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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
If you are like us, you don't want to buy food "Made In China ". But unfortunately, the great majority of everything we find in a store is just that... " Made in China ". Just look at the labels. It will surprise you. Especially your FOOD, Meat, Canned Fruit, Seafood and many other items. Why are we buying MADE IN CHINA when the USA produces (or used to produce) the best and the most food in the world? Is everything we have being OUTSOURCED? With 'Melamine' and 'Rat Poison' laced foods flooding the market.......You need to read this article... and print out the list and carry it with you when you shop. Food Bar Codes Maybe this will be of interest to those who care where their goods come from, especially baby food and pet food. The whole world is scared of Chinese 'black-hearted goods'. Can you differentiate which one is made in the USA , Philippines , Taiwan or China? For your Information, the first 3 digits of the barcode is the country code wherein the product was made. Sample: All barcodes that start with 690 up to 695 are MADE IN CHINA. 471 is Made in Taiwan This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore, we have to INFORM ourselves. Nowadays,Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products 'Made in China', so they don't show in which country it is made. However, you may now refer to the barcode. Remember, if the first 3 digits are 690 to 695, then it is Made in China . 00 ~ 13 USA & CANADA 30 ~ 37 FRANCE 40 ~ 44 GERMANY 49 ~ JAPAN 50 ~ UK 57 ~ Denmark 64 ~ Finland 76 ~ Switzerland and Liechtenstein 471 ~Taiwan 480 - 489 ~ Philippines 628 ~ Saudi-Arabia 629 ~ United Arab Emirates 690 -695~China 740 ~ 745 - Central America
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 11:26 AM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
In Laguna da Toni, Toni Zotartel will pick you up in his boat and give you a 25 minute ride to his restuarant , which is on stilts, from the nearest mainland point, Portegrandi . Then Toni will check his fishing net on the side of his eatery and cook the the catch of day just for you. The seven course dinner is just $58 US which includes coffee, desert, all the grappa you can drink and the round trip boat ride from the mainland. The place is closed in January. For reservations call 39-338-821-1229. A minimum of 14 reservations are required for Toni to come and and pick you up.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 8:17 AM
Monday, December 15, 2008
Puff Pastry Wreath Preparation Time: 30 minutes Bake Time: 15 to 18 minutes Serves 12. Ingredients 1 box (17 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed 1 large egg, beaten 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary 1 cup cheese spread (8 ounces), any flavor Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish Fresh cranberries for garnish. 1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out twenty-four 3- to 4-inch leaf shapes using a cookie cutter. 2. Arrange the pastry leaves in a slightly overlapping circle on a baking sheet to form a wreath. Brush the wreath with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the rosemary. 3. Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the wreath on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then slide gently onto a serving plate. 4. Spoon the cheese spread into a decorative 1-cup crock or custard cup. Place in the center of wreath. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and cranberries. Tip: Make Ahead The wreath can be made up to three days before serving. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. To serve, unwrap and let come to room temperature. If you like, crisp the thawed wreath in a 400F oven for a few minutes. Holiday Cheese Ball Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling Cook Time: None Serves 12. Ingredients 1 (4-ounce) package cream cheese 1/4 cup milk 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 6 tablespoons chopped pecans 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (white part only) 1/2 (2-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 teaspoons poppy seeds 1. Beat the cream cheese and milk in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low until well blended. Add the Cheddar, Monterey Jack and blue cheese. Beat at medium speed until well combined. Add half of the bacon, 3 tablespoons of the pecans, the green onions and pimientos to the cheese mixture. Blend on medium speed until well mixed. 2. Transfer the mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. Wrap tightly. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. 3. Combine the remaining bacon and remaining pecans with the parsley and poppy seeds in a pie plate or large dinner plate. Remove the plastic wrap from the ball. Roll in the bacon mixture until well coated. Wrap tightly again in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours. Tip: Double the Recipe Expecting a crowd? You can easily double this recipe and make two cheese balls. Minty Cranberry Relish Ingredients 1 medium apple 1 (12-ounce) package fresh or thawed frozen cranberries 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1/3 cup orange marmalade 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/3 cup golden or dark raisins 1. Peel and core the apple; cut into 8 pieces. 2. Combine the apple, cranberries and mint in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. 3. Combine the brown sugar, marmalade, lemon juice, and mustard in a small bowl. Stir until well blended. Add to the cranberry mixture and stir until well blended. Gently stir in the raisins. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Tip: Freezing Cranberries Since fresh cranberries are readily available for only four months, September through December, buy a few extra bags when they are available and put the extra in the freezer. Throughout the year, you’ll have cranberries just waiting to be used in quick breads and pies—and this relish. Tip: Gift from Your Kitchen Pack the relish into jars and tie with festive ribbon for thoughtful gifts for family and friends. (Just be sure to remind your recipients to refrigerate the relish promptly.) Festive Mincemeat Squares Preparation Time: 15 minutes Bake Time: 30 to 35 minutes Makes 2 dozen squares Ingredients 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 1 1/3 cups (2 2/3 sticks) butter 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 1/2 cups rum-flavored mincemeat 1 cup shredded coconut 1/2 cup dried red cherries 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 13x9-inch baking pan. 2. Combine the flour and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Cut in 1 cup of the butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Pat the crumb mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. 3. Combine the remaining 1/3 cup butter and the brown sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until blended. Stir in the mincemeat, coconut, cherries and walnuts. 4. Spread the mixture evenly over the baked layer. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve. Tip: Lemon Glaze A lemony glaze makes these good cookies even better: Sift 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl and add 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; stir until smooth. Drizzle over the squares while they are still warm. Stained Glass Star Cookies Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus chilling Bake Time: 8 to 10 minutes Makes 2 dozen cookies Ingredients 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 large egg yolk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 4 rolls ring-shaped hard candies (such as Lifesavers), lightly crushed 1. Combine the butter, granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, egg yolk and vanilla; beat on medium speed until a smooth dough forms. Shape into a disk and wrap well in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight. 2. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 3. Roll one-third of the dough at a time on a lightly floured surface to an 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a large star-shaped cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Cut out the centers of the cookies using a small star-shaped cookie cutter. 4. Place a single color crushed candy into each cutout in cookies to fill space completely. Bake until the cookies are light golden around the edges and the candy is melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool cookies completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Tip Crush candies by placing them in resealable plastic bags and then tapping lightly with a rolling pin until they're broken into small pieces. Don’t crush different colored candies at the same time; you want to keep the colors separate. Christmas Tree Cakes Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus assembly Bake Time: 15 minutes Serves 4 Ingredients Cakes 1 1/2 cups egg whites (from 10 to 12 large eggs) 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup granulated sugar Frosting and Decoration Confectioners’ sugar 1/4 cup prepared vanilla frosting or whipped cream Green or silver dragees 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, let the egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and flour two times and set aside. 