Welcome to the last weekend of summer. For most people summer ended when the kids went back to school. Still we always hope for the warm weather to continue. I don't think it is coming back. We can still enjoy the tastes of summer though. We also have a bunch of ideas for your early fall home and even a great healthy recipe for those school lunches.

Ottoman Changes

For most people the Ottoman is a place to put your feet, but at Ste. Maine (503-232-1880) it has many more uses. Erin showed David a couple of other uses that you use an ottoman for. First of all there are some ottomans that have storage areas inside them. This is great for people that have limited space in their homes or apartments. It can also be used as an extra table. Simply use a tray or a piece of clear plastic or glass to create a hard and stable surface to hold drinks and plates. If you would like to see some ottomans and learn about all their many uses you can stop by Ste. Maine in the Westmoreland/Sellwood area of Portland.

Indoor NASA Plants

NASA has expanded our learning in lots of different fields, and not just the fields of science. They have also found out a lot about the different types of plants and their uses. We caught up with Deby at Cornell Farm (530-292-9895) to talk to her about the recent NASA findings about indoor plants. She told us that NASA investigated the use of indoor plants as a means of cleaning the air in the space station. They came up with some interesting results. They found that indoor plants are great at absorbing toxins in the air. Chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene can be taken up by certain plants and that can make your living space healthier. Common household items like carpet, paint, insulation, cleaners, plastics and detergents all can release toxins into your home. Philodendrons, Boston ferns, spider plants, mums and gerbera daisies are just a small selection of plants that can help your air stay clean. To see these and many others you can stop by Cornell Farm and talk to their staff.

Coconut Cherry Truffles

Healthy doesn't have to taste yucky. Wendy Gabbe Day joined us to share a recipe that is both healthy and delicious. Wendy is the author of a new book called 'Scatter Vegan Sweets'. She is also appearing at the Portland VegFest at the Oregon Convention Center this weekend. This event promotes sustainable and healthy food choices and lifestyles.

For us she decided to make one of the recipes from her new cookbook, Coconut Cherry Truffles. First she added almonds to a food processor and ground them into fine pieces. Then she added some dates, dried cherries, brown rice and a little bit of coconut flakes to the food processor. The result is a slightly moist mixture that can be molded into balls and then rolled in coconut flakes. You can get the recipe right here or you can stop by the Oregon Convention Center and pick up a copy of Wendy's book for this recipe and many more.

Build a Bloody Mary

Robin is searching for the perfect Bloody Mary. Her quest lead her to Salty's on the Columbia (503-288-4444) and their wonderful Sunday brunch. Linda Addy was eager to introduce Robin to their new 'build your own Bloody Mary' bar. Bloody Marys are the perfect drink with brunch and Salty's has figured out a way for everyone to put their own twist on this late-morning favorite. Linda walked us through the steps for making your own concoction. First you order your favorite vodka, in this case Robin started with a bacon infused vodka (yeah, bacon!), then she added a smoked tomato purée. They actually have 3 different purees/sauces to choose from including the traditional style sauce. Finally you can top it all off with your choice of condiments including pickled okra, red curried carrots or horseradish and a wide selection of hot sauces.
The Bloody Mary bar is a great addition to Salty's huge Sunday brunch. They have over 90 different items to choose from including fresh seafood, a made to order omelet area and a 4 foot chocolate fountain. Stop by for the brunch and create your own signature drink!

Lemon Tips

Lemons are not only tasty in your drinks and other recipes, they have many other uses. David and Robin found some uses for lemons around the kitchen that they wanted to share. First of all, you can use them as a decoration in your kitchen or on your table. They have a relatively long shelf life and give off a light lemon fragrance over time. You can even use them in a clear vase with water and they will help keep the water fresh. When they start to 'turn' you can toss them into your garbage disposal to give that appliance a fresh scent. Also because of the high acidic level of lemons you can cut them and use them to disinfect items. David used a piece to disinfect a cutting board. They can also remove stains. If the stain is on your cutting board just rub some lemon on it to help remove the stain, plus one-half cup in your laundry will help remove stains from your whites. The lemon juice will also help to whiten your nails if they become discolored by nail polish. If you are feeling under the weather you can also use the lemon and mix it with honey and hot water to make your throat feel better. Finally, lemon will help keep avocados and apples from 'browning' after they have been cut. Simply rub a little lemon juice on the fruit to keep it looking fresh. Lots of tips from a little piece of fruit!

Fixing a Hole in the Wall

Fixing a hole in your sheetrock is a pretty common thing around most homes. It could be a hole from a doorknob or from a sharp object. Either way repairing the hole can be an easy process. We stopped by Parr Lumber (503-531-7277) to get some help from Chris. Chris helped us pick out the items we would need to fix a small hole, but even if we didn't have Chris to help us, all the Parr locations have easy to follow 'how-to' booklets for customers to use to get the job done. For our job we needed a patch kit, some sheetrock mud and a can of spray texture.

To fix the hole we first sanded down the rough edges of the area around the hole. We then applied the adhesive patch to cover the hole in the wall. If the hole had been bigger we may have had to do a lot more work to fix the hole, but Chris read our measurements of the hole and knew that the patch would work (you can get the same help at your local Parr store). Once the patch was in place we applied the mud around the patch to help cover it up and hide the edges of the patch. We then had to wait until the mud dried. Once dried, we sanded the mud to smooth it out, and then sprayed the wall with the 'texture' to get it to match with rest of the wall. If the project looks a little rough or you are not happy with it, you can simply sand the texture off and try again. When everything is dry you can repaint the spot and it should blend in pretty well and your hole is fixed! For help with any of your other do-it-yourself projects you can stop by any Parr location.



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This page last modified
September 24, 2010.