Showcasing Palmer Square, Nassau Inn and the Residence at Palmer Square.
By: Keir DeFonzo
We all have our uncompromising ways of just how to prepare a Turkey for the big Thanksgiving feast. Some pride themselves on generations of family secrets to get their birds just to the right desire of crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. There are lots of different ways to handle the main attraction on our dinner table. But one question to ask as we kickoff the holiday season is whether or not to brine your turkey.
Brine is a salt solution in which the turkey is submerged and kept chilled, in the refrigerator or a cooler, overnight, before being cooked. Some may argue brining a turkey is the only way to guarantee the juiciest meat. This especially occurs in the turkey breast which is notorious for being dry if over-cooked. Others feel that the brine will compromise the flavor since the ones we buy from the store already are high in sodium and have been pre-treated with brine before being sold.
With salt as the main ingredient, the solution will allow the salt to transfer into the meat overnight and act as a sponge to retain the juices and moisture. The bird will lose some of its water when cooking off in the heat; brine will prevent the bird from losing too much. The fun part of preparing the brine is that you can add herbs and aromatics to give the flavor a twist that will enhance the meal. For example, some people add bay leaves, rosemary or peppercorns. The options are endless. Having experience with the brine myself, I will say that once I started the tradition, I find there is no other way to go. Where I keep perfecting my technique is in the ingredients of the brine. One thing is for sure; my days of serving turkey that needs to be drowned in gravy are over! Turkey can now stand alone on the plate and compete with its rivals (the potato, the stuffing and the cranberry) for your taste buds attention.
One last tip I will share that I picked up along my cooking travels: place the bird breast down. The majority of the fat is actually in the back. By cooking your turkey face down, the fat will naturally create an additional baste for the white meat and create perfection!
Executive Chef Nino LaCasio’s Turkey Brine Recipe For an 8lb Turkey:
2-1/2 gallons cold water
2 cups kosher salt
11/2 cup sugar
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
4 tablespoons dried thyme
1 whole head of garlic, peeled
1 cup of pickling spice
2 tbsp Ground pepper
Whisk sugar and salt in water till it dissolves. Stir in other ingredients. Pour over turkey in a plastic bag and tightly seal the bag before refrigerating. Make sure turkey is fully submerged in the solution and let soak overnight. Drain Turkey and pat dry. Allow to sit one hour before roasting.
By: Jackie Brigante
Networking events have always been fun for me; not only is it a way to get out of the office for a bit, but it is also fun to meet new people and catch up with others who are not on the typical day to day business circuit. Networking events happen all the time, and with social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook finding ways to network has become a breeze.
Princeton has many types of networking events to take advantage of. Annual events include the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair & Culinary Showcase and the Princeton University Trade Show. Both events offer exhibitors from the area with both new and familiar faces. I personally have had brilliant experiences at networking events which have allowed me to expand my local business knowledge and opened me up to new restaurants, shops and local sites.
The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts monthly networking events for members; including breakfast, lunch and business after business events. Lori Rabon, the Nassau Inn’s General Manager, was awarded the 2011Business Leader of the Year. Ms. Rabon will be presented her award at the 2011 Business Leadership Awards Gala at the Tournament Players Club Jasna Polana hosted by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. Other award winners are Nancy Kieling of the Princeton Area Community Foundation for Community Leader of the Year, Debbie Schaeffer of Mrs. G TV and Appliance for Innovator of the Year and Tracey Syphax of Capitol City Contracting, Inc. for Entrepreneur of the Year. The Gala is a fantastic opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the Princeton Regions
Social media plays a large role in networking events as well. Winberies of Princeton has a Facebook event once a month to promote bar specials. Guests are able to show their friendship with Winberies at the door and experience drink and food specials while meeting a medley of other fans of the local haunt.
Twitter is often used by companies to promote through a “Tweet Up” in which a time and place are “tweeted” to followers. These tweets will allow followers to meet up at a bar or restaurant to network through a common trend.
Networking is a great way to promote your business and to be known within local businesses. Not only can you broaden your commerce horizons, but chances are you will make some friends on the way.
