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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.

October
13

The 6 Best Ways To Add Value To Your Home

6 Tips for Adding Value to Your Home


Renovating any house requires a homeowner to make a host of difficult decisions as they go. No matter how you plan on retooling an existing home, your modifications should add to the cumulative value of the domicile rather than subtract from it. The following upgrades are sure to bump up the resale value of any house.

1.  Jazz Up the Kitchen

As a focal point of the modern home, the kitchen is an obvious renovation target. Update your existing layout with a multi-purpose island, some custom fixtures or a few unique storage options such as hanging racks. If you feel like going all out, you could always put in a granite or marble countertop.

2.  Gussy Up the Interior Trim

You'd be surprised at how big a difference things like crown molding and wainscoting can make. Such accents can completely change the look and feel of a house's interior without costing a fortune. Spend a little time researching novel interior design ideas such as the use of reclaimed wood to make your home's insides really stand out.

3.  Install or Upgrade Hardwood Floors

Beautiful Room with Hardwood Floors

Nothing improves the overall look of a home like beautiful hardwood floors. Though a quality installation or renovation is never cheap, hardwood floors are an excellent long-term investment that can yield serious dividends come sales time. Whether you're partial to pine, maple or red oak, hardwood floors are a home improvement no-brainer.


4.  Overhaul Your Paint Job

Like it or not, appearances matter greatly when it comes to home value. They're almost as important as structural integrity, quality materials and square footage. As such, an interior or exterior paint makeover can make an aging house look brand new. Repainting your digs is an excellent opportunity to play around with a new color scheme.

5.  Install a Relaxing Sunroom

Adding a sunroom greatly increases the appeal and versatility of any home. It can even reduce heating bills during the winter months if you position it properly. A well-planned sunroom with french doors, retractable screens and access to the outdoors can bump up the value of a home by a surprising amount.

6.  Build a Deck

Relaxing Deck

Building a deck in your backyard makes the area much more functional and enjoyable. A deck is the perfect place to entertain guests, and it's an ideal spot to enjoy a good book on a Sunday afternoon. In terms of return on investment, decks are one of the best home improvement projects to take on.

Consider All Changes for Your Total Value

There are hundreds of other ways to add value to your home such as putting in a new bathroom or adding a covered deck. Be sure to carefully consider how any upgrade will jive with the rest of the house before pulling the trigger and you'll be pleased with the results.

Contact an Old Dominion Realty real estate expert to discuss more ways to add value to your home!

Tim Smith writes for Modernize.

June
2

Modern Kitchen Trends

The kitchen is the heart and soul of any home. The kitchen is where people get together to enjoy food in the presence of friends and family members. Trends in kitchen design are always changing based on current styles and tastes. Here are a few popular trends in kitchen design for people that are thinking about a remodel or want some inspiration to spruce up their kitchen.

Modern white kitchen cabinets
Photo courtesy of Kitchen-Design-Ideas.org

White Cabinets

This popular neutral color will go well with almost any other kitchen design scheme. Karin Beuerlein and H. Camille Smith wrote in an HGTV article about kitchen trends that while white cabinets are still the most popular, gray is another very desirable color for kitchen cabinets and may soon overtake white's top spot. Many tasteful homeowners will choose to contrast their lighter color cabinets with a dark backsplash or darker appliances. 

Lighting Fixtures

Although hidden lighting was stylish for a long while, modern trends in kitchen design are shifting back towards sconce and other types of exposed lighting fixtures. A large chandelier-style light in the center of the room will serve as an elegant focal point. Be sure that lighting is also set up in a way that makes it easy to complete work that needs to be done in the kitchen.

Sophisticated Appliances

Today's appliances are very high-tech: it is common to see a refrigerator that can play music or a sink that turns on and off automatically. Many new kitchen design trends incorporate technology. At This Old House Online, Kristen Mucci shows readers a multimedia ventilation hood that includes a 17" LCD display that can be used for television or DVDs.

Expressive Backsplashes

Like an accessory in a trendy outfit, backsplashes allow homeowners the ability to express their unique tastes. White tile is a common material, but many people decide to accentuate other colors in the room with their backsplashes. Other homeowners add flair by using bright oranges, greens, and pinks for their backsplash.

A kitchen should have the right balance of sophistication and comfort. People that want to remodel their kitchen to sell their home or those that are buying a new home and are curious about trends in kitchen design should research consistently to find out about trends as they change. At Old Dominion Realty, we help our customers use kitchen trends and other information to quickly sell their home or find their ideal residence.

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