Happy days are here again.  The sun has returned to the Northwest.  With all the wet weather I thought the house would be ready to survive the recent downpours with ease, but I noticed the gutters were overflowing again.  With this nice weather I need to get the ladder out again!  This is also a good time to do a walk around your home and check out the exterior to see how it held up this past winter.  Double check the siding, windows, foundation and eaves to make sure that you don’t have problems that might need attention before the summer plants cover up the problems.  Better to tackle those problems now than to wait until the fall!

Sedum Wreath


One of our favorite places to visit is Geranium Lake (503-228-1920) in downtown Portland.  Kim always has some cool and unique project for us to try and this visit is no different.  This time she was going to show us how to build a living wreath.  Kim started by talking about the types of plants she liked to use in the wreaths.  Succulents/sedums are her plant of choice because they can handle infrequent watering and are easy to care for.  Once you have your plants you are ready to start.  Get a wreath ring; these are available at any craft store in the area.  You will also need green (florist) wire and some sphagnum moss.   Tie the wire to the frame and then take the plants and attach them to the wreath frame by wrapping the wire around them.  Use the moss to help bind the plants to the wreath and cover the roots.  This moss will also help keep the plants from drying our.  You can use just about any plant material in the wreath, just remember the bigger the plant the bigger the wreath you may need.  Kim has a ton of creative ideas just like this.  Check out her website and blog for more ideas.  While on the site, check out her recent appearance on the Today show on NBC.

NYC – Grilled Tomato and Watermelon Salad

In this week’s ‘Now Your Cooking’ segment we are joined once again by Chef Adam Zwerling from EVO to learn how to make a salad on the grill.  That’s right, a salad on the grill.  This isn’t as weird as it sounds and we were treated to the delicious results after the segment and it was incredible!  Chef Adam had sliced the tomatoes and watermelon into very thick slabs and then placed them on the grill.  The heat from the grill releases the natural sugars in both of these fruits.  He lightly seasoned the slabs with salt and pepper and turned them after a few minutes.  The EVO grill has dual heating zones so you can cook different thing in different areas of the grill, it can even become an oven if you need one.  The EVO is also called the social grill because it is round and everyone can join in the cooking!  After a few minute on each side the tomatoes and watermelon were ready and we just stacked them on a plate and added a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and they were done!  Very simple and very delicious!  To get the recipe you can check out the NW Natural website and to learn about the EVO grill you can stop by the NW Natural Appliance Center (503-220-2362). 

Sourdough Pancakes

A few weeks ago we showed you how to make a sourdough starter (check out the recipe here) and once again we have a tasty dish made with that same starter.  Chef David has a sourdough pancake recipe that is easy to make.  When you are using a sourdough starter in a pancake mix it pretty much replaces the flour and water that you would normally use.  The rest of the recipe uses egg, milk, salt, sugar and butter in addition to the sourdough starter.  You mix that all together and once it is mixed you add a little baking soda and water mixture to the bowl.  This will act as a leavener for the pancakes (it will help make them fluffy).   Once the pancake mix was ready we had to make sure the griddle was ready too.  The griddle has to be 375 degrees to do the job and you can check that by sprinkling water on the surface.  If the water drops ‘dance’ and sizzle, the griddle is ready.  Pour on your pancake batter and let them get nice and brown before you flip them.   Look for the bubbles in the middle of the pancake and for it to look dry on top.  That is a good sign that they are ready to flip.  Once they are done you can serve them up and take a bow when everyone cheers!!!  For a full recipe you can click here.   

Travel Packing

Soooo, you are getting ready for the annual family vacation, or maybe you are trying to get too much into your suitcase for that quick business trip and you can’t fit everything in that you need.  Well, Dan Lerma from The Container Store (503-620-5700) joined us to give us some tips on travel packing.  The first tip is to be organized.  Contact the destination to find out what they have already there and then make a list of things you need to take to fill in the gaps.  This could be stuff like toiletries, or even maps and brochures of tourist destinations.  Second, if you are flying, remember 3-1-1.  This means your liquids are limited to 3 ounces or less per item, in a 1 quart bag and 1 carry-on bag.  Of course if you check your luggage you can pack bigger bottles of liquids (check with your airline).  Next consider weight.  Lightweight bags and suitcases will help you stay under the weight limits that airlines have these days.  Now if all this seems confusing you can check out the Container Store Packing Demonstrations at their store through the end of June.  A $15 dollar gift certificate will be given away at each demonstration. 

Mr. Sandless

Hardwood floors can be beautiful, unless they get a little worn.  To get them back to their prime condition used to require a lot of sanding, staining and sealing with all the accompanying dust and fumes.  There is a new way to re-finish your floors and we caught up with Rodney Goodman to learn about the Mr. Sandless (888-554-WOOD) process.  Instead of taking a layer off your floor the Sandless process does an extreme cleaning of the wood.  Once the floor is cleaned they can detail it and even tint the color a little and then seal the floor with an environmentally friendly sealer.  With all the detailing, most of the scuffs and marks almost disappear.  The benefit to the Mr. Sandless process is the speed and cleanliness of the process.  The whole job can be done in about a day as opposed to 3-4 days or longer with a sanding method.  Plus the price is less than ˝ the price of a sanding job and it is guaranteed for 5 years.   Mr. Sandless is quick, clean and certified green!


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This page last modified
June 10, 2011.