Kimberly Zecher - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 11/21/2020

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Potatoes go well with almost any main course you serve for dinner, which makes them one of the most common side dish ingredients. If you’re looking for something different to make instead of the usual mashed potatoes or baked potatoes, consider these easy side dish recipes.

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic

The garlic in this recipe adds a tasty kick to regular roasted potatoes that goes well with chicken, steak and many other main courses. To make this side dish recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 lbs potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Before preparing your ingredients, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes, then place them on the baking sheet in one layer. Drizzle the canola or olive oil over the potatoes, then add the garlic, salt and pepper for seasoning. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes. While they’re roasting, flip the potato pieces around from time to time. Your potatoes should be golden when they’re done. Take the potatoes out of the oven, then add salt and pepper for more seasoning if desired. Add the parsley to the potatoes before serving.

Cheesy Slow Cooker Potatoes

This is the perfect recipe when you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. Just put the ingredients in your slow cooker, and you’ll have a delicious side dish ready to serve with your main course. You’ll need to gather these ingredients for this recipe:

  • 2 lbs baby potatoes
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sour cream

Place a layer of foil inside your slow cooker to make it easier to clean up, then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Cut the baby potatoes into quarters, and cook the bacon on the stove. Add half of the garlic and potatoes to the slow cooker, then add 1 1/4 cups of the cheese, 1/3 of the bacon and half of the paprika and green onions. Use salt and pepper for seasoning, then repeat the previous step with the same amounts of the main ingredients. Cover the slow cooker, and cook on a high setting for about 5 to 6 hours. The potatoes should be tender when they’re fully done. Keep in mind that you’ll need to cook longer if you have larger potato pieces. Top the potatoes with the rest of the bacon and cheese about 30 minutes before dinner. Add more green onions if desired for flavor, then drizzle sour cream on the potatoes before you serve them.




Tags: Cooking   dinner   recipes  
Categories: Food  


Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 11/14/2020

For a first-time homebuyer, it is important to realize that a home seller's acceptance of your initial offer provides no guarantees. In fact, a homebuyer will still need to complete a home inspection before a home sale is finalized.

A home inspection is a valuable opportunity to learn about any potential issues with a house. After the inspection is finished, a homebuyer has the opportunity to submit a counter-proposal, rescind a proposal or keep his or her current offer intact.

Ultimately, hiring the right home inspector can make a world of difference for a homebuyer. With an expert home inspector at your side, a homebuyer can gain insights into a house's pros and cons and determine whether a house is a viable long-term investment.

So what does it take to employ the right home inspector? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.

1. Conduct an Extensive Search

Search far and wide for a home inspector you'll be glad you did. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to locate a skilled home inspector in your area, you can boost your chances of identifying potential home problems before you complete a home purchase.

A first-time homebuyer can begin a search for an expert home inspector online. A simple web search is sure to provide plenty of results, and a homebuyer then can perform an in-depth review of local home inspectors' credentials.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask family members and friends for assistance. If a loved one recently sold a house and had a great experience with a home inspector, it may be worthwhile to hire this same professional to perform your home inspection.

2. Look at a Home Inspector's Background

How many years of industry experience does a home inspector have? What are past clients saying about a home inspector? And how does a home inspector approach each job? These are some of the questions that a first-time homebuyer should consider as he or she assesses a home inspector's background.

In addition, a homebuyer can always reach out to a home inspector directly to learn more about this professional's experience. A face-to-face or phone conversation with a home inspector may require only a few minutes to complete and can help a homebuyer make an informed decision.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you discover your dream house as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. As a result, this housing market professional will ensure you can purchase a first-rate house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

If you're uncertain about whether to hire a particular home inspector, it never hurts to consult with a real estate agent. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased tips to determine whether a home inspector is the right person to evaluate your residence.

Employ the best home inspector prior to completing your home purchase use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer should have no trouble hiring a superior home inspector.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips  


Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 11/7/2020

Photo by Bence Balla-Schottner on Unsplash

Herbs, onions, celery and garlic infuse the carrots and beans in this soup with remarkable richness and character. This soup can be made with canned black beans, but we highly recommend using dry beans, cooked up with a clove of garlic and a dash of tamari. The beans will be splendid, filling your home with an irresistible aroma.  

This recipe serves 4 – 6. Try it and it just might become one of your go-to recipes.

Step 1. Gather the Ingredients.

You'll need:

  • 3 cups dry black beans
  • 3 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped
  • 1 large, yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup green onions, finely chopped (both the green tops and the white bulbs)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced after the strings are pulled out and discarded
  • 1 small can crushed tomatoes 
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoonful of mixed salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped regular or Italian parsley
  • A few torn leaves of basil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • Coconut aminos or tamari (note: either can be found in a regular grocery store, near the soy sauce)
  • Step 1. Prepare the Beans

    To make 3 cups of cooked black beans, begin with 1 cup of dried beans.

