Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kurt and his townhouse

My friend Kurt has been through he!! recently in his quest to sell his townhouse. (The letter "l" has been replaced with "!" in case there are any internet-savvy toddlers surfing the web and reading my blog. Auntie Mindy only uses four-letter words in the presence of adults.) In the midst of conversation (and many laughs) tonight, Kurt and I both decided a short list of rules needed to be made, and he would like for you to keep the following in mind should you be looking to buy his townhouse:

If you cannot afford to buy a townhouse, do not waste the realtor's or Kurt's time. Heck, if you know you have a lot of debt and cannot be approved for a home loan, why are you wasting your time, too?

If you want three bedrooms and you know in advance that the townhouse you are looking at only has two bedrooms, do not expect another bedroom to magically appear just because you want a third bedroom. Again, do not waste the realtor's, Kurt's or your time.

And, last but not least...

If you think that a townhouse that is on the market for just below $200k is going to have every bell and whistle that you want your "dream home" to have, think again. Wanting a chandelier in the breakfast nook (yes, I said breakfast nook) or wanting a jacuzzi tub with a warming towel rack and a heated tile floor in the master bath is unreasonable to expect for that price. And simply not liking his furniture really doesn't matter. News flash: The furniture is going with him when he moves to Arizona.

Since Kurt's realtor had showings with two prospective buyers tonight, I decided to invite him over to hang out. We noshed on Salsa Guacamole while we talked and watched a travel show. I sent him home with a batch of Caramel-Butterscotch-Loaded Brownies to help ease the townhouse-selling blues.

Salsa Guacamole

Source: Muir Glen

1 can (14.5 oz.) Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small fresh jalapeƱo chile, seeded, finely chopped

3 ripe large avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

In medium bowl, stir together salsa ingredients.

In another medium bowl, place avocados; coarsely mash. Stir in remaining guacamole ingredients. Spoon guacamole into shallow serving bowl; top with salsa.

Serve with tortilla chips as desired.

Caramel-Butterscotch-Loaded Brownies

Source: Brownie Mix Bliss

1 19.5- to 19.8-ounce package brownie mix
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup water
2 large eggs
2 cups butterscotch-flavored baking chips, divided
24 caramels, unwrapped
2 T. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for dark-coated metal pan). Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Spray the bottom only of a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray (or foil-line pan).

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the brownie mix, oil, water, and eggs with a wooden spoon until just blended and all dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in 1 cup butterscotch chips. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake 28-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean (do not overbake). Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining butterscotch chips. Return to oven for 1 minute to soften chips. Transfer to a wire rack and cool (do not spread melted chips).

In a medium saucepan set over low heat combine caramels and milk, stirring until melted and smooth; drizzle over brownies. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut into squares. Makes 24 large or 36 small brownies.

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