By: Jackie Brigante
With school back in session and sports in full swing, time seems to slip away from everyone. While the summer is great for relaxing, spending time at the beach and taking prime advantage of every outdoor patio within a 20 mile radius of your house (or down the shore…thank you Tiki Bar) there are still great ways to spend the shortened fall days with the kids and post-summer dates.
Terhune Orchards is great during any time of the year, but during the fall they offer a Pick-Your-Own fruit calendar bountiful of great snacks! Fall raspberries start out the season, followed by 18 different varieties of apples. As an avid apple fanatic, I can only imagine how many tasty desserts I could make!
If you fare better inside during the crisp fall days, McCarter Theatre is the place for you! Their fall season kicks off with the play “Ten Cents a Dance” which will run through September and October. Get tickets online or at the theater door.
The Princeton Public Library also offers indoor activities for children and adults alike. Live readings in different languages and specific interests can keep all family members entertained. There are also educational seminars and movie viewings!
The Princeton University Art Museum is probably my favorite place in Princeton to visit during the colder part of the fall; which is the entire season. The Art Museum not only has great paintings and sculptures, but also has a continuous display of classic exhibitions that will get anyone excited about artwork.
While I would love to say meet me every weekend at Terhune Orchards during apple picking season (I will be the girl with the latte), I am much more excited to offer you a variety of activities that all ages will enjoy. Throw on those old jeans and your favorite sweatshirt and go outside and enjoy this wonderful month of September; as it will soon be forgotten.
If you’re already thinking about hightailing it into the fall and getting the kids back in school; I need you to take a step back, take a deep breath and listen: The summer is not even close to being over! Princeton has a lot of fun and exciting happenings to take advantage of while we still have plenty long, sun filled days to soak up.
A fun activity to do with the kiddies is Lunchtime Music on the Green. This event is hosted by Palmer Square and takes place right on the green! Between noon and 2 p.m., you can enjoy live jazz music while having a leisurely lunch from one of the many Princeton eateries. The last event will take place on Thursday, August 18th featuring Sophiztajazz.
Palmer Square is also hosting the Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale – this year taking place on Friday, August 18th through Sunday, August 21st. This event will feature live music and great deals from some of your favorite local Palmer Square shops.
The Princeton Tour Company is also in full swing for the summer! With these tours, you can see where Albert Einstein lived, famous architecture in Princeton and see which of your favorite places is haunted with ghosts! You are able to choose from group and private tours to accommodate your group!
Every Thursday you can have a pleasurable outdoor lunch, listen to live music and enjoy fresh local produce and the Princeton Farmer’s Market located on Witherspoon Street in front of the Witherspoon Grill and the Princeton Public Library. Some vendors include: Tassot Apiaries for local honey, beeswax candles and soaps; The Witherspoon Bread Company showcasing and selling freshly baked breads and pastries and Tico’s Juice Bar where you can get freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices.
If you are looking for some indoor fun, the Morven Museum & Gardens is presenting The Stars and Stripes: Fabric of the American Spirit which is running now through October 31st. This exhibit follows the American Flag from its 1777 creation into the twentieth century. You can follow the history of each flag while visually experiencing each edition.
The Yankee Doodle Tap Room is also hosting weekly Acoustic Thursday, every Thursday night on the Yankee Doodle Tap Room patio in August! The Tap Room will be featuring CJ Barna on August 11th & August 25th. August 4th & August 18th will feature Greg Nease and Suzannah Sabin. CJ Barna will also be performing live acoustic sets on August 3rd, August 17th and August 31st.
Kicking back and relaxing through the end of the summer is important for your personal Zen and mental health. Before you start back to school shopping, creating lunch schedules and getting the car pools set take advantage of the vitamin D that is shining and waiting for you! Keep your kids entertained and treat yourself to some yummy summer cocktails. Be sure to check back next month for some more great tips!
Guest blog by: Mimi Omiecinski of Princeton Tour Company
During Geek Freak Weekend ……. Nerds will RULE in Princeton!
Einstein was born on March 14th – 3.14 – the numeric equivalent of Pi. The entire town of Princeton celebrates this amazing coincidence with tons of hysterical events during the 2nd Annual Pi Day Princeton:
• Pub Crawl
• Pi Recitations
• M-Athlete Events
• Pie Throwing Events
• Pie Eating Contests (@ Nassau Inn!)
