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Columbus & Central Ohio, United States
DeLena Ciamacco is a well-known, respected Top Producing Realtor in Central Ohio. Her myriad of accomplishments, recognition, and professional credentials as they relate to Real Estate, make her a perfect individual to provide insight to the masses on all aspects of Real Estate sales. Her creativity and honest approach to marketing Real Estate has enabled her to succeed in her career. DeLena’s philosophy is “An educated and well prepared Buyer or Seller is a smart Buyer or Seller”. Her desire is to inform the public, by pulling from her 20+ years of Real Estate sales & Marketing, what is necessary to get to a successful closing in these challenging times.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Baking basics are a recipe for holiday success





Perhaps you're thinking of trying your hand at some family recipes you've never made before, or want to experiment with favorites from other holiday traditions. Whatever dish you make this holiday season, these baking basics help ensure success:



Stock the staples



A variety of delectable ingredients is one of the many things to love about holiday baking, but some staples show up in many recipes. Plain white flour is the foundation of many holiday baked goods, so be sure to keep plenty on hand. Baking soda and baking powder are also frequent necessities, as are eggs and sugar (white, powdered and brown).



While peppermint may be apropos for Christmas cookies and candies, and cinnamon and cloves impart ethnic flare to Kwanzaa recipes, vanilla is one flavor that appears in nearly every tradition. This year, add Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to your pantry. Your holiday recipes will benefit from the complex and superior vanilla flavor provided by the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract as it enhances and deepens the other ingredients in your baking.



When buying ingredients it is important to remember that quality counts. Higher quality ingredients may be slightly higher in price, but you'll likely need less of them. Keep these staples on hand in your pantry, and you'll be ready to tackle any holiday recipe, whether tried-and-true or new and daring.



Prep for performance



Pre-cooking preparation will help ensure top kitchen performance. Before you dive into a new recipe, sit down at the kitchen table and read it - beginning to end - twice. Make two lists of ingredients; one for items you already have in your well-stocked pantry, and a second for items you'll need to buy. Check to be sure you have the necessary bakeware. Nothing's worse than having all your ingredients assembled only to realize you loaned your springform pan to your sister last year and never got it back.



Once you have all the ingredients and utensils you need, line them up and get started. Prep pans per the recipe directions, such as greasing cake pans or covering cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to the required temperature. Since this can take 10 minutes or more, depending on the age of your oven, it's a good idea to start the oven before you begin mixing ingredients. Never attempt to bake in an oven that hasn't been preheated.



Measure dry ingredients first and set them aside, then measure any "wet" ingredients such as oil, shortening, eggs or vanilla extract. Sifting dry ingredients improves the overall texture of baked goods and gets rid of any lumps. Pre-measuring helps ensure a smooth, uninterrupted process when it's time to begin mixing ingredients together. Be sure to add ingredients according to the recipe, rather than dumping everything into the bowl at once.



Cool for conclusion



One of the most common - and worst - baking mistakes is impatience. Most baked goods require a cooling period before they can be safely removed from the baking pan, tray or sheet. Some recipes may specify the time needed to allow your cookies or cake to cool, while others might simply advise you to wait until the item is cool to the touch. Rushing removal can result in breaking, crumbling, splitting and sticking - the kind of disasters no amount of icing can cover. After removing your holiday goodies from the oven, set them on a rack to cool and go do something else. You'll be happy you were patient when that fully cooled item slides easily out of the pan.



Baking is an exact science - more so than savory cooking that allows room for improvisation. By following the basics, you can be assured of baking success.



Chewy Macadamia Nut Cookies



Ingredients:



3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 eggs

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts



Directions:

Cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on a medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Chill for two hours.



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an insulated cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.



Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.



Makes three dozen



When preparing bakery items such as cookies, here's a tip to enhance the flavor intensity of your product: cream the vanilla into the butter or shortening and sugar first. This step encapsulates the vanilla and helps prevent flavor loss in low mass/low moisture/high heat cookies.





Includes recipe.



​Tips to make your next DIY home improvement as green as possible





(BPT) - If you're thinking about making your next DIY home improvement project "green," but aren't sure how to achieve a balance of eco-friendly and affordability, there's good news. It's now easier than ever, especially when you do the work yourself with rented equipment and choose salvaged building materials for your project.



As you plan your next home improvement, here are some tips to help you ensure it's as green and cost-effective as possible:



* Rent rather than buy. While you probably have a respectable stock of basic DIY tools, some projects may call for equipment you don't have. Rather than buy new, try renting the tools you need. Renting is cheaper than buying new tools, especially if it's a specialized item you may not use again for a while, if at all. You'll also avoid the hassle of having to store larger tools between projects.