2. Add the cream of tartar and vanilla to the egg whites. With an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. 3. Sift one-fourth of the flour mixture over the egg-white mixture, then gently fold in. Continue sifting and folding in the remaining flour mixture, one-fourth at a time. Spoon the batter into an ungreased 17x11-inch jelly-roll pan. 4. Bake the cake until the top springs back when pressed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Assembling and Decorating the Cake 1. Cut out 4 stars from the cake with a 4-inch star-shaped cookie cutter. Repeat with 3 1/4-inch, 2 1/2-inch and 1 3/4-inch star cutters for a total of 16 cake stars. Transfer the stars to a wire rack. 2. With kitchen scissors, cut four 3/4-inch squares from the cake scraps left in the pan. Trim the corners to make rounds. Transfer the rounds to the rack. Using a fine mesh sieve, dust the cakes with confectioners’ sugar, then dust 4 serving plates. 3. Holding the cakes by the edges, make a stack of stars on each prepared plate, using 1 cake star of each size and stacking from largest to smallest. Top each cake stack with a cake round. 4. Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip; pipe a dot at each point of each star. Immediately place a dragee on each dot of frosting. Variations To create pine trees, add green food coloring to the cake batter (the confectioners’ sugar will resemble freshly fallen snow). Or for a different flavor and striking color contrast, sift 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder into the flour. Instead of the dragees, use decorating gels in different colors to pipe Christmas balls, candy canes or holly berries and leaves onto your tree cakes. Tip: Easy Option If you like, you can use any prepared cake mix for the cakes. Yellow, white, dark chocolate and strawberry mixes all make lovely trees.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 10:41 AM
Monday, December 1, 2008
Banning USB Flash Drives From The Workplace The last few years we have seen an increase in sales of the fancy looking USB flash drives. They have been made as small as a keychain figurine or a tie clip. Yes, USB flash drives to wear on your tie. Now that these flash drives have made their way to everyone because of the affordable pricing, many workplaces are banning them from the office. It is one of the best ways to steal company information without anyone knowing about it. Many companies have as far as disabling the USB ports on employee’s computers. This may seem a little extreme, but companies have to protect their information. Although some businesses give these little units to their employees for advertising purposes, they are not allowed to use them in the workplace. They are basically given as an advertisement with the company logo on them for others to see. There are so many harmful affects that these flash drives can have on a business. Because of their different shapes and designs, businesses have decided to pull the plug on the USB ports. You might look at someone’s keychain and think that little gadget they have is cute, but that cute little gadget could ruin your business. This type of theft and the creation of the USB flash drives brought concern from many businesses and individuals alike. What if you are individual that carries around a USB flash drive in their purse or on a keychain would lose the unit? All information would be loss and open to anyone who finds the flash drive. This causes concern for concern for how to properly store the flash drives that have sensitive information recorded. Carrying around a flash drive is just like carrying around your credit card. If you lose it, you are vulnerable to fraud. For the most part, flash drives have allowed people to download music, pictures and files and free up room on the laptop or the desktop computer. These are also valuable in the event you would lose information on your computer due to a hacker or a virus. In this case, the USB flash drives are extremely necessary. You can buy different size flash drives to hold different amounts of information. If you download a huge amount of music, you may want a USB flash drive that can accommodate all the files or more than one. New technology has enhanced the use of the computer for more than one reason. People can now use flash drives for file storage and businesses can storage vital information on these drives in order to keep it safe from potential security leaks. Although businesses ban the use of the flash drives from employee’s, the company themselves do use these as way’s to conduct business during travels. They can make presentations and instead of carrying a laptop along on their travels, they just take the flash drive. Today, with the higher security in airports, it is always important to check with new security rules before attempting to take a flash drive on the airplane to make sure it will be accepted. In most cases, you will fid that they are allowed. Other business concerns the flash drives are a valuable and handy little piece of technology that will help secure important files and information.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 11:58 AM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Do A Color Check Spices should be bright and colorful. The more faded and grey they look, the less flavorful they'll taste. Sniff It Out A strong aroma is a sign that your herbs are still in their prime. Take a small amount of herbs from the bottle and crush them in the palm of your hand with your finger. If the herbs don't smell strong, you probably won't be able to taste them either. Handle With Care Moisture will shorten the shelf life of your spices, so don't shake a container over a steaming pot. Always measure your spices with a dry measuring spoon, away from the steam. Keep your spices tightly capped and store in a cool dry place when you're not using them.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 7:54 AM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Holiday Roasted TurkeyPreparation Time: 50 minutes Roast Time: 4 hours Serves 15, plus leftovers You’ll love the crisp skin and tender drumsticks of this big, juicy bird. Ingredients 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1 1/4 cups sliced mushrooms 1 cup chopped onion 1/2 teaspoon dried savory 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 cups chopped cooked broccoli 1 (14-ounce) package herb stuffing mix 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth 1 cup cooked wild rice 1 (14- to 16-pound) turkey, packets removed 1. Preheat the oven to 325F. 2. Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, savory and nutmeg and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the broccoli, stuffing mix, broth and wild rice and mix well. 3. Fill the cavities of the turkey loosely with the stuffing, reserving the remaining stuffing. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. 4. Spoon the reserved stuffing into an 8 by 8-inch baking pan. Chill, covered, until time to bake. 5. Roast the turkey, basting occasionally with pan drippings, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh and in the stuffing registers 180F, about 4 hours. Place the uncovered reserved stuffing in the oven during the last 40 minutes of turkey baking time, until browned on the top and heated through. Sweet Potato SurprisePreparation Time: 25 minutes Bake Time: 25 minutes Serves 12 The addition of crunchy pecans and slightly chewy dried apricots is the surprise in this special holiday side dish. Ingredients 12 medium sweet potatoes 3 cups (about 1 1/3 pounds) firmly packed light brown sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons grated orange zest 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 2 cups apricot nectar 2 (15 1/4-ounce) cans sliced apricots, drained 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter 1 cup chopped pecans Orange zest strips, optional for garnish 1. Combine the sweet potatoes with enough water to cover in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 20 minutes; drain well. Cool until easily handled. 2. Preheat the oven to 375F. 3. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange in two 2-quart round baking dishes. 4. Combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, grated orange zest and cinnamon in a large saucepan and mix well. Stir in the apricot nectar. Cook over medium heat, stirring continually, until thickened. Stir in the apricots. Pour over the sweet potatoes in the baking dishes. 