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September, 2017 |

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Get a bargain bike at Bicis Y Mas closing down sale

Bicis Y MÃ ¡s – Bikes and More, York Picture Frank Dwyer.

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Company cashes in on trash that doesn’t last

GOING GREEN—At left, U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Thousand Oaks), left, listens as Gary Chamness, owner of Camarillo-based Chamness Biodegradables, speaks to her during a tour of the production facility Aug. 24. Above, Chamness holds two plates, the left one made from spent hops from local breweries and the other from coffee grounds.

Judging by their spending habits, eco-minded Americans are in a love affair with organic foods, shelling out more than $43 billion on sustainably grown products last year.

ROB VARELA/Acorn Newspapers

Now an Iowa-based biodegradable products manufacturer that expanded a year ago due to growing demand into a 36,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Camarillo is betting that the popularity of organics spreads to tableware.

“As people change to more eco-friendly choices, we really see a very strong potential for our products in a lot of different areas,” said Dave Darnbrough, vice president of operations for Chamness Biodegradables, which makes 100-percent-compostable dinnerware.

“We think it’s just a matter of getting the word out about what we do,” he said.

Researchers at the company spent about 12 years experimenting with various food compounds before they landed on a secret patented process for turning starch and bamboo into plates, cups and other tableware that doesn’t harm the environment, Darnbrough said.

Today, the company turns out about 36 million biodegradable plates and cups a year, along with millions of custom-ordered items for specific clients.

“Almost any product a company wants, we can reverseengineer it for them,” Darnbrough said as he led a recent tour of the Camarillo plant. “If they want to replace a certain item with a compostable product, we can do that for them.”

Many firms claim their products are 100 percent compostable, but the federal Food and Drug Administration keeps a tight rein on products marketed as biodegradable, handing out fines of up to $450,000 to companies for making false and unsubstantiated claims.

Darnbrough said he’s put his firm’s products to the composting test in his backyard.

“I actually did an experiment with my daughter where I sunk four fish tanks in my backyard and filled them with soil,” Darnbrough said. “Over 30 days, our product was gone, with just small traces left. The other products were still there.”

Accounting for about $1 billion in sales in 2008, eco-friendly dinnerware is still a niche industry compared to the $47-billion-ayear plastic dinnerware market, according to the New York-based Biodegradable Products Institute.

But compostable tableware is making inroads, the National Restaurant Association said.

Excitement was high earlier this year at the association’s annual trade show in Washington, D.C., where restaurateurs looking at switching from plastic showed strong interest in plant-based, biodegradable options, the association reported on its website.

At Chamness, growing interest in eco-friendly tableware is translating into increasing sales, prompting the company to expand its Southern California operations last year from its 14,000-square-foot building in Carpinteria to the new plant on Mission Oaks Boulevard in Camarillo, Darnbrough said.

“We had no place to stack product; our warehouse was full” at the Carpinteria location, he said. “We needed more room.”

After scouring Southern California for suitable buildings, company owner Gary Chamness settled on the commercial building near the trucking lanes of the 101 Freeway. Inside the Camarillo factory, giant vats churn organic materials into a paste that resembles baking dough. The “dough” is then heated in molds and shaped into dinnerware.

Recently, U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley visited Chamness’ Camarillo factory. She was interested in one of the company’s production methods, which takes used-up beer hops and discarded coffee grounds and turns them into compostable cups and plates.

“Meeting face to face (with companies) is the most effective way for me to better understand their challenges so that I can better represent them in Congress,” the congresswoman said in an email.

In January, Chamness scored a major client when Universal Studios Florida placed an order with the company, Darnbrough said.

“They’re buying a bunch of serveware for their water park. The public loves it,” Darnbrough said. “Down the road, we think our products would be perfect for cruise ships, because the product breaks down in ocean water in 21 days. Cruise ships wouldn’t have to worry about hauling the product back. It just becomes fish food.”

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Spend a day (or more) in Maiden Rock, Stockholm, Pepin for shopping, food and fun –

A visit to Maiden Rock, Stockholm and Pepin in Wisconsin offers a retreat like no other. The 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities includes majestic views along the bluffs of the Mississippi River on the Great River Road. And the quaint, laid-back villages are filled with places to shop, eat and drink. And finally, take time to enjoy pretty Lake Pepin and take in some history. After all, the area is the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Note that several businesses are open seasonally or are open only a few days a week, such as Friday through Saturday, so plan accordingly.


