Strawberry Season in Full Swing

June 10, 2013

Biringer Farm girl in field with berries

It’s that time of year again. . .when strawberries are on the vine and just about ready for the picking!

According to Dianna and Mike Biringer, owners of Biringer Farm in Arlington, Wash., “Strawberries are very independent and can be sneaky! Some blooms are hiding under the vines, which keeps everyone guessing when they are going to turn into those sweet, red and juicy strawberries. However, the crop should be ready close to a normal timeline of mid-June.”

With that in mind, the fun begins this weekend with the annual Biringer Farm Strawberry Harvest Fest, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bring family and friends for berry fun activities: pony rides, giant strawberry ride, kites, animals, face paint, giant strawberry and castle maze inflatables, pennies in the hay, kiddy slides, interactive strawberry story time, ride the jolly trolley, and pluck strawberries right from the vines.

Biringer Farms pennies in the hay game photo

Enjoy a picnic on the covered wagon next to the old historic barn, fresh strawberry shortcake, kettle corn, and more. Special guests on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. are Voices of the Village, a musical performance group of individuals with disabilities.

Mark your calendars for the Biringer Farm annual Raspberry Fest & Jam Contest–Saturday, July 20, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pick your own berries, then enter the Jam Contest with your own creative strawberry/raspberry jam mix.

Festival admission is free, with reasonably priced food and drink. And tour groups can book a visit online and experience farm life.

Farm Market Goodies include pre-picked strawberries, sliced and sugared strawberries ready to eat and freeze, local honey, gourmet packaged shortcakes, and cold drinks.

Biringer Farms strawberry box photo

Throughout the season, Biringer Farms offer not only sweet and juicy strawberries, but luscious raspberries, tayberries, blackberries, and blackcaps.

Check the Biringer Farm website for updates during harvest season or call the Customer Information Line: 425-259-0255.

Biringer Farm Satellite Berry Barns will be at different locations for those that are unable to visit the farm. The Biringer family will also bring choice berries to the Shoreline, Arlington, and new Everett Mall Farmers Market at the Everett Mall.

Biringer Farm is a proud sponsor of The Marysville Strawberry Festival and members of The Red Rooster Route Family Farms.

Northwest Chefs Honored to Cook at the James Beard House

May 13, 2013

The Willamette Valley

On back-to-back evenings, beloved chefs from the Pacific Northwest will cook at the James Beard House.

John Sundstrom, chef/owner of Lark in Seattle, will work his magic on Wednesday, May 22nd, at 7 p.m. A James Beard Foundation (JBF) award-winner, John has just released his first cookbook. It is entitled, “Lark: Cooking Against the Grain,” and featured his rustic, yet elegant style of cuisine which focuses on the work of the finest local artisan food producers, farmers, meat producers, and foragers.

The five-course dinner, plus hors d’oeuvres, features Walla Walla White Asparagus Bagna Cauda with Cured Egg Yolk; Wagyu Flap Steak with Morels, Spring Onions, and Smoked Marrow-Red Wine Sauce; and Savarin Cake with Strawberries, Rhubarb Mousse, and Lemon-Yogurt Meringues. Wine pairings hail from Abeja and Belle Pente.

The next evening, also beginning at 7 p.m., Portland chef Jason Barwikowski of The Woodsman Tavern, takes over the reins in the kitchen, to produce hors d’oeuvres and a five-course dinner featuring European-inflected American fare sourced from local and artisanal purveyors. Wine pairings will be chosen by Woodsman Tavern wine director Carly Laws, with the same pricing as John Sundstrom’s dinner.

One June 10th at 7 p.m., Jessica Bagley, general manager/owner of The Painted Lady, located in Newberg, Oregon, and chef/owner Allen Routt, will bring a taste of the Willamette Valley to the James Beard House. Their innovative and locally inspired menu will be paired with wines from Anderson Family Vineyard, an organic, boutique winery.

All three dinners are priced at $130 for JBF members; $170 for the general public.

Not to be forgotten is Gabriel Rucker of Portland’s Le Pigeon, one of the chefs chosen to cook at The 2013 JBF Awards gala on May 6th. Congratulations to all our talented chefs who strut their stuff at the James Beard House!

Pike Place Market Arcade Lights

April 1, 2013

Pike place market sunset shot

Please save the date for the Pike Place Market’s Arcade Lights, a semiannual celebration of artisan foods, craft beers, and wine on April 19 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (6:30 p.m. for advance ticket holders). Dedicated to promoting independent producers, Pike Place Market has invited 60 purveyors of finely crafted sweet and savory foods, local breweries, and regional wineries to participate in this delectable after-hours festival.

