Easy Halloween Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe comes together in a snap and is a delicious treat for the Chef and the lucky diners.

  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (a roaster from Publix will do)
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese with Peppers
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 (4.5 Oz.) can chopped green chilies drained.
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 (8 inch) flour or corn tortillas
  • Vege Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese with Peppers
  • 8 Oz of Sour Cream
  • 8 Oz bottle of green taco sauce.

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Coat tortillas with vegetable cooking spray. Heat them in a sauté pan just for a few minutes to soften them up. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over each tortilla and roll them up seam side down. Arrange in a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Add 2nd cup of Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese to the top of the Enchiladas and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes. Mix 8 Oz Sour Cream and 8 Oz. of Green Taco Sauce together and spoon over HOT Enchiladas and before serving or at the table. Sprinkle with any, or all, of the below toppings.

Serve with toppings: diced orange peppers, diced tomato, chopped avocado, chopped green onions, sliced ripe olives, and chopped cilantro.

If you really like “Kicked Up” Enchiladas add a diced Jalapeno to the first 5 ingredients.

Holiday News Flash: Halloween to Hanukkah and Christmas.

Get ready because 2018 is flying by!

This year, Bella Verde Realty is once again proud to sponsor the ONE PLUS ONE GIVING PROGRAM FOR FOSTER CHILDREN with the Guardian ad Litem Program of Osceola County. Last year, Bella Verde Realty, with the generosity of our friends, clients, neighbors, and vendors, collected over 1,000 gifts and donated them to the children that are served and supported by the Guardian ad Litem Program. Together we brought joy to many children during the holiday season.

And this year, Bella Verde will be sponsoring the One Plus One Giving Program for Foster Children again. On Friday, November 9th, the Bella Verde Christmas Tree will be decorated and ready to start receiving all unwrapped gifts for children from the age of birth to 18. For every gift donated, Bella Verde Realty will match the gift; you give one, the children will receive two. This is a win-win program for the children, and for each of us who choose to participate during this beautiful holiday season. Please visit our office and donate to this gift giving program for children that will surely enjoy receiving a wonderful holiday gift and the knowledge that our community cares about them.

Happy Halloween

Halloween has become a huge holiday. It’s time to decorate the house, carve the pumpkins, and decide what to do on 10/31. A few years back we went to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights with some friends, had a blast and enjoyed a frightful night. We are thinking this year may be a good year to “Do the Time Warp” and tiptoe down memory lane to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. We will drag out the toaster and enjoy an evening filled with fun and share a toast to what was. Wondering, if after all these years, we will still find joy in the Rocky Horror Picture Show? I hope so. We may even be able to find a movie house showing the old flick, or a playhouse performing the show, but if all else fails we can always enjoy Rocky Horror Picture Show on our computer. The show may be dated, but we strive to keep current and have the latest software up and running.

Great Day Trip from Solivita

Had the grandchildren in for a visit and we took them to Gatorland for some family fun. Our grandson was charmed by the alligators and crocodiles and our granddaughter loved the petting zoo and the action the animal shows provided. Gatorland is a throwback to “Old Florida”. The park is clean and fun and provides a great way to make special memories with friends and family. Gatorland is only 25 miles from Solivita on Orange Blossom Trail, or as the local’s call it “The OBT”. Florida residents can purchase an Annual Pass which will entitle up to 6 accompanying guests a discount from the General Admission. A nice, simple way to spend a day with the family without the huge cost of visiting one of the larger theme parks.

If you have older grandchildren (ours are still quite young), you may want to book the Gator Night Shine Adventure to experience the sounds of the swamp at night in Gatorland’s Alligator Breeding Marsh. Gatorland will provide a flashlight and when you point in toward the water you will be amazed as the glowing red eyes of the gators keenly look back at you while they thrash about. We shared the Night Shine Adventure when some of our older cousins visited and it was an “Eye Opener” into swamp life in Central Florida.

