Welcome back Mr. Sunshine.  With the return of the warmer weather it is time to think about outdoor projects.  I even got outdoors and did a little power washing on the patio this week.  It felt good to be outside! It is also the time to think about outdoor entertaining.  We have a few stories in this weeks show all about grilling and relaxing on the deck.  Enjoy the sun and this weeks show!

Geranium Lake Spring Table

Spring is here and the warmer weather is beckoning us outside.  To get some tips on creating a wonderful spring table we stopped by Geranium Lake (503-228-1920) to visit with Kim.  Kim is known for her great decorating ideas and even recently appeared on the Today show.  Kim had just a few ideas to share with us.  First we checked out her collection of decorative vases in the middle of the table.  She simply took some round containers and covered them in wrapping paper and ribbons.  She then filled them with flowers, wheatgrass and moss to create a cool and colorful centerpiece display.  The wheatgrass was also added to little cups on each of the plates to make the look complete.  Next we talked about the table runner.  This was easy to make as well.  It was simply a bunch of washcloths that had been sown together and edged with a pompon fringe.  It was very cute!  The color theme also went up to the umbrella over the table.  The umbrella had the old fabric taken off and Kim made a new cover with beach towels that she put together.  Everything was very bright and beautiful!  If you are looking for more decorating ideas you can check out her website or stop by her brand new location on the first floor of the US Bank Tower.

Ludeman’s Patio

Spring is here and that means it is time to head outside to enjoy the wonderful weather, and the best way to do that is to have the right patio furniture for your deck or patio.  We stopped by Ludeman’s (503-646-6409) to talk with Mark Ludeman to see what the newest trends are in outdoor furnishings.  The latest trends are ‘deep seating’ and ‘chat height’ which help people enjoy their outdoor entertaining in comfort.  Deep seating refers to large, wide comfortable chairs.  These chairs come with an all-weather covering and repel rain and dirt a lot better than the older styles and fabrics.  They are paired with ‘chat height’ tables and fire pits.  Chat height is lower than dining height and higher than a side table.  It is designed for entertaining and visiting.  The tables at this level include fire pits, and areas for dining.  Grills are also changing.  Grills are now more than just a place to cook food.  They are designed as areas for entertaining and built-in grills are becoming more common.  You can even get them with extra burners and even refrigerators!    

Weather doesn’t always cooperate with our outdoor plants and for that we have a couple of different ideas.  Umbrellas come in all different styles and colors and can really extend your time outdoors.  Also outdoor heaters have become more popular as well.  There are simple models that can mount on your umbrella and wall mounted ones for your home that will cycle on and off so you don’t waste all that energy for too much heat!  If you would like to see some of the new styles and learn more about being comfortable outdoors, stop by Ludeman’s and ask Mark and his staff for some help.   

Teflon Cookware

If you are cooking in the kitchen you need to have good cookware.  One of the most popular styles of cookware is the Teflon coated cookware.  Chef David did some research and shared some information with us.  A reminder, Chef David is not an expert, so if you have questions you may want to check out the Teflon webpage.  What Chef David was able to find out was that Teflon is safe when used in normal conditions.  Under certain extreme circumstances, like extreme high heat, it can release a gas that can be harmful.  How to avoid that?  Use your exhaust fan when cooking and never leave your pan unattended on the burner.  If you are cooking at a very high heat, you may want to use a different pan.

Avoid using metal spatulas with your cookware.  Use plastic, wood or bamboo.  These won’t damage your cookware or the coating and your cookware will remain ‘non-stick’.  If you do notice flaking or bubbling of your cookware you may be worried about ingesting some of the particles of material from the pan.  We have found out that the material is inert and should be safe.  If you are worried, then you should replace your pan with a new one.  If you still have concerns then you can go to a stainless steel, enameled or a cast iron pan.        

NYC – Grilled Mushrooms

This weeks ‘Now you’re Cooking’ segment has one of the funniest chefs we have had on the show.  Lisa Schroeder from Mother’s Bistro and Bar, and Mama Mia Trattoria joined Jenna to share a wonderful recipe for Grilled Portobello Mushrooms.  Lisa is a wiz in the kitchen and she has even written a cookbook called ‘Mother’s Best’ where she shares great recipes like the one she had for us.   Lisa cracked us up with her fun approach to cooking and her easy to make recipe!  She started by making a simple marinade that had olive oil, chopped garlic, balsamic vinegar and parsley.  Next she removed the cap from the inside of the mushroom and dipped the mushroom in the marinade.  The mushroom is allowed to sit in the marinade for about 10 minutes and then it is placed on the grill.  She placed the mushroom with the ‘gill’ side up so the marinade had a little more time to soak in the mushroom while it cooked.  She also seasoned the mushroom while it was on the grill with salt and pepper.  She was able to see where the seasoning was going to prevent her from ‘over’ seasoning the mushroom.  The grill we used was the Fuego grill and it is designed for grilling in a smaller space.  It is only 21 inches across, but that doesn’t mean it can’t handle a big grilling job.  It heats up really quickly and can reach 500 degrees in 2 minutes.   You can find this grill at the NW Natural Appliance Center (503-220-2362).   

Once the mushroom has some grill mark on it you can turn it to make more marks (to create that wonderful ‘cross’ marking) or just turn it over and place a piece of cheese on it (Lisa likes provolone but you can also use Swiss).  Then you will want to grill the buns for the sandwich and to keep your buns from drying out you put a light coating of olive oil on the inside of the buns and then put them on the grill.   Once the buns were done she use a spread that was easy to make (you can check out the recipe here) and assembled the whole sandwich together.  It was so quick and easy that we were able to make it in less than a half hour!  If you would like to try this at home you can find the recipe on the NW Natural website or you can stop by Mother’s Bistro.

Goodwill Housewares

If you are looking to outfit your home or kitchen you can do it without spending a ton of cash.  To learn how we paid a visit to Goodwill (503-238-6100) in SE Portland.  Dale joined us once again to talk about all the great houseware items you can get for a fraction of their retail price.  First we talked about shopping strategies.  The best times to shop are Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.  Since donations come in on the weekends, these days are the best for finding new items on the shelf.  The time of the year for finding the best stuff include Memorial Day (people are spring cleaning), Labor Day (getting ready for fall and winter) and at the end of the year (all the people donating for the tax deduction).  Goodwill also gets brand-new items through out the year.  This includes items from stores that are getting rid of old styles and models.  In the Northwest there are 5 top items that people shop for.  #1 is clothing, #2 housewares, #3 DVD’s, CD’s and books, #4 electronics and #5 shoes.  You local Goodwill has a ton of all these items.  We then moved to housewares and were amazed at all the items for the kitchen.  This was heaven for David.  Here you can find everything that you would need in the kitchen.   Even if you just need a special pan or mixing bowl they have them here, and if you just need it once, you can buy it and then donate it back!  If you haven’t been to a Goodwill Store in awhile, stop by and check out all the great items they have for sale.

Dryer Sheets

We have been doing a series of stories on the multiple uses of everyday household items and this week we are using our old friend, the dryer sheet.   The dryer sheet was designed to keep clothes from clinging and to help them smell fresh.  Because of this anti-static feature you can use them all over the house for things like dusting furniture, cleaning computer screens, removing pet hair from upholstery and even untangling sewing thread.  Because they are scented sheet you can also use them around the house to help freshen things up too.  Place them in suitcases that you are storing to keep them from smelling musty.  You can also place them in old books or even shoes to accomplish the same thing.  Dryer sheets are not just for the dryer!


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This page last modified
May 27, 2011.