Author Archive

How Gwinnett Businesses & Schools are Benefitting Our Kids

Suzanne is a proud board member of the Environmental & Heritage Center, a crown jewel in Gwinnett County’s long list of unique and impressive educational and enrichment facilities. To keep their quarterly meetings fresh and educate members about all Gwinnett has to offer, the organization explores different venues for each board meeting. They recently visited the phenomenal Junior Achievement Discovery Center at Discovery High School in Lawrenceville, which CBS News calls a ‘game-changing’ school. The school features an entrepreneurship center with two Junior Achievement of Georgia programs, JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. Photo courtesy of Junior Achievement of Georgia Quick facts about “JA Biz Town”: 150 6-7th graders visit every day to run a business, with many getting a role as a CEO, marketing person, etc. Students learn everything from marketing and selling a product, to earning and depositing a paycheck. An 18 lesson program is taught within the grade’s classes with the culmination being a visit to the Discovery center, giving every student in the system a “real world” environment to apply their studies. Quick facts about “JA Finance Park”: Aimed at 8th graders, “JA Finance Park” has a personal finance focus, helping them learn how to balance a budget and prepare for life’s unexpected events. […]

Suzanne's Spectacular Hot Spinach Dip

Want a super (and simple) new appetizer recipe for your next gathering? Suzanne came across a phenomenal Spinach dip recipe many years ago in a cookbook called Gracious Goodness, Charleston. She made a few tweaks to pump up the flavor and turned it into a family favorite! Ingredients: 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened 1 (8 oz) carton plain nonfat yogurt 5 ounces shredded cheese (Cheddar, White American, Swiss or Parmesan work well) 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream 1 (1 oz) package no-oil Italian dressing mix 1 (2 oz) jar sliced pimiento, drained Dash (or two!) of Holtkamp Heatwave Hot Sauce, or your favorite hot sauce Instructions • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. • Drain spinach and press between paper towels to remove excess moisture. • Combine spinach and remaining ingredients in bowl and stir well. • Spoon mixture into dish and spread evenly. • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated, bubbly and a little browned. • Serve with Stacy’s Pita Chips or a good loaf of crusty bread cut into bite-sized pieces. As you’ll see, this crowd-pleasing dish is a real score!

Get Discount Tickets to Goldilocks at Aurora Theatre

We’re proud to be sponsoring two performances of the educational children’s show Goldilocks at the Aurora Theatre on Friday, February 5th. Tickets will be ONLY $3.50 each, and all proceeds will go to Gwinnett Food Banks. All local families and children are welcome, and kids 2 and under are FREE! From the musical team that brought us Mary Poppins and The Three Little Pigs, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, comes a bear-sized helping of music and mayhem with Goldilocks And The Three Bears. This fairytale classic reminds us not to fiddle with the belongings of others, lest there be consequences to bear. When the worlds of bears and people collide, everyone learns that girls and bears aren’t as ferocious as they may seem. Featuring an unforgettable score and a story every child knows and loves, this adaptation is “just right” for audiences of all ages. Bring Oatmeal & Enter to Win Prizes! As part of our efforts to help fill local food banks through the Gwinnett Can Challenge, this day will also be an oatmeal food drive. Inspired by Goldilocks pursuit of the perfect bowl of porridge, please bring as much oatmeal as possible to provide food for local families in need. […]

7 Winter Comfort Tips for Your Family

With the temperatures dipping into the lowest portion of the season, here are 7 key tips to help your whole family stay warm and comfortable no matter how cold it gets. 1) Increase Humidity. Adding humidity and moisture to your home’s dry winter air will increase your overall comfort level. Boil pasta or other dishes with the lid off! 2) Turn off the Bathroom Fan. Your bathroom fan is near the ceiling, where heat and humidity tend to rise. Turn the fan off and leave the bathroom door open, sending all that precious moisture throughout your home! 3) Change your HVAC Filter. Your system is much more likely to perform perfectly and prevent freeze-ups if it can get proper circulation. A clean filter costs very little, but the impact on your comfort and your energy bills will be huge. 4) Protect your Pipes. On incredibly cold nights, open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially in basements. 5) Don’t Forget your Furry Friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water. 6) Get a System Tune-Up. Your HVAC […]

Warm Up Your Winter with this Mulled Wine Recipe

By Suzanne Holtkamp During our recent trip to Nashville for a heating & air conference, we visited Fontanel Mansion which features a wine-tasting room. The minute I entered the room and smelled this warm mulled wine, I knew it was the drink for me! Felt so good to hold that hot cup between my hands and sip it slowly. Here’s the wonderful recipe courtesy of Natchez Hills Vineyard. We made the original but feel free to substitute your favorite merlot and cider! Put all ingredients in a crockpot until it simmers and then drop temperature down to warm. Can be kept for several hours during the party, just check to make sure no one has taken the last drop and left your crockpot to burn! 1 bottle Natchez Hills Vineyard Merlot 5 oz. Natchez Hills Vineyard Blackberry Cider 1 orange, zested and juiced, leave in the crockpot 5 whole cinnamon sticks 5 whole cloves 1 tsp ground nutmeg 4 whole star anise Honey to taste Couple with a warm fire, some zesty cheese hors d’oeuvres and good company. With this warm mulled wine recipe, you can brave any winter!

