It’s Rhubarb Season!

Whenever I think of Rhubarb I am taken back to my childhood, living in a town of 40 people with many rhubarb plants in our yard. Summer meant carrying a bowl of sugar to the garden, breaking off a stalk of rhubarb, brushing off the dirt and sitting down to dunk the stalk in the sugar and eating. Nothing better than right out of the garden.

Now I need to rely on the grocery store but I still think of my youth when I am working with rhubarb. I would make something with rhubarb everyday if I could. When I saw this recipe by ‘Chocolate With Grace’ on Facebook I knew I had to try it and I was not disappointed! The butter cream sauce is my new bowl of sugar for dipping. 🙂

AND this is the easiest cake I have ever made. I was skeptical when the ingredient list did not include eggs but no worries. Here is the recipe. Chop a little extra rhubarb like I did (both for in the cake and to heap on top) because hey, you really cannot have too much rhubarb!

Enjoy! 

Rhubarb Cake with Butter Sauce

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups rhubarb diced (see note below about using frozen rhubarb)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted

For the butter sauce

  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the diced rhubarb, milk and melted butter. Stir just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cool
  • To make the butter sauce, combine the butter sugar and cream in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 1 minute stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • To serve, cut pieces of cake and serve with a generous amount of warm butter sauce. The sauce can be gently reheated on the stove or in the microwave if necessary.

Notes

To use frozen rhubarb: thaw the rhubarb first and let any excess liquid drain off. Don’t squeeze any liquid out, just drain what naturally thaws out of the rhubarb.

Tangy Sweet Rhubarb Cake with Butter Sauce

 

 

Do I Need to Stage My House in a Hot Market?

“Do I need to stage my house in a hot market?” That is a very good question. Houses are selling in record time so it makes sense to ask. Just how much work do you need to put into getting your home in top selling condition and ‘staging’ your home?  hot-market

The word ‘staging’ can mean so many things to different people. Many think that staging means taking all of your furnishings out and bringing in all new. That may be the case for people moving out of state or into their new home before listing their current home, but most of the time that is not what staging is.

Home Staging really is about ALL the things that go into getting your home ready such as cleaning, repairs, painting, updates, upgrades and on down to the smallest details of what to leave on a bedside table. The MLS photos are so important and are what first gets a buyer’s attention to get them in your door. A Home Staging consultation will get your home ready for it’s glamour shots.  House Pull

But again, it’s a hot market so is that important? It depends on if getting top dollar on one of  your largest assets is important to you. That really is what it comes down to. Will your home sell without staging, yes. Will it sell quicker, for more money or maybe even over asking price if it is staged? Very likely right now.

bidding_war_1279585977-1080×627  In the homes that Rooms With Style have worked on recently, many have sold in a couple days (50 showings in a weekend means those MLS photos were amazing) and many with multiple offers (some over asking price). One $50,000 over asking and another $200,000 over asking!!

Staging your home does not guarantee you will receive more than your asking price or even a full price offer as so many other factors come in to play. Location, fair asking price to begin with etc. But are you potentially leaving money on the table if you don’t stage your home?  dollar sign

A Home Staging Consultation is always the best place to start. Get your ‘to do’ list and take it from there. An experienced home staging professional can walk through your home with you and give you a list of the best things to do to receive the best return on your investment.

If your  home is going to be vacant, I highly recommend staging the key rooms with furniture and accessories. Otherwise on the MLS photos it is just empty room after empty room. So underwhelming for the buyer scrolling through a lot of homes. The furnishings will not only enhance the space on the photos, it will define the space and look larger with furniture in the rooms when they enter. Empty rooms actually look smaller believe or not. With a staged room versus an empty room they will not need to wonder if their sofa will fit or where the TV goes.

So the potential is great in a hot market for getting the most for your home, in a short period of time, if you spend some money up front to get it staged. Nothing in life is a guarantee but the cost of staging is almost always less than the rewards received from it.

 

Making Your Outdoor Space Valuable

Your outside space is so valuable, especially if you live in the northern regions, as our time outdoors is so limited. Whether you are selling or dwelling, that space is valuable. It’s valuable to you for your enjoyment whether it is a small quiet place to curl up with a book or a large space to gather with friends and family.

It is valuable if you are selling as buyers can see how the house extends outward. It isn’t technically square footage but you better bet a nice outdoor space brings value to a buyer emotionally. This applies to decks, patios, and front porches.

My number one advice: TREAT THE OUTDOOR SPACE LIKE YOU DO YOUR INDOOR SPACE

  • KEEP IT CLEAN: Pressure wash or do a good scrub down in the Spring. Paint or stain any chipped areas. Brush off any cobwebs and leaves regularly.

Clean patio

 

  • USE AN OUTDOOR RUG: Rugs add a sense of warmth just like in your living room. It also defines a conversation area and can add color and pattern. Make sure it is an outdoor rug that will resist fading and dry quickly after a rain shower.

 

outside

 

  • BEING OUTSIDE DOESN’T PRECLUDE USING TEXTURE: There are so many fun outdoor fabrics that are water and sun damage resistant. Add in throw pillows and even an outdoor poof so you can put your feet up!

Pouf

 

  • DON’T FORGET TO ACCESSORIZE: Just like any other room in your home, accessories add the style and pizzazz to a space. Weather safe candles, lanterns, and even lamps. Yes I have a weather safe table lamp and floor lamp on my patio that I never bring in until winter hits! It feels so much like a true living room.

 

IMG_3989

 

Your outdoor space is valuable for so many reasons. Take the time to make it stylish! It’s nature so mix an abundance of color, pattern and texture. Have fun and enjoy your outdoor space!