BEFORE & AFTER: I BREAK FOR YARD SALES: SITTIN’ PRETTY

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I BRAKE FOR YARD SALES
AIRS @gactv

I Brake For Yard Sales is an amazing premise. It stands for value, saving and preserving what is good and old in american furniture today. Anything can be salvaged. Recycling is one strong way to save the earth. Lara Spencer my dear friend believes that. Samantha Knapp and Tiger Lily’s do too.

“A Society is defined not only by what it creates but by what it refuses to destroy”— John Sawhill,  CEO of The Nature Conservancy and the 12th President of New York University

BEFORE:

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BEFORE:
FAMILY VINTAGE

This is how we found it at Irv & Alexis’ house. It was a classic hand-me-down. I like to think I know every piece of furniture’s story but memory only half the time serves me. I think this belonged to Irv’s aunt. There was a pair of these love seats. It sits two, so people get to be close. That’s where the love comes from. The frame is real wood and the legs are carved. . The cushion Lara is testing out is all down and feather.

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LARA SPENCER
SITTIN’ PRETTY

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UPHOLSTERY CHANGES EVERYTHING
http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com

It really had to be kept. We brought to the Tiger Lily’s workroom. Tiger Lily’s is located at 154 Prospect Street and on line at http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com. We are the only family run white glove upholstery studio of our kind. We still do it local. We still sit near by. We are not cheap. Everything you do well is an investment. Just think about that. Everything is done on site and under my eye.It was my call to upholster over the frame. The team together chose the gray paint wash. The fabric is by Robert Allen. All the fabrics we used on that episode were as well.

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AFTER:
REVEAL GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY

AFTER:

We can talk cost here. After you take the car off the lot, it depreciates. It dramatically looses value in the next two-to-three operating years. It is why people heavily weigh the decision to buy or lease.  You buy the furniture or someone in your family did. That is where your value starts. If someone had amazing taste or you now do, immediately what you own is better then Restoration Hardware. I am sorry to knock big box brands, but it is true. There are times when you pay more than 30% above commercial retail. There are times you pay less. Custom has its own industry numbers. If you shop there you have to appreciate that.

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MORE TO COME
WATCH @gactv

More happens on this episode, including a barely make it moment with the reveal drapes. I fight with Bob. Lara tries to calm the waters. All because the drapes weren’t ready in time. I knew that before I started  my jog that morning. That’s why I am helping in my running shoes. Watch, listen and learn I say. That was the experience I had on I Brake For Yard Sales. I happily share it with you!

WATCH

03-23-2014 Great American Country Television/ http://www.gactv.com

@gactv @samanthabknapp

 

BEFORE & AFTER: A SIT BACK ON MATCH.COM

BEFORE & AFTER: A SIT BACK ON MATCH.COM

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BEFORE:
LIFELESS ROLLING OTTOMANS
THRIFT-SHOP PICK

BEFORE:

Here’s how I found them at the Salvation Army. Having all the money in the world should not prevent you from entering a donation center or secondhand retail store. Age has beauty and frankly people tend to trash their greatest treasures. Understand that key to life and  if you haven’t yet, change an old habit and shop someplace new.

“The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.” ― Marcel Proust

Here’s what I like about the Ottomans:

1. On Wheels

2. Vintage Brss drop handles with back plates

3. Use of Textured Vinyl

4. Button-cinched square

5. Price: 3 for $25.00

I went to the Salvation Army to shop for my clients on HGTV. I ended up with a few things, including these ottomans. The  budget for the show is tight but the design is free if you open your mind and the end result looks expansive. More on that later #tease.

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HGTV, that’s another day. Everday, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. That’s why it is always later on the West Coast. It’s to gain the advantage of sunlight. Midday the sun shines its brightest onto the paddock outside my windows and blasts amazing natural light into my bedroom. I couldn’t get this in the city that never sleeps, though for the record I tried. I lived in an Upper East, second floor walk up for three-straight years.

New York City ate me up.  I went back to the outdoors and hometown Greenwich in August, 2013. I am single, attached is the link to my highly spinster-style home in lonny.com. I am taking advantage of it now.  The next house, I decorate for two.

