Wow, it sure got hot in a hurry! The most important thing during this time of year is to take care of yourself. The heat can sneak up on you. It doesn’t take much before you are hurting. If you can’t remember when you had a drink of water, it has probably been too long. That is true if you are outside OR inside. It is easy to get overheated, even if we don’t get over 100 degrees! Take care of yourself and get those projects done early in the day!

Another big announcement! The Fusion show is moving on KOIN TV. Starting on the 15th of September we are moving from 8am to 9am. So you can get a little more sleep (and so can we)!

Bed Makeover

Like a lot of things in your home your bed can really benefit from a makeover! To help us make a seasonal change in the bedroom we stopped by Ste. Maine (503-232-1880) in the Westmoreland/Sellwood area. Elizabeth joined David to show him how to do it, but before we got started he needed a little education about the bed linens and what they are there for. We started with the headboard. It is great to have so your pillows and other decorations don’t slide off the top of the bed. As a bed-covering we had a quilt which will work for most of the year here in the Northwest. If you need a little more coverage you can add a duvet. Usually this stays folded at the bottom of the bed. At the bottom is the ‘dust ruffle’, this covers the box springs and the metal frame of the bed and makes a nice accent to the look of your bed. There were numerous pillows on the bed and they were covered by shams and Euro Shams. The Euro shams are large coverings that protect the larger decorative pillows. These can be used for sleeping but generally they are just decoration. The regular bed pillows also have a sham (covering). These protect the pillows and like most of the coverings, they can be changed to match the season. The bed we saw was a classic white bed that looked light and summery. Then Elizabeth and Erin took over and with a few changes of covers and the duvet, they created a more ‘earthy’ appearance. They kept the ‘white’ look which is more neutral than other colors, but added a splash of color to really change the look.

Steak Romaine Salad

This week we return to the Oswego Grill (http://oswegogrill.com, 503-352-4750) to visit with Chef Genardo Zurita and get another one of his great recipes that you can try at home. Chef Genardo whipped up a Romaine salad with grilled steak. The Oswego Grill uses a hard-wood fired grill in their kitchen which burns mesquite and cherry wood and adds a touch of flavor to just about everything. First he started with a steak which is only seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled for 3 minutes on each side. He also took a head of romaine lettuce and cut it in half. He coated the romaine with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and grilled that at the same time. The lettuce is grilled for 2 minutes on each side.

Once everything is grilled you can start to assemble the salad. Cut the steak into small pieces and also cut off the base of the romaine head (the part that holds the leaves together). Place the entire head on a plate and cover it with a bacon dressing. Cover it with crumbled cotija or parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon and top it with your steak. Garnish it with a couple of slices of bread and you are done. It you have the grill fired up at home (Click here to get the recipe), or stop by the Oswego Grill and have Chef Genardo make one for you.

Grilling Gadgets

There are gadgets for your kitchen and there are gadgets for your grill! John Frankel from the NW Natural Appliance Center (503-220-2362) joined us at the grill to show us some of the great ‘gadgets’ that you can use to make your grilling easier and more fun! He showed us a meat probe thermometer to check the temperature of your steak so you know when it is done to perfection. There is even a remote version so you don’t have to hang out at the grill the whole time. He also showed us some cedar planks, they are still a very hot item to add flavor when you are cooking on your grill. Another way to add flavor is with smoke. John had a smoker tube to show us. All you do is add chips and place it on the grill and it creates the smoke for flavoring your meal. He also had grilling baskets so you can grill without losing your meal into the coals or flame. It works great with fish, small vegetables and kabobs. Finally he showed us the chicken rack. This is where you can place a chicken on top of the frame (and over a can of your favorite beverage) and you get a nice and moist grilled chicken. For these and many other grill gadgets, check out our friends at the NW Natural Appliance Center.

Washer Water Saving Tips

Water use in the house is hard to track and even harder to cut back on. One of the areas that use the most water is the laundry room, specifically the washer. The only way to cut back on water is to do less loads of laundry, right? Wrong. There are new water efficient front-loading washers available on the market. With these new models you can cut your water usage in half, from over 40 gallons a load to about 20 gallons. A few other benefits to the front load models; they get your clothes cleaner by mixing the detergent, clothes and water better. They are also easier on the fabrics, so your clothes will last longer. And finally, you will use less energy in your dryer as well, since these front loaders spin more water out of the clothing! You can also save money by taking advantage of energy credits and rebates. For more information and water saving tips check out the Regional Water Providers Consortium website at www.ConserveH2O.org.

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.


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This page last modified
August 24, 2012.