Friday, January 30, 2009

A Healthy Snack that's Tasty and Simple!

Now I know that most of my recipes are straight full of butter, sugar and cream cheese...just how Paula Deen likes it, but that's not all I cook--I make healthy foods too. This recipe is one of my favorites and it's just easy as pie to make and oh so tasty!

So without further ado, meet the healthy snack:



  • 1 can (15-16 oz) garbonzo beans, drained (*These are also known as Chick Peas)
  • 1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half (or more! I love garlic, so I always use more)
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Chopped fresh parsley--this is just a garnish, I usually make it without
  • Pita bread wedges, crackers or raw veggies


  1. In blender or food processor, place beans, oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt.
  2. Cover and blend on high sped, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides if necessary, until uniform consistency.
  3. Spoon into serving dish. Garnish with parsley. Serve with pita bread wedges.

Now, one of the reasons I enjoy hummus so much is that you can flavor it with different things to make it taste completely different. In the picture above I also added to the blender 1 can (2.25 oz) of chopped black olives. Next time I make it I'm going to add some chopped roasted red peppers to it.

Another way to change this recipe up is serving it with different things. I love pita wedges, but this time I used Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits. It was a good combination with the black olives.

It makes a great appetizer, party food or an everyday snack. Hummus literally takes maybe five minutes to make. So there you have, quick, simple, tasty and healthy! Make some this would be great to take to your Super Bowl Party...and let me know what special ingredients you add to yours!

Thanks for Reading!

If you are in the market to buy or sell your home in the Bethlehem or Dacula area, I would be happy to assist you! My passion is helping people find their dream home and stepping them through this exciting journey. I serve the Walton, Barrow and Gwinnett county areas. Call or text me today!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sellers: Are Your Color Choices Keeping Your Home from Selling?

Are you thinking about selling your home? Or maybe your home is already on the market, but is not getting shown as much as you would like. It may be time to take a look at the color on your walls and in your home decor and make changes if necessary. Did you know that color can have an emotional and psychological impact on a potential buyer? Which is why it's important that you learn which colors create certain feelings in a person and carefully choose the colors in your home. In turn it can lead to a faster home sale...which is the goal, right?!

Photo by Tanakawho

Tips and Suggestions for helping your home sell:

*Off-White and Beige Walls: Most people will advise that having off-white or beige walls is great because it gives the potential homeowner the opportunity to envision how their furniture and decorations will look in the home. Having a "blank canvas" is great, but may not bring on any of the positive feelings that a well-chosen wall color can elicit. To solve this dilemma, you might want to paint an accent wall or use certain colors in your accessories. We'll talk about which colors work best in certain rooms a little later.

*People's Moods are Affected by Color: People's moods are influenced by color, so if you want to create a sense of coziness, excitement or energy choose colors such as red, yellow or orange. If you are trying to calm someone down or relax them, the cooler shades of blue work. Green was found to be the number one color to lift people's spirits--but be wary when choosing the shade, stay away from lime-green tones as those often had the effect of making people feel sick. Medium green shades such as sage is a better choice. I once had a listing where the hallway was painted lime-green, from the minute I walked through the home I advised the homeowner to re-paint it a lighter neutral shade of tan. Not only was the lime-green color not pleasant to look at, but the rich, dark shade made the hallway feel much narrower than it really was--a neutral tone would make the hallway feel more open. (By the way, they did not re-paint and the listing expired before it sold.)

*Make Sure the Colors Flow from Room to Room: A home will not flow as well or transition as smoothly throughout the home if every room is a different contrasting color. Instead, choose variations of the same color for a seamless design that promotes a sense of balance. An easy way to do this is to find a paint card at the store that has four or five shades of the same color. If you need a hallway color use the lightest shade and then move two or three shades up on the paint card and use that color for the family room or kitchen. This also works well for bathrooms attached to bedrooms.

Photo by BobJudge

Effects of Colors and Which Rooms they Work Best in:

*RED: stimulates the appetite, increases energy and heart rate, enhances excitment.

Best in: Dining Rooms

*ORANGE: when used in moderation it can create feelings of comfort, warmth and cheerfulness.

Best in: Family and Living Rooms

*YELLOW: enhances positive thinking, encourages happy and welcoming feelings.

