October 23, 2010

Lemon Meringue Pie

I've baked this pie at least a half dozen times. Fresh. Delicious. I share my easy-to-make pie crust below. Pie crust isn't that hard to make. It's so easy and such better tasting than store bought.

Two suggestions for this recipe. You don't necessarily need the food coloring. And, you can cut the sugar back to 1 cup. It calls for 1 1/2 cups. Unless you like it really sweet, cut it back to 1 cup, even a little less than a cup if you like a more tart lemon pie.

Click image to enlarge.
             

Prep: 30 mins.
Cook: 10 mins.
Bake: 15 - 20 mins.
Serves: 8 - 10

Carefully measure the water and the lemon juice in the filling to hold a consistency when cutting.

Baked Pie Crust (see recipe at the bottom)
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup plus one tablespoon of cornstarch
1 1/2 cups of water
3 tablespoons of a stick of margarine or butter (spreads with at least 65% vegetable oil can be substituted)
2 teaspoons of grated lemon peel (This is optional. I don't add it to mine)
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice (from real lemons ~ suggested)
2 drops of yellow food coloring, optional
Meringue (see below)

1. Prepare baked pie crust.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
3. Beat egg-yolks with a fork in small bowl. Mix sugar & cornstarch in 2 qt. saucepan. Gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Stir and boil for an additional minute.
4. Immediately stir at least half the hot mixture into egg-yolks, then stir back into (egg-yolks mixture) hot mixture in saucepan. Boil & stir for 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in margarine, lemon-peel, lemon juice and food color. Pour into pie crust.
5. Prepare meringue for 9-inch pie. Spoon onto hot pie-filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge to prevent shrinking or weeping (no matter what I do, the pie always weeps, ha ha). Form peaks with meringue.
6. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from draft - and refrigerate.

1 serving: Calories 425 (calories from fat, 145); Fat, 16g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 80mg; Sodium 210g; Carbohydrate 66g (dietary fiber 0g); Protein 4g.

So good, yet sooo bad!

Meringue
Making meringue is so easy - with just sugar and egg whites. Take the 3 egg whites from the yolks above. I sometimes add an extra egg white or two to give me more to work with. Add 1/4 cup of sugar or a little more to give it a more sweet edge. It's good to have a sweeter meringue if you have a more tart lemon filling. Beat on high until peaks form and whites are thick and fluffy.

Pie Crust
I've baked with shortening and oils since I was young. I find the crusts with shortening are the best. Feel free to use any pie crust recipe - but this one is quick and easy and beats any store-bought.

Rolling pin & wax paper will be needed.
Preheat oven to 350°
1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of cold milk

See images below.

In mixing bowl add flour and salt - mix in the salt. In the 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, drop the 3 tablespoons of cold milk. Quickly mix oil/milk into the dry ingredients, flour and salt and quickly stir with a fork until wet mixture is absorbed by four and salt. Pick up and mix with hands for a minute and form a ball of dough.

Place dough between two pieces of wax paper on counter-top. You may want to lightly moisten the counter-top with a damp sponge so the wax paper won't move. Press the dough between the wax paper and roll out dough flipping the wax paper from one side to the other. As it's just about done, lift the wax paper from one side and then lightly place back on the dough, flip and lightly pat the other side lifting the other side of the wax paper. Peel off the wax paper and flip into your pie plate; press down into the pie plate and peel off the dough at one edge from the wax paper. This should allow you to peel off the wax paper and form your edges to your crust.

Prick the crust with a fork and place in pre-heated oven to bake, approximately 10 - 15 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. When baking an apple pie, you will want to double the pie-crust recipe - using uncooked dough of course when placing your apple mixture into the crust and covering it.

 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge.

This pie crust may take some practice, but it's so worth it and delicious. You will master it in no time ~ Enjoy!


October 20, 2010

Spirit Day is October 20, 2010

Why am I wearing purple today? Why is my Twitter avatar purple?
Today marks a day where many of us have joined together showing support of the teenagers who recently took their lives due to the peer pressures of bullying. Learn more about how you can get involved through Twitter & Facebook.

One color. . . A simple way. . .Stand up to hate and end bullying.

September 17, 2010

Off 5th Big Sale ~ Now Thru September 21

If you have an Off 5th Outlet store near you, run, don't walk to their Big Sale. This is one of my favorite outlet stores for the best offerings in designer labels. Right now through September 21, Off 5th is holding The Big Sale. You can find out more on their web site. The entire store is on sale! Who could pass that up?

Also offered are designer sunglasses for $99 and under. My recent purchase there included Hugo Boss sunglasses for less than $75. If you're a More! Cardmember, you get even deeper discounts. This is one outlet store that you can really rack up the savings.

Off 5th is a must-stop on your way to shop!



