Property Sisters Update: Spring at the Blue Door

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We’ve been eyeing our flowers and trees for the past weeks, waiting for the little green buds to show some sign of blooming. May 1st came and now the colors are popping! It’s spring at the Blue Door and we property sisters are excited!

Last fall we planted tulips that our Dad brought back with him from, Amsterdam which FYI is the land of bright, beautiful tulips. And wow! The colors are vibrant! Yellow, pink, red. Dreamy.

Spring Flowers

We took a trip to Man Heaven this weekend (i.e we went to the Home Depot) and wandered through the green house. We bought hot red geraniums and surrounded them with yellow and green accents.

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We bought this cool window sill pot and planted indigo and lavender flowers, and placed it next to the old drift wood log in our garden bed.  

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 And of course we double dippers could not leave without something to be used in the kitchen! We planted flat leaf Italian parsley, sweet basil and Thai basil, butter leaf and red leaf lettuce. We can’t wait to fire up the grill and throw on our peanut butter chicken skewers and top them with the Thai basil.

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And the lilacs are blooming in our front yard next to our favorite birch tree. We can’t get enough of the deep purple hues!

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Happy planting from the Property Sisters!

A Great End to 2013, Welcome to the New Year!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year dear friends! 2013 is over and so is our 3 month hiatus from the blog-o-sphere. Even though we haven’t connected on our little internet space here, life has been good and 2014 is off to a fantastic start as well.To give you a glimps of what we’re talking about, here’s how we ended 2013 and welcomed the New Year. And to reassure you that we’re still committed to this internet friendship, we have some mouth-watering recipes that will make your friends say, “so good! what the heck is in thaaaat?!”  

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We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with the whole fam at the cabin, Loon Lodge.

Cousins

Cousins, say cheeeese!

Thanksgiving Turkey

And now say, Turkey! Look at that big guy. Cooked to perfection on Mom’s Weber grill. Yum.

Family!

The happy Zimmerman clan.

Christmas Cousins

All the cousins cozy on the couch.

1st Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas! We celebrated our first Christmas in our new home, the Blue Door. We decorated the tree with ornaments that we had received as gifts over the years and for a creative touch we added pheasant feathers, real ones from Dad the hunter.

Cozy by the Tree

We loved how cozy the living room felt with all the lights.

Christmas at the Blue Door

This ornament was a gift this year. The Blue Door! Every year growing up our grandma would give us ornaments that her neighbor had hand painted. We’ve received surfing santas, basketballs, Swedish horses, but this one is our favorite. It’s so special and a great way to remember our first Christmas at the Blue Door!

God Jul Time

God Jul to all!

Festive Eats

We enjoyed festive snacks…

Holiday Indulgences

and sweet holiday treats.

Christmas Cousins

The cousins again! Merry Christmas!

Climbing Fences

And as a respite from all the parties, we enjoyed peaceful sister winter walk in our neighborhood.

Snow Angels

And made snow angels in the front yard (after shoveling 6 inches!).

Ice Beauty

We reveled in the beauty of winter. You have to take in the scenery when the temperature is -20 below zero!

Fun with Friends

We ended 2013 by celebrating the marriage of two close friends from college. It was a beautiful wedding and we couldn’t have thought of a better way to bring in the New Year than with friends, laughter, dancing, and love. Cheers to 2014!

Rosemary Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers & a Property Sisters Update

Rosemary Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers

We studied abroad in Costa Rica during our Junior year of college. During our time there we spent three weeks in “El Campo,” rural Costa Rica. E stayed with a family in Grecia, in the mountains of northern Costa Rica where she worked with five women who have their own organic shampoo factory and business. These were not your Aveda salon women with vogue hair styles and trendy clothes. These were working women who wielded machetes. E picked up some skills from them and learned how to use a machete in order to extract the chamomile and aloe vera needed to make the shampoo. Power tools are meant for girls too.

