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KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - MOLD PROBLEMS

We have had a lot of rain in the Chicago area in the last couple of weeks. Along with that rain has come very high humidity. These are elements that are essential to mold growth. Moisture is the biggest need for mold growth. Remove the moisture and mold will die.

Molds outside are necessary for breaking down organic material like leaves and dead trees. Inside the house tiny mold spores float through the air until they find a moist spot to land on and reproduce. Even normal mold produce allergens that in certain individuals can cause rashes, runny noses and red eyes. Some mold contain mycotoxins that are toxic.

Mold will not grow without moisture. When you find a mold problem indoors you must clean the area thoroughly and fix the moisture problem.

Different solutions can be used to clean mold and prevent regrowth. Bleach is usually the most effective but can be harsh. Use one cup of bleach per gallon of water. Wear protective clothing, gloves, masks and eye cover when cleaning mold. The EPA even recommends using N-95 respirators, these are available at hardware stores and online. The danger is more from mold spores released when cleaning rather than fumes from the bleach. This is why eye covering without vents is also recommended. Less harsh cleaning agents are vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Spray them on full strength, let soak in thoroughly and clean off. These recommendations are all for hard surfaces only. Always work in a well-ventilated area, use fans to expedite drying. For porous surfaces it’s almost impossible to remove mold completely. Best choice is to replace items like ceiling tiles, carpeting and dry wall. You can clean the surfaces of mold but it will quickly appear again. Mold spores grow into porous surfaces and are nearly impossible to remove. 

Areas of mold larger than 10 square feet, or where mold is exceedingly black and thick, should be evaluated by a professional licensed in mold remediation.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

GLADSTONE PARK - CERTIFIED BRICK OCTAGON BUNGALOW!

• 1,278 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bedroom bungalow with vintage charm - MLS $257,400

 -  Charming, Immaculate Checkerboard Brick Certified Chicago Octagon Bungalow! Big Living Room with Front Bay features Original Stained Glass Windows – Excellent Condition! Formal Dining Room – Gleaming Hardwood Floors, Unpainted Doors and Trim Throughout! Two Large Bedrooms. Eat-In Kitchen features Walk-In Pantry! Adjacent Heated Office or Den. Finish the Attic for Even More Space! Full Basement is Ready to Finish. New Roof, Boiler. Steps to Park, 3 Blocks to METRA Train to Chicago Loop. Near Blue Line, CTA Buses, Kennedy and Edens Expressways. Top Hitch School. It’s A Vintage GEM!

Property information

TECHNOLOGY TIPS – GET THAT NEW “DO” FOR FREE

Have you ever wanted to just try something new with your hair or get a fresh look without spending an exorbitant amount of money to have it done?

Now you can do just that by using Salon Apprentice.  According to the site, "hair models are in high demand when it comes to advanced training and volunteers benefit from discounted services that are sometimes free (it depends on the salon)."

You can go to the site and sign up as a volunteer in your city (and yes Chicago is on that list). You are in a training situation so don't think you have the most advanced stylist; however, the apprentice is being overseen by a master stylist to make sure the consumer is happy with the outcome. It may take a little longer than you anticipate for a service simply because the apprentice is being taught.

The search function is great for both volunteers and stylists. It's like having a matchmaker for the cut/color you want.  Types of services you might encounter include cut & color, highlights, gray coverage, blow dry & style just to name a few.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - SUMMER LIVES ON IN CHICAGO – BACK TO SCHOOL OR NOT!

Some kids may have started school already but it’s still summer here in Chicago and we cherish every bit of this short-lived season around here! So, without further ado, may I introduce you to your weekend plans!!

Returning for its 25th year to the West Loop neighborhood is Taste of Greektown this Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in Greektown (100 to 400 S. Halsted St.). It’s a weekend full of Mediterranean culture featuring a blend of Old World tradition with a 21st Century freshness of tantalizing food and drinks from neighborhood eateries such as Athena Greek Restaurant, Greek Islands, Parthenon, Santorini, Zeus Gyros and others. Besides food galore there will also be plenty of music by Greek bands and performances by belly dancers, games for kids and families alike and a fine arts area! It’s Opa time!!

Returning for its 11th year to the South Loop is Bash on Wabash this Saturday and Sunday on Wabash Avenue between 13th Street and 14th Place showcasing the history, culture, creativity and beauty of this Chicago neighborhood benefitting the Greater South Loop Association and the South Loop Food Pantry. There will be plenty to do as this festival has something for everyone with live music, food and beverages, vendor booths, arts & crafts, an elaborate kid’s bash area and so much more!

