4 Ways to Have a Perfect, Relaxing Thanksgiving in Your McKinney, Texas Home

by crblog - November 14th, 2014

The thought of hosting Thanksgiving, whether for the first time or the tenth time, sends most into a panic. Whether a beautiful home with a kitchen in an open floor plan is available to you or not, it can be stressful time. Each November, Craig Ranch residents travel far to see family while some choose to stay in their cozy home and have family come to them. For those playing host this year, here are some tips to ensure it’s an enjoyable day for everyone (and most importantly, YOU!)

Prepare Accordingly
With Thanksgiving two weeks away, now is the time to be in planning mode. Epicurious’ Thanksgiving Planning Checklist starts six weeks out and has all the tips and tricks you need to be ready for the big day. Now is the time to clean the freezer, buy the perishable ingredients for what you’ll make this week, cook the pie dough and make any nonperishable table decorations (such as pine-cone napkin holders). Get the whole checklist here.

Don’t Cook it All
Living in McKinney has its many advantages; one being all of the nearby restaurants, most of which offer holiday catering! While catering may sound like the lazy way of going about Thanksgiving, we recommend making all your family’s favorites then picking up the remaining dishes. Tenley’s Café, located in Cooper Craig Ranch, offers To-Go options as well as an entire Holiday Catering Menu. Call them ASAP to place an order: 214.383.1070.

Let Someone Else Clean
If your relatives typically remain glued to the couch and blame the tryptophan, get the kids involved as well as a couple adults to supervise and assist. When people seem reluctant to help, start making assignments politely, or offer a choice between two jobs. To save time, hand wash as much as you can while you have load in the dishwasher. Also, consider using disposable containers for some of the food.

Book a Spa Appointment
When the last dish has been cleaned, pamper yourself with a spa appointment. Whether you go the following day or the following week, give yourself something to look forward to (and the alone time you may need!) Luckily Craig Ranch residents have the convenience of the Cooper Spa being nearby! Cooper Spa at Craig Ranch is designed and dedicated to your total wellbeing – physical and emotional. Visit their website here for a full list of services.

Dining Notes: Lunch or Dinner – With a Side of Healthy

by crblog - November 13th, 2014

You know how some places can just make you feel good and healthy – even if what you’re drinking is called Chocolate Delight?

That’s definitely the vibe you get when you walk in the door at Tenley’s Café, the cute little eatery tucked into the Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch. The menu screams wholesome – besides smoothies, there’s a fresh (and gorgeous) salad bar, a daily seafood special, Starbucks coffee…and even a few things the kids won’t mind eating for dinner.

Daily house-made salads include quinoa, chicken, cucumber caprese and three bean. Burgers come in the black bean or turkey variety. And you can choose fruit or a salad as your side. No extra charge. Tenley’s Café just makes it so much easier to eat well!

A Chocolate Delight, by the way, is a delicious smoothie with banana, peanut butter, milk, frozen yogurt and chocolate protein (and you can always substitute ice for the frozen yogurt as the base).

Tenley’s Café does even more than serve breakfast, lunch and dinner – they also cater during the holiday season! From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, they have you covered. Here is their Holiday Catering Menu and Holiday Catering Menu Order Form.

The café is open  to the public Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday, 6 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information about the menu or catering, call 214.383.1070.

Developer’s Corner With David Craig: A New Season and Exciting Developments

by crblog - November 4th, 2014

Craig Ranch developer David Craig has been busy – and understandably so with all the changes underway in the Craig Ranch community. Here’s what he had to say about the exciting developments, McKinney’s growth, new homes in Craig Ranch and the changes to the North Texas landscape.

This year – many Craig Ranch visitors are coming from much further away as the DFW Metroplex continues to generate jobs and attract major companies.

Although we see a lot of relocating families from a wide variety of companies through the Craig Ranch Information Center doors, the biggest move currently sending visitors our way is TOYOTA.  Over 4,000 employees and their families are expected to relocate to our area in the next couple of years as Toyota builds its new corporate headquarters at Legacy Business Park.

Since July, we’ve been flooded with Toyota visitors trying to learn the North Texas landscape to decide whether they want to make the move in the coming years. We’ve already sold homes to Toyota executives and the City of McKinney is considered to one of the top cities in their search, according to Dallas Morning News writer Terry Box.

Craig Ranch is at the epicenter of it all. Our location is without equal in terms of quick access to shopping, major airports, sports and entertainment venues as well as Toyota’s Legacy Business Park location (just 10 minutes from Craig Ranch).  We’ve also got the most diverse lifestyle options, price ranges of homes and mix of amenities of any master-planned development in North Texas.

