John Hallet, 93

Senior Bowler

Senior Bowler

Senior Bowler

John Hallett, 93, who lives in Vancouver, bowls three days a week in different leagues, never missing a day. He was born in Atherton, Australia, in 1922. When he was 18, he enlisted in the Australian Army and spent three years in the Australian Tank Corps before transferring to the Royal Australian Air Force.

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“Mostly, I’m just inspired by the natural world…The way tumbled stone feels really good in your hands—that’s what I’m going for.” – Careen Stoll

 

Potter Careen Stoll is pictured with a mug she created Thursday morning, Jan. 7, 2016 at her Battle Ground studio. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Battle Ground Potter

Potter Careen Stoll works on a plate Thursday morning, Jan. 7, 2016 at her Battle Ground studio. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian

Battle Ground Potter

Vegetable fermentation crocks made by potter Careen Stoll are pictured Thursday morning, Jan. 7, 2016 at her Battle Ground studio. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian)

Careen fell in love with ceramics when she was a little girl. The full time potter now creates tableware for local chefs and restaurant owners.

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Artists are full of great ideas. It’s sort of what we’re known for. But sometimes an artist’s good idea becomes a generative vision. Local artist and retired teacher Russell Ford has a vision of traveling to Africa this year to teach in a new program for empowering girls through art. No one can explain his vision better than him, and so I am including excerpts from his plan:

“I am a recently retired art teacher with a desire to continue teaching art but with a different goal and in a different part of the world. I think I have found a perfect fit for my skill set in an art school (Wayiwayi Studios) for young adults and children in Zambia, Africa.

This school is unique in that the couple that run it, Lawrence and Agness Yambwe, are both successful artists and they are heavily invested in uplifting the greater community through the creative experience. They share a special interest in improving the lives of African women (and through them, the men), and they have a compelling argument for doing that through their particular connections and unique abilities.

Though Lawrence and Agness have been hard at work developing this school for many years, it has been a dream of theirs that their students would benefit greatly from exposure to cultures outside their own. With this in mind, they have been using some of their meager resources to slowly build a covered space to house a guest artist-in-residence. This year, they were able to put a roof on the building, and though there are no amenities inside yet, they are prepared to accept their first artist-in-residence…me.

Though I am up for a chance to share and do my own art in such a space, I am especially excited to test my skills as an accomplished art teacher (Washington State art teacher of the year) in this special school. I have been an advocate for using art as a cultural bridge for some time and firmly believe that art is a universal language and I relish the chance to give proof to the theory by taking an active part in teaching both the regular classes and with those special students that participate on the weekends.

I have created a window of opportunity to go to teach for the month of April of this year. I have decided that this experience will be most meaningful if I am able to “work” my way to Africa rather than to be funded through others generosity. With that in mind, I have set out to create a body of work that I would love to sell to finance my trip. All proceeds from the sale of these works will finance the trip and my expenses for staying there, and everything extra will go to improve the residence facility with the goal of creating an ongoing program that will be even more inviting for the next resident.”

The upcoming event to sell Ford’s ceramic work and Lawrence Yambwe’s paintings to raise money for the program is at the Aurora Gallery at 1004 Main Street, Vancouver, WA in March 2016. There will be an opening celebration as part of the First Friday Art Walk on March 4th from 5-9pm.

Russell Ford photo courtesy of artist.

 

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

Local Artist’s Vision for African Residency
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Poetry is a pure religion for many writers and readers. Poets use images, rhythm, and carefully selected vocabulary words to express ideas that would take other types of writers hundreds or thousands of words to express. It is a spare and disciplined art form, and one that has always inspired me. I respect poets doubly for sharing their creations at open mics. It takes guts.

It’s not surprising that Clark County, home to so many kinds of artists, has three public poetry events monthly. Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is the very popular creation of Clark County Poet Laureate Christopher Luna. It began in 2004 and goes strongly the second Thursday every month at Angst Gallery on Main Street in Vancouver. The next event is January 14th at 7pm.

Paper Tiger on Grand Boulevard in Vancouver has a poetry night every third Wednesday at 7pm. Their next event is January 20 and will be an homage to William Stafford. I attended their December event this past week and was delighted to see the Luna family reading together, in addition to several other poets. There is certainly a technique when reading poetry, and it’s always fun to watch live poetry performed. The hostess of the event, Joyce Colson, invited me to sign up for a turn at the mic after I sat down with my tea. Maybe someday, but not that night, I thought. The audience was very accepting and encouraging; making reading there something I have now put on my bucket list.

At Barnes and Noble on Fourth Plain in Vancouver on the last Tuesday of the month there is a poetry open mic at 7pm. I haven’t had an opportunity to attend this one, but I’ve heard it mentioned approvingly many times by local writers.

There are as many ways to express the self as there are selves, yet I have a special appreciation for artists who use the medium of poetry, and those who have the courage to share their words. Locally, there are plenty of opportunities to listen and read at open mics and enjoy the camaraderie of live poetry.

The iconic one-pager collages promoting Ghost Town Poetry Open Mics are a fun read in and of themselves.

 

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

Poetry Off The Page: Open Mics in Vancouver
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Arts of Clark County founding member Laurel Whitehurst connected with Winter Hospitality Overflow last year. She offered to visit St. Andrews Church on Gher, where WHO operates during the cold season, once a week and provide arts and crafts for families at the shelter. This year she and a few other volunteers are helping out again, providing paint, markers, paper, stamps, and other art materials and lessons for homeless families.

The project needs more supplies. To donate, drop off new art supplies to Shipyard Millie’s at 100 E 19th ST, Vancouver, WA. Arts of Clark County volunteers will pick them up from there. Thank you!

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

Artists Giving Back
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It’s that time of the month again- First Friday Artwalk in the Vancouver Arts District. Local galleries made their lists and checked them twice and hung shows with collectible and gift-able art by a variety of local artists. Joining in the festivities are also businesses like Eric Runyan Jewelers, Boomerang Coffee House, Cellar 55 and the Clark County Historical Museum. The list of participating businesses is so long it’s best to follow this link to the Vancouver Downtown Association’s HOTSHEET to get the complete story.

For those headed out to First Friday with holiday shopping in mind, Gallery 360 and North Bank Artists Gallery have gift-able art shows. Aurora Gallery and Art on the Boulevard always carry inventory of jewelry, ceramics, and other items perfect for thoughtful presents.

Charitable giving is the focus at some businesses, like Above & Below Art Studio which is doing a Toys and Towel Drive, Clark County Food Bank’s presentation of “A Place at the Table” at Loowit Brewing, and Salon Moxi’s annual fundraiser for the Humane Society for SW Washington.

This First Friday has something special for just about everyone. Please join us!

North Bank Artist Chrissie Forbes is showing unique recycled art robots in the front gallery.

 

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

First Friday’s Big Holiday Celebration
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Last week I attended a forum for New Community Visions for the Arts hosted by Americans for the Arts. Those who listen to National Public Radio might recognize Americans for the Arts as donors mentioned between segments. From my assigned reading for the event I learned this organization is over fifty years old and was instrumental in the formation of the National Endowment for the Arts. They are essential in arts advocacy at a regional and national level- their political action committee has 300,000 members and growing.

I participated in one of eight forums held around the country. The events are sort of all-day think tanks with the mission of generating ideas for how arts can grow and develop in our communities over the next decade and more. There were foci on arts and infrastructure, arts and health & wellness, arts in education, and arts and rehabilitation for those who are incarcerated.

The enthusiasm level was high and the conversations never stopped. Attending were executive directors for programs as diverse as prison arts, community theater and even Burning Man. Also participating were many city employees from communities from all over the West Coast. A Public Arts administrator from a mid-sized California city worked with me on a break out session, coming up with ways to improve the quality of arts in hospitals. These city employees were highly professional and inspired, making meaningful contributions to their communities.

What was made crystal clear during these conversations was how the arts can be a lightning rod for healing, prosperity, and social justice. The arts are the creative catalyst that can bring together entire communities, and inspire individuals to find their purposes.

What all the data shows us: communities that engage with the arts in purposeful and organized ways will enjoy successes.

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

Organizing the Arts for Successes
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Clark County is home to very talented young artists, and singer Jeffrey Graham is one example.  Graham attended the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, including two years of choir. He also took a few years of piano lessons, and then self-taught guitar. With the goal of making a career in music as a performer, songwriter, or sound engineer, he has a clear vision.

Graham plays gigs all around Vancouver. See him at Woody’s Tacos, on Evergreen and Columbia Street, tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 13th from 5-9pm, or next week on Thursday, Nov. 19th from 5-7pm at North Bank Artists Gallery at 1005 Main Street.

Go to Youtube to see him perform. My favorite of this collection is an excellent rendition of the Petty tune “Free Fallin’”. Or check out his site at jeffreygrahammusic.com.

Photo used with permission of Jeffrey Graham.

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

Meet Local Singer/Songwriter Jeffrey Graham
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The very busy Vancouver Downtown Association decided to do a fresh public art piece many months ago. The process of developing and implementing a project like this takes a commitment from employees, volunteers, artists, and donors. From concept to construction to installation, it is a loving labor- a gift from one group of people to generations of residents and guests to come.

Cobalt Designworks’ Dave Frei and Jennifer Corio created this large metal and basalt piece. After an open call for proposals, theirs was selected by a volunteer public art committee. Uptown Village also has a similar process underway for a new piece of public art.

Public art adds interest, flavor, and let’s face it, a little spirit to our streets and parks. The folks who make these projects happen do it from a place of generosity.

The VDA will dedicate the Founding Mother’s Sculpture at noon this Friday, November 6, at Esther Short Park’s Propstra Square. In addition to local leaders, artists, and community members, the women’s choir from the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics will perform a folk song. Raising awareness of the richness of our history and the talent of our local artists are good reasons to gather.

Dave Frei and Jennifer Corio bring in their piece “Heart and Stone”. Photo courtesy of VDA.

 

 

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

Honoring our Founding Mothers in “Heart and Stone”
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Work, relationships, and the general wear and tear of our daily schedules create a need to do something that recharges our emotional batteries. Regardless of our skill levels or the types of arts and crafts we enjoy, many of us benefit from a creative outlet.

For five years, I have invited a small group of friends over to my house occasionally to paint, collage, or color while drinking coffee and chatting. Lately, I’ve coined this Ladies Art Club, but it’s had different names and incarnations. What has been consistent is the theme: friends connecting through art. It’s been wonderful to watch friends meet and interact while trying new art mediums.

All over Clark County, there are small groups that meet regularly to knit, sew, paint, write, read, and build things together. Unlike happy hour or lunch groups, arts and crafts groups have something new at the end of their time together, as well as stronger bonds. A powerful force of community building these groups are; in addition to being healthy for participants.

It’s easy to create your own group. Simply identify a few friends that do art or are interested in trying, pick a time to meet, send out a message, and make sure there’s plenty of coffee, tea and snacks at the event. Typically, I have one activity and supplies set out but friends also bring their own projects. The point is to reconnect, and for some reason doing art together makes that easier.

When we are in a creative mode we are less guarded, more accepting, and able to think about things in a fresh way. Friendship & art are a great way to recharge.

Local arts advocate Hanna Perez hand paints a decorative mirror at art social event last year.

 

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

Reconnecting with Friends through Art
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There are many moments I’ve had as an artist, volunteer, and director in the local arts scene that have touched my heart. For example, when I was sitting the gallery at North Bank Artists over a decade ago, I watched as my older son, then two years old, took the hand of a guest and led him to a painting. My son explained in the halting language of a toddler what he liked about the painting- he liked the bright red color. The guest smiled warmly and said he liked the color, too.

That moment of connection through art was brought about by the generosity of folks who understand the value of art. At that time, a combination of affordable rent, a generous donor, a grant from the city, and volunteer hours made North Bank possible.

Another of my favorite heart-felt moments happened a few years later at Sixth Street Gallery, which is now Gallery 360. As a member, I organized a show for local artists with disabilities. The event was sponsored by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission, if I remember correctly. At the artists’ reception, several of the family members of the artists thanked the gallery for organizing the event. It meant so much to them to see their loved ones enjoy the accomplishment of having their artwork in a professional gallery.

It’s been close to thirteen years that I’ve been part of this vibrant creative community. I’ve met innumerable advocates, artists, and volunteers, and the amount of resources folks put into our local arts scene continues to astound me. What helps to make an art scene possible, though, are donors, grantors, membership fees, sales, and other sources of income that literally keep the lights on at the galleries.

Like any other scene, ours is kept vibrant by events at brick and mortar locations, which require a lot of resources to run. Though galleries provide economic stimulus for other kinds of businesses and landlords, in and of themselves, arts are not particularly profitable and require support by generous donors who understand the value of what they provide.

Donors are the quiet heroes of economic redevelopment and community building. Donors enable volunteers and staff to do their work, and for artists to show their creations. Donors helped Downtown Vancouver to re-imagine itself as a place where arts, culture, and entertainment can be enjoyed. In small ways and large, all of us who are part of the arts scene help with its funding. Large donors and grantors have the ability to swoop in and save the day or start something new. They are our angels.

Arts of Clark County’s yearly student-run project Art Car is funded by business donors. Their logos are featured on the car.

 

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

This Moment Brought to You by Donors
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The Autumn Art Talk with Artist Trust Artist at Large Erin Dengerink is indeed Thursday, but it begins at 6pm rather than 5:30 at North Bank Artists Gallery. There will be an hour of speaking following by a half hour artist mixer, for folks to chat with each other and the presenter and address any follow up questions.

 

Maureen Andrade

I am the Executive Director of North Bank Artists in the Vancouver Arts District, as well as an artist and writer. Living and working in Clark County for most of my life, I have an appreciation for the good things this community offers. Also, I understand the creative lifestyle from many angles and hope to share some of what I know with my readers.

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What’s on the plate is not important. Who’s around the table is what counts.

Home Instead Senior Care is encouraging people who live near — or even not so near — their senior loved ones to make time for regular meals together.

Time is the major stumbling block, according to Home Instead, which conducted a random survey of 1,000 households and found that about half admitted to not “sharing enough meals” with senior loved ones who live nearby — leading to the loss of an important family connection. Three-quarters of respondents said they only break bread with senior loved ones on special occasions like holidays and birthdays.

That’s a whole lot of down time in between. Senior isolation is a difficult and multifaceted problem in these hyperactive and scattered times — it can lead to pessimism and depression, health problems and cognitive decline — and it seems especially tragic that isolation can be the status quo when relatives live not so far from one another.

So, Home Instead is asking folks to start — or revive — the mealtime gatherings they enjoyed when life was simpler. Try gathering the whole family around your senior loved one, at least once a month (which seems like so little!).

As incentive, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America, for a total of up to $20,000, for each person who pledges to schedule regular family dinners via SundayDinnerPledge.com. That way, Meals on Wheels can help provide some nutrition and connection for seniors citizens who aren’t lucky enough to have family visitors.

“This small commitment can have a big impact on a senior’s well-being,” said Julie Williams, Home Instead’s local president. The pledge deadline is July 31.

Note that the SundayDinnerPledge.com website isn’t just a place to promise to fork over funds; it contains everything you need to ease your way through even a strange and awkward Sunday meal. In addition to menu suggestions and an interactive meal planner, there are meaningful conversation starters, games to play, ways to bond over the family table.

Visit www.SundayDinnerPledge.com or call Home Instead Senior Care at 360-253-6028.

No park left behind
In other leaving-none-behind news, the new executive director of the Parks Foundation of Clark County is on a mission to get familiar with each and every park, trail, greenspace and community center in Clark County. Starting on July 8, Temple Lenz began a 90-day whirlwind tour of every public park in the county.

It’s a little more than she bargained for when she brainstormed the big idea, she said — because, depending on your accounting standards, there are at least 200 parks in Clark County. Closer to 220, actually, Lentz said, when you factor in the unimproved greenspaces, the recreation centers, the sports parks, the “other.”

“I decided to do this before I actually counted them,” Lentz said. “Note to self for future projects. That’s been the biggest surprise, realizing just how many parks and trails we do have.”

You can go along for the ride — from the comfort of your device — and share in Lentz’s journey of discovery. She’s posting photos and comments on the Parks Foundation’s Facebook and Instagram pages (under #90days200parks and Parks of Clark, respectively), and all are welcome to join in the fun with your own photos and comments.

I asked Lentz what her favorite Clark County greenspace might be, and her answer was both prompt and a little unexpected: Leverich Park, a multilayered mishmash of streambed and picnic shelter, disc golf course and, it must be said, homeless folks.

But that’s where Lentz used to spend lots of time with her dog when she was new in town, she said, and it’s a great example of a historic but rundown park — built in 1931 — that got a whole new lease on life thanks to the sort of public-private partnerships she means to pursue in her new gig. Local disc golf clubs and recreation businesses all pitched in to develop the 12-hole course that now reliably draws mobs of players on evenings and weekends. The popularity of the course has completely upended the park’s previous reputation — in this player’s estimation, anyway.

Which got me thinking about my own park passions and the way things change. When my kids were little, our favorite haunts were elementary school playgrounds and big spots like Marshall Park and Esther Short Park — and that swimming hole where Cougar Creek flows into Salmon Creek.

Now that I don’t hang out too much with kiddies on playgrounds anymore — and do spend significant leisure time cycling — my favorite local greenspace is probably the Frenchman’s Bar/Vancouver Lake network and the paved trail that connects them. Or maybe it’s the reopened waterfront trail at the Tidewater Condos, and the awesome jetty that juts into the river there. Or maybe the diverse and picturesque Burnt Bridge Creek Trail.

Or maybe….

101276journey-to-enlightenment-12 http://blogs.columbian.com/family-room/2015/07/10/journey-to-enlightenment/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Bodhi-788x1024-353x460.jpg

Adopting my dog was a snap decision.
It was Friday afternoon, just before Mother’s Day, when I checked online at the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. Several dogs were available, including a peculiar, little, red Dachshund with one blue and one brown eye. I had to meet him.
I pushed and pushed, reassuring my fiancé, Jake, we were just going to look. It’s not like we were going to leave with a dog.
The next day, we arrived at the shelter about 20 minutes early. A small crowd gathered around the locked doors. I thought, “Oh, no, what if someone is coming for the little Dachshund,” who I had already secretly named Bodhi (boh-dee), which means “enlightenment” in Buddhism.
As soon as the doors opened at noon, we dashed inside and went straight back to the kennels, searching for him. We found him cowering in a puddle of his urine, clearly scared and confused.
It only took one look. Jake knew this little guy was coming home with us.
I asked him to stand guard as I hurried to the front desk to fill out the paperwork. Minutes later we had Bodhi, then known as Zoolander, in a meet-and-greet room. He was timid and distracted by the other dogs’ barking, but he seemed sweet enough. I loved him already.
The next thing we knew, we were up at the front filling out all of his adoption paperwork and picking out a leash, collar, food bowls, toys — the works. The whole process took less than two hours.
We loaded Bodhi into the car. He sat on Jake’s lap the whole way staring up at us with the most puzzled-but-happy look on his face.

Journey to enlightenment

Bodhi checks out the sights and sounds of the Recycled Arts Festival at Esther Short Park from his stroller.


That first week was great. He was quiet. He appeared to be housebroken. He walked well on the leash, and he got along with both of us.
But ironically, as Bodhi became more comfortable, the problems emerged.
In hindsight, I should have done my research. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Jake and I both had childhood dogs, so I thought, “How hard could it be?” Little did I know, Dachshunds are notorious for their stubborn behavior. They’re difficult to housebreak and train, in general.
On top of that, Bodhi is an emotional basket case. He has an intense fear of men, particularly Jake. It’s the oddest thing. We can all be sitting on the couch or lying in bed, and Bodhi is perfectly fine. He snuggles up to Jake and obsessively licks him. But as soon as Jake is on his feet and moving, Bodhi heads for the hills, or more accurately, under the bed, under the end table, under my feet, next to the toilet, wedged in between the fridge and wall.
The fear takes control. Jake has never done anything to warrant the behavior. In fact, as time has gone on, the two have kept their distance from each other.
Bodhi was a stray. He came to the shelter under­weight, malnourished and had missing patches of fur on his ears, legs and chest. We have no idea what his history is; we can only speculate. Maybe he was abused by a man — someone who looks like Jake. Maybe he was chased off by men while on the streets. Maybe he wasn’t properly socialized. We will never know.
His fear — mixed with his stubborn I-do-what-I-want attitude — has caused many problems. Within the first month, he snapped at Jake three times, grazing his hand. The first time it happened, we had to have a serious talk. Could we really keep this dog?
I saw the stress and tension he was creating in the home, but I couldn’t bear giving up on him. Instead, we took extra precaution.
We’ve taken him to obedience classes and even hired a behaviorist who came to our home. I’ve also sought advice from fellow pup parents at the dog park.
Looking back, some incidents have been quite comical, though they weren’t at the time.
The “little monster,” as I fondly refer to him, chewed a leash in half once while we were sitting on the patio having dinner. He’s broken into his treat bag and gobbled up the peanut butter bites. He holds socks hostage under the bed and steals any article of clothing — clean or dirty— that he can manage to drag away. He’s a tennis ball hoarder and a stuffed animal murderer. What’s mine is his but not the other way around. He loves to roll in a smelly pile of whatever on our walks, and he even peed on my foot once at the dog park. Everyone else thought it was hilarious.
Bodhi was recently recognized on the Facebook page Puppy Tales for his naughty behavior. I’m not sure if I should be mortified or simply accept it.
But despite all of the bad, and even the ugly, I wouldn’t trade him for any other dog. He’s loyal, fun and attentive. When he’s not being a scaredy-cat, he has a bubbly, playful and mischievous personality. He can often be found rolling around town in his doggie stroller. Yes, he has a stroller, much to Jake’s embarrassment. It saves me the trouble of carrying him around like a football when the little guy gets tired of walking or anxious from crowds.
It’s been about two months since we brought Bodhi home; he’s still afraid of Jake. Though, Jake is now able to get a leash on him and take him outside. They even play together at the dog park, cautiously. We’ve seen tiny bits of improvement that we hope will only progress as time goes on.
But most importantly, what we are all learning from this experience is an abundance of patience, understanding, trust and unconditional love.
—Jessica Prokop

96953orange-is-the-new-moroccan-carrot-dip-16 http://blogs.columbian.com/sated-sensitive/orange-is-the-new-moroccan-carrot-dip/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/01/moroccan-dip-345x460.jpg

 

Orange is the new Moroccan Carrot Dip

 

Well Orange is the New Black (OINB) dropped into my Netflix queue just the other day.  I haven’t opened it up cause I know I’ll just binge watch until the whole season is gone.  In honor of my favorite color and OINB – here is one of my all time healthy living favorite recipes:

MOROCCAN CARROT DIP

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen – Moroccan Carrot Dip (link below)

1.  Wash carrots, no need to peel.  Cut carrots in 2″ sections.  Bring to boil 6 cups of water.  Place carrots in and turn down to a medium simmer.  Cook until soft.

2.  Let carrots cool a bit.

3.  Place carrots and all the remaining ingredients starting with salt all the way to cider vinegar in a food processor.  Add more cider vinegar or additional spices to your liking.

Serve with vegetables, pita chips, or ????

Super easy peasy.  Enjoy!

Keep eating and living a life that’s just right for you – delighting your sated sensitive palate!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/projects/healthy-recipes/recipes/moroccan-carrot-dip

 

 

 

 

 

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

Orange is the new Moroccan Carrot Dip
101281everythings-coming-up-bicycles-12 http://blogs.columbian.com/family-room/2015/05/06/everythings-coming-up-bicycles/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/racc-blog-600x399.jpg

Far as I’m concerned, the second-greatest invention in the history of humankind is the one that took the greatest invention and made it good clean fun.

So it’s totally awesome — yup, that’s the appropriately mature term — to point out that May is both National Bike Month and National Bike Safety Month. It contains Bike to Work Week, May 11-15, and Bike to Work Day, May 15. Already past us is Bike to School Day, May 6; and today, Mother’s Day, has also been named CycloFemme — a day for women to celebrate and get out pedaling together, according to the sponsor of all of the above, the League of American Bicyclists.

Summer is approaching and everything’s coming up bicycles. Here are a few local tips, whether you’re eager to improve your skills, spread the love or just hit the road:

Bike Clark County is a grass roots nonprofit run entirely by volunteers who love bikes and kids. Members want to extend the fun to needy children who don’t have access to bicycles; they also want to keep those kids safe and aware of how bikes fit into traffic. The group takes donations of used bikes — and dollars of course — and does basic refurbishing. The bikes are “regifted” to charities like the YWCA and other venues where they’ll wind up — for free — with children who can’t afford bikes.

Bike Clark County also hosts clinics where kids can learn to do their own basic bike maintenance, safety courses at middle schools where they can practice the rules of the road, and adult-guided rides where kids can enjoy the journey while putting those rules to real-world tests. And it’s developing an Earn-A-Bike camp program where kids (who must be referred by teachers) work and learn in the shop for eight hours and emerge with their own free bike.

The groups is always grateful for volunteers — especially now through the end of school — but check the Bike Clark County website to find out about scheduling and specifics.

The Vancouver Bike Club is your keeper of the fun when it comes to meeting people and pedaling together. VBC volunteers offer numerous guided rides every week and there’s something for everyone — from casual outings aimed at coffee and a chat at Starbucks to serious distances and hills that have you working up serious sweat.

Here’s what VBC member and volunteer Mary McLaren told me about joining: “I went on a beginner ride and met these wonderful people. We hung out after the ride and had coffee, and I realized, ‘These are my people.’ I just started riding with them every week. It seems like every ride I go on, I find somebody who likes to ride at my pace, and we get to chat. I’ve met people from all walks of life who I never would have met otherwise.

“Plus,” she said, “I’m not very good at fixing flats.”

Meanwhile, cyclists who aren’t too happy with some Vancouver development plans are getting busy. Madeleine Von Laue, who also helps lead a county bike advisory group, reports that an informal city advisory group is forming up to make sure that bicycle and pedestrian needs are well-integrated into city development proposals. Meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at City Hall; contact Von Laue at mvonlaue@hotmail.com to learn more.

While I’m cruising along here, must send a shout-out to McLaren, her VBC cohorts and whomever else made the annual Ride Around Clark County such a pleasure on May 2. I’ve been working up to longish distances lately — Felida to the end of Lower River Road and all the way back — but wasn’t at all sure I was up to my goal, the 66-mile loop. Would I hit, oh, say, mile 50 and suddenly be enduring a world of pain — with no recourse except to keep staggering along? Should I not even try?

No need to worry, it turns out. For one thing, the RACC guarantee includes roving road-support vehicles whose mission is to rescue anybody in trouble — or even just to keep you from frowning, it seems. I never needed help, but there were a couple of super-steep hills along the way where I wasn’t too proud to dismount and walk — and there always suddenly seemed to be a marked RACC car right there with a kindly volunteer asking if I was all right.

A thumbs-up and off they went again. It’s very reassuring to know, even when it seems you’re entirely on your own, you’ve got friends watching over you.

Best of all was the RACC oasis at Daybreak Park, where I enjoyed fruit, veggie wraps, bagels with Nutella chocolate spread and a patch of sunny grass to sprawl upon for a few minutes.

Everything’s coming up bicycles (Not me; photo shamelessly stolen from the VBC website.)

Then it was off to attack some more emerald green hills. What a beautiful county this is. Especially on two wheels.

96957zip-chips-delightful-healthy-snack-made-in-camas-wa-15 http://blogs.columbian.com/sated-sensitive/zip-chips-delightful-healthy-snack-made-in-camas-wa/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_2168-768x1024-345x460.jpg

 

ZIP Chips – delightful healthy snack made in CAMAS, WA!

I’m always on the look out for healthy living snacks that are all natural, free of dairy, soy, gluten and peanuts and here’s the kicker – THEY MUST TASTE GREAT!  I’m not looking to settle for that cardboard, sticks and twigs taste healthy alternative – I’m looking for the real deal amazing delicious snack with good nutrition.  

Well – I’m happy to report  I found a G-R-E-A-T tasty snack called ZIP CHIPS from a local purveyor Bekaa Farms of Camas, WA!  That’s right – Zip Chips are made right here in Clark County, WA!
My fav is the Cranberry Crunch flavor made with organic amaranth, puffed rice, almonds, flax seed and cranberries.  This mix is SO good – I have to portion out each serving and put the bag away (or else the bag becomes one delightfully delicious single serving – yup throwing myself under the bus).
ZIP Chips – delightful healthy snack made in CAMAS, WA!ZIP Chips – delightful healthy snack made in CAMAS, WA!
Trust me! Zip Chips are that good and they’re good for you!    These healthy snacks are all natural, high in fiber, gluten free and are made with no saturated fat, chemicals or hydrogenated oils.
Bekaa Farm’s mission is to provide “healthy low cost snacks to folks who want the impossible: satisfying their “munchies” (i.e. cravings for sweet or savory junk food) with something positively 100% healthy”Bekaa Farms is truly a local Pacific Northwest company – they source their main ingredient (apples) from Washington and Oregon growers and then add their magic and love into their ingredients at their Camas, WA production facility.
If Cranberry Crunch doesn’t pique your interest there are 4 additional flavors
Zip Chips are primarily offered at Pacific Northwest retails like New Seasons, Whole Foods, Chucks Produce, Made in Washington, and Market of Choice.  Bekaa Farms is looking to expand their reach into other markets so if you can’t find them at your favorite retailer you can get a hook up on their website http://ZipChips.net/ .  Be sure to give ZIP CHIPS a like on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ZipChips?fref=ts
Go get a bag today and let me know what you think?!
Keep eating and living a life that’s just right for you – delighting your sated sensitive palate!
Denise

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

ZIP Chips – delightful healthy snack made in CAMAS, WA!
72728todays-breakups-are-plugged-in-7 http://blogs.columbian.com/family-room/2015/04/21/todays-breakups-plugged/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/12/love-stinks.png

Taxes and romantic bust-ups. It’s April, the “cruelest month.”

Based on unimpeachable data like miserable status announcements and no-comment relationship switches on Facebook — or in the hallway between classes — smart statisticians and even smarter high school students have confirmed that partnerships tend to explode between Thanksgiving and Christmas and then early in the new year. Valentine’s Day can be bad. Spring break is the worst.

if you’re a parent, you have a delicate dance to do when your teenager gets dumped, or even did the dumping. Teens don’t have a ton of experience or perspective and may be enduring what seems like awesomely epic trauma — because it is. This is totally new territory. Nobody ever suffered like this before, Mom and Dad!

Does it help to recall the searing rock-n-roll poetry of our own peer, Tom Petty? “There’s someone I used to see, but she don’t give a damn for me. … You don’t know how it feels to be me.”

That’s your kid’s truth now. Quit rolling that inner eye. Instead, check out these pointers on patiently parenting a brokenhearted kid, taken from a survey of the literature out there and sprinkled with a little personal observation.

As rotten as they are, early breakups actually build up the strength and resilience that’s going to carry teenagers through future difficulties. This is the process of protective but joyless skin-thickening we all have to endure, one way or another. This is the messy process of learning who we are and whom we like, what works and what doesn’t.

The popular literature tends to break out teen girls’ and teen boys’ behaviors in ways that I frankly find stereotypical at best and nonsense at worst. Let’s just acknowledge that individual reactions vary. Some kids may look to friends and family for consolation and comfort via a lot of talking and sharing; others may withdraw and stew and even punch walls. Or worse.

But OK, it’s also true: boys still aren’t taught to probe their own feelings much and may have little practice with anything but anger, while girls may already have done lots of friendship drama and be accustomed to friends whose stock rises and falls, rises and falls.

Be on the lookout for red flags. Is your kid full of self-blame and low self-esteem? Have sleep, schoolwork, eating, other activities and relationships not bounced back after what seems like a reasonable mourning period? Are you getting worried about risky reactive behaviors? That’s when it may be time to express serious concern and even seek outside help.

‘24-hour news cycle’
“Talking and sharing” really means texting. Electronics and social media are a central part of growing up now. Today’s teenagers have never known anything but a world where breaking up isn’t just personal business — it’s a breaking headline in the 24-hour news cycle.

Breaking up via the Internet should be out of the question, of course. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen all the time. Just don’t expect messages of sorrow or fury or sarcasm or sweetness to stay private. Know how many humiliating “breakup text” collection websites there are out there? Heard of “revenge porn”?

This is where parenting wisdom starts failing me. Urging one’s kid to keep private things private doesn’t seem to fly anymore. Neither does avoiding the ex — and all the ensuing gossip — on social media. Who wouldn’t succumb to the temptation to keep peeking at your ex’s pages?

