Platinum December 2017

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Platinum Platinum ®



Snow Day Sweaters, scarves and more for winter weather

Be Our Guest Sweet Treats

Treat visitors to the best in local dining Bakeries whip up holiday delights

Sounds Like Fun

Warm and Cozy Entertaining made easy with a new sound system

Banish the winter blues away with hygee

Munich, Germany

An authentic Bavarian Christmas ARTISTIC MOVEMENT

Seasonal events keep art lovers busy

Best Face Forward Youthful skin is an appointment away

DECEMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018 Serving Spokane and Coeur d’Alene NOVEMBER 2017 December 2017 Serving Spokane and Coeur d’Alene


December 2017


December 2017



Lena Moses, Tamara McGregor, Jack Heath, Sarah Hamilton and Pete Stanton.

Inclement weather on Sept. 21, 2017, required Project Beauty Share Rooftop en Blanc to relocate from its original outdoor venue in Kendall Yards to The White Room, a gallery space in downtown Spokane. The event was attended by more than 100 guests and raised $12,000 to support Project Beauty Share’s mission to collect personal hygiene products, cosmetics and beauty products and distribute them through a network of nonprofit organizations that serves women and families overcoming abuse, addiction, homelessness and poverty. The event also served to announce a signature fundraising event, Evening En Blanc, slated for August 2018.

Attendees raise a glass for Project Beauty Share. Photos by Ifong Chen


Winning entry in the pumpkin carving competition.

Nearly 600 people gathered at the Spokane Convention Center on Oct. 21, 2017, for the 14th Annual Pumpkin Ball, presented by Banner Bank. Guests were treated to an enchanted evening of champagne, gourmet food, live and silent auctions, raffles, dancing and live music to benefit two local organizations that help vulnerable children in our area: The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery and the Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. The event raised $195,000 (after expenses) and included a local celebrity pumpkin carving competition with teams of community leaders and physicians. Todd Mielke, Greater Spokane, Inc., and Yvonne Smith, Northern Quest Resort & Casino, were this year’s winning team.

At lectern: Joyce Cameron, Chief Development Officer for the Providence Healthcare Foundation, with Amy Knapton, Executive Director of the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. Photos by Emily Fisher Photography

This fall marks the 10th anniversary of the restoration of The Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox to its original Art Deco glory. To celebrate, the Spokane Symphony, which purchased the theater and spearheaded restoration efforts, held a black-tie gala on Nov. 3, 2017, to raise $208,000 to benefit the symphony and fund technology upgrades at The Fox. Thomas Hampson — Spokane native, international opera star, and Grammy Award-winning baritone — performed at the event, and Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshal debuted a poem that he wrote to commemorate the anniversary. The theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Spokane Register of Historic Places, and the Washington Heritage Register.

Thomas Hampson, Andrea Herberstein, Rosie Quigley and Frank Knott. Photo by Kim Larsen

Upcoming Events Dec. 2 Dec. 8 Dec. 31 Jan. 27

Exchange Club Holiday Crab Feed and Benefit Auction for Kids, Salvation Army Celebrate the Season Luncheon, Spokane Symphony Associates Puttin’ On The Ritz, Leadership Lights the Way Gala, If your local organization is hosting a benefit or gala that you would like to see in PHILANTHROPY SPOTLIGHT, please email with event information (inclusion is subject to space).



In some families, you can set your clock to certain holiday traditions.

The tree is trimmed on the last Friday in November, not a moment sooner or later. The first snow of the year means you drop everything for sledding in Manito Park. Every new year is ushered in under the fireworks over the Spokane River. But traditions have a way of changing, eventually, whether we like it or not. Children grow up and start rituals with their own kids. The neighbors who hosted the best holiday party on the block move away. Businesses where you shopped every year close their doors. Instead of focusing on “the way things used to be,” look for ways to incorporate the old memories into new traditions. If an adult child is spending their first holiday away from your family with their new in-laws, create a video slideshow on your smart phone documenting each day that you can share with them (and other friends spread around the country) on social media.

Suggest a progressive holiday party with your neighbors, where every family meets at a specific house for a successive meal course or activity. It spreads around the obligation of hosting the whole shindig, and will help new families feel welcome in the neighborhood. Carve out some time (and money) in your usual holiday shopping schedule to spread the cheer around. Reduce your household gift numbers by one for each person and use the money to benefit a local charity, or purchase gifts for families in need. Volunteering your time, and committing to it beyond the holiday season, is another tradition you may want to bring into your household. However you celebrate, and whatever traditions make up your festivities, we hope you’ll feel uplifted by the memories of Christmas past, the joy of Christmas present and the possibilities of Christmas yet to come.

Theresa Tanner

managing editor

De December Dec er 2017 017









S PA C E 18

Your Carpet’s Worst Enemy Preventing and treating winter’s inside slush.

20 Breaking Sound Barriers Improving your home sound system.

24 Style Your Home for the Holidays Seasonal décor for a festive setting.


Gifts That Keep On Giving Experiential gifts create a lifetime of memories.

32 Making Merry in Munich The food, sights and sounds of a Bavarian holiday.

35 Read All About It What’s everyone reading this year?

36 Mexico City and Oaxaca Enjoy history and culture in southern Mexico.

40 A Very Special Vegas Vacation Sin City lights up for wintertime family fun.

LOOK 8 Winter Wardrobe Wonderland Stay cozy and cute in cold weather.

12 Raise an Eyebrow


Satisfy Your Holiday Sweet Tooth Local bakeries make hosting easy — and tasty!

44 Reviving the Christmas Goose Try a Victorian classic for your holiday feast.


Shaping and tinting techniques.

Chef’s Choice


Gifts for under the tree and in the kitchen.

Wrist-wear Wow


Watches and bracelets that sparkle this season.




Holiday Spirits Fine liquor makes a grand gift.







Volume III, Issue V

Publisher William Stacey Cowles

Director, Sales & Marketing Kathleen Coleman Product Development Manager Daniel Fritts Managing Editor Theresa Tanner

Art Director/Designer Anne Potter Contributors Sarah Bain Joe Butler Staci Lehman Cheryl-Anne Millsap RenĂŠe Sande Dan Webster Tricia Jo Webster The Spokesman-Review Editorial Team Adriana Janovich Advertising Sarah Little

Let us know what you think! Contact Platinum/The Spokesman-Review 999 W. Riverside Ave. Spokane, WA 99201 509.459.5095 EMAIL WEBSITE Free Digital Archives Online

INSTAGRAM @platinumspokanecda Cover Photo Photographer: Dan Cooley Model: Katie Elwell (MAM) Hair: Jerrold Sobida (House of POp) Make-up: Julie Farley (The Make-up Studio) Location: Bear Creek Lodge Supplement to The Spokesman-Review

December 2017



Katie wears a vest from Macy’s, flannel and leggings from Marshalls, boots from Nordstrom, boot cuffs from Famous Footwear and jewelry from Kohl’s. 8


Winter Wardrobe Wonderland By Tricia Jo Webster

In our neck of the woods winter means business. Show Mother Nature who’s boss with this collection of favorite winter staples that will keep you snug and stylish, from head to toe.

