Crunchy Asian Coleslaw

This salad is a go-to favorite of ours all year long but as we finally start to string some  beautiful New England summer days together, I am starting to crave it even more!  Blue skies, warm sun, eating outside…. time to bring out some classic summer recipes and we  love our classic Asian coleslaw!!

Crunchy Asian Coleslaw

Crunchy Asian SlawOne of my favorite side dishes … great served with cod, haddock, salmon, chicken, pork, or my kids love it paired with pot stickers 🙂 For a main dish, just add chicken and serve. I always make a double batch of dressing, toast up half a bag of almonds, and cut up the whole bunch of scallions then store them in the refrigerator. I can then whip this recipe up in just minutes!

1 3-ounce packet of chicken flavor ramen noodles broken into ½ inch piece
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ cups cubed cooked chicken (optional)
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (can do in fry pan with some butter)
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 10-ounce bag of broccoli, confetti, or coleslaw (I use half broccoli slaw/half cole slaw)

In small bowl, mix rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, and I just use half of the chicken seasoning packet from the ramen noodles. Mix ramen noodles, chicken, almonds, green onion, and coleslaw together. Add dressing. Chill 30 minutes turning occasionally. Then enjoy!!!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you. Or, if you know anyone who could use my assistance,  feel free to share my  contact information (Jen McMorran, Realtor ~ 508-930-5259 ~ jen.mcmorran@gmail.com)

It’s black bean and corn salsa time!

Perfect addition to any snack or dinner table as summer approaches – summer is approaching right?!?    My friend Rachel just sent me the below photo of her new batch of salsa prompting me to share this recipe again as eating it just seems to make everything right for me.

rachels black bean salsa

Our new favorite way to serve this salsa is kind of as a deconstructed burrito.  Throw some jasmine rice in the rice cooker.  Then while that is cooking, get out some cheddar cheese and slice up some cooked chicken.  Once rice is cooked, layer warm rice on a plate with the cheese next, then the black bean and corn salsa, add chicken on top, and drizzle with a little taco sauce.  Delicious!  The cheese is melted by the warmth of the rice, the vinaigrette from the salsa seeps down to flavor the rice, the salsa itself adds a fresh pop, and the chicken with taco sauce adds that Mexican flavor and protein to round out your meal.  I seriously could eat it everyday!

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 bag sweet corn, thawed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro,chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion or sweet Vidalia onion

Dressing:
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Lime Juice to taste (I use two fresh squeezed limes)

Serve with tortilla chips, over scrambled eggs, with grilled/baked chicken, cod/tilapia/haddock, or just eat it as a salad. Soooooo  good!

rachels black bean salsaOther possible add ins:
2 large ripe tomatoes seeded and chopped,
1 avocado diced (avocado can get mushy, so I would add it as you serve),
2 seeded & chopped jalapenos,
1 cup chopped celery, 1 green pepper

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

The Best Quick and Easy Carrot Cake

Seriously Simple and Crazy Good Carrot Cake

Our family loves this recipe!!   We always have the ingredients in the house, it tastes soooooo good, really impresses a crowd, and  is soooo easy  Seriously, we dump all of the cake ingredients into one bowl, turn the mixer on, and you’ve got the cake batter.  No sifting, no separating… just dump and let the mixer do the work.

easy carrot bundt cakeWe sometimes cheat with the frosting.  There are some pretty yummy tasting pre-made cream cheese frostings.  If you happen to have a can of vanilla frosting and cream cheese in your refrigerator, just blend the two together.  Get fancy by sprinkling walnuts and/or coconut on top or keep it simple.  This is even delicious without frosting!

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup oil (or can replace with applesauce)
2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
4 cups grated carrots
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Frosting Ingredients:
4 oz. stick of butter
8 oz package of cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

For cake: combine sugar, eggs, oil, flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, grated carrots, and chopped nuts.  Pour into a 13×9 inch greased pan and bake for 40 minutes.  Or I love bundt cakes… pour batter into a floured and greased bundt cake pan and back for approximate 50-60 mintues (I find the bundt cake cooking times can vary drastically so check periodically.)

For frosting:  blend butter and cream cheese.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Frost. Serve. Eat.

This recipe is awesome for any brunch, birthday celebration, Easter Sunday, or just because you deserve a fabulous slice of carrot cake at the end of the day!

Check out all of our favorite recipes by clicking here.  I don’t post anything that isn’t easy or a crowd pleaser!!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

www.BeHomeBeWell.com

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

Crazy good spiked cranberry punch!

