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Welcome Back

by The Prestige Properties Team

Opening Your Vacation Home for the Summer

 

It’s finally here. The sweet summer season has arrived, and with it, your plans to spend days, weeks, or months at your vacation home. But if you only enjoy your getaway during the summer, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of before getting settled.
To make opening and closing your summer home a breeze, keep it maintained during the winter months. If you don’t live close to your vacation home, have a friend check on the house from time to time or hire a property management company to address any off-season issues. If the temperature drops below the freezing level, pipes could burst; and there’s always the chance that an appliance could leak or the electricity could go out and reset timed systems.
Assuming there aren’t any major maintenance issues when you first arrive at your summer home, setup shouldn’t be too complicated. Turn on any circuit breakers that were off and plug in appliances. Check and replace or refill smoke detector batteries, light bulbs, and any propane tanks if needed. (If your home is heated by propane, keep track of the level throughout the year and, if possible, have the tank refilled before you arrive for the summer.)
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Vacation Homes
Open windows, blinds, and doors to get the fresh air circulating. Even if your home doesn’t smell musty, you’ll want a clean start. Hire a cleaning company to spruce up your space before you arrive, or do it yourself. Give all the rooms inside a deep clean, but you can simply uncover and wipe down outdoor furniture.
Finally, take inventory of pantry goods, cleaning supplies, and paper products, and make a run to the store to stock up on essentials. Purchase a surplus of items like toilet paper so you can enjoy your days at home instead of making regular trips to the store.
KEEP EVERYONE ENTERTAINED WITH GAMES
Some people prefer the “do nothing” style of vacationing. If your everyday life is hectic, it can be a relief to know that there’s nothing on the agenda but sleeping in, sipping lemonade on the patio, reading a good book, and enjoying evenings by the fire. But if you’re hosting multiple generations or “keep busy” vacationers, you’ll want to have plenty of entertainment options on hand.
Start with a basic selection of board games: Monopoly, Clue, Life, and Risk are all classic options that take up a fair amount of time. Word games such as Taboo, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, and Scattergories stimulate brain activity as will trivia games like Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. Include simpler games, such as Candy Land, Cootie, and Chutes and Ladders, for a young audience. And it never hurts to have a few sets of traditional playing cards and other card games like Memory, Old Maid, or Uno.
If you have the space, think big. Arcade games can keep people entertained for hours, and they can be a special attraction that’s only featured at your family vacation home. Consider adding a standing video game, pinball machine, air hockey table, or all three. You can’t go wrong with a billiards table and a dart board. The pub games are fun for all.
If the weather is pleasant, take full advantage of the outdoors with lawn games. Croquet, badminton, and bean bag toss games are all easy to store over winter and set up in the backyard. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.

 

It’s finally here. The sweet summer season has arrived, and with it, your plans to spend days, weeks, or months at your vacation home. But if you only enjoy your getaway during the summer, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of before getting settled.

To make opening and closing your summer home a breeze, keep it maintained during the winter months. If you don’t live close to your vacation home, have a friend check on the house from time to time or hire a property management company to address any off-season issues. If the temperature drops below the freezing level, pipes could burst; and there’s always the chance that an appliance could leak or the electricity could go out and reset timed systems.
Assuming there aren’t any major maintenance issues when you first arrive at your summer home, setup shouldn’t be too complicated. Turn on any circuit breakers that were off and plug in appliances. Check and replace or refill smoke detector batteries, light bulbs, and any propane tanks if needed. (If your home is heated by propane, keep track of the level throughout the year and, if possible, have the tank refilled before you arrive for the summer.)

Open windows, blinds, and doors to get the fresh air circulating. Even if your home doesn’t smell musty, you’ll want a clean start. Hire a cleaning company to spruce up your space before you arrive, or do it yourself. Give all the rooms inside a deep clean, but you can simply uncover and wipe down outdoor furniture.

Finally, take inventory of pantry goods, cleaning supplies, and paper products, and make a run to the store to stock up on essentials. Purchase a surplus of items like toilet paper so you can enjoy your days at home instead of making regular trips to the store.
 

KEEP EVERYONE ENTERTAINED WITH GAMES

Some people prefer the “do nothing” style of vacationing. If your everyday life is hectic, it can be a relief to know that there’s nothing on the agenda but sleeping in, sipping lemonade on the patio, reading a good book, and enjoying evenings by the fire. But if you’re hosting multiple generations or “keep busy” vacationers, you’ll want to have plenty of entertainment options on hand.

Start with a basic selection of board games: Monopoly, Clue, Life, and Risk are all classic options that take up a fair amount of time. Word games such as Taboo, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, and Scattergories stimulate brain activity as will trivia games like Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. Include simpler games, such as Candy Land, Cootie, and Chutes and Ladders, for a young audience. And it never hurts to have a few sets of traditional playing cards and other card games like Memory, Old Maid, or Uno.

