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Raspberry Kisses Recipe: An Easy Holiday Dessert in a Flash Courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals

Raspberry Kisses are a delightfully, simple cookie recipe! Pensacola Real Estate Professionals is pleased to share this with you as Christmas fast approaches!

Raspberry-Kisses-Cookie Recipe

With vanilla wafers, raspberry jam, cream cheese, powdered sugar and 10 minutes: you will have a sweet treat to share with Christmas company!

What You Need:

48 Vanilla Wafers

1/2 Cup Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread

1/4 Cup Seedless Raspberry Jam or Preserves

1 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar

Make It:

Spread 24 wafers each with 1 tsp. cream cheese spread; top each with 1/2 tsp. jam.

Cover with remaining wafers to make sandwiches.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

santa eating cookies 2Kitchen Tips:

Variation: Prepare using Reduced Fat Vanilla Wafers and Philadelphia Neufchatel Cheese.

Note: For crisper texture, serve immediately. Or for a cake-like texture, place in an airtight container and store in refrigerator overnight before serving.

Note: Store leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator.

Don’t forget to make enough of these to leave some on a plate for Santa Claus to enjoy with a big glass of milk!

Wishing one and all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Speedy Ideas for Decking the Halls Courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals

No time for Christmas decorating? Last-minute party prep? Check out these speedy ideas for decking your halls in style courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals.

Double Duty Ornaments

xmas ornamentsCreate a splashy showcase for your favorite Christmas ornaments by perching them atop assorted candlesticks. Unify the display by using ornaments with a similar color palette and candlesticks that are similar in color and shape. (Note: Keep fragile ornaments stable by using museum wax or Tacky Wax (that can be found at most craft stores) to anchor them on to the candlesticks.)

Seasonal Fashionxmas fashion

Give an ordinary pillow a touch of Christmas style with holiday-theme silk scarves. Wrap scarves around a pillow to resemble a package, and tie ends together in a pretty bow. Hand stitch the bow to the pillow to secure if desired. Use red satin ribbon to tie large red jingle bells to the center of the bow. Knot the ribbon ends and trim with scissors.

Christmas Ephemera

xmas ephemeraDress up a tabletop in a snap by arranging vintage Christmas ephemera, such as cards and gift tags, in a tray along with a few Christmas accessories. Throughout the season, add this year’s holiday greetings to the display as they arrive in the  mail.

Dressed for the Holidaysxmas chandelier

Add Christmas sparkle to a room by suspending glass or silver ornaments from a chandelier. You can use a variety of ribbons or a single type of ribbon to unify the display.

Instant Glamour

xmas glamourAdd some bling to a plain Christmas stocking  by pinning an antique brooch to the cuff. Create the same look by adding a small ornament or jingle bell.

Curtain Callxmas curtain

For a seasonal window treatment, drape strands of beaded garland over a curtain rod, securing them with tape on the back. Wire elegant glass ornaments to the garland, and hot-glue sprigs of greenery to the ornament tops.

Take a Message

xmas messageWrite a holiday greeting on a mirror with temporary window paint (available at craft stores). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the paint can be removed after the season.

Silver Beads Sparkling in Candlelightxmas candle bowl

Glistening silver balls and beads reflect the golden glow of candlelight in a sophisticated centerpiece. Fill a bowl with shiny ornaments, then pack in white and ivory candles of various sizes. Drizzle the arrangement with silver beads, allowing some to flow over the edges of the bowl.

Let Your Spirit Bloom

xmas bloomPick up a florist’s foam ball cover by inserting red carnation blooms all over it. This adds elegance and fragrance to your display. Place this atop a raised platter and tie a bow over it with silver ribbon.

Holiday in the Hillsxmas village

Skip the flammable cotton snow and use inverted bowls to lend a little Alpine elevation to your Christmas village. A swag of greenery creates a perfect border to showcase the scene.

Planting Some Holiday Spirit

xmas houseplantsHouseplants look more festive with a layer of moss over the dirt and a sprinkling of holiday ornaments. Hot-glue the ornaments to the moss to ensure they don’t roll away.

Natural Lightxmas natural

Nestle soft-colored candles in a bed of mixed nuts and tiny red ornaments or cranberries set on a tray for easy ambiance.

Simple Stripes

xmas candyStuff iconic candy canes into a decorative bowl or flowerpot, and add red-and-white ribbon for a coordinated touch.

Dressed Up Doorknobxmas doorknob

Tie a bit of velvet and a sprig of holly onto a doorknob for a fun holiday touch. Satin ribbon streamers tipped with little sleigh bells from a craft store would look great, too.

Fast and Simple Centerpiece

xmas punchTie a large festive ribbon around a punch bowl and surround it with a fresh pine wreath to create a quick, easy, and elegant centerpiece.

Powder-Room Panachexmas bath

Don’t neglect the bathroom when decorating for the holidays. Candles, vintage ornaments, and a beaded garland dress up the space for your guests.

Stocking Options

xmas stockingNo fireplace? Hang stockings from stair railings, doorknobs, bookshelves, or the backs of chairs. Until the big day arrives, stuff the bottom with a roll  of tissue or bubble wrap, then nestle a tiny gift, candy cane, and greenery into the top.

