Monday, February 27, 2012

The Best Vegan Oatmeal Cookies and Street Food

A Guest Post by Finn the Cooking Assistant (aka the dog picker)

Recently I overheard Management talking about "street food,"and they mentioned going to a place called "Portland." I wondered where Portland was, and wondered why the Lady never stopped to pick up food finds on our own street. Then last week I found this book.

I pawed through through the book and learned that humans call hot food sold out of little trailers and carts "street food." I find it odd as this food has never actually touched a street. Technically it's trailer or cart food, but I guess since trailers are associated with something called "crack" and "trash," humans consider the "street food" label more chic.

And as for Portland, I have to say, Management (especially the Lady) is either not paying attention on our walks, or they are very slow learners.

I find food on our walks everyday. And that's my motivation for heading out with the Lady and my sister Chloe. As soon as we leave the driveway, we play a game I call, "Is It Street Food?"

The Lady misses many bits that I snap up, so it looks like I am winning this game. She calls us "The Garbage Patrol." That's what she told a neighbor. Old Kleenex, apple cores, bits of bread left for birds are just a few examples of my food finds. I lead the pack when we head out. This way we know who is in charge and of course I often spot the treasures first.

To me the whole world looks delicious; I never know what I'll find, and I'm excited each time we head out. But if the lady sees the treasure first, I'm not allowed to check it out. Oddly, she does not take it for herself. The Lady is a bad sport.

Some bags turn up empty, but that's how it is with Is It Street Food? Other bags harbor treasures that I sometimes regret sampling, but you can't knock free samples--some are fantastic, others burn you.

The best time for street food is Saturday morning. Construction sites can yield tasty results.

The Lady sometimes changes the rules of my game as we go along. If a container is sealed, I'm not allowed to open it. This one smelled of ripe potato salad. The Lady does not realize the object of this game is to eat the street food.

Sometimes the Lady allows me a few bites of bread. But before I can eat it, I sit and wait while she inspects it. I tell you--who knew this was rule? Other times I'm chewing as fast as I can and the Lady prys my mouth open and fishes the food out before I can swallow it. I call this cheating as we both know it's clearly food since I'm eating it!

Seasonal Street Food

I find more lots of plums and pears in the fall, bread, sandwiches and apples in the winter and in the spring I found strawberries that my sister Chloe and I are allowed to pick and eat. In the summer, people sometimes drop chunks of watermelon. Management called this "wasted food." If you ask me, if people wasted a little more food and I'd be happy.

I learned street food was a good thing when I was puppy. After the old bitch died, Abe was very sad and the Lady would go out and hide dog biscuits around the driveway. I sat on a ledge near a window and watched as she put the biscuits behind bushes and near rocks. I tried my best to shove my way out the front door first so I could get the biscuits, but the Lady took my old mentor Abe out and she shut the door in my face.

I returned to my space on ledge. I watched the Lady with Abe shuffling around the driveway. He sniffed and found all the biscuits and the Lady cooed and petted him, but all the Lady said to me when she and Abe returned was: "Mister you need to go to school to learn some manners."

School? Manners? If manners were treats and school was a place where I'd more, I was all for it. (to be continued)

A note from the Management about baking:

The recipe for these cookies originally contained 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. That's a whopping 3,710 mg of sodium, about 103 mg per cookie! Lowering sodium intake isn't for everyone but for sodium sensitive people, it's a great relief, to lower sodium intake and not take blood pressure medication. Also, since many Americans consume way too much sodium, I substituted baking powder for the baking soda and dropped the salt, making the cookies more heart healthy at 660 mg of sodium for the recipe, about 18.3 mg per cookie. Baking powder is always preferable to baking soda if you want to reduce sodium in your diet. To boost the flavor, I added carob. If you don't have dogs who want to sample the cookies, you can use cocoa powder.

And if you want more tips about how to maintain a healthy heart read this article in The Sound Outlook from Marlene's Market and Deli.

