One more week, it is hard to believe that we will have our last show next weekend.  We have a great time putting the show together each week and it is hard to think that we will be gone for the next three months.  That’s right, we will return on the 3rd of March with a new season of shows.

Al’s Christmas Makeover

We are getting close to the holiday season and it is time to change your décor to match the season.  We stopped by Al’s Garden Center (503-726-1162) in Sherwood to chat with Josh about what you can be doing to get your home ready for the holidays.  When you are moving from fall to winter (and the holidays) there are lots of things you can do.  Hollys, ivys and greens are traditional for the season and Josh brought out a plant that we though was holly, but it was really an osmanthus.  It looks like a holly but the foliage had great variegation and worked well with the winterberry in the same pot.  He had also included pansys and ferns in the same container for a little filler.  Josh then moved to indoor plants that you should consider.  Poinsettias are the plant of the season and he had a great one called Cortez Burgundy.  If this one doesn’t appeal to you Al’s has a great selection of poinsettias to choose from.  We also saw ‘White Star’ and ‘Orion Red’.  Al’s grow 13 varieties of red and a total of 60 different colors and styles of poinsettias.  Another idea for decorating included using a grouping of plants in the same color pot.  White or gold colored containers work well for the holidays.  Josh also told us about using cut greens from your own garden for decorating.  Just arrange them in a pot with some floral foam and you have a nice centerpiece or hostess gift.  If you don’t have any greenery in your garden, you can stop at Al’s for all the supplies you need.  While you are there sign up for your subscription to Bloom magazine!

Mt. Hood Railroad Polar Express

The holidays are full of memories and one way to create new memories is on the Polar Express brought to you by the Mt. Hood Railroad (800-872-4661).  Holly from the railroad joined us to fill us in on this great family tradition.  The Polar Express train is based on the book of the same name.  It is about a boy who doesn’t know if he still believes in Santa.  Kids get on the train in their pajamas, drink hot cocoa and at the end of the ride get to meet Santa who gives them the first gift of Christmas, a little silver bell.  It has become so popular that the railroad has added cars and more excursions to the train this year.   If you want something a little more quirky you can also ride the ‘Blue, blue Christmas’ train which is a tribute to Elvis.  The Mt. Hood Railroad is not just a great place to be during the holidays, they also have different events and theme trains throughout the year.  Theme trains include murder mystery dinner trains, western train robbery excursions, a costume train at Halloween and even a New Year’s Eve train.  Check out their website and make a few memories this holiday season. 

Twitter Beet Salad

We returned to the kitchens of Sara Tetreault our stylishly frugal living expert from www.GoGingham.com to learn about her award winning recipe for beets.  Sara entered a competition for ‘tweeting’ an entire recipe to the Oregonian’s Food Day section of the paper.  This recipe was sent in less than 140 characters.  Sara started by showing us how she buys and uses the raw beets.  She will take the leaves off and sauté them in a pan and use them for a meal.  She then takes the beet and cleans it under cold water and then cut them up into quarters and then bakes them in a covered dish in the oven at 350 for about an hour until you can pierce them with a fork.  You take them out and let them sit in cold water.  Then you can easily peel the skin off and cut them into bite sized pieces.  You then put the beets in a bowl and add  ½ cup of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of horseradish (you can add more to taste if you want to), and a tablespoon of diced onion and toss.  It is all done.  For more stylishly frugal tips check out Sara’s website!

By the way, if you want to see the tweet that won 2nd place here it is.

1Tonion,1Tlemonjuice,2Thorseradish.S&P to taste.

Crave Cupcakes

In the past few years, gluten free recipes have become very popular, but a lot of them are really heavy and really dense. We found a bake shop that really bucks the trend!  We stopped by Crave Bake Shop in Lake Oswego (503-212-2979) to talk to Kyra Bussanich about why hers are so good and to get a recipe on making a great cupcake!  Kyra started the bake shop to help her deal with her Crohn’s disease. She brought out an Eggnog Cupcake recipe to share with our viewers.  She started by creaming butter and sugar in a mixer.  Then she alternated adding the dry ingredients and the eggnog to make sure there aren’t any lumps.  The dry ingredients included rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  She also added some rum to the mixture as well.  Once all the ingredients were combined we scooped them into a cupcake tray and baked them.  Once they came out we allowed the cupcakes to sit for a little while to let them firm up and cool down.  We cored the center out of each cupcake and filled them with an eggnog cream and topped with an Italian meringue butter cream.  If you want to try the recipe at home, click here, but we recommend that you stop by the shop and check out all their baked goods.  You can be healthy and have a tasty treat at the same time!

Parr Gifts for Women

The holidays are coming and if you have a ‘handy woman’ in the house you may not know what to get her, so we stopped at Parr Lumber (866-214-7277) and talked to Amber about some great gift ideas for the ladies.  Amber brought out a few tools to show us including some pink gloves.  Gloves are great for anyone and will protect your hands when working on a project.  Other items that are good just to have around include tape measures, utility knives, and a nice level.  A good hammer is a must.  Remember to buy her a little lighter hammer so she doesn’t struggle with the weight.  Ladies also like power tools!  Amber had a sander and a jig saw on display because they are commonly used to hang shelves, do closets or any craft project.  Next we saw the Amigo screwdriver.  This screwdriver had a large handle so you can get a good grip on it and it was also loaded with every kind of bit you would need, all stored in the handle!  Other ideas include pruners, a Bib apron to hold all these tools, screws and nails, and safety glasses.  The bigger tools Amber recommends include an air compressor and a finish nailer, a Dremel tool (which does a ton of different things), and finally she had a storage container that is designed to replace the traditional tool box.  It was a bucket that had a storage apron around it and a seat for on top of it.  If you are looking for more tool ideas, stop by any Parr Lumber location and talk to an expert.  

Standard Convection Ovens

Convection ovens are misunderstood and are underutilized in most kitchens.  Tony from Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500) joined us to show us how to use them more efficiently.  A convection oven is really just an oven that also uses forced hot air to assist in cooking.  The hot air sears the food and seals in the juices and flavor.  You end up with a tastier meal that is nice and moist as well.  It is more efficient in cooking as well.  It takes less time to bake, about 1/3 less time on meat products.  If you are using a recipe you may also have to lower your cooking temperature by 25 degrees to prevent overcooking.  You can also do multiple racks of cookies and they will all cook evenly!  If convection ovens make cooking easy than the Jenn-Air oven takes it a step further!  It makes cooking fool-proof.  Just hit the culinary center button on the oven and you can pick and choose the type of meat you want to cook, the doneness you want and it will tell you what type of pan you should use, what rack to use and it will even show you a picture so you know what it will look like when it is finished.  If you would like to learn more about the Jenn-Air product or convection cooking stop by any location of Standard TV and Appliance.


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This page last modified
November 25, 2011.