K stayed in central Costa Rica, in Pital, and lived with a woman who owned an organic pineapple farm. Besides enjoying the juiciest, sweetest pineapple every day, she was shown how to harvest the fruit. Like E with the chamomile, she took a machete to the pineapple bush. There is nothing more satisfying than biting into the yellow flesh, and letting the sweet, sticky juice run down your arm after chopping the pineapple with your own might. Girl’s got muscles.

Hostas Before

This weekend the machete skills we picked up in Costa Rica came in handy. See all those hostas and overgrowth in the picture above? That’s what our backyard used to look like. But we ripped those nasty, deep rooted plants out of there! (using a shovel and not a machete of course…)

Here’s what it looks like now. Ready to plant some flowers and vegetables!

Goodbye Hostas!

Not only did we get to use heavy-duty garden tools, we also used this grill master tool. Our new Weber Spirit 310 grill! It is simply amazing. We splurged and got the 3-burned, stainless steel finish, with stainless steel grates. Totally worth the extra spend. Pretty sure Bobby Flay would approve of this grill.

Weber Spirit 310

We grilled these rosemary honey mustard chicken skewers on our Weber. You should too. The rosemary and the whole grain Dijon mustard create an earthy base flavor for the marinade. The white balsamic and the honey are a combination of tart and sweet and know how to play with the base flavors. And a little dash of paprika gives the chicken a smoky-spicy kick. When grilled, the chicken becomes slightly charred on the outside, but the inside remains juicy and perfectly succulent. Served with grilled veggies, this meal is a no fail that everyone should have in their back pocket.

Rosemary Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers

Rosemary Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers

Happy double dipping!

Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • dash of pepper

Method

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

2. Slice chicken breasts into 1/2 inch pieces. Add chicken to marinade and let marinate in refrigerator for 2-6 hours.

3. Assemble chicken on skewers. Place on grill over medium heat. Rotate once, after 4 minutes. Grill until cooked through.

4. Serve with grilled asparagus. Enjoy!

Property Sisters Update: Spring has Sprung

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Spring is here! The chickadee is kind enough to wake us up at 5:45 each morning. There have been rumbling thunderstorms which means MN spring blizzards are behind us (yes spring blizzards exist, it snowed May 1st this year).  Buds are poking out, flowers are blooming and herb gardens are growing! Spring!

Today we started our garden. Since our yard still needs some work (i.e. weeds to pull, leaves to rake, branches to prune) before we can plant anything in the ground, we decided to use pots for both flowers and herbs/leafy greens.

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We planted butter leaf lettuce, and mixed in some magenta zinnias to add brightness and contrast.

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We combined yellow marigolds and burnt orange zinnias.

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We planted deep purple and magenta petunias together. Colors of royalty!

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More orange zinnias and purple petunias. We love the contrasting colors!

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On the left we planted spinach (yum!) and curly parsley. On the right is sweet basil, rosemary and oregano. There are so many different herbs to choose from and even once you decide on one, there are 5 or more different types of that herb to pick. It can be overwhelming! Here’s our tip: plant what you know, plant what is versatile. For example, sweet basil is awesome on pizza, is great in salad dressings and even in fizzy summer drinks. Parsley is fantastic in marinades for chicken and fish, adds a freshness to crab cakes, and gives a sweetness to homemade salsa. Rosemary is wonderful on roasted baby red potatoes and in hummus. Our favorite use of oregano is in homemade turkey burgers and in homemade marinara sauce. Our list could go on and on, but you get the point. Use what you know!

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We can’t wait to sit out on our patio, take in the beautiful flowers, and enjoy a meal made with our home grown herbs!

Happy spring!

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Property Sisters: Finally Some Home Cooking

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This morning we woke up in our house. OUR HOUSE! With our own kitchen!

But wait. Back up a minute. Yesterday we moved into our new home with the help of two strong friends (thanks guys, a double dipper meal is heading your way soon). We also had some professional help from Two Men and a Truck. These guys are efficient and awesome! No nicked walls. No scratched floors. No lost furniture. Win win win.

Now, back to Day 1 in our home.

