Consumer Real Estate News

    • Easy and Delicious Ethnic Dishes

      7 December 2021

      (Family Features) When tried-and-true family favorites turn stale and boring, digging through cookbooks and sorting through blogs for new recipes may seem far too time-consuming for your busy evenings. However, a simple ethnic twist in the kitchen can turn bland dinners into exciting meals.
       
      You don’t need a plane ticket to explore international cuisines. Start with a versatile ingredient like rice, one of the most common kitchen staples around the world. It can transport you to another country in recipes like Korean-inspired Kimchi Fried Rice Bowl with Fried Egg, which provides a savory blend of veggies, basmati rice, soy sauce, sesame oil and more. A quick and easy recipe complete in less than 30 minutes, it’s a simple option for exploring new flavors and encouraging kiddos to expand their horizons.
       
      For a spicy take on ethnic cuisine, you can push mealtime over the top with Thai Cashew Chicken Fried Rice, ready to eat in half an hour. Aromatic jasmine rice is cooked to fluffy perfection then cooled before being combined with sauteed chicken, sugar snap peas and garlic. The dish gets a kick from a Thai red chili pepper, which offers a moderate to hot level of spice; simply omit if spice isn’t nice for you or your loved ones. Mix in soy sauce and a sprinkle of cashews for a truly traditional Thai flavor.
       
      Ready in just 10 minutes, Success Rice’s no measure, no mess, boil-in-bag options make these recipes and other delicious ethnic staples possible with perfectly fluffy rice and quinoa. As a foolproof solution for dishes worth savoring, it takes all the guesswork out of making rice and gives home cooks more time to focus on the rest of the recipe and dinner together as a family.
       
      Find more family meal ideas with an ethnic twist at SuccessRice.com.
       
      Kimchi Fried Rice Bowl with Fried Egg
      Prep time: 15 minutes
      Cook time: 10 minutes
      Servings: 4
       
      2 bags Success Basmati Rice
      2 tablespoons canola oil
      1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
      1 onion, diced
      1 cup kimchi, chopped
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 tablespoon ginger, minced
      4 cups baby spinach
      2 tablespoons soy sauce
      4 teaspoons sesame oil
      4 eggs, fried
       
      Prepare rice according to package directions.
       
      In a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Stir-fry mushrooms and onions 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in kimchi, garlic and ginger; stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until well coated.
       
      Stir in rice, spinach, soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until spinach starts to wilt and rice is heated through.
       
      Divide rice between four bowls and top each with one fried egg.
       
      Thai Cashew Chicken Fried Rice
      Prep time: 20 minutes
      Cook time: 10 minutes
      Servings: 4
       
      2 bags Success Jasmine Rice
      2 tablespoons canola oil
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
      1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
      3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
      1 Thai red chili pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
      3 tablespoons soy sauce
      1/3 cup roasted cashews
       
      Prepare rice according to package directions. Let cool completely.
       
      In a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season chicken with salt. Cook chicken, stirring, 3-5 minutes, or until starting to brown. Stir in sugar snap peas, garlic and chili pepper, if desired. Cook, stirring, 3-5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and snap peas are tender-crisp.
       
      Stir in rice. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine. Stir in soy sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until rice is heated through.
       
      Sprinkle with cashews before serving.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Could Bundling Your Insurance Policies Help You Save Money?

      7 December 2021

      Many companies offer customers the opportunity to bundle home, auto and life insurance policies. That can often save people money, but not always. It’s important to conduct research and carefully compare your options.

      How Bundling Could Save You Money
      Insurance companies generally offer generous discounts to encourage customers to bundle their policies. If you got multiple policies from the same company and kept them for several years, you could save a significant amount of money.

      Having different policies from the same company could also save you money if you needed to file a claim. For example, if an accident damages both your home and car, you might be able to submit one claim and pay a single deductible, rather than submit two claims to different companies and pay two deductibles for the same event.

      Other Reasons to Bundle Insurance Policies
      If you had policies from different insurers, there could be gaps in your coverage that you weren’t aware of and that representatives of the insurance companies couldn’t identify because they didn’t have the specifics about the other company’s policy. Bundling policies could make it easier to be sure that you had the right coverage.