Single is frightening in any geography, that is why I really didn’t worry about the move. Love where you live  is what I say, love your environment and it will feed you.  Attraction is a state of mind and that means it can happen anywhere. You have to focus on it. I have always wanted to be in-love but haven’t put the focus on it.  There’s always been my career. It is a safe place that is guaranteed to love me back and which has fueled me to become a successful business woman.   Before Tiger Lily’s, I was a lucky broadcast news journalist and most of that time all I wanted to make it to Network TV so I  never took my personal relationships seriously. My apologies to anyone who took “us” to be. and my joy in watching my old broadcast roomie Ginger-Zee’s rise to the top. Lara Spencer my mentor also made it there. Ladies come get me or God marry me off 🙂

This morning, I woke  up and watched a coyote cross my paddock. It looked nothing like the road-runner. Animals in nature have a spring in their step. Even my domestic dogs do. I’ve had Smeagie most my adult-life. Charlie was a rescue from sister, 7-weeks ago. They surprisingly are a good-match.

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HOME BOYS
SMEAGIE & CHARLIE

“It is might just be a trick of the mind that life is better on the inside, wild animals have it right.”–Samantha Knapp, author

Native American Indians worship Coyotes. “Coyote appears as the Creator himself; but he may at the same time be the messenger, the culture hero, the trickster, the fool. He has also the ability of the transformer: in some stories he is a handsome young man; in others he is an animal; yet others present him as just a power, a sacred one.”

Call it a mythical sign, I had do something radical. I relaunched match.com

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HERE I AM
ON MATCH.COMGO EASY ON ME 

Match.com almost worked for me once.  Following that experience I swore on my life I wouldn’t return here.  But here I am, go easy on me. It had a heart wrenching effect. I told “Mr. Bunny”  that to his face. Never in my life until then, had I met the man I really thought that I could marry. That’s my match hasn’t appealed to me. I told the Bunny I would never go back but never is like forever and you’ll never really know how long that it. The more things you want in life, the closer that gap.

When you go bacl to something that you think didn’t work, the reason is because you still have the desired right outcome. You have to try for you want. The Dallas Buyers Club got turned down over 150-times before a company bought the screen-play.  In doing so, it legitimized  playboy Matthew McConaughey as an Oscar worthy actor. I saw that movie. Three-thumbs up.

It’s been a year-and-half since I have been on this site. This signifies moving on from a very true love match. For now  it is the same old profile, I am not sure yet if I am embracing the idea. Afterall living in the suburbs, surrounded by trees and one person you love, I had always thought it would happen more organically. Life is all just an experience.

“Everything that happens once can never happen again.But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”–Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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AFTER:
BUY ME: $2,495.00
http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com


AFTER:

There is nothing like a good re-introduction to the world. I brought the ottomans back to the custom workroom. That’s where the magic happens, they were striped down to the naked bone. I upholstered more simply this time with genuine bone colored supple-to -the-hand, leathe and dded more hardware with brass nailheads.  More is always more, that one of my tips you’ll see at http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com. That’s my store, log-on and buy-me.  The ottomans now are $2,495.00. Always remember you are buying a well executed idea. It comes at different prices at different times. My website is retail pricing, luxury product and is not cheap.

I have written to date 289 blogs and the majority of which I like to end in quote. I think Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.Wish me luck on Match. To make something a habit, you have to be at approximately 90-straight days. In 3-months, if you don’t love someone, you never will. It is probably more accurate to say if you don’t love someone immediately, he’s not it. The number is three. I have been on Match twice before, once with outstanding results. I am nearing in on 300-blogs. It goes without saying that strikes come in threes.   Three,  your-out! Or clear three diamond  bases and you’ll make a home run.  The average is one in every-three. I like the odds of that.

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there”–Yogi Berra

#ONELOVE

 

BEFORE & AFTER: LET US BREAK BREAD. THE ART OF CHALLAH

BEFORE & AFTER: LET US BREAK BREAD. THE ART OF CHALLAH

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AMERICA MADE
CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER & STRAWBERRY JAM ON HOME BAKED CHALLAH

The tradition of breaking bread surrounds a family table. Generally, it is accompanied by a home cooked meal and if you want to take it one step further, the bodies at the table are related in someway genetically or spiritually. Jews break bread on Friday night. It is Shabbat dinner. Shabbat as I understand means tradition anf family values. It is a celebration of our heritage.

“In the land of opportunity you can have a first chance at a second chance.”—Samantha Knapp 

BEFORE:

That is how I became a write and amateur chef and food blogger. I offer you now a wise and educated friend’s recipe.

