Consumer Real Estate News

    • Simple Family Meals Fit for Fall

      5 October 2022

      (Family Features) Maintaining a healthy eating plan can be challenging year-round, and busier fall schedules can make those goals even more difficult. Finding easy-to-make favorites can keep you and your loved ones on track as you navigate those hectic moments this autumn.
       
      One simple yet delicious solution: Chopped Salad Kits and Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits from Dole, which make it easy to incorporate vegetables without the hassle of kitchen prep. Take the guesswork out of meal planning for your time-starved family with these limited-ingredient, kit-based dishes.
       
      Mexican Street Corn Bowls with Grilled Chicken provide a perfect balance of hearty yet nutritious flavor while taking advantage of the convenience of prepackaged ingredients. Perfect for fall weather, Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Soup requires just three ingredients and hungry loved ones for a filling meal worth celebrating.
       
      For more original easy-to-make fall recipes, nutritional insights and information, visit Dole.com or follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. 
       
      Mexican Street Corn Bowls with Grilled Chicken
      Prep time: 20 minutes
      Cook time: 8 minutes
      Servings: 4
       
      1 cup dry instant brown rice
      1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
      2 large ears fresh corn, silks and husks removed
      1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
      3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
      1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
      3 Dole Limes, juice only (about 3 tablespoons), divided
      2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
      1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
      2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
      1 package (12.9 ounces) DOLE® Chopped Chipotle & Cheddar Kit
      1 Dole Avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
      1 cup chopped Dole Pineapple
       
      Prepare grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Prepare rice according to package instructions.
       
      Brush all sides of chicken and corn with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken and corn on hot grill rack; cover and cook 8 minutes, or until grill marks appear and internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 F, turning chicken once and corn frequently. Transfer chicken and corn to cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut corn kernels from cobs into medium bowl. Slice chicken 1/4-inch thick crosswise.
       
      Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, cilantro and paprika to corn; toss and fold in Parmesan cheese. In small bowl, whisk dressing from salad kit and remaining lime juice.
       
      Serve rice in bowls topped with avocado, pineapple, chicken, corn mixture and remaining contents of salad kit drizzled with dressing mixture. 
       
      Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Soup
      Prep time: 15 minutes
      Cook time: 35 minutes
      Servings: 4
       
      1 DOLE® Homestyle Roasted Herb Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kit
      1 container (32 ounces) chicken broth
      1 cup whole-wheat pasta shells, cooked
       
      Prepare sheet pan meal starter kit according to package instructions. Transfer to cutting board and carefully cut chicken and vegetables into 1/2-inch pieces.
       
      In medium saucepot over medium-high heat, bring chicken broth to simmer. Stir in pasta shells, chicken and vegetables. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Pack Dishes for Your Upcoming Move

      5 October 2022

      When it comes to packing for a move, the kitchen is generally the most difficult room to tackle. Dishes are fragile and you need to take extra care to get them to your new home in the same condition they were in when you packed them. Here are some simple and effective strategies.

      Use the Right Supplies
      When moving fragile belongings, cardboard boxes are safer than plastic containers. If you don’t have the boxes that your dishes originally came in, you can buy boxes that are designed for dishes, but that can be expensive and unnecessary. 

      You can pack dishes safely in ordinary cardboard boxes, provided you wrap and pad them carefully. Since you will be inserting dishes vertically, make sure you choose boxes that are tall enough.

      Use packing paper, not bubble wrap. Packing paper is easy to crumple up and put in and around dishes, and it will create air pockets to provide cushioning. Bubble wrap, on the other hand, is bulkier, harder to work with and takes up more space. 

      You will need a lot of packing paper. Be sure to buy enough paper, as well as plenty of tape, so you don’t have to take an unplanned trip shopping trip to get more. 

      Pack Dishes Carefully
      Place a plate or bowl in the center of a sheet of packing paper and wrap it securely. Once you have enough wrapped dishes to fill a box, insert them vertically. Packing dishes that way will make them less likely to break than laying them flat. 

      Pack items that are the same size together to make the best use of the space you have. Packing dishes tightly will prevent movement, which in turn will prevent damage. After you put dishes in a box, fill in any empty spaces with more packing paper. 

