6/24/17

Blood Orange Marinade Recipe

I couldn't pass up a $1.49 asparagus bunch and 4/$1.00 blood oranges at the farmer's market on my way to a cookout. My friend who was hosting had never tried asparagus, now she loves it. I concocted this marinade for the veggie at the last minute. I plan on making it again to pair with grilled shrimp.

Blood Orange

You'll need:
  • juice of 1 small blood orange
  • 1.5 tbsp organic white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 4.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of lemon sea salt

Place juice in a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar and oil. Add sugar, salts and pepper. Whisk until marinade ingredients appear blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Whisk before serving if needed.

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4/26/17

Sigmund's Pretzels, NYC

Pretzel perfection! How else can I describe the mesmerizing morsels that danced about my mouth? I stumbled upon this wonderland while browsing booths at the Union Square Holiday Market. Luckily, you can indulge in Sigmund's Truffle Cheddar and other varieties all year long at various NYC markets, including Urbanspace Vanderbilt near Grand Central.

Pretzels

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3/20/17

Credit Report Spring Cleaning


credit report

When did you last think about credit? Does the possibility of a dreadfully low score haunt you? Planning to finance an expensive project soon?

Even the richest among us need to access credit periodically. Spring is the perfect season to take action.

Step 1:

Request a free copy of your credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com. This government sponsored service offers one report from each major bureau. Do not let onscreen offers for credit scores lure you! Those aren't free. And, instead of selecting all three reports I suggest rotating between Equifax, Experian and TransUnion once every four months. This hack lets you monitor changes throughout the year without spending a dime.

Step 2:

Request a credit score from www.CreditKarma.com. This site gives a great estimate on your score. Remember, each bureau publishes its own version at a cost. Plus, retailers select if they want to use one, several or an average. Rankings range from 100 - 990. Your goal is to gauge where your score falls.

Step 3:

Scour the report, searching for inconsistencies and truths. Did you open every account listed? Is a bill you paid still showing a balance? Is a debt that passed the statute of limitations listed? Do not promise to pay debts you even suspect are erroneous.

Step 4:

Pay or protest. Make arrangements to clear genuine outstanding balances. Demand that lenders solidify in writing repayment agreements, interest rate deductions or any sort of deal. Dispute questionable lines of credit by following the bureau's procedures. It will research the inquiry and update it after deeming a debt erroneous. Then, it will share its findings with its competitors.

Following these easy steps, every season, will put you on a path to controlling your credit score and its impact on your financial future.

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2/24/17

Eventbrite

Eventbrite

Eventbrite allows users to find mostly free events. Organizers can sell tickets or simply use the service to reserve seating and track attendees. I found the site when a favorite restaurant used it to give away free meals during a reopening.

I also happened upon a cool contemporary opera concert and numerous industry expos. Explore Eventbrite to find low or no cost events in your area.

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1/25/17

Sweet Corner Bakeshop, NYC

When a European tourist on his honeymoon is desperately trying to arrange a way to send cakes back home, you know they're good! Sweet Corner Bakeshop is the perfect anti-Starbucks.

Watch bakers prepare sweet delights that showcase skill and imagination. The staff is just as sweet and attentive, a rarity these days! Even though I don't visit as often as I'd like, the fact that my barista remembered my first order the second time I stopped by left a lasting impression.

http://sweetcorner.com/



Coconut Dulce de leche Pound Cake

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How to Buy Cheap Broadway Tickets!

Before attending my first Broadway play, I believed affordable tickets meant sitting miles away from the action. Follow these tips to see spectacular shows without spending a fortune.

Wicked, Rear Orchestra
1. Enter lotteries. Most shows offer these daily and place winners in awesome seats. I'm talking close enough to spy on the conductor! Tickets average around $35 with a maximum of two entries per show. Get $10 off your first show on TodayTix when you enter my code DLZUK at checkout. http://todaytix.com/refer/DLZUK

Book of Mormon, Front Row Center
2. Buy rush tickets. These go on sale when the box office opens. Some theaters cater strictly to students or young adults while others offer general admission. Like lottery holders, rush buyers often score orchestra or front mezzanine seats.
Fun Home, Stage Side
3. Check out seating charts. All venues post layouts online so it's easy to compare options. Even nosebleed seats in some theaters, especially smaller ones, offer excellent views. Mezzanine options generally cost at least $20 more than lottery or rush.

Curious Incident, Rear Mezzanine
4. Join loyalty programs. Modern theater thrill seekers have often overlooked money saving options. Besides selling tickets online, plenty of sites and apps offer friend referral credits. And, some sites give customers points for rating shows or checking in to performances that they can redeem for rewards.