Best in: dimly lit or dark hallways and entry ways; buttery tones are good for Living Rooms

*GREEN: most peaceful color; diminishes nervous system activity and muscular tension; helps to calm and relax.

Best in: lighter shades in Living Rooms and medium shades in Kitchens and Dining Rooms

*BLUE: encourages feelings of cleanliness, calmness, tranquility; cools down a room; suppresses appetite; lowers blood pressure.

Best in: Bedrooms

*PURPLE: enhances creativity and imagination; many adults don't like purple walls though.

Best in: Play Areas and Children's Bedrooms

I hope this has given you more insight into which colors to choose when painting your home or getting it ready to put it on the market. Color is a personal preference and the colors that you really enjoy may not be what a potential buyer would put on the walls. I always advise my clients who are purchasing a home to keep in mind that paint is not permanent and is pretty cheap! Not liking the color on the walls should generally not be a reason as to not buy a home; however, if you're trying to sell your home, you want to make it as attractive as possible--so if changing the paint color will help it sell faster, why wouldn't you do it?

Thanks for Reading!

If you are in the market to buy or sell your home in the Bethlehem or Dacula area, I would be happy to assist you! My passion is helping people find their dream home and stepping them through this exciting journey. I serve the Walton, Barrow and Gwinnett county areas. Call or text me today!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's For Dinner Tonight?...Yummy Chicken Casserole!

Sometimes, it's hard to come up with a fresh new idea for dinner, which is why I love chicken so much--it is so versatile and can be used in so many different ways. If you have a lot of mouths to feed or just want to cook one night and have left-overs for a few days, a casserole is an easy and quick way to get a hearty meal. So, here's my solution for tonight's dinner:

Chicken Casserole (it's a Paula Deen recipe, of course, because she's my favorite!)

Photo by Dave-F


  • 2 C. cubed cooked chicken
  • 2 C. breadcrumbs
  • 1 C. cooked rice
  • 1 C. milk
  • One 2 oz. jar pimentos, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 10.75 oz. can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
  • 1 C. heavy cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, breadcrumbs, rice, milk, pimentos, salt and cayenne.
  2. Stir in the eggs.
  3. Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart baking dish.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
  5. For the sauce, combine the soup and cream in a small saucepan and heat until bubbly.
  6. Serve the sauce on the side.

This recipe will serve about 6 entree servings. I don't like to eat a huge dinner, so I just served it with English peas. I stored the sauce and the casserole separately and re-heated them separately and it tasted just as good as the first day it was made...okay, maybe not just as good, because everything is always better when it's hot and fresh out of the oven, but it still tasted good. You can see from the picture below, that the warm sauce is poured all over the casserole...very delicious!

Bon Appetit! Thanks for Reading!

If you are in the market to buy or sell your home in the Bethlehem or Dacula area, I would be happy to assist you! My passion is helping people find their dream home and stepping them through this exciting journey. I serve the Walton, Barrow and Gwinnett county areas. Call or text me today!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Scream, You Scream...

...We all scream for ice cream!! I don't know about you, but ice cream is one of my very favorite treats! I could eat it of course I was very excited when the ice cream and dessert shop, Scoops, came to the nearby city of Dacula, Georgia.

This wonderful dessert place has pretty much any type of candy or ice cream that you can imagine. It has several counters full of mouth-watering chocolates, fudge, candied apples, giant cinnamon rolls, as well as a bazillion (okay, maybe not that many) flavors of ice cream! (The picture below is just ONE of the cases of yummy treats)

In addition, the walls are lined with candy, from every flavor of jelly bean you can imagine, to every kind of sour or chewy candy you could want. It's a child's dream...and probably every dentist's nightmare!

There are booths to sit and hang out in, rocking chairs out front so you can relax and stay a while and a party room in the back where they do children's birthday parties. How fun would that be?! As you can see, this place has a great atmosphere--with all the bright colors around it's hard not to be cheerful!

So, if you are ever in the Dacula, Georgia area and get a craving for some ice cream, you'll just have to stop by Scoops! It's located at: 2300 Liam Avenue, Suite 200, Dacula, Georgia 30019

As Always, Thanks for Reading!

If you are in the market to buy or sell your home in the Bethlehem or Dacula area, I would be happy to assist you! My passion is helping people find their dream home and stepping them through this exciting journey. I serve the Walton, Barrow and Gwinnett county areas. Call or text me today!