Topshop Alicia Boucle Slouch Coat Double-breasted and just a touch slouchy means you can dress this comfy coat up or down. Big buttons, front flap pockets and a plush boucle blended with soft wool will make this touchable topcoat a winter fave. | $160

Happy Trails Pom Beanie Frolic in the freezing cold with this fun beanie and you won’t even notice the frigid temps. Chunky knit provides stylish warmth with a furry pom up top. | $48

Fuzzy Plaid Scarf Wrap yourself up in serious style and warmth with this fuzzy plaid scarf — it’s more than 6-feet long and almost 2-feet wide. And, with so many colors in the mix, it goes with just about everything. | $29

December 2017


THE WALK SHOPPE • Shoe Boutique 3707 S. Grand Blvd. | 509.747.2161

Smartwool Urban Upslope Insulated Poncho This reversible poncho features a nylon shell, synthetic insulation and a soft, breathable merino lining. A relaxed fit means it’ll fit over even the bulkiest sweater and the drawstring hood has you covered. | $250 Steve Madden Marled Flip-Top Gloves You get the best of both worlds with these mitten gloves. The mitten tops fold back to reveal fingerless gloves so you can free your fingers when it’s time to text Santa your wish list. | $18 Lemon Fair Isle Over-the-Knee Socks No need to take short skirts out of your winter wardrobe rotation when you have a pair of over-the-knee beauties in your sock drawer. Pull on these thick, sweater-inspired leggings and you’ll be cozy and cute as can be. | $14.95 Sorel Lea Wedge Functional fashion never looked so good! These waterproof slip-on wedges feature full-grain leather uppers, a cozy microfleece lining and soles with serious traction. | $200 10


Katie wears a sweater and scarf from Urban OutďŹ tters, leggings from Marshalls, boots and a hat from Nordstrom, boot cuffs from Famous Footwear, mittens from &Kloth and jewelry from Kohl’s.

December 2017


Eyebrows: The Most Important Facial Feature You Don’t Think About By Staci Lehman


If the old saying about the eyes being the windows to the soul is true, then your eyebrows are the window dressing. And you don’t want your curtains or blinds looking drab, do you?

“I think there has been a shift away from the ’90s and early 2000s to now having your brows big and natural,” said Mortlock. “We’re getting away from a thin, tweezed brow.”

“Brow shaping is such a small thing, but (it) frames the face and goes a long way to really improving the overall façade,” said Rhonda Mortlock, an aesthetician at SpaBlue inside The Make-up Studio in downtown Spokane.

If you do brow shaping yourself, professionals suggest you start by outlining the shape you want with an eyebrow pencil. Once you have the desired shape, tweeze hairs that fall outside of it, being careful to maintain the length and arch of the brow.

Brows are the “it” feature this year, a small part of your body that can have a big impact on people’s first impression of you. But maintenance can be a challenge. The average woman has overtweezed her brows at least once in her life. The resulting uneven, skinny and sometimes even bald brows can be a major confidence killer that can take a long time to fix.

To determine where brows should start, lay your brow pencil against your face at the side of your nose, pointing toward your hairline. Where it touches the brow line is where your hairs should start. Tweeze hairs that go past that line to prevent the unibrow look.

“It can be very painful getting them to grow back if you make a mistake,” said Mortlock.

Ideally, the beginning of the brow should align with the center of the nostril and the arch should fall over the back third of the eye, although this is where many do-it-yourselfers mess up.

The good news is that we are getting away from the nearly nonexistent eyebrow look, which means less work for you.

“People go up too soon and end up with more like a Nike swoosh,” said Mortlock.


To avoid this, Mortlock recommends having a professional do your shaping, then performing minor cleaning up yourself between waxings or tweezings. If it’s too late and you have already over-tweezed or are experiencing hair thinning related to age or hormones, don’t worry, there are ways to compensate. The most common and least expensive is filling in with a brow pencil, but other options are gaining popularity. “Tinting is really common for people with thin brows,” said Mortlock. Or those with graying hair. There are also brow mousses, tinted gels, powders and eyebrow mascaras that darken and fill in sparse spots. While tattooing on eyebrows was popular in the past, there is a more natural-looking option available today. “It’s really hot and heavy with the microblading now,” said Mortlock.”It’s a great way to enhance the brow … the old tattooing was very blocky.” Alicia Seyhanli of Alicia Seyhnali Permanent Cosmetics agrees. She says the procedure makes up a large part of her business. “I’d say microblading is probably half of what we’re getting all the calls for,” she said. Microblading is a form of tattooing where pigment is implanted under the skin with a handheld tool. A topical anesthetic is used for pain and hair-like strokes are made to mimic natural hair growth. It isn’t as deep as a regular tattoo and, as a result, not as permanent, lasting about one-and-a-half to three years. “People were really scared of brows for a long time because they didn’t want them to look Sharpied on,” said Seyhanli. “A lot of people feel more comfortable with the microblading because you’re not going to have those eyebrows 25 years from now.” If you did have brow tattoos that you aren’t happy with, Seyhanli can help with that too. “I’m seeing a lot of corrections and it’s a bummer … I saw a woman a few weeks ago who went to someone who didn’t have a license. She called me crying hysterically.” One warning about microblading from Seyhanli: the trend is so hot that new “artists” are popping up every day who may not have the proper training or experience to do the job right. She shared a photo of a woman with noticeably uneven and purplishcolored brows. Her recommendation is to do your research before going to just anyone. She also says a quality job is worth the wait. “It’s not unusual for a reputable and experienced artist to be booked out a little ways.” No matter what method you use to maintain your brows, if you fill them in using any technique, aesthetician Mortlock recommends going a shade or two darker than your normal hair color or your low light if your hair is colored. “It’s almost like being a mini hairdresser,” she said of tinting brows. “There are times you have to use up to three colors to blend it to get the perfect color.” P

December 2017




By Renée Sande

The hand often gets all the glory. You shake hands, hold hands and talk with your hands. But where would the hand be without the wrist? Give it the attention it deserves with these latest trending bracelets and watches, and your wrists will be stealing the show.


Watches have been — and continue to be — among the hottest fashion accessories for the wrist for 2017. However, this year, there’s a broader range of looks to fit every occasion. “You’re definitely still seeing the larger watches for ladies,” said Brian Toone, owner of Jewelry Design Center in Spokane. “However, the sleeker designs are coming back around as well.” “For men, the sport dive-look is what continues to be popular; it looks sporty, but can also look very professional.” From big and bold to simple minimalist, the skeleton to the woodgrain look, try out these trending timepieces to really step up your wrist-wear game, and introduce functionality to personality. 14


WOMEN The bold type Perfect when you want to make a bold fashion statement, the large-faced, boyfriend watches are still going strong. Look for pink, blue and nature-inspired faces, accented with the hot metal colors of the year — both rose and yellow gold. Rolex Oyster perpetual Pearlmaster 39 Available at Jewelry Design Center

Big style in small packages

A nod from nature

At the other end of the spectrum, simple, delicate watches are bringing back the flair of femininity to the wrist. Whether part of a watch-bracelet set or on its own, these watches are popular with stainless steel mesh or canvas straps.

Exquisitely decorated dials depicting flowers, butterflies, wild animals and birds all graced models’ wrists on the fall runways, often for show-stopping results. Olivia Burton Garden Mesh Strap Watch Available at Nordstrom

Baume & Mercier PROMESSE Diamond Quartz Watch Available at Ben Bridge

MEN A peek inside Mechanical or “skeleton” watches remain popular. With a glimpse into the internal mechanisms, the aesthetic is an eye-catching blend of both vintage and modern with a strong, masculine vibe. Versace Aiakos Automatic Skeleton Leather Strap Watch Available at Nordstrom

Into the woods Also in line with the current trend of nature in fashion, nature-inspired watches for men are showing up in wood, providing a unique and down-to-earth choice and (bonus!) are typically friendly to sensitive skin. Alpha Wood Leather Strap Watch Available at Nordstrom

Making a case for blue An abundance of striking blue faces and straps are especially hot this year, dominating the men’s watch scene for 2017 and providing a tranquil façade for the otherwise hard-at-work timepiece. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 16 Chronograph Available at Ben Bridge

December 2017


BRACELETS From bangles to cuffs, 2017 has been the year of bracelets. Jen Jensen, marketing manager for Tracy Jewelers, says they’ve carried the Lois Hill collection for a while now, as one of their top sellers in bangles and cuffs. “While they also come in diamond and gold, we mostly sell the sterling silver for its popularity,” says Jensen. A versatile accessory, bracelets of all kinds add a bit of color, sparkle, texture and shine to tie any outfit together.



