Archive for the ‘brambleton town center’ Category

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Fourth of July dessert: Gluten-free Chocolate Chunk cookies fuel for the fireworks

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Folks looking for gluten free dessert options that appeal to everybody this 4th of July should look no further than this recipe compliments of the Exotic Car Examiner Kae Davis. Featuring the one of the best chocolate chip recipes we’ve eaten in a long time, it comes as a surprise that these cookie treats are absolutely friendly to all tummies and taste buds equally — and can be eaten by those with Celiac disease related stomach sensitivities or wheat allergies.

Kae Davis is the Exotic Car Examiner shown here with her favorite red Maserati Quattorporte

Kae Davis is the Exotic Car Examiner shown here with her favorite red Maserati Quattorporte

Gluten Free Cookies Fuel the Exotic Car Examiner

Hello, Baltimore Washington DC Metro and Dulles Technology corridor  chefs and cooks! My name is Kae Davis, and I am the National “Exotic Car Examiner“. Dear friend Dara Bunjon, my favorite food writer here in the Mid-Atlantic region (a.k.a. the Baltimore Dining Examiner) and I got to talking the other day about the holiday ans what kind of goodies we’d be serving to friends and family at various picnics and potluck barbecues we’ll be attending. When she asked me what kind of treats and items I like to make and eat for Summertime fun or special events like the 4th of July weekend, the first thing I though of was my favorite cookie recipe.

Chocolate chip cookies have been a favorite food of mine since I was a little girl, and when delicious they never have ceased to put a smile on my face every time I eat them. Having found out this past few years that we have food sensitivities in our family that create problems for allergy sufferers, we’ve be put into the challenging cooking situation of learning to prepare as many recipes as we can that at “Gluten Free”.

Obviously, when you realize that you are supposed to avoid cooking with or eating anything that you would normally prepare with white flour, the immediate reaction is one of mourning. I thought my cookie fetish was going to suffer terribly — and I would lose my most portable car-friendly treat that I can take with me for snacking to any road rally and my most comforting “late night with an ice cold glass of milk at home for dipping (not drinking and driving)” treat.

That’s when the clever culinary skills of my son Drew and his avid foodie researching, what he calls “scientific investigation”, came into play. Searching out all of the gluten free pre-made products in stores proved expensive and frustrating, as so many cookie products tasted, for lack of a better or more expressive word, sandy.  That is, until we finally found a product we could work with and doctor up a bit in the kitchen witch process; by adding and subtracting, we finally came up with these delicious treats — well, more he than me. My job in the process is sidewalk supervisor and sampling bites of things exponentially when good or making faces and saying, “That’s not me” when, again, for lack of a better food critic word, icky.

Bottom line, when someone asks me what fuels my writing about exotic cars and all the pop culture in the auto news industry, my typical response is, “Cookies”. As such, I hope you’l enjoy preparing these to take with you in the car to any fireworks show and eating them lovingly with friends and family at any dining gathering. Don’t forget, when it’s late at night to sneak into the kitchen, pour yourself that little glass of icy milk (or soymilk), and have one for me. I recommend you eat them while reading auto news articles from my column the Exotic Car Examiner, which you can find easily by visiting http://www.autopopnews.com.

If you are looking to prepare a delicious home baked cookie recipe for friends and family over the 4th of July holiday weekend, here’s the list of ingredients and the recipe you’ll need to be “Gluten Free” while celebrating Independence day with red, white, and blue cookies.

