Monday, September 20, 2010

Rosanna's Oregon Appearances!


9/20 KOIN Studio 6 4-5pm (CBS-Portland)

9/21 KGW Live at 7 7-8pm (NBC-Portland)

9/27 KVAL Noon News, 9/27: 12-1pm (CBS-Eugene)


9/23 - Kitchen Kaboodle
8788 SW Hall Blvd
Portland, OR 97223

9/23 - Peggy Sundays
7880 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219

9/24 - Lakeside Home and Gift
101 A Ave Lake Oswego, OR 97034

9/24 - Kitchen Kaboodle NW 23rd Location 
404 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210

9/25 - Shamrock Gifts and Flowers
1520 Coburg Rd
Eugene, OR 97401

9/25 Dept Of The Interior Decorator Fabrics
23 Oakway Center
Eugene, OR 97401


9/23 Willamette Week 
Rosanna's book signing details will be displayed in the “Words” section of the Wednesday edition of Willamette Week.

Register Guard 
Book signing details will run in “Events” section of the Register Guard - look for Rosanna's profile and photos in the Home and Gardens section!

See you there! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Celebrate The Tomatoes

This is it! Act now! It’s harvest time! Prime time for…


Sam Sifton’s marvelous ode to tomatoes and “valedictory meals” in the New York Times Sunday magazine inspired me to write my own ode to tomatoes.

My homemade late-summer tomato sauce rarely fails to fill hungry stomachs, and always pleases discerning palettes. The best part is that it is very simple to make. I am telling the truth.

Especially at this time of year, it is so important to make the most of the fresh food available. I can’t stress enough that cooking “from scratch” with fresh ingredients does not have to be difficult.  To prove it, here is a photographic step-by-step instruction guide to make…

Rosanna’s Late Summer Tomato Sauce

1 lb fresh, ripe, and juicy summer tomatoes
1 cup olive oil
1 bunch coarsely chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbs salt (preferably sea salt)
1 lb penne pasta

1. Wash tomatoes in a strainer
2. Set pot of water to boil, for the tomatoes
3.   Prep a bowl of ice water in the sink
4.   When water boils, plop one or two tomatoes in the pot. Leave for 3-5 min, until the skin begins to crack. Then remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl of ice water.
5.   Put another pot of water to boil, for the pasta
6.   Peel the skin off the tomatoes. They should come off easily.
7.   Liquefy the peeled tomatoes in a food processor or blender.
8.  Chop green onions coarsely and garlic finely. Set aside.
9.    Pour olive oil into a large saucepan. Put on med heat and allow oil to warm.
10  Add green onions to saucepan, garlic a little after, and stir until translucent, about 5 minutes.
11  Add pureed tomatoes to oil and onions. If the sauce starts to boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 min.
12  Add 2 tbs. salt to sauce and stir
13  Let sauce simmer for at least 20 more minutes, but the more time the better. Add more salt to taste.
14  Add 2 tbs. salt to boiling pasta water. Then add penne pasta. Let pasta cook until firm but not crunchy, 12-15 min.
15  While the pasta is cooking, set the table. We used Cin Cin! glassware, Farmer’s Market bowls, and Napoleon pearlized copper flatware.
16   Drain pasta and ladle a portion of sauce into the empty pasta pot.
17  Pour pasta back into pot, ladle more sauce over the top of the pasta, and mix. Add more salt to taste.
18  Ladle pasta into bowls, and finish with salt, Parmesean cheese, or chopped fresh basil.

See? I told you it was easy.
Buon Appetitio!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Remember

Nine years ago today, the words “September 11th” became an infamous phrase flooded with stark imagery and strong emotion.

In the years between then and now, we as a nation have traveled far.

Yet, when I try to answer the question What does it mean to honor 9/11 in the year 2010?  all I can think of is return.

In the wake of catastrophe, the United States came together. We took the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall” to heart and we acted. We strengthened our communities, reached out, went beyond ourselves, and allowed ourselves to feel, deeply and genuinely. It is easy, natural even, to act this way when tragedy strikes. However, when the need for connection and unity is less urgent, we tend to forget that great fulfillment that comes from living with unity as an aspiration and an inspiration.

