15 September 2017

Favourite Fall Recipes: Apple Pie

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Memories of crisp fall days, warm, fragrant kitchens and lovingly made family meals all wrapped up in one classic dessert. From the scrumptious filling to the flaky pastry crust, here’s a simple apple pie recipe that you and your family will love making and eating!

INGREDIENTS

Filling:
• 8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (2-1/4 lb/ 1. 12 kg)
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze:
• 1 egg yolk
• 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Pastry:
• 3/4 cups shortening
• 3 tablespoons butter softened
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 cup Ice water

Directions

Preheat Heat oven to 425ºF

Prepare Double-Crust Pastry
·       Place the flour, salt, shortening and butter in a large bowl. With a pastry blender or fork, crush the butter until it forms tiny balls with the flour.
·       Then slowly add the water. Knead with floured hands until a large dough ball forms. Split the ball in half and wrap in plastic wrap.
·       Place the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
·       On a floured counter-top, begin to roll the dough out into a circle shape about 2 inches (5.1 cm) larger in diameter than the pie pan.
·       Slowly lift the flattened dough off the counter-top by wrapping it completely around the rolling pin. Unroll the dough over the pan, being careful not to let it tear. Fit it into the pan, pressing it against all the sides. Cut off the overhanging edges. Leave about 1⁄4 inch (0.6 cm) of extra dough over the pie pan. Place the pie shell in the refrigerator.


• Make the Filling: In large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples and toss until coated. Scrape into pie shell. Brush pastry rim with water.

• Make the Top Crust (lattice top): Roll out remaining dough. Cut the rolled out dough into as many 1" wide strips as it will yield. Place the pastry strips across the top of the apples in a criss-cross pattern, then weave them together to create a lattice effect. Cut off the overhanging excess pastry and press the edges down into the rim.
• Whisk yolk with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water; brush over crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in bottom third of 425F (220C) oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F (180C); bake for 40 minutes or until golden, filling is bubbly and apples are soft when pierced with knife through vent. Let cool on rack.

1 September 2017

Great Decorating Ideas For Apartment Living

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Decorating an apartment may often seem like a battle between paying rent and improving aesthetics, but there’s no need to be discouraged. Here are some simple decorating ideas that won’t break the bank and will have you smiling ear to ear.  

Choose versatile furniture - Choose versatile furniture pieces, rather than items that look good now, but might give you trouble down the line. Modular sofas that can be left- or right-handed, folding chairs, gate-leg tables, and side or coffee tables that double as storage are all great ideas to get the most out of your space.

Change your lighting fixtures - Swapping out a light or two isn't hard, and it can make a big change to the appearance of your space. Keep the original rental fixtures in a labeled box, so you can easily swap them back before you move out.

If fixtures can’t be upgraded due to budget or technical issues, focus on growing your collection of stylish floor and table lamps instead.

Improve Window Coverings – Even simple roller blinds or inexpensive no-hem IKEA drapes can revamp and modernize your living space.  

Get Creative With Temporary Measures - From adorable decals to temporary stick-on wallpaper, the options are endless. Don’t underestimate the power of a small accent wall. It can make a big difference in how your home looks and feels.

Decorate with Rugs – Throw rugs are an easy way to cover up that not-so-cute standard carpet and can be taken with you when you leave. Rugs are also excellent noise barriers, especially in older apartments with wood floors.

Display Art – A picture or framed photos speaks a thousand words and you can say a lot in your apartment using them. From affordable prints hung gallery-style to original works leaning on furniture, art or photos are a great way to decorate your home and show off your unique style and story.

Once you've enjoyed your space to the fullest and you're ready to move on, make sure you return your apartment to the way you found it so the next tenant can have a fresh slate to build their personalized living space.


22 August 2017

Tips on Finding Off-Campus Housing

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For most first-year students, this is the LAST OPPORTUNITY to arrange off-campus housing. Much like selecting a major, choosing a place to live is a critical decision and must be made a detailed priority. When looking for off-campus housing, take your time, be thorough, and don’t settle for the first place you see. Here is a list of things to look for during your housing hunt.

·       Before moving into an apartment, ask the current tenants what they like and dislike about the property. Prospective tenants can always search online for reviews or ask current tenants in person.

·       If you plan on touring an apartment, make sure the site superintendent shows the actual suite you’re interested in renting. It’s not uncommon for apartment tours to showcase some of the higher-end and nicer suites to attract potential tenants.

·   Tour the neighborhood, as well as the rental accommodations. Just because the rental accommodations are amazing, doesn’t necessarily mean the neighborhood will be. Often out-of-towners will not be familiar with undesirable neighborhoods within the community, which can lead to unfavorable situations down the road.

·       Just because a place is being shown, doesn’t mean it’s available right away. The suites may not be available for a few months. Be sure to ask when the place is available to move into before your classes start.

·       Don’t be afraid to negotiate. In many instances, some things such as rental rates, move-in dates, added amenities or furnishings are negotiable. 

·        Try to meet the neighbors BEFORE moving in. Neighbor compatibility is a big deal. For example, if a group of students who like to stay up late and make lots of noise move next to a family with small children, there will likely be some problems.

·      If something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Rental scams are an unfortunate reality, especially through free-to-post classified websites. If anything seems fishy, it’s best to trust your gut instinct.

·     Location is everything. Quite often accommodations nearest to school are the most expensive. Student renters can get a bargain by opting to live further away from campus. However, commute times might not be worth the savings. Furthermore, living far away in winter can be a real burden.

·       Don’t spend a ton of money on furniture or furnishings, only to end up leaving it behind when you move out.

·       If you travel by foot or bike, check the Walk Score. A Walk Score is a number between 1-100 assigned to a residential property, gauging how ‘walkable’ it is to nearby shopping and amenities. If a student travels primarily by foot, he or she will want to find a rental accommodation with a high walk score.


Here is your checklist to guide you through the process with questions and tips on what to look for during tours. You can take this printout along to remember all the information you need.


Be sure to visit our Website to check our large selection of apartments and townhomes to find an affordable home that fits your needs and budget.