Wedding Wednesday | Portland Catering Company

I’ve had several chances to sample the cooking of the Portland Catering Company, and each time it has been delicious!  I first tasted their food when we both had booths at the Rose City Bridal Showcase. They had an extremely popular chocolate fountain, along with other delicious appetizers.

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One of the things that sets Portland Catering Company apart is that they prepare the food on site. The difference of freshly prepared food is noticeable! They are the exclusive caterer for the Pacific Crest Grand Ballroom, so I had another chance to enjoy their menu at a wedding professional event that took place there. Portland Catering Company offers a variety of menus and seasonal dishes to suit your wedding style and budget needs. They also offer a beverage catering, and company catering, so take the time to browse their website and see what they can offer you!

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~ Quick Look ~

Pros: Freshly prepared food, varied menu choices, casual and formal catering

Cons: none I’ve experienced

Summer Concerts

What a magnificent summer we have had! Full of friends, family and good times performing, with a few moments of rest and relaxation thrown in here and there!  We had the opportunity to perform all over the northwest this year, and really enjoyed meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends.  Here is a little summary of our summer!

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While Kathrina was at Cascadia Irish Fiddle Camp, the rest of us did get some actual vacation in Washington.  We enjoyed visiting the Olympic National Park for the first time. I was surprised how much it reminded me of Glacier National Park!

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We hiked along the breathtaking Hurricane Ridge and up the trail to Mt. Angelus!

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We also managed to join Kathrina for the dance night at camp.  We performed the Humors of Bandon during one of the breaks from the group dancing!

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We enjoyed performing in Hoodsport on our way home.

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Almost immediately we packed up for a musical mini-tour of Idaho and Montana. I always feel accomplished when we open the door and nothing falls out of the van!

IMG_0892 (800x533)Our first stop was Grace Bible Church in Hayden, ID. Amanda S. did a brilliant job of organizing the concert, including baking many yummy treats for everyone!

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We enjoyed the hospitality of the D. family, especially getting to ride Elaina’s horse!

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I loved how the dog seemed to “pose” for the photos too!

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Beautiful Julia

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Sophia was so cute trying to catch the butterflies and stomp on the yellow jackets!

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Noah had a good time playing Age of Empires and exchanging parkour moves with the boys!

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The Bitterroot Scottish Irish Festival put us up at Angler’s Lodge in Montana.  The sunset was magnificent the evening we arrived, partly due to the smoke from distant fires.

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This festival is one of our favorites! We enjoyed fantastic audiences, good sound-men and beautiful weather under the lovely shade trees of the Marcus Daly Mansion.

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Sunday’s Kirkin’ O’ the Tartan is another highlight of the weekend. We usually walk into it with very little idea of what we should do – except that Be Thou My Vision will be requested, but we always get the program arranged and everyone is blessed!

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Pastor Saunders giving the message

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When I think of how the tartan was once illegal in Scotland, and how hard the clans worked to preserve their heritage I am inspired. It is always sends tingles down my spine when the clan chiefs lay their tartans at the front to be blessed.

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From Hamilton we traveled up to Kallispell, MT to do a concert hosted by the lovely H. family. They took us to the Flathead river for the afternoon!

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Noah decided to take the man challenge and jump about 18 feet off the bridge.

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And then some of us girls had to try it too! Here is Kathrina jumping.

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And Krista

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And me (Janna)

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But we all survived to play at Buffalo Terrace that evening!

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David and Amy H. gave a beautiful performance of Schindler’s List

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A few days after getting home, we played at the Oregon State Fair for the first time!

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This summer marked Noah’s first vocal solo song!

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We also performed a 3-hand version of the Irish dance the Fairy Reel.

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Labor Day weekend we played at Singer Hill Cafe in Oregon City for the first time! The living wall behind us created a most exceptional backdrop!

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We had a great audience, including Homeschool Alumni folks who had come in early for the reunion to go to our concert. Some were from as far away as Florida.

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We decided to perform our arrangement of “Concerning Hobbits/In Dreams” from the Lord of the Rings for the Homeschool Alumni Talent show.

