We are moving quickly into the holiday season! The day after Halloween we ended up going to our first holiday open house. It is weird to see all the Christmas decorations up while I’m still having a chocolate hangover from all the Halloween candy! Still this time of year always moves fast for me. The only time it moves slowly is the late winter and early spring when I’m itching to get outside again and the weather is not cooperating.

Speaking of time, this weekend we get a little extra of it. Don’t forget to move your clocks back an hour tonight for Daylight Saving Time.

One note… we will not have a show next weekend on the 10th due to a sports preemption on our stations for NCAA college football. Enjoy this week’s show and we will see you again on the 17th.

Mama Mia Cioppino

We love Italian food and we have found one of the best places to get Italian food at Mama Mia Trattoria (503-295-6464) in downtown Portland. We recently visited when they offered to share their signature dish Cioppino! We met owner Barry Brown in the kitchen with Executive Chef Dan Frosaker where he had all the ingredients ready. This dish features some great local seafood and other local produce. Mama Mia works very hard to include local ingredients in their recipes and they encourage you to do the same. The ingredients included olive oil, garlic, basil, and thyme. The mussels and clams should be scrubbed and the outside shells need to be cleaned. There was also fish, scallops, calamari, fish stock and white wine. The final 2 ingredients were fresh spinach and a pomodoro sauce (which they make every day!).

First the olive oil went in a heated pan with the garlic. Heat that until you can smell the garlic, and then add the fish, the herbs, and some salt and pepper. Cook that for about 10 to 15 seconds and then add the white wine and the fish stock. Throw in the clams and mussels and let them steam for about 4 minutes. And then add the spinach leaves and the pomodoro sauce for another minute on the stove and you are done. If you would like to get a copy of their recipe, click here.

While Chef Dan was working on the recipe we talked to Barry about the restaurant and its history. The building has been around since the 1870’s and it is rumored to be haunted downstairs. Their cheeses are imported and freshly grated every day, except their mozzarella which is made daily in their kitchen!

We then moved to the table to see how they set the table. They brought in just some simple place settings that they had picked up at the local market. You add a nice linen table cloth and lots of fresh flowers and you are ready for a party. We also had a chance to check out some of the great dishes that they make at the restaurant; the caprese salad, the Bolognese sauce, the deserts including the cannoli, panna cotta, an affogatto and an amaretto cheesecake. Everything was just too tasty! You can also stop by Mama Mia’s for their great happy hour menu. It includes drinks, appetizers, dinner entrees and even desserts. Nothing is over $5! A great way to get a meal without spending a lot of money!

Handmade Soap

Recently when we were at a press event at the Rogue Hopyards in Independence we watched a demonstration of how to make soap. It was fascinating! Now you may be thinking that there is a beer in our future since we are at the Rogue, and there is, but it is in a bar of soap. Tammy Taggart from Farmland Soap joined David to show him how she makes her special beer soap from Dead Guy Ale. To start we had to get our safety equipment on. Making soap uses lye and it is highly caustic, so gloves, eyewear and a long sleeve shirt are all required. When the lye is added to the oils the reaction makes soap and glycerin.

We started by adding coconut oil and palm oil to a pan on a hotplate. The coconut oil makes your soap produce big bubbles and is a moisturizer; the palm oil makes a hard soap bar and is also an emollient for your skin. The next oil we added was olive oil and if you think about it, you have palm and olive oil, the 2 main ingredients in Palmolive soap! Tammy also added castor oil. All of these were heated to 110 degrees before she added the lye.

When everything was heated Tammy added a mixture of 56 ounces of Dead Guy ale and the lye. You then slowly add it to your oil mixture while stirring (the lye goes in the oils, never the other way around). Once you have added the lye mixture you can add some essential oils to the mix. Tammy added peppermint and spearmint. Then there was a little bit more stirring until it thickens enough to leave ‘trace’, those are the dots that the drips make when you lift the spatula out. When you get that ‘trace’, then you pour it into your mold. This will stay in the mold for about 2 days until it is ready to cut into bars of soap. Tammy has 2 cutters. One cutter just makes one large bar and the other cutter makes the smaller bars. The whole process was fascinating!

If you are looking to buy some of the Farmland Soaps, you can get the beer soaps at the Chatoe Rogue tasting room in Independence or you can get all the different soaps she makes at www.FarmlandSoap.com.

1911 Home Remodel

We find it really cool to see a new home built with the latest design and gadgets. What makes it cooler is when the new home is a remodel of an older, historic home. We caught up with Bill Henderson and Lori Katz from RePDX to check out a home that was built in 1911 and to see what they had done to bring it back into the new millennium. This home was in the Irvington neighborhood and in keeping with the historic nature of the neighborhood they tried to keep it as close to the character of the rest of the homes. That was a problem, especially when you have asbestos and other problems that have to be taken care of. Once they took care of the asbestos, then it was a matter of keeping true to the original character. Still they needed to bring in some modern appliances when needed. The kitchen was redone and made a little larger by knocking a large hole in the wall to tie it into the dinning room. The master suite was also an eye opener! The master bath and bedroom were so large and cozy; you could just stay there and never leave. It is a great home for the growing family. You can check out this home and some of the other homes they have by going to their website.

Standard Adaptive Kitchen

Sometimes as we age it is harder to get our homes to age with us. Appliances and furniture that we have used all our lives is harder to use. This is especially true in the kitchen. Recently we stopped by Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500) in Beaverton and met with Glenda McAdam, who is a ‘Certified Aging in Place’ designer and she has a demonstration kitchen at their Beaverton store with all kinds of appliances and ideas for those with age related problems or other accessibility issues. We started with a small refrigerator. This one was elevated off the floor so you don’t have to bend over so much. It also had a glass door so you can see everything inside without opening it. Then we moved over to the oven, which was also elevated off the floor and had a door that swings to the side. This is great if you are confined to a wheelchair. You can roll right up to the oven to get your pans out. The same concept was used with the microwave oven as well. In the same counter top area we had a special bowl/cutting board. The cutting board had a hole in the center of it to hold a large mixing bowl. This holds the bowl and allows you to stir without needing hand strength to hold it. The counter tops were also unique. They were a 2-tone design which allows people with poor eyesight or macular degeneration to see the edge of the counter better.

The other side of the kitchen had some really cool features too. The induction cook top was one thing that we were impressed with. This type of cook top only heats up in the area where you set your pan. The pan attracts magnets that heat your pan and so if you accidently place you hand on the cook top you don’t get burned. The counter top where the stove was located was great in that it moved up and down with the press of a button. So if you are as tall as a Trailblazer you could move it up high, or if you were in a wheelchair you could move it lower. Then we saw the sink which had a pull out sprayer as part of the faucet and the level to turn the water on, was on the side facing the kitchen which makes it easier to use. The dishwasher was cool in that it was also low to the ground and the drawer pulled completely out so it could be loaded easier. Finally we saw one of the upper cabinets with a pull down rack so all your food items can be brought closer to you when you are in the kitchen.

If you would like to learn more about making your kitchen easier to use, you can stop by any Standard TV and Appliance showroom.


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This page last modified
December 01, 2012.