5. Dot the potatoes with the butter and sprinkle with pecans. Place the two baking dishes in the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes. Garnish with orange zest strips, if desired. Tip: Smaller Batch If you’re not serving a crowd, simply halve the amounts of the ingredients and bake the potatoes in one baking dish. Green Bean Casserole Preparation Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 25 minutes Serves 10 to 12 This flavorful casserole has been a favorite for more than half a century! Thanksgiving just wouldn't be complete without it. Ingredients 2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup 1 cup milk 2 (4-ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, drained 2 (3-ounce) cans French-fried onions 1/4 cup pimientos 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 4 (9-ounce) packages frozen French-cut green beans, thawed 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 2. Combine the soup, milk, mushrooms, half the fried onions, the pimientos and black pepper in a large bowl and mix well. 3. Combine the green beans and half the soup mixture in a separate large bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture between two 1 1/2-quart baking dishes. Top with remaining soup mixture. 4. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining fried onions on the tops. Bake until browned, about 5 minutes. Tip: Smaller Batch If you’re not serving a crowd, simply halve the amounts of the ingredients and bake the casserole in one baking dish. Nutty Pumpkin Bread Preparation Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 55 to 60 minutes Makes 2 large loaves Serve this moist spiced bread with sweet butter at Thanksgiving, or spread with cream cheese and serve with tea or coffee for a special breakfast. Ingredients 1 3/4 cups sugar 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature 4 eggs 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree 3/4 cup milk 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat two 4 1/4 by 8 3/4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. 2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin puree and milk. 3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, walnuts, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until the flour is moistened. 4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in the pans. Turn onto wire racks and cool completely. Tip If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Maple Spice Cake Preparation Time: 20 minutes Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes Serves 15 It’s always nice to offer a not-too-sweet alternative to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Leftovers make a delicious after-school snack. Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, plus more for garnish 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or shortening, softened 3 large eggs, separated 1/2 cup half-and-half 1/4 cup maple syrup Whipped cream, for serving 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9-inch cake pan. 2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Combine the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at high speed until creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture alternately with the half-and-half and maple syrup, beating well after each addition. 3. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. 4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. 5. Cut the cake into squares. Top each serving with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Tip: Separating Eggs To easily separate eggs, crack an egg into your very clean hand held over a clean bowl. Let the egg white run through your fingers into the bowl, leaving the yolk in your hand. Praline Pumpkin Pie Preparation Time: 20 minutes Bake Time: 55 to 70 minutes Serves 8 Partially baking the crust before adding the filling helps to keep the bottom of this pie from becoming soggy. Ingredients 1 refrigerated piecrust 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon cold butter 1/4 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree 1 cup half-and-half 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Fit the pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Flute the edges, pressing the pastry to the side of the plate. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. 2. To make the praline mixture, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the flour in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Stir in the pecans. Set aside. 3. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, the granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Add the half-and-half and eggs and beat until smooth. 4. Pour the filling into the prepared piecrust. Sprinkle the praline mixture around the edge of the pie. Bake until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Tip If the piecrust becomes too dark during baking, cover the edge with strips of foil. Four Great Wines To Go With Your Dinner Reds 1. Benson Ferry Old Vine Zifandel 2006 $11 2. Lamborghini Trescone 2004 from Umbria $16 Whites 3. Cameron Hughes | Lot 58 2006 Chardonnay 4. Yering Station 2004 Chardonnay We hope you enjoy our Thanksgiving recipes and wine selections and we wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 7:46 PM
Friday, September 19, 2008
Savers get around the new FDIC $250,000 insurance limit on bank accounts by speading their money across mutiple institutions. It's safe but it's also a big hassle. Now people are turning to other means to safeguard their cash. One is use a joint account owned by two or more people. Each account holder listed is insured for $250,000. Another technique that works is to set up a POD or "payable upon death" account at your bank. To set up a POD, a depositor must name a beneficiary or beneficiaries who will receive money if the primary account holder dies. Keep in mind that only certain relatives count as qualified benefciaries and a POD may disrupt a will or an estate plan. For a more formal type of POD, you may want to consult an estate attorney to form a Revocable Trust. Under this strategy, the owner assigns bneficiaries but retains control of the assets during his or her lifetime. The FDIC will insure the interests of each beneficiary for up to $250,000 For each qualified beneficiary, the FDIC will insure each beneficiary for up to $250,000. Another way to insure more than $250,000 per account is to buy multiple CDS through a stock brokerage firm. It's a fast way to spread money across different banks without the hassle of physically going to each bank. If you have $1,000,000 in cash to insure, just tell your broker to buy 4 different CDS from 4 different FDIC insured banks at $250,000 each. With a broker, you get access to numerous high yield CDS with one transaction. If you have even more money to insure, say up to 50 million dolars, you can obtain CDARS which stands for Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service. CDARS disperse individual CDS up to $50 million dollars. CDARS are available from the Promontory Interfinancial Network. You can contact them at www.promnetwork.com or call them at 1-866-776-6426. With CDARS, you have one account with one interest rate, one bank statement and one 1099 tax form. Also, you should know that money deposited in IRAs,Roth IRAs and certain other types of of retirement plans are insured up to $250,000. If you still feel that you need to do more to safeguard your cash, then see our June 08 blog post on how to open a swiss bank account. You could covert some of your dollars to Swiss francs. The Swiss franc is the safest currency in the world and it is the ONLY currency that's back by 56% gold!
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 3:56 PM
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Nan Shian Dumpling House , 38-12 Prince St, 718-321-3838. Imperial Palace, 136-13 37th Ave, 718-939-3501. Xiao La Jiao, 133-48 Roosevelt Ave, 718-939-7788. Happy Beef Noodle House , 38-16 Prince St, 718-661-3969.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 4:51 PM
Saturday, August 30, 2008
To make the sorbet, you'll first have to make sugar syrup. This will take about 5 minutes. For 6 2/3 cups of sugar syrup you'll need 5 cups of granulated sugar and 4 1/4 cups of water. The measurements of sugar and water have to be exact! Place the water and sugar in a large saucepan. Then cook over high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar had dissolved. Continue heating the syrup until the syrup comes to a full boil. Then immediately remove the sauce pan from the heat and pour the syrup into a large bowl or in a jar where you wish to store it. Let it completely cool before you use it. Once the syrup has cooled to room temperature, it can be stored in a refrigerator where it will keep for months until you need it. The graprefriut sorbet will take about 10 minutes to make. For one quart of sherbet you'll need 3 large grapefruits and 1 1/2 cups of cold sugar syrup. Cut each grapefruit in half and squeeze out all the juice. Measure the juice to make sure you have 2 1/2 cups to make the sherbert. Strain the juice through a seive into a bowl mix in the sugar syrup, and pour it into your ice cream maker. Then freeze and serve. For a fabulous touch, serve the sorbet in the hollowed out skins of the fruit. When you squeeze the juice, be careful not to damage the skins. Remove the thin membrane that fills the center of the skins and rub the inside of each skin with a sugar cube. Place the hollowed out sugared skins in the freezer for a least an hour before filling them with sorbet. Once your dinner guests taste this sorbet they will judge all sorbets and sherbets against this incredible recipe.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 10:47 AM