Held in the Market’s historic North Arcade, attendees will have the opportunity to sample and pair favorite artisan foods and beverages while discovering the season’s newest flavors. They’ll meet and chat with emerging purveyors as well as get to know the vendors of their favorite brews and bites.

Arcade Lights offers an opportunity to experience the ambiance and views of Pike Place Market at night while sipping handcrafted ales, Washington wines, ciders and nonalcoholic beverages.

Among the event’s participants? Savory tastes will be provided by Firefly Kitchens, Mt. Townsend Creamery, Pampeana Empanadas, Uli’s Sausage, Roving Pizzaioli, and Zaccagni’s, among others. The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co., Six Strawberries, Whidbey Island Ice Cream Company, Mighty-O Donuts, and others will tempt the sweet tooth. Gluten-free baked goods will come from Coffee and A Specialty Bakery.

Local participating breweries include Elysian Brewing Company, Odin Brewing Company, Pike Brewing Company, Fremont Brewing and Reuben’s Brews among others. Wine enthusiasts will delight in a sparkling wine from Masquerade Wine, while cider fans will enjoy tasting cider from The Methow Valley Ciderhouse and Eaglemount Wine and Cider.

Tickets: $28 advance purchase / $35 day of the event. Tickets include 10 tokens to be redeemed for food and beverages and a keepsake glass. Additional tokens may be purchased at the event for $2.50 each.

Arcade Lights benefits the Market Foundation, a not-for-profit organization supporting human-service agencies at the Pike Place Market: Pike Market Child Care and Preschool, Pike Market Medical Clinic, Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank.




Arcade Lights at Pike Place Market

October 9, 2012

The Pike Place Market’s semiannual celebration of local artisanal food and beverages–Arcade Lights–takes place again on Friday, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Located in the Market’s North Arcade, the event brings together all the right elements for a hearty fall harvest celebration including robust drink, savory and sweet treats, eclectic entertainment, and a cozy venue with a sunset view.

To create this unique banquet of handcrafted tastes and small plates, event organizers curated more than 60 breweries, wineries, and small-scale food businesses to participate in this evening event for guests 21 and over.

A short list of participating breweries includes: Iron Horse Brewery (Ellensburg); Odin Brewing Co., Fremont Brewing, Naked City Brewery, Pike Place Brewing Company (Seattle); Fish Brewing Co. (Olympia); Diamond Knot Craft Brewing (Mukilteo); Northwest Brewing Company (Pacific); and 7 Seas Brewing (Gig Harbor).

Washington wineries providing tastes of their seasonal best include: Piccola Cellars, EFESTE (Woodinville); Bunchgrass Winery (Walla Walla); Naches Heights Vineyard (Yakima); Finnriver Cidery (Chimacum); and Vortex Cellars (Redmond).

Sweet and savory handmade small bites will provide a perfect complement to the brews, wines, and ciders. On the sweet side, treats such as mini ice cream sandwiches, Liege waffles (a type of Belgian waffle), cupcakes, gluten-free cakes and tarts, marshmallows, dark chocolate brownies and Ice-pops will be provided by: Trophy Cupcakes and Party, Sweet Iron Waffles, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, Six Strawberries, Dolce Lou, Sweet Coconut Bakery, Alaska Silk Pie Co., and others.

On the salty side, CRUST from Port Townsend will be on deck with quince chicken hand pies, and Seattle’s Salumi will serve up salami slices. Uli’s Famous Sausage will roll out meat treats from their shop located in the Market, while Roving Pizzaioli from Normandy Park dishes out delicious slices fresh from the oven.

In addition to all the fun you’ll have, Arcade Lights also benefits the Market Foundation and the human service agencies at the Pike Place Market: Pike Market Child Care and Preschool, Pike Market Medical Clinic, Pike Market Senior Center, and Downtown Food Bank.



Arcade Lights Event Info


Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door.


Online Purchase:


Treats included: 10 tokens to be redeemed for food and beverages and keepsake glass. Additional tokens may be purchased at the event for $2.50 each.


Time: 7 pm -10 pm. Tickets may be picked up at will call or purchased at the door at 6:30 pm.


More info: visit for a complete updated list of participating vendors.




The Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the U.S. It is a Historic District with 250 commercial businesses, 100 farmers, 225 craftspeople, 300 street performers, and 500 residents. In addition, there are social services to help downtown’s low-income residents. It is often called the “Soul of Seattle.”


The Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) is a not-for-profit, public corporation chartered by the City of Seattle in 1973 to manage the properties in the nine-acre Market Historic District. The PDA is required to preserve, rehabilitate and protect the Market’s buildings, increase opportunities for farm and food retailing in the Market, incubate and support small and marginal businesses, and provide services for low-income people.



Strawberry-Nut Bread

August 31, 2012

Strawberry-Nut Bread

Wine Varietal: Sweet Dessert Wine

Makes 2 loaves

A light-brown nut bread bursting with cinnamon, this recipe is great to make when local strawberries are available in the late spring and summer, as well as around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays using frozen, sliced berries. It originated from Dianna Biringer, co-owner of Biringer Farm. The Biringer family first had a farm table, then a retail outlet, in the Pike Place Market. Nowadays, they hoss an annual Strawberry Festival and other festive events throughout the year, at the farm on the Red Rooster Route in Arlington, Washington.

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/4 cups light vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, or soy

2 cups fresh strawberries, prepared as described in the Cook’s Hint, below, or 2 cups frozen, unsweetened, sliced strawberries, thawed

1 1/4 cups chopped hazelnuts or pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two 5-by 9-inch loaf pans or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar, then whisk until the cinnamon is dispersed throughout the flour. In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs, then mix in the oil, strawberries, and hazelnuts with a fork.

3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, stirring just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Turn out the loaves, slice into 8 slices per loaf, and serve as desired (see Serving Suggestions, below).

Cook’s Hint: If using fresh berries, make sure they are very ripe and juicy. Halve or quarter the berries, then gently mash them with a fork to start the juices flowing. Let the berries sit at room temperature for 1 hour before adding to the wet ingredients. You can also substitute frozen, sweetened berries, but reduce the 2 cups of sugar to 1 1/2 cups.

Serving Suggestions: Once baked, slices of Strawberry-Nut Bread make a scandalously rich base for strawberry shortcake or strawberry sundaes. To serve, just put a slice in the bottom of a deep dish and add a scoop of strawberry ice cream or frozen yogurt, additional sliced strawberries or strawberry syrup, whipped cream or whipped topping, and top with a whole strawberry.

Photo Courtesy of Biringer Farms


Help Save Bristol Bay Salmon!

July 17, 2012

Brennon Leighton, Efesté winemaker at The Last Salmon Dinner at Blueacre Seafood

On July 11, Spencer and I were lucky enough to attend a dinner that every Northwestern resident–heck, every American–should know about.

Held at Blueacre Seafood in downtown Seattle, The Last Salmon Dinner was hosted by chef/owner Kevin Davis and his wife and owner Terresa Davis. The couple’s aim, in addition to feeding a five-course, salmon-centric meal to an enthusiastic crowd of 70 people, was to expose the proposal by Pebble Limited Partnership, a consortium of the world’s second largest multinational mining corporation, to build an open-pit mining complex at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, one of our nation’s last great salmon fisheries.

The proposed mine will span 20 square miles, with containment ponds that will hold between 2.5-billion and 10-billion tons of toxic mine waste.

Needless to say, the environmental impact of the proposed Pebble Mine on the surrounding waters of Bristol Bay would be immeasurable, and irreversible.

So much so that chef Davis, a life-long fisher, posed the question: Will the last wild salmon to leave Bristol Bay please remember to turn off the lights?

Efesté (pronounced F-S-T), was the wine partner, and winemaker Brennon Leighton said he was honored when chef Davis chose his wines to represent this event.

But the dinner was not all environmental hand-wringing and finger-pointing. Chef Davis outdid himself with cooking and presenting Bristol Bay salmon at its finest.

Chef Davis’s Assorted Delicacies of The Sea included crispy smelt, albacore tuna poke, chilled oysters, and geoduck ceviche, paired with Efeste Feral 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is special because it’s fermented using native, wild yeast–no commercial yeast is added–then it’s aged in two-year-old French Oak barrels.

I’ve rarely had such a creative (and beautiful) rendition of gravlax as Davis’s Horseradish-Cured Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon with lovage salad (its lively notes of anise reminded me of fresh shiso leaf), pickled rhubarb, baby yellow and pink beets, and Austrian pumpkin seed oil paired with Lola 2010 Chardonnay, made from 100% Chardonnay and also fermented with native yeast and (refreshingly) not heavily oaked.

A zippy cup of Rainier Cherry Gazpacho with balsamic croutons, lavender goat cheese, and a flurry of edible flowers made a perfect (summery!) pairing with Babbitt 2011 Rosé, made from 71% Syrah and 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, and normally available only at the winery.