Here is what I believe: return to unity.  It is best way for us to pay homage to the day that changed American life forever. These are still trying times, times when we would all benefit from embracing one another and orienting ourselves towards togetherness. Some of our most shining moments as individuals and as a nation were born amidst the wreckage of 9/11. Let us return to those moments, and remember how it felt to live as our best selves. By doing this, we pay tribute to the ones no longer with us, as well as honor the ones around us, always moving forward, striving for a more perfect union.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

4th Annual Table Setting Contest Winners

We at Rosanna have once again been moved by all of the entries in our Annual Table Setting Contest. From touching to inspiring and traditional to inventive, this years winners have exuded the spirit and soul that our company is rooted in. Thank you to all who participated. We can't wait to see your entries next year!

This years Grand Prize Winner is Lexi Scamehorn of University Place, WA.
Lexi, Your creative spirit is truly evident in your inventive interpretation of Rococo Noir. We love your use of dramatic lighting and gothic elements to create a Tim Burtonesque tea party. We love the fact that you and your friends gather together to celebrate the holidays. What lucky friends you have to be invited to a soiree so evocative and entertaining. Congratulations! 
Lexi's Story - This table setting was almost accidental in the way it occurred.  I have a good friend who is a photographer and one afternoon for fun my friends and I decided to do a tim burton inspired photo shoot. Lace, black lipstick, and dark Victorian styles abounded that day in mid July where creepily and perfectly enough we went outside at my beach house to find low sitting fog rolling in across the Puget Sound in a scene that looked like it was straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean. One of the idea's we had for a setting for this photo shoot was a sort of take on a mad tea party. I had brought my black rosanna dinner plates, my rococo noir tea pot, cream and sugar and small cake plate, my Kings Road tea pot, and my victoriana noir appetizer plates. I had also fished out my great grandma's silver tea service that is perfectly antiqued and even had dust and cobwebs on the spout of the tea pot. Scattered about with her old silverware, and finished with an old candelabra with black candles, a vase with black roses, and a spiderweb table cloth I found all in my stash of halloween decor, we had ourselves a tea party fit for Burton himself. I thought to myself I wonder if Tim would ever enter Rosanna's contest, and if so, would his table look similar to this one? I had read a RosannaInc facebook status one day that said Burton had just purchased a copy of Coming Home in London and I could just picture him creating a setting similar to this one. My friends and I had so much fun pretending to serve each other tea and eat strawberries that it felt like I was 7 years old again playing dress up and having a "tea party" with my friends. Except the difference is that back then we had small, not as pretty plastic dishes, and now I have beautiful grown-up things that I can play with (and I am trusted to touch the beautiful family heirloom pieces!)
** I forgot to mention in my entry that in my tight knit group of friends, we always make a point of trying to celebrate the holidays together, even if we can't actually meet on the real day because of our family celebrations. I am the friend in the group who is designated for Halloween, which is perfect for me being a theatre major in college and a dress-up nut. Last year I had to use halloween paper plates, this year, you can bet my table will look much more similar to this one!!

Our 2nd Place Winner is Jessica James of Shalimar, FL.
Jessica, What a lovely combination of old and new. We love the connection you made with your grandmother and mother in the use of your grandmother's dinnerware paired with Rosannaware.
The ball jars are nostalgic and a truly american addition to this bright sunny table setting.
Seeing your table makes us feel like we are being invited to partake in the lovely hospitality that is the heart of the Southern culture. Thank you for inviting us to your table!
 Jessica's Story - My name is Jessica James and I have a love for being a homemaker that was instilled in me by my sweet southern mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  Along with those deep southern roots the women of my family tree have passed down many heirlooms that fill our home with history - each one with a special story and meaning that helps our family's past take shape in the present.  From hand-stitched quilts to knitted baby booties they're all special to me but the items that center around family meals, the heart and soul of a good southern family, are infinitely precious to me.  On my wedding day my grandmother passed on a special dinner plate that my great-grandmother had passed down at her bridal shower almost 55 years prior. Attached to the plate was a handwritten note encouraging me to discover the joy of caring for my newly forming family.  During our first five years of marriage and with two beautiful children of my own I can say that I have found that joy!

