The clock is ticking... school is right around the corner and soon the weather will be getting cooler and the rains will return. I know, it is hard to believe right now, but it will happen. A friend recently posted a picture on his Facebook. His message said 'For those of you who are complaining about the heat' and it showed a picture of his house buried in the snow. Ahhh... a nice reminder. That means that time is running out for all those little projects you need to do. But before we show you more fix-it projects we decided to go easy on you with stories about pastrami, wine glasses, washers and a local girl who is becoming a design celebrity as a finalist in a reality show.

Local 'Design Star'

People are always looking for tips on style and design. HGTV has become a place for a lot of people to get those tips. For the past couple of years they have had a 'reality show' of sorts that has become a favorite of viewers and would-be designers called Design Star. Design Star is a competition for up and coming designers to earn the right of having their own HGTV show. This year one of the favorites is a local girl, Emily Henderson. She was recently in Portland to help promote the show and we caught up with her at Saint Maine (503-232-1880) in the Westmoreland/Sellwood area. Emily only tried out for the show at the request of her husband. He found the listing on Craig's List and told her to try out. She got a video audition and then kept on going each week with more interviews and tests and finally she was on the show. Her background is as a 'prop stylist' which means she gets products ready for video and still photographers, she doesn't have a background as an interior designer as some of the other contestants. This show has also been an eye opener for Emily. She is not as competitive as some of the other contestants and she has had to adjust to that, but it has also become a bonding experience for her and her competitors as well. For those of you who follow the show, you know that Emily is now one of the finalists on the show. She attributes that success to her upbringing in Oregon. We are pretty laid back and unpretentious, which fits her style perfectly. If she were to win the competition she told us what her new TV show would look like. She thinks that your design should look like you. Too many interesting people have boring designs. She would look at the people, their lifestyle and their clothes to help them create a design that reflects that person.

If you are wondering how she does, you will just have to check out the final show. The final Design Star for this season airs on Sunday, the 22nd at 10pm on HGTV.

Wine Glasses

To really enjoy wine you have to know the ins and outs of wine glasses. The flavor and taste of wine can change dramatically if you use the right glass. The correct stemware will allow a wine the right amount of air, will allow you to see the color and will help focus the flavors. Todd Steele from Metrovino (503-517-7778) walked us through the five types of glasses that most restaurants use. First was the champagne flute. Its small size is perfect for focusing the bubbles and aroma of the champagne for the drinker to enjoy. Next was the basic white wine glass. This one is perfect for the pinot gris, Rieslings and chardonnay's. The bowl is a little bigger and a bigger bowl helps to aerate your wine. That releases the different flavors of the different grapes. At Metrovino this is the general use glass, a good 'all-purpose' glass. This is the one glass that Todd would recommend for everyone. Next was the Bordeaux glass, which is generally used for red wines. Finally the biggest of the glasses was the burgundy glass. This one has the biggest bowl which is great for releasing the complex flavors of the heavier wines. The 4th glass was a larger version of the burgundy glass with a narrower mouth. This also helps focus those aromas for your nose and with the smaller mouth it allows you to swirl without the fear of splashing or spilling. The final glass is a special glass that was designed for Oregon Pinot Noirs. It has a wonderful bowl and fluted top that really accentuate the flavors of the different wines we make here. The Oregon Glass is the second one that Todd would recommend that everyone have in their bar or cupboard.

Finally we talked about temperature, which is critical for enjoying wines. White wines should be served between 50-60 degrees and reds should be between 60-68 degrees. For that reason you should never hold on to the bowl of the glass. That will raise the temperature of the wine and may ruin the flavor. You should always hold on to the stem of the glass to avoid this. We finish with the 5 S's of wine drinking, which we have picked up from local experts. Number 1, the seeing of the wine. How does it look? Number 2, the swirling of the wine, which releases the aroma. Number 3, the smell. Your sense of smell is much better than your sense of taste and so you can enjoy the 'flavor more if you smell a wine. Number 4, you want to sip. Roll the wine around your mouth and get a sense of the wine on your tongue. Finally, number 5, savor the wine. This is where you let the flavors of the wine linger in your month. Did you enjoy the wine? What other flavors did you find? If all of this sounds interesting to you, you can find out more at Metrovino. They have events and tastings throughout the year so check their website for more info.

Chipped Pastrami

Sometimes a twist on an old favorite makes a new recipe outstanding. We stopped at Produce Row Café (503-232-8355) to visit Chef Justin Wisneski and learn his take on the old 'chipped beef' recipe. He calls his special concoction 'Justin's Surprise' or 'Pastrami Chipped Beef'. He started with a chopped onion and sautés it until they are slightly translucent. At the same time he puts some diced, steamed potatoes on to sauté in butter. When the onion is ready he adds 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, salt and pepper, diced cauliflower, and pastrami, and cooks it until it gets a tiny bit crispy. As that browns up he adds spices to his potatoes and browns them. The pastrami mixture then gets 1 quart of cream. After reducing Chef Justin cuts the rich flavor with 2 teaspoons of horseradish. Finally he added parsley to his dish, though you could add any fresh herb from your garden.

The chipped pastrami is served over toasted bread and topped with a fried egg. The potatoes are served on the side. Chef Justin called this dish the ultimate hang over cure when served with a Bloody Mary. If you would like to try this dish you can stop by Produce Row and enjoy it as part of their expanded breakfast menu!

Top Load vs. Front Load

The top-load vs. the front-load washer. It has become a big question for people who are looking for a new appliance. Energy efficient appliances have come a long way in the past few years and washers are no exception. We caught up with John Toohey at Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500) to learn more about the newest in the 2 different styles and the pros and cons of each. For energy efficiency, the front loaders are the winner. They can use less than half of the water than a top loader and even less detergent, plus they can get your clothes even cleaner than the top loading machine. These machines can also pay themselves off much faster with all the tax benefits and manufacturer rebates. For all the details, stop by any of the Standard TV and Appliance locations around Oregon.



Website design and content ©2009-2010 Gustin Creative Group.  Please send website inquiries to gustingroup@comcast.net
This page last modified
August 27, 2010.