What Could Be Better than a Picnic With Smokey Robinson?

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Who doesn’t love a picnic? I love to picnic so much that I made my New Year’s Resolution for 2015 to have 32 picnics throughout the year. This is true.

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When you think about it though, to enjoy a whole lot of picnics is not really a resolution, it’s a goal.  Either way, I set it for this year.

Setting goals like this helps to stretch my imagination and make special memories in daily life. Park City is such a beautiful place, I figure, why just take a hike? Why not bring a picnic to savor the experience?

But there are more to picnics than food. Picnics are:

  • an outdoor activity
  • a chance to relax and linger
  • a time to be with friends and family
  • a time to enjoy a beautiful setting

When I saw that Smokey Robinson was coming to Deer Valley to sing with the Utah Symphony, I thought, “Picnic with Smokey Robinson, I am in for that!”

At the age of 75, Smokey still has it “going on.” He was stylin’ with a green satin jacket and matching leather pants, and he sang with his signature sweet, sweet voice as he shared the music of Motown.

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The picnic? That was so easy. Deer Valley prepared it for us so all I had to do was pick it up at the concert. One call ahead and I ordered not one but two baskets; salmon and filet mignon.

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We ended up with a group of six people and there was plenty of food for all since the baskets have such generous portions. I just brought extra plates!

The gourmet picnic baskets came with antipasto, brie and baguettes, grapes, two salmon entrees and (since we ordered two double baskets), two filet mignon entrees with horseradish sauce. We also added a bottle of red wine.

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And there was more. They each contained two servings of lemon cake and brownies (on a stick – so easy to devour). My friend Michelle brought some individual cheesecakes for dessert too for everyone to share so we had no limit on choices.

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Smokey Robinson and the musicians from the Utah Symphony entertained us with our favorite songs including:

  • You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me
  • Stand by Me
  • Tears of a Clown

He even sang my husband’s favorite song, Fly Me to the Moon (Smokey style).

This was a picnic I won’t forget anytime soon.

For more information on the Deer Valley Concerts at Snow Park, click here.

To order a gourmet picnic basket or bag, click here.

Anchors Away with Park City SUP (Standup Paddleboarding)

Deer Valley Park City SUP Paddle Board

“But we have our swimsuits in the carrrrrr! Please mom, please…??”

It seemed like it wasn’t just our table the cries were coming from. The same plea could be heard up and down the table-lined deck at Deer Valley Grocery~Cafě as all of the young-uns pled with their parental units for a dip in the Deer Valley lakes.

It was Sunday and we were all hungry after staying up too late and having too much fun at Saturday night’s Deer Valley summer concert series. We had planned on making a weekend of it, a little get away from the heat of downtown Salt Lake, and stayed the night at Powder Run, just a short walk from the concert and a quick jaunt to breakfast the next morning at Grocery~Cafě. In all honesty, my weekend pretty much centered around our having Sunday breakfast at Grocery~Cafě, because I mean, have you seen the menu?

Deer Valley Grocery Cafe

Deer Valley Grocery Cafe

As always, sitting on the shaded deck by the lake eating scrumptious breakfast food was just what the doctor ordered.

Chilaquiles, lox and bagels (Ahhh! the Everything Bagel, is, well, everything!) and 2-egg breakfast panini sandwiches were all welcomed with hot coffee and the warmth of the Sunday sun and just the right gift of a breeze.

And that’s when the requests began. “But dad, we’re done. I need to get wet. (Me too!) We can go down and paddle board while you guys eat breakfast!”

There were several families out on the lake and a few daredevils practicing yoga stances on their heads while balancing on their boards in the water. It was all too enticing to even think of saying no.

It was Sunday, a nothing-on-the-agenda-day. Let’s cap off the weekend with a little impromptu adventure.

Deer Valley Park City SUP Paddle Board

Deer Valley Park City SUP Paddle Board

The girls were measured by the fine instructor at Park City SUP (Standup Paddleboarding) who gave them the ins and outs of the equipment (all top-notch, naturally) and rules of the water.

