Cool! And I’m not talking about how outstanding something is… I’m talking about the weather. Ron, the editor of the Fusion show, told me the other morning that his furnace kicked on! This is crazy! I guess that means we should start looking at the insulation in the attic.

Now You’re Cooking – Wood-Fired Pizza – Street of Dreams

Our ‘Now you’re Cooking’ segment is coming to us from the NW Natural Street of Dreams. This once a year celebration is a great place to see the latest and greatest in homes and new construction. Now, you may be wondering how NW Natural can be involved in a ‘woodfired’ pizza. This oven has a small gas fired starter so you can get your oven up and running faster and that means a more consistent cooking temperature. Chef Andy Arndt from Aquariva has lots of experience with this type of cooking and he prefers it to other types of grilling and cooking because once the temperatures are reached then they cook more evenly and for a longer time. Aquariva is located at John’s Landing and has a great view of the river in addition to the great food. To partner with the pizza he was also grilling vegetables with a FireMagic grill. To prepare the veggies he had Jenna drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper. These were grilled on a medium heat so they would be finished at the same time as the pizza. While the veggies were grilling, Chef Andy spread out the pizza dough, which was a 2-3 ounce ball of dough. He rolled them thin so they would have a nice and crispy crust when finished, which is perfect for this type of oven. Once the dough was done it was coated with a marinara sauce that they make at the restaurant, but you can use a pre-made sauce if you want. He also brought a white cream sauce as well. You can get really creative with the sauces and toppings if you want. Some of the toppings included shallots, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, some New Moon cheddar cheese and even some basil. Once the pizzas were made they went into the oven and after a few minutes everything was ready! If you would like to see this great oven and outdoor entertainment area you can check out the Brentwood Homes ‘con Amore’ home through the end of August. Go to www.streetofdreamspdx.com for more info and directions.

Space Saving Kitchen Gadgets

No one likes to waste space. And in the kitchen, wasted space is a real problem. There are all those ‘must have’ cooking utensils that make cooking a joy, but they always seem to take up too much room. We stopped at Kitchen Kaboodle (503-643-5491) to see what they had to help save space (and time) in the kitchen. Maryann joined us again to show Robin some great space savers, both large and small! The advent of heat resistant silicone has made some of these gadgets available. We started with simple steamers. These are designed to fit into any size pan and they will not melt or overheat. They are also microwave and dishwasher safe. Next we saw a salad spinner. This one had two parts that both collapsed to take up less space. This is great for a small apartment or motor home. The next few items turned out to be colanders with a twist. One was a colander that had handles so you can use it in your sink and then it collapsed to fit under the sink. The next one could be used to drain vegetables or fruit and then it collapsed to make a little vegetable storage bin as well. We moved on to see a funnel, some measuring cups and spoons and even more strainers. We finally moved to food carriers. These expand to carry cakes, pies and even eggs and then you can make them small for storage. We even saw a dish rack that took up little or no space! If you would like to see many other space saving ideas, you can stop by any of the 5 Kitchen Kaboodle locations to see all the great ideas they have for your kitchen.

Garbage Disposal Fix

It always happens… usually at a dinner party or some other big event. The garbage disposal gets stuck and it doesn’t work. We stopped by George Morlan (503-224-7000) to get some tips for fixing it from Dave Charvet. He told us the number one reason for the clogs in the first place… not enough water! You have to be running water through the unit to make it work at its best. Water first and then add the garbage (don’t pack it full either). The sound will also tell you when it is empty. Now if you have a clog the first thing you need to do is to shut off the power. Not just at the switch on the wall, but also at the circuit breaker in your power box. Next try to dislodge the clog from the top. Don’t use your hand; there are sharp objects in there! Use a broom handle or the handle from your plunger. A lot of times that will knock the object loose and it will work again. If you hear a hum that means that there is power to the unit. If you hear nothing you may have tripped the circuit breaker on the unit itself. Open the doors to your cabinet and look under the unit for a red button. This is the breaker switch and it may need to be reset. While you are under the unit you may also notice a hole in the center of the unit. This hole is for an ‘Allen wrench’ or ‘hex key’. This will allow you to turn the blades from under the unit and that could help in breaking a clog loose. If any of these options fail, call a plumber! It is better to have a professional take care of things than to ruin a dinner party with a trip to the hospital. For all your plumbing questions you can do what we do, check with the experts at George Morlan Plumbing!

Fixing a Plug

If you have an appliance that doesn’t seem to be working, before you toss it out, check the electrical plug. For a lot of our home appliances the plug may be the problem, and replacing the plug may be an easy chore for the homeowner. David showed us how easy it is to replace a plug and get that appliance up and running again. Most of the time the plug fails because we pull on the cord and not the plug itself. If the wires become exposed you should cut the plug off and replace it. The first thing you want to do is check the appliance to make sure that you know what the power requirements are for the unit. The appliance that we had required a 15 amp/125 volt plug. There are lots to choose from at the hardware store so we looked for one that was designated for a small appliance. As far as tools go, you really only need a couple of items. You will need a Phillips or flat head screwdriver and a wire stripper. To replace the plug, go at least 1 inch past the damaged area on the cord. Cut the old plug off there. Then strip the cord down about 1 and ½ inches per the instructions on the plug package (always follow the directions). Your wire will generally be made up of 2 different wires and the insulation on one of them could have a silver color on the outside. This silver color will mean that you will attach that to the silver terminal on the new plug. The other wire will go on the brass screw (terminal). Make sure that your wires are secure on the terminals and that there is no pinching of the wire when you close the new plug. Test your plug in a GFI circuit to make sure it works and you should be done. If you have any problems, check with your local hardware store. Remember you are dealing with electricity and it should be treated with caution and respect. Be safe and you will have a working appliance again in no time.


Website design and content ©2009-2011 Gustin Creative Group.  Please send website inquiries to gustingroup@comcast.net
This page last modified
August 19, 2011.