Photos ©2009 Anne Rains Photography, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chicago Style Dogs a Long Way From Home...

Today I'm featuring a locally owned restaurant in Dacula, Georgia called Dacula Dogs..."a Chicago style eatery with a splash of Southern charm." And I would certainly have to agree.

This restaurant, with its friendly staff and fun atmosphere, actually ships all of its ingredients straight from Chicago to ensure that all of its hot dogs are authentic.

After you order at the front counter, you sit and wait for your food because each order is cooked as it's placed so that your food is always fresh and hot.

The picture below is of their famous Chicago Style hot dog with chilli added to it. It includes: mustard, onions, relish, tomato,pickle, sport peppers and a dash of cerelry salt. And the prices are so affordable too! You can get this Chicago Style hot dog with fries for only $4.60 and each additional Chicago Style hot dog is only $3.00.

More Hot Dogs:
  • Falcon Dog: mustard, ketchup, relish, sauerkraut and onions
  • Hamilton Mill Cheese Dog: your choice of American, Swiss or Cheddar cheese
  • Appalachee Slaw Dog: topped with creamy homemade coleslaw
  • Texas Barbeque Dog: smothered in barbeque sauce and topped with Cheddar cheese

Other Menu Options:

  • Aloha Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich: marinated in teriyaki sauce, served with a pineapple
  • Chateau Canadian Bacon Chicken Sandwich: topped with Canadian style bacon and Swiss cheese
  • Chicago Beef: thinly sliced roast beef served on a steamed hoagie with cooked bell peppers and topped with Chicago spicy au jus
  • Lizzie Lou Burger: seasoned hamburger topped with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion and tomato
I know your mouth is watering now, but I just had to show you a sample of the menu! If you are ever in the Dacula area, you simply have to try this great place out! You won't be disappointed!!

The owner, Jill Friedman, says:
"If it's not messy, it's not worth eating!"

Location: 802 Dacula Rd, Suite 102, Dacula, GA 30019

Phone: 678.226.7898


Operating Hours:
*Monday to Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
*Friday to Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
*Sunday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the average American eats around 60 hot dogs each year?

Thanks for Reading!

If you are in the market to buy or sell your home in the Bethlehem or Dacula area, I would be happy to assist you! My passion is helping people find their dream home and stepping them through this exciting journey. I serve the Walton, Barrow and Gwinnett county areas. Call or text me today!

Photos ©2009 Anne Rains Photography, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mmmm...Waffles and Ice Cream!

Saturday morning I got up early and made hubby and I home-made waffles. They were delicious and the recipe I used was very simple and easy. We had a few left over, so I made a tasty dessert later that night...WAFFLES and ICE CREAM! Now, if you've never had this before, you simply must try it.

Eating this delicious treat got me thinking about my wonderful memories from when I first had this--back in 2002 when I went to NYC for the first and only time (so far). I remember we had just seen the broadway musical Phantom of the Opera and we were hungry. So we stopped in at one of those cute 24 hour diners and I ordered a belgium waffle with vanilla ice cream. Mmmm! So good!!

I loved visiting NYC--I loved the energy of the city, I even loved how crazy busy the sidewalks and streets were! I loved taking a carriage ride in Central Park and eating at Tavern on the Green. I loved all the lights on Times Square and going to the top of the Empire State building at night and looking out at the city. It was so much fun going to see the Statue of Liberty and it was awesome going to shows on Broadway. All in all it was a great trip and I would love to go back sometime soon. I was just thinking how neat it is when a food reminds you of a memory...just eating that waffle with a bit of ice cream made me think about that trip.

Photo by Steve Kelley



  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 C. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter


  • Separate the egg whites from the yolks and beat them until they turn into snow
  • Mix the milk, melted butter, sugar and egg yolks in another bowl, until the sugar dissolves.
  • Put all the dry ingredients in a larger bowl and pour in the wet stuff. Mix until the batter is even but with a few lumps.
  • Gently mix the eggs whites into the batter.
  • Put one cup of batter into a preheated waffle maker and bake for about 2 minutes.