When driving from the Twin Cities area, the first village you’ll come to is Maiden Rock. For shopping, you’ll find Cultural Cloth, a place to shop an artful mix of home decor and fashion accessories from around the world. Standouts include throw pillows from Peru, scarves and coverlets from India, hand-woven bags from Guatemala and Indonesia and jewelry from Morocco. Many of the items here come mainly from women artisans in developing countries.

Green Queen off the main street on the right hand side as you get into Maiden Rock offers plenty of lawn and garden decor, gadgets and gifts. Friday, August 11, 2017. (Special to the Pioneer Press: Craig Lassig)

Across the street, The Green Queen is not just a clever name. The spot is a destination for native plants, outdoor mats, garden decor such as statuettes as well as other finds that inspire outdoor living and gardening. A selection of body care items such as bath soaps, balms and lotions are also available. On the same block, artist B.J. Christofferson weaves in spiritual figures, symbols and icons in her 3-D artwork at Secret Heart Gallery. In addition to dioramas, the spot also stocks art and other collectibles from the artist’s travels to Mexico


Continue on the Great River Road to Stockholm, where several shops await along Wisconsin 35.

Savvy boutique offers a little bit of everything — home decor, gift items and garden art. A sizable selection of women’s accessories can be found here, too. Next, Chandlers Books features mainly books, but also has some random finds — at last glance, we found items such as records and plants. If you’re looking for a wide range of gifts, don’t miss Hugga Bugga, spotlighting handmade items from more than 20 local crafters. Highlights include children’s knits, goat’s milk soaps and lotions and kitchen accessories. At the end of the block, Stone Fern Gallery is a place to nab hats, garden, gift items and home decor.

An outdoor porch at Savvy, which offers a little bit of everything — home decor, gift items and garden art in Stockholm, Friday, August 11, 2017. (Special to the Pioneer Press: Craig Lassig)

On the other side of Wisconsin 35, more shops can be found. On the edge of Stockholm’s main commercial area, you’ll find the sprawling Stockholm Gardens complete with a barn house, garden store, display garden and greenhouse. Shop for herbs, vegetables, perennials, trees and shrubs, as well as garden accessories and gifts. Next, Ingebretsen’s Nordic market features a quality and fun mix of crafts, home pieces, jewelry, clothing and food. Be sure to check out the store’s Sami jewelry, carvings and more from northern Scandinavia’s indigenous people. In addition, the store features pieces from local artists.

Continue down the block to Sandy’s, offering everyday to luxe finds such as jewelry, shoes and clothing that includes the coveted Neon Buddha label. Some art can also be found here. Also on the same block, The Palate is a spot to nab accessories for cooking and entertaining — gourmet foods, wines, kitchen aids and more. The store stocks quality and top brands, including linens made in France and Le Creuset cookware. Items for the home are also in the store, including French soaps and room sprays.

Bead artist Brenda Brousseau of St. Paul is on display at Indigo Swan Jewelry Fine Art, a place to find art and gifts such as jewelry, pottery and wood work in Stockholm, Friday, August 11, 2017. (Special to the Pioneer Press: Craig Lassig)

Past Mill Street, art lovers won’t want to miss Indigo Swan Jewelry and Fine Art for its varied selection of gifts and art such as jewelry, pottery and woodwork. Standouts include mosaic wall art and fair trade finger puppets from Peru. Last but not least along the highway, wander into the new Antique Future, which opened last spring. Be entertained shopping the little nooks on the grounds, the carriage house and “artisan bizarre.” At last visit, we discovered a cedar-strip canoe, maple end tables and metal art including sculptures for sale. If you’re toting children, head to The Gnome House for its arts and crafts supplies.

On Spring Street, several more shops can be found. The Purple Turtle is an artisan collective featuring a large variety of works mainly from local and regional artists. Pottery, jewelry, kitchen gadgets, salves, bath soaks, balms, lotions, candles and cards are featured. In the same building on the lower level, LIMBO records rarities just opened and highlights used records for buying, selling and trading. Cassettes, eight-track tapes, CDs, turntables, magazines, posters and other collectibles are also part of the mix.