Pine-cone Vasexmas pine

Pine-cones have a natural appeal, so show them off in clear vases or decorative bowls. Add a handful of colored ornaments for a bit of color, and tie a sheer ribbon around the center of the container.

Holiday on Ice

xmas iceA gathering of friends is cause for celebration. Chill sparkling wine on a bed of frozen cranberries.  Star-shaped ice cubes add extra twinkle.

Mitten Bagsxmas mittens

If you want to send party guests home with a few goodies, skip the conventional paper gift bag for something more creative, such as fuzzy mittens, which also make a nice table display for your party.

If you have any tried and true, fast and easy ideas for holiday decorating, please share them with us! We’d love to pass along your ideas!

Wishing joy and happiness to all in this season of giving and sharing.

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Pensacola Real Estate Professionals’ Suggests Wines to Bring to Holiday Festivities

Pensacola Real Estate Professionals knows that the holidays are all about family and friends, celebrating, giving and of course – parties! Nobody wants to show up empty handed, and a bottle of wine is a classic hostess gift solution.

Worried that bringing the wine will feel like a boring choice? Not this year! We have lots of creative ideas for wine gifts that wow!

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All Purpose Pours

Let’s start with the basics: What  types of wine to bring? If you’re not sure of your hosts’ tastes stick with a universally pleasing and easy to pair bottle like Pinot Noir. It’s perhaps the most versatile of reds, with a succulent berry flavor that’s not heavy or overbearing; making it extremely food flexible.

Prefer to bring a white? Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre is the way to go; it avoids intrusive oaky flavors and is typically clean, citrusy, and crisp.

And if you’re headed over for cocktails or brunch, you can’t beat a bottle of bubbly! Champagne is great, but why not bring something unique, such as Spanish Cava or Italian Prosecco? (Bonus: They’re often less expensive, too!)

Dress it Up

Now that you’ve picked the perfect bottle, skip the foil wrapper from the liquor store and dress your wine to impress. A pretty cloth bag makes your bottle that much more special. Or take it up a notch and tuck your bottle in a handy wine tote or carrier – your host can use it long after the party’s over.

wine in cloth bags

If you want to keep it simple, you can always go for a big, beautiful bow or a whimsical bottle topper.

Easy Add-Ons

To really make your gift special, take it a step further and pair your bottle with an extra little something tucked in a holiday gift box or basket. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Go Useful and add a handy little wine gadget to your bottle. A wine stopper offers a classy alternative to re-using the cork in unfinished bottles from the party. If your host entertains frequently, some cute wine charms are always appreciated to keep everyone’s glasses straight. Bringing bubbly or another white wine? Tuck it into a champagne bucket or chiller for an easy and practical addition.wine fancy toppers

Go Foodie and give the gift of perfectly paired wines and nibbles. Try one of these themes:

Take them on a trip: Pair some Italian dried sausage and / or hard cheeses with a strong Italian red like Barbera, or pay a visit to Spain with some Fino Sherry or Rioja and gourmet olives or marcona almonds. French cheeses with crackers and a great Bourdeaux are always sure to please.french cheese 3

Morning after mimosas:  Pair a bottle of bubbly with some fruit nectar or juice (we happen to love peach) and delicious baked goods for a next-day treat or breakfast.

Go for a little something sweet: Try Sauternes or another dessert wine with biscotti, rugelach cookies, or a tin of gourmet dried fruits. Another classic pairing? Port and dark chocolates.wine and dessert

Go Wine Tasting and give several bottles of wine from a specific country, wine-producing region, or  wine maker. Your host can enjoy their own private tasting after the holidays are over.

Great Gadgets to Give

If your host is a known wine lover you can skip the bottle and bring them a great wine gadget instead. These picks are sure to enhance their wine drinking experience at the party and after:

Aerators are a handy way to expose wine to air so its full flavors can develop.

Wine Preservers and savors will remove air to keep their unfinished bottles fresh to enjoy another day.

wine decanterA decanter is a beautiful and functional option – it’s the classic way to aerate and serve fine wines, especially complex reds.

With just a little creativity, it’s easy to be a more gracious guest and bring your host a better bottle! And with Christmas and New Year’s festivities right around the corner, now is the time to prepare. With this information in hand, that should be a breeze! Happy Holidays!

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Go To Holiday Centerpiece Recipe Courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals

The countdown begins! Nine days until Christmas!

Season’s Greetings from Pensacola Real Estate Professionals! We have the perfect Go-To Centerpiece Recipe, that may become a holiday tradition for you. It is incredibly easy and impressive Orange-Ginger Glazed Ham!

orange ginger glazed ham

This recipe has only 5 ingredients and takes a mere 10 minutes to prep!

Want it to be even easier? Use a ham, that is already spiral cut.

Overview:

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 120 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 (7 to 8 pound) bone-in shank end smoked ham half

1 jar (12 ounces) orange marmalade

2 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 Teaspoons grated fresh ginger

3 Tablespoons cranberry, orange or pomegranate juice

christmas ham

Instructions:

1. Position oven rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325 degrees F.

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.