First, you'll need 5 large russet potatoes, 2 tablespoons of salt,2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 quarts of vegetable oil. Peel the potatoes and trim each into a rectangle. Cut them the long way, into broad slices 1/4" thick. Then cut them into french fries 1/4" wide. Keep in mind that it's important for the size to be correct for the cooking process. Keep the cut potatoes in a bowl of cool water until your're ready to use them. Now, place 3 quarts of water, 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Add your cut fries to the boiling water and let the water return to a boil. Then reduce the heat until the water comes to a gentle boil and cook the potatoes fro 7 minutes or until then are soft but still holding together. Remove them with a wide slotted spider spoon and place them on paper towels until they reach room temperature. Then heat the oil in a pan or deep fryer to 250 F degrees. Then slowly lower the potatoes into the oil and cook them for 2 minutes until they are just blanched with very little color. Place on paper towels. Repeat this process until all the potatoes until they've had this first fry. Then heat the oil to 350F degrees and re-cook all the fries for 3 minutues or until they are golden brown. Put them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. You can hold the first batch or two in a 350 F degree oven until ready to serve. Once your dinner guests taste these fries they will never set foot into a fast food restuarant as long as they live.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 10:25 AM
To start off, you'll need 16 graham cracker squares which is 8 whole crackers crushed. Then 1/4 cup of ground pecans or walnuts, 3 tbsp of melted butter, one 8oz package of crem cheese at room temperature, 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp of honey, rind of a lemon freshly grated, a pinch of salt and 1 1/2 cups of bluberries. Combine the crushed graham crackers,nuts and melted butter. Press evenly into the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch square pan to form a crust about 1/4 inch thick. Put in the frig until ready to use. Using a standing or hand mixer or a whisk, combine the creme cheese, ricotta, honey, lemon rind, and salt in bowl. Spread the cheese mixture carefully and evenly over the crust, using a spatula or butter knife. Cover with fresh bluberries or other fresh fruit and chill for a least an hour or until set. Cut into square or bars and serve. Serves 8 to 12.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 10:12 AM
If you use a laser or inkjet printer on a regular basis you know that printers routinely demand that their ink or toner cartridges be replaced when pages come out dark and crisp. That's because printer makers make more money on selling you ink than selling you a printer. On most printers, there is a way to overide the software so the ink or toner cartridge prints until it's actually empty. To find out how your printer work, go to Google, and type in the following search terms: "how to override the low ink sensor on printers". This search will produce a number of sites that will help you override your printer's software. Also, never buy original ink cartriges no mater what the manufacturer says. Our Epson printer uses $21 cartridges that we routinely buy on line for $3 ea. Since you have to order online, at $3 each, you can afford to stockpile the cartridge you need according to how many you use a month. One good source for cheap ink is: www.Megatoners.Com Keep in mind some sites are cheaper than others for your particular printer. So do a Google search like "cheapest ink for (your printers name & number)" will give you tons of hits. Make sure you look at least 20 sites to get the cheapest price. Do not buy from sites that do not list a physical address, that do not have a phone number and that do not offer a 100% money-back guarantee on their remanufactured inks.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 9:40 AM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Tracht's 111 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Bch, CA 562-499-2533. Three course menu for $30 from 6-10pm Sun-Wed +25% off wine! Chicken Itza 2501 W. Sixth St, LA 213-380-0051. Seven course tasting meal for $35 on Saturdays. All' Angelo 7166 Melrose Ave, LA 323-933-8540.Four course menu Mon-Thurs for $38. Tender Greens 9523 Cluver Blvd, Culver City, CA 310-842-8300. Sunday pot roast dinner for $10.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 9:16 AM
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot >From your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 1:46 PM
To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following Digits on your phone: *#06#. A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This n umber is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. When your phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM car d, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 1:44 PM
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
1. Don't Wait Out The Market List your house as soon as you can since it may take up to 180 days to sell your house. 2.Clean It And Fix it In life, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. So don't spend a lot of money for big renovations. Just make sure everything is in good repair. Make sure the door bell works, the carpets and floors are clean, and there are no offensive pet odors. For info on how to choose and outstanding carpet and floor cleaner visit www.AllstateCleaning.com . Then get rid of the clutter. Rent a storage facility and put out only enough furniture out to make it look livable. 3. Price It Right Forget what you think your house was worth three years ago or today. House prices are down anywhere from 14% to 25% all across the nation. Smart buyers will be looking for bargains. So price your house below comparable nearby properties. Keep in mind that renting is still a better deal right now than buying. 4. Hire A Top Gun Realtor Forget the discount brokers, your cousin or the part time realtor down the street. No matter what broker you choose, demand that your house be listed only with the top agent in that office. Interview several agents and ask that they present a marketing plan that goes beyond beyond an internet page, an open house or a yard sign. Also,offer the agent a bonus if he or she sells your house in 30 days at your asking price. Plus make sure your house is listed on website like www.Trulia.com , www.Zillow.com ,www.Cyberhomes.com ,www.Eppraisal.com and www.Realtor.com .Also, list the house on www.Ebay.com and www.Craigslist.org . Think out of the box. Try listing your house in a corporate newsletter or contacting re-location firms in your area and letting them know about your house. 5. Hold The Paper If your house is paid off, consider offering the buyer full or partial financing.This will be in your favor in a tight credit market. Just make sure you use a top real estate lawyer to draw up the papers. If the buyer defaults, the worst that can happen is you take the house back and sell it again. Also to sweeten the pot, you should have your house inspected and market it as a "certified house" like a certifed car. If the inspection reveals problems, you can have them corrected before anybody finds out. To find a certified house inspector, visit www.Ashi.Org and www.Nahi.Org To make your home even more attractive in a buyer's market, you should also offer a home warranty for a $300 to $400 cost. Home warranties are available at www.HomeServiceContract.Org
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 4:11 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
If you're one of the millions of Americans who was sold a high risk mortage without full disclosure you'll find help at www.LoanSafe.Org. There, you'll find links to firms that offer loan modification and document reviews that protect your rights. You'll also find a helpful forum to find help with your particular loan issues.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 11:10 AM
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Continental www.ratsrestaurant.org/ratsrestaurant.php?page=1&sub=1 16 Fairgrounds Rd, Hamilton, NJ 609-584-7800 Seafood Library II, 306 Rout 73, Voorhees, NJ 08043, www.MilfordOysterHouse.com, 922 Rt 591, Milford, NJ 908-995-9411, Jackson Mountain Cafe, 400 Washington Blvd, Cape May, NJ 609-884-5648 American www.daviddrakes.com,1449 Irving St, Rahway, NJ 07065 732-388-6677, www.55main.com ,55 Main St, Flemington, NJ 908-284-1551, Italian www.scalinifedeli.com, 63 Main St, Chatham, NJ 973-701-9200, www.panicosrestaurant.com ,103 Church St, New Brunswick, NJ 732-545-6100, French www.restaurantpassionne.com,77 Walnut St, Montclair, NJ 07042 973-233-1006, Indian-New Age www.piquantfoods.com 349A George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 732-246-2468, Thai www.thaitida.com 236 N. Union St, Lambertville, NJ 609-397-6901,
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 5:59 PM
Saturday, July 5, 2008