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BEFORE
A HAND ON THE INGREDIENTS

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”–Gen 1.1

Challah:

1 tablespoon sugar / 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast /1 cup minus 2 tablespoons water (warm but not boiling) / 2 cups bread flour (scoop and sweep method, un-sifted), plus more for dusting / 2 cups semolina flour (scoop and sweep method, un-sifted) / 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt / 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to drizzle / 3 tablespoons honey / 2 large egg yolks / 1 large whole egg

Egg Wash:
1 yolk / 1 tablespoon cream or milk / Sesame seeds, for sprinkling, optional

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WASH
IT IS THE LAW
ALMOST MADE THE BIBLE

I not an scholar nor do I want to do enough research to discredit this thought, but as far as I am concerned the first reference to bread was the bible. There is the Jewish fleeing Egypt with the bread unleaven, that would eventually lead to Moses on the Mountain Top with a decree from God of the 10-Commandments of which to live.

#7 Thou shall not commit adultery”

#11 “Thou shall wash pesticides off your food source”

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YEAST
LEAVEN AGENT
ALSO KNOWN AS FUNGUS

DIRECTIONS:

For the sponge starter: Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water. Mix to dissolve. Add about 1/2 cup of the bread flour and mix vigorously with a wire whisk. Cover with plastic or a plate and leave to ferment in a warm room temperature place for about an hour.

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MIX WITH DRYS
FLOUR AND SALT

Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups bread flour, the semolina flour and salt into a mixer bowl. Add the sponge starter, oil, honey, yolks and egg. Hand mix the dough, to develop the gluten.  Shape the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Sprinkle a bit of olive oil. Cover with plastic let rise for  1.5  hours.  It should be relaxed and not pull back to shape immediately.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and fold it over upon itself few times to redistribute the yeast. This is the point when you get to shape the bread.

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HAND HOROSCOPE
KNEAD DOUGH INTO FUTURE SHAPE

Three braids symbolize truth, peace, and justice. Challah after all is statement bread. It represents a Jewish tradition. The recipe as simply and no-dairy as it is today applied hundreds of thousands of years ago. Before Jesus was born and the world started counting, there was this very bread. The jews of the desert ate it. That is a fact evident in the Bible.

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BRAID TOGETHER
TRUTH, PEACE, JUSTICE
YOU NEED ALL THREE

Truth is the most important part to me. I was just seriously and openly lied to. Speaking of age and timing, I daily check my horoscope. #tigerlilystip #trustyourhoroscope: (aries)

“Single? Time to stop laying your pearls before swine. You may have been fooled by a “wolf in family guy’s clothing” (or maybe an expensive Italian suit) over the past few weeks. Even the best mathematicians among you can’t make this person’s inconsistencies add up. Move on instead of trying to figure out how s/he pulled the wool over your eyes. You could meet someone with impressive credentials after Thursday, perhaps through a work function or the introduction of a male friend”

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BRUSH WITH EGG WASH
PROTECT THE DOUGH
AS YOU PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE

Brush the braided loaf with the egg wash and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

The horscope believe it or not was right on so many levels, specifically the “wolf in family man clothing”, line. I am a very private public person, so readers unfortunately you will never know the names and faces behind my personal references.  However, don’t worry the lessons will be ever true and remain the same. I am a writer. I fiercely protect my sources.

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WHEN THERE ARE 2
ONE PROTECTS THE OTHER

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees as the challah rises. The recipe until now has been for one loaf, but traditionally you should always bake two. It is a good luck thing. It is a love thing. It is protection thing.  Also if not mistaken, it is an in the bible thing.

Back to the story of the bread. Americans eat it with labels like Wonder, Panera, Bakery Fresh. To respectfully make it in your own kitchen takes time. We are talking five to six hours. Traditionally shabbath lasts all night into the next. Jews have time to create.  Cooking and baking are afterall very different disciplines. One is instinct, the other is measured and calculated for the perfect outcome.


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TIME TO BAKE
JEWS HAVE 24-HOURS STRAIGHT                                                                                                                                          HEARTS HAVE SECONDS

The first tip in this blog was to trust your horoscope. The second #tigerlilystip #listentoyourheart. Hear it beat closely and learn its patterns. How does your heart feel when you are excited? How does your heart feel when you feel love? How does your heart feel when you make or eat food?

“Statistics prove your heart rate beats faster when you fall in love, when you sense sexual chemistry and when you the aphrodisiac of food takes over.”–Samantha Knapp

I took credit for that one, but I am 100% sure if I had to set out to prove it, I probably could. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. The challah will develop a deep brown and shiny crust, and will sound hollow when tapped on the underside. Cool on a rack.

