Hello March & Welcome to Gardening Season Prep!

My Copy of  January 2021 Graphics  copyWow it seems like February flew by, however I think that I always say that due to it being such a short month.  With the longer days, and warmer weather I know you like me are excited for gardening season and seeing all of the beautiful flowers in your yard.  Well, I suppose I’m excited for my husband to do the gardening.  In our house it’s I point he plants.  So, because I’m so excited I’m going to share our favorite garden centers with you each week this month for the business of the week.

Up first is Starkey’s Corner Farm & Garden   I would have to say the main reason we love Starkey’s is because it’s on Glencoe Road literally 5 minutes from our home.  When we get into the yard and see that we need something for a pot or space in the yard it’s so quick and easy to jump in the car and make a quick trip.  Which in all honesty is pretty nice.  Do not get me wrong I know that some of you love your Fred Meyer Garden Center or other big box garden center and that’s fine, however often times the service and knowledge you get from a local nursery is AMAZING.

So what types of items will you find at Starkey’s?

  • Plants
  • Edibles – herbs, berries, fruit trees
  • Seeds
  • Fertilizer and Soil

My husband loves Starkey’s because he can typically get straw/hay for the garden to cover up our asparagus plants in the winter.  It’s honestly just a fun place to go and roam and get ideas of what types of plants are out there.  It gets you to thinking about what types of plants you may want to see in your yard or container/patio gardens.  As the days get longer and the sun is out I encourage you to take a trip and get some inspiration.

Cheesecake Always Feels So Decedant

I cannot lie, I LOVE cheesecake, and so does my son.  So much so that this child who prefers not to cook unless it can happen in the microwave will actually make cheesecake from scratch!😲For those times when you want cheesecake but do not want to make it from scratch this week’s local business of the week has you covered – Zoe Ann’s Cheesecake

Owner Zoe Ann who everyone calls Zoe bakes all of the cheesecakes herself.  She believes in quality over quantity.  The reason she choose to start baking cheesecakes is that she believed a product that tasted AMAZING would make people happy.

In today’s world where everyone is watching what they eat, Zoe Ann knows that there are times when people want to splurge and when they do what they splurge on should taste amazing and use good ingredients.  For this reason Zoe Ann uses Philadelphia brand cream cheese, butter, fresh heavy cream, nuts, liqueurs, pure extracts and fresh fruit.  While these ingredients cost more she knows that they are what makes her cheesecakes taste so good!

She says, ” For instance, in our Coconut Cream  cheesecake, we crack fresh coconuts, and use macadamia nuts in the  crust. (Well, okay, I don’t personally crack the coconuts, my husband  does that!) Our cheesecakes might seem a bit pricey, but when you  consider the ingredients and labor involved in each and every flavor we  offer, they are actually a good deal. Our cheesecakes are rich, creamy,  and very satisfying. They are baked in small batches to ensure quality. I  truly mean it when I use the phrase, quality over quantity, to describe  my baking and business philosophy.”

 

All I can say is that, that coconut cream cheesecake sounds like something that needs to get in my belly (so long as it’s gluten free).  So, the next time you’re sweet tooth is screaming at you give Zoe Ann’s Cheesecakes a try, and let me know what you think.

Sometimes You Need to Feed that Sweet Tooth!

My Copy of  January 2021 Graphics  copyI know that many of you are just like me and have a sweet tooth that you have to feed.  If so then this week’s Black Owned Local Business is going to make your sweet tooth oh so happy.  It’s Jelana’s Bake Shop a local licensed in home kitchen located in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Owned by Jelana Canfield, a California native who brought her family heritage and passion to share amazing baked goods to the Pac NW.  Jelana has a Bachelor’s in Theater Arts from Mills College.  After graduation she traveled the globe pursuing her career in the performing arts as an dancer, writer and actor.  During this time she earned extra money working in restaurants where she gained knowledge and found she had a passion for pastry, food and wine which led to her side hustle becoming her career.  While working as a server and manager in different restaurants she began to hone her pastry skills by taking training sessions for pastry at Morimoto Maui, Mala Ocean Tavern as well as the Cheesecake Factory.  This training led her to accept a baking restaurant at Portland’s oldest restaurant The Harvest Bar where she continued to expand her knowledge and skills regarding operations, as well as professional and technical pastry skills.