 

August 6, 2010

Shop on!

Indulge in online shopping. Two of my favorite web sites Gilt Groupe & Rue la la. I've had more experience with Rue la la - but Gilt Groupe is my latest guilty pleasure and could easily catch up! They're part of Jetsetter - travel the world.

Designer labels? Exclusive sales? These web sites host a variety of private designer boutique sales at a fraction of the cost. Gilt includes Jetsetter, great offers on domestic & International hotels. If you're not members of either and love to shop and save money - sign up! Just click on the images below to get started. Happy shopping & enjoy!


  
 




July 13, 2010

Yodle Plans to Hire 80 in Boston

New York-based Yodle plans to expand their Boston office by 80 people. Yodle focuses on affordable online advertising helping to promote local businesses.

Higher demand for search-engine optimization (SEO) and search-engine marketing (SEM) prompted the company to expand. It's part of a national growth effort by the company. The company currently employs 350 people and is looking to expand to 500.

Yodle is currently looking for interactive marketing specialists, interactive marketing assistants, account representatives and client services managers. The company is planning an open house July 22 at their downtown Boston location, 179 Lincoln St. You can find out more about Yodle on their website or check them out on Twitter @Yodle.

Cavaliers Owner Puts James On Sale

Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert lowered the price of the Lebron James Fathead sticker to $17.41. Why $17.41? It was the year Benedict Arnold was born.

Mr. Gilbert, still angry over the fact that James left Cleveland, reduced the $99 Fathead Lebron wall stickers to $17.41.

Today Gilbert is still seeing red in the form of green. Mr. Gilbert was fined $100,000 by NBA Commissioner, David Stern. The commissioner said Gilbert's statements were "a little bit extreme." Hence, the call for the fine.

Although Stern congratulated James on his decision, he just wished it hadn't come in the form of "The Decision" (seen on ESPN). Stern also would have liked if James had made his decision earlier and hoped he would have had a conversation with the Cavaliers prior to the announcement, calling the advice he had received on the matter as being, poor - and that the "decision, was ill-conceived."

Lebron, let's stop turning professional sports into a circus. That's just what you and ESPN did. Shame on you and them for supporting such a ridiculous idea. You showed no self-respect, nor any respect to the fans or the NBA.

July 1, 2010

Starbucks Powers Up the Java With Free WiFi

Today Starbucks launched its much lauded unlimited free WiFi throughout their company-owned US & Canada locations. This opens up hundreds of locations where visitors to Starbucks can fire up their laptops and mobile devices via one-click, without limitations.

It also makes Starbucks a more attractive destination for meeting friends and colleagues, which gives them a leg up on some of their coffee competitors. The move may also take WiFi business away from some hotels which currently charge a premium for internet access.

Starbucks has enhanced their My Starbucks Rewards program, too. That's all you have to do is register a gift card and you immediately open the door to free beverage customization, free refills on coffee and tea as well as receiving offers/trials on new products Starbucks is rolling out. The program allows participants to earn stars toward other goodies, as long as you're using your card during your visit. Eventually you will reach Gold Level and start earning free coffees and personalized offers and coupons.

You're making the trip for your latte. Why not join the program, surf your mobile device and enjoy free coffee refills? They certainly captured my attention.

June 28, 2010

Car Buying? New/Used, Don't Go it Alone

Buying a new or used car can be stressful enough just trying to find the car you're looking for, whether it be new or used. Buyers don't need the added stress of haggling with a dealer, so why not help ease some of the stress?

How can you do that? The power of knowledge. Do your homework before heading into a dealership. Have a general understanding of what you're looking for in a the make and model you're looking for. Read up on the vehicle(s) that best interest you. Get to know the car before you enter a dealership for that test drive.

There are many web sites out there that you can find where you can read about a car's values, safety ratings, consumer ratings like Car and Driver and Consumer Reports. Some of these web sites may require a subscription. Not only will this research give you a better understanding of what to expect during your car search, it may even open your eyes as to whether the make and model you selected is the right car for you.

You may want to put together fact sheets on your findings, keep notes and arm yourself with information that a dealer may try to overcome. Again, having this knowledge gives you the power to be and stay in control. There is a lot of information out there and there are many dos and don'ts. Don't fall into any traps. Here is a good article from Edmonds.com on Dealership Don'ts, great information we can all use.

Web sites like Edmonds.com are your friend. Here are the top 3 that will give you the most information for what you will need when buying a car. The most important is the cost/pricing you should expect when making an offer. Use these web sites to your advantage:


It will help to print out the pricing of a vehicle's new or used invoice cost/pricing or trade-in information from these web sites. Stick by your research. Don't let a salesman talk around the facts you uncovered. You will have it in writing with you and it doesn't hurt to show the dealer the information you have. You may also want to talk to more than one dealership for the same make/model. Many times a dealership will add some extras and even beat the price you received at another dealership. You will see it works in your favor.