After the quick lesson they hopped on their Pau Hana board and were on their way for an hour of uninterrupted parental relaxation, gabbing and sipping coffee in the deck chairs on the grassy beach.

Deer Valley Park City SUP Paddle Board

Deer Valley Park City SUP Paddle Board

Deer Valley Park City SUP Paddle Board

Deer Valley Park City SUP Paddle Board

While most of the other paddlers were concentrating on staying on TOP of the board, these girls (of course) had to do it their way, launching themselves off, and then back onto their board as only the young and agile can do. And probably those yoga paddle boarders, too.

I have to say, it was the perfect Sunday.

I’d love to know for my next weekend staycation planning, what’s your idea of a perfect Deer Valley Sunday?

Deer Valley Park City SUP Paddle Board

Summer rentals available daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Deer Valley Pebble Beach location. (adjacent to the Deer Valley Grocery~Cafè deck)

1375 Deer Valley Drive SOUTH
Park City UT, 84060

$20 per hour rental fee, includes board, paddle and PFD* (personal floatation device).

For more information, visit Park City SUP.

Sunday Summer Concerts at Deer Valley Grocery~Café.

I’ve never met a Deer Valley employee who isn’t multi-talented. I’m now in the habit of asking, “What else do you do?” I’ve met ski instructors who are sound engineers, fine artists and real estate agents. Careful readers of this blog know at least one instructor who has been a candidate twice for the United States Congress.

Imagine my delight when I learned that among the many great acts planned for the Sunday Summer Concerts on the Deck at Deer Valley Grocery~Café is Stiff Hooch on June 28, 5 – 8 p.m. The classic country band boasts three Deer Valley Grocery~Café chefs, plus a Deer Valley ski instructor.

IMG_9928“We were so excited to be able to give Stiff Hooch the opportunity to play on our deck this summer for at least three shows. They’ll be featured around Labor Day,” says Janine Troilo, Deer Valley Grocery~Café manager. “Guests that come to see their shows will not only enjoy their music but the food that they, prepared as well.”

Not only will you hear some great jams, but you can enjoy dinner–try the band’s new menu favorite, an All-Natural Turkey Panini with Apricot Chutney and Deer Valley’s Meadowlark double cream brie.

See you on the deck!

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The Brass Tag Spring Special Prix Fixe Menu

The Brass Tag restaurant, located in the Lodges at Deer Valley, will be offering a spring special prix fixe menu through Thursday, June 18, 2015.

Enjoy a flame kissed prix fixe for $34 per person (tax and gratuity not included) featuring the following:

FIRE ROASTED GARDEN VEGETABLE GAZPACHO
fresh Dungeness crab, haricots verts, fennel

—–

CHOICE OF ENTRÉE:

THE BRASS TAG BURGER
half pound, hand pattied Niman Ranch ground beef, pancetta, house pickled onion, fresh spinach, gruyere, smoked paprika aioli

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OVEN ROASTED QUAIL PICCATA
heirloom tomatoes, crispy capers, Italian parsley salad

MUSHROOM TRIO AND SUMMER VEGETABLES
quinoa, farm egg, roasted red pepper sauce

—–

SNICKERDOODLE COOKIE SKILLET
choice of artisan gelato

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The Brass Tag serves the regular menu, dinner and drinks nightly as well and is located in the Lodges at Deer Valley at 2900 Deer Valley Dr. Open 4 – 9 p.m.; serving full dinner menu 5:30 – 9 p.m.

For more information on Deer Valley’s The Brass Tag, please visit the resort’s website at deervalley.com. To follow resort happenings on social media, use #deervalleysummer.

Deer Valley Resort Appoints New Food and Beverage Director

 

Jodie Rogers

                                               Jodie Rogers

Deer Valley Resort announced the promotion of Jodie Rogers to director of food and beverage. Julie Wilson, Deer Valley’s former director of food and beverage for over 30 years, will be retiring from the director position and transitioning to consulting for special food and beverage projects for Deer Valley Resorts, including Solitude Mountain Resort.