If you have the space, think big. Arcade games can keep people entertained for hours, and they can be a special attraction that’s only featured at your family vacation home. Consider adding a standing video game, pinball machine, air hockey table, or all three. You can’t go wrong with a billiards table and a dart board. The pub games are fun for all.

If the weather is pleasant, take full advantage of the outdoors with lawn games. Croquet, badminton, and bean bag toss games are all easy to store over winter and set up in the backyard. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.

Mountain Chic

by The Prestige Properties Team

A Home with Rustic Charm and Modern Sophistication


Deer Valley is an alpine ski resort in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. Located in Park City, Utah, it is known for its upscale amenities and is consistently ranked among the top ski resorts in North America. It also turned out to be the perfect destination for a San Francisco-based family of six who was looking for a ski vacation locale that was a quick flight from home. They decided on Deer Valley and this beautiful, 5,800-square-foot, three-story rambling lodge with spectacular views. And although it’s nestled in the mountains, the home is also within easy walking distance of the slopes.

 

The family brought on Melissa Warner Rothblum, co-owner and principal designer of Los Angeles– and Seattle-based Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design and Decoration. “The owners wanted a place to spend the holidays with friends and family, so the seven bedrooms, six full baths, and two half baths were perfect,” says Warner Rothblum. “The woodsy exterior of the home, built in 2009, was classic for the environment, but the interior needed to be freshened up. With the help of local contractor Thomas McPhee Construction, we totally gutted and updated the kitchen and baths, and turned the rest of the space into a cozy, relaxing retreat.”
The designer used the existing living room fireplace as the inspiration for much of the color palette. “The oak floors had been stained a dark acorn tone,” says Warner Rothblum. “We sanded and bleached them and then restained the wood a taupe driftwood color that blended with the stone in the fireplace. We carried that tone throughout the living area.” The architectural detail against the 16-foot-high cathedral ceiling in the living room replicates the exterior accents, but the designer stained the interior trusses in driftwood and painted the metal features black. “We brought similar industrial elements into the rest of the home,” she adds. The vintage red patterned rug adds a punch of color and warmth to this living space.

 

The family brought on Melissa Warner Rothblum, co-owner and principal designer of Los Angeles– and Seattle-based Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design and Decoration. “The owners wanted a place to spend the holidays with friends and family, so the seven bedrooms, six full baths, and two half baths were perfect,” says Warner Rothblum. “The woodsy exterior of the home, built in 2009, was classic for the environment, but the interior needed to be freshened up. With the help of local contractor Thomas McPhee Construction, we totally gutted and updated the kitchen and baths, and turned the rest of the space into a cozy, relaxing retreat.”

The designer used the existing living room fireplace as the inspiration for much of the color palette. “The oak floors had been stained a dark acorn tone,” says Warner Rothblum. “We sanded and bleached them and then restained the wood a taupe driftwood color that blended with the stone in the fireplace. We carried that tone throughout the living area.” The architectural detail against the 16-foot-high cathedral ceiling in the living room replicates the exterior accents, but the designer stained the interior trusses in driftwood and painted the metal features black. “We brought similar industrial elements into the rest of the home,” she adds. The vintage red patterned rug adds a punch of color and warmth to this living space.

  

 

Designer Warner Rothblum’s goal was to introduce intimate, comfortable seating areas throughout. The cozy nook by the window in the dining room and the plush seating and ottoman in the family room invite adults and children to curl up with each other or a good book.

Lodge Lessons

Although Melissa Warner Rothblum’s design emphasizes comforting neutral tones and warm wood details that relate to the mountain environment around the home, it also adds intriguing industrial elements and an accent of red to make the home fresh and interesting. The powder room, for example, mixes an antique, wood-framed mirror, industrial style vanity, and wallpaper that creates a wonderful ode to the quilting tradition so appropriate to a mountain community. The kaleidoscope quilt pattern emphatically continues the accent color in a variety of tones. And, the small room introduces a little fun into the overall design.

Plentiful large windows, with minimal treatment, showcase spectacular mountain views in this updated home.

The living room, kitchen, dining room, and family room are open to each other. “We wanted a smooth flow between the rooms,” says Warner Rothblum. “We used neutral tones and natural colors throughout to unify the space. Then added a pop of color where needed.” The living areas and many of the bedrooms have walls painted in Farrow & Ball No. 3 Off-White. This same color was used on all the wood trim pieces. A delightful and powerful color accent—bright red—shows up in a variety of decor items and furnishings.

The kitchen has an off-white canvas, but the cabinets are done in Farrow & Ball No. 47 Green Smoke, a lovely gray-green that relates to the beautiful natural environment. Countertops are locally sourced marble. “We found and fell in love with a small rug with red accents and used it to introduce that touch of red once again,” explains Warner Rothblum. “We continued the industrial feel with the brass pendants and stools. The stools have a brass base and reclaimed wood seats. The Shaker-style cabinets have exposed hinges and simple brass handles.”

