Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Charlotte’

Featured image

Do you love gaining 5 pounds in one day? Do you love eating carbs? Do you love sticks of butter? If your answer is YES! Read this blog! I have 3 of the most AMAZING must have recipes to make your Thanksgiving memorable in 2014! I’m no Iron Chef, but when it comes to Thanksgiving I do not play around with my food. One of these recipes below is over 30 years old and it just gets better with time! My favorite part about Thanksgiving is making the recipe my own and experimenting in the kitchen!

Check out these recipes and let me know if you have any memorable Thanksgiving recipes you would like to share!

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

1.) Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside. 

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return the potatoes to the same pot and mash well. Mix in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the mashed potatoes. Recipe can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead of time; cover and chill. 

Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

2.) Best EVER Green Bean Casserole 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE TOPPING:

FOR BEANS AND SAUCE:

  • tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
  • tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • cup chicken broth
  • cup half-and-half

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. 

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F. 

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside. 

Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

3.) Mom’s Best Stuffing 

Mom's Best Stuffing. Photo by DRB

INGREDIENTS

Directions:

  1. Saute sausage until brown; remove from pan and cut into small bites.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter and cook onion, celery, and mushrooms over medium heat for 3 minutes or until softened.
  3. Transfer sausage and veggies, including any butter that is left in the pan to a bowl.
  4. Add stuffing mix, bread cubes, sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, pecans, turkey stock, and eggs.
  5. Toss well and adjust seasoning.
  6. Stuffing should be moist but not soggy. Add more stock if needed.
  7. Transfer to a baking dish.
  8. Bake in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered until heated through and crust forms on top.
  9. Stuff it into a big fat turkey.

 

Read Full Post »

Good Morrow, good readers!

I come to you with news of one of Charlotte, NC’s largest attractions! Something we look forward to ALL year. Whether you live in Uptown Charlotte or the suburbs, the Annual Carolina Renaissance Festival is fun for all ages.

It just so happens that this year, 2013, will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Renaissance Fest in the Carolinas! There are sure to be special celebrations in honor of this spectacular record.
To get you into the spirit of attending, I have compiled some of my favorite attractions and some general information on the many aspects of this Festival.

The Queen and some random family dressed as royalty - just kidding: me and the Royal Family of Fairhaven

The Queen and some random family dressed as royalty – just kidding: me and the Royal Family of Fairhaven

The 20th Annual Carolina Renaissance Festival will take place between October 5th and November 24th. In the heart of fall, with cooler temperatures ahead of us, nothing is more fun than spending your weekend in a huge, outdoor 16th Century European town made of small bungalows, taverns, food stations and outdoor stages. Curving through the vast wilderness of Concord, NC’s more green landscapes, you feel as if you are slowly travelling back in time.

The RenFest (as we call it in short) is seperated into many different sections. Each section holds a different interest for each personality type.

1. Outdoor Theatre: The outdoor theatres are so much fun. There are approximately 4-5 of these. Each stage hosts a different entertainer. Easily the most popular would be “The Tortuga Twins”. These “twins” are known for their quick wits and feisty quips. They actively engage the audience ALL the time. They have become a quick favorite amongst the adult viewers. (Note to parents (including myself): This comedy group is rated R :) ) The “twins” are not the only outdoor entertainment. The outdoor stages also feature “Hey Nunnie Nunnie”, (our sarcastic, medieval nuns), the Spanish fire masters (the Spanish Conquistadors that are really good with fire), the Gypsy Belly Dancers (shake, shake, shake – this one makes it hard not to move too) and many more!

The Tortuga Twins

The Tortuga Twins

2. Arts and Crafts: The RenFest is famous for its arts and crafts vendors. Here you have many talented men and women that come together to showcase their individual trades. My personal favorite would have to be the Fairhaven (the name given to the RenFest village) Carpenter. He specializes in wood carvings of medieval dragons. He is really very good and pays attention to detail. Each tooth is finely carved into the dragons’ mouth. These carvings make for great gifts. The many other crafts include handmade candles, incense burning supplies, fairy wings, flower woven headpieces and even medieval garb. If the sun is burning too brightly, feel free to purchase a medieval umbrella to ‘daintily block the sun from thy fair skin’.