My table-setting was inspired by the southern hospitality I saw extended on so many occasions from each generation of my family.  From weeknight family dinners to large holiday gatherings the focus was always on making others feel welcome, cared for and catered to.  I combined my Comfort Food collection dinnerware with my everyday white-ware to create a casual and warm setting that would be beautiful for a Fall dinner.  The green linen tablecloth belonged to my grandmother and the silver flatware was a wedding gift from my mother.  As a centerpiece for my table I used my favorite Decor Bon Bon square cake pedestal topped with a pitcher filled with fresh flowers.  What made the table-setting so special and unique to our family was the black and white photos used in the decor - pulled from three generations of family archives.  My four year old daughter, Madelyn, helped me set the table under the gazebo in our backyard and I plan to recreate this table setting for our family Thanksgiving dinner this year.

3rd Place goes to Julie Gallagher.
Julie, What girl wouldn't want to be a guest at your 'Sex & The City' Afternoon Tea.
We love the New York vibe of the table setting. Your use of color with black shows how important black is as a color statement in table design.
Glamour, fashion and girlfriends are celebrated in your special afternoon tea. We all need a little get away and this tea party is certainly one designed to connect with friends and enjoy being a girl. Congratulations!

Julie's Story - Here is a take on a Sex & The City inspired Afternoon Tea Party in bright bold graphic stripes and hot pink (instead of the traditional pastel shades). You will see the ever-so-glam black rococo cake stands and the Bon Voyage Cake Plates - perfectly highlighting the shopping capitals of the world! A previewing of the movie sequel was a good excuse for the girls to get-together.

Honorable Mention goes to Chris McCall-Hammer of Woodinville, WA.
Your table is a lovely testament to the work you do and to the people you have cared for. The table has a woodsy Northwest feel in the way you styled it. We feel your poignant message about caring and connectivity with people. Thank you for creating an inviting and peaceful environment for coming together! Congratulations!

Chris's Story - My inspiration for the Rosanna Tablesetting Contest this year was "Meeting in a Field," based on my experience as a hospice volunteer.  

There were two ladies--one old, one young.  The older lady, Lilli, was full of life and  loved to dance.  When she was younger, she would dance and her husband would watch.  He decided to surprise her by learning to dance.  After he learned how to they spent the rest of their lives dancing with one another.  

The younger lady, McKayla, was in a plane accident and became paralyzed as a result.  When she was in high school, her soccer team went to state competitions and won.  She loved this sport and running.  She lived in an adult family home for thirty years prior to her passing.    

My name is Chris and I had the good fortune to meet and spend time with these two ladies.  I was able to spend the last moments with McKayla and she passed very peacefully.  The next day I was informed that Lilli had passed away at the same time the day prior.  I wanted to dedicate this tablesetting to them.  One came dancing, one came running.  That is how I would like to think of these two meeting and sharing conversations over their experiences.  Hospice has had a profound impact on me.  It has introduced me to many wonderful people, and meeting these two ladies have touched my life more than words can express.  

I learned about this tablesetting contest through my daughter, Tiffany Hammer, who won the Spirit of Rosanna Award last year.  This year, I wanted to submit my own entry to honor Lilli and McKayla. I used an assortment of Rosanna-ware that I purchased at the warehouse sale mixed with accessories and flatware from my mother.  I used my coffee table and pillows outside to create this setting.

Connection - Part 2

by rosanna's eldest daughter, alessandra wollner

Since writing a post on connection and faced with the challenge to make all new connections now that college is over, I've been thinking more about the other ways I make connections happen in my life. Here are 5 more ideas to bring connection to yours: 

1.    Run To Acquaint Yourself
One of my favorite ways to connect to a new place, whether I’m just passing through or settling in for the long haul, is to go on a run. I see more on foot than when I’m driving a car, and by running I also get to cover more ground. If you’re not a runner, bikes work well too.

2.    Pick Foliage
Autumn leaves or spring blossoms, I avail myself of what nature has to offer, regardless of the season. Having a little bit of what’s going on outside in my living space inside helps me stay connected to what’s going on in the natural world.

