Can you believe that the holidays are just around the corner? I know this because my daughter posted it on her Facebook page... yeah, news travels fast. Still the calendar still says it is fall and that means warm days and cool nights (between rain showers). It is time to get those final projects done and pick out some new recipes for the upcoming holidays. Don't worry we have you covered! Sit back and enjoy this week's show which covers a little bit of everything!

Rejuvenation Lighting

There is one thing in your home that serves a unique purpose and that is lighting. But you can use this functional item to create a new style for your home. Nicole from Rejuvenation (503-238-1900) on SE Grand showed us some of the unique lighting styles they carry. Nichol called lighting the jewelry of the home; it is one of those small things that can make a big difference. Rejuvenation specializes in reproduction and period lighting, your classic American lighting from the 1870's to the 1960's. They have styles that range from basic to eclectic! The store is set up into vignettes so you can see 'age appropriate' set-ups grouped together. You can also pick out lights that will help recreate a style or mood in a newer home as well. If you are looking for a unique finish of color they can help you out because they produce the period reproductions at the factory in Portland. They offer 12 standard finishes that can match any décor. You can even go on-line to their website and make changes to a design to see if it works for you.

If you want to have fun and have your purchase benefit a great cause you can check out Rejuvenation's House Warming party on the 11th of November. There will be food and drink, live music, door prizes and a 'Pin the Tail on the City' contest. A portion of the sales from that evening are going to benefit 'p:ear' which is a mentoring program for homeless youth. For more information and to RSVP check out the link here.


Chef David whipped us up a simple recipe for hummus today to help you make a splash at your next holiday get-together. This hummus is one with a twist, it has red peppers! This one also uses garbanzo beans as its base. It also has garlic and lemon juice. To get all the ingredients and instructions click here. Then whip up a batch and impress your friends!


Spice Dipping

The holidays are approaching and that means it is time for entertaining family and friends at your home. To make your party to hit of the holiday season we stopped at the Spice and Tea Exchange (503-208-2886) in downtown Portland to get some ideas for quick and easy appetizers. Rob, one of the owners showed us a couple of quick dipping recipes for you to try at home and they take little or no time to set up. The first one featured dipping fresh strawberries in sour cream and habanero sugar. It sounds like an odd combination but it was pretty good and it had a little bite from the peppers in the sugar. Next we moved to their Tuscany Blend of spices mixed with Olive oil and some crusty bread. This is more of a traditional dipping sauce, but the spices added just the right flavor. Finally we tried some cut pieces of avocado that had a light sprinkling of black truffle sea salt. That had a very unique and different flavor than you would expect. If you would like more ideas you can stop by the store. They also have occasional cooking classes so check with them for times and dates.

Space Saving Kitchen Tools

It is time to take control of your kitchen. Kitchen utensils can be big and bulky. To learn more about saving some space we stopped by Sur La Table (503-968-8015). Laura Bogert found some gadgets and tools that will save you lots of space in your kitchen. The items she found are all collapsible utensils and are extremely durable. First was a colander that was 14 inches wide and 7 inches tall. This one had a silicone center and it was easily compressed into a 2 inch tall disc. She also had a smaller one too. The next piece was really cool! It was a funnel made of the same material. It squeezed down to a flat disc about 1 inch high. Measuring cups can take up a lot of space in a drawer. Laura had some that were also made of silicone that were extremely flat. The best was saved for last. Sur La Table had a collapsible salad spinner. All of these silicone products are great and they are all dishwasher safe!

Barber World Foods - Olive Preserving

You can find preserved olives in any of your local grocery stores, but did you know that you can make your own flavored olives at home. We found a great market, Barbur World Foods (503-244-0670), at the corner of Barbur and Capitol Highway in SW Portland, where you can find raw olives and a recipe to preserve them at home. We met with Mirna Attar the owner and chef at the market to learn her recipe for preparing these seasonal favorites. Mirna is also the chef at Ya Hala Restaurant in SE Portland and is an excellent cook! Barbur World Foods is owned by her and her husband John and they carry lots of very unique and ethnic food products. Mirna started with the raw green olives. She cracked them so the skin was split. Then she soaks them for 3 days in water, changing the water twice each day. This water bath leaches the bitterness out of the olives. When the olives are ready she prepares a brine of ˝ cup of canning salt to one quart of water. Place a slice of lemon at the bottom of a glass canning jar and place your olives on top of that. Pour in the brine mixture to cover the olives, leaving a ˝ inch space at the top of the jar. On top of the olives and brine you will pour a layer of olive oil to create a barrier to prevent air from entering your olives and spoiling them. To create some interesting flavors you can also add peppers or fresh thyme to the jar. Cover them with a caning lid and let them cure for one month and then spoon them out and serve!