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10/26/16

Lincoln Road Mall, South Beach


Lincoln Road

This outdoor mall lends to the encapsulation of South Beach. I strolled through on my first night in town and at various times thereafter. Locals and tourists alike congregate here at all hours because Lincoln Road Mall offers something for everyone: dining, retail, bars, clubs and galleries. Although I missed them, I found out that farmers and collectibles markets are also held there.

The mall is well-maintained and truly designed for pedestrians, with some areas blocked off to vehicles. Almost every restaurant offers drink or appetizer specials and al fresco dining. For people watchers, there are public seating options. I didn't buy anything but food while exploring Lincoln Road Mall and engaged in my share of window shopping. Some streets adjacent to the mall are worth exploring as well. I did so on foot and discovered more shops and even residential areas with interesting architecture.

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10/17/16

Free Crunch Gym Pass

Been slacking all summer? Stop stepping on the scale hoping for a miracle. Check out Crunch's free 3-day pass. Besides weight, what have you got to lose?

Visit: https://www.crunch.com/guest-passes/?d=3

Guest Pass


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10/3/16

7-Eleven = Free Coffee Heaven

Download the 7-Eleven app if you want a free cup of joe every day this week. Offer applies to any size and usually rolls around yearly!


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9/27/16

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

I bought some pastry flour intending to make a pie. Then my oven died! Wary of baking a pie in my convection oven, I settled on biscuits.

The recipe I adapted from FaithfulProvisions.com is the best using whole wheat flour that I've found.

Whole Wheat Biscuits


I made a slight alteration, using a cup of Arrowhead Mills Pastry Flour and 1.75 cups of King Arthur Whole White Wheat Flour.

See: http://faithfulprovisions.com/2012/05/16/whole-wheat-biscuit-recipe/ for details.



7/25/16

Chipotle Chiptopia Rewards

Like a dumped lover longing for a second chance, Chipotle hopes to woo customers with loyalty rewards. Grab a Chiptopia summer earnings card at any location and make a purchase before 7/31 to earn free chips and guac.
https://chipotle.com/chiptopia



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5/22/16

Westside Community Garden, New York

Guess what's in bloom at Westside Community Garden? Tulips galore. The plot, tucked away in a mostly residential area, offers tranquility from NYC's continual grind.

Besides stunning flowers visitors can partake in concerts and other, mostly free, events.


tulipsTulips

Westside Community Garden depends on the kindness of volunteers and donations. So don't cheap out.

Drop a few bucks in the collection jar!

Visit www.westsidecommunitygarden.org/ for a list of upcoming events.








Garden
Tulips


4/15/16

Shrimp Fried Rice

Either I'm becoming better with my timing when cooking seafood or the quick marinade I made countered any overcooking blunders. The totally tender shrimp remained so even when I microwaved leftovers. Use more or less of the entree ingredients based on your preferences.


You'll need approximately:
  • .75 cup shredded purple carrots
  • 3.75 cups cold, steamed Jasmine Rice
  • .50 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • garlic salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 basil leaves
  • black sesame seeds
  • .25 cup soy sauce
  • tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp sesame oil 
  • 10 large raw shrimp
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • .25 tsp salt 
For marinade:
  • 2 dashes black pepper
  • 2 dashes garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1.5 tbsp canola oil
Make the marinade first. Whisk the juice and oil together. Add shrimp to the bowl and toss them in the mixture. Season with pepper and garlic salt. Refrigerate until you are ready to fry the rice. My shrimp marinated for a few hours.

Now for the rice. Beat the egg, a pinch of pepper, and .5 tsp of sesame oil. Set aside. Add 1.5 tbsp of canola oil to your wok or heavy frying pan. Heat to medium and add shrimp when oil starts to sizzle.Turn them as soon as they become opaque then remove from pan after the other side is done. Set shrimp aside but reserve oil for the carrots and onions. Lightly season vegetables with garlic salt  then cook for about 5 minutes, depending on how tender you like them.

Set veggies aside. Add remaining 1.5 tbsp of canola oil to your wok. Increase the heat to high then add the rice.Toss so the oil coats most grains. Add the ginger and stir. Repeat process with syrup and soy sauce. I use enough sauce to make most of the rice brown without drenching it. Create a well in the center of the rice. Scramble the egg there then distribute it within the rice. Add veggies, salt, and .5 tsp of sesame oil. After stirring, remove from heat. Cut shrimp into thirds then toss into rice. Garish with basil and sesame seeds. Add more soy sauce if desired.

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