In case you haven’t driven along the frontage road of Sam Rayburn Toll Road lately, you’ll see a stunning new entrance to the McKinney Corporate Center Craig Ranch with a lake water feature, beautiful landscaping, walking trail and most notably the vertical monumentation along the main entrance boulevard.  As a joint project with the City of McKinney, Craig Ranch is the premier corporate office center in McKinney offering the best location in the city for corporate headquarters and office. Now that this corporate center is complete, we anticipate a lot of new daytime residents in Craig Ranch.

Another great accomplishment for the City of McKinney is the naming of McKinney as Money Magazine’s 2014 Best Place to Live in America! McKinney has long been in the Top 5 having held the #2 spot in the last survey, but it moved up to #1 and we are very proud to be located within a city with that ranking.

McKinney earned this distinction based on data like housing affordability, education, healthcare, arts and culture, and safety. The ranking also takes into account intangible factors, like a sense of community. McKinney debuted on the list at #14 in 2008 and has climbed every year, coming in at #5 in 2010 and #2 in 2012. In the Best Places to Live listing, Money ranks cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000 every other year.

It is clear that the City of McKinney is extremely proud of Craig Ranch and has showcased our community in their new promotional video including footage of the TPC Craig Ranch golf course and other such recognizable Craig Ranch locations as Times Square and the Cooper Fitness Center and spa, as well as aerial views showing the wonderful lifestyle and amenities located here in Craig Ranch.

With the close-out of The Villas at Craig Ranch, Landon Homes takes center stage in their new neighborhood at Custer Road and Tour Drive is in full construction mode with a new model home, which opens in November. Stop by and see The Fairways – our newest neighborhood.


Enjoy the cool, fall weather and have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends!

Craig Ranch in McKinney: Making Healthy Living Much Easier

by crblog - November 3rd, 2014

The top health headlines and cover stories in every health magazines show a trend: there’s no hocus-pocus to good health! You need a few key things to help you get healthy – and stay that way. But it doesn’t have to be difficult and luckily, the Craig Ranch community makes it easy. Here’s what it takes, with some tips.

Exercise. Taking advantage of the course at TPC Craig Ranch is a good start – fitness experts approve the sport because it facilitates walking, strength training, balance and concentration. In short, golf is good for a mind-body workout. If hitting the gym sounds like your kind of workout, schedule a consultation with a coach at Cooper Fitness Craig Ranch. They’ll give you a plan for meeting your health goals and guide you through a varied workout plan; think group classes, weight training and nutrition advice.

Balanced (but not boring) diet. Speaking of Cooper, Tenley’s Café offers a heart-healthy hot entrée every day, plus a salad bar, wraps and smoothies. Want to learn how to cook a healthy meal at home? They offer a range of cooking classes!

Stress relief. According to the Mayo Clinic, sustained stress keeps your body on high alert and can lead to serious health problems. Exercise helps, and golf, walking and yoga have been noted to relieve stress. Then there’s the Cooper Spa at Craig Ranch – the best kind of stress relief there is! Who wouldn’t love a day at the spa?

Access to a wide range of health care services. A unique partnership between Cooper and Texas Health provides integrative wellness services including health consultations, counseling, and group therapy sessions designed to merge physical and emotional well-being. The goal: learning skills that can lead to healthier choices and a more joyful quality of life. Victory Medical Center provides a full range of health care services in Craig Ranch, as well.

If you’re concerned about staying healthy, Craig Ranch is the right neighborhood for you. For more information about Craig Ranch and its homes in McKinney, TX, call (972) 529-5700 or visit the homepage: www.craigranchtexas.com.

The Best Pumpkin Recipes to Cook Up in Your McKinney, Texas Home

by crblog - November 1st, 2014

The jack-o’-lanterns are long gone but now is a great time to turn pumpkins into something edible and delicious! Pumpkin pie is always a good idea but we’ve put together a few unique pumpkin recipes you may not have tried (or heard of).

Thankfully the homes in Craig Ranch all have spacious kitchens and cozy nooks – perfect for cooking up one of these pumpkin recipes. Take a look at the ones we picked out – any of them are sure to be a hit at the fall festival, family gathering or Thanksgiving!

Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits
Ingredients: 9 oz all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 5 tablespoons chilled butter (cut into small pieces), 1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk, 3/4 cup canned pumpkin, 3 tablespoons honey

Prep: Preheat oven to 400°. Spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Chill for 10 minutes.

Combine buttermilk and honey, stirring with a whisk until blended; add canned pumpkin. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir until moist. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. Roll dough into a (1/2-inch-thick) 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds (as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope). Roll dough into a (1/2-inch-thick) 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds; gently roll or pat to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with a 1 3/4-inch biscuit cutter to form 14 dough rounds.

Place dough rounds, 1 inch apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400° for 14 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan; cool for 2 minutes and serve warm.

