A Domestic Recipe – Hearty Turkey Chili

Lately, I have been all about making meals that are quick to create and can last for a couple of meals as cooking every night is not always an option. On top of that, I have been exploring recipes that focus on the leaner proteins, such as chicken and turkey. Over the weekend, it got cold out and all of a sudden, I got the craving for some sort of comfort food that is warm and filling. Instantly, I thought of a meal that would be perfect for this craving – CHILI!

After searching around online, I found an amazing recipe for Hearty Turkey Chili on Appehtite.ca. I headed directly to the grocery store, stocked up on ingredients, and after 10 minutes of prep time and simple stove top cooking for 45 minutes, it was done and reading to serve. Delicious!

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HEARTY TURKEY CHILI

INGREDIENTS:

1 Package of Extra Lean Ground Turkey
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon of Chili powder
1 Teaspoon of Paprika
2 Teaspoons of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Dried Oregano
½ Teaspoon of Black pepper
1 Tablespoon of Hot Chocolate mix
1 Cup of Chunky Salsa
1 540ml can of Chopped Tomatoes
1 540ml can of Red Kidney Beans, drained

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook gently for 2 minutes.

2) Add turkey and cook for 8-9 minutes, breaking up turkey with the back of a wooden spoon.

3) Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

For the previous Domestic Recipe post on Pesto Chicken Pasta, CLICK HERE

Tips on Buying Your First Condo

In this special feature, The Domestic Peach’s newest contributor, real estate expert and agent Darryl Flowers, provides insight for all of the first-time condo buyers out there:

For most of us city-dwellers, when we decide that it’s time to stop throwing money down the rent toilet, we look to buy a chic condo to call our own. Most of my clients start out with a sort of blind enthusiasm – they can’t wait to start their search and envision sipping glasses of Champagne and stepping out onto lakefront balconies of condos that perfectly suit their needs and are listed under their budget. As the process wears on, however, many clients learn that condo searching is actually hard work (even if I do treat them to glasses of bubbly).

To help you through the condo searching process, here are my top tips, based on my over a decade of experience as a realtor.

1) Work with a realtor. 

I’m sure you’ve seen the cheesy ads on television encouraging you to work with a real estate professional. And of course, my including this tip is rather self-serving. That being said, this process is more time-consuming and laborious than you might assume. And in competitive markets such as downtown Toronto and other major capitals, without a realtor you’re unlikely to even see the listings of some of the best properties – they’re sometimes sold without every going up on MLS. I know this well – the condo that is my current residence I purchased before it ever actually hit the market. Good realtors have connections, and they’ll use them to help their clients.

You also want to count on your realtor should things go South with your search or your purchase. You want someone to have your back – to walk through all of the steps with you to make sure you’re well informed. And if they’re a realtor like me, they’ll also challenge your wish list to make sure that what you’re looking for is really want you want. Many of my clients, for example, are dead set on living in a certain area… until I convince them to see a place five blocks from their preferred neighbourhood, and they realize that they like it even better…and that maybe they can even afford that wraparound balcony they’ve always wanted if they’re willing to compromise on location.

2) Know what you can afford.

A realtor really can’t help you much if you don’t know how much you have to spend. There’s no sense in getting your hopes up about a certain building or property only to find that your bank won’t approve you for the amount it will require. To find out what you can afford, talk to a financial professional – or better yet a few financial professionals – so that you know how much money you have to work with. Oh, and don’t worry about disclosing this to your realtor – we won’t judge you based on how much or how little you have to spend. There are so many factors that contribute to pre-approvals and budgets that the amount you’re working with really isn’t a strong indicator of your wealth (or lack thereof) anyway.

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3) Start your process early.

It’s absolutely possible to buy a condo three weeks before your apartment lease expires. It’s also very stressful. If you start your search early – even as much as two years early – your realtor can help you explore all kinds of options (different neighbourhoods, different types of buildings, amenities, etc.) before you’re on a deadline. Also, I find with my first-time condo buying clients often need a long time to figure out what’s on their must-have list, and to get realistic about what they can afford.

4) Know your goals, weigh your options.

That shoebox-sized place on King West might be a great fit now, but how long are you planning to live the single life? This isn’t to say that buying a tiny, but gorgeous condo isn’t a good idea. It just merits some discussion. If you love the downtown life, but think that you may want to move out to the suburbs at some point and have three dogs and a baby, then talk to your realtor about these goals – because you’ll want a place with a good chance of a high resale value, and/or a condo in a highly desirable area which makes it easy to rent. There are always options – make sure you know what your options are.

5) Don’t be wowed by amenities…or your view.

Make sure you love the unit you’re buying, and don’t be swayed by the gym and the pool with the swim-up bar. While it may seem exciting to get all of this for “free” with your condo, you don’t get it for free at all – you pay for these luxuries in your maintenance fees. Some maintenance fees can be as much or even more, in the case of hotel condos, than your actual mortgage payment. It’s usually less expensive to purchase a membership at a swanky gym and go to the spa once per month than it is to shell out monthly for high maintenance fees at amenity-rich buildings.

And don’t obsess over your view – unless you’re right on the waterfront, you’re going to lose it at some point – it’s just a matter of time. I’ve worked with so many sellers who feel disappointed because their fabulous lake view condo now looks onto a construction site.

Throughout your condo search process make sure you keep asking questions. You can never ask too many questions. And if you have any questions for me, please feel free to contact me directly at 647-407-5061 or darryl@darrylflowers.com. Happy hunting!