Matthew gives Keynote Speech at Honor Society Induction

Our company has always been dedicated to connecting with our community and giving back wherever we can. From our Gwinnett CAN Challenge efforts to fill local food banks to our sponsorship of Aurora Theatre in support of the arts, we hope to have a positive impact on causes that mean a lot to us and make our community special. In recent years, Matthew had the profound honor of being invited to become a member of the Gwinnett Technical College Board of Trustees. We highlight education and certification as a key component of having a top notch HVAC team, so this membership was a natural fit for him. Matthew was recently asked to give the Keynote address for the Phi Theta Kappa honor society induction ceremony. The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. They provide opportunities for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence. The focus of Matthew’s address was goal setting. He explained the power behind long term goals, using flexible short term goals, and his own unorthodox “anti-goals”, things you don’t want for yourself. Matthew […]

Help Fill Local Food Banks & Win a Trip to San Diego

At Holtkamp Heating & Air, we’re passionate about supporting our community in many ways. Two of our top priorities are helping fill local food banks and celebrating the arts. We’re excited to share a new campaign that brings these two important causes together in a big way. Connecting the Arts with a Need in the Community Currently, the shelves are very bare at Gwinnett’s food pantries, according to the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services. “The need is pretty intense right now,” Suzy Bus, helpline director for the Coalition, said. Based on this pressing situation, we considered how we could connect our passions and help drive donations to keep local food banks filled year-round. As longtime sponsors of the Aurora Theatre, we have long supported their artistic efforts and kept their patrons comfortable during performances. With thousands attending their shows, we had the idea of connecting them all to the food bank cause. During the Aurora’s 20th season, we’re proud to be partnering with them to help raise 20 tons of food to help fill local food banks! How to Enter the Grand Prize Giveaway To sweeten the pot and celebrate everyone who participates in this food drive, we are offering […]

Delivering Big for Local Food Banks at Taste of Home Cooking Show

For years, we’ve been dedicated to raising awareness about hunger in our community and helping to generate donations to local food banks through our Gwinnett CAN Challenge. To help fill the shelves with food, we’re constantly looking for new opportunities for engagement around this important issue. Image courtesy of Gwinnett Daily Post We recently sponsored the Gwinnett Daily Post’s Taste of Home Cooking Show, an annual event that brings foodies together to learn more about cooking techniques, cutting edge culinary products and more. Image courtesy of Gwinnett Daily Post What a perfect environment to connect food lovers to the tremendous need of local families that are desperate for food. Prior to the show, we asked attendees to stop by our booth and bring cans or other most needed items or make cash donations for food when they arrived. Plus, who doesn’t love a photo opportunity with Chopper, the Gwinnett Braves mascot? To help sweeten the pot, the attendees received one entry into a grand prize drawing for each item or dollar they donated. The perfect grand prize for this crowd? A KitchenAid Mixer! We were very pleased to gather 909 items of food and receive $383 in cash donations. These contributions generated 2058 total items […]

Listen to Your Home: 3 Ways to Improve Heating Efficiency

Your home continually provides clues to the critical issues that need to be addressed as we head into the fall and winter seasons. These are the three most important areas that can be easily addressed, resulting in great comfort and lower energy bills. 1) Reduce Drafts If there’s one major thing you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency this winter, it’s reducing the infiltration of cold air. Many people immediately think their worn or torn weather-stripping as the primary cause for their air leakage. While it very well may be a leakage point, it is actually only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to drafts. For the real culprits of air leakage, look up! Those recessed lights, pull down stairs and attic duct systems, they are your real problem. For every cubic foot of air that leaks out the top of your home (remember, heat rises), a cubic foot of air has to return near the bottom. So remember, if you want to reduce drafts, seal your house from the top down. In addition to these spots, here are the other sneaky areas that could cause unnecessary drafts, according to energy.gov: Electrical outlets Switch plates Electrical and gas service […]

Suzanne's Perfect Pesto Recipe

If you’ve got bunches of basil in your garden, here’s how you can bring it indoors and turn it into a tasty sauce that you can enjoy all year round. Whether using basil from your garden or picking up fresh basil from the grocery store, Suzanne’s perfect pesto is her simple and family-pleasing take on the classic recipe. Plus, freezing the leftover pesto in convenient portions means easy dinners for months to come! Suzanne’s Perfect Pesto Recipe 1 1/2 cups pine nuts 4-5 cups fresh basil leaves 3 cloves garlic 1 cup parmesan cheese 1 cup organic extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) Makes about 1 pint. Directions 1) Toast pine nuts on a baking sheet in a 450° oven until they are lightly browned and smell awesome! Tip: Keep an eye on them once they start to brown, as they can go from browned to burned very quickly. 2) Use blender or food processor to puree nuts, basil, and garlic. 3) Add parmesan cheese and just mix enough to blend. Slowly add EVOO to desired consistency. Tip: For future convenient meals, you can freeze ready-made portions of this in regular ice cube trays. Just fill each cube in the tray about 3/4 of […]

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