Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Columbus Ohio’s Short North district

Columbus Ohio’s Short North district named one of the best walkable neighborhoods in the US

MSN recently did a report on “your life into blocks”focusing on walkable neighborhoods that have Columbus Ohio’s Short North district got the honor of coming in fourth.

all the amenities and necessities one could want within two blocks of their home.

Short North is a neighborhood just North of downtown stretching from fifth Avenue down to the greater Columbus convention center and narrowly stretching from Pearl Street to Park Street which is only about three or four blocks wide.

This edgy and eclectic neighborhood offers galleries, restaurants, walking tours, museums and markets all within just a couple blocks of lofts, condominiums and townhomes. It centered on the main strip of high Street immediately North of downtown and extends just South of the Ohio State University campus. It’s heavily populated with specialty shops, pubs and nightclubs, trendy coffee houses and restaurants. Most of its tightly packed brick buildings date back to the early 20th century with lots of painted murals and brightly colored bricks. There’s old apartment buildings, rowhouses and newer condominiums or conversions built within these city blocks. There are 17 lighted metal archways extending across high Street throughout Short North reminiscent of the early 1900s.

Read more: Where should I live in Columbus?

Short North is home to Fourth of July parades, the Doo Dah Parade, and Highball Halloween which is a masquerade on high Street and fashion show gaining notoriety by an Expy Award. Each year this event puts on a different theme which increases in size and popularity.

There are a variety of homes and condominiums all up and down high Street ranging in price from $160,000 to $3.9 million for exquisite penthouse estates. Whether you’re looking for a one bedroom one bath loft over a high-end apartment overlooking the city, you are sure to find it in Short North.

How much are homes in Columbus?

Nestled between Italian Village and Victorian Village just minutes from downtown Columbus, the Short North district makes an easy walkable neighborhood for living, working and playing. [Source]

Ricotta and Chard Cannelloni with Walnuts

Homemade ricotta and Swiss chard cannelloni with smoked Gouda and Walnuts

This recipe is definitely a labor of love and if you have some time it’s worth it to prepare every step from scratch.
Ricotta Cheese:

1 Gallon of Milk – Preferably Whole Milk
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice

First make the ricotta cheese; take a gallon of milk, preferably whole milk but I used what were on hand which three quarters of a gallon of nonfat milk and a half a pint of heavy cream. I mix them together in a heavy saucepan with a half a teaspoon of salt. Stir frequently so the milk does not burn to the bottom of the pan and when it is a full rolling boil add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar. Turn the heat down to a medium low and simmer Intel the milk coagulates and turns into curds (2 to 3 minutes)

Take a big bowl with a strainer laid over the top covered in cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel and slowly pour the hot milk and curds into the cloth lined strainer and tell all of the curds and whey have passed through. Let this sit while you make the other ingredients. The whey will seep through to the bottom bowl leaving about a cup and a half to 2 cups of fresh ricotta cheese.

Make the Pasta:
2 Cups Flour
2-3 Eggs
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. ice water (maybe)

Combine 2 cups of all-purpose or Italian (00) flour in a food processor with two large or three small eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of good olive oil. Mix to combine and if the mixture is a little dry add a little bit of ice water and tell a dough forms and if it is too wet add a little more flour. Once dough has formed folded out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes and tell a smooth dough ball has formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Make the Filling:
½ chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. ground sage
1 tsp. ground oregano
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
2 Cups chopped Rainbow Chard
½ Cup shredded smoked cheese
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese

In a heavy skillet heat 1 tablespoon of good quality olive oil until shimmering and add one half of a large onion chopped. Sauté for two minutes until translucent and add three minced garlic cloves.  Once the garlic is fragrant add 1 teaspoon of ground sage, 1 teaspoon of ground oregano, a small batch of cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper. Sauté for 30 seconds and then add 2 cups of chopped rainbow chard. Sauté until the chard is just tender. Take off the heat and set aside.

By now, the ricotta cheese has well-drained and most of the cheese will be solidified and you should be able to pick up the cloth and pour the cheese into the skillet with the vegetables. Add a half a cup of shredded smoked Gouda cheese or smoked Gruyere cheese and a quarter cup of Parmesan cheese. Mix to combine and set aside.

Take the pasta dough ball and cut into for manageable pieces. Flatten with your hands and press through a pasta roller, either mechanical or hand roller. This should be at a level 4 or slightly on the thinner side. Lay out onto a lightly floured work surface and out cut 6 inch sections on the sheet of pasta. Place a third of a cup of filling in the center of each pasta sheet using your fingers to form a line of filling. Starting at one in carefully roll into a cannelloni shape and place into an oiled baking dish. Finish with the remaining pasta sheets and selling and tell the baking dish is full.

Make the Sauce:
3 tsp. butter
3 tsp. flour
Pinch of Nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
3 Cups milk
2 ½ cups of Shredded Gruyere or Gouda Cheese

To make the cheese sauce, take 3 tablespoons of butter in a small stove top pan and when melted, add 3 tablespoons of flour. Using whisk to combine and cook for one minute. Pour in 3 cups of milk and whisk to combine. Cook and tell the mixture is slightly thickened and add a good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt. Once the mixture is thick add in 2 cups of the shredded smoked cheese. Stir until melted and pour over cannelloni’s. Top with remaining half a cup of cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Once baked, let it rest 5 minutes and then serve with a good helping of chopped walnuts sprinkled on every serving. image: By Alpha from Melbourne, Australia [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a great dish even the next day!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Best Place to Live in Richmond Hill, Ga

Best Place to Live in Richmond Hill, Ga

RichmondHill has 24 neighborhoods identifiable by name! Here's a quick synopsis of each community:

Bailey Plantation: Cute well maintained homes in a planned subdivision with spacious yards.