This was a big hit for my family and friends last Thanksgiving.  Absolutely delicious, not too sweet, and looked really pretty on the table and in people’s hands as they carried them around (though they didn’t get too far before finishing!)

cranberry-apple-whiskey-punchINGREDIENTS

1 pound fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
½ gallon water
½ gallon apple juice, chilled
16 ounce cinnamon whiskey (Fireball) , chilled
1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled
Fresh apples
Fresh oranges
Additional fresh cranberries  for garnish
Cinnamon sticks for garnish

PREPARATION

1. Combine cranberries, sugar, and water over medium-high heat, and cook until berries are completely soft and “mushy”.  They will “pop” , cook down,  and become soft in about 10 minutes.

2. Strain and set aside to completely cool before adding to the punch.

cranberry-apple-whiskey-punch-and-turket3. Thinly slice the apples and oranges and layer into a punch bowl.  Add cranberry juice, apple juice, and whiskey and stir gently to combine.

4. Pour in bottle of sparkling wine and add some cranberries for an additional colorful garnish.

5. Serve and enjoy!

* Juice, Fireball whiskey, and sparkling wine should be chilled prior to making punch.  To keep punch cold without diluting with ice, freeze apple juice in a ring  or ice cube tray and float in the punch.

The punch went great with my Butterball!

This homemade punch is delicious and could not be easier to make.  As an added bonus, my daughters and I also discovered a new use for our left over bags of cranberries from Christmas and Thanksgiving.  Cooking a bag of cranberries with a half gallon of water and a cup of sugar actually makes an awesome batch of cranberry juice.  Never would have thought about it before making this recipe!!  I bet it would make a nice non-alcoholic punch as well by adding sparkling apple cider and cinnamon sticks.   Looking forward to trying that next!

New listings:
ATTLEBORO:  3BR, 2.5BA Townhouse, 1800sf, high-end finishes, $315,000
ATTLEBORO:  3 bedroom uptown Colonial with great backyard,  $214,900
REHOBOTH: Welcoming 3BR, 2.5BA, 2500sf Colonial, 1.42acre wooded lot. $464,900
ATTLEBORO: Luxury New Construction – No Wait! NEW 4BR, 2.5BA Colonial, Brigham Hill Estates, $615,000. Up & Ready for the holidays!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

www.BeHomeBeWell.com

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts & Rhode Island
Boston to Attleboro to Providence and the communities in between.

Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes, Quinoa, and Black Beans

IMG_8223Sometimes in real estate you get the listing, sometimes you don’t. Last spring, I went on an a listing appointment and not only did I get the listing (and sell it in a day) but I also met am amazing family, was served an awesome lunch, and gained a go-to recipe that I know my family will be making for years to come.  Hope you will enjoy as well!!

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 sweet potato, diced into small cubes (I leave skins on but you can peel if you prefer)

1 large onion

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspooon ground chipotle pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups of chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes (I use Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with cilantro and lime)

1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed

2  boneless chicken breasts, uncooked

1/2 cup quinoa

I like to cook it all in my cast iron casserole “pot” on the stove top and then in the oven.  You could also definitely use your crockpot!

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Heat oil and saute the sweet potato and onion until for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened.  Then add the garlic and cook for about another minute.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, chipotle, cumin, and salt.  Add the chicken broth, black beans, tomatoes, and chicken.  (I slice my chicken breast so they are a little thinner and then push down into pot so that veggies and broth cover them.)
  4. Put lid on and cook for 2 1/2-3  hours at 250 degrees.  After three hours, add in the quinoa.  I let it cook for another hour or so.  I know it is ready when the chicken just shreds apart with a wooden spoon.  Gently “pull” chicken into shreds and chunks.
  5. Garnish with whatever you enjoy… avocado, lime, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, rice… it will all taste great!

This recipe is definitely a keeper!  Everyone in the family loves it both as a stew and oddly enough as a hearty “dip” with tortilla chips.  Great recipe for your favorite gluten-free eaters!!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

www.BeHomeBeWell.com

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

 

It’s Crunchy Asian Coleslaw time!

This salad is a go-to favorite of ours all year long but the recent string of beautiful New England summer days is making me crave it even more!  Blue skies, warm sun, eating outside…. time to bring out some classic summer recipes and we still love our classic Asian coleslaw!!

Crunchy Asian Coleslaw

Crunchy Asian SlawOne of my favorite side dishes … great served with cod, haddock, salmon, chicken, pork, or my kids love it paired with potstickers 🙂 For a main dish, just add chicken and serve. I always make a double batch of dressing, toast up half a bag of almonds, and cut up the whole bunch of scallions then store them in the refrigerator. I can then whip this recipe up in just minutes!

1 3-ounce packet of chicken flavor ramen noodles broken into ½ inch piece
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ cups cubed cooked chicken (optional)
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (can do in fry pan with some butter)
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 10-ounce bag of broccoli, confetti, or coleslaw (I use half broccoli slaw/half cole slaw)

In small bowl, mix rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, and I just use half of the chicken seasoning packet from the ramen noodles. Mix ramen noodles, chicken, almonds, green onion, and coleslaw together. Add dressing. Chill 30 minutes turning occasionally. Then enjoy!!!