Julie Wilson

                                                Julie Wilson

Most recently, Rogers served as the executive chef of Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges, where she handled operations for all Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges restaurants and food events, including breakfast and lunch in the Snow Park Restaurant and Empire Canyon Grill; cuisine for the child care and ski school programs; après-ski appetizers in the EBS Lounge, Seafood Buffet, Fireside Dining, Deer Valley Grocery~Café and The Brass Tag, as well as, all summers banquets and weddings at the resort.

“Deer Valley is known for its award-winning food and beverage operations and Jodie has been vital to this success,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager for Deer Valley Resort. “She is a talented chef and her contributions to Deer Valley over the years have been substantial. We are so lucky to have her continue in this new role.”

As the Director Food and Beverage, Rogers will oversee all operations and offerings at the resort’s 12 restaurants, bakery and banquet operations.

Rogers, a native of Australia, spent her first five winters at Deer Valley as the manager of the employee dining program as well as an assistant sous chef and then sous chef at Snow Park Lodge. She was promoted to Snow Park Executive Chef in December 2000, Empire Canyon Lodge was added to her responsibilities in 2002, Deer Valley Grocery~Café in 2010 and The Brass Tag at the Lodges at Deer Valley in 2014. Rogers boasts a 20-year cooking career that includes several hotels in Sydney, Australia and working as head chef at Australia’s Charlotte Pass Resort. In both 1994 and 1998 she was part of the cooking teams that took the Australian Salon Culinare, Restaurant of Champions gold medal. She successfully opened Toast Bar and Restaurant in London, England in 1999. Rogers was invited to cook on NBC’s Today Show in March of 2014.

In addition to her many roles at Deer Valley, Rogers is the co-president of the Park City Area Restaurant Association, vice chairperson for the Summit Community Gardens and volunteers for the EATS program at Park City area schools.

Rogers currently resides in Park City with her husband Michael, son Graham and daughter Remy and enjoys skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, running half marathons, hiking, traveling, rock climbing, and cooking with her kids. For more information visit DeerValley.com

Deer Valley 2015 Summer Concert Schedule

Tickets are on sale now for Deer Valley Resort’s renowned annual summer concert series. The resort’s lineup of celebrated singers, songwriters and musicians feature musical stylings from all genres set to entertain visitors and guests in the idyllic Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater mountainside setting. The 2015 summer concert series consists of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Deer Valley® Music Festival, the Park City Institute’s St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Outdoor Concert Series and the Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series presented by Mountain Town Music.

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For an impressive 12 consecutive years, the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Deer Valley® Music Festival has made Deer Valley Resort its summer home with time-honored favorites and exciting guest performers. Deer Valley’s Fourth of July festivities will launch the start of the Deer Valley Music Festival with a Patriotic Pops performance. This year’s symphony featured guests include Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Smokey Robinson, Classical Mystery Tour, Ozomatli, Kristin Chenoweth and Diana Krall. Running from July 4 to August 14, the 2015 season also includes the 1812 Overture!, Disney’s Fantasia, Country Legends and Hollywood Under the Stars. Show times and ticket information are available at deervalleymusicfestival.org.

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Also celebrating 12 years of summer concerts on Deer Valley’s outdoor stage is the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Outdoor Concert Series, presented by the Park City Institute. The 2015 concert series features ten powerhouse concerts: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Smash Mouth and Tonic (June 30); Lucia Micarelli, The Funky Meters and Dirty Dozen Brass Band (July 3); Warren Haynes with Gov’t Mule (July 16); Easton Corbin with Parmalee (July 23); Esperanza Spalding, Perla Batalla and Anna Wilson (July 30); Grace Potter (August 4); Chris Botti and Joshua Bell (August 15); The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo (August 22); Lee Brice (August 29); and Aloe Blacc (September 6). For show times and ticket information, please visit bigstarsbrightnightsconcerts.org.

A weekly staple of Park City’s social scene, the Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series, presented by Mountain Town Music, is a free event, highlighting local musical acts every Wednesday night June 17 to August 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. This year’s musical showcase include such acts as the Stranger Band, The Changing Lanes Experience, Slickrock Gypsies and The Motherlode Canyon Band. The series culminates with a Park City All Star Jam Session on August 26. Additional information is available at mountaintownmusic.org.