The interior and exterior communicate throughout the home. Warner Rothblum used the same colors of the fireplace stone in the columns on the exterior deck. Neutral tones dominate the decor, but vintage pieces and antiques, interesting textures and an industrial influence contribute to a certain uniqueness. Kitchen cabinets are a soft gray-green to blend with the natural tones outside. Countertops are locally sourced marble.

A ten-foot-long antique farm table commands the neutral-toned dining room. The bench along one side of the table breaks up the formality of having all the same individual chairs around the table. “The bench offers a different text for the design, as do the two custom upholstered chairs that are used at each end,” says Warner Rothblum. She brought in several elements to cozy the area, including an intimate built-in seating nook.

The family room is a “hang out” room and has a cozy, relaxed feel according to the designer. “We used more color in this room and more upholstery to make it comfortable for family use. The rich browns and reds and creams add an intimate touch,” she says. The lush draperies were custom designed. A large upholstered ottoman, also custom in bright red and cream, invites guests to put their feet up, and serves as a coffee table too. The vintage woven strip carpet offers a neutral accent to the intense colors of the furnishings. Antique children’s chairs in front of the fireplace give the room a lived-in, child-friendly feel.

The challenge for Warner Rothblum was to transform this family’s vacation home from a lovely but typical mountain abode into something new. The result was a fresh, chic interpretation of a mountain retreat . . . relaxing, cozy, and family oriented, yet excitingly unique.

Article by guest blogger Carolyn M. Runyon

Beautiful Saint Bart's

by The Prestige Properties Team

 

Bask in the Luxury of One of the Caribbean’s Most Fantastic Islands
Caribbean islands are like politicians—everyone has a favorite and everyone has an opinion about them. So when you ask your neighbor, coworker, sister-in-law, whomever, without fail, someone will tell you to go to Jamaica or Aruba or St. Lucia, either because of a particular resort, the weather during their trip, or their favorite beach.
WRITTEN BY BLAKE MILLER
But what oft goes overlooked is a destination that truly combines everything from world-class dining and five-star resorts to adventure and ultimate relaxation. The truth is, while everyone may have his or her own opinion on which island is the best, the reality is that there’s one that is leaps and bounds above the rest: Saint Bart’s. The eight-square-mile island epitomizes everything a tropical destination should be. There’s truly something for everyone—foodies, fashionistas, beach lovers, adventure seekers—here, and it’s offered on the highest level of service and detail. It is without a doubt the reason celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, and Kevin Hart flock here for their getaways.
STAY
Two of the best options for accommodations on Saint Bart’s are a private villa or one of the many boutique resorts on the island. If you choose the former, book through Wimco or Sibarth, two of the premier villa rental agencies. But if you’re really looking to splurge, contact Eden Rock Villa Rental. This option gets you the best of both worlds with options for luxurious, well-equipped properties nestled in the hillsides of the island while also giving you exclusive access to the resort’s coveted beaches and amenities. If you simply want an intimate resort feel with world-class service, book a villa at Le Sereno, the most recent honoree of the number-one resort in the Caribbean by Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards. This unpretentious yet luxurious property sits in a quiet cove where kite surfers skim the horizon while you can relax under swaying palm trees. The oceanfront villas are decidedly private and romantic, and provide stunning views of the moon casting a glow over the ocean at night.
---
From beach lounging to water activities to refreshing hikes, there is plenty to do outdoors.
DO
Sure, it’d be easy enough to lounge on the beach with a glass of rosé every day. But don’t. You’d be missing out on the island’s natural beauty and scenery (not to mention fantastic shopping scene). Hike to one of the island’s most secluded spots, Colombier Beach. (For years it’s been known as Rockefeller’s Beach as David Rockefeller owned the Nelson W. Aldrich-designed property that overlooks the cove.) The 30-minute or so hike—wear sneakers!—affords you panoramic ocean views, but it’s the final destination that’s the treasure here. This secluded beach is only reachable by foot or boat, which means much of the time you’ll have it all to yourself to watch amazing sunsets, snorkel about the water, or picnic after the long hike.
Water is everything on Saint Bart’s, from activities to incredible views. Rent a small inflatable boat from Jicky Marine Service for a half day and tour the island’s quiet coves and rocky coastline. Better yet, let someone do the driving for you on a sunset sail where you’ll weave in and out of the mega yachts in Gustavia’s harbor while sipping a cool beverage as the sun dips below the horizon.
EAT
If world-class dining in a relaxed setting is your thing, then Saint Bart’s is the place for you. Culling the best flavors and ingredients from all over the world including the Caribbean, chefs here create dishes that range from French to Asian to contemporary American. Do not miss Tamarin. Nestled among dimly-lit trees you’ll find private, alfresco tables where your culinary adventure will take place. The food is just as impressive as the setting: fresh tuna tartare in coconut milk and lime juice or squid and shrimp served tempura style in ginger-lime dressing are delectable.
Head to the beach for restaurants in the luxe resorts Eden Rock and Cheval Blanc. At the former, notable chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has created an incredible array of options for the resort’s three restaurants. The St. Barths Lobster Salad (on the Sand Bar lunch menu) is an absolute must. The lobster is perfectly tender while the champagne dressing is truly mouthwatering. At Cheval Blanc’s La Cabane de L’isle, dig your toes into the sand while noshing on one of the most decadent grilled cheese sandwiches. Lightly toasted bread is covered in a flavorful truffle oil with just about every cheese imaginable, resulting in a gooey, flavorful treat. Don’t forget to hit celebrity-loved Le Ti St. Barth. This cabaret-inspired show/restaurant/bar is the place to see and be seen, especially during the high season.