A Roulade of Bristol Bay Salmon, morel mushrooms, summer truffles, and sauce cardinal was a mellifluous melding of earth and ocean. It went “swimmingly” with Ceidleigh (pronounced Kay-Lee) 2009 Syrah, a rich, ripe Syrah rife with dried cherries and plum notes.

Vanilla Pound Cake with the season’s best Skagit Valley strawberries and raspberries, mint syrup, and house-made “cool whip” pulled up the rear in grand style.

I left with pages of notes and much to think about, both in regards to the proposed Pebble Limited Partnership Mine, Davis’s culinary prowess with prized Bristol Bay salmon, and winemaker Leighton’s outstanding wine pairings.

Even if you weren’t able to attend The Last Salmon Dinner, YOU CAN HELP!

Write to your local congressman to STOP the building of the Pebble Mine at the mouth of Bristol Bay. And visit the Save Bristol Bay and Bristol Bay Sockeye websites for more information.

Save the Date: Strawberry Fest Coming June 16 and 17

June 1, 2012

It’s once again time to celebrate the season–and Father’s Day weekend–at Biringer Farm’s Strawberry Festival on the Red Rooster Route.

According to a recent press release, “The juiciest and most deliciously sweet local strawberries are in season this month and will be celebrated on June 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Biringer Farm’s fourth annual Strawberry Festival.

“This fourth annual Strawberry Festival is hosted by Biringer Farm, which will welcome savvy shoppers interested in buying local and picking berries fresh from the fields.

“Come bring fathers and grandfathers out for family fun this Father’s Day at the Red Rooster Route Strawberry Festival!”

Biringer Farm anticipates strawberries will be ready from mid to late June, and will have u-pick and we-pick strawberries and their legendary strawberry shortcake for sale.

This year’s theme is “Fun in Farmland.”

Kids’ activities include a giant strawberry ride, kites, animals, face paint, giant strawberry  and castle-maze inflatables, pennies in the hay, kites, kiddy slides, pig-butt bowling, fun interactive strawberry story time, riding the jolly trolley and plucking strawberries right from the vines.

Picnic on the covered wagon next to the old historic barn and stop by the Farm Market for pre-picked strawberries and strawberry shortcake, local honey, gourmet packaged shortcakes, cold drinks, and sliced-and-sugared strawberries ready to eat and freeze.

Mike Biringer, farmer and co-owner of Biringer Farms says, “The strawberry festival is a great opportunity to see a real working farm up close and support local agriculture.”

Wife and co-owner, Dianna Biringer, adds, “Sign up to enter the second annual Tasty Jam Party! When you bring your own homemade jam made entirely or in part with Biringer Farm strawberries or raspberries, you will get one FREE six-box flat of our strawberries or raspberries.”

The tasting will be held on July 21st from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., with the winner announced on the Biringer Farm website.

Biringer Farm is part of  The Red Rooster Route, a non-profit association of small, family-friendly farms in the Arlington, Washington, area of Snohomish County, which are open to the public during the harvest season.

Summer Fun in Eastern Washington

May 8, 2012

Foodies and wine lovers will love the latest list of activities planned in the Wenatchee Valley and the Tri-Cities now through August. Thanks to the Wenatchee Valley Visitors Bureau and The Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau for these great ideas.

Wenatchee Valley Upcoming Events:

Mother’s Day Tea at Ohme Gardens, Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bring mom to an afternoon in the garden and enjoy a tea party on her special day. Mother’s Day Tea in the garden will feature fresh baked scones, muffins, chocolate dipped strawberries and bite sized desserts by Chef Richard Kitos of The IvyWild Inn Catering. Refreshments will include coffee, tea, iced tea and strawberry lemonade. Tea time is 12 p.m.- 4 p.m. Mothers will receive a complimentary plant courtesy of Ohme Gardens and additional plants will be on display for sale. Family Photo by Michael’s Photography will be provided between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. no appointment necessary. Prices, which include tea, photos and entrance to the gardens, are as follows: $35 per couple; $40 per family of up to five. Additional family members will be charged $2 per child and $4 per adult.

