It wasn’t until high school that realtor and business partner Kate Wall remembers having a Thanksgiving meal at home in her family’s dining room. Instead, her childhood tradition included an annual family camping trip north of Santa Barbara, California, where her family and three other families gathered for a holiday meal, slept in tents, and, as she says, “lived to tell about it!” Check out Kate’s mom’s recipe for stuffing.
Realtor Kate Wall, Dr Mike Wall, Mary (Kate's Mom), Nephew Peter - 2006
The upcoming holiday season stirs up memories as we host and attend gatherings of all shapes and sizes – although even the heartiest Minnesotans won’t be camping out for Turkey Day. Nonetheless, holidays get us thinking about our homes and even our belongings.
Are you outgrowing your current home? Maybe you’re ready for a different kitchen or dining space. Do you envision hosting future holidays with an expanding group of family members and friends? It could be time to move to a bigger home near the Minneapolis Chain or Lakes or surrounding communities in Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, or anywhere in the Twin Cities.
Or perhaps your adult children are taking over the traditions, and you are hosting fewer gatherings and need less space. Are you ready to shift to a smaller house or even to a condo? Is it time to downsize?
The top-performing real estate team at Berg Larsen Group can help you plan for either scenario: upsizing or downsizing a home. When it’s time to buy a home or time to sell a house, we will help you find your fit and share our marketplace knowledge and real estate experience for the best results and a successful closed transaction.
Declutter while you Decorate and Celebrate
Berg Larsen Group Partner and realtor Kate Wall loves to entertain, so she offers us great insights into doing double duty during the holidays … without making extra work out of it. In fact, Kate says, the holidays are a wise time to declutter.
As you’re getting ready to entertain and are pulling out the large roasting pan you only use once a year or your special tablecloth and fine dishware, look at all of the other clutter in the cupboards you have accumulated over the years. Maybe it’s time to share these items with others through a donation to charities like Goodwill, Salvation Army or Bridging, or offer them for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
If you are considering a move in 2023, start decluttering now. By decluttering, you are preparing your house for our beautiful real estate photography, enhancing its potential for staging, and, of course showings by realtors and home buyers. We want it to look it’s best and we’ll help you make it happen, it’s part of our job! See our September and October blog posts for ideas and tips for what you can do now to prepare for the Spring market.
Many of us keep decorations, dishes, knickknacks and more, thinking that “someday” we will want them. But if these items are filling your closets and cabinets and never seeing the light of day, consider a donation; we offer some of our suggestions below.
After each season, think twice before putting holiday items back into boxes and bins. Consider this an opportunity to do a bit of pre-season Spring cleaning!
Don’t Forget the Outside
We never know when the snow will fly, let alone stay, so there may still be time to clear leaves and trim dead branches from trees. Minnesota’s snowy winters may cover up some of the debris, but not for long. Take time to clear away the mess making the most of your home’s first impression in the Spring, when it hits the market.
Gratitude for All
We are grateful for clients who call when they are ready to move and we truly appreciate all their referrals. We love hearing from past clients who had a great experience and want to say hi even if they aren’t planning another move anytime soon. We’re also thankful for our colleagues: contractors, lenders, title companies, photographers, stagers, and our agents and staff members who keep our office humming and our social media content fresh. (Be sure to meet Deb Shafer featured in this month’s newsletter.)
From Kate’s Kitchen to Yours
Rumor has it Kate brings home-baked treats to the office and even to clients from time to time. This season, she’s eager to share two favorite recipes: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars and Kate’s Mom’s Kitchen-Sink Stuffing.
When asked about the story behind the Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, Kate says, “I don’t like Pumpkin Pie, but I like pumpkin, and what’s not to like about cheesecake and a graham-cracker crust?”
As for the Kitchen-Sink Stuffing, she gives credit to her mom, who created this meatless, vegetarian-friendly option. “It’s ever-changing, and I always put something different in it depending on what I have on hand in the kitchen,” says Kate.
Check out these family recipe's below! Thanks for sharing, Kate!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
32 OZ cream cheese, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups sugar
15 oz pumpkin puree
½ cup butter, chilled
1 cup flour
½ - ¾ cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13 pan.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and 6 T melted butter. Mix well. Press into bottom of pan. Chill.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Mix until smooth. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture on to top of crust, smoothing top. Freeze for 15-30 minutes.
- Add pumpkin puree to the remaining cheesecake mixture and mix well.
- Spoon pumpkin cheesecake mixture on to frozen cheesecake and spread evenly. Bake in preheated 325 oven for 30 minutes.
- Mix the remaining butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mixture should be crumbly. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
Mary's Almost Famous Cornbread Stuffing
1 pkg. cornbread stuffing mix (we use Pepperidge Farm)
1 stick butter
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
1 cup chicken stock
1 can mandarin oranges (reserve the juice)
1 can pineapple chunks (reserve the juice)
1-2 crisp apples, cut into chunks
1 cup roasted nuts (we have used cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans)
1 cup dried fruit (we have used cranberries and cherries)
Melt butter in large Dutch oven or large sauté pan with high sides. Stir in onion and celery. Cook on med low heat until veggies are soft. Add chicken stock and bring to boil over med high heat. Reduce heat and stir in cornbread stuffing. Stir well. Remove from heat and add in oranges, pineapple and apple. Add some of the reserved juices, a little at a time, to keep it moist. Add nuts and dried fruit and stir well.
This can be done a day ahead and then re-warmed in the oven for 30-40 minutes before serving.
Mary always liked to experiment with the add-ins (nuts and dried fruit). Get creative!
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