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Date Archives: December 2020

House Talk with Toria Home

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December
28

Warm up with Hot Chocolate in Harrisonburg

Cafes in Harrisonburg

On a chilly day, our real estate agents love to warm up with a mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped cream. Enjoy this comforting classic with a visit to one of these wonderful coffee shops and restaurants.

  • Merge Coffee Company - 425 N. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802
    Local caffeine lovers of all ages find common "grounds" at the appropriately-named Merge Coffee Company in downtown Harrisonburg. The shop was founded by two families of diverse backgrounds as a way of sharing their philosophy of coming together. Stop by downtown or their Mt. Clinton location for a hot or cold drink paired with a delicious pastry. Hours are 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. every day but Sunday.

  • Bridgewater Coffee - 610 N. Main St., Bridgewater, VA 22812
    Between them, the Matthews and Foster couples have four careers and eight kids, yet still found the time and energy to open Bridgewater Coffee. Coincidentally, both families relocated from North Carolina in 2016 and recognized the need for a locally-owned coffee shop near Bridgewater homes for sale. Kids love the hot cocoa made with premium Hollander Chocolate. Bridgewater Coffee is open 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

  • The Kaffee Klatsch - 3105 John Wayland Hwy., Dayton, VA 22821
    While the Kaffee Klatsch began as a dessert shop, espresso and hot chocolate were added to the menu in the 1990s when the coffee trend spread across the country. Today, the family-owned shop's focus is on making the best coffee and hot chocolate around. Want a snack to go with your drink? Try some homemade biscotti, scones, or soft pretzels. Located in the popular Farmers Market, right down the street from Dayton homes for sale, the Kaffee Klatsch is open 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

  • J-Petal - 1645 Reservoir St. #135, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Hot chocolate may be a classic, but you probably won't find it in a more non-traditional spot than J-Petal.  This unique fusion restaurant serves sweet and savory Japanese crêpes, Thai ice cream, and an eclectic assortment of beverages, ranging from hot chocolate and bubble tea to non-alcoholic mojitos and coladas served in light-bulb glasses. Try one of their signature seafood, veggie, and teriyaki bowls, or build your own. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. seven days a week. 

  • Black Sheep Coffee - 217 S. Liberty St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    After 20 years of experience in the coffee industry, Chance Ebersold knew exactly what he wanted when it came time to open his own shop. Black Sheep Coffee is such a personal vision that Chance used reclaimed wood from tables he built for his own wedding reception in creating the space. The extensive beverage menu is accompanied by a breakfast and lunch selection, including sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. Black Sheep is open daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • The Galley - 2430 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Get some comfort food to go with your comfort hot chocolate at The Galley. Traditional favorites such as pizza, pasta, and burgers are made in-house with locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible. For those lazy days, The Galley offers delivery within a five-mile radius for just a $15 minimum order. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

  • Heritage Bakery & Café - 212 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    You won't be able to resist picking up one of the French-inspired pastries at Heritage Bakery & Café to go with your hot chocolate. But you might find that these delicacies, such as cardamom cream cheese macarons or chocolate princess cakes, are almost too pretty to eat. If you're looking for something more substantial, Heritage also serves breakfast all day as well as sandwiches, salads, and a quiche of the day. Hours are 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

  • Grace+Main Coffee Shop - 710 S. Main St., Suite 149-A, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Nestled in the Hotel Madison on the campus of James Madison University, Grace+Main Coffee Shop is a great place to start off a weekend tour of Harrisonburg homes for sale. Check out their grab-and-go case of yogurt parfaits, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and other tasty treats. Grace+Main is open Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. - 11 a.m. 

What's more comforting than a home of your own in Harrisonburg? Contact us at Old Dominion Realty and let our friendly real estate agents provide expert guidance in buying or selling your home.

December
21

Give Back This Holiday Season: Local Nonprofits around the Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley Nonprofits

The holiday season is a time of celebration and also a time of reflection. There are people in the Shenandoah Valley who could use some help for the holidays this year, and there are many nonprofit organizations in the area working to provide that vital assistance. Whether you donate your time, money, or both, helping local nonprofits is a great way to make a positive difference in your community and bring a little bit of holiday cheer where it's needed most. Our real estate agents have the details on 7 Shenandoah Valley nonprofits where your donation can make a difference this year.

  • Virginia Quilt Museum – 301 S Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    The Virginia Quilt Museum is a lovely attraction to visit near Harrisonburg homes for sale, and it depends on donations to keep the doors open for visitors throughout the year. Housed in a beautiful, restored historic home, the museum offers three floors of unique, artistic quilts to explore and is the official quilt museum of Virginia. Financial donations are always welcome at the Virginia Quilt Museum, and you can also volunteer your time to help visitors make the most of their trips to the museum.