      To pack cups and glasses, stuff wadded-up packing paper inside and wrap more paper around the handles and stems. Then wrap a sheet of packing paper entirely around each cup or glass. Pack glasses and cups with the same shape together. Stand them upright and fill in any gaps with more crumpled paper. 

      Take Precautions to Prevent Damage
      Before you put anything inside a box, thoroughly tape the bottom so it won’t come open during the move. Crumple up some packing paper and create a layer of padding a few inches deep in the bottom of the box. 

      Don’t make the boxes too heavy. You don’t want someone to drop a box full of dishes while loading or unloading the moving truck. Tape each box securely and label it “Fragile.”

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why You Should Look for Contractors Before You Have a Problem

      5 October 2022

      If your roof is leaking or you have another urgent problem with your house, you’ll need to have a contractor repair it as soon as possible so it doesn’t get worse. Finding a qualified contractor can be a complex process, but you won’t have much time to do your homework if water is pouring through the ceiling. If you research contractors in advance, you’ll be prepared should an issue arise, and you’ll be able to avoid further problems.

      You Will Be Able to Find a Qualified and Reputable Company
      Not all contractors provide the same level of work and have the same commitment to customer service. Some cut corners, leave projects unfinished and engage in other practices that create additional headaches for customers. This is why it’s critical to vet any company before you have contractors work on your home. 

      Your family members and friends may be able to provide valuable information that can guide your decision-making process. If someone you know had a positive experience with a particular company, you will be likely to have a good experience as well.

      You should check the Better Business Bureau’s website for complaints and request references to find out about previous customers’ experiences with a particular contractor. You should also verify that the company is licensed and insured as required in your state. Once you’ve done that, you can interview a few contractors to get more information on their experience and qualifications.

      You Will Be Able to Find a Company That Can Serve You
      You have to be sure that a contractor works in your area. Someone may recommend an excellent company, but your house may be located outside of its service area. 

      A contractor may not be able to provide the type of service you need. For example, a company may only work on roofs made with certain materials or may only repair certain types of furnaces. Finding that out ahead of time can save you a lot of frustration when your home needs repairs.

      You Will Save Valuable Time by Doing Research Now
      Researching and vetting contractors can take several days, at a minimum. If you’re facing a crisis, you won’t have time to conduct a thorough search, and you may choose the wrong company. If you have a problem with your home and you contact a family member or friend to ask for the name of the contractor they used, that individual might not remember off the top of their head. If, on the other hand, you find a reputable contractor ahead of time and save the company’s number in your phone, you will be able to make a call and get someone out to your house quickly to make repairs.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Put a Plant-Based Twist on Holiday Baking

      4 October 2022

      (Family Features) Flavorful desserts are a staple of the holidays and the exciting, appetizing allure of new recipes can help elevate seasonal gatherings and create sweet memories. With near-endless options for celebrating the season, putting a plant-based twist on traditional recipes offers everyone the opportunity to indulge with decadent treats.
       
      In seasonal sweets like Brulee Pumpkin Pie and No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, an option like Country Crock Plant Cream can be used as a dairy-free substitute for heavy whipping cream. With 29% less saturated fat than dairy heavy whipping cream, it’s an easy 1:1 swap and is also soy-free, certified plant-based and 100% vegan, making it ideal to have on hand during holiday baking season. It’s all of the deliciousness of heavy cream, with none of the heaviness of dairy.
       
      Visit CountryCrock.com for more delectable holiday dessert ideas. 
       
      Brulee Pumpkin Pie
      Prep time: 45 minutes
      Cook time: 1 hour
      Servings: 8
       
      Pie Crust:
      1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon sugar
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      8 tablespoons Country Crock Plant Butter, cold and cut into cubes
      2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
      4 tablespoons ice water
       
      Pumpkin Filling:
      1/2 cup maple syrup
      1 tablespoon vanilla
      1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
      1/4 cup coconut cream
      1 cup Country Crock Plant Cream
      1 cup brown sugar
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      1 teaspoon ginger
      1 teaspoon nutmeg
      1/8 teaspoon ground clove
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      3 tablespoons cornstarch
      3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
       
      Whipped Topping:
      2 cups Country Crock Plant Cream, chilled
      1/4 cup powdered sugar
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
       
      To make pie crust: Preheat oven to 350 F.
       