It used to be easier to break up and move on without constantly reopening wounds. Today you’ve got to rely on lots of personal backbone.

It’s nice to chant that you should and must remain friends. But if the relationship was at all intense or lasting, that’s going to prove complicated and difficult. Potentially rebuilt friendship or no, a definite cooling-off, no-contact period is a wise and clarifying idea.

Because, the point of this difficult passage is building a stronger, truer, more self-aware young adult — the one somebody new is going to love. When you’re good and ready, that is.

Try telling your kid that. When she or he is good and ready, that is.

96963delish-spring-herbed-zucchini-goat-cheese-fritters-15 http://blogs.columbian.com/sated-sensitive/delish-spring-herbed-zucchini-goat-cheese-fritters/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/01/IMG_2200-768x1024-345x460.jpg

Delish – Spring Herbed Zucchini Goat Cheese Fritters

SPRING HERBED ZUCCHINI GOAT CHEESE FRITTERS

Just last weekend, I made these tasty spring appetizers.  My husband and I were invited to a potluck Easter dinner.  I wanted to bring something for the sensitive foodie so we could all enjoy a healthy living snack before our meal.  I opted to bake these in the oven at 400 degrees to get them crispy brown instead of frying them in oil like typical fritters.    I would definitely make these again!

 *Adapted from Herbed Zucchini Feta Fritters (link to original recipe listed below)

INGREDIENTS:

Fritters

Dipping sauce

RECIPE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Shred zucchini in food processor (super easy way). Place shredded zucchini in colander and sprinkle with ½ TBS kosher salt and toss well in order to pull out as much water out of the zucchini as possible. Let sit for 10 minutes. Taking small handfuls, squeeze out as much water as possible.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, dill, parsley, and ¼ cup mint. Then add the gluten free all-purpose flour. Add in the shredded zucchini. The batter should be like a “just moist” pancake batter. If it’s not, then add in another ¼ cup of gluten free all-purpose flour. Finally add in the crumbled goat cheese.
  4. Using a small non-stick frying pan – drop one scoop of the batter onto cooking surface. Cook just like a pancake. Taste test – add more salt to the batter as desired. I prefer to go a little light on the salt.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or use one of those handy silpat mats. By heaping tea spoonful drop fritters leaving about ½ inch in between. When all the fritters are on the baking sheet, dip scoop or back of teaspoon into water and flatten out the fritters. Bake in oven for 3 – 5 minutes per side or until slightly browned.
  6. Make dipping sauce. Puree chopped cucumber and stir in yogurt and remaining 2 TBS of mint. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTES:

Original Recipe found on Food & Wine http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/herbed-zucchini-feta-fritters

Denise Hays

Welcome to Sated Sensitive. My name is Denise. Furry momma to 1 dog and 1 cat (^._.^)ノ . Married lucky 13 years to Mr. Fantabulous. We love Clark County! I have food sensitivities to dairy, gluten, peanuts, and soy. I am now fully embracing the "right" foods to nourish my body. I'll be sharing ideas for healthy living tips for us sensitive food enthusiasts. Thanks for visiting!

Delish – Spring Herbed Zucchini Goat Cheese Fritters
446015-reasons-collect-art https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/news/5-reasons-collect-art/ /wp-content/uploads/2015/03/reid-in-studio-345x460.jpg Collecting artwork can seem daunting. The question I hear most often is, “How do I know which artwork to buy?” The short answer to that- buy something that speaks to you. As an artist, I have sold many pieces and every one of them was bought by someone who felt an emotional connection to the image. For example, one piece I sold depicted a woman holding a nest with eggs in it. This reminded the buyer of her years as a Bluebird leader. Buy what feels right. There are other reasons to invest in art that are less personal, but are just as important. 1. Supporting young and emergent artists is a wonderful way to encourage them to continue developing their work. 2. If you buy more than one artwork you can refer to your “collection.” It feels awesome to say it- “my art collection…” 3. Art actually is a fantastic investment and values better over time than many other financial investments, especially if you have an eye for good work. 4. Shopping at the mall can be fun, but see how much more exciting an artists’ open studio event can be. Clark County Open Studios and monthly open studios on First Friday at North Bank Artists Gallery are excellent local opportunities to purchase work from artists and see their process in creating it. 5. You'll help keep a gallery open. Art galleries are draws for other businesses like wine bars and restaurants to cluster around. Art is a magnet for economic vitality which is a great thing to support. Happy Collecting! reid in studio Reid Trevarthen at North Bank Artists in studio. 44222returning-new-normal-love-food https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/food/sated-sensitive/returning-new-normal-love-food/ /wp-content/uploads/2015/03/IMG_2097-600x450.jpg

Returning to a NEW normal "love of food.  Gluten Free Waffles with Cinnamon Ginger Pear Compote

With the time conversion complete, today I slept in.  My husband's gone on a "man weekend".  I laid in bed a bit longer savoring the morning sun, the birds singing outside, the warmth of Ellie the cat curled up along side me and the quiet of the house without Mitty the 1.5 year old chocolate lab. ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL!

I mulled over the question - What do I want to eat for breakfast today?

Hmmmm... I could have my normal coffee and follow it on with a chaser of protein shake.  Then go about my business just like any other day. Nah! That's not it.  Is it an omelet kinda day?  Nah.

Then it came to me ~ I KNOW!  It's gonna be DECADENT WAFFLE DAY!  A lovely breakfast just for me lovingly prepared by me.  I roll out of bed full of energy to get cracking on this lovely breakfast of mine.

As the smell of good coffee fills the kitchen, I start assembling the ingredients for my gluten free waffle batter (gluten free all purpose mix, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, egg, almond milk and coconut oil). Many thoughts and visions come into my head.  Maybe I could use one of those ripe barlett pears I purchased last night from the Battle Ground Local Produce company? I could add in some crystallized ginger, ground cinnamon, raw sugar and coconut oil to make a lovely compote to go on top of my gluten free waffle.  Maybe I could also saute up one of those Painted Hills whiskey fennel chicken sausages as my protein accompaniment to my decadent breakfast delight?

This morning I feel so alive creating in the kitchen.  Cooking is my creative craft outlet.  My kitchen is my studio to blend foods, flavors and technique. Each food masterpiece tantalizing my five senses. I'm smiling outloud genuinely surprised on how happy I am on the inside with my healthy living focus.

I think back to 3 years ago when I received the news that I was sensitive to all sorts of foods. Goodbye bread, butter, cheese, tofu and many other ingredients I so adored.  I remember that day - the day the foodie part of me died inside.  I was sad inside as I pondered my creativity without access to all these essential cooking elements.

It's taken me a while to grieve and transition through this major food paradigm shift.  A little over a year ago my thoughts shifted from the "forever without" negative thoughts to embracing a more healthy positive "eat what I'm able to eat" outlook.    Today I fully embrace a life without gluten, dairy and soy.  As I nourish myself with the right foods for my body, it nourishes my reawakening creative soul by seeing new possibilities.

GF Waffles with Cinnamon Ginger Pear Compote

Now that my masterpiece is framed on it's plate, I sit down admiring my creation.  I pour on one last missing element - just the right amount of pure maple syrup.  As my fork cuts into my crispy soft gluten free waffle, smells of cinnamony ginger pear goodness waft over me.  I have to say the combo of carmelized sweet pear compote with the waffle is the perfect taste this sunny Sunday.  I am content deep in my sensitive food soul as my palate is sated.

Gluten Free Waffles (makes 3 regular sized waffles; 4 medium)

Blend dry ingredients separately.  Blend wet ingredients separately.  Blend wet ingredients with dry.  Pour batter onto hot oiled waffle iron.  Cook to desired likeness.

Cinnamon Ginger Pear Compote

Combine all ingredients in skillet.  Saute until pears are carmelized and soft.

72733office-moms-bring-love-to-kids-in-twilight-zone-6 http://blogs.columbian.com/family-room/2015/02/20/office-moms-bring-love-kids-twilight-zone/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/12/office-mom-apron-1024x678-600x397.jpg

Office Moms bring love to kids in twilight zone

A couple years ago, foster mom Sarah Desjarlais was at a meeting at the downtown Vancouver office of the Department of Social and Health Services where she asked the obvious questions.

“Who are all these little kids running around the office? Why are there two- and four-year-olds just wandering around in cubicle land?”

Turned out, they were children who’d just been removed from the custody of their parents and were heading for foster home placements. It’s routine for such kids to wind up cooling their heels, perhaps for many hours, at the DSHS office, according to Child Protective Services social worker and investigator Kim Karu.

Karu would dispute that the kids were “running around” the office, and she described the modest but appropriately child-friendly hangout space there. But she doesn’t dispute that these freshly freaked-out youngsters need a lot more than a TV room.

They need the human touch. They need loving reassurance. They need some nurturing.

“It’s very traumatic no matter where they’ve come from,” Karu said, “to be removed by strangers and come into a big office full of strangers. They may come in with nothing. They may just have the clothes on their backs. It may be the worst day of their whole lives.”

Meanwhile it’s also pretty routine that the social workers charged with finding these kids safe, happy foster placements or developing other painstaking plans for their future must double as babysitters. Not the best use of their professional time, Karu said. They’ve got a million phone calls to make and bases to cover.

“They’re begging people to take these children,” said Desjarlais. “They’ve got a mountain of paperwork to do. Whatever it is they need to do for a particular case, we want them to just be able to focus on their job.”

What they really don’t need, Karu added, is the child sitting right there, audience to all that telephone begging.

So when Desjarlais had a basic brainstorm — couldn’t volunteers step in and do the childcare, offering love and comfort and freeing up the professionals to tackle their tasks? — Karu and her managers “welcomed it with open arms,” she said.

“We developed this program” called Office Moms, Desjarlais said. It’s an all-volunteer effort that responds to breaking calls for help from the office. When Child Protective Services “is removing a child, they call our coordinator. The coordinator keeps track of all the volunteers and sends out a text blast. `Hey we’ve got two kids coming in an hour, is anybody available?’ It’s really spur of the moment” because that’s the nature of what’s going on at CPS, she said.

So far there are about 30 Office Moms in Clark County, Desjarlais said, who are volunteering about 25 hours a month. The idea has spread to Portland, Kelso, Spokane and elsewhere. Desjarlais has launched a formal nonprofit agency called Embrace Washington that includes the Office Moms effort among others — all of which are aimed at supporting DSHS’s social workers through volunteerism and through encouraging more parents to get involved in fostering.

Office Moms is a great way to get your feet wet in that arena — or just to do some worthy volunteering at the office, even if you’re not up for taking a child home, Karu said.

“People think the only way to be involved is to be a foster,” she said. “This is a great way to be involved without having to be involved all the way.”

But Desjarlais definitely hopes to sell some parents on fostering. “This county in particular is in crisis mode when it comes to foster homes,” she said. “There is an incredible deficiency. My hope is we can show these volunteers the world of child welfare. Show them that it’s not so scary — but the need is real.”

According to Washington State, there are 8,700 children in “out of home care” here but only about 5,000 licensed foster homes.

“Office Moms” is a misnomer, by the way. Desjarlais said there’s one Office Dad at present. More are welcome of course.

But: “Our target demographic is a housewife who stays home, who has kids at school. Maybe moms whose kids are launched. Or grandmas with a lot of energy. Some of my best Office Moms are Office Grandmas,” she said.

Volunteers must pass a criminal background check, do some basic training with DSHS and sign some standard paperwork, including a privacy agreement. They don’t maintain contact with the kids after they’re on their way. They just play with them, chat with them, fill up and hand out the Welcome Boxes that each kid gets at the office — new toys, socks, underwear, snacks — and maybe write the note that tops off each box, that says: “You are special. You are loved.”

Which is just what these roughed-up children need to hear.

85220educational-event-identifying-and-managing-chronic-pain-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/pet-health-care-rescue-work/2015/02/07/educational-event-identifying-managing-chronic-pain/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/03/rosiegilbert-232x300.jpg

If you work in the animal field, please join us for this free educational event: Identifying and Managing Chronic Pain.

Learn to recognize pain in animals and options for treatment, including laser therapy, NSAIDs, supplements, narcotics, acupuncture, and rehab. Discussion will cover management of injuries, dental disease, feline cystitis, arthritis, ruptured discs, and more.

Dr. Rosie Gilbert, Owner & DVM at Viking Veterinary Care

March 1st, 2015

RSVP at www.animalcommunity.org

 

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

Educational Event – Identifying and Managing Chronic Pain
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Reasons to volunteer with animals

Adoptable cat from a care-giving shift at the Cat Adoption Team.

Types of volunteer opportunities

Volunteering With Animals

Volunteering at the booth for the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland.

Get Started

Volunteering With Animals

Fun time volunteering at the Cat Adoption Team food bank.

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

Volunteering With Animals
85228senior-pet-education-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/pet-health-care-rescue-work/2014/10/12/senior-pet-education/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/03/TIgerlily-300x225.jpg

As the caregiver for two senior cats, I know first-hand the challenges that come when our furry companions start to age. My more elderly cat, Tiger Lily, has become decreasingly active, increasingly arthritic, a little hard of hearing, along with a gracefully tackling a host of medical issues, including hyperthyroidism, hypertension, and an acute onset of vestibular disease. My experience in the animal field has made me a little better prepared than most might be for this experience, but it still a very difficult process to go through.

Tiger Lily, happy senior lady, naps.

On October 26th, my Animal Community Talks program will be offering an educational event about caring for senior pets. This event is free for anyone who works or volunteers with animals. Our speaker will be Dr. Christine Fletcher, veterinarian at VCA North Portland Veterinary Hospital. If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP here.

Senior pet education

Animal Community Talks Flyer

 

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

Senior pet education
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“Caring for the Senior Pet”

Organized by the Animal Community Talks

Presented by Dr. Christine Fletcher

The Animal Community Talks project aims to provide education that is professional and accessible to those in the animal field. This presentation will help those in veterinary clinics, shelters, training facilities, and more to help their more senior companion animals to be happy and comfortable during these years.

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

Free Event for Animal Professionals
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On Tuesday, September 16th, the Spay & Save program will be offering free spay/neuter for cats, along with transportation from the Tanasbourne Petco. To see if you qualify, call 503-802-6755. Spay & Save serves the Portland Metro area, including Clark County. 

S&S

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland – Transport Day
34392fairly-interesting http://blogs.columbian.com/action-commentary/2014/08/11/1561/ /wp-content/uploads/2014/08/FORD-CRUISER.jpg

I took a break from the so-called cease-fires, traffic jams and mattress sales last weekend by spending a day at the 2014 Clark County Fair. If there’s anything that needs to be reinvented, this was it. I know. 250,000 consumers along with their amusement-oriented offspring attended the event. But while I enjoyed gawking at the 1st Squadron on the Midway, taking in the U.S. Army pavillion and munching on charcoal-cooked ribs by the Food Court, many of the other attractions were nothing but a noise-polluting waste of time — e.g.: Demo Derby, Moto X, Monster Trucks. It’s also oxymoronic to dish out cold hard cash to be given sales pitches by mop, pot and tub vendors inside–appropriately enough–Sleep Country Marketplace. Fairs used to feature horse racing to lure grown-ups but that’s gone out of style. Perhaps the groundskeepers should consider a Poker Tournament next time. Further, many folks around here dress as if Vancouver is in the boondocks. So a runway extravaganza showcasing world fashion trends might not be a bad idea, either. It also behooves the Rotary Club to score a few more electric scooters for our obese and/or disabled population. They only had four this year and two of them were kaput. Besides, nobody resorts to wheelchairs anymore. I realize the exhibitors paid top dollar for a spot at the fair, but $3.50 for two ounces of Shaved Ice, $6.50 for an Elephant Ear and $12.50 for a Gobbler’s Drumstick is, quite frankly, too much. At least for my wallet. FAIRLY INTERESTING
What I liked most was the vintage Ford Cruiser that the Washington State Patrol had on display. Unlike today’s purple coupes manned by troopers in unsightly jump suits, they had class six decades ago. Too bad they didn’t go after all of the Astrological Wonders, Crystal Ball Gazers, Palm Readers and Phony Prophets who were milking the audience. Now back to the Local News which is watching out for me because they’re on my side. Thanks for reading this paragraph!
[Carnival Photo by Greg Wahl-Stephens]

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

FAIRLY INTERESTING
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“THE ISRAEL-GAZA CONFLICT” is how the networks bill what’s transpiring in that corner of the world. While the phrase “cease-fire” is repeated quite often, the scenarios which most personify the situation are the moving pictures of Palestinians parading dead bodies through the streets of their bombed-out landscape. Hamas resorts to such ploys because their combatants are no match for Tel-Aviv’s military. So they concentrate on the propaganda war. If you follow the crisis on “social media,” you might conclude that they’re winning. You see a lot of that kind of reaction reading the comments of NBC Mideast Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin on his Facebook page. And as I watched one such video on CNN, I realized that this is not the first time that The Departed have been employed to propagate a cause. THE WAR OF THE DEAD The struggle against the Islamist occupation of Spain, for example, was essentially decided by a warlord named El Cid who led the Roman Catholic forces against the Jihadists of the day strapped dead to his steed. Seven centuries elapsed before the alien followers of Mohammad were expulsed. Charlton Heston starred in a spectacular 1961 movie version of the era. It was just the opposite of the on-going confrontations between Israel and Palestine which started around 1950. THE MUSLIM INVASION of the Iberian Peninsula began in 711 when the first contingent of some 50,000 Moors crossed the Strait of Gibraltor. Unlike today’s flying rocks-versus-guided missle hostilities, “The Reconquest of Spain” was mainly promulgated by noblemen-led peasants with spears dueling bow-and-arrow equipped horsemen from North Africa. In any case, it’s worth remembering that even though Arabs now complain about Jewish occupation, THEY once occupied Christian lands. So don’t consign to the grave the possibility that another cadaver will emerge triumphant!

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

THE WAR OF THE DEAD
85238free-cat-spayneuter-at-ohs-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/pet-health-care-rescue-work/2014/07/20/july-brings-free-spayneuter-ohs/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/03/1234035_10201555430148251_1403463927_n-150x150.jpg

The Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland serves Clark, Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. Throughout the month of July, the Oregon Humane Society (an ASAP shelter partner), will be offering all their spay and neuter surgeries for free. Follow this link to learn more about the qualifications for this program. To schedule an appointment, call: 800-345-SPAY.

 

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

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Happy Day!! Up and at ‘em early. Rode my bike to and from the pool, swimming a mile in between.

It dawned on me, it’s been weeks since I’ve posted anything!

I guess it’s taken some time to acclimate to having 3 kiddos {elementry, middle school and high school ages} home with me full time. We’ve been here, there and everywhere.

I’ve also taken a different approach to fitness this summer, putting my Crossfit membership on hold and gearing activities towards the kids and outdoor sports.

Though I miss throwing weights around, we’ve made a ton of awesome memories and my kids are having a blast.

My nutrition has stayed the course at a healthy 80/20 Paleo lifestyle. Though, now that my cardio is kicked up a notch, I’ve taken a liking to PB & J sammy’s stuffed with BBQ chips. {I know, so wrong. Yet, so right.}

Hope you’re having a fabulous summer and taking time to breathe deep the goodness of life.

Much love,
Mary

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DOPE DEALS DISS DRUG DUELS
Remember these lyrics? “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” Buffalo Springfield made them famous back in 1967. They came to mind last week as the Mass Media tried to convert the opening of Vancouver’s first reefer joint in “quaint” Uptown Village into a transcendental event, even equating it with the end of Prohibition. The premiere was initially set for July 8 but was moved up to July 10 due to the unavailability of weed, perhaps because three tons on its way north was seized by lawmen in California. I did a drive-by Friday the 11th. It was not an uplifting experience. MAIN STREET MARIJUANA was painted on the 23rd Street side of a single-story brick building housing the controlled substance. Its windowpanes were coated with drab green Glassprimer so as to prevent anyone from peering inside. A line of somber-looking cannabis consumers stretched around the block. It wasn’t easy recognizing that they constitituted a microcosm of America’s involvement with the world’s drug cartels. They looked more like coke sippers than hop heads. A wheelchair-bound doorman checked their IDs at the entrance. Curiously, a cop in a black-and-white and a narc in an unmarked sedan were stationed across the road. The former eyed the proceedings through his front windshield; the latter from rearview mirrors. The scenario evoked the smut shops along L.A.’s Skid Row. I used to pass them on my way to work 30 years ago. I didn’t bother to park. See, I don’t like the act of standing behind another person for a long period of time. Instead, I returned after the commotion died down. It was even more antiseptic inside the store. I’ve never seen so many clerks crammed behind a half dozen or so gemstone showcases, left behind by the former tenant. There was one attendant for each kilo, so to speak. They’d ask, “Can I help you?” You’d then learn that exchanges will not be entertained. All sales are final. And don’t ask for a receipt. So much for legalized grass. At $20 per gram, and up; cash. DOPE DEALS DISS DRUG DUELS I was enrolled at City College of San Francisco in 1970. I majored in Broadcast Arts, minored in International Relations and took electives in Film, Music and Journalism. Prophetically, the student weekly called for the decriminalization of marijuana. I rented a room in Haight-Ashbury where rent was cheap — $16.50 a week, with kitchen privileges. My $175 GI Bill check allowed for a diet of canned Riviera Minestrone, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Boudin Sourdough plus a jug of Gallo Bros Paisano. Breakfast was invariably a glazed doughnut and piping hot black coffee from a mom & pop market at 1100 Masonic Ave. Toward the end of the month, I’d make do with Van Camp’s Pork and Beans. The district’s head shops left a lasting impression on my brain. They were quite inviting and down-to-earth. You could always score a “Nickel Bag” ($5) of Panama Red. That’s why Main Street Marijuana turned me off. I walked away muttering, “What a rip-off.” Clark County voters gave doobies the green light, all right. But our red tape-addicted bureaucracy, in conjunction with a money-sucking business establishment, has transformed the act of buying recreational hemp into a real bummer. Maybe it’s all a plot to recover the $1 trillion they spent on The War on Drugs! Gov. Inslee could just as well have granted sales permits to convicted dealers. At least their prices aren’t as high.

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

DOPE DEALS DISS DRUG DUELS
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The Thorns have added a 4th goal against FC Kansas City at home.  Portland lead 3-1 at half on goals from Vero Boquette, Alex Morgan, and Ally Long.

watch the game live on http://www.timbers.com/thorns-live

Ally long earned her second of the day in the second half bringing her season total to 8.

The introduction of Amber Brooks as a true holding center midfielder has allowed Long to join Boquette and Tobin Heath in moving forward and join Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan in the attack.

Update 74th minute 5-1 Vero Boquette gets her second goal of the day, converting a penalty after Tobin Heath had been wrapped up and pulled to the ground in the box.

Update 80th minute 6-1. Vero plays server this time as she whips in a right footed cross that was met at the near post by Christine Sinclair

Update 7-1,  Mana Shim comes on as a substitute and turns provider for Amber Brooks.  Shim was on the left side of the field and curled a left footed ball in toward the near post in a kind of mirror image of the Boquette Sinclair link up for goal #6

 

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

85240august-act-event-massage-and-ttouch-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/pet-health-care-rescue-work/2014/07/12/august-act-event-massage-ttouch/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/03/August-flyer-231x300.jpg

Do you work or volunteer in the animal field? Would you like to learn more about massage and TTouch for animals?

On August 23rd, at 2pm, we will be hearing from Rubi Sullivan of Heal Animal Massage and Lauren McCall of The Integrated Animal.

If you would like to join us, please RSVP using this form or email animalcommunitytalks@gmail.com.

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

August ACT Event – Massage and TTouch
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The Pacific Northwest is going to feel the heat for the next week as mother nature opens up the oven door in what has the potential to be the longest stretch of hot weather in several years. Models are coming into agreement today that a strong ridge of high pressure will build across the region Friday and hold through most of next week. Low level winds at the surface will switch from onshore to offshore beginning on Friday. This coupled with a strong ridge of high pressure at the upper levels of the atmosphere will allow the heat to build over the weekend and last into next week. There is also the potential for some moisture over the weekend which could trigger thunderstorms over the Cascades and eastside. Most residents consider three or more days at or above 90 degrees in Portland as the benchmark for a Pacific Northwest heat wave. At the present time, forecast models are indicating the potential for as many as 5-6 consecutive days at or above 90 degrees between Friday and next Wednesday. Although models are still finalizing the exact details of the upcoming heat wave, it will most certainly be the hottest weather of the summer so far. Depending on the exact location of the building ridge of high pressure, we may have the potential for seeing temperatures reaching 100 degrees in Portland.

For historical perspective, Portland averages approximately 12 days at or above 90 degrees each year. So far this year, Portland has reached 90 degrees or higher twice. In 2009 Portland met or exceeded 90 degrees 24 times, setting a new record for number of 90 degree or higher days in a given year. In July and early August of that year Portland reached or exceeded 90 degrees 10 “consecutive” days in a row with three of those days at or above 100 degrees. During that heat wave Portland fell one degree short of its all-time high temperature of 107 degrees set in August of 1981. Vancouver, Washington set its all-time record high of 108 during that heat wave. Records in Vancouver date back approximately 125 years. The upcoming heat wave does not appear to be as hot as the 2009 heat wave, but will most likely be noted for its duration. Overnight low temperatures will also remain quite warm which will make it uncomfortable for those without air conditioning. Utilities will also see power demands increase as the heat sets in.

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger
Owner, Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants
Website: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml
E-mail: stevejpierce@comcast.net
Phone: 503-504-2075

 

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Make sure and “LIKE” our page at: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Pacific Northwest Heatwave Likely
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BOIDS & CHICKENS I DON’T LIKE BIRDS ANYMORE. See, my boss “let me go” the other day. He explained that “tweets” have rendered me expendable. You know, those 140-character text messages on Twitter, an on-line micro-blogging network which is exemplified by a blue sparrow. Or is it a swallow? The rationale cited was, Why should we pay you for intelligence when we can get it for nothing simply by posting a hashtag? I could have said, Because of genuine social reasons (like keeping somebody employed). But bottom-liners wouldn’t get that. I was also told that my firm’s stockholders wanted juicier dividends. Consequently, my stipend was raided to appease them. So, after 15 years of service, I’m now in the same boat as the folks on the ramp to Interstate 5. The only difference is that my cardboard sign is scribbled on The Information Superhighway! It states: WORK WANTED. CAN WRITE ADVERTISING COPY. FLUENT SPANISH. COLD WAR VET. (360) 553-8591 …MORE FREE TIME allows me to scrutinize my junk mail. One piece in particular, “The 2014 Clark County Official Local Voter’s Pamphlet,” caught my attention. It contains the portraits of 47 candidates; 99% are Caucasoids. Fifteen of them are women. BOIDS & CHICKENSThe profiles reminded me of Herbert Hoover’s 1928 campaign for President of the United States. It unfolded on the Eve of The Great Depression. The Republican Party promised voters a chicken in every pot if he were elected. Today, on the heels of The Great Recession, just about everybody is offering jobs on a silver platter. Jaime Herrera-Butler indicates that she’s going “to remove red tape to job growth.” Ben Shoval acknowledges that many of his neighbors are out of work; that’s why he’s going to make it harder to raise taxes. Gina McCabe assures the reader that she “will fight for jobs.” Lynda Wilson recognizes that “families need more and better jobs.” Paul Harris promises to get “Washington Working.” John Ley’s focus will be to “empower businesses to create jobs.” Brandon Vick affirms that he’ll be “putting Washington back to work.” Liz Pike intends to “reduce job-killing regulations.” Ed Orcutt’s priorities include “creating new family-wage jobs.” Carolyn Crain will “work to restore job opportunities in Vancouver.” Jeanne E. Stewart plans to “expand economic development to create jobs.” Bob Dingethal says he’s created “hundreds of jobs.” Monica Stonier wants to be “a partner for job creation.” Richard McCluskey will work to “grow living wage jobs right here.” Maureen Winningham understands that job security is “a struggle.” BOIDS & CHICKENS On the other hand, Scott Dalesandro, an aspirant for State Partisan Office, wants YOU to allow HIM to work! With so many politicos out there looking for jobs on my behalf –some sporting pins with the word JOBS on their lapel — maybe I won’t have to bother reading the Want Ads!

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

BOIDS & CHICKENS
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Today looked to be the day that the Thorns put things back on track at home, but the Chicago Red Stars had other plans.

Portland went ahead 2-0 on goals from forward Jessica McDonald and defender Sarah Huffman, and looked likely to finish out the game and collect 3 important points.  For McDonald, this makes 9 goals on the season, setting a new club record, both Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan tallied 8 goals last season.

Instead it turned into the Christian Press show.  If any of you don’t know that name yet, learn it.  She’s going to be with the National Team for a while if she keeps playing like this.  Press recently joined Chicago after completing her season with Tyreso where she is a teammate of Vero Boquette.  Both of her goals were quality.  The first she ran behind the back line, brought the ball down and dribbled the keeper.  Her second was a top corner finish from the top of the box.  Both stunning.

Shame we couldn’t hold on to 3 points but this kids is gonna be a star.

here is a link to the video,  I’ll swing back in with a tactical breakdown this tomorrow

Thorns vs Red Star

Personal Highlight of the game was the beaming smile on Karina LeBlanc’s face when she was being hassled by the Portland fans at the start of the second half.  She was loving it and had obviously missed it.

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

Thorns give up 2 late goals and drop 2 pts
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Its the fourth of July in Portland and both of our professional soccer teams are in action.  Tonight the Timbers will be on the road against LA, but first, Thorns FC will play host to the Chicago Red Stars for an 11 am kickoff at Providence Park.

Link to watch todays game on youtube

Todays game represents a vital 3 points to two teams desperately looking for a playoff birth.  Thorns FC and Chicago come into the game with identical records: 20 points on 6 wins, 6 losses and 2 ties.  This currently leaves both teams on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

Here is a quick look at the current NWSL standings.

# NWSL GP W L T PTS
1. Seattle Reign FC 15 12 0 3 39
2. FC Kansas City 16 9 4 3 30
3. Washington Spirit 16 7 7 2 23
4. Western New York Flash 16 6 8 2 20
5. Chicago Red Stars 14 6 6 2 20
6. Portland Thorns FC 14 6 6 2 20
7. Sky Blue FC 16 3 6 7 16
8. Houston Dash 14 4 9 1 13
9. Boston Breakers 15 3 10 2 11

Paul Riley’s Thorns will be looking to improve their record at home this year after losing 3 of their last 4 home games.

Reinforcements:   Thorns FC may finally have a full roster available to them following the return of Tobin Heath from her split season with Paris Saint Germain.

Like the arrival of Vero Boquette a few weeks ago, Heath should help lift the midfield and allow for some cleaner and more dangerous possession.  Personally I can’t wait to see Vero and Tobin play together, both are technical and intelligent going forward and could provide some early fireworks today.

Part of Portland’s struggles could be down to the production of Christine Sinclair.  Sinc scored just her second goal of the season last week and will be looking to add.  Part of the difficulty may be the service.  With Vero and Tobin absent, Sinclair has had to do more work manning the attack, dropping a little deeper to pick up the ball from the midfield and provide some creative influence.  With Vero’s arrival it was very nice to see someone other than Christine doing some of the set up work, and It will be interesting to see if Tobin can help push Sinclair a little closer to the opponents goal without disconnecting her from the group.

In short the Thorns badly need to start putting some points up at home. 4 home losses this year have the rest of the league jumping at the chance to play in front of the leagues biggest crowd and possibly leave with three points.  If Portland really wants a chance to defend its title, then, like the timbers, they need to get above that thin read line that separates those in the playoffs from those starting their offseason a bit early.  With local rivals Seattle sitting in first place with out a single loss, those remaining playoff spots may become contentious.  No one wants to see a battle in the final weeks with a team this good missing out, But capitalizing at home may be the minimum if playoffs are coming back to Portland.

Thanks!  see you at the game

 

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

85243thirty-thousand-kittens-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/pet-health-care-rescue-work/2014/06/24/471/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/03/31309-300x168.jpg

Are you a cat person? If yes, then the idea of a “kitten season” probably sounds like a dream come true. Kitten season is a real thing and – sadly – it is not a good thing for cats or the people who love them.

Kitten season basically refers to the time of the year when conditions are best for cats to reproduce. In our area, it usually starts between March and June, when the weather starts to warm. In more tropical areas, like Hawaii, kitten season can be year round.

Cats are hard-wired to reproduce when their babies have the best chance of survival. Female cats can start having kittens when they are around 6 months of age, and they continue to reproduce up to three times a year, every year, for most of their lives. Though there is some disagreement on the specific numbers, it is believed that one unspayed cat can produce thousands of cats, through her offspring, and her offspring’s offspring.

