The time change of the past weekend made us stop and think about the changing seasons. One of the biggest changes is the end of our current season for the Fusion TV show. Yes, we will be leaving the air after the 27th of November. It is necessary because we don't have the advertisers to cover our costs during the winter months. Our sponsors are great and they are the ones who helped us be on the air for a full 9 months. We love it when we hear from our viewers about the great service they have been getting from our great advertisers!
Not to worry. We are currently in talks with the TV stations and we will be back in the spring of 2011. So sit back and enjoy of final 3 shows for the 2010 season!

Quick Tip - Small Room/Large Design

There are design tricks that can make the rooms in your house appear larger than they actually are. We stopped by the Miller Paint (503-233-4491) store on Grand Avenue to learn a little secret from Dona White. She recommends using a large scale pattern on your wallpaper with lots of 'negative space' and it will help your room look bigger!


Cascade Flooring Design

Whenever you tackle a remodel or new construction you have to start with a design. Putting your ideas down on paper for a contractor (or even your spouse) to see can be difficult. Then you walk into a showroom and it can be overwhelming! You need an expert to help you get through the details. We stopped at Cascade Flooring America (800-942-0376) in Vancouver to check in with their experts for some fool-proof tips. Karen met with Robin to fill her in on the process. Budget, place and products are all factors that they will talk to you about. Budget is always the final determining factor for most families. Have a budget number in mind and don't forget to include about 10 percent to that as a buffer for cost overruns. Next know the place that you are going to be remodeling or working on. Take measurements and pictures so the designer knows what they are working with. Bring a floor plan if you have one. When you come in they will build a Design Board for you so you can see what the different materials look like together. If you can't make it to the store right away and you need some ideas, you can check out the Cascade Flooring America website and see pictures of projects that they have put together. The best part of all this? It is all free. The Design Boards are free and so is the meeting with a consultant.

After you are done getting an idea of what you want in your design you can walk across the store and meet Paul. Paul will do drawings of your plan and pull out the products so you can see everything in a larger setting. Paul is also the one who finalizes the budget process for you so you don't have to worry about breaking the bank. Paul and his crew will even come to you for free and check out your project space to make sure everything goes right. If you are looking to do some home improvement work and don't know where to start, see the experts at Cascade Flooring America for a free consultation.

Bungalow Bread

With the colder days of fall at our doorstep we stopped by Bungalow Bread (503-524-2500) in Beaverton to learn how to make a fresh loaf of Challah bread. This bread is considered a traditional Jewish braided bread, but it is impressive on any holiday table. First Matt made the loaf and then created a 'rounded' loaf. After rounding it he placed it on a sheet pan and let it have a break so it didn't get too hard. After a short breather he took the loaf and cut it into 4 quarters. He then took each quarter and made 4 long strands of bread to get ready for braiding. This really takes a technique and Robin had a hard time keeping up with Matt, but that really didn't matter, the key was to have fun doing it! Next he pinched the 4 pieces together at one end and then began braiding. Once he was done braiding he tucked the ends under the loaf and placed it on a cookie sheet. If you need a detailed recipe, click here.

Bungalow Bread makes lots of fresh breads daily. It is a great little bakery that also delivers to certain areas in Beaverton and Tigard. If you are near Washington Square you have to stop in. The Fusion crew recommends the Cinnamon Chip loaf! WOW.

Pomegranate Compote

Did you know that November is pomegranate month? To celebrate this healthy wonder of nature, Chef David decided to prepare a special compote for French toast. First he had to get the seeds, also called the arils, from the fruit. This variety of pomegranate is called the 'Wonderful' variety and it is known for its sweet taste and juiciness. David showed us how you can cut the end off and then immerse the fruit in water to keep it from staining your clothes and to help harvest the seeds. The Pomegranate has one of the highest concentrations of anti-oxidants of any fruit, plus it is loaded with vitamins, iron and potassium. Once they were harvested he rinsed them off and got them ready for the rest of the recipe. The extra arils can be frozen and will keep quite well for months in your freezer. You can also get a pomegranate juice in your local grocery store under the Pom Wonderful label.

Next we move to the stove to prepare a Pomegranate-Apple fruit compote. This is great over French toast or other breakfast foods. First we prepared our pomegranate juice by mixing it with dried cherries and vanilla. This is set aside while we work on the rest of the recipe. In another pan we are going to soften up two sliced apples over heat with a little butter. After the apples soften up we add a little maple syrup and the cherry mixture. After a couple of minutes it is ready to serve! You can then spoon it over your French toast and then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and powdered sugar for garnish. For a complete recipe, click here.

Al's Holiday Lights

The upcoming holidays are often associated with lights. Christmas trees are covered in lights; Chanukah is the 'festival of light'; Ramadan is the celebration of your spiritual light and even the Hindu's celebrate the Diwali Festival of Lights. The dark days of winter make people from all over the world consider bringing light indoors to brighten their moods and their homes. We had heard about some new trends in holiday lighting and so we stopped by Al's Garden Center (503-726-1162) in Sherwood to visit with Juanita Olsen about her recent trip to Holland. Juanita is the gift buyer for Al's and she recently made a trip overseas to check out the latest trends. Battery powered lights are the hot thing in 'cool' lights. I know we have all seen the battery powered lights in stores and some restaurants, but these newer lights have some great features. The newest string lights features small accents that light up. Small green Christmas trees, bright white snowflakes and plastic ice cubes show off on these very flexible strings. You can use them to dress up a centerpiece or a mantle and because they are battery powered they don't generate much heat and are safe to use around any decoration. The other new innovation in lighting involves a 'real' candle with a battery operated light. You can have a real scented candle on your table and not have to worry about the potential problems of having a flame. The other benefit? They are on a timer. You can set your light to 'burn' for 4 hours and it will shut itself off. Al's has these battery lights in all sizes. They come in pillars, votive, tea lights and strings. The coolest string lights are placed in a ribbon of fabric and can even be used in glass bowls and orbs.

If you are looking for the traditional candles, they have those too, but with a twist. The newer tea lights come with Christmas and other holiday scenes. You can use them to brighten your home or even as gifts for guests and dinner parties.

This year celebrate the holiday with gentle lights and enjoy the light they bring to our darkest winter days.


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This page last modified
November 19, 2010.