Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Apple Trottoir

A.k.a French apple tart!! This tart is usually made in a rectangular shape; hence its French name, which means "sidewalk." We usually don't eat a lot of desserts (okay...the mood for chocolate, rich, cream, sugary goodness does happen a few times), but this is a favorite of ours. It is ultra-thin and not too sweet.
It does not call for sugar, but you can sprinkle a tablespoon or two on the fruit before baking, if desired. You can also serve it "a la mode" (ice cream!), or with a dollop of home-made whipped cream...mmmmm

A trick: The small amount of tapioca used here helps keep the crust from getting soggy.

Yummy Yummy In My Tummy


  • 1 cup flour, plus more for rolling
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons ice water
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant/quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges (may substitute pears)
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves


Combine the flour, butter, salt and the ice water (as needed) in a mixing bowl; work just enough to shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Have a baking sheet at hand.
Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to a 9-inch round, with a thickness of no more than 1/4 inch. Transfer to the baking sheet.
Sprinkle the tapioca evenly over the dough. Arrange the apple slices facing in the same direction so they overlap neatly, leaving a 1/2 inch margin of dough around the edges. Decoratively crimp the edge, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, until the bottom of the tart is browned and the crust is crisp and golden.
Just before the tart is done, place the preserves in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, then stir to smooth them. Brush them over the fruit (not the crust) just after it comes out of the oven.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

So while we're on the topic, what is your favorite dessert? Do you have a sweet tooth?

Hope you like!

Chef Cat

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Modest recovery expected in 2012 as region seeks new normal

(Interesting Article about the Market here in the D.C. Area)

The Washington Examiner Online
By Dean Bartoli Smith
January 26, 2012
The Washington real estate market, at times a bright star helping to lead the nation out of its housing woes, will continue its slow recovery in 2012, local experts said, after ending 2011 on a down note. The region saw soft sales in December and finished overall behind 2010, a year fueled by artificial factors such as stimulus monies and first-time homebuyer tax credits.
"The recovery has been tepid. We've been fibrillating in Fairfax County," said Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "The recovery will be modest. We are seeing BRAC beginning to kick in and houses are not staying on the market too long."
A panel of economists, bankers and homebuilders, convened by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, also stressed "resiliency" and "stamina" while predicting modest growth for 2012.
Panelists referenced unforeseen factors in 2011, such as the tsunami in Japan, unrest in the Middle East, the debt ceiling debate, payroll tax cut, instability in world markets and the lowering of the nation's credit rating as contributing to consumer anxiety and stalled growth.
"We're in for slower, more moderate growth. We don't have the horses. We've lost a lot of jobs. Retail has gone flat; 2012 will not be as good as 2010," said economist Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University in Fairfax. "We won't slip back, it will be more of a struggle, but we're used to it. We need to find normal."
Housing will play a major role in the recovery, experts said, especially the residential construction sector, but it hasn't happened yet.
"The regional economy is poised for growth," Fuller said. "There is pent-up demand and we are waiting for the housing market to follow."
A recent uptick in multi-family rental unit construction, rising rents and low interest rates may make 2012 a good year for buyers, said Lisa Sturtevant, assistant research professor at George Mason University. "We've more than doubled multi-family rental unit construction with 23,000 units," she said. "Demand will be strongest for rentals in 2012. Higher rents and historically low interest rates will encourage people to buy."
She said she is concerned, though, about consumer confidence and its impact on growth this year. "Levels stayed stubbornly low in 2011," she said. "Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the GDP and it's critically important to the housing market recovery."
Sturtevant said foreclosures and short sales continue to put downward pressure on pricing in some areas. One-third of all 2011 area sales were for distressed properties and that equates to 20,000 homes out of the 60,000 sold. In Prince George's County, two-thirds of all sales in 2011 were for distressed properties.
The regional housing market experienced soft sales in December when compared to December 2010, based on Metropolitan Regional Information Systems data. Sales fell in the District by 4.7 percent and new listings were down by 27 percent. In Northern Virginia, sales and new listings were both down by 15 percent.
Montgomery County experienced a 6.4 percent dip in sales and new listings were down by 9.4 percent. Overall, area home prices essentially stayed flat in 2011 with the median sales price at $318,000, up from $317,000 in 2010.
"There's a feeling that it's not very good out there," said Donna Evers of Evers & Company Real Estate. "I don't see anybody sticking their neck out. It's a spotty market. There are a lot of buyers, but not much for sale."
New home construction is a missing piece of the puzzle even though it led the economy out of previous recessions.
"This region will outgrow its infrastructure capacity," Fuller said. "We should be producing twice as much housing as we are."
He said housing starts have been under-performing for long enough that there is room for a snap-back. Six million new workers will be in the region and needing housing by 2018.
"We are going to be looking at shortages in close-in areas like Arlington, Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Northwest D.C.," Evers said. "Homes under $1 million are hot. Access is an issue and we have a tremendous amount of young people who need to move into their first home."
Fairfax County just rezoned residential projects in Tysons Corner and Vienna, Bulova said. "There's an imbalance between residential and retail and we're trying to correct that," she noted.
Fuller predicted changes in 2013 that will include higher taxes and interest rates and he does not see the market in full recovery until the 2014 to 2015 time frame.
"I thought we would be further along, but we are in the same place as we were 12 months ago," he said. "Consumers are still anxious. We're running at half speed, struggling to add 20,000 new jobs a year. Detroit is generating more jobs than we are."