As soon as the economy takes a downturn, it’s guaranteed to happen. They promise to clean all the carpets in your house for $59.00. Sound too good to be true? It probably is. To make matters worse, they finally show up–three hours late-in a beat up pick-up truck with no company name, and hop out in torn jeans and a soiled tee-shirt. Then you realize it: you’ve been the victim of a bait -and -switch campaign. What is bait and switch? Bait and switch scams work like this: a company advertises cleaning a roomful of carpet of carpet for a ridiculously low price. When they arrive, they inform you the price they quoted is only for the traffic lanes and doesn’t include any cleaning chemicals.” That’s like taking a bath with no soap,” says textile inspector Rodney Mortillaro at AllstateCleaning.Com. So you agree to pay extra for the chemicals because you are thankful someone showed up. In the end, the final bill ends up costing you hundreds of dollars. Another typical scam is hearing that a company will clean a set amount of rooms for a very low price ( like 5 rooms for $49.00). After they begin, you discover a linen closet, hallway, foyer, or regular closet counts as a room, and you wind up paying a lot more than you thought you would. Bait-and-switch scams are especially targeted at the elderly. Seniors are more likely to be intimidated by high pressure tactics and by someone who ”promises" to give them a good deal. Professional carpet cleaning technicians will arrive in a company vehicle with company identification on the side. They may also be uniformed, should be well groomed, and should provide some sort of business or certification card. If they are more like person described at the beginning of this story, then don’t let them in. So how can you avoid a bait-and-switch scam? The best protection against bait-and-switch is to ask some pointed questions before the cleaner arrives at your home. Call several local cleaning companies. If the company cannot answer simple questions, move on to another company. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are 11 tough questions you should ask: 1." Is your company part of a national building supply store, department store or franchise?" Big national department stores, discount building supply stores and franchise cleaners have big employee turn over problems. The technician on your home route will probably change several times a year. So calling a large carpet cleaning franchise is usually a "roll of the dice" when it comes to getting a good carpet cleaning tech. More than likely you'll get a "green" rookie with one day of "training" who will be learning at your expense. Plus they book lots of jobs back to back so most of the time no more than 30 minutes is ever spent cleaning your carpets. Then they pray that their employees will do a good job for you. Some of these large companies even advertise that they are "family owned" but in reality, they may have 100 trucks or more. So to them, you're just a number. And their office may be up to 2 or 3 hours away from your home. But many use toll free numbers so you have no way of knowing that you're not calling a local company. So your chances of getting an owner or a family member to clean your carpets are slim to none. 2. " Are you certified in carpet cleaning? If not, what type of formal training do you have?" Hardly any of the franchise and bait-and-switch cleaners are certified by the Institute Of Inspection, Cleaning Restoration and Certification. In fact, only the top 10% of all cleaners in the nation are IICRC certified. 3. "How many years has your company been in business?" ( the longer, the better) 4. "Can you provide a list of references I can call?" 5. " Is your company drug, alcohol and criminal free?" Many national chains and independent owners do not do background checks and drug testing on their employees. This puts you and your family at great risk. So to be on the safe side, DO NOT deal with companies who fail to pre-screen their employees. 6. " Can you provide proof of insurance and a business license?" 7. " What steps will be included in your cleaning process? Is your company 100% green?" Besides using cheap cleaning solutions that cause rapid re-soling, many chain, franchise and bait and switch cleaners use detergents that may be harmful to you, your family and your pets. Make sure the firm you choose can prove that they use cleaning solutions that are safe for you and the environment. 8. "Does your company sell carpet?" In most cases, you should never have your carpets cleaned by carpet retailers. Reason? Its a lot more profitable and easier for carpet retailers to sell you new carpet than to restore it like new. Plus it's easier for them to tell you that your carpets need to be replaced when it's simply not true. This rule also applies to firms that re-upholster and clean furniture. 9. "How long will it take for the carpet to dry?" 10. " Do you offer free, no-obligation, on-site written quotations?" 11. " Do you offer a written, satisfaction or money back guarantee?" After your questions have been answered, you also may what to check the firm’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org . You can also check the consumer affairs department of your state’s attorney general’s office. “You’d be shocked at the number of companies that have lousy reputations when it comes to addressing consumer complaints”, says Mortillaro. When you have decided on a cleaner, make sure you pay your bill with a major credit card. Sometimes it’s difficult getting a cleaner to come back to fix a problem after you’ve paid the bill. Paying by credit card will give you an option to dispute the bill if the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction. For a free report on how to select a carpet cleaner see, How To Select A Professional Carpet Cleaning Company and the Oriental Rug Guide at www.AllstateCleaning.Com
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 2:54 PM
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
If you want to keep on step ahead of rising gas prices, then join www.MyGallons.Com For a $29.95 annual membership, this company lets you buy gasoline at today's prices that you will use in the near future. If you don't save big money, the membership comes with a money back guarantee.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 5:22 PM
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
In Europe, the US dollar is now referred to as the "American Peso". It appears that the dollar keeping losing its value and purchasing power compared to other currencies around the world. If you want value and safety for your dollars,and you are concerned about the liquidity of your US bank, then perhaps you may want to keep a portion of your savings in Swiss francs. Under Swiss law, 40% of all Swiss francs must be backed by gold. But it's actually around 56%. That's what makes it one the most stable currerncies in the world. Several Swiss banks have offices in the US but they only offer accounts in US dollars or asset management for clients who have $200,000 or more to invest. If you want a "retail account" or a "numbered account", you must do it through the bank's headquarters in Switzerland. You can find bank names and contact information from the Swiss Bankers Association at www.swissbanking.org/en/home.htm Credit Suisse, http://www.credit-suisse.com/global/en/, and UBS are the two largest Swiss banks and they control 50% of the bank market share in Switzerland. They also have the most branches around the world. Once you've picked a bank, you can apply by mail or go directly to the bank in Switzerland. The minimum to open an account is usually $250. Forms and applications vary among banks, but for a mail application, you'll need a send a signature cettification form and an authenticated copy of your passport. If you ever have to report a problem with your Swiss account, you can contact the bank's legal department and file a complaint. If your claim is denied, you can contact a mediator at www.bankingombudsman.ch/english If you still get no satisfaction and want to sue, you'll need a Swiss lawyer. You can search for one at www.swisslawyers.com As a US citizen, you can have a bank account anywhere in the world. However, as a US citizen, you are required to report income from those accounts on your tax return. Besides reporting your bank account income to the IRS, you must also disclose the existence of those foreign bank accounts to the US Treasury Department. For more information, consult the IRS, the Treasury Department, your accountant or tax attorney.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 9:09 PM
The Jersey shore is way too crowded, the Hamptons have too much traffic, and Europe is way too expensive. Your best bet? The Caribbean. Although the threat of hurricanes is real, only one has hit the Carribbean in 10 years. That was hurriance Dennis, a category 3 storm, which passed by most of the islands. Plus you can get hurrricane travel insurance at www.insuremytrip.com in case you have to cut your trip short. At www.TravelZoo.Com you can get a 7 night round trip air and room deal in Barbados for $389! Plus they'll throw in breakfast. So check out TravelZoo for all inclusive air and room deals plus cruises for Anguilla, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos before you even think about going any place else this summer.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 2:02 PM
Sunday, June 22, 2008
