Happy Father’s Day weekend.  It is a great time to thank Dad for everything he does for you.  All those hours at work and around the house makes everyone’s life richer.  This week in the show we show you a story on grills (which dad doesn’t like grilling?), and a tasty recipe featuring steak!  This weekend take a break and treat dad to this edition of Fusion and then spend some quality time with him.


The desire to be ‘green’ is hard when a lot of the decisions are out of your control.  Take wood products… how do you know when you are protecting the earth by responsibly using wood in your home and how can you be certain.  We found a great business that places a lot of weight on being environmentally responsible.  Endurawood (503-233-7090) is a Portland business that makes sure it knows where the wood is coming from.  Ed Mays is the owner of Endurawood and he filled us in on the business.  They use wood that comes from growers that use sustainable practices, recycling or salvage sources.  Ways that they receive the wood are really interesting.  Sometimes they will get a call about a tree that has to be removed from a neighborhood, either because of disease or imminent danger.  They will take a portable sawmill (a small machine) to the tree and cut large pieces from it.  At other times they will receive wood that has been used elsewhere.  They have used wood from old wine casks, wooden shipping containers and even wind damaged trees from storms.  The use of wood in the home is increasing because it adds dimension and warmth to design and decorating.  Endurawood uses the wood to make all kinds of cool products including countertops, tables, chairs and cabinets.  It has also a line of decorative wall tiles available at Ann Sacks.   If you would like to see some of the unique items they make and tour their showroom, stop by and see them in SE Portland at 1303 SE 6th Avenue.    

Gas Grills

The summer season is here and that means it is bar-b-que season as well.  To enjoy cooking outdoors you need to have a good grill.  To learn more about the newest grills we stopped by the Northwest Natural Appliance Center (503-220-2362) and talked to John Frankel.  The number one trend in cooking is sustainability; not only in the foods you eat, but also the grill itself.  As far as the grill, it should be made of quality products, as locally as possible and include a nice long warranty.  The better the grill the longer it stays out of the landfill.  As for sustainable cooking, John told us that people are looking to cook a wide variety of foods on the grill.  Vegetables are one item people want to grill.  The newer grills are designed to cook veggies without any additional tools or pans. 

The Northwest Natural Appliance Center also carries propane, charcoal and other styles of grills, not just natural gas styles; though if you want to add a natural gas grill to your deck they could give you the names of contractors that can install it for you.   The coolest grill was the ceramic charcoal grill that retains the heat in the ceramic sides of the grill.  We finished with the most versatile grill of them all; the EVO grill.  Because of the solid flat top you can grill all 3 meals in a day on the top.  The best part?  It is made right here in Beaverton, Oregon.  If you have any questions about grills the experts at the Northwest Natural Appliance Center can answer them!   

Microwave Safe Containers

One of the most used appliances in the home is the microwave.  Still, some of us misuse the microwave and could be putting our health in danger.  All too often we use dishes in the microwave that are not safe.  Dishes that are not approved for the microwave could produce fumes and release other chemicals into our foods.  Worse case, they could explode and cause us bodily harm.  Now, we don’t want to frighten you, but we feel you need to be aware of the dangers so you can choose to avoid them.  David did some research on safety and here is what he came up with.   First of all if it doesn’t say it is OK for the microwave, it isn’t!  That applies to the foam container that holds your chicken breasts and ground beef to the old butter containers that you store food in and basic plastic wrap.  Things that are safe for the microwave include wax paper and parchment paper.  There are even microwave safe plastic wraps (make sure you read the label).  Other safe items include most glass dishes and bowls and most paper products.  To make sure that your dishes are safe you can check with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Steak and Romaine Salad

This week we return to the Oswego Grill (503-352-4750) to visit with Chef Genardo Zurita and get another one of his great recipes that you can try at home.  Chef Genardo whipped up a Romaine salad with grilled steak.  The Oswego Grill uses a hard-wood fired grill in their kitchen which burns mesquite and cherry wood and adds a touch of flavor to just about everything.  First he started with a steak which is only seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled for 3 minutes on each side.  He also took a head of romaine lettuce and cut it in half.  He coated the romaine with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and grilled that at the same time.  The lettuce is grilled for 2 minutes on each side. 

Once everything is grilled you can start to assemble the salad.  Cut the steak into small pieces and also cut off the base of the romaine head (the part that holds the leaves together).  Place the entire head on a plate and cover it with a bacon dressing.  Cover it with crumbled cotija or parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon and top it with your steak.  Garnish it with a couple of slices of bread and you are done.  It you have the grill fired up at home, click here to get the recipe, or stop by the Oswego Grill and have Chef Genardo make one for you.

Kitchen Remodel Follow-Up

A few months ago we visited the home of designer Linda Gemal (503-803-8000) to see how she was doing a kitchen remodel on a tight budget.  She had decided to do some pretty major stuff too.  There was electrical and walls to be moved and lots of other detail work to be done.  There were lots of things that she knew she couldn’t do on her own.  If you are moving a load-bearing wall (one that supports a second floor or a roof) or the electrical needs work, those have to be done by a bonded professional, otherwise you are not covered by your homeowners policy should something go wrong.  She was able to save money by keeping her old appliances and using her existing countertop and just buying and mixing and matching pieces to make it bigger.   Linda also bought similar cabinets and then used a coat of paint to make them match.  Her color palette was pretty broad.  By using black, grey, white and chrome she was able to tie in a bunch of different styles to make a cohesive look.  Remember to keep an eye out for budget items and discounts to keep your money in your account and not spent on the project.  If you need help Linda can help, just give her a call at her business, Rejuvenate Your Home.

Central Vacuums

One of the worse parts of vacuuming is lugging it all around your house.  We found a cure for that at Gary’s Vacuflo (503-775-2042).  Gary joined us to fill us in on central vacuum systems.  A central vacuum system is one that has the motor in another part of the house and the ‘hose’ is in the walls.  One of the biggest benefits to having a central system is an improved environment.  The old vacuum circulates the dirt around the house since it blows its exhaust out of the back of the machine.  The central system takes that air and vents it outside.  No more microscopic dust particles floating around.  The second benefit is power.  The central unit has stronger suction whether it is full or empty.  The older up-right vacuum has to suck through the collected dirt and sometimes even the full bag.  Another benefit is the convenience.  You don’t have to lug the whole unit around; you just need to carry the hose.  When you are ready to go, just plug it into the wall and it is ready to go.  The newest systems contain the hide-a-hose feature, where the hose is in the wall as well so you just need to put on an attachment and you are ready to go!  If you are interested in making the chore of vacuuming easier, give Gary’s Vacuflo a call.


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This page last modified
June 24, 2011.