Christmas Shopping Trends 2014 [Infographic]

American consumers are increasing their shopping time online and on their smartphones! This is the final conclusion we came up here as we analyzed recent shopping trends. Black Friday is still the dominant shopping day of the year, but Cyber Monday sales have increased every year as consumers have become more comfortable shopping online using their smartphones and tablets.

 

Check out the infographic below for some more insights into consumer shopping habits this Christmas.

 

Christmas Shopping Trends 2014

 


 

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Turkey Time: 3 Ways To Cook Your Tasty Bird

turkey sealed 2

The best way to cook your turkey for Thanksgiving is still a hot topic nowadays. Whether a professional or amateur home cook, everyone has a different opinion about the best way to cook their turkeys. The way to cook a turkey, like many culinary issues, is a matter of your own taste, and there isn’t one best to do it.

 

Seal The Deal

One way to cook your bird is to start by sealing the skin. So get the temperature to 200°C (not °F) and let it cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Slow cook from then on for as long as needed at 150-160°C wrapped in foil, this helps to keep moisture in. This may take over 6 hours (large enough bird to feed 12) to cook. During the last 30 minutes, remove the foil to let the turkey brown.

foil turkey

Stuff the chest cavity with vegetables, herbs, and fruit does keep it moist, but check to make sure they cook as well. You can also lift up the skin and add spices or herbs to add flavor to the breast. The secret to juicy chicken breast is simple – brine them before grilling or baking! It’s very easy and economical, and requires no special cookware. This is the secret that chefs never tell you about.

 

Grill For The Thrill

Have you ever tried grilling a whole turkey? Grilling is in fact becoming one of the most popular methods of cooking turkey and it is also one of the healthiest cooking methods as well. The grilling process allows fat to drip away from the turkey as it cooks, keeping the meat full of flavor, and more importantly nutritious.

grilled turkey

If the turkey has been frozen or chilled, bring it to room temperature before cooking. Keep it in the plastic wrapping until you are ready to cook it. Place it in a pan while it is getting to room temperature so if it leaks, you’ll be fine. If you get a frozen turkey, you will need to defrost it in the refrigerator for several days first. Note that you will need approximately 5 hours of defrosting for every pound.

 

Traditional Is Unconditional

And lastly, there’s the traditional method. You’ll need to thaw out the bird, of course. After it’s been thawed, roll up your sleeves and remove the neck and giblets. Rinse out the turkey then dry it inside and out with a paper towel. Once dry, rub the inside of the turkey with a little salt. You can stuff and truss the bird, making sure to leave some room for expansion of the dressing. Now rub with a very light coat of butter under the skin. Place it on a rack, breast side down, in a roaster pan.

traditional turkey

A general oven temperature of 180 degrees is fine, although it’s best to give it half an hour at 220 first, to get it heated through. An organic turkey may take less time than this (2 and a half to 3 hours is recommended for a 12lb bird) and it will also cook slightly faster if there is no stuffing in the cavity. Most importantly, make sure you baste the bird every thirty minutes to keep it moist and flavorful!

 

There are so many ways to cook a turkey it would be hard to really list them all. But one thing is for sure, there is nothing more tasty or satisfying than a properly cooked turkey. Have you own method of cooking the bird? Let us know below!

 


 

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3 Tech Deals To Look For This Black Friday

Every year Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year that every bargain shopper eagerly anticipates. This year Black Friday falls on the second-latest possible date, November 28th. This will give retailers a shorter than average period between Black Friday and Christmas, the most important stretch of the year for them, which should mean more deals after Black Friday as well.

 

We’ve come up with 3 tech deals you should look for this upcoming Black Friday 2014.

 

1. Larger-Sized TV Deals – Go Big or Go Home!

TV’s are usually one of the biggest seller’s at most top retailers each Black Friday, and for good reason. Each year, as the sizes that are up for sale tend to grow, discounts do too. So it is realistic to assume that the same should be expected this year.

 

New this year, we can expect to see several models of Ultra HD models, as well as a curved screen model or two, to appear in Black Friday ads.  You can also expect deals in Black Friday ads for under $250 on a lower-quality model.

At Best Buy, these TV door buster deals will be available in limited quantity.

  • A 55-inch Samsung UHD TV, model UN55HU6830FXZA, a 120Hz smart TV that will be available for $899.99
  • The 55-inch LG 55LB5900, priced at $479.99, a 1080p 120Hz set that doesn’t have many other features
  • A 50-inch Vizio M502I-B1, a 240Hz smart TV set in the company’s step-up M series, for $499.99

Ultra HD 4K

  • Samsung UN55HU7250FXZA, a curved UHD TV, for $1,299.99
  • LG 55UB8200 for $1,300
  • Sony XBR55X850B, in its entry-level 4K series, for $1,499.99
  • Vizio P552UI-B2, a P-series model, priced at $1,299.99

Large 1080p

  • Samsung’s 60-inch 120Hz 1080p LED/LCD smart TV, model UN60H6203AFXZ for $799
  • LG’s 65-inch 1080p LED/LCD (65LB5200) for $799
  • Sharp’s 60-inch Aquos 1080p LED/LCD smart TV (model LC-60LE644) for $699
  • a 60-inch Sony 120Hz smart LED/LCD TV, model KDL-60R510A for $799
  • Sharp’s 70-inch LC-70TQ15U, a 240Hz 1080p smart LED/LCD TV for $1,799

 

2. Apple Products Galore – iPhones, iPads, & More!

Apple products are among the first items that shoppers look for deals on during the Black Friday event.