To Start Off go 2: www.Weddings.Alltop.Comand www.ManoloBrides.Com for creative ideas. Price Out Your Dayat www.CostOfWedding.Comand www.CostHelper.Com to get a breakdown on low-end, mid-range and high-end weddings. Get Reviews On Vendors at www.WeddingWire.Com, www.TopWeddingQuestions.Com then get photographer, DJ, and band samples at www.ADJA.Org , www.WeddingMusicUsa.Com and at www.WPJA.Com . Order Wedding Invitations at www.Carlsoncraft.Com or at www.MomentalDesigns.Com Get Money Saving Tips at www.Cheap-Chic-Weddings.Com and out them in a spreadsheet from www.NumSum.Com Order Wedding Gown & Brides Maid Dresses at www.BridalOnlineStore.Com, www.BrideCouture.Com, www.GownSales.Com and www.VintageGown.Com. Create A Free Wedding Website at www.Ewedding.Com. Start A Wedding Registryat www.WeddingChannel.Com, or have guests contribute to your honeymoon at www.SendUsOff.Com or to your favorite charity at www.JustGive.Com. Shop For Wedding Favors at www.Beau-Coup.Com, www.Etsy.Com and www.Save-On-Crafts.Com Make travel arrangements for your honeymoon at www.TravelZoo.Com and www.BookingBuddy.Com Get An Online Map Tool fro out of town guests at www.WeddingMapper.Com. Find Dance Tutorials on ballroom dancing at www.YouTube.Com Check Out The Marrige Laws In Your State at www.MarriageLaws.Com Order Gifts For Attendants at www.MyGroomsMenGifts.Com or at www.BlueFly.Com. After e-mailing your wedding announcemnet to your local paper Finalize Your Reception Seating at www.SimpleSeating.Com
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 2:47 PM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
CHICKEN Bonless chicken breats should be cooked on direct heat 5 to 6 minutes per side. Cutlets should be cooked 2 or 3 minutes per side. Chicken wings should be cooked covered on indirect heat about 25 to 30 minutes. Bone-in chicken breasts should be cooked on indirect heat 40 to 50 minutes. All internal chicken temepratures should average 165F on a food thermometer. BEEF For 1/2 inch to 1.5 inch steaks cook on direct heat 4 to 6 minutes per side, then on indirect heat covered for 4 to 10 minutes for medium rare. For 1 inch hamburgers on direct heat 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium doneness. For tenderloin steaks, cook on direct heat turning occasionally 6 to 8 minutes. Then cook on indirect heat, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes. All internal beef temperatures should average about 145F to 160F on a food thermometer. PORK For 3/4 to 1 inch pork chops, cook on direct heat 4 to 6 minutes per side. For baby back ribs, cook on direct heat, covered, 4 to 5 minutes per side.Then cook covered on indirect heat for 15 to 20 minutes. All internal pork temepratures should average 160F on a food thermometer. LAMB For 1/2 inch to 1.5 inch thick chops, cook on direct heat from 3 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. For bonless leg of lamb, cook on direct heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side, then cook covered on indirect heat for 15 to 20 minutes formedium rare. All internal lamb temepratures should average 145F on a food thermometer. SEAFOOD For 3/4 to 1 inch thick pieces of fish fillets or steaks cook on direct heat 3 to 5 minutes per side. For shrimp and scallops, cook on direct heat 1 to 2 minutes per side. VEGGIES Cook just about all veggies 4 to 6 minutes per side on direct heat.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 1:49 PM
To Grill With Marinades combine all ingredients in a large 1 gallon resealable plastic bag, shallow bowl or baking dish. Never marinate in reactive metals like aluminum or cast iron. Add up to 2 pounds of chicken, meat or seafood or veggies and refrigerate covered from 20 minutes to overnight. The longer time the better. For seafood and veggies, marinate for no longer than 15 minutes or the seafood or veggies may become mushy. Turn the food occassionally so all surfaces are exposed to the marinade. Before cooking, remove food from the container and shake off excess liquid. Cook on a lightly oilled grill to the desired doneness. Then toss the marinade when you're done with it since it may contain bacteria. Lemon Rosemary Marinade 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 lemon sliced thin, 6 sprigs rosemary, 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Ginger Sesame Marinade 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 scallions thinly sliced, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. South West Marinade 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 jalapeno halved and sliced, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. RUBS To grill with rubs, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Coat 2 pounds of chicken, meat or seafood with the rub by presssing gently to help it to stick to the food. Cook on a lightly oiled grill to the desired doneness. For best results, apply the rub several hours before cooking. Then refrigerate the food covered until you're ready to cook. Since rubs are easy to keep, you can make double or tripple batches to have them handy when you need them. Just keep then stored in a tightly sealed container in a cool dry place and they will remain fresh for a month. Mediterranean Rub 2 tablespoons dried basil, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 1 taespoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt,1/2 teaspoon pepper. Use it on bonless chicken and turkey breasts, skirt staek, lamb chops, shrimp and striped bass. Barbecue Rub 3 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon dried oregano,1 tablespoon ground coffee, 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. This rub is best with strip steak, bone-in chicken, and babyback ribs. Cajun Rub 1 tablespoon mustard powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons celery seeds, 1.5 teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. This rub gos best with chicken wings, london broil, pork tenderloin, pork chops, shrimp, and salmon. Parsley & Pine Nut Salsa 1/2 cup extra virgin oilive oil, 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 1 chopped scallion, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mustard Herb Sauce 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs like dill, thyme or parsley. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Sweet Relish 1 medium red onion cut in half and thinly sliced, 3 tablespoons fersh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons honey, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Relishes, sauces and salsas go with any type of chicken , meat or seafood. For best results, they work best after the ingredients have a few hours to meld. But they should be discarded after 2 days.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 12:50 PM
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
REDS: 2006 Valentin Bianchi Elsa Malbec $9,
2006 George Duboeuf Beaujolais $12, Begeda Septima 2005 Argentina $12, Pascul Toso 2005 Argentina $12 , Montes Classic Series 2006 Chile $12 , Trivento Select 2005 Argentina $12.
WHITES:2006 McManis Family Vineyards Viognier $11. PINO GRIGIO: 2007 Yellow Tail Australia $8, 2006 Talus Collection California.ROSE: 2007 Yellow Tail Australia $8, 2006 Big House Pink $10.
2006 George Duboeuf Beaujolais $12, Begeda Septima 2005 Argentina $12, Pascul Toso 2005 Argentina $12 , Montes Classic Series 2006 Chile $12 , Trivento Select 2005 Argentina $12.
WHITES:2006 McManis Family Vineyards Viognier $11. PINO GRIGIO: 2007 Yellow Tail Australia $8, 2006 Talus Collection California.ROSE: 2007 Yellow Tail Australia $8, 2006 Big House Pink $10.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 5:39 PM
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Gin & Tonic: First, use ONLY Plymouth brand gin. Second, use ice cubes made ONLY from Schweppes tonic water. And last, top off the drinks ONLY with fresh Schweppes. Margarita Ingredients: 4 tsp grated lime zest, 1/2 cup lime juice from 2 or 3 medium limes, 4 tsp grated lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice from 2 or 3 medium lemons, 1/4 cup super fine sugar, pinch table salt, 1 cup 100% reposado agave tequila, and i cup of Tripple Sec. Combine lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, sugar and salt in a large liquid measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate from 4 to 24 hours. Then divide 1 cup of crushed ice between 4 to 6 Margarita or Old Fashioned glasses. Strain juice mixture into 1 quart pitcher or cocktail shaker. Add tequila, Triple Sec and remaining crushed ice. Then stir or shake until completely combined or chilled for 20 to 60 seconds. Strain into ice-filled glasses and serve immediately.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 10:53 AM
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
In this age of corporate greed and profits, consumers can no longer depend on the historic performance of a particular brand. Before making a major purchase, you check all the following websites for consumer ratings: www.Buzzillions.com , www.ConsumerAffairs.com , www.ConsumerReports.Com , www.ConsumerSearch.com, www.Epinions.com, www.Inods.com , www.MyProductAdvisor.com, www.Ratings.net , www.HowStuffWorks.com, www.Wize.com, www.Cnet.com, and www.Viewpoints.com .
