Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday Best---5th Annual Holiday Sale

'Tis the season for little holiday sales and this looks like a must-go-to! So, if you are lucky enough to be in Portland, Oregon this weekend...why not stop by?

Sunday Best is an annual holiday event and sale featuring Portland artists who are offering what looks to be a great holiday gift selection.

Here's a look at some of the fun kitcheny things that you will find at the event!

Gretchen Vaudt

Anna Joyce Design

Pigeon Toe Ceramics

Zanna Printed Textiles

Sunday Best 
Saturday, December 4 – 11am to 7pm
Sunday, December 5 – 11am to 5pm

The Cleaners event space is located on the corner of SW 10th & Stark,
just steps down the block from the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Niche Modern Pendant Giveaway on Apartment Therapy website

I just love lights that incorporate the bulb into the design. If you think this well designed, unique lamp from Niche Modern would be great addition to your kitchen you can enter here to win it. You have until Dec. 2 to enter. Good luck!

Solitaire Modern Pendant Light valued at $475

Monday, November 29, 2010

Contadino Pinot Grigio Vivace...sparkly, fizzy, festive and fun!

I would like to suggest a wine that I think is the perfect wine for your upcoming holiday celebrations. If you find the bubbles in champagne a bit much, but still like the festiveness of champagne, I think you will like this. Contadino Pinot Grigio Vivace comes in a lovely, screw top bottle and sells for $4.99 at Trader Joe's. You will find it slightly sparkling, with a delightful light flavor and filled with tiny bubbles.

Sold at Trader Joe's

It's sparkly, fizzy, festive and fun! Google it and you will find lots of other fancy wine words and analogies to describe it. But do give it a try. I think you will find it to be a perfect wine for many occasions.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Owl Lover 2011 Calendar

If you're like me you have calendars all over the house and especially one in the kitchen.

Over 30 talented artists have contributed their owl artwork for the “Owl Lover 2011 Calendar” project. Browse thru the gallery of images, select your favorite artwork for each month, download it as a pdf, then print it out! And did I mention that it's FREE!

Here are a few of the wonderful images that you can select from:

Penelope and Pip
Pamela Michelle
Kelly Ann
Dennis Bennett

This project is the brainchild of Shivani of My Owl Barn blog... a blog for owl lovers!
Thank you Shivani and contributing artists!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wild Arts Festival, Portland Oregon! This weekend!

This weekend I'm going to take a little time away from my pre-Thanksgiving kitchen activities and go to this wonderful art festival. If you happen to be in Portland this weekend you should stop by.

 Wild Arts Festival
A celebration in arts and books benefiting the Portland Audubon Society
Montgomery Park Atrium and Ballroom
Nov. 20-21
2701 NW Vaughn, Portland, OR  map
Admission - $5

Sian Alexander Ceramic

There will be more than 100 painters, sculptors, potters, photographers, and authors proudly showing their artistry.  It is said to be the Northwest's premier show and sale of nature-related art and books. There will be many many one-of-a-kind pieces of art...my favorite kind of anything...one-of-a-kind!

by Jackie McIntyre

Artist Jackie McIntyre, who created the piece above, writes on her blog:  Art Media donates 6" x 6" gallery wrapped canvases to any artist wanting to do a bird painting and then donate the painting back to the show.  On the first day of the show is a wall filled with all these small paintings which will be sold for $40.00.  It's a lot of fun as everyone waits for the time when they are allowed to go take the one off the wall they want to buy. It's sort of a stampede and everyone hopes the one they have chosen doesn't get plucked off the wall before they can get to it.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Crystal Goblet and the Wine

Several months ago I came across the amazing video of a 3 year old boy reciting the poem "Litany" by Billy Collins. Last week when I saw the poem posted on Rosemary's blog I thought I should share this poetry with my kitchen-dreams readers. Because after all...bread and knives are found in the kitchen. As well as crystal goblets and wine. If you don't understand what I am talking about you will after you listen. :)

I have included 2 video versions of the wonderful poem "Litany". One recited, memorized and not read by the now famous, then 3 year old, Samuel Chelpka. The other read by the former Poet Laureate himself, Billy Collins, who first explains his inspiration and then reads the poem how he meant it to be heard.

Click here to brighten your day!

by Billy Collins
“You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine…”
-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.
I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow—the wine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mini Grilled (BRIE) Cheese Appetizers

If you need to take an appetizer to any of your upcoming holiday parties you might want to try making these: Mini Grilled Brie Cheese Sandwiches with caramelized pears, toasted walnuts and dried cranberries. They were adapted from a similar sandwich made by the famous Grilled Cheese Truck in Los Angeles. You can read more about the GC Truck and get the recipe on the adorable snacktive blog.

Doesn't this look yummy?

 photos used with permission from snacktive

Monday, November 15, 2010

White truffles...as in fungi


White truffles are found almost exclusively in the hills of the Piedmont region in Italy (sigh) where specially trained pigs and dogs sniff out these buried treasures. In a recent issue of TIME magazine Josh Ozersky describes the unique aroma of white truffles as:

     “A combination of newly plowed soil, fall rain and the
           pungent memory of lost youth and past love affairs.”

Oh my.

I've never experienced a truffle but after this description poetry I'm not sure I need to taste one. But I most certainly do need to smell one.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Inspiration

Here are a few inspiration ideas for Thanksgiving table centerpieces that seem somewhat easy to recreate if you have the time. I am a big fan of table accents that allow you to see and visit with those sitting across the table from you.

