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Jen

Author Archives: Jen

Product Discovery Manager at Daily Grommet.

  • Apple picking & Jen's best apple pie recipe

    When the air becomes crisp and the leaves begin to change color, it signals the start of fall and apple picking season. What’s great about living in New England is that there are so many farms that grow apples in close proximity to Boston. It has become our family tradition to head out to Honey Pot Farms in Stowe, MA to pick our own apples. There is nothing better then an apple that has been fresh picked. The cool fall temperatures make the apple snap as you bite in to it. The fresh apples are crunchy and juicy all at the same time.

     best apple pie recipe

    Because of this bounty of apples, we end up with bushels of apples that are not only great for eating but also great for making apple pie. My secret weapon in pie making is my mom’s pie crust. What I love about this pie crust recipe is it is easy to handle, turns out flaky, and can be frozen for future use. The crust makes for the best apple pie recipe. Don’t be surprised by the secret ingredients in this recipe.

    Pie Crust

    4 cups unsifted flour

    ½ teaspoon baking powder

    4 teaspoons sugar

    1 teaspoon salt

    2 cups Cold Shortening (Crisco Sticks work best)

    1 egg

    1 Tablespoon Vinegar

    Water

    Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt into bowl. Cut in shortening. Break one egg into 1 cup glass measuring cup add vinegar, fill to ¾ cup with water. Stir lightly to break egg. Add to flour shortening mixture. Divide dough into quarters. Chill 10-15 minutes. Roll out for pies. Can be frozen, be sure to divide into quarters before freezing.

     best apple pie recipe - fillingAs for the apples filling, I like to make apple pies with Cortland apples. For the filling you’ll need about 6-8 apples depending on the size or 8 cups. You’ll need to peel, core, and slice the apples and put in a bowl and combine with the following ingredients-3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 Tablespoons flour. Then pour the filling in to the rolled out bottom pie crust. Roll out the top crust and place on top of the filling. Pinch the sides of the pie and make decorative cuts in the top pie crust to let the steam out. Then place in a 400 degrees oven for about 40-50 minutes.

     

     

    I can smell the pie baking right now!

     best apple pie recipe

    Do you have a twist on apple pie? Let me know your best apple pie recipe.

  • Being a LEGO Spy

    I just couldn't resist a tour of the Lego booth at the Toy Fair in New York City.  As a kid my brother was obsessed with Legos.  Now my two sons, nephews, and nieces are all huge fans.  LEGOs are one of those toys that you really never outgrow and I noticed that Lego fans are fanatical and can span the ages. There are websites and blogs like brickzone.net that speculate when new sets will arrive and provide support groups for custom designs. I was giddy to see the new products and get the inside scoop.  Upon checking in at the LEGO booth, I was greeted with, "I can't wait to tell my mother I got to hang with a Daily Grommet girl today".  OK, that had nothing to do with Legos but it did make the Lego tour even better.

    Lego

    Here's what I got to see inside the secret booth filled with new Lego sets for 2011.  A cool Alien Mothership (7065) from the Alien Conquest series that actually has a sound brick and a handle so kids can run around and fly the space ship.  I understand that this is the first building set to make sound. I like how Lego listened to its customers and added an arm or handle so kids can actually play with the building sets.

    new lego sets 2011

    This is a picture of the New Cars 2 Legos series that is co-branded with Disney.  These sets will launch in May right around the time of the movie.  Notice the black boxes.  Yes I got to see what will be coming soon.

    Lego - Pirates

    Lego is also partnering with the Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides movie (available in May).  Again, look closely at the box with the words "Confidential" on it.

    Lego - farm

    This is the first chicken and goat for Lego from the Kingdoms series (available in August).

    new products - legos

    The Space Center set from the City series (available in August) was designed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle. I hate to admit it but I can remember back to April 12, 1981 when the first space shuttle was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to orbit the earth for the first time.  I love that Lego is celebrating a little bit of history and sharing that with our children.

    After getting the inside scoop about what's next in Lego world, I had an incredible dream to be able to partner with Lego and help them launch a new line.   Can you imagine if Daily Grommet got to help launch the next new Lego designed building series.   I would be the coolest mom, aunt, friend ever.