Jingle-jangle bangles Always a standby, bangles are grouped according to no rules these days. Mix up your look with different styles, colors and textures, and make some noise wherever you go! Labradorite and Black Leather Available at

Show off the cuffs Showing up in all sorts of metals, textures and motifs, the cuff is clearly the choice when going for a bold statement without a lot of fuss. New this fall was the welcome addition of animal prints and, again, lots of blue in all shades. Riley Animal Stripe Available at

Works like a charm A timeless option, the charm bracelet makes a great gift that ends up being a unique expression of the wearer, celebrating their individuality and accomplishments. Think graduation, Mother’s Day — any key moments of recognition make charm bracelets the perfect gift. Sterling Silver Charms Available at Tracy Jewelers

December 2017




Your Carpet’s Worst Enemy By Staci Lehman You take your boots off at the door and wipe your feet. But somehow, snow, rain and mud still manage to work their way in and make a mess of your carpets and rugs. Short of re-carpeting your house or buying new area rugs every year, what can you do to prevent this? Take some pro-active measures. Christie Hoiles, General Manager at Zerorez, suggests getting “outdoor mats to wipe your feet before you enter the home,” so dirt and mud is not tracked onto more expensive carpets and rugs. She also says using a protectant on rugs is highly recommended to keep dirt or spills from becoming permanent stains. But prevention might be the most effective way to go. “Wear clean socks or house shoes while walking on carpet. This helps prevent body oils and outside soil from getting on the carpet,” she said If you vacuum often, like almost daily, then you’re Hoiles’ kind of person.



She recommends vacuuming “one day a week, per person,” so five people in a household means vacuuming five days a week. Even frequent vacuuming is only so effective. Sometimes you have to take it to the next level and clean your carpets or rugs. Richard Karishian of Karishian’s Imported Rug Co. and Rug Spa says fall is an ideal time for this. “It’s really a good time now because people are going back into their homes for the winter,” he said. Karishian should know. He’s been in the rug business his entire life. “My dad and his brother came to Spokane in 1920 and started it,” he said of his family’s 97-year-old business. They not only sell rugs but clean them too. He suggests having your area rugs cleaned every three years, but more often if they are in the kitchen or heavy traffic areas; as often as every 18 months.

If you have pets, more frequent cleaning may also be required. “We get a ton of rugs that have pet problems,” said Karishian. “Followed by coffee and then red wine, followed by red Kool-Aid, and then food stains.” Another tip from Karishian for maintaining area rugs is to rotate them occasionally, so wear and tear is distributed equally. “Turn them 180 degrees every 18 months.” Hoiles sees a lot of stains at Zerorez as well, including some that may not have been permanent if they had been treated correctly the first time. “If you can’t remove a stain with water, you should call a professional,” she said. “Some store-bought/over the counter products can actually do more harm than good.” For wall-to-wall carpeting, Hoiles suggests cleaning every 12 to 18 months. And not with one of those machines you can rent at a grocery store. “Those types of carpet cleaners put down the soap or cleaner and do not have enough suction to remove it,” she said. “So it stays in the carpet and attracts dirt.” Hoiles says Zerorez’s process won’t do that.

Cleaning area rugs is another matter. Because they are often made of delicate fibers like wool or silk, there is a complicated process used to clean them. If not done properly, Karishian says the color in rugs can run or they can be damaged in other ways. Which is why they started the Rug Spa division of their business. “We dust them, submerge them in cold water, rinse, extract, dry and groom them,” said Karishian. “It’s one week from the time we start until they are done. … We do them individually, one rug at a time.” Silk rugs are dry cleaned by hand, and the Rug Spa can also replace missing tassels and fix holes. Karishian’s will pick up your rug to be cleaned for free and drop it back off if you live in the City of Spokane, and offers free shipping for customers who aren’t local. They receive rugs from all over the country; Karishian says they clean a lot of rugs from Florida and the East Coast in particular. Caring for carpet or rugs may be just one more chore on your list of many things to do, but Karishian says they could be in your life for a very long time so treat them accordingly. “They last 75 years or longer, these wool rugs.” P

“Not only do we leave no residue behind, we have a truck-mounted system that removes most of the water, plus a controlled spray so we won’t saturate the carpets.”



What to do WHERE TO GO

4, 2017





WEEK The big city? It all depends


Editor’s note: Paul Turner is taking some time off. In his absence, we’re diving into the archives here at Today, we revisit Aug. Slice Central. 4, 2001.

on your perspective “People around here are pretentious about the most likely to be ‘far superior’ education they received In Chewelah, Wendy in California.” Rowe’s 5-year-old daughter refers to breast-feeding as “milking the baby.” And Colville’s Larrie the movie title that best Waterman said life is “Lost in Space.” sums up her love

Brace yourself. The Spokane Valley’s reports that her daughterSandy Rice in Whitefish, Montana, refers to the Lilac City as “Spokangeles.” SLICE ANSWER:


“Years ago a pastor friend came by for a visit and when he left I saw that our fridge letters had been rearranged to say, ‘Try bleen,’ ” wrote Terry our corned Rayburn Mitchell. “I don’t know why, but it still makes me laugh.”

BLANK): “In our household, this season will be remembered as The Summer of ( ).”

Write The Slice at P.O. WA 99210; call (509) Box 2160, Spokane, 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; email There are several local pedestrians have a rightdrivers who believe to live.

(509) 459-5485; fax

) ) THE RIVER 10 new works of short

fiction by the region’s

Sponsored by

(509) 459-5098; email

best writers. Sundays

in The Spokesman-Review .

Photos courtesy of Richard Karishian December 2017


BREAKING SOUND BARRIERS Improve your home’s sound system to increase holiday fun

By Theresa Tanner

The holidays are a full sensory experience: the scent of freshly baked cookies, the tasty crunch of Grandma’s peanut brittle, the sight of twinkling lights and the weight of a colorfully wrapped gift that you give a quick shake to determine its contents. And, of course, there’s the sound of your favorite carols flowing from the radio … or your newly installed sound system. The holidays are a logical time to upgrade your sound system, either as a gift the whole family will appreciate on movie night or in anticipation of holiday entertaining. Zachary Curry, custom installation sales manager at Huppin’s, says the best place to start when you’re considering a new sound system is to contact their team for a consultation. It gives him an opportunity to ask customers questions about their needs and get to know their personality and comfort level with technology. “When we understand their situation and how they want to use a system, we can help teach and train them to use it comfortably,” Curry said, noting that they have customers in their 80s who use Sonos speakers connected to tablets and mobile devices. 20


Some of the most common requests for sound systems are the ability to stream music from a phone, to play seamlessly on different speakers throughout the house and to create immersive sound environments for home theater systems. “A lot more people are building home theaters,” Curry said. “The price point has shifted,” so creating a high-quality viewing theater is more affordable for the average family. One issue that many customers haven’t thought about is network limitations, but Curry says that Huppin’s sells plenty of products that help extend range to support the system that customers want. “They come to us because they want Huppin’s recommendation of what’s right for them.” Ready to get started? Here are some of the brands and products that Curry thinks will be especially popular for people seeking the best in user-friendly sound technology this season.

