Blog :: 2015

Don't Ski, but You're Here on Vacation in Stowe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are So Many Things To Do In Stowe

Are you here on vacation, and everyone else you know is skiing?  Looking for something to do until they come back?  Here are some suggestions:

1. Walk, snowshoe or hike in Smuggler's Notch - just steps away from the Mt. Mansfield parking area.

2. Snowshoe at Trapp Family Lodge, or one of the many Stowe Land Trust conserved properties, like Wiessner Woods, or Kirchner Woods.

3. Treat yourself to a spa day!  Topnotch, Stoweflake and The Lodge all offer wonderful options for treating yourself to what you deserve.

4. Relax at a cozy coffee shop, or at Cork in the afternoon with a glass of wine, after checking out the art exhibit at Helen Day Art Center, or perhaps checking out a book at the library

5. Shop 'til you drop at any one of these places, and more.

6. Take in that movie you've been wanting to see, by treating yourself to a matinee.

7. Check out the Stowe Area Association website for a continued list of fun things to do. 

Enjoy your stay in Stowe, Vermont, and happy New Year!

Deconstructing the Thanksgiving Turkey

Maybe you're not having a house full for Thanksgiving this year.  Or you don't feel like going through the whole production of roasting a large turkey.  But you want to have just as delicious a Thanksgiving, that you are used to having. This recipe is a winner!  Cooking just the breast and the parts will save you a lot of time, which you can otherwise use to do alternative things instead.  Brining is key to turning out a turkey that is super moist and delicious.  You may never go back to the way you did it before.

Enjoy, and we wish you a very happy, safe and joyous Thanksgiving.

  1. To brine turkey:
    • 1 (6 1/2 to 7 pound) turkey breast on the bone
    • 3 turkey drumsticks (about 2 1/4 pounds total)
    • 2 turkey thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
    • 1/4 cup kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1 head garlic, cut in half (do not peel)
    • 2 dried bay leaves
    • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2 large whole sprigs fresh sage
    • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
    • 2 teaspoons allspice berries
    • 1/4 cup fresh celery leaves (from 1 bunch)
  2. To roast turkey:
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • Leaves from 2 large sprigs sage, plus several whole sprigs for garnish
  3. For gravy:
    • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Brine turkey:
    1. Rinse turkey parts and place in doubled 2 1/2-gallon resealable plastic bags (or large stockpot). Add salt, honey, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, sage, peppercorns, allspice, and celery leaves. Add enough cold water to cover turkey — about 3 quarts. Press out air, close bags, and place in large bowl or other container to protect against leaks. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Roast turkey:
    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven.
    2. Remove turkey parts from brine, pat dry with paper towels, and place, skin side up, on racks set in 2 medium roasting pans (be sure to leave space between parts for air circulation). Pour 1 cup water into each pan. Drizzle turkey parts with melted butter and scatter with sage leaves. Place 1 pan on each oven rack and roast until beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.
    3. Lower heat to 400°F, switch positions of pans, and rotate each pan 180°. Continue roasting until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast, avoiding bone, registers 165°, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Transfer turkey parts to platter and tent with foil.
  3. Make gravy:
    1. Pour pan juices into 4-cup glass measuring cup, let stand until fat rises to top, 2 to 3 minutes, then skim off and reserve fat.
    2. Set 1 roasting pan across 2 burners, add 2 cups chicken broth, and bring to simmer over moderately high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Add simmering broth to pan juices in measuring cup, then add additional chicken broth, if needed, to equal 4 cups liquid.
    3. In medium saucepan over moderately low heat, melt butter, then whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in broth mixture and any collected juices from platter holding turkey, then raise heat to moderately high and boil mixture, uncovered, until thickened, about 8 minutes.
    4. Season gravy with salt and pepper to taste. Carve turkey pieces and garnish with sage; serve with gravy.

Source: Epicurious.com

Not Your Everyday Halloween

                 

Pumpkins, goblins and ghosts, oh my!  All Hallow's Eve, has turned into All Hallow's week, in Stowe.  And this year, the town has made special arrangements to close off Rt 100, north of the village, where some of the best trick or treating takes place.  This way the hundreds of kids who descend upon the village for tricks and treats, will be safe, and essentially be able to have more fun, not having to worry about crossing the busy street. 

There are enough events and activities for everyone of all ages, thoughout the week of Halloween.  Here are just some of the options:

  • Monday, Oct. 26 - "Trick or Tweet" at The Roost at Topnotch, from 3:30-6 pm.  Kids in costume eat for free
  • Friday, Oct. 30 - An annual favorite - the Stowe elementary school "ghost walk".  Come downtown at 2  p.m. to see the kids parade through the village, in their costumes.  We love to taking a break from work and head out to the street with baskets of candy to hand out
  • Saturday Oct. 31 - Halloween - Stowe village is the place to be.  Maple Street/Rt 100 will be closed off from School Street to Shaw's grocery store, from 5-8 pm, so the trick or treaters have freedom to roam all the neighbors who will be handing out candy for them
  • Saturday, Oct. 31 - Stowe Parks and Rec have a costume contest, spooky photo booth, music and games from 4 to 5:30.  Admission free, cash for games

For more information on additional events in the area, throughout the week, you can visit the Stowe Area Association's website.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

    Source: Stowe Reporter    

Cork in Stowe, VT! Open and Ready to Serve!