Two other items we had the chance to check out were garbanzo beans in the shell and pistachios with their husk still on them. The pistachio was very mild (not like the salted ones you buy in a bag) and very delicious and the garbanzo beans were sweet with a faint pea taste. The garbanzos can also be roasted in your oven with a light salting and some olive oil. If you are looking to try something new and different, you can't go wrong at Barbur World Foods. In fact, you can try many of these foods during their Holiday food tasting on November 13th from 1-5. It's free and a lot of fun!

Smoke Alarms

This week is the big change. It is the return from Daylight Saving times and from what we have learned in the past, it is also time to test our smoke alarm. But wait! That may not be enough to ensure the safety of your family. Don Porth from Portland Fire and Rescue joined us at the historic Belmont Firehouse (503-823-3615) to fill in the details of what you really should be doing! In 1998 new technology changed the way most smoke alarms operate. That year batteries changed. Now you will find long lasting batteries in your alarm and they may not even need to be changed. The newer batteries can last 10 years or longer. To see when they were new you can always check the back of your alarm where they will have a date stamp that tells you when it was produced. After 10 years you will need to replace the whole unit. Technology improves on the newer models and an older unit can lose up to 40% of its effectiveness during that time. With any unit you will always want to test it monthly (it may have gone dead while you were on vacation). When you are looking for a newer unit also look for a 'hush' button feature. This is a button that will silence the alarm for up to 15 minutes. You can use this for those occasions where your alarm goes off from burning food in the kitchen or steam from your shower. You will want to place them in all the living levels in your home. That includes areas like inside and outside bedrooms and living rooms, but also basements, and near laundry rooms. Also the higher the placement, the better. The smoke rises and so you want your alarm at the top of the wall to be in a position to sense the smoke and warn you.
Don then told us about the historic Belmont Firehouse. It has become an educational center that has a fire truck simulator so you can even go for a ride to an emergency. It will really help you to be more aware of the fire danger in your home and how to prevent accidents from happening. It is open by appointment and you can schedule a tour by calling their number.

Olive Oil Tips

Olive Oil is known for all its uses in cooking and preparing food, but we found some other uses that may surprise you. Robin and David found out that you can use the olive oil to help moisturize your cuticles and dry skin. Just apply a little dab with a cotton swab or cotton ball and rub it in. Plus because of its lubricating properties you can use it when you are shaving to get a really close shave! Just don't use the flavored kind! For the ladies you can use it to remove makeup and smudges from your mascara. There are many uses around the house too. You can wipe a small amount around the top of a candlestick holder and when the wax drips down it can easily be removed. It is also great for polishing those same candlestick holders or any other stainless steel item. In small amounts it can also be used for dusting. Finally, it can be applied to food, cat food! Adding a tiny amount to your cat's food it will help eliminate hairballs. We found about an 1/8 of a teaspoon to a cup of food is the recommended amount. Just a few ways you can use this very versatile product around your home.

Quick Tip - Cold Water Wash

This week's quick tip can save you some energy and a little money at the same time. Laundry detergents are now formulated to get clothes clean in cold or warm water. You don't need to always use that hot water setting for those whites and other clothes. So don't push that hot water button the next time you wash and you could save a lot dough and still smell like a million bucks.


Covering your Outdoor Faucet

The colder weather brings the threat of frozen and broken pipes. You can do a lot now to prevent long term damage to your home by just doing one little chore. By covering your outdoor faucet you can prevent this common winter problem. Some people use just a towel and wrap it around the outdoor faucet to keep them warm, but we recommend that you buy a cheap and easy to install foam cover. These work a lot better by not only covering the faucet, but they also create a pocket of air around the faucet to give you a little more insulation from the cold. It is also a good time to remove your hose and store it for the winter. The hose, if left on the faucet, will prevent the faucet from draining and that could lead to frozen water in your pipes. Also, by storing your hose it will last longer and will not crack or burst.


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This page last modified
November 12, 2010.