Evers & Co. Real Estate Celebrates Grand Opening of New Storefront Office With Art Exhibition

Washington, D.C.- Evers & Co.,, opens the doors to its new, store-front office located at 4400 Jenifer Street, NW, Suite 1, Washington, D.C. 20015, with a grand opening celebration and art exhibition. The celebration, taking place on Thursday, February 2, 2012 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., features 13 established artists in conjunction with the ribbon cutting of the new office space.
The featured local artists include: Shaune Bazner, Patrick Burke, Stephen Estrada, Jill Finsen, Mike Francis, David Harris, Anamario Hernandez, Bill Jonas, Debi Kleisch, Jean Meisel, Di Stovall, Lou Stovall, and Shanee Uberman.

"Evers & Co.'s commitment to the D.C. metro-area community shines through with our new location, as well as our second Art Show featuring local artists who contribute to the thriving cultural community Washington has become," said Donna Evers, president and broker of Evers & Co. The first Evers & Co. Art Show premiered during November of 2011 at the Evers & Co. Dupont Circle location in Washington, D.C.
The new Evers & Co. location offers a walk-in "Service Center" for home buyers and sellers to stop in and take advantage of the extensive knowledge of the on-call real estate agents and mortgage lenders. The experts are ready to discuss any realty topic including home pricing, staging, credit scores, down payments, loans, or any detail related to the home buying or selling process.

Evers & Co. has three offices in the Washington, D.C. region and an international brokerage alliance with "MyHomeInParis" in Paris, France.

About Evers & Co.

Founded in 1985 by Donna Evers, Evers & Co. Real Estate maintains its success through a strong referral base and agents who enjoy a premier reputation for their expertise and in-depth knowledge of Washington Metro Area homes and neighborhoods. Evers & Co. is home to 100 licensed real estate professionals with decades of combined experience, who enjoy access to a first-of-its-kind Agent Resource Center. The agency is the largest woman-owned and-operated residential real estate firm in the area and a member of Unique Homes Affiliate Network, Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate and FIABCI, the largest international real estate organization in the world. In addition, the agency has an alliance with My Home In Paris, a residential real estate firm in Paris, France.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Opportunity in D.C. and Rental in Chevy Chase Park

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know about 2 new properties we have!

If you are interested in any of these properties, feel free to contact us, or visit our website

Very soon, we will post a lot of yummy recipes for you to try!

Chef Cat

Population Increases in the D.C. Metro Area

Interesting information about the demographics changing in the D.C. metropolitan area.

The census bureau came out with numbers showing that the District has gained 16,000 in population since spring of 2010. This is big news, since the rest of the country is showing the slowest growth since the end of World War II.

The Washington Post said:

"...the District routinely shows up on lists of cool cities where young people gravitate, and it is drawing as many young adults as ultra-hip Austin and Portland, Oregon....Three out of four newcomers in recent years have been between the age of 18 and 34."

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mardi Gras :)

Chef Cat