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Homey Red Lentil & Barley Soup

Fall is finally arriving – having just been in NYC where it was really getting cold, I have started craving fall foods and flavors. This lentil barley soup is comforting and a meal in a bowl. Make enough for leftovers as it reheats beautifully. The prep is not hard and the soup comes together within an hour – although if you make it a little earlier and let it sit for a bit after cooking, the flavors continue to marry. Here are the ingredients: 10 ounces red lentils (I prefer red as they soften up more than the green do for this soup) 10 ounces barley (I used Trader Joes 10-minute barley but you can use regular barley as the soup does need to cook for a while). You can also sub another chewy grain like farro if you prefer. 1 cup diced onion 1  cup diced carrot 1 cup diced celery 4 tablespoons oil or fat (can use butter, vegetable oil, olive oil, or ghee) 8 cups of chicken stock or for vegetarians, a …

Los Angeles Homeowners Rejoice

Single-family home price increases in Los Angeles have shown no sign of slowing as we enter the third month of 2016. The main cause: our very constrained and limited supply. In general it is considered healthy for a real estate market to have a 6-month supply of inventory (houses for sale) on hand. At the moment in L.A., that level has dropped to a 4.8-month supply, which definitely puts an upward-pressure on home prices. People are willing to bid and pay top dollar, especially if your home has been remodeled and preferably staged to show well. Green and smart home features such as low-water-consuming landscaping, Nest thermostats, Launchpad or other smart devices to control your alarm system, your lights, your temperature, your sprinklers, your washer & dryer and more, are also growing more and more popular. In the westside home sales market, houses that have even a modicum of good taste in design, sell quickly. Frankly, I am seeing total tear-downs (such as the one in the photo above) selling for over-asking price by land-starved …