Cooking Class at IvyWild Inn with Chef Richard Kitos “Homemade Pizza Night” – Tuesday May 15, 2012

Richard Kitos, co-owner of The Ivy Wild Inn will show guests how to toss up a homemade pizza. Attendees will craft a Classic Caesar salad, pizza dough, pesto-chicken-red bell pepper, beet-toasted walnuts-goat cheese, plum tomatoes-kalamata olive-feta cheese- fresh basil, prosciutto-pineapple-red onion, and Richards “it’s too easy” tiramisu. Classes take place at The Ivy Wild Inn and cost $40 per person or $105 for a series of three classes. The two-hour class starts at 5:30 p.m. Guests are invited to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy with the items created in class following the meal. To enroll call Ashley Kitos at (509) 293-5517. For more information, visit

Spring Barrel Tasting, Friday, May 18 – Sunday, May 20, 2012

Join the wineries of Wenatchee Wine Country for a day of barrel tasting, food and live music.  Participating wineries, including Saint Laurent, Martin-Scott, Stemilt Creek and many others will be open from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Taste samples of future releases straight from the barrel and be the first to enjoy the wines of a new vintage. For more information, visit

Coca Cola Junior River Relay Race, Saturday, May 19, 2012

Athletes ages five to 16 may participate in the five-leg race solo, tandem or as part of a team. Events include running, biking, paddling, obstacle course and a team sprint to the finish line.  To sign up or for more information, visit

Wenatchee Valley Farmers Markets, begins Saturday, May 19, 2012 (offered three days a week)

Stock up on the freshest fruits and vegetables at one of three daily farmers markets throughout the valley. All fruit and vegetables sold at the farmers markets are guaranteed to have been grown in the three county areas of Grant, Chelan and Douglas. For more information, visit Farmers Markets are offered three days a week, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in various locations throughout the valley:

·         Begins Wednesday, June 27, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Columbia St. in Wenatchee

·         Brings Thursday, July 12, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Methow Park in Wenatchee

·         Begins Saturday, may 19, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Columbia St. in Wenatchee

Cooking Class at IvyWild Inn with Chef Richard Kitos “Soups, Salad, Sandwich” – Tuesday May 29, 2012

Richard Kitos, co-owner of The Ivy Wild Inn will demonstrate to guests how to create the best soup, salad and sandwich participants will have ever built. Guests will prepare a creamy tomato-basil soup, spicy Thai coconut chicken soup, sautéed chicken with warm bacon vinaigrette salad, fennel and spinach salad with shrimp and balsamic vinaigrette, open faced chicken club sandwich, sugar cookie and ganache sandwich wafers. Classes take place at The Ivy Wild Inn and cost $40 per person or $105 for a series of three classes. The two-hour class starts at 5:30 p.m. Guests are invited to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy with the items created in class following the meal. To enroll call Ashley Kitos at (509) 293-5517. For more information, visit

Wenatchee Sunrise Rotary Apple Century Bike Ride, Saturday, June 2, 2012

Presented by the Wenatchee Sunrise Rotary, this bike ride begins at Walla Walla Point Park, where riders have the option of a new 25-mile ride with a turnaround at Cashmere, a 50-mile ride with a turnaround at Cascade High School in Leavenworth or the 100-mile ride with turnaround at Nason Creek Campground at Lake Wenatchee.  Begin at the meeting point at Walla Walla Park located at 1351 Walla Walla Ave. Cost per person is $60 until May 28 and increases to $70 per person after this date. Online registration closes at midnight on June 2.  To register or request more information, call 509-663-5348 or visit,

Wenatchee Valley Street Rods-Apple Run Car Show, Friday, June 8 – Sunday, June 10, 2012

This annual event has moved to East Wenatchee, 460 9th Street, NE, and will display more than 300 pre-1975 vehicles.  A variety of makes and models will be available for viewing; everything from hot rods to classics. Great food options, craft vendors and live music will accompany the car show. For more information, call 509-884-7053 or visit

Cooking Class at IvyWild Inn with Chef Richard Kitos “Cooking From Your Garden of the Farms Market” – Tuesday June 12, 2012

Richard Kitos, co-owner of The Ivy Wild Inn will teach guests to create a meal with produce from your backyard.  Attendees will craft an Arugula and shaved parmesan salad with sweet balsamic dressing, classic basil pesto with thin spaghetti, creamy Swiss chard and artichoke dip with whole grain crostini, beet, onion and goat cheese towers with crumbled sweet pistachios, duck eggs en cocotte with mushrooms and leek, and for dessert, melon and apple granite. Classes take place at The Ivy Wild Inn and cost $40 per person or $105 for a series of three classes. The two-hour class starts at 5:30 p.m. Guests are invited to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy with the items created in class following the meal. To enroll call Ashley Kitos at (509) 293-5517. For more information, visit

