EPISODE #112 - SATURDAY MAY 26, 2012

Memorial weekend has always been a signal for me.  It is time to start moving from projects indoors to projects outdoors.  Iím now thinking about redoing the deck and rebuilding a stone path.  Iím also walking about the outside of the house more and I start to notice things.  Iím even thinking about freshening up the outdoor furniture (check out this weekís story).  Summer must be close!   

We would also like to congratulate Julie A. from Portland for winning our set of EaziStore cookware from Natural Home.  She was chosen from all our Facebook friends in a random drawing this past week.  The EaziStore cookware is made from recycled materials and saves 50% of the space of a traditional set of cookware.   You can find it locally at Target.

Window Coverings

We visited Cascade Flooring America (800-942-0376) in Vancouver to learn about window coverings.  With the increase sunshine we are getting we were curious about controlling light (we still want to sleep in) and privacy.  We met with Jewels and Katy, two of the CFA window experts to learn what products are the best for achieving both goals.  These days you can get the best in privacy and energy savings with the same shades.  The styles will allow you to pick many different fabrics that will let in varying degrees of light while still providing privacy.  Plus, with the way that the blinds are designed you can save up to 40% of your energy loss that occurs with older windows and blinds.  They also have blinds that are automated so you donít even have to get off the couch to shut them.  Actually it is great if you are looking to control light or heat loss on some of your upper windows.  They also have other ways of opening and closing your blinds that make them safer around pets and children.  If you are looking to make a change to your window coverings you need to make the short trip to Vancouver and visit Jewels, Katy and all the Cascade staff for help. 

Cutting Edge Stencils

A lot of people think that the only way to drastically change the look of a room is with wallpaper.  Paint is considered too flat and boring if you are really looking to make an impact!  Well we found an application that uses paint and really can add a splash to any room!  Designer Ragan Corliss from Decorating Den Interiors joined Robin in her studio to introduce us to Cutting Edge Stencils.   Ragan is a big believer in accent walls.  These walls can simply be a wall of a different color or you can go a little wild to really show off your creativity.  With a simple one color wall you can always paint over it again if it doesnít work out.  To show us how easy it is to show your creativity we decided to use the stencils.  One of the models we looked at was a dandelion pattern that you could use over and over again with different colors to make a unique pattern.  We then moved to a room where Ragan had used a stencil that made a repeating pattern on the wall.  She showed us how easy it can be to use.  She had a 3 x 3 stencil that she was using.  She started by spraying the back of the stencil with a spray adhesive to make it a little sticky.  It is important to make sure the stencil is lined up correctly on the wall.  Double check your pattern so that you are keeping your pattern uniform.  This pattern came with a small level to help keep the pattern straight.  Once she had the stencil in place on the wall she used a small foam roller that was supplied by Cutting Edge Stencils to apply the paint.  It is important to use a high quality roller and that is why they send a good one with each pattern.  Apply a light coating of paint with the roller, blotting it if you get too much paint on the roller.  This will make sure that you donít get any paint runs or drips while you are applying it.  If it looks like too light of a covering, give it a minute or two and then apply a second coat.  You can pull the stencil off and do some light touch-ups if necessary.  For more details on this project you can check out Raganís blog at www.DevineDecoratingresults.com.

Chipotle Guacamole

Chipotle restaurants are known for their wonderful food and the fact that they use local farms to supply their restaurants with fresh produce.  They are also pretty good at sharing!  We stopped by recently because they said they were going to share their famous guacamole recipe.  True to their word they did!  We met with Ashley Head at the store in the Pearl District and she had all the ingredients for their famous guac setting out on the table.    We had about a cup of chopped organic cilantro, a cup of chopped red onions, 1/3 cup of chopped Serrano chilies, 2 tablespoons of citrus juice (lime if you have it), about 2 cloves of minced garlic and a teaspoon of kosher salt.  You start by cutting 4 avocados in half.  Remove the pits and then cut up the meat and add it to a large bowl.  Mash the avocados up and then add the other ingredients as you continue to hand mix them together.  Chipotle uses local and sustainable ingredients when possible.  For example, the red onions were from Brooks and the chips were from Don Pancho in Salem.   They use so many avocados that 4% of the total U.S. crop goes to Chipotle!  If your avocado is not ripe you can just leave it in a brown paper bag overnight on your counter to let it ripen completely.  Of course if you donít want to whip up a batch yourself you can always stop your local Chipotle Restaurant to get some great local, fresh food to go!

Miloís Monte Cristo

One of our favorite places to enjoy a meal is Miloís City Cafť (503-288-MILO) on Broadway in Portland.  Loren who is the owner and chef is an old friend and is a true joy to hang out with.  He has been on the show before and we usually spend more time visiting with him after the shoot than doing the story itself.  This week he invited us over to share his recipe for the American classic, the Monte Cristo.  The Monte Cristo is a 3 layer sandwich which is coated in an egg wash and grilled.   He started with a slice of nice soft egg bread.  On top of the first layer he put sliced ham then put on a slice of Swiss cheese then the second slice of egg bread topped with sliced turkey and another slice of Swiss, and then finished it off with the third layer of egg bread.   Loren actually recommends that you make the sandwich the night before. If you do that the meat and cheese will stick to the bread better and it wonít fall apart when you are cooking it.   Loren cut off the crusts and cut it into quarters and took it to the griddle.  He placed the sandwich in a pan and poured 2 whipped eggs over the top.  The bread soaks in the egg mixture and it goes on the griddle pretty quickly.  A couple of minutes on each side and the sandwich is done.  Some people serve it with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar, others like it with a little salsa.  Or you can do it like they did in the restaurant, with some fresh fruit and homemade cherry jam.  If you like a treat you can stop by Miloís City Cafť 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Shower Water Saving

This week we are back in the bathroom to save you some water and some money.  Jim from the Regional Water Providers Consortium joined us again to show us how to save while we are in the shower.  The first thing he recommended was the 5 minute shower.  Most showers use 2 to 2.5 gallons of water per minute.  He showed us a small hourglass timer that can be attached to the wall of your shower to help you keep track of the time.  Jim also showed us a water efficient shower head.  The new models will save you up to a gallon of water per minute if you use one.  For more water saving tips you can check out the RWPC website, www.ConserveH2O.org.

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

It is time to head outside again.  However, the patio furniture is in need of a little cleaning and to help get the job done right we stopped by Ludemanís (503-646-6409) in Beaverton to see what type of cleaner we should use.  They recommended ĎFeronís 1 for All Cleanerí.   This product will clean vinyl straps, mesh, iron and even wood.  This product is also biodegradable.  When your outdoor furniture is cleaned then you can protect it with FeronFinish.  This product will help restore the original shine and make everything look like new again.  Stop by Ludemanís and pick up these great products and then enjoy the outdoors on your clean patio furniture.


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June 01, 2012.