are looming in front of us… Stores are decorated
with Christmas, kids are counting the days, and
it is time to start thinking about entertaining.
It is also getting colder and that means heat
and how to keep it inside. We tackle both topics
on today’s show.
It is time to dress the table.
Geranium Lake Flowers (503-228-1920) gave
David the low-down on how to create a stunning
visual display that will impress all your
guests! We started with the table color by
picking a nice salmon color, one of David’s
favorites! You can pick a neutral color if you
want your food to make the statement or
something more lively if you want to have the
table brighten the room. Next she showed us how
to fold napkins. You can fold them many
different ways but the way we learned allows us
to use the pocket to place flowers and other
decorations in the napkin. Then we started to
set the table. We used some slightly contrasting
chargers under our dinner plates. A charger is
merely for decoration and is not meant for food.
We also used a natural centerpiece in the center
of the table. This one was a white pumpkin that
was filled with cut flowers and branches from
the garden. We also had a variety of gourds and
small pumpkins as added table decorations. Kim
also had place cards made for each setting and
they were pinned to small hand-made velvet
pumpkins. We also saw how you can create a
charger from anything. Kim had even taken cut
rounds of wood from a large Christmas tree and
made table chargers from them! If you are
looking for creative ideas for holiday
decorating you can stop by and see Kim at
Geranium Lake Flowers in the US Bank Tower in
With the colder days of fall at
our doorstep we stopped by
Bungalow Bread (503-524-2500) in Beaverton
to learn how to make a fresh loaf of Challah
bread. This bread is considered a traditional
Jewish braided bread, but it is impressive on
any holiday table. First Matt made the loaf and
then created a ‘rounded’ loaf. After rounding it
he placed it on a sheet pan and let it have a
break so it doesn’t get too hard. After a short
breather he took the loaf and cut it into 4
quarters. He then took each quarter and made 4
long strands of bread to get ready for braiding.
This really takes a technique and Robin had a
hard time keeping up with Matt, but that really
doesn’t matter, the key is to have fun doing it!
Next he pinched the 4 pieces together at one end
and then began braiding. Once he was done
braiding he tucked the ends under the loaf and
placed it on a cookie sheet. If you need a
Bungalow Bread makes lots of fresh breads daily.
It is a great little bakery that also delivers
to certain areas in Beaverton and Tigard. If you
are near Washington Square you have to stop. The
Fusion crew recommends the Cinnamon Chip loaf!
Chef David whipped us up a simple
recipe for hummus today to help you make a
splash at your next holiday get-together. This
hummus is one with a twist, it has red peppers!
This one also uses garbanzo beans as its base.
It also has garlic and lemon juice. To get all
the ingredients and instructions
Then whip up a batch and impress your friends!
With the cold weather upon us we
decided to learn how to keep things warm by
talking with a local expert about insulation.
Eric from Owens Corning took David up in an
attic in North Portland to show us how to save a
little money and heat with the AttiCat Blown-in
insulation system. How do you know if you need
more insulation? Eric showed us how you can use
a simple tape-measure to check the depth of the
insulation. The US Department of Energy
recommends up to R-60 which can mean a depth of
22 inches of insulation. Current code in some
areas is R-30 for newer homes and even that is
not enough if you are looking for the maximum
savings. The home we visited only had around 5-6
inches of insulation and that is very low! Even
after a quick insulation up to the R-49 level
this homeowner will see significant savings in
the future. This increased insulation is great
no matter what time of year. Your costs will be
much lower in the summer as well as in the
winter. Check out the
Owens Corning website to learn more () and
to learn about the tax incentives being offered
right now. Always remember to wear your safety
Quick Tip -
Our quick tip this week is one
for those homes with a fireplace. Shawn with
Energy Trust of Oregon showed us how easy it
is to shut the damper to your fireplace when you
are not burning a fire to save your heat from
rising up your chimney. The flue can rob your
home of warmth if you leave the damper open, so
close it when you are not using the fireplace.
For more tips on saving energy check out their
We all want to create a more
energy efficient home, but sometimes we don’t
know where to start. Shawn from
Energy Trust of Oregon joined us to tell us
about a couple of program they offer to help the
homeowner. Shawn told us that for a large
percentage of homes you could save 50-60 percent
on your energy bill by looking for areas to
become more efficient. Energy Trust of Oregon
has a free service called the Home Energy Review
and all you have to do is go to their website
and sign up. A field representative will come
out and do a free 1-hour audit of your home and
give you a few recommendations on improving the
efficiency of your home. They will work from the
top down, checking the insulation in your attic,
wall and under the floor. They check windows and
also look for leaks in this comprehensive check.
If you want to do it on your own, they also have
a self-diagnostic check-list on their web-site.
For those that are looking for a more in depth
evaluation, Energy Trust offers a much larger
audit for a small fee.