Buckhead: This is several smaller subdivisions over 272 acres featuring wooded areas and country living only 30 minutes from Savannah. Prices range from $300,000 to over a million for a home on the river. Amenities include: tennis courts, a clubhouse, recreational park with baseball, soccer, football, a pool and bicycle trails. They also have an HOA.

Chastain Park: Tranquil living within ten minutes of Richmond Hill shopping, parks and schools. Here, you'll find highly sought after real estate.

The Cove: Immaculate homes. Many on a lagoon fed by the Ogeechee. Open floor plans and gourmet kitchens. These homes are all you ever dreamed of.

Ford Plantation: 1800 acre gated community luxury real estate on property once owned by Henry Ford. Amenities include: heavily wooded golf course, equestrian center, spa, fitness center, tennis and squash.

Hope Creek: As close as you can get to Fort Stewart and still be in Richmond Hill school system.

Keller Crossing: Quiet country living with an abundance of home styles. Thirty minutes from Savannah and tucked away nicely within Pines and Oaks. Amenities include: football, soccer and baseball fields. As well as pool playground and tennis court.

Kinsale: Seconds east of I-95 on Hwy. Amenities include: Pool, residents' clubhouse, lighted tennis court and children's playground.

Main Street: Many resale and new homes on 263 acres within walking distance of elementary, middle and high schools. Beautifully wooded with walking and biking trails, playgrounds and a fishing pond.

Mulberry: Quiet community with brick re sale homes that are beautifully landscaped and set back from the road.

Oxford: Well polished commercial and residential district.

Piercefield Forrest: Beautiful homes in wooded area.

Redbird Creek: Homes bordering the marshes of Redbird Creek. Here there are strict codes to ensure home construction blends with the natural beauty of the land.

Richmond Place: Covenant ruled community home to many military families. Styles range from small ranch homes to three story homes. Amenities include: pool, clubhouse, tennis court, and baseball field.

River Oaks: New, private, gated community on Ogeechee River. Here, there are two villas with three bedroom condos. Amenities include community dock and private boat slips.

Sterling Woods: Beautiful southern style homes on marsh front acreage.

Sterling Creek: Oak laden family community with lots of reasonably priced resale homes.

Strathy Hall: Brick entrance with nicely landscaped streets. Only five minutes from Fort McAllister State Park and amenities include a community pool and clubhouse.

Teal Lake: Within walking distance to middle school and high school.

Tivoli Marsh: Located on a high bluff overlooking the Tivoli River. This is a very scenic community on fifty acres.

Tranquilla Hall: Nestled among oak trees, here you can live quietly in a breathtaking setting. Amenities include: pool, playground, tennis court and ball field.

Turtle Landing: Two story cottages with detached carports within walking distance of high school and middle schools.

Waterford Landing: Elegant community outside the city limits(no taxes) but still within the Richmond Hill school system. This is a golf community with golf club and wooded common spaces. Many homes have marsh views.

White Oak Village: New neo-traditional style home collection with the front porch you've always dreamed of.

Contact Jim Blankenburg for more information today and to search and save all homes and real estate in Richmond Hill Georgia.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Staging a Home to Sell

Staging a Home to Sell

Staging your home can help you sell it quickly and for top dollar. Just like anything in life, first impressions are everything and showing your home in its best light will make the buyers remember it and come back for that "second look". Check out the following basic staging rules.

CLEAN: This may seem like a no brainer but your home really MUST shine! It's usually best to hire a cleaning crew and have them return weekly until your home sells. And don't forget to do the windows inside and out! AND pressure wash any patios, driveways and walkways.

FIX: All broken faucets, cracked tiles and chipping paint should be taken care of now.

DE-CLUTTER: Use the 50% rule. This rule mandates that you reduce the amount of stuff in your home by half. It's very hard because you love your stuff! But remember, you're taking it with you to your new home anyway, so might as well pack it up now! Lots of stuff really makes homes seem disorganized and "small". 

Image by Elite Staging and Redesign

NEUTRALIZE: Neutral colors sell. Buyers want to imagine themselves in your home. So, if you have orange walls, and they're more of "blue" people, it may really turn them off. Stick to neutral colors and make sure they're high quality!

DE-PERSONALIZE: Remove objects your buyers may not be able to connect with. Your unicorn collection or political militia posters...anything that keeps the buyer from picturing themselves in your home. 

CURB APPEAL: First impressions can be made in the first thirty seconds. Paint the front door, replace old rusty house numbers and buy a new door mat and a couple of hanging baskets of flowers.
Basically, turn your home into a model home. Visit any model home and you won't see crazy patterned area rugs, toasters on the counter, throw blankets, or collections of knick knacks. Can you put a plant on a counter? Yes. Everyone has a plant. Can you put your Elvis clock on the mantle? No. Not everyone loves the king. Think minimal and think general...and in no time, you're ready to sell! Call Maureen Fukumoto for more tips on selling your Oahu Home.