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 8:36 AM
Sunday, May 18, 2008
If you're one of the 50 million Americans that don't have health insurance for one reason or another, then perhaps there is a free clinical trial available to treat your condition. Visit all of the following websites for more information: www.EmergingMed.com,www.ClinicalTrials.gov , www.CenterWatch.com , www.SearchClinicalTrials.org , & www.Cancer.org
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 11:04 AM
Sunday, May 11, 2008
1.Liqun Roast Duck , 11 Beixangfeng Alley,Zhengyl Rd, Chongwen district. Phone (86-10)6705-5578. Reservations a must. All major credit cards.Whole duck about $20. 2.Guo Yao Xiao Ju, 58 Jiaodaokou Bei Santiao,Dongcheng district, (86-10)6403-1940,major credit cards, about $15 a person.3.Jun Qin Hua,88 Meishuguan Houjle, Dongcheng district, (86-10)6404-7600. Cash only. About $7 a person. 4. Xian Lao Man ,(dumplings are a specialty) 252 An Nei Da Jie,Dongcheng district, (86-10) 6404-6944. Cash only. About $4 a person. 5. Jade Garden,(seafood specialties) 6 Jiqingli Chao Wal Ave, Chaoyang district,(86-10)6552-8688,major credit cards, $25-$40 a person. 6. Hong Zhuang Yuan ,has 24 branches around Beijing open 24/7, Panjia Yuan Rd,(near Panjia Yuan antique district)Chaoyang district,(86-10)8771-8029,cash only,about $7 a person. 7. Hua Jia Yuan ,(menu in English),235 Dongzhimen,Dongcheng district,(86-10) 6405-1908,major credit cards, about $20 a person.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 9:32 AM
Monday, April 14, 2008
1. No-Knead Bread This recipe takes about 1 1/2 hours and any where from 14 to 20 hours rising time. Ingredients: 3 cups all purpose or King Arthur brand bread flour, 1/5/8 cups of water, 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some cornmeal or wheat bran. In a large bowl, mix, flour, yeats and salt. Add in 1 5/8 cups of water and stir until blended. Dough should be shaggy andf sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest from 12 to 18 hours at room temperature or about 70 degrees. The dough will be ready when it is dotted with bubbles. Now lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little morer flour and fold the dough over on itself once or twice. Then cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes. Using just enough flour from sticking to the work surface or your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Then gently coat a cotton towel,( never terry cloth) with flour, cornmeal or wheat bran. Then put the dough seam side down on the towel. Dust the dough with either more flour, cornmeal or wheat bran, Then cover with another cotton towel and lt it rise for about 2 hours. When its ready, the dough will be about double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with your finger. A half hour beforedough is ready, pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6 to 8 quart heavy covered pot like cast iron, pyrex or ceramic in the oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Then slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot seam side up. Shake the pot once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed. Don't worry since it will even out as it bakes. Cover the pot with a lid, bake 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes until the loaf is golden brown. The cool off the bread on a rack. This recipe will yield about a 1.5 pound loaf. 2. Simple Crusty Bread This recipe takes about 45 minutes and about 3 hours of rising time.It calls for 6.5 cups of unbleached all purpose flour, 4 cups of water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of yeast, 1 1/2 table spoons of kosher salt, and some cornmeal. In a large bowl, mix the yeast and salt into 3 cups of lukewarm water about 100 degrees. Stir in flour, and mix it until there are no dry patches. The dough will then by quite loose. Cover the dough but don't make your cover airtight. Let the dough rise at room temperature at least 2 to 5 hours. Then bake it or keep it refrigerated for as long as two weeks. When you're ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on the dough. Cut off a grapefruit size ppiece with a serrated knife. Turn the dough in your hands to lightly stretch its surface. This will create a rounded top and lumpy bottom. Now put the dowh on a pizza peel or other work surface and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Then let it rest 40 minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining portion of dough and refrigerate it. Now place a broiler pan on the bottom of the oven. Then place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and put the oven on 450 degrees. Let the baking stone heat up at 450 for 20 minutes. Dust the dough with flour and slash the top with a serrated knife 3 times. Slide the dough onto the baking stone. The pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler pan and shut the oven quickly to trap the steam. Bake about 30 minutes or until it is well browned. Then let the loaf cool completely. This recipe will yield about 4 loaves of crusty bread.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 5:10 PM
Thursday, March 6, 2008
If you've got old gold jewelry you'd like to sell, then forget about going to local jewelers or coin shops to get the best price. Most likely, you'll only get 50% of what it's really worth. If you deal directly with a gold broker or refiner, you can expect to get 90% of your gold's value. For starters, gold prices are quoted based on pure gold which is 24 karats. Most jewelry is 14 karat, and is valued at about 59% of the 24 karat price. Also, gold is measured in penny weights and 20 penny weights equals an ounce. To get 90% of your gold's value, you should deal with a reputable gold broker like www.USGoldBuyers.Com To deal with them , you don't have to visit them in person. Just call 877-977-GOLD and they'll arrange to have your jewelry picked up by FedEx and insured for $5,000. If you need more insurance, let them know. Once they receive your gold jewelry, you can can have them call you with a quote or have them send you an immediate check. If you don't like the price offered to you, they will ship your gold back to you at their expense. If you wish to visit them in person, US Gold Buyers is located at 62 W. 47th St, Suite 610, NY NY 10036. The local phone number is 212-764-7586.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 8:04 AM
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Mark "First Fridays" on your calendar and head over to the Asia Society & Museum,, 725 Park Ave, 212-288-6400. Cocktails are served FREE from 6 pm to 9pm at the Leo Bar. For more info see: www.AsiaSociety.Org Then go to the Whitney Museum Of American Art, 945 Madison Ave,800-944-8639. Pay whatever you wish from 6pm to 9pm and enjoy FREE live music and cocktails. For more info see: www.Whitney.Org But the most popular first Friday party with New Yorkers is the Guggenheim Museum, 1017 Fifth Ave, 212-423-3500For $25 you can enjoy FREE beer and wine and a prominent DJ from 9pm to 1am. Since its the most crowed venue, get there by 8:30 pm. For more info see: www.Guggenheim.Org If you're outside of Manhattan, check out the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, 718-638-5000, www.BrooklynMuseum.Org The party starts on "First saturdays" 5pm to 11pm,FREE. Or try the Bronx Museum Of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, 718-618-6000. Also on "First Fridays",from opeing time until 8pm. See: www.BronxMuseum.Org
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 2:51 PM
Very few people know that the same BA degree offered by Harvard to day students can be had at the Harvard night extension university for about 10% of the regular tuition. For instance, for day time classes, Harvard charges $4,000 per course. At the night extension university, the cost is just $550 per course! And compared to the tough entrance requirements of the day school, there are no requirements to get into the night school. One just has to have a high school diploma, be 17 years of age, and one must get a B- in three courses before one can enroll in the bachelor's program. Then a student must maintain a C average to stay in the program. Plus all night student graduates are eligible to apply to all Harvard graduate schools. In addition, 52 out of the 128 credits required for a BA degree must be taught by top notch Harvard professors. And the only difference between the day school diploma and the night school diploma is that one reads "Harvard College" and the extension school diploma reads "Harvard University". The downside of going to night school is that a student will not have the social interaction of the day school. However, a young student can network and make job connections with people already in corporate life and with diverse people from all backgrounds ranging from their late teens to 35 years of age or more. One way parents can get around the high cost of room and board in Cambridge, Mass is to buy a 2 family income property 20 or 30 minutes outside of Cambridge. One apartment can be rented to an outside tennant and one can be for your offspring. The outside tennant may pay all or part of the mortgage and property expenses. When your child is finished getting his or her degree, the property can possibly be sold at a profit or it can be turned into an income rental duplex that can be managed by a property management company. Sending your kid to Harvard night school has three more benefits. One third of the courses may be taken online which would cut down on travel expenses to and from the campus. Plus night courses are sometimes less demanding than courses taught during the day. That's because instructors realize that night students have pressing job and family obligations and hectic schedules that must be met. And depending how well your child does in school, he or she could work full or part-time during the day to help defray tution and living expenses. Besides Harvard, other "ivy league" schools like Columbia, Brown University and the University Of Pennsylvania offer similar opportunities. As you can see, it's a "win-win" situation for the student and the parents.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 2:12 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
