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Mary Eve Kearns

Associate Broker,GRI,Champions Club

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Voice Mail:  (724) 941-8808 Ext.: 239
Cell Phone:  (412) 889-7244
Fax:  (412) 563-4507

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Peters Township Office
3912 Washington Road
McMurray, PA 15317
(724) 941-8800

HOME TALK FROM MARY EVE KEARNS

PLACING A VALUE ON A VIEW

Homes with extra amenities are always more popular, and a scenic view can be an especially sought-after feature.  Although it's difficult to specify an exact dollar amount, a beautiful view may add a great deal to property values.  The actual amount will vary depending on the quality of other nearby homes currently on the market, the price range of the property, the perceived quality of the view, the home's other amenities, and the profile of the typical buyers in the area. 

If the home is located within a neighborhood where a number of other homes have a similar view, it will likely sell for less than it would if it were located in a neighborhood where only a limited number of homes have a view, such as lakeshore vs. off-lake properties.  When great views are scarce, buyers will typically pay more.

Buyer profiles will also affect the value equation.  Let's say, for instance, that most of the buyers in an area are young families with small children, and that all the view homes sit on a hill and have no yard, In this case, the homes with scenic views are not likely to sell for significantly more, because the lack of a yard is not likely to appeal to young families.

Location is, by far, the most important factor affecting a home's value.  If you are interested in finding a home - with a view or without - give me a call.  As your real estate agent professional, I can help you with all of your buying and selling needs.

UNBEATABLE BANANAS

When it comes to nutrition, bananas are a portable power food, providing natural energy to fuel active lifestyles.  But that's not all bananas can do for you.

  • Eat a Banana to Banish the Blues - Bananas contain tryptophan, known to make you relax and improve your mood.
  • Lower Blood Pressure - This tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat high blood pressure.  In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permits the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
  • Take the Heat Out of Heartburn - Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP

Ingredients:

4 Large baking potatoes

12 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

6 cups 2% low fat milk, heated

5 ounces sharp cheddar, grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

4 ounces sour cream

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives

Clean potatoes and pierce the skin with a fork.  Place potatoes on a roasting tray and bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp.  Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the drippings in the pot.  Crumble bacon when cool; set aside.

Add flour to drippings in the pot and stir to combine.  Pour in the milk while whisking to mix.

Cook over medium heat until bubbly and thickened, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.

Scoop out potato pulp from the skins and add to milk mixture.  Mash with the back of a wooden spoon leaving it a little bit chunky.

Add cooked bacon (leaving a little out for garnishing the soup), 1 cup of the cheese, and season well with salt and pepper.  Stir until cheese has melted.  Remove from heat.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with a dollop of sour cream, remaining bacon bits, grated cheese, and chives.

POTATO FACTS:

1.  The potato is the world's fourth largest food crop - following rice, wheat and maize.

2.  In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space.  NASA and the University of Wisconsin - Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually feeding future space colonies.

3.  According to the USDA, 36 percent of potatoes are used to make frozen French fries.

GHIRADELLI CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES

1 1/2 60% Cacoa Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup Heavy Cream

8 Tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter

2 Egg Yolks

1/3 Cup Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup Cake Flour

To make centers:  Melt 2 ounces of chocolate (half of baking bar) and cream in double boiler.  Whisk gently to blend.  Refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.  Form into 6 balls; refrigerate until needed.

To make cake:  Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray six 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups with cooking spray.  Melt 4 ounces of chocolate (1 baking bar) and butter in double boiler; whisk gently to blend.  With an electric mixer, stir eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and light.  Fold melted chocolate mixture and flour into egg mixture just until combined.  Spoon cake batter into ramekins.  Place a chocolate ball in the middle of each ramekin. 

Bake about 15 minutes or until cake is firm to the touch.  Let it sit out of the oven for about 5 minutes.  Run a small, sharp knife around inside of each ramekin, place a plate on top, invert and remove ramekin.  Garnish with raspberries and mint, if desired.

In 1849, with dreams of striking it rich in the California Gold Rush, Domingo Ghirardelli immigrated to the United States.  Three years later, he formed a new confectionery company.

The U.S. based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten claims to have invented molten chocolate cake in New York City in 1987, but the French chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres has disputed that claim, arguing that such a dish already existed in France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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