Month: November 2014

My Top 3 Holiday Recipes for 2014

Holiday season is here! Every year, I like to share my top 3 holiday entertaining recipes with my readers. Here are this year’s picks!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake: A delicious alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie, it’s easy to turn this dessert into a showstopper by topping it with a caramel swirl or drizzle. (In my photo above, I mixed a little cream cheese, sour cream, half n half, and sugar together to create a creamy layer that I spread over top of the cake after it had cooled. Then I swirled in the caramel.) Instead of graham crackers, I like to use Biscoff cookies or gingersnaps for the crust. Some people like to add chopped pecans too. No matter the crust variation you choose, this one’s always a holiday favorite! http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/deluxe-pumpkin-cheesecake

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Caramelized Pecans: This is a super-simple treat that can be used a ton of ways. Keep out bowls of the crunchy, salty-sweet nuts as a snack. Chop them up and add them to cookie dough, sprinkle them over salads, top sweet potatoes with them, or use them in the aforementioned cheesecake crust – the ways to use this treat are endless, as are the variations. Add spices like cinnamon or cayenne to kick things up a notch, and throw in a little extra flaky sea salt to bring out the salty-sweet contrast.  http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/08/how-to-caramelize-nuts/

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Maple Vinaigrette: One of the few ways to get me to eat my green veggies is to roast them till they get a little crispy, then toss them in this super simple vinaigrette. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts maple syrup, then toss with freshly-roasted brussels sprouts. (This also works well with roasted broccoli). Divine!

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Family Favorite Bonus: Cream Corn Like No Other

Because this recipe is always a huge hit with my family, I had to share it again this year. This recipe is perfect as written. Don’t worry that you’re making too much – it will get devoured. On the off chance that there are leftovers, it reheats wonderfully. Add some freshly chopped rosemary, thyme, and/or freshly grated nutmeg for a gourmet twist. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-corn-like-no-other/

Happy Holidays everyone!

 

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DC is Getting a Cat Cafe!

 

Photo: Jessica Christian / The Chronicle from www.sfgate.com

Photo: Jessica Christian / The Chronicle from http://www.sfgate.com

DC’s dog-lovers know that there are dog-friendly patios and yappy hours aplenty all over town. And soon, DC’s cat-lovers will have a space to play too! Crumbs and Whiskers Cat Cafe has announced that it will be opening a location in DC in summer 2015. Their website bills the space as a “Cat Shack. Tea House. Bakery. Art Lounge.” All the things I love in one place!

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So what the heck is a cat cafe, you ask? It’s basically a coffee shop and cat adoption center rolled into one. Patrons can enjoy tea, coffee, and tasty baked treats while hanging out with friendly felines. The cats will be supplied by the Washington Humane Society, and will all be available for adoption. Not only is this a fun way for folks who can’t have cats of their own at home to get some kitty snuggles in, but I really think this is going to revolutionize the world of cat adoption.

The concept was first popularized in Asia & Europe, and the first American cat cafe opened in Oakland, CA just last month. If those photos are any indication, we cat-lovers have a lot to look forward to.

Buyers On The Hill: See These Houses Before They’re Listed!

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Are you or someone you know shopping for a home on the Hill? I currently have exclusive pre-MLS access to two homes that are about to go on the market, but have not been listed just yet. If you’d like to get an edge over the rest of the buyer pool and see these homes before they are listed, shoot me an email at AliaJKhan@gmail.com!*

 

*Please note – I cannot work with you if you have already signed an agency agreement with another Realtor. 

A Peek At My Latest Sale

Every now and then, I like to give my readers a glimpse of what my business looks like on the ground. Here are some photo highlights of the home my buyers closed on yesterday. This property is in the booming H Street/Atlas District neighborhood, and could not be more perfect for this fun-loving, cosmopolitan couple! Take a peek, and give me a shout when you’re ready for me to help you find your fabulous new home!

 

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The spacious, open floor plan is perfect for entertaining!

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The unit is bordered on one side by a wide alley, meaning that the large, gorgeous windows flood the main with light from three sides.

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Now that’s a closet that any urban dweller would envy. And this master suite’s got two of ’em!

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One of my favorite features of this unit is the gorgeous faux-wood ceramic floor on the lower level. That’s right, that beautiful rustic wood floor you’re looking at is actually ceramic!

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Putting together the closing gift is always one of my favorite parts of the process. 😉

A big congratulations to my happy homeowners!

A big congratulations to my happy homeowners!

Navy Yard Update: Fall 2014

Things just keep getting more and more exciting down in SE! If you haven’t paid Navy Yard and its anchor development, The Yards, a visit in the last few months, here’s a photo tour of some of the exciting new additions to the area:

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Great news for nearby pet-owners! Petco’s boutique spinoff, “Unleashed”, will be opening any day now (pictured above). Below, some shots of the recently-opened Willie’s Brew and ‘Que, which is brought to us by Chef Rock Harper. A Hell’s Kitchen Alum who has done tons of work for DC Central Kitchen (a phenomenal non-profit that is near and dear to my heart), I’ve had the privilege of meeting Rock at many a food event in the past. He is a wonderful person and a talented chef, and I look forward to checking out his restaurant. The menu offers a seriously wide variety of BBQ – from St. Louis ribs to Korean chicken wings – and the space is, well, AWESOME. Floor-to-ceiling windows all the way around, and with ceilings that high, that’s nothing to sneeze at. And you can only imagine how much trouble folks can get into at the giant wraparound bar that anchors the space!

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I love me some good BBQ, but nothing can compete with the power of my sweet tooth. That’s why the addition that I’m most excited about is this one: Ice Cream Jubilee. Opened by a fellow recovering attorney, this shop offers incredibly luscious ice creams in a variety of traditional and deliciously non-traditional flavors. I’m currently torn between the blueberry pie and the caramel popcorn flavors, but at the end of the day, it’s their insanely tasty vanilla that I opt to put into my coffee float. Any shop who can make plain ol’ vanilla ice cream taste THAT good clearly knows what its doing.

My coffee float from Ice Cream Jubilee, featuring their incredibly flavorful vanilla ice cream. SWOON.

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Across from Jubilee you’ll find EVO Furniture Gallery, which bills itself as offering “Affordable Modern Loft Designs Customized to Fit Your Living Space.” Whether their definition of “affordable” matches yours and mine is debatable, but it’s always nice to see new retail in the hood!

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As you can see from this shot, taken with my back to EVO, there is still a lot more to look forward to in Navy Yard. In the distance you can see the VIDA luxury fitness center that opened at the beginning of October, which is attached to a Harris Teeter that is supposed to open today. That construction site is “Parcel N” – it’ll house 327 more apartments and an additional 20,000SF of retail space. It’s set to delivery in 2016. And there are a LOT more residences planned over the next few years, condo and rentals.

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Interested in beating the crowds and moving to Navy Yard now? Click here to see listings in the area. And if you’re lucky enough to already own, now is a GREAT time to sell, before the area is flooded with new inventory. Your place is a hot commodity right now, so shoot me an email if you’re interested in taking advantage of that!

So Long, H Street Storage

Thanks to Twitter user @JoeHeim for sharing the news (and the photo!) – the H Street Self Storage building on the 600 block of H St. NE was demolished today. And why is this exciting news? Because, my friends, you are looking at the future site of Whole Foods!! That’s right, DC’s favorite overpriced yuppie haven is that much closer to gracing our neighborhood (and raising our property values!). I’m a sucker for their two-bite cupcakes and pecan-crusted trout, so color me yuppie: I’m thrilled!