The dealership wants your business, you don't necessarily need theirs. When working with a dealership, don't forget to ask them for your free CARFAX. Most, if not all dealers, should offer you the CARFAX, which is the vehicle history report of the vehicle you're interested in.

The same holds true for vehicle financing. Do your homework. You do not have to use a dealerships financing department to buy your vehicle, unless the manufacturer is offering a lower promotional rate than you can get at your bank or AAA. AAA is a great resource to do your financing research. Also, it's been known that credit unions offer lower interest rates than traditional banks.

It's your money. Don't let the pressure of a dealer push you to make a decision you're not ready to make.

Have fun and enjoy your car shopping!


June 16, 2010

FREE Phones With Family Plan Offer From T-Mobile

This Saturday, June 19, T-Mobile is planning a one-of-a kind offer that will be hard to pass up. For one-day-only, EVERY phone in T-Mobile stores across the country will be free. Yes, you read that right, FREE. Just in time for Father's Day.


Of course there is a catch. To participate in this offer a family plan is required. Or, you may add a line to an existing family plan. This offer does not apply to individual plan subscribers. You can add up to five lines per plan. T-Mobile has some of the most coveted phones as of late. The likes of myTouch 3G Slide, HTC HD2, the Garminfone-Android and the 3G Blackberry Bold 9700. There is more information on T-Mobile's web site.


Plan your voyage to T-Mobile early! Doors open at 8 A.M. If you're unsure of their family plans, don't fret. Do your homework and you will see that you really do "get more" with T-Mobile. If you comparison shop before you venture out, you will find you will be saving over other carriers, will get more minutes and the savings add up each month compared to other plans out there. Adding a line to an existing plan is a low, $5.

Earlier this spring, J.D.Power and Associates ranked T-Mobile highest in customer satisfaction with the wireless retail sales experience.

June 6, 2010

Boston Pride Week 2010

Boston Pride, New England's largest gay pride, kicked off its 40th year with a flag raising at Boston's City Hall on Friday, June 4. The theme of Boston Pride 2010 is, "Riots to Rights - Celebrating 40 Years of Progress."

Pride in Boston 2010 is a 10-day span of events celebrating human rights/equality, with the culmination of events on Saturday & Sunday, June 12 & 13.



Here are some quick links to help navigate your way to fun. I've called out some events going on during the week:


Here are other links you will find useful:

Have fun and Enjoy - Happy Pride, Boston!

Rajon Rondo Joins Twitter

It's true, Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is now on Twitter. He joins the ranks of Paul Pierce, Nate Robinson and Ray Allen to name a few. I understand it's part of an effort to give back to the fans via prize giveaways.

Rondo has teamed up with Red Bull for The Finals Giveaway that will send Celtics fans on a wild goose chase that will reward them with autographed basketballs, t-shirts and Red Bull products. The madness begins on Monday, June 7, 2010 when the Celtics return to Boston.

All you have to do to get involved is follow @RajonRondo on Twitter and watch for #LooseBall alerts. You can share with your friends on Twitter, tag your tweets with hash-tag #LooseBall. The overall winner of the basketball is the first person to the drop-point. If you're not the first person, you still have the chance at a free t-shirt or Red Bull products.

You can also keep up with Rondo on Facebook where he's posting about giving away tickets to future games of the NBA Finals in Boston. Rondo also is also linked on Four Square. Don't forget to pick up your Four Square Celtics badge by posting a shout out: "Go Celtics!" Viola, you'll be a hip NBA follower with the Four Square Badge to prove it!

Let me know if you partake in this madness. Go Celtics!

WELCOME

Hello and welcome to my personal blog. Here I will talk about everything and anything. I was originally going to have a fashion blog but why not combine both? The fashion blog was going to set out and talk about fashion and the savings tips to get today's fashions at discounted prices.

So watch out for when I am on my fashion kicks from anything of just talking about fashion to saving money, shopping (which is big with me, until my money runs out) also the gamut; from work, family, the internet, pop-culture and what is going on with the world. Things that I want to have a voice about, I will most-likely blog. If I'm chatty it will be longer, if it's just a quick snippet to share links, pictures, a sale, so be it.

A little bit about me, I am second generation American as I grew up in a big Italian family in the Boston area. I've worked in many sectors from the govnerment/IRS, to a world renowned consumer packaged goods company, to high-tech and right now I work for a Fortune 500 US Retailer that has over $10B in annual sales.

Please stick with me and join me on life's journey. Oh! And feel free to follow me on Twitter, re-Tweet my blogs and leave comments. Thanks for visiting!