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Yummy Salad for Thanksgiving!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad with Citrus-Maple Vinaigrette, doesn’t the name alone make you think of Fall? This recipe was published in Country Living Magazine and the Citrus-Maple dressing fits in so well for a great Thanksgiving Day starter.

Here’s what you  need to know:

Working Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

 

brussels-sprouts-salad-1601934587

 

Ingredients:
For the Vinaigrette:
1/3 c. fresh orange juice (from about 2 oranges)
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
1/2 c. canola oil
1 lb. small Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
Kosher salt
8 to 10 ounces mixed baby lettuces
1 tart-sweet apple (such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), quartered and thinly sliced
1/3 c. sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
2 to 3 ounces Asiago cheese, shaved
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
Directions

1. Make vinaigrette: Place orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, and mustard in a blender. Blend until well combined, 10 to 15 seconds. With blender running, gradually add oil until emulsified, 45 to 60 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a jar in refrigerator up to 1 week.

2. Make salad: Line a plate with paper towels. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking, 1 minute. Carefully add Brussels sprouts, cut sides down, and cook, without turning, until crisp-tender and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate with a slotted spoon. Season with salt.

3. Toss together lettuces, apple, Brussels sprouts, and 1/4 cup vinaigrette in a serving bowl. Top with almonds, cheese, and chives. Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette alongside.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

A Fun Meal for these ‘Stay At Home’ Times

I am an introvert by nature but I am already going a little stir crazy with having to ‘shelter in place’. If the weather was a bit nicer here in Minnesota I at least could be sitting outside on our patio or doing yard work. But until then I am staying busy with projects in the home and getting creative in the kitchen.

I was looking for something different to make for dinner to help make some of this solitude more fun and I decided on Fondue! I know fondue isn’t totally new and different but for me I normally think of fondue for Christmas or New Years. Maybe it’s because that is a time of relaxing over a long meal rather than hurrying off to school activities or finishing errands.fondue sticks

We have more time right now so it’s a perfect time to lounge over a long meal.

I hunted down some recipes and my husband and I had a two person fondue party!! We didn’t do the hot oil thing but made a meal out of the cheese and then went right for the dessert! What a blast and so yummy. I wanted to share the recipes I used and of course you can get creative. A link to the website for the full recipe notes are within the title of the recipe with an easy recipe print option.

cheese fondue

Classic Cheese Fondue

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
A classic recipe for cheese fondue that is easy to make and sure to impress your guests.

Ingredients

For the fondue:

  • 1/3 pound firm alpine-style cheese — such as gruyere
  • 1/3 pound fontina
  • 1/3 pound gouda
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup dry white wine — such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 clove garlic — minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Triple-Cheese-Fondue-35120Assorted fondue dippers:

    • Boiled baby new potatoes in their skins — quartered if large
    • Lightly steamed broccoli florets
    • Lightly steamed cauliflower florets
    • Lightly steamed asparagus
    • Button mushrooms — wiped clean and stems removed
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Sliced firm apples — such as Granny Smith
    • Cooked sliced hot sausage
    • Cubed French, sourdough, and/or pumpernickel bread

Instructions

  1. Grate all of the cheeses. In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses with the cornstarch, tossing thoroughly to coat all pieces.
  2. In a stove-safe fondue pot or large heavy saucepan, bring the wine, garlic, and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheeses to the simmering liquid a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to ensure a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in the brandy, mustard, and nutmeg.

  3. Arrange an assortment of bite-size dipping foods on a platter. If necessary, carefully pour the fondue into a fondue pot. Serve with fondue forks or wooden skewers. Dip and enjoy!

Now for the really good stuff……

 

delish-chocolate-fondue-still001-1545405557

Perfect Chocolate Fondue

Yield: 6-8 servings        Prep Time: 10 minutes
 

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see note)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see note for other variations)
  • Lots of dipping options (strawberries, bananas, small rice krispie squares, vanilla cookies, etc.)

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate, milk and cream and heat on low, stirring often, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Don’t let it come to a boil; keep it on low heat.
  2. Once melted, stir in the vanilla extract. If needed, stir in heavy cream or milk a tablespoon at a time to adjust for a thinner consistency. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot or small slow cooker to keep warm while serving.
  3. Serve with dippers of your choice. We love: marshmallows, vanilla cookies, strawberries, rice krispie treats cut in little squares, bananas.
  4. Any extra chocolate leftovers (??) will keep well in the refrigerator – just reheat on low to have yourself another chocolate fondue experience.    chocolate fondue

 

So on your next trip to the grocery store for essentials…..grab these ingredients and have a party!

Selling Your Home When You Have Pets – Home Staging Minneapolis

Let me be the first to say that I love animals! Love love love. That does however exclude snakes 🙂

But…when I put my house up for sale I had to address the issue of my dogs and what I was going to do when I had showings. It is something you need to give some serious thought to and discuss with your Real Estate Agent.

Although it is disclosed that there is a an animal in the home, it is always best if the potential buyer never encounters or sees your pet. They do not always read all the disclosures or remember them from house to house and either way, it is best that when they enter your home they see no sign of your pet. 

This includes:

  • No Kennel
  • No Food and Water Bowls
  • No Beds or Toys

Now this is tougher for cat owners as if the cat if left in the home, the kitty litter needs to be left in the home. If that is the case make sure the kitty litter is in a concealed area. The lower level and such as the furnace room is best. Please make sure it is not on the main level and for sure not in one of the main living areas or a bath tub. A covered litter box versus an open one as pictured should be used and keep it clean!

 

Cats that run and hide when someone enters a house really aren’t much of a problem. If you have a social cat  that will greet the buyers at the door, you again may want to make arrangements for your cat to not be in the home.

 

Here are some general reasons why your pet should not be in the home:

  1. Some people just aren’t animal lovers and having them in the home freaks them out.
  2. Even if they are animal lovers they won’t know if your pet is friendly and may be uncomfortable.
  3. If your dog is a barker and is laying in a crate barking the entire time, the buyer will be annoyed and rush through looking at your home. Plus it will leave the buyer with a negative emotional feeling about your home.
  4. If the buyer sees dog beds, cat toys etc it triggers their mind to think about scratched woodwork or piddle on the carpet. They will put more scrutiny in viewing your home.
  5. Your pet may be injured – yes….not everyone grows up with respect for animals and people may poke or jab at your pet even in their kennels.
  6. If your pet hurts anyone for any reason in your home you are liable.

I want to bring up little furry critters like guinea pigs and also reptiles. If I saw a snake in a cage in a bedroom I’d be out of there SO FAST!! Have a friend or family member babysit little critters and reptiles while your house is for sale.

And let’s address odor. Unfortunately almost all pets can leave some kind of odor. Be aware of that and take some precautions with additional bathing and opening windows when possible to air out the house.

It is a pain when selling your home with pets (and kids which was a different blog post “Selling Your Home When You Have Young Children”), there just isn’t any way to get around it. When I sold my home I made arrangements that I needed a four hour notice of any showings so I could get home, get my Saint Bernards in the truck along with their beds, toys and bowls; wipe down all doggy slobbers and do a quick vacuum. The feedback I received was “I can’t believe there is a pet in this house.” Perfect! And little did they know it was two Saints totaling almost 400 pounds!

At least it was before I had three! (old photo…look how young I was!)

 

 

So give it some thought and then talk with your Realtor to see what works best for you and your pet.