Bask in the Luxury of One of the Caribbean’s Most Fantastic Islands

Caribbean islands are like politicians—everyone has a favorite and everyone has an opinion about them. So when you ask your neighbor, coworker, sister-in-law, whomever, without fail, someone will tell you to go to Jamaica or Aruba or St. Lucia, either because of a particular resort, the weather during their trip, or their favorite beach.

  

From beach lounging to water activities to refreshing hikes, there is plenty to do outdoors.

But what often goes overlooked is a destination that truly combines everything from world-class dining and five-star resorts to adventure and ultimate relaxation. The truth is, while everyone may have his or her own opinion on which island is the best, the reality is that there’s one that is leaps and bounds above the rest: Saint Bart’s. The eight-square-mile island epitomizes everything a tropical destination should be. There’s truly something for everyone—foodies, fashionistas, beach lovers, adventure seekers—here, and it’s offered on the highest level of service and detail. It is without a doubt the reason celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, and Kevin Hart flock here for their getaways.

STAY

Two of the best options for accommodations on Saint Bart’s are a private villa or one of the many boutique resorts on the island. If you choose the former, book through Wimco or Sibarth, two of the premier villa rental agencies. But if you’re really looking to splurge, contact Eden Rock Villa Rental. This option gets you the best of both worlds with options for luxurious, well-equipped properties nestled in the hillsides of the island while also giving you exclusive access to the resort’s coveted beaches and amenities. If you simply want an intimate resort feel with world-class service, book a villa at Le Sereno, the most recent honoree of the number-one resort in the Caribbean by Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards. This unpretentious yet luxurious property sits in a quiet cove where kite surfers skim the horizon while you can relax under swaying palm trees. The oceanfront villas are decidedly private and romantic, and provide stunning views of the moon casting a glow over the ocean at night.

DO

Sure, it’d be easy enough to lounge on the beach with a glass of rosé every day. But don’t. You’d be missing out on the island’s natural beauty and scenery (not to mention fantastic shopping scene). Hike to one of the island’s most secluded spots, Colombier Beach. (For years it’s been known as Rockefeller’s Beach as David Rockefeller owned the Nelson W. Aldrich-designed property that overlooks the cove.) The 30-minute or so hike—wear sneakers!—affords you panoramic ocean views, but it’s the final destination that’s the treasure here. This secluded beach is only reachable by foot or boat, which means much of the time you’ll have it all to yourself to watch amazing sunsets, snorkel about the water, or picnic after the long hike.

Water is everything on Saint Bart’s, from activities to incredible views. Rent a small inflatable boat from Jicky Marine Service for a half day and tour the island’s quiet coves and rocky coastline. Better yet, let someone do the driving for you on a sunset sail where you’ll weave in and out of the mega yachts in Gustavia’s harbor while sipping a cool beverage as the sun dips below the horizon.

EAT

If world-class dining in a relaxed setting is your thing, then Saint Bart’s is the place for you. Culling the best flavors and ingredients from all over the world including the Caribbean, chefs here create dishes that range from French to Asian to contemporary American. Do not miss Tamarin. Nestled among dimly-lit trees you’ll find private, alfresco tables where your culinary adventure will take place. The food is just as impressive as the setting: fresh tuna tartare in coconut milk and lime juice or squid and shrimp served tempura style in ginger-lime dressing are delectable.

Head to the beach for restaurants in the luxe resorts Eden Rock and Cheval Blanc. At the former, notable chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has created an incredible array of options for the resort’s three restaurants. The St. Barths Lobster Salad (on the Sand Bar lunch menu) is an absolute must. The lobster is perfectly tender while the champagne dressing is truly mouthwatering. At Cheval Blanc’s La Cabane de L’isle, dig your toes into the sand while noshing on one of the most decadent grilled cheese sandwiches. Lightly toasted bread is covered in a flavorful truffle oil with just about every cheese imaginable, resulting in a gooey, flavorful treat. Don’t forget to hit celebrity-loved Le Ti St. Barth. This cabaret-inspired show/restaurant/bar is the place to see and be seen, especially during the high season.

