The must try Turkey Brine recipe

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In the few hundred years that we have had Thanksgiving there has been an never ending quest to figure out how to cook the perfect turkey.  Do you cook it upside down, what temperture is it really done at and of course do you cook it stuffed or not?  Well this year all the rage is to “brine” your turkey.  What does that mean?  First off it means if you are going to do one for Thursday you need to get it in the brine today because this thing takes some time to soak and get perfectly seasoned.  We can promise you though that once you do it you will never go back and that your turkey will be MOIST and tender.  So let’s get cooking…or at least brining today and enjoy the best turkey you’ve ever had this Thanksgiving.

Perfect turkey brine recipe

Here’s What To Do:

For a 16 to 20 pound turkey:

  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt (1 cup of salt per gallon of water is the general rule here … )
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 stems fresh thyme
  • 3 stems fresh sage
  • 2 to 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (remove the leaves, discard the stems)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley (stems okay here)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • the peel of  a good-sized orange
  • 1 gallon (at least) of  water

With everything in the pot, bring it to a boil and then let it FULLY cool back to room temperature.

Submerge the turkey in the pot (it helps to put it breast side down and make sure the innards are removed first) and put saran wrap over the top. Weigh down the bird so it stays submerged and leave it be for at least 24 hours before cooking for your feast. In fact, if you can go for 36 hours of brining, your bird will be even better. Be sure to refrigerate or set the pot in a cool area during this time.

Then follow your usual turkey cooking recipe, but pat the bird dry before placing it in the oven. 

How to be a better neighbor/apartment living

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making a good neighbor at your apartment



Whether your building has an association or not…odds are you don’t exactly know your new neighbors yet, am I right?
Here are some suggestions on how to build your own little community in no time at all.

Back in the day they used to have an actual welcome wagon….and certainly if you’re crafty and enterprising enough you can go around to local businesses and get them to donate coupons or small gifts to the newly moved in, and then go around to each new neighbor and present them with a lovely welcome basket…but this is more about what to do after that.

local restaurant night: pick a local restaurant in your neighborhood that you can all meet up at for drinks or dinner…you’re getting to know your new area, supporting local business, as well as getting to know your neighbors.

Once you’ve got to know your neighbors a little better….hopefully someone will like you enough to make you something. Or borrow something. Remember the golden neighborly rule:

Always return a dish FULL…not empty.

Whether you’ve borrowed a large dish or pan to hold something…or you received the gift of food FROM your neighbor? The friendly thing to do is return it filled with something they will enjoy. if you can’t cook or bake, nothing says “howdy neighbor” like a big bag of M&M’s :)

Perhaps you’ve got so many fun people in your building, you’d like to step up the socializing…why not start a Facebook page? That way you can check in with one another…pass along important information….organize the next potluck…oh hey, that’s another groovy idea!

Potluck! everyone brings a dish. It would be nice to be invited to one without the added agenda of someone selling something (tupperware/jewelry/candles, etc) but either way…it’s nice to know who the good cooks are in the building, how they furnished their place as opposed to yours, and who’s door you will NOT be knocking on for a cup of sugar.
Once you’ve established a rapport with your fellow building dwellers, sky’s the limit!

Cookie swaps! My favorite part of the holidays…everyone brings a certain amount of baked goods. At the end of the night you leave with a container full of delicious goodies to serve at your own holiday party.

Cheese and wine night. Guys bring the cheese. Gals bring the wine. Prizes for the most exotic of either. You see where this is going. Your are only limited by your imagination. Have fun, and welcome to the neighborhood!

Creative and easy ways to get more space in your bathroom

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Need to spiff up your bathroom? or maybe you think you just don’t have enough space to do anything different? Trust us, you DO!!!!




 Inspiration is everywhere! 


Look for tips from the world around you….where to store your hair dryer/curling iron/straighteners? Why not do what your hairstylist does? install holsters on the side of your vanity!



You can certainly go to the fancy schmancy container stores but make sure you google and pinterest before you shell out the big bucks. there are tons of easy peasy diy solutions that may surprise you!!



want to get rid of that cd rack? hold on!!! install it in your bathroom:







other great space savers are sliding storage drawers under the sink….and rolling your towels instead of folding them for optimal storage!




 and of course, there are literally hundreds of ways to store your toilet paper…get fancy!!!





Don’t be discouraged…we live in an age where the answers are literally right at your fingertips. Get inspired!!!


The Rules of the Playground

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You are the proud parents of a toddler! congratulations. You’ve survived the first year and now your kidlet is mobile!!!  You now get to do things like keeping them occupied in grocery stores! Guard against them putting everything that isn’t nailed down in to their mouths!!! And the biggest bad….THE PLAYGROUND.

It doesn’t matter where you live…the rules of the playground are the same. and you best get schooled, because as a parent of a small whippersnapper…you’re going to be spending a colossal amount of time there.


Be prepared.


Never go to the park without snacks, water, wipes, extra clothes, and diapers. Inevitably there will be all sorts of shenanigans that will involve one if not ALL of these items on the same outing.


Do NOT bring a toy, bike, stuffy, or any beloved item of your child’s to the playground unless you (and your child) are ready for ANY child present to play with it. This is a biggie folks..and not an easy one to swallow…if you can’t handle others touching your stuff. Do NOT bring it to the playground. It’s a huge universal playground rule…and you should know it BEFORE you get there.


The Swings…oof. listen, here’s the thing about the swings. They are a slippery slope. If your child is not interested in them yet….GOOD…stay away as long as you can. Because it’s going to be YEARS before they can learn to pump their legs and swing on their own…so you will spend all day pushing them. ALL. DAY. It’s a cute idea on day one. Day three or five? not so much.


