Thanks!  For all of you that came out to see Robin and David last weekend at GardenPalooza.  David had 50 containers of his mom’s sourdough starter and they were gone in just a couple of hours.  Of course, for those of you who didn’t get any, you can always check out the story and links from last week’s show to learn how you can make your own.  

Now, about this weather!  I’m sure glad we did all those stories last fall on getting prepared for the winter.  Those tips on weatherizing the home were great and we have noticed a real difference in the heating bill.   Another way to stay warm is to drop by Oliver’s in Lake Oswego.  They have a great menu and we opened and closed the show there to say hi (they are new to Lake Oswego) and as an excuse to have a great meal  Stop by and see them if you are in the area.

Hang in there spring is on the way!

Garden Related Décor

Bringing the outdoors inside can be messy, unless you find some really cool décor items that do the trick.  We found some really neat items at Terra Casa (503-577-8242) in Damascus.  Linda joined us to show us some hot indoor/outdoor items for your home.  The first thing she showed us was some very attractive lights.  These lights are different from your ordinary light because they look like flowers and leaves.  You can work them into your regular dried flower arrangements to really add the ‘wow’ factor.   Next we looked at a bunch of inspirational sayings that were etched on pots, plaques and stones.  These are not only great to look at; they carry some nice little messages as well.  These décor items are meant to slow you down while you are in the garden (or in your home) as you read them and as a reminder to take the time to relax.  The next items we looked at were place mats and coasters, but these had a little weight behind them!  That is because they are made out of small stones.  They looked great and you can be sure they won’t blow away at your next outdoor dinner party!  These are just a few of the great garden gifts and décor items at Terra Casa.  Stop by and check them out.  They are just 10 minutes east of Clackamas Town Center in Damascus.

Tile Surfaces

Last week we talked to Barry at Cascade Flooring America (800-942-0376) to chat about some of the newer designs that are available this year for hard surfaces like counter tops.  This week we continued our conversation with him about tiles and other solid surface choices.  We started by looking at a large piece of tile that was designed for kitchens and bathrooms.  These pieces are great because they allow for minimal grout lines because you are working with larger pieces.  Next we looked at tile with patterns.  These pieces are made with fine details molded into the tile before it is fired in the kiln.  These make a very nice accent to your existing tile counter tops.  Taking that idea even further was the tile that was patterned to look like wood.  This can be staggered and if you weren’t paying attention, you would think it is a real wood floor, but it is much more durable! 

The next piece was a slate piece, but it wasn’t… this one was a piece of tile that was patterned to look like slate.  They even made it a little rough so it feels like slate!  Barry took us to another part of the show room where they had real slate and porcelain tiles lying together on the floor.  Even side by side you can’t tell the difference between the two different materials!  Robin brought up one of the perceived drawbacks to tile and that is the coldness of the material.  Your toes can get cold walking on it.  Cascade America has a solution for that as well.  They can add a heated coil under the tiles during installation that will keep your feet nice and warm.  These are just a few of the different choices that you can pick from.  For help in choosing what is good for your design and floor plan stop by and check them out. 

NYC – Wine Braised Chicken

In this ‘Now Your Cooking’ segment our own Chef David joined Jenna at the NW Natural Appliance Center (503-220-2362) to share one of his family’s secret recipes, ‘wine braised chicken’.  First we browned the chicken in a pan with a little oil.  Your chicken has to be dry and thawed out or it won’t brown correctly.  Once it is browned on both sides it can be taken out of the pan.  You can empty out some of the oil from the chicken and then add your vegetables to sweat them down and soften them up.  We added mushrooms, onions, garlic cloves and shallots along with a little butter back into the pan.  Once everything was nice and blended together we added a little wine and then the chicken.  Once the chicken was back in the pan we added enough wine to come up to about 1/3 to ½ of the way up on the chicken.  We then simmered the chicken for about 15 minutes.  We were using the Dacor stove which had a special double burner system that allows for the very low heat you need for simmering.  It also had a continuous grate so you can easily move pans back and forth across the cooking area.  After about 15 minutes we turned the chicken over and let it go for about 15 more minutes and it was ready.  This is an easy recipe that you can use over and over again, and people will love it every time!  For more information check out this link to the NW Natural website.

