Well, it seems like everyone and their GRANDMOTHER is blogging these days, so I figured I had better jump on the cyber-bandwagon. Hopefully everyone will think that I actually have something interesting to say.
My world has been so full of craziness lately, that it is nice to actually take some time to sit and organize the thoughts running around in my crazy head.
The last of my babies has gone to school full time, so the bulk of my activity has revolved around getting back to work. I have been a Realtor for almost 13 years, but have been taking it easy for the last 6 years or so, to allow me to stay home and focus on the kids.
Well, it is back to reality for me, and I have to say, there really couldn't be a better time to be going back into the Real Estate market full swing! The fall market is one of the hottest we have had in years, with projected sales expected to be at (or above) levels that we haven't seen since 2006. Average prices are up and inventory levels are down, making it an ideal time for folks who are "on the fence" to think about maybe getting that house ready for sale.
Check out this article, written by the President of the Toronto Real Estate Board:
Recently, I also had the pleasure of helping my parents prepare their house for sale. I really enjoyed the chance to be "hands on" and help them stage their home. A lot of people really underestimate the POWER of properly preparing and staging their home for buyers. After seeing the "before" and "after" pictures of my parents home, well, I can tell you the difference is like night and day. If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, it is well worth your money and time to put an effort into staging it properly.
Lastly, it seems that the whole world is "coming down with something" these days. As I write this, I am listening to the sounds of my youngest daughter coughing and hacking away while her father makes his home made chicken soup to help her feel better. For those of you that don't know, my husband is a phenomenal cook, and without him, we would starve (or eat a lot of frozen pizzas)
So, as a THANK YOU for reading my first blog (in an effort to make all you "sickies" out there feel better), I am going to share with you his recipe for home made chicken soup - sure to cure what ails you!! Just don't tell him I told you, OK???? :)
Marc's Home Made Chicken Soup Recipe
1 3-pound chicken, neck reserved
3 1/2 quarts water
4 carrots (2 coarsely chopped, 2 thinly sliced)
4 celery ribs (2 coarsely chopped, 2 thinly sliced)
1 unpeeled onion, quartered
1 large, unpeeled garlic clove, smashed
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 large fresh bay leaf
6 parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1/2 pound thin egg noodles
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. In a large stockpot, combine the chicken, neck, water, coarsely chopped carrots and celery, onion, garlic, peppercorns and herb sprigs. Bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for about 30 mins. Transfer chicken to a plate. Discard skin. Pull meat off the bones. Cut into small pieces and refrigerate.
2. Return bones to the pot. Simmer for about an hour. Strain the broth into a bowl and rinse out the pot. Return the broth to the pot and boil until reduced to approx. 8 cups. (about 30 mins) Season with salt.
3. Add the sliced carrots and celery to the broth. Cover and simmer until just tender. (12 mins) In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool under running water. Add noodles, chicken and chopped parsley to the soup pot and bring to a simmer. Ladle into soup bowls and serve hot!
Note: You can add other veggies that you may have lying around. If you like your soup with a little kick, try adding some red chili flakes.
Makes approx 6 servings. Prep time, 45 mins. Total cooking time, 3 hours.