Bose A “plug and play” user-friendly speaker system, Bose is particularly suited for hard-of-hearing individuals. Soundbar manufacturers have built in dialogue mode, so turning up the volume to hear speaking voices doesn’t also turn up the boom of the bass during an action sequence. Bose® Solo 5 | TV Sound System

Sonos One of the most easy-to-use sound systems, the wireless Sonos sound system is controlled by a single app for all the speakers in your house. You can play one song in every room, or different songs in different rooms. Each speaker also has independent volume control, so the kids can get a dance party started in the living room while the grown-ups can carry on a conversation in the kitchen. This year, the Sonos One introduced voice control with Amazon Alexa technology to improve sound quality while managing your household with simple voice commands. Sonos ONE Voice Controlled SmartSpeaker

Dolby Atmos Rather than stereo or surround sound channels, Dolby Atmos is a different way of wiring and arranging speakers to create a “dome of sound,” according to Curry, which moves in three-dimensional space around you. The technology also selects which sounds to emphasize as it moves to create a more immersive experience. Pioneer Elite FS–EB70 | Network Sound Bar December 2017


McIntosh Huppin’s is proud to be the only local dealer in McIntosh products, one of the best audio equipment manufacturers since the 1950s. “People come from halfway across the state and Canada to shop McIntosh,” Curry said. Their current amplifiers integrate seamlessly with both analog and digital inputs; plus, their old-school aesthetic has a retro quality that creates a great conversation piece in your home. McIntosh MAC7200 2-Channel Receiver

Universal Remote Control With all this great tech, you’re bound to end up with endless remotes. While smart phone and tablets can pick up some of the slack, a Universal Remote can be synced with hundreds of devices, even smart home systems that control your thermostat, lighting and security systems. Universal Remote Control TRC–820

OLED televisions Once you have a bumping sound system, you need a visual that matches it. Curry says TVs with organic LED technology create the “most breathtaking picture you’ve ever seen” with vivid color contrast and a side angle view that’s just as visible and bright. Plus, its integrated sound bar and subwoofers actually penetrate sound through the screen — toward the viewer — rather than directionally from the back. Sony XBR-65A1E | 65” Bravia OLED 4K HDR TV



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December 2017


Style Your Home for the Holidays By Renée Sande Home is where the heart is — especially during this festive time of year. So it’s understandable, with our hearts full of Christmas memories past, that we want to bring out every inspiring Christmas trimming, bauble and bow that we own.

in the same color palette.

While this is a lovely thought, if you’re looking for a more refined or more cohesive Christmas palette for your home this holiday season, we’ve got some ideas for you.

Senske Services has been providing custom holiday lighting installation service for years. Their professional and fast crews will not only hang your lights, but check them twice during the holiday season, and take them down. They can also incorporate beautiful, pre-lit wreaths.

Start with the basics, such as lighting. While putting up Christmas lights is often the least enjoyable part of our Christmas decorating, lighting is a great foundation from which to build your décor. LED lights are available in an array of options these days, so you’re able to achieve any look you want, whether it’s smaller lights that twinkle, or bigger lights for a bolder effect. Also, the advanced technology of LEDs means you’re not only benefitting from a safer product, but with their “stay on” feature — meaning if one bulb goes out, the rest of the string stays on — you’re getting a more hassle-free product. Keep the color of your lights to one or two colors, at most, for a more elegant effect. White is always a great option, but mixing in blue or green, which are popular colors this season, can also keep it tasteful, as long as you coordinate your décor



Even more hassle-free is to hire out for your Christmas lights to be strung.

Not only are you saved the hassle of getting out in the cold and up on a ladder, you also save time and energy, as well. And with their motto of, “You like it or we fix it,” you can’t go wrong!

Add in some greenery. Greenery is one of Ginger Wymans’ favorite ways to decorate for the holidays, adding a fresh scent to your home and rustic elegance to your decor. Wymans and her husband have owned Ritters Gift & Garden on the north side of Spokane now for almost 10 years. “The most important thing to know about bringing fresh greens into your home, is that if you put them up too soon or

Photo by Andrea Jensen

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn Photos by Renée Sande

don’t take care to seal the moisture in, they’ll dry out within a few days, lose their beauty and become a fire hazard,” said Wymans.

“The cardinal lantern has been a top seller this year,” said Tammy Le, owner of Madison Country. “Red berries are another great option for red.”

“Put them up the second week of December at the earliest, but before you do, be sure to spray them with a plant protector like Wilt Stop; it seals in the moisture so you can enjoy your greenery for up to three weeks or so. And it’s natural and non-toxic.”

With a wide assortment of Christmas themes, Madison Country takes it to the other end of the spectrum with black — which is new for the 2017 holiday season. Paired with silver, the effect is elegant and stunning.

Wymans says you can purchase Wilt Stop at Ritters, and the fresh greenery boughs — one of their top sellers. In addition, she says the small decorator trees, including the Norfolk Pine and Lemon Cyprus, as well as their live Christmas trees, are popular greenery.

Add in some color, and think less is more. In addition to green and blue color schemes, the classic red and white combo remains a popular choice in holiday decor. One way to bring in red is by incorporating the ever-popular woodland lodge theme, which continues to be a favorite in Christmas showrooms this year. Stealing the scene is the bright red snowbird, the cardinal, which has made an appearance for Christmas at Madison Country.

Make it sparkle. Adding just the right amount of sparkle is easy with crystals, which reflect Christmas lights for a dazzling display like no other. This year you can find them in icy blues, blue-greens and greens, as well as clear and frosty. Metallics have shown up in a big way this season, as well, in copper, rose gold, champagne gold and — the latest trend — oxidized (tarnished) silver. Perfect for a classic vintage look, consider for Pottery Barn’s eclectic mix of metallic mercury votives. Shimmery and multicolored, their collection adds even more festive ambiance as a table centerpiece or focal point on a mantel or console. P

December 2017




December 2017



Gifts that Keep on Giving Experiential gifts eliminate clutter and create a lifetime of memories By Sarah Bain

The Inland Northwest is the perfect place for giving gifts that can last the whole season. Whether you want to create a themed package (a gift for every season; for the food lover; for the adventurer), or you simply want to avoid the clutter and make an investment in memories, experiential gifts can be a welcome alternative this season of giving. The great thing about these kinds of gifts is that you can pick and choose what you want to give and tailor them for the people you love. Let your imagination guide you as you create the perfect gift package.

If you know someone who is happiest only when he or she is outdoors, or you have a family member who has always wanted to try something new, a gift that takes someone outdoors is sure to be a favorite. Use the ideas below as a launching pad from which to get creative: Brooks Seaplane ( offers scenic flights over Lakes Coeur d’Alene and Pend Oreille, as well as charter flights that can take the guest into Montana, Washington or Idaho. For anyone in your life who wants a seaplane ride, this is his/her chance to do it.

For the adventurer in your life

Want to go tubing, rafting or kayaking? FLOW Adventures ( offers all three options for the person who wants to have an adventure. It also offers winter camping classes and survival classes. From a half-day rafting trip or a five-day excursion, FLOW Adventures has it all. Know someone who has always wanted to skydive but never taken the leap? A gift certificate from Skydive West Plains ( is a sure way to make it happen. Gift certificates for a solo first jump course or for tandem skydiving are available. Photo by David Phillips



Photos courtesy of INCA After Dark

For your favorite foodie Nationally, the Inland Northwest is getting rave reviews for its chefs and restaurants with new ones popping up each month. Let your palate guide you to create an unforgettable experience for the person who loves food. Inland Northwest Culinary Academy After Dark, or INCA After Dark, ( has a variety of classes throughout the year for those waiting to release their inner culinary chef. These cooking classes are taught by regional chefs in Spokane Community College’s teaching kitchen. Call Noncredit Registration at (509) 279-6030 to register. How about a year of dinner dates? This is a great gift for a romantic partner, as well as a family member or close friend who you want to treat on a regular basis. Pick 12 restaurants throughout the region to visit for a monthly night out. For a tangible gift, create a calendar to block out the dinner dates for your loved one, or give them a map with all the places you’ll go circled on it. Wine and beer clubs both in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene offer great packages for people who love to explore what drinks to pair with their dinners. The Dinner Party ( has a variety of packages and clubs to choose from, as do several of the wine cellars and tasting rooms across Spokane.

December 2017


For the family Grandparents and parents alike love annual passes to Mobius Children’s Museum & Science Center ( A family pass is the best way to get the entire family out for a morning or afternoon of interactive fun, and the great exhibits change often. Of course, The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture ( is sure to please every artist and budding artist in your family. An annual membership allows the patron to enjoy special exhibits, special programming and so much more. It’s a great place to visit on rainy or windy Northwest afternoons. Or visit a special exhibit and then go for a walk along the river. Spend a day on beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene with Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises ( These relaxing cruises allow everyone to step away from the daily routine Holiday Light Show and Eagle Watching cruises are scheduled through Jan. 1, along with special Valentine’s Day cruises in February; daily cruises are scheduled to begin again in spring.

