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Five Steps to Living from Your 'Highest Self'

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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Consignment Shopping To Stay Stylish In A Down Economy

By Jaclyn Cashman   |   Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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Oct. 19. 2011

Watch the segment that aired on Oct. 17 on WGBH's Greater Boston.


BOSTON — Most shoppers, even label lovers, agree that clothing doesn't give you a great return on your investment, only your sense of style.

To stay stylish in this rugged economy, people are turning more to secondhand clothing.

Sam Hollister is a realtor by trade, but her passion is finding great shopping deals. She found a consignment shop in her neighborhood a few years ago and boasts that 60 percent of her clothing is used. She says she turns over her collection by bartering.

Hollister said, "If I sell a 300-dollar dress I am probably only getting less than 100 dollars for it, but I use that credit to buy another dress so it is kind of like operating at zero, which is great."

The Closet on Newbury Street has been in business for 34 years. Kevin Kish started the business in his living room and explains how the process works today.

Kish said, "It is good to have an appointment. Once someone does that, we ask them to bring in their 15 best pieces. We price it for them and mail checks every month."

The question everyone wants to know is how much can they make.

Kish said, "The contract says we set the price, but we do listen to our consigners. We don't want them walking away or being upset with the clothing that we sell."

Generally, an article of clothing sells for half or a third of the original price. If the item doesn't sell in 30 days the price drops by 25 percent and 50 percent after 60 days.

Each consignment shop offers different deals. The Closet gives you half the sale price, while Second Time Around writes a check to the consigner for 40 percent of the profit.

Another option for the cost conscious shopper is to rent a dress for a Friday night party. A company out of Harvard Business School called Rent the Runway came up with the idea.

Rent the Runway allows women to rent designer dresses and accessories starting at $40 for dresses and $10 for accessories. Letitia Tandean is a BU Student and an RTR Rep.

Tandean said, "I know a lot of college students and I know we can't get a new dress every week. It is a way to expand your wardrobe without really expanding it."

Tandean doesn't get paid in dollars but credit toward a free rental.

Tandean said, "If we get girls to sign up we get dress credits and if we get a girl to rent a dress we get more credits."

RTR lets you rent the dresses for 4 or 8 days. You don't have to dryclean it once you are done — just pop it in a mailbox.

If you don't want to share the profit with a consignment shop, you can also try your luck with eBay. However, it is very important to post photos that really show off the clothing and provide a quality description. The better the photos you post, the greater the profit. You should share your eBay links on Facebook and Twitter to publicize what you are selling.

Corn and Tomato Tart
By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
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I watch the fields grow all summer long, waiting for the first opportunity to get my hands on a couple ears of fresh corn. And what goes better with corn than its farm field cousin, tomatoes? One of the best places to get corn has to be Verrill Farm in Concord, MA and this corn and tomato tart recipe is their idea.

Total time: 60 minutes; active time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Filling ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
5 ears corn, kernels cut off
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 scallions, chopped
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Baked pie crust (see recipe below)

Directions
Heat oven to 375°

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add corn and cook about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put half of corn mixture in pre-baked pie crust. Layer cheese evenly on top. Add remaining corn mixture. Scatter cherry tomatoes and scallions on top.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and cream; pour egg mixture over tart.

Bake 30 minutes until tart is golden brown.

Piecrust recipe
This recipe is for a 9-by-10-inch pie pan (a tart pan may also be used)

Ingredients
3/4 cups flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold water

Directions
Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse together flour, butter, and salt until mixture resembles corn kernels.

Add water and pulse just until the mixture forms a ball. Roll out dough and place in pie pan. Cover with parchment paper and a handful of dried beans or pie weights.

Bake 15 minutes. Let crust cool and add filling.

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Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Spicy Wok Clams and Leeks By Ming Tsai

Friday, August 6, 2010
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When I come across a flavor I really love, I like to spread it around, and the best way to spread the great flavor of Indonesia’s spicy sambal is with crème fraiche, the French multitasker that also mellows sambal’s heat — which you will see in todays’ recipe: Spicy Wok Clams and Leeks, an all-in-one seafood dish with a nuance of bacon and garlic.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 slices of bacon, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 large leeks, white parts only, julienned, washed, rinsed, spun dry
1 tablespoon sambal
2 pounds small clams or cockles, purged in corn meal/water solution
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup crème fraiche
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crusty multi grain or whole wheat bread

Directions
In a wok over medium-high heat very lightly coated with oil, render the bacon. Pour off almost all the bacon fat and add garlic and leeks, saute until softened and season with salt and pepper. Add sambal and clams and deglaze with wine and cover. Cook until clams open, about 6-8 minutes. Add crème fraiche and stir into liquid. Serve with crusty bread in large bowls.

Drink Pairing
Hopler Gewurztraminer 2003
Creamy on the palate with a long finish, this is a particularly great pairing with spicy Asian foods and seafood.
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Chef Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the nation.

Easy Breadsticks
By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
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I love throwing dinner parties. I am always trying to think of fun and tasty snacks to have as appetizers: not too fancy or fussy, things you can pick up with your hands, and something I can make myself. I was recently at a cocktail party where breadsticks were served — store-bought — and they were okay, but I figured they can’t be too hard to make and I can add any flavors I like.

Ingredients
Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)

Any toppings you prefer. (we suggest black and white sesame seeds, fennel and coriander seeds, poppy seeds, chile powder, finely grated Parmesan cheese, za’atar spice mix, or freshly ground black pepper)

About 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt

Directions
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out your favorite pizza dough (store-bought or homemade) to about 1/3 inch thick.

Using a large knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips.

Brush lightly with water and sprinkle with any mix of seeds, spices, and cheese. One by one lift the ends of the strip and twist. Arranged the twisted strips onto baking sheets.

Bake until nicely browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Let cool, then serve or store up to 1 day in an airtight container.

annie copps with appleAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Simple Steps To Improve Weight, Memory, And Mood

Thursday, March 10, 2011
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