Welcome back… We took a week off last week (NCAA basketball knocked us off the air) and now we are back for the rest of the season.  We picked a good week to take a break.  The weather has been rainy and we just felt like sitting around the house and not working too much.  But now that our batteries are recharged we are ready to jump into spring.

Remodel Home Designer

Tackling a home remodel is a daunting task.  If you don’t plan carefully, the costs of your remodel can skyrocket and the job may not turn out to be what you want.  To get some tips for success we met with Louise Farrar-Wegener of Z-3 Design Studios (503-579-0452).  Louise is an expert in remodeling design and she has worked with clients all over the world to make sure their projects come out right the first time.  When we met with her at one of her projects we saw that it was hard to tell what had been remodeled!  The design should be seamless so that it looks natural like it has always been there.  That seamless approach comes with working closely with your designer.  The designer will look at the function of the room and what your family does in the room.  If you have kids or pets it can really change the design.  In the case of a kitchen, if you entertain a lot or love to cook, those become factors in your final design.   All these are considerations for your design.  You should also look at the type of style you would like in the room.  Picking a style and staying true to it is hard and, once again, that is where a designer can help you.  They can take an overwhelming job and help break it into manageable pieces.  By using experts you can actually protect yourself from making mistakes and having costly overruns to your budget.  If you are considering doing a remodel make sure you do your homework first so you can have a great experience with your remodel.

Tasting Your Wine

Finding the right wine may be at the tip of your tongue.  Denise Brown joined David to explain how to taste wine and what you should be looking for in a good wine.  Denise is a wine ambassador for Willamette Valley Vineyards and she also has her own business called Pour, Pair, Toast & Taste (503-914-7515) where she does private dinners and wine pairings.  Today she walked David through some of her tips.  She started by telling us about the ‘5’s’ of wine making; juice, yeast, barrel, age and a great winemaker.  These in combination are what can make a really great wine (or in the wrong hands a terrible wine).  Fortunately the Willamette Valley pinots that she brought are very fine wines!!!  Next she told us about the tongue.  There are 5 tastes to the human tongue, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and the new flavor, savory.  Depending on where the wine lands on your tongue can change the taste that you experience or even what flavors you taste first.  Denise then walked David through some different Willamette Valley Vineyards’ Pinot Noirs.  Each of these wines, even though they are from the same grape, had totally different tastes.  Flavors ran from peppery and chocolaty to having faint hints of pine and berries.  You can see by the different styles of Pinots why it can change what you taste when you pair them with certain dishes like salmon or red meat.  If you would like to learn more about wines you can take a tour at Willamette Valley Vineyards (800-344-9463) or even better, contact Denise about scheduling a dinner and some wine pairings at your home with some friends!

NYC – Lemon Curd

We have a new segment we are proud to introduce called ‘Now you’re cooking with Natural Gas’ presented by NW Natural.  Jenna Cooper-Gross is the host of these segments and she joined Chef David in the kitchen at the NW Natural Appliance Center (503-220-2362) to whip up a tasty ‘Meyer lemon curd’.  This recipe is similar to custard and it comes out tasting rich and creamy.  Curds go great with scones, crumpets or even on a piece of toast.  You can also use them as a filling for cakes or tarts.  Chef David picked Meyer lemons because you can find them at stores now and some people even grow them in the Pacific Northwest.  You don’t need much to make the curd.  2 eggs, one egg yoke, the juice from a Meyer’s lemon, the zest from the same lemon and some butter.  You will also need a double boiler because you don’t want to burn this!  You start by adding the eggs, the yoke and the sugar together and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the lemon juice and zest.  Keep whisking until the mixture turns opaque and starts to thicken.  Add the butter, whisk until it is melted and then strain out the zest (if you want) and let it chill in the refrigerator.  Once chilled you can serve it to your guests or enjoy it yourself.  If you can’t find Meyer lemons you can use regular lemons but you need to increase the sugar by 33-50 percent (to taste).  For copies of this recipe you can link here

Chef David also had the pleasure of cooking on the DCS stove by Fisher & Paykel that has five burners, a very unique feature.  Plus what really made Chef David happy was the fact that it can get down to a low simmer temperature, so low it reaches just 140 degrees so there was no danger of burning the curd!  If you would like to learn more about this great natural gas stove, stop by the NW Natural Appliance Center!

Oregon Hot Tub

If you are considering a hot tub or spa for your home you probably have a lot of questions, I know the Fusion crew did.  So we met with James Fossen from the Oregon Hot Tub Company (877-533-7772) to see if we could get some of those questions answered.  The new styles of hot tubs are really loaded with lots of toys!  You can get a bunch of features with tubs these days; from massagers and different seating configurations to cool lighting patterns and wireless TV’s, there are so many things to choose from.  The best thing is the ease of installation and maintenance.  You don’t need much to install a new tub.  Some of the newer tubs just need a secure platform (you can even put them on an existing deck) and a regular electrical outlet.  As far as maintenance, you don’t have to load up on chlorine either.  There are new products that are safer and easy to use.  If you are just too busy to keep up on the maintenance, the Oregon Hot Tub people will come out and take care of that for you.  The best feature to the new tubs is the emphasis on energy efficiency.  The newer tubs cost just a couple bucks a month to operate, so relaxing in your tub won’t eat you out of house and home.  Take the stress out of buying a hot tub by checking with the experts at Oregon Hot Tub Company.    

How to Choose a Vacuum

Cleaning your home well is not just a springtime chore; it is something you can tackle year-round.  To do a good job you need the right tool!  To learn about choosing the right vacuum we went to Starks Vacuums (800-230-4101) and talked to Ken Raasch.  The first thing you need to think about; what are your needs?  What kind of flooring do you have?  Do you have allergies, pets, or children?  All those can help narrow down the type of unit you need.  Next we looked at the benefits of canisters versus uprights.  If you have primarily carpet in your home, the upright is the way to go.  If you have a combination of different flooring or stairs then a canister may work better for you.  Another consideration is allergies.  If someone in your family has an allergy then you will want to get a unit that filters the air with a HEPA filter.  These filters remove much more dust and pollen particles than the older units do.  

Pay attention to price too.  The higher priced models are designed to last longer and do a better job of cleaning.  Of course you can check with an expert at Starks to learn about the different models they have and which one will work for you.

Tip of the week – Waste Baskets

Our tip of the week will help you keep your hands clean when taking out the trash.  Just place a piece of paper towel in the bottom of the trash can when it is empty.  Then when it is time to dump the trash it will all come out at once and you won’t have to scrape the bottom to get all the ‘sticky’s’ that are stuck there. 


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This page last modified
March 25, 2011.