Trek on and make sure to stop at Abode Gallery, spotlighting a well-curated selection of fine art and crafts that also make nice gifts — artsy candles, Time and Again transposed photos from different eras and one-of-a-kind home pieces. A selection of art that pays tribute to the Great River area can also be found. Up the street, the dog-friendly Juno Me offers gifts including jewelry and local art.

At the end of the block, Northern Oak Amish Furniture produces quality solid wood furniture from master craftspeople. Pieces include rocking chairs, benches, dining room sets and items for the home office.  Across the street, Har-nes Gallery is a quaint spot that carries items such as wall art, animal rugs, jewelry, candles and wood bowls.

Outside of the main retail area, Black Cat Farmstead, about four miles up the bluff, is a place to shop handspun yarn, farm-grown wool as well as a chance to check out a farm that includes sheep and goats. In addition to shopping for supplies for that DIY project, the spot features locally-made products. Demonstrations and classes are also offered on the grounds.


Pepin is also home to a few shops. Along First Street lining the waterfront, Harbor View Books, connected to Harbor View Cafe, is a place to stock up on reading materials. Nearby, you’ll find Smith Bros. Landing, offering an eclectic selection of garden art. Perennials, vegetables and herbs are also available.

Along Wisconsin 35, the roadside store Pepin Country Stop is a stop for its large selection of outdoors items. Furniture as well as garden decor such as pottery, fountains and birdhouses are among the offerings. You can also shop for gifts and local foods here, too, including produce during the growing season. Art lovers may want to make a stop at TC Latane, which has ornamental smithwork, furniture and pottery.


In addition to taking in beautiful landscapes and shopping, Maiden Rock, Stockholm and Pepin are known for vibrant food and wine scenes. The area is not lacking in restaurants, wineries and places to grab a slice of pie.

In Maiden Rock, Smiling Pelican Bake Shop is so quaint, friendly and personable you’ll feel like you’ve been a regular all along. In addition to cookies, pies and other sweets, there’s also a variety of breads that range from traditional choices to cranberry wild rice sourdough to Swiss sunflower. Other items such as quiche and soup are also available. Also in Maiden Rock, the pretty, relaxing and expansive Vino in the Valley will transport you to a place of zen. The full restaurant features a menu of appetizers, salads, pizzas and pastas.

Wines include those from the Vino in the Valley label, as well as well-curated picks from around the world. Live music and wagon rides are also offered for your entertainment.

In the heart of Stockholm’s retail area, Lena’s Lucky Star serves up Heggie’s pizzas, burgers, patty melts, pulled-pork sandwiches and salads. Grab a table or head to the wood deck and take in the Great River Road. A few doors down, Bogus Creek Cafe Bakery serves breakfast and lunch all day with a menu of sandwiches, burgers and more. Dine inside or settle in on the shady, landscaped outdoor seating area. Don’t miss the bakery across the way for delicacies such as Swedish doughnuts, scones, kolaches, macaroons and strudels. The spot also features breads, espresso and ice cream.

Quiet streets for a nice walks and shopping are easy to find in Stockholm, Friday, August 11, 2017. (Special to the Pioneer Press: Craig Lassig)

Stockholm Pie General Store has long been a destination for its pies. In addition, cookies, pot pies, quiches, sandwiches and salads are on the menu. The spot also sells preserves, honey, Wisconsin cheese, maple syrup and has an adjoining liquor store. Drive a little farther outside of Stockholm’s commercial area and you’ll find Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery, a charming spot with an Italian villa feel amid a backdrop of apple orchards on a sprawling 80-acre farm. Wines, ciders and preserves are available. Also outside of the main commercial area, the popular A to Z Produce pizza farm attracts visitors who picnic while dining on brick-oven pizzas made with ingredients fresh from the farm. The spot is also known for its brick-oven sourdough bread, with wheat grown on site.

Stockholm may be home to the majority of shops among the three villages, but Pepin houses the most eateries. The most famous that lures fans from all over is Harbor View Cafe and it’s easy to see why. The from-scratch dishes are high quality and inventive. At last visit, dishes such as pan-fried rainbow trout with horseradish cream sauce, grilled pork tenderloin with sour cherry sauce and black bean fritters with rice and salsas were among the 16 entree selections on the chalkboard menu.

Another spot where the food is top-notch is Il Forno at Villa Belleza, a new casual, outdoor restaurant that recently opened at Villa Belleza winery. It’s a place to sip wine, nosh on Italian fare and enjoy the gorgeous Tuscan design-inspired patio. While you’re at it, visit the tasting room at the winery, offering a wide-ranging selection of house wine.

