OK Omens Wine Bar and Bistro

OK Omens is a superb wine bar with an elevated bistro menu that’s worth checking out written by Jen Stevenson | photos by Alan Weiner Photography No longer Café Castagna, but still Castagna’s café, this lively new Ladd’s Addition wine bar retains the same sleek look (and beloved patio) as its predecessor, while debuting a playfully scholarly natural-wine-centric list to pair with James Beard Award-nominated Castagna chef Justin Woodward’s simple but superlative new bistro menu. Settle in for a late summer evening at one of the garden-side tables, inches from fragrant plumes of fresh mint and lemon verbena, and enlist the help of spirited sommelier Brent Braun, who won’t steer you wrong on the perfect bottle to go with Woodward’s burnt-beet-topped steak tartare, grilled squid with chicory and Thai basil, and buttermilk fried chicken with spicy greens and hot sour cream. Like the savory offerings, desserts are often twists on…

Every Other Weekend by Zulema Renee Summerfield

Every Other Weekend: Telling Stories Every Other Weekend takes us back in time interview by Sheila G. Miller photo by Tucker Sharon Portland author Zulema Renee Summerfield is getting high praise for her first novel, Every Other Weekend. But a few years ago, she wasn’t sure she was cut out to write one in the traditional sense. So she didn’t. “I was really struggling with how I was going to write a novel,” she said. “At the time I didn’t tell stories in big, overarching plots. I was writing a lot of flash fiction.” After reading Love and Shame and Love, a novel composed of vignettes written by her mentor and colleague Peter Orner, she knew she could write her book the way she wanted. “Novels come in all kinds of shapes,” Summerfield said. “It really freed me to write a book in vignettes, and that’s how the structure was…

NW Destination: Sonoma County, California

A Phoenix From the Ashes Sonoma County won’t let a fire stop its spirit written by Sheila G. Miller A year ago, Sonoma County and surrounding areas were crippled by a massive wild fire. Rolling hills were blackened, vineyards were damaged, and homes destroyed, but the fires did nothing to dampen the area’s spirit. Indeed, nearly every street-facing surface in the area still features stickers that say #SonomaStrong or handmade signs thanking firefighters for their help in saving residents’ homes. There’s no better way to support this community as it gets back on its feet than by spending some tourism dollars in the region. I was happy to oblige. Glen Ellen was particularly hard-hit by the fires. But the Jack London Lodge in Glen Ellen, where I stayed on a recent weekend, was spared. This renovated motel, tucked into a lush hillside, has charm, free breakfast, and one heck of…

Autumn Beer Is Best Sipped Around A Fire

Hello Autumn Beer: As fall arrives, grilling and beer don’t need to take a back seat written by Jeremy Storton Although the dog days are behind us, visions of summer’s splendor flash across our memories like a late-night highlight reel. Lulled by warm days, many of us continue to push the outdoor barbecues in the evenings. But the chilly nights confirm that summer is indeed over. The days of summer salads and lagers may linger behind us, but a change of season invites a different, equally splendid experience. In fall, I find myself sitting fireside, wrapped in a blanket and tending to the various meats, veggies or paella grilling over the coals. Sometimes there is wine, but there is always beer. For me, there is something that excites my palate about pairing dark and brooding malty beers with the crackle of fire and the sizzle of steak. My goal is…

DIY: How To Make a Terrarium

Nothing pretties up the bathroom like a little terrarium written by Melissa Dalton Make your own terrarium by following these easy tips, terrariums can be made with materials bought from specialty terrarium shops, pet and aquarium stores, home improvement destinations and the nursery. 1 PICK A CONTAINER Whether it’s a vintage cloche from an antique mall or an ordinary fish bowl, pick a clear glass container that will offer plenty of space for the plants and transmit enough light to encourage growth. If choosing a container with a lid, make sure it won’t be sitting in the direct sun, as that can kill the plants inside. 2 POUR THE FOUNDATION Cover the bottom with small rocks to encourage drainage. Pour in a layer of sand, using a funnel to keep the grains neat. Have fun choosing the colors of these elements, since they will be visible. Next, add activated charcoal…