INGREDIENTS to prepare 18-20 small chocolate chip cookies

1 — 13.6 oz bag of Pamela’s Products all-natural wheat-free and gluten-free “Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix”

8 tbsp butter, margarine, or baking substitute

1 large egg or prepare egg replacer equivalent

1-2 tsp all natural vanilla bean extract

1 tsp rum or rum extract (for flavoring)

OPTIONAL (favorite addition) — 1/2 cup pecans (walnuts are okay to substitute but not quite as good)

OPTIONAL HOLIDAY DESSERT DECORATION — red, white, and blue M&M candies found at holiday party and decoration locations like Party City or crafts stores with baking and cake decoration sections OR dried cranberries and blueberries assortment with white coconut flake

Easy Hand-Mixing Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter mixture and let cool.
  3. Add Pamela’s Mix and egg and mix well with butter solution, followed by extracts of vanilla and rum.
  4. Dough will appear dark and slightly crumble — don’t worry… this is A+!
  5. Press together TBSP size scoops or dollops of cookie batter and place on GREASED cookie tin or baking sheet.
  6. Take a spoon slightly flatten cookie into rough intended shape; if decorating for a holiday dessert option, slightly make a rounded indention into the raw cookie top with the bottom of the spoon to create a nest.
  7. Fill dent with embed of hard shell chocolate candies or dried fruit option; if using coconut as decoration, use fork tines to gently secure flakes into the batter. Play with color or use red white and blue to decorate each cookie like you would a Christmas cookie; match or vary your decorations at your discretion.
  8. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, checking often until you are comfortable withe the recipe. Golden to light golden brown is a good rule of thumb.
  9. Bake longer for firmer cookies, less for soft or chewey varieties.
  10. Cool cookies THOROUGHLY. If served too warm they will fall apart before they even get to the milk. Cookies “set” during cooling process. [If you are a dunker, you’ll thank me.]
Best gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe uses baking mix from Pamela's products says Exotic Car Examiner

Best gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe uses baking mix from Pamela's products says Exotic Car Examiner

As the year goes on, you can enjoy these gluten free treats during any season. Add oatmeal and raisins for a chocolate chip oatmeal raisin treat. Add chopped dates and extra pecans for a more savory cookie. Add cocoa powder and white chocolate chunks for a black and white “racing flag” cookie variety. Use icing, colored sugar, and rainbow sprinkles to let kids decorate the cookie for a birthday party activity. If you are hosting a party with an Italian car theme, change the candy decoration colors to red, white, and green! Make cookies a bit larger and make an ice cream sandwich using your favorite home-made or gourmet ice cream.

At the Finish Line

One final word of advice from a car girl: if you are planning to cook for a group or have a big family, you might want to plan to prepare a second of third batch separately. These cookies tend to go faster off the plate at any holiday gathering or out of the cookie jar in your home kitchen than the Ferrari F1 racing team — and they are great to dunk in all types of milk (skim, 1%, 2%, whole, soy) or coffee as an after dinner treat.

For more information about Pamela’s Products, visit http://www.pamelasproducts.com.

Baltimore area residents can find Pamela’s Products for sale at many Weis grocery stores. Check your local area stores in DC and Northern Virginia; if you can’t find the product line, order online. Harris Teeter in Brambleton Town Center is always open to ordering products on request, as well. Simply make your request to the grocery store manager.

To read more articles from the Dining Dish star writer Dara Bunjon, click HERE.

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Loudoun County Fireworks Shows and Date listed by Community: 4th of July

Friday, June 26, 2009

2009 Fireworks Displays in Loudoun County for Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations — General Listings about where to go and how to plan your festivities. Things to do for Dulles Technology Corridor residents.

Listed here by community area… fun activity for children and parents — a patriotic thing to do to celebrate the holiday with friends is to plan a meet-up with family and friends to watch the fireworks together as an annual event. Fireworks displays make a wonderful low cost date night alternative, too!

EARLY DATE!!! Tuesday, June 28th

  • Brambleton Fireworks Display – 9:30pm (rain date June 29)
  • Dulles Town Center – 9:30pm (rain date June 29)

Friday, July 3rd

  • South Riding Display at SR Golf Club- 9:30 (rain date July 5)
  • Waterford – 9pm (rain date July 5)
  • Lansdowne Resort- 9:25pm (NO rain date) ** There will be a concert beginning at 7:30pm.  Fireworks will follow.
  • Eastern Loudoun Independence Day Celebration – 9:15pm (event is hosted at Sterling Golf Club)
  • Lovettesville Community Center -9:15pm (Parade will begin at 5:30 at the community center.  DC3 will provide entertainment at 7pm)