It’s time again to celebrate the greatest encased meats Chicago has to offer at this year’s Sausagefest Chicago located at St. Michael’s Church (1633 N. Cleveland Ave.) in the Old Town neighborhood this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.) which will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Besides sampling a variety of gourmet sausages provided by Bobak’s, Chicago’s Dog House, Bari, Paulina Market, Gilbert’s and Haute Sausage, this festival also features live entertainment, artisan arts, family-friendly games and activities as well as the heated race for the coveted title of “Sausage King of Chicago!” There will also be the Medieval Times SausageFeast and Tournament where real knights will prove their bravery and honor in an epic duel being performed at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. both days!!

The Wicker Park neighborhood brings together the World of High Fashion and The Big Easy with the Chicago Fashion Fest (West Division Street between Ashland and Damen Avenues) and the FIRST-EVER Chicago’s New Orleans Festival (North Damen Avenue and West Division Street) this Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Attendees will be able to experience some great Southern food, craft beers and wine, an eclectic music lineup from Dixieland and Zydeco bands to DJs who will be spinning for the more than 20 outdoor runway shows, shopping booths from local designers, a last call sidewalk sale and much more! Haute Couture and Haute Cuisine – who would of thought!!

Lastly, celebrating its 29th year is the Bucktown Arts Fest located across from Holstein Park at 2200 N. Oakley Avenue in the Bucktown neighborhood on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This non-profit, all volunteer-run celebration of the arts features nearly 200 amazing artists showcasing and selling their art from photography to sculpture to jewelry to mixed media; a Beer Tent offering rare craft brews; Entertainment Stages featuring countless musicians, dancers, performers & poets; a Kids’ Tent (11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) and more!

And finally, the 2014 Chicago Movies in the Parks series features the following movies at dusk, weather permitting, and free admission at the following parks!

Saturday
“The Wizard of Oz” – Oz Park (2021 N. Burling St.) – Lincoln Park

Sunday
“The Help” – Hamilton Park (513 W. 72nd St.) – Englewood
“The Great Gatsby” – Palmer Park (201 E. 111 St.) – Roseland

Summer Ain’t Over Yet -- Get Out There Before It Is!!

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
TOWNE PLACE WEST - INCREDIBLE END-UNIT TOWNHOME - TOP SCHOOLS!

• 1,800 sq. ft., 2.5 bath, 2 bedrooms, 2 story - MLS $212,700

 -  Incredible Towne Place West End-Unit 2 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bath Townhome! Huge Sun-Filled Living Room – Gleaming New Laminate Floors, Vaulted Ceilings, Skylights, Wood Burning Fireplace with Gas Starter! Open Floor Plan – Ample Dining Area! Adjoining Private Patio Overlooks Beautifully-Landscaped Grounds! First Floor Den off Gracious Entry Foyer. Marvelous Eat-In Kitchen – Plenty of Oak Cabinets, Workspace. Separate Eating Area with Tiffany-Style Fixture. First Floor Laundry Room, Half Bath!

Upstairs Features Loft Gallery, Two Large Bedrooms – Master with Big Walk-In Closet, Master Bath with Separate Shower, Soaking Tub, Double Sink. Vaulted Ceilings, Half-Moon Window – Tons of Light!

Great Closets/Storage. Attached Two Car Garage. Quiet Location off Cul-De-Sac, but Convenient to Parks, Community Pool, Clubhouse, Shopping, Public Transit and Tollway. Top Schools! Reasonable Assessments – Sound Community Financials!

For your PRIVATE SHOWING . . . Contact Us TODAY!

Property information

EDISON PARK - RARE QUEEN-ANNE STYLE BRICK GEORGIAN - 2BR/2BA!


• 1,107 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bdrm 2 story - MLS $267,400

 -  Heart of Edison Park! Rare Queen-Anne Styled Brick Georgian on Ultra-Quiet Street – Just Three Blocks from Famed Edison Park Restaurants, Shops, and METRA Commuter Train to Loop! Sunny Living Room, Plus Formal Dining Room – Hardwood Floors Throughout. Wood Burning Fireplace. Eat-In Kitchen – Tons of Cabinets, Counter Space. Family Room, Second Full Bath Downstairs. Bedrooms are LARGE, Great Closet Space! Newer Windows, Heat, AC. Big Yard with Lovely Garden. Two-Car Garage. Two blocks to Highly-Ranked Ebinger School. Parks Nearby. Incredible Value, Top Location!