My Fairy Lady

My Fairy Lady

3. Jousting: Easily the most exciting part for every family must be the joust that takes place 3 times a day. Witnessed by the Royal Family of Fairhaven, watch knights of different realms battle each other in battles – including to the death. Equipped with real live horses, fearless riders and lots of fun in between, this part is great.

Jousting!

4. Feast: Aaaahhhhhh! The feast. I know this is MY favorite part. The Carolina RenFest is FAMOUS for its turkey legs. I mean, why would they not be? Who does not like to walk around holding a monstrous turkey leg in their hand? I know I do. Accompanied by a nice, cold Woodchuck Hard Cider or a Guinness (ok, and maybe an apple juice or fruity shake for the kiddies), this snack proves to be yummy for your tummy!! The RennFest is also known for the delicious chili bowls for anyone that is not into turkey AND the Apple Cobbler desserts that the kids will ADORE…. ok, and you….. I mean, c’mon.

Feasting with Friends!

Feasting with Friends!

5. Circus: Last, but not least, the circus. There are always animals present at the RenFest. Camels, goats, lamb – even an elephant. There is a petting zoo for the children and camel and elephant rides for everyone.

This festival has so much to offer for everyone and is sure to make for a day of great fun and adventure! In order to not spoil it all, you may just have to travel and see it for yourself.

Visit: http://www.royalfaires.com for more information!
*All photos courtesy of http://www.royalfaires.com

Read Full Post »

fireworks on the water    I absolutely L-O-V-E Festivals or live events!!! People always ask how I constantly have the time to go find info on just about any event our city has. Well, I live in one of the largest cities in the nation so, naturally, I’m always looking for something different to do. Going to the mall or movies is great buuuut it’s a once in awhile kind of thing. My biggest turn-this-car-around button is a huge crowd! I don’t have the patience for them! Kudos to all of you who do and can brave any sale or “new release” but I cringe at the sight of a line or a packed body-on-body aisle (unless I’m at concert!!). That is why I always have my ear to the ground and eyes peeled for any hint at something exciting and new to do! The biggest key to staying in the “know” about such things is to…

(more…)

Read Full Post »

This month, the Charlotte Camden Properties engaged in MORE community service! As always, doing good things for others takes a center stage amongst our employees. Beginning March 7th, the big, white clothing donation boxes went up at our Welcome Centers. Let the donating begin. Partnering closely with Dress for Success and Goodwill, Camden began working together to clothe many men and women for job interviews and everyday job wear. In the world that we live in today, with the faltering economy, many people are looking for jobs to help provide for their families. Sometimes the difference in receiving the job opportunity vs not receiving the opportunity comes down to “Dressing to Impress”. Many people cannot afford to appropriately dress themselves and rely heavily on the kindess of others.

Hard at work!

Hard at work!

On March 14th, the donation boxes were filled to the brim. Camden Cares volunteers then transported the boxes from each individual property to the Regional Offices at Camden Grandview in Downtown Charlotte. Because the Dress for Success program only caters to female clientel, the clothing had to be sorted between mens clothing and womens clothing. The mens clothing was then to be donated to Goodwill while all acceptible womens clothing be steamed, folded and put on hangers for Dress for Success delivery. The sorting was definitely a big job. Both the Camden residents and the Camden employees donated so many articles that some properties even ran through 4 boxes of clothing. There was everything from Tahari suits to Coach purses. There were never been worn Jessica Simpson shoes and freshly dry cleaned mens pant suits! Everyone who donated went above and beyond to make this happen.

Sorting through the boxes

Sorting through the boxes

Once the Goodwill clothes were all bagged and ready to go, the Camden Cares volunteers took to delivering them to Goodwill. With 2 Jeeps and 1 Altima full to the top, we made our journey to deliver. Needless to say, this all took more than one trip. The expression on the Goodwill employees faces was priceless. We provided for so many in such a short time. Now that the mens clothing had been delivered to its correct location, the Dress for Success clothing was the last to go. With over 275 freshly hung clothing pieces ready to go, the volunteers scheduled a drop off appointment at Dress for Success Charlotte.