    Place the dry black beans, a generous dash of tamari sauce and a halved clove of garlic in a large pot of water for an hour to pre-cook.

    Remove the beans from heat. Allow them to cool.

    Rinse and drain the beans, discarding the garlic. 

    Step 2. Prepare the Soup

    Mince the second clove of garlic. Fire up the heat under a large soup pot add a dash of olive oil to the pot with the minced garlic. Add and sauté the diced carrots, celery and yellow onion over medium heat.

    Add the oregano, basil, broth and tomato sauce. Add a dash of tamari and the 3 cups of drained beans. Simmer gently over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Before removing the soup from heat, add the parsley and green onions plus salt and pepper to taste.

    Step 3. Serve and Enjoy

    If you plan to serve this soup on the same day, let it marinate for at least an hour, then reheat to serve. Carrot & Black Bean Soup tastes even more robust after it marinates overnight in the fridge.

    Serve with whole wheat rolls, crispbread or a baguette.

    To Your Health!

    Black beans are an excellent protein source. They're high in fiber, iron and folate, a B vitamin. Carrots are rich in antioxidants, vitamin K1 and potassium. Research has connected them to eye health and healthy cholesterol levels. Even the herbs in this soup are good for you. Oregano, basil and other herbs provide antioxidants and nutrients. Basil contains calcium and vitamin K. 

    Carrot & Black Bean Soup is perfect for cooking up for the family, to take to work, or to bring to a dinner at a friend's home. It's as nourishing as it is delicious.




    Tags: Cooking   meal planning  
    Categories: Food  


    Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 10/31/2020

    Image by Kazuky Akayashi from Unsplash

    Whether you’re moving down the street or to a different state, it’s important to make sure your pets are prepared for this change. There are several practical things to consider while getting your pets ready for your move. Since you already have a lot to keep track of between packing and planning for moving day, keep the following tips handy to ensure that your pets are fully prepared.

    Stock Up on Supplies Before Moving Day

    Making sure you have plenty of food for your pets means you’ll have one less thing to worry about on moving day. Plan to purchase enough food to last for at least a couple of weeks after you arrive. If your pets take any medication, ask your vet about stocking enough of it to last for a few extra weeks.

    Update Microchip Information and ID Tags

    Pets can easily become stressed during a move. With unfamiliar people coming into and out of your home to load or unload the truck, there’a a higher risk of having anxious pets bolt out the door. Before moving day, update the information associated with your pets’ microchips and ID tags in case they get lost.

    Stay Current on Vaccines

    Making sure your pets have updated vaccines can give you peace of mind if they happen to run off during the transition into your new space. Being updated on vaccines is also helpful if you plan on boarding your pets on moving day. Boarding them may help prevent them from getting lost or feeling overwhelmed.

    Visit Your New Home Before Moving Day

    If possible, bring your pets over to your new home before you move in. Keep dogs on a leash to make sure they stay safe, and bring cats in carriers that you can easily get them in and out of. Bringing them over before moving day can give them a chance to wander around and explore each room while your new home is empty and quiet. 

    Tire Your Pets Out

    Tired pets are less likely to act up if they’re feeling stressed or anxious as moving day approaches. In the days before your departure, spend quality time with your pets and keep them active. Run around the yard with your dogs, bring them to the local dog park or take them for extra long walks around the neighborhood. Use toys to keep your cats active and playful. Spending some time with your pets every day can help them feel less anxious about the changes going on around them, such as having boxes all around instead of familiar items. 




    Tags: pets   pet safety   moving tips  
    Categories: Pets  


    Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 10/29/2020

    This Single-Family in Billerica, MA recently sold for $525,000. This Split Entry style home was sold by Kimberly Zecher - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


    4 Strawberry Ln, Billerica, MA 01821

    Single-Family

    $499,900
    Price
    $525,000
    Sale Price

    7
    Rooms
    3
    Beds
    2/1
    Full/Half Baths
    Oversized Hip-Roof Split on Gorgeous Cul De Sac! Opportunity for a split with this much room on a cul de sac with colonials doesn't come often! This home, built by the builder of the neighborhood for himself so special touches...the foyer is grand, the rooms are spacious and the master bedroom has its own private 3/4 bath...a rare find! The oversized living room has a bow window and plenty of space for the family to spend quality time together. Kitchen/dining room combo is original but clean and includes a peninsula and stainless steel appliances. Potential to open up to the living room and have space for a large island! 3 good size bedrooms including the master suite. Additional full bath, large closet and grand foyer complete the main floor. Finished basement is huge and currently includes a large family room and workout area. Combo half bath/laundry/utility room with new systems & 2nd fridge. Large 2 car garage under provides plenty of space for your two cars plus additional storage

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    Categories: Sold Homes