3.    Runner Buddies
Often when I make a new friend, one of the first things I do is go on a run with that person. If you don’t share my taste for running partners or running at all, that’s OK. The idea is to do something active and out of the ordinary with a new friend. Instead of starting a friendship by getting coffee, maybe you take a hike, or even just go on a walk. This is also a good activity for love interests.

4.    Meet Your Neighbors
This is another thing that makes me feel part of my immediate surroundings. And there’s always a potential new friend in the deal. A new family just moved in next door to a friend. When she heard them having dinner outside in their backyard, she grabbed a bottle of wine and headed over to welcome them to the neighborhood. Her pluck inspired me to do the same next time I have a new neighbor.

5.    Make A Friend Connection
Uniting two important people from my life is one of my favorite things. I find it so gratifying when I have the opportunity to introduce two people I think are equally wonderful to each other. Usually I keep it simple:

“Claire this is Will. Will this is Claire. You’re both great. Love each other,” and leave it at that.

Just kidding. I often find myself facilitating new friend connections over a good meal. Last year, I threw a dinner party for all the English majors writing a Creative Non Fiction thesis. The guests had spent the last four years of their lives in classes together, but never gotten to know each other. We had a blast. That was one of my prouder moments. Whenever I set up meals like this, I always make sure to include a splash of something alcoholic for good measure—mimosas for brunch, wine for lunch or dinner. A little social lubricant never hurts.

 A sunset run up to the Merenid Tombs overlooking the city of Fes with Katrin, an old friend, and Justin, a new friend.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Connection - Part 1

by rosanna's eldest daughter, alessandra wollner

If I’ve learned anything from observing the way my mother runs her company, it is that every design, every collection, and every piece of dinnerware is made to foster one thing: connection.

Surprise, surprise, like mother like daughter, I think connection is pretty important too.
Here is a list of five ways I bring connection into my life.

1.    Hang Out At Coffee Shops
As a writer, I spend a lot of time alone.  The resulting loneliness, combined with my Seattle upbringing, compels me to throw my MacBook in my bag and split for the nearest coffee shop at least three days a week. Although I may be working, doing it in a coffee shop surrounded by other people doing the same allows me to get a hit of community and camaraderie, despite the fact that my work is solitary. And when I frequent one coffee shop enough, the baristas and regulars sometimes even become new friends. Another lovely yet tragically underused locale is the local public libraries. They make for fantastic community work spaces.

2.    Write A Postcard
We all know handwritten greetings are preferable to impersonal digital messages, but letters take too much time to compose for most. Solution: why not send a postcard? There’s no need (or space) to write a novel, and it’s an easy way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Remember, you don’t have to be on the road to send a postcard. 

3.    Sit On Your Stoop
      One of the first sunny days of spring, I decided on a whim to take my toast and tea down to my front stoop. Much to my surprise, I discovered that what I originally assumed was just another sleepy little block in Providence, RI, was actually a thoroughfare teeming with life. I saw all kinds of people doing all kinds of things--walking their dogs, jogging, biking or walking to work or school. I watched the guys moving in to the house across the street, and our elderly next-door neighbors making slow progress to their boat of a Cadillac. That one delightful morning converted me to a stoop-sitter forever after.

4.    Take Your Mom To A Movie
Whenever I go back home to visit, I take my mom to a late night movie. We have rules. The movie can’t start before 10 pm, and it has to be on a weeknight. Sometimes, we have drinks before or after. Something about going to a late night movie together makes us feel closer. I think it’s the pleasure that comes from feeling like we’re up and out past our bedtimes.  Provided you can agree with your parent on a film choice (late night movie nights work equally well with dads), this is a fun and slightly different way to connect with the people who made you. And the more spontaneous the better.

5.    Friend “Date Night”
Eating alone depresses me. So does cooking for one. Meals, as my mother taught me, are meant to be shared. The solution I came up with is Friend Date Night. Two nights a week, I’ll invite one friend, sometimes two, over for dinner. I set the table, light some candles, pour some wine, and put on nice music. Not only are my friends impressed (you’ll be shocked to find out how far a little mood lighting goes), but creating a special space to spend time together allows us to connect in a more meaningful way.

 Me and my wonderful roommate Eric taking full advantage of our front stoop.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my 4th Annual Tablesetting Contest. The winners will be announced next week!