BLOG | From the time I was old enough to stand on a chair and hold a rolling pin, baking has been my No. 1 calling in the kitchen. Specifically, baking cookies. So when I recently discovered the baking blog SALLY'S BAKING ADDICTION (sallysbakingaddiction.com) while searching for a new cookie recipe, it seemed like fate. If only a balanced diet consisted of eating baked goods for every meal... With hundreds of original recipes for breads, muffins, snacks, cakes, pies, bars (lots of the creations are "healthy," gluten-free or vegan) and the occasional non-sweet treat, the most ambitious baker wouldn't run out of new goodies to try for months. Aside from her blog, baker Sally McKenney also published a cookbook by the same name.
BOOK | There are more than a dozen varieties of buttercup flowers growing in the Pacific Northwest, but do you know which variety grows here? It depends on where, but the most common variety in Eastern Washington is ranunculus glaberrimus, or the sagebrush buttercup, according to the intuitively organized and comprehensive WILDFLOWERS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, a field guide to regional flora by Mark Turner and Phyllis Gustafson. Containing entries for 1,220 wild, flowering plants across Washington, Oregon and parts of Northern California, it's an outdoor guide that comes in handy wherever you're exploring. Plants are easily organized by blossom color and then number of petals, and each entry contains a color photo, range map and description.
BEAUTY | After discovering the locally made skin-care line ORANGE THYME, I just might toss out all the commercial lip products I've stashed everywhere. Orange Thyme's all-natural, hand-poured balms come in a variety of delightful flavors, like creamsicle, rosemary mint, cherry gingerale, huckleberry and orange clove. The balms are scented with food-grade flavorings, which means you'll be craving (in a good way) whatever flavor you've got on all day. The brainchild of Rachel O'Brien, Orange Thyme was featured at the recent Bazaar arts market, and has a weekly booth at the Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market, as well as an online store, shoporangethyme.com. Aside from lip balm, the company also offers a tantalizing array of soaps, scrubs, lotions and body butters.♦