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

 

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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!

Clean Your House Like It’s Sale Depends On It

It really is true….the sale of your home could depend on how clean it is. Many people will overlook outdated items in a house if the house is clean.   Clean bucket

I always say, when you sell  your car you detail clean it. You use a toothbrush to get down in the cracks, the running boards, you wipe every surface. That is what you need to do when selling your home. Detail clean it.

What does that entail? It is far more than dusting the top of your furniture.

 

clean baseboardsWipe down the walls.

Wash the baseboards.

Clean all light fixtures inside and out.

Clean the inside of the oven, refrigerator and microwave.

Scrub all sinks and tubs with a strong cleaning solution.

Scrub grout with a grout brush and strong grout cleaner.  Clean Grout

Vacuum corners, stair risers, closets.

Wash windows inside and out including screens and window sills.

 

No one wants to see their own dirt and they really don’t want to see yours. A buyer just may walk out if a house is dirty. They get a feeling they don’t like and sometimes they don’t even know what it is.

When a house isn’t clean it feels older. The buyer thinks that if you couldn’t clean then you probably didn’t service your furnace, do regular maintenance throughout the house which will cause things to breakdown sooner.

A clean home reflects a well loved and well maintained home. A clean home could make a difference in the offer presented to you. If a buyer isn’t sure if something needs cleaning or replacing, they are going to assume replacing and lower the price accordingly.Sparkles

I know time is tight, especially when selling your home. So if needed,  hire a reputable cleaning agency or person who specializes in move-out cleaning. Provide them with exact details of what you want cleaned.

 

 

CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN. MAKE IT SPARKLE AS IF THE SALE OF YOUR HOME DEPENDS ON IT!

 

Finishing Your Lower Level to Sell Your Home – Part 2

If you didn’t catch Finishing Your Lower Level to Sell Your Home – Part 1″  please click the link to check that out. Along with the new bedroom and bath photos is gives an explanation as to why you may or may not want to finish off your lower level prior to selling.

This post continues to show you the before and after photos of my finished lower level. Besides the added bedroom and bath (on previous post), I was able to add 3 additional living areas. The TV area, the game/eating area, and my favorite…..the cozy fireplace sitting area.

For 20 years this lower level had been a dumping ground to put whatever we didn’t want to deal with at the time (you didn’t see the half of it!) and a place for 1-3 Saint Bernards to come in from the backyard and not have to worry about the mud and dirt.

As with the bedroom and bath, decisions were made on the fact that it is a lower level and will be sold in five years. Luxury Vinyl Planks were put on the floor for durability for us with Saint Bernards but also the the fact it is water proof for a lower level with a sump pump and walk out to a pond.

The flooring was continued throughout the entire space including the bedroom and bath making it one continuous space. The durability and look will be a selling feature as well. The goal was a budget of a lower level but a finished space that doesn’t look like a lower level. 🙂

 

Before and After TV Area (aka my hubby’s area):

 

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Before and After Game/Dining Area (tough to move the big dog; her favorite spot):

 

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The Hearth Area (my spot and personal favorite):

 

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With the cost savings mentioned in the first post due to being my own general contractor, it has been determined that the added bedroom, bath and living areas will increase my selling price at least equal to what we spent; and hopefully it will continue to increase. Plus we get at least five years to enjoy it before we move. Win Win!!

So if you are looking to finish off your lower level to sell your home you need to:

  1. Determine how many years until you sell.
  2. Discuss the added value for the additional square footage with a Realtor that works in your area.
  3. Get bids from all contractors and vendors to determine the total costs.
  4. Research costs on ALL materials such as hardware, paint, trim, faucet, toilet etc. that may not be included in any of the contractor or vendor quotes.

At this point you can begin to make some decisions and move forward if it makes sense. My big caution to you: DO NOT OVER BUILD FOR YOUR AREA AND TIME FRAME. Meaning, there is only so much you can get for your square footage and don’t go all out and with a massive wish list. If you notice, I did not do any built-ins as I was not going to get the return on my investment within the 5 year projected sale date.

It’s a big decision but one we decided to make at this point for us. Be sure to bring in trained and certified professionals to guide you through the process.