Pottery Barn

If you live in an area where there is an abundance of Fall colors and textures you could incorporate them into a centerpiece like the one above.

You can find these rustic amber candles as well as the scatterd leaves at Crate and Barrel. Or you can send me a note and I'll mail you some lovely leaves from the Pacific Northwest!

Ladies Home Journal

This would be a fun idea to try if you have a pretty cake plate, some gourds, gold spray paint and nice gold ribbon. You can find instructions here.

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens ***Ribbon: namemaker.com

I love the elements in this arrangement. I love the shiny clear glass candlesticks paired with the textures of the ivy pots and the smoothness of the gourds. And the printed ribbon is so fun.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Would you like to cook (or not) Thanksgiving dinner in a beautiful kitchen in Mexico?


Through my timeshare exchange club, I am able to offer fantastic prices on 7 night stays at resorts all over the world. Last year we spent a week at the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta (20 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta).  It is an amazing, luxurious resort!

I have a 1 bedroom unit, at the Grand Mayan, available for Thanksgiving week starting on Nov. 20 or 21. This beautiful unit sleeps 6 (1 king size bed, 2 fold out beds). Each one bedroom unit has a "dipping pool" on the balcony. Each one bedroom unit has a full kitchen with all the amenities. The lazy river is 1/2 mile long!   There are adult pools, children's pools, water slides, wave pools and of course...the beach. It is a wonderful place for a relaxing vacation. 

The last minute price I am offering my blogging friends for all 7 nights, including taxes: $623! This is $89 per night.


I do have other properties and other dates available...Hawaii, Florida, California, Las Vegas, all of Mexico, Paris, Italy and more!

               Where would you like to go?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Good Morning Mrs. Meyer*s!

Oh Mrs. Meyer*s how I love your Basil scented hand soap! It turns hand washing into an aromatherapy experience. Sometimes I have to pause at my kitchen sink to wash my hands, just so I can smell the wonderful, clean scent "that is known for it's uncanny ability to ease the nerves and perk up the senses".  It does just that!  Thank you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Jones BACON Soda

Here is some big news for all of the bacon enthusiasts out there. And I know there
are thousands of you indulging in this love affair with bacon! Jones Soda teamed up
with Seattle based J&D foods (who specialize in all things bacon) and have just come
out with a new bacon-flavored soda just in time for the holidays. The creators feel their
Jones Bacon Soda is the perfect accompaniment to a lunchtime sandwich, or is a great mixer to use in cocktails.  Hmmmmmm??????

What do you think????

The Jones Bacon Soda Holiday Pack ($9.99) comes with
2 Bottles of Jones Bacon Soda (The label on the right makes me laugh.)
1 Tube of Bacon Lip Balm
1 Package of Bacon Popcorn
1 Package of Bacon Gravy Mix

Friday, November 5, 2010

Little Winter Market!


I love going to little craft/art sales. I find it so inspiring to see all of the unique handmade things that people are creating. I was excited to find out about this market from San Francisco blogger Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day. She and her husband will have a booth at the Market. Being new to the blogging scene I'm also happy to have found the blogs of the event hosts: Frolic and Abby Try Again.

This weekend I think I'll stop by the Little Winter Handmade Market.  If you are lucky enough to be in Portland you should check it out. You will probably be able to find something wonderful for your kitchen. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Today is a good day for a "personal" watermelon... don't you think?

I'll post my own photos later. This photo via WayTru/Flickr

When the sun shines in Portland you just, plain and simply, can not beat it. For some reason here in Oregon we are having near to perfect weather. It's close to 70 degrees. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is fresh and clean. Everyone is smiling. Around town restaurants are throwing open their windows and setting out their sidewalk tables and chairs. The streets are full of bicycles, walkers and joggers. Leaf blowers and lawn mowers are working hard. Portland is buzzing!

Several days ago I bought a seedless watermelon at a local market knowing that Fall may not be the best time to buy a watermelon. But the handwritten sign above the mound of melons said..."Personal Watermelons $2.99". I could not resist having my own "personal" watermelon.

My melon has been patiently ripening on my kitchen counter thru days of gray skies and intermittent rain. Today the weather is lovely outside and inside. A perfect day to cut into my "personal" watermelon... don't you think?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day of the Dead ~ Dia de los Muertos

Today many around the world are celebrating the Day of the Dead ~ Dia del los Muertos. This is a happy day! Friends and families are gathering to remember loved ones who have died. There will be parades, floats and people in costumes. Cemeteries will be busy.  Kitchens will be bustling.  I find the tradition of making altars/shrines/offerandas to honor loved ones especially moving.

Above is a shrine featured on Craft blog
It's a lovely post with some great close ups of this offeranda.

This is part of a shrine photographed by St0rmz.
See more of his lovely photographs on Flickr.

A wonderful desktop shrine (for sale $30) by Silver Moon Gallery.

photo from mexicansugarskulls.com
Sugar skulls and other sweets are found on almost every shrine.  
"Families spare no expense to make the favorite foods of their dearly departed 
who will be visiting their ofrendas to see what's being offered!"
Mexican Sugar Skulls is a great website where you can learn more about 
Dia de los Muertos, see some great photos AND learn how to make your own sugar skulls!