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AFTER;
COOL & SERVE
BREAK TRADITION DAILY

AFTER:

So the conclusion here is that you have to feed people with love if you want to experience love in return. You have to have truth, that’s part of the braided bread. Believe in what you serve..

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”–Jer 29:11

BEFORE & AFTER: LET OUT SOME STEAM


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BEFORE & AFTER: LET OUT SOME STEAM

BEFORE:

I don’t always know what I am going to do with something when I see it for the first time.  I bought this vintage trunk for less money the miles I imagine it has had on the road. That’s a good enough reason and a good enough start. It is battered from protecting someone’s valuables over time and re-imagined has a new value to come.

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BEFORE:
STEAMER TRUNK STALLED
RETURN TO PURPOSE

“If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.” ―Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

I started researching steamer trunks for inspiration.  In 1837 a 16-year-old boy walked 300-miles from the peasant village of Anchay to take an apprenticeship in the trunk making shop of M. Marechal on the Rue Saint-Honore. His name was Louis Vuitton.

Here’s the take away from that story. Out of nothing, anything is possible.

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HISTORY REPEATS
OLD PATHS CREATE NEW JOURNEYS

Travel and Capitalism are the inspirations.  It is the background for the golden-era of industrialist. It produced the biggest industry tycoons in history in transportation,  oil and banking. Capitalism in its purest form grants us freedom of business. We can be innovative and we can create the means possible to even the playing floor between the rich and the poor. Laissez-Faire is that the French call it. It means free to do.  Ayn Rand is the champion of this concept.

“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.” –Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Tiger Lily’s is a lot like that. Every day we come to work, http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com, we celebrate that culture.  We believe absolutely anything is possible. We believe out of challenge comes great success. We believe that history has value and it is best celebrated when we return it to new.

AFTER: 

 

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AFTER: TRAVEL FAR & WIDE
PACK FOR IT, $595.00
http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com

I wanted the trunk to return to its purpose. Start at the very beginning. That’s another #Tigerlilystip.  I gave the trunk to a very talented artist who works with us directly. I discussed the theme and the idea that the outcome should celebrate what is great about America in history, branding and style. I also told him I wanted an airplane, logos and a train.

This is your journey, let out some steam. Be creative, call on your best self. Explore new territory. Take advantage of it.

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass

##ONELOVE

BEFORE & AFTER: JIFFY MUFFIN MIX TAKES A HIT

“I didn’t think I had it in me to write two consecutives blogs on food, then it snowed and I got hungry.”–Samantha Knapp

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MAPLE BACON CORNMUFFINS WITH CRANBERRIES & WALNUTS

BEFORE & AFTER: JIFFY MUFFIN MIX TAKES A HIT: BACON CORN MUFFINS W/CRANBERRIES & WALNUTS.

BEFORE: 

 

The before’s are generally vintage. This recipe has 1950s Mad Men advertising world all over it. Sometimes as in this case, that’s not a bad thing.

Image  “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” –Dr.Suess

Here’s what you’ll need: 1. Boxed Corn Muffin Mix 2. Bacon 3. Egg 4. Cranberries 5. Milk 6. Red Onion 7. Sage 8. Crisco 9. Maple Syrup

The snow fed an inpluse to bake. I created this recipe from scratch. It comes from two needs sweet and savory. Start by putting the Corn Mix into the bowl . Everyone starts somewhere, it is the same the first time as the last, only the outcome is different.

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STEP 1
POUR MIX INTO BOWL

Here’s a huge tip, sift the mix. It is archiac, labor intensive and I shutter to think what people who suffer from arthritis in the fingers would do. It is definitely worth it.

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TIP 2
OLD SCHOOL SIFTER
EXTRA WORK PAYS OFF

On the stove, heat a fry pan. I threw in cut bacon, onion, garlic, sage and walnuts and let the mixture cook. This is the sweat-out period for these foods. Let the pan get super hot to the point where rendered liquids emulsify.

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TIP 3
SWEAT LIKE A PIG

The bacon and walnuts are the heart of the matter. This is the pan where all the flavor is coming together and taking place. This is the part you need to spice and taste. It should taste savory, a little salty and not sweet. The core should be balanced.

“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.” –Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously…I’m Kidding

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TIP 4
FISH FOR SUGAR

Here’s the sweet. Add a one-and-a-half tablespoons of maple syrup to the corn mix. Two eggs and two-thirds a cup of organic whole milk complete the wet mix.