The Goodwill donations for men

The Goodwill donations for men

On March 19th, the Camden Cares volunteers headed to Dress for Succees. We unloaded 2 cars full of fresh, job appropriate clothing. After taking a moment to review the quality and hard work put into the donations, the Dress for Success employees were stunned. The Camden Cares volunteers received a small tour around the Dress for Success office and store. The store was a neat, professionally clad space with the donated clothing on mannequins. There were motivational quotes painted on the walls. It was truly a space that you could tell inspired hope and confidence. There was an interview- prep room near the loading dock where prospective employees could first dress for success, then learn how to impress with appropriate interviewing skills.

Our Dress of Success donation pile.

Our Dress of Success donation pile.

All in all, Camden should be proud. It goes to show you that hard work and dedication really do pay off. To think of the people that will benefit from the hard work that we put in that day, and everyday for that matter, fills my heart with joy. As one of the volunteers who took part that day, I do feel the need to send a special message to a few special people that helped to make the day possible: To Holly Casper, Laura Riss and Robert Villalobos – my colleagues – I say thank you! The lifting, the folding, the bagging, the driving – all of it was made possible because of your excellent attitudes and dedication to helping others.

The final photo

The final photo

Read Full Post »

Uptown Skyline

There are so many new and exciting things to announce from Charlotte, it may not even be possible to fit them all here!

After celebrating a fantastic end to 2012 and a great beginning to 2013, the planner in me (albeit a very small portion) cannot help but look out even further to what we have coming up for Charlotte. 

Camden has recently announced plans for not one, but TWO brand new communities to be built in the Historic South End district of Charlotte.  They will be located along the Lynx Blue Line and just minutes from Center City!  Construction is scheduled to begin summer 2013 with both properties opening by spring 2014.

Camden South Line and Camden Design District will be the two newest additions to Camden family here in Charlotte and we could not be any happier about it! 

One will be located right along South Boulevard and the other along, believe it or not, Camden Road.  It must be destiny to have a Camden community located on Camden Road :).  Be sure to keep looking for updates as construction begins and more details about each of them emerge. 

On a semi related topic (I told you there was a lot to announce), according to The Charlotte Business Journal, one of our new communities is located adjacent to the site were Publix is planning to open one of their first locations here in Charlotte.  As a Charlotte native, I don’t know too much about Publix, but I think expanding to Charlotte will be great for the city and shows how fast we are growing.  Not to mention how convenient getting groceries will be for our new communities around the corner.

For more information about the expansion of Publix to the Charlotte Metro area, check out This Article from the Charlotte Business Journal.

As the construction process begins, I will be sure to keep you updated with the exciting news as we get it!

Read Full Post »

1

     As you lay relaxed, feeling the warm sun on your face, you think of the hard week that you just had. You think of how grateful you are to be laying, basking in the sun of an island paradise and finally finding the peace and tranquility that you have so longed for. As you slowly open your eyes, you realize you are home. The island paradise that you had so vividly imagined is actually poolside just feet from your apartment door.

Camden Cotton Mills, my home property, has just begun the process of transforming our once chlorinated pool over to a fabulously healthy new alternative, the salt water pool. This popular new trend has been sweeping through the nation. As health takes a center stage in our evolving society, salt water pools are THE new amenity!

 2

     Throughout the centuries salt water has been used as a free, natural purifier. The feeling of salt water against the skin and in the hair can create a fresh, cleansing sensation. From Ancient Rome to new –age Russia, salt water bath houses have been considered a luxury haven for skin and mood rejuvenation.

With the addition of a salt water pool to our property, I am forced to think of the many beneficial changes that are about to come our way. Instead of smelling that overbearing, tear jerking smell of chlorine, I will now smell the freshness of the sea every time I tour our 7th Floor  City Pool Deck. As the city life hustles and bustles away, our residents will be enjoying an odorless, skin rejuvenating spa retreat.