Portland Baroque Orchestra

Monica Huggett, the artistic engine behind the Portland Baroque Orchestra, is one of the world’s leading Baroque violinists. written by Ben Salmon Monica Huggett is one of the world’s leading Baroque violinists, an expert in the historically informed performance style, and the artistic engine behind the Portland Baroque Orchestra for the past twenty-four years. And just like anyone else, she had to get her start somewhere. For Huggett, that was the Pizza Express near her family’s home in London, England, where she played violin for £3 per night plus free pizza from ages 17 to 24. “By the time I stopped,” Huggett said with a hearty laugh, “I’d sort of had enough pizza for life.” Huggett, 65, has come a long way since then, and the PBO has come with her. The orchestra’s upcoming season—its 35th— will run from October through April and feature performances of works by Vivaldi, Telemann,…

Plan a Trip to the Minam River Lodge

Taking the scenery at the Minam River Lodge written by Jen Stevenson Whether dropping into the Minam River Lodge via foot, horseback, or chartered flight, there are two things you’ll do immediately after being warmly greeted by manager and jack-of-all-trades Isaac Trout—sign a waiver detailing the potential wilderness perils you’ll face (snakes, bears, overheating in the wood-fired sauna), and write your name on a mason jar. After all, when you’re an 8.5-mile hike or 20-minute flight from the nearest sign of civilization, dishwashers aren’t exactly de rigueur. EAGLE CAP WILDERNESS photography by Evan Schneider minam-lodge.com HISTORY Nestled deep in the ruggedly beautiful 360,000-acre Eagle Cap Wilderness, this unique property is the result of a painstaking six-year buildout by Portland-based owner Barnes Ellis, who first stumbled upon the lodge while attending a childhood family reunion. Carefully constructing the main lodge and adjacent cabins from felled logs, reclaimed wood from former structures…

The Campout Cookbook

The Campout Cookbook offers tips and tricks to up the fun on your next foray into the wilderness interview by Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson While kicking around ideas for their second cookbook, The Campout Cookbook, Marnie Hanel and Jen Stevenson, the IACP-award-winning authors of The Picnic, kept coming back to their favorite childhood food memories, many of which happened to involve a campfire. The result is The Campout Cookbook, a collection of more than 100 recipes designed to keep campers sated from the moment they pile into the station wagon to the final breakfast before the rubber hits the road. Here, the co-authors discuss the ins and eats of their writing process. MH: You camped quite a bit growing up. Did you ever imagine you’d write a cookbook about it? JS: Never in a million years. But looking back, it actually makes a lot of sense. We took very,…

Oregon Innovators Then and Now

A look back, and ahead, at Oregon Innovators written by James Sinks In the yellowed pages of history, the promise of Oregon Innovators bade explorers to plunge headlong into the rugged—and often damp— frontier. It was no place for fear of the unknown. at same unforgiving ethos goes for the Oregon trailblazers of the business sort. “ The cowards never started and the weak died along the way,” said Nike co-founder Phil Knight, in his bestselling memoir, Shoe Dog.  The Oregon economy of today has been shaped by big thinkers, like Knight and others, whose ideas and dogged tenacity created opportunities and jobs by the thousands, spawned spinoffs, saved lives and—to help all of us celebrate more effectively—made vineyards more productive. Of course, some Oregon inventions are just plain fun, and tasty. The beanbag Hacky Sack that helped occupy the time of countless college students before dating apps? Created in 1972 in…

Top 3 Outdoor Thrills in Southern Oregon

Here are the top 3 outdoor thrills to experience in Southern Oregon sponsored content provided by Visit Medford Southern Oregon is an amazing place, from the moment you land in Medford, you’re surrounded by adventure on all sides. If you like the water, you can hit the rapids. Or grab your favorite hiking shoes and take to the mountains. You can also fly…On a zip line, of course. If you’re thirsty for thrills, embrace the rogue spirit and start your next Southern Oregon adventure! Zip It Good Soar across the sky on a zip line and watch the ground race by below your dangling feet. The wind snatches your breath away and it’s easy to imagine your toes touching the treetops. Tucked away in the historic gold mining hills of Southern Oregon, Rogue Valley ZipLine Adventure brings summer fun to sky-high levels. Hike It – One Step At A Time…