What are the effects of skin upgrade in CS:GO impact your inventory?

CS:GO Skin Enhancements How Do They Work?

If you require a “cosmetic” improvement to your gear to improve the enjoyment of playing CS:GO be sure to be aware of skin upgraders and their functions generally. There are a lot of websites with these subjects but it’ll be difficult to pick the most effective of them. In this article, we will show players how you can upgrade CSGO skin sand if it’s worth the money on them by 2022.

What websites can you recommend to upgrade skins in CSGO?

The first step is to must define what skins in CS-GO are cosmetic improvements to objects that don’t impact the game by any means. Skins are applied to weapons, knives and sets of various objects. Today, the price of skins can vary between a couple of cents up to hundreds of dollars. There are skins that start at $0.10 in addition to items costing up to $1,000 or even more. The price is determined by the amount of demand and the rarity of the product. The Trade-Up Contract is one way to enhance skins in CSGO, however, for this you’ll require 10 skins from the exact level you’d like to increase. However, the most efficient method is to obtain new skins in CSGO via special upgrade websites.

In simpler terms, CS:GO skins allow players to auction off the skin you would like to upgrade and receive something worth greater than the amount they’re putting their money on. Additionally, you can locate and purchase lots of chests. When we add it all together it is clear that this is a good option to not buy cheap skins in your CSGO inventory.

What is a skin upgrade in CS:GO?

An upgrade to a skin is an exchange of many low-level skins in exchange for more advanced items at a price. As an example, suppose you own two Vanilla folding knives you don’t require. You could trade them in for a single knife, for instance, of the Vanilla butterfly knife. This could be more appealing for you.

How do skin enhancement sites function in the game?

Keep in mind that sites for skin enhancement are as a lottery. Nobody knows for sure what the odds are of obtaining the skin you’ve always wanted. The more costly the new product is in comparison to the price of your old skin it is less likely that you are to be able to purchase it.

Let us explain the entire process by giving an illustration. Imagine you own skins that cost 50 cents. However, you want to purchase something new that costs greater than 20 dollars. If that’s the case, your chances of you getting the skin is approximately 2percent. If you don’t win your skin, the majority of upgraders will offer the money to make you feel better in the event that you fail. This is a small gesture for those who participate but are disappointed because they didn’t receive any prizes. It’s also a great marketing tactic to attract new clients and keep them on your website.

How can I enter this contest? 

You must sign into their Steam account prior to choosing the skin you would like to play. You then have to select the item you wish to purchase. The price of the skin that the player provides and the product you choose will determine the chance of being successful. The chance is determined by the chosen site and there are two possible outcomes 1)) the player receives an upgrade or upgrade, and 2.) the skin provided disappears.

How do you upgrade skins?

Find out how to upgrade your CS-GO skins below.

  • Find a site on which you can sell or upgrade your skins. As we’ve mentioned there are lots of skin upgrade sites in CS:GO which allow for the task. You can also seek advice from the community of CS:GO players;
  • Register. You need to have an active Steam account. Things become more readily available typically following the 3rd deposit after which you can begin trading or upgrading;
  • Choose the item from your Steam inventory that you would like to trade. Choose “Offer to trade.” The bot will take your payment and the raffle will start;
  • Choose the probability percentage. Skin Upgraders can provide you with various indicators, but in general, they’re 1.5 percent and 2%. They also offer 5 percent, and 50 percent. The likelihood of receiving the upgrade is proportional to the amount that the update. For instance, if you make an upgrade of x50 then the likelihood of receiving the item would be 3 percent.

That’s it. Each site you be sure of has an exclusive upgrade simulator that is built on a mathematical concept that shows the likelihood that skins can be upgraded. If you fail the game, you will receive a huge prize, and even if you fail to complete five unsuccessful upgrades within the same row, you will not lose the skin that you bet.

How do you select an upgrade website?

Since every person’s taste is diverse, picking the top skin-enhancing products is a matter of the research you make and your choices. A lot of sites offer perks and offers that attract customers, but it is important to take into consideration the following aspects:

  1. Explore the marketplace online for skin upgrade websites in CS:GO and find sites that have good reputations and plenty of favorable reviews and reviews of other customers. So, you’ll know whether the site is one worthy of your trust. For instance, take an examination of Farmskins;
  2. Find out the login options available to you. For instance, you can sign in using Steam, Twitter or Facebook to discover the options are available but don’t only limit your options to Steam;
  3. Go through the deposit catalog for suggested skins that will fit your needs, whether it’s the ones you already own or those you’ve always wanted
  4. Find out what interesting options are available for example, learning about promotions and bonuses to gain access to rewards
  5. Always read the conditions of use, and then find out which payment options are available.