  • Shenandoah County Animal Shelter – 268 Landfill Rd., Edinburg, VA 22824
    The Shenandoah County Animal Shelter serves a large number of communities near Shenandoah County homes for sale by sheltering pets and helping them find new, loving homes. Interested in offering your support? There are many ways to help, from adopting a pet yourself to sponsoring a pet by making a one-time donation to cover medical procedures that will help the pet find a home. The shelter is always looking for volunteers to help as well, and you can contact them directly to find out which opportunities are available.

  • Shenandoah National Park Association – 3655 US Hwy 211 East, Luray, VA 22835
    Serving many of the parks near Bridgewater homes for sale, the Shenandoah National Park Association offers a wide variety of educational services to help park visitors make the most of their time enjoying the great outdoors. You can support the cause by shopping at the SNPA Bookstore, which is one of the main sources of fundraising for the organization. Pick up a fun, educational gift for the nature lovers on your shopping list, and support a good cause in the process.
  • Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter – 135 S Main St., Woodstock, VA 22664
    The Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter is located near Woodstock homes for sale, focusing on charitable activities that help prevent homelessness. By providing financial, utility, and housing assistance for families going through difficult financial times, SAS makes it possible for them to enjoy the holidays in a warm, comfortable home. You can offer your support by making a financial donation online.

  • Martha's Meals on Wheels – PO Box 2345, Staunton, VA 24402
    Martha's Meals on Wheels
    has been a fixture among Shenandoah Valley nonprofits for more than 45 years, and the organization's good work is still going strong today. Primarily serving the community around Staunton homes for sale, Martha's Meals on Wheels provides meal support for seniors living at home. The team here is always looking for volunteers to deliver meals to seniors and brighten their day in the process. Unable to volunteer, but still want to contribute? Martha's Meals on Wheels relies on donations to keep providing healthy meals for seniors, and every donation makes a real difference.

  • Page One Food Pantry – 35 N Bank St., Luray, VA 22835
    Page One Food Pantry
    is located near Luray homes for sale and provides meal support for people in need. It's part of the larger Page One organization, including thrift stores and other charitable endeavors. The food bank is supplied by generous donations from local businesses, clubs, and individuals. There are many ways to help, whether you donate food, make a financial donation, volunteer at the food bank, or volunteer to unload large food deliveries.

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  • Staunton Creative Community Fund – 32 N Augusta St., Suite D, Staunton, VA 24401
    Small businesses – and entrepreneurs who would like to launch businesses of their own – have faced many unique challenges this year. The Staunton Creative Community Fund is devoted to helping new small business owners achieve their dreams, and your donation can help make those dreams a reality. Small businesses are an integral part of a healthy community, so your donation has many benefits.

Still searching for a home in your favorite Shenandoah Valley community? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Shenandoah Valley area.

December
14

Gift a Bottle of Wine from These Shenandoah Valley Wineries

Shenandoah Valley Wineries

The holidays are upon us, and there's a good chance you have at least one hard-to-shop-for individual left on your list. As always, our real estate agents are all about lending a helping hand. And if we get to give a shout-out to some great local businesses in the Shenandoah Valley region, so much the better! 

These locally-owned Shenandoah wineries are great places to find a gift for someone special. You may even be tempted to pick up an extra one for yourself!

  • Bluestone Vineyard - 4828 Spring Creek Rd, Bridgewater, VA 22812
    A beautiful family-run vineyard in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Bluestone Vineyard produces wines that have been nationally recognized for their quality, including their award-winning Chardonnay. Founded in 2008, they credit their success, at least in part, to the unique bluestone (a type of limestone) soil beneath their feet. Indoor and outdoor seating areas are currently open at the vineyard, and masks are required when not seated. Online ordering and curbside pickup are also available for bottles. Bluestone Vineyard is a short drive from Harrisonburg and a stone's throw from these Bridgewater homes for sale

  • The Winery at Kindred Pointe - 3575 Conicville Rd, Mt Jackson, VA 22842
    You'll find an incredible variety of excellent wines at The Winery at Kindred Pointe, a picturesque winery nestled among 58 rolling acres of vineyard and farmland. The winery was founded in 2005 and offers a varied and ever-changing selection. Favorites include their 2013 Chardonnay, which is crisp and unusually complex for a Chardonnay, and their light red, fruit-forward 2015 Malbec. The Winery at Kindred Pointe is just minutes from these Mount Jackson homes for sale and is currently open with limited seating for small groups. You can also call ahead to order wine for pick up or order online and have your wine shipped almost anywhere in the U.S. 