Darryl Flowers PhotoAbout the Author:  Darryl Flowers isn’t your average realtor. While the trend is currently for realtors to focus on a very specific area or neighbourhood, Darryl does the opposite. To serve his clients best, he puts his fifteen years experience to work to help his clients from all over the Greater Toronto Area weigh their options – no matter where those properties may be. Known for his comprehensive and friendly approach to client service, Darryl’s reputation in working with both new buyers and seasoned property investors is second-to-none. Reach him at darryl@darrylflowers.com or 647-407-5061, on Twitter, on Instagram and on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Clever Tips on Saving Money Around The House

We could all use a tip or two on how to save some money from time to time, but the sad thing is that most of those tips include a complete lifestyle change in order to see a return of your money. You will find yourself reading about skipping family holidays and switching to lifestyle which is more sustainable; and all you need is a nice tip on how to save some extra cash which you could use on that very holiday. Luckily, not all money saving tips include a complete lifestyle change.

Save money on water. Start with little things: when you’re brushing your teeth, close the tap. Or simply have a glass of water to wash your mouth afterwards instead of standing next to an open tap and brushing your teeth. In addition, how strong a faucet do you need while you’re doing the dishes? Replace your faucet with a low-flow one and see how your bills change for the better. You can cut your bills down from 25 up to 60%. These faucets are not expensive, they cost between $10 and $20 a piece, and the investment is worth it!

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Plan ahead. Planning ahead is useful in all spheres of life, so why not plan ahead when you go grocery shopping too? Make a detailed list of things you need for that week and only go shopping once. Remember to really make a detailed list, for going back and forth for a forgotten loaf of bread and bag of sugar will waste your money, time, patience, and gas. In addition, stick to the list you made, many supermarkets make you spend more and buying a thing here and another one there will leave you penniless in the long run.

Saving money over night. So called ‘vampire electronics’ spend nearly a hundred dollars a year worth of electricity even when they’re turned off. It doesn’t matter if your TV or a cell phone chargers are only plugged in and not turned on, they’re still wasting electricity. So, to avoid paying higher electricity bills, plug your devices into power strips and make sure they’re switched off at the end of the day. When it comes to ‘invisible costs’ you should also consider investing in a better home insulation.

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Saving money on TV and the internet. Almost every household has and needs a TV, good internet connection, and a phone; but in the long run, you’re paying three separate bills instead of one. Add a Netflix account to that and you can see where has all that money gone. To save a bit on all your tech needs, you can get a Compare Broadband bundle which combines all these things into one single service you pay. No separate bills and additional costs and you’ll save some time along with your money too.

Cleaning-saving tip. Buying cleaning products is a must, understandable, but they cost a lot. To save a bit here as well, try cleaning with baking soda instead. Also, baking soda combined with vinegar can easily unclog clogged drains.

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Saving a bit of money is always a good idea, and it can certainly come in handy on a family holiday, and it can teach your children valuable lessons about money too. There is a great German proverb that says: “He who saves in little things, can be liberal in great ones”. So in order to be able to spend some more money someplace else, save on those little things in household.

John Stone is a regular contributor at Smoothdecorator blog. He’s a DIY enthusiast who occasionally likes to put his ideas down to paper and share them with like-minded people. His fields of interest include home improvement, sustainability, new technologies, and pretty much all-things-DIY. 

Big Ideas for Small Bedrooms

Sometimes the life of an urban dweller may look like a constant fight for every free square inch. There is never enough space to fit everything, especially when it comes to the bedroom. Owning or moving house to a tiny home is not necessarily something bad. You can turn your little apartment into a cosy and unique place, starting from your resting area.

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Even the snug bedroom has the potential to become a beautiful retreat. By incorporating basic design techniques and a little bit of imagination, you can create a truly relaxing and gorgeous place.

1. Set a Functional Layout – Unlike other rooms at your home like the kitchen or the living room, you need to fit fewer things in the bedroom. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create an efficient layout. The flow of the room has huge impact on the way a place looks and feel. If you are moving house to a smaller apartment, you should decide how to position all the things from your previous home. In all of these cases you need a good plan. Outline all the furniture you will out in there. Then you can clearly see the redundant stuff and eliminate them.

2. Mind The Room’s Geometry – Focal and centre point are basic design concepts that can help you arrange your place. If you are planning a relocation, visit the place and create an outline. Every successful interior has a focal point. This is an eye – catching element that gives the room focus and depth. In the bedroom this is usually the window or the bed. Sometimes these two features may clash. You can avoid it by placing the bed near or in front of the window. To create a cohesive interior, keep one of the elements neutral. The bed will also be a centre point, or the piece that determines the position of the rest of the items.

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3. Go Big or Go Home – Just because you own or moving house into a small place doesn’t mean that you can’t have a huge comfy bed. Actually, the larger furniture will make the place appear more spacious. If you picked a big bed, don’t combine it with teeny –tiny nightstand. The pieces in your interior should be proportionate to one another. A dresser in appropriate size is another alternative.

4. Invest in Storage – Keeping limited places clutter – free is a huge challenge. Make organizing easy by getting enough storage solutions. Take advantage of the vertical and under – the bed space. Get furniture that can serve double duty. For example a chest that can be a bedside table as well.

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5. Light it Properly – If you want to create a visual illusion of more space, you have two options. You can paint the bedroom and neutral shades or you can use lightening. The latter is definitely most cost efficient. Plus it will save you the effort. Replace the bedside lamp, with a mounted solution.

Ella Andrews is writer, blogger and social network enthusiast She is presently involved in learning more about interior design, storage and home decor: http://www.removalshouse.com/removal-services/W1-removals-westminster.html