Il Forno at Villa Belleza is a new casual, outdoor restaurant that recently opened at the winery. It’s a place to sip wine, nosh on Italian fare and enjoy the gorgeous Tuscan-inspired patio in Pepin, Friday, August 11, 2017. (Special to the Pioneer Press: Craig Lassig)

For more casual fare, head to Homemade Cafe for homestyle breakfasts and lunches. Make sure to order a slice of pie made from scratch daily. For a restaurant and bar, head to Pickle Factory on the shores of Lake Pepin, which offers an extensive menu of burgers, pizzas, pastas and other comfort food. Or, Garden Pub and Grille off Wisconsin 35 offers a lineup of salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas.

Along the water, a few casual spots for a drink or a nosh are available. The Breakwater Wine Bar Sailing features wine, craft beers and small plates and, if your timing is right, live music. The Shoreline Pub also features live music and a window sign that reads “pizza pepperoni only.” On the same block, 404 Coffee Shop offers quality coffee from Bootstrap Coffee Roasters out of St. Paul and Rishi tea from Milwaukee. The spot also offers Jenny Lind baked goods, sandwiches, muffins, scones, cinnamon and cardamom rolls.


In addition to places to shop, wine and dine, there are plenty of options for spending a leisurely day in the area.

Fans come from all over the world to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Pepin, which pays tribute to the famous author with memorabilia, historic photos and period pieces. A recent expansion allows for additional exhibition space and a gift store that includes items such as books by the author and, of course, bonnets. Seven miles away is the Little House Wayside, a log cabin built on land owned by the Ingalls family when Laura Ingalls Wilder was born.

Sisters Lyanna 5, Keira 5 and Arya, 7 (last name w/held at their request) visiting from Portland OR, picked out bonnets during their visit to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum where visitors come from all over the world to see the birthplace of the famous author and browse the museum. The museum is also home to a gift store that includes the author’s books and, of course, bonnets in Pepin, Friday, August 11, 2017. (Special to the Pioneer Press: Craig Lassig)

Another way to take in the area’s history is to pay a visit to the Stockholm Institute in the old post office building, which spotlights the town’s history through photos and other memorabilia.

In Maiden Rock, Rush River Produce features pick-your-own fruit and is a popular destination for its several varieties of blueberries available in July and August.

Don’t forget to enjoy the area’s scenic waters. In Pepin, Sail Pepin and WIMN-Sail both host sailboat rides on Lake Pepin. Another way to get out onto the water is through Captain Rob Cruises, run by the team behind Harbor Hill Inn. In Stockholm, Spring Street Canoe and Kayak rentals are offered through the Spring Street Inn.

The area is home to a few quaint, cozy bed-and-breakfasts and inns, so consider an overnight stay so you can linger awhile longer. After all, there is plenty of shopping, dining and playing to be had.

Pepin is a spot for plenty of leisure, including taking in lake views watching boats come in and out of the marina., Friday, August 11, 2017. (Special to the Pioneer Press: Craig Lassig)
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Utensil Securing Dinnerware Invented by InventHelp Client (BGF-2110)


Today’s general population works long hours and puts such an emphasis on work performance that many often multitask during mealtime, continuing to work while eating. The combination of having to transport a plate or bowl of food from the kitchen to a workspace and lack of focus on the meal at hand can result in the loss of eating utensils along the way.

An inventor from Detroit, Mich., has invented the patent-pending D.S. DINNERWARE, a device that secures utensils to plates or bowls, eliminating the risk of the utensil falling off the plate and onto the ground. “I grew sick and tired of having my fork fall off my plate,” said the inventor. “I invented this device as a way to prevent that from happening ever again.” D.S. DINNERWARE saves users time and effort by reducing cleanup time of utensils and eliminates the hassle of having to bend over to pick up or replace dropped silverware.

This invention would appeal to the general population, but would be especially beneficial for busy homemakers, college students and more. It provides individuals with easy access to silverware when desired. Additionally, it is durable, attractive and easy to use.

The original design was submitted to the Bingham Farms office of InventHelp. It is currently available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers. For more information, write Dept. 16-BGF-2110, InventHelp, 217 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or call (412) 288-1300 ext. 1368. Learn more about InventHelp’s Invention Submission Services at http://www.InventHelp.com

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KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment

What is the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment?