Just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some syrup and you've got yourself a wonderful treat. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pet Resource Guide for Walton and Barrow Counties

So you've just moved to this area and now you're wondering where in the world are you going to go to get your pet groomed, buy their food and take them to the veterinarian?! Well, no worries because I've put together a list of businesses that specialize in pet services and pet care.

Although this list does not encompass all of the businesses that service this area, it does give you some options.

And at the same time, you get to see pictures of my cute Chihuahua, Jackson!

Pet Boarding and Grooming:

*The Paws Resort: 770.867.2021 Located at 681 Tucker Road, Winder, GA 30680
  • Won 2008 Best of Winder Award in the Dog and Cat Pet Sitting Services category by the U.S. Local Business Association
  • Services include: boarding, day camp, day spa and grooming
  • Property is located on 9 acres of scenic countryside

*Indian Shoals Pet Resort: 770.995.9123 *3560 Indian Shoals Road, Dacula, GA 30019

  • Services include: boarding, grooming and spa
  • Property located on 34 acres
  • Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets and hamsters are welcome

*Bay Creek Kennels and Grooming: 770.466.8944 * 5126 HWY 81, Loganville, GA 30052

Pet Super Stores:

*Pet Super Store: 770.979.2980 Located at 3413 Diversified Drive SW, Loganville, GA 30052

*PetCo: 678.425.1184 Located at 968 Atlanta HWY, Auburn, GA 30011

Feed & Seed Stores:

*Cooper Feed & Seed: 770.868.4433 Located at 1550 University Drive, Auburn, GA 30011

*Boss Brothers Country Store: 770.466.0570 * 3084 HWY 78, Loganville, GA 30052


*Command Performance Dog Training: 770.554.6688 * 1480 HWY 81, Loganville, GA


*Hog Mtn. Animal Hospital: 770.614.9060 * 2885 Hog Mtn. Braselton Rd. NE, Dacula, GA

*Loganville Veterinary Clinic: 770.466.1513 Located at 4158 Pecan Street, Loganville, GA

  • This is my personal veterinarian for my dogs; very affordable prices--not expensive at all.

*Apalachee River Animal Hospital: 678.376.0503 * 822 Dacula Road, Dacula, GA 30019


*Invisible Fence: 888.798.6089 or

*1800PetMeds: 888.767.5174 or

I hope this list of pet resources is something that you have found valuable. Please know that I have not used all of these places before, so I can't give a review of every business. If you do use one these places, I would love for you to write a comment about your experience--good or bad, to make this resource guide more complete.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Part VI: What You Get for the Money--$600,000

The Big Finale:

Well, I had a very difficult time finding a home that has sold in the $600,000 to $700,000 price range in Barrow county, Georgia. In fact, I had to go back to September 2007 to find a sale, so this will be the last post in this series. I don't only work in Barrow county, I also work in Gwinnett and Walton counties as well, so maybe in a few weeks I'll begin a series in one of those counties. I think that will be a good comparison of what you can get for the money by just moving to a slightly different area.

What You've Missed:

In case you are just joining us, I've been doing a series over the past week of what you can get in my local market in different price ranges--at $100,000 increments. To look over the previous posts, simply click the links below. You'll find that right now especially you can get a lot of house for not much money in my area!

The Last Home:

The Features:

This beautiful home was built in 2007 and is in the city of Hoschton. It has five bedrooms and four and a half baths. The neighborhood is a golf course community. The listing agent described it as a "Southern Living Beauty" built by award-winning architect Frank Betz. The home sits on a one to two acre lot and has a full daylight basement. It's built from brick and hardi-plank siding. The family room has a stacked stone fireplace and the kitchen features cherry cabinets and dark granite countertops.

SOLD! For the price of...

It sold September of 2007 for $650,000. Interesting how much more house you can get in today's market than you could a year and a half ago, isn't it?!

*Based on information provided to and compiled by does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Let's See What You've Got:

I'm sure for most of you, this is probably where your series would just least if you want to get anything of a decent size. So, let's see what you can get in your market...please let me know if you do this series, I would love to see what you've got!

Thanks for Reading!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Part V: What You Get for the Money--$500,000

Well, I have a beautiful home to share with everyone today for the fifth installment of "What You Get for the Money." In case you've missed out, feel free to look at what you can get in other price ranges in Barrow county, Georgia.

I have several pictures to share with you today; this gorgeous home is located in the city of Hoschton.

