HAPPY NEW YEAR!! RINGING IN 2018

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New Year’s Eve is really just a great way to celebrate the old while ringing in the new!  I really enjoy the holiday because for me, I can really sense the transition of change coming.  For me, it’s exciting to start a new year.  New opportunities, new friends, new experiences.  New chances for success.  For me it’s a time of personal reflection as I slow down and create our family goals and our financial goals for the coming year.

What has also been fun is creating a celebration of change for our daughter.  On New Year’s Eve, we make fresh dough and fill it with broccoli and sausage to make my mom’s coveted Broccoli Bread.  We stay up late and talk about the great times we had this year so the memories are fresh in our minds.  We cuddle with our dogs, drink a bit of champagne and toast to a brighter future.  And on New Year’s Day, we eat a bowl of hot lentil soup as an old Italian tradition to bring prosperity and health.

And of course on January 2nd, I begin a round of Whole30 to clean up all the damage I’ve done over the holidays!

I hope you enjoy your New Year’s celebration as much as we do.  And I wish you all the prosperity and health your hearts can handle!

Recipe for Broccoli Bread:

Using fresh dough either store bought or home made–

Prepare the broccoli mixture first:  5 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, fresh chopped broccoli-4-5 cups, Italian sausage (uncased), red crushed peppers to taste, salt and pepper to taste.  To cook- in a large fry pay, heat 2 table spoons olive oil or canola oil.  Add 5 cloves chopped garlic or a garlic paste.  Saute until the flavor has filled the olive oil.  Once ready, add sausage and saute until cooked.  In a separate pan, steam the broccoli until tender.  Once cooked, add to sausage mixture and saute together to marry the flavors.  Add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste.    Once ready, you’ll add to the dough.

Roll the dough out just like a square pizza.  About 16 x 16 is best, but not thin as the mixture will simply leak out.  Once it’s all flat, rub 1 table spoon of olive oil on the dough.  Then pour out the broccoli mixture so it covers the bread leaving about two inches of room on top and bottom.  From the left side, roll the dough on top of itself from left to right.  Once finished, fold the ends under itself.  Put atop a foil lined baking pan and cook at 425 for 25 minutes, then drop to 350 for an additional 20 minutes.  Afterwards, let stand for 10 minutes and then cut to your enjoyment!

WELCOME TO MY COOOKIE TRADE

CookieSwapWith the holidays coming up quickly, I look forward each year to my annual cookie swap with my neighbors and friends.    It is seriously so much fun to see everyone and share recipes for holiday cookies and treats.  There’s usually beer & wine, cocoa with marshmallows and lots and lots and lots of cookies….everywhere!  This year some of the highlights were toffee bars, almond sugar cookies, homemade fudge, holiday stars, pecan sandies, gingerbread cookies and my friend Corey even made a gluten free sugar cookie!  It was delicious!

The real reason for getting together is just to simply be together with friends who don’t have a lot of family close by.  It really is a great kick off to get everyone into the holiday spirit and get some cookies home for their entire family to enjoy!  I’d encourage everyone to make this their own family tradition!

And of course, no cookie trade post would be complete without the recipe for Italian Befanini:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 5 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl (or your stand mixer), beat together butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time with mixer running on low. Turn mixer up to medium and beat until well combined for about 2-3 minutes. Add extracts as mixer is going.

  2. Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to butter mixture, beating on low until just combined.

  3. Place about 1 cup dough mixture onto parchment paper or wax paper that has been dusted with powdered sugar and cover with an additional sheet of parchment paper. Roll out to 1/2′ thickness and place in sealed storage bag or large covered container.
  4. Repeat until all dough has been rolled out.
  5. Place the rolled dough into the refrigerator, sealed well, for 12 hours or overnight. (If you are not planning on using all the dough right away, freeze in well sealed storage bags in freezer.)
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400.
  7. Lightly dust cookie cutters with powdered sugar and cut dough as desired.
  8. Re-roll scraps to cut more shapes.
  9. Bake for 6-7 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to sit on cookie sheet on a cooling rack for 2-3 minutes and then gently remove cookies from tray and allow to fully cool before icing.