Best Vegan Oatmeal Cookies Ever
(Makes about 3 dozen cookies)

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon carob (optional)
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup brown sugar (or Sucanat)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 mashed banana (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, carob and oats in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, maple syrup, canola oil, mashed banana, vanilla and water. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mixture should be thick but the mixture is too thick, add a little more water. (The consistency should be like chocolate chip cookie dough.)

3. Drop the dough by tablespoon onto the cookie sheet. Flatten the top with a glass dipped in water or the back of a spoon. Bake for 13 minutes. To check to see if they are done, flip one over and it should be lightly browned.

If I put my nose on it, it's mine.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Apple Coleslaw and Raw Food Diets

A Guest Post by Finn the Cooking Assistant (aka the dog picker)

February means cabbage season and fresh cabbage means coleslaw, which the Lady makes and it's always delicious as is everything I eat. I found a recipe in this cookbook and it's now one of my all-time favorites.

True confession: one of my favorite ways to enjoy raw cabbage is by planting myself underneath the cutting board in the kitchen and eagerly starring up. I entertain the Lady as I catch the little pieces of the cabbage core she tosses to me. The Lady often laughs when I catch them. "Good boy!" she sometimes cries. I hate it when the Lady abruptly ends our game saying, "It's time to get out now."

Often the Lady tells me "Raw vegetables are good for dogs, Finn," but she also says, "No way would I ever give another dog of mine one of those raw food diets." This puzzled and worried me that my raw vegetable parade would stop, but just a few weeks ago this newspaper arrived with an article that said we were meant to eat like our ancestors. After the Lady read it, she shook her head and said, "No way, not in this house!" Then she handed me a carrot a few minutes later. Humans, who can figure them out?

Then one day, the Lady left this old City Dog magazine out and I learned what "raw food diet" meant as I read Hunter's story.

Hunter's Story

I'd mentioned in my last post about Hunter--the basset bitch born with such perfect looks and quiet demeanor that everyone who saw her thought she was the perfect dog. Without going to obedience school, Hunter walked on a leash right beside the Lady and she stopped whenever the Lady stopped. People would exclaim, "Oh so obedient!" Near the water bowl, I'd heard "Hunter's gears" turned a lot slower than other dogs. Humans are so impressed when canines follow them like wind-up toys.

When Hunter posed for pictures, she worked the camera like she was born to be a professional model. The overwhelming photos in this house were of Hunter--wearing hats, sunglasses, looking at food and just looking coy.

I pawed through stacks. Here are a few that I found:

She had that "camera ready" look perfected, and I'm not saying she slept her way to the top of the pack, but she scandalously slept with everyone in the house, even puppies and stuffed animals, and no one had a bad word to say about her.

Also it appeared that when when was my age, she was quite the party animal and yet she was still a great sport for early morning photo shoots.

I digress, but I never get tired of digging up dirt on Hunter. She was way too perfect when young, but the City Dog magazine article featured Hunter as an old dog. By the time she was old, she was a white faced tired old hound. Then and on the recommendation from a naturpathic vet, Management fed Hunter a raw meat diet. It was a prepared frozen hunk of meat and not really all raw vegetables like I'd thought, but raw meat. It was supposed to be just like a canine's original diet. The vet had said this diet would perk Hunter up, give her the energy she lacked, but just the opposite happened.

Hunters energy drained drained away. She slept 23 hours a day, yet still woke up for the farmers' market. One winter day at the Market when the Lady and Hunter moved slowly from booth to booth in the drizzling rain, a voice said, "I think I can help your dog."

A man under and over-sized umbrella said he thought Hunter was missing minerals. The man was a medical researcher and he said a hair analysis could reveal which minerals Hunter didn't have. He said that the minerals and toxic metals in the body are deposited in the hair and laid down like tree rings and that the hair analysis can reveal many things about health.

Here is how they do this hair analysis: a little hair is clipped, placed carefully an envelope and mailed off to a place in Texas. At a mysterious place called a "lab" someone burns the hair and another person reads the minerals and toxic elements like lead, mercury or arsenic from the hair remains. Sounds way too much like witchcraft to me.