Maple syrup is a natural phenomena.In cold climates, maple trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring.  It’s nature’s sugar and if well selected doesn’t need to be processed.

For the record,  Aunt Jemima’s is a synethic made from high fructose corn syrup. I said that correctly. It goes with out saying, the more commerical the product, the farther away it is from its roots.  Interior design is the same thing. The more commerical furniture products you buy, the further away you are from one-of-a-kind and unique. Check out http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com. That’s the soft sell.

Back to Aunt Jemina. The majority is corn syrup synethically flavored to taste like maple. The real deal maple taste better, but the kids like the syrup stuff.

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TIP 5
MINGLE & MIX

Mix all the ingredients together. At this point your oven should be set at 400-degrees and your muffin pan greased.

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TIP 7
GREASE THE PAN

Crisco is another 1950s battle and lead advertisement. That’s the fun thing about using iconic old foods, they are loaded with brand names. Organic trends in a new generational thing.

Crisco is an all vegetable shortening. There is I am sure an entire food culture that questions crisco over butter over animal fat.  I tried making them with both the shortening and the bacon fat and they tasted about the same. Crisco is however a bit lighter in density creating a lighter outcome and greater rise from the muffin mix.

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TIP 8
BAKE GOLDEN BROWN

If high school chemistry serves me that is all true. What is chemistry but a relationship between two or more elements anyway? Close the door and let the magic take place. Don’t peak or break the temperature for at least 15-minutes.

“Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity”–Albert Einstein

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TIP 9
TIME YOUR COOK

AFTER:
I made these for that guy. Take a bite, they are absolutely delicious. I encourage you to make them and smile when you eat. They are full of love, fat and sugar. They will warm your bones on snowy nights, that start when it is light.

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“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.” ― John RuskinThe Stones of Venice

BEFORE & AFTER: A CUT ABOVE THE REST

BEFORE & AFTER: A CUT ABOVE THE REST 

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BRIMFIELD ANTIQUE SHOW
I BRAKE FOR YARD SALES 
@laraspencer

A few times a year, (May, June and September) the opportunity to shop the Brimfield Antique Show surfaces.  There are two ways to do this, first being go early with the professional buyers or go at the end of the show when dealers are looking to unload. No matter which one you chose, remember to drive a truck or at the very least a van.

TIGER LILY’S TIP #1: Have the Right Transportation & Fill-up Local

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BUSIN’ TO BRIMFIELD
http://www.brimfieldshow.com

Here’s the link to the show,http://www.brimfieldshow.com. For city dwellers and swanky suburbanites, the location borders on the outer-bounds. I mean this in the nicest way. An area gas station, promotes the gun club with a bang and the gas prices brought me back a year or two.

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BRIMFIELD LOCATION
GUN COUNTRY

TIGER LILY’S TIP #2 Bring Cash

We went on the last day on our September visit with cash. The best reason to have cash is it opens the negotiations. It also sets your budget. Once you are out, your out.  Everyone wants to get the best value when they are at show or buying spec items. The trick is to stay with in a 20% margin. If you start acting tough and throw ridiculously cheap numbers at the dealers, you not only will insult but make for a wasted day where you don’t end up with anything.

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BARGAINING AT BRIMFIELD
BRING CASH

BEFORE: 

The other point to bargaining in Brimfield is to look for a piece that you think is a bit of challenge. The stuff no-one likes to touch is usually what I gravitate toward. The beauty of preserving the artisan trade of upholstery at http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com is that we can revitalize any old piece. In the end, I paid $15.00 for this vintage barber’s chair. My negotiating tactics were largely based on the condition of the piece and that I had the transportation to cart the chair home.

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BEFORE
BARBER’S CHAIR
NEEDS A FRESH UP-DO

AFTER:

I wanted to keep the look of the barber’s chair consistent with what was existing from its 1930s frame. While the initial frame was cheap, the rebirth was an investment. I think the tip here is that when you buy something at a low price point, you have to love it enough to spend a significant amount more then the purchasing price to get it back to its prime. I think we accomplished that.

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AFTER:
REUPHOLSTERED HONORING VINTAGE STYLE
BUY ME: $1,395.00
http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com

I sat in the chair and spun it around.  It’s like a little time machine. I thought about style, period and what makes something great at any age.
Coco Chanel says, “A style does not go out of style as long as it adapts itself to its period. When there is an incompatibility between the style and a certain state of mind, it is never the style that triumphs.”

