The summer is beginning now! We hope you have all your spring projects done. Actually we have found that projects don’t ever end, they just transition. As a home owner we always seem to have a project on the back burner. This last week we had guests visiting and as we were getting the house ready for them we noticed a few more projects to add to our list. Even though the calendar says we are in summer the rain and cool weather will still be with us for awhile. Enjoy it while you can and take a break from your projects, you know you deserve it.

We would also like to congratulate Tracy P for winning our recent giveaway on the show. She won the Cutting Edge Stencil when her name was drawn from all our Facebook fans. Just ‘like’ us on Facebook and earn a chance to get our next giveaway, a gift certificate to Milo’s City Cafe!

Indoor Iron Furnishings

We have visited Grand Valley Ornamental Iron (503-981-6923) before to see their great line of trellis’s and arbors. This time we stopped by to check out their selection of indoor iron furnishings and accessories. Jan joined David to show us just a few of the different things made of iron to complement your home. Iron has been used for centuries for inside the home. Tables, chairs and large decorative pieces are what we usually think of when it comes to indoor applications. These days the look and durability of iron comes in all shapes and sizes. Wall hangings, towel bars and even wine racks are just part of the new wave of decorations that can be made out of iron. Plus iron can fit into any décor, not just rustic or western themes. It can be very ornate or sleek depending upon your design. Iron can also be paired with glass, pottery, and even candles to compliment your existing décor. Grande Valley has worked with lots of local artist too to incorporate different materials into their designs. One thing that Grande Valley also prides itself on is that they will custom make anything. You just bring in your measurements and your idea and they will make it. If you are looking for a unique iron table and chairs, or even something smaller, stop by and check them out. They are located on Highway 99W between Aurora and Hubbard.

Port Cocktails #2

Summer is here and it is time for entertaining outside. This week we return to the Rum Club in south east Portland to talk once again to chat with Lorenzo Bakewell-Stone from the Port industry in Portugal. He was in town to promote the use of port in drinks and he had a few more refreshing summer cocktails to share with Robin. The port industry is seeing a resurgence as younger drinkers are enjoying port in all sorts of new combinations. Port is a fortified wine. That is a wine that has a grape spirit added to give it more flavor and more alcohol. The first cocktail was made with a dry white port called Siroco. Lorenzo used this to make a port tonic. In a cocktail glass he added ice and crushed mint to a mixture of equal parts of the port and tonic water. Very light and dry, perfect for a hot summer night.

The newest generation of Port is the Croft Pink Port. It is the centerpiece of a lot of new drinks and cocktails. Lorenzo made a ‘Pink Diamond’ with the Croft Pink and soda. He filled a glass with ice about 2/3rds full of Croft Pink and finished it off with the soda water. On top of this he added a little lime wedge. Once again, it was a fantastic drink. Everyone on the crew liked this one! If you would like to try these or other port recipes you can download a book of cocktail recipes at www.PortCocktails.com.

Summer Mission Chips

Recently Mission Foods introduced a new line of organic chips. These chips come in 3 different styles including White Corn, Blue Corn and Multi-grain. The other thing that peaked our interest in these chips is that they are produced in McMinnville. They are delicious! But we figured the best way to try them was with a few new summer time recipes. We found someone who had some great recipes to go along with these great chips. Peter Calley from Hipcooks (503-281-0614) joined Robin in the kitchen to show us some quick and easy recipes for the chip. The first recipe was a shrimp and scallop ceviche. A ceviche is a dish that uses the chemical reaction of lime juice to ‘cook’ the shrimp and scallops. You use 6 of each and let them soak in the juice. After about 20 minutes in the lime juice you are ready to go. Add them to a bowl and then stir in chopped serrano chilis, green onions, red onions, add a dash of grated ginger. Stir it a little and then add chopped red and yellow peppers, and diced mango. It was dressed with a chiffonade of basil (long thin strips). Once stirred it was placed on the Multi-grain tortilla chips.

Next we moved to a mole salsa. This one is put together in a mortar and pestle (also called a molcajete). We started with a clove of garlic. This is ground in the molcajete until it is a paste. Then we added red onions, cascabel chilis and roasted tomatoes. While you are grinding the ingredients you will also need to add a little olive oil. This salsa was served with the Blue Corn tortilla chips. It was a great color contrast to the red of the salsa.

The final recipe was a summer gazpacho. This was served in an English cucumber cup. Little cups made out of cucumbers! The gazpacho was poured in the cup and the White Corn Tortilla chip. It was so cute! At Hipcooks they also use these ‘cups’ to serve margarita shots!

If you would like to see the complete recipes you can click here.

We really loved the Hipcooks kitchen. Hipcooks provides hands-on cooking classes for the novice and seasoned cook alike. Measuring implements are banned, tasting is encouraged, and your inner chef is invited to play. The best part? Every class ends with a dinner party! If you are interested in trying a cooking class at Hipcooks you can check out the full list of classes on their website. The Mission organic tortilla chips can be found at Fred Meyer, QFC, Safeway and Hagans. You have to try them!

Patio Covers

Putting a cover over your deck or patio can be tough because of all the choice in materials. To help sort through all those choices we stopped by Parr Lumber (866-214-7277) and talked to Amber. Patio covers are great because they extend the season and allow you to be outdoors even if the weather is not the best. It is also good for protecting your investment in your deck and the outdoor furniture that you own. She pulled out a bunch of samples to show us all the different styles and also to talk about the advantages of each material. We started with metal covers. They are the longest lasting material that you can use and the most durable, but it doesn’t let any light through. Next we looked at fiberglass. Old fiberglass was known for turning yellow and cracking over time. New formulas have improved the performance and you don’t have those issues anymore, and it will let the light onto your deck. It is also one of the cheapest materials you can buy. Next we looked at PVC options. PVC is a type of plastic and it is great for letting light through to your deck or patio. It is very durable and will last a long time. Finally we looked at polycarbonate, which is one of the newest materials on the market. It can let up to 90 percent of the light through and is very durable. It is more ridged than a PVC and can handle tough loads including snow. Most of the materials can be installed with screws that have weather proof washers on them. You will also want to use ‘wiggle molds’. These are pieces that help secure your cover and keep wind from getting under the cover and they make the cover more ridged. If you are thinking about installing a patio cover, stop by and see the experts at Parr. They make it so easy you can do the whole project in one weekend!


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This page last modified
June 29, 2012.