Photo by Mae Wolfe

For the person who needs to slow down

These days, it’s not difficult to think about who needs to just slow down and relax. A spa treatment or weekend getaway is a great way to do that. Also, something that many of those you love haven’t experienced yet is likely to be floating.

Renew Float Spa ( is a great place to go for your first float. Epsom salts are dissolved in body temperature water inside of a float pod that makes you feel as if you are weightless. With the lights out and the sound of music to lull you into a meditative state, floating takes you away from it all. Gift certificates for one day or multiple days are available. You may love a new lipstick color in theory, but does it actually work with your skin tone? The Make-up Studio ( offers helpful makeup lessons for information about products and proper techniques; there’s even a Teen Makeup lesson for high school-age women to help with basic skincare and instruction. 30


In a relaxing setting that puts you at ease, the Make-up Studio is a great mother-daughter getaway. There are so many spas to choose from in the region that it’s a great gift for the person who really needs to get away from it all. The Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa ( is a great place to go for an entire day and night of pampering if you want to stay at the resort while experiencing a unique seasonal package.

For everyone else ARTS AND CRAFTS If someone you love is in search of a new hobby, look through the classes offered at local craft stores, art studios and your local parks and recreation department. They’re great for first-time sculptors or out-of-practice knitters. SPORTS AND LESSONS Nothing will delight the avid golfer in your life more than a club membership, even if they need to wait for spring to visit the greens. If you want to get active while it’s still winter, season passes at local ski mountains will keep you busy. There are lots of great lesson and rental options available for newbie skiers as well.

Enter the world of Titanic.

MUSIC AND THEATER Being a season ticket holder for local performing arts events offers loads of perks, from discount ticket prices to exclusive event access. Most seasons begin in fall, but you can purchase tickets for an individual show this season with the intent to purchase a membership next year, if the recipient just adores live production. The most important rules are: have fun, enjoy giving the gift and when it makes sense, go ahead and include yourself as part of the giving. P

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An Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution

For official Titanic merchandise please visit:

December 2017


Making Merry in Munich

By Cheryl-Anne Millsap

On my first trip to Germany during the month of December, hungry and still a little jetlagged from the flight to Frankfurt and the train ride to Munich, I walked into a tiny restaurant in a residential district near the center of the city. I opened the door and then, dazzled by what I saw, stopped to take it all in. Dozens of small elaborately decorated Christmas trees hung upside down from the ceiling of the room. I’d never seen anything like it before and I haven’t seen anything as striking since. Beautifully wrapped packages of all sizes were stacked on windowsills, strung like ornaments on garlands of ribbon and greenery, and piled into corners. Evergreen boughs, 32


woven with tiny white lights that glowed in the fresh snowfall outdoors and were reflected in the mirror over the bar, trimmed every door and window. The intimate neighborhood eatery was filled with locals enjoying plates of schnitzel or wurst and crowded with friends who’d stopped by for an after-work drink. I felt as though I’d walked into a scene from an ornate, Victorian picture book, but I quickly realized the over-the-top decor was no show for tourists. It was just a perfectly fine example of the way Germany dresses up for the holiday season.

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For the next few days I wandered the streets, joining revelers downtown in the holiday markets and at the tables of the many restaurants around town, and I came away charmed by the experience. The city made a big impression on me and I have returned several times. Now, when anyone asks where in Europe to travel in December, Munich is my first recommendation.

Christmas Markets For most travelers this time of year, the biggest attraction in Munich is the city’s ancient Advent or Christmas Market. December 2017


Arrayed with twinkling lights overhead, delicious food and holiday music, the market is held on the Marienplatz, a historic square in the heart of Old Town. Aisles of traditionally decorated booths offer everything from gluhvein (spicy mulled wine) to traditional Bavarian woodcarvings, elaborate handcrafts, handmade toys and other unique objects. The air is filled with the scents of sausages, candied nuts and other treats, drawing locals and tourists alike. The separate “manger market” is nearby. Featuring mangers, nativity figures and accessories, the Kripperlmarket is where families go to find a new piece for their heirloom crèche.

Eat and Drink Munich is the place to experience true German Beer Hall culture and there are plenty to choose from, many right in the city center. Numerous chocolate shops and Bavarian bakeries on the Marienplatz make it easy to nibble your way through the heart of the city.

Winter Fun

The markets traditionally open in late November and are held daily until Dec. 24.

If you get tired of shopping, eating and sipping mulled wine, Munich’s outdoor ice-skating rink in the Karlspatz Square is a wonderful way to get some exercise while celebrating the holiday season in one of Germany’s most beautiful cities.

Holiday Music

Getting There

Munich’s churches and concert venues are filled with holiday music in December when choirs, orchestras and musicians gather to perform. Tickets may be required for formal concerts.

Get a Bird’s Eye View If you’re ambitious, climb the 306 steps of St. Peter’s Church for sweeping views of the city. Initially built in 1180, the Catholic church is known locally as “Old Peter,” and features a variety of


architectural and decorative styles, reflecting the many eras of its life, including Gothic, Renaissance and Rococo.


Flying into Germany is easy. Frankfurt has one of the busiest and most efficient airports anywhere with easy service from Seattle. Once there it’s easy to get around the country by rail. The German rail system is one of the best in the world. Trains are always on time, clean and convenient, and many have amenities such as high-speed wireless and beverage service. P



By Theresa Tanner

There’s no better time than now to escape from winter’s chill with a warm blanket, a piping, hot beverage and a good page-turner. For the bibliophile in your life — or perhaps yourself, as you’re obviously a fan of a good read — consider picking up one of the most acclaimed books of 2017. They are, quite literally, what everyone is talking about.

“American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West” Nate Blakeslee, Crown

The December read for The Spokesman-Review’s new Northwest Passages Book Club tackles a controversial issue familiar to regional ranchers, hunters, scientists and conservationists: the reintroduction of wolf populations to Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s. The story is told, in part, as a biography of O-Six, one of the most famous lupine residents of the country’s first national park. Author Blakeslee visits Spokane for a book club event on Dec. 6.

“Exit West” Mohsin Hamid, Riverhead Books A love story blossoms between Nadia and Saeed in an unnamed country on the brink of civil war. When the young couple decides they must leave their country, the story diverts from a traditional refugee tale as Hamid grants his protagonists a fantastical escape that seems more suited to a “Harry Potter” novel. “Exit West” refuses to be simply categorized; it’s speculative, dystopian fiction grounded in a modern-day romance that’s unafraid to use magical realism without losing focus on its characters’ emotional journey.

“Lincoln in the Bardo” George Saunders, Random House An imaginative exploration of grief, acclaimed short story writer Saunders debuts his first novel about the night Abraham Lincoln’s third son Willie was laid to rest following his death from typhoid at age 11. Set in a cemetery populated with tragic and eccentric ghosts who cling to memories of their lost lives in a transitional state between life and death that Tibetan Buddhists call “the bardo,” readers open to unusual methods of storytelling will be enthralled with Saunders’ style and voice.

“Little Fires Everywhere” Celeste Ng, Penguin Press Ng’s follow-up to her award-winning debut novel, “Everything I Never Told You,” also focuses on family drama, a mysterious tragedy and racial tension in a small, suburban Ohio town, this time in the late ’90s. When Elena Richardson, a wealthy, married mother of four with a picturesque home, rents out a duplex to artist and single mom Mia and her teenage daughter Pearl, the two families are intertwined as the town itself divides over a conflict concerning the adoption of a Chinese baby girl by white couple.

“Manhattan Beach” Jennifer Egan, Scribner Six years after her publishing the Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” Egan’s latest work is a historical novel following Anna Kerrigan, who works in the Brooklyn Naval Yards during World War II as the first female diver to perform underwater repairs on damaged battleships while searching for answers in her father’s unexplained disappearance a decade earlier. A truly “New York” novel filled with working-class characters, gangster-owned night clubs and mystery. P

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December 2017


MEXICO CITY AND OAXACA: Vibrant and Scenic Cities of Culture

By Dan Webster

You may have heard some unfavorable things about traveling to Mexico. Consider this my sincere attempt to reform some of the negative assumptions you may have about our neighbor to the south.

barely a four-and-a-half hour flight to the Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico. We arrived at 2:45 p.m., two hours ahead of our Pacific Time Zone.