Before you upgrade your skins, go through the descriptions and determine whether they’re worth the price Make sure you’re not wasting your money to waste

Numbers balloons to celebrate Celebrations

 How can you make your party brighter and more beautiful? What elements should you use to ensure that the celebration will be remembered for a long period of time and the emotions from it will be the most beautiful?

 We have the solution. It’s well-known to all and everyone’s favorite balloons are sure to serve you well. “Banal!” “Banal!. “Tired,” will support other. We’ll be the first to oppose and convince you that these balloons are cool. They are gorgeous, bright, imaginative and create a wonderful mood. But, they’re flexible and timeless. They are always relevant, never be outdated and can be used for any celebration. The choice of balloons nowadays is so wide that it will conquer even the most demanding customer. If you’re bored with the standard options, pay attention to foil balloons with the shape of numbers https://balloons.online/numbers-balloons/number-40/. What are their advantages?

They are original and original. They will draw any attention and the birthday child will be twice as thrilled to be surprised with a balloon of this kind;

 The balloons’ designs leave room for imagination. You can present one figure, make a composition of balloons, or create something unique and fun. For example, for an anniversary celebration, you can ask a gorgeous woman in the prime of life, you can present with the numbers “18”. The birthday girl is sure to be delighted, and the guests will surely appreciate this idea.

 This item is like a design. With such a balloon it is easy to plan a great photo shoot to celebrate an anniversary celebration or birthday that will be in your memory for the duration of. It is also possible to create a stylish party decoration or a cute photo area which will draw the attention of guests;

 Foil figures are durable and durable. Unlike latex, foil is less vulnerable and will last longer. If you inflate the balloon with helium, in some time, it will fall down, but it will keep its original appearance. If you choose to use regular air, it will delight you for a lengthy time.

 Balloons and figures

 Decoration for a holiday party does not necessarily mean spending lots of money for various decorations. Figurines and balloons aren’t expensive, but they could provide the right atmosphere for the entire event and create the right mood. The catalog available on this website includes foil products in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. You can even find rainbow-colored balloons with digits. We only partner with trusted producers of festive paraphernalia and therefore, we are able recommend these items at our discretion to customers.

 The uniqueness of the balloons that we sell:

  •   Original design – in shape of numbers
  •   a variety of colors and patterns;
  •   a valve for inflation with helium
  •   Long service life – up to a month.

 Balloons created in the form of numbers are great for celebrations of birthdays, memorial dates anniversary celebrations, corporate events and so on. The range of applications is very wide. You can consult our staff on the range – they are happy to provide the best products and the best value.

 Numerical balloons are a perfect solution for any event. Just think, it is not important what celebration is being celebrated or where it takes place they will work well at home or outdoors for both adults and kids. will enjoy these balloons. Company balloons online provides a vast selection of products available in various sizes and colors. There are balloons in form of figures, and a size of 102cm. Also, you can order square and round balloons, with written numbers as well as numbers on sticks and foil greetings inscriptions.

Local SEO: What do you know about it? And how can you be successful in it?

The majority of businesses offer their services or sell products in limited cities and locations. To get the most natural traffic on their websites as they can, business owners have to implement what’s known as “local SEO”.

A good example is the company offers an opportunity to rent aerial towers, or an online store selling building items. It’s unlikely that the proprietor of the business that leases aerial towers will make money to ship a machine that has an aerial tower to another city, or for a person who requires more than 10 bags of concrete would be profitable to purchase the cement to be delivered to a different city. The business owner is concerned about maximizing profits, while the client is looking to save money. Thus, both parties will wish to deliver or get their goods and services in the area where they reside. This is why local SEO can benefit the owner of the business https://five.media/seo-optimization-services/local-seo/. Let’s discuss it in greater details. 

How do you define local SEO?

The Local SEO strategy is a method that helps you rank highly in search results for queries that clearly identify an exact location or city.

Around 50% of all queries are local. Alongside queries that refer to specific cities, these also comprise queries that contain “near me”, and “near me” as well as other similar terms.

In most cases, the impact of local queries on promotion is quicker than that of general queries because the competition is lower which means it takes less effort and time to attain good rankings.

Local queries typically are less frequent than general questions. Due to the increased increase in traffic from local queries sites can receive much more conversions than if it tries to address general inquiries. Additionally, local SEO can allow certain regions to compete with large competitors that control the volume of general searches.

How do you convince the search engine that your site is relevant to specific area and be ahead of your competitors?

There are a variety of essential factors to be considered when promoting your website locally.

Google My Business

Google My Business Google My Business is an application that is part of Google search engine. It is basically an organization directory. All organizations registered are shown on maps and are shown on the web within Google’s local search blocks

This block contains businesses that are near your area.

