Summer is here… OK, not on the calendar, but the weather sure is showing off! It is a good time to get out and enjoy the weather and maybe even enjoy a glass of wine on the deck. In this week's show, we show you how to pick a good one!


The conversion from analog to high definition is finally close to being here. To find out what that means to the local consumer we stopped by Standard TV and Appliance to talk with Owen in the TV department. First of all if you are on cable or dish network, or you have a newer HD TV you will have no problems. It should be ready to go. However, if you have an older set or you are using an antenna or ‘rabbit ears’ you will need an HD converter. If you want to get a new set to enjoy the great picture and sound of HD then you will have to choose between plasma, LCD or LED (the newest version of HD). LED is very thin, very bright and very energy efficient. LCD is just like your computer screens and is the most popular way of viewing HD signals. Plasma is the choice for a very large and flat screen. Owen also told us about DPI or ‘Dots per Inch’. The more dots the better the picture. The standard right now is a 1080p. If you have that you are in great shape. Any questions about the conversion or HD TV’s can be answered by the experts at Standard!

Quick Tip – Seed Packets

Our quick tip is a name card that can become a gift for your party guests. Lora from Al’s Garden Center showed us how to use a seed packet as a place card for a summer party. Then, after the party is done, they can take it home and plant the seeds so they can remember your party during the whole summer!


Small Changes – Big Impact

Celebrating the summer season is not hard and you can make each Bar B Q memorable with just a few small changes to your basic patio dishes. Lora from Al’s Garden Center walked us through a couple of quick set-ups and showed us how easy it is to make a big impact on your guests. First she started with a basic set of white dishes and glasses. Then by adding some little details, she was able to convert the table into a celebration of the 4th of July. This totally said ‘summer’. Next we moved to fragrance. The next set-up showcased fresh flowers and bright colors. It definitely was a ‘garden party’. It even included sprigs of lavender. Lora also included candles to bring more fragrance to the table. Finally we moved to color. Lora used green as the color of choice. When you do color you need to think about size, structures and shapes. Those examples will help to keep the color from blending together. If you are looking for ideas to jazz up your summer garden parties, stop by the gift department at the Al’s in Woodburn and Sherwood.

Wine Choices

We made a trip north of Portland to Vancouver to Cinetopia where they have a restaurant called Vinotopia. The owner Rudyard joined us to chat with Ken about choosing the right wine. At Vinotopia they have a system that allows you to sample many different wines so you can choose a good one for you. But if you can’t make it to the restaurant Rudyard filled us in on a few things to think about. First, go with a variety that you already enjoy. If you are daring you can tackle a light wine, which is how most novices begin. Those are usually the whites. Most people then move up the scale to a pinot noir, then to a cabernet or a merlot. Rudyard also covered the ‘old world’ wines versus a ‘new world’ wine. Old world tend to be more earthy and new world tend to be more fruit forward. In general, you want to have a light wine with light food, like salads and fish, and a darker wine with a heavier meal like red meat.

Sun Oven

When we stopped by Outdoor Kitchen World we saw something you don’t see everyday, a nuclear fusion oven. This one may sound dangerous, but it is really the Sun Oven. This small, portable unit uses the heat from the sun to cook your favorite recipes. The reflective panels direct the sun into the central chamber where it builds up heat to cook your meals. Now this is not the fastest oven on the planet. But it is energy efficient, totally safe and portable. And you can cook just about anything in it… from a roast to a cake. If you don’t want to wait that long for your food we also saw the Kalamazoo Ito grill. This one is at the other end of the spectrum and will cost just a few more dollars to take home. Stop by Outdoor Kitchen World and check them both out.

Preparing an Artichoke

Most people have seen an artichoke and some have experienced one at a meal or as an appetizer, but most people have never prepared one themselves. Chef David Musial joined us once again to show us how easy it is to prepare one at home. First you will want to pull off all the smaller leaves at the base of the artichoke. Then you can also cut off the sharp points with a scissors. You will then cut it in half. Add a little oil to a non-aluminum pot full of water. The aluminum will cause discoloration. You will want to let it simmer for about 20 minutes, checking every once in a while to see if they are ready. Once they are soft, but not too soft, you can pull off the leaves and enjoy with melted butter or mayonnaise. Click here for full instructions.


Railing Choices

If you are looking for a little different look for your deck or patio, you may want to check out the designer railings at Outdoor Kitchen World. David joined Robin to show us some of the wonderful creations made by JC Metal Fabricators. These railings are one-of-a-kind works of art. These are anything but simple, but they are built to last a lifetime. You can get some interesting designs or you can have them build one especially for you. They are powder coated so they will not rust and will always look great. If you are interested in seeing more styles you can stop by the Outdoor Kitchen World between Tualatin and Sherwood.

Indoor Thermostats

Coming home to the perfect temperature in your home is not tough. Mike Hansen from Roth Heating and Cooling showed us how you can always have the right temperature in your home with programmable thermostats. The first one was the top-of-the-line, computer controlled device. It has sensors in every room that feeds information back to the main unit and that controls everything in the house. Now, if you don’t have the dough for the high end control unit, you can get an easy to install simple model. Mike pulled out a unit from Honeywell that can save you from 5 to 30 percent on your annual energy costs. It can be programmed to turn your heat or air conditioning on and off depending on when you are home. It is a great way to save money and be more comfortable in your home.




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This page last modified
February 12, 2011.