  • Ox-Eye Vineyards - 44 Middlebrook Ave, Staunton, VA 24401
    Ox-Eye Vineyards spans 100 acres in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and takes its name from the ox-eye daisies that abound on the surrounding hilly meadows. Everything about the vineyard, from its 1,830-foot elevation and southeast-facing slopes to its deep limestone soils, is perfect for growing wine grapes. Their wines are 100% estate-grown, including white wines like their dry, citrusy Traminette, and reds like their peppery, full-bodied Lemberger. You'll find the Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room in the Downtown Staunton Historic Wharf District, convenient to many beautiful Staunton homes for sale

  • Little Washington Winery - 65 Clark Ln, Washington, VA 22747
    Little Washington Winery has earned a reputation as one of the very best wineries in the Shenandoah region. Ranked among the 40 Hidden Gems of American Wineries in 2020, this winery focuses on handcrafted Old World wines of the highest quality. Little Washington's award-winning Meritage—similar to a Bordeaux—has specially been singled out as one of Virginia's finest red wines. Their vineyard and tasting rooms are located in Washington, VA, near Shenandoah National Park and minutes from these Washington homes for sale

  • The Purple WOLF Vineyard - 2644 Cross Keys Rd, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    The Purple WOLF Vineyard at White Oak Lavender Farm is a cozy, welcoming winery that sits at the heart of a beautiful family-owned farm. Starting as a modest lavender farm, the farm and vineyard has been open to the public since 2008 and now grow more than 8,000 lavender plants and produce 10 distinct vine varieties. You'll find many unique offerings hare, including red and white wines as well as a Royale Velvet port-style wine, and even wines infused with lavender. The Purple WOLF Vineyard is a short drive from these Harrisonburg homes for sale

  • Castle Vineyards - 2150 Mims Rd, Luray, VA 22835
    With a warm, welcoming tasting room that sits amid many acres of splendid farmland, Castle Vineyards exudes hospitality and Southern Charm. It's a working cattle farm and a vineyard, with deep roots in the local community. It's a great spot to spend an afternoon sampling some amazing wines, and you're sure to find a bottle or two worth talking home. Located just minutes from these Luray homes for sale, Castle Vineyards operates in partnership with Barren Ridge Vineyards in the nearby community of Fishersville, VA. At present, the wines served at Castle Vineyards are exclusively from Barren Ridge.

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Shenandoah Valley. It's a special place to call home in any season, but it really comes to life during the holidays, which makes this the perfect time of year to find your dream home. 

December
7

Christmas Cookies from the Old Dominion Kitchen

Christmas Cookies from Old Dominion

With winter fast approaching, there's no better place to stay bundled up than in the comforts of your own home. Enjoy the quiet snowfall from inside, and do yourself and your family a favor by baking one of these festive and delicious cookie recipes! Our real estate agents love baking this time of year and enjoy sharing cookies with friends and family. From our table to yours, enjoy these recipes from the Old Dominion team. 

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Ritz

  • 2 sleeves Ritz crackers
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Melting chocolate

Make peanut butter sandwiches with a pair of Ritz and peanut butter.

Melt chocolate.

Dip sandwiches into chocolate covering them completely, set to cool and harden (chill in refrigerator).

Decorate for the season or enjoy them on their own.

Old Dominion Recipes Coconut

Coconut Macarons

  • 2 2/3 cups Baker's angel flake coconut
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp. flour
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • candied cherry halves

Combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl. Stir in egg whites and almond extract; mix well.

Drop from teaspoon onto lightly greased baking sheets. Add cherry halves.

Bake at 300 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges are golden. Remove from sheets immediately.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

  • 1 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Bag of Hershey's kisses or peanut butter cups
  • (double recipe for greater yield)

Mix peanut butter, sugar, and eggs.

Drop desired cookie size dough on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. Add a candy on top right before removing from the oven.

Old Dominion Cinnamon Cookies

Cinnamon Delights

  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Grandma's Molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. clove
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and molasses, mix well.

Add flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and salt.

Form dough into balls, roll each into a mixture of 1/2 c. sugar and 1 tbsp. cinnamon.

Bake for 10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.

Old Dominion Sugar Cookies

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature for 1 hour
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and almond extracts, and lemon zest.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate large bowl. Gradually beat dry mixture into butter and sugar mixture until fully incorporated and soft dough forms.

Divide dough into 2 balls, roll out each to 1/4 inch thickness between parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or freeze then thaw in the refrigerator overnight).

Cut out cookies and bake at 350 on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes until set, let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

Old Dominion Ginger Cookies

Giant Ginger Cookies

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Mix flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, add sugar, and beat till combined. Beat eggs and molasses into the shortening mixture until combined. Beat in as much flour mixture as possible, stir in the rest.

Shape dough into 2 inch balls then roll each in 3/4 cup sugar. Place 2 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 11 to 13 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are puffed. Cool on a cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Involve your entire family in the process, and cherish this memorable activity you can revive each holiday season in your home. Looking for a sweet new home with a kitchen for all your baking? Let our team help you search Augusta County homes for sale and find the perfect home to celebrate the holiday season. To get started, contact us today.

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