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Archive for the ‘Farmers Markets’ Category

Easter Bunny Escapades

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Harvey the Bunny is a cousin of the Easter Bunny, living right here in Oregon's Washington County.

Harvey the Bunny is a cousin of the Easter Bunny, living right here in Oregon’s Washington County.

From sugary Peeps to fluffy bunny tails, Easter creates one of spring’s sweetest weekends. For many, Easter is a time for families to bask in the sun, appreciate the vernal season, and simply spend quality time together. Why not accomplish all of that—to an even higher degree—while on an Easter retreat to Oregon’s Washington County? Below, pick your favorite kind of Easter Bunny and see the activity that matches with it.

Photogenic Bunny
A picture with the Easter Bunny is a #throwbackthursday in-the-making. Take little ones to Bridgeport Village for picture ops with the bunny, as well as egg decorating, dances with Radio Disney, and a tax-free Sunday dress (April 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Additionally, the Easter Bunny will be making an appearance at Washington Square through April 19th.

Bunny Hop
Discover local shops via a family-friendly
Orenco Station Easter Hop (April 19 from noon to 2 p.m.; free). Bounce from a specialty kitchenware store to a pro cycle shop (and another dozen stops in-between) for Easter goodies that are Oregon-inspired.

Farm Bunny
We all know that real bunnies love their veggies, which is why the last
Beaverton Winter Market is a fun Easter stop (April 19 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.). In addition to the season’s last root vegetables, there will indeed be sweets from local bakeries. Decadent Creation’s macarons are freckled with vanilla beans, making the treats look like speckled robin’s eggs.

Boozy Bunny
For a grown-up Easter treat, head to the Bubbles & Bunnies event at Kramer Vineyards (April 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $10 tasting fee). Guests receive an Easter egg upon arrival with a special treat inside—from discounts on wine purchases to complimentary tastings. Pair the vineyard’s 2011 Brut with local Quail Run Creamery goat cheese.

Don’t forget—We’ve got ways to celebrate and observe Passover, too!

P.S. He’s not the Easter Bunny, but Harvey is the favorite bunny of Oregon’s Washington County.

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Girl Scout Vacation

Posted on: March 12th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Camp like a Girl Scout at L.L. "Stub" Stewart Park with many badge worthy activities at your fingertips.

Camp like a Girl Scout at L.L. “Stub” Stewart Park with many badge worthy activities at your fingertips.

Woe is me! The Girl Scout cookie season is over. No more Thin Mints. Where did I hide my secret stash of Somoas? What I love most about Girl Scout cookie season, though, is asking the girls at the cookie stand about the colorful insignia peppering their sashes. Oregon’s Washington County is the perfect badge-earning Girl Scouts getaway. If you’re too old for a troop, then come here for a kitschy Girl-Scouts themed bachelorette party or girls’ trip!

Folklore Badge
An original Girl Scout badge was Folklore, where girls learned how American folk culture played into the country’s history. The Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route is dotted with historical sites like the Old Scotch Church. Here, learn about the Kalapuya Native Americans, as well as early Oregon Trail settlers.

Painting Badge
The Vine Gogh Artist Bar & Studio takes groups step-by-step through the painting process. The studio’s kids schedule includes cute pandas and an educational interpretation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

Amphibians and Reptiles Badge
The House of Reptiles and Venomous Reptile Museum has a passionate staff for Reptile Parties. Ask about Pago and Priscilla, the Argentine black and white tegu lizard pair who are smart and social!

Triple Threat: Cyclist, Hiker, Sports Badges
Earn a sweep of badges at L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park, which offers 21 miles of paved and multi-use trails for biking, hiking, and disc-golf. Spend the night in the park’s adorable cabins.

Naturalist Badge
Explore the environment with the interactive Nature Passport, which leads curious minds through nature walks in rural wetlands, refuges, river banks, and forests.

Locavore Badge
Girl Scouts created a slew of amazing, modern-minded badges like this one. Become a locavore pro at our farmers markets, u-pick farms, and the kid-friendly Sweet Story Bakery (who sources its blueberries from the farm co-op Our Table). Discuss art and food together at the nobleONI Café at the Oregon College of Art and Craft.  Chef Leather Storrs is a locavore crusader, bringing his passion for local food to the art school his father built.