 

Tart and Tasty

by The Prestige Properties Team

The summer fruit season, brimming with color and flavor, always feels festive. Versatile summer fruit is delicious in savory and sweet recipes that are perfect for entertaining. Stone fruit like peaches, apricots, and nectarines hold up well to heat and pair exquisitely with salads, cheese, and smoky bacon. All it takes is a bit of sweet fruit nectar to make any meal feel like a celebration.

APRICOT, BASIL, AND GOAT CHEESE PIZZA
I believe goat cheese and summer stone fruit were made for each other. Add in the spicy but sweet fresh basil along with a bit of pesto and this delicious pizza will delight the senses and thrill the taste buds.
Serves 2 to 4 and can be doubled
1 or 2 (12-inch) pizza crusts or premade pizza crusts, flatbread, naan, or pita bread rounds (Easy Pizza Dough recipe to follow)
½ to 1 cup traditional basil pesto
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
4 apricots, pitted and sliced
1 bunch basil, whole leaves only
Easy Pizza Dough
¾ cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
To make the pizza crust, heat the oven to 500 degrees F. If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the middle of the oven.
Mixing the pizza dough: Measure the water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and let it dissolve, about 30 seconds. Stir the water to dissolve the yeast.
Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the water and mix with a wooden spoon or bowl scraper until the dough starts to come together.
Lightly dust the counter or board with flour and move the dough to the floured space. With floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
Resting the pizza dough: With a bench knife, divide the dough into 2 pieces. Round each piece of dough and place the dough rounds on a lightly floured counter to rest for 30 minutes. (While the dough is resting, prepare your toppings.)
After 30 minutes, fold the dough by stretching each side and folding it into the middle of the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and let it rest again for 15 to 30 minutes.
Shaping the pizza dough: Handling one piece of dough at a time, gently stretch the dough with floured hands. You can also use a rolling pin, but I prefer using my hands. Once the dough is about ¼- to ½-inch thick, lay it on a piece of very lightly floured parchment. You can adjust the shape at this point, but don’t worry about it being perfectly round. Shape the second piece of dough.
Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.
If using homemade pizza dough, spread ¼ cup or more of basil pesto on the pizza dough. Top with crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices, and basil leaves.
Bake the pizza on the parchment in a 450-degree F oven either on the heated pizza stone or on a cookie sheet. The pizza is done baking when the crust is brown and crisp on the edge and bottom. This should take about 6 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pizza from the oven and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about 5 minutes, then cut and serve.
If using a premade pizza crust, naan, flatbread, or pita round, reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees F and place them on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
Top the crusts with ¼ cup or more of basil pesto, crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices, and basil leaves. Bake in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes or just until the goat cheese looks soft and slightly melted and the crust is golden brown.
Remove it from the oven and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about 5 minutes then cut slices and serve.
KALE, QUINOA, NECTARINE, AND FETA SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
This festive salad combines fresh nectarines, kale, quinoa, slightly salty feta cheese, and a sweet-and-spicy honey mustard vinaigrette; the sweet and savory flavors of summer.
Serves 4 to 6
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup quinoa, cooked to package directions and cooled
2 cups packed chopped fresh kale or baby kale
1 or 2 nectarines, pits removed and sliced or chopped
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup toasted chopped pine nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts, optional
In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and minced garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, chopped or baby kale, sliced or chopped nectarines, crumbled feta cheese, and about ½ of the dressing, and gently toss together. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then pour into a serving bowl or dish, sprinkle with toasted nuts if desired, and serve.
This salad can be held in the refrigerator, covered, for about an hour prior to serving.
KALE, QUINOA, NECTARINE, AND FETA SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
BACON-WRAPPED PEACHES
Bacon-wrapped peaches make the most fun and delicious appetizer; they are simple to prepare and huge in flavor. You’ll want to make extra because these little lovelies will be the hit of your summer party. On occasion, when I want to make these delicious treats but I can’t find fresh peaches or peaches are not in season, I’ll use good quality frozen peaches. If you need to resort to this too, don’t thaw the peaches prior to baking and use the same method of cooking notes in the directions.
Serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces thin sliced bacon, each slice halved
2 or 3 summer peaches, halved, pitted and each peach sliced into 6 wedges
Toothpicks or party picks for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush a parchment-lined baking sheet with the extra-virgin olive oil.
Wrap a halved bacon slice around each slice of peach and place on the baking sheet seam side down.
Bake the peaches for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Then carefully transfer the bacon-wrapped peaches to a serving platter. Serve with toothpicks or party picks.

APRICOT, BASIL, AND GOAT CHEESE PIZZA

APRICOT, BASIL, AND GOAT CHEESE PIZZA

I believe goat cheese and summer stone fruit were made for each other. Add in the spicy but sweet fresh basil along with a bit of pesto and this delicious pizza will delight the senses and thrill the taste buds.