Property information

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - NORWOOD PARK, LINCOLN PARK, LOOP, GOLD COAST, NAPERVILLE,

NORWOOD PARK

Well, this car could be systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic. Why, it could be greased lightning!  Check out the First Annual Norwood Park Grease Lighting Carnival.  This four day celebration features a classic car show, live music, DJs, rides, games, beer garden and food trucks.  Thursday 8/21 through Sunday 8/24 (for specific times and cost for passes, click here) at Norwood Park located at 5801 North Natoma Avenue.  Please call 773-763-3606 for more information.

LINCOLN PARK

Hear ye, hear ye!  Time to engage in the Medieval Times SausageFeast and Tournament.  Your ticket includes Medieval Times Show with seating in your Knight’s Section and to partake in SausageFeast including a sausage entree, side and soda.  Proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.  Friday 8/22 through Sunday 8/24 (for specific times, click here) for $12 per person at St. Michael’s Church at North Avenue and Cleveland.  Please call 773-661-5737 for more information.

SOUTH LOOP

Come see all that the South Loop offers in the Eleventh Annual Bash on Wabash!  DJs, bands, food, beer, wine, arts, crafts, 5K fun on Saturday, 10 mile bike on Sunday, chefs’ demos, kids’ section and so much more.  Proceeds benefit the Greater South Loop Association and the South Loop Food Pantry.  Saturday 8/23 and Sunday 8/24 from noon until 10:00 p.m. for $5 per person (suggested donation) at 1300 South Wabash Avenue.  Please call 773-353-1579 for more information.

GOLD COAST

The Chicago Sinai Congregation invites people of all faith and of any age to join them to celebrate Shabbat on the Beach.  Rabbis Limmer and Levinsky will lead you in a 30 minute music filled celebration on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan.  Friday 8/22 at 5:30 p.m. at Oak Street Beach located at 1000 North Lake Shore Drive.  This event is FREE!  Please call 312-867-7000 for more information.

NAPERVILLE

Is it time to wine?  Yes it is!  Check out Naperville Wine Festival.  Your ticket includes 12 tastings from over 300 wine selections, souvenir wine glass, pint of beer, Food & Wine seminars, live music and the ability to purchase your favorite wine at a discount.  Friday 8/22 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday 8/23 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for $35 per person ($15 for designated driver ticket) at CityGate Centre located at 2135 CityGate Lane.  Please call 847-382-3270 for more information.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - LET’S CONTROL THE PAPER

My Mother-in-law passed away recently and we're dealing with the mountains of paper, literally boxes full. This wonderful woman saved everything. I actually found HER mother's baptism certificate!!!

I thought this would be a good time to give suggestions as to what documents should be saved and for how long, and which may go. First, are you a saver of greeting cards or kids' art? There is a great app called Keepy: The New Family Album. Here you can save all kids' pictures and add video and comment! It really is your new family album.

 

These items can be digitized, or their electronic versions stored

Pay stubs- keep for one year

Social Security statements- current

Current Retirement statements

Current investment statements - you should keep these for at least three years after selling.

Tax returns - save for seven years, I do ten.

All home improvement, vehicle repairs, warranties and receipts

Current prescriptions and medical records

Make sure you always back up to some secure Cloud service.

 

Paper that must be saved cause they're f***ing hard to replace!

Social Security Cards, you haven’t lived until you’ve spent 4 hours in a SS office!

Wills and Living Trust, etc.

Birth and Death Certificates

Pension plan documents

Marriage and Divorce certificates

All insurance policies: life, home and auto

House Deeds and Mortgage Documents

Vehicle Titles

 

Additionally, you can shred all banks statement as soon as you reconcile, as well as all deposit slips and atm receipts. Almost all business you have today can be accessed online, including utilities. No need to keep all that paper! I go paperless whenever I’m offered the option. Save a tree, it’s the way to go!

P.S. Keep a Cloud backed digital copy of all your kept documents, God forbid, fire or whatever!