Furniture Cleaning

The one place where you spend a lot of time relaxing in your home could be your couch or recliner.  It is also the one piece that is the first to get stained.  Now, how do you tackle those stains?  Monique from Bassett Furniture (503-469-8333) joined us to give us some tips for getting those stains out and saving your furniture.  First she covered leather care.  There are 2 different kinds of leathers used in furniture.  If one has a shine or gloss to it, it is treated and is somewhat protected.  If you spill something on it you can wipe if off without too much damage.  If it has a dull look it is an untreated leather and if you spill something on it, it may cause a stain.  The benefit to this leather is that those little stains and oils will help create a patina to the leather over time;  A very nice look for some leathers.  You should also clean and condition your leather twice a year.

If you have a fabric cover to your furniture you should check for a cleaning code for your furniture.  If you can’t find it on your tags, you should check the cleaning instructions you received with your furniture when you bought it.  The first code we saw was a ‘W’.  This means you can clean that fabric with water without damaging it.  The second code we saw was an ‘S’.  This means that you need to use a solvent when cleaning.  You may also run into a ‘dry clean’ only fabric under the S symbol.  You will also see a ‘W-S’ symbol this one can use either a water based, or solvent based cleaner.  The final code is an ‘X’.  this is a vacuum or brush only type of fabric.  This type of fabric can suffer real damage if treated with water or solvents. No matter which type of cleaning method you can always pretest on a small hidden area before proceeding.  The one thing that Monique recommends is to treat your fabric when you buy.  This will protect your furniture and make the cleaning much easier.  She demonstrated this by showing us 2 types of fabric that had been treated and not treated.  After a spill, using a clean white damp cloth you want to blot the stain and remove as much as you can before moving to another cleaner.  Blot, don’t rub.  Rubbing will cause your fiber to break down and wear out faster.  If you can use a fabric cleaner, have it handy.  The quicker you can work to remove the stain the better your results will be.  If you have any questions about furniture cleaning or fabric choices, stop by the Bassett Furniture store in Beaverton.    

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

We all want to take all the necessary precautions to be safe and keep our loved ones from harm.  Because of this, most of us have installed smoke detectors to warn us in the event of a fire.  But what if the danger was silent and unseen?  That is the problem with Carbon Monoxide.  This odorless and tasteless poison can sneak up on you in a closed space and can be undetected until it is too late.  Because of this, the Oregon Legislature mandated that all rental properties, group homes and new home construction be required to have a carbon monoxide detector installed as of April 1st of this year.  To learn more we stopped by A-Boy Plumbing and Electrical Supply (503-287-0776) to chat with Lisa about the new rules.  She also told us about the newer models that don’t require a lot of tools or know-how to install.  You may want to look at a combination model as well.  These models combine Smoke detectors and CO (carbon monoxide) detectors together.  You can even get them with long-lived batteries so you don’t have to worry about them going dead when you need them!  To get answers to any of your questions, you can stop by any of the A-Boy locations around the metro area.

Deck Accessories

The last few weeks we have been talking to Chris at Parr Lumber (360-887-7277) about decks.  We have learned about how to prepare them for cleaning and preserving, what types of new materials are available for the home owner that is looking to replace or repair a deck and this week we learn how to customize your deck with different accessories, a ‘pimp my deck’ kind of story.  First of all there is so much that you can do with the decking boards with all the color and trim choices it looks great just to begin with.  But to really give your new deck class and character you should look at the railings, lighting options and other trim features to set your deck apart.  Starting with railings, you can get any number of color choices and styles. One of Chris’s favorites was what he called the ‘party railing’.  This is a railing that is wide enough to hold a plate or a drink, something everyone needs when you are entertaining outdoors.  There are lots of different options for railings from decorative composite pieces to ones that are completely plastic PVC and fit over an existing wood post.   Plus these railings are very secure so you don’t have to worry about them failing or falling over.  They are built to last.  You can also get glass panels, cable and iron railing to match your outdoor décor.

Next we moved to lighting.  You can now get all kinds of different lighting choices.  These lights add an ambiance to your outdoor entertaining and they are also functional as well.  They are a low voltage type of light which means you don’t have to worry about getting a ‘charge’ out of installing your lights.  The wires can also stay hidden under one of the post covers or railing covers so they stay protected and last a long time without weathering.  The light is a nice touch to your evening entertaining.  If you are interested in building a new deck or adding some of these features to your existing deck, stop by and learn about Trex or TimberTech at your local Parr Lumber location.


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April 15, 2011.