The highly anticipated opening of Cork, in Stowe, has happened!  Danielle Nichols who recently purchased the Blue Moon Cafe building, in Stowe village, has been scrambling to get ready, before the fall foliage rush.  Since Cork in Waterbury has met with such success over the years, it seemed natural to expand to a second location.  Cork will enhance vibrancy in Stowe village with the opportunity for people to meet, taste and sip wine, and dine on small plates of delectible food offerings.  The goal is to make the experience approachable and friendly to everyone.  Bringing people together in a thriving community setting is part of Danielle's vision.

Danielle says that it is "an incredible honor to own a piece of Stowe history".  The building was constructed in 1871, and is part of a collection of unique and historical buildings in the heart of Stowe village.  A lot of investment has been made, and work  taken place to get up and running, so a Kickstarter campaign has begun for those who would like opportunities to invest in what is presumed to be a highly popular business, just as Cork in Waterbury has been, over the years.  The Smith Macdonald Group helped Danielle with this successful commercial real estate transation.

Many have asked, if beer will part of the offerings.  The answer is yes, including such iconic favorites as Heady Topper by the Alchemist.

 

 

Celebrate Fall With These Exciting Events!

As the mountain ranges begin to change hue, and the days become shorter, new seasonal advertures are on the horizon.  Autumn in Stowe is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Pretty soon the smell of woodstove smoke and fresh mulled cider will fill the air.  In the meantime, don't forget to pause and mark your calendars for any number of fall events in the area.  One of our favorites is the British Invasion, which is coming up this weekend; starting with the block party in the village, Friday night, at 6:30.  There will be live music, food and beverages, and of course, British motor cars to check out and photograph.  The weather is supposed to be spectacular!

Looking for something involving recreation, check out The Stowe Mountain Bike Club's 5th annual Leaf Blower Classic.  A day of group rides througout the world class trail network of Stowe, enjoying specatular scenery, and joining your riding comrades for dinner, drinks and prizes, afterwards. 

No matter what you might choose during this beautiful time of year, you will enjoy the spectacular setting and scenery throughout the area.  For more information and a list of events in the area, click here.

                             

 

 

 

 

 

It's Pet Adoption Weekend

For over 100 years, Coldwell Banker has helped people find homes.  This year, they're adding to the mission, by extending the effort to people's best friend.  That's why we've partnered with the North Country Animal League, in Morrisville, to help our furry friends find a warm comfortable home filled with laughter, joy and fun.  That's also why we will be hosting an open house on Saturday, August 1, to bring attention to all the animals in our area, who are in need of a home.  Join us here at 91 Main Street, on August 1, from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., for refreshments, dog treats, and other goodies.  Bring a friend, and meet some of NCAL's most adorable critters.

All you dog lovers will love this video.  Be sure to turn up the volume.  To see what animals are currently available for adoption, visit the NCAL website. 
 

 

It's Mud Season - What to Do?

  

IT’S MUD SEASON IN

VERMONT

Win a pair of boots *

 

WHAT TO DO DURING MUD SEASON

This is the season where you can count on snow, rain, sleet, hail, sun, and temperatures from 0 to 75 degrees, and the roads full of muddy ruts. Top ten things to do:

10. Finish the ski season with the best skiing of the year, no crowds   

9. Take the gondola up the mountain, hike to the top and have a picnic on the way down. Bring skis or snowshoes, space blanket to sit on and enjoy the view

   8.  Check out the new goats and lambs at a farm

   7.  Have a bowling party

   6.  Go to a climbing wall and try out your skill

   5.  Sign up for a trail work day

   4.  Take a ‘staycation’ with deals on hotels and spa treatments

   3.  Go to a monster truck mud race

   2.  Visit a maple sugar house, eat sugar on snow

 

And the #1 best thing to do:

Look at real estate because you can see the potential for views on a wooded lot or get a deal before the prices and the mortgage rates rise.

Call or email the Smith Macdonald Group for an appointment: smg@smithmacdonaldgroup.com

Peggy: 802 793-3566   McKee 802 375-5009

* A free pair of rubber boots to the first person that signs a deal in April

photo source: vermontgreentree.com

              

Stowe Restaurants -- Some of our Favorites Revisited!

 

Many ski towns offer a variety of food, but not a variety with quality.  The Stowe area is known for having both; here are a few of our local favorites:

Markets & Quick Eats:

Cork located in downtown Waterbury, VT at the corner of Stowe Street. This wine bar and market is operated by a long time friend Danielle Moffat. She offers a wide variety of beautiful tasting wines along with a cozy atmosphere. Stop by on your way to Stowe for a drink and pick up a bottle on your way out the door. 

Commodities Natural Market, newly opened in Stowe, this is the second location for Commodities the other being the East Village in NYC.  Run by Michael and Audra Hughes Commodities offers a full array of natural and orgainc products from prepared foods to bulk items.  Commodities has a ton of local products ranging from cheese, veggies, bread to beer and wine. 