And if you aren’t a fan of statistics, all it takes is a search of our local shelters to see that kitten season is in full swing. A recent search of Petfinder.com led to over a result of over 31,300 adoptable kittens in the Vancouver area. The Portland metro area had about the same.

So what is the moral of this story? First of all, it is important to spay or neuter your cats. In rare situations, it may not be the right thing for your cat – a trusted veterinarian can help you decide how to best make this decision for your cat. Additionally, if you know of an unfixed cat in the neighborhood, it is important to get them fixed BEFORE kitten season arrives.  And finally, if you can, reach out to your local shelter during this time to help in whatever way works for you. Adopting and fostering both make space in the shelter, along with providing a safer, happier place for a kitten to grow up. Donating expands available resources. Spreading the word helps others understand the plight of kitten season.

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

Thirty Thousand Kittens
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THE WORLD CUP kicked off to global fanfare in Sao Paulo on June 12. One billion people around the planet stopped what they were doing to take it in. In America, 100 million fans will tune in the Brazilian matches. I watched the wonderfully colorful Opening Ceremony on KUNP, the UNIVISION affiliate in Portland. You can also catch certain confrontations on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The Walt Disney Co. ought to stop peddling boat rides and hire the choreographer who created the show if it wants to corner the market for innovative entertainment. Nike, Coca-Cola, Listerine, Hyundai, Kia, Sony, Visa, Budweiser, Castrol, Johnson & Johnson, Emirates and McDonald’s are some of the event’s sponsors. Cut and Paste this LINK to watch J-Lo performing the FIFA theme song, “One Love; One Rhythm”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TGtWWb9emYI ONE LOVE, ONE RHYTHM SADLY, it was business as usual around here. The Big Story on KPTV was about a man who was shot to death after attacking a cop with a crowbar. Televised images from the scene depicted dozens of obese lawmen chit-chatting with each other or presumably blabbing on cell phones with their overseers. They closed 10 blocks of Foster Road to conduct an inquiry. Nowadays, more functionaries are employed to undertake an investigation than to run a soccer club. Thirty-two nations, including the USA, will compete for The World Cup in 2014. Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in the first game. The losers went for a bare-ball swim. Mexico socked Cameroon 1-0 on June 13. The winners meet June 17. What I’m really waiting for, though, is Australia vs. Netherlands on June 18. That’s when The Flying Dutchman (Robin van Persie) will attempt to surpass the incredible goal you can see by pasting this LINK on your address bar: http://a.abcnews.go.com/images/Sports/Ned_Goal.gif A total of 64 games will be played during the quadrennial spectacle. OLE! OLA!

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

ONE LOVE, ONE RHYTHM
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Every so often someone contacts us to complain that they do not like having to use Facebook to comment on articles.

Exhibit A – A recent email message from a reader:
Your own online poll asks readers which social media portal they use/favor; with more than 1100 respondents, 56 % say “none”. Yet, if I want to comment on a story, you require that I log-in using Facebook? I am one of the 56%; why do you think only those who are social media users should be allowed to express an opinion? Is it that you prefer the point of view of those who exhibit the need to let the world know what they ate for breakfast? For those of us who truly consider policy decisions and the effects on the community more important than ego driven commenters point of view, I have to say that this policy contributes to the dumbing-down of America.

Here’s what I typically say in response: We wish we didn’t have to use Facebook’s commenting tool but for now it’s the best solution out there for us. In the past, we’ve used commenting systems that we built or that came with the content management systems we use to house our website. One of the big drawbacks to those systems was that readers could easily use fake names or anonymous handles that meant no one knew who was making the comments being left on our site. While many people left civil and useful comments, we increasingly found comments that were obnoxious, rude, inflammatory, profane, cruel, horrifying — you get the point.

Longing to put an end to the horror show, we looked at various options and landed on Facebook in June of 2011 because most people use their real names on their accounts and using one’s name to leave a comment generally encourages civil behavior (though we certainly spend more time than we’d like reminding people to be nice, removing offensive remarks and even banning the occasional repeat offender or someone using an obviously fake name.)

Also, some research we did showed 78 percent of our readers had Facebook accounts and studies from groups such as Pew Research show that 71 percent of American adults use Facebook. While it’s not 100 percent, we felt it was close enough to provide most of our readers a chance to comment on articles; we’ve left an anonymous forum of sorts open for anyone who doesn’t want to join Facebook.

From time to time, we’ve looked at other systems and so far nothing has been compelling enough for us to make a switch. Yes, we recognize that some people are concerned with Facebook and privacy but you can restrict what the public sees and you don’t have to fill out every field that Facebook puts in front of you.

As for making us all dumb and dumber, I think we headed down that road long ago with the birth of television, but I can appreciate the argument that social media is bad for us and maybe turning us into narcissists with short attention spans. If using Facebook to post comments encourages us to be more civil to each other, though, then I guess I’m willing to live with that, at least for now.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

Dumber, but nicer? Why we use Facebook comments
29272drop-dead http://blogs.columbian.com/action-commentary/2014/06/05/drop-dead/ /wp-content/uploads/2014/06/40-VETS.jpg

DROP DEAD You’ve probably heard about the 40 US military veterans who dropped dead whilst on a “Wait List” at the VA Hospital in Phoenix, AZ; it was two-years long. But do you know about the “Wait List” for subsidized living quarters at the Vancouver Housing Authority? It’s six-years long. They say 747 Clark County citizens are presently standing by for Section 8 Tenant Vouchers which provide income-based housing assistance. That line started forming in the wake of The Great Recession. I’m sure you remember that time-frame: Double-Digit Unemployment. Company Bailouts. Political Polarization. Housing Bubbles. There were so many people seeking a roof over their heads around here that the list was closed when it reached 5,000. Then Congress approved a band-aid dubbed “The Economic Stimulus Act.” Maybe you got a piece of the “action.” $150 billion was disbursed in 2009. Most taxpayers received a paltry rebate of $300 per person. You were supposed to spend it on consumer goods. The Government kept my check. They said I owed ‘em some back taxes. Limits were also imposed on mortgages and tax incentives were issued to business owners. The wait-time to move into a VHA Public or Managed Housing program went down, but remained closed unless you were disabled, 65 years old or served on active duty for 90 days as of 9/11. Whether Corporate America learned anything from the revelations that ensued on the heels of the financial crisis can be debated until hell freezes over: Wealth Gaps. The 99 Percent. Five Dollar Gasoline. Occupy Wall Street. These topics only served to generate a zillion hours of hot air on radio and TV talk shows. Practically speaking, nothing’s changed. As Matthew O’Brien pointed out in The Atlantic, “the top 0.5 percent are different from me, you, and even the 99 to 99.5 percent: their incomes bounce up and down with the stock market. So it shouldn’t surprise us that our new Gilded Age has been of, for, and by the one-percent of the one-percent.”

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

DROP DEAD
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One nice thing about BLOGS is that you can “publish” what’s been “rejected.” I have a cabinet full of such material. Here’s a piece from 1996, but who knows if the monument is still there:

I went to the “Groovy Grand Opening” of Ontario Mills Mall in Southern California last week. The Inland Empire Bulletin described it as a “1.7 million square-foot monster outlet.” The psychedelic TV commercials said it was only 40 miles from Los Angeles. Via Interstate 10 on a Friday afternoon, however, it seemed more like 400 miles. I knew it was at the I-15 Junction but the commercials had not specified North or South. So it was a good thing that I had caught a glimpse of the Burlington Coat Factory on a recent excursion to Sin City. That recollection edged me to swerve North. But which exit? Just in the nick of time I spotted a sign advising motorists to take 4th Street which led to the front door of the Burlington Coat Factory. “Wow!” I said to myself. “This must be the biggest coat store in the world.” Rather than checking out the other 200-plus outlets, I decided instead to take a look at “the first monument to the consumer” which was mentioned on the news. It was supposed to be “way cool,” evocative of Pop Art. See, I was really looking for culture, not commodities. I grabbed a Marshall’s shopping cart that had a tipped-over Big Gulp on the baby seat and started searching. At the newest “super-regional” specialty mall in Western America! It was only 4 p.m. but the place was already jammed a dozen buyers abreast, some bumping into the likes of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and The Wolverine. I figured The Directory would point out the monument. Alas, it was not listed. I wanted to check with Security about where it was located but there were no guards around. I balked at asking my fellow shoppers where it was lest they think I was some kind of a nut. So I proceeded up the Midway, occasionally peeking into T.J. Maxx, Osh Kosh B’Gosh or AMC 30 — the largest movie theater on earth. When I came upon Starbucks, I ventured in for a cup of expresso. I skipped it because the line was 40 deep. I spun a roulette wheel that was in front of Anchor Blue. They sell adolescent attire. I won a glider. I handed it to the first kid I encountered. Ontario Mills Mall is interesting, and on several levels. The architects addressed the problem of human scale by dividing the premises into 10 “neighborhoods.” Each one has its own atmosphere — like “Off Rodeo Drive,” a replica of the famed Beverly Hills strip. Each environment is connected via “foot-friendly” wooden floors. Forty giant TV monitors hang above the walkways. It was the first time I found myself watching MTV-style video whilst strolling. Eventually, I came to what was dubbed “The Big Food Court.” It featured everything from Wolfgang Puck to Burger King.
A MONUMENT TO CONSUMERISM
And right smack in the middle of this 1,000-seat snack bar — you guessed it — was the world’s first piece of art dedicated to The Shopper! I didn’t appreciate what it was right away because I happened to pause in front of it just to catch my breath. Then it dawned on me that This Was It! I pulled out my Minolta and snapped a photograph. It was an eminently appropriate work: Thirty feet high; mixed media – neon, acrylic, fabric and plenty of plastic. Although it was probably conceived in a P.R. Agency, it did bring to mind Robert Rauschenberg, an American graphic artist whose “combine” paintings incorporated objects such as soda bottles and stuffed birds. While I didn’t notice any extraordinary deals at OMM and the only thing I bought was a bag of popcorn at The Sweet Factory (which doesn’t have salt nor butter), taking in “The Monument to Consumers” was unquestionably worth the trip. Smogville is no longer a Cultural Desert!

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

A MONUMENT TO CONSUMERISM
72852may-animal-community-talks-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/pet-health-care-rescue-work/2014/05/15/may-animal-community-talks/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/12/majchrowski.jpg

Join the Animal Community Talks at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 24:

Training Methods: No Two Trainers Are Exactly Alike’ by Mary Majchrowski of Bravo Dog Training

‘Desensitization and Counterconditioning: The Details Make All the Difference!’ by Dr. Christopher Pachel of the Animal Behavior Clinic

May animal community talks

This event is geared to those who work or volunteer in the animal field. RSVP here. The talks will be held in the  Community Room at McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave., Portland. 

Daniela Iancu

Over the last ten years, I have worked and volunteer with many animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in addition to a behavior/training company and telemedicine. My family includes two wonderful, senior cats who were rescued from the streets. I look forward to sharing my experiences and connecting with the Columbian's pet-loving community!

May animal community talks
83658allie-long-gets-1st-senior-cap-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-thorns/2014/05/10/allie-long-gets-1st-senior-cap/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Allie-Long-600x400.jpg

Allie Long gets 1st senior Cap

Portland Thorns midfielder Allie Long had played for the US National teams at both U17 and U20, but her only call up to the senior Women’s National Team ended in injury prior to getting a game.

This week Long’s  career dream was realized Thursday night in Winnipeg, when she came on for the US for the final 22 minutes of their 1-1 friendly draw vs Canada.

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup coming next year, Allie will hope to continue her scoring form in the NWSL to keep the door open for chance to travel with the team and compete with the best in the world.

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

Allie Long gets 1st senior Cap
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Today’s kickoff has been moved to 4pm to avoid a conflict with the Trail Blazers playoff game against San Antonio which is also in Portland this evening.

The Thorns will be hosting 1st place Seattle Reign who have maintained a 100% record so far this season with 5 consecutive wins to start the season.

Portland Thorns come into the game in second place, also undefeated in its first 4 games with 2 wins and 2 ties.

 

The game will be available in a live stream on http://www.timbers.com/thorns-live

 

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

Thorns move kickoff to 4pm
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It’s no secret our household is crazy {like, really crazy} about the Portland Trailblazers.

In fact, we’ve only missed one game this season. We were staying in Government Camp and apparently Comcast isn’t very popular on Mt. Hood. We know because we called every restaurant in town to see if the game was playing. It wasn’t.

Blazers lost that game. {I’m pretty sure it’s because we weren’t watching}

So, when the Blazers made it to the playoffs and we were in Cabo San Lucas for our 15th wedding anniversary, it was a no-brainer that we’d find a place to watch the game. {we wouldn’t want them to lose, right?}

We found ourselves at the only brew pub in all of Cabo, watching the first two Blazer playoff games. Yes, we went to the same bar twice. In Cabo. On our anniversary. {who cares about romantic dinners and long walks on the beach when the Blazers are in the playoffs?! not me}

Now that the Blazers have advanced to the semifinals, it’s time to get serious. {and, I mean s.e.r.i.o.u.s.} Bust out your crockpot and invite the neighbors over. We’re gonna turn up the heat.

BLAZIN’ BUFFALO CHICKEN CABBAGE ROLLS

GROCERY LIST (makes 8 servings)

2 heads of green cabbage
2 cups of carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cups of celery, chopped
2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 lbs. chicken thighs
1 bottle Tessemae’s Hot Wing Sauce (**see details below)
1-2 avocado, sliced
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper

** Tessemae’s all natural dressings, marinades and spreads can be found online and at select grocery stores (I’ve had good luck finding Tessemae’s in the refrigerated section by the produce at Whole Foods). Click on the following link to find a store near you: http://www.tessemaes.com/apps/store-locator

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS (prep time: 15 minutes, cook time: 6-8 hours)

1) Place carrots, celery and onion in the bottom of a crockpot.

BLAZIN’ BUFFALO CHICKEN CABBAGE ROLLS

2) Layer chicken thighs on top the veggies and pour Tessemae’s Hot Wing Sauce over chicken. Place lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

BLAZIN’ BUFFALO CHICKEN CABBAGE ROLLS

3) When chicken has cooked for 6-8 hours, take two forks and shred chicken inside the crockpot.

4) Gently peel cabbage leaves one at a time, wash if necessary.

5) Using a slotted spoon, place chicken in the center of a cabbage leaf. {be sure to strain well} Layer with sliced avocado, fresh cilantro and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Tuck and roll cabbage the best you can, around chicken.

From my kitchen, to yours…. Let’s Go, Blazers!! ENJOY!!

72382moroccan-lamb-stuffed-peppers-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/paleo-in-a-pinch/2014/05/01/moroccan-lamb-stuffed-peppers/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/11/image-300x300.jpg

I once was a child who sat in the dining room, looking at my mom through tear filled eyes, proclaiming, “I don’t want to eat the stuffed pepper! It’s gross!!”

I’ve come a long way since then.

Creating a stuffed pepper recipe that binds together the sweet and savory flavors of Moroccan cuisine hopefully offers some sort of redemption to my former picky adolescent self. This recipe is sure to please a refined palette and the persnickety eater.

Tonight, as I rang the dinner bell, my kiddos came running from every direction. I heard Bella say, “Yes! I love stuffed peppers!” Jude, of course, wondered if “those are raisins?” {he picked them out…} and Trinity asked if she could have another after dance, as she ran out the door with one in her hand.

I had to sit back and laugh {and, text my mom that I love her stuffed peppers}.

MOROCCAN LAMB STUFFED PEPPERS

GROCERY LIST (makes 6 servings)

6 bell peppers, halved and de-seeded
olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
2 lbs ground lamb
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup raisins
2 cup carrots, peeled and shredded
3 cup mushroom, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coconut milk, canned and full fat

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS (prep time, 10 minutes; cook time, 25 minutes)

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place peppers on a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, warm a healthy drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions 2-3 minutes. Add lamb, spices and raisins. Cook lamb all the way through, about 10 minutes.

3) Once lamb is cooked all the way through, add carrots, mushrooms, basil and coconut milk. Allow lamb and veggie mixture to simmer 5-10 minutes, binding the flavors together.

4) Spoon 1/2 cup of Moroccan lamb into each pepper. Garnish with additional basil (optional) and serve.

From my kitchen, to yours….. there is hope for the picky eaters. Enjoy!!

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Daytime temperatures will soar today and Thursday as mother nature turns up the heat on the Pacific Northwest for the first time since last fall. A ridge of high pressure continues to build across the region today and will hold through Friday before a return to cooler and perhaps even wetter weather over the weekend. Daytime high temperatures reached the 80′s on Tuesday at several locations on the central and northern Oregon coast which is quire rare for April, let alone July or August. Temperatures will continue in the 70′s and 80′s at the coast today, before cooling Thursday.

After reaching the mid and upper 70′s Tuesday, temperatures in the Willamette Valley and into SW Washington will reach 80-85 degrees today, falling just shy of most records for the day. The record warmest April high temperature at the Portland airport (1940-Current) is 90 degrees set on April 30th 1998. That record is likely to stand. However, on Thursday the ridge will anchor itself directly over the valley and many locations will challenge or exceed their daily record high temperatures for Thursday. The record high temperature at the Portland Airport for Thursday, May 1st is 85 degrees set back in 1998. Portland should easily eclipse that with a forecast high of 88 degrees. The record warmest May high temperature at the Portland airport (1940-Current) is 100 degrees set on May 28th 1983. Temperatures should ease back into the mid-70′s on Friday across the valley as the warmest weather shifts east of the cascades ahead of a cooler weather system on tap for the weekend. Get outside and enjoy our first mini heat wave of the season, as this is just a tease.

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger
Owner, Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants
Website: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml
E-mail: stevejpierce@comcast.net
Phone: 503-504-2075

 

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Make sure and “LIKE” our page at: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Record Setting Temperatures Today & Tomorrow Across Region
72384scalloped-sweet-potato-n-apple-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/paleo-in-a-pinch/2014/04/29/scalloped-sweet-potato-n-apple/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/11/image-300x300.jpg

With spring well under way and summer begging to come a bit early, it’s time to add a touch of sweet to our savory. Yes?

Yes, ma’am. Please and thank you.

We all have memories of scalloped potatoes — some better than others. Here’s a Paleo in a Pinch twist on a classic favorite.

I’ve layered sweet potatoes and apples, with a dash of rosemary and chives, binding together a perfect medley of sweet and savory. Add a few pats of grass-fed butter and you’ve got a healthy side dish that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

{Grass-fed butter is 100% Paleo approved. It’s made from grass-fed cows and simply delicious. You can find grass-fed butter at your local grocery store, in the natural refrigerated section. I usually buy Kerrygold and Organic Valley.}

SCALLOPED SWEET POTATO ‘N APPLE

GROCERY LIST (makes 6 side servings)

1 large sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
4 Tbsp grass-fed butter, divided
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp onion salt
pepper, to taste
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp chives

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS (prep time: 10 minutes, cook time: 50 minutes)

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a pie dish, layer thinly sliced sweet potatoes and top with 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, cut into small cubes. Sprinkle sweet potatoes with onion salt, rosemary and pepper, to taste.

3) Next, layer thinly sliced apples on top the sweet potatoes. Top sweet potatoes with remaining 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, cut into small cubes. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and chives to complement the apples.

4) Cover and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

From my kitchen to yours, adding a bit of sweet to your savory…. Enjoy!!

83665thorns-unveil-2013-nwsl-champions-banner-at-home-opener-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-thorns/2014/04/26/thorns-unveil-2013-nwsl-champions-banner-at-home-opener/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Portland_ThornsFC_Primary-150x150.jpg

Near the Portland Timbers Ring of Honor up above the General Admission area of Providence Park, The first Championship Banner to be hung in the city of Portland since the blazers won the NBA championship 35 years ago was revealed to the crowd at the rainy Thorns home Opener.

It’s cold and wet but the smiles and hugs were warm as the Thorns recognized the players then thanked the fans for their support during the inaugural 2013 NWSL season that saw the Thorns win the league championship largely due to its road form.

Roses were handed out and the Captain Christine Sinclair addressed the crowd before fireworks signaled the start of the new season.

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

83667thorns-game-thread-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-thorns/2014/04/26/thorns-game-thread/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/thorns-home-opener-14-v-KC-791x1024-355x460.jpg

 

Thorns game thread

 

This game can be watched live on youtube.

highlights will be available on the NWSL youtube page after the game.

The Thorns have started in a Diamond Midfield 4-4-2.

This image above is correct for the backline and the forwards but Angie Kerr has been playing on the left side of the diamond and Allie Long has been true to her jersey number, playing the “number 10″ attacking center midfield role in the space underneath the forwards.

Corner 10th minute:

long all from Allie long deep to the back post.  knocked back into the box near the penalty spot for Sinclair to challenge, but the foul was given.

Kansas City has come out in a 4-2-3-1 with Amy Rodriguez playing as the lone forward and Lauren Holiday playing underneath her.

Wings are Merritt Mathias on the right and Erika Tymrak on the left.

Holding mids are Jenna Richmond and Jen Buczkowski, and the back four is (let to right) Kassay Kallman, Nikki Phillips, Becky Sauerbrunn, Leigh Ann Robinson.

Nicole Barnhart is in goal.

18th minute, Amber Brooks pings a 45 yard ball wide to Niemiec who was on a run, she took a nice touch to bring it under control and maintain her momentum then whipped a cross into the area.  Sinclair challenged but its off the defender and out for a corner.

….  26th minute, for the last several minutes Kerr and Farrelly have switched sides.  Both seem comfortable on either side and switch as needed to either make a run or apply pressure.

27th,  Nadine Angerer brings the crowd to their feet for the second time tonight, moving high to her left to push a Lauren Holiday shot out for a corner.

Angerer will be a fan favorite in no time with fantastic saves made to look routine.

…..

number 25- Niemiec our new left back from LaSalle University has had a great game getting forward on this near sideline.  Several crosses into dangerous areas, that could lead to some better opportunities if the players can work out the timing.

42nd PK Allie Long draws a Penalty,  she took the ball to the end line and cut back, Jenna Richmond left a leg in on the tackle and Long went over it, then stepped up to convert the penalty

GOAL THORNS 1-0 JUST BEFORE HALF TIME

Just as that goal was being created I was getting ready to comment on the Thorns Backline.

Marshall and Menges have done a tremendous job keeping things tight and organized.  Amber Brooks has sat in front of those two and screened anyone from running at the center backs.  From there Moros and Niemiec have attached themselves and left very little in the way of gaps for Kansas City to exploit.

——–

SECOND HALF

2 minutes in Christine Sinclair is down after colliding heads during a header from a throw-in.  replay suggests contact as Amy Rodriguez tried to flick on the ball but managed to catch Sinclair int he face with the back/side of her head.

 

GOAL KANSAS CITY 1-1 PORTLAND THORNS

55th minute the thorns have conceded a Penalty kick.  Nikki Marshall took down Erika Tymrak in a perhaps silly challenge as Tymrak was not going toward goal.

Lauren Holiday stepped up and calmly placed the ball to the keepers right and the game is tied at 1-1

FREE KICK in the 63rd to be taken by Allie Long from wide of the 18 about 23 yards from the end line.  Most of the thorns team is gathered ad the back post. Good ball in but out of bounds for a goal kick.

First sub with 20 minutes to go,  Mana Shim enters the game for Angie Kerr.

With this it looks like Shim will play underneath the forwards as the attacking center mid and Allie Long will move to the left side of the diamond.

—-

88th minute Substitution at left back as Moros makes way for Sarah Huffman.  Have to assume this is a bit of an attacking substitution.  Will Huffman get forward on the left flank more than Moros has.  Most of the attacking width has been from niemiec on the right.

—-

Final sub in the 83rd minute as local Vancouver player Kat Tarr comes on for Amber Brooks who looks to have picked up a knock.  Kat listed as a defender has slotted in as the defensive midfielder and will provide some fresh legs at the back of the midfield and in front of the back four.

—-

83rd minute GOAL THORNS 2-1 JESSICA MCDONALD. 

assist from Allie Long on a ball from Christine Sinclair.

—–

Coach Paul riley is animated on the sidelines shouting instructions to tighten up defensively for the last 5 plus stoppage time.

——-

THORNS UP 3-1

87th minute and the thorns add a third, McDonald gets her second as she latches on the end of a long curling ball behind the Kansas City back line, from Mana Shim.

Barnhart had rushed out from the Kansas City goal to apply pressure but McDonald got there first and used her right foot to sneak the ball over the keeper and into the net.

———

FINAL WHISTLE BLOWS

Portland Thorns FC picks up 3 points on 3 goals in front of a home crowd of 14,120.

Allie Long opened the scoring after drawing a PK in the dying minutes of the first half.

Then Jessica McDonald added 2 more after Kansas City equalized on a PK from Lauren Holiday.

Final score 3-1.  Thorns find the goal but perhaps more impressively, this young back line held a dangers Kansas City team to 1 goal.

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

Thorns game thread
83671thorns-home-opener-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-thorns/2014/04/26/thorns-home-opener/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/800px-Prov-Park-13-600x450.jpg
Thorns Home Opener

Providence Park

The Portland Thorns return home this Saturday after pulling 4 points from their first two road games this season.  The home opener will be the first opportunity for new head coach Paul Riley and a number of new players to play in front of a Portland crowd that more than doubled the attendance of the nearest team in the league.  The pressure will be on the Thorns to produce the goods at home after winning  the NWSL Championship in its first season, largely on the back of their road performances.  The Thorns had a better record on the road than they did at home, but with that crowd behind them, Riley will be hoping to make Providence Park a fortress this year.

 

The Thorns will be without all three of their US National Team players.  Alex Morgan has been dealing with an ankle injury, causing her to miss most of the playoffs last year.  Rachel Van Hollebeke (Buehler) was injured in the opening minutes of the recent US Womens’ friendly against China.  And Tobin Heath remains in Europe with Paris Saint-Germain until their Champions League season ends.

 

Expected Lineup

In goal, playing her first Portland home game, will be FIFA World Female Player of the Year, Nadine Angerer.

In front of her will be a largely new back four, with only Nikki Marshall returning from last year, and playing as a Center Back instead of her the Outside Back Position she played last year.  She is joined in the Defense by newcomers Rebecca Moros, Courney Niemiec, and Emily Menges.

Sitting in front of the back line will be Defensive Midfielder Amber Brooks. Along with Allie Long, Sinead Farrelly and either Mana Shim or Angie Kerr.

Up top will be Christine Sinclair and Jessica MacDonald.  Most of Portland knows about “Sinc” but watch for Jessica MacDonald’s long throw in.  Our first goal of the season was on a throw in past the near post for Allie Long to get a head on

 

It will be interesting to see how the team fares with only 4 returning starters available for selection.  That said the crowd should be fantastic and the Riveters will be loud.

Thorns Home Opener

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

Thorns Home Opener
72856joey-the-lhasa-poo-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/pet-health-care-rescue-work/2014/04/25/joey-the-lhasa-poo/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Joey.jpg

Did you say treats? Who Wants a cookie? Joey does! A 2-year-old Lhasa poo mix, he can be a little shy at first, but give him a treat or two and he will be your best buddy. He is the perfect size for those in an apartment or I am sure he would love a yard if you got it. Joey is looking for a human to call his own. Go on down to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington and take this young boy, Joey home today.

Carole Bigwood

My name is Carole Bigwood I am an avid animal lover. Avid animal lover of all shapes and sizes. I am the one who breaks for a squirrel or stops to save a lost pet. Yep, I have a leash and treats on me at all times. I can't wait to share some great rescue stories and some need to know health and safety tips for pets. Some of you may have seen one of my fashion shows for rescues I have every year. For years now I have been designing fashions for pets at www.wildchildpetfashions.com. My runway models are from local rescues and a few special guest pets. Always striving to make them as cute as can be so they will find a family of their own. My reward is to learn how many found homes afterwards. We have some great rescues in the NW. Being raised around pets livestock and little critters has given me a challenge that is rewarding to say the least. My genuine love of animals, has given me a vast knowledge of everything pet related. While my focus will be pet health related and rescues in our area, I look forward to sharing stories and articles on health and rescues that may come in handy. Making a the world a safe place for animals and humans alike. Looking forward to sharing my stories with fellow animal lovers everywhere.

24379murder-mystery http://blogs.columbian.com/action-commentary/2014/04/17/murder-mystery/ /wp-content/uploads/2014/04/370-300x300.jpg

MURDER + MYSTERY BEFORE THE MASSES became addicted to television around the middle of the 20th Century, newspapers by and large announced the big stories of the day, i.e.: LINDBERGH FLIES THE ATLANTIC (1927); WALL STREET LAYS AN EGG (1929); BONNIE & CLYDE RIDDLED WITH BULLETS (1934); OAHU BOMBED BY JAPANESE PLANES (1941); NIXON & KENNEDY MEET FACE-TO-FACE ON TV (1960). Coincidentally, soap operas were one of the staples of TV. “The Young and The Restless” on CBS managed 1000 consecutive weeks in the No. 1 spot; “General Hospital” started running on ABC back in 1963. So maybe that’s why CNN now decorates its Special Reports like televised dramas. Updates on the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 are billed as the “Mystery of Flight 370.” Chapter 42 aired on April 17. During one installment, anchorwoman Ashleigh Banfield wondered out loud why she became angry about a twist in the official timeline without bothering to ask why CNN had rattled off the original press release in the first place. Even more disconcerting is the subliminal disinformation enunciated by some of the “guests” who populate their on-going panel discussions. A former FBI Director, for instance, made a point of disparaging photographs of debris taken from a Chinese satellite as if it matters which nation solves the puzzle. But then not even a psychic who was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer could come up with an explanation. About the only aspect of the story that they haven’t mentioned is an article in a British tabloid called “Sunday Sport” which claimed the plane soared to the moon… CLOSER TO HOME, Prosecutor Sue Baur vowed to bring John Wayne Thomson back to Washington to stand trial for murder even though the serial killer was formally sentenced to death in California last month and will likely be returned to Death Row in San Quentin even if he’s convicted in Cowlitz County. This on the heels of a denial by the Texas Board of Clemency for a posthumous exoneration of Todd Willingham who was executed 10 years ago after a controversial trial for homicidal arson in 1991. Perhaps it should irk me to see tax money beating dead horses — especially with Easter Sunday in sight. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s when the resurrection of an executed Christ is celebrated, depicted here by Hippolyte Flandrin, a 19th Century French artist. On the other hand, having their offspring unearth painted eggs in pet-friendly lawns is probably of more concern to most taxpayers.

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

MURDER + MYSTERY

The post MURDER + MYSTERY appeared first on Action Commentary.

95427grammar-hard-liners-18 http://blogs.columbian.com/mailbag/2014/04/16/grammar-hard-liners/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/grammar-letter1-793x1024-356x460.jpg

On slow mail days, journalists can often depend on grammar hard-liners to contribute a lecture or two to the newsroom inbox. Grammar isn’t always black and white, but some readers have strong opinions, or pet peeves, about how grammar should be handled.

Many of the letters come from English teachers who are on a mission to save the language from further erosion in our age of 140-character tweets and text message abbreviations.

While occasionally a blow to our journalist egos, we generally are grateful that there are people who meticulously read our articles and take the time to constructively critique any shortcomings.

But some of the letters aren’t so gentle, and some of the critiques aren’t based on facts.

That was the case earlier this week when I received a fat envelope addressed to me and another Columbian reporter, Patty Hastings.

Coincidentally, the letter’s author, Richard, didn’t spell my name correctly. My name is Paris Achen, not Paris Auchen.

Inside the envelope, there were two neatly typed letters each stapled to a different news article. According to the letter’s author, Patty and I were both guilty of using a singular noun with a plural pronoun.

Specifically, he took issue with the following sentence in my article: “Under law, a defendant is competent to stand trial if he or she is able to assist in their own defense.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Richard began, “A defendant (here at this point, one person, only one person appears in the reader’s mind’s eye) is competent to stand trial if he or she (still in the mind’s eye one person is cast) is able to assist in their …-What? Assist in “their” … defense? Who in the heck is the “their?”

He concluded his letter with: “But I bet your forte … is Latin plural nouns – right?”

No, but the Oxford Dictionaries website offers some guidance on noun and pronoun agreement. In fact, it’s not always necessary for a noun and pronoun to agree.

“It’s often important to use language which implicitly or explicitly includes both men and women, making no distinction between genders,” the website states. “This can be tricky when it comes to pronouns.”

“You can use ‘he or she,’ ‘his or her,’ etc. … This can work well, as long as you don’t have to keep repeating ‘he or she,’…etc., throughout a piece of writing.”

