Category: Local Goodness

Spring Recipe: Asparagus Pesto

asparagus hazelnut mint pesto

…………………..

Why wait to make pesto when the basil is abundant. You can put to work those long-awaited bundles of asparagus. You can pesto just about anything using a basic recipe as a guide and substituting similar ingredients. Here in the Northwest, I like to substitute hazelnuts for pine nuts to give dishes a more local flavor. Mint makes this pesto even more bright and springy.

Asparagus Hazelnut Mint Pesto Recipe Read more

The Other Intelligent Design, or Rocks that Rock

I feel entitled, once in a while, to veer of the subject of the business of design and branding to cover one of my two loves—nature and food. Who knows how a rock or a shell or the pattern of seeds inside a cut piece of fruit will wend their way into that magazine layout or logo design? You just trust that what inspires you will work its magic at some point in the future.

Many designers I know are obsessed with rocks. The closest I’ve come to making sense of it is that rocks, with their smoothness, a wild streak of mineral deposit, surface pocked with teeny holes or perfectly oval shape, resemble the best intentionally designed objects, only they are accidents of the magic forces of nature.

_______________

Once such place where the forces of nature collide is Ona Beach on the central Oregon coast. Basalt rocks, both teeny and gigantic, have been sculpting this patch of coast for eons, creating an other-worldly landscape. You have to be here at low tide to be rewarded.

ona_rock6

ona_rock5

ona_rock4

ona_rock3

ona_rock2

ona_rock1

Upcycled Eyecandy: The New Keen Store

Needing an antidote to days of focused computer work, I took a partial inspiration day starting with a visit to the new Keen Garage store in Portland’s Pearl district, followed by a trip to the Portland Japanese Garden to see maples dusted with snow. The new, more visible store location allows passersby to visit this sustainable gem of a store that puts to clever use reclaimed materials and objects. The result is a playful, industrial-meets-vintage-meets-upcycled-meets-woodsy environment.

Photo Dec 18, 10 25 33 AM

keen_furniture2

Repurposed oil drum furniture with cushions made from a patchwork of old car seat fabrics.

keen_furniture

keen_fridge

No beer sampling since it was only 10 a.m.

keen_plants

One of many charming woodsy installations filled with the popular air plant tsillandia.

keen_wall

Windows and door frames become shelving systems for plants, socks and other merchandise.

Fortunately, I left the store without a dent in my credit card.

Good Finds: Caldera Student Blues Posters

I was lucky enough to see these blues posters as large banners at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival. They’re part of youth art program called Caldera that brings in artists from around the world to do month-long residencies working with at-risk youth.

Students worked with local artist, Joe McMurrian, to learn about blues legends and create illustrated portraits. View all the Caldera blues posters online. Originals and small prints are available for sale. Contact 503-937-7594 or email caldera@calderaarts.org. Proceeds are split between the young artist and Caldera to support more programs.

Good Finds: Local Business Captured

Even though anyone with Photoshop has long been able to “instagram” a photo, it’s still easier to add a filter or change the focus with Instagram. That ease makes me go for my iPhone as I make the rounds to local businesses.

And before you ask, why are you putting images on a blog post when they’re on Instagram and now, Facebook+Instagram, I’ll just say that no one venue does it all. Here, I can curate. And believe it or not, not everyone is on Facebook or Instagram.

Crate (above) and red truck (below) both at Porch Light in Portland’s Pearl District, an airy store that places great music.

(Below) Blackboard and reclaimed lumber at The Rebuilding Center of Our United Villages, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable practices by accepting donations of and selling used building materials.

(Below) Donald inspecting free-roaming chickens at the adorable Pistils Nursery on N. Mississippi—
country living in the city.

(Below) The Meadow specializes in gourmet items like this impressive array of bitters as well as chocolates, salts, flowers and vermouth.

(Below) The dry rock garden at the Portland Japanese Garden, one of the many wondrous spots to linger in.

(Below) A recent find at the Portland Farmers Market booth of Sweetwater Farm. Chef Kathryn of The Farmers Feast cooks up mushrooms alongside Sweetwater Farm. In this case, sauteed porcini and Douglas Fir tips.

(Below) Need a newsprint Chinese umbrella, a wooden head or a 10-foot-long paper dragon?
Cargo
in the Pearl District might just have it.

(Below) I could roam the aisles of Beaumont Hardware store forever. My favorite find was this wall diagram of available springs. If they had let me, I would have bought the display.

And to top it off with something sweet, below is a portion of 21 pounds of Hood strawberries from Sauvie Island Farms, my favorite spot for picking berries through the summer.

Stay tuned for more…