You’re going to love Oregon’s Washington County—Scout’s Honor!

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Itinerary: Go Irish

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Chase a rainbow on The Reserve's course during the Luckython race.

Chase a rainbow on The Reserve’s course during the Luckython race.

And just like that, we’re ushered out of the month of love and into the month of luck. Here in Oregon’s Washington County, we never turn down an excuse to celebrate. Saint Patrick’s Day is no exception. Party like a leprechaun with our St. Patrick’s Day weekend itinerary.

Saturday, March 15
In other countries, the holiday is called “The Feast of Saint Patrick,” and a feast it will be with help from the Beaverton Winter Market and its accompanying St. Patrick’s Day Celebration  (12-1:30 p.m.). The closest you’ll come to a four-leaf clover will probably be in cookie form, but luscious green vegetables will be bursting from the stalls as the market transitions out of its winter harvest and into its spring one. Additionally, get into the Irish spirit with live Irish music and dance.

After filling up on super foods, chase after a pot of gold at one of Luckython’s series of runs: 5K, 10K, 15K, 15K team relay, 5K “Headlamp” nighttime run/walk at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club. The 7:30 p.m. Headlamp event is complete with green glow-in-the-dark accoutrement. Do an Irish-style reverse carbo-load with a post-run baked potato bar.

Sunday, March 16
Vacations are an excuse to go all out brunch-wise. Reedville Cafe offers a special Irish menu, including the O’Brian Scramble, mixing the classic corned beef with feta cheese.

With sustenance from breakfast, head to Henry Hagg Lake—it’s one of the best places to catch a rainbow. If the multi-colored arch doesn’t peek through the clouds, then fish for rainbow trout instead.

Of course, a St. Patrick’s Day weekend wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the pub. The Thirsty Lion’s St. Patrick’s Festivals at its Tigard or Hillsboro locations include Irish-themed cocktails and live music.

Monday, March 17
Taking a long weekend in the name of St. Nick? So are the McMenamins Grand Lodge and McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse with live bagpipers and locally brewed Irish-style Stout.

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Valentine’s Day with a Twist

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Here in Oregon's Washington County, we find love and fun romance everywhere...especially the unexpected!

Here in Oregon’s Washington County, we find love and fun romance everywhere…especially the unexpected!

Last week, we talked how to wine-and-dine your Valentine. But that’s not every body’s thing. For couples or friends eschewing grandiose romance, celebrate Cupid’s favorite day without veering toward the cloyingly sweet. Instead come to Orgegon’s Washington County for endorphin-rush experiences.

Celestial Love
Love starts with the self, which RoseSprings Center for the Healing Arts knows well through its holistic care. For an other-worldly experience, the center’s mystic messages explores the idea of spirit guides (February 13, 7-8:30 p.m.). Using oracle cards, gain perspective on pressing questions. For a more down-to-earth experience, book a couples massage.

Artsy Love
Love heats up in the glass blowing studio! Don’t buy a gift for your Valentine. Instead, make a gorgeous hand-blown flower at Live Laugh Love Glass’ Valentine’s Date Night (February 14 from 7-10 p.m. or February 15 from 6-9 p.m).

Messy Love
Research shows that couples that exercise together are healthier in body and spirit. Celebrate health and love at the Inaugural My Muddy Valentine 5k (February 15, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., registration $45-$60). Looking-for-love runners can participate in a post-race speed dating event.

Green Love
The recent snowstorm will melt just in time for February’s Beaverton Winter Market (February 15, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Lovebirds looking for a low-key hangout can take home more than just veggies: home smoked pork rilletes from Feastworks Chacuterie and a rose and pistachio buttercream French Macaroon from Sterling Catering and Cookies.

Buzzed Love

Even non-romantics describe new love as a certain kind of buzz, which is exactly what you’ll get at the Zwickelmania Oregon Brewery Tour (February 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Learn about the hops, brewing process, and bottling of our favorite local brews: Ambacht Brewing, Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub, Two Kilts Brewing, and Vertigo Brewing.

Pork-tastic Love
Italy is full of romantic traditions and Montinore Estate has adapted a few as its own with Maialata: The Festival of the Pig (February 16, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $150, reservations required). A Portland restaurant favorite, Nostrana, pairs Montinore’s wine with a day of pork-themed food-making and eating.