For nearly 10 days in late June, my wife and I visited both Mexico City and the smaller, scenic city of Oaxaca. And our experience couldn’t have been more enjoyable, not to mention educational.

We’d arranged a car service to take us to the Sheraton Maria Isabel. (If that kind of lodging seems too expensive for the budget traveler, any number of Airbnbs and VRBOs are available through the Internet.)

Over the past two decades, I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the world’s great cities — from Los Angeles to New York, London to Paris, Rome to Berlin, Istanbul to Barcelona, Rio to Buenos Aires, Beijing to Shanghai and Hong Kong. I’ve walked these foreign streets, eaten the native foods and even on occasion attempted to speak — albeit poorly — the local languages.

Getting around, though, was easy. We took the occasional taxi to reach certain parts of the city, even despite one rush-hour experience when, because of traffic (Mexico City has an overall population of some 21 million), a 10-minute trip ended up being a half-hour endurance test. The good news: At about $8 U.S., the price was certainly right.

And I’ll say this for the record: Mexico City offers as good a tourist experience as any great metropolis. By using the same degree of caution that you would in any of the above places, you have little to fear.

Mostly, we walked, which was easy because of how conveniently located the Sheraton is. (Note to walkers: I had no problem getting in my 10,000 steps a day. And even though Mexico City sits at 7,300 feet or so above sea level, I never felt effects from the altitude.)

Our first surprise was how easy it was to get there. Leaving Spokane at 6:20 a.m., we flew to Salt Lake City. From there, it was 36


Set on the main thoroughfare Paseo de la Reforma, the Sheraton

is just two blocks from the Zona Rosa – an area that caters to a younger clientele favoring the gay life, drag shows, loud house music and more.

Branching out, using either cabs or the public metro system, we visited the city’s main square, known as the Zócalo (where the opening scene of the 2015 James Bond film “Spectre” was filmed).

Go a few more blocks in another direction, and you’ll discover some of the city’s most notable tourist sites. Chief among them is Chapultepec Park, a vast and tree-lined natural area that features street vendors and a variety of family-themed activities.

At the Zócalo, we toured the National Palace, where we admired world-famous murals by the artist Diego Rivera. Then we dropped by the Museo del Templo Mayor, an archaeological museum and excavation site that until 1978 was hidden beneath a block of modern buildings.

Housed in the park is the National Anthropology Museum, one of Mexico City’s jeweled attractions. The two-story complex, teeming with artifacts, tracks Mexico history from prehistory through today. Nearby, you’ll find the Modern Art Museum, whose collection consists mostly of Mexican art, though you can find obvious references to Picasso and other influences. And at the park’s center sits Chapultepec Palace, one-time home of the Emperor Maximilian and his wife Carlotta, now site of the National History Museum. Standing on the palace’s terrace, you can get a magnificent view of the city’s skyline.

And we toured the Zócalo’s other main site, the majestic Catedral Metropolitan de la Ciudad de Mexico. It’s the perfect stop for those in need of spiritual sustenance; for those who don’t feel such a need, the cathedral doubles as a refuge from both the crowds and, particularly in summer, the heat. No visit to Mexico City is complete without a stop at the Frida Kahlo Museum, which is where the famous artist lived with her husband, the muralist Rivera. We also joined a group tour of Casa Luis Barragán, the house of one of Mexico’s most famous architects.

December 2017


Diego Rivera murals Photo by Mary Pat Treuthart 38 PLATINUM.SPOKESMAN.COM


In terms of cuisine, Mexico City proved to be a true taster’s choice. Whether we were eating pozole at the down-home La Casa del Toño, dining on steaks at the Uruguayan restaurant Don Asado or enjoying the upscale menus at Los Danzantes Coyoacán and Quintonil (at which we were lucky to score a reservation), we appreciated both the delicious food, friendly service and affordable prices. On our sixth day in Mexico, we flew south to the city of Oaxaca. Our early-afternoon flight lasted barely an hour, and again our hotel – the boutique Parador de Alcalá – was centrally located. In fact, it sits barely three blocks from the Church of Santo Domingo de Gúzman, a former monastery (and, ironically, one-time military barracks) that houses a museum boasting a comprehensive history of the area. We learned even more about pre-Hispanic Mexico at the Museo Rufino Tamayo. The highlight of our stay in Oaxaca was the guided tour that we had arranged online with Luis Ramirez Tours. Our driver picked us up at our hotel (we were joined by our friends Megan and Greg), took us to a mezcal distillery, a textile business and a tour of the nearby archaeological site, Monte Alban. On the way home, we stopped at the famous Tule Tree, a 2,000-year-old cypress.

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We toured the larger confines of Oaxaca City on a trolley-bus (featuring a narration in Spanish, which we understand just enough to get the main points). Much of our enjoyment came from just walking the city center’s cobblestone streets, hitting the open-air market, and eating at restaurants. We dined at Casa Mayordomo, had drinks at the roofside Casa Crespo, sampled various kinds of mole at Casa Oaxaca, enjoyed tapas and sipped wine at Tastavins, and we were still hungry for pastries at the Pasteleria Alcazár. On our flight home, we compared notes. Mexico City, we agreed, is a vibrant place that deserves to be ranked among world’s great centers of culture. And Oaxaca, while offering a calmer tourist experience, is no less a scenic or historically significant destination. Similar to the country of Mexico itself, both cities present compelling opportunities to anyone interested in art, music, food and the simple joy of discovering a place that you may think you know – but likely do not. P

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A Very Special Vegas Vacation Christmas holidays can be memorable in the Mojave By Joe Butler



Photo by Anne Potter

A big, crowded city in the middle of the desert. How cool is that? Actually, it’s not terribly cool at all, especially when you’re sweating buckets while strolling along the Las Vegas Strip in the heat of summer. Good thing most Vegas casinos and hotels invest heavily in air conditioning, and every establishment has no end to available amenities like pools, spas and fruity drinks, all designed to discourage you from heading back into the scorching sauna outdoors. The heat has caused more than one overly sticky visitor to seriously wonder if it would make more sense to visit Vegas in a much less-sweaty season. Well, Merry Christmas! A trip to Las Vegas over the holiday season can be a lovely time for Inland Northwest visitors to head south.

pools close in winter, but others, like the Cosmopolitan or Caesars Palace, convert their swimming pools into skating rinks. You’re likely to hear Christmas music on the streets, instead of upbeat pop. And it wouldn’t be Christmas without decor, which, in Vegas, means the opposite of subtle: look for whole forests of giant Christmas trees at some hotels, or miles of tinsel along the walls. The Bellagio boasts of a 42-foot tree with 7,000 lights and 2,500 ornaments — plus a Christmas melody in its hourly fountain show. Holiday touches extend to entertainment as well. The Tournament of Kings dinner theater at Excalibur, which takes place year-round, offers family-friendly sword fighting, horsemanship and actual jousting. From Thanksgiving to New Years, the show adds holiday elements, including snow, Christmas carols and an appearance by Santa.

Crowds are smaller, and temperatures usually cool down to the high 50s/low 60s in December. Brisk for Nevadans, but downright balmy coming from sub-zero Spokane.

Experience Nature

Being one of the busiest tourism-focused cities in the country also means that just about every casino, restaurant and shop is open daily, and even the street performers don’t care that it’s Christmas. Golf courses may close on Christmas Day only.

Festive Accommodations

Red Rock Canyon, 19 miles west, is considered the busiest Bureau of Land Management site in the country, and sees more than 2.5 million annual visitors. While the weekend after Thanksgiving is typically the busiest, attendance often drops off significantly in December, which means light traffic along the 13-mile scenic loop.