Game On

We are loving October and the fresh air blowing through Central Florida. Time to get out on the golf course and play a few rounds in the afternoon since the heat has been turned down. Lee is the golfer in the family and he loves to play on the two Championship Golf Courses in Solivita, but he is also happy to accept the challenge of playing on many of the other golf courses convenient to Solivita. Lee has kept a tally of the courses he has played over the last two years, and so far, his count is over 30. Florida has wonderful golf courses, and a round on a good course does not need to cost a fortune, we can usually find a discounted course by going to: www.teeoff.com and looking at their offers.

Golf on my friends and swing away in Solivita style.

Spruce Up a Room in A Day

Add a statement tablecloth. Pick a color that will coordinate with your décor but will create a different look in your room. For a traditional room, add a table cloth that is bright and patterned, but blends with the surroundings. If you have a beige room, try adding a patterned orange tablecloth for a pop of color or a black patterned cloth to create drama.

A simple fix – Reorganize your bookshelves. Restack the books in a non-traditional fashion. Perhaps arrange them by color and add a few green plants in white pots for interest.

Board with Your Built-ins. If so, add a dramatic color. Paint the back wall of your built in with a color that will pop, then stand back and wait for the compliments. Or, if you are not ready to get out the paint can, purchase some contact paper in a color you love and paper the back of the shelves for a new look.

Switch Up Your Vibe – Replace one piece of furniture in a traditional room with something modern, perhaps two acrylic chairs or a modern glass or acrylic coffee table.

Add a playful pattern to your bedding. You can mix and match patterns, colors, and textures, or you can add a collection of old textiles to your bed. Have fun with it and be inspired by the decorator lurking within.

Add a Turkish Rug Runner to your hallway. A new floor covering will add drama and interest to the area; and will be soft on your feet.

Designing and redecorating your home should be fun and will bring out your creative side. As you make small changes, you will become more comfortable and begin to experiment with color and design. It is fun to change up your look, embrace the change and enjoy your new look.

The Perfect Dinner Salad and a Blueberry Swirl Ice Treat

Lee and I enjoy a salad for dinner in the summer weather, and we find this salad to be delicious and satisfying and really good when followed by the Blueberry Swirl Treat below.

Pear and Endive Main Course Chopped Salad

2 Tsp Sherry Vinegar
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Heads of Endive (about 1 Pound total) halved and sliced into ½ inch half moons
1 Cup Parsley Leaves
2 firm but ripe pears, cut in quarters, cored, and sliced
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 – 4 Oz Wedge Blue Cheese sliced.
Salt and Pepper

In a large bowl whisk vinegar, oil and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. Add endive, parsley, and pear. Toss to coat in dressing. Arrange on 2 plates and top with pecans and blue cheese.

Blueberry Swirl Ice Treat

2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
2 Tablespoons honey or agave
2 cups Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Blend the blueberries in a food processor or blender until nearly liquified to a smooth consistency. Pour the blueberry liquid into a large bowl. Stir in the honey or agave. Add the yogurt and gently mix together. Leave patches of blue and white. Taste and adjust sweetener. Freeze in popsicle molds. This is a good recipe for a sweet treat.

Florida Road Trips

We recently took an overnight trip from Solivita to St. Augustine and had a wonderful evening at the St. Augustine Lighthouse enjoying a sunset moonrise tour. We saw a spectacular sun set behind the city while the moon rose over the Atlantic, for a really nice evening. We had purchased tickets a few months ago and our ticket included a champagne toast supplied by San Sebastian Winery and hors d’oeuvres provided by the Reef Restaurant. This tour is only available one day per month. If you wish to go, please purchase your ticket in advance. For the balance of this year, this tour will be held on the following days; Monday, September 24th, Wednesday, October 24th and Saturday, December 22nd.

