We are wet again. The rains have returned to the Northwest and in preparation we mowed the lawn, cleaned the roof and gutters, and even picked some of our remaining tomatoes, apples and raspberries. What have you done to get ready? Fall is a great time to get out and prepare your home for the rough days ahead. We hope to help you get prepared with some of our stories.

Terra Casa Pumpkins

You can get your home ready for Halloween without making a mess, plus that decorating can last until Thanksgiving! To learn how we stopped by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) to see some of their cool fall decorating accessories they have in the store. Diana also gave us some tips for fall decorating. Look to add fall colors to your décor. With the change of the seasons comes the change of colors as well. Also, look to create depth and dimension to your decorating. She showed us some glass pumpkins that were very attractive and all they did to add height was to add a few books and covered them with a table covering or scarf. These glass pumpkins also had the added benefit of looking like fall in addition to preparing your home for Halloween. Then we moved over to a display of fabric pumpkins made by a local company called Hot Skwash. They use real stems and place them on fabric pumpkins. They are very cute and won’t rot! It gives a ‘harvest’ look without being tied to Halloween. Finally we moved to a table display in the store. This table looked great and the reason why were the place mats and the table runner. We were surprised to learn that they both were made out of paper! With these you don’t need a large and fancy table cloth or place settings. Finally we looked at some new cookbooks that they carry. These were not only cookbooks, they were also decorating books. They gave you great recipes and also tips for setting a table. The books are called the Gathering of Friends and they come in 4 different themes. If you are looking for something to get your home ready for the fall, not just Halloween or Thanksgiving, stop by Terra Casa.

Willi Tomato Pasta Recipe

With the fall comes tomatoes, and lots of them! This year we seem to have too many coming all at once. If you have a bounty of tomatoes then you will love this recipe. Willi Galloway, the author of ‘Grow, Cook, Eat’ and the DigginFood blog joined David in the demonstration kitchen at Standard TV and Appliance to share her Lemony Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes recipe with us. This is one easy recipe! You start with 16 ounces of a short pasta like a strozzapreti or a penne and prepare it according to the package directions. While that is boiling you can work on your tomato ‘sauce’. For the sauce you will whisk 1/3 cup of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and little lemon zest. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Then fold in ¼ cup of basil and ¼ cup of parsley. Add one cup of finely grated parmesan cheese and 4 cups of sliced cherry tomatoes (or even large diced regular tomatoes) and then set it aside to marinate.

When your pasta is done, drain it and pour the hot pasta over your tomato mixture. The heat from the pasta will help soften the tomatoes. After a minute or 2, toss the mixture together and serve. Willi adds a light sprinkling of red pepper flakes to the top of hers to give it a little extra zest!

If you are looking for a great book that has tasty recipes, you need to pick up a copy of Grow, Cook, Eat. The book covers planting and harvesting tips as well as the wonderful recipes.

Standard TV Water Heater

While we were at Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500) we noticed a water heater in the store. Standard is known for the great selection of appliances in the store, but they have never carried water heaters before, but this one is different! Tony joined Robin on the showroom floor to tell her why they have this one.

In your home, next to the heat bill, none of your appliances uses as much energy as your water heater. The new GE Energy Efficient GeoSpring Hybrid water heater uses such a new technology that Standard had to carry it. This new water heater uses heat pump technology to absorb the heat in the ambient air around the water heater to help heat the water and save you money. You can use 62% less energy and save up to $325 a year on your utility bills. Another benefit of the new GE water heater is the fact that it is made in America. So you can save energy and feel good about supporting American jobs at the same time. Stop by Standard to see this great water heater and see how much money you can save!

CFA – Slab

Your old Formica counter tops are looking kind of sad. You would like to upgrade to a new granite countertop but you are afraid of the costs! To take some of the fear out of choosing a stone countertop we met up with Sunny Parson’s from Cascade Flooring America (800-942-0376) at a granite cutting business to see the process for choosing and preparing a counter top for installation. There are 1,000’s of choices in granites now available and picking out the right one can be overwhelming. Start by looking at styles that you like. Then, within those styles, see which ones work well with the colors and cabinet choices that you have. You can take some samples and use those to help you make up your mind, but remember that granite is a natural product and each piece is different. There will be variations in each piece, so don’t get overwhelmed with extreme details in the sample at this point. Once you have found a granite that you love then you go to the fabricator and look at the slabs that are available. At this point you get to look at the slabs available and pick out the actual piece that will be in your kitchen or bath. When you have picked out your slab, they will come to your home and measure the area where you will be putting your countertop. They will build a template of the area and that is placed on the slab over the exact area that you want on the slab. It is then placed in a cutter and the computer cuts the exact piece out of the slab. They can then cut out the place for your sink, round the edges with the style you want and it is ready for installation.

Right now you can get your new countertops at a discount! Cascade Flooring America is having their Semi-Annual Private Sale on October 21 from 10am to 5pm. If you RSVP to the event they will be offering 40% off some of their best granite surfaces. They will also offer a sealing package for the granite for free at this event. Call or go on-line to register, 1-800-942-0376 or 360-693-2313, or http://www.Cascdefa.com.

Newspaper Tips

The newspaper… all the news that’s fit to print, plus it is great for chores around the house too! David and Robin took a few minutes to show us a couple that we learned. First of all, since it is paper, you can use it for wrapping. The comic section in the weekend edition is great for kids. They get a colorful print that they can read after they unwrap their gift and you get to save a few cents on buying expensive wrapping paper. Some of the other uses are tied to the absorbency of the paper itself. Robin used it to absorb odors in an old lunch box. You can also use it to absorb moisture and the smell in your old shoes too. Fall is harvest time in your garden and the paper can help you there too. If you have green tomatoes and you would like to have them ripen indoors, just wrap them in newspaper and set them on your counter. They will ripen quicker and you will have tasty tomatoes in a couple of days. One use that everyone has heard of is using newsprint to clean your windows. Use your regular window cleaner or a weak solution of ammonia and water, and then wipe it off with the paper. The newsprint will leave no lint or streaks! Finally, David had a suggestion for the gardeners in the house. Lay pieces of newsprint down in your garden and cover them with mulch. The paper will act as a barrier for weeds and will eventually breakdown and be food for your plants. There you go, breaking news on recycling your newspaper for chores around the house.


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This page last modified
October 19, 2012.