Pumpkin & Red Pepper Soup
Ingredients (serves 6): 3 cups chopped peeled fresh pumpkin, 2 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper, 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled sweet potato, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic, 3/8 teaspoon salt (divided), 5 cups no-salt-added chicken stock, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves (optional)

Prep: Preheat oven to 400°. Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss well. Place vegetable mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until tender, stirring once.

Combine vegetables, stock, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Place half of vegetable mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining vegetable mixture. Stir in butter. Top with rosemary (optional).

Pumpkin Pie Shake
Ingredients: 2 cups vanilla reduced-fat ice cream (softened), 1 cup fat-free milk, 2/3 cup canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 3 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping (thawed)

Prep: Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Pour 3/4 cup ice cream mixture into each of 4 glasses. Top each with about 2 teaspoons whipped topping; sprinkle with additional pumpkin-pie spice (optional).

We hope these recipes bring the family together and create an enticing aroma in your kitchen! To get more pumpkin recipes, go here. To take a look at a new home with the kitchen of your dreams, come see us at the Craig Ranch Information Center: 6850 TPC Drive, Suite 104, McKinney, Texas 75070.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips for You and Your Family

by crblog - October 24th, 2014

Witches, goblins and werewolves – oh my! The streets of McKinney will be full of them next Friday on the evening of Halloween. Before filling treat bags and putting on masks, its important families and children review safety tips to ensure the evening is full of fun and no frights.

Tip 1. If a costume includes a sword, knife or similar accessories, be sure it’s short, soft and flexible. When moving from house to house, sharp objects could potentially hurt another trick-or-treater.

Tip 2. Stay together! No one should trick-or-treat alone. Stay in a group and have at least one trusted adult there to supervise – the more adults, the more fun for both parents & kids!

Tip 3. Add pieces of reflective tape to costumes and treat bags so drivers can see you. Look both ways before crossing the street!

Tip 4. Use a flashlight to help everyone see what’s ahead and for others to see you.

Tip 5. Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult and if it’s a well-lit house. Don’t stop at dark houses or accept rides from strangers.

Tip 6. Avoid walking near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure your costume is flame-resistant. Here’s some information about flame-resistant fabrics.

Tip 7. If staying at home to hand out treats, be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause falls.

Tip 8. Keep jack-o-lanterns with candles away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains.

Using Halloween safety tip handouts is another great way to help keep children safe. Handouts offer parents and teachers a perfect opportunity to talk about the potential dangers of Halloween while reinforcing safety rules and engaging children in an activity. Here are some handouts to print: http://bit.ly/1uzTz2Q

Craig Ranch hopes it’s a frightening good time for everyone and wishes you a Happy Halloween!

How to Successfully Relocate Your Family to the McKinney, Texas Area

by crblog - October 17th, 2014

As large corporations make their way to Dallas-Fort Worth, they bring with them thousands of employees who will settle down in the area with their families. Based on the local news Toyota’s relocation will bring 4,000 jobs to their new headquarters in Plano, Texas over the next couple years. This relocation will be the largest out-of-state move to Plano since retailer J.C. Penney transferred its headquarters in the 1980s.

For anyone being relocated to the area, they should consider what they’ll find in McKinney (the BEST place to live in America!) Located just 30 miles north of Dallas, McKinney has a quaint, small town feel that has a friendly charm, tree-lined neighborhoods, a historic downtown and beautiful parks. If non-Texans are not as familiar with the area and need to make a quick moving decision, they can find all of the relocation materials they need to make an educated choice. Here they’ll find:

  • A city snapshot with accolades, wage data, demographics, community and education information.
  • A Chamber of Commerce guide offering an overview of McKinney’s lifestyle, business, education, local government info and wellness offerings.
  • MISD information sheet
  • Parks activity guide
  • A city overview from D Magazine covering its history and annual events.
  • Convention & Visitors Bureau Visit McKinney brochure which includes an overview of all the things to do and see in McKinney.
  • McKinney National Airport brochure with information about McKinney’s full-service general aviation airport and award-winning, fixed-base operation.

Thankfully master-planned communities such as Craig Ranch in McKinney easily accommodate families relocating to the area and looking for a home, not just a house! We’d love to speak to you about what we have to offer and why McKinney is the perfect fit for you. Contact us online or stop by our information center in person: 6850 TPC Drive, Suite 104, McKinney, Texas 75070

Craig Ranch Community Spotlight: The Settlement at Craig Ranch

by crblog - October 10th, 2014

When entering the Craig Ranch community for the first time, many are surprised not only by the number of homes and amenities but also by the various neighborhoods we let residents choose from. Each neighborhood is located within Craig Ranch and has something to offer. The Settlement neighborhood is bordered by TPC Craig Ranch, wooded parks and trails. The Settlement in Craig Ranch is unique because it includes custom single family homes and luxury townhomes with golf course views.