This six bedroom, five and a half bath home is in a gated community and sits on .669 acres. The home is four sides brick and has stone accents. The beautiful kitchen with granite countertops and custom cabinets is open to the keeping room. The master is on the main floor and has a built-in morning kitchen. Other features of the home include: two fireplaces, a theater room on the terrace level, separate formal living and dining rooms and a study with coffered ceilings. The trim detail throughout the home and the paint colors really flow well together.

Originally listed at $600,000, this home sold in January 2009 for $512,500.

*Based on information provided to and compiled by does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Now I would love to see what you can get in your area in the $500,000 price range!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Part IV: What You Get for the Money--$400,000

For today's edition of What You Get for the Money, I had to go back three months to find a sale in the $400,000 to $499,000 price range.

If you would like to look back at the other parts of this series, here they are:
Part I
Part II
Part III

Today's home located in Barrow county is within the city of Hoschton (which if you've read one of my previous posts, you know that's the Scarecrow Capital of the World. To learn more, you can read it here: Scarecrow World Record

Unfortunately, these were the only two listing pictures provided to the MLS. So we don't know what the inside of this gorgeous home looks like--I'm guessing the kitchen is fabulous, but who can say?! It seems crazy to me that a $400,000 listing only has these two pictures--no matter what price range the home is in, I feel that it's important to offer as many pictures as your MLS system will allow. But that's just my personal opinion...what do you think?

Just going off the listing description, here's what I found out about this home: the construction consists of four sides brick with stone accents. It's on a rather small lot, only about .595 acres. It has four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms and two fireplaces. Some of the other rooms are: a family room, formal dining room, office and formal living room. Also, the master is on the main floor. The home was built in 2007 and was a bank-owned property with a price reduction of over a $100,000! As you can see from the picture, it's on a full daylight basement.

The home sold in October 2008 for $415,000.

*Based on information provided to and compiled by does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Okay, now it's your turn to show me what you can get for the $400,000 price range in your part of the country. I'll be back tomorrow with the $500,000 home.

Have a great day! Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Part III: What You Get for the Money--$300,000

Today's edition of What You Get for the Money features a home that sold in the price range of $300,000 to $399,000 within the past two months.

In case you have missed the first two parts, here they are:

Part I: $100,000

Part II: $200,000

As you know, all the homes in this series are located in Barrow county, Georgia. I had the choice between four different homes that had sold recently. All of the homes had at least an acre of property that came with the home; one of them had over 5 acres.

This home in Auburn, Georgia is a two-story home with a contemporary, European style. Here are a few pictures followed by a description of its features.

This beautiful five bedroom and four bath home sits on a private lake lot that's between one and two acres. Built in 2006, it's four sides brick and has a full daylight basement. The kitchen has beautiful stone features and granite countertops. I typically like the dark counters with cherry cabinets look in a kitchen, as opposed to these lighter cabinets, but this one looks very warm and inviting--it would be a relaxing place to cook dinner in. Hardwood floors run throughout the main floor. Did you notice the large front porch?! I love porches and this one looks like a great one to sit a read a good book's hard to tell from this picture, but it looks as if the porch continues on and wraps around the side of the home--that's even better if it does!

This home sold in December, 2008 for $327,000, only $10,900 less than the asking price.

*Based on information provided to and compiled by does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

You know what to me what you can get for $300,000 in your market area and check back tomorrow for the $400,000 to $499,000 price range.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Part II: What You Get for the Money--$200,000

Okay, today's edition of What You Get for the Money is a home that sold in the price range of $200,000 to $299,000. In case you missed Part I of this series, you can view it here: Part I: What You Get for the Money-$100,000

As we all know, home sales have been way down, so I only had two homes to choose from that had sold in the past two months in this price range. One was a rustic log cabin built in 1983 on over 14 acres in Bethlehem, Georgia. And when I say rustic, I mean it! The inside walls were logs, the columns and ceiling were wood beams and the floors were hardwood. Nothing was painted, no color, just brown wood everywhere. If you really want your privacy, I guess this would be the place for you.