Enjoy the holiday weeks coming up!

 

 

 

Winter Photo Shoot

AF140011It’s that time of year where snow is falling and it may be time to send out the family photos.  People are always asking me “what’s best to wear for a family photo shoot?”

So I thought I might send out a little bit of helpful advice:

When shooting in snowy conditions bright or vibrant colors work best!  They really provide a wonderful contrast with the snow.  And I also recommend hats, gloves, scarves, boots….just the typical winter clothing but with fun accents or colorful patterns or pops.  Just makes images so much more interesting and festive for the season!

When shooting in tall grassy conditions where grasses tend to be more neutral colored, like in the high desert, I recommend bright colors if your photographer is using lighting or if your photographer is using natural light, softer tones such as lattes or autumn tones such as blended reds or seasonal greens.  For the most part, I recommend colors that compliment the environment.  It simply makes the image look more complete.

No matter what your family wears, you simply can’t go wrong with a mix of colors and patterns.  It will add a great amount of visual interest to the image and pops of color in all the right places.

Happy Holidays!

MARKET PULSE

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Ski season is here and if you haven’t had the chance to visit Park City recently, now is the time!

If you’ve all ready fallen in love with this stunning community and are considering a move to Utah then we’d love to share some exciting details about the real estate market with you.  The current trends are impressive to say the least and investors or vacation home purchasers can be very excited with all that is happening here and in the Heber Valley.

Our full report is available HERE and if you’d like to be in the know and receive future newsletters from McMillen Group Properties you can sign up HERE. Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is excited to be a part of such a thriving market and we’d love to share it with you!

Trish McMillen
Realtor ®

YOU’RE FRIDAY SHOPPING TIP: WINTER IS COMING! TIME FOR SKINCARE!

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When I moved to Utah, I never realized just how dry this climate could be and how harsh it could be on my skin.  Each year in one way I look forward to ski season, but I also know I will consisitently have to reinforce my skin care regime for winter.  For several years now I have been looking and looking for something transforming to keep my skin hydrated and looking radiant.

I believe I’ve finally found a new mask that really really helps combat the dry skin-

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Petal Peel

It’s known in the industry as the closest thing to dermaplaining in a mask.  But it’s affects are simply magical.  In two steps, just about 11 minutes, your skin looks so shiny and new that it will leave you glowy and feeling like you’ve removed layers of beaten down skin.  What’s more is that it offers skin brightening qualities as well, which is my favorite thing about my other products by Tarte or by Heinrickson.  Vitamin C is a wonderful skin superfood and it leaves your skin dewy and youthful.

And of course, if you’re looking for skin care in Park City, you can also visit Delilah’s shop at Redstone, known as Splendor.  She really has everything you’ll need to keep you skin looking and feeling fantastic!

BUYING REAL ESTATE WITH BITCOIN

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If you’re looking to purchase real estate in Park City or the Heber Valley and surrounding areas, why not purchase with Bitcoin. To purchase your property with Bitcoin, you’ll follow the same processes you’d experience with a traditional real estate purchase. And it’s always best to work with a Title Officer to ensure all legalities of the transaction are met.

Where you may find a difference in the transaction experience is that you’ll need to work with a bitcoin exchange in order to provide the buyer or seller with funds. However, most Bitcoin users already possess these exchange accounts and are experienced with the Bitcoin transfer system.

It’s a fantastic way to purchase real estate and can ensure a quick and easy transfer of funds.

For more information on Bitcoin Real Estate purchases contact me today!

BLACK FRIDAY REVIEW OF HOKA ONE ONE

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So it’s the day after Thanksgiving and with everyone feeling stuffed and perched for a fabulous shopping weekend, I thought it might be helpful to talk about SHOES:).

After a long break from running I found myself longing to run again lately.  I’m not sure if it was becoming a mom or wanting to be outside more easily that has led me back down this path but I do find myself want to run again.

As a former race director I knew to start again I should invest in quality footwear.  I noticed many of my running friends now being sponsored by a company called Hoka One One.  And as my feet have somewhat changed since having a kid…I thought… “maybe my days of wearing Saucony are evolving” and decided to try Hokas.

