The recent rains did more than chase everyone indoors; it exposed some problems for one of our viewers. They discovered a leak in their bathroom ceiling! We had a chance to stop by and discovered that the leaves had built up in the valleys of their roof and even plugged their gutters and downspouts. The backing up of rain in the valleys caused the water to seep in under the shingles and then follow the rafters down to the ceiling. It was a good reminder to always check your roof and gutters to make sure that they are cleaned out during the fall and winter. These little maintenance things can create long-term problems if you don't take care of them. They will now have to remove the insulation from the ceiling after the rains stop to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Oh the joys of living in the Pacific Northwest!

Don't forget, next week is our last show of the 2010 season. We will return in March of 2011 with fresh episodes. We will see you next week for our grand finale!

Miller Paint Hot Colors

If you are looking to make some changes in the color of your décor you may be wondering what the hot colors are for 2011. We stopped by Miller Paint on SE Grand in downtown Portland to chat with Dona about a couple of the colors to look out for! The hot colors that she is seeing for 2011 are purples, blues and yellows. If you are looking to use these colors in your home you should start with one thing, a wallpaper, a fabric or even a throw pillow or a piece of china. Make sure it is something you love. Work with that piece and then start to build your color palette around that. Work with all the variations of the color palette too, don't just stick with one solid color. If you are going to see a designer, bring the piece of color that you love (that pillow or fabric) and your plans for the room you are changing. Digital pictures or magazines are also wonderful. Also bring measurements of the area so you can buy the right amount of product when you place your order. Remember there are no hard and fast rules when you design. Just think about contrasts, light versus dark, which patterns look good together. Remember it is all about your tastes! Dona also told us to think about the ceiling when you are talking about color... it is 1/6 of your room! Basically, trust your instincts and have fun! If you need more help picking out colors, whether they are the hot colors or not, stop by your local Miller Paint retailer and let them make it easy for you.

Red Ridge Olive Recipes

Fall is the time to harvest your crops, but by the time November rolls around you may think that all of the crops are done for the year. That is true for most crops but not olives! The largest local olive farm in the state is at the Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms near Dundee and they are in the midst of their harvest right now and to celebrate they are having their Olio Nuovo Festa, the Festival of New Olive Oil. They are having a huge celebration with tours of their olive mill, tastings of Durant vineyards wines and olive oils, and even some bruschetta. Penny Durant, one of the owners of Red Ridge joined us to share a couple of their favorite recipes including the bruschetta recipe.

First she started with a Puttenesca Dipping Sauce. This recipe featured their brand new Olio Nuovo. The Olio Nuovo is the very first pressing of oil of the season. It is a little cloudy because it hasn't clarified yet. This makes it very special and very tasty. In a couple of months this oil will be gone! The sauce itself is not only great for dipping but it is great in a pasta dish too. The recipe was very easy. You add the oil to a bowl and then roasted bell peppers, capers, kalamatta olives, and garlic. You whisk it together while adding a little parsley, salt and a sprinkling of crushed red peppers. You just spoon it into a bowl and serve with pieces of bread, and you are done! You can find the entire recipe with measurements by clicking here!

Next we moved over to the other side of the kitchen to make a bruschetta spread. Thinly slice a French loaf into small slices and spread olive oil on one side. Let them set for a few minutes. While they rest you can mix up the other ingredients. To a food processor you add cut up tomatoes, garlic cloves, and a cup of basil and then blend it together. Then spread it over the slices of bread, sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on the top and a few drops of olive oil and serve. See the entire recipe here. These recipes are easy to do and can be put together in minutes.

If you would like to check out the different tastes of olive oil you can check out the Olio Nuovo Festa this weekend at Red Ridge Farms (503-864-8502). Stop by and get a taste of Italy in Oregon!

