Enjoy Our Local Summer Berries With This Recipe

The best part of summer is the peak of berry season!  We are so lucky to have an abundance of local farmers markets to pick up fresh produce.   We found this great treat from our friends at Southern Living, and we think that this will be a great way for you to make a special dessert for your family and friends to enjoy.

Sharing the best tastes of summer with the people you love is a great way to appreciate the sunshine and magic of that is unique to this time of year! OH and feel free to substitute either berry mentioned for YOUR favorite berry!

Bon Appétit!!

Double Berry-Almond Galette

Ingredients

  • CRUST
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 3 tablespoons vodka, chilled
  • TOPPING
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • FILLING
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Parchment paper
  • Honey Sour Cream (optional)
  • Garnish: torn mint leaves

 

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Crust: Pulse almonds in a food processor 15 times or until finely ground. Stir together ground almonds and next 3 ingredients in a bowl. Cut cold butter and cold shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Gradually stir in ice-cold water and vodka just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Add up to 2 Tbsp. ice-cold water, if necessary.) Shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill 3 to 24 hours.

Step 2

Meanwhile, prepare Topping: Toss together 1 cup blueberries and next 5 ingredients. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Step 3

Unwrap chilled dough, and place on floured parchment paper; sprinkle with flour. Roll to a 14- to 15-inch circle. Carefully transfer dough and parchment paper to a jelly-roll pan.

Step 4

Prepare Filling: Stir together 1/3 cup sugar and next 2 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 2 cups each blueberries and blackberries. Spoon mixture into center of dough, leaving a 2 1/2-inch border around edges; dot with butter. (Do not make filling ahead or it will become too juicy.) Fold edges of dough around fruit, pleating as you go and sealing cracks. Brush dough with beaten egg, and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sugar. Freeze 15 minutes.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 425°. Bake on lower oven rack 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden. Transfer to a wire rack; cool 30 minutes. Serve with Honey Sour Cream, if desired.

 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

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Summer Cleaning Tips

Keeping your home tidy during the summer can be an uphill battle.   Here are a few of our favorite summer cleaning tips to keep your home fresh and bright all summer long.

Distilled White Vinegar

This powerhouse cleaning item will make your hardwood floors shine, and freshen up mildew ridden towels from the pool.

  • Muddy Summer Rain Floors- Mix together 1/4 cup of white vinegar with a 1 quart of water in your bucket.
  • Pool Towel Laundry- Add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar straight to the washer during the last rinse cycle to remove foul odors. This will remove the smells from your clothes, without making them smell like vinegar.
  • Fresh Summer All Purpose Cleaner-  Add leftover summer salad citrus peels, a few sprigs of rosemary to a mason jar and add vinegar, cover at let sit for at least two weeks.  Then take the solution and dilute with water into your favorite spray bottle.

What are some of your favorite summer cleaning tips?   Share them below! 

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Create a simple summer herb garden

Fresh herbs can add life to meals, and make specialty drinks extra luxurious for guests.  Here are a few tips for starting a simple container garden of herbs on your porch!

1.) Choose the perfect herbs. Select herbs that will thrive in our local summer climate.  Rosemary, mint, basil, chives, and parsley are all easy to grow options.

1) Pick the perfect containers. Choose containers that will allow for excellent drainage. Most pots come with drainage holes, but they can easily be added to wooden or plastic pots.

2) Fill containers with high-quality potting soil.  Don’t go cheap on the soil. Container gardens thrive with higher quality specialty soil. Ask for help at your local store.

3) Harvest perfectly.  Frequent harvesting of your herbs will encourage new growth and keep your plants happy and healthy.

4) Water perfectly.  Certain herbs like mint like a little more moisture than others, so you may have to water one section of your pot more than others.   Research the herbs you select and monitor closely.

5) Feed as needed.  Most herb gardens do not need to be fed more than once a month.  Sometimes if they are thriving not at all.   Select a fertilizer optimized for edible plants.

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Considering a Rain Barrel?

Many homeowners are looking to add “green” improvements to their homes.  This appeals to eco-conscious buyers and helps the planet.

If you are considering purchasing and installing a rain barrel for your home, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

 

1.) Aesthetics & Function-  Consider the material and color scheme of the barrel system you are going to install.  Make sure it compliments the home and landscape and is not an eyesore.