      If you live in a region that is prone to severe weather, wildfires or other perils, it could be difficult to get homeowners insurance coverage. If you already had an unrelated policy from an insurer, however, that company would be more likely to offer you homeowners insurance because if it refused to insure your home, you could go to another company for all your insurance needs and your existing insurer would lose a customer.

      If you wanted to change your coverage or add another type of insurance, it would be easier if you dealt with a company that already had your personal information, rather than starting from scratch. You could also view all your coverage information in one place and pay one bill.

      When Bundling Insurance Policies Might Not Make Sense
      Bundling might not be a good option if you have a luxury or performance vehicle that is expensive to insure. Since you would pay high rates for a standard auto insurance policy, you might be better off getting coverage from a company that specialized in high-end vehicles.

      When you talk to a company about bundling policies, make sure you compare apples to apples. One insurer might offer you a discount for bundling policies, but the coverage could be less extensive than what you could get from another company. Sometimes it’s better to pay more for broader coverage.

      Is Bundling Insurance Right for You?
      Bundling insurance policies saves many people money, but it’s not always the best move. Contact several insurance companies to discuss your needs and compare coverage options and premiums so you can make the right decision for your circumstances.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Top 10 Flooring Options: Which Is Right for You?

      7 December 2021

      Homeowners today have a seemingly endless array of options when it comes to selecting what kind of floor they’d like in their homes. So, how do you know which is right for you? HGTV has the scoop on the top 10 flooring choices and what you need to know about each:

      1. Wood. Solid wood is a popular option for many because it can be refinished over and over and lasts a lifetime. However, in order to be installed properly, it needs to be nailed to a sub-floor, and it’s important to check that the wood is harvested responsibly–look for an FSC or SFI certification to be sure.

      2. Engineered Wood. The difference between this and solid wood is how it’s constructed: The top layer of engineered wood is a veneer of the real thing, supported by plywood underneath. It’s about the same cost and boasts a similar durability to actual wood, but installation is much easier, especially with certain “clickable” varieties.

      3. Laminate. Laminate floors give you the freedom to choose any number of patterns and colors to complement your home’s architecture and decor. Manufacturers use photo technology to create a plastic coating that mimics whatever style you’re after. Another perk: It can be placed directly on top of an existing floor. No tear-outs!

      4. Linoleum. An environmentally safe option, linoleum is made with renewable, biodegradable resources. Special coatings resist stains and heavy traffic, but the floor itself is high maintenance, needing refinishing every two years.

      5. Ceramic Tile. Tile is another popular choice for flooring because it can be customized easily. There are four main types: glazed, quarry, porcelain (the most resilient) and terracotta. Installation isn’t cheap, especially if you add decorative trim pieces or mosaic inlays.

      6. Carpet. The most versatile flooring is carpeting, which features more colors and textures than any other kind. A good quality indicator is the fiber density; wool is the standard, but other common materials include nylon, acrylic, polyester and polypropylene.

      7. Stone. Stone floor tiles are also popular, if you’re willing to splurge. Costing anywhere from $2 to $100 per square foot, they add a touch of luxury to any home. Harder stones (think granite and marble) only need to be sealed every five years; softer stones, such as limestone, must be refinished more frequently. A word of caution if you want stone in your bathroom: It’s wise to invest in skid-resistant surfaces, as stones become slippery when wet.

      8. Vinyl. Vinyl flooring, whether in sheets or tile squares, requires almost no maintenance. There are many colors and styles to choose from, with very little cost associated with customization. Backed by felt, they have an upper layer designed to resist scratches for 15 years.

      9. Bamboo. All the rage with green living enthusiasts, bamboo flooring is an eco-friendly option made from the plant’s fibers held together by glue. It can also stand up to wear and tear, which makes it comparable to stronger flooring, like wood.