Compatible with KitchenAid’s tilt-head and bowl-lift stand mixers, this Ice Cream Maker Attachment is a three-part accessory that turns your iconic beating and baking machine into an at-home gelateria. Keep the bowl in the freezer as recommended to churn out delicious desserts at the first sign of a sunny day, from sorbets and sherbets to ice cream and frozen yogurts.

Related: Best ice cream makers

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment – Design and Features

Practicality is the name of the game with the Ice Cream Maker attachment. Its robust, double-walled insulated bowl is all tough white plastic with a functional design. The bowl is filled with liquid that, when frozen, helps the contents to freeze evenly. Tilt-head mixer owners may puzzle at its oddly shaped perforated handles, but these allow compatibility with the bowl-lift mixers, too, since it attaches on either side. So, if you upgrade your mixer to a different style, there’s no need to replace the Ice Cream Maker, too.

A ‘dasher’ paddle sits within the bowl and is turned by a connecting drive assembly. This slides onto the motor head of the mixer; it’s double-sided to accommodate different sizes. The mixer is then operated on the lowest speed for the optimum conversion rate of freezing before the mixture can be scooped out and ‘ripened’ in the freezer for a harder consistency.

Related: Best stand mixers

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment – What is it like to use?

The instructions for fitting the Ice Cream Maker looked quite daunting, but putting it together was surprisingly simple. I was using a tilt-head mixer and sliding the drive assembly in place was. There are pointers in the instructions about how to get the best results with the Ice Cream Maker, plus recipes that require advance preparation – this is more an attachment for adventurous cooks, rather than making speedy desserts for the kids.

The bowl needs to be frozen for a minimum of 15 hours in advance, ideally at the back of a freezer. Since it’s quite bulky, I had to remove a drawer and a shelf from the freezer to fit it in.

I started by making blueberry sorbet. After processing the fruit to a smooth paste and straining to separate the liquid before chilling, I added this to a pre-made, cooled sugar syrup. The Ice Cream Maker needed to be running on a low stir speed before adding the mixture to the bowl. Chilling the juice had resulted in some gelling, so it was messy to pour it in smoothly once the paddle was turning. I left the Ice Cream Maker churning for slightly longer than the recommended 12 minutes – but, unfortunately, it remained slushy, with the mixture around the bottom and sides of the bowl more frozen. Decanting it into a container, I left it to freeze for two hours. The final sorbet was much firmer.

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Next, I tried making gingerbread ice cream, a recipe that required advance cooking. Gingerbread, egg yolks, honey and sugar were added to hot whole milk to create a thick batter that was chilled overnight. The following morning, I assembled the Ice Cream Maker and again set it on a low speed. Decanting the mixture while the machine was running was messy; the consistency was too thick to pour. After about 20 minutes of churning, I removed it from the bowl. The consistency was relatively soft in the middle, like semifreddo, but completely frozen on the bottom and the sides. After overnight freezing, the ice cream was hard and could be scooped out smoothly once it had been removed from the freezer for a few minutes.

Both the dasher and drive assembly can be cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher. The bowl needed to defrost before being cleaned by hand, which delayed clean-up somewhat.

Related: Best kitchen gadgets

Should I buy the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment ?

The Ice Cream Maker is a great way for existing KitchenAid mixer owners who are keen cooks to expand their repertoires. Its recipes have been designed to encourage experimentation but may require a few attempts to achieve perfect results. Where the Ice Cream Maker excels, though, is in its robust feel, and – since it’s an open bowl – offering the ability to add fruit, nuts or chocolate chips towards the end of the churning.


A crowd-pleaser – if you have big ideas for ice cream flavours and a freezer size to match.

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22 products you only need to buy once in your life

Davek’s umbrellas are pricey but worth the investment.


While many companies claim to have lifetime guarantees, they often come with certain conditions that prevent you from taking advantage of the warranty as advertised.

Luckily, we compiled a list of brands with true lifetime warranties. These companies will replace, repair, or refund you for your purchase, at any time, no questions asked.

From Davek umbrellas to Tweezerman tweezers, here are 22 products you’ll only have to buy once.

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Get a bargain bike at Bicis Y Mas closing down sale | York Press

Bicis Y MÃ ¡s – Bikes and More, York Picture Frank Dwyer.

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