We were pumped to eat breakfast in our bfast nook fit for two. We sipped coffee and enjoyed a mixture of oats, pumpkin, Greek yogurt, berries and peanut butter…delish. But the best part was soaking up the morning sun and enjoying the view of the birch tree in our backyard (cannot wait for summer fun out there!)

We put finishing touches on our bedrooms…

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E’s room. The hummingbird room.

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K’s room. The nature room. The bird duvet is a steal we found at Pottery Barn. Love it!

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The living room. Soft contemporary with orange and blue as theme colors. Notice the rug. We bought it online from the Rug Studio. Ok, this was a risky move by us because we weren’t entirely sure if the colors would be right by merely seeing them on an i-Pad screen. But woah. It’s perfect.

 

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Tulips from our Aunt Heidi and Uncle Jeff who have a great eye for design. Thanks for your help today guys!

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The buffet in the den off the kitchen. What’s wrong with this picture? The margarita glasses are empty! But getting back to the point, this buffet will be fun to decorate and change with the seasons.

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The desk and view from the den. It will be a calming view to look at the birch tree as we sit at the desk paying bills. Hello adulthood. We’re also planning on enlisting the help of our artsy Aunt and painting the desk blue. Theme colors baby.

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The kitchen! Enough said.

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New vented microwave and spice shelf. Can’t wait to fill it up with more spices!

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The newly installed light fixture above the sink. Thanks Mom and Dad for all your electrical wiring help. We would’ve burned the place down without you or electrocuted ourselves…or both. There are two of us.

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The dining room with the blue wall. Actually, it’s not blue, it’s called “New York State of Mind.” Sassy. The table was made by our Grandpa and is where we grew up eating dinner in our parents’ home. It comes with great memories and more to come…

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Like our first meal in our new home. Spicy tuna, roasted asparagus with balsamic mushrooms, and twiced-baked sweet potato with paprika. Welcome home.

From the property sisters, happy double dipping.

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Recipe

Spicy Tuna

Ingredients for spice rub

  • 2 4 oz. ahi tuna steaks
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place tuna on baking sheet.

3. Combine spices and balsamic vinegar in mixing bowl; pour over tuna.

4. Cook for 15 minutes (for medium).

5. Serve with roasted asparagus and enjoy!

Property Sisters

 

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The Double Dippers have a new name…The Property Sisters. We bought a house! And since we’re twin sisters who are now in the business of buying  homes and renovating them, this was the only logical nickname (we’re referencing “Property Brothers” here, just to connect the dots for those of you who weren’t following the nickname. Check them out on HGTV).

This new alias has kept us pretty busy these last few weeks and so our time in the kitchen has been less frequent. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

  • Put our big girl pants on and bought a house. It’s a 1954 rambler with a blue door and great backyard for all our double dipper entertaining in the summer!
  •  Used our muscles (aka our Dad) and tore up the carpet in the master bedroom, sanded the hardwood floor (don’t attempt without manly supervision. The sanding machine is an animal!), and finished it with a poly coat (actually 5 coats. Finishing hard wood floors is a process!).
  • Had foam insulation blown into the attic and basement walls (good-bye ice dams!)
  • Hunted for furniture that would create the “modern contemporary” look we want. Our inspiration for this style came from the marine blue chair we purchased for a bargain at a local consignment shop. We also bought the black couch above, which is going to look great in the living room (third picture above).
  • Painted every room in the house (we had some help from Bob the painter and his crew). More pictures to come. But as a preview, our favorite wall is the blue accent wall in the dining space. So sassy and sophisticated.  
  • Installed new cabinets in the kitchen, put in crown molding, installed a vented microwave above the stove, and put in a new light fixture above the sink (we had some help from Bob the carpenter, not to be confused with Bob the painter). The kitchen is ready for double dipping.

We have yet to decide what the inaugural dish will be. We’re taking suggestions, so if you have a dish/treat/food you’d like to see, leave a comment and it might just be the first recipe the Property Sisters double dip in.

Happy double dipping!