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To make Deer Valley Resort vacations coinciding with concert events seamless, Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservation offers a Summer Concert Package that provides a 20 percent savings on deluxe accommodations and tickets to select concerts. And to complement any evening concert, Deer Valley also features Gourmet Picnic Baskets or Bags filled with delicious epicurean items from Deer Valley’s kitchens, with options for children, single bags and gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan meals. Orders must be placed and purchased by 5 p.m. the day prior to the event; cancellations will not be accepted after that point.

The shows, performed rain or shine, are family-friendly and guests are welcome to bring picnics, blankets and chairs less than nine inches high; animals are not permitted. For more information on Deer Valley’s summer concert series, concert packages and Gourmet Picnic Baskets and Bags, please visit deervalley.com.

Date Night at The Brass Tag

The Brass Tag at Deer Valley was our destination for date night but I didn’t pay much attention to the name. To me a brass tag was a pull on your jacket or an engraved name plate attached to the bottom of a picture frame.

Brass Tag - Nancy by logo sign If I had been paying any attention to subtleties, I’d have thought “mining!” “Park City” and “Deer Valley.”  I didn’t put those three together until I got there.

In the foyer of The Brass Tag, there is a shadow box with a series of tags. Historically, brass tags were used in mines to indicate who was in the mine and who was out of the mine, it gave a quick visual of how many miners were below. A miner would “tag in” or “brass in” by putting his tag (with his name or number) on a board and subsequently “tag out” or “brass out” when he left.

Brass Tag blog - the brass tags

For a miner, a brass tag could save his life. Now they are works of art for us to enjoy.

After our history lesson, we opened the drink menu, and found some names of our favorite Deer Valley ski runs (which are named after mining claims). While we associate Deer Valley with incredible skiing, world class service and family fun, it is nice to be reminded of the mining industry that originally built this community.

Jay kicked off the night with a Brass Tag take on the Manhattan – named Autumnal. The Brass Tag puts their twist on it with homemade citrus and spice bitters. I chose wine (not surprising) and the waiter suggested the Barbera after discussing my possible entre selections from the menu. The night was off to a solid start.

Brass Tag blog - BT take on Manhattan

Now I knew the Brass Tag had a brick oven but I didn’t realize the menu was expansive and innovative. I was thinking pizza, but to my surprise, the chef prepares everything in the brick oven with the open flame. It’s pretty amazing.

Brass Tag - Brick Oven

Here is a taste of what we had (pun intended):

Appetizer

Oven Fired Chimichurri Chips (The Brass Tag’s take on nachos). Gold Creek cheddar, gruyère, bacon.

Brass Tag blog - chimichurri potato chip nachos

Entrees

Jay came hungry and was extremely pleased with the Niman Ranch Bone-In Pork Chop with bourbon glazed acorn squash, and whole grain mustard sauce.

Brass Tag Blog - Pork Entree

 I loved the flavors as well as the portion size in Tandoori Rubbed Quail with bacon corn bread stuffing, kale chips, sweet potato purée, and lime coconut sauce.

 Brass Tag - Quail Different Angle

Our waiter brought me a Rosé to taste just to experience another side of Tandoori spices. It was interesting to taste the difference in flavors pairing the Rosé with this dish and the Barbera.  Both were excellent but different.

Brass Tag blog - cheers to Barbera

Dessert 

For dessert we started with Sorbet fired in the brick oven- just kidding. (I wanted to see if you were paying attention.) Though this frozen delight was not roasted in the oven, it was an amazing mix of fresh berries.

 Brass Tag Dessert Sorbet

Pretzel bread pudding – Jay ordered this (and I ate most of it). As a pretzel lover, I went nuts over this dessert. It’s officially my new favorite.  Try it and let me know if it’s yours!

Brass Tag Blog Dessert Pretzel

We ended the evening having our coffee at the bar. It’s a map bar.  Like how Red Square Bar in Las Vegas has an ice bar, The Brass Tag’s take is a historical map of the mining claims of Deer Valley. We saw the claims we were standing on, claims we had skied on, as well as all the way to the Jordanelle Reservoir (which wasn’t a reservoir back then).