According to the website, an alternative is to “use the plural pronouns ‘they,’ ‘them,’ ‘their,’ etc., despite the fact that, technically, they are referring back to a singular noun.”

“Some people object to the use of plural pronouns in this type of situation on the grounds that it’s ungrammatical,” the website states. “In fact, the use of plural pronouns to refer back to a singular subject isn’t new: it represents a revival of a practice dating from the 16th century. It’s increasingly common in current English and is now widely accepted both in speech and writing.”

While Patty and I wish Richard had been a little nicer in his critiques, we were impressed with the clever titles he gave his letters: “One for all” and “Bare bones clues.”

Grammar hard-liners

Paris Achen

Paris Achen has been a journalist since 2001. As The Columbian's courts reporter, she writes about courts, criminal cases, civil disputes and social issues exhibited in the judicial system.

95430some-readers-impart-wisdom-18 http://blogs.columbian.com/mailbag/2014/04/14/some-readers-impart-wisdom/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Screen-Shot-2014-04-14-at-4.03.13-PM-600x368.png

For sure, most journalists in the newspaper business get, ah, love notes. They usually fall into two categories: Bad and really bad.

Such is life. Nowadays, they come by email, although on occasion they will come from the post office. Then there’s the phone message. Hey, here’s an example. Just another fan.

Lou Brancaccio

Editor of The Columbian.

Some readers impart wisdom
95433weve-got-mail-18 http://blogs.columbian.com/mailbag/2014/04/14/weve-got-mail/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/mailbox-snap.png

Lots of mail.

Yes, as a media organization we receive mountains of mail, or at least you could envision mountains if we hit the Print button every time something popped into our email inboxes or our phone voicemail boxes. Thankfully, we do not do this. We simply hit Reply or possibly, yes, Delete.

Some of the mail we get is very entertaining, some of it inane. Some of it can lead to reporting and good stories, photos and/or video, some of it can lead to deep sighs, eye-rolls and/or, on occasion, laughter.

It’s with this in mind we thought we’d create this blog to share some of our mail with you, and also provide answers when possible to questions that arise in your messages.

Our aim is to be both entertaining and helpful. Who knows, maybe you’ll even read this and send us, yes, more mail.

Of course, you’re also welcome to just leave a comment.

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng

We’ve got mail
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AS I REFLECTED on a KPTV transmission from Battle Ground, WA concerning a 36-year-old man who slashed his mother’s throat with a 12-inch butcher knife, I could only hope that PROJECT X arrives in the Portland-Vancouver market soon. Because I’ve had my fill of the televised gore adorned with pleasantries that passes for “local news” around here. The VOX MEDIA site, in case you haven’t heard, is supposed to be a revolutionary way of delivering the news. They also call it “exploratory journalism.” It was created by Ezra Klein (PIX).
KATU, meanwhile, indicated that a 20 year-old man surrendered to authorities after knifing an acquaintance to death in Montlake Terrace. The ABC affiliate also indicated that a manhunt was underway for a 30-something, knife-wielding male who mugged a woman in the parking lot of an athletic club near Milwaukie, OR. “We’ll cover topics that are important and meaningful in people’s lives and make them interesting as well,” the ex-Washington Post blogger explained. He maintains that traditional news outlets turn away from such information because it’s considered “spinach” and is consequently not very appetizing to TV viewers. KOIN TV later broadcast “Breaking News” about a standoff in Happy Valley where a man barricaded himself after stabbing somebody to death at a party. Mr. Klein promised to employ journalists who really know their beats. To do that, VOX will be “digitally native” and use technology plus a variety of formats to figure out the best way to communicate information. It will encompass everything from agriculture to zoolatry. “We want to create the single greatest resource available for people to understand the issues that are in the news,” he underscored. Reporters will be judged not based on whether they scoop the competition, but rather on how good of a job they do of sharing their understanding of the topic. KIRO TV, meanwhile, announced that police were looking for a gunman who put a bullet in a woman’s buttocks as she filled her tank with gasoline at a Seattle service station. Reactionary right-wingers are so jittery about its imminent debut that they’ve labeled the new venture “left-wing propaganda.” There’s no official launch date yet for VOX, but its vision is outlined in this LINK.

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

PROJECT X

The post PROJECT X appeared first on Action Commentary.

100222another-very-wet-march-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/weather/2014/03/29/another-very-wet-march/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Steve_Pierce_147-300x199.jpg

Well folks, you do not need me to tell you that it has been a wet March. In fact, three of our top ten wettest March’s on record at PDX have occurred in just the past few years. Portland is likely to get even more rainfall before midnight Monday night. Could we break the all-time wettest March on record at PDX (2012) before months end? I don’t think so, but it could be close if we get a heavy shower right over the airport. It has happened before. Just what you all wanted to hear, right? Here are the top 10 wettest March’s at PDX from 1940-2014. These stats are current through 3pm PT on Saturday:

Year / March Rainfall
2012 – 7.89″
1957 – 7.52″
1997 – 7.14″
2014 – 7.05″
1983 – 6.80″
1989 – 6.73″
2011 – 6.43″
1961 – 6.04″
2003 – 5.75″
1974 – 5.65″

Seattle just surpassed the 9″ mark for the month, which makes this March the wettest on record in Seattle, depending on where you measure it up there. It looks like showers will slowly taper off this weekend and we should start the week fairly dry before another round of rain later next week. No real signs of any warm or hot weather coming anytime soon. Looks like Oregon’s spring break ended on a very wet note. It sure started out nice last weekend. Washington starts their spring break on April 7th. Maybe we can squeeze some sunshine out of the sky by then?

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger
Owner, Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants
Website: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml
E-mail: stevejpierce@comcast.net
Phone: 503-504-2075

 

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Make sure and “LIKE” our page at: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Another Very Wet March
23751smoked-chicken-and-noodle-stir-fry http://blogs.columbian.com/everyday-eats/2014/03/23/smoked-chicken-and-noodle-stir-fry/ /wp-content/uploads/2014/03/image3-300x225.jpg

I’m a big fan of cooking too much food. I do it on purpose so that there will be leftovers that I can work with to create another meal. This scenario played itself out last night as I BBQ’d entirely to much chicken for the smoked chicken sandwiches we enjoyed.

I also happen to be a big fan of the show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Please don’t judge me, it’s a guilty pleasure. On a recent episode, Guy was at a place called in Portland. Besides Frank seeming like a really cool dude, his food looked awesome. Unfortunately, because I’m allergic to wheat, I can’t partake in Frank’s awesome noodles. Alas, I tried to replicate his chicken and noodle dish with my own BBQ twist using the already cooked chicken thighs from last night. As I sit here in the beautiful sun, I will say that Frank’s is probably better, but this one isn’t too shabby.

6 hickory smoked chicken thighs, diced and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 green bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch strips
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 cup diced pineapple
13 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 cup diced celery
1 Tbl shredded fresh ginger
1 Tbl chili garlic sauce
1/2 cup of your favorite teriyaki sauce
16 oz cooked noodles of you choice, I use gluten free rice noodles
2 Tbl sesame oil
1/3 cup peanut oil

One would typically build this meal in a wok, but because I’m not built to run a wok, I cooked it hot and fast in a stock pot. Begin by cooking your noodles while you’re chopping up your veggies. Once everything is chopped and ready to go and the noodles are drained and set aside, heat the oils on high in the same stock pot you boiled the noodles. Add your peppers and celery and toss quickly for a minutes, add your chopped chicken, cook for a little over a minute, add your garlic, ginger, chili-garlic sauce, pineapple and cabbage, toss all of this for another minute and finally add your noodles and teriyaki sauce. Bring this all together for a couple of minutes and enjoy.

Smoked Chicken And Noodle Stir Fry

Smoked Chicken And Noodle Stir Fry

This entire recipe from start to finish only took about 30 minutes to throw together so it’s great for a busy weeknight. Pre cook your chicken during your Sunday BBQ and you’ll be all set for this tasty and fresh one-pot dinner. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to cover it in plenty of Sriracha, because that stuff is awesome.

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

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This is a recipe passed along to the family from my mother in law Sue. I believe it’s a recipe her mom used to make her. This is easy to make and a huge hit with the family, it’s not gluten free so I abstain, but I hope you enjoy.

1 Prepared angel food cake (Or make one, your choice)
1 16 oz organic whipping cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract
2 Tbl sugar
8 oz peanut brittle, crushed up

Whip the whipping cream up, adding the sugar, vanilla and almond (I love the almond extract in whipping cream, it’s especially good in coffee) extracts. Crush up all of the peanut brittle with a rolling pin. Slice the angel food cake, cover it with the whipping cream and generously sprinkle with the peanut brittle.

I really wish I could’ve had this for dessert because I love all three of the main ingredients. I need to be on the hunt for a gluten free angel food cake, although I’m not sure if that’s really possible.

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

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Last year we went to the beach with a great group of our friends. One of them, we’ll call him Ty because that’s his name, is legendary for his seafood boil and he passed along all of his seafood boil techniques to us. And dang it, we’re VERY thankful for the spoils of this culinary education.

These are all of the ingredients that went into the boil:

3 Dungeoness Crab
6 Lemons
5 Lbs steamer clams
3 Jalapeños
1 Box Zatarain’s Crab Boil
5 Artichokes
3 Onions
3 Lbs Hot Links
8 Lbs Baby red potatoes
4 Lbs 31-40 Tail on shrimp
2 Lbs Wild lobster tails, peeled
4 Lbs 8-12 Scallops
6 Heads Garlic
8 Ears of corn, split in half
1 16 Oz can of Guiness Stout
1 Cup of salt
1 Cup Creole seasoning
1/2 Cup peppercorns
1/4 fennel seed
1/4 coriander
8 Bay leaves
2.5 Tbs Red pepper flake
1 Large cooking Vessel

Here’s the before photo:

The following is a little chart that Ty provided me to help give you the time frame for the seafood boil. Some of the ingredients that are listed may be different then what we used, but you get the idea. You certainly don’t want to add all of the ingredients at the same time, otherwise you’ll have some seriously mushy seafood.

Seafood Boil

Here’s a couple of photos of the boil being built and Ty with his fantastic stirring utensil that could also be useful if you lose your boat oar.

Seafood Boil

Seafood Boil

Seafood Boil

Seafood Boil

Seafood Boil

Seafood Boil

Seafood Boil

Seafood Boil

The final product with the group of 8 happy eaters and the aftermath:

Seafood Boil

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I've got to say my favorite part was the scallops, those things are amazing. But, I'm a little biased, scallops are one of my favorite things from the ocean.

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

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Yes indeed, it has been some time since I last posted. No excuses, but that bright and shining orb in the sky has lit my fire again. Today we’re going to talk BBQ’S because it’s the time of year to go out there and buy a new one. I hope you enjoy!

Since the weather is FINALLY turning, you need to find which BBQ grill is right for you. There are so, so many different types of grills for all different needs and desires when it comes to outdoor cooking. There’s the dreaded gas grill, which I will pretend doesn’t exist for the purposes of this list. Gas is for convenience, I get that, but with the right equipment, a good wood burning grill can do the same thing in virtually the same amount of time and with so much more flavor. I will also stay away from the pellet-fueled grills like the Traeger and all of the recent facsimiles that have come to market lately. I started on a Traeger, I’ve owned two of them and tied for 3rd place in pulled pork at a 26 team BBQ competition using one, so I’m kind of a Traeger trader, but I had an epiphany and became a BBQ purest and therefore will only use real wood to cook with.

Everyone is looking for a good product at a good price and I think a great starter grill is the CharGriller. This is the grill I use at home for the majority of what I cook. She ain’t pretty but she gets the job done:

Time To Choose A BBQ

I’ve seen the main grill part on sale for as low as $75, although usually you’ll find it for between $100-$125. The smoker box attachment, which you see on the right, is sold separately and comes in at about $60. The grill has cast iron cooking grates that are fantastic for cooking on once they’re seasoned and a dampering system that allows great control of heat for any type of cooking style, be it slow smoking or cranked up to grill a juicy ribeye. For the price, it’s really hard to beat the CharGriller for someone looking to grill and delve into the realm of slow smoked foods.

Another great BBQ, albeit more expensive at $429 at Lowe’s, is the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn. This bad boy is built with much thinker steel than the CharGriller and has over 1000 sq. in. of cooking space allowing you to put on one heck of a BBQ. This will actually be my next BBQ.

Time To Choose A BBQ

I’m also a big fan of the Big Green Egg. I’ve cooked the best chicken I’ve ever made on one of these ceramic bad boys and can’t say enough good things about them. The only downfalls are space and price, I believe the smaller version clocks in at around $700, spendy for sure. I’ve looked at the Green Eggs and a couple of other off brands and simply know that for the amount of cooking I do, space is a premium. Now in a perfect world, which someday I’ll live in, I’ll have numerous grills for whatever application is needed.

Time To Choose A BBQ

Last but not least, you can’t forget the classic Weber. I love these grills, I’ve got the smaller version that I travel with, and for the $89 price tag, they’re pretty hard to beat. The one thing I always caution folks on the Weber is if you want to get into smoking meats, pork butts, briskets, ribs, etc, you need to remember that the Weber will require you to offset all of your coals therefore cutting down on your cooking area significantly. But, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done and that you shouldn’t try it, because you should.

Time To Choose A BBQ

Once you’ve chosen which grill is right for you, remember this: JUST SAY NO TO LIGHTER FLUID. You will never, ever ever ever, use lighter fluid when stating your grill. Go to the store, get yourself a charcoal starter that looks like this:

Time To Choose A BBQ

And never look at the lighter fluid again. Yes, yes, I get it, it’s fun to shoot the fluid on the open flame like a gleeful redneck and watch the WOOSH as a glowing fireball of beauty erupts. BUT, you wouldn’t drink lighter fluid so why would you eat food that’s been cooked in it? A couple pieces of newspaper and you’ll have a roaring fire in about 10-12 minutes in a charcoal starter.

Now to the fuel you’ll use in your BBQ. I’m a big fan of real wood and my wood dealer in Portland is Wiley’s Cooking Woods. He’s got a small place off of Powell, but his woods are available in numerous locations, just check out his website for all of the details. You can also purchase bags of kiln dried smoking wood at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver.

I start my BBQ with real wood charcoal, no Kingsford or any of that other pressed charcoal. Whenever possible, use real wood charcoal to start the grill and then add your wood of choice for cooking.

I hope this has been a little help in your quest for BBQ supremacy and as always, if you have any other questions, please feel free to fire away and I’ll be happy to help. I know I’ve got to get to part 2 of the 10 dinner ideas, it’ll be up soon!!! Happy grilling and have a great week.

Will

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

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It’s officially springtime in the Pacific Northwest, which means our nonstop rain is gradually giving way to mostly nonstop rain. Plus, a fresh bounty of vegetables (and a few fruits) that thrive between March and May. You’re probably familiar with standbys like asparagus and radishes, but have you tried garlic scapes?

Garlic scapes are the flower stems produced by garlic plants before the bulbs mature. Their curly green stalks contain tightly closed bulbs; they sort of resemble a green bean with a lump on top. I had never seen one before last year, when a springtime visit to Pike Place Market in Seattle yielded several vendors selling them. Curious, I picked some up, not really sure what to do with them. My motto is when in doubt, saute. So I threw them in a frying pan with some olive oil and a dash of sea salt. The result? A tender, aromatic veggie with a mild garlic flavor and a slight hint of sweetness. Though the entire scape is edible, it is suggested you trim off the stems (much like you do with the rough bottom parts of asparagus) and the bulb portion, which scorches easily. We were so impressed we looked for them locally, and found vendors at both the Vancouver Farmer’s Market and the Portland Farmer’s Market (PSU) selling them. But the growing season is extremely short, so if you happen to spot garlic scapes, snatch them up quickly – they won’t be around for long!

Garlic scapes are most often used as a garnish similar to scallions (they would be wonderful atop a baked potato) or chopped into a salad, though they work well sauteed, stir-fried, grilled, pickled, or simmered in soup. Some people like them raw. I tried that, but be forewarned: the scape was much more bitter eaten that way, with a more intense flavor.

One of the more popular ways to prepare them is to make a homemade pesto sauce served atop pasta. Here’s a great recipe:

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a small, dry pan set over low heat, lightly toast the pine nuts, stirring or tossing occasionally until they just begin to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  2. Combine the scapes, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. Once the oil is incorporated, transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. Taste and season, as needed. Serve over 1 lb. cooked spaghetti or linguine.

Garlic scapes. (Image courtesy of agardenforthehome.com).

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Mark Petruska

Mark Petruska is a writer in love with the Pacific Northwest. A "foodie." A wannabe rock 'n roll star. A ghost hunter. An amateur photographer. An aficionado of thrift stores and cocktails and cheap matinees and farmer's markets. He believes in peace, love and happiness … and geoduck. His self-published novel, No Time For Kings, earned excellent reviews and is for sale on Amazon. Mark believes that life is too short for lame sitcoms and processed food. Follow his journey as he samples the varied cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, one bite at a time.

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This recipe is dedicated to my sweet and courageous nephew, Keaton.

There are days when a crockpot full of comfort food can bring peace to your soul and lift your spirits. I had one of those days recently. I felt a deep sadness and ended up in my kitchen, chopping away.

It was chili I was after; something warm and bright. I pulled out my crockpot and got to work; tossing in an assortment of veggies, ground beef and seasonings. I followed my mood, adding jalapeño to bring heat and a lime to brighten my day.

The result was a bowl full of goodness and just what we needed.

You see, my brave 5-year-old nephew Keaton, battled Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2009. Yes, you did the math right. He was an infant when diagnosed. He’s spent a good portion of his life in a hospital, undergoing chemotherapy and gearing up for a bone marrow transplant.

The cool thing is, bravery runs in our family. Keaton’s big brother, Blake, was a bone marrow match. Blake was 5-years-old at the time and eager to help his little brother. Both boys underwent surgery and miraculously Keaton’s body accepted Blake’s bone marrow.

Keaton has been in remission for nearly 5-years. Yet, just a few weeks ago, he came down with a fever and it became apparent that things weren’t quite right. On March 6th, Keaton was diagnosed with Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy and the search is on for another brave soul to be a bone marrow match.

As I sit here typing, staring out my window and watching the rain fall, my heart aches. It’s a desperate feeling, not being able to help someone you love.

Our hope is to find a brave soul to be a bone marrow match for Keaton.

Rainy Day Chili

If you’d like to know more about donating bone marrow, please visit http://bethematch.org/

RAINY DAY CHILI

GROCERY LIST (makes 8 servings)

(1) 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
(1) 14-ounce can of diced tomato
2 cups bone broth (I usually use chicken)
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, chopped (I use yellow)
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, minced (add seeds to the mix for more spice)
1 cup carrot, diced
2 cup celery, diced
2 lbs. ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 TBSP chili powder
1 lime, cut in half
avocado

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS (prep time: 15 minutes, cook time: 6-8 hours)

1) Pour tomato sauce, diced tomato and bone broth into a crockpot.

2) In a large frying pan, over medium heat, drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Sauté onion, garlic, peppers, jalapeño, carrot and celery over medium heat until onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.

Rainy Day Chili

3) Spoon veggies into crockpot.

Rainy Day Chili

4) In the same frying pan, brown beef, about 5 -7 minutes.

Rainy Day Chili

5) Add beef to crockpot and stir in remaining seasonings. Toss both lime halves into the mix. (Be sure to remove limes before serving)

Rainy Day Chili

6) Cover and cook on low, 6 – 8 hours.

7) To serve, remove and discard limes. Spoon chili into a large bowl and top with avocado.

Rainy Day Chili

From my kitchen, to yours…… giving thanks for all the brave souls.

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Well, hello there!! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?! You may remember a few months ago I struggled with some health issues. I was taken out by Vertigo and spent nearly a month in bed. I was so sick from the spins — similar to the morning after my 21st birthday… set on repeat, day after day. Ugh. I lost a good 5 pounds (mostly muscle) and landed myself in an ambulance headed for the Emergency Room after experiencing a very frightening Vasovagal response. (Funny thing; I talked to the medic about ‘Paleo in a Pinch’ the entire way to the hospital! He’s since gone Paleo and now follows my blog. LOVE it!)

After several doctor visits, my vertigo faded and I was left to pick up the pieces of my life that had literally spun out of control. My sweet husband was a solid rock for me, my kiddos hung tight and family and friends rallied around helping to meet our needs. I went through a period of anxiousness, not able to trust my bodies response and questioning my own reality. Being an active and energetic people-person, dealing with anxiety was extremely inconvenient. To say the least.

Thankfully, I have a medical doctor who respects my desire to combat things naturally. She led me down a path that included massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care. I joined a yoga wellness studio and learned how to breath again. (Who knew breathing was so important?!)

I’ve often wondered when I’d start writing again. (More often, I found myself wondering how I ever found the energy to write, cook and create Paleo in the first place?!) I had peace that my mojo would find me when the timing was right.

I must say, it’s great to be back. I adore writing and sharing my Paleo adventures with you. I’ve been so touched by those who have reached out and shared how ‘Paleo in a Pinch’ inspired them to tackle Whole30, dabble in Paleo or simply enjoy reading my blog. My mojo was mustered up by each and every one of you.

Thank YOU for inspiring ME to continue on with my passions for Paleo. I take great comfort knowing I have the best family, friends and fans a blogger could ever hope for. And with that, I leave you with a recipe full of ‘comfort’. Straight from my mama’s kitchen. A twist on her highly requested mashed potatoes. Who says Paleo is anti-comfort food?! Not me.

Loaded Mashed Faux-Tatoes

GROCERY LIST (makes 4 side servings)

4 cups cauliflower, broken into x-large pieces
2 TBSP grass-fed butter
2 thick strips of bacon, cut into one-inch pieces
1/4 cup chives or green onion, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS (cook time: 20 minutes)

1) Steam cauliflower until soft when pierced with a fork (about 10 – 15 minutes). I prefer mine al dente.

2) Meanwhile, in a small sauce pot (to prevent unnecessary bacon grease splatters), brown bacon pieces over medium-high heat (about 5 minutes). Strain bacon and set aside. Reserve bacon drippings for later use (great for frying eggs or sautéing vegetables).

Learning To Breathe with a side of Loaded Mashed Faux-Tatoes

3) Place steamed cauliflower in a food processor (or an electric mixer). Add butter and processes until smooth. My fam prefers bits of faux-potato chunks, so don’t be afraid to under-process.

Learning To Breathe with a side of Loaded Mashed Faux-Tatoes

4) Remove faux-potatoes from food processor and place in a large bowl. Stir in cooked bacon, chives and/or green onion, adding salt and pepper to taste.

From my kitchen, to yours…. learning to breath, finding comfort and rolling with it!!

For even more Paleo in a Pinch, please check out the following…
www.paleoinapinch.com
FaceBook
Instagram
Twitter

72398cultured-caveman-in-pdx-5 http://blogs.columbian.com/paleo-in-a-pinch/2014/03/10/cultured-caveman-in-pdx/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/11/image-300x300.jpg

Pretty pumped to finally try Cultured Caveman’s Food Cart on Alberta St. in PDX. Grass-fed beef chili (Paleo, no beans) and bacon wrapped dates for lunch on the go?! Yes, please!!

Chili (medium sized) – $8.00
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds – 3 for $2.00

Cultured Caveman
1477 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR
(401) 300-4765

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YOUR NEWS STARTS RIGHT NOW.
We took the southbound AMTRAK “Cascades” from Portland, OR at 2:25 p.m. Feb. 22. During the voyage, we were subjected to a continuous blast of frigid air blowing out of the vents in our “bedroom.” The lighting didn’t dim, either. At supper time we went to the Dining Car and ordered a pair of well-done sirloin steaks. They served us two medium-rare ones. Afterward, my spouse was unable to climb onto the upper bunk so she put the mattress on the floor. The blankets were so thin that we slept with our coats on. Train 11 duly arrived at Sacramento’s pigeon-infested City Station the next day at 10:15 a.m., whereupon we began a four-hour wait for a bus to Stateline, NV. An article in The Bee stated that over 300 Californians have died from the H1 N1 flu virus this year … HARRAH’S assigned us a room with four burned-out light bulbs and crud underneath the sofa. The food, however, was much better than what we had on the railroad: Fatburgers, Fat Fries and Flame-Cooked Tacos at Cabo Wabo. Thanks to Gilchrist & Soames, we were treated to a pouch containing amenities like Round Aloe-Pleat Wrap Soap plus some BeeKind Shampoo, which is free of petrol-derived ingredients. We celebrated Sunday Mass at St. Theresa de Lisieux Parish where the Rev. Benedict de Leon delivered a rather intellectually challenging sermon: “I say to you, Love Your Enemies and Pray for Those Who Persecute You.” As always, Lake Tahoe was fabulous and captivating. We also went to see “Son of God” at the moribund Horizon Casino & Resort. The tab for seven days came to $1111. One night was interrupted by a bloody fistfight down the hall. Two paramedics, three security guards and four deputies responded. One said the incident wasn’t newsworthy. The headline in the Reno Gazette-Journal on Feb. 27 proclaimed: NEVADA FINALIST FOR TESLA PLANT; $5 BILLION PROJECT COULD BRING 6500 JOBS… HOW WAS YOUR STAY? WINTER STORM “TITAN” delayed our return trip to The Couve, causing us to catch a cold. Luckily, chest X-rays proved negative. We wound up staying three nights. We took in Old Sacramento and Westfield Downtown Plaza. We also visited the exquisite Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, built in 1889. When we were there, a group of anti-government Venezuelans unfurled their flag in front of the Main Entrance. When we finally got a cabin it was scheduled for a 12:15 a.m. departure. Governors Inn offered us a “half-day” for $35 but it really amounted to three hours because unless you check out by 2 p.m., they charge a full day… The San Francisco Chronicle’s “Sporting Green” ran an exclusive interview with Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin on March 4. He isn’t worried about high-payroll free agents, like Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners… PLEASE SHARE YOUR IDEAS FOR IMPROVED SERVICE.

Marc Kovacs

STUDIED MASS COMMUNICATIONS > > > Some people recycle newsprint. I reprocess cyberdata.

HOW WAS YOUR STAY?

The post HOW WAS YOUR STAY? appeared first on Action Commentary.

72698its-fat-tuesday-looking-for-a-new-orleans-fix-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/morel-the-merrier/2014/03/04/its-fat-tuesday-looking-for-a-new-orleans-fix/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/12/gumbo-1024x577-600x338.jpg

Today is Fat Tuesday, which may mean nothing to you unless you’re an expat from The Big Easy. But this blog celebrates regional cuisine, and nothing is more regional than New Orleans during Mardi Gras. So this week we’re taking a 2,500 mile journey to Louisiana – from the comfort of our own kitchens.

If you’re in the mood for authentic Southern food, there are some really good local restaurants that deliver the goods. Miss Delta (3950 N. Mississippi) is a standout, with everything from great hush puppies and crisp fried chicken to an authentic crawfish-based étouffée. (Half the fun is in sucking the meat from the heads. Trust me on this). Side dishes like collard greens are laden with flavor – and don’t miss out on a refreshing Hurricane! Screen Door (2337 E. Burnside) is known for their humongous (and delicious) chicken and waffles, stacked high and held in place with a knife. They’ve also got really good cheese grits, and serve their Bloody Marys with pickled okra. Other hot spots to get your Southern fix on include Bernie’s Southern Bistro, Acadia, and My Brother’s Crawfish. Here in Vancouver your options are more limited, but Lapellah (2520 Columbia House Blvd. # 108) has a New Orleans BBQ shrimp appetizer and house made gumbo shows up on the menu occasionally.

But really, if you’re craving gumbo, why not make a pot yourself? It does require a bit of work and finesse, but in the end, is worth it. Few dishes are more appealing than a bowl of hot and hearty gumbo on a cool and rainy day in the Pacific Northwest. And once you’ve mastered the roux, the rest is surprisingly easy!

Roux is simply an equal-parts mixture of flour and fat. You can use butter or lard, but I find oil is easiest. Combine the two and stir, stir, stir. For the next hour, at least. You’ll want to start out on medium high heat and then, once it begins to darken, lower that to medium. Stir constantly, until it reaches the color of an old copper penny (for an authentic Creole gumbo) or at least a dark peanut butter, especially if your arm is in danger of falling off.

There are many gumbo recipes out there. I’m partial to Donald Link’s version, though instead of seafood I stick with chicken and andouille sausage. Either one will work. The whole process takes a good four hours or more from start to finish, so plan accordingly and don’t let this intimidate you. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with a rich, hearty and delicious gumbo that will impress anybody who has ever set foot in the French Quarter.

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Mark Petruska

Mark Petruska is a writer in love with the Pacific Northwest. A "foodie." A wannabe rock 'n roll star. A ghost hunter. An amateur photographer. An aficionado of thrift stores and cocktails and cheap matinees and farmer's markets. He believes in peace, love and happiness … and geoduck. His self-published novel, No Time For Kings, earned excellent reviews and is for sale on Amazon. Mark believes that life is too short for lame sitcoms and processed food. Follow his journey as he samples the varied cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, one bite at a time.

74694spaghetti-squash-casserole-5 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthy-eats/2014/02/24/spaghetti-squash-casserole/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/03/spaghetti-squash-casserole_279x200.jpg

Did you know…
Spaghetti Squash, when cooked, shreds like ribbons or strands, like spaghetti.
Spaghetti Squash contains many nutrients including folic acid, vitamin A and beta carotene.
Spaghetti Squash averages 42 calories per cup.
Spaghetti Squash seeds can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds.  A great low-carb, nutricious snack.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ingredients
Cooking spray
1-5 pound spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 links Italian Chicken Sausage (about 3 ounces each), diced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups skim milk
½ cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Fill baking pan with 1 inch of water. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Lay squash cut side down in the pan and roast for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the roasted squash from the skin. Discard skin and any seeds and place into a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Coat another baking pan (9×9) with cooking spray. Set aside.
  5. While squash is roasting, add olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Sauté chicken sausage until beginning to brown.
  6. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are softened and all liquid is evaporated.
  7. Sprinkle flour over the mushroom and sausage mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. Add milk and whisk vigorously, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese and stir to melt. Stir in salt, pepper and basil.
  10. Pour sauce over the cooked spaghetti squash and mix to incorporate.
  11. Pour into prepared baking dish, top with remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and casserole is bubbly and brown around the edges.
  12. Cut into 9 even squares.

This recipe and many more can be found here.

American Diabetes Association- Oregon/SW Washington

The American Diabetes Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. www.diabetes.org 1-800-DIABETES

100225historic-february-arctic-blast-recap-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/weather/2014/02/10/historic-february-arctic-blast-recap/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Steve_Pierce_125-300x199.jpg

 

As the big thaw continues, the winter of 2013/14 will go down in the record books after three unprecedented February snow and ice storms in just five days blanketed the region. As of Monday morning, the Portland International Airport has received more than 7″ of snowfall for the month of February. This now qualifies as the most February snowfall at the Portland airport in 25 years when more than 8″ fell in the month of February 1989. With more than half of the month yet to go, there is the possibility of adding more snowfall to the record books. Last fall we mentioned that, “anything goes” in a La Nada winter, where neither El Nino or La Nina are present. We also expected, “large swings in month-to-month and even week-to-week weather.” Once again, mother nature has not disappointed this winter. This winter has also featured two arctic blasts in the same winter, which is the first such occurrence since the winter of 1990/91 when two arctic blasts hit the Pacific Northwest in the month of December. Equally impressive are the following storm stats —

* The high temperature of 23 degrees at the Portland International Airport last Thursday was the coldest day of any month of the year since January 30th 1996 (18 years ago) when the high temperature reached 23 at the Portland International Airport.

* The high temperature of 23 degrees at the Portland International Airport last Thursday was the coldest day on record this late in the winter season at the Portland International Airport. Records date back to 1940 (74 years) at the airport.

* The high temperature of 23 degrees at the Portland International Airport last Thursday was the coldest day this late in the winter season in 81 years in Portland when looking even further back to records pre-dating the airport. The last time an equal or colder high temperature was recorded this late in the season in Portland was a 23 degree high temperature recorded back on February 9th 1933 in downtown Portland. Records date back more than 143 years in downtown (1871).

So, How Did This Happen?