This is among the most effective ways to inform the search engine what region you’re providing services to customers from.

When you add your company, you will also be able to share information about your company, services and products, as well as answer the questions of users. Customers can also provide reviews about your company that can help make it easier for potential customers to get in touch with them rather than rivals.

A good example of an card for organization with lots of reviews:

A Google My Business organization card can have a significant impact on the success of local organic results. It supplies the search engine with as much information regarding your business as it can as well as your actions and reviews could reveal details regarding how well you are delivering your offerings and how well you’re reaching your customers that could be used in ranking your website pages to local searches.

Local search queries

When you are gathering the semantic core during the process of analysing your website and its specific niche, you must determine the potential that your business can offer in global and local search. If your local potential is higher than the global, then the focus should be on queries that have the toponym or queries that have the appearance in the form of “near me”. This type of query are extremely popular and in certain niches, even more than general queries. In the second category frequency, the situation for the CIS countries isn’t too excellent, but the trend is moving towards the realization that in the near future, these queries will be no less popular than the general text queries. It is therefore important to consider them.

Local landing pages

If your company provides services across multiple regions A good way to provide them all is to make websites for every region. This way, you’ll be able to spread queries across the site significantly more effectively. For instance, if you’re a photographer, and you’re willing to travel from the area you live in to three or two nearby ones, then creating pages for each will help you achieve better positions in local search.

Maybe you have a large amount of merchandise that you want to sell, but are able to deliver to other regions and creating local pages could be a great idea.

Internal optimization

One of the most important aspects of promoting a website is internal optimization. It is one of its most significant components is optimizing meta-data as well as content.

Local SEO has its own set of specificities when it comes to optimizing meta tags and the content.

As you’re aware that the title should begin with the most significant and relevant search query then followed by the appearance of additional words that describe the website for both the user and search engines. Local SEO demands that the title’s title contain details about the area that is being promoted.

This will assist the search engine recognizes the importance of this site to the needs of users from that area.

For content, they must be available in the area where the business’s services were promoted. This is another method to demonstrate the relevancy of the website to local search queries.

LocalBusiness micro-markup

You can learn more about the meaning of micro markup by reading our blog post “What does micro markup mean? “.

What we’ll be looking at is a different kind of micro markup that’s called LocalBusiness.

This kind of micro-patterning permits you to write down information about your business. Telephone number, address and hours of operation branch locations, the type of payment that is accepted or service territory, etc.

There are numerous variations that make up this patterning. Learn more about them on schema.org.

If we’re using this micro-pattern, say for a cleaning service website, it’s appropriate to add a section that lists the types of services available and other services. Make the micro-patterning adaptable to your site’s style.

By the implementation of this kind of micro-patterning within your code website it is possible that your site will appear in a block alongside local businesses:

It is also possible to get the traffic to your website through this block that is not an inefficient use of your time.

The quality and quantity of the link mass that leads to the site are extremely important for site promotion. To promote a local website, it is essential to connect to local quality and reliable resources. To ensure the effectiveness of the localization of a site, it is crucial to create these links. The most efficient method to locate websites is with the aid of competitor analysis. Most likely, they have links from local authority sources.

Additionally, as well as the links to local resources it is essential to include these in local directories as well as directories. The inclusion of these sites is not a lot of effort and in the near future, it could bring excellent results, particularly when the website has an impressive audience and are able to leave reviews. Restaurants and cafes, Tripadvisor can be a great illustration. The service is influential and has credibility. Customers can find the company directly thus the listing in this directory is essential. Additionally, a link there is a great signal to your search engine.

These mentions and links could increase brand awareness as your business becomes more prominent in different regions.

Link mass must be increased in a continuous manner However, if you’re looking to be as prominent as you can on local results, you must concentrate effort on local websites and resources.


Local SEO is an essential element of website optimization for companies operating in a specific area. A key element of this is working with the company’s Google My Business card. Other local websites that have user reviews and queries, as well as hyperlinks from directories and local authority resources, are also considered. Don’t forget about an internal optimizing of your site for local inquiries, which can boost the odds of getting to the highest levels.

The experience of the past shows that it is easier to achieve high rankings in local search results than general searches. This is the reason we suggest that new companies concentrate their efforts on ranking within the area they service their customers.

How to Prepare Your Mind and Body for Childbirth

9 months is a long time. And so that it passed the most comfortable for you, we have the top 9 proven life
hacks that will save you more than once. This article will be usefull for the future farthers.