A little history, an interesting menu, a relaxed atmosphere and great food made a nice combination for an evening out.

To review menus, get directions and make reservations at The Brass Tag, click here.

Don’t forget to let me know how you liked the pretzel bread pudding in the comments or Tweet me @nancy_moneydiva

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Deer Valley Resort

Celebrate all that is Irish with carefully crafted St. Patrick’s Day dining options throughout Deer Valley Resort. On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, six of Deer Valley’s fine dining establishments will pay homage to Irish heritage with modern twists on St. Patrick’s Day dining. The special menus feature fresh seasonal produce and a warming, robust taste to delight the wee bit o’ Irish in us all.

St. Patrick’s Day Menus

Snow Park Restaurant will feature its St. Patrick’s Day menu from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Grill will offer Niman Ranch Corned Beef Brisket Sandwich ~ Warm Brussels Sprouts, Caramelized Onion and Bacon Slaw, Caraway Aioli, Gruyere Cheese, Spicy Grain Mustard, House Tomato Chutney and Stone Ground Bakery Caraway Bun for $13.50. The Carvery features Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage ~ Lemon Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Braised Cabbage, Trio of Baby Carrots and Tullamore Dew Mustard Sauce for $15.50.

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EBS Lounge will be serving two Irish concoctions from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The first is an Irish Coffee ~ Tullamore Dew Whiskey, Raw Brown Sugar, Millcreek Coffee and Freshly Whipped Cream for $9.00. The second is an Irish Buck ~ Tullamore Dew Whiskey, Fresh Lime Juice, Ginger Ale and Freshly Whipped Cream for $9.00

Eric Schramm Photography 2013

Empire Canyon Grill will offer its Irish inspired lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., featuring a Shaved Corned Beef Sandwich ~ Celery Root and Green Apple Slaw, Mustard Cheddar Cheese on an Onion Brioche Bun for $13.50.

Silver Lake Restaurant will share its St. Patrick’s Day offering from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., consisting of Niman Ranch Prime Grade Corned Beef ~ Potatoes, Braised Cabbage, Housemade Mustard and Irish Soda Bread for $18.00.

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Royal Street Café will serve its Irish-inspired menu for both lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. It also features Niman Ranch Prime Grade Corned Beef ~ Braised Cabbage and Apples, Russian Dressing, Housemade Caraway-Beer Whole Grain Mustard, Fresh Baked Rye Bun and RSC Shoestring Fries for $18.00.

Deer Valley Grocery~Café will provide St. Patrick’s Day dining from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with Niman Ranch Prime Grade Shaved Corned Beef ~ Wilted Cabbage and Bacon Salad, Fig Mustard Cheese, Honey mustard Aioli and Stone Ground Bakery Caraway Bun for $11.25.

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To learn more about Deer Valley Resort’s special St. Patrick’s Day dining options at deervalley.com. To follow resort happenings on social media, search #skithedifference.

Date Night At The Mariposa: Five Times The Enjoyment

Shorts Program is my new film favorite at the Sundance Film Festival.  Though full length feature films give you a 90 minute in-depth movie experience, a Shorts Program provides five different films filling the same time period. The way I look at it, you get five times the enjoyment during your 90 minutes of film watching.

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Though the Sundance Film Festival has long since packed up and cleared out of Park City, Utah, my yearning for “five times the enjoyment” has not. When my husband. Jay, and I celebrated with a “date night” at Deer Valley, we were excited to find the opportunity to try the “Mariposa Tasting Experience.”

Looks like I found what I was looking for. The experience reminded me of an award winning “Shorts Program,” but for dining.

You see, the “Mariposa Tasting Experience” is unique. Rather than choosing one entree, guests choose a variety of small plates.  Our waiter recommended we make 4-5 choices plus a dessert. So we did!

Now, of course, date night in and of itself is inherently fun. It’s just the two of us, out for a romantic dinner, celebrating life and, in our case, our 20 year partnership in marriage. Spicing things up by experimenting with new, unique, and abundant culinary delights added five times the enjoyment to date night.