Jen McMorran Head Shot (2)Jennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you. Or, if you know anyone who could use my assistance,  feel free to share my  contact information (Jen McMorran, Realtor ~ 508-930-5259 ~ jen.mcmorran@gmail.com)

 

Decide on Happiness

As I was clearing out files this morning, I came across this story I had saved to use as a blog years ago.  I am not sure who initially wrote it, but I wanted to share as it did give me a lift this morning as I planned out another busy day with buyers and hosting an Open House plus trying to get in some family-time, some me-time, and we definitely could use a solid trip to the grocery store 🙂

Enjoy…
Simple Steps to More HappinessThe 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t been to the room yet …. just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”

And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less

Jen McMorran Head Shot (2)Jennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

THE BEST Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ariko’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

DSC01454I can not thank my good friend Ariko enough for this amazing cookie recipe!  Ariko and I met at San Jose State while both in Grad School way back in 1993 and I have been making these ever since.  (I often change it up too… white chocolate chips and Craisons or add raisons and a little cinnamon. These will always get rave reviews!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend-
1 egg                                       ¾ cup granulated sugar
2 sticks softened butter          ¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Add –
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda    … and blend.

Add –
2 cups 1-minute quick quaker oats … and blend.

And finally add-
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes (should look soft and “not quite done”, my oven takes 11 min). Then let cool for 12 minutes on cookie sheets. This gives you the perfect “still soft” cookie – yum!

 

This recipe never disappoints!  I have actually given these cookies to accompany my closing gifts for special clients and they are often better received than some of the best bottles of wine and gift cards I have given.   I think the trick is making sure your butter is softened before blending with the sugars and then only cooking them until the look “almost done”.  Letting the cookies  sit on the pan after removing them from oven absolutely does the trick to finish the cooking off and create a soft wonderful ooey gooey cookie! And, yes, it does make a difference using both semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.  (Sometimes I even splurge and use Ghiradelli chips!)  Have fun and experiment… you are going to love them!
Jen McMorran Head Shot (2)Jennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real people. real estate.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Boston to Attleboro to Providence and the communities in between.

Fun Spring and Easter Bouquets

Are you ready to put the thought of winter behind you? Me too! We are supposed to hit 70 degrees this week. Who would have thought after the crazy winter we had in Massachusetts last year… yay! I am packing up the snow gear, shovels, and sleds. Time to think spring and for my family start planning for Easter.

These flower bouquet ideas put me in such a pleasant mood this morning. They would be great as decoration for your Easter celebrations but also easily adaptable for anyone just wanting to welcome Spring into their home.

If you haven’t ever arranged a bouquet of flowers with fun accessories in the vase, don’t worry, it is easy. To keep the flowers watered but decorations dry, place a small vase inside of a larger one. The small vase will be for the water and flowers. You can then line your decorations up in the dry space created between the vases – use your imagination as truly anything can work and make for a fun visual display. (Too big of a space? Just wrap paper towels or tissue paper around the inside vase to lessen the room.)

easter-flower-arrangements-29The umbrella is such a cute alternative to a wreath on your front door. To keep flowers in place, use floral foam. Getting foam in the shape of a cone seems works great. I also found that hanging the umbrella on the door first and then adding decorations and flowers was easiest.

Easter Grass DIY Spring Decor

Not sure why I love the simplicity of grass, but I do!  And how cute are those little terra cotta pots arranged on a cupcake tree?  Or some fancy grass in a nice glass bowl with simple decorations.  So pretty without being distracting.

Have fun and Happy Spring!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.
business earned through respect, reputation, & referrals.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

Chicken Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

IMG_8223

This recipe is definitely a keeper!  Everyone in the family loves it both as a stew and oddly enough as a hearty “dip” with tortilla chips.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 sweet potato, diced into small cubes (I leave skins on but you can peel if you prefer)

1 large onion

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspooon ground chipotle pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups of chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes (I use Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with cilantro and lime)

1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed

2  boneless chicken breasts, uncooked

1/2 cup quinoa

I like to cook it all in my cast iron casserole “pot” on the stove top and then in the oven.  You could also definitely use your crockpot!

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Heat oil and saute the sweet potato and onion until for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened.  Then add the garlic and cook for about another minute.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, chipotle, cumin, and salt.  Add the chicken broth, black beans, tomatoes, and chicken.  (I slice my chicken breast so they are a little thinner and then push down into pot so that veggies and broth cover them.)
  4. Put lid on and cook for 2 1/2-3  hours at 250 degrees.  After three hours, add in the quinoa.  I let it cook for another hour or so.  I know it is ready when the chicken just shreds apart with a wooden spoon.  Gently “pull” chicken into shreds and chunks.
  5. Garnish with whatever you enjoy… avocado, lime, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, rice… it will all taste great!