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Oregon’s Winter Bounty

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Root vegetables reign king at the Beaverton Winter Farmers Market.

Root vegetables reign king at the Beaverton Winter Farmers Market.

You think it’s coming, but don’t worry—it’s not. We’re talking about the winter slump. The weeks between the holiday season’s end and the first buds of spring can seem—at first glance—daunting. However, the purple-skied days of winter hold a certain magic. While summer’s juicy fruit is quietly in the making, a yield of winter bounty is ready to be picked and shared.

February starts with an exuberant celebration of Oregon’s winter harvest as the Beaverton Farmers Market begins its winter hours. The winter market continues the first and third Saturdays of February, March, and April from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is special in its own right.

First, grab a cup of coffee from the Pony Espresso coffee cart. Owner Bruce Grafixs conjurs the feeling of warmer days as he serves up local Stumptown Coffee and Stash Tea in a Hawaiian shirt.

Other liquid treats await. The Tigard-made Souper Natural sources from local farms to make exotic varieties: Caribbean stew, sweet potato curry, and broccoli blue cheese. Additionally, our farmers markets support the area’s thriving craft beer scene. Get brews from local brewers, such as Ambacht, whose ginger beer will warm you right up!

Looking for something to chew rather than sip? The wood-fired pies from Big O’s Delicious Pizza creates perfectly thin (and an ever-so-slightly charred) crust.

Are we forgetting something? Oh yes—the vegetables! It is a farmers market after all. Wintertime yield is incredibly hearty. Root vegetables like potatoes, turnips, heirloom carrots, and parsnips wait for your culinary adventures in roasting, soup simmering, and slow cooking.

Beyond the winter market, Oregon’s winter bounty can be experienced all over the area. Stop along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway for dried fruit, walnuts, and hazelnuts from Duyck’s Peachy Pig Farm. Additionally, the ever resourceful Heart 2 Heart Farms always has exciting new produce and meat. From quail eggs to its weekly “Free Vegetable Friday,” the farm shows off how farm-life happily buzzes year-round.

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Cookies: The Aroma of the Holidays

Posted on: December 18th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments
The hardest part of this recipe is getting it into the oven (instead of just eating the scrumptious cookie dough).

The hardest part of this recipe is getting it into the oven (instead of just eating the scrumptious cookie dough).

It’s true—the smell of batch after batch of cookies baking in the oven always brings me back to holiday memories. Forget fresh snow! I’d rather be engulfed by a delicious fog of powdered sugar. Today is National Bake Cookies Day and I’m celebrating with a cozy day in the kitchen. My go-to cookie recipe has California roots, but I’ve found that a using produce of Oregon’s Washington County (like cherries and hazelnuts from local farms and markets) takes this confection to the next level.

Cherry Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit July 2008 and Icing on the Cake

Ingredients:
•    1 cup dried tart cherries (about 5 1/2 ounces)
•    1/3 cup cherry liquor (I used Heering)
•    2 tablespoons water
•    1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
•    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
•    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
•    1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
•    1/2 cup of sugar
•    2 large eggs
•    3 teaspoons vanilla extract
•    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
•    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (about 6 1/2 ounces)
•    1/2 cup white chocolate chips (about 6 1/2 ounces)
•    1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 375° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bring cherries, cherry liquor, maraschino cherry juice, and water to boil in small sauce pan. Remove from heat and let cherries soak for 15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 a tablespoon of the liquid in a small bowl and drain the rest. Pat cherries dry and set aside.

Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs and extracts, beat to blend. Add tablespoon of reserved cherry liquid. Add flour mixture and beat on low. Stir in cherries, white and semi-sweet chocolate chips, hazelnuts. Cover bowl and chill in fridge for 3 hours.

After removing dough from the fridge, scoop tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies one sheet at a time until edges are light golden brown (11-13 minutes). Turn baking sheets halfway through cooking time. Transfer to rack and cool.

Makes about two dozen cookies.

P.S. Not a baker? You can still treat yourself with a cookie from one of our stellar bakeries.

Apple of my eye, pizza, and cookie

Posted on: October 18th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments

As a kid, my grandmother often fixed me a snack of apple slices and thin strips of cheddar. She’d say, “An apple without the cheese is like a hug without the squeeze.” Schmaltz aside, my grandmother was right. My tastebuds have evolved, but I still love apples with cheese.