Jelana’s specialties include amazingly flavorful cinnamon rolls, cookies, tarts, designer desserts as well as custom cakes for all events.  Please keep in mind that Jelana’s is not your traditional walk up bakery.  Your sweet tooth fantasies are all ordered online with most items being ready to be picked up on the same day they are ordered depending on time of day they are ordered and how much is ordered.  You can do pick-up, delivery or have your treats shipped to your door – DANGEROUS I know.

Jelana works with local suppliers because she wants to source the freshest local ingredients that she can.  The produce and animal based ingredients she uses are organic and she uses local flour as well as Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour when needed.  Please keep in mind that Jelana’s is not a nut free, gluten free or strictly vegan bakery, however they do provide tasty treats that meet your dietary restrictions.  When making these items a complete deep sanitization treatment is done before and after these products are made.

If you’ve tried Jelean’s Bake Shop I’d love to know what your favorite treat is.

 

 

 

 

 

This Month I’m Featuring Local Black Owned Businesses!

My Copy of  January 2021 Graphics  copyWelcome February!  It’s Black History Month, and I thought it would the perfect time to feature some of the amazing local businesses that are Black Owned.  This week I’m featuring Abbey Creek Winery located in North Plains, Oregon.

I love that we have a local winery in my little town.  Abbey Creek is located on Commercial Street across the street from The Rouge.  Owned by Bertony Faustin who became the first recorded black winemaker in Oregon back in 2008.  He loves the wine industry, and is working to bring people together in order to enjoy a meal and develop community.  It is his hopes that the efforts he has put forth in his winemaking will allow for deeper conversations that include diversity, equity and inclusion.

The name Abbey Creek came from the creek that runs through the west hills Portland property that the vineyard sits on.  The property is a total of 50 acres and in 1981 Dr. Robert and Sandra Simmons planted vines on 5 acres.

I will admit that I am not a big wine drinker however I do love the wine from Abbey Creek.  Back in 2018 my husband and I purchased several cases for our anniversary party.  All of our guests loved it.  I highly recommend you go for a wine tasting, and if traveling to the OG location in North Plains doesn’t work for you there is a second tasting room in Portland.

 

 

 

 

Italian Food is Made With Love

It’s the truth, Italian food always feels like it’s made with love.  I believe it’s because you’re reminded of an Italian Nona who has spent all Sunday making the sauce, and preparing tasty dishes for the family to enjoy.  Maybe that’s why I love Italian food so much, and have missed it over the past 6 years since my Celiac Diagnosis.

If you are a lover of Italian Food then you are going to want to try this week’s featured business of the week Decarli located in Beaverton.  Keep in mind, that like many businesses COVID and the restrictions put in place by Governor Brown they have been closed for a bit, and are slated to re-open on February 3rd, which means you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before enjoying their food.  However, while you wait why not hear a little bit about Decarli and it’s owners Paul and Jana.

Jana is a native Oregonian who graduated from U of O, while Paul is a long time Oregonian who graduated from the Western Culinary Institute.  One of the fabulous things about Decarli is that they enjoy using seasonal ingredients that can be found throughout the state to create amazing dishes.  Paul’s culinary influence comes from his Swiss/Italian-American heritage to create unique food that is both rustic and sophisticated.

If  you are looking to dine somewhere that has a fabulous ambiance look know further than Decarli.  Paul and Han have worked hard to create a warm, authentic environment in their 4000 square foot space.  The restaurant features Doug Fir floors, exposed brick walls, tall beams and rafters that are accentuated by an amazing skylight, and you cannot forget the amazing brass chandelier hanging in their dining room which was salvaged from the historic Benson Hotel in Downtown Portland.

Decarli is the perfect spot for date night or girls night out with the open kitchen that overlooks the bar area that will keep you feeling at home.  Please be sure to support them on Takeout Tuesday when they reopen on February 3rd

 

 

 

 

 

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