Friday, August 30, 2013

End of Summer Barbecue

Don’t let summer fun end just because it’s time to send the kids back to school! Call up family, friends, and neighbors this weekend for an end of summer backyard barbecue to celebrate another great year. Either toss a few ears of corn onto the grill, or prepare one of our all-time favorites, balsamic grilled vegetables and ask others to bring their favorite chicken, steak, or pork dish to grill!


What is your favorite barbecue recipe? Share it with us, along with a few quick preparation tips on our SeaGate Homes Facebook!


Perfectly Grilled Corn


Ingredients:
8 ears corn
Kosher salt


Directions
Heat the grill to medium.


Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes.


Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove the husks and eat on the cob or remove the kernels. Serve with the BBQ Butter and/or Herb Butter. Spread over the corn while hot.


BBQ Butter:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the paprika, cayenne, cumin and ancho powder and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook until the mixture becomes thickened and the water reduces. Let cool slightly.


Place the butter in a food processor, add the spice mixture and Worcestershire sauce and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, scrape the mixture into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Balsamic Grilled Vegetables


Ingredients
1 medium yellow squash, sliced on bias
1 medium zucchini, sliced on bias
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch thick circles
1 red onion, sliced in 1/2-inch thick circles
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
2 portobello mushroom caps, gilled and peeled
3 green onions
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Directions
Preheat grill to high.


Prepare all vegetables. Place vegetables in a roasting pan with the mushroom caps and green onions. Season vegetables generously with salt and pepper, and toss with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place vegetables, cut side down, on the hot grill and cook for a couple minutes on each side, or until tender and nicely marked by the grill.

Remove from grill and toss with an additional 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DIY Flower Arrangements

A fresh bouquet of flowers is always a delightful finishing touch to a home during any season. They not only look great, but smell fantastic too! There are two common styles of modern floral arrangements,  European mixed with New World and an Oriental style. It’s easy to distinguish one from the other because European and New World arrangements are more complicated and busy when compared to the simplicity of an Oriental style.

Creating your own floral arrangement can be a challenge since there are more than 270,000 species of flowers to choose from, but our simple steps will have you creating expert arrangements in no-time! Over the next few months we’ll be learning about several popular floral arrangements including mixed bouquets, one-color and greenery, but today we will focus on the basics.

  1. The foundation of a floral arrangement should be established using foliage. Select an asymmetrical shape with a set high point in back but one that also leans on the vases lip. Remember, you do not want the foundation to be too thick because you still need to add flowers!

  1. Now it’s time to select the flowers that will be used in the arrangement. Choose flowers with a large “face” and cut stems into varying lengths in order to create depth within the arrangements shape. The foliage created in step one will help keep flowers in place. Don’t be afraid to move things around until it looks just right.

  1. The finishing touch to our arrangement will be wispy pieces such as ferns, or flowery vines. They should be placed in three specific areas: in the middle, high on one side, and then a lower area so that they are allowed to spill out of the vase.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Right Move

Selecting the right moving company for you and your family is critical to the success of your move into a brand new home. The right movers help you feel at ease while they are moving your personal belongings, family heirlooms and other important household items.


It’s hard to pinpoint what qualities define a perfect moving company, but we do know quite a few of the ones that should alert you to keep looking! And don’t worry, you’ll know when you have found the right mover!


  1. A professional moving company should always offer, and agree to come and inspect the quantity and weight of the items they will be moving prior to giving a customer an estimate. Companies that choose to give estimates over the phone, without an inspection will often “low-ball” the price upfront, and increase the cost after the move.


  1. Never select a moving company who is not willing to provide a local address or information regarding their licensing or insurance.


  1. If a moving company claims all contents are covered during the move by their insurance policy, then you will want to further investigate prior to signing a contract.


  1. Always be suspicious of a moving company that answers the phone with, “movers,” or “moving company.” A professional will answer telephone calls with their company name at all times.


  1. If you have already selected a moving company and they show up with an un-marked, rental moving truck, or other suspicious vehicle, do not proceed with the move.


Do you have a local moving company that you would recommend to other SeaGate Homes owners? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Benefits of Building a Home

Are you deciding between building a house and buying a home? There is a list of benefits for both options, but if you’re willing to wait, you can build the perfect home for you and your family.

A few of the more obvious benefits to home building are energy efficiency, product warranties, and the ability to individually select tiles, faucets and countertops for a home. But, have you ever thought about the not so obvious benefits to building home?

Valuable Entertainment Space

It can be irritating to plan a party when you are faced with the same dilemma time and time again, that dilemma being not having an appropriate space for entertaining guests during college football season, the holidays and birthday parties. If you choose to build a home today, it will likely have an open floor plan which is ideal for entertaining guests.
An open floor plan creates a great room which allows the host to finish preparing the evenings meal while still interacting with guests.

Power House

If you’re accustomed to living in older homes, have you ever noticed the lack of power outlets?  Today’s homes are wired much differently than they were in the 1960’s, 70s and 80s. Our needs are much different than they were 20 or 30 years ago. It’s not uncommon for a home to have multiple computers, televisions, stereo systems and other items requiring extra power outlets. Modern homes are built with advanced wiring ideal for today’s networking and computing needs.

History-Free

When you move into an older home, you only have a vague idea of its history in regards to previous residents, and foundational quirks, unless the home has been in your family for quite some time. The process of building a home allows a family to be the first to cook a meal in the kitchen, watch television in the living room, and sleep in the bedrooms. Once construction is deemed complete, the home is clean and ready to be moved into! Building a home also eliminates the worry having to replace old equipment, appliances and roofs right away.


Follow our blog over the next few months as we highlight the obvious and not so obvious benefits to home building. If you have your own benefits to add to our list, visit us on our SeaGate Homes Facebook page, or leave a reply in our comments section!