Today was my first run.  48 minutes of pure bliss.  It felt like coming home.  The Hokas are really a fantastic, comfortable running shoe.  They are like running on memory foam pillows.  Soft landings which felt great on my joints, not a terribly tight fit giving your foot room to expand when needed but still solid arch support.  They’re quite stable for their comfort level and your foot feels unconfined and free.

Long story short, great footwear soon to be available at The Park City Running Company

HAPPY TURKEY DAY!! And now….HOMEMADE APPLE PIE

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  From all the McMillens, we hope you’re spending your day with family and friends enjoying their company and a great meal. We will be at home spending our day loving our little monkey and cooking up some fun with friends!

Year after year for Thanksgiving I make my home made apple pie.  And what’s wonderful is that each year, I get to experience people loving this pie!! Quite often, I find my friends asking for the recipe.  So this year I decided to put it in writing and share.  For an absolutely scrumptious apple pie, here’s my recipe!!! It is just an incredible pie and it will even be delicious with store bought pie crust.  I’ve made this year after year and the response is always amazing.  I LOVE PIE!!! And hopefully you will love this pie too!!

 

12 granny smith apples
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2-3 teaspoons penzys apple pie spice
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon white sugar to sprinkle on top
2 individual layers pie crust (top and bottom)
  1. Peel and slice apples. Toss with sugars, cinnamon and flour. Set aside.
  2. Roll crust to make slightly larger to fit 10-inch glass pie pan. Fit bottom crust in pie pan. Pour apples into crust and top with butter. Add top crust and pinch edges to adhere the two crusts.
  3. Preheat oven to 450degrees
  4. Wet hands with water and dampen top of pie. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Using a knife, cut small slivers in the top crust so the steam escapes
  5. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and continue baking for about 45 minutes more, until crust is golden brown.It is so absolutely delicious your guests will ask for more!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Love,

The McMillens

OCTOBER & NOVEMBER FUN WITH OUR FAMILY!

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The transition from fall to winter is just a wonderful time for our family.  Jared and I do our best to take this down time in the seasons to play outdoors with our daughter and also care for our own home as we prepare for the snow that will surely come very soon.

One of our favorite things to do at this time of year is enjoy Halloween in Park City!  The Howl-o-ween dog parade is one of our favorite events and also, now that Giada is old enough to enjoy trick or treating, we love to get out on Main Street and watch her take part in this large scale community event.  Seems like there were at least 5000 people in attendance and in costume!

November is a time when the leaves become crisp as the fully depart the now bare trees and the tall grasses grow brittle as they prepare for the weight of the snow to come.  As transplants, we just appreciate every moment of the evolution from season to season.  But as the fall ends, we do our best to get out on our bikes and enjoy every last moment of warmth and each new moment of cool air.

As I prepare for my annual cookie trade with my neighbors and friends, I also look forward to cooking fantastic seasonal meals and of course home made apple pie with apples from our local farmers.   There are just so many great reasons to love living in Utah I don’t think I could possibly name them all!

Much love,

The McMillens

COWBOY POETRY WELCOMES BACK RORY FEEK

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Heber City is thrilled to welcome Rory Fleek back to the Western Music and Cowboy Poetry gathering this weekend! The Bar J Wranglers are preparing for an emotional show as they honor one of the gathering’s most loved performers. Many of the city’s residents have followed Rory and his late wife, Joey’s journey as they navigated through Joey’s devastating battle and passing from cancer. During the performance, Fleek has arranged to make a cameo appearance with his daughter Heidi to thank fans for all of their support, prayers, and encouragement.

In addition to Fleek and the Bar J Wrangers you can enjoy more than forty musicians and poets on eight stages, sample lots of delicious fixins and gander at the art pieces, custom made saddle, boots or other western trappings at the Buckaroo Fair.

For 22 years folks that love the music, poetry, art and craftsmanship of the West have been making the trek to the beautiful Heber Valley to be part of one of the country’s finest Western gatherings. Don’t miss this unique experience, right in our own backyard!

For more information: http://hebervalleycowboypoetry.com/