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND YOUR WHEREABOUTS

This week I had a hard time not sharing more than one piece of technology.  Here I am looking at the newest private social media called Nextdoor. It's an interesting social network that is truly community oriented. According to their information, Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods. Just think if you've always seen the same nice man down the street who always waves and you have no idea his name but he knows yours.  Now you can ask your neighbors for his name. While there are other platforms available this one is strict in its implementation.  You have to give your real name and your address. You are in control of where your information is shared and it does not show up on Google. Imagine the community of the 1950s with technology driving the lead.

Speaking of Google, did you know that your activities are tracked by Google maps on your phone? While the information is not 100% accurate, all those sites you use like FourSquare (Swarm), Facebook, etc., it can tell you where you have been.  What's fascinating for most people is that they live in a fairly small circle within their neighborhood or community. It's interesting to see where you've been.  It's also slightly odd to see your movements throughout a given day.  I've found that by turning off the location/GPS on your phone prevents the tracking of your activities so if you want to attempt to keep that information private that's a potential way of doing it.  Or simply turn your phone off.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

CHICAGO REAL ESTATE CHECK-UP - FIRST HALF, 2014

YOUNGER BUYERS DELAYING PURCHASE, HOME OWNERSHIP PERCENTAGE FALLING, LOW INTEREST RATES CONTINUE, MORE FOR-SALE INVENTORY, AND FEWER OWNERS IN DISTRESS MARK 2014 IN CHICAGO THUS FAR!

 Unfortunately, still no "Full Recovery Mode" for the Housing Market in Chicago - not yet, anyway!

 But, as Chicago Tribune Real Estate Writer Mary Ellen Podmolik highlights, some positive signs -

-  Of Young Adults, aged 18-34, nearly one-third (31%) are living at home with their parents.  If the trend continues, this could impact the pool of potential first-time home buyers in the mid-term.

The percentage of Americans who own their own homes has dropped to just under 65% of the population.  That's the lowest level for this important real estate metric since early 1995, nineteen years ago.

-  The percentage of Underwater Sellers continues to decline.  Foreclosure Activity in the Chicago Area is down nearly one-third over the level seen in the First Half, 2013.  However, around Chicago, just greater than one percent of homeowners were at some stage of the foreclosure process - or becoming severely delinquent in their Mortgage Payments, from January through June, 2014.

Listing Inventory in the City and Suburbs of Chicago is Increasing, after a Lackluster First Quarter, 2014.  Some attribute the early-year decline to our Brutal Chicago Winter Weather this year.  Nonetheless, nearly 19,000 new listings hit the market here each month in April, May, and June this year.

Interest Rates during the First Half, 2014 are near their historic lows, but rising home prices have made a home purchase less affordable for many prospective home buyers.  Chicago Area Home Affordability, according to Local MLS Service Midwest Real Estate Data, has declined each month in 2014 from their 2013 levels.

-  The Average Chicago Apartment Rent is nearly $1,100 - up 3.7% from year-ago levels.

Our Team, serving Sellers and Buyers on the North and Northwest Sides of Chicago, and in Nearby Suburbs, has experienced a similar level of variability in the Real Estate Market here.  The first five months of the year were sometimes halting, followed by an incredible listing and purchase surge right now.

How will the rest of 2014 play out in the Chicago Real Estate Market?

Stay Tuned!!!

DEAN MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - ANOTHER “FEST”FUL WEEKEND IN CHICAGO’S NEIGHBORHOODS!

Chicago is truly home to a wide diversity of ethnic groups within its neighborhoods and this weekend is your chance to experience that ethnicity as another "fest"ful weekend takes place in Chicago's neighborhoods!

Before I get started on all the wonderful ethnic fests this weekend, the Chicago Air & Water Show celebrates its 55th year of daredevil thrills in the air and on the water at North Avenue Beach (1600 N. Lake Shore Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and along the lakefront on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This event showcases a variety of ships and air crafts from the U.S. Navy and Army which include performances by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and many others!

The Great American Lobster Fest will take place at Navy Pier, East End Plaza (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood on Saturday (10:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.) and is Chicago's very first outdoor lobster fest!  Not only will fresh live lobster be flown in daily by the New England Seafood Company in Boston but Fest attendees can also expect live music on two stages by over 25 tribute and original bands, a chance to view the Air & Water Show from the end-of-the-pier or view Navy Pier's fireworks display (Saturday only at 10:15 p.m.).  Also, other food options will be available for those who aren't the seafood-type as well as plenty of cold beverages to wash down your choice!

