Doing a home and cooking show can have its perks. Not only do we get to see the latest and greatest in home improvement and décor items, on some days we eat pretty well too. Chef David is always looking for great recipes to share with the viewers and this week we have a tasty treat when he tackled a simple Strata. Boy, what flavor! As I mentioned before, we also learn a lot too. From energy efficient windows to indoor plants, sit back and let us educate you too!

Curtain and Blind Cleaning

When buying a window covering you should also take into account the amount of cleaning you may need to do too. Amy Troute from ‘design for home’ joined us at Premiere Window Coverings (503-533-0922) to talk to us about cleaning your blinds and drapes. The type of cleaning depends on the type of material that they are made of. First of all, you should give them a light cleaning with your vacuum cleaner about once a month. Remember to use the upholstery attachment so you don’t damage your window coverings. If you have a wood blind do not use water! The water will warp the wood and your blinds will not operate correctly. If you have a faux wood blind you can use water, but make sure you know your material. The same is true for any fabrics. Make sure you know what type of material you are working with so your spot cleaning doesn’t leave a ‘spot’ that is worse! For more answers to your questions check your owners manual or with the experts at Premiere Window Coverings.

Al’s Indoor Plants

One of the most overlooked design elements in the home is the indoor plant. Plants can add a lot to your décor and they are also good for your health. They clean the air, removing toxins and adding oxygen. We stopped by Al’s Garden Center
(503-726-1162) in Sherwood to learn a little more from Josh about some of the different choices you can get for your living space. Plants need a few things to thrive. Light is one and water is another. With all the choices out there you can find the right plant for any light condition. We saw some that really need a lot of light, like the ‘Snake plant’ to some that don’t need much light at all like the Zee Zee plant, which can grow even in a low light area like a closet! A loose rule of thumb is that the smaller the leaf the more light the plant will need. Also the thicker the leaf the better it can handle low water conditions. Speaking of water, we tend to kill our indoor plants with kindness. Josh follows a ‘rule of thumb’ or actually a ‘rule of forefinger’ for figuring out the water needs of his plants. Just put your finger in the soil of the plant up to the first knuckle. If it is dry give it some water, but don’t let it sit in water. Let the excess drain out. This will avoid root rot problems and your plant will stay healthier. If you are worried that your plant will die of thirst you can pick up a water meter that will tell you when you plant needs a drink. As far as fertilizer, you can do that between April and August. In the winter they don’t need as much plant food since most varieties slow down in their growth. To learn more about indoor plants, stop by the Al’s Garden Centers in Woodburn and Sherwood and they can answer all your questions.

Simple Strata

Chef David decided a few weeks ago that he wanted to share a simple recipe that you can put together in an hour one evening so you can simply put it in the oven for a quick and easy breakfast the next morning. The recipe he came up with was this wonderful strata. We met at the NW Natural Appliance Center in SE Portland to use their wonderful demo kitchen. For those that don’t know, strata means ‘layers’ and so you can probably guess that we will be layering in ingredients. It is mainly egg and cream and bread. You can add other stuff to it to make it to your taste. First you layer in the pieces of bread in a glass pan. The glass pan works well for a couple of reasons; the best one is so you can keep an eye on the strata through the sides to see when it is done! After the bread you put in you add the cooked and dried sausage and some cheese. More bread for a second layer, then the cooked peppers and more cheese. Finally you ladle in the cream and egg mixture. Let it sit overnight and bake it the next day. It is an incredibly tasty breakfast or brunch treat for those lazy mornings. For the complete recipe click here.

Inexpensive Counter Tops

If you were looking to replace your countertop and save a little money, you don’t have to get stuck with one or 2 colors of Formica. We stopped by the Parr Cabinet Outlet (503-614-2655) and talked with Fabio about all the choices you have for your new countertop that won’t break the bank! Formica is a brand name; they are really called laminate countertops and are made from pressed paper covered with plastic but they are very durable. Plus, you can now order countertops with pre-made curves and edges. There are also hundreds of colors and patterns to choose from. In fact you can even get custom patterns if you want to spend a little money. The most important part of the custom work is getting the right measurements. You want to make sure that a representative from the countertop company comes out and gets the correct measurements. The latest design feature involves your sink. Now you can get the sink placed in the laminate seamlessly. That requires precise measurements as well. For more information on countertops and for help in choosing which one is right for you, stop by the Parr Cabinet Outlet in your area. There are 7 locations around the Northwest.

Garage Reorganizing

Spring and early summer is a good time to organize your garage. Dan Lerma from The Container Store (503-620-5700) walked Robin through the steps for getting your garage in shape. The first step, sort through the stuff in your garage. Get rid of the things you don’t use and give it away to charity. This will help get you started and also help people who may need your stuff more than you do. Then tackle one wall. If you just start with one wall the job doesn’t become too big. Organize similar stuff together and then mount it on your wall using a system like the Elfa system from the Container Store. Sports items, garden tools, home repair tools can all be organized and labeled. It may take you a bunch of weekends, but you will be happy when it is done.

Energy Efficient Windows

With all the incentives for home improvement from the government and the state a lot of people are looking to replace their windows with ones that are more energy efficient. But what does that mean? To find out we stopped by the Champion Window Store (503-624-2678) in NE Portland to visit with Jon Holman and get the low-down on the terms that are floating around out there. The government actually has ratings for windows that help people know how efficient their windows are. There are ‘U’ ratings and Solar Heat Gain Co-efficients. All you need to know is that the U factor blocks cold and the Solar factor blocks heat. If those numbers are low you have a good window. Also, don’t think that you are getting a better window just because it is a double pane window. All windows now have a coating on the inside of the glass that helps with the efficiency of the window. Champion actually has 12 coatings on their glass which makes it the best in the business. We were able to test this when they showed us a room where the windows were blocking heat lamps. There was a big difference between different companies and different types of glass. You should also look at the frames for the windows since they can also conduct heat and cold. Champions are foam filled for better efficiency. If it is confusing, stop by the Champion showroom and let them make it easy to understand. This weekend you can also stop by for their open house for some great specials. They will also help you with all the information you need to take advantage of all the incentive programs that are available out there.

Quick Tip – Replacing Cabinet Knobs

Looking to make a quick style change in your kitchen? It can be easily done by simply changing the knobs and hardware on your cabinets. A couple of minutes, and a screwdriver and you can brighten your mood and your kitchen!



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This page last modified
October 24, 2018.