October marks National Pizza Month and National Cookie Month (amazing, right?). In honor of the holidays, apple season in Oregon’s Washington County, and my grandmother, we have recipes that put a grown-up spin on two kid classics. Get the star ingredients from our farmers markets.

Butternut & apple pizza with a pesto drizzle.

Butternut & apple pizza with a pesto drizzle.

Sweet Potato and Apple Pizza

Pre-baking the dough keeps the crust crisp under the weight of fall’s hearty ingredients.
Ingredients:
1 pre-made pizza dough
1 ½ cup tomato sauce
4 oz smoked mozzarella, sliced
1 small sweet potato
1 medium apple
3 tablespoons pesto

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Spread pizza dough on a floured baking sheet or pizza stone
Bake pizza dough for 10 minutes
Slice sweet potato and apple very thin with a small paring knife or mandolin
In a glass bowl, microwave sweet potato slices with 3 tablespoons of water for 3 minutes
Remove pizza dough from the oven and spread tomato sauce on top
Layer smoked mozzarella, sweet potato, and apple on top of the pizza
Drizzle pesto over the pizza
Bake pizza for 10-12 minutes

Gouda in a cookie? Yes!

Gouda in a cookie? Yes!

Apple and Gouda Oatmeal Cookies
My friend traces her family’s savory cookie recipe to an out-of-print Betty Crocker cookbook. With adaptations over the years, this interesting cookie pairs great with Pinot Noir.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 egg
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon dark rum
3/4 cup flour (gluten free flour works just fine, too)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1 medium-sized apple, peeled and cored(about 10 ounces)
1/2 cup mild Gouda cheese, finely chopped
¾ cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 375.
Whisk olive oil and egg in a glass in a bowl until combined.
Whisk in vanilla and rum and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, and oats.
Stir in dried cherries.
Grate apple directly into mixture. Add Gouda and stir.
Add liquids and stir gently until dough is wet and clumpy.
Drop dough in large spoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake until cookies are golden (17-20 minutes).
Cool cookies before eating.

Filbert Friends

Posted on: October 14th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey 2 Comments
Get hazelnuts fresh from the farm...by the shovel full!

Get hazelnuts fresh from the farm…by the shovel full!

There’s been a lot of talk of pumpkins and apples lately. How can we not? They are fall classics. But what about something a little nuttier? Here comes the hazelnuts! The toasty little nuts hit their prime October through December in Oregon. Did you know that 99% of all hazelnuts grown in the United States come from the Willamette Valley? Our mild, yet drizzly climate grows heftier hazelnuts in both size and taste.

While getting your fill of those pumpkins and apples at our farmers markets, get a load of hazelnuts, too. The Beaverton Farmers Market includes vendors who serve incredibly unique hazelnut treats, including Ken & June’s decadent white chocolate covered hazelnuts.

The Forest Grove Farmers Market is home to Sweet Treats by George, which continues celebrating the famous peanut brittle recipe of George’s aunt. This recipe inspired new ones, including George’s toasty hazelnut brittle.

While the farmers market is a great place to connect with filbert farmers, the Hazelnut Growers of Oregon also created a hazelnut hub at the Oregon Orchard Hazelnuts. Get your hazelnuts fix in the salty, smoked, or sweet variety. For a true Oregonian experience, chomp on Marionberry hazelnuts. A blanket of chocolate infused with Marionberry—an Oregon-specific blackberry—envelops the crunchy hazelnut center.

Because the Willamette Valley is the end-all-be-all source for hazelnuts, local chefs favor them in cuisine. Hall Street Grill’s brunch menu includes the popular candied bacon and hazelnut waffle. Small pieces of crystalized maple contrast with soft bourbon-hazelnut butter. Add fried chicken on top to balance the sweetness.

A bag of fresh hazelnuts is a great souvenir, but the farmers have another way to extend newfound filbert fanaticism. He Sells These Shells collects hazelnut shells from local farmers and turns them into essential gardening materials. Use the shells in a myriad of ways: stop hungry slugs and snails from snacking on your garden, replace pebbled pathways with a more unique look, and keep soil cool. He Sells These Shells can be picked up at the Tualatin Farmers Market and Lolich Family Farm.