3. Using a sharp knife, score fat on ham in a diamond pattern.

4. Place ham face down in roasting pan.

5. Cover loosely with foil. Roast 1 – 1/2 hours.

6. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.

7. Mix marmalade, mustard and ginger in a medium bowl until blended; reserve half (about 3/4 cup).

8. Remove ham from oven; brush with some of the glaze.

9. Continue to roast, uncovered, 30 minutes, brushing with more glaze after 15 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

10. Remove ham from oven and let rest 20 minutes.

11. Slice and transfer to platter.

12. Stir juice into reserved glaze and serve on the side to drizzle over ham.christmas dining table 1

And Wallah! You have a glorious ham, which will be the centerpiece of your holiday meal! We hope you enjoy this recipe. Please share some favorites of yours here. We’d love to share yours with our readership.

Wishing you joy, happiness and a table filled with bountiful delights!

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What to Buy and Not to Buy in December Courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professinals

Shopping for the holidays is in full swing, so we, at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals, thought you might be curious to know what to buy and not to buy in December.

Even though it seems like everything is on sale, it doesn’t mean this is the moment to purchase certain items. What then should you buy in December?

The answer: toys, select electronics, select home goods, some Christmas goods, wedding dresses, and….wait for it…..REAL ESTATE!!!! Although you may be in a splurging state of mind, don’t get sucked into deals on gym memberships, jewelry or watches.

Toys

toysToys may be  on sale right now, but rushing out to buy all the goodies that will go under the Christmas tree doesn’t make sense, until the two weeks leading up to Christmas. It is then, that you will see the deepest toy discounts.

Electronics

Electronics – digital cameras, tablets, laptops, TVs and the like are a big holiday purchase for many folks, but unfortunately not the best deals in December. The best deals historically are in November on Black Friday and then again in January when the new models debut and the previous year’s models get marked down.electronics

That said, December is the best time to buy HDTV’s – especially less well-known brands (although some top brands also come with deep discounts). Blu-ray movies and DVD’s are also reduced this month.

Home Goods

Planning to spend a lot of time in the kitchen this month? You’re in luck! Kitchen items are good to buy in December because they’re typically marked way down. If you don’t plan to cook much this season, a mixer makes a good gift for your mother-in-law.

Shopping for the man on your list? Now is the time to buy tools, particularly wrench, screw driver and drill sets. These will make the perfect gifts under the tree for the DIY-er in your life.

home goodsLinens, on the other hand, are  not the best home goods to buy in December. Stores host their annual “white sales” in January, so that’s the best time to buy linens and towels.

Furniture is also a no-no in December. Again, wait  until January when retailers are anxious to clear out the showroom for new products that are released in February.

Winter Wear and Gear

As a general rule of thumb, most items are discounted when they go out of season. winter wear and gearDecember begins the winter season and items like skis, snow blowers, and winter gear are tagged at close to full price. Put off buying these items until February, or even April , when demand is down and retailers are eager to unload inventory.

Holiday Goods

Christmas is December 25th, making December 26th the start of the best time to buy Christmas decor for next year. And if you haven’t had enough Christmas candy by then, this is another item to buy in late December.

With the New Year right around the corner, champagne drinkers have much to cheer about. This is the best time to stock up on cheap champagne even though December is the season of high demand. Contrary to the general rules of supply and demand, vendors are vying for all that celebratory business, which means lower than normal prices on the bubbly stuff.holiday goods

One end-of-the-year item you don’t want to buy in December is a new wall calendar. Retailers are well aware that old calendars cannot be re-purposed , so discounts are few and far between. You’ll get better deals on a wall calendar in January or February.

Big-Ticket Items

Surprisingly, some big-ticket items are good buys in December. With the wedding season at a near standstill this month, wedding dress dealers are looking to make a sale, any sale, so discounts abound. If you’re in the market for a new home, #3551 front exterior elevationplan to buy one in DECEMBER! Many sellers take properties off the market for the holidays and those who don’t are truly motivated, which means more negotiating leverage for buyers. Cars are also a good buy in December. With the year coming to an end car dealerships are ready to cut deals.

Purchases of jewelry and watches should be put on hold in December, ditto for a gym membership. The first two are popular holiday gifts so jewelers aren’t hurting for business right now. And with many people making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, gyms have no incentive to discount memberships.

Seasonal Produce

When it comes to stocking up the refrigerator, don’t be fooled by the  cold temperatures. Many fruits and vegetables are in season and cheap, so buy them in December. Try adorning your holiday table with the likes of beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage,seasonal producecarrots, leeks, onions, potatoes, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and winter squash. Seasonal fruits include clementines, grapefruit, kiwis, lemons,  limes, mandarins, oranges, pears, and tangerines.

Wishing you a very joyous holiday season! If you are ready to build or buy a new  home and would like any information about what steps you need to take to make that happen, contact me here or call me direct at 850-393-7106. It would be my pleasure, to help you in any way I can, to realize your dream of home ownership!

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