“Arctic air from the north and Pacific moisture from the west came together directly over Oregon and dumped quite a bit of snow over the region. This continues the pattern of significant winter snowstorms every five or so years in Portland. The winters of 1998/99, 2003/04, 2008/09 and 2013/14 all saw significant arctic outbreaks and/or snow at low elevations. This winter did not disappoint. The historical average snowfall at the Portland Airport for the entire winter is approximately 6″ and this includes many winters where no snow falls at all. There is a trend for several winters with almost no snow, then a big snowfall, then no snow for a few more winters. Rinse and repeat every five or so years. This past week was a classic example of nearly the perfect snowfall setup for Portland / Vancouver and the Willamette Valley. Cold arctic air swept down from Canada, followed by several Pacific storms sliding over top of the cold air. Cold air is heavy, dense and extremely hard to displace as long as the center of these storms continued to stay south of Portland, as they did. This allowed cold easterly low level winds to blow from the east transporting additional cold and dry air into NW Oregon and SW Washington. This was somewhat similar in nature to the Christmas snowstorms of December 2008.”

Preliminary Snowfall and Ice Totals From All Three Storms

Special thanks to the great staff at the Portland office of the National Weather Service for these storm stats. The following are totals for all three storms, beginning last week. The official Portland total (taken at the forecast office on NE 122nd Ave) is listed below (7.3″):

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
840 AM PST MON FEB 10 2014

LISTED BELOW ARE THE PRELIMINARY STORM TOTAL SNOW AND ICE REPORTS
RECEIVED FROM THURSDAY…FEB 6 THROUGH SUNDAY…FEB 9.

LOCATION SNOW (IN)
————————————–

…COAST…

NECANICUM,OR……………10.0
WHEELER,OR……………..9.0
MANZANITA,OR……………8.0
ROCKAWAY BEACH,OR……….7.0
NEHALEM 4NE, OR…………7.0
ALSEA,OR……………….6.0
TOKELAND 5NW, WA………..5.0
TILLAMOOK,OR……………4.0
WALDPORT,OR…………….3.5
PACIFIC CITY,OR…………3.5
YACHATS,OR……………..2.0
WARRENTON,OR……………2.0
NEWPORT,OR……………..2.0
ASTORIA 12E, OR…………2.0

…COAST RANGE…

MARYS PEAK ,OR………….14.0
VERNONIA,OR…………….13.0
SADDLE MOUNTAIN, OR……..13.0
WILSON RIVER SUMMIT,OR…..11.0
BLODGETT,OR…………….11.0
SUNSET SUMMIT,OR………..10.0
MANNING,OR……………..9.5
MILLER WOODS, OR………..9.0
GRAND RONDE, OR…………9.0
BANKS,OR……………….5.5
HASKINS DAM, OR…………4.0
SWISS HOME,OR…………..2.5

…INLAND VALLEYS…
MONROE 6NW, OR………….16.0
CORVALLIS, OR…………..15.0
PHILOMATH, OR…………..15.0
ALBANY, OR……………..15.0
SCIO, OR……………….13.0
STAYTON, OR…………….12.0
DALLAS, OR……………..12.0
SALEM 3NW, OR…………..12.0
GASTON, OR……………..12.0
RIDGEFIELD,WA…………..12.0
ST. HELENS,OR…………..10.0
INDEPENDENCE,OR…………10.0
CLATSKANIE,OR…………..10.0
ALBANY,OR………………10.0
COLUMBIA CITY, OR……….10.0
FOREST GROVE,OR…………9.0-10.0
WASHOUGAL,WA……………9.0
STAYTON,OR……………..9.0
ALBANY,OR………………9.0
CLATSKANIE, OR………….9.0
LACOMB 3NNE, OR…………9.0
SHERIDAN 5NW, OR………..9.0
MONROE,OR………………8.8
SCAPPOOSE,OR……………8.5
VANCOUVER, WA…………..8.0
MT. ANGEL, OR…………..8.0
SALMON CREEK,WA…………8.0-10.0
PORTLAND,OR…………….5.0-8.0
SCIO,OR………………..7.5
PORTLAND NWS OFFICE……..7.3
LEBANNON,OR…………….7.2
BATTLE GROUND,WA………..7.0
TROUTDALE 5E, OR………..7.0
WOODLAND,WA…………….7.0
EUGENE,OR………………7.0
4SW GASTON,OR…………..7.0
8 MI SSW MONMOUTH,OR…….7.0
HALSEY,OR………………7.0
KALAMA,WA………………6.25
CANBY,OR……………….6.0
DALLAS,OR………………6.0
GRESHAM,OR……………..6.0
TURNER,OR………………6.0
SALEM,OR……………….6.0
HILLSBORO,OR……………6.0
LONGVIEW,WA…………….6.0
KEIZER,OR………………6.0
OREGON CITY,OR………….5.5
TIGARD,OR………………5.5
CORNELIUS,OR……………5.5
MCMINNVILLE,OR………….5.0
YAMHILL,OR……………..5.0
KELSO, WA………………5.0
ARIEL, WA………………5.0
MOLALLA 7NE, OR…………4.0
GRAYS RIVER, WA…………1.0

…FOOTHILLS…

MARION FORKS,OR…………19.0
DETROIT,OR……………..14.0
SANDY,OR……………….6.0
RHODODENDRON, OR………..6.0

…CASCADES…

WILLAMETTE PASS EAST,OR….22.0
TIMBERLINE,OR…………..16.0
MT HOOD MEADOWS,OR………17.0
GOVERNMENT CAMP,OR………16.0
SANTIAM PASSS,OR………..14.0
BELKNAP SPRINGS,OR………10.0
BENNETT PASS,OR…………10.0
WHITE PASS,OR…………..10.0
HOODOO BUTTE,OR…………7.0

…GORGE…
HOOD RIVER,OR…………..10.0-12.0
CASCADE LOCKS,OR………..8.0
BONNEVILLE DAM, OR………6.0

…UPPER HOOD RIVER VALLEY…

PARKDALE,OR…………….21.0

….ICE ACCUMULATIONS FROM FREEZING RAIN……….

LOCATION ICE (IN) DURATION REPORT TIME
———————————————————————

…COAST…

NEWPORT,OR……………..0.25

…COAST RANGE…

BLODGETT,OR…………….0.5

…INLAND VALLEYS…

EUGENE,OR………………0.5
SWEET HOME,OR…………..0.5
LEBANON,OR……………..0.5
FAIRVIEW,OR…………….0.4
1 ENE GRESHAM,OR………..0.3
EUGENE,OR………………0.3
GRESHAM,OR……………..0.25
DALLAS,OR………………0.25
EUGENE,OR………………0.25
SALEM,OR……………….0.25
4NW PHILOMATH,OR………..0.25
CAMAS,WA……………….0.25
1 SSW PORTLAND AIRPORT,OR..0.25
BATTLE GROUND,WA………..0.25
CLACKAMAS,OR……………0.25
PLEASANT HILL,OR………..0.2
CLACKAMAS,OR……………0.1
LEBANON,OR……………..0.2
CORVALLIS,OR……………0.15
CAMAS,WA……………….0.1
LEBANON,OR……………..0.1
HAPPY VALLEY,OR…………0.1
PORTLAND,OR…………….0.1

…FOOTHILLS…

PLEASANT HILL,OR………..0.20
SANDY,OR……………….0.05

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger
Owner, Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants
Website: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml
E-mail: stevejpierce@comcast.net
Phone: 503-504-2075

 

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Make sure and “LIKE” our page at: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Historic February Arctic Blast Recap
100228arctic-blast-this-week-snow-possible-next-weekend-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/weather/2014/02/02/arctic-blast-this-week-snow-possible-next-weekend/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Steve_Pierce_125-300x199.jpg

The groundhog says six more weeks of winter and mother nature is going to deliver. Computer model guidance is now locked in on a solution that will bring a rare February arctic blast to the Pacific Northwest beginning Tuesday and lasting throughout the week. By next weekend, there is the potential for an area wide snow and/or freezing rain event. Be prepared for a marked change to much colder weather across the region this week.

A very cold system originating in the arctic will sweep across the region Tuesday. In the wake of this, temperatures will fall during day with cold easterly wind developing, especially near the Portland metro area and the Columbia River gorge. A reinforcing shot of even colder air is set to invade the area on Wednesday. Once this second shot of cold air is in place, daytime high temperatures will struggle to get above freezing up and down the I-5 corridor. Overnight low temperatures will drop into the teens at many western valley locations. The deep freeze will also include locations along the northern and central Oregon coast. This would be the second such arctic event of the season, which is rare by Pacific Northwest standards. This type of pattern is also rare for February and only a few have occurred in the past 25 years, most notably February 1989 and February 1996. The last event which occurred in early December set overnight low temperature records at many locations across the Pacific Northwest including some all-time records for any month of the year.

Next weekend a warmer and wetter system will approach the area from the Pacific. As warmer moist air from the Pacific overrides the cold air trapped at the surface, snow will likely be the result at first, followed by a transition to freezing rain as the cold air above is eroded away from the top down. Areas near the Portland metro area and Columbia River Gorge will be the last area to transition out of the cold air as easterly low level flow will continue as the system approaches. The exact details of next weekends potential snow and freezing rain are yet to come into focus and future model run variations are likely. Updates will be forthcoming this week.

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger
Owner, Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants
Website: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml
E-mail: stevejpierce@comcast.net
Phone: 503-504-2075

 

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Make sure and “LIKE” our page at: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Arctic Blast This Week, Snow Possible Next Weekend
100231much-colder-weather-next-week-likely-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/weather/2014/01/31/much-colder-weather-next-week-likely/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Steve_Pierce_153-300x200.jpg

Groundhog or no groundhog, mother nature appears poised to let the Pacific Northwest know that winter is not over just yet!

Confidence is increasing in computer model guidance closing in on a solution that has the potential to bring much colder weather across the entire Pacific Northwest next week. If models verify, this would be the coldest air since the arctic blast of early December.

A very cold system originating in the arctic is forecast set to sweep across the region as early as Tuesday night. In the wake of this, temperatures will fall with easterly wind developing especially near the Portland metro area and points east into the Columbia River gorge.

This will help to transport even colder air from east of the cascades into the Willamette Valley. If current models trends continue, daytime high temperatures could struggle to get above freezing, with overnight lows dropping well below freezing across the entire Pacific Northwest, including the coast.

This would be the second such arctic event of the season, which is rare by Pacific Northwest standards. This type of pattern is also rare for February and only a few have occurred in the past 25 years, most notably February 1989 and February 1996. The last event which occurred in early December set overnight low temperature records at many locations across the Pacific Northwest including some all-time records for any month of the year. This has the potential to be a hard freeze across all locations, including the coast.

If forecast model trends continue, expect temperature departures as much as 10-15 degrees below normal at many locations. This information will be updated as needed. There is still uncertainty with regards to how much, if any, precipitation will be available once the cold air is in place and exactly how cold this system will be. Future adjustments are likely to the current modeling and clients are advised to stay tuned for later updates as the evolution of this potential set up becomes more definitive.

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger
Owner, Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants
Website: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml
E-mail: stevejpierce@comcast.net
Phone: 503-504-2075

 

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Make sure and “LIKE” our page at: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Much Colder Weather Next Week Likely
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Up until a year ago, I never liked oysters much.

I thought of them as slimy, and the idea of ingesting something raw – not just raw, but still alive – was too much to bear. Sure, you can deep fry them, and pretty much anything tastes good coming out of the fryer. But why bother with oysters, when you can have chicken instead? That was the philosophy I clung to for the first several decades of my life.

And then, a funny thing happened. We were killing time before a show at Mississippi Studios last spring. We’d parked ourselves at Interurban, a great little bar down the street with a private patio that boasts outdoor seating. A perfect oasis smack dab in the middle of the trendy Mississippi neighborhood. Our cocktails were tasty, and we were yearning for an appetizer. Something simple and light. For reasons still unbeknownst, I asked for a couple of oysters on the half shell. They seemed a good deal at $1.50 each, despite the fact that neither I nor my wife liked oysters.

“Why’d you do that?” she asked.
“I have no idea,” I answered.

But there was no turning back now, no choice but to embrace this sudden adventurousness that had taken over mind, body and spirit. A few minutes later our oysters arrived tucked into their shells on a bed of ice, accompanied by a mignonette – a simple concoction of vinegar, shallots, and cracked black pepper. We weren’t even sure what to do with everything, but figured out we should squirt lemon juice over the oysters, top them with a little bit of the mignonette, and swallow in one fell swoop, trying not to think about what we were sending plunging down our throats.

“Cheers,” we said, and clinked our oyster shells together before tilting our heads back and swallowing.

To our utter amazement, the oysters were delicious. So good that we ordered a couple more. So good that we started ordering oysters on the half shell anytime we’re at a restaurant or bar that serves them. So good that we have since bought raw oysters, shucked them ourselves, and made a mignonette so we could enjoy them at home. So good that we gravitated toward oyster shooters next. Served in a shot glass and liberally doused with cocktail sauce, these are meant to be slurped down whole in one single swallow, much as you’d do with a good alcohol shot. So good that we have become oyster snobs, preferring Pacific oysters – which tend to be small, sweet and creamy – over the larger, milder and meatier Atlantic varieties. You can usually tell them apart just by looking at the shells. Atlantic oysters have smooth and deep shells, while Pacific oysters have rough, jagged shells that must be removed carefully if you’d like to avoid the sight of blood.

So good that we have a favorite oyster variety: the Pickering Passage oyster, grown in the Puget Sound. Their taste is described as follows: “Their flavor begins with a mild saltiness, followed by what’s generally a full sweetness, and finishing with the fruity aftertaste common to pacific oysters.” Yum! Sometimes describing oysters is like talking about wine varietals. Other oyster favorites include the highly-prized Kumamotos, which are sweet, creamy – almost buttery – and have a cucumber-like finish; Olympia oysters, the only species native to Washington, with a sweet and unmistakably metallic celery salt flavor; and Pacific oysters, larger than most West Coast varieties, with a sweet and rich taste that reminds one of melons. When it comes to raw oysters, you’d be surprised at the subtle differences in flavor each variety has. Half the fun is in exploring. Pequids and Willapa Bay oysters are salty, Hog Island and Nootka Sounds are sweet, and Westcott Bay Flats are refined.

Finding oysters in Vancouver can be a challenge, but McGrath’s Fish House features an oyster bar  where you can order them on the half shell, as shooters, char grilled, and pan fried. It’s much less of a challenge in Portland, where places like Jake’s Famous Crawfish, Southpark Seafood, and Block and Tackle regularly feature them. But the best spot of all is probably Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, the oldest family owned restaurant in the Rose City. They’ve been shucking oysters since 1907, and are still going strong!

Our first oyster experience. Served on the half shell with mignonette at Interurban.

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Mark Petruska

Mark Petruska is a writer in love with the Pacific Northwest. A "foodie." A wannabe rock 'n roll star. A ghost hunter. An amateur photographer. An aficionado of thrift stores and cocktails and cheap matinees and farmer's markets. He believes in peace, love and happiness … and geoduck. His self-published novel, No Time For Kings, earned excellent reviews and is for sale on Amazon. Mark believes that life is too short for lame sitcoms and processed food. Follow his journey as he samples the varied cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, one bite at a time.

83676will-a-ballon-dor-winner-ever-play-in-portland-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-thorns/2014/01/27/will-a-ballon-dor-winner-ever-play-in-portland/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/nadine-angerer-fifa-600x336.jpg

Will a Ballon D’Or Winner ever play in Portland?

An idol thought I’ve indulged a few times since the moment the Timbers announced they’d reacquired top flight status a few years ago.  But in any of those MLS based daydreams, the timeframe was always at least 20 years from now.  Will a Ballon D’or winner ever play in Portland?

With the formation of the Thorns, and the acquisition of Alex Morgan, they picked up a player who had been in the Final 3 for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2012 (note: The women’s award is not called the Ballon D’Or).  Perhaps she would be the first.

This year both Morgan, and fellow Thorn Christine Sinclair made the shortlist of the final 10 candidates, but were not part of the top 3.  Thus the answer to my musing seemed settled on “not this year.”

Then on Monday the 13th the news broke that the Portland Thorns had signed German National team Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer just hours before she would be honored as this years FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.  In a single moment the answer was Yes and I was left a little stunned.

For the 2014 NWSL season, The FIFA Women’s World Player of the year will be playing in front of Portland’s 13,000+ fans of women’s soccer.

New Thorns Head Coach Paul Riley spoke of the qualities that made Portland go after her.

It may not be a quality often attributed to keepers, but Angerer is really good with her feet and quick off her line, Riley said. That quality will enable the Thorns to conserve their back line and allow their defense to play higher up than they did in 2013.

“I think Nadine’s feet will be critical for us,” Riley said. “We want to be knocking the ball around in the other half. We want our fullbacks to be really high. Most of the time we’ll defend with two players and other than that we’ll be flying everyone forward.”

In short it seems like we can expect to see a Thorns goalkeeper take her own goal kicks in 2014.

So Many changes and its only been a couple months since the season ended with the Thorns raising their first trophy.  In the next week or so we will walk through the changes at the Thorns this offseason.

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

Will a Ballon D’Or Winner ever play in Portland?
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Sweet potatoes are packed full of good nutrition providing a good source of vitamin A, fiber an vitamin C.  Adults and kids will love these “Sweet” Potato Fries.The perfect pairing for your Friday night hamburger! Sweet potatoes don’t just belong during the Thanksgiving holiday!

Ingredients

Cooking spray
2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup Splenda® Brown Sugar Blend

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Place potatoes in a bowl and add oil; toss to coat.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

This recipe is gluten-free.  Happy Eating!

For more great diabetes-friendly recipes, visit MyFoodAdvisor.

 

American Diabetes Association- Oregon/SW Washington

The American Diabetes Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. www.diabetes.org 1-800-DIABETES

20157bacon-is-makin-menus-everywhere http://blogs.columbian.com/morel-the-merrier/2014/01/11/bacon-is-makin-menus-everywhere/ /wp-content/uploads/2014/01/addicting-bacon-jam-300x200.jpg

You might have noticed that our region is obsessed with bacon.

I blame it all on a little doughnut shop called Voodoo. They were the first to combine swine with pastry, and the Bacon Maple Bar has been a smash success ever since. Then Bunk Sandwiches came out with a Pork Belly Cubano, and the food world took notice of that. Suddenly, bacon was everywhere. Dipped in chocolate. Deep fried. Even baked. As a kid, I was lucky to get bacon bits in my salad. Now, I can’t even order a Bloody Mary without a strip of bacon poking out of the top of the glass.

Mind you, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s just an observation.

We were visiting family in Nevada for New Year’s, and decided to make a “Portland-style” Bloody Mary bar, a do-it-yourself affair that included crispy strips of bacon. If you want a good laugh, try serving a cowboy in Ely an alcoholic beverage with a piece of bacon dangling over the rim. I got a look like I was nuts for dreaming up such a concoction. “It’s all the rage!”  did nothing to soothe his feathers, either.

The latest bacon makin’ obsession around here? Bacon jam. This concoction is sweet, savory, and smoky, and tastes great spread across a slice of bread. I had it atop a burger once in Everett, WA. Last night my wife and I went out to dinner at Tasty ‘N Sons on N. Williams in Portland, and bacon jam found its way into our meal not once, but twice: atop her thick-cut pork chop, and accompanying the wild mushroom bread pudding we shared. It enhanced both dishes and helped bring out the flavors.

Bacon is Makin’ Menus Everywhere

Bacon jam: it’s what’s for dinner. (Courtesy of fatandhappyblog.com).

I can only imagine what the Ely cowboy would think about that.

If you’re fretting over the dietary implications of too much bacon, just talk to Pearl Cantrell of Abilene, Texas. She celebrated her 105th birthday last May, and made national headlines when she attributed her longevity to a daily dose of bacon. “I love bacon. I eat it every day,” the centenarian told news reporters. When Oscar Meyer got wind of this, they sent her – what else? Free bacon. And took her for a ride in the famous Weinermobile.

So rather than scoff over the fall of (north)western civilization and worry about too much bacon, embrace it. One day Oscar Meyer might come knocking on your door!

Mark Petruska

Mark Petruska is a writer in love with the Pacific Northwest. A "foodie." A wannabe rock 'n roll star. A ghost hunter. An amateur photographer. An aficionado of thrift stores and cocktails and cheap matinees and farmer's markets. He believes in peace, love and happiness … and geoduck. His self-published novel, No Time For Kings, earned excellent reviews and is for sale on Amazon. Mark believes that life is too short for lame sitcoms and processed food. Follow his journey as he samples the varied cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, one bite at a time.

84707dark-chocolate-pistachio-and-sea-salt-cookies-14 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2014/01/10/dark-chocolate-pistachio-and-sea-salt-cookies/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/chocolatechippistachiocookie1-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

The ultimate combination. Don’t be afraid to take these out of the oven a little early–they are incredibly soft and chewy!

The sea salt, dark chocolate, and pistachios complement each other perfectly, and make this easy recipe taste gourmet!

Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Sea Salt Cookies
Makes 2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pistachios, shells removed
1 cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
Additional sea salt, for sprinkling on cookies

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

3. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.

4. Stir in the pistachios and chocolate chunks. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, form tablespoons size balls of cookie dough. Place balls on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle cookie dough balls with sea salt. Bake cookies for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.

Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Sea Salt Cookies

My family told me these were the best cookies I had ever made.

Thank you to Two Peas & Their Pod for the recipe!

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

84988the-elusive-walleye-10 http://blogs.columbian.com/outdoors/2014/01/01/the-elusive-walleye/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/walleyes-cropped-108x300.jpg

For decades, I’d been trying to catch a walleye in the Columbia River.

I’d netted them for my neighbor on the Oregon side of Government Island and on Ough Reef at Washougal. I was in the boat with author and tournament angler Ron Boggs when he caught them near Arlington, Ore.. I’ve watched Jim Liddell of the Oregon Bass and Panfish Club catch them at Coon Island in the Multnomah Channel.

It had gotten to the point where I no longer much cared to fish for walleye, because I never, ever caught one.

Then one magical hour happened on July 11 at Coon Island. We launched at Gilbert River ramp on Sauvie Island at 7:30 a.m. and at noon my streak of never catching a walleye continued.

Just a bit downstream of the island, I caught one — a nice 24-incher on a chartreuse spinner and nightcrawler trolled downstream.

In the next 60 minutes, I caught three more and my neighbor caught one.

Then it got windy — too windy to fish effectively — ending the day.The next weekend I tried again at Coon Island. The new streak of not catching walleye has begun.

30567going-gluten-free-and-the-easiest-diet-on-earthto-remember http://blogs.columbian.com/everyday-eats/2014/01/01/going-gluten-free-and-the-easiest-diet-on-earth-to-remember/ /wp-content/uploads/2014/06/image1-765x1024-343x460.jpg

I know it’s a cliche to write about diets this time of year, and the last thing we need is more cliches, they’re SOOOOO 2013. Besides, no one likes a diet.  Honestly, when I think of going on a diet, all I think of is being fat.  What I’m going to share with you isn’t a diet at all, it’s more of a lifestyle choice. (cliche #2 in this piece, if you’re keeping track at home). I’ve battled issues with weight my entire life, always having more then I should. Heck, at one time in my life, I had more then TWO people should. I won’t bore you with the details of how my weight has gone up and down, let’s just say Duncan Yo Yo’s was thinking of naming their newest unit after me. (Don’t worry, I’ll tie in the photo that accompanies this post later.)

Luckily, ever since I decided to kick that beast that is gluten, my weight has been on a downward trend. It hasn’t been a fast process (glacial?) but going down is certainly better then going up. If you decide to slay the gluten dragon some day, which I hope you do, beware, it’s a monumental task. I’ve read that it takes three weeks to break the psychological bond of a habit and that monster took me to day 20 to defeat. I didn’t drop the gluten because of a fad, I did it because I’m allergic to wheat, so there was a physiological reason for leaving it behind. I really do think gluten is a habit, like reality television or Candy Crush. I won’t say a bad habit, because in moderation, it’s just fine, and quite enjoyable for those without an allergy. My problem was, besides being deathly allergic to it, I didn’t moderate my intake and let it take control of my eating habits. It fueled my choices at the dinner table, when we’d go out to eat and basically anytime I was going to enjoy food.

My next battle isn’t as tough as the gluten death match, but it’s tough nonetheless. I came up with what I think is the easiest plan for me to remember so that I don’t have to keep track of foods. This guide has three rules to follow with a little advice to go along with it:

1. No wheat. It’s hard, but you’ll feel better once you do it.

2. No fried foods. For me, the toughest part of this rule is chips. I’m a chip fiend; absolutely love them. Potato or tortilla, it doesn’t matter, I want them.

3. No foods with ADDED sugar. This is the biggest bugaboo now that I’m not eating gluten. But remember, it’s anything with added sugar, so the occasional glass of 100% fruit juice won’t hurt and fruits are great. I’ll be honest though, it’s tough.

*A couple pieces of advice I would give you: portion control is paramount to your success, eat lots of vegetables and fruit (this isn’t the Atkins Diet) and exercise.

This is what has worked for me; I lost over 100 lbs by following this plan in the past. I got away from it and the pounds flew back on like the return of the Salmon Of Capistrano (yeah, that was a Dumb And Dumber reference in a weight loss article). Remember though, a little indulgence occasionally won’t kill you, the foods in the photo below are just fine, every once in awhile. (I’m sorry, I just love that picture)

Going Gluten Free And The Easiest Diet On Earth……To Remember

This was what I smoked up for Super Bowl 2013

To reduce this plan to it’s simplest form though, it’s all about willpower. Master willpower and everything else is a breeze. I’m giving it another shot and will hopefully see the same success I did in the past, I’ll keep you updated. If you decide to take the plunge with me, please post your experience/progress in the comments section, I’d love a good challenge to see who can lose the most weight.

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

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After trying dozens of recipes throughout the years, this is the best pumpkin bread I have ever made and/or tasted, courtesy of my friend Gina. She often makes this bread as a study break, and hand-delivers warm slices to other students working late into the night at the library. Though it is fantastic straight out of the oven, the bread tastes even better after sitting out overnight–just keep it wrapped in plastic wrap on the counter. Enjoy!

The Best Pumpkin Bread
Makes two loaves

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:
1 cup oil (safflower or canola)
1 can organic pumpkin puree
3 cups sugar
4 eggs

Dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup oat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves or allspice

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease two loaf pans.
2.  Beat together until light: oil, pumpkin, sugar, and eggs
3.  Sift together the dry ingredients: unbleached flour, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
4.  Stir dry into  into the wet to combine. Then carefully and slowly add 2/3 cup very warm water (120 degrees). The water cannot be lukewarm, or the baking soda will not activate.  5.  5.  Pour into pans. Bake for 55 minutes, and then begin checking every 5 minutes until done. 6.  After you remove from oven, let rest in pans for 10 min before turning out onto wire racks.

 

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

82821thats-a-lot-of-clam-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/morel-the-merrier/2013/12/24/thats-a-lot-of-clam/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/12/geoduck_clam_2.jpg

When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1994, I knew I would experience some new things. I expected to encounter the following:

Sure enough, all of those stereotypes were real. But there was one thing I was completely unprepared for.

Geoduck.

The first time I heard the phrase, I assumed that person was referring to a gooey duck dish. Maybe a perfectly rendered roast duck breast with a cherry compote. When I mentioned how much I enjoy duck, the person snickered and corrected me. “It’s a clam,” he said.

Ahh. A clam! OK, then. I was expecting this:

That’s a Lot of Clam!

(Courtesy of ifood.tv)

Instead, I got this:

That’s a Lot of Clam!

(Courtesy of antiquark.com)

That’s no clam. It’s the stuff of nightmares, a science experiment gone wrong, a creature from a Godzilla movie. One that could take out the big green lizard easily, and probably King Kong too, if he was in the mood.

Not only does it look like one of the scariest creatures to roam the earth, but that spelling makes no sense at all. Geoduck. G-O-Duck. How do you get gooey out of that? Maybe if you flipped a few of the vowels around, it would make sense.

It doesn’t look even remotely edible, either. But geoduck is currently fetching around $30 a pound. In China, demand is so high, it can run as high as $150 a pound. That’s a lot of clams! The high price has meant a surge in illegal geoduck harvesting, particularly in Puget Sound, where the long-necked bivalves are abundant.

After hearing all these stories, I was intrigued. I have an adventurous palate, and love the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest. Geoduck, despite being odd-looking and inappropriately spelled, was calling my name. I knew I had to try it.

Finally, in 2011, the moment of truth arrived. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) had flown in from Nevada, and I was meeting her mom, who lives in Bothell, for the first time. The GF and I had planned an evening in Seattle that included a sushi restaurant in Belltown that just happened to feature geoduck on the menu. It was baked in a cheesy mayonnaise-based sauce with lots of mushrooms, onions, and fresh herbs. The clam itself was chopped up into bite-sized pieces and looked nothing like the photo above. I’m not sure if I was relieved or disappointed. In any case, we eagerly dug in. And found it to be quite delicious. It tasted…drumroll, please…like – are you ready for this?

It tasted like clam.

I don’t know what I was expecting it to taste like. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, but in a blind taste test, I doubt I could tell the difference between a manila clam that costs $5 a pound and a geoduck going for six times that amount. (Or 30 times that amount in China)!

At least now I can boast that I have tried geoduck.

If you’d like similar bragging rights and are going to be in the Emerald City, check out Shiro’s, the sushi spot we visited (2401 2nd Ave). Geoduck, in one form or another, is a mainstay on their menu. Taylor Shellfish Farms on Capitol Hill is another good spot.

In the Portland area, geoduck is a little harder to find. It sometimes appears on the menus of a few local sushi places (Bamboo Sushi, Restaurant Murata, Masu Sushi) but call ahead to make sure they’ve got some if that’s your sole reason for going.

 

Mark Petruska

Mark Petruska is a writer in love with the Pacific Northwest. A "foodie." A wannabe rock 'n roll star. A ghost hunter. An amateur photographer. An aficionado of thrift stores and cocktails and cheap matinees and farmer's markets. He believes in peace, love and happiness … and geoduck. His self-published novel, No Time For Kings, earned excellent reviews and is for sale on Amazon. Mark believes that life is too short for lame sitcoms and processed food. Follow his journey as he samples the varied cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, one bite at a time.

84714lemon-chicken-12 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2013/12/22/lemon-chicken/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/lemonchicken-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

After a busy semester, I am home for Christmas, eager to take a break from the dining halls and get back into the kitchen. One of the first meals I made was this Lemon Chicken, a simple recipe that looks and tastes elegant. My family ate the chicken alongside steamed broccoli, brown rice, and salad, but it would go with almost any side starch or vegetable.

Lemon Chicken: Pretty and Pretty Easy

Lemon Chicken
Serves 8

Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 lemon slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Garnish: lemon slices

Directions:
1.  Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise.  Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4 inch thickness, using a rolling pin or flat side of a meat mallet. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

2.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half of chicken in skillet 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with 1 tablespoon butter and remaining olive oil and chicken.

3.  Add broth and lemon juice to skillet, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Add 8 lemon slices.

4. Remove skillet from heat; add parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and stir until butter melts. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.

*Recipe adapted from Southern Living 

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

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My friend Holly is back with another installment of her Holly-day treat recipes.  We hope you enjoy!!!

Five years ago, I hosted my first annual “Cookie Party.”  The event was named as such in part because it’s a party where we make cookies and treats all day, but also because The Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central featured a fictional reality show called “Cookie Party” that had a catchy as all get-out theme song I just could not stop singing (experience it for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuTTxrVnGlE).   Event title aside, it quickly became my favorite day of the year.  I pull out all of my favorite recipes from the holidays of my childhood, don an apron and a pair of slippers, and invite my friends (and their kids) over to bake and decorate all day.  It seems like every year I’ve added a few new recipes, but here are a couple of my tried-and-true Holly-Day Cookie Party standards: The Bars.

As a child, my Rice Krispie Treat experience was not “normal.”  When I was first presented with the marshmallow-style treats, I was underwhelmed and disappointed.  “Where is the peanut butter gooeyness?  Where is the chocolate topping?”  My mother had always made us the treats that had chocolate, butterscotch, and peanut butter, and I believe that they are far superior to any other Rice Krispie Treat around.  Needless to say, the first recipe I asked for from my mother when I moved out was this one.
Holly-Day Treats Part Two
Butterscotch Chocolate Rice Krispie Treat Bars

1C light corn syrup
1C sugar
1C peanut butter
5C rice krispies
1C chocolate chips
1C butterscotch chips
Butter

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x11x2 pan.  In a large pot, heat corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter to a boil, stirring constantly.   Remove from heat.  Stir in rice krispies until combined.  Press into buttered pan.

Combine the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a glass bowl and microwave :30 at a time, stirring between increments, until melted.  Pour and spread evenly over treats.  Allow to cool at room temperature until chocolate is set.  Cut into squares.

