May 2019

Michelle Miller
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices AZ Properties

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Hello Everyone,

So summer is finally here...well almost.  In some areas, the weather has been so strange that it's hard to tell what season we are in at times.

This month we are prepping for Memorial Day with a refreshing cocktail for the weekend, a patriotic dessert and a few gift ideas for Dad .  Many thanks to all of those who have bravely served this country and their families who keep the home running while they are away.

 Have a fun and Safe Memorial Day weekend and as always thanks for reading......


BBQ Grill Hacks 

Clean Your Grill with an Onion
This could be the next best thing to a wire brush that can shed.  Allow the grill to heat up to a high temperature. Pierce the half onion with a fork and rub the cut-side down along the grill grates. The onion's juices will release and produce steam to remove the bits and charred on debris.  Who Knew?

Check the Ambient Temp w/a potato
Take a wired probe thermometer and a halved potato and stick thermometer through the cut spud, allowing the tip of the probe to stick out the other side. Place the cut side of the potato on the grate. This helps take the guess work out of grilling.

How to check if your grill is preheated (if you don't have a temperature gauge)
Cut a potato in half, and set it flesh side down on the hot grill. Set a timer for 1 minute. The potato should have a slight grill mark on it and can be easily removed from the grill. You can also use this trick to locate the hot and cold spots of your grill.  Time to stock up on potatoes for the summer!

Source: Today show, Megan Day, Loreal Gavin
Roof Check home_design_roof_set.jpg

When was the last time you had your roof checked? If you want to say the last time you had a problem then it's probably time you had someone come and take a look.

Did you know most roofers, at least in AZ, will come and do a roof check for no cost?  Obviously, there will be those that may try to do unnecessary work so ask for recommendations.  Your favorite real estate agent would be a good person to ask, as we deal with inspections on a daily basis.

If you wait for a leak to occur not only will you have to pay for the roof repair but now you'll need additional repairs.  This could include insulation replacement, drywall repair, paint and possibly something to prevent mold from growing.  A little maintenance check can be a good thing and could save you money in the long run.

Cheers to Memorial Day 

This is the perfect summer cooler to enjoy this Memorial Day.  The reason Hendrick's Gin is served with cucumber is that Hendrick's botanical list includes both cucumber and Bulgarian rose petals.  Therefore, to use a cucumber as a garnish simply highlights the flavor profile. 

Hendrick's and Tonic

  • Cucumber w/skin on.  We use English cucumbers as the skin is thinner but any kind will work.
  • 1-2 oz Hendricks' Gin (depends how strong you want it)
  • 3 oz Tonic (I like fever tree light tonic)
  1. Slice cucumber lengthwise for long thin strips of cucumber
  2. Put 2 cucumber slices in the bottom of the glass and muddle to release the flavor of the cucumber.
  3. Fill the glass with ice to top
  4. Add 1-2 oz gin
  5. Fill with tonic and stir.
  6. Add additional piece of cucumber for garnish
This could be your new summer favorite - enjoy!
image from
Calling Weekend Warriors 
Is your house calling for a change but you don't want to spend a ton of money?
I see these wall treatments in model homes all of the time.  It makes sense because they have left over lumber and they want to make the rooms look unique without breaking the bank.  I had a client do this on one wall of their open concept dining and family room and it completely transformed the room.
Here's another option that's less traditional and definitely makes a statement.  The biggest investment in this project is time.  If you don't think you have the patience or time for a project like this, hire a handyman.  
 A handyman can probably get this done in half the time and it probably won't cost you that much.  It would definitely be worth getting a bid. 
I've also seen this done in a herringbone pattern which is pretty stunning.  This is just another way to use your creativity and let your home reflect your personality.  Which option is your favorite? 
* images from pintres


Trending Now - Orange Wine 

Last summer was all about Rose wine and this year we are switching gears to orange wine.  The name is a bit misleading as it's not made from oranges at all.  The name is derived from the color from the fermented grapes.

So what is orange wine?
Orange wine is a type of white wine made by leaving the grape skins and seeds in contact with the juice, creating a deep orange-hued finished product. 

To make an orange wine, you first take white grapes, mash them up, and then put them in a large vessel (often cement or ceramic). Then, you typically leave the fermenting grapes alone for four days to sometimes over a year with the skins and seeds still attached.

Orange wine making is a very natural process that uses little to no additives, sometimes not even yeast. Because of all this, they taste very different from regular white wines and have a sour taste and nuttiness from oxidation.

"Orange Wine" was coined by British wine importer David Harvey at Raeburn Fine Wine . He used it to describe this non-interventionist style of white wine making.
You may also hear the term "Ramato," which means "auburn," in Italian and typically refers to Italian Pinot Grigio made in an orange wine style.

What Does it Taste Like?
Orange wines have been described as robust and bold, with honeyed aromas of jackfruit (a fleshy tropical fruit), hazelnut, brazil nut, bruised apple, wood varnish, linseed oil, juniper, sourdough, and dried orange rind.  Did you catch the "wood varnish" part?  Who tasted wood varnish to make that reference?

On the palate, they're big, dry, and even have tannins like a red wine with a sourness similar to fruit beer. Often they're so intense that you might want to make sure you're sitting down when you taste your first orange wine.

Pairing Orange wine with Food
Because of their boldness, orange wines pair excellently well with equally bold foods, including curry dishes, Moroccan cuisine, Ethiopian cuisine (like those spongelike pancakes called Injera), Korean dishes with fermented kimchi (bibim bap), and traditional Japanese cuisine, including fermented soybeans (Natto).

Source: The Wine  Folly and Simon Woolf 
Let's Hear it for the Men!
Next month we'll celebrate wonderful fathers who give their all day in and day out.  Here are a couple of gift ideas for that special man of the house. Let's face it, men tend to sacrifice for their families so now is a great time to spoil him with something he probably wouldn't buy for himself. 

iPhone & Apple watch docking Station
This makes charging two devices easy and free from all of those messy cables. See image to right.

Ring Video Doorbell
Men are protective by nature, so let him keep an eye on his castle while he's away.  This device is also great to see when packages are delivered.  I've noticed lately that UPS doesn't always ring the doorbell.  Your phone will ding when motion is detected, not just when someone rings the doorbell.  I have one and it offers a nice piece of mine when I travel....or to see if my kids are having a party while I'm away :).  I also have the spotlight on the side of my house which also contains a camera. 

Personalized Money Clip
Wallets are bulky so this is a nice alternative.  Now dad can take a little piece of the kids with him whenever he leaves home. 

Omaha Steaks
Order a nice set of steaks and let dad do his grill magic. If you really want to go all out you could cook them for your dad.  I received these as a gift from a client and everything was really good. 

Update His Wardrobe
All men like to look good but hate to shop.  Save dad the dread of shopping and set  him up with a great new shirt, pants or even new workout gear.  Maybe even a great pair of shoes.  There is nothing better than a man in great shoes.

Source and images: 
Until Next Month

Let me know if you try any of the recipes or ideas, I love to hear feedback. 

Thanks again for taking time out of your day to read this newsletter.