During your visit, we hope you see how the roasted comfort of our hazelnuts are the perfect complement to everything Oregon’s Washington County has to offer.

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Artsy-Fartsy Weekend

Posted on: September 11th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Artists paint "en plein air" during Hillsboro's annual outdoor art weekend.

Artists paint “en plein air” during Hillsboro’s annual outdoor art weekend.

Good travel is like good art in that we lose ourselves in both. The experience of new art in a new place is an unmatchable alchemy. Feel the magic for yourself in an art-drenched weekend right here in Oregon’s Washington County, where artists live and play. Come see their work and the place that inspires it.

Friday, September 20: Hot Air Flows Into Cool Nights
Remind yourself that an artist lives in us all. Start the weekend by creating your own masterpiece at Live Laugh Love Glass’ Pumpkin Palooza. You’ll see the fluidity of art as hot glass ebbs and flows into a unique blown glass pumpkin. Register early and remember to use the “Pumpkin” coupon code for 50% off!

On an artist’s high, float on down to Nocturne Painting (8 p.m. to midnight at Primrose and Tumbleweeds). Instead of gallery hopping, art-lovers are invited to grab a glass of wine and watch artists paint outside—in the dark. Watch how the night proves itself to be a fruitful muse.

Saturday, September 21: Art in the Great-Wide-Open
Plein Air originates from the French “en plein air,” meaning “in the open.” This technique, which dates back to the 1800s, continues today through a variety of Hillsboro Plein Air events, including a figurative quick draw on the Courthouse Lawn (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in downtown Hillsboro) . Participants can pre-register for $40 or register for $45 the day of the event.

Hopping over to Forest Grove, partake in art from the ground level. The 23rd Annual Chalk Art Festival (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Forest Grove’s Main Street) invites artists of all skills and styles to create their own chalky magnum opus on the sidewalks of historic Forest Grove. For $12, participants claim a square of sidewalk canvas and a set of pastel chalk to use and take home.

Sunday, September 22: Tasty Local Art
A-buzz with creative energy, let the kaleidoscope of colors, smells, and tastes wash over you at the Hillsboro Sunday Farmers Market at Orenco Station. You can support local artists selling their artisan apothecary, hand-dyed clothing, and one-of-a-kind hats, as well.

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Season Shift Sangria

Posted on: August 28th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
With the twilight of summer and fall in the distance, our season shift sangria feels just right.

With the twilight of summer and fall in the distance, our season shift sangria feels just right.

Sangria is derived from the Latin word for “blood,” “sanguis” because of its deep garnet color. Breaking from its vampy namesake, Sangria has come to be synonymous with summer forays, twinkle-lit parties, and al fresco happy hours. While sangria was named after its brooding crimson color, its popping flavors are a suitable life-blood for any party. It is that very intersection between the rich, deep flavors of red wine and the crisp crunch of fresh fruit that makes sangria so irresistible.

In this way, sangria mimics the crossroads between summer and fall that we love so much in Oregon’s Washington County. A surefire way to linger on the last days of summer, while still honoring the emerging autumnal flavors is to pair our wines with the changing season’s best local produce. Apples and Pears from our farmers markets make the second part easy.

Sticking to sangria’s Spanish roots, we suggest picking up a bottle of Raptor Ridge Winery’s 2011 Spanish-style Tempranillo. This very drinkable red has fruity notes that will bounce off of—not clash against—the fruit in sangria pitcher. White wine more your style? Lighten up with Blooming Hill Vineyard & Winery’s 2011 Pinot Gris, which is has strong bursts of pear complimented by a licorice finish.

Season Shift Sangria

Ingredients:

1 bottle Tempranillo (for red) or Pinot Gris (for white)
½ cup brandy
¼ cup superfine sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1 apple, cored and cubed into 1 inch pieces
1 pear, cored and cubed into 1 inch pieces
2 cups sparkling water (for a little effervescence)
2 cinnamon sticks

Chill wine in fridge for at least 24 hours

Place fruit at bottom of pitcher

With a wooden spoon, lightly muddle fruit

Pour chilled wine into pitcher

Stir in brandy, lemon juice, and sparkling water

Stir in sugar

Place cinnamon sticks in pitcher

Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

Cheers!

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