19 December 2011

Casa Fiore #63: Published, Posted, and in the Mail!

This month's offerings include:
  •  From the Realtor:  Valuable Real Estate Links for You
  • From the Chef:  Easy Standards, Part II ~  Crock Pot! 
  • Invitation to Attend "Casa Fiore's Cucina" Cooking Class
  • 2012 Planning, Referral Thank-yous, Letters to the Editor 
Stay tuned to CasaFioreOnline.com for the web release of selected articles.  Care to join the hundreds who receive the old-fashioned, snail mail version of Casa Fiore at their door step?  Send along your address and let me know!

Crock Pot!

From the Chef ~ Easy Standards, Part II 
Crock Pot!
Great any time of the year for “no fuss-no muss” ease and economy, the crock is a star just as the weather turns cold and the days get short.  Prep your meal the night before, plug it in when the coffee percolates the next morn, and enjoy a hot and nutritious one-pot meal the moment you walk through the door (and if you get to stay home, enjoy a wonderful aroma all day long!)  The combos are innumerable, but I start with a cut of meat—a humble cut at that, as slow cooking will render it tasty in time.  These days I am tending toward pork, but beef and lamb are great as well.  Then load up on any combo of fresh veggies, legumes, herbs, spices, sauces and condiments.  You’ll be out just 10 minutes for a weeknight masterpiece—cozy, comfort food at the end of a cold day.  With your leftovers at work, you’ll be re-fortified and the envy of every co-worker. 

For tonight’s 10-minute masterpiece, I chose a 2 lbs. roast of better-than-average pork shoulder butt from Whole Food.  I trimmed off excess fat and cut into large chunks and set aside.  Next, I layered the crock pot from bottom to top, first with firmer ingredients (chunks of potatoes and carrots) and then softer ingredients (chunks of celery, onion, poblano peppers—so good with pork—and a can of precooked beans with the liquid drained off).  Salt and pepper everything.  My herb for this batch will be bay leaf, one of my favorite aromas in the plant kingdom.  I prefer fresh, but dried would have to do this time.  I added bay leaves at various junctures so as to completely infuse the dish with its aroma.  Over goes some tomato paste diluted with a good-sized dose of red wine.  Plug in and you’re done.  Just return 8-10 hours later and enjoy with hardy bread, a green salad, and maybe some cheddar on the side.

12 December 2011

You are invited to... Casa Fiore’s Cucina!

Back by popular demand and with some old favorites!

Casa Fiore's Cucina
Saturday, January 28th, 6pm

Spaghetti allaPuttanesca
Grilled Prawns "al Limoncello"
Killer Super Fudge Brownies
and more!!!
Please join me as we prepare together some of my favorite recipes while having a fun and tasty meal.  You will leave with new "hit" dishes, a full stomach, and a happy smile!  Material costs:  $55. 

Register with me:      

Valuable Real Estate Links for You

Here are a range of valuable links relevant to our current real estate environment.  You can find all of these links on line at CasaFioreOnline.com

More Options for Homeowners with Mortgages “Underwater”.  Recent changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) make is easier for homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than the current value of their home to refinance at the fantastic rates of today.

King County Affordability Index.  As Seattle Times recently reported, “thanks to declining prices and record-low interest rates, houses in King County are more affordable now than they've been in at least 17 years.”  Check out the article for yourself.
Interest Rates Still Super, Super Low.  Low interest rates are one of the key reasons for increased affordability.  Check out how low they are today.

How to Improve a Credit Score.  For many, the first step towards homeownership or refinancing is repairing and improving credit scores.  The following link offers some steps one can take.