Consumer Real Estate News


    • Go Gluten-Free With Family Favorites

      21 April 2021

      (Family Features) Time available to cook, your family’s preferred dishes, ingredients you have in the pantry – there are plenty of considerations that may limit your options for an at-home menu. Add in a gluten allergy, or simply a desire to avoid it, and it may feel impossible to appease everyone.

      However, all it takes is simple ingredient swaps to turn a family favorite into a gluten-free recipe. From pizza at dinnertime to a chocolatey dessert, these dishes offer easy, flavorful ways to make your menu gluten-free. 

      A Healthier Homemade Pizza
      Creating a gluten-free dinner can be as easy as tweaking some of your loved ones’ favorite meals. Even pizza can offer a gluten-free solution when you rethink the ingredients included. 

      Satisfy your family’s needs with an option like Toufayan Gluten-Free Wraps in place of traditional crust in this Gluten-Free Barbecue Skillet Pizza. Made from wholesome, all-natural ingredients with no cholesterol or trans fats, these easily foldable wraps are available in four flavors, making them perfect for homemade pizza. 

      Visit Toufayan.com to find more mealtime solutions. 

      Gluten-Free Barbecue Skillet Pizza
      1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
      1 Toufayan Gluten-Free Original Wrap 
      3 tablespoons gluten-free barbecue sauce
      4 cooked sausage links, crumbled
      2 cups diced Mozzarella cheese
      2 tablespoons chopped green onion
      fresh Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
      fresh fennel fronds, for garnish (optional)
      crushed red pepper, for garnish (optional)
      salt, to taste
      pepper, to taste

      Heat oven to broil.

      Heat cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil; spread to cover bottom of skillet.

      Place wrap in skillet, brush with barbecue sauce and add sausage, Mozzarella and green onion.
      Fry 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom of the wrap is golden and crispy.

      Place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes.

      Remove from broiler, place on a cutting board and sprinkle with Parmesan, fennel fronds and crushed red pepper, if desired.

      Season with salt and pepper, to taste; drizzle with remaining olive oil, cut and serve. 

      Dish Up a Dynamic Dessert
      Going gluten-free isn’t just for meals from breakfast to dinner – you can cut gluten from delicious desserts, too. 
      This Cookie Brownie Supreme calls for layers of cookie dough, cookies and brownies for a taste bud tempting way to round out a meal with those you love. One of the key ingredients is Goodie Girl Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies, made with real cocoa and a sweet cream filling between two chocolate wafers.  They’re made without artificial flavors, colors or preservatives for a gluten-free, vegan and peanut-free treat. 

      Find more varieties and dessert ideas at goodiegirl.com. 

      Cookie Brownie Supreme 

      Cookie Dough Layer:

      1 stick softened butter
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      1/4 cup sugar
      1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
      1 egg
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour 
      1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

      Cookie Layer:
      25 Goodie Girl Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies

      Brownie Layer:
      1 stick butter
      1 1/2 cups sugar
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      3/4 cup cocoa powder
      3 eggs
      3/4 cup gluten-free flour 
      1 teaspoon baking powder
      6 Goodie Girl Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies, crushed
      1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
      vanilla ice cream (optional)
      chocolate syrup (optional)

      Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Prepare a 9-by-9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. 

      To make cookie dough layer: In a large bowl, combine softened butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla. Mix with a handheld mixer until combined and creamy. Add egg and beat until combined. 

      In a small bowl, combine baking soda, salt and flour. Beat flour mixture gradually into sugar mixture. Once completely combined, fold in chocolate chips. Add cookie dough layer to bottom of prepared pan and spread evenly.

      To make cookie layer: Layer cookies on top of cookie dough layer. 

      To make the brownie layer: In a saucepan, melt butter, sugar and salt until completely combined. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add vanilla, cocoa and eggs; mix. Slowly add flour and baking powder. Mix until completely combined. 

      Pour brownie mixture over the cookie layer. Spread evenly. 

      Top with crushed cookies and chocolate chips.

      Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Slice and top with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, if desired.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Reduce Clutter in Your Kitchen

      21 April 2021

      The kitchen is likely a place where members of your family spend a significant amount of time. It’s used for cooking and eating, and sometimes for working and doing homework. The kitchen therefore tends to attract and accumulate a lot of clutter. Here are some tips to help you tidy your kitchen and keep things organized.

      Ask Yourself What Is Truly Necessary
      Many homeowners have all sorts of kitchen tools and appliances that they bought themselves or were given as gifts. Often, people only use a fraction of what they own and the rest may take up valuable space. Go through your kitchen and sell or donate things you don’t use. Weeding out the items that you don’t need may free up a lot of usable space that you can use to more effectively organize what you have left. 

      Assign a Home to Everything That Belongs in the Kitchen
      The kitchen tends to be a place where people put things down when they come home. Your kitchen is a place to store items that you use for cooking and eating. It’s not a place to put your keys, mail, shoes and other items. Find places for those things in other parts of the house and designate a spot for every item that belongs in the kitchen. 

      Keep the Counters as Clear as Possible
      Clutter on the countertops can make the entire kitchen seem messy and disorganized. Clutter can also reduce the amount of available workspace and make it more difficult to cook. 

      Only keep things that you use regularly on the counters. For example, a cutting board and utensils can be kept out since those are items you use to prepare most meals. Small appliances that you use less often, such as a blender, can be stored in a cabinet and taken out as needed. Create an organizational system for cabinets and drawers and consider hanging pots and pans on wall hooks to take advantage of other available space.

      Clean and Put Things Away Immediately
      After you use something, put it back where it belongs right away or put it in the dishwasher or laundry basket, when appropriate. After you get the amount of an ingredient that you need, put the rest back in the refrigerator or in a cabinet. 

      Don’t leave an item on a counter or in the sink and tell yourself you’ll take care of it later. That’s how large messes get started. If you get in the habit of putting things back where they belong as soon as you finish using them, you will be able to prevent constant clutter.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 7 Ways to Save Money Like Grandma Did

      21 April 2021

      While dealing with food rationing, supply shortages and tight budgets, many of our grandmas found ways to make money stretch while keeping their families happily fed and clothed.

      Home economists suggest seven ways to make your money go further by following grandma’s example.

      • Buy From the Farmer - Cut out the middleman and buy fresh produce directly from the farmer at one of the thousands of farmer’s markets that pop up every week in towns and cities everywhere. 
      • Learn Basic Sewing - No need to pay the tailor to repair a torn seam or take up a hem. Check out YouTube tutorials or take a basic sewing class at a local crafts store and think of the money you’ll save over the years by doing those simple chores yourself.
      • Swap Talents - If you can mow your neighbor’s lawn, and she loves to bake, trade your lawn care skills for her cinnamon rolls and you both make out like bandits without reaching into your pockets.
      • Eat In - Our grandparents didn’t rely on restaurant dining or take-out. Eating in is cheaper and  you don’t need to be a gourmet cook. Schedule taco night, pasta night, pizza night, soup night, even an occasional breakfast or salad night and, if possible, share the chef’s hat with your spouse or kids and let them add their ideas.
      • Pay With Cash - Grandma didn’t have a credit card, and paying with cash helps you control how much you spend. It also removes temptation to put too much on the credit card and wind up paying double the cost of your purchase because of the interest accrued.  
      • Pack a Lunch - It’s okay to go out to lunch now and then, but packing your lunch on most work days will help you control portions, cut down on calories and save dollars every week.
      • Give More DIY Gifts - Who doesn’t love a plate of homemade brownies? Or a cozy-warm hand-knit afghan? Instead of buying gifts for family and friends, give an album of curated family photos or a coupon for a weekend of pet-sitting.
      • Save a Little - Grandma fed a piggy bank and saved a dollar a week in a Christmas Club account. You can, too, and/or set up a direct-deposit to automatically save.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Tips for Brightening Your Space and Your Mood

      20 April 2021

      Light, bright spaces not only appear to be larger than dark spaces, they also seem to make us feel happier. But not all of us live in light, sunny spaces. Designers and decorators recommend six sound tips for adding light, or the illusion of light, to help brighten your rooms and your mood: 