Apparently minerals run practically everything in the body. Your heart can't beat without sufficient magnesium and calcium, which relax and stimulate muscles including the heart. And as we age, minerals become depleted, creating imbalances. Some humans think minerals imbalances can be corrected by diet, but the researcher said, " To raise a low potassium level it would take something like 500 pounds of bananas." He added, "I'm all for relying on Mother Nature but when she's crippled, give her a cane."

Hunter's hair analysis revealed she was deficient in 18 of the 30 minerals tested. "Give her calcium and magnesium, immediately," the researcher had said.

From that moment on, the Lady frowned whenever someone mentioned "raw food" or paleolithic diet.

The researcher wrote a mineral formula based on Hunter's hair analysis and day by day the geezer basset swallowed home made mineral supplements and became more active for nearly two more years.

I mentioned that a few days after I'd arrived here, Hunter passed away. My mentor Abe howled (in a beautiful way) and hung his head. He shuffled around and stayed close to the Lady for days, refusing to leave her side, even for street food, which is anther story, I'll save for next time. (to be continued)

In the meantime check out this salad.

Apple-Rutabaga Coleslaw with Dried Sour Cherries
(Serves 4)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white miso
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 rutabaga or golden turnips, grated
1 apple (any variety) grated
1/4 cup dried sour cherries
1/4 cup grated carrots (for garnish)

1. Combine mayonnaise, honey and lemon zest in a small bowl.

2. Blend cabbage, rutabaga, apple and cherries in a medium-size salad bowl. Gently toss in the dressing. Garnish with grated carrots.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Goes to the Dogs

A Guest Post by Finn the Cooking Assistant (aka the dog picker)

Valentine's Day is my birthday. I say bring on the gifts!

Okay, it's not my real birthday; no one can remember that day. It's my "designated" day as per the Management. I believe I'm five in human years, and I don't care about candles, but since dog years are longer, why isn't my birthday isn't celebrated once a month? This is a point I must present to Management. And would someone please explain the point of holidays without self-indulgent food gifts?

I digress. When I came to this house as a puppy, I saw lots of photos of this pretty girl basset. Her face peered out from practically every frame around the room. As a contrast, I saw only one picture of my old mentor Abe with one blue eye. Who was this perfect girl? Some kind of pin-up hound? She certainly knew how to work the camera. And those soulful eyes . . . The best part was she posed with food in a number of photos. It gave me ideas and set me on my path.

When I found out who she was, I was jealous. Jealousy is an accepted emotion in the canine world, as long as physical fighting isn't involved. I studied the photos, positive I could learn to be coy and work the camera, too--if only the right opportunities were dropped into my lap.

Hunter working the camera.

Hunter the poser

Her name was Hunter--the same old bitch who rode home with me on the first day. Can you believe it? I'd never expected that deaf-as-a post, white-faced dog, who died a few days after I'd arrived in the house, had once been this camera-ready model. I heard no job was too small for her when she was young, but when I knew her, she was sunk into her own world, and when she died, Abe, my cranky mentor, cried and pined for the rest of his life.

I never would have guessed this was the same dog. But botox and hair dyes aren't status symbols in the canine community. And don't even get me going about face lifts. An eye lift might not be bad for old basset hounds, but it's a good thing canines are more impressed with scents than looks.

Eventually I noticed that Hunter had appeared in calendars and books. And the calendars haven't stopped coming. Just a few months ago a calender featuring her modeling a yamaka arrived with a letter that said, "Congratulations, your dog has been selected . . . " That dog should be me, but canines can't compete with a ghost.

Barks around the water bowl had revealed that Hunter had been Management's favorite dog for years. No surprise with all those framed photos.

Hunter had gone to show school as a puppy, but had no interest in beauty pageants. She took a job sitting near a demo table in pet stores and on weekends she cruised the farmers' markets with the Management. Hunter ran with her pack at the dog park on Wednesdays. Her every whim was indulged--prime position under the dining table and the word around the house was she slept with Management to get her position. But people were crazy about the way she looked, unlike Abe ( Hunter's "brother") who frightened little children and barked at the drop of a paw.