For those who dig getting deals, how about a hotel room for less than the price of a Schweitzer lift ticket? Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, Excalibur starts nightly room prices at $29 — and throws in free breakfast buffets.

Cooler days may also limit the ability to see wildlife — the area’s Desert Tortoises typically hibernate in December, along with the resident rattlesnakes.

Caesars Palace reduces standard room prices to $104, and can include tickets to nearby attractions. Even the Bellagio offers fountain-view rooms starting around $200, which can typically climb past $300-$400 as summer demand spikes. Even if you don’t get all that excited about cheap room deals, consider what else you can do with that money you’re saving. A room upgrade? Show tickets? A couple more buffets or poker tournament entries?

The lack of visitors can also mean more room to roam outside of Vegas.

Temperatures in the shady mountains are cooler than downtown, so warmer clothes are advised, especially if you plan on walking or hiking. Nearby Hoover Dam, about 30 miles from the Strip, also is a high-traffic zone where it’s not uncommon to wait an hour for a parking place during warmer seasons. Tours aren’t given on Christmas Day, but visitors can still walk around the massive structure. It’s windy, which while refreshing in summer, can be chilly in winter. P

True, you may get different experiences in winter. Some outdoor

Photos by Heather Butler

December 2017



Satisfy Your Holiday Sweet Tooth By Cheryl-Anne Millsap




ach December, I pull out my collection of antique cake stands and vintage dessert plates and place them on the sideboard in the dining room in anticipation of the holiday meals to come. The fun starts when I bring home delicious desserts to share. This is the season of celebration, after all, when we open our homes to family and friends and offer them hospitality and homecoming with sweet treats and delicacies. The reality is we don’t always have the time to put on an apron and whip up those goodies, but that’s no problem. In Spokane and Coeur d’ Alene, we’re surrounded by wonderful bakeries with plenty of delicious desserts fit for the fanciest party or a quiet night at home. Here are a few suggestions for your holiday table.

Take the Cannoli Home

Bring home a dozen classic cannolis from Petit Chat Bakery and nobody will turn you down. Filled with nuts, candied citrus, chocolate chips and a sweet ricotta cream filling, these treats are made for special occasions.

Say Goodnight with a Kiss in the Dark

Turn down the lights, put another log on the fire and cuddle up for a Kiss in the Dark cake. One plate, two forks. The sweet chocolate treat from Coeur d’Alene’s Bakery by the Lake is the perfect way to end the day.

Show You Care with an Éclair

It’s hard to pick just one pastry when you’re standing in front of the case at Madeleines Cafe & Patisserie, with a dizzying display of croissants, tarts and other French pastries, but you can never go wrong with an éclair.

Coconut Cake Takes Center Stage

The elegant coconut cake at Luna has been my family’s favorite “special occasion” dessert for years, brought home for celebrations at any time of year. Tall, moist and delicious, the cake is as much a centerpiece as it is a standout dessert.

A Swirl of Chiffon

The signature Lemon Chiffon cake from Chaps is always a crowdpleaser. Light and elegant with just the right combination of sweet and tart flavors, this cake makes a great addition to the holiday buffet.

Cupcakes for Days

With more than 100 flavors to choose from, selecting a cupcake from Celebrations Sweet Boutique might take a few minutes. But imagine the delight of your guests when you offer Champagne, Hummingbird or even Chocolate Caramel Bacon treats.

Wake up to Coffee and Cake

Before heading out to cut your own Christmas tree, start your morning with fresh coffee and a slice of yummy coffee cake from Twenty-Seventh Heaven.

C’est Bon, Macaron!

If you can’t spend Christmas in Paris, you can have the next-best thing here in Spokane. Common Crumb Artisan Bakery’s French macarons are exquisite. Delicate and available in a wide array of flavors, this colorful little treat is perfect for after dinner coffee or as a surprise left on a tray in a guest room.

Find Yourself Lost in a Black Forest

Just American Desserts’ decadent Black Forest Cake will be the star of your dessert spread. A rich conception of chocolate, whipped cream and cherries, sprinkled with Kirsch, this cake makes a fine finish to any meal.

Eggnog and Cheesecake, Together at Last

Imagine the delight of your guests as you bring out an Eggnog Cheesecake from Pastry and More in Coeur d’Alene. Perfect for sharing. P

December 2017


Reviving the Christmas Goose Story and photo by Adriana Janovich

The traditional Christmas goose — once prized for its dark, rich, flavorful meat — is no longer a given for the holidays — at least, not in America. Thanksgiving is turkey. Easter is ham or lamb. Christmas is usually roast beef, sometimes crab, or ham — or another turkey. The centerpiece of the Victorian Christmas dinner table, roast goose is still very much a custom in many places in northern Europe. And, of course, it still has its place in lore and literature, particularly “A Christmas Carol.” The 1843 novella by Charles Dickens describes in-depth the excitement over and anticipation for the Cratchit family’s Christmas goose. If you want to bring this 19th century delicacy to your holiday table, here’s a quick how-to for a first timer’s Christmas goose. Safety first Salmonellosis can occur if raw goose or raw goose juices contact cooked food or foods that will be consumed raw, such as salad. To prevent this foodborne illness, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking the whole goose to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees as measured using a food thermometer. For more safety tips, visit 44


Defrost A frozen goose requires about two days in the refrigerator to defrost. Allow for another day for the brine, if using. Remove the goose from the fridge or brine an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. All the trimmings Remove excess fat from the cavity. Cut off wing tips. Rub goose with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place lemon or orange wedges inside the cavity, along with fresh herbs, garlic and onion, as desired. Tie legs together. To help fat escape, lightly prick skin all over, taking care not to pierce the meat. Simmer and save Simmering helps render some of the fat before roasting. Place goose on a rack in a roasting pan with a couple of inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil on the stove top. Turn down heat, and steam about an hour, adding a little more water as needed. Reserve and cool liquid for gravy, if desired. Skim off fat and save it for pie crust or for roasting chicken or vegetables, such as potatoes. Goose fat is also good for flavoring stuffing and frying cabbage. (From the trimmings and pan drippings, expect to render about a quart of goose fat.) Low and slow The slower the goose is roasted, the crispier the skin is; 325 degrees is generally recommended. Arrange goose, breast up, on a roasting rack along with favorite root or stock vegetables – onions, garlic, turnips, parsnips, carrots, fennel, leeks or celery – and a cup of white wine and water or cooking liquid. Cover and cook. Plan for about two hours, depending on size of the bird. The USDA recommends checking the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and thickest part of the breast. Browning and resting The last 30 or 40 minutes, remove lid and roast goose uncovered. Rest about 15 minutes before stuffing and carving. It’s all giblet gravy Brown the giblets – neck, gizzard, heart, liver – in 2 tablespoons butter on medium-high heat. Add 1 cup diced onion and 1/2 cup each diced carrot and celery, 1 teaspoon dried thyme and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. When veggies are translucent, add a bay leaf and 5 cups of water and simmer for a couple of hours while goose is cooking. When it’s nearly done, strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving – and finely mincing – giblet meat. When goose is done, move it to a cutting board or platter to rest. Pour off all but 1 or 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Set pan on stovetop over medium heat. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to the pan and whisk it into the drippings with the giblets. Add the stock, bring to a boil and stir constantly until gravy thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve and store Goose is bony and fatty and has a large rib cage. Compared to a turkey, it feeds fewer people weight for weight. Calculate about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per person, precooked, or 3 to 4 ounces per person, fully cooked. Brown the skin side of the breast in a hot pan to get it even more brown and crispy, if desired. Store leftovers in fridge for 3 to 4 days at under 40 degrees. Freeze the bones for broth. Wine pairings Rich and luxurious, goose requires robust wines with lots of structure. The boldness of the meat needs to be matched by the wine’s boldness in texture and acidity. Try dry whites from Germany, Austria or Alsace, or zinfandel, syrah, malbec, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon or Rhone reds, particularly from Chateauneuf-du-Pape. P