• Re enacter Tours
• Pie Judging Contests
• A No-Socks Sock Hop
• Pi Pricing from local merchants
• The Einstein Look-A-Like Contest
We are very excited to announce that the Yankee Doodle Tap Room will soon be installing four additional taps to our bar; for a total of 16 draft beers! The most drafts beers on tap in Princeton.
The additional taps will allow us to offer a variety of draft beers brewed both locally and around the world. A beer that we are particularly eager to offer is the Chimay Tripel (commonly referred to as Chimay White because of the color of the label). Chimay is a world renowned brewery of authentic Trappist ales.
An authentic Trappist beer is a beer brewed by or under control of Trappist monks and is offered in various styles. There are only seven Trappist monasteries that are authorized to label their beers with the Authentic Trappist Product logo that indicates a strict compliance to various rules edicted by International Trappist Association.
The Chimay Brewery is a Belgian brewery founded inside Scourmont Abbey, in the Belgian municipality of Chimay in 1862. The brewery produces three widely distributed ales, Chimay Rouge (Red), Chimay Bleue (Blue), and Chimay Tripel (White). Of the three beers, the Tripel is the only Chimay made available on draft. The Chimay Red and Blue are readily available in conditioned bottles. The products of Chimay Brewery are sold only for financial support of the monastery and good causes. The brewery business pays rent for use of the property within the abbey, which is used to support the monastic community. The majority of the profit from the sale of the beer is distributed to charities and for community development around the region.
There are so many elements to planning your wedding reception. Everyone has their own opinion on what the “perfect” reception should be for them. Here are a few things, the Do’s and Don’ts to think about while planning your special day.
Want the perfect designer shoes to walk down the aisle in? One thing to keep in mind for the reception is to bring a comfortable pair of shoes, even flip-flops, to change into after your first dance. You feet will be happy you did!
Don’t forget an emergency kit for the day of the wedding that can include anything from a needle and thread to clear nail polish, superglue, safety pins and bobby pins. You never know what will happen when you least expect it and this will be a life saver.
Congratulations to everyone who got engaged over this holiday season! I have been planning weddings at the Inn for the past 10 years and have some tips that may be helpful in the beginning of your wedding planning journey.
What is the first thing that every bride wants to do once engaged? Tell everyone she knows! While your parents and immediate family should be the first to know, telling them in person is the best way to share your news. Once your family knows your good news it is time to share with everyone else. There are numerous ways to get the news out quickly. Making phone calls is definitely one way to start, but you can also consider noting your engagement on Facebook and sending an e-mail to everyone you want to share with. There is also the traditional route in throwing an engagement party and posting your engagement in your local newspaper.
After the excitement of getting engaged starts to wear off it is time to officially start planning your wedding and reception. The first thing that every couple should determine is your budget and how much will be allotted to each segment of your wedding which can include the church, reception, flowers, entertainment, photography, favors, honeymoon, etc…
Your next step is picking your wedding date by seeing what dates your ceremony and reception venues are both available. Be open when considering dates especially if on a tight budget as most venues will offer a discount for a Friday evening or Sunday wedding. When looking at reception venues it is best to research all that you are interested in and then narrowing down your list to 3 – 5 and making appointments to check the ones that you are really interested in. Keep in mind that you will love and not love something about every venue you look at and should make your decision on what is most important to you. Continue reading
Where are you going to be Friday night? If you answered “the tree lighting at Palmer Square” then you will be in the company of thousands who come downtown each year to share in the illumination of the big tree on the Green. Those of you who haven’t shared in the moment yet you need to experience the magic of the event to realize just how special it is.
I am amazed every year that my kids ask if we are going to attend the Palmer Square Tree Lighting. “Where else would we be” is always my answer. It is a tradition that started for us many years ago. I could not imagine being any other place than the Palmer Square Green for this event the night after Thanksgiving. It is the kickoff to our holiday season and gets us in the mood to celebrate and to share special times with family and friends. I love the music, the decorations and the festive atmosphere, but most of all I love the look on my children’s faces when it all comes together and the magic pixie dust lights up the tree and Santa leads the crowd in a rousing round of Jingle Bells. There is nothing more precious to me than seeing the innocence in their eyes and the pureness in their voices as they sing along, even when it is out of tune. Continue reading