AZ-Phoenix Cheese N Stuff, 5042 N. Central Ave, 602-266-3636 CA-Los Angeles Canter's DEli, 419 N. Fairfax 323-651-2030, LAs Nuevas, 3701 E. First 323-264-0678, CA-San Francisco Saigon, 560 Larkin St, 415-474-5698, CO-Boulder Jimmy & Drew's 2855 Twenty Eighth St, 303-447-3354, CT - Noank Abbott's, 117 Pearl St, 860-536-7719, CT -Stonington Cove Fish Market, 20 Old Stonongton Rd, 860-536-0061, CT - W. Hartford Restaurant Bricco, 78 La Sallle Rd, 860-233-0220, FL - Miami Latin America Cafeteria, 9796 Coral Way, 305-663-2600, La Sandwicherie, 229 Fourteenth St, 305-532-8934, IL- Chicago Al's, 1079 W. Taylor Ave, 312-226-4017, Borinquen, 1720 California Ave, 773-227-6038, OH -Cleveland Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Rd, 216-383-1124, Slyman's 3106 St. Clair Ave, 216-621-3760, Freddie's 1431 St. Clair Ave,216-575-1750, MA- Brookline Matt Murphy's, 14 Harvard St, 617-232-0188, OR - Portland Pine State Biscuits, Cor of SW Harriosn & Montgomery, Sat Only, No Phone ME- Southwest Harbor Little Notch Cafe, 340 MAin St, 207-244-3357, MI- Royal Oak Cafe Muse, 317 S. Washington AVe, 248-544-4749, MI- Ann Arbor Zingerman's , 422 Detroit St, 734-663-3354, NV - Las Vegas Restauarnt Guy Savoy, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd, 702-731-7731, NY - NYC Ino, 21 Bedford St, 212-989-5769, Katz's Deli, 205 E. Houston St, 212-254-2246, Manganero's 488 Ninth Ave, 212-563-5331, Manganaro's Hero Boy, 494 Ninth Ave, 212-947-7352, NC-Chapel Hill Allen & Sons BBQ 6203 Millhouse Rd, 919-942-7576, PA - Philadelphia John's Roast Pork, 14 E. Snyder Ave, 215-463-1951, PA-Pittsburgh Primanti Brothers, 46 Eighteenth St, 412-263-2142, RI -Providence East Side Pocket, 278Thayer St 401-453-1100, WA - Seattle Salumi, 309 Third Ave, 206-621-8772, Paseo, 4225 Freemont Ave North, 206-545-7446, VT - Brattleboro Vermont County DEli, 436 Western Ave, 802-257-9254, VT - Middlebury Noonie's Deli, 137 Maple St, 802-388-0014
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 4:28 PM
Friday, February 1, 2008
1. Venue The 3 main choices for a wedding venue are a hotel, banquet hall or outdoors. Outdoor weddings are the most costly. So consider using a banquet hall or a hotel. You can shave 20 to 25%off your bill if you have your wedding between November and April. Plus you'll save even more if you do it in January or February. To save even more money, have the wedding bewteen Monday and Thursday and you'll pay around $1,000 for a hall. 2.Flowers Most guests won't even remember your flowers so consider using candles or fruit arrangements instead of floral centerpieces. For bouquets,consider using roses. They grow everywhere, they keep their freshness and come in a variety of colors. You can use 5 roses for each bridesmaid and 12 for a bridal boquet. That should cut your floral budget down to $1.000 or less. 3.Catering A buffet dinner is less costly than a sit down dinner since wait staff adds 100 to $150 per person to the bill. Use the wedding cake as a dessert and you'll cut another 4 to $5 per guest off the bill. To save even more money, order a small decorative wedding cake for the cerimonial cutting and photo opts, and then serve the rest of the guests from sheet cakes in the kitchen. To avoid a big bar bill, offer beer, wine, champagne and/or a signature cocktail as an alternative. This could cut your booze bill from $10,000 to $3,000. 4. Dresses The wedding party's clothing can be 10% of your budget. To cut costs, choose synthetic fabrics instead of naturals since no one will be able to tell. Also, shop sample sales and don't be afraid to shop online. If you want a designer gown, rent it for $300 or less. These tips should cut your budget from $2,000 down to $500. 4. Music A live band can run $5,000 or more so opt for a dee-jay at around $1,000. As a plus, you'll have a pro who knows how to "work" a crowd and keep the party going.A lot of DJ's, bands and photographers work can be sampled at , and Today, an average wedding costs about $30,000. But with these tips, you can get by on $10,000.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 3:05 PM
1. Your elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to an intruder, use it! 2. If a robber asks for your wallet or handbag, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM ! TOSS IT AWAY FROM HIM! Chances are he is more interested in your wallet or purse than you are, and he will go for the wallet or purse. THEN RUN LIKE HELL IN THE OTHER DIRECTION! 3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out of the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives! 4. If you're a woman, and you just got into your car after shopping, eating or working, STOP CHECKING YOUR MAKE UP, DOING YOUR CHECK BOOK, FIXING YOUR HAIR, OR ANYTHING ELSE! A predator may be waiting you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side of your car, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET IN YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE! 5. If someone is in your car and puts a gun to your head, DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead, GUN THE ENGINE AND CRASH INTO A THE NEAREST STATIONARY OBJECT ( a tree, a telephone pole, another parked vehicle) AND WRECK THE CAR! If the gunman is in the back seat, he will get the worst of it and your airbag will help you avoid injuries. AS SOON AS THE CAR CRASHES, BAIL OUT AND RUN! Its a lot better than having the police finding your body in a remote location. 6. When getting into your car in a parking lot or a parking garage, BE AWARE,LOOK AROUND YOU, LOOK INTO YOUR CAR AT THE PASSENGER SIDE FLOOR, AND IN THE BACK SEAT! If you're parked next to a big van, ENTER YOUR CAR FROM THE PASSENGER DOOR! Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars. Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle. If a man is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, walk back into the mall or work and get a security guard or a policeman to walk you back out. IT'S ALWAYS BETTER THAN TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY OR PARANOID THAN DEAD. 7. If a predator has a gun, and you are not under his control, RUN IN A ZIG-ZAG PATTERN! The predator will only hit you ( a moving target ) 4 in 100 times! And even then, it most likely will not be a vital organ. 8. If you're a woman, STOP BEING SYMPATHETIC! If may get you raped or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man who always played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked women "for help" getting into or going to his vehicle. That's when he abducted his next victim. 9. ALWAYS TAKE THE ELEVATOR! Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and are the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at night! 10. Watch out for the crying baby scam! A woman called police and said she heard a "crying baby" out on her porch at night. The police told her whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR! The police told her that there was a serial killer going around using the recording of a crying baby to lure women outside their houses! So don't open the door, unless you absolutely, positively know who is on the other side of the door!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
1.Allow Yourself More Time If you have to choose a connecting flight, choose a flight with at least a two hour layover. Any less time is cutting it too close. 2. Avoid Major Airports Use secondary airports like NY'S Long Island McArthur instead of Kennedy. Instead of San Francisco try Oakland or San Jose.Substitute Hobby for Bush International,and Dallas Love Field for Dallas/Ft. Worth. 3.Schedule Early In The Month Try to book your flights in the first 20 days of the month 4. Fly Only Non-Stop 5. Fly Out At Dawn Or The First Morning Flight 6. Get Sick If you're stuck on a plane for more than several hours, claim to be sick. Passengers who claim to be sick have to be let off the plane. 7. Carry A Video Camera Then interview the pilot as to the reason for the delay. Then threaten to post the video on YouTube. If the the airline calls the police, let them. It's not illegal to carry and use a video camera on a plane and the police might get you off a plane stuck at an airport. 8. Sue The Airline In 1999 passengers sued Northwest for false imprisionment and settled for 7 million. So claim false imprisionment and get results. 9. Take The Airline To Your Local Small Claims Court If an airline abruptly cancels your flight and leaves you stranded, sue em' for lodging, food and for tickets you have to purchase to get where your going. Chances are, they won't even show up in court and you'll win by default. 10. Ship You Bags Ahead Waiting for bags is a big time waster. So ship em' ahead via DHL, UPS or FedEx and get where your going fast. 11. Take The Train Whenever its practable, take Amtrak for short jaunts like Boston to NYC. In most cases, it's just as fast, more relaxing and cost about the same as a plane.
Posted by Rodney & Michele at 11:23 PM