For my first official “grown-up” Christmas, I received a treat-box from a colleague named Paula.  This box was filled with cookies, fudge, rum-balls, candies, and all sorts of delicious goodies that reminded me of home.  One treat in particular was OBSCENELY DELICOUS, and for the next five years, I looked forward to Paula’s Christmas Treat Box and these little peanut butter and chocolate bars of deliciousness.  I told my boyfriend (who is now my husband) that he could eat any other treat in the box, but the peanut butter treats were MINE.  I eventually wised up and asked Paula for the recipe so that I could share my enjoyment with others.  I’ve modified it over the years to simplify, and now it’s one of the easiest treats I make for my own Christmas treat boxes that I give to my coworkers.  That is, if I can get them into the boxes before my husband devours them all.
Holly-Day Treats Part Two
Peanut Butter Chocolate Treat Bars

BASE:
2 packages ready-to-bake sugar cookie dough (the rectangular packages, not the tubes)
FILLING:
1/2C butter
1/2C peanut butter
2C powdered sugar
2T milk
TOPPING:
1 and 1/2C chocolate Chips
1/4C butter
M&Ms or sprinkles (for fun)
Butter (for greasing the pan)

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x11x2 pan. Preheat oven to 350.  Arrange cookie dough pieces into the pan so that when they bake and spread, they cover the whole pan. Bake until cookie dough starts to turn golden around the edges.  Remove and allow to cool.

Beat filling ingredients in a mixer on medium speed until well incorporated (scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally). Spread evenly over cooled cookie base.  Refrigerate while you prepare the topping.

In a glass bowl, microwave butter and chocolate chips :30 at a time, stirring between increments until completely melted.  Pour and spread evenly over refrigerated base and filling.  Sprinkle M&Ms or sprinkles on top.  Allow to cool at room temperature until chocolate is set.  Cut into squares.

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

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I love clam chowder; I actually consider myself an amateur connoisseur of this bivalve mollusks stew.  With friends, Kim and I have traveled the coasts of Oregon and Washington tasting the different versions that various restaurants present to their patrons.  I’ve had some great chowders and some that were, hmmmm how should I say this nicely, non-edible?  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  When I went completely gluten free, that obviously threw a big wrench in my enjoyment  of clam chowder.  We’ve got a friend that makes a top notch chowder that is gluten free, so it’s not quite as thick as some chowdahs, but I’d put it up against any that I’ve had at a restaurant.  But, like many things I’ve cooked, I’ve got to have my own version so I can cook it whenever I’d like.

Last week we decided that it was time to make a batch, so I set out on a journey to build a recipe that would be, hopefully, palatable.  I did my usual research when I’m trying to build a recipe for something.  I read lots of recipes, some articles, checked a half dozen sundials, high-fived a chrysanthemum and consulted with one person that has eaten chowder in their life.  I then threw all of that info out the window and walked around the store thinking of things that would taste good when put together with clams and large amounts of half and half.  After about an hour of wandering Safeway, and then a second trip after I wasn’t happy with everything I’d garnered the first trip, this is what I came up with:

3/4 Lb apple wood smoked bacon, sliced into bite sized pieces

1/2 Lb pepper bacon, sliced into bite sized pieces

4 Lbs red potatoes, diced

2 Medium yellow onions, diced

5-6.5 oz chopped clams in juice

3-10 oz can baby clams, whole

1 C sliced carrots

1 C diced celery

6 Cloves garlic, minced

2.5 T cornstarch

1 Cup Chardonnay

4.5 Cups clam juice (use the juice from the cans of clams and supplement from there.  You’ll probably need an 8 oz bottle to go along with it, maybe a hair more)

1 T fresh parsley

1 T fresh thyme

3 Bay leaves

1 T fresh dill, chopped

1 T Black pepper

1 Tsp salt

4 T butter

8 Cups half and half

1/2 tsp red chili flake

Sauté the bacon in your large chowder-cooking vessel until it’s cooked, but crispy.  Remove the bacon from the pot and place your onions, celery, carrots in and cook until slightly tender.  Throw in your minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes.  At this point, toss in your cornstarch, cook for 4-5 minutes and then add your chardonnay and allow it to tighten up.  Add your taters and clam juice and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.  I don’t like to cook my potatoes completely at this step.  I actually kept them a little stiff so that over the course of the simmering time, they’d finish off and not be too mushy when it’s eatin’ time.  Once you’ve softened the potatoes a bit, add your remaining herbs, salt, pepper, butter, half and half, clams and anything else I may have listed above but have forgotten.  Simmer this entire concoction for several hours, I went 4 hours with mine, on low heat (you don’t the cream to curdle) and stir regularly.

When you sit down to enjoy this, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOURDOUGH BREAD!  We didn’t have it when we had dinner and you’d have thought my lovely, beautiful, wonderful and awesome wife had lost a puppy without it…..Just kidding honey….:)

The only feedback I got from my test subjects when they had this was that it needed more clams, so I’ve changed that in this iteration of the recipe.  The amount of the herbs and spices is defintely negotiable as is the amount of garlic and clams.  I thought everything worked well, despite needing more clams, in this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it and even if you don’t, please post a comment below and let me know what you think.

Gluten Free Creamy Clam Chowder……

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

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I’ve got a friend named Holly that shares a VERY deep love for food and cooking, much like I do. Actually, Holly is a self-described “renaissance mom”.  She loves to cook, crochet, knit, sew, write and be a loving mother to her two rambunctious boys Victor and Rickey.  She even makes her own hand made gifts that you can check out her Facebook page for Holly’s Handmade Gifts. Here’s the first installment of her “Holly-day” recipes she’d like to share.  Look for more in the VERY near future….

Being a foodie, this time of year is especially wondrous to me.  It could be the
perpetual dusting of white stuff around me (it’s either flour of powdered sugar, I can’t
tell), or just the excitement of bringing out old recipes and trying new ones.

This year, I followed a Christmas memory to a new recipe: Butter mints.  My Great Aunt Ruby used to keep a glass bowl of butter mints out at her house in Vancouver, and when we’d go there to open presents on Christmas Day, I would gorge myself on those little ivory bites of joy.  I started to search the internet for recipes, and found that butter mints are just too-thick frosting that’s been allowed to harden.  Butter, powdered sugar, milk, flavoring, and coloring; this couldn’t be too hard, I figured.  I was right – butter mints are super-easy to make, and my kids (ages 3 and 5) even had fun helping.

Holly’s Homemade Butter Mints Recipe

Yield: about 6 cups of 1/2 inch mints

8C confectioner’s sugar

16T (2 sticks) of butter, cold and cubed

4T milk

1t peppermint extract (more or less to taste)

food coloring  (at your discretion)

Start with the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on low for about 8 minutes.  Keep the mixer running and add the milk and peppermint at the same time.  When the dough looks like play-doh, remove it from the mixer and place it on a surface dusted with powdered sugar.

Kneed the dough together, and (I recommend using rubber gloves for this part) add a few drops of food coloring.  I divided the dough into 2 parts and left one white and made the other half pink using about 5 drops of red food coloring. Once the dough is at colored the way you’d like it, re-dust your surface with powdered sugar and begin to roll the dough into strips about 1/2 inch thick.  This is a great time to get the kids involved – it’s just like making play-doh snakes!  You’ll want to work quickly at this stage, because the dough will begin to dry/harden and crack as it sits.

Once your dough “snakes” are rolled, cut the dough into 1/2 by 1/2 inch bites and place them on waxed or parchment paper, dusted with powdered sugar.  Try to keep them from touching each other.

Leave the mints out at room temperature to dry.  Shake them periodically to keep them separated. It may take a few days for them to harden all the way through, but when they do – oh, the melt-in-your-mouth-memories all come flooding back.

Holly-day Treats, Part One…..

I love all things spicy.  I joke with people that “I eat fire for breakfast” because I put sliced, fresh jalapenos on my bagels, and put a whole habanero in my fruit smoothies.  I once read that spicy foods boost serotonin levels (the feel-good hormone), and I have been piling on the hot stuff ever since; I’d add that I’m a very happy person most of the time, so I believe it works.

This Christmas, I’m putting a spicy kick into my fudge-making.  I love the classic marshmallow and evaporated milk fudge, and found that the Carnation fudge-kits are quick, easy, inexpensive (you can make 1.5 lbs of fudge for under $6 usually), and fun to customize.  Last year, I crumbled peppermint candies into the fudge for a cool treat.  This year, I’m going in the other direction, with  burn-your-face-off hot habanero peppers.

Habaneros have a unique flavor (if you can handle the heat) that I find goes remarkably well with sweets like fruits and chocolate.  Habaneros (also known as scotch bonnet peppers) are the base for the Jamaican jerk flavors, which incorporates other spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, too.  Hey wait a second…aren’t those some traditional holiday flavors?  I think so! (That gives me an idea for next year’s fudge, actually…)

Back to the fudge at hand.  I prepare the fudge according to the directions on the box, adding a few steps to the end.  Before I start anything, though, I thinly slice 4 habanero peppers.  What’s great is that sliced habaneros can be shaped like little stars, adding a neat holiday touch to the treats.  I recommend using rubber gloves while you’re handling the peppers, because anything you touch after handling these delicious little bits of napalm will sting like crazy.  Once the fudge has been prepared and poured into the pan, quickly place the peppers on top, pushing them into the chocolate mixture a little bit. If your peppers were uniform, you can line them up in little star patterns across your fudge.  After the peppers are securely on top of the fudge, sprinkle some large crystal sugar over the top of the fudge and peppers.  It should be enough so that when melted under the broiler (which is the next step), it creates a brulee-like crunchy top.

Once you’ve sprinkled sugar on the top, put the fudge on the top rack under the broiler in your oven (500 degrees should be just fine) with the oven door open.  Or, if you’re lucky enough to have one of those little kitchen blow-torches, now is the time to use it.  Watch your fudge until you see some of the sugar bubbling on top.   Then, pull it out and let it cool.   Cut into cubes and share it with your guests with care, just be sure to warn them – it’s HOT!

Holly-day Treats, Part One…..

 

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

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One of my favorite things I’ve ever made, gluten free or gluten full, is a spaghetti bake that I ended up cooking on my BBQ.  It’s actually really easy and doesn’t take to long to make.  Here you go:

1 16 oz Package Tinkyada Spaghetti-Style Brown Rice Pasta (Or Regular Spaghetti)

2 Jars Of Your Favorite Pasta Sauce

Cheddar Cheese, around a pound

1 Pound Hamburger

1 Roll Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh Basil Leaves

Parmesan Cheese

1 Pie Plate

Brown your hamburger and cook your noodles then incorporate those two with your sauce.  You don’t have to use both jars of sauce, I really like mine saucy, so that’s how I roll.  Once your mix is mingling together nicely, put a layer into the pie plate, about halfway up the side.  Cover this first layer with the cheddar cheese, liberally, and put the second layer on.  This should take all of your mix.  Now it’s time to go Margherita style on this dish.  Top the pie with fresh basil and cover those with slices of the fresh mozzarella and sprinkle parmesan over everything.

The fun part is throwing this bad boy on the BBQ, but if you don’t want go that route, bake it at 375 for 30 minutes.  If you do want to try the BBQ, heat up your grill with real hardwood charcoal and scoot all of the coals over to one side.  Place your pie plate over the offset side and let that baby cook for around 30 minutes, but you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on it and rotate 180 degrees halfway through cooking.  Enjoy!!!!!

William Slater

My name is Will Slater. I've got no formal food training and I've never been a chef anywhere. My wife and I are completely self taught cooks, and we just love food and the adventures it takes us on. My specialty is outdoor cooking, mainly via the two smokers I have, but I want to share all different parts of the food world with you, not just through my eyes but the eyes of many. I've cooked for one person, thousands of people, made a run at the "food business" and I can't wait to share my knowledge with as many as I can.

17923stars-sales-forever-2 https://blogs.columbian.com/blog/more/action-commentary/stars-sales-forever-2/ /wp-content/uploads/2013/11/RF-2.jpg RF 2 REG FULTON passed away on Oct. 28, 2013. A friend of mine who was the composer's neighbor in San Francisco gave me the news. You probably never heard of Reg. In fact, no one even bothered to sign the Guestbook on Duggan's Serra Mortuary on-line funeral notice. But he'll forever be associated with Spokane's Expo '74 -- an even less-remembered event. Its theme was "Celebrating Tomorrow's Fresh New Environment." The IMAX movie theater made its debut there, inside the United States Pavilion. Five million visitors swung by. After the fair closed, the site became Riverfront Park. Only the Sky Ride chairlift and The Carousel remain. In any event, Reg Fulton wrote the music for an album entitled, "EXPO'74. World's Fair Spokane USA. May-Oct. 1974." It sold 5,000 copies. One of the tracks was called, "Yes, You Can in Spokane." It was performed by Bob Bellows. The City Council had pins made up with that line.x74 Here's an audio clip: http://www.expo74.com/spok1.mp3 So much for paying homage to the past... THE GRAND BUFFET in Rochester, WA is where I had Thanksgiving Dinner. Besides roast turkey, they served oysters on the half shell, grilled rib-eye steaks and Mahi-Mahi. They say it's the best buffet in the state. I stayed at the Lucky Eagle Hotel where -- along with a key to your room -- you receive the latest edition of The Olympian. I spent the afternoon rummaging through five pounds of Black Friday promotions, including a 50-page SHOPKO supplement and a JCPenny flyer headlined "Jingle Like Your Last Name's Kringle." One of the more interesting offers was a FREE (with a $20 purchase) Downtown Abbey Tote Bag from COST PLUS World Market emblazoned with this message: "I'm an American. I don't share your English hatred of COMFORT." This year, even Goodwill Industries cashed-in with a 44" Light-Up Outdoor Seahawks Santa Lawn Figure. They didn't specify if it was new or used. Even PETSMART got into the act, extending a 50% discount on all PET HOLIDAY dog or cat apparel, collars and toys. PIER 1 Imports resorted to sacriledge, labeling its sale "HAPPY HOLLY DAYS." To be fair, I didn't see a single blurb which mentioned The Star of Bethlehem. Christmas was banned throughout Russia after the 1917 Revolution. When Macy's first opened, a five-pointed Red Star became part of its logo.XMAS 2 However, during World War II and until the fall of communism, it was most recognized as the Red Army's symbol. Under Cold War conditions, a red star would have been a poor choice as the brand for a capitalist institution, so they made it white. It wasn't until 1992 that the holiday was openly observed. The current 70-page Macy's insert doesn't contain any merchandise with a religious tie-in. Ironically, though, XMAS is again celebrated in grand fashion in the former USSR where the faithful assemble in incense-filled cathedrals. Once the first star appears in the sky, festivities begin. Hay is brought forth as a reminder of the poverty surrounding the manger where JC was born. And on the Feast of the Nativity they don't go shopping. Rather, neighbors visit each other -- eating, drinking and singing carols all day long. Proof-positive that what goes around comes around? My mother {R.I.P} used to wait for the JANUARY WHITE SALE. It kicks off at the conclusion of the 12th day of Christmas. 18126theres-fungus-among-us http://blogs.columbian.com/morel-the-merrier/2013/12/09/theres-fungus-among-us/ /wp-content/uploads/2013/12/4662933247_25c64925ae-300x199.jpg

If there’s one thing the Pacific Northwest is well known for, it’s mushrooms. I guess that’s because we’re all a bunch of fun guys up here in the upper left corner of the country!

Or maybe it has something to do with our soggy climate and plentiful forests.

Either way, wild mushroom harvesting is a popular pastime, and this is reflected on the menus of many restaurants around the region. Depending on the time of year, you’re apt to see morels, matsutakes, shiitakes, oysters, lobsters, and chanterelles. I love mushrooms, and often gravitate towards dishes featuring seasonal varieties.

Want to pick your own mushrooms? Take a class, buy a guidebook, or tag along with somebody who is experienced. Some mushrooms are poisonous and fatal to ingest, so unless you are sure you know what you’re doing, don’t risk it. If you invest in a guidebook, don’t rely on photos alone; make sure you study the characteristics as well, since some deadly mushrooms closely resemble harmless varieties. Never eat a mushroom you can’t positively identify. Many mushroom hunters are notoriously private about their favorite gathering spots, so don’t be surprised if your friend asks to blindfold you before heading out. (Note: make sure this is a trusted friend. If handcuffs also enter the picture, be leery). If you do gather mushrooms yourself, make sure to pay any fees required first. You may need a mushroom gathering permit and will have to pay a state parks fee if collecting there.

There’s Fungus Among Us

Morels (L) and Chanterelles (R): two of the most popular (and delicious) wild mushrooms of the PNW. (Image courtesy of thewanderingeater.com).

As much as I enjoy hiking, I don’t trust my mushroom identification skills, so I rely on the experts. There are vendors at both the Vancouver and Portland farmer’s markets that sell wild mushrooms season-round. I particularly enjoy morels and chanterelles. The former is a spring mushroom with a distinctive honeycomb surface and a mild, pleasant taste; just be sure to cook them first, because they contain small amounts of hydrazine toxins when eaten raw. You should also avoid consuming alcohol when eating morels, because the combination can actually increase your intoxication level. Simple preparation is best: I enjoy these sauteed in a pan with a little butter, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The latter, particularly the golden chanterelle, is a highly prized culinary delicacy worldwide, ranking up there with truffles and the aforementioned morels. These fruity, earthy gems grow in the fall and winter months here in the Pacific Northwest and are suitable for cooking in a wide variety of dishes. They are fat-soluble, so they are excellent sauteed in butter, oil, or cream. Their (relatively) low moisture content makes them perfect for cooking with wine or other alcohol, and they are a popular addition to sauces and soups. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I made a sourdough, wild mushroom, and bacon stuffing using chanterelles scored from the PSU farmer’s market. They were so fresh, I spent ten minutes picking pine needles out of their fleshy folds – evidence of their wild origins. The stuffing was a big hit, by the way.

There are many great restaurants in the Portland/Vancouver area serving mushrooms. One of the best, and a personal favorite, is Navarre (10 NE 28TH Street in Portland, 503-232-3555). They specialize in small plates that are Italian, French, and Spanish in origin, and virtually all of their food is sourced locally, making them the ultimate farm-to-table restaurant in the PDX area. Every dish at Navarre is a carefully considered labor of love bursting with flavors. One of the simplest – and most irresistible – is a plate of sauteed mushrooms seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary. These are great paired with virtually any of their meat dishes, but frankly, I could make a meal of these alone.

Mark Petruska

Mark Petruska is a writer in love with the Pacific Northwest. A "foodie." A wannabe rock 'n roll star. A ghost hunter. An amateur photographer. An aficionado of thrift stores and cocktails and cheap matinees and farmer's markets. He believes in peace, love and happiness … and geoduck. His self-published novel, No Time For Kings, earned excellent reviews and is for sale on Amazon. Mark believes that life is too short for lame sitcoms and processed food. Follow his journey as he samples the varied cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, one bite at a time.

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ARIEL — Hearing there had been a decent kokanee bite at Merwin Reservoir recently, but not really believing it, I decided to check it out on Black Friday.

Normally, I stop fishing Merwin in late July and shift to fall chinook in the Columbia. I’ve caught kokanee in Merwin as late as Dec. 2, but that was one fish one time many years ago.

To make a long day short, I caught two kokanee, measured at 11 and 12 inches, and one small chinook, which I’d guess was 10.5 inches. My fishing partner caught one kokanee. We fished five hours with two rods each.

Two of our kokanee came on orange-green-copper spinners and one on a silver Smile Blade spinner. The Smile Blade was fished 55 pulls behind the boat with .5 ounce. The tricolor spinners were fished at 2 ounces and 35 pulls. The Smile Blade also caught the small chinook. I lost one kokanee at the net while using a pink hoochie.

The water temperature was 52.3 degrees. There were six to eight other boats on the reservoir. I chatted with one boat (three rods) who had five fish and single angler (two rods) with one kokanee.

Four rods fished five hours for four fish isn’t much, but it did show that it’s possible to catch some kokanee almost a year before they spawn.

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I’ve been buying frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving my whole life.

This is a tradition handed down through the generations. My mom always bought frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving. HER mom always bought frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving. And on and on. My family is more the gathering type than the hunting type. My ancestors were sheep herders, the types of people who led the lambs to the slaughter, so to speak, without doing any of the actual slaughtering.

Having lived in Clark County for nearly twenty years now, the influence of our neighbor to the south has been rubbing off on me. Words like “free range” and “organic” have steadily crept into my vocabulary. I have often wondered whether a fresh turkey was superior to a frozen one, and this year, I decided to find out.

I headed to New Seasons on 164th Ave. in Fisher’s Landing. I love this place, and used to make pilgrimages to Portland in order to shop there. Thankfully, we’ve got our very own store in Vancouver now! They were selling fresh, free range Diestel turkeys for $1.99 a pound – twice what I normally pay. But we have become the de facto hosts of Thanksgiving over the years, and I could justify the cost by maintaining we wanted to serve the tastiest bird possible to our guests.

Fresh range-grown Diestel turkey.

Plus, my mom offered to buy it. Score!

Sadly, the turkey wasn’t local – it came from a farm in Sonora, California – but many of the other ingredients were. A trip to the PSU farmer’s market last weekend yielded: chanterelle and oyster mushrooms for the stuffing, Yukon Gold potatoes for mashing, and a variety of fresh veggies (celery, carrots, etc.) for dressing the turkey and landing on a relish tray. This made me very happy. The focus of this blog is going to be regional cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, primarily Oregon and Washington, and I strive to buy local whenever possible, despite any additional cost. Peek inside my fridge and count all the Tillamook products if you don’t believe me!

I’ve been brining my turkey for several years now, and swear by the results. Brining causes muscle fibers to absorb liquid, reducing the amount of moisture loss during cooking. The end result? A moist and juicy bird. At its most basic, a brine is a mixture of water and salt, but you can add or substitute other ingredients to your heart’s content. Mine includes apple juice, brown sugar, orange peels, fresh rosemary leaves, bay leaves, garlic cloves, peppercorns, and brown sugar. Let your turkey brine for at least 16-24 hours for best results. After removing it, rinse and pat dry. (The turkey, not you – unless you’re perspiring). We prepped the brine Tuesday night, then gave the turkey a 36-hour bath.

Brine, Wine & Dine

Time to let the tryptophan work its magic!

Thanksgiving arrived, and after we brined, we wined and dined. On Turkey Day, at least, the old mantra “it’s 5:00 somewhere” doesn’t apply because it’s sort of 5:00 all day long. Hiccup. Anyway, the result of the free range fresh bird? Spectacular. It was moist, juicy, and delicious – even the white meat, and that’s a hard feat to accomplish. Everybody “gobbled” down seconds, and we all slipped into our own tryptophan-induced food comas as the day wore on.

After this experiment, I’m a convert. It’s going to be fresh – never frozen – turkeys for me over the holidays from now on!

 

Mark Petruska

Mark Petruska is a writer in love with the Pacific Northwest. A "foodie." A wannabe rock 'n roll star. A ghost hunter. An amateur photographer. An aficionado of thrift stores and cocktails and cheap matinees and farmer's markets. He believes in peace, love and happiness … and geoduck. His self-published novel, No Time For Kings, earned excellent reviews and is for sale on Amazon. Mark believes that life is too short for lame sitcoms and processed food. Follow his journey as he samples the varied cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, one bite at a time.

100234much-colder-weather-likely-next-week-across-pacific-northwest-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/weather/2013/11/28/much-colder-weather-likely-next-week-across-pacific-northwest/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Steve_Pierce_105-300x200.jpg

If that image above does not tell a story, I don’t know what does? When we took these head shots, we just added this one in for fun thinking we might need it some day. Well, that day may be nearing. After several days of wavering, computer weather model guidance is closing in on a solution that will likely bring much colder weather across the entire Pacific Northwest beginning early next week. At the present time, snowfall levels will likely fall to very near the valley floor as a cold system from Alaska sweeps across the region on Monday. In the wake of the frontal passage, temperatures will fall further with cold east (off shore) wind developing especially near the Portland metro area and points east into the Columbia River gorge. Daytime high temperatures will likely struggle to get above freezing most of next week, with overnight lows of 15-25 degrees on the westside of the cascades and 5-10 across most of eastern Washington and Oregon. Modified arctic air will likely continue to spread across the region for the remainder of the week. There is still uncertainty with regards to how much precipitation will be available once the cold air is in place. Some of the more trusted weather models want to then reinforce the cold air with a disturbance later next week that has the potential to bring a region wide snowfall to all elevations, followed by even colder air behind that system, lasting well into the weekend of December 7th-8th. There is still plenty of time for adjustments to the current modeling forecasts as the evolution of this set up becomes more definitive.

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger
Northwest Weather Consultants (NWC)
Website: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml
E-mail: stevejpierce@comcast.net
Phone: 503-504-2075

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Make sure and “LIKE” our page at: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Much Colder Weather Likely Next Week Across Pacific Northwest
74735how-long-for-no-sturgeon-retention-3 http://blogs.columbian.com/outdoors/2013/11/27/how-long-for-no-sturgeon-retention/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/03/sturgeon-1024x437-600x256.jpg

How long for no sturgeon retention?

Sturgeon retention will not be allowed in the lower Columbia River in 2014.
That’s not news, but it begs the question: Is the non-retention rule a one-year deal?
“It hasn’t been discussed,” said John North of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildife.
Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissioners, during the discussions in 2012 on reforming the lower Columbia River salmon fisheries, decided to put a halt to sturgeon retention downstream of Bonneville Dam.
The ban on retention was supposed to begin in 2013, but Oregon opted for a one-year delay to give guides and others time to adjust and Washington followed Oregon’s decision.
North said at a sturgeon meeting in The Dalles recently that no clear criteria have been established for resuming retention.
State biologists believe the retention ban needs to continue for several years for it to be effective, he added.

72400lazy-day-breakfast-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/paleo-in-a-pinch/2013/11/25/lazy-day-breakfast/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/11/image1-300x300.jpg

This is a fun recipe to make. If you twirl around your kitchen with Pink Martini flowing in the background, that’ll make it even better.

GROCERY LIST (makes 5 servings)

olive oil
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup cubed ham steak (from local farm, Inspiration Plantation)
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
8 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS (cook time: 10-15 minutes)

1. In a large frying pan, drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium-low heat and toss in sweet potatoes. (The trick to a perfectly golden-brown potato: let potatoes sit a minute or two before you flip, allowing potatos to crisp.)

2. While the potatoes brown a few minutes, chop onion. Give potatoes a little shake, tossing a bit. Add the onion. Brown onion and potatoes a few minutes more, tossing a time or two. (I have nothing against using a spatula… But, I promise you this: cooking will become much more fun when you begin to play with your food.)

3. Meanwhile, cube ham steak and add to the pan. Continue to brown 3-5 minute, perfecting your tossing skills. (Side note: there are two cuts of meat I’m most excited about when ordering pork from local farm, Inspiration Plantation. Pork butt roast and ham steaks. We order our ham steaks cured; perfect for soup, salad, sautés… Makes for quick and easy meals, just the way we like ‘em.)

4. By now, potatoes should be lightly browned on most sides and onions will be iridescent in color. Turn heat to low, add green onion and basil, cook 1-2 minutes more.

5. Lastly, in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, add a touch of olive oil. You’ll have two options here, depending on your mood. Fried eggs or scrambled. For fried eggs: crack eggs into frying pan and fry on each side 1-2 minutes. For scrambled eggs: crack eggs and stir into a scramble.

Whala. From my kitchen, to yours….. enjoy your Lazy Day Breakfast!

100237big-winter-tease-or-real-deal-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/weather/2013/11/24/big-winter-tease-or-real-deal/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Steve_Pierce_246-300x200.jpg

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. For those who forecast and track the weather this is the time of year where our eyes become a little more focused when we look at forecast models and maps. Today’s three major models are now in agreement that the week after Thanksgiving could go from ho hum to HO, HO, HO, in a hurry. Now, there is still plenty of time for the models to change their tune, but at the present time there is very impressive model consistency for something that is still about 8-10 days out. It lays out like this. There is no significant change on the way between now and Thanksgiving with continued clear and cold nights followed by sunny days. Then about next weekend a cold air mass from Canada is currently forecast to dig south towards the Pac NW. It is forecast to push into the Pac NW on or about December 2nd or 3rd. That would be about a week from right now. For those who track weather, this is a near perfect set up for getting some really cold air over the Pac NW. Note the low pressure that forms and slides right down over Portland in this image (from the Euro model) on or about Monday, December 2nd. Click image for a larger view –

Big Winter Tease or Real Deal?

Alaska would be under the influence of a ridge of high pressure while a cold trough plunges into the Pac NW, bringing with it plenty of cold air and likely some very low snowfall levels. Other models are also in agreement with this scenario such as the GFS and Canadian (both posted below) –

Big Winter Tease or Real Deal?

Big Winter Tease or Real Deal?

The GFS is not as bullish on the cold air at first, but it also shows the potential for a significant snow event just outside of the Euro and Canadian models that stop at hour 240 (day 10). In other words, the GFS agrees at bringing modified arctic air into the Pac NW at the end of next weekend and into the next week (December 1st-4th) then it bring a system in off the Pacific just south of Portland which would toss a whole bunch of precip over the cold air already in place. That is a good set up for snow to some very low elevations. Is this a guarantee? Absolutely not! But there is a quite a bit of model consistency for being this far out. Now let’s see if the consistency stays there or if they diverge away from the current thinking. Only time will tell, right?

Oh wait, there is one more thing to show you. Thanks to a good friend (Teague Rakoz) for bringing this to my attention. This map is called an “analog composite” which suggests if the current pattern were to evolve as forecast, it may look a lot like the following dates from the past, listed by year, month and day. Anyone who tracks weather knows that nearly every single one of these dates (listed in the lower right hand corner of this image) are infamous in weather history. If you are a weather nerd, these are good times and those are mouth watering analogs (similar years). These were all precursors to some BIG Portland snows that followed just days after the arrival of the cold air. I am also impressed with a 0.94 correlation coefficient score in the upper left area of the image. A score of 1.00 is perfect. What does this mean? It means there is very impressive model consistency for being 10 days out. Again, click on the image for a larger view —

Big Winter Tease or Real Deal?

So, what is the bottom line as of Sunday, November 24th? Cool and sunny for the next 5-6 days, then a change may be coming to the Pac NW about the end of next weekend and into the following week. Santa may just want to pay us a visit a little earlier than normal this year? Maybe not? As I always say, STAY TUNED!

Steve Pierce
President, Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Make sure and “LIKE” our page at: https://www.facebook.com/northwestweatherconsultants. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Big Winter Tease or Real Deal?
100244coldest-weather-of-season-possible-next-weekend-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/weather/2013/11/10/coldest-weather-season-possible-next-weekend/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Steve_Pierce_125-300x199.jpg

COLDEST AIR OF THE SEASON POSSIBLE NEXT WEEKEND? MAYBE! BUT WHERE?

The following may sound like a foreign language, however, I will get to the bottom line at the very bottom. Today’s (Sunday’s) 12z weather models (Euro, GFS and several GFS Ensembles) are getting pretty close to spilling the coldest air of the season into the west next weekend. The trends are worth watching now since this has been hinted at for the past 4-5 days. It won’t be a prolonged event, but something to tease us perhaps? The MJO is forecast to swing into Phase 1, which is the best spot to be in for November cold in the Pac NW, as noted in one of the images below. The PNA is still forecast to fall off quite a bit as a result. The NAO and AO are also showing signs of coming down to negative territory in the latest ensemble forecasts.

So, what is the bottom line? At this point I would say that odds are increasing that the coldest air of the season may penetrate the lower 48 states sometime next weekend. But where? That will become clear in the next few days. Right now it appears that models want to keep it in the west first, then slide it is east. That could change as we get closer. Either way, I think we are going to see a lot more blocking by next weekend and a good dose of Canadian cold to tap into for November. How cold? That remains to be seen, but at this point it WILL NOT be cold enough for snow in Portland/Vancouver! SPOILER ALERT! Click on any of these images for a larger view.

Image #1 – 12z GFS model ensembles. Note several members are well below -9c temps. That’s plenty cold for November in Portland.

untitled1

Image #2 – 12z GFS model ensembles, in map format, showing the coldest air centered on next weekend. This is close, but not quite there for really cold air in Portland.

untitled2

Image #3 – The PNA (Pacific North American) index showing a drop off for next weekend, showing a trend for colder air into the Pac NW.

untitled3

Image #4 – The Madden Jullian Oscillation (MJO) index showing that Phase #1 is historically the phase that we want to see for cold November air to “seep” (I like that word) into the Pac NW.

untitled4

Image #5 – The MJO forecast for the next 10+ days showing a probable move into Phase #1.

