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June 21st, 2014

franks.gifI used to have a carafe for salad dressing. That will give you an idea of how much dressing the Glass Salad Dressing Carafe Makers of America thought a household of two consumed in several days. Afterall, despite if containing vinegar, it was bound to not taste so hot as time went on.

I have found the perfect solution…and it was free! Well, not really. A purchase was required. When you buy Frank’s Red Hot for your chicken wings and other recipes, don’t get the plastic jug. The per ounce price may be less, but you are missing out on a really nifty salad dressing bottle that is just the right size. In fact, you could even make two different types to have on the table or in the fridge. The black plastic drip top is perfect for dressing. Tops made by the Glass Salad Dressing Carafe Makers of America tend to have too big of an exit hole and you end up saying, “Do you want some lettuce with your dressing?”

No one will ever know that the G.S.C.M.A. missed out on a sale. The only way your guests will know is that “Frank’s. 1928″ is embossed in the glass. Well, everyone has an Uncle Frank, or their parents or grandparents did, don’t they? What about Aunt Francis who went by “Frankie” in third grade, but few remember it. I just say I inherited mine, and then when plastic tops came about, I had one made.

Here is my simple salad dressing recipe:
1) Apple Cider Vinegar. I use organic.
2) Honey
3) McCormick’s Italian Seasoning

Place the A.C.S. in a bowl, add 1/3 as much honey as there is vinegar ratio or to taste. In truth, I never know how much I really add, as I just keep going. Just whisk the honey around with a fork until the contents mesh together a little bit, and keep tasting as you go. Add enough Italian seasoning to look nice. Actually, a few sprinkles will do. It does enhance the taste, but people just don’t trust the more translucent salad dressing that doesn’t have little bits of something in it.

I don’t think I could handle anything more complicated than that.

November 30th, 2013

 

RCM_246_IllToasttoThatRCM_244_RingMyBelle

Now that the Thanksgiving cooking is over and  you haven’t quite barreled down into baking desserts for every Christmas-themed gathering from here until New Year’s, lift up your greasy grimy mitts if you wish you could finally paint your nails and have them last through basting and braising and onto the next party.

(Let’s take a deep breath from that run on sentence.)

Is that a “Me, Me, Me” that I hear?

Personally, I gave up on my nails for awhile, as it looks better to leave nails naked, then to paint them red and chipped.

There is new help on the way. LED Gel nail manicures are the latest solution if you want a manicure to last. (You thought I was going to talk about the confetti manicure that looks like Dippin Dots, right?). The gel polish sets with the help of light. Some salons use UV, but those that use LED are going about it much safer. Even though UV light in that tiny of amount is not a hazard, LED has long been used to repair skin maladies and poses no health threat.  Now, you can create an LED Gel manicure at home.

In summary – no more chips of things like Red, Toasted Cappuci-nail or Sapphire Ice in your brownie batter.

Just in time for all of the fanciest and most important parties, Red Carpet Collection introduces its “2013 Holiday Collection” – A Touch of Bling!

You – dear reader – can win some of your own by visiting the Red Carpet Collection Facebook page and entering in the SWEEPSTAKES.

touchofblingFive Lucky ladies or Five Lucky Guy Gift Givers**** can win:

  • Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
  • Three Holiday Duo Packs
  • Red Carpet Manicure Tote Bag

Check out all of the color combos HERE, and then go enter.

***How do you enter?  Visit the Red Carpet Collection FACEBOOK PAGE. Then click “LIKE” and enter your information?***

 

(**** = Okay, you are Steven Tyler or a even the type of guy who wears a dog collar and a Mohawk, you might actually want the “Black Tie Affair” polish.)

 

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November 10th, 2013

(To the tune of the Hymn “Down By The Riverside.”

Try the Cornbeef if you must
The picked herring – you can trust!
The lox will put you in orbit A-O-K
But that big hunk of liverwurst
Has been there since October First
And today is the Twenty-Third of May…

….So when you go to the delicatessen store.. Don’t buy the liverwurst.. Don’t buy the liverwurst…

- Allan Sherman

 

I was talking to a friend the other day about music in the 80s and early 90s. No, this isn’t a revelation on how music from my childhood is much better because there was no such thing as AutoTune…but merely…where did all the food songs go?

The 80s had the patron of all food music … Weird Al Yankovic…Eat It, Fat, Addicted to Spuds and where it all started …my Bologna. It didn’t begin there. Allen Sherman serenaded us with “Grow Mrs. Goldfarb” and Schticks of One Half Dozen of the other that contained the immortal lyrics above. I am sure I Oldies music has more.