Walmart will be selling the new Apple iPhone 6 at a $20 discount and giving buyers a $75 gift card on top of that. Target is offering a similar deal except the $75 gift card will be only $30.  Don’t be cheap Target!

 

Staples will be offering the Apple iPad Mini 2 for $239.  Target will offer a $140 store gift card with the purchase of a 16GB iPad Air 2 (which lists for $499), a $100 card with a 16GB iPad Mini 3 or iPad Air ($399 each), and an $80 card with a 16GB non-Retina iPad Mini ($249).

 

For Apple Macbooks at Best Buy, shoppers will be able to save $150 off of the larger 13.3-inch MacBook Air and $120 off of the smaller 11.6-inch MacBook Air. With respect to the MacBook Pro, the 13.3-inch model with Retina display will come with $150 worth of savings while the non-Retina model will come with $200 worth of dicsounts.
The final price tag will appear like this:

  • MacBook Air 13.3-inch – $1049.99
  • MacBook Air 11.6-inch – $779.99
  • MacBook Pro Retina Display – $1349.99
  • MacBook Pro non-Retina – $899.99

 

3. Laptops – Yes these still exist!

One of the most popular Black Friday ad items traditionally has been the ultra-cheap laptop. Models with upgraded components should also be very good deals this year. Back-to-school sales were down and that factor, combined with lower prices for the individual components should lead to great bargains this year.

Best Buy is dishing out the Acer Chromebook 11.6-inch for $149.99 (regular price $199.99). Staples is selling a super cheap Asus laptop for $99.99, giving shoppers a $150 discount.

 

Looking for a laptop/tablet combo? Wal-mart is offering a Toshiba 2in1 Touchscreen laptop for $299. That’s a sweet deal for a laptop/tablet combo that usually goes for $500.

 

Remember, to get a jump on great Black Friday deals, start planning now, research your purchases and above all else spread good cheer. If previous years’ Black Fridays are any indication, pretty much everything will be on sale. If you haven’t already started budgeting for this usually big expense, now would be a good time to start!

 


 

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New Insider Club – Special Deals & Promotions Available

Special Announcement - New Insider Club

 

insider-clubProtect Your Bubble has just launched our new Insider Club that gives you access to exclusive promotions, discounts, and coupons! Currently we are offering a special 15% off discount on Identity Theft Protection to Insiders.

 

The Insider Club also allows you access to save quotes and access them at a later date – talk about super convenient. Click here now to sign up for special offers on already affordable protection plans.

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Carving Time! 3 Best Turkey Carving Knives

turkey carving

The 4th Thursday in November looms large in our minds as it’s that time of the year to dazzle your extended family, with tasty turkey, out-of-this-world sides, and perfectly cooked pies. This holiday always mean family and FOOD! It is tradition that the head of household carve the turkey as family members watch the ritual intently.

 

Here are the 3 best turkey carving knives that won’t blow your wallet wide open.

 

Victorinox 12-inch Granton Edge Slicing Knife with Fibrox Handle

victorinox slicing knife

This NSF approved, 12-inch granton edge slicing knife was expertly made in Switzerland, it features a safe, rounded tip; gives long, straight edge to maximize cutting surface. Its blade is made up of high-carbon stainless-steel, conical ground for a wider break point, and is ice tempered to sustain sharpness. The blade is stamped from cold-rolled steel; it has a bolsterless edge for use of entire blade and ease of sharpening. The patented fibrox handle is textured, slip resistant, and ergonomically designed for balance and comfort. This carving knife also has a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.

 

J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL Classic 8-inch Carving Knife

ja henckels carving knife

J.A. Henckels International Classic series features a heavy weight, forged blade and a classic 3 rivet handle design. The result is a knife of truly professional caliber knife at a great value. This professional kitchen utensil is made of stain-resistant carbon steel that’s hot drop forged for durability. The hand honed blade guarantees a precision cutting edge that will stay sharper longer. The triple riveted, classic design handles are comfortable, durable, and more importantly, unbreakable. The full bolster also provides added weight and ensures safety. This 8-inch carving knife is perfect for slicing your turkey while providing thin consistent slices every time.

 

Zyliss Stainless Steel 7.5-Inch Carving Knife

Zyliss Carving Knife

Zyliss is a Swiss company that is internationally known for their exceptionally crafted hand-held kitchen tools and has been around for over 50 years. Recognized for their legendary durability quality and engineering, Zyliss tools have been a favorite in the US for over 4 decades. Their 7.5 inch stainless steel knife blade stays sharp for long lasting use and the ergonomic handle with rubber grip reduces hand fatigue and allows for precision and control. Perfect for carving turkeys, the Zyliss Carving Knife is a home cook’s essential tool.

 

A good knife won’t tear any meat fibers. For best results, choose a carving knife that is long enough to cut through a large roast turkey in a single stroke. You should also know that carving knives aren’t very expensive. Of course, the better the carving knife, the higher the price, but a higher price also brings along more safety and better results, so check out your kitchen and see what it is missing.

 


 

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