Coldest Weather of Season Possible Next Weekend

Image #6 – 12z Euro model showing a cool down in the west by next weekend. This will likely change as future models runs come in. Will it shift the colder air east or more over the Pac NW? How far south will it slide into the lower 48? We shall see.

Coldest Weather of Season Possible Next Weekend

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
President, Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Send me a friend request at http://facebook.com/stevepiercevancouver and I will add you in. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

100248morning-storm-recap-9 http://blogs.columbian.com/weather/2013/11/07/morning-storm-recap/ /wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Steve_Pierce_147-300x199.jpg

Morning Storm Recap

A strong morning storm raced across Oregon and Washington bringing with it strong wind, heavy rain, power outages and some downed trees. Just after 8AM, a strong squall line embedded within the front swept across the Portland / Vancouver metro area from Salem north to Kelso, WA. Peak wind gusts at the Portland International Airport reached 39mph in the 8AM hour as the front passed by and the temperature dropped sharply in a short period of time. Isolated reports of downbursts with winds estimated over 50mph were reported by local storm spotters. The Portland airport picked up just over .25″ of rainfall this morning. This mornings storm continues the trend of active weather in the month of November, after a relatively quiet October. Last weekend a similar storm stuck the Seattle area with wind gusts to nearly 60mph. Snow is also piling up in the Cascades. Snowfall levels have fallen to below pass levels. This will add to the early-season snow pack that is accumulating presently. Longer range models continue the trend of more mountain snows as temperatures should remain at or slightly below normal for this time of year. This should be music to ski resort operators ears.

Stay tuned!

Steve Pierce
President, Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Columbian Newspaper Weather Blogger

Don’t forget — you can get my latest weather and climate updates via Facebook. Send me a friend request at http://facebook.com/stevepiercevancouver and I will add you in. Don’t forget to also bookmark this blog at http://blogs.columbian.com/weather. Are you an amateur simply interested in weather? Maybe you are a professional meteorologist? Why not join the single largest chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the country with 180 fellow members? The Oregon chapter hosts eight monthly meetings from September through June. All of these meetings are free and open to the public. We are always looking for new members. Dues are just $10 a year! For Oregon AMS meeting details and a membership application, please see http://ametsoc.org/chapters/oregon

 

Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce is widely known as Oregon and Washington's "go-to-guy" when it comes to fast, accurate historical meteorological research and forecasts. Steve is currently the President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Steve is also recognized as a regional weather commentator and blogger who can be heard on local radio stations and seen in print media outlets across the Pacific Northwest. His Weather Blog is hosted by the Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Check it out! He is a third generation resident of Vancouver, Washington and holds a degree in Communications. Both sets of Steve's grandparents migrated to Vancouver during World War II. One set traveled from Lenox, Iowa to work in the Kaiser Shipyards supporting the war effort. The other set came to Vancouver from Olympia, Washington to work as educators for the rapidly expanding Vancouver School District. When the war was over, both sets of grandparents decided to stay in Vancouver and continue raising their families, as did thousands of other families at the time. Those who are most familiar with Steve can attest to the fact that weather is his true passion. His love for "all things weather" began at the age of 7 when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. He was fascinated with which direction the ash plumes were headed. Then came the very powerful windstorm of Friday, November 13, 1981, also referred to as the "Friday the 13th" storm. This was the strongest storm to hit the Portland / Vancouver area since the great Columbus Day Storm of 1962! At age 11, he was asked to publish an extended weather forecast for his elementary school's weekly newsletter. In the 1980's, at age 14, Steve was the youngest of KGW-TV's local "weather watchers" and would phone in his daily Vancouver weather stats to then television meteorologist Jim Little for use on-air. Steve has lived through all of the major Pacific Northwest weather events of the past 30 years, and then some. The most notable events include; the bitterly cold winter of 1978-1979, the record setting snow storms of January 1980, the summer heat wave of August 1981, the windstorms of November 1981 and December 1995, the severe arctic blast of February 1989, the record flood of February 1996, the historic ice storm of January 2004, the Vancouver tornado of January 2008 and the record setting snow storm of Christmas 2008. Not to mention every Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in between. With access to the most extensive set of historical weather records available to date, Steve has personally designed and integrated a proprietary system that gives him the ability to quickly locate and manipulate weather data as far back as the 1800's. As one local Meteorologist put it, "Steve has fast access to historical weather data that is needed for media, agriculture, business, personal, historical and other climatological needs. He can quickly manipulate the data in many different ways. His forecasts are also quite accurate, especially at longer lead times." Steve also provides local storm assessments, narratives and weather presentations to the general public, as requested. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, vacationing at his family's coastal cabin and just relaxing! By the way, do you like your weather on the "extreme" side? So does Steve! Whether it is collecting damage assessment data & photos after record setting 125 mph winds at the coast in December 2007, being one of the first on the scene after the January 2008 Vancouver tornado, or feeling (literally) the awesome power of 100 mph wind gusts at Oregon's Crown Point in January 2010, Steve has experienced it all! As Steve says, "don't just love weather, live weather!" Check out Steve's personal weather website at: http://www.piercevideo.com/weather.shtml

Morning Storm Recap
72403tuscan-pumpkin-sauce-spaghetti-squash-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/paleo-in-a-pinch/2013/10/17/tuscan-pumpkin-sauce-spaghetti-squash/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/11/image14-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

Tuscan Pumpkin Sauce & Spaghetti Squash

Tuscan Pumpkin Sauce & Spaghetti Squash offers a fun and seasonal twist on a classic favorite. Replacing traditional tomato paste with roasted pumpkin, turns everyday ‘sketti into a rich and creamy Tuscan delight.

GROCERY LIST (makes 6 servings)

2 spaghetti squash
coconut oil
olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 lb. grass-fed ground beef
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup roasted pumpkin (I use canned to save time)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper, to taste

COOKING INSTRUCTION (prep time: 15 minutes; cook time: 45 minutes)

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half and de-seed. Place spaghetti squash skin-side down and sprinkle with salt & pepper and a smidge of coconut oil. Bake squash for 45 minutes, or until al dente. Use a fork to scrape the ‘noodles’ into a serving bowl.

2) Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, 3-5 minutes.

Tuscan Pumpkin Sauce & Spaghetti Squash

3) Add ground beef and brown, about 10 minutes. Drain fat. Stir in crushed tomato, red wine, pumpkin, herbs and seasonings. Bring sauce to a boil. Cover sauté pan with lid and turn heat down to low. Simmer 35-40 minutes. (If sauce is too thick, add a bit of water)

Tuscan Pumpkin Sauce & Spaghetti Squash

To serve: Layer sauce on top of speggetti squash.

Side serving suggestions: Salad and sautéed broccoli.

From my kitchen, to yours …. rollin’ with the seasons. Enjoy!!

Tuscan Pumpkin Sauce & Spaghetti Squash

84717pumpkin-pie-spiced-almonds-12 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2013/10/15/pumpkin-pie-spiced-almonds/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/almonds-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

The first few days of Fall are upon us, so prepare for a plethora of pumpkin recipes. I am a card-carrying member of the party promoting the belief that pumpkin goes well with everything…I let out an audible squeal of excitement when I found a jar of pumpkin pasta sauce at Whole Foods the other day.

I frequently eat almonds as a mid-afternoon snack.  Usually, I will buy raw almonds in bulk, roast them at 325 until they take on a nice toasty aroma, and then store them in a large, air-tight container from which I can grab a handful for the road. In honor of the new season and the changing leaves, this recipe adds a dash of pumpkin pie spice to roasted almonds, with just a hint of vanilla, too. Best of all, after making these almonds, your entire house will smell absolutely autumnal.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Roasted Almonds

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Almonds

Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
1.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, pour 1 cup almonds into a large mixing bowl.
2.  Add the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to the bowl, and toss to coat the almonds.  Drizzle the vanilla extract on the almonds, and toss again.
3.  Spray a foil-lined cookie sheet with cooking spray, and place the almonds on the sheet in a single layer.
4.  Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the almonds are roasted.  Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

 

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

84720dark-chocolate-salted-caramel-layer-cake-12 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2013/10/15/dark-chocolate-salted-caramel-layer-cake/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cake1-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

As the great Julia Child once said, any party without cake is just a meeting. Birthday celebrations are a wonderful excuse to try out a more labor-intensive, special occasion dessert recipe. This Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake is worth the extra work, and guaranteed to impress everyone at the party.  Thank you to Lea and Jay for the recipe!

Beautiful layers of buttercream, moist chocolate cake, and creamy dark chocolate frosting

 

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

For the filling:

For the frosting:

Fleur de sel, for finishing

Directions:

1.  To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Grease and flour the edges of 3 8-inch baking pans, shaking out the excess.  Line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix on low speed to blend.  Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, coffee, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl and mix on low speed until well blended and completely incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool in the pans about 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.  Remove the parchment paper.

2.  To make the caramel buttercream filling, place ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium saucepan.  Mix in the water.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Stop stirring and let the caramel cook, gently swirling from time to time, until it is a deep amber color (test a drop on a white plate or bowl if necessary), watching it carefully to avoid burning.  Remove the mixture from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream and then the salt.  Set aside and let cool.

Combine the egg whites and the remaining ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.  (The bowl should be cool to the touch.)

Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated.  If the frosting looks soupy or curdled, continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again, about 3-5 minutes more (or longer - don’t worry, it will come together!)  Blend in the cooled caramel until smooth and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

3.  To make the frosting, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.  In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and water and stir until smooth.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the melted and cooled chocolate until well incorporated.  Blend in the cocoa powder-water mixture until smooth.

4.  To assemble the cake, level the cake layers if necessary.  Place one of the cake layers on a cake board or serving platter.  Top with half of the caramel buttercream and smooth in a thick, even layer.  Place a second cake layer on top and smooth the remaining caramel buttercream over that.  Place the final cake layer on top.  Cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate frosting and smooth with an offset spatula.  If desired, use additional frosting to pipe decorative accents on the cake.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Before serving, sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake

The frosting process

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Layer Cake

Time to celebrate!

 

 

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

84725chicken-mango-stir-fry-12 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2013/10/02/chicken-mango-stir-fry/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/chickenmangoblackbeanstirfry1-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

In just 11 days, I will be racing my first full marathon: The 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Logging hundreds of miles during several months of training has both mentally and physically prepared me to run 26.2 miles (hopefully!), but it has also made me hungry. During my training, I try to seek out nutrient-rich foods that give me long-lasting energy, help me recover, and keep me full. This chicken mango stir-fry recipe is adapted from Runner’s World Magazine. As the magazine explains, chicken provides lean, muscle-friendly protein and the B vitamin niacin, which is essential in processing glycogen, the main fuel for exercise. Mango and peppers contributes vitamin C to fight free radicals and boost the immune system, which is temporarily weakened after a hard workout.

Runner’s World suggests cooking the chicken in a fajita-like fashion, and topping the chicken with slices of creamy avocado for a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. If you want to try the recipe this way, spoon the chicken on top of warmed tortillas, and serve with avocado and sour cream. However, I enjoy eating the dish as more of a stir-fry, and serving the chicken on top of fiber-rich, satisfying brown rice. Brown rice takes 90 minutes to cook in my rice cooker, so keep timing in mind while you work!

Chicken Mango Stir-Fry
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

2 TB olive oil
2 pounds thinly sliced or cubed chicken breast

3 Thinly sliced yellow and red peppers
2 cubed mangoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Directions:
1.  In a small bowl, combine the spices, and set aside.
2.  Heat wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil and chicken. Cook for three minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove from wok.
3.  Add the peppers to the wok. Cook for two minutes, stirring often.
4.  Return the chicken to the pan, add the spice mixture, cubed mangoes, and black beans. Heat for two minutes, or until the corn is no longer frozen. Serve warm.

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

84728baked-lemon-thyme-mushrooms-11 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2013/09/19/baked-lemon-thyme-mushrooms/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/lemonthymemushrooms3-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

On a gray, stormy Sunday this week, I baked a batch of these lemon thyme mushrooms. The dish smells unbelievable while cooking in the oven, but when the richness of the mushrooms mixes with savory thyme, bright lemon, and sharp parmesan cheese, it tastes even better. Lemon thyme mushrooms would make a wonderful side dish for red meat or chicken, but try it on top of toasted, freshly sliced French loaf or swirled into a pot of pasta or polenta.

Baked Lemon Thyme Mushrooms
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 lemon
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mushrooms
4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

2.  Zest the lemon, reserving the juice for later.  Combine the zest, thyme, and olive oil in a bowl.

3.  Clean and slice the mushrooms, and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil mixture, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the parmesan over the mushrooms, and return to the oven for another five minutes, or until the cheese is golden.

5. Take the mushrooms out of the oven, and drizzle some lemon juice, to taste, over the mushrooms. Serve warm.

Baked Lemon Thyme Mushrooms

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

84733blackberry-cobbler-11 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2013/09/12/blackberry-cobbler/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cobbler1-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

Is there still time for one more summer berry recipe? Ah, who am I kidding? There’s always time for cobbler! We take cobblers very seriously in my family, always with the goal of bringing the best cobbler to the family reunion. Great Aunt Mary is the cobbler champion, of course, but this recipe may be just as good, if not better. Shh, don’t tell her!

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler

Sweet Summer Time

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3.5 ounces)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
6 cups fresh blackberries (30 ounces), picked over
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Biscuit Topping:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
2 Tablespoons cornmeal, stone-ground
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or Greek yogurt for serving (optional)

Directions:

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, and preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  For the filling: Stir sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together in large bowl. Add berries and mix gently with rubber spatula until evenly coated; add lemon zest and juice and mix to combine. Transfer berry mixture to 9-inch glass pie pan, place pie pan on rimmed baking sheet, and bake until filling is hot and bubbling around edges, about 25 minutes.

3.  For the biscuit topping: Whisk flour, cornmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to combine. Whisk melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla in small bowl. Mix remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon in second small bowl and set aside. One minute before berries come out of the oven, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; stir with rubber spatula until just combined and no dry pockets remain.

4. To assemble and bake cobbler: Remove berries from oven; increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Pinch off 8 equal-sized pieces biscuit dough and place on hot berry filling, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart (they should not touch). Sprinkle each mound of dough with cinnamon-sugar. Bake until filling is bubbling and biscuits are golden brown on top and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool cobbler on wire rack 20 minutes and serve. Serve with vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or Greek yogurt, if desired.

*Note:  While the blackberries are baking, prepare the ingredients for the biscuit topping, but do not stir the wet into the dry ingredients until just before the berries come out of the oven. A standard or deep-dish 9-inch pie pan works well; an 8-inch-square baking dish can also be used. Vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream is the perfect accompaniment. To reheat leftovers, put the cobbler in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until heated through.

 

A la mode is always better

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

59512shrimp-risotto-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2013/09/04/shrimp-risotto/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/02/shrimprisotto2-1024x1024-460x460.jpg

Though risotto, the creamy, Italian rice dish, is one of the most common meals in Italy, it is also one of the most versatile. Risotto can be made with chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, it features everything from peas to pancetta, mussels to mushrooms, and may be served as a first course or the main meal. In the same way, risotto has become an extremely versatile dish in my family, as well. What began as a special occasion meal served to guests and out-of-town relatives became a weeknight staple, as my dad got to know the recipe very well, and adapt it to his own needs.

Our favorite risotto recipe usually involves shrimp, corn, asparagus, and roasted red peppers, but we have experimented with chicken, sausage, and salmon, too, and we like to add any and every vegetable currently in season.  Perhaps my most poignant memories of eating risotto while growing up come from the addition of saffron, which gives the rice a brilliant yellow color and spicy aroma.  This is my family’s go-to recipe for risotto. I think you will be surprised how a dish can taste so refined, yet be surprisingly easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Shrimp Risotto

Shrimp Risotto–easier than you think!

 

Shrimp Risotto
Serves 10

Ingredients:
2 pounds medium raw shrimp, shells removed
Four cloves of garlic, chopped
One medium onion, diced
One medium to large red pepper, diced
2 cups arborio rice (do not substitute a different type of rice)
1 cup white wine
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth, heated
Large pinch saffron threads (optional but worth it)
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
½ cup fresh corn kernels (may use frozen, but thaw first)
1 cup blanched asparagus cut in 1” pieces (see note)*
½ stick butter softened
¾ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese*
1/3 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley*
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1.  In large pot, saute shrimp in 2 Tbsp olive oil along with the garlic over medium high heat until opaque.  Remove and set aside.

2.  Saute onions and peppers in remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil until just starting to brown. Add rice and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes.

3.  Add white wine and stir until most of liquid is absorbed.  Add warm broth ½ cup at a time stirring frequently.  Wait until most of liquid is absorbed before adding more broth.  You will add the entire quart over 10-15 minutes.  Remember to stir frequently.  At the end of this process the rice will still be a bit firm and start to look creamy. Add saffron if using.   Adjust heat to medium low.  Stir in sun dried tomatoes and vegetables.  Stir in butter and cheese.  Stir in parsley.

4.  Add the cooked shrimp and garlic.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes:

*I often will substitute chopped fresh basil for the parsley, but be sure to add after the risotto has been removed from the heat, or it will go from green to gray.

*Feel free to adjust the amount of cheese to taste (I will often use a bit more) and substitute any other firm vegetable (peas, zucchini, etc.) you wish.

*To blanch asparagus, immerse the cut pieces in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes until crisp tender and bright green.  Then immerse in ice water to stop cooking process.  Drain.

 

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

83680thorns-celebrate-title-at-jeld-wen-today-8 http://blogs.columbian.com/portland-thorns/2013/09/04/thorns-celebrate-title-jeld-wen-today/ /wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Portland_ThornsFC_Primary-150x150.jpg

The last time a Portland franchise won a title was the 1977 Trail Blazers.  That changed Saturday in Rochester, NY.

After beating the Western NY Flash on the road, and returning home to a pretty large crowd at PDX, Portland Thorns FC are officially celebrating today at Jeld-Wen Field.

Party starts at noon, or you can watch the stream at:  http://www.portlandtimbers.com/thorns-live

 

National Team members weren’t able to take part today except Rachel Buehler who was able to hop on a plane after the game and make it home.

Speakers include: Mayor of Portland Charlie Hales, Owner Merritt Paulson, Head Coach Cindy Parlow Cone, players Rachel Buehler and Karina LeBlanc.

general theme:  thank you to the amazing fans who filled the stands!

Joseph Fleming

Supporter of the Thorns, Timbers and Manchester City. I've been playing soccer for 30 years and coaching for 12. Coach for Washington Timbers, was a girls coach for a decade and now coach U-12 Boys. Played at Evergreen High school and Clark College. Hoping to turn this into more of a tactical discussion this year.

59515walnut-pesto-pasta-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/zest/2013/09/01/walnut-pesto-pasta/ /wp-content/uploads/2016/02/photo-29-454x460.jpg

They say it isn’t easy being green, but I think this recipe proves otherwise. With a recent bounty of basil from my summer vegetable garden, I whipped up a weekday meal of walnut pesto pasta. The addition of walnuts to the pesto makes it rich and smooth, while the cloves of garlic add the perfect amount of kick.

This recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto. If you have extra, spoon it into a plastic Ziploc bag, squeeze out the air, and freeze. Serve the leftover pesto with grilled shrimp, as I did the other night, or spread it on toasted baguette slices with chopped cherry tomatoes.

Walnut Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts (you may substitute pine nuts, if you like)
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Boxed pasta (I used Fusilli)

Directions:

1.  In the food processor, pulse the walnuts a few times. Add the basil, and pulse again. Add the garlic, and pulse a few more times.

2.  While the food processor is on, slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream. Stop the food processor, and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese, and pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Cook the pasta according to package directions, and drain. While the pasta is still in the pot, mix with the pesto, until the pasta is evenly coated. Serve warm.

Pesto Pasta Perfetto!

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green believes in secret ingredients, striped aprons, and serving breakfast for dinner. A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Carolyn is a design and art history major who loves both tailgating and taking afternoon tea. Besides cooking, she enjoys running, traveling, and writing. Have a question, comment, or request? Send Carolyn a note at cgreen9@nd.edu.

12460a-trip-back-to-washington http://blogs.columbian.com/summer-journeys/2013/08/19/a-trip-back-to-washington/ /wp-content/uploads/2013/11/KINDLE_CAMERA_1375273754000-300x187.jpg

I’m back! I guess you could say that I had a lot of fun in Texas, but in reality it was hot. I think on the first day it was 100 degrees outside and I was wearing jeans. I proceeded to have Chinese food at one of my friend’s restaurants. Her name is Jeany (I think that’s how you spell it) and she is really good friends with my Grandma on my dad’s side. That was fun. I watched the play/movie “Harvey” too. However the second day was very interesting; I got to go have Mexican food at my usual place, Casita Linda. They make the best desserts. And I started watching my favorite play of all time, “Cats.” I love Mister Mistopolees, Rum Tum Tugger, and Rumbleteazer.
On the third day, I went to have dinner/lunch with my abuelita at Chile’s. Lunch is dinner in Texas, and dinner is supper. Anyway, that was fun and my Uncle David and Aunt Ethel came to stay with us for a while. We had pizza, which was good.
On the fourth day, I went shopping with my Aunt Ethel, my grandma and my mom. We did that on the last full day too and I had supper with my Tia Gaby, but when we got home I watched “Forrest Gump” with my Uncle David. I loved it, too. I got a little sick from what I ate when I had dinner with my tia.
I had fun and plan to have another trip during spring break. I also got a stuffed armadillo and named it Harvey after the Harvey in the play “Harvey”.
A trip back to Washington

etamm

I'm a 13-year old girl that prefers to spend her days playing video games, watching cartoons, drawing, and doing martial arts over sports. My name is Kaitlyn Segura and I am a Blue belt in karate. I've been doing karate for eight years now and have become an expert in the arts of both sword fighting with double and single blades and hand to hand combat. I was inspired to do this activity while watching "Enter the Dragon" starring Bruce Lee. I wanted to become like him, and become a Black belt. I can proudly say that I am almost there.

12462following-the-route-of-napoleon http://blogs.columbian.com/summer-journeys/2013/08/12/following-the-route-of-napoleon/ /wp-content/uploads/2013/11/DSC01950-300x225.jpg
Following the route of Napoleon

Pilgrim dinner in St. Jean Pied de Port

Today was the day  — the day that I was most anxious about. I would start my ascent of the Pyrenees. I had decided to break up the long mountain trek into two days. This would allow me plenty of time to take in the scenery and not feel rushed.

I woke up and had my breakfast at L’Espirit du Chemin, a gite run by a Dutch couple, in St. Jean Pied de Port. I had met several interesting people the night before at dinner, but they were all starting the day after I was. I would start this stage of the Camino alone. I had been psyching myself out for several days prior, but I was ready. Aside from a few blisters still hanging around on my feet, my body was fine. My mind was in a positive place — a “can do” attitude, if you will.

This first day is the steepest of the whole Camino Frances. I was fully prepared the moment I stepped out of the gite to tackle one of the most challening days along the whole Camino. There are two routes to take over the mountain into Roncesvalles. I decided on the more difficult, but more rewarding — The Napoleon Route. This would take me up to a village called Orisson on the first day, and I would finally reach the summit in the morning of the next day, just shy of 5,000 feet.

Following the route of Napoleon

poor visibility going up!

I stepped out of the gite to a cool, crisp, cloudy morning. This would make visibility a bit difficult, but there were plenty of pilgrims heading up the mountain that day, so I figured I would be fine.

Holy cow! I thought as I started my journey upwards. This mountain was no joke. In retrospect, I was glad it was foggy and cloudy. That way, I could not see the steepness that lay ahead of me. I just kept truckin’ along, one foot in front of the other. I was glad to see others struggling as I was. I would stop to “take a picture,” but in reality I was just trying to catch my breath.

I stayed on the trail, but after about an hour I found myself alone. Slightly worried, I had wondered if I had missed a sign or turn off. I decided to just keep heading up the road. Eventually I would find Orisson, the road had to go somewhere. After 45 minutes of not seeing another soul, I came around a bend, and boom! I saw more than 20 pilgrims staring at a flock of sheep who had just been released from their pen.

Following the route of Napoleon

beautiful views once the clouds melted away in Orisson

I released a sigh of relief, and kept on heading upward. Apparently, there was a turn off for an alternative route that takes you up a shepherds path, more safe than the road. With the poor visibility, I had missed it.

Shortly after I had migrated back to the masses, and two hours and 15 minutes of trekking, I had reached my final destination for the day, the refuge in Orisson. I was pleasantly surpised with myself. “That wasn’t so bad,” I thought. I sat down and took off my shoes and ordered a tea. At this point I could see others continuing on, and I began to second guess my decision to stay the night. Maybe I could get a refund and keep going, but alas, I went with my original decision and stayed. Later, I would realize this was the best decision I could have made.

Following the route of Napoleon

ready for the day… let’s do this!

Monique, an elderly French woman, was sitting alone having her coffee. We had bunked in the same room the night before in St. Jean PdP. With her little English, my little French, and some pantomiming, we could communicate. We noticed another girl sitting alone, waiting for her bed as well. I invited her to join us. Her name was Jodi, and she was a chiropractor from England. We hit it off right away, and had decided to trek the following day together up the mountain.

Jodi was a stroke survivor at the age of 27, and had to learn to walk again. Her tale of survival and will was admirable. She was just going to do the first 5 days of the Camino to see how her body would handle it. I was happy to find a walking partner early on.

We woke up 6:30, had our breakfast and set off to the summit. The climb today was not nearly as steep as it was the previous day. Some views were distorted by the clouds, but others were miraculous.

Following the route of Napoleon

my offering for my twin at the Thibault Cross

As we neared the top, we stopped at the Thibault Cross. Many pilgrims leave something here in remembrance of a lost one. I left a bracelet in honor of my sister. Jodi, a born again Christian, asked if I would like her to say a prayer. I am not religious, but I figured it would be a nice sentiment. Jodi gave a lovely prayer as we stood hand in hand, and we both began to cry. Tears of sadness, excitement, nervousness, anger — I am not sure. That moment will stick with me for the rest of my life, and I was glad to share it with my new friend.

Struggling up the mountain I was reminded of a talk one of my former coaches had with me on the pitchers mound during a game in high school: “It’s not the skill of the man, it’s the will of the man.” I kept repeating that to myself, telling myself I could do it. Mind over matter does the body good.

Following the route of Napoleon

at the summit, just shy of 5,000ft

After another hour or so, we knew we were getting close. I continually had the “Final Countdown” song stuck in my head. We made our final push and realized we had reached the top. “What? Is this it?” I said out loud. Don’t get me wrong, the view was gorgeous, but I felt it was slightly anticlimactic. I pulled out my American flag, she pulled out her British scarf and we snapped a few photos.

We decided to take the less steep path back down; the pilgrims office in St. Jean PdP had recommended this alternative. At 1:15 in the afternoon, we were filling out our entry cards for the albergue in Roncesvalles.

Following the route of Napoleon

celebratory sangria in Roncesvalles

Exhausted from a tough couple of days and excited to have reached the summit, we enjoyed a siesta and then celebrated with a glass of sangria before heading to mass.

Tomorrow will be the test to determine how our bodies handled the climb. I popped a couple of ibuprofen as a preventative measure before bed time. I feel asleep with anxious thoughts and excited nerves.

 

Following the route of Napoleon

the protectress of the shepherds

 

 

 

Crystal Steinmueller

I was born and raised in Vancouver, WA, and can't imagine living anywhere else. For the past 8 summers I have traveled extensively, and volunteered in 9 countries. I hit my goal of traveling to 30 countries by the time I turned 30 years old. During the rest of the year, I work in Special Education at Battle Ground High School. In the winter of 2012, I started a non profit, 2 Hands 7 Continents, to assist others in volunteering locally and abroad. I live downtown Vancouver on Officer's Row.

74699chia-seed-pudding-with-maple-syrup-ginger-vanilla-5 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthy-eats/2013/08/02/chia-seed-pudding-with-maple-syrup-ginger-vanilla/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/03/8.2.7-863x1024-387x460.jpg

Chia seeds are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats, fibre and calcium. Yes, they also can make cute (ok, not so cute) Chia Pets. But don’t let that stop you from eating this superfood. They can be eaten whole, unlike flax seeds that have to be ground in order to receive the health benefits. These little seeds are a great source of protein and have been studied as a potential treatment for type-2 diabetes. Plus, they also increase healthy cholesterol. So don’t shy away from these little seeds, they are a great addition to your diet and there are so many ways to eat them.

Make this pudding the night before, place the ingredients in a mason jar, and in the morning you have breakfast to go! Or, make it at 5am, because that is when your 16month old likes to wake up. Then you will have breakfast ready by 8am when you are desperate for that much needed source of energy.

Chia Seed Pudding with Maple Syrup, Ginger + Vanilla
* Makes 1 big serving

2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup milk (cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, any milk will work)
2 teaspoons maple syrup (agave or honey will work as well)
handful of berries (I choose blueberries, because I love them and they were in the fridge)
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (a sprinkle of ginger powder is ok too)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
small pinch of sea salt or kosher salt

toppings:
chopped up nuts
another handful of berries
lemon or orange zest

In a container with a lid, I like to use a mason jar, add the milk and maple syrup. Give it a good shake until combined. Next, add the chia seeds, handful of berries, ginger, vanilla and salt. Shake, shake, shake.

Place in the fridge, works great overnight, or give it at least 3 hours. For the first hour, try to continue giving it a shake or two every so often.

It is ready once everything has jelled and formed a thick pudding consistency. Top with another handful of berries, some chopped up nuts and a sprinkle of zest.

Here are some other great ways to use chia seeds:
Granola Crusted Nuts
Peach Passion Coconut Smoothie

Ashley Marti

Ashley writes a lifestyle and food blog called Local Haven. Her focus is on food, style, family, local living and life in the Pacific Northwest. Ashley and her family recently moved to the beautiful Columbia Gorge, where together they are discovering what life is like in a small town.

74702salted-peanut-butter-cookies-raw-vegan-gluten-free-5 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthy-eats/2013/07/31/salted-peanut-butter-cookies-raw-vegan-gluten-free/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/03/7.31-1024x748-600x438.jpg

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies:

3/4 cup raw almonds (cashews work great as well)
1/2 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter, but almond butter will also work)
8-10 medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
flaky sea salt *optional

Using a food processor, or high powered blender, combine nuts, nut butter, dates and vanilla. Using the “S” blade, blend the mixture until the dough has formed together. This took me around 3 minutes. I stopped a few times and pushed the dough down with a rubber spatula.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Form the dough into small balls. Place on the parchment paper and press down with a fork creating a crisscross pattern. Top with flaky sea salt. I use Maldon, but whatever brand you  like will work. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours until they set. You can skip this part, I just prefer them a little bit harder. Store in the fridge in a sealed container.
Salted Peanut Butter Cookies // Raw, Vegan + Gluten Free

Ashley Marti

Ashley writes a lifestyle and food blog called Local Haven. Her focus is on food, style, family, local living and life in the Pacific Northwest. Ashley and her family recently moved to the beautiful Columbia Gorge, where together they are discovering what life is like in a small town.

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I have always generally liked zucchini. In bread, cakes, pancakes, grilled on the barbeque and sautéed over the stove. But I have never really loved it nor have I ever had a craving for it. Until I discovered this fast and easy, and don’t forget extremely healthy, way of eating it.

Who knew, raw zucchini is absolutely amazing. Use a julienne peeler and you can transform this sometimes bland, often times soggy vegetable, into the perfect noodle replacement. This works especially well for these hot summer months, when turning on your stove is the last thing you want to do.

Want other ideas on how to serve these zucchini “noodles”? Be sure to check out my recipe for Sesame Zucchini “Noodles“.

Pesto:
2 cups of basil leaves (arugula, parsley, kale and swiss chard are all good alternatives)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts (walnuts are a good substitute)
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup parmesan-reggiano

In a food processor, combine basil, garlic and pine nuts. Pulse until chopped. With the motor still running, add 1/2 of the oil and continue to process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add parmesan-reggiano, and mix. Taste the pesto. Adjust seasonings and add remaining extra-virgin olive oil if needed. (this is a personal preference for how thin or chunky you like your pesto)

Zucchini “Noodles”:
2-3 medium zucchini’s, washed and peeled with julienne peeler
handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 – 1 cup pesto
salt and pepper to taste

Using a julienne peeler, peel zucchini until you reach the seeds. Discard  the seeded portion. Place zucchini “noodles” into a large bowl and mix with 1/2 cup pesto. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more pesto if needed.