I decided to show y'all the second home instead. So here's what you can get in Barrow county, Georgia for $200,000:

This bank-owned and never-been-lived-in property was built in 2006 and is in the city of Winder, Georgia. It's a ranch-style home with hardi-plank and stone accents. The home has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. You get 1.23 acres, a 3 car garage and a full basement. In the kitchen there are granite countertops, black appliances, cherry cabinets and hardwood floors. The master is on the main level and there's a bonus room above the garage.

It closed November, 2008 for $217,900, although it was originally listed for $284,900.

*Based on information provided to and compiled by does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Okay,'re it! I want to see what you can get for the $200,000 price range in your part of the country! Check back on Monday for the next installment of this series--the $300,000 price range.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Slow-Cooker Recipe: Spicy Chicken in Peanut Sauce

Spicy Chicken with Peanut Sauce

You probably wouldn't believe the amount of cookbooks I have...they fill my cabinets and the bookshelves in the office. Why do I have so many? Well, I have a passion for cooking and although it's fun to make recipes up spontaneously, I usually really enjoy following a recipe and trying new things that other people create.

Lately I've been thinking I should start using my crock pot more often, so last week I made a roast and it turned out really yummy. But this week's recipe was something I've had my eye on for a while...spicy chicken with peanut sauce. I know the title of the dish says it's spicy, but actually I thought it was quite if you aren't into spicy foods, don't let the title scare you--you should still try this out sometime. And if you love spicy foods like I do, add some hot sauce or red pepper to give it that added kick!

Cooking the chicken slowly over 8 hours really made it extra delicious...fall off the bone good! (Literally!!)

It turned out really well...only a few minor adjustments I would make the next go around that I'll share with you here. But first, here's the recipe:

Cooking time: 8 hours Serves: 4 people


1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 large chicken thighs (about 3 lb), skin removed
1 large onion, chopped (1 C)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 C. creamy peanut butter
2 C. hot cooked couscous


1. In 12" nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil about 4 minutes, turning once, until brown.

2. In 4 to 5 quart slow cooker, mix onion, diced and crushed tomatoes, honey, cumin and cinamon. Add chicken. Spoon tomato mixture over chicken.

3. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.

4. Stir in peanut butter until melted and well blended. Serve chicken and sauce over couscous.

Top with chopped fresh cilantro (I left that out because I didn't have any) and also dry-roasted peanuts. Serve with wedges of warm pita bread.

Now, here are some things I would change next time:

1. Add some spice to it, such as hot sauce and ground cayenne pepper.

2. I LOVE peanut sauce that you get at thai restaurants, so I was expecting a similar flavor here...since the peanut flavor was not very strong I would use extra peanut butter, perhaps even the crunchy kind. (Also, I didn't have any roasted peanuts to sprinkle on top, so I'm sure that had something to do with the lack of peanut flavor)

3. Both my husband and I decided we're not really fans of couscous...instead I think the recipe would be better with brown rice.

All in all, it was a good recipe, one that I'm likely to make again....then again I do have about 983,219 more recipes to try...but I'll get back to it--eventually.

Bon Appetit!

(This recipe was found in the Betty Crocker Cookbook: Bridal Edition.)

Part I: What You Get for the Money: $100,000

Last night I was browsing through various blogs and happened to stumble across Ryan Hukill's blog series "What You Get for the Money--AR Style" that he did during February of 2007. I had been trying to come up with a blog series I could do over the next week or so and I think this is the perfect idea! It's based off HGTV's show, "What You Get for the Money" so you probably already know the basis of this. If you haven't seen the show, it compares three different cities across the nation and shows what type of home you can get in various price points from $100,000 to $1 million plus. It's a neat way to show what features and amenities are available at different property values.

Instead of picking just one city, I'm going to focus on the broader category of Barrow county, Georgia.

Here's what you can get for the price range of $100,000 to $199,999:

This is a two-story traditional style home made of hardi-plank and stone accents. It has four bedrooms and two and half bathrooms. The home is located in the city of Braselton and was built in 2006. It is on a cul-de-sac lot in a neighborhood with a swimming pool, tennis courts, sidewalks, and playground. The kitchen has hardwood floors, granite counters, cherry cabinets and black appliances. The home sits on a full basement with an outside entrance.

It sold in November of 2008 for $187,000.

*Based on information provided to and compiled by does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Okay, now it's your turn; I want to see what you can get for $199,999 and under in your area. I'll be back tomorrow with the $200,000 to $299,999 price range.