      • Start With White - Small or dark spaces are not the place to try out a dark color palette. The lighter the walls, the more light they will reflect. Start with white, a pale, neutral grey or beige walls, and if you choose a color other than white, think about painting the ceiling a shade lighter to help light bounce around the room.
      • More Ceiling Tricks - Blue skies brighten the world. Painting your ceiling the color of the sky can create the illusion of light. Or, paint the ceiling with a high-gloss paint to help reflect light. 
      • Bring in Colors of the Sun - One proven way to brighten a space is to bring in yellows, reds and oranges—the colors of the sun. You can do this with furnishings, accent pieces and pillows.
      • Use Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces - Double the amount of light in a room by allowing it to bounce off reflective surfaces. Hang a large mirror across from the largest window in the room. Hang an array of smaller mirrors in darker areas, such as hallways, and bring in shimmery gold or silver accessories to attract and reflect light. 
      • Place Bookshelves Correctly - Place bookshelves perpendicular to the window wall. Placing them parallel or across from a window is a sure way to obstruct the light.
      • Supplement Daylight - Think about where you place light fixtures. Indirect lighting aimed upward, such a torchiere at the back of the room, can make up for lack of natural light on the ceiling as daylight fades.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Spark Scientific Discovery at Home

      20 April 2021

      (Family Features) Science influences many aspects of daily life in countless ways. It also helps shape the development of life skills from an early age. As children learn to communicate, think critically, make predictions and form opinions based on their observations, they are developing science skills that will last a lifetime.

      Through its “Wonder of Science” initiative celebrating bringing innovation to kitchen tables for 100 years, Wonder Bread is helping to support ongoing scientific learning for students across America. In partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org and Emily Calandrelli, an American science communicator, MIT engineer and co-executive producer and host of “Emily’s Wonder Lab” on Netflix, the bread manufacturer is donating $100,000 to provide U.S. middle and high schools with supplies and equipment for science education and presenting an online series of science experiments for students.

      Allowing children to put those science-based skills to the test at home can be both simple and fun. Whether you head outside to identify clouds and species of animals or work on crafts indoors, there are plenty of everyday learning scenarios that allow parents to get hands-on with their children’s education.

      Bake Together 
      Baking can be a fun (and tasty) way to introduce scientific experimentation by following a recipe to see how the ingredients react together – or with too much or too little of a certain ingredient – and testing the end product against the desired results. As recipes are mixed, heated and cooled, baking introduces a variety of chemical reactions, including water evaporation, caramelization, browning and more.

      Conduct Experiments with Everyday Supplies 
      Special tools and equipment aren’t necessary for discovering and fostering a love of science or conducting your own experiments. By using household items you may already have on hand and following a few simple instructions from Calandrelli, you can create your own homemade rockets or inflate a balloon.

      “Getting kids excited about science and interested in how it affects our lives every day is the best part of what I do,” Calandrelli said. “Joining Wonder Bread to spread that message of wonder not just through my show but directly into classrooms is a fantastic opportunity. I can’t wait to share my love of science.”

      Start a Garden 
      One of the best ways to introduce children to a variety of plant species and the process through which they grow is to grow your own garden. Start by letting the kids pick some plants or vegetables that germinate and produce a crop quickly such as carrots or petunias then choose a location to plant. Test and prepare the soil then plant your seeds and water as needed.

      Visit wonderbread.com for more information. 

      Balloon on a Bottle
      2 tablespoons dry yeast
      1 tablespoon sugar
      2-3 tablespoons lukewarm water
      1 large mouth, glass pint bottle
      1 party balloon

      In a cup, stir yeast, sugar and water. Using funnel, pour mixture into bottle. Add more water as needed to push the mixture through the bottleneck. 

      Quickly stretch the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. 

      Observe bubbles in the yeast mixture and watch the balloon inflate. Inflation can take 10-30 minutes, depending on mixture. 

      Effervescent Tablet Rocket
      Film canister
      Water
      1/2 effervescent antacid tablet
      Plate
      Watch or timer

      In the film canister, add water until it’s one-quarter full.

      Add half effervescing antacid tablet to film canister and quickly snap on lid.

      Place film canister rocket on plate on ground, lid down. Stand back and use the watch or timer to count down until launch.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.