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Each special small course at the Mariposa had enough to enjoy, to share and not too much to preclude us from trying another. Our date night at the Mariposa started with:

A bottle of red wine from the Mariposa’s extensive wine list. As transplants from California, we have long enjoyed wines from Napa and Sonoma so we chose a Cabernet from Sonoma.

An Artisan cheese plate with made locally at Deer Valley with four different cheeses.

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Wild Mushroom Beggar’s Purse – wild mushrooms, of course, with beaujolais reduction sauce, Deer Valley Triple Truffle cream brie, and baby greens in a beautiful delicate pastry pouch.  Almost too beautiful to eat.

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Bison Carpaccio- with wilted spinach. This was a first for me.  Wonderful!

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Quail – I might have had quail in the past, I don’t recall but I certainly won’t forget this quail dish!

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Sorbet – Jay and I shared three different types of sorbet with my favorite being green tea. To my delight, it was served with a tiny fortune cookie that included an edible fortune – a new experience!

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Whether you dine at the Mariposa with family, friends or just your sweetheart, consider coming with an empty stomach and bringing an appetite for culinary adventures.

If you are coming for date night, though, be sure to experiment with a few new interesting dishes to spice up your night.


For more information on the menu and to make reservations, click here.

2015 Ski Season Goal Setting

Athletes set goals. Not just high-level generic goals but specific, measurable, relevant goals with a quantifiable deadline. They may implement the “Kaizen” practice of continuous improvement; significant results can come from many small changes accumulated over time.

However, the problem is that my goals didn’t seem to fit in the traditional goal setting model and certainly not using the term “athlete.”  You see, this season I don’t particularly want to shave off any time. I am perfectly content to enjoy my nice easy turns on the beautifully groomed runs at Deer Valley Resort.

I simply love skiing at Deer Valley. Don’t get me wrong, I have set goals the past three seasons of my serious skiing career (I was a beginner in 2012.) Now if a run has a blue square next to it, I am on it!

This year, enjoyment is the only goal I can think of.  Well unless you count “skiing as often as I can.”  Anything wrong with that? I don’t think so.

Athletes set goals and I completely respect that, but I am wondering if this year I should simply set enjoyment and happiness as my ski goals?

Seems perfectly reasonable to me.  If I did set some happiness targets, these would be on my list:

  • Eat more Turkey Chili – not all at one sitting. “Eat Turkey Chili more often” would be how I should word it180 Deer Valley Turkey Chili
  • Sit on “The Beach” at Silver Lake Lodge while basking in the sun with a beverage in my hand more often
  • Enjoy each one of Deer Valley’s restaurants (not all in one day of course)3
  • Ski with a beginner
  • Ski with an 80+ year old
  • Try out new Rossignol skis at the Yurt at Empire Lodge
  • Enjoy S’mores at the Montage and pet Monty the Bernese Mountain dog
  • Invite more friends to ski with me
  • Wear my ski pants to Mass on Sunday mornings and then go directly to Snow Park Lodge
  • Put on my Ibex or Smartwool layers and ski when its 5 degrees outside so I can experience the frozen air sparkling like diamonds from the lift
  • Take more selfies and post them with #SkiTheDifference on social media2
  • Sign up for the Women’s Weekend with a friend who has similar ability
  • Ski backwards
  • Listen to more music during Aprés Ski on the upper deck at Snow Park Lodge
  • Stand on top of (and ski down) Little Baldy, Bald Eagle, Bald Mountain, Flagstaff, Lady Morgan, and Empire mountains all in one day
  • Ask a mountain host to map out a “suggested ski day” for me based on my ability4
  • Take the hosted ski tour with other intermediate skiers
  • And so on…

What do you think of my goals for the season?  Any additional happiness suggestions? What are your goals for the 2015 winter ski season? Let me know on Twitter @Nancy_MoneyDiva or @Deer_Valley.

If you are more serious about setting goals than I am, here is a resource for goal setting from the U.S. Olympic Training Center; Setting Smart Goals – resource  U.S. Olympic Training Tips for Athletes and Kankyo Kaizen Starter Kit – Simpleology