As a long sufferer of Psoriasis, an immune disorder that promotes dry skin, I can say that a salt water pool comes as a relief. Chlorine can dry out the skin and hair making it far more probable for an occurrence of any skin disorders.

Skin isn’t the only thing that will be happy to be out of chlorine. Have you ever taken a moment to look at your nails after a trip to a chlorinated pool? If so, say good-bye to that manicure you just treated yourself to. Chlorine is very harsh on the nails and can help in the nail thinning process.

Feel free to buy that million dollar swimsuit now that you will not have to worry about chlorine fading it away. Yes. Just another reason we LOVE salt water pools!

 3

     By now I am sure that I have some of you wondering how exactly salt water pools will stay clean and sanitary. Well, this is probably the best part! Salt water pools come with a generator that filters the salt water back and forth to create a self-made chlorine which will sanitize the pool as well as create a softer quality of water.

So, worried about that beach trip that you don’t have enough time for? No need. Move to a Camden Property and bring the beach experience right to your front door.

As I contemplate the new salt water pool, I hear my mother telling me that “you cannot put a price on happiness” – I will beg to differ just this once. At Camden you can – It is called: RENT.

marisaThis post was written by Marisa Lamprecht, a Leasing Consultant at Camden Cotton Mills in Charlotte, NC.

Read Full Post »

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
-St. Francis of Assisi

      As the Holiday season comes to a close, it is important that we all look back at the good that has been done this year. Our Camden Cares Committee stays busy all year, but as we remember what this Holiday time is all about, I would like to take a moment to recognize them for the fabulous work that has been done in the month of December. December represents a time of giving, a time of love for your fellow neighbor. As the weather changes and the hot cocoa brews, it is easy to forget those that are less fortunate than we.  This December, the Camden Cares Committee took it upon themselves to collect donations for the “Adopt an Angel” program and to provide warm meals to the less fortunate during the “Friendship Tray” deliveries.

     This December, small Christmas trees were set up in each one of our Charlotte Property Welcome Centers. These trees came with ornaments that each had the name of a member of the elderly community or a child on them. Camden adopted 24 children and 10 seniors. Under each name was an item that was on each person’s wish list. These were then made available for both Camden residents and employees to take home and purchase the wish list item. This winter, Camden Cares managed to receive numerous donations from each property and many employees. Some properties did not have any name ornaments left on their trees. With this outpouring of charity, Camden collected exuberant numbers of toys (bikes, scooters, EZBake Ovens), coats, slippers, hats, scarves and many other items. Camden was able to supply each adopted person with approximately 10 gifts. The Camden Charlotte Regional Office, the donation sorting station, had to rent a van, on top of an already full SUV, to transport these items to our local Salvation Army. This effort, which lasted approximately 3 weeks, granted the Holiday wishes of so many.

1

     Our Camden Cares Committee’s most recent triumph came in form of trays of food. This December, the committee, along with volunteers from different Charlotte properties came together to prepare large quantities of food for the less fortunate and hungry. Oftentimes gathering in the wee hours of the morning, the committee and volunteers prepared each plate with the Holiday culinary favorites. These plates were then hand delivered to those in need. Over a span of 2 different occasions, Camden Cares managed to feed approximately 800 people.

 2

     Some may ask: why do we do it? Why do some of us get up early in the morning to feed total strangers? Why would you buy a gift for someone you don’t even know?

Camden Cares has the answer: Because each and every person is worth it.

Every day, regardless of the month, holiday or year, we come to work for a company that requires care throughout the day. We provide levels of service and living excellence to our residents, but behind the scenes, with fantastic committees like Camden Cares, we are able to touch the lives of so many more. The examples listed above are merely examples of what has been accomplished in the month of December. I am already excited to see what the year 2013 will bring!!

marisa This post was written by Marisa Lamprecht, a Leasing Consultant at Camden Cotton Mills in Charlotte, NC.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 835 other followers