      In bowl of food processor, add flour, sugar and salt; pulse to combine. Add cold plant butter and shortening. Process about 10 seconds until it looks like coarse meal.
       
      With food processor running, add ice water. Process until mixture clumps together.
       
      On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 14-inch circle. Transfer to 9-inch pie dish. Lift edges and allow dough to drape into dish. Trim, leaving 1-inch overhang. Fold excess dough under and crimp edges.
       
      To make pumpkin filling: In medium saucepan over medium heat, add syrup and vanilla; warm about 2 minutes then remove from heat and set aside.
       
      In large bowl, combine syrup mixture, pumpkin, coconut cream, plant cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, salt and cornstarch; blend with hand mixer until smooth. Pour mixture into pie crust.
       
      Bake 1 hour. If crust starts to burn, cover edges with aluminum foil. The middle will still be jiggly.
       
      Cool at room temperature 30 minutes then cover and transfer to refrigerator to chill at least 5 hours or overnight.
       
      Before serving, sprinkle pie with white sugar and, using kitchen torch, brelee until sugar is melted and dark brown.
       
      To make whipped topping: Using electric hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk plant cream, powdered sugar and vanilla on high until mixture thickens and stiff peaks form.
       
      Slice and serve with whipped topping.
       
      No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
      Prep time: 5-10 minutes
      Cook time: 5 minutes
      Total time: 6-7 hours
      Servings: 8

      Country Crock Plant Butter, for greasing
       
      Crust:
      1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
      1/2 cup Country Crock Plant Butter, melted
       
      Filling:
      2 packages (8 ounces each) dairy-free cream cheese, at room temperature
      1 cup peanut butter
      1 tablespoon vanilla extract
      1/2 cup Country Crock Plant Cream
      1 cup powdered sugar
       
      Chocolate Ganache:
      1 stick Country Crock Plant Butter, cubed
      1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
       
      Grease 9-inch pie dish with plant butter; set aside.
       
      To make crust: In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted plant butter; mix thoroughly.
       
      Add crust to greased pie dish and press firmly to bottom and sides; refrigerate.
       
      To make filling: In bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
       
      Add powdered sugar; beat until fully incorporated.
       
      Add peanut butter, vanilla extract and plant cream; beat until smooth and creamy.
       
      Pour filling into prepared crust and refrigerate 5-6 hours or overnight.
       
      To make chocolate ganache: In pan over medium heat, add plant butter cubes and chocolate; stir continuously.
       
      Spread chocolate ganache evenly on top of chilled cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Home Multitasking Ideas to Make Chores Better

      4 October 2022

      Few people like spending their free time completing chores. Unfortunately for all of us, there are some to-dos that simply cannot be ignored. Luckily, a few techniques can make the task a little more fun. These multitasking ideas won’t ruin your concentration, but are sure to make doing your chores a little better.

      Start a New Audiobook
      Get lost in a great book while you clean. Audiobooks and wireless headphones can make cleaning a whole new experience. Whether you are scrubbing the bathtub or sweeping the kitchen, there is no doubt that even the most tedious chores are more fun when you’re in the midst of a good story. Want to make it even more exciting? Find a book you love and only listen to it if you’re cleaning, it can be an enticing reward!

      Do Your Laundry Every Day
      Laundry is one task that modern technology has certainly made easier. Capitalize on your modern conveniences by doing a load every day. This is one chore that is easy to multitask and do while you’re completing a number of other activities! New washers and dryers even have smart alerts that can notify you when the load is finished--no more getting distracted and letting a load sit unattended.

      Put Away Dishes Before Your Coffee
      Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but coffee is the star of the show. While you are waiting for your daily cup to brew, take a few minutes to put away any clean dishes from the previous evening. This routine allows you to run your dishwasher while you sleep and makes it easy to clean while you snooze.

      Listen to Music While You Cook
      Make yourself feel like a chef at a fine dining establishment by adding a little class and fun to your cooking experience in the form of music. Instrumental music like jazz can be the perfect background to give your cooking a little more pizza and the best part is, if you utilize a kitchen streaming device, you can likely ask recipe questions as well. Cooking is about to become a lot more enjoyable.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.