When I was a puppy, I'd gone to a farmers' market and I overhead someone above me say, "I wish Hunter was still around." The remark didn't bother me, I was there for the carrots under tables, but if I'd been a Yorkie, I might have been devastated.

Sadly, there is much prejudice against dogs at farmers' markets today and not even sweet Hunter could bark her way in to most of them.

Here's a picture Hunter in this cookbook I found. That's where this dog biscuit recipe originated.

Apparently she was the inspiration for this canine biscuit section in this book, because Hunter was very sensitive to many foods. Much of this section is about alternative flour and how to use it. For me, the "Healthy Canine Dog Biscuit" chapter was most amazing section in this entire cookbook.

She was also featured in this old magazine--had a big two page spread.

All I could think about at the time was if this is the stairway to the easy life, I could smell my life's path stretching out before me. (to be continued)

The Biscuits

These biscuits come out quite crisp. One friend cuts back the amount of tapioca flour, but I like them crisp. And if you want to make them with Northwest ingredients, the word is Nash's Organic Produce has grains on sale this month. Freshly ground buckwheat flour is on sale for $7.50 for (I think) 3 pounds. Pastry, hard wheat, triticale and rye flours are also on sale at the farm store or Seattle farmers' markets. Also you could substitute Holmquist hazelnut butter, and if you are thinking of sharing these with humans as we do here, realize that they are very, very crisp. They could possibly be the most perfect teething cookies ever.

Peanut Butter Buckwheat Biscuits (or Crackers)
(Makes about 76 biscuits)

3 to 4 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mashed yam, sweet potato or pumpkin
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey or molasses
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)

1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

2. Place yam, peanut butter and molasses in a blender and puree, gradually adding the hot water. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, adding more hot water, if necessary. Continue stirring until a stiff dough is formed. (FYI: Oil your hands before attempting to work with the dough.)

3. Place the dough in a covered container or plastic bag for up to a week if you want. When you are ready to work with it, preheat oven to 350F. Flour a cutting board. (FYI: It's easier to work with half of the dough at a time.)

4. Roll out to 1/4-inch and cut in your favorite shapes. (FYI: These biscuits are easier to cut if the cutters are simple like hearts and not complex like tiny hands or animals with tails.)

4. Place parchment paper over a baking sheet and fit as many biscuits as you can on the sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 and continue to bake for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the cookies to cool before removing them. These crisp cookies keep well for a week, but for long term storage place them in the freezer.

We don't need long term biscuit storage around here.

Much better than a cake with silly candles. Go ahead share them with friends if you want.

Birthday and Valentine's Day--you can't beat that!

Best gift so far was a giant bag of tiny carrots with plenty for me and my favorite sister Chloe.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Gingerbread Thief

A Guest post by Finn the Cooking Assistant (aka the dog picker)

I was under-the-weather this weekend. Management blamed the half-eaten sub sandwich I'd snarfed down on our Saturday morning walk. The stuffed hoagie had looked promising from a distance, but you don't get more than a second to think about grab-and-go-snacks when walking. Management keeps a short leash and puts a halt to the fun activity pronto.

I had the sandwich almost sucked down before Management pried open my jaws. She fished out a few bread chunks and a pickle. Discard sampling doesn't set well with Management. It didn't set well with me either.

Not even my favorite books cheered me up.

The upside? Management allowed me to sleep in the kitchen on an old quilt and I woke to the aroma of gingerbread.

Was a treat involved in my recovery? Optimism prevails with canines.

The aroma churned up memories of my old mentor Abe who once ate an entire pan of gingerbread.

In my early days at this house, the ancient hound spooked me with his white face, one blue eye, misshapen front legs and an odd eggbeater gait. And his barking---Abe had a lot to say. Somebody came home, a neighbor was lurking in her yard, the pit bulls next door were out, it's time for dinner, give me a carrot--it never quit with him. The worst was when the old coot whined about how no one understood him. Even when the other dogs barked at him to shut up, Abe barked slower and louder just to get his point across.

