Are you bundled up yet? How is your house? It seems like the weather can’t make up its mind, but that’s normal for fall in the Northwest. One minute rain the next is full sun. It is time to dress yourself and your house for winter. Check out our tips for saving some money on your energy bills in this week’s show. We also have some great holiday treats for you to try as well. Enjoy!

Holiday Table Makeovers

The holiday season is upon us and it is the season of entertaining. You can make a bold statement with your dinner table and we stopped at Al’s Garden Center (503-726-1162) to learn some tricks for doing that. Earlier this year Lora from Al’s showed us how to makeover your outdoor table and now she turned her attention to the holiday table. Once again we started with just a basic white tablecloth and place settings. From here Lora showed us 3 different setting. First we went with the set-up for fall and Thanksgiving. This one had very earthy tones and was definitely a harvest theme. It also was one that included different scents. It had scented candles, potpourris, dried fruit and even some light fragrances that you could use. Next we put together a holiday theme. This one was still white as a background, but it also included the traditional greens and reds. This table was all about the details. Everything from little snow globes (which the guests can take home) to the addition of ornaments as accents. This setting also included small pictures as a place setting and ‘naughty and nice’ napkin holders. Finally we went with the more formal look for the New Year. This setting was light and white and bright. The silver color is the theme of the day and it represents a clean, new beginning. The plates don’t match, but that is ok, you are looking for structure and balance. So don’t forget to add a little whimsy to your next dinner party. Check out the Al’s Garden Centers in Woodburn and Sherwood for other great ideas for entertaining this holiday season.

Preparing Squash

William from the Garden Time show decided to show Chef David his Pumpkin Roll recipe, but to get started he had to pick up a fresh pumpkin for the recipe. He made a stop at Bauman Farm and Garden (503-792-3524) to check on the best pumpkin for the job! Brian told William that he may not want a pumpkin at all. Even though it is a ‘pumpkin’ roll, the best meat for this recipe is found in the ‘Sweetmeat’ squash. William then met up with Chef David to learn how to get the meat out of the squash to make his recipe. First you cut it in half, clean out the seeds and place it on a cookie sheet. Put it in a 375 degree oven for about an hour. You pull it out of the oven when the outside is soft. Once it is cooled you can just pull off the outside skin and run the meat through a food mill or a food processor. You will have a lot of meat when you are done. You can save the extra by putting it in a freezer bag in 1 cup portions and dating it. To get a recipe on preparing your squash, click here.

Pumpkin Roll

Earlier we cooked a Sweetmeat squash to get our filling (see above), and now we are going to use that filling to make a recipe for a pumpkin roll. William once again joined Chef David in the kitchen to share this old family favorite with us. You start with 3 eggs and ¾ cup of sugar. You will start to blend those together and then add your pumpkin meat, lemon juice, flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Once those are blended you pour the ingredients in shallow pan lined with parchment or wax-paper. This goes into an oven heated to 350 for about 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to over cook this, look for the ‘cake’ to spring back to your touch and then pull it out of the oven. Flip the cake over onto a tea towel that has a light covering of powdered sugar, roll it up and let it cool. Once it is cooled you will unroll the cake spread out your cream cheese filling and re-roll it up with a sprinkling of nuts evenly distributed over it and place it in the fridge again. Once it has ‘rested’ you can bring it out and cut the end off (for appearance) and serve it on a plate. For the complete recipe you can check out the October 2009 edition of the Garden Time On-line magazine. You can sign up for your free monthly subscription to be delivered to your e-mail at the Garden Time website!

Quick Tip – Thermostat

Our quick tip this week is another money saver. Jenna from NW Natural told us about programmable thermostats. She mentioned that if you have a programmable thermostat and you lower it by 10 degrees during any 8 hour period you can save over 10 percent on your heating bills. By having a programmable thermostat you can lower it during the daytime when you are at work, or overnight when you are sleeping. You can then have the furnace kick-in just before you get up or right before you get home. For more money and energy saving tips you can check out www.nwnatural.com.

Interstate Siding Tips

With the change of the seasons we have been showing you tips to help you make sure that your home is ready for the elements. Today we met up with John from Interstate Roofing (503-684-5611) to talk about siding and what you should look for. He met us at a home that had old siding recently replaced and we talked about things you should look for. Starting at the roof we talked about the need to keep a gap between the roof and the siding. You will also want to make sure that the tops of your windows are protected so water can’t get behind them and ruin you structure. What you are looking for is a good seal around all your windows, corners and doors. You will want to use a good flexible, weather-proof sealer or caulk. That will ensure that the rain and wind doesn’t penetrate and you will have a dryer and warmer house. Finally we got to the bottom of the wall and we talked about keeping your siding up and off the soil or cement. You will also want to keep your plants away from your siding. You want to keep airflow around your house so the siding can dry out after a rain. For more tips and information about your siding check out the Interstate Roofing website.

Quick tip – Zone Heating

This week’s tip will help you save some money and still remain comfortable in your home this fall and winter. Jenna from NW Natural told us about ‘zone heating’. What ‘zone heating’ means is that you only heat the areas where you are living and lowering the heat in areas that you are not using. First, close down the vents in those seldom used rooms, then close the doors to those rooms. Finally, check to see if the air intakes are open and unblocked. This will make sure that your furnace is running efficiently. For more tips on saving money and energy check out the NW Natural website.



Website design and content ©2009-2010 Gustin Creative Group.  Please send website inquiries to gustingroup@comcast.net
This page last modified
October 29, 2010.