Serves 2 to 4 and can be doubled

1 or 2 (12-inch) pizza crusts or premade pizza crusts, flatbread, naan, or pita bread rounds (Easy Pizza Dough recipe to follow)

½ to 1 cup traditional basil pesto

4 ounces crumbled goat cheese

4 apricots, pitted and sliced

1 bunch basil, whole leaves only

Easy Pizza Dough

¾ cups lukewarm water

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

 

To make the pizza crust, heat the oven to 500 degrees F. If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the middle of the oven.

Mixing the pizza dough: Measure the water into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and let it dissolve, about 30 seconds. Stir the water to dissolve the yeast.

Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the water and mix with a wooden spoon or bowl scraper until the dough starts to come together.

Lightly dust the counter or board with flour and move the dough to the floured space. With floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
Resting the pizza dough: With a bench knife, divide the dough into 2 pieces. Round each piece of dough and place the dough rounds on a lightly floured counter to rest for 30 minutes. (While the dough is resting, prepare your toppings.)

After 30 minutes, fold the dough by stretching each side and folding it into the middle of the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and let it rest again for 15 to 30 minutes.

Shaping the pizza dough: Handling one piece of dough at a time, gently stretch the dough with floured hands. You can also use a rolling pin, but I prefer using my hands. Once the dough is about ¼- to ½-inch thick, lay it on a piece of very lightly floured parchment. You can adjust the shape at this point, but don’t worry about it being perfectly round. Shape the second piece of dough.

Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

If using homemade pizza dough, spread ¼ cup or more of basil pesto on the pizza dough. Top with crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices, and basil leaves.
Bake the pizza on the parchment in a 450-degree F oven either on the heated pizza stone or on a cookie sheet. The pizza is done baking when the crust is brown and crisp on the edge and bottom. This should take about 6 to 10 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the oven and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about 5 minutes, then cut and serve.

If using a premade pizza crust, naan, flatbread, or pita round, reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees F and place them on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
Top the crusts with ¼ cup or more of basil pesto, crumbled goat cheese, apricot slices, and basil leaves. Bake in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes or just until the goat cheese looks soft and slightly melted and the crust is golden brown.

Remove it from the oven and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Let it cool for about 5 minutes then cut slices and serve.

KALE, QUINOA, NECTARINE, AND FETA SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

KALE, QUINOA, NECTARINE, AND FETA SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

This festive salad combines fresh nectarines, kale, quinoa, slightly salty feta cheese, and a sweet-and-spicy honey mustard vinaigrette; the sweet and savory flavors of summer.

Serves 4 to 6

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup quinoa, cooked to package directions and cooled

2 cups packed chopped fresh kale or baby kale

1 or 2 nectarines, pits removed and sliced or chopped

½ cup crumbled feta cheese¼ cup toasted chopped pine nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and minced garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, chopped or baby kale, sliced or chopped nectarines, crumbled feta cheese, and about ½ of the dressing, and gently toss together. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then pour into a serving bowl or dish, sprinkle with toasted nuts if desired, and serve.
This salad can be held in the refrigerator, covered, for about an hour prior to serving.

BACON-WRAPPED PEACHES

KALE, QUINOA, NECTARINE, AND FETA SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTEBACON-WRAPPED PEACHES

Bacon-wrapped peaches make the most fun and delicious appetizer; they are simple to prepare and huge in flavor. You’ll want to make extra because these little lovelies will be the hit of your summer party. On occasion, when I want to make these delicious treats but I can’t find fresh peaches or peaches are not in season, I’ll use good quality frozen peaches. If you need to resort to this too, don’t thaw the peaches prior to baking and use the same method of cooking notes in the directions.

Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces thin sliced bacon, each slice halved

2 or 3 summer peaches, halved, pitted and each peach sliced into 6 wedges

Toothpicks or party picks for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush a parchment-lined baking sheet with the extra-virgin olive oil.

Wrap a halved bacon slice around each slice of peach and place on the baking sheet seam side down.

Bake the peaches for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Then carefully transfer the bacon-wrapped peaches to a serving platter. Serve with toothpicks or party picks.

Recipes and photographs by guest blogger Karista Bennett

Making Moving Day Less Complicated by Creating a Packing Plan

by The Prestige Properties Team

Let’s face it – moving is stressful. The majority of people find moving to be dreadful, and packing all of your stuff into boxes is arguably the worst part of moving. To help with some of the dread and stress, employ a systematic way of packing. Having an organized method and a plan in place helps packing go smoothly and cuts down on the time spent unpacking, which means less stress when unpacking too. It’s a win-win situation.

Gear Up

The first step to packing and getting ready for moving day is to gather any supplies you’ll need. You don’t want to be running around looking for supplies the week before (or the day of) the big move. Get boxes in various sizes, as well as packing tape, packing paper, markers, and furniture pads.