Wenatchee River Bluegrass Festival, Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17, 2012

A weekend of bluegrass music transforms the fairgrounds at the Chelan County Expo Center in Cashmere into a world-class concert venue drawing talent from around the nation.  With overnight camping available, events will include instrument workshops, a band scramble, contra dance, slow jam, and food vendors.  Headline bands to perform include: Alecia Nugent, Ned Crisp and Bottomline, Prairie Flyer, Brokentop Band, and Bluegrass Regulators. Children under 10 are free. The address to this location is 5700 Wescott Drive. For more information, call 509-782-1230 or visit

Andrew York Lineman’s Rodeo, Saturday, June 16, 2012

This eighth annual competition brings together electrical linemen from around the Northwest, as they test their skills at the Andrew York Memorial Lineman Rodeo held at Walla Walla Point Park. The event is held in memory of York, a Chelan County PUD lineman who was killed by a drunk driver while on the job.  This event is dedicated to raising public education and awareness about the tragedies caused by impaired drivers.  Contests will be provided for both team and apprentice linemen as well as several other activities to involve the whole family. The welcoming ceremony will start at 8:00 a.m. with the competition beginning at 8:30 a.m. For more information call, 509-663-8121 or visit,

Golfing in the Gardens at Ohme Gardens, Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bring the whole family to Ohme Gardens on Father’s Day between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and play putt-putt golf on a nine-hole mini-golf course plus a bonus hole. Drawings will be held for spectacular golf prizes. Golf clubs and entrance to the course is complimentary with paid entrance to the gardens. Rates vary and are listed at

Subaru Summer Music Series at Ohme Gardens, Thursdays, July 5 – Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ohme Gardens will feature live music Thursday nights throughout July and August from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wine and dine with Tastebuds catering, tour the gardens, and enjoy live music! Concert prices are $10 Adults $5 youth or $40 for entire series (Concert Series Passes are non-transferable). For more information, visit

• Thursdays: July 5 – July 19, 2012 & August 2 -9, 2012

• Friday: July 27, 2012

Ohme Gardens Wine & Food Gala, Saturday, July 14, 2012

It’s the Garden Party of the summer! Enjoy award-winning wines from North Central Washington’s premium estate-grown vintners, complemented by gourmet food, held at Ohme Gardens, one of the most picturesque locations in Washington. Come celebrate with music, wine and food that will be an evening to remember. Tickets will be available for sale online closer to the event at

Shakespeare’s As You Like It at Ohme Gardens, Tuesday, July 24- Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Wells House Players present, As You Like It at Ohme Gardens. Guests will enjoy one of Shakespeare’s most loved comedies, which considers the age old question of whether there is more good in city life or country life, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $3 for all ages 6 and up. For more information, visit

Apple Capital Duathlon and Triathlon, Saturday, August 18, 2012 and Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Wenatchee Triathlon Association features this popular Northwest event as athletes can choose between a triathlon or duathlon. Experience the beauty of the course and competitive field with sprint events on Saturday, including the Triathlon (450-yard swim, 20k bike, 5k run) or the Duathlon (5k run, 20k bike, 5k run). The grueling challenge of Olympic distances on Sunday features the Triathlon (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run) or Duathlon (10k run, 40k bike, 10k run).  Racing begins at 8 a.m. each day.  The events are located at Daroga State Park, just 15 miles from Wenatchee. For more information, visit or call 509-293-5614.

Tri-Cities Upcoming Events:

Terra Blanca Estate Vineyard Tour & Hike, Fridays and Saturdays , Now – October 29, 2012

Start the 2012 vintage in its infancy and follow it to harvest with guided walks through Terra Blanca’s estate vineyards. The guided walk will show how grape goes from vine to bottle. Tour content changes with the seasons. Guests are encouraged to wear suitable footwear and sunscreen. Groups are limited to 16 people per tour.  Tours will be held on Fridays at 3 p.m. and on Saturdays at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. To make reservations call 509-588-6082 or email

Classy Chassy Car Show Saturday, May 11 and May 12, 2012

The annual classic car show will display classic cars, super modified hot rods, compact tuners, bikes and trucks in historic downtown Kennewick. Enjoy live music and a family-friendly atmosphere. For more information call 509-582-7221 or visit

16th Annual UnTapped Blues Festival, May 11 and May 12, 2012

The 2012 UnTapped Festival will host an exciting line-up of talented local, regional, and national blues bands. Indulge in a local microbrew (or two) while taking in the sounds of top blues talent from the West Coast.  Up to 30 local and regional breweries will provide a variety of drafts. Food vendors and wineries will also be on hand.