Cutting Boards

One of the most used and most over-looked tools in the kitchen is the cutting board. Most of the food you prepare in your kitchen comes in contact with a cutting board and your choice of a board can make your meal prep go easier. Once again, we were joined by Laura at Sur La Table (503-968-8015) who walked us through the differences in boards and why one may be better than others for your needs. One of the most popular is the basic maple cutting board. This one is good because the wood has natural anti-bacterial properties, but it requires a little more maintenance than other types. Maple will need to be treated with a mineral oil to keep the wood fresh and not have it dry out. Do not use a bleach to clean it, just basic soap and water. The next one we looked at was the new hot product, bamboo. This type of cutting board also has natural anti-bacterial properties and it is sustainably grown. It will also need a little mineral oil to keep it looking good. The next one was a favorite of Laura's, it was made out of a type of particle board and it was dishwasher safe. We moved to some vinyl cutting boards that had pictures of meat, veggies, chicken and fish. These are good for people who may be concerned about cross-contamination while they are cooking. Next we looked at one that was made out of flax and was completely recyclable. When it starts to wear out, you can compost it! Our last cutting board was a plastic composite and it is a favorite of professionals. The can really take a beating and a heavy cleaning and not be damaged. Remember, the use of a cutting board can dull your knives and so you need to keep a knife sharpener close-by and use it at least once every 6 months. To learn more about knives, cutting boards or any other kitchen tools, stop by the closest Sur La Table.

Pix Macarons

If you have ever traveled to France you know what a macaron is. The traditional French macarons made with ground almonds, not coconut! Each colorful little gem of a cookie is sandwiched together with a different flavored buttercream filling. We stopped by Pix Patisserie (503-282-6539) to talk to the owner Cheryl Wakerhauser about their Fete du Macaron which is happening on the 27th of November. While we were there we asked her what makes the perfect macaron? She said you have to have a nice smooth top to the cookie and a 'foot' on the cookie which shows that it was baked to perfection. Finally you have to break it open. If it is crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside you have found the perfect macaron! They will have 30 different flavors of this tasty treat during the event and you can try all of them if you dare. If you do try a macaron you can get a key to a treasure chest and if your key fits you could receive a nice gift. They are also having a Flavor Contest. Come up with your idea for a new flavor and if your idea is chosen you can receive a $50 gift certificate. Stop by either location of Pix Patisserie during the event to try one of the 30 different flavors and see how the macaron is taking over the cupcake as Portland's best dessert treat!

Stuffed Grape Leaves

We have found a new favorite restaurant in Portland and it is called Ya Hala (503-256-4484). In Lebanon Ya Hala means 'welcome' and we certainly felt that when we visited. This wonderful Lebanese Restaurant is located at 80th and Stark in SE Portland near 205. Chef Mirna Attar is a great cook and she offered to share a couple of her recipes with us. The one she shared with us today was 'Stuffed Grape Leaves'. It really is a simple Lebanese appetizer that anyone can make at home! The hardest part is the wrapping of the grape leaves, but we will get to that later. First you mix the filling together. The filling includes parsley, onion, tomatoes, short grain rice, lemon juice, olive oil, allspice, dried mint, and black pepper, and then stir it all together. This is the vegetarian recipe, but we also have one that includes meat. Next you stuff the grape leaves. You can get grape leaves by the jar at specialty grocery stores like Barber World Foods (503-244-0670). Place the shiny side down and spoon about a tablespoon of the mixture in the middle of the leaf. Start to roll from the bottom of the leaf and fold the sides in when you are about half way up the leaf. It is similar to rolling a tiny burrito! It will take you a couple of times before you get the hang of it. Once it is rolled up place it in a sauce pan. Mirna lines the bottom of her pan with sliced onions to add more flavor and also to keep the leaves from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the pan is filled, add water to cover them. Add lemon juice, olive oil to the water and then cover with a plate. The plate will ensure that the stuffed grape leaves stay submerged in the broth while they cook. After an hour on the stove they are ready to eat. Serve them with yogurt on the side and enjoy this tasty treat!

We have had most of the items on the menu at Ya Hala and everything has been tasty and delicious. If you want to try this recipe at home, you will find a link here: (Vegetarian Recipe) (Meat Recipe) Then stop by the restaurant and see if yours is as good as Chef Mirna's!

Quick Tip - Grout Sealer

If you have tile, you also have grout. And if you have grout you have also had to maintain it to keep it clean and preventing it from becoming stained. Paul from Cascade Flooring America (800-942-0376) told us about a new product that can help prevent those problems from happening to you. If you are installing new tile you can use 'Grout Boost' when mixing your grout and use it during installation. This will protect your grout from getting stained because it repels soil. If you are using this in an area that has water you may want to use an epoxy, but for all other applications the 'Grout Boost' works great! If you would to find out more, stop by Cascade Flooring America or give them a call.


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November 26, 2010.