If you’re not hiring a professional mover, rent dollies and hand trucks to haul larger items, including your washing machine and dryer and heavy boxes. Dollies are also a great way to move stacks of boxes in one trip. Most home improvement stores or truck rental companies rent these items.

Packing

Before you start packing, purge your belongings. Get rid of any items that are broken, no longer in use, or out of date. You can donate them or sell them at a yard sale or thrift shop. You’ll use less boxes and save money, and you’ll save time when packing and unpacking.

The most efficient way to pack is one room at a time. Pack non-essential items first. Use Ziploc bags for smaller items, such as loose desk items. The more hands you have helping, the quicker packing will be over. Enlist the help of friends and family or hire professional movers.

Make sure that you have a few “essentials” boxes, and on moving day, ensure that these boxes either go with you or go on the truck last. One box should contain personal items you’ll need immediately, including medications, a change of clothes, valuables, bedding, toiletries, etc. The other box should contain items you’ll need the same day or next day after the move, such as coffee, bottles of water, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, food and bowls for pets, etc.

Labeling the Boxes

Labeling the boxes is a crucial part of packing. It makes moving day smoother and unpacking a breeze. Although the steps below use a color-coding system as an example, you can use numbers, shapes, or letters. It doesn’t matter what key you use, as long as it makes sense to you.

Buy enough colors of duct tape so that each room has a unique color. For instance, place a strip of red tape on all your kitchen boxes, blue on your master bathroom boxes, and green on your son’s boxes. Do not put the tape on the top or bottom of the box; once you start stacking boxes, you won’t be able to see the label. Also, add a description of what’s in the box so when you’re unpacking you can start with the most important items.

Create a master list of which colors are assigned to which rooms. Save the master list in several places, such as your desktop, flash drive, and email. On moving day, hang a printed copy by the front door of the new home. When movers are unloading, they’ll be able to quickly and efficiently unload the boxes and take them to their designated location.

Other Considerations

If you have items you would like to keep but don’t want to create more clutter in your new home, consider putting things in storage. To get help moving large items to storage, check out local companies like ClosetBox.

If you’re not hiring a moving company, consider using storage pods over renting a moving truck. Not only will you be able to pack the pod as you go as opposed to packing a truck all in one day, but they’re are also portable. You place the items in the pod, and the company transports the pod to your new home. You don’t even have to worry about driving a bulky truck.

Packing your belongings is a time-consuming and exhausting process. However, having a system in place makes it feel less chaotic, and that bit of tranquility carries over to moving day and the unpacking process. It may be more work than randomly throwing items in a box, but you’ll be glad you did it when the big moving day arrives.

Article written by guest blogger Kelli Brewer

National Association of Realtors Ad Center

by The Prestige Properties Team

Four Gorgeous Fort Lauderdale Spots for a Summer Picnic

by The Prestige Properties Team

 

In South Florida, we have the luxury of being able to enjoy the outdoors all year-round. But in
summer, the greens get greener, the grass gets longer, and new blooms make parks and yards
more beautiful than they’ve been in months. Throughout the summer, take time to remind
yourself why you chose to live in Fort Lauderdale to begin with, and take advantage of these
gorgeous picnic-perfect spots.
Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
Right on the coast, near East Fort Lauderdale, this park has an incredible view of the Atlantic. It
has picnic tables and grills on-site, plus recreational opportunities like a volleyball court and
playground to pass the time after or before you eat. (Of course, you’ll also have ample
opportunity to soak in the sun from the well-groomed beach or romp in the surf.)
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
The picnic areas in this natural paradise overlook a channel, but there are picturesque water
scenes in every direction. On the former estate of Hugh Taylor Birch, this park houses several
discrete natural environments that provide habitats for iguanas, the threatened gopher tortoise,
and more than 250 species of birds, some of which are mainly found in the Caribbean. The
picnic areas also include a playground, pavilion, and grills, perfect for large family get togethers
or small meals. After you eat, try your hand at paddle boarding or kayaking through the
freshwater lagoon to gain new perspectives of the park.
Snyder Park
If you want to take your four-legged friend with you, Snyder Park is your best picnic bet. It’s a
spacious 92 acres and built for recreation, and it’s where you’ll find Bark Park, which is a fenced
area for your pup to run wild, swim, or test his skills through an agility course. Test your own
agility on the basketball court, volleyball court, or disc golf course. Although it’s inland, Synder
Park still offers about 2 miles of trails that have waterfront views. The Butterfly Garden speaks
for itself — be sure to leave time to enjoy.
Esplanade Park
Right near downtown, this gem is hiding in plain sight. It holds several large events throughout
the year, but it makes a beautiful picnic site on any day of the week — especially considering
the food trucks that frequent the park. Afterward, take a long stroll along the Riverwalk that
follows the Tarpon River. Plus, it’s just steps to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts,
making it a great option for a snack and stroll either before or after the show.
Fort Lauderdale is a beautiful community with a lot to offer its residents — but only if you
remember to take the time out of your busy lives to enjoy what the city has to offer.