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We were thrilled to win 2nd place by audience vote! (And the people we voted for won 1st place, so they really were that good.)

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In addition to playing with us, Kathrina participated in a spoof on Les Miserables for the talent show. The song was based on One Day More, except it was now One Date More and Kathrina took Eponine’s part as the marriage-minded public schooler who is feeling passed up!

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We girls volunteered to play some extra music for the reunion, and were asked if we would be willing to play for part of the English Country Dance.

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We were surprised how easy it actually was to play for English Country Dancing – no breakneck speeds like Irish Ceili dancing!

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It was a lovely evening and a fantastic way to end the summer. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t performing more this winter!

~ Janna

Friday’s Feast | Wilted Greens with Tomatoes and Basil

Early fall is one of my favorite times of year! The garden is overflowing with fresh vegetables and I love mixing the colors in the dishes I make.  This recipe is adapted from Kathrina’s new recipe book Weeknights with Giada, but I made a few changes to use what we had in the garden.

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Wilted Greens with Tomatoes and Spinach

5 tbs. olive oil
2 large or 4 small shallots, thinly sliced (or one small onion)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups chopped tomatoes (or 2 pints of cherry tomatoes, halved)
2 lbs. fresh garden greens (I use a mixture of collards, spinach, chard and beet tops)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until aromatic. If using tougher greens, such as collards, add them now along with the chopped stems of the chard. Add the tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Add the remaining greens in batches, and cook for about 5 minutes or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar and basil. Simmer for 1 minute and serve.  I served it for breakfast with scrambled eggs, but it would be equally delicious with chicken or fish for dinner!

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– the 2nd Rose

Playing for the Fantasticks

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I’m playing for Hillsboro Art Theater’s performance of The Fantasticks this weekend and next.  It has been a very unique experience.  The original musical is scored for piano and harp only, with some optional percussion – which I can play by tapping on my soundboard! The harp and piano interface surprisingly well, sometimes playing complementary chords and arpeggios, while other times the piano takes the melodic part while the  harp adds dramatic glissandi!

I’d never seen the play before, so I’ve been enjoying the show for the first time. I’m at the back of the stage, so all the action is in front of me. Most of the time I’m too busy looking at my music to do more than listen, but I can still laugh at the humor!  If you get a chance, come on by and be sure and say hi to me!  

~ Janna

Wedding Wednesday | The Aerie at Eagle Landing

Recently I played for a wedding at The Aerie at Eagle Landing and found it to be a lovely setting for any special occasion!

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The Aerie at Eagle Landing is a beautiful golf course located in the heart of Clackamas. It is available for weddings and other special events. The Aerie offers a several locations for your event, including a big tent outdoors and an indoor ballroom.

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The indoor ballroom is a perfect back-up plan if it rains on your special day; however, it also provides a lovely indoor setting for the reception or a winter event.  And if you happen to get married on one of our hot days (like the day I played there!), your guests will appreciate the indoor coolness as well!

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The semi-permanent tent structure provides insurance against our Portland rain, while still offering the charm of an outdoor setting.

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It was a lovely day for a wedding!

~ Quick Look ~

Location: 10220 SE Causey Avenue Happy Valley, OR 97086

Accommodates: up to 250

Pros: Indoor and outdoor options, golf course can be a part of the event

Cons: Not as much of a view as I would expect from a golf course

Friday’s Feasts | Lemon Lime Spritzer

My aunt first made this spritzer for me when I visited her in July.  Quick and easy and just barely sweet, you can make just one for yourself, several for your family or a big punch bowl for a party or wedding reception!

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Knudson’s Jamacan Lemonade Spritzer (grape juice sweetened)
Sparkling Water
Lemons
Limes
Ice
Lemon sorbet or ice cream (optional)

Fill glasses or punch bowl halfway with ice. Thinly slice lemons and limes, and on top of the ice. (I use about 3 slices of each in a glass). Add 1 part lemonade, and 1 part sparking water. Scoop some lemon sorbet or ice cream on top if you like!

~ the Second Rose