Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
Whether it’s Yakima’s sheer agricultural abundance or the natural affinity between our local wines and fresh, seasonal Northwest cuisine, spring delivers new inspiration for the kitchen. Whether you enjoy cooking or simply love good food, local shops have fun new items in store to help you celebrate the season. New and Notable Last year, Yakima’s garden girl, Lenette Roehl, created a natural extension of her popular garden shop when she opened The Garden Girl’s Kitchen. “I love the kitchen … I enjoy cooking for those I love and, for me, the kitchen and the garden go hand in hand,” says Roehl.
With a selection as innovative and eclectic as you find at Garden Girl, Roehl features specialty food items including vinegars, sea salts, pasta and sanding sugars. Try Roehl’s Belgian pearl sugar in a blueberry champagne cocktail, use the Chardonnay smoked fleur de sel with spring’s fresh Chinook salmon and choose the blackberry Balsamic vinegar for a salad with the season’s first berries. For your entertaining needs, Roehl has a selection of unique serving and bake ware ranging in styles from contemporary to French country; you’ll find cake pedestals in all sizes, stovetop espresso makers and bamboo utensils just perfect for spring picnics.
In The Kitchen Longtime favorite destinations for Yakima’s home cooks and bakers have new items in stock this spring. In addition to The Cookie Cutter’s extensive stock of specialty kitchen tools, you’ll find fun, new items for cooking with kids, along with pasta from Pasta Mama in Richland and Yakima Salt, a delicious apple wood smoked sea salt that’s delicious with Yakima lamb and grilled salmon. Another unique idea, The Cake Decorator Shoppe features new all-natural flavored sugars. In huckleberry, strawberry, raspberry, almond-vanilla and peppermint flavors, they add something special to your favorite baked treats. Try the raspberry sugar on homemade scones for a springtime brunch. Other new items, raspberry, lemon and key lime curd, infuse baked goods with luscious flavor. Use a little lemon curd to make an unforgettable lemon-blueberry muffin batter. Don’t forget to check out spring break classes for kids and new birthday parties at The Cake Decorator Shoppe.
Spring means fresh Chinook salmon season at Deep Sea Deli where you always find an impressive selection of artisan cheeses, olives and pickled vegetables, specialty rice, quinoa and couscous, sea salts and Asian specialties including tamarind paste and black sesame seeds. Try new certified organic sauces and marinades under the Deep Sea Deli brand and don’t forget about their house-smoked salmon.
Specialty Foods and Sweet Treats With warmer weather, Tieton Farm and Creamery is back in production and we’ll once again find their artisan cheeses in stock at local shops such as Deep Sea Deli and Garden Girl’s Kitchen. On their website you'll learn about their handmade cheeses made in small batches and their commitment to sustainable farming practices. For sweet treats, check out one of the Valley’s many specialty bakeries and chocolatiers. In the nine years since their 2003 opening, Essencia Artisan Bakery has become Yakima tradition. Daily specialties include artisan breads, pastries, desserts and hand-dipped truffles. Their lunch menu features seasonal house-made soups and paninis. Don’t forget to order Essencia’s hot cross buns for Easter! Try Yakima’s new Truly Scrumptious Bakery at Track 29 for their signature cupcakes in seasonal flavors and Sticky Fingers Bakery in Naches for a selection of local favorites. Visit Boehm’s Candy of Yakima chocolates from Boehm’s Candies of Issaquah, including special Easter treats and The Yakima Food Cooperative’s website for a list of local resources for home cooks.