And Abe spooked little children with that ghostly light eye. "Is he blind?" they'd ask. If you rewarded him, he'd go either way with that answer.

I pawed through old photos to give you an idea. In most every picture Abe sits or lies down--you'd never find him working out.

I learned Abe's story from eavesdropping as I lay under the kitchen table.

Abe's story

Abe's brothers and sisters got adopted quickly and they all left for new homes, but no one wanted Abe, the puppy with one light blue eye who barked at everything. At first a hunter in Alaska said he wanted Abe but when Abe was seven weeks old, doctors discovered Abe had two holes in his heart. "No, hunting for this boy; his heart murmer won't heal," the vets said. "And it won't ever go away." One vet added, "Don't exercise him." Another had said, "Find him a good home; give him whatever he wants." The third vet agreed with the others and said Abe wouldn't live more than three years.

Management took Abe in. "What's one more basset for a few years?" the lady had said.

Abe quickly bonded with Hunter, a bitch his age who taught Abe the house rules. Hunter was Abe's muse and if you can find a dog's muse, you can learn his weaknesses. Though self-interest lurks in every dog, Abe had lots of doubts deep down, and Hunter was his security blanket.

Three years passed and Abe was still around. He'd attended dog school briefly but barked his opinions so loudly every week, it distracted the other dogs from learning. Abe dropped out of dog school without having learned a single trick, but the fact he didn't know "sit" from "come" never bothered Abe.

At age five at Abe's annual check-up, the vet said, "Murmur?" The vet had forgotten about it, and when he listened, the vet said couldn't hear any murmur, as if the diagnosis had been invented.

A few years later, Abe's annual visit to the vet revealed a lump that turned out to be mouth cancer. The vet removed it, and said it would return but that never happened, and for the next six years, Abe barked at the wind--day and night.

The Gingerbread Thief

By the time I came along, Abe had become the most skilled food thief around. The back of his crate inside was littered with food wrappers, fruit pits and used napkins. Drawers, cupboards, coffee tables, pockets, purses and bags were all at risk around Abe. I mentioned how he'd taken carrots, from the market bag as soon as it came in. The carrots were gone before Management suspected anything.

Once when scent of gingerbread wafted throughout the house, Abe strolled around like a bomb-detector dog, and he immediately pinpointed the exact location. I watched the geezer dog shove a chair closer, then with the persistence of the Terminator, Abe miraculously pulled his body onto the chair.

I couldn't believe he had it in him, but he raised up, leaned over and gobbled the gingerbread as fast as he could. He couldn't control the pan and when it crashed to the floor, Management came running in.

"Hey! Hey! Hey!" Management scolded. I could see Abe absorbing the words like wind. As Tina Fey pointed out in Bossypants: you can't be a bossypants if no one takes you seriously. (the adventure continues . . .)

The recipe

This recipe originally came from The Joy of Cooking. It was adapted with buckwheat instead of rice flour. This month is "Grains Month," at Nash's Organic Produce. You can find their ground grains at Nash's farm store in Sequim or at Seattle farmers' markets. This gingerbread recipe also includes pecans which help counterbalance the bold flavor of buckwheat.

Enjoy it with whipped cream (rice, soy or dairy), ice cream or coconut sorbet.

Buckwheat Gingerbread with Pecans
(Makes one 9 by 9 by 2-inch pan)

1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 to 5 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup butter or oil
1/4 cup milk (soy, rice, dairy or buttermilk)
1 jumbo egg or 2 large eggs beaten
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9 by 9-inch cake pan.

2. Sift all the flours, baking power, soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, molasses and butter or oil. Blend the egg with the milk and stir into the brown sugar-oil combination.

3. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Mixture should be quite thick. Spread mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the gingerbread it done.

4. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy.

Sometimes being good for the camera is way too difficult.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wines and Wineries of the Pacific Northwest

I love it when I read a good book and am inspired to share the news. Essential Wines and Wineries of the Northwest: A Guide to the Wine Countries of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho by Cole Danehower (and photographs by Andrea Johnson) is one of those rare books-a reference book and a compelling read; a book I'll turn to again and again; a book I'll purchase for friends and add to gift baskets.