  1. Relax. Relax as much as possible. Take a bath to relax, sleep when you feel that you need sleep,
    light candles, go for a massage for pregnant women, etc. When you are pregnant, there is nothing
    more pleasant than a feeling of relaxation – you don’t need any stress.
  2. Keep a pregnancy diary. In any case, this will help your doctors to give the most accurate
    recommendations and also it can be a wonderful author’s diary.
  3. Stay open to other opportunities.  Keep calm even if your views on everyday life are changing.
    Trust professionals who care about your baby’s birth. The main thing is to think positively, your
    child is on the way to you – and this is the most important event. The rest is just a little difficulty
    along the way.
  4. Look for something positive in everything. For some reason, many people like to tell pregnant
    women horror stories about pregnancy, childbirth, and children. Avoid the negative when there is
    such an opportunity, and if you can’t avoid it, then just try not to take everything too close to your
    heart. Find pregnant women in your environment who think positively or look for like-minded
    people on the forums, and don’t forget to meet with your friends and have a rest to raise your
  5. Give up bad habits. Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol is one of the most important
    decisions a woman must make for the good of her baby. This is not just a whim of doctors or the
    prevailing opinion. With the help of many studies, it was revealed that smoking during pregnancy
    entails a lot of negative consequences for the baby.
  6. Avoid heavy physical exercises. If you have been active in sports, gymnastics, and fitness
    throughout your life, you shouldn’t immediately stop doing physical exercises. However, it is
    necessary to take into account that exhausting sports should be excluded from now. Also, in the
    first months, you need to stop any workout with weightlifting, run for long distances, hard
    crunches, jumps from high into the water, riding a horse or diving.
  7. Attend courses for future parents. At this time, a woman with her husband can begin to attend
    special preparatory courses for future parents. There you can get useful tips for pregnant women,
    go through a program of physical and psychological preparation for the birth of a baby, learn
    about some gymnastic exercises for a woman and share your experiences and feelings with
  8. Prepare things to the hospital. Usually, women take documents, a bathrobe, slippers, hygiene
    products, drinking water, and baby kits (diapers, swaddling clothes, and so on) to the hospital.
    Now you know what is good for pregnant women and what you should abstain from. The main thing to
    remember is that the expectation and birth of a child is an extraordinary, mysterious, and indescribable
    state, and no bad things should darken your happy and joyful event.

Best Travel Destinations for Beach Lovers

The best beach holiday for two is a trip that is full of romance, fun, and happiness. Beach vacation is the
most common type of holiday today. What do most people need for a good vacation appart from a good company with Best Single taurus women from Ukraine for dating? They want to lie
under the warm rays of the sun and feel the gentle sea breeze, and, perhaps, sometimes spend time with
animators who organize active outdoor games during the day and entertainment programs and discos in
the evening.
? Cuba. It offers a chic, cultural program on the beach. We advise you to stroll through the streets
of Havana without guides in the evenings because this is how the romance of this country will
penetrate into your hearts in love. As a souvenir, it is simply necessary to grab a bottle of rum. Its
drops will warm your soul for a long time, reminding you how sweet the rest together on the
Caribbean coast was.
? The Dominican Republic. We recommend this state, located on the island of Haiti, as a truly
intended place for a paradise beach holiday. Of course, tourists in the Dominican Republic are
offered chic excursion with themed routes but a trip for two can be perfect even when there is
nothing more than the promised perfect beach holiday. There is no one but you and your loved
one! And this is exactly what both of you need.
? Singapore. Only in this country, two gourmets can get real gastronomic pleasure. The traditional
dishes gathered all the most delicious things from Thai, Japanese, Indian, Chinese and even
Mexican cuisine. Therefore, if you consider such dates with a soulmate romantic and you like to
visit various restaurants of your native city, spend time in warm conversations by candlelight and
adore the process of enjoying food, then Singapore’s beach holiday is the perfect place to
combine habits and sea holidays with your loved one.
? Mexico. In this country, there are miles of paradise beaches, an excellent national cuisine, bright
vegetation, and not so many tourists around. Therefore, let Mexico be the “secret” route for those
who want something unusual. Beach holidays in Mexico are fascinating and the conditions are
suitable for a romantic trip to this country.
? Brazil. Of course, this is a country of carnivals, so the best beach holiday in Brazil will be for
those who are crazy about bright, happy holidays, outrageous costumes and endless dance
processions taking place right in the middle of the street. Don’t be lazy to find out from the tour
operator at what time and what kind of carnivals will pass during your romantic trip. You should
definitely combine beach vacation and these enchanting shows.
? India. It is not so simple to describe this country in two words. But if we note the main thing,
then the best unusual beach holiday for two will be in India. Here you can combine different
types of holidays because it is impossible to limit oneself to only beach holidays in the country
with such a rich history of its existence. And, of course, we recommend you to visit Goa – the
pearl of a beach holiday for two in the Indian Ocean.