Cassadaga, the Psychic Capital of the World :

Who knew that we not only live near the Entertainment Capital of the US, but the Psychic Capital of the World as well? If you’re looking for a different experience, visit Cassadaga! Cassadaga is about 75 miles from Solivita, north of Sanford. The town is a throw back to the days of Mayberry, set in the backwoods between Daytona and Orlando and is a sanctuary for mediums, healers, spiritualists, psychics, new agers, and a religious group. The religious group runs a non-profit organization and operate a camp and the new agers use tarot cards and provide readings in the Cassadaga Hotel. If you go to Cassadaga, make an appointment, and go with an open mind as you never know who may want to send a message to you, or the direction of your reading. Our reader was Misty and she had some interesting thoughts. She seemed to know us quite well for a lady who knew nothing about us. It was puzzling how she zoomed right in. Some of the folks we were with left Cassadaga amazed, and some were amused, but we were all entertained. The town is interesting and is a nice drive from Solivita. While you are waiting for your reading, or for your group to gather after a reading, the restaurant in the Hotel offers a delightful menu, including liquid spirts, and is the perfect spot to discuss your experiences in Cassadaga. You can take a tour, take a class, have a reading, experience a healing, or just enjoy a meal, but whatever you do here you will certainly have an interesting time.

The Cassadaga Hotel is allegedly haunted, and if you are interested you can schedule a Ghost Tour while in town or spend an evening at the hotel. We did not personally experience any spirits while we were there, that is, except for the spirits in our drinks at the hotel. Cassadaga is a fun experience and certainly made for an interesting afternoon. If you would like to see what Cassadaga is all about, visit the following websites: http://www.cassadaga.org/ or http://cassadagahotel.net/.

Happy September and Happy Labor Day

Although most of us no longer labor in the workplace, some of us do, and it is always nice to have a day off from the usual action. September is the start of Central Florida’s fall growing season. Being a Realtor has taught me to be observant, whether I am showing a home, doing a walk through for a listing, or just observing life in general, I appreciate the details. I love this time of the year, the weather is about to cool off, the afternoon shadows grow longer and longer, and I always keep a look out for the first purple martins of the season as they travel from north to south. This time of the year ushers in the start of fall and the glorious weather that is about to visit Central Florida. Unfortunately, it is also Hurricane Season, and the time of the year for Tropical Storms. Let’s hope this year the hurricanes stay far out at sea.

September is also the time to plant our vegetable gardens in Solivita. Remember to enrich your garden beds with peat, composted products, or animal manures before planting.

Hosting a Broker’s Open House

Realtors in Solivita typically host a broker’s open house, inviting local realtors and industry professionals to view your residence upon listing your home for sale. A broker’s open house gives your listing more exposure and allows realtors to gather informed feedback from other real estate professionals. If your home shows well, the agents who toured your home may recommend your home to one or more of their buyer clients. The more “buzz” we can generate the better the chance of planting a SOLD sign on your front lawn in a timely manner. I forward all broker comments to the seller and the experts at Bella Verde Realty review all comments as well. If your home does not get great reviews, do not be upset, this is our opportunity to make a few subtle changes while we keep showing your home. Relax, your home will sell. We know it can be a stressful process, but it will be worth it in the end.

Bella Verde Realty also hosts Client Open Houses. Usually these open houses are set on a Saturday or a Sunday for a few hours in the afternoon. I always suggest when we host a Client Open House that the sellers place fresh flowers in a vase in the entry and set their dining room table as if they were hosting a small dinner party. The key is to make your home inviting and warm to a prospective buyer. You want the buyer to see themselves living in and loving your home. A neglected home is an invitation to a low offer. A well cared for home is inviting and will secure solid, reasonable offers.

Whenever your house is on the market, it needs to be show ready. Light the lights as light brightens the space and makes rooms appear larger. Open all curtains and blinds and let the natural light stream in. Always remember that buyers will judge your home on the outside too. Spruce up your porch furniture, make sure the shrubs are looking good, and if your outside entry provides space for a few plants, place a few freshly potted flowers around to add color and interest.

The most important thing is to stay open to buyers’ comments and to follow your agent’s advice. Whatever the advice, remember it is NOT PERSONAL – it is just the business of selling your home.