The spring breaks are wrapping up and everyone is returning to a normal schedule again. Still, my thoughts keep turning back to projects around the home and in the garden. Before I tackle some of those chores I will take a little time to celebrate Easter, and to help celebrate, we show you a couple of recipes for eggs. And with all the relatives over for the celebration, don’t worry about a few stains. We have some tips for removing those stains from your upholstery!

Also, stop by and meet Robin and David today, Saturday, April 3rd between 8:00am-4:00pm at Fir Point Farms in Aurora. Check out www.Gardenpalooza.com for details, directions, coupons and more. It is a FREE event with FREE parking. We will see you there!

Floating Flowers

If you have a late winter or early spring garden you probably have hellebores growing in it. You can enjoy those beautiful blooms without going outside with this little tip. Just cut off the bloom and bring it indoors. Float the flower face up in the small bowl of water or a wide glass vase. The water will keep the flower from drying out and you can enjoy the color for a couple of weeks!


Setting Your Easter Table

The spring is a time of renewal. So maybe it is time to ‘renew’ your table for Easter or even to make a splash for spring entertaining. Kim from Geranium Lake Flowers (503-228-1920) walked Robin through a bunch of ideas for freshening up your look for the season. Starting with a basic white tablecloth Kim used a nice set of soft green plates and included a rose colored napkin underneath. She made a little vase out of egg shells that were filled with water and held a flower, and placed that as each place setting on the table. For a place card holder Kim used wheatgrass that she found growing in trays at a local grocery store. These were cut into squares that were used to hold those place cards. She also used the remaining wheatgrass to build a center piece that she stuck flowers in to make a very nice ‘spring’ themed basket/centerpiece.

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

If you like hard boiled eggs you know that getting them to peel perfectly is hard to do. Chef David showed us a method for creating the perfect hard boiled egg. First he showed us how you can tell the difference between hard boiled egg and a raw egg with out cracking them open. You spin them! The one that spins faster and freely is hard boiled. The one that spins slower and wobbles is the raw egg. Pretty cool! Now to the boiling… First you get your pan of water close to a boil then you add a tablespoon of vinegar and a half teaspoon of salt and then the eggs. The reason you don’t want boiling water is because it will bounce the eggs around and they could crack and break. Now without boiling the water, allow them to stay in the water for 15 minutes. Take them off the stove and let them cool under running water for about 4 minutes and peel. If you want a little more detailed recipe check it out here.

Deviled Eggs

We just showed you how to make the prefect boiled egg. Now we will show you a couple of ways to make the perfect deviled egg. We were at the NW Natural Appliance Center to tackle a couple of tasty variations of this classic recipe. For most people is it just mayo and mustard mixed with their egg yolks to make the filling, but Chef David had 2 very different recipes for 2 great tastes. Robin did the recipe that included truffle oil, cayenne and mayonnaise. David’s recipe included mayo, red pepper, and sherry vinegar. Robin finished hers with a garnish of chives and David finished his with smoked paprika. For the complete recipe click here. Spring break means spring cleaning for some. There is nothing like the nice weather to get you motivated for the summer months ahead. Maybe it’s the warmth of the sun, or maybe it is the sun shining through those dirty windows! Either way we will be sharing tips with you during the next few weeks to help you get organized for the warm weather to come.  Find the recipes here.

Furniture Cleaning

The one place where you spend a lot of time relaxing in your home could be your couch or recliner. It is also the one piece that is the first to get stained. Now, how do you tackle those stains? Monique from Bassett Furniture (503-469-8333) joined us to give us some tips for getting those stains out and saving your furniture. First she covered leather care. There are 2 different kinds of leathers used in furniture. If one has a shine or gloss to it, it is treated and is somewhat protected. If you spill something on it you can wipe if off without too much damage. If it has a dull look it is an untreated leather and if you spill something on it, it may cause a stain. The benefit to this leather is that those little stains and oils will help create a patina to the leather over time. A very nice look for some leathers. You should also clean and condition your leather twice a year.
If you have a fabric cover to your furniture you should check for a cleaning code for your furniture. If you can’t find it on your tags, you should check the cleaning instructions you received with your furniture when you bought it. The first code we saw was a ‘W’. This means you can clean that fabric with water without damaging it. The second code we saw was an ‘S’. This means that you need to use a solvent when cleaning. You may also run into a ‘dry clean’ only fabric under the S symbol. You will also see a ‘W-S’ symbol this one can use either a water based, or solvent based cleaner. The final code is an ‘X’. this is a vacuum or brush only type of fabric. This type of fabric can suffer real damage if treated with water or solvents. No matter which type of cleaning method you can always pretest on a small hidden area before proceeding. The one thing that Monique recommends is to treat your fabric when you buy. This will protect your furniture and make the cleaning much easier. She demonstrated this by showing us 2 types of fabric that had been treated and not treated. After a spill, using a clean white damp cloth you want to blot the stain and remove as much as you can before moving to another cleaner. Blot, don’t rub. Rubbing will cause your fiber to break down and wear out faster. If you can use a fabric cleaner, have it handy. The quicker you can work to remove the stain the better your results will be. If you have any questions about furniture cleaning or fabric choices, stop by the Bassett Furniture store in Beaverton.

Toxins in the Home

Your home could be getting you sick. There are lots of different ways that you can be exposed to toxins in your home. You don’t need to worry; there are ways you can test to see if you have any potential dangers. We found a series of tests at the local hardware store that can help you assess your home for problems. One of the most common problems is mold. You can usually see this one around your windowsills or on your walls. If you have mold it can cause respiratory problems and rashes. We found a test that will allow you to find mold whether you see it or not. You can either place the test in your home and once the mold cultures are grown you can send it in for testing. Or if you find some mold you can take a sample and send it in. The results will tell you if you have a ‘problem’ mold and whether you should clean it or not. Another common problem in the home is radon gas. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is formed by the break-down of Radium in your soil. This gas can seep into your home and cause lung problems. In fact, radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. This test involves leaving the test canisters out in your home for a period of time and then seal them up and send them in for testing. The next stop on our testing tour is the kitchen. Here we talked about a test for lead in your drinking water. Most cities have continuous testing for lead in their water systems, but you still can get lead in your water from lead solder in pipes leaching in to your water. You may also have lead if you have a well and your water is compromised. There are also other tests for water that will tell you what different types of minerals and other dissolved solids you have in your water. You can also buy little ‘lead indicator sticks’. These sticks can just be wiped over a surface and if there is lead, it will change color. This is good to use on cooking utensils, paint on walls, plates, silverware and toys. Some of these tests require a lab fee for processing and some you can get the results right away. Check the packages for details.

Parr Gardening

If you are tired of taking care of stuff on the inside, you can take a break outside. We stopped by Parr Lumber to find that they have ways for you to beautify your garden too. Chris Erskine showed us the great selection of seeds that Parr now carries. You can start with the seed, but they also carry planters, potting soil and watering tools. They even have a kit called ‘Drip Irrigation for Dummies’ which makes anyone an expert. Parr even has all the other tools you will need including rakes and shovels!



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This page last modified
August 13, 2010.