Saturday, July 4

  • Franklin Park – 9:30pm (rain date July 5)
  • Ashburn Village – 9:30pm  (rain date July 5)
  • Middleburg Community Center – dark (rain date July 5)
  • Hillsboro Community Center – dark (rain date July 6)
  • Claude Moore Park (old fashioned 4th of July) – Events held all day from 10:30am – 3pm (donations suggested)
  • Ida Lee Festivities – 9:30pm (rain date July 5) – Parade begins at 10am.  Gates open at 6pm for live entertainment before the fireworks display.

For more information about fireworks displays in Loudoun County for 2009, please visit https://brambletonbuzz.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/4th-of-july-weekend-in-loudoun-county-fireworks-schedule-and-more-from-the-loudoun-county-parks-and-recreation-service/.

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Brambleton HOA needs Special Event Volunteers

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Are you a new resident in Brambleton seeking to make new friends–or have you lived in Brambleton and grown to love our community events? The Brambleton Homeowners Association has a new Special Events Director and is seeking volunteers for what is sure to be an awesome 2008/2009 year. Here’s the scoop on how to get involved with your neighborhood area… excerpted from the Friday Flash:

Activities Committee Members Wanted! Did you know that each Brambleton event is carefully planned and executed with the help and support of a Brambleton resident volunteer?  If you’re looking for a great way to meet your neighbors and make Brambleton feel like home, to get involved, or to bring some new ideas to the table then please join us.  The Activities Committee is hosting a Wine & Cheese Social on Friday, March 7th at 7pm.  Feel free to bring a friend or two.  For more information and to RSVP, please contact Christine Elansary.   

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ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A NEW NoVA REALTOR?

Monday, January 28, 2008

The following real estate professionals are available to assist you with the buying and selling of residential and commercial real estate properties in the following Northern Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland properties:

Virginia Agents

Kae Davis

Steve Lizik

Maryland Agents

Mike O’Hara

  • Licensed Real Estate Sales Professional VA & MD
  • Rentals and Residential Property Lisiting
  • Buyers Agency in the Baltimore Washington Area
  • Trained in Short Sale and Bank Forclosure
  • Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Ashburn Dulles Associate
  • Sterling Resident

Steve Lizik [LICENSING AS ASSOCIATE BROKER IN MD IN SPRING 2008]

  • Residential And Commercial Property Expert
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Gourmet Grocery Stores and Convenient Local Pharmacies

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Loudoun County Groceries and Pharmacies

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Fox Cinemas in Brambleton: A Ryan Road Development Update

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Looking for information on the movie schedule for the new FOX CINEMA in Brambleton or driving directions from Loudoun County Parkway (follow Ryan Road)? Here it is–happy movie going! Drive CAREFULLY!

http://www.consolidatedmovies.com/location-detail.asp?theatre_id=34

Kae Davis, Real Estate Agent

Coldwell Banker

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Brambleton Town Center: An Ashburn Amenity in Loudoun County

Friday, December 21, 2007

Grass Roots Community Efforts WORK: Overcoming Negative Perceptions of Market Areas or Slow Conditions

(reprinted from 11.10.2007 at www.activerain.com/Kae.Davis)

Hello friends!

I was cruising the internet today and looking up information about my local area. As you all know, I am right outside DC in Northern Virginia. I am fortunate enough to live in and work around a wonderful newly developing town called Ashburn. In that, I am happy to be directly involved with many of our local neighborhood communities, including one of my favorites: a place called BRAMBLETON.