Revelry, May 26, 2012

Over Memorial Day Weekend, guests will join 20 notable winemakers for a beautiful evening on Red Mountain. On the terrace at Col Solare, guests will mingle with the winemakers and taste gourmet fare, all while enjoying the panoramic views of Red Mountain, the Horse Heaven Hills and Yakima Valley. Guests also have the chance to bid on exciting items offered in the silent auction. Tickets are $95 per

Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival and Dutch Oven Rendezvous, June 8-10, 2012

Enjoy a weekend of Bluegrass music and Dutch oven cooking at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers at Sacajawea State Park. Regional musical talent, including Prairie Flyer, and the Northern Departure, will be featured as well as an acoustic heritage band competition. A Dutch oven cook shelter located in the park will host cook-offs, demonstrations and a potluck. For camping and ticket information

Annual Chalk Art Festival, June 9, 2012

All ages are encouraged to join the fun and help decorate the sidewalks of the Uptown Shopping Center. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and creating will continue until prizes are announced at 3 p.m. Form for registering are available in various stores throughout the Uptown Shopping Center. Children nine and younger cost $5, young adults ages 17 to nine cost $7 and anyone 18 or older must pay a $12 entry fee. Call (509)943-6542 for more information.

Hogs and Dogs, June 21, 2012

As one of Eastern Washington’s largest motorcycle events, Hogs and Dogs features approximately 4,000 motorcycles. A combo meal of a hot dog, chips and a drink will be available for $5.00, along with a beer garden, live music, and motorcycle related vendors. This event will be held at the Bombing Range Sports Complex on Bombing Range Road in West Richland beginning at 4 p.m. The event is free to the public.

18th Annual Cool Desert Nights, June 21, – June 23, 2012

This three-day classic car and street rod event takes place in Richland and is open to all vehicle makes and models. This event features car cruises, street dances, a Show ‘n Shine, games, activities, pancake breakfast, judging, awards and much more. For more information or to register your vehicle, please visit

Tri-Cities 2012 Geocoin Challenge: Trekking the Trails, June 22 – 24, 2012

This event will be the third geocoin challenge for the City of Richland, but the FIRST for all three of the Tri-Cities collectively! 10 new geocaches will be placed throughout Richland, Kennewick and Pasco.  Find all 30 geocaches and receive a geocoin puzzle piece from each city. There will be a total of 900 trackable geocoins distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.  A catered kick-off dinner will take place on Friday, June 22 at 6 p.m. at Columbia Point Marina Park with kid-friendly activities.  The event will wrap up with a WSGA sponsored Pancake Breakfast at 9 a.m. at Columbia Pont Marina Park.  Visit for more information.

Grand Old Fourth Celebration, July 4, 2012

A celebration of independence with plenty of entertainment for the entire family. Activities include a parade, fireworks, car shows, movies, pancake breakfast, and other fun family entertainment! All activities will take place at Gesa Stadium, 6200 Burden Blvd., Pasco, WA, 99301.

Lamb Weston Columbia Cup Hydroplane Races & HAPO Over-The-River Air Show, July 27- July 29, 2012

The Tri-City Water Follies Association is celebrating the 47th year production of the Columbia Cup. Hosting hydroplane races, an air show and many food vendors, the event is sure to be entertaining for all ages. The all day event takes place at Columbia Park in Kennewick. For more information, visit Ticket prices are as follows:

·         Weekender Two-Day Admission Ticket: Adult $25; Children 6 – 12, $10; Children 5 and under, Free

·         Saturday General Admission Ticket: Adult $15; Children 6-12 $5; Children 5 and under Free

·         Sunday General Admission Ticket: Adult $25; Children 6-12 $5; Children 5 and under Free

·         One Day Pit Access(does not include Park admission): Friday $10; Saturday $10; Sunday $10

·         Three Day Pit Pass (includes park admission): $45

2nd Annual Art in the Park, July 27 –July 28, 2012

Enjoy a walk through the Howard Amon Park as you take in the art, entertainment, and food. Art in the Park supports Allied Arts Association’s Gallery at the entrance to Howard Amon Park. This two-day event will feature both local and national artists. Dates and times include Friday, July 29 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday, July 30, from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Food (and Wine and Sweet Peas) as Restorer

October 7, 2011

As mentioned in my October 1 post, I am taking a little time off from my Northwest Notes blog this month and reprinting a few of our favorite posts from the past.