A Summer Garden Salad With Charred Lemon, Black Lentils & A Seven Minute Egg

I’ve been feeling a little annoyed with the state of food writing lately. Am I allowed to write that here? I’m not sure. I’ve likely turned half of you off already, though I hope that at least a handful of you stick around long enough to make it to the next line. Hear me out. 

I read a lot of magazines. Like, a lot of them. It’s kind of annoying, in fact. Literally every weeknight, after Jay and I finish our meal, I curl up in a deep corner of our couch and read at least one full magazine. This is not hyperbole. I’ve adored magazines since I’ve been a kid. My first job out of college was at a very well known magazine in New York. For the better part of the past decade, I’ve freelanced with various magazines any chance I get. I’ve long loved the informative aspect of magazines, as well as the storytelling and the gorgeous brevity that is necessary for the format (while we’re on the topic, did you read this excellent piece from NY Mag about brevity and Lucky magazine?). When it comes to magazines, I don’t discriminate. I look so forward to the essays in Vogue and Vanity Fair. I deeply admire the fiction and humor coverage in my weekly New Yorker. I daydream about redecorating our home each time I read a design story in Real Simple or O. As you can imagine, food magazines are pretty high up on my list as well. 

Or, if I’m being honest, they used to be. 

For the better part of the past year, Jay and I have frequently discussed our distaste for the direction many food magazines are moving in. Many nights, during our evening couch ritual, I release a litany of sighs, which ultimately lead to a disgruntled comment, which ultimately leads to Jay agreeing with said disgruntled comment, which then leads to an hours long conversation about why X food magazine now, well, stinks. 

In short (and at the risk of sounding like a grumpy, bitter, woman of a certain age), we’ve both become disappointed by the fact that, for one, the amount of text on the pages of so many food magazines we’ve long admired is completely disappearing, one graf at a time. In its place, the pages are fast filling up with large format, overly stylized photos that frequently tend to put more emphasis on the type of carafe or cloth napkin displayed as opposed to the actual food.

The food, of course, is a whole separate topic, though it basically boils down to this: it all looks and sounds (and I presume tastes) the same. The recipes have become somewhat pretentious, like they all stood in line for three hours to get a seat at the latest artisanal taqueria in Brooklyn, and then sloshed the whole thing down with an ironic can of PBR. Many of the recipes are riddled with unnecessary, but very “of the moment” ingredients, making them seem fussy and, in many cases, unaccessible for those times when the vast majority of us do our cooking and eating (i.e.: at 7:30 on a Monday night). The food seems less real and more stylized, the stories more about trends than actual narratives about where our food comes from and how it is produced. Those once tightly edited narratives that I loved for so many years, it seems, have been replaced by catchy graphics and bold fonts.  

Then, a few months ago, Luisa Weiss, the author of The Wednesday Chef, posted a little something on her Instagram account in which she expressed a similar sentiment. Many people commented on her post to share their likeminded beliefs, a number of whom expressed that they had canceled their subscriptions to several big time food magazines due, in part, to many of the reasons I’ve listed above.

So where have all our food stories gone? Food is so central to our families and to our cultures at large, not only because it nourishes us on a physical level, but also because it nourishes us on a much deeper level too. So what are the implications of a culture that constructs food in the same way it constructs fashion: that is, as something trendy, as an extravagance of sorts (which it certainly can be at times!), as opposed to something accessible, a ritual we all take part in (god willing) every day of our lives.

Because Jay and I own a food business (by the way, I promise I’ll have a more uplifting post next week filled with details about the renovations at our new second location!), we eat out a lot, and have had the good fortunate of having dined at some of the city’s finest restaurants, as well as at some of its best dives and off-the-beaten-path food stands. However, most of the time, we like to eat simple, real foods, the type that can be prepared quickly, the type that fill our bodies with the nutrients they need, and the type that fill our souls with the warm, comforting feeling of home. 

This salad does just that. It is made with a number of greens and herbs from our home vegetable garden, which is going crazy at the moment thanks to such a rainy June. It is not particularly fancy; just a smattering of tender greens, lightly sauteed radishes and asparagus spears, some leftover lentils, a hard boiled egg and a seared lemon, which I squeeze on the whole thing in lieu of a traditional dressing. It reminds me of the type of approachable, honest food we cook on, say, a typical Wednesday night. It tastes clean and simple and good and real.

And somewhere, beneath all the muss and fuss of the day, I think there is a story worth telling in that, one that is well worth the read.  