Casual Dining:

Harrison's, ask for Andrew and Kathy Kneale, the mother and son duo that has been pleasing locals with their food for decades. Casual dining located in the Stowe village. Known for their mussels, but everything that comes out of the kitchen is great. 

The Bench locatied on the Mt. Road (Rt. 108) just after the movie theater, this new addition to the Stowe restuarant scene has been welcomed by locals and visitors.  Offering wood fired food and tons of beer on tap it makes for a great combo after spending the day on the slopes.  The wings rock and my kids love the mac'n'cheese and pizza. 

Piecasso Pizzeria, NYC slices in Stowe also rated Top 11 slices in America by Travel and Leisure Magazine. They have a great family set up and also a cool bar and game room, plus the pizza is great. 

Phoenix Bar & Table, owned and operated by long time local resturant operator and chef Jack Pickett, Phoenix offers a varitey of seafood and unique eats that span the world.  The kale and wedge salads are terrific as well as the po-boy sandwiches.  A great option for lunch and dinner.  

Plate, located on Main Street, next to Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate, offers locally sourced Vermont food made in a healthly Califorina style.  They offer everything from vegan and gluten free to a full gamut of meat options.  

Gracie's, another Stowe Classic, run by Archie, you'll never leave there hungry. Known for their burgers, Gracie's take it to the next level. I love the boxer and their famous chicken sandwich. 

Cactus Cafe is Stowe's Tex-Mex favorite. Offering their famous jalapeño chips at the table, beware they bring the heat. Also on the menu are slow smoked pulled pork tacos, a southern twist to a Mexican standby. Wash it all down with their Mansfield marg! 

McCarthy's is the only stop for breakfast in Stowe. They've been serving it up for over 30 years and know how breakfast should be done. Ask for Diane, she'll probably be at the door waiting for you with a smile. Their homemade corn beef hash is made from scratch, just like the maple nut bread. 

The Roost & Flannel, located at Topnotch Resort, these are two nice options for different kinds of fun.  The Roost offers a relaxed environmnet with good bites to share along with craft beer and cocktails.  Enjoy shufflepuck or relax outside by the fire.  Flannel, is a more formal dining setting, a bistro with flare and great patio seating. 

Formal Dining:

Michael's On The Hill located in Waterbury center, just south of Stowe. This chef owned restaurant sources local foods at a very high quality. Offering tasting menus and creativity, Michael's if perfect for a romantic dinner. Try their Manhattan, made with port wine, as a bourbon lover; I give it two thumbs up. 

Hen Of The Wood located just off I-89 in Waterbury this kitchen has been cranking out high-end food for many years. The unique location and old stone mill offers a view of the river and waterfall which is only match by the quality of the food. 

Kitchen Table Bistro, a bit further away, located in Richmond, but well worth the drive. As with the other two they locally source their food and offer a stunning wine list. The menu changes with the seasons and offers a real look into handcrafted Vermont food. 

2014 Year-End SM Report, Stowe, VT Real Estate Report

2014 Year-End SM Report, Stowe, VT Real Estate Report

 

Welcome to the Smith Macdonald Report, our 2014 Year-End examination of the Stowe, Lamoille and Waterbury residential and land real estate market.  This report uses market-wide data based on transactions that closed in 2014 and compares them to closings that took place during 2013.  Since closings usually occur four-to-eight weeks after a contract is signed the sales activity charted here reflects transactions that closed during and through the end of 2014, and does not include contracts signed that have not closed.

In 2014 the Stowe market continued to show steady growth from 2013, with an increase of 9% in units sold.  There were 89 total units sold in 2014, setting a record high for the past 10 years.  2014 brought about a more rounded market across all price points, with the sub $500K market leading the way with 53% of the market.  The luxury market saw significant gains, with sales finally breaking through the $2 million mark.  Given the sales were more evenly dispersed throughout the market the median and average pricing rose by 30% and 10% respectively, these shifts were mainly due to the sales above $2 million.  There were slight increases in units on the market, 18%, and months of supply, 17, which is indicative of a more stable market with positive indicators.  As we progress into 2015 with a stronger US economy we expect to see those economic trends translate into continued growth in our local market.

The Lamoille market (excluding Stowe) was stable year over year with only a 11% gain in units sold.  The luxury market, above $400K, had a 50% increase in sales in 2014, 10, compared to 5 in 2013.  Movement on this end of the market is important as it has been stalled for many years.  The Waterbury market had a slight dip of 8% in 2014 compared to 2013, but given there were only 34 units sold in 2014, we consider this to be a very stable market.

Smith Macdonald Group ranked 3rd in the state of Vermont and 194th nationally among all Coldwell Banker teams, second in sales among all brokers in Stowe and Lamoille County and top 25 in all of Vermont.  Whatever your real estate needs in the coming year, Smith Macdonald Group is the market and technology leader and we encourage you to take advantage of every resource we can offer you.
 

Click the link below to access our website and download our full Smith Macdonald Report.

2014 Year-End Smith Macdonald Report, Stowe, VT Real Estate Report