Ahhh… warm weather. It makes one want to get outside and have some fun in the sun. Of course fun for some people is firing up the grill and cooking up some fresh salmon. To help those happy grillers get the most out of their dinner we have a recipe for grilling some tasty fish. We also have a few tips for getting that deck into shape as well.


Preserving Your Shades

You have your beautiful new lamp shade and it is covered in plastic. It is well preserved and safe, right? Wrong! Bea Searles from Naomi’s Lampshades (503-636-1884) in Lake Grove joined Robin to show us how to preserve your shades and extend their life. Leaving the plastic on your lampshade can shorten the life of the shade by holding in the heat and causing it to fade faster. Most shades will also have better color if uncovered. If you need to clean your lampshade Bea recommends that you use a soft bristle brush and not your vacuum. A vacuum will sometimes transfer the dust and dirt from other area to your shade. You can also use a soft clean cloth to whip the dust away. It is the dust that ends up destroying your shade. Heat is another thing that will destroy your shades. Remember to use the correct wattage of bulbs in your lamps. Most lamps are designed for a certain type of bulb and using the wrong bulb can ruin your shade and even create a fire danger with your lamp. If you have any questions about lamps or shades you can always call Naomi’s.

Sautéed Mushrooms

It is mushroom season! In Oregon one of the most highly sought after mushrooms is the Morel mushroom. To learn how to prepare this wonderful delicacy we stopped by the Oregon Culinary Institute (1-888-OCI-CHEF) to visit with Chef Dan Brophy. A true morel is hollow in the center. You tap them gently to remove the dirt. When you slice them you want to leave larger pieces so people can see and enjoy the honeycomb or ‘loofah’-like texture. Chef Brophy did a simple sauté of these wonderful favorites. It was simple with just a few ingredients. First, after slicing the mushrooms, he heated a pan with a tablespoon of butter. He added about a half a cup of sliced shallots and let them get tender. Then he added the mushrooms. After about 10 minutes the mushrooms and the shallots were soft and tender. Then he added about a quarter cup of brandy (away from the flame) and then burned that off. This added more flavor to the dish. He then added about a ½ cup of cream and ½ cup of chicken stock and let that simmer to reduce and thicken it. After adding a pinch of salt and pepper, and garnishing with chives he poured it you can pour it on a bed of rice or noodles to make a nice dish!

Cleaning Your Grinder

You may not know it but your kitchen spice or coffee grinder may be flavoring your other favorite recipes. Chef Vaidya from the Oregon Culinary Institute showed us how to quickly clean and polish our grinders so they don’t pass flavors and other residues to our favorite dishes. He simply uses ½ cup of dry rice and pulses it in the grinder for a couple of seconds to clean the grinder and get it ready for his next great recipe.


Grilled Salmon Recipes

Alaska Salmon is in the stores now and to get some tips on how to prepare it we stopped by McCormick and Schmick’s to get a couple of simple recipes from Chef Ryan Smith. He had a King Salmon filet and a couple of Sockeye salmon steaks. The filet is a boneless piece of fish and the steaks contain bones (which can add a little flavor). He started by rubbing the fish with oil and the grill with oil to keep it from sticking. His set his grill to a low or medium heat. This will keep the fat in the meat from flaring up and it helps keep the meat moist. He keeps the meat rare to medium to help maintain the natural flavor of the meat. After about 8 minutes (4 minutes per side) they are ready to serve. If you like the recipes for his grilled salmon you can check them out here. For more information about Alaska Salmon and to learn about how it stays healthy and sustainable you can check out the Alaska Seafood website.

Deck Sealers

It is time to think about outdoor entertaining if you haven’t started already. One of the first steps to getting ready is to clean and refinish your deck. Chris from Parr Lumber (503-531-7277) joined us to show us how easy it is to do if you have the right tools and materials. First you want to clean your deck. There are lots of ways to do that. If you have a composite deck or a PVC deck you can just use a pressure washer. But for wood decks you need to use a cleaner and a hard bristle brush to prevent damage to the wood fibers from the water pressure of a washer. Once the deck is clean you may be done. Composite or PVC decks don’t need sealers or stains so they are easy to take care of, but wood decks may need a fresh coat of stain and a good sealer to preserve them. Parr recommend a quality stain like those from Penofin, Superdeck and Wolman. There is even a new environmentally friendly product called ‘Verde’ from Penofin. You should apply your new stains and sealers on a dry day that isn’t too hot. Give yourself a little bit of time and allow a day or two for everything to dry. To learn more you can stop by your local Parr Lumber.

Counter Choices

If you are looking to redo your counter tops you know that there are lots of choices out there. We stopped by the Parr Cabinet Outlet (503-614-2655) in Hillsboro to talk with Fabio Testa to learn about the options you have when replacing your countertops. Fabio joined Ken and gave him a rundown of some of the different types people can choose from. The basic that everyone has heard of is the Formica or laminate surface. This is a pressed paper that has been treated to hold up to cutting and kitchen wear and tear. It comes in a ton of different patterns and colors and can be formed into curves and edges to fit any counter top. Next are the engineered stone counters. These contain a large percentage of quartz and are designed to be more durable. And because they are man made they come with a warranty. Corrian is next and it is a totally manmade product. Designed for use in a lab it is one of the most durable surfaces you can find. Finally we looked at granite. This is a totally natural stone product from the earth and that means each piece is different. It can have a natural beauty to it but it can also have slight imperfections that will show up occasionally. If you are looking for a new countertop and are confused, the experts at the Cabinet Outlet can help you decide the right option for your new kitchen.



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This page last modified
February 12, 2011.