A Summer Garden Salad with Charred Lemon, Black Lentils & a Seven Minute Egg

serves 2 as a meal

1/4 cup dry black lentils

1 egg

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch asparagus (I prefer green asparagus here), washed and sliced into 2-inch pieces

1 bunch radishes (I used Easter Egg radishes, though any variety will work well), washed and cut in half

1 lemon, sliced in half

6 cups mixed tender lettuce greens, roughly chopped

1-2 cups kale leaves, removed from stems and roughly chopped

2 cups assorted fresh tender herbs (I used basil, flat leaf parsley and chives), roughly chopped

1 tablespoon capers

coarse sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium-sized pot, cook the lentils according to the package’s directions. I like to add some of the assorted herbs into the pot while the lentils cooks (maybe 4-5 basil leaves, 2-3 parsley stems and 5-6 chives). When the lentils are done cooking, drain their liquid, remove the wilted herbs and set the lentils aside to cool to room temperature.

While the lentils cook, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the egg (you can certainly add more than one egg if you want to beef up the recipe). Cover the pot and allow the egg to simmer for exactly 7 minutes. Immediately remove the egg and submerge it in cold water for several minutes. Peel the egg and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus, the radishes and the lemon halves (being sure the lemon is faced down so the juicy pulp will begin to caramelize). Allow everything to brown for a few minutes; avoid the temptation to move anything. When everything begins to smell like it has begun to caramelize (but is not yet burned), you can begin to gently toss everything in the pan until the asparagus and radishes are cooked, but still firm. Remove the pan from the stovetop and allow things to cool to a little bit above room temperature. 

In a large bowl, add the lettuce, the kale, the asparagus, the radishes, the lentils, the remaining fresh herbs and the capers and gently toss. Squeeze the charred lemon (both juice and pulp) over the salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently toss again. Cut the cooked egg in half and arrange on top of the salad.    

Classic Key Lime Pie

Throughout the eighties and nineties, our family made a biannual pilgrimage from our New Jersey suburb to my grandmother’s home in South Florida. Over the years, I acquired many fond memories from these trips. The whir of the ceiling fan that circulated humid, tropical air across my face in the mornings. The sensation of broken coral bits that lined the ocean floor and scraped my sunburned skin. The feeling of thick, Floridian grass rubbing my feet as I darted across her yard to avoid scurrying lizards. 

During our trips, our meals were typically divided in half, a portion of which we’d eat at various restaurants around Fort Lauderdale, Miami and their surrounding suburbs, and the other portion of which we’d eat at my grandmother’s home. On the latter of these nights, the meals typically began with large platters of deep golden fried raviolis dusted with coarse sea salt and torn basil leaves, followed by endless bowls of linguini tossed with lemon, parsley, parmigiano reggiano and gulf shrimp, giant steaks grilled to perfection, and, to end each meal, a few gallons of store-bought ice cream.

And while I loved those nights at my grandmother’s home — the loud cadence of our voices as we all gathered around her wooden dining table, the quiet conversations on her screened-in back patio as we finished off our second bowls of dessert — some of my favorite food memories were formed on the nights we ventured away from her home. Although those meals varied depending on the specific locale — wood fired pizza at a casual spot a few blocks from the beach, endless bowls of stone crabs at a restaurant on the intercoastal — there was almost always one constant on our nights out on the town: every meal ended with a thick, graham cracker encased slice of fresh, Floridian key lime pie.
While key lime pie is almost foolishly easy to make at home, for years, I refused to whip one together myself. Although I’d sometimes crave a chilled slice at times during the year when, regrettably, I was not within walking distance of the beach, the thought of eating this sacred, vacation-only dessert on a frosty winter evening just didn’t feel right, like it was sacrilegious in some way. So even on those days, even after I’d serendipitously stumble upon little mesh bags filled with petite key limes while cupping a hot coffee and browsing the aisles of my local market for ingredients to make rich soups, even when my skin was so pale and my bones were so cold and I longed so deeply for a dose of anything reminiscent of the sun, I steered clear, convincing myself that key lime pie was something special, something reserved for those warm Floridian nights when my skin ached from long days baking in the sun and my eyes perpetually burned with an unmistakable salt water sting. 

But then, a few years ago, my grandmother passed and slowly, expectedly, our family’s long drives south on 95 dwindled away. What were once biannual trips for me have sorely become trips I squeeze in once every few years when I can carve out a long weekend. It didn’t take long after these trips began to fade out that I began to lust after my favorite warm weather dessert from my home up north. For a few years, I got away with ordering slices here and there when they appeared on restaurant menus, though sadly most were made with sugary lime juice concoctions that tasted like chemically counterfeits of the real thing. 

It took me a few years to finally give in, though eventually, I began to make my own key lime pies at home. I should tell you that doing so requires almost zero skill level, nor does it require that you purchase those fancy, tropical colored bags filled with teensy tiny key limes. In fact, it turns out that regular old limes work just fine. 

