02 November 2016

Casa Fiore Cooks Spaghetti alla Puttanesca on KCTS 9! Video Link and Recipe Here for YOU!

What a total blast it was to share with YOU Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, my signature dish, on live TV Saturday, November 11th, 2014!  "KCTS 9 Cooks:  Pasta, Rice, and Grains" was the latest installment of KCTS 9's viewer-led cooking show, and it was so cool to have been a part of it.  Check it out via the link above.

This quintessential Southern Italian "soul food" dish is a bold and saucy and pairs perfectly with big Italian red wines.  While a majority of my cooking comes directly from home chefs such as Grandma Carm, Grandpa Rossetti, Nana, Pop, Grandma and Grandpa "P" and my dear parents Marianna and Fiore, this fiery concoction is all mine.  This dish is the culmination of their method, style and love in the kitchen, as reflected through me.  I really don't use exact measurements with this recipe (though I offer you some here), so feel free to follow your whimsy a bit; a little extra red pepper here or a little extra oregano there won't hurt!  As always, let me know if I can help you with this in any way!  Buon appetito e cent'anni!
1. Chop or mince in a garlic press 6-8 cloves of garlic.  Sauté in 1/4 cup olive oil until translucent but not browned in a wide, flat pan.
2. Puree one 28 oz. can of tomatoes.  Add to garlic and bring to a simmer over low-med. heat.
3. Add 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper, 1 plus tsp. red pepper, 1/3 cup coarsely chopped oil-cured black olives, 1 tin of anchovies (patted dry of oil), 3 tblsp. capers, 1 plus tblsp. oregano and simmer over low-med. for 10-15 min.
4. Cook 1 lb. spaghetti “al dente”, that is, a little on the firm side
5. Add “al dente” spaghetti to the sauce and let simmer with 3 tblsp. chopped parsley until dish melds together (1-2 min.).
6. Serve immediately with grated Romano or Parmigiano and a hearty red like Barolo, Barbaresco, or Brunello di Montepulciano.

01 November 2016

From the Chef ~ Tuna Under Olive Oil

When your brother is a fishing nut, good things come your way in the form of rich adventures in the kitchen and on the dinner plate!  This fall, Mario hooked into a couple hundred pounds of tuna off of the Washington coast.  What to do with piles of albacore? We came up with many options - poke, sashimi, ceviche, and seared in spices - but my favorite is poaching it in olive oil.  The final product matches the delicious, top-shelf Italian and Spanish tuna canned in olive oil.  This preparation works great as the signature protein of a classic Salad Nicoise (see recipe below) or worked into red sauce with spaghetti.

Here is the link to the recipe:

From the Chef 
Salade Niçoise du Fiore
As I was researching this favorite dish—Niçoise Salad, an untiring testament to deliciousness—my coworker looked over my shoulder and wondered aloud, “Fiore, I am surprised you need to look up that one!” In truth, I do more or less know this dish, having enjoyed it endlessly along the Italian and French Riviera.  But as I enjoy doing, I huddled up with some trusted, go-to online resources—Saveur, Ina Garten, Julia Child, Food Network, Epicurious, The Naked Chef—and crosschecked my recipe.  Sure enough, their versions confirmed in essence the same delectably fresh statement of Mediterranean love on a salad dish! Bon Appetit!

For the Salad. Arrange on 4 plates or one large platter 1 head cleaned bibb lettuce. Then top with the following ingredients:
1 lb. small new potatoes, boiled until tender
1/2 lb. haricot verts, blanched
3/4 lb. the very best tomatoes you can find, halved
8 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup black Niçoise olives
4 hardboiled eggs, quartered
One 2 oz. tin quality anchovies
2-3 cans (8-12 oz. total) high quality tuna in olive oil
(I have a GREAT recipe for preparing your own from fresh tuna steaks—visit CasaFioreOnline.com for the recipe!)
Optional: Thinly sliced shallots or onions; boiled beets, pealed and sliced; thinly sliced cucumber

For the Dressing. This is from Savuer and I really like it.
Mince 1 clove of garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle heavy with kosher salt.  Using a knife, scrape garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste.  Transfer paste to a bowl and whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1 minced shallot, and salt and pepper to taste.  Now drizzle over salad and enjoy!

What are Built Green Homes? A Primer on Sustainability

As2016 Listing Agent of the Year for Built Green, I'd like to give you an overview of what it means for a home to be sustainably "Built Green".  Please let me know if ever I can help you in any way!!

Did you know that 30% of homes built in King and Snohomish County are now Built Green?  Homes that are Built Green are more sustainable, more comfortable and more efficient (ie:  less expensive and wasteful from a utility bill perspective) than homes built to code requirements from any era. Taken from the Master Builders Association web site, 

"The Master Builders Association established Built Green as an environmentally friendly green building certification program to set standards of excellence that can make a significant impact on housing, health and the environment."

These standards of excellence can be summed up in the following five categories:
Green Codes
Site and Water
Energy Efficiency
Indoor Air Quality
Material Selection

Visit www.BuiltGreen.net to learn more!

Here is a look at sustainably built homes I have listed in 2016.

Dep City 15 at 16th and Yesler by Dep Homes
***Winner of Green Genius Award as a Builder***
Final 10 of 15 homes near the First Hill Streetcar
4-Star Built Green

Rare 5-Star Custom Wedgwood Home
Designed by Malbouf Bowie Architecture
***Winner of Green Genius Award for Remodel Builder***
Built by Ulric Dihle

Four Detached Town Homes by Barcelo Homes on North Beacon Hill
4-Star Built Green
(All sold in presale, so photos unavailable!)

Three North Beacon Hill Row Houses by Barcelo Homes
4-Star Built Green

Other Sustainably Built Homes

"Passive Palatine", an award-winning Passive House in Greenwood 
Designed and built by Malbouf Bowie Architecture 

Modern Home in North Admiral by Maston Properties and Construction
Targeting 4-Star Built Green Certification (in process)

Quartet of Homes by Maston Properties and Construction 
In Shoreline and Edmonds built using 4-Star Built Green Practices

Other Listings to Date - Each with Their Own Story!

Ballard "Loft" House

Greenwood Home with Accessory Dwelling Unit

Darling Pinehurst Bungalow

Lake Washington Expansive View Home

North Seattle Remodel

8th Hole at Inglewood

Convenient Maple Leaf Condo

Stylish Madison Valley Town Home

From the Realtor: Latest Trends in Seattle Real Estate

Appraisal Backup as Bad as Seattle Traffic.  Once you have a home under contract, make sure you push all of the right buttons and get that appraisal ordered pronto!  Many appraisers have left the industry and purchase and refinancing orders are piling up. You can pay for a rush order, but be prepared to shell out triple the usual cost.
Double-digit Appreciation/Low Inventory Continues.  2016 median prices each month have ranged from 618K to 650K, with one notable outlier:  $666K in June.  Inventory hovers around 1 month or less, though September saw a tad more inventory than usual.  This is a trend to watch.
Transforming Seattle.  Various recent articles have documented the many ways in which Seattle is undergoing rapid and dramatic change. These snapshots give clues as to why Seattle-area real estate is undergoing such rapid appreciation. Below are some of my favorite factoids that help illustrate what I am witnessing along the front lines of today’s real estate market.
*Seattle has seen a 25% increase in Chinese buyers (typically cash buyers) in the last year, becoming the US city with the most Chinese buyers.
*The median income in Seattle increased from $70,000 to 80,000 in one year, out-pacing San Francisco.
*Seattle has more cranes than any other US city, toping LA 58 to 40.  Bellevue has an additional 20.