 

In South Florida, we have the luxury of being able to enjoy the outdoors all year-round. But in summer, the greens get greener, the grass gets longer, and new blooms make parks and yards more beautiful than they’ve been in months. Throughout the summer, take time to remind
yourself why you chose to live in Fort Lauderdale to begin with, and take advantage of these gorgeous picnic-perfect spots.

Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
Right on the coast, near East Fort Lauderdale, this park has an incredible view of the Atlantic. It has picnic tables and grills on-site, plus recreational opportunities like a volleyball court and playground to pass the time after or before you eat. (Of course, you’ll also have ample opportunity to soak in the sun from the well-groomed beach or romp in the surf.)

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
The picnic areas in this natural paradise overlook a channel, but there are picturesque water scenes in every direction. On the former estate of Hugh Taylor Birch, this park houses several discrete natural environments that provide habitats for iguanas, the threatened gopher tortoise, and more than 250 species of birds, some of which are mainly found in the Caribbean. The picnic areas also include a playground, pavilion, and grills, perfect for large family get togethers or small meals. After you eat, try your hand at paddle boarding or kayaking through the freshwater lagoon to gain new perspectives of the park.

Snyder Park
If you want to take your four-legged friend with you, Snyder Park is your best picnic bet. It’s a spacious 92 acres and built for recreation, and it’s where you’ll find Bark Park, which is a fenced area for your pup to run wild, swim, or test his skills through an agility course. Test your own agility on the basketball court, volleyball court, or disc golf course. Although it’s inland, Synder Park still offers about 2 miles of trails that have waterfront views. The Butterfly Garden speaks for itself — be sure to leave time to enjoy.

Esplanade Park
Right near downtown, this gem is hiding in plain sight. It holds several large events throughout the year, but it makes a beautiful picnic site on any day of the week — especially considering the food trucks that frequent the park. Afterward, take a long stroll along the Riverwalk that follows the Tarpon River. Plus, it’s just steps to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, making it a great option for a snack and stroll either before or after the show.


Fort Lauderdale is a beautiful community with a lot to offer its residents — but only if you remember to take the time out of your busy lives to enjoy what the city has to offer.

Article written by guest blogger Lizzy Manthe

South Florida's Italian Festival

by The Prestige Properties Team

South Florida's Italian Festival in Downtown Hollywood's ArtsPark at Young Circle.

Saturday, February 25th 2017 from 12PM-9PM

Miami Luxury Home Report - September 2016

by The Prestige Properties Team

miami luxury home

ILHM-Miami Luxury Home Market Report

The charts below show the 7-day and 90-day rolling averages for list price, days on market, and inventory for the metro area's luxury market (e.g. top 10 zips with median prices above $500k).

ILHM-Miami vs National

The charts below compare the ILHM-Miami luxury market with the ILHM National Luxury Market Index and show 90-day rolling averages for Median List Price and Days on Market.

The chart below shows the Altos Market Action Index for the metro area's luxury market and the National Index.

Start your Miami home search here!

The Prestige Properties Team, part of the RE/MAX International Family, grew out of two women’s vision of bringing together over 30 years combined real estate experience, with their love of Miami FL and all of South Florida, into a business that is customer service focused.

ellen and agnes

Ellen Mitchel and Agnes Gray built a team made up of high integrity, multinational, multilingual professionals who are passionate about their work. Their core principal is to provide clients with abundant real estate resources and value. Assisting buyers looking for Miami real estate for sale and aggressively marketing Miami Florida homes for sale.

With its unique blend of cultures, specialized knowledge and a commitment to excellence, the Prestige Properties Team possessing fluency in English, Spanish, Russian, Polish, German, French and some Italian, imparts a great sense of comfort and confidence to sellers, buyers and investors throughout the entire real estate process.
 
Ellen and Agnes’ ultimate goal is to create and maintain relationships that last a lifetime. They invite you to be partners with them in the exciting world of South Florida and Miami Florida Real Estate!

You can reach the Prestige Property Team by calling 954-862-2645 or email.

Montgomery Al Home For Sale: 1810 Grove Hill Lane

by The Prestige Properties Team

Montgomery AL Home for Sale:

1810 Grove Hill Lane, Montgomery AL 36106

MLS #407327

3 Bedrooms | 2.5 Baths | 1,753 Square Feet | Midtown Montgomery

Great investment property with 3 bedrooms in Grove Hill neighborhood!

Make yourself some money on this great investment property in Midtown Montgomery! Home needs lots of work!! Formal living /dining, kitchen open to den with fireplace! Hardwood floors. Three bedrooms and two full tiled baths. Separate laundry, two car detached garage, and a covered rear patio! Beautiful lot near Publix and shopping on Zelda Road!

Marketing by Montgomery AL Realtor Frank Powell, Sandra Nickel Hat Team!

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www.homeinsouthflorida.com
954-862-2645


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