I’ve tackled a few key lime recipes these past few years, though this one is my family’s favorite by a long shot. The graham to butter ratio results in a crust that is just the right thickness to contain the citrusy filling and to maintain the integrity of each slice’s shape as you navigate it from pie pan to plate to mouth. However, the best part, of course, is the filling. By mixing the egg yolks with a hefty dose of fresh lime zest, every bite of this pale yellow filling is infused with tart citrus, all wrapped up in the creamy, sweet taste of sweetened condensed milk. Whether you enjoy yours on a beach somewhere, or hunched in front of the AC unit in your apartment, it is sure to perk up your tastebuds and leave you with that blissed out, vacation feeling, without all the stickiness from the SPF. 

I hope you indulge in the happiest of happy starts to this summer season. 

Classic Key Lime Pie

from Smitten Kitchen


1 1/2 cups ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 crackers)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 pinches coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted


1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest
3 large egg yolks
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 1 dozen key limes or 4 regular limes)


3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt and mix until combined. Add the butter and mix until the crumbs are well coated (I find that it is best to use your hands to mix everything here; just be sure you allow the butter to slightly cool). Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until it is lightly browned. Set on a cooling rack. 

While the crust cools, beat the lime zest and the egg yolks with an electric mixer (I use a hand mixer for this recipe, which works just fine) until the mixture becomes pale and thickens up, which should take a solid 5 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until the mixture becomes thick again, about 3 minutes. Whisk the lime juice into the yolk mixture until combined. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling is set and a knife inserted into the center comes out nearly clean (though not entirely clean). Remove the pie from the oven and set on the counter to cool.

While the pie cools to room temperature, beat the cream and sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cooled pie and then chill the pie in the fridge for 2 hours before serving. 

Strawberry Tabbouleh

Next month, this site will celebrate its second birthday. My very first post went live in early June 2013, a post that I announced to no one except the lone person who might by chance stumble upon it by way of some online miracle. When I wrote that first post, our business was a mere year and a half old and Jay and I were a few days away from receiving the keys to our first brick and mortar space. We were nervous and broke and perpetually stressed and yet full of pride and joy and hope for the future (the one we are currently living in). It is not hyperbole to say we barely had time to eat most days (nor is it hyperbole to say our stomachs were in such knots with stress that we barely wanted to eat regardless). And yet, in the midst of all that, I decided to start this site during any quiet moments I could carve out very early in the morning or very, very late in the evening (at a time that, truthfully, probably constitutes as morning). 

I didn’t really know what my goal was for this site when I typed out the first line of text of that initial post. I didn’t have a vision for the recipes. I barely knew how to use the buttons on my camera (my first DSLR, which I purchased with our tax return money a few weeks earlier).

So much about our lives has changed since then. We’re no longer so afraid of our business, but are more immersed in the excitement of knowing we’ve produced something that has real legs. Our shop, which we were so scared to open, and which left us penniless (again, not hyperbole) for many months now runs like a well-oiled machine, the hum of it a quiet, welcomed constant in the backdrop of everything we do. Next month, we will open our second location, a feat that, just two years ago, we believed would take decades to come to fruition. After a long dry spell, I’ve finally found the inspiration to help my freelance writing take off again, and I’ve been fortunate in these past two years to write for some of my favorite publications (the New York TimesBudget TravelSaveur, and a handful of forthcoming pieces that make me so happy they’re sending a wide smile across my face as I type this line). And then there is our marriage. God, our marriage. It’ll be three years old next month. I’ll spare you my many grateful tears and my badly contorted “crying face.” But you probably get the idea.

During that initial summer when this site was still a very new venture, I decided to blindly send emails to some of the people behind my most favorite food sites. Sara Forte from the Sprouted Kitchen was one of those people. I had been reading her site for a while by that point, and felt so inspired by her approachable voice and the realness of her recipes. In a Pinterest-styled world (one that was really, seriously beginning to BOOM back then), her recipes always stood out to me as the type of whole dishes we would actually, for real, make at home on the reg. For a while there, it felt like every food site was trying to push the boundaries and make some super whacked out recipes, recipes that required mile-long ingredient lists and far too many intricate steps for people who work outside of their home most hours of most days. Basically, the web felt like it was beginning to get clogged up with the sort of recipes we would never have the time, patience or energy to realistically tackle on a typical night (say, a Tuesday) in our house. Sara’s recipes, however, reminded me of the type of stuff Jay and I look forward to curling up with on the couch after a long day, the sort of homey and whole foods we really do cook and eat most days. (Oh, you eat dinner at a table? Not on the couch while watching old episodes of Portlandia, your plate balanced on your knees? Weird.)  
But back to that initial email. I don’t quite remember what I said in it, but I do remember that Sara responded to me just a few short hours after I hit “send.” She told me I was a strong writer — a small comment that meant so much to me back then when this venture was still so young and fragile — and in her conversational way commented on my site and generally made me feel like what I was doing might actually be worth something. I doubt she remembers it, but it is one of those notes that has always stayed with me. So thanks for that, lady.