##ONELOVE

BEFORE & AFTER:THE HOME TEST KITCHEN GRID IRON GRUB

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MIX IT UP…
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY
EAT WELL

The Super Bowl is less than a month away and less than a month from the first day of the year when you pledged to eat right and loose weight. According to the National Chicken Council  (yes there is such a thing) Americans will eat 1.23 billion chicken wings on that day and according to Shape Magazine 11-million pounds of potato chips. Super Bowl Sunday is arguably one the largest food consumption. Inspired by the play-offs I went into my test kitchen trying to come up with some heathy game eats.

APPETIZER: ROASTED RED PEPPER & EGGPLANT DIP 

BEFORE #1: 

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BEFORE:
ROASTED RED PEPPER & EGGPLANT
FLASH BLEND & SERVE

This is an easy recipe to create. Coat red peppers, eggplant, onions with olive oil, salt, pepper and italian seasoning at 350-degrees for 25 minutes. Let the roasted veggies cool. Pour heavy cream over cooled veggies and flash blend with a hand blender until you achieve a rustic blended consistency. Serve with crackers or blue-chips.

AFTER: #1

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AFTER:
BLEND VEGGIES WITH HEAVY CREAM
SERVE WITH CRACKERS OR BLUE CORN CHIPS

MAIN COURSE: COFFEE CRUSTED ROASTED PORK SHOULDER OVER BLUE CHEESE POTATOES 

BEFORE: #2 

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The ease of the appetizer should inspire your inner home cook to take on the main course. I took a sampling of what I had in the fridge to inspire what I cooked. I like the idea of going to the grocery store and buying what is in season before having an idea of what you will cook. That’s the opportunity to be creative and that’s what I do at my day job, http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com. I am always looking for how things come together. The oven is the perfect melting ground for putting ingredients together. The winter is for oven roasted food, so take advantage of it.

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You have to start somewhere. Just like building, every recipe has a cement or foundation. I always start with a mix of onions, garlic and a fat component to cook. This can either be dairy based like butter, meat-based which would be rendered from the meat you are roasting or an oil such as olive oil.  In a roasting pan, I combined my meat which was slathered in mustard and rubbed in coffee beans with a selection of white, green and red onions. I also added a citrus of the season. Grapefruit is incredibly plentiful this time of year. It is a winter fruit, high in vitamins C & A.

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CUT & ROAST POTATOES

In a separate roasting pan, I combined cut yukon potatoes, onions, a little roasting oil. Put both dishes in the oven at a temperature of 350-395 degrees for 20-minutes to start. I can’t help but peak at my food as it cooks and add or subtract from the equation as I go. After about 20-minutes, you can start to turn potatoes and squeeze citrus over the meat. It is also a good time to add crumbled blue-cheese over the potatoes.

TRUFFLE ROASTED ARTICHOKES

BEFORE: #3 

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BEFORE
TRUFFLE ROASTED ARTICHOKES
PRE-BOIL UNTIL SOFT

Pre-cook the artichokes in boiling water until they soften. Score in the middle and put on baking pan. I added truffle-oil, salt and pepper to roast. This side can cook in the same temperature in the oven as original roast. 
AFTER: #3

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DRESS WITH TRUFFLE OIL, SALT & PEPPER
ROAST IN OVER 395-DEGREES, 15-MINUTES

Allow at least 40-minutes total for the meat and potatoes to completely cook. I am not one to set food on a timer and leave, so ideally you would be looking at what you are cooking every ten minutes or so following the first twenty-minute check. Bottom line you are looking for a golden brown outside and a moist inside. Take out the pork to cool and begin deglazing the pan.

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DEGLAZE PAN
ADD LIQUID
COOK OVER HEAT

Deglazing is what makes you a home cook. Have fun with it. I like to put the existing roast pan over a flame and add some type of liquid. Water is safe and takes on any flavor profile. To add another layer of taste, I squeezed more fresh grapefruit into the pan and add a hint of red wine. If you hand-blender is still out, flash the sauce in the pan a few times to get the sauté onions in the mix.

AFTER: #2

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MEAL COMPLETE
SERVE IN LAYERS
FRESH FRUIT AS GARNISH

This coming weekend Seattle Seahawks play the 49ers and the New England Patriots face the Broncos. Leave the battle on the field and make something healthy to eat while you watch. Like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady you’ve been down this road before when it comes to making a good food choice. Beat on yourself and come out on the side of the winning team. As Joe Namath said, ““When you win, nothing hurts.”  Even your waist-line.