Craig Ranch’s newest builder is Our Country Homes, which will design and build beautiful, one-of-a-kind homes in The Settlement neighborhood. Realtors and consumers recently got a peek at the new Our Country Homes model home (and we’re sure they are now raving about what The Settlement has to offer!)

The Settlement in Craig Ranch residents are within walking distance to Cooper Fitness Center and Spa plus they can easily hop on the community’s half mile rubberized jogging track. Easy access to a healthy lifestyle is proof Craig Ranch is providing new ways of living well for its residents.

If you’re ready to make the move to Craig Ranch and specifically to The Settlement, there is no better time than now. Those relocating to the Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding areas from out-of-state should consider looking at what’s available as well – and sooner than later!

A few Our Country Homes 3 and 4 bedroom custom homes are available. These homes range from 3,342 to 3,997 square feet and offer desirable lot sizes as well. To tour these homes and find out what the Craig Ranch lifestyle is really about, stop by the Craig Ranch Information Center (6850 TPC Drive, Suite 104, McKinney, Texas 75070) or give us a call! 972-529-5700

New Developments Continue to Make McKinney Great

by crblog - October 3rd, 2014

The town of McKinney is considered one of the most popular new areas in the greater Dallas area. With its charming buildings and neighborhood feel, living in McKinney embodies the perfect suburban lifestyle. Craig Ranch in McKinney is one of the premier developments in the area. When you move into a beautiful new home in the Craig Ranch community in McKinney, you will be treated to a leisurely and pleasant lifestyle. Here are some of the new developments that are continuing to make McKinney a great place to call home – and the number one place to live in America according to Money Magazine!

Popular Restaurants

Dining in McKinney will appeal to foodies and families alike. McKinney is attracting well-known chefs from around the Dallas area. When you visit downtown McKinney, you can sample farm to table cuisine, classic American dishes, and restaurants that serve elegant cuisine in a refined setting. When you feel like treating your loved ones to a night out to dinner, McKinney has many restaurants that will please every member of your crew.

Fantastic Boutiques

Boutique owners and businesses are setting up shop in the McKinney town square. When you move into one of the new homes in McKinney, you will be able to take advantage of terrific shopping in town. From lifestyle boutiques to stores specializing in Texas-inspired goods, McKinney is a great place to pick up that special something that you have been hunting for.

New Homes

The new homes in McKinney are among the most exciting new developments in the area. Craig Ranch in McKinney offers premium townhomes and single-family homes that have been handcrafted with the best materials and finest amenities. If you are on the market for a new home near Dallas, be sure to visit an open house at the Craig Ranch community in the McKinney area. Our latest model home from Our Country Homes recently opened and is now available for Realtors and homebuyers to tour!

New Business

About a year ago was the groundbreaking of McKinney Corporate Center Craig Ranch, which has since attracted major corporations and is currently the largest corporate center in the area. One major corporation being London-based Barclays Bank which placed their new U.S. technology center in a 40,000 square foot office on Weiskopf Avenue.

As other corporations eye McKinney and neighboring cities to set up shop, it proves there really is no better time to move or relocate to the McKinney area. New developments make it great but the people and community feel are what make it the best!

For more information about available homes in McKinney, TX, call (972) 529-5700 or visit www.craigranchtexas.com.

Photos: @amassey, @zatsagirl, @onthesquareblog

McKinney Rated Number One by Money Magazine

by crblog - September 26th, 2014

Since 2008, McKinney has been making its way up the rankings on Money Magazine’s Best Place to Live annual list. In 2010, McKinney made a huge jump from #14 (in 2008) to #5 then in 2012, it snagged the #2 spot.

This year Money Magazine set out to find the nation’s top cities with populations between 50,000 to 300,000. Starting with 781 cities, they used data and other sources to review everything from the local economy and housing market to schools and healthcare. Then reporters were sent to visit the top 35 cities to get a feel for the community and other intangibles.

When the 2014 Best Places to Live list went live this week, the #1 spot was taken by McKinney, Texas!

“It’s a mix of European, East Coast, and West Coast here,” said Patrizia Montanari, a photographer and McKinney resident. “You get culture and more country charm for less money than what you’d find in Dallas.”

It’s no surprise to us McKinney topped the list. With excellent schools, beautiful natural parks and open spaces, affordable and diverse housing, plenty of jobs and a vibrant downtown, McKinney has become one of the most desirable places to live in the U.S. According to McKinney resident Alex Lanio, McKinney “is a truly hometown feeling” and we’d have to agree.

If you’re relocating to Dallas-Fort Worth or looking for a more suitable home, the Craig Ranch community in McKinney, Texas is the perfect place to start looking. Aren’t you ready to live in the #1 Best Place to Live in America? Come by Craig Ranch to see what we have to offer; we’d love to meet you!