Back for its 8th year, Festa Italiana takes place at Taylor Street and Ashland Avenue in the Little Village neighborhood on Saturday (12:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) in celebration of its history and heritage.  This Fest has it all, featuring some of the best Italian food from vendors such as Bacci Pizzeria, Bella Luna, Carms, La Luce and many other local establishments, three stages (Rosebud, Rock & Festa) of live entertainment, carnival rides, kids' activities, cooking demonstrations, a grape stomping area, a meatball eating contest and so much more!

Another "new" Fest on the scene this year celebrates the diversity of the northwest side with the Albany Park World Fest taking place at Lawrence and Kimball Avenues in the Albany Park neighborhood on Saturday (12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.).  Fest-goers here will experience an eclectic mix of restaurants and shopkeepers from over 40 countries such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Philippines, Greece, Asia and the Middle East featuring eclectic cuisine, diverse music, global arts & crafts, an activities area for the kids and more!

Another annual Fest-favorite is the Edison Park Fest located at 6730 N. Olmsted Ave. in the Edison Park neighborhood on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  This family-friendly Fest features food from local establishments, a beer garden, live entertainment, a craft fair, a business expo, Bingo, family entertainment which includes a parade on Saturday stepping off at Ebinger Elementary (11:00 a.m.), a dog show and a bags tournament on Sunday as well as kids' activities that include an obstacle course, inflatables and much more!

And finally, the 2014 Chicago Movies in the Parks series features the following movies at dusk, weather permitting, and free admission at the following parks!

Saturday

"Twenty Feet From Stardom" - DuSable Museum of African American History (740 E. 56th Pl.) - Hyde Park

"The Lego Movie" - Ellis Park (707 E. 37th St.) - Douglas

"Michael Jackson's This Is It" - Unity Playlot Park (2636 N. Kimball Ave.) - Logan Square

Sunday

"The Thin Man" - Berger Park Cultural Center (6205 N. Sheridan Rd.) - Edgewater

"The Wizard of Oz" - Piotrowski Park (4247 W. 31st St.) - Little Village

What Ethnicity Will You Experience This Weekend?

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS – NORWOOD PARK, LAKEVIEW, LOOP, LINCOLN SQUARE, OAK PARK

NORWOOD PARK

Free Birds is coming to a neighborhood movie screen near you!  This family friendly turkey adventure along with your blanket and picnic basket has all the makings of a delightful evening.  Friday 8/15 at 8:00 p.m. at Norwood Park located at 5801 North Natoma Avenue.  This event is FREE!  Please call 773-631-4893 for more information.

LAKEVIEW

Imagine what New York City is like for a black seamstress in 1905?  Oh, did we mention that she makes Intimate Apparel for everyone from ladies of the evening to wealthy white society women?  See what the world looks like from another point of view.  From Thursday 8/14 to Sunday 8/24 for $20-$28 per person at Athenaeum Theatre located at 2936 North Southport Avenue.  For dates and times, click here.  Please call 312-902-1500 for more information.

LOOP

Ever wonder how flora and fauna influences colors in our world?  Check out Dyeing with Local Floral.  This one day demonstration/class will teach you how to extract color from berries and barks to leaves and flowers.  See the effect of the dye on a variety of fabrics and how to use these techniques in your every day life.  Tuesday 8/19 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park located at 201 East Randolph Street.  This event is FREE (but registration is required).  Please call 312-781-9970 for more information.

LINCOLN SQUARE

Stop me if you have ever heard this one before?  A German American Elvis Presley impersonator walks into the bar to sing at a Hawaiian luau.  It is a true story!  Enjoy a performance by Michael St. Angel, our Windy City Elvis, along with Hawaiian inspired food and drinks.  Friday 8/15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dank Haus located at 4740 North Western Avenue.  This event is FREE!  Please call 773-561-9181 for more information.

OAK PARK

Ready to get your arts and crafts on?  Check out the 40th Annual Oak Park Avenue-Lake Arts & Crafts Show.  Hosted by the American Society of Artists, this show features hundreds of local artisans and demonstrations.  Saturday 8/16 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 8/17 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Scoville Park located at 834 Lake Street.  This event is FREE!  Please call 847-991-4748 for more information.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

WEST LOOP GEM - PRISTINE CORNER UNIT - INCLUDES GARAGE PARKING!