We had fun with food. But where did it go? Sure, Red Solo cup was all the rage a few years ago, and is still ever-present with the new Red Solo cup Christmas lights and wine glasses at Spencer’s and Bed Bath and Beyond. That song, however, was about a food RECEPTCALE and not about an actual beverage.

We no longer poke fun our eating habits and peculiarities in song like we did…at least not in popular music. People are starving in parts of  the world or around the block. I get it. There are people with eating disorders, too. But does every single thing in our life have to be 100% politically correct where folks can’t have a little fun playing with our food?

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November 10th, 2013

November is only 9 days old and the pharmacy, Costco, Home Depot and just about everywhere else are filled with Christmas décor. It’s too early! At least I can’t complain that they have it out before Halloween anymore…

More irritatingly, I overheard someone talking about SUMMER CAMP. What? Yes. The question was regarding how they were going to look for scholarship to send their descendants to a summer camp for teens. They are way more prestigious - with auditions - nowadays than when I tumbled off the Girl Scout camp. Mom and Dad thought about it ahead of time, but not before April at least.

When My Favorite Guy’s nieces and nephews came back from camp this year, I was looking forward to hearing stories about making S’mores and drinking out of an orange with a peppermint stick or a piece of licorice.  Apparently, I had two heads. It is all about gourmet meals or ice creams from the mess hall.

I know from the time you are in sixth grade, most extracurriculars are geared towards getting you into the right college…or college period…or getting you ready for the extracurricular that will put you in line for the extracurricular that you really want. But…really…no S’mores?

 

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November 9th, 2013

My inbox overflows with offers from a photo retouching service in China, the news that I am Lady Diana’s long lost relative’s friend and should send my banking information for receipt of my millions, and emails pitching that if I signed up for a class, I will make money writing and become a successful six figure a year professional.

Fully investigate any company promising to do any of those things. The one important thing instant success writing programs leave out? Success is not measured in volume; it is measured by skill and talent. Some people, no matter how much they pay, never make it as a writer no matter what hard work they put into it, just like not everyone can eek out a living as a professional portrait artist.

The appeal lies in the yearning to work from home. Many don’t care exactly what that job is as long as they are home. The truth of the matter is that they are putting the hot dog cart ahead of the vendor. The best approach is to find a career or job you excel at, then seeing if there is flexibility to work at home some of the time. No one gets the accounts receivable job they can do from home until they have established themselves at a company first and have proven their skills. True, some writing has always been a work from home job. People write novels at home, but you can’t pay the bills until you have written one and its best seller status affords you to return home.

So…in summary – always read the in print. And a true work from home opportunity works for those with a true entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic – those coming up with something new, or those that have paid their dues first. It seldom comes from following someone else’s outline.

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November 8th, 2013

Bridal shows, “Taste of” wherever, Christmas Previews: Trade shows provide a direct Business to Business or Business to Bride exposure. Is a trade show right for your food related or kitchen gadget business right out of the box?

It’s easy to think that you’ll purchase many tables and backdrops for tradeshow displays, sell a few candies and have a successful time growing your business. If you want to sell a few snacks to aimless wanderers and pay for the table, then that works. If you are looking to create relationships, do not sit cards on the table and hope someone takes one while they buy a cookie. But don’t be cookie cutter…

Before you go, settle on a very specific message. It has to be more specific than “Janie makes good cakes” or “Hey, we sort of make donuts here.” If you can’t narrow down your message to “Janie has the perfect cake for your wedding” or “Let us cater your intimate dinner party” or “How many donuts would you like for that business meeting?” “Order ten boxes of chocolate for your soccer team and we will throw in a custom design” or “We have the only gadget you will ever need and its selling out” then you should review your trade show plan.

The most successful vendors at trade shows often aren’t using their booth as a concession stand. In fact, it is all a blur and I can’t remember what I’ve tasted. I remember something was good only until I run into the next good item. Then I sort of remember where the prior good item was but then I forget. I do remember people who asked me for a commitment – either to come back and see them at the end or to visit them in their shop, or that I placed a small order on the spot. I remember people who have a clear message.

So, next time, sell me on the extras. Sell me on the fact that you deliver the cake, slice it and give me free cupcakes for the after party. Take time to find out what my needs are, because you’ll shoot yourself in the foot if you push your wedding cakes and someone looks at the floor and tells you they are recently divorced or sworn off marriage. If you took the time to talk to them and assess their needs, you might have approached them with a cupcake tree for the work party and made a sale and a lifelong relationship with the office manager. Bummer.

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