Somehow I get the feeling that this past week was the break before the heat. We have a nice stretch of cool weather before the heat returns. I hope that is true. I never got my deck refinished and now I feel like time is running out. Maybe tomorrow will be the day, since the hot weather is suppose to return in the next day or so. If not, oh well… I guess I’ll have to move to the hammock!

Rejuvenation Lighting

There is one thing in your home that serves a unique purpose and that is lighting. But you can use this functional item to create a new style for your home. Nicole from Rejuvenation (503-238-1900) on SE Grand showed us some of the unique lighting styles they carry. Nichol called lighting the jewelry of the home; it is one of those small things that can make a big difference. Rejuvenation specializes in reproduction and period lighting, your classic American lighting from the 1870’s to the 1960’s. They have styles that range from basic to eclectic! The store is set up into vignettes so you can see ‘age appropriate’ set-ups grouped together. You can also pick out lights that will help recreate a style or mood in a newer home as well. If you are looking for a unique finish or color they can help you out because they produce the period reproductions at the factory in Portland. They offer 12 standard finishes that can match any décor. You can even go on-line to their website and make changes to a design to see if it works for you.

Deschutes Clams

There is nothing like a clam bake! You remember all those old movies from the 60’s. Elvis, Frankie and Annette all enjoyed clams and cold beverages on the beach. Well you can enjoy fresh clams and a cold brew in downtown Portland. We stopped by the Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House (503-296-4906) in the pearl and Chef Jeff Usinowicz shared with us his recipe for fresh clams! This recipe uses fresh clams from Washington State and the summer brew from Deschutes, the Twilight Ale. This recipe also uses a homemade sweet fennel sausage, but you can use any lightly flavored sausage or a sweet Italian sausage. Start by slicing some fennel into small strips and tossing them with a little oil some salt and pepper then baking them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. This will help release the light liquorish flavor in the fennel. Next, sauté the precooked sausage and the fennel on high heat in a pan with a little oil. After a couple of minutes you can add the clams. Toss it all together and then add a couple of ounces of Pinot Gris and then a couple of ounces of Twilight Ale. Cover the pan for 2 minutes and let the steam open the clams and then add a couple of tablespoons of butter. At the restaurant they have an ale butter which is delicious! Then you are done. Serve it with a glass of the Twilight Ale and enjoy. If you don’t have time to whip this together you can try a version of this recipe at the Public House in Portland. Chef Jeff is constantly redoing parts of his menu with some new dishes, so if you haven’t been by the restaurant in a while you should stop by and see what he has on the menu that is new!

Shortbread and Berry Port Sauce

This week we were with Janie Hibler, the author of The Berry Bible to get another great recipe using fresh Oregon berries. Janie gave us a great recipe for a Blackberry martini last year and this week we learned how to make a shortbread with a warm berry port sauce. To make the shortbread you start with 1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of cornmeal, 9 tablespoons of butter and some brown sugar. You mix that in a food processor with a little bit of lemon zest. Once the mixture is done it goes in the oven for 18 minutes.

While that is baking you can put the berry sauce together. The best part of this sauce is that you can use whatever berries are in season or even frozen berries. In a pan you need to add a ¼ cup of sugar, a ½ cup of port, a small vanilla bean and then add about 3 cups of berries. After a couple of minutes on medium heat, the berries will start to release their juice. You will then remove the berries from the pan while they are whole and save them for later in the recipe. You then reduce the juice down a little bit to concentrate the flavors. When the sauce is reduced you add the berries back into the mix before serving. To serve, place a slice of the shortbread on a plate and spoon on some of the berry mixture and then top with whip cream or Crème fraiche. If you would like to get more recipes and learn more about fresh Oregon Fruit you can stop by the EcoTrust building today (Saturday) for the final day of the Oregon Berry Festival. It is free and a great way to celebrate Oregon grown fruit!

Indoor Fountains

There is nothing like the sound of flowing water to help you relax and forget your problems. Now you can bring that soothing sound into your home as well. We stopped by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) to learn how to build one with Nick. Terra Casa is not only a décor store, they also have a huge array of containers. They just received a shipment of some really cool small decorative pots and Nick created some containers that would be outstanding in any living area. The key to building a nice fountain is recirculation of the water. As long as the water makes it back down to the pump the rest is just details. For an indoor application you will also want to be aware of the splashing. Nick started with a large wide container and sealed the drain hole in the bottom. Then he took a large black nursery container and cut it down until the pot was level with the top of his sealed container. The nursery pot is great because you can cut it easily. This is good because you will want to cut a hole for your power cord to the pump and also one in the middle for the fountain hose. You then assemble the pump and the nursery pot and flip it into the sealed container. To keep the water from splashing too much you can adjust the supply hose on the inside of the feature. These went together very quickly and looked fantastic. If you would like to learn how to build one or you want one built for you, stop by and see Nick at Terra Casa.


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This page last modified
July 27, 2012.