      10. Cork. Cork is an alternative trend that’s gaining traction in newer homes. It’s comfortable to walk on and comes prefinished, so you don’t have to reseal within a year. Another plus is that it comes from the bark (rather than the core) of a tree, so forests remain unharmed during the harvesting process.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Say Yes to Yogurt With a Better-for-You Snack

      6 December 2021

      (Family Features) Changing daily habits, like what you eat, can enhance your overall wellness. However, it doesn’t have to mean forgoing favorite flavors or skipping out on delicious snacks.
       
      Treating yourself in health-conscious ways is an important tactic to keep your health goals on track. In fact, healthy eating isn’t about restricting yourself; good nutrition simply starts with a balanced plate. By incorporating nutrient-rich options like milk and dairy foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, you can establish an eating pattern that supports wellness and an overall healthy lifestyle.
       
      This Chocolate and Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bark offers a sweet snack that curbs cravings without ditching your daily commitment to a balanced diet. With 1/4 cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt per serving, you’re making a responsible decision at snack time because, when it comes to good nutrition, dairy is an irreplaceable source of essential nutrients.
       
      Dairy foods provide nutrients that people need to grow and maintain stronger bodies and minds. While Americans consume about two dairy servings per day on average, adding just one more serving can help fill dairy and nutrient gaps.
       
      Add more dairy to your diet with this easy-to-make snack and find more better-for-you recipes at MilkMeansMore.org.
       
      Chocolate and Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bark
      Prep time: 5 minutes
      Servings: 12
       
      3 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
      1/3 cup honey, plus additional for drizzling, divided (optional)
      1 teaspoon vanilla
      1/4 cup melted dark chocolate
      1/2 cup strawberries
      1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
       
      In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, honey and vanilla.
       
      On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread the Greek yogurt mixture to 1/4-inch thickness. Drop spoonfuls of melted chocolate onto yogurt and use a toothpick to drag in circles. Press strawberries and chocolate chips into yogurt. Freeze for at least 3 hours.
       
      Remove from the freezer and break into pieces.
       
      Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories; 18 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 6 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 20 mg sodium; 8% calcium.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When Remodeling a Kitchen

      6 December 2021

      Your family probably uses the kitchen more than any other room in your home. If it isn’t well designed, it may feel cramped. If you want to remodel your kitchen to make it more suited to your needs, avoid making these common blunders.

      Not Giving Yourself Enough Storage and Workspace
      If you’ve been living in your home for a while, you may wish that you had more cabinet space or that your cabinets were configured differently to better store items you use frequently. When you design your new kitchen, think about how your current cabinets come up short and how to address that problem.
      You may have also found that your current amount of counter space is inadequate. You can change the kitchen’s layout to give you more counter space or install an island.

      If you want to add an island or buy new appliances, make sure you don’t sell yourself short when it comes to storage space. Top-of-the-line appliances and more workspace are all well and good, but you’ll be frustrated if you don’t have enough room to store food, dishes and small appliances.

      Not Making Enough Room to Get Around Easily
      You use your refrigerator, stove and sink more than any other features in the kitchen, so they should be close together. In most kitchens, these three elements are arranged in a triangle so people can move effortlessly from one to another.

      Measure the refrigerator, stove, and cabinet doors and drawers to make sure there is plenty of room to open them without them bumping into something else. If you want to install an island, don’t choose one so large that it will be hard for people to move around in the kitchen and to open and close cabinets and drawers. Make sure aisles around an island are wide enough for two cooks to work at the same time or for family members to walk around while someone is cooking without people bumping into each other.

      Not Having Sufficient Lighting
      Poor lighting can make it hard to find items when you need them and can lead to accidents in the kitchen. Make sure your new kitchen will have plenty of overhead lighting, as well as lights in the pantry and over the sink and food preparation areas.

      Buying Cheap Cabinets
      If your cabinets are worn out from years of daily use, they will probably need to be replaced. New cabinets can be costly, but they will last, whereas old, damaged cabinets can detract from the appearance of the entire kitchen. Spend the extra money to buy quality cabinets.

      Get Professional Design Help
      A remodeled kitchen can make it easier to prepare meals and enjoy time with family and friends. Since this is likely to be an expensive project, think it through carefully. Consult a kitchen design expert and a contractor to choose a layout and features that will make the best use of your available space and help you avoid common mistakes.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.