Corning Brine From Travis Dickinson, executive chef of Clover in Spokane 2 1/2 gallons of water 1 cup kosher salt 1/4 cup Italian herb seasoning 1/2 cup soy sauce 2 cups brown sugar 1 teaspoon nutmeg 2 teaspoons chili powder 2 bay leaves In a large sauce pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Cool immediately. Brine must be below 40 degrees before use. Note: Depending on the size of the goose and container used for brining, a double batch of brine might be needed. Savory Fruit Stuffing From Dorothy Dean Homemakers Service and The Spokesman-Review Archives, 1968. This recipe appeared in the Dorothy Dean leaflets several times during the 1960s at the holidays. 1/2 cup butter 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup minced onion 1/4 cup minced parsley 2 1/2 cups chopped apple 1/2 cup cut-up dried apricots 1/2 cup cut-up prunes 1/2 cup raisins 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 teaspoon thyme 1/4 teaspoon marjoram 1/4 teaspoon sage 2 quarts dry bread cubes Broth or water, if needed Melt butter in large skillet; add celery, onion and parsley. Cook over low heat until vegetables are soft but not brown. Add fruits, sugar and seasonings. Continue cooking 3 minutes stirring constantly. Stir in bread cubes; cook 2 minutes longer. Add broth or water, if needed. Yield: Stuffing for 10-pound goose Notes: I made this recipe with a few substitutions. I used shallots instead of onions, then added a cup of pearl onions. Instead of prunes, I used figs. Instead of raisins, I used dried cranberries. I added 2 cups of fresh cranberries too, for color as much as tartness. A quarter teaspoon of pepper didn’t seem like enough to me; I used a half teaspoon, but could’ve used more for my taste. I also added 1 cup of toasted walnut pieces for texture. Next time, I might even toss in water chestnuts for crunch and, for balance, maybe some roasted Brussels sprouts, too. December 2017


Chef ’s Choice Perfect gifts for under the tree and in the kitchen By Tricia Jo Webster

Finding the right gift for the foodies in your life can be tricky. Known for perceptive palates and refined tastes, wrapping up something to please their discriminating desires can be intimidating. We’ve compiled a list (and checked it twice) of faves that’s sure to please even the choosiest connoisseur this Christmas. The Breville Smart Waffle Maker cooks brilliant Belgian-style waffles browned to your very own level of perfection. Five temp settings, a nonstick moat that bakes overflow into crispy waffle bites and options for four different batter types mean your next brunch is going to be your best brunch ever. Pass the mimosas, this is something to celebrate! Available at Williams Sonoma, $199 Take your noodles to the next level with the worldfamous Marcato Atlas 150 Roller. This Italian-made beauty rolls ribbons of dough up to 6 inches wide and lets you select 10 different thicknesses – then you choose; will it be lasagna, fettuccine or taglioni for dinner tonight? Mangia! Available at The Kitchen Engine, $79.99



Bring a giggle to your table with a Gurgle Pot. Crafted of durable stoneware, these quirky ďŹ sh-shaped pitchers produce an amusing gurgle each time they’re tipped to pour. Available in an array of sizes and colors these conversation starters are sure to bring a touch of fun to any tablescape. Available at Atticus Coffee & Gifts, $6.95/$21.95/$39.95

December 2017


The Table Talk collection combines colorful art and playful messaging to put a fresh spin on a classic kitchen tool. These functional and decorative Lazy Susans are available in a variety of designs and sentiments, and are perfect for anyone who likes to gather ’round the table with family and friends. Available at Mix It Up, $69 The Bonavita Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle is perfect for the serious warm beverage lovers on your list. The electric kettle heats water in 1-degree increments and features a lovely curved spout to ensure a precise pour. Available in brushed stainless steel, this quick-heating kettle brings style and steam to any kitchen. Available at The Kitchen Engine, $94.99



The PL8 Professional Spiralizer turns your favorite vegetables into platefuls of healthy pastalike delights that taste great and look beautiful. The integrated blades, sturdy rubber grips and sleek, simple design make this a must-have. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $39.99

Find the perfect pe gift at The Chef’n PalmPeeler is a potato lover’s dream come true. Just slip the peeler onto your finger like a ring and use a swiping motion over the surface of whatever veggie happens to be on the menu – you’ll cut down on prep time and those annoying knuckle nicks that traditional peelers are known for. The PalmPeeler’s ergonomic design, soft rubber grip and dishwasher-safe stainless steel blade make this one a go-to gadget. Available at The Kitchen Engine, $7.99 The Chef’n LooseLeaf is a handy tool that magically strips leaves from stems in seconds. Holes in multiple sizes accommodate everything from the dinkiest dill to the most colossal kale, plus there’s an incorporated blade edge that makes chopping a breeze. Now that’s a real “thyme” saver! Available at World Market, $7.99

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December 2017


Holiday Spirits Fine liquor makes a grand gift By Joe Butler

A modern-day philosopher — ahem, Homer Simpson — famously referred to booze as “the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.” But we think the gift of liquor can be a highclass present this time of year for the right recipient. We’re not talking about showing up with a six-pack of cold ones you grabbed at the mini-mart on the way to the party, but thoughtfully taking the time to select something certain to be appreciated by a lover of the finer things in life. Your gift doesn’t even have to be the priciest or highest-proof item either. Knowing a recipient’s tastes — whether they’re a client, friend or family member — can indicate if they prefer a certain vintage or brand of fine wine or well-aged malt whiskey. Even a beer lover on your shopping list may be over the moon if you present a gift pack of limited-edition Belgian beers or a handselected assortment of favorite local ciders. And the best part of a thoughtful, drinkable gift? It’s best shared with others, so you may be invited to partake in the festivities when they decant your treat. Every day can and should be considered a special occasion, so cheers! Feeling a little intimidated by the rows and rows of options? A few strategies can set you in the right direction toward suitable spirits. What’s in a name? Some liquor enthusiasts go by the adage, “if you can’t pronounce it or even spell it, it must be the real top-shelf stuff.” Think Courvoisier, Stolichnaya, Disaronno, Laphoroaig … but this isn’t always the case. Though those are fine brands, other good products aren’t as much of a mouthful, like Monkey 47 and Langley’s No. 8, which are some of the better gins around. Even Dom Perignon, widely considered one of the best — and priciest — bubblies, may taste too dry for infrequent champagne drinkers looking for something lighter and more artisanal. Expert taste You may not always get a lot of qualified assistance in the liquor section of your neighborhood supermarket, but gourmet food stores should have at least one person with advanced product knowledge. The wine area at Huckleberry’s is known for its expertise, as is Vino, a Wine Shop. These experts can also recommend suitable food pairings as well. 50


Locally made, locally drank Something special made in the Northwest can make a gesture even grander. Wine fans can select from about 850 wineries in Washington, plus 750 in Oregon and 50 in Idaho. If your recipient prefers something stronger, Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane offers award-winning vodkas, gins and multiple whiskeys. In Kootenai County, Bardenay in Coeur d’Alene offers its own line of artisanstyle liquors, as does Up North Distillery in Post Falls. Sip in style A decorative bottle is always nice, but a good gift can include other useful accessories to enjoy it with. Whether you’re sipping Patron, Perrier or even plain ol’ Pepsi, fine glass tumblers can make the experience even classier. A pair of Lismore Waterford Crystal tumblers (Neiman Marcus, $80 apiece) is nice to give or receive, as is a set of Tiffany & Co. Double Old-fashioned Glasses, ($90 for two). Brandy snifters and champagne flutes also can be welcome gifts. The whole caboodle If you’re already shopping at Tiffany, go ahead and throw that hand-cut lead crystal decanter ($190) into your shopping cart to round out the set. A DIY martini shaker set lets people make drinks just the way they like them, or at least experiment for free to try some tasty cocktails. And, if someone doesn’t already have a liquor cabinet built into a functional globe, you know they need one. offers a 16th century Italian Replica Globe Bar for just under $200. P

December 2017


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