This is the reprint of a post that first appeared in July 2007. Hope you enjoy it!

On July Fourth, my husband Spencer and I celebrated in our usual way—out to dinner and with a good bottle of wine. You’ll be reading about that amazing evening at Steelhead Diner in a future post.

After dinner, we found a special spot to watch the Fourth of Jul-Ivar’s firework display along the Waterfront. When we got back to our condo, we noticed water coming in around our washer/dryer and figured the washer hose had sprung a leak. After mopping up the mess, we went to bed.

The next morning, our elderly next-door neighbor called to say he had left the plug in his kitchen sink, turned the water on to do the dishes, forgotten about the water, and gone to see the fireworks display.

Two hours of gushing water later, the damage was done to our condo, his condo, and two other condos below us. The Servpro reclamation team (experts in water damage who did a lot of work during Hurricane Katrina) arrived early Saturday morning to assess the damage and put up their equipment–huge wind blowers and a dehumidifier that now dominate our bathroom and bedroom. Spencer left Saturday afternoon for a week in the Middle East, and so for the past several days I’ve been living with the blowers and dehumidifier to try to dry out and save our maple floors and drywall.

I have been alternatively angry and depressed by this total turning upside down of my life, especially since I not only live here, but work out of my home office.

Yesterday, I just had to escape from the (very nice and concerned) workers and from the fans for a few hours, so I went to work out at the gym and run a few downtown errands, then took a stroll through the Pike Place Market. Living the bachelorette life for the past four days, I had let my larder grow empty, about as empty as my drooping spirits.

And, for once in my life, I didn’t even really want to go to my beloved Market.

But once I got there and picked out my fresh produce (including Oh My God! peaches), and shared my saga with produce monger and food-and-wine photographer Mark at Sosio’s Produce, I began to feel better. Side note, and please don’t tell his boss, Susie Manzo: Mark, dear man that he is, gave me a box of local strawberries—my favorite fruit—for free, he felt so sorry for my plight.

After I bought a loaf of Grand Central Campagnolo Bread—still my favorite artisan loaf about town—at Three Girls Bakery from the happy guy who looks like Groucho Marx, treated myself to some Plugra European Butter at The Creamery, and chatted it up with Walt and the boys at Pure Food Fish, I realized yet again that this little slice of heaven, our very own farmers’ market in the heart of downtown Seattle, is a special place not only for the fine fish, produce, dairy products and cheese, specialty-food shops, and plethora of interesting restos, but for the very special people who work along the cobblestones.

For my solo dinner last night I steamed thick asparagus and slathered it with low-fat mayo, chopped a yellow heirloom tomato and sprinkled it with Australian Sea Salt, and sautéed a quartet of fist-sized, super-succulent sea scallops seasoned with nothing more than Al’aea Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt and Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice) to soothe my senses. For dessert? Some of those baby strawberries with whipped cream and brown sugar, of course.

My simple summer supper made me smile, filled my belly, and sent my spirits soaring. A coupla glasses of winemaker extraordinaire Virginie Bourgue’s SBS–Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon from Cadaretta, a brand-new winery in Walla Walla, helped dull some of the pain.

The pretty bouquet of pristine white sweet peas I purchased from my favorite flower farmer in the Market, Carlita (Lita) Mendez, of John & Lita’s Produce & Flowers, sent me off to sweetly scented dreams on the living-room couch.

And I awoke early this morning, refreshed and restored, ready and eager to face a new day.

Merry Berry Medley

August 31, 2011

Merry Berry Medley

Wine Varietal: Raspberry or Blackberry Fruit Wine

Serves 6

Berry season runs long and strong in the Northwest, beginning with small, sweet local strawberries in late spring and ending with local cranberries in the fall. A mix of these sweet gems sprinkled with a crunchy-oat topping, baked, and served warm from the oven epitomizes the bounty of summer.

4 cups mixed berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries

1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon allspice

Pinch salt

1/4 cup butter, room temperature and cut into small chunks

Strawberry ice cream or frozen yogurt (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 6-cup baking dish or casserole. In a mixing bowl, gently stir together the berries, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the lemon juice, vanilla, and tapioca. Taste and add remaining 1/4 cup sugar if needed. Let stand 15 minutes, then pour fruit into baking dish.

2. Mix together oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a mixing bowl. With a pastry cutter or your hands work butter into dry ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over the berries.

3. Cook crumble for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbly at the edges.

4. To serve, spoon crumble into individual bowls and top with ice cream.

Recipe from Braiden Rex-Johnson’s private collection.

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