2.) Do the Math-  Make sure that the size of the barrel for collection matches the size of the roof.    For example, A 1-inch rainfall on 100 square feet of roof will generate about 60 gallons of water.

3.) Gutters should be clean and in good repair before installing a rain barrel system.

4.) Never connect a barrel to any part of your home plumbing system.

5.) Consider the weight of the barrel-  One gallon of water weighs about 8.3 pounds.  Make sure you locate the barrel in a safe area.

6.) The water collected is untreated.  It is ideal for plants, but not ideal for cooking or washing.   Make sure to rinse all veggies with tap water before cooking.

7.) Monitor your barrel for pest problems, and avoid stagnant water issues by using all water within a week of collecting.

Are you using a rain barrel?   Share your tips below!  We would love to hear from you!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

How to add a little sunshine to your laundry routine

 

For many of us doing laundry is a never-ending chore.  Everywhere you look there is something needing to be washed, and fabric care can be tricky!

Here are a few tips to make your laundry routine a little more pleasant during your week.

Define the space:

Whether you have a dedicated room, a closet, or a corner in the basement, your laundry space should be clearly defined.    If you are working with a corner in the basement, try adding an indoor/outdoor rug to outline your work area.

Storage and Tools:

Investing in a sorting system and extra baskets will help you tame the evergrowing pile of clothing that tends to accumulate on chairs, corners, or even your treadmill.    Everything needs a home, so make sure your laundry has a home when it’s dirty, and when its clean.

Make sure you have a good supply of your favorite detergents and softeners.  If you have products you like to use, you will be more likely to wash the clothing.  A table for folding is a luxury but makes the task much more enjoyable.  Finally, make sure you keep a variety of stain-fighting formulas on hand so you are ready to battle when accidents happen.

Drying:

If you can install additional clothes rack or drying bar it can save time and money.   We have found that if you hang most clothing dry it eliminates the need for a ton of ironing.

It is always a bonus if you have an area in your yard that you can install a clothesline.   There is nothing like sun-dried sheets on your bed.  Just remember that some colored clothing may fade in the sunlight from overexposure.

What are your favorite tips?  Share them below!  We would love to hear from you!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

Caring for Succulents

Succulents have been gaining in popularity for several years now in the home decor landscape.   These easy to care for and colorful plants are great for adding a little greenery to your outdoor or indoor space.

Here are a few tips for helping your succulents thrive!

Sunlight-  They prefer to have at least half a day’s worth of sunshine so make sure they are placed in a well-lit area.

Water- Surprisingly these plants need very little water.  Just water when the soil becomes dry.

Soil- These plants love soil that drains well.  If you can use cacti soil, which you can find in the gardening section of many home improvement centers.  It is recommended to add crushed gravel to the bottom of the pot to make sure roots do not sit in water.

Fertilizer- Add a small amount of general purpose fertilizer to water once a month.

That’s it!  Enjoy!   These make great hostess gifts as well!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.

 

 

Creating A Custom Beverage Station

 

If you love coffee and tea, you know that it is a habit that can get expensive pretty quickly if it is your daily habit to stop at a franchise.

Creating and stacking a station at home not only saves money but makes it easy to entertain guests.

1.) Identify a space in that would work well for the station.   Look for outlets for appliances.

2.) Search for an appropriately sized buffet table or bar cart that meets your storage needs.

3.) Consider incorporating a mini-fridge into the set up to free up space in your kitchen refrigerator and to keep supplies neat and at hand.

4.) Invest in matching mugs, glasses, and decor for a cohesive look.   If all else fails, stick with white or clear glassware as it will match any existing decor.

5.) Stock up! From iced coffee to a tea chest, to a selection of classic liquors turn your station into a beverage oasis!

6.) Bonus Tip:  Keep fresh fruit and mint close by for garnishes!  These extra special touches will make your guests feel like they are at a hotel spa!

MarketPlace REALTY offers a wide portfolio of real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley.   Call 540-450-2747 for a custom consultation, or visit us at mympr.com and discover all of our beautiful current listings.   We are located at 302 South Braddock St. Winchester VA, 22601.   Angela Duncan, Broker.   Licensed in VA and WV.  Equal Housing Opportunities.