Renting is also green. When you get a tool from a rental company, you're basically sharing with other DIYers in your area, and that means cutting down on the energy use, materials consumption and pollution associated with producing, delivering and selling new tools.



* Seek salvaged materials. When you decide on a home improvement project, one of the first things you consider is what material you'll need. Before you hurry down to the home improvement store or lumber yard, however, consider if you can do your project with reclaimed materials.



Building a patio? Recycled bricks or pavers will do the job just as well as new, they cost less and they impart unique character that you just can't get from new materials. Installing a new wood floor in your family room? Wood flooring reclaimed from an old warehouse or barn not only reduces the amount of construction materials going into landfills, but it can give your floor an authentically rustic and historic flair. A simple online search can help you find suppliers of salvaged building materials in your area.



* Reuse from your own home. You don't always have to buy reclaimed materials from outside sources. Often, you have items in your own home that could be used in your DIY projects. The front walk might need to be redone with level pavers, but the old ones could work great for a backyard fire pit. The lumber from that fence you took down in spring could be turned into decorative seating for your deck this fall. The pedestal sink left over from your bathroom remodel could make a great ornamental birdbath for the garden.



Look for opportunities to reuse items you already have on hand - in creative new ways. You'll reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, save money on waste removal fees, and spare the expense of buying new building materials. And don't forget - you'll have extra storage room since you're renting tools, rather than keeping them lying around.



* Keep recycling in mind. Sometimes construction leftovers just can't be reused, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can't be recycled. The rusted tin ceiling you tore out of your 1920s home may never be useful again, but it can be recycled. As you're working on your DIY project, look for opportunities to recycle what you can't use. And if you do have to buy new materials, choose ones that could potentially be recycled some day in the future.





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Monday, December 26, 2016

A Sizzling Soiree to End the Year: First Night Columbus 2017

Right after one of the best times of the year when beautiful trees illuminate the city, the time to say “Out with the old and in with the new” is welcomed greatly. One of the events that marks the true passing of the New Year in the city we all love to call home is coming in just a week, and many residents can't contain their excitement. Live entertainment, activities, and fun for all ages are all on tap at First Night, which began in 1995. A collective effort that over 100 cities nationwide share together, the name of the game is to celebrate under the guise of safety and affordability, with a focus on activities that stray away from the annual overindulgence in alcohol that many partake in during this time of year.

The huge gala taking place here is one providing as many diverse opportunities for activity as possible, and the founders behind the event realize how powerful and captivating various types of media can be when used to keep astray of the vices that many can fall prey to. Here on this spectacular night you can view “Journey to the South Pacific”, on the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater that it was meant to be screened on. This picture takes viewers on a stimulating 3D adventure to the tropical islands of Papua, where whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, and other mesmerizing underwater creatures call home. “Penguins 3D” is an instant classic narrated by David Attenborough that follows the footsteps of a King Penguin, who returns on a journey to his birthplace in the unbelievably chilly Antarctic region.

We fully anticipate one of the most popular attractions of the evening to be the engrossing and very virtual presence of “Mr. Game Room”. Tons of the most cutting-edge and current video games will be located in 3 heated trucks, where Columbus residents of all ages will enjoy shooting, running, ducking, and solving puzzles while playing the coolest games available. This favorite Columbus proprietor also shows that he can jazz up the inside nicely as well: inflatables and more will be on site at the Mezzanine to spice up this fun-filled festival. You can also take part in one of the most enthralling Motion Simulators in the nation: you glide over high mountain peaks, narrow old bridges, and through caves that will make a modern spelunker out of you in a hurry.

The more daring in your group can try their hands at the high wire unicycle, where you are suspended 17 ft above ground on a cable that is 84 ft. long. The new COSI Planetarium is the largest in Ohio, and features the newest star-gazing technology that offers the best available glimpse at galaxies far away. Young scientists and multimedia connoisseurs alike will love this feature of the night, as your imagination will collide with the realities of our far-reaching future. Cover band Radio City will take the stage at 11PM, and they are known to give 110% in every aspect of their performance, and have been known to embrace 80's favorites as well as current pop hits.

 


This New Year's in Columbus you can also see semi-finalist on American Idol season 14 Alexis Gomez: she hails from the Buckeye state, and has opened for the likes of Clint Black, Old Dominion, and others such as Montgomery Gentry. Anthony Mossberg will be performing on the main stage from 8-9 PM; he is a first-rate artist that has performed thousands of dynamic shows around the nation, and his “Whiskey and Wine” single gained him major attention. Little Kidspace, different creation stations, and many other ultra-fun things are in store during this New Year's event: we hope to see you here, at this healthy and happy alternative for your family this holiday season. 

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