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.

 

 

 

 

Apparently I Really Like Pasta

My Copy of  January 2021 Graphics  copySo I realized as I was preparing to write this blog post that I choose restaurants that focus on pasta.  So clearly I really like pasta.  LOL.  This week’s local business is Pasta Pronto   Located in Beaverton on Evergreen Parkway Pasta Pronto is a family owned business that has been a fixture of the community for 23 years.

One of the things that I really love about Pasta Pronto is that they have a make it your way feature.  You get to choose your pasta, sauces and toppings so basically it’s a make your own pasta bar.  Wahoo.  Bonus points for the fact that they have gluten free pasta, although their kitchen is not gluten free so if you’re Celiac like I am you’re eating their at your own risk.  However I do love me some good pesto pasta so I suppose it’s worth the risk.  I’m sure my husband would disagree.

If you’re not in the mood for pasta they have soups and salads such as the Washington County Blue Ribbon salad that features grilled chicken breast, sugar walnuts, pears and bleu cheese, mixed with red onions, fresh greens and tossed in raspberry vinaigrette.  And you certainly won’t want to pass up the appetizers because how can you not want some cheesy garlic bread?

So, the next time you’re in the mood for some pasta, give Pasta Pronto a try and support a local family owned business.