    What is/was your favorite LEGO series ever?

     
  • Picking just one at the NYIGF

    When I was asked back to be a judge for the NYIGF "Blogger's Choice Awards" it was time to get my brave on. In 3 short hours I needed to scan the over 200 booths in Accent on Design, get to know the artist and then appear on video. I was looking for the little guy -- the starving artist. In a sea of flashy well designed booths and products, you would think it would be hard to find the new guy. In my opinion the new guy is usually easier to find. The new guy usually has a smile on their face, a sparkle in their eye and well a story to tell. Not just an elevator pitch, a real story. A story of how they got there and where they want to go. So when I walked into the American Design Club booth at the NYIGF I knew I had found the real deal. A bunch of storytellers. I spent some time in the booth getting to know the artists and knew that I had found my nomination. What made it harder is I found a bunch of real deals. I chose three artists to interview from the American Design Club.

    My first interview was with Steph Mantis. What caught my eye with Steph's work was the intricate details of the animals butts and the humor in her art. She also just happen to grow up in New England.
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  • Interesting oddities found at the NYIGF

    It's funny what catches my eye at big shows like the New York International Gift Fair (or NYIGF). I am usually pressed for time and have a jammed pack schedule.  This year was no different.  As I walked the aisles I found some fun products that put a smile on my face.

    This is Areaware's newest color "Bank in the Form of a Pig" in metallic blue.  The designer is Harry Allen.  The pig is made out of Resin and Marble.  The cast is from a pig that died of natural causes(gross).  The bank holds up to  $10,000 in dollar bills. That is what I call a great rainy day account.

     Working Class Studio was showcasing a new vase design by Corey Green, a Senior at SCAD. If you look closely you will see that the stand is laser cut acrylic and the actual vase is a colorful balloon.  Working Class Studios is working with Corey to bring this product to market.  This is definitely on my watch list.

    Continue Reading

  • Me, a judge?

    Jen Lockwood

    Have you ever been asked to be a judge?  To me, being selected as a judge means that you know an awful lot about whatever you are judging.  This past week I was asked to be a judge at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) and help select a Bloggers' Choice Award winner.  OK, I have to admit this was pretty cool.  With my trusty partner Kate McLeod, we walked the NYIGF floors on Monday in search of the next big thing.  

    Here's an excerpt that explains what I had to do and who I picked:

    "BLOGGERS' CHOICE" AWARDS PRESENTED
    TO ACCENT ON DESIGN
    ® EXHIBITORS

    NEW YORK, NY, August 18, 2010... Bloggers from eight leading design and trend-watching sites have selected their top picks for "urgent, odd and delightfully designed" products from the summer 2010 edition of Accent on Design®. The Bloggers' Choice Awards are presented semi-annually to exhibitors in Accent on Design, one of 10 divisions of the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF).

    Each blogger selected one product from among the thousands featured by 200 Accent on Design exhibitors. So, who did I select?

    Cast Iron Skillets by Borough Furnace (Murfreesboro, TN)!

    In short, I selected Borough Furnace because I like the story behind the product. From humble beginnings as scraped, upcycled iron to a cool, hip, useful cast-iron skillet that will last forever. Old made new -- that is what grabbed my attention.

    In action - pouring iron at night

    Beyond Jason Connelly and John Truex of Borough Furnace being super nice guys and having a great story, their company is going places. I have a gut feeling that someone big is going to help Jason and John get the resources they need to produce their cast iron skillets. I told them not to forget their friends at Daily Grommet when they hit it big. Check out their website to see how the Cast Iron Skillets are made. What a story to tell!

    On top of being honored as a judge I was also asked if I would help with a video. Cate Salvatore, from the NYIGF, used her trusty Kodak to film me on the floor interviewing Jason. I definitely was a bit nervous and well even more enthusiastic then I normally am. Luckily, Jason jumped in with a minutes warning. If you want to check it, click here.

    As I reflect back on the whole being a judge experience, I realized that I am a judge everyday. I look at hundreds of products a week and only a few make it on the calendar. I am by no means a Simon Cowell but I am learning to spot a winner when I see one.

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