Yes, I really did like it that much!

I met Cole Danehower Editor-in-chief of Northwest Palate magazine, at a book event in Portland last fall. When I first glanced at his book, I immediately added it to my "must read" list.

I've been savoring Danehower's book for a number of weeks now, and I have to say it's one of the best food books I've read in a long time. So much work has gone into creating narrative that flows along with great descriptions of Northwest wineries, useful sidebar information, beautiful photographs and maps that I was eager to dive-in and read this book from beginning to end. But if you don't know a lot about wine, maybe the book is best read in small doses because there's lots of information to digest.

Danehower begins this book by discussing the history of wine-grape growing and wine production in the Northwest (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Idaho). He describes the Northwest as a young wine-producing region and says Northwest wines are "still developing character on the world's stage." Pacific Northwest wine production has grown from 125 wineries 25 years ago to over 1,200 wineries today. Our region is still runs a distant second in wine production to California, the largest wine-producing region, that has climbed from 750 wineries in 1987 to 3,364 in 2010.

Apparently we've become a nation of wine drinkers.

But just because California produces more wine and has set the standard for North American wine, doesn't mean California is better suited for wine-grape growing or that California wine is better tasting than Northwest wines. Danehower says the "Northwest's northerly latitude delivers two critical benefits to winemakers: more sunlight and more coolness." Because of our latitude we have more sunlight hours during growing season. Though the cool climate isn't enough warm enough to ripen the warm weather-adapted grapes like Cabernet sauvignon or Merlot (0ne of the earliest grapes harvested in the Columbia Valley), cool weather adapted-grapes like Riesling (the most widely harvested wine grape in Washington) thrive here. Danehower also says wine grapes require a dormant period to shut down and renew growth in the spring and Northwest winters can more easily transition grape vines than the warmer Californa climate.

Danehower says, "Many people haven't made the effort to get to know the region's wines."

One of my favorite sections of this book was "Terroir: The Taste of Place." While terroir is a key concept in wine-makng, it is difficult to translate. Terroir refers to all the aspects of a place--sun, soil type, exposure, elevation, temperature, wind, moisture, etc-- that are unique to that place. Part of terroir is about the how geologic history plays a part in the flavor of a wine. As I read this I imagined savoring thousands of years of history in one sip of a regional wine.

My other favorite sections included: Biodynamic Wines, Icewines and "What Climate Change Might Mean for Northwest Wine." It's no surprise that Oregon is the global leader in biodynamic wine. (Winter Green Farm, a farm profiled in my book, practices biodynamic farming techniques.) This side bar details intriguing farming practices that some farms say go well beyond organic farming.

The section on Icewine or Ice wine (Canadian wine regulations use one word) describe wine made from grapes frozen on the vine. But for a long time American winemakers made ice wine by freezing post-harvest grapes. When Canadian wine makers protested, American wine making regulations changed to prohibit the term ice wine on anything but wine made from grapes naturally frozen on the vine.

And finally, what climate change might mean is fascinating because climate is one of the primary influences on the kinds of grapes grown in a region. Warming trends might mean grape varieties will shift and there may be fewer opportunities for icewine production.

Essential Wines and Wineries of the Northwest
offers something useful for everyone. For readers unfamiliar with Northwest wine, the book is a treasure trove of information and is the perfect place to start learning. For people who love numbers and statistics, Danehower lists vineyard acreages, number of wineries, cases produced and the economic impact for each region. And for wine lovers, the wineries listed include founders stories, annual production, signature, premium and value wine as well as visiting hours. Maps are helpful in locating these wineries and the pictures showcase beautiful vineyards, wines and winemakers.

If you love wine or know someone who does, this book is perfect and if you don't know much about wine, don't let that stop you from reading this book. You'll gain a great appreciation for the flavors that Northwest winemakers coax from wine grapes.

Why not pour yourself a glass of Northwest wine while you enjoy this book.