The must try Turkey Brine recipe

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

Perfect turkey brine recipe

Here’s What To Do:

For a 16 to 20 pound turkey:

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

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

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

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

How to be a better neighbor/apartment living

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making a good neighbor at your apartment



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

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

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

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

Always return a dish FULL…not empty.

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

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

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

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

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

Creative and easy ways to get more space in your bathroom

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




 Inspiration is everywhere! 


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



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



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







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




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





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


The Rules of the Playground

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

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


Be prepared.


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


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


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


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

Angie Shaw 





Looking for some great tips for gardening at your apartment?

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

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

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



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

Best Bike Shop in MN: The Alternative Bike & Board Shop

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The Alternative Bike & Board Shop in Minneapolis

The Alt, a fixture of the Uptown area for nearly 40 years, is almost as hip as all those newcomer bike shops around town. See The Alt’s deep selection of gorgeous Electra and Breezer cruisers. And the employees might look like your typical twenty-something bike punks, with their tattoos and their hipster sneakers. Except they’re super friendly, even when an aging know-nothing enters the store. Longing for a commuter bike with a custom paint job and vintage styling? No problem. The folks from The Alt will hook you up with a baby-blue frame, hammered aluminum fenders and a brown leather saddle. Or maybe you simply want to repair your 1990s Specialized hybrid. The Alt isn’t too cool to fix your dorky wheels, either. 3013 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.; 612-374-3635,

Runner-up: Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop + Coffee Bar

Get more of the BEST OF MN right here:


Best of Minnesota is out. Today’s entry: BEST BRUNCH

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Bachelor Farmer, Fried Chicken Egg Pheasant sandwich

We are going to spotlight some of the finer posts from this years “Best of Minnesota” in the Star/Tribune this week.  Get out and try some of these gems that are right here in your backyard.

The Bachelor Farmer was made for lazy Sunday mornings (and early Sunday afternoons). This is no eggs-any-style setup. For starters, chef Paul Berglund puts a morning spin on his signature smørrebrød — artfully created toasts — before moving on to such swoon-worthy dishes as rye spaetzle topped with pastrami and a caraway hollandaise and divine brioche French toast smothered in cherries. A cute (please, it’s the Bachelor Farmer, of course it’s adorable) rolling cart boasts house-baked pastries and desserts, and service is so sweet you’ll expect an invitation to the staff’s Secret Santa gift pool. The one downside? No reservations. 50 2nd Av. N., Mpls.; 612-206-3920,

Get more of the Best of Minnesota issue right here:


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

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

iron man 3 movie timese



June 2013

49 movies

July 2013

31 movies

August 2013

38 movies

Special Presale opportunity for Michael Buble at the Xcel Energy Center

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Grammy Award-winner Michael Bublé is coming to Xcel Energy Center for one night only on September 11.

Touring in support of his new No. 1 selling release, “To Be Loved,” Michael Bublé has been called “one of the most likeable performers on Earth.” His previous Crazy Love Tour sold out in 80 US cities and was seen by over two million fans worldwide. His stage show is propelled by a string of smash hits including his current single “It’s A Beautiful Day,” “Haven’t Met You Yet,” “Home,” and “Everything,” along with Michael’s distinctive interpretations of classics like “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “Young at Heart,” and “You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You.” 


Wednesday, May 15 at 10 a.m.


Thursday, May 16 at 5 p.m.


$112, $76.50, $56.50






Friday, May 17 at 10 a.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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