• 1,400 sq. ft., 2 bath, 2 bedroom condo - MLS $417,400

 -  You Can’t Beat this PRISTINE Two Bedroom, Two Bath West Loop Gem – INCLUDES GARAGE PARKING! Corner Unit on High Floor Offers Incredible North and West Views, Plus Spectacular Chicago Skyline Views from Large Balcony – BBQ OK! Sunny Living Room has Panoramic Windows – No Buildings Blocking! Hardwood Floors, Gas Fireplace with Custom Mantle. Dining Area Accommodates your Table Plus Corner Hutch!

Gourmet Kitchen Features Dark Granite Counters, Loads of 42" Cherry Cabinets, Premium Stainless Steel Appliances and Top Fixtures. Bedrooms are LARGE – Master Suite with Walk-In Closet. Luxurious Master Bath – Double Sink, Custom Tile! In-Unit, Top-Quality Washer/Dryer, Great Storage/Bike Racks. Pet Friendly!

All-Amenity Building includes Door Staff, Receiving Room, Laundry Pick-Up Service, On-Site Convenience Store. Steps Away – West Loop Shops, Restaurants, and Clubs, New Target Store, CTA to Downtown, Prestigious Skinner School . . . MORE! Near Whitney Young Magnet High School, Medical Campus, Taylor Street, and all that the City has to offer! Arrange Your PRIVATE VIEWING . . . TODAY!

Property information

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - FRESH TOMATO RECIPES

We all have so many tomatoes ripe in the garden now. There are easy ways to use their freshness now in many ways. Fresh tomato sauce is marvelous on pasta. Gently sauté two chopped cloves of garlic in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes for a little spice. When garlic is fragrant add four cups of peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped garden tomatoes.  I like at least ½ inch chunks. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until tomatoes start to break down. Don’t cook too long, this is a fresh sauce not Grandma’s gravy! Best served over light pasta such as thin spaghetti or angel hair.

Salsa is of course different for everyone according to your likes and dislikes but there is a basic recipe. There is tomato, seeded and chopped. There is jalapeño pepper also seeded and chopped. If you are a heat freak you will leave the seeds in, I am not! Add chopped celery, garlic and onion, from here you are on your own. I add hot pepper sauce like Tabasco® to taste. Some like to experiment with scary peppers (to me) like habanero or, yikes, ghost peppers but that’s up to you. There is also popular the addition of the most hated herb on the planet, cilantro!! Granted it is mostly hated by me and like half the population. I’ve heard you either love it or hate it. I’m obviously the latter. But I digress. Let flavors meld for a few hours. Don’t refrigerate! This is fresh salsa for immediate consumption. Of course you can add all sorts of other things like fruit??? And put it on fish or chicken??? Please, scoop it up with Frito® scoops or your favorite tortilla chip!

We love to pair our fresh tomatoes with cottage cheese. They are great just plain together but there are a few ways to ramp the flavor up. You can go sweet/tart by pairing your tomatoes and cottage cheese with a poppy seed dressing. My favorite is Henri’s “Tas-tee”. It’s got just the right balance of sweet to tart. Any basic vinaigrette is marvelous. You always want to do two parts extra virgin olive oil to one part vinegar. The vinegar you use is up to you. Wine vinegar is a little less stringent and balsamic is sweeter. Add some Dijon mustard for a flavor and heat kick. Shake vigorously and pour on the flavor.

But of course my favorite thing to do with home grown tomatoes is sandwiches. Thick slices on Italian bread with extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt!! Nom nom lol.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - GMAIL IMPROVEMENTS

Maybe I'm just a PC person at heart, having used them all my professional career.  I use Gmail on a consistent basis and now that I've upgraded my Droid to a Samsung Galaxy 5, it's so simple to utilize.  Because of all this, I like to keep track of the new improvements that Google sends out on a consistent basis.

If you've ever signed up at a site that requires a login and password, you may not have seen the box checked that allows them to send you email about upcoming sales, newsletters, etc. So you get these emails on a pretty consistent basis once you've signed up.  Thankfully, Gmail has come up with a feature that you may not have already experienced.

When you open a message in your Gmail account, you'll see the Unsubscribe button at the top of messages you receive usually right next to the sender's email address.  I don't know about you but if I went through all the email I get and actually unsubscribed from everything I think my email would be cut in half. Since you have to hunt and find the unsubscribe option in the bottom of an email in very tiny script, this little tool just made removing excess mail so much easier.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

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