Enclosed parks are your friends. The more confined a park is…the better you will feel. You’ve always got to keep an eye on your child, but when you’re in a smaller play area that’s surrounded on all sides by a fence, there’s just a little extra room to relax. As much as you can…between the swings…the slide, and heaven forbid there’s one of those flying deathtraps knows as a merry go round! Also be forewarned, there is often a great divide between stay at home parents and nannies/hired caregivers. Try as you might, it’s a divide you’re unlikely to mend. Find other like minded parents…and don’t be upset if the nanny crew in the corner gives you the cold shoulder. Good luck, and welcome to the Jungle…I mean PLAYGROUND  baby.

Angie Shaw 





Looking for some great tips for gardening at your apartment?

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So you’re in an apartment..and you love it..but you get frustrated watching Ina Garten go snip fresh herbs for her salads on Barefoot Contessa in her sprawling hamptons estate garden. well, we’ve got some ideas for you.

Apartment gardening! There are plenty of things you can grow yourself inside and outside your lovely apartment home. If you’ve got a balcony, patio, deck, or fire’re already half way there. What about a window box? or an outside wall you can hang plants from? railings work great. so do steps…heck, there’s even the ol’ trusty soda bottle garden!

The best news? All the resources you need to start growing are just a click or two away. Between pinterest, and celebrated authors like Amy Pennington and her latest book “Apartment Gardening” you’ve got a wealth of information right at your fingertips to get you started. 



Is there anything more satisfying than adding freshly grown chives or basil from your own pots into that salad for dinner? Even cooler if you’re feeding company.Sweet strawberries mixed in with your morning yogurt?  Or freshly cut flowers from your balcony as a centerpiece to impress the inlaws? There is a great sense of accomplishment when you grow produce. You’re a provider. Go ahead, beat your chest with your fists a little. you deserve it. you grew something. you ate it. and you saved money by not going to the grocery store. you also know there aren’t any sneaky pesticides or genetic altering going on either. (Unless you’re in to that sort of thing) so go ahead and get started! what are you waiting for? Don’t let apartment living hinder you from flashing that green thumb!!

Summer Movies are here! Which ones are you going to see

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Once you get into May you start to see a summer blockbuster movie coming out every week.  We’ve put together the schedule of when you favorite movies will be coming out.  

iron man 3 movie timese



June 2013

49 movies

July 2013

31 movies

August 2013

38 movies

Mother’s Day brunch ideas part 5: It’s not a quiche it’s a breakfast tart!

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One of the best ideas for a big family get together is a breakfast tart or what you might assume is a quiche.  The difference here is the use of a crust underneath but the overall idea and ingredients are the same.  This is much easier to make than you may think.  Also, if you can’t find pancetta or do not want to use it you can try regular bacon or ham.
Butter, for the pan
Flour, for the pan
1 9-inch unroll-and-bake refrigerated pie crust
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded gruyere cheese
3 scallions, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Unroll the pie crust and gently press into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim any excess from the top.

With the tines of a fork, prick the bottom of the pastry. Using a pastry brush, brush the crust with the beaten egg white. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until the egg white has set. Let cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, until browned and crispy. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the mascarpone, gruyere, scallions, salt, pepper and the pancetta. Pour into the cooled crust and bake for about 18 minutes, until the mixture has set and the top is golden.

Cool the tart for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove from the pan. Cut the tart into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Mother’s Day Brunch Part 4: one more cocktail idea

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Sometimes you just need a big pitcher of Margaritas to pass around the room.  Here is a great twist to turn your margarita into a killer Pineapple treat.  Enjoy this one with a crowd.

2 cups lime juice, about 20 limes
2 cups white tequila
2 cups Triple Sec
2 1/2 cups fresh pineapple juice
Fresh pineapple slices, for garnish
Combine the lime juice, tequila, Triple Sec, and pineapple juice. Fill a cocktail shaker 1/2-way with ice and fill 2/3 full with the margarita mixture. Shake for 30 seconds and pour into glasses. Decorate with fresh pineapple slices and serve ice cold.

Mother’s Day Brunch Part 3 : Let’s talk cocktails

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No great brunch can be truly great without a fantastic cocktail.  Try this one out this weekend.  It’s a Peach Ginger Bellini and it is fantastic.
For the ginger simple syrup:
1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger, with skin
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups cold water
For the peach puree:
10 ounces semi-frozen peaches
1/2 cup ginger simple syrup
For serving:
Ice cubes
1 bottle Champagne
Begin by making the ginger simple syrup. Peel and grate the ginger. Add it together with the sugar and cold water to a saucepan. Bring it to the boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain, discard ginger pieces and set simple syrup aside.

In a blender add frozen peaches and ginger simple syrup. Blend until completely pureed then place into the refrigerator to cool.

For serving:

Add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and fill half way with peach puree. Top off with Champagne and shake vigorously to combine. Pour into Champagne glasses and repeat process as needed.

More Mother’s Day brunch ideas

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With the Mother’s Day weekend approaching this weekend let’s take a look at another great brunch recipe for French Toast.  Get more great ideas from the Food Network website today.


Total Time:
30 min
10 min
20 min

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or milk, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt in a shallow bowl. Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, dip 6 thick slices white bread, challah or brioche in the egg mixture and cook in the skillet until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side, adding more butter as needed. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until puffed, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in the same skillet until browned, about 5 minutes. Drizzle the French toast with the browned butter and maple syrup.