Friday, September 28, 2012

Safely Thaw Frozen Foods: 5 Methods

Thawing frozen foods must be done safely, or you can make yourself sick.  While freezing food does put microorganisms that can cause disease in "suspended animation", once food is warmed up to above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the bacteria can start multiplying.  Apartment Therapy helps you thaw that food without worrying about getting sick.

The simplest way to get that food from frozen solid to ready to eat is to thaw it in the refrigerator.  It does have the longest lead time, however, so you have to plan ahead.  Some of the reasons why this is a great method include the fact that you don't have to actively be involved in the thawing process and the refrigerator makes sure your food remains at a safe temperature.  You can thaw dinner while you're away at work, and if you change your mind about using the food, it can be eaten later or refrozen safely.

Another method is using cold water.  Place the sealed package of food in a bowl, pot or sink and drain and refill the water every half hour until the item is no longer frozen.  Or you can thaw your meat under cold running water.  You can also use the microwave, but this method can cause the food to thaw unevenly, resulting in not very tasty food or even bacteria.  Only use this method if you plan to cook the food, or for frozen fruits that will be served immediately.

You can set out frozen pastries, breads and fruits on the counter and allow them to thaw at room temperature for 2-4 hours.  Never use this method for meat, fish and vegetables, however, to avoid getting sick.

A Plus Apartment Locators can help you find a great apartment to thaw your food in, no matter what your method!

Monday, September 24, 2012

WTA is going PINK!

WTA realizes the importance of using our resources to give back to our community. To that end, we have participated in raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the last 4 years. WTA's Go Pink Campaign has raised almost $13,000 for breast cancer awareness, treatment and research and in 2012, our fifth year, we want to raise at least $3,000 through our Passionately Pink Campaign for Susan G. Komen. 75% of the funds raised stay in the five county area: Travis, Williamson, Caldwell, Hays and Bastrop.

WTA is proud that in 2011 we were one of the top 20 Austin fundraisers for the Susan G Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure. Our team, "Forever Young" had 13 racers from 3 cities and raised more than $2,500.  As a breast cancer survivor and Ford Warriors in Pink Model of Courage, I am very proud to lend my name to WTA's Race for the Cure team!

We need your help to make 2012 our best year yet! If you are an onsite, you can mark your referrals 'Susan G Komen' and we will donate an EXTRA $25 to Susan G Komen on top of your referral fee through November 4th, 2012. Want to do a little more? You can spend some face time with us by joining our race team, Forever Young! You can also donate on your own to the Forever Young fundraising team.

Thank you so much for your support as we continue to race towards the goal of ending this disease.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall Closet Cleaning

Closet Cleaning usually happens at the start of the year thanks to New Year's Resolutions.  But Apartment Therapy makes the case that just after Labor Day is a great time to assess your wardrobe and clean out that closet for the new Fall season.

First, clear your closet out and clean the floor and baseboards.  Dump your Fall and Winter clothes out of your storage bins and set them aside.  Now you're ready to sort your summer clothes into the newly empty storage containers, as well as a donate and toss pile.  Summer is rough on clothes and pool water, beach sand, sunscreen and sweat can get your clothes looking raggedy pretty quickly.  Resist the temptation to store stuff that's clearly past its prime and put them in the toss pile.  Any items you didn't wear all summer, go ahead and donate them.  You're not likely to put them on next year either.  Don't store a plethora of summer purses and hats.  Pick two or three favorites and donate the others.  Label your bins and store them either on a shelf in your closet or under your bed.

Now it's time to examine your Fall Wardrobe.  Try stuff on, make sure it's still in good shape and is something you actually want to wear.  Again, if there are items you didn't wear the previous Fall, you aren't likely to wear them this year.  Make sure you have cold weather accessories like a pair of matching gloves, a hat, boots and that your winter coat doesn't need repair.  It may not be cold now, but you want to be sure to be ready before the temperature plummets and you can't find what you need!

You can follow the same logic for your hall closet and trade summer accessories out for Fall accessories.  You can add a small drawer unit to the floor of the closet to store gloves, mittens and hats, or use an over-the-door shoe organizer.  Another option if your closet is too small for these items is to put a small dresser in your entryway to contain the winter accessories.  Limit each family member to only one or two pairs of shoes in this closet and donate any kids' winter accessories that they've outgrown.  Now you're done and can kick back and enjoy your apartment!

Friday, September 7, 2012

GM Technology Center Coming to Austin

General Motors' Technology Center will come to Austin, the company announced today.  The IT Innovation Center will employ nearly 500 people, Statesman.com reports.

GM is building the facility to make sure its information technology capabilities are on par with its business practices.  The company plans to open four IT centers in the coming years and plans to use information technology to decrease the cost of operations and increase how quickly new products and services are developed.

GM is going to be hiring software developers, project managers, database experts, business analysts and other information specialists and chose Austin because we already have a lot of workers in those fields.  In order to make sure that IT keeps up with what the GM business partners are coming up with, GM is going to change their employment model over the next three years so that they are hiring enough IT workers that "the majority of IT work is done by GM employees focused on extending new capabilities that further enable our business."

General Motors says that its target for the Austin Center is 500 jobs, but they do plan to eventually hire nearly 10,000 IT workers across the company.  They have already leased space in Northwest Austin and have hired a few employees.  They are now planning on quickly increasing recruiting efforts at other companies and in colleges and universities with computer science programs in Texas and beyond.

Although GM did review applying to the city and state for economic incentives, they decided against it because the need to get the center open quickly outweighed the benefit of the incentives.

Looking for a great apartment in Northwest Austin and beyond?  Call A Plus Apartment Locators today!