The blog spot I found at brambleton.wordpress.com had a post by the writer “brambleton”. To my chagrin and surprise the writer publicly said,

“I wonder how Brambleton developer would like to categorize or promote shopping center as. Some how, it is not visualized to be an attractive destination. In fact, shops are not even similar to a strip mall where you would typically find nails, party or lower end decorative shops, etc. On the other hand, there are a few specialty shops and are not meant to attract masses. Barnes & Nobles delayed their presence by a year or more. Here is an interactive map of what is expected soon, all shops in phase I are on the right frame of this page: Brambleton Shops. Posted in 20148, brambleton, commercial, shops |
Response: No Comments”

Now, my first though on reading the post was whoever wrote that must be disillusioned with the present market conditions. It occurred to me that if they had built early enough in Brambleton’s history or had purchased in late summer or fall of 2005 before the market dropped, that the tedious but steady progress made by the Brambleton Town Center to complete their ambitious project has frustrated them. However, this type of caustic post, rooted in discontent, DOES NOTHING TO BENEFIT THE AREA MARKET CONDITIONS.

The blogger “brambleton”, just as we all are, is probably less angry and more anxious to see the plaza become a HUGE success for probably one undisclosed yet fundamentally important reason. Once the Brambleton Town Center Shopping Plaza features and related amenities are finished, they will undoubtedly increase property values for all homes in our Ashburn area. Moreover, a thriving commercial use venue so close to home will most directly positively affect all the current property owners in Brambleton. To those ends, I agree that the property agents placing business in Brambleton must be incredibly careful to select those restaurants, shops, and retail establishments that will draw business to our area—but also to keep in mind that the store they approve ought to be tailored to benefit primary use by our residents.

The discrepancy, then, comes into play when you think about the benefit of “brambleton” posting blog commentary that specifically damages or disregards the truth about our Brambleton lifestyle or current market situation. Representing Brambleton to the world (and ultimately suggesting the tone and tenor of all Ashburn and Northern Virginia residents), they have negated the positive plan of our area, have done deliberate public harm to our retailers, and have set forth their opinions of our marketplace as popular opinion. As ambassadors to the world about Brambleton (by virtue of their self declared web title position), they have essentially cut their own nose of to spite their face by not choosing the words more carefully to aid the developers in improving our collective situation.

To counteract and voice a comment of positive support to Brambleton businesses and residents, I crafted the following response. Whether or not this “freedom of speech” dissenting opinion comment will be approved by their moderation, I’m not certain, but I wanted to share my thoughts here with active rain on what to do when you find a negative opinion floating about damaging the reputation of your client’s markets. Aggressively support positivism. Befriend the people you want to see stay in business—and be loyal patrons. Speak kind words about your neighbors, your neighborhoods, and friends. Don’t be afraid to be objective disseminating information—and be proud to indicate when what you have said is wholly subjective opinion. Please see below, and if you are ever in the area and are interesting in investing, I know a great agent.

Cheers,

Kae Davis, Licensed Virginia Real Estate Agent and Concerned Neighborhood Watch Citizen
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Brokerage Ashburn Dulles
44050 Ashburn Shopping Plaza
Suite 163 of the Ashburn Village Shopping Plaza
Ashburn, Virginia 20147
http://www.cbmove.com/Kae.Davis

COMMENT POSTED IN REPLY TO CRITICISM OF BRAMBLETON TOWN CENTER:

Wow–we love the Brambleton Town center and have such a different perspective.

As the host of a residential shopping plaza, Brambleton residents are utilizing so many of the Brambleton Town center features! Though we are all a bit frustrated with delays building the center and all the new construction along Ryan Road and Loudoun County Parkway is slowing us down, we have access to some pretty wonderful stuff already placed and open.