Serve immediately.
Zucchini “Noodles” with Pesto and Tomatoes

Ashley Marti

Ashley writes a lifestyle and food blog called Local Haven. Her focus is on food, style, family, local living and life in the Pacific Northwest. Ashley and her family recently moved to the beautiful Columbia Gorge, where together they are discovering what life is like in a small town.

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This week I made a big batch of hummus, and then separately made three different options. One topped with toasted pine nuts and feta cheese, another drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and blackened flakey sea salt, and then jalapeno hummus. This hummus has quite a bit of heat to it, although you can adjust per your taste. It is seasoned with cumin, curry, roasted jalapeno and topped with red chili pepper flakes.

As the weather gets warmer, and it has been so warm, I tend to want lighter dinners. Not just lighter dinners, but also quicker dinners involving less oven use. After I made my hummus, I simply cut up an assortment of vegetables, and bam, there was dinner!

Jalapeno Hummus

Basic Hummus:
1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas
1 tsp baking soda
6 1/2 cups water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 1/2 tablespoons ice-cold water

Jalapeno Hummus:
1 roasted jalapeno, chopped (*roast until slightly blackened over gas stove, or in cast iron pan like I did)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
crushed red pepper to taste

Place dried chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water, soak over night. The next day drain the chickpeas and place in medium sauce pan over high heat. Add baking soda. Stir constantly for 3 minutes. Add water and bring to boil. Lower temperature slightly and cook for 20-30 minutes, while skimming foam off the top. The goal is to have the skins float to the top, this helps make the hummus more creamy. Chickpeas are done once you can easily smash them.

Drain the chickpeas and puree in food processor until a paste forms. Leave the machine running and add tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Slowly add ice-water. Keep mixing for 4-6 minutes. At this point the basic hummus is complete.

For jalapeno hummus, now add jalapeno, ground cumin, and curry powder. Blend until combined. Once removed and ready to serve top with crushed red pepper flakes.

Ashley Marti

Ashley writes a lifestyle and food blog called Local Haven. Her focus is on food, style, family, local living and life in the Pacific Northwest. Ashley and her family recently moved to the beautiful Columbia Gorge, where together they are discovering what life is like in a small town.

74714radicchio-salad-with-balsamic-soaked-cranberries-goat-cheese-4 http://blogs.columbian.com/healthy-eats/2013/07/23/radicchio-salad-with-balsamic-soaked-cranberres-goat-cheese/ /wp-content/uploads/2017/03/radicchio-salad-1024x1024-460x460.jpg


Ok, I know living in the Pacific Northwest we shouldn’t complain about the heat. But it is hot! And when it is this warm I have very little motivation to cook large dinners. So right now we have been feasting on large salads and no-cook meals. Luckily between our garden and the weekly CSA box we have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that make preparing these meals fast and easy.

The crunch of the radicchio and red onions with the sweetness of the craisins pairs well with the creaminess of the goat cheese. This salad hits all taste-buds, and I love it. So here it is, enjoy.

2 pounds radicchio, shredded
3/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound fresh goat cheese

In a small bowl, pour balsamic vinegar over craisins and let soak for 15 minutes.

Place radicchio and red onion in a large bowl, pour soaked craisins over top. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Mix together. Crumble goat cheese into salad, tossing as you go. Top with extra goat cheese chunks. Done. Easy. Delicious.

Ashley Marti

Ashley writes a lifestyle and food blog called Local Haven. Her focus is on food, style, family, local living and life in the Pacific Northwest. Ashley and her family recently moved to the beautiful Columbia Gorge, where together they are discovering what life is like in a small town.

12723it-only-takes-a-spark-wildfire-tips-to-protect-your-family-and-your-home http://blogs.columbian.com/stayin-prepared-nw/2013/07/23/it-only-takes-a-spark-three-tips-to-protect-you-during-wildfire-season/ /wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Fire-Flag-3-300x225.jpg

It Only Takes a Spark: Wildfire Tips to Protect Your Family and Your HomeIt Only Takes a Spark: Wildfire Tips to Protect Your Family and Your Home

 

As you are probably aware wildfire season is upon us in the NW. WA and OR residents have already seen a large number of fires spark in the eastern portions of both states. Meanwhile, CO was hit with another deadly blaze and several other western states unfortuantely kick started wildfire season in early June. This is a dangerous time of year and preparation is key to protecting your family and your home from wildfire.

Three simple steps take just a little time to complete and provide valuable time for fire fighters to do all they can to protect your property.

Safety is top priority during a wildfire. Make sure your family is safe, use the community resources that are available and contact your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage for your home and belongings.

 

Brad Hilliard

Public Affairs Specialist for State Farm, looking to keep you prepared for life's challenges. Questions? Email or call: Brad.Hilliard.jcmh@statefarm.com or 503-463-3893.

The post It Only Takes a Spark: Wildfire Tips to Protect Your Family and Your Home appeared first on Stayin' Prepared NW.

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Recently my CSA box, from Hood River Organics, has been including garlic scape. Now I have to admit, even as someone who loves cooking and attends farmers markets regularly, this was my first experience with garlic scape. Have you tried it? If you love garlic — and this family loves our garlic — then this is a must.

What is garlic scape? It is the curly tops of garlic plants which are completely edible and delicious.

Now here is the big question. What do you do with garlic scape? And this is what I found out. Anything and everything. No, honestly. Garlic scape pesto. Garlic scape with white bean dip. Garlic scape vinegar. And if you have a few extra, wash and seal in a freezer proof bag for later in the year. No need to blanch them.

Next on my list, pickled garlic scape. How fantastic would that be in a bloody mary!

Garlic Scape?

Garlic Scape with White Beans

4 garlic scapes, sliced
1, 15 oz, can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly ground pepper to taste

optional: lemon zest

Add garlic scapes, coarse sea salt, lemon juice and pepper to food processor and blend. Continuing blending while adding cannellini beans, puree. Slowly drizzle in olive oil. Taste, adjust seasonings.

Drizzle a little extra olive oil on top. Serve with crackers, vegetables, French bread.

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup of garlic scape, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of pine nuts, walnuts or thinly sliced almonds
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice and zest from one lemon

Combine garlic scape, nuts, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in food processor and blend. Slowly drizzle extra virgin olive oil into processor with motor still running. Taste and adjust.

Mix with pasta. Serve with fresh vegetables. Spread on barbequed chicken. Top grilled French bread. Use on your home made pizza.

Garlic Scape?

Garlic Scape Vinegar
Clean, sterilized jar (any size you want)
fill jar with garlic scapes (I used approximately five)
fill with vinegar, (I used white wine vinegar, but red wine vinegar would work great, too)

Once your jar is filled, seal, and place in a cool dark spot for two to three weeks. Enjoy.

Ashley Marti

Ashley writes a lifestyle and food blog called Local Haven. Her focus is on food, style, family, local living and life in the Pacific Northwest. Ashley and her family recently moved to the beautiful Columbia Gorge, where together they are discovering what life is like in a small town.

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You wake up as night gives way to day. You stay in bed a few extra minutes to contemplate your journey. You give a little stretch as you get out of bed. You grab your trekking clothes for the day and head for the toilet. You use the facilities and change.

You head back to your bunk and pack your bag. You slowly make your way to breakfast. You drink your cereal bowl sized coffee or tea, and eat your bread with butter or jam… cheese if you are lucky. You use the toilet one more time before heading out. You strap on your pack, grab your walking sticks, and you are out the door. You walk for a couple of hours before finding a nice place to rest.

You pull out a snack, or perhaps today you stopped at a cafe for a hot tea. You use the toilet if one is available. Back on the trail for a few hours. You struggle with the hills and the rain. You ask yourself if you are really going to keep at this for over a month. You second guess your shoe selection. You question your training. Finally a long stretch with flat land. You stop for a five minute breather to give your feet a rest. One hour left. You push forward.

8 straight days on the trail…Finally, after about 22km, you are done walking for the day. Exhausted, you crash on your bed in a communal site. You are too tired to take a shower, so you opt for a siesta instead. You wake up after two hours, and decide to clean yourself up. Still tired, you head to the communal eating area. You meet a few people, and have a superficial conversation about nothing in particular. One night you end up talking with a guitar playing Welsh boy, or a war baby born to a Vietnamese mother and African American father who was adopted by a Swiss lady married to a Cuban man.

You have your dinner together as pilgrims, and it’s delicious. A five course meal with wine, not bad! You return to your bunk, and are too tired to write in your journal. You change into your jammies, and it’s lights out.

8 straight days on the trail…This has been my life as a pilgrim for the last 8 days on the Chemin du Saint Jacques, or more commonly known as the Camino de Santiago. I started my 1000km-trek in a little French town called Barcelonne du Gers, not too far from Aire Sur L’Adour. This is the last stage of the Le Puy route before it meets up with the popular Camino Frances in St. Jean Pied de Port.

I was lucky enough to meet a lovely group of French folks I was able to tag along with the first two days. I am not sure I would have made it without them. Those first days were filled with rain, mud, and cold. The Southwest of France was experiencing very heavy rainfall, and flooding was an issue. Millions of Euros of damage had occured, and villages had been swept away.

8 straight days on the trail…We walked through forests and small villages all day. I just love all the little villages. They are quaint, cute, and old. Everything seems to center around the church. We found refuge under a shelter made for cows to have lunch one day. The cows were giving us a curious eye, but it was the only shelter around. I quickly learned on those first days that pilgrims help one another out, because sharing is caring. 8 straight days on the trail…

On the second day I decided to do a short day, I didn’t want to push my limits just yet. The French group I was walking with was a group of eight friends who have met up for the last four years to walk for 10 days on the trail together. Ranging in age from mid 20′s to mid 60′s, they took me under their wing. The eldest of the group gave me a sweet kiss and caressed my cheek as we parted ways. It was bittersweet.

8 straight days on the trail…I made my way to the communal site for a shower and a rest. Later that same day I encounted a couple from Australia named Savas (a palindrom, you see) and Denise. Savas was actually born in Greece, and Denise was actually born in the USA. However, they both considered themselves Aussies after living there for so long.

I woke up early to catch them before they headed off so I could walk with them… I certainly was not ready to be on my own. Savas had a pace quicker than Denise and I, so he was usually out front. 8 straight days on the trail…Denise and I chatted about all different topics. Luckily, the weather was taking a turn for the better, and the rain was ceasing. I was so happy to have met them, as we ended up walking together for six days until parting ways on the trail to St. Jean Pied de Port. This was their ending point, they had started up in Le Puy.

Those six days were just what I was hoping for. It gave me confidence and experience before tackling the Pyrenees. I formed new friendships. I learned how to navigate the way markings. I learned when it was necessary to carry food and snacks. I also learned how to treat my feet.

8 straight days on the trail…Savas was somewhat of a Camino guru, I would say. This was his third Camino. He had walked the Frances Way and Via de la Plata. He looked after my blistered filled feet every night, and taught me how to deal with my toe issues. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Savas for teaching me those valuable skills.

Looking back, I may have set a pace too quick while walking with the Aussies, which led to some of my toe issues. I was always playing catchup with Denise and Savas, because I didn’t want to be left behind. The Camino waits for no one, you see. It was not until the eighth day, walking into St. Jean PdP, that I was completely by myself and I was not worried. The nervousness had subsided into excitement. Now I had the Pyrenees to conquer.

I have to constantly remind myself why I am doing this… It is in honor of my twin sister, who serves as inspiration for my non profit, 2 Hands 7 Continents. That is my motivation. That is what keeps me putting one foot in front of the other. That is what keeps me going.

8 straight days on the trail…

Crystal Steinmueller

I was born and raised in Vancouver, WA, and can't imagine living anywhere else. For the past 8 summers I have traveled extensively, and volunteered in 9 countries. I hit my goal of traveling to 30 countries by the time I turned 30 years old. During the rest of the year, I work in Special Education at Battle Ground High School. In the winter of 2012, I started a non profit, 2 Hands 7 Continents, to assist others in volunteering locally and abroad. I live downtown Vancouver on Officer's Row.

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This is the third summer that I have spent volunteering here at Kids at the Crossroads Peru.

KATC is a non-profit being run by former Portlander GeGe Coleman. We provide supplemental education to 100+ children ages 4-14.  GeGe employs an all Peruvian staff of eight.  She herself draws no salary. KATC  is located high in the Andes in the town of Ayacucho, Peru. Ayacucho remains an impoverished area due to the lingering impact of The Shining Path  terrorist organization centered here in the 80s and early 90s.  During this time around 70,000 people were killed or disappeared.

We have two certificated teachers. Kids go to public schools in the morning and our program in the afternoon.

Kids at The Crossroads Peru Kids at The Crossroads Peru

This is our homework area where kids can get help with their assignments from public school. Here Gloria helps several students.

Kids at The Crossroads Peru

 

Many of our students are well below grade level and need one on one attention.  Here is Wilbur working with Jose Benjamin.

Kids at The Crossroads Peru

 

We love volunteers!  Maya is spending two months here during her break from Bowdoin College in Maine.

Kids at The Crossroads Peru

Kids love to play!  We try to get toys and games to help with their development.

Kids at The Crossroads Peru

 

We end our day with a hug and a snack.  For many of the children this is the only food they will have for the rest of the day.  As they leave for the day GeGe tells every child that she loves them.

Kids at The Crossroads Peru Kids at The Crossroads Peru

I will be here until the beginning of August and hope to share a few other adventures with you.

Carrie

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One of the places closest to our hearts -as people, dogs and dog people - and as Pac NW residents- is Washington State School for the Blind. The historic institution is right here in Vancouver, Washington.

We started volunteering here and it has changed our lives in so many ways. The students, the staff, the volunteers- and the Guide Dogs – are remarkable.

In fact, we live as close as we can to WSSB. We knew we were home when we saw the school and the feeling only grew once we met the people inside.

One of my dog “sons,” Dude, lost both of his eyes to glaucoma.

Guide Dog’s eye view – Angelina “speaks” out: how dogs help people

Blind dogs, guide dogs, blind and sighted people -we all love WA school for the blind

We met the kids at WSSB last Halloween, as we all trick or treated in the central park neighborhood - Adrienne, their dedicated volunteer coordinator and the kids – invited us to their totally happening Halloween party. We loaded up the dog surfboard unit and rolled on down the street with our new best buds. We’ll have to tell you the dog surfboard in the elevator story some time later.

Here now- is a day in the life of Guide dog for the blind — Angelina and her human partner, Jake Koch. Jake is a graduate of WSSB and works there and at Guide Dogs for the Blind, bringing people and pets, blind and sighted, all together.

A Dog’s Eye View – Guide Dog Angelina - now on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZzQuUN220Y

THANK YOU Angelina, Jake and WSSB!

Barb Ayers

Surf dog mom who raised four generations of non traditional surf hounds - currently hangs 70 with three dogs - a surf doxie, a surf basset and a blind surf beagle. 20 years in non profit marketing, TV and newspapers and PR Manager, World Famous San Diego Zoo for 13 years. Now serves as Communications Manager for City of Vancouver, WA. Six time Emmy award winner as a writer, producer and art director.

The post Guide Dog’s eye view – Angelina “speaks” out: how dogs help people appeared first on Dog's Eye View.

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Escape from the Heat

Growing up in Arizona I was pretty used to heat.  We’d hardly bat an eye at triple-digit temperatures in July, and the 90s were a breeze.  This is my 8th summer in the Pacific Northwest and while I can still take the heat, I can tell you that I moved north for a reason.  The problem is, while nearly everywhere in Arizona is air conditioned, AC is a little harder to find in the Evergreen State.

To escape the heat, we headed east to our family plot in paradise.  This is the view from my front porch for the next week.  I plan to do little more than read good books, eat good food, and tuck in homework when I have to.  Reaching 80 seems far more reasonable, as does a 4th of July out on the prairie.  Happy 4th!

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Business and Pleasure

This week I am working with the WSU STEM-LIT program to prepare for an exciting program to be used at our school to incorporate more project-based learning in the classroom.  In preparation for a workshop with students in August, teachers are getting our hands on the materials, literally and figuratively, to make the magic happen.  Thus far we’ve had a paper tower building contest, a catapult crafting competition, and are currently in the midst of crystal growing.

Science, math, engineering, and other content support teachers from two middle schools are giving up two weeks of their summer breaks to get these projects lined up for the fall.  As the local media storm fires up over one legislator’s commentary on what teachers do with their time, I can’t help but look around the room at the intensive work continuing long after that last bell rang.

Business and Pleasure

Business and Pleasure

On the fun side of summer, the trivia team of which I am a member, won the spring tournament and now have a reserved seat at our venue.  Tonight we had to know the Animaniacs theme song, which country first mandated the use of “black boxes” on aircraft, and the recipe for play dough.  Trivia night is a time for me to enjoy knowing about a wide variety of things, not just math and science in which I am usually entrenched throughout the year.  Teachers are generally pretty good at trivia; “knowing” is a big part of our business.  That said, tonight’s trivia notes from my fellow teacher look like an odd grocery list and mine involve a truck speeding toward a levitating orange on a sunny day.

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Chocolate Dipped Frozen BananasOver the weekend our 4 year old daughter, Lola, had her first ballet recital. And let me tell you, it was a big deal. I have never seen so many girls running around in pink tutus! Lots of twirling, jumping and giggling. It was great and Lola did fantastic. I may or may not have shed a few tears.

With her recital not until Saturday afternoon, we had a big barbeque for everyone in town Friday evening. Chicken and vegetable kabobs were on the grill, with a shaved asparagus salad and cut up pineapple at the table. It was a great night and always fun to see our family.

Whenever we have people over, and especially during summer barbeque season, I try to choose quick and easy recipes that can be prepped and made in advance. This way I can have a drink and enjoy everyone’s company instead of always being tied up in the kitchen. So for dessert, I made these chocolate dipped frozen bananas.

I have been seeing a lot of frozen bananas online the past few weeks with the return of Arrested Development. Do you watch the show? Jake and I are just getting into it, and loving it. The bananas are very simple to make, and you can top them with whatever you have on hand in the kitchen. They take 6-8 hours to freeze so just make sure the make these ahead of time. Other than that, they take about 5 minutes to make. I love that. And the best part is, they are bananas, not ice cream, yet taste like ice cream!

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas INGREDIENTS:
4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped * (feel free to use all of one chocolate, or a different chocolate as well)
4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped *
1/2 tablespoon ground coffee * (optional)
1 pinch of kosher salt
3 large firm bananas
6 wooden popsicle sticks or skewer sticks (which is what I used)

TOPPINGS:
coconut shreds
sliced almonds
crushed graham crackers
sprinkles
coarse sea salt flakes

DIRECTIONS:
Fill a saucepan with water about 1/4 of the way. Place a glass bowl over top making sure that it does not touch the water. Bring the water to a boil, add the chocolate to the glass bowl. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from the heat and add pinch of kosher salt and ground coffee and mix together.

Slice firm bananas in half. Carefully insert your wooden stick about 1/2 way into the banana (I had one split on me). Coat the bananas with chocolate using a spoon with one hand, and carefully supporting the banana with the other. Sprinkle with your toppings. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour. Transfer to the freezer. Mine took about 6 hours to freeze. If you do not eat them all, which you will, but if not, they can now be placed in a ziploc bag or container and stored in the freezer.

Ashley Marti

Ashley writes a lifestyle and food blog called Local Haven. Her focus is on food, style, family, local living and life in the Pacific Northwest. Ashley and her family recently moved to the beautiful Columbia Gorge, where together they are discovering what life is like in a small town.

12769hang-10-or-is-it-20-with-a-local-surf-dog-for-a-dogs-eye-view http://blogs.columbian.com/dogs-eye-view/2013/06/09/hang-10-or-is-it-20-with-a-local-surf-dog-for-a-dogs-eye-view-2/ /wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Doodle-Cam-300x225.jpg

HANG 10 (or is it 20?) WITH A LOCAL SURF DOG – FOR A DOG’S EYE VIEW

 

Dinky doxie Doodle takes his first river surf ride behind a waterski boat and you’re on board. Doodle Cam reveals the Dog’s eye view of surfing

The Vancouver doxie weighs 14 pounds – wet. He’s a junior surf dog in training, rescued from a local shelter, following the paw prints of three dog bro’s before him.

He surfs Vancouver sidewalks and rides a stand up paddleboard on the Columbia River with basset brothers Dude, a blind surfer who gave Doodle his name, and Elvis, a super low rider. The bro’s are now 70-something, nearing retirement.

Doodle’s first (river) surfin’ safari, and Doodle Cam, were warm ups for the Loews Surf Dog contest June 22 in San Diego. Just add salt water and some tasty waves.

Did I mention that Doodle’s first name was Mighty? Then Underdog? He will be the underdog of the contest. Believe it or not, in So Cal, hundreds of canines compete for bragging rights at annual surf contests, just for dogs.  Winning isn’t everything. 90% of life is just showing up.

On June 22, please give us a “V” for the Vancouver team, wherever you are – Farmer’s Market, Waterfront Trail, your favorite park or the yard.

2013 Loews Surf Dog Competition (Coronado Island)  Sat. June 22

11am     – Small Surf Dog Heat

11:45    – Large Surf Dog Heat

1pm       – Tandem Surf (human and animal)

 

Barb Ayers

Surf dog mom who raised four generations of non traditional surf hounds - currently hangs 70 with three dogs - a surf doxie, a surf basset and a blind surf beagle. 20 years in non profit marketing, TV and newspapers and PR Manager, World Famous San Diego Zoo for 13 years. Now serves as Communications Manager for City of Vancouver, WA. Six time Emmy award winner as a writer, producer and art director.

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Drum roll please: “Ooooo – wipe-out!” A surf dog’s first hang 20 attempt

Surf doxie Doodle, a surfer in training

Doodle’s big adventure is a surfin’ safari – he’s a surf dog wanna-be.

This is a Vancouver/Columbia Gorge surf doxie in training - last seen riding a carry on bag out of PDX, bound for Southern California. Doodle’s surfin’ safari led him away from the coast- to the CA/AZ desert, for river surfing… behind a ski boat… on the Colorado River.

And, well, it’s a good thing the doxie got a wetsuit made – and has a dinky doxie PFD (personal flotation device.)

See for yourself in this You Tube video:

Doxie Doodle’s first river surf – wipeout!

That’s the great thing about water wipeouts. They look awful but they feel great.

Doodle is determined…. he’s prepping for his first surf contest- the Loews Surf Dog contest June 22 in San Diego.

So he’ll be back on the board again – next time, for a remarkable ride. Stay tuned right here.

PS – we have to find a river surf crew right here in the ‘Couv. Let us know if you know of a boat owner or a water ski club. See ya on the water!

 

Barb Ayers

Surf dog mom who raised four generations of non traditional surf hounds - currently hangs 70 with three dogs - a surf doxie, a surf basset and a blind surf beagle. 20 years in non profit marketing, TV and newspapers and PR Manager, World Famous San Diego Zoo for 13 years. Now serves as Communications Manager for City of Vancouver, WA. Six time Emmy award winner as a writer, producer and art director.

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An optional Saturday Evening Post headline might read:

At the vets’ with a sick dog.

A week after surgery, worried sick about your best friend.

Biopsy results.

 

That kid’s face says it all. That kid is me.

Sometimes, we humans find it hard to speak.

Maybe that’s another thing dogs and humans have in common.

But only when a thousand words won’t do.

Barb Ayers

Surf dog mom who raised four generations of non traditional surf hounds - currently hangs 70 with three dogs - a surf doxie, a surf basset and a blind surf beagle. 20 years in non profit marketing, TV and newspapers and PR Manager, World Famous San Diego Zoo for 13 years. Now serves as Communications Manager for City of Vancouver, WA. Six time Emmy award winner as a writer, producer and art director.

The post If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Norman Rockwell said it best: appeared first on Dog's Eye View.

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Friends in life, friends in surgery

Elvis cracks a big grin a half hour after surgery. Dude, the blind surfer, is laid back and rests his eyes.

If you asked best buds Elvis and Dude about their day, they might say it was no big deal. 

Dr. Ann Brown, the country vet and Hedy, their favorite vet tech, performed back to back surgeries on the basset boys this morning. One dog watched while the other got stitched and then they swapped positions. All, in the animal OR, on the floor, at dog level, without general anesthesia, and with their mom holding them the whole time (me.)

What these kind, caring, animal experts know is that reducing procedure stress means everyone recovers more quickly.

Dude and Elvis were numbed in the surgical areas only and stayed awake the whole time – just like they do in the Nip Tuck movies. The basset boys are nearing 12 (80 in dog years,) and surgery would be more risky if they went to sleep. This nontraditional surgery is a safer, more natural and humane solution for pet patients, but it’s harder on surgeons - ours worked for an hour on their knees on the cement floor.

Friends in life, friends in surgery

We moved here from the country and went back for surgery. Dr. Ann Brown of Tucker Road Animal Hospital performed the less invasive procedure and the dogs’ favorite vet tech and dog sitter, Hedy Gurtner, offered expertise and emotional support. We also have a very cool vet here, Dr. Kevin, at Orchards Vet Clinic.

Dude, the blind beagle, went under the knife first, to remove what looked like a gnarly melanoma on his underbelly, after years as a surfer and sun worshipper (sunscreen, everyone.)

The best way to face this situation, is as a family – we were all together on the OR floor, helping each other though. For me, waiting and wondering is the hardest part – knowing this is likely melanoma, a very aggressive skin cancer known to metastasize to other parts of the body.

Friends in life, friends in surgery

Dude’s tumor is in this jar.

Dude’s tumor in this jar will be biopsied. Aren’t those the longest days in life, waiting for test results?

Dude has skin cancer, lost both eyes to glaucoma, gets urinary tract infections and has had cysts removed. Elvis has a bad back and gets yeast infections.

Maybe we’re more alike than we even realize.

- Surf dog mom Barb Ayers

Friends in life, friends in surgery

The “double donut” crew at home in recovery. These collars work like a cone of shame – but with much more dignity.

 

 

 

 

Barb Ayers

Surf dog mom who raised four generations of non traditional surf hounds - currently hangs 70 with three dogs - a surf doxie, a surf basset and a blind surf beagle. 20 years in non profit marketing, TV and newspapers and PR Manager, World Famous San Diego Zoo for 13 years. Now serves as Communications Manager for City of Vancouver, WA. Six time Emmy award winner as a writer, producer and art director.

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We flew into San Diego and over the original Dog Beach, the first leash-free beach in America. From the air, you can see huge dog paw prints from sidewalk to sand, surrounded by palm trees. All over those big cement paws, you can see a sea of “ants” –  dogs, dog people surfers and swimmers of all species — sharing this magical Mecca of sand and sea.

Sand and sea: the original Dog Beach  Sand and sea: the original Dog Beach  Sand and sea: the original Dog Beach

I couldn’t wait to get my paws on Dog Beach. I am Doodle, a Vancouver doxie, just coming of age, just learning to surf.

Sand and sea: the original Dog Beach    Sand and sea: the original Dog Beach.

The original Dog Beach is the first stop – our family’s original home beach, and where our legacy lives on in bronze. This is where my namesakes Howdy Doody and Dude caught their first waves. Grandpa Howdy was one of the original surf hounds 20 years ago and helped transform Dog Beach into the remarkable place it is today. As fourth generation Ayers family surf hound, it’s time for me to step up to the nose of the board and carry on the tradition of our non-traditional surf species.

Next stop, in one of the last true beach towns of SoCal, is, of course, getting a custom made dinky doxie wetsuit at Surf ‘n Sea in Ocean Beach. Where they hand made my All American Doodle dandy logo in neoprene.

Sand and sea: the original Dog Beach   Sand and sea: the original Dog Beach

And now we’re off on a surfing safari – to a secret spot – hours from the coast, on an inland river in the middle of the California/Arizona desert. There, like here in the Couv, a historic river forms the state boundary, then leaves the US for another country. In this case, Mexico, all the way at the other end of I-5.

Next, you’ll be on board for my first surf dog rides on the Colorado River! I have one of those GoPro waterproof cameras – so stay tuned to this dog blog.

-       Barb Ayers, surf dog mom

Barb Ayers

Surf dog mom who raised four generations of non traditional surf hounds - currently hangs 70 with three dogs - a surf doxie, a surf basset and a blind surf beagle. 20 years in non profit marketing, TV and newspapers and PR Manager, World Famous San Diego Zoo for 13 years. Now serves as Communications Manager for City of Vancouver, WA. Six time Emmy award winner as a writer, producer and art director.

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As per doxie Doodle: I am a carry-on bag dog

Here we are, at PDX. Dogs are few and far between but the people watching is interesting.  I’m Doodle, a Vancouver mini surf doxie. I’m a little over a year old (in human years.) I grew up as a pound pup but then I rescued a family of surfers. One of those surfers is  human. This will be my first experience – at an airport, flying, as a carry-on bag dog, on a road trip, riding waves, behind a ski boat and more.

I learned tI am a carry-on bag dogo surf here in Vancouver, riding a pup SUP (stand up paddleboard) on the Columbia in front of Wintler Park with my two dog bro’s. I admit that surf is in short supply here on the Columbia, miles from the ocean, but this is our river and she is a mighty one. We surf Vancouver sidewalks, too.  Our pack of surf dogs (you know, water breeds, like bassets and doxies?) are towed by mom through Farmer’s Market, past the WA State School for the Blind, along 164th – any sidewalk will do. But our absolute favorite, and yours, is the riverfront trail. Living near the Columbia River is one of the great gifts of life in Vancouver.

Now I’m a carry-on bag dog, outbound  to San Diego. On this trip, I’ll be all by myself  on the nose of the board for the very first time.  I’ll hang 20, and more, with those first big steps, leaving behind my own rescued past.I am a carry-on bag dog

Being a carry-on bag dog has its advantages. Less baggage for mom, for me, for the world. I’ll be on board as the tray tables go up, where my big dog bro’s can’t fit. But I promised to stay in touch via this new Columbian dog blog – stay tuned.

- Barb Ayers, surf dog mom

 

Barb Ayers

Surf dog mom who raised four generations of non traditional surf hounds - currently hangs 70 with three dogs - a surf doxie, a surf basset and a blind surf beagle. 20 years in non profit marketing, TV and newspapers and PR Manager, World Famous San Diego Zoo for 13 years. Now serves as Communications Manager for City of Vancouver, WA. Six time Emmy award winner as a writer, producer and art director.

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The lines between public relations, marketing and advertising continue to blur, and the boss expects you to do it all under tighter deadlines. Learn to thrive in this environment at the 2013 Communicators Conference: Integrate to Innovate.

The program, held at the Governor Hotel on May 8, will include presentations from industry leading professionals like: Shel Holtz, Lee Odden, Michael Pranikoff and local favorite Jim Endicott. These speakers are in high demand at national events that cost up to $1200 just to register. The difference here is that you will tap into their expertise for a fraction of that, not to mention the reduced stress and expense of traveling.

There is still time to register: 2013 Communicators Conference, PRSA and OIABC member fee is $110, non-member $125. Do not miss out on the NW’s premier conference for communications professionals. 

Brad Hilliard

Public Affairs Specialist for State Farm, looking to keep you prepared for life's challenges. Questions? Email or call: Brad.Hilliard.jcmh@statefarm.com or 503-463-3893.

The post Register Now for NW’s Premier Communicators Conference appeared first on Stayin' Prepared NW.

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We’ve had a great start to the Spring season, but do not let that fool you. Mother Nature is fickle this time of year. Take time now to prepare your home for Spring’s severe weather with these tips:

Let Water Flow: Clean gutters allow heavy rains to flow easily off the roof and away from your home. Add extensions to your downspouts if necessary to keep water from flooding your foundation.

Trim Back the Limbs: Trim limbs and branches back so they do not break during high winds damaging your home or power lines.

Check your Pump: Make sure your sump pump is clear of debris and operable. Consider a battery back-up if the power goes out.

Stow your Stuff: One of the simplest things you can do is stow the items in your yard. Make sure patio furniture is secure as well as yard decorations. This is also a good time to keep your trash cans in the garage.

Set your Emergency Kit: While you are at it, go ahead and set up an emergency kit. Be sure to include items like a flashlight, radio, water, canned food, blankets and extra batteries. FEMA offers lists of additional emergency supplies, and you can learn more about preparing for storms from State Farm.

If you have questions about insurance coverage in relation to Spring storms contact your local agent for more information.

Spring storms come up quick and can pack a punch.

Brad Hilliard

Public Affairs Specialist for State Farm, looking to keep you prepared for life's challenges. Questions? Email or call: Brad.Hilliard.jcmh@statefarm.com or 503-463-3893.

The post Home Prep for Spring Storms appeared first on Stayin' Prepared NW.

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