*Harris Teeter (24 hour, Pharmacy, Floral Department, Bakery, Seafood and Meat, Organic Produce, Sushi Bar, and $0.99 SUBS are the BOMB)
*Caribou Coffee (drive through option, free wireless Internet access, and with some of the best caffeine fixes around)
*My Thai (the most delicious Thai food in Loudoun county, atmosphere or a Washingtonian elite Night spot, best Mojitos in Loudoun)
*Subway (which is everywhere but they sure are handy when you want and easy place to grab a six foot sub for a party crowd)
*California Tortilla (hundred of hot sauce flavor combinations, fresh fast food, and big tables for large groups or families with children)
*Nick’s Corner Grill (with an upscale gourmet atmosphere and quiet HUGE screen televisions it’s the perfect wife-meets-football place in town, late nights, full bar)
*GO BANANAS Toy Store (absolutely one of the most thrilling educational and retro toy stores, clever “kids pick” toy storage for birthday and holiday selections–keeping everything a surprise because you come back without the children)
*Edible Arrangements (with stylized fresh fruit arrangements that look like floral bouquets, the perfect gifts to send in Brambleton for fun or as treats all over the nation)
*UPS Store (easy package drop off)
*Dry Cleaners
*Hair Cuttery (ask for Wendy or Hannah and bring pictures, great men’s barber shop cuts, excellent to keep our growing kids looking well coiffed during all the seasons)
*Nail Salon (Pedicures and Manicures, Massage Chairs-but make an appointment if you want to get in)
*Fox Cinemas (sixteen screen stadium seating with rocking recliner seats in an Art Nouveau setting, hot pizza pretzels sound gross but taste amazing for a different movie tradition treat, frozen cokes for the ideal brain freeze)
*Chevy Chase Bank (yes–they DO have a drive up ATM)
*Leesburg Canine Country Club (a dog friendly Adult Recreation 26 acre area right down the road from us-take Ryan to a right on Evergreen Mills and it is just a hop skip and jump down on the left

Combine these destinations already open with the coming soon attractions and the Brambleton planners really do seem to be making Brambleton a very easy place to live. [Barnes and Nobel, a pain your own pottery location, a chocolate shop, a paper goods store for stationary and whatnots, a Birkenstock shop for those comfortable casual wearing, a specialty closet shop that will help all residents get their storage life happily in order are all coming attractions.] If we just had a “First Watch” and “Sweet Tomatoes” franchises (plus a really nice gas station), it would be an ideal daily living situation.

[Did I mention I work with investors and also commercial clients?]

** Please note I regretfully forgot to mention the wonderful place I go most often for Lunch in Brambleton, FROOTS. I’m addicted to their fresh juices, awesome salads and wraps, and their delightful ownership–it is such a friendly establishment!

I will admit to have the Art and Frame store connection be one of our first opened features was a bit off in their use planning, but the owners are such nice and wonderful people that I believe in the long run, once all is said and done, we will have supported their business and the Brambleton Town center will be happy to have them.

NOTE: The Brambleton ice cream shop “Coldstone Creamery” is struggling in comparison to other franchise establishments now, too. The corporation has built a lovely new shop up the road in the WEGMANS plaza. Under a different franchise (owner so those of us addicted to true Coldstone can still get our mix-in fun), guests with kids to the new store also have the benefit of a children’s playground outside. As a whole, however, the Brambleton Town Center is still A+.

Local amenities are everything. If you can’t find whatever comfort food, solution product, or specialty item you need, we are so close to the areas other competing plazas (South Riding, Shellhorn Road, Ashburn Village Plaza, Ashburn Commons, the Dulles Town Center, Broadlands, South Walk, the newly building Loudoun Valley Estates, Waxpool Road, Farmwell Road, and the Auto Park by the giant Wegmans and Target Plaza off Pacific Boulevard and the 28 Waxpool fly over exit) that you can BE to what or where you need in under 15 minutes. [Home Depot, Home Goods, Bloom, Giant, Safeway, CVS, Walgreens, 100 more restaurant choices from fast food to four stars, hotel suites, local wineries or bed and breakfasts, Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Greenway (267 Toll Road), whatever.]

Patience is a virtue, and regardless of delays or any perceived aesthetic discontinuity right now while we are under construction Brambleton has a huge set out here of its “Brambletonian Lifestyle” fans. Visit http://www.brambleton.com for more information or stop by the Visitors Center. One last perk and thumbs up for our specific local area? Brambleton is a neighborhood full of friendly professional and personal friends.

Kindest regards to all Brambletonians,

Kae Davis, Happy Resident