Early last week, I was delighted to receive a copy of Bowl + Spoon, Sara’s most recent book. It’s so lovely, and is filled with gorgeous photography and the type of “I’ll actually cook this at home on, like, a Wednesday night” recipes, ones that are grounded in the types of whole, healthful foods that tend to grace our kitchen countertops. In case you weren’t picking up on my build-up, this Strawberry Tabbouleh recipe is from Sara’s book. I made a giant batch of it last weekend, which we enjoyed with friends during our Derby Day picnic on Sunday, the leftovers of which appeared on our dinner plates last night and the final bits of which I tossed over some eggs at the start of my day today. I plan to make another big batch for a Mother’s Day brunch we’ll host at our house this weekend and selfishly hope some leftovers remain for the early part of next week. 

The recipe itself is simple. Prepare some quinoa (it should be noted that Sara’s recipe calls for bulgur wheat, though I’m a quinoa fan myself) and mix it with fresh parsley and mint, both of which play beautifully with diced fresh strawberries. The whole thing is dressed with a combination of lemon, olive oil and red wine vinegar (I adore the tart mix of berries and good quality vinegar), though I imagine balsamic vinegar might work nicely here too. (The original recipe from Sara’s book calls for one tablespoon of the vinegar, though I doubled that because, well, I’m a glutton for any hit of tartness available to me.) 

It’s a little corny to say, especially during a time of the year when every blog/magazine/website is preaching “perfect spring recipes”, but this side salad really does taste exactly the way the season is supposed to taste: a hit of sweetness thanks to the first plump berries of the year; just enough tartness to wake up your tastebuds after a long winter filled with hearty soups and heavier fare; and a heavy hand of roughly chopped herbs that bring a super fresh quality to the whole dish. 

It’s my new picnic go-to. I hope it becomes yours too. 

Sara Forte’s Strawberry Tabbouleh

from Bowl + Spoon

3/4 cup quinoa

1 garlic clove, finely minced

3 scallions, thinly sliced (both the green and white sections)

1 pint fresh strawberries, diced

1 English cucumber, diced

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

zest and juice from 1 medium lemon

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

crumbled feta

Cook the quinoa according to the package’s directions. Once it is cooked, add the garlic, give it a fluff with a fork and set it aside to cool to room temperature. 

In a large bowl, add the scallions, strawberries, cucumbers, mint, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Add the cooled quinoa and gently mix all ingredients to combine. If you like, sprinkle each serving with crumbled feta before serving. 

Minty Spring Pesto

It’s finally spring!!

I’ve waited months to write that last sentence. Here, in the Northeast, we faced the longest, coldest, snowiest winter, one that felt like it would never end. Then, just when we all packed away our puffy down coats at the end of March, Mother Nature slammed us with one final snow storm. She’s temperamental, that one. 

However, this weekend proved that spring is officially here, for real this time. Jay popped the top off our Jeep. I wore boat shoes without socks. We both ordered iced coffees in the mornings and slept with the windows open in our bedroom at night.

This time of year signals my annual spring cleaning spree. As strange as it sounds, I enjoy the act of cleaning our home (there’s something about freshly washed and steamed curtains that just does it for me). It feels like an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to reorganize our lives, a welcome chance for a clean slate.

While spring cleaning usually gets pretty good coverage in magazines throughout the spring, the focus is typically on purging drawers and collecting dust bunnies. However, around here, our kitchen undergoes a pretty good cleanse too. In recent weeks, we’ve given our pantry a thorough overhaul, finally tossing all the sugars and tiny wrapped candies leftover from the winter months and replacing them with more whole foods that better complement all the beautiful spring produce that has begun to pop up at our local market. 

As a final nod to that, I’ve been clearing out our freezer to make space for all the veggies from our home garden that I plan to freeze during this upcoming summer. While doing so, I’ve found several gallon-sized plastic bags filled with fresh herbs from last year’s garden, still hanging out behind some ice cube trays.

This Minty Spring Pesto is a perfect way to use up the last of those herbs, or any stray herbs hanging out in the back of the fridge or freezer, or those that are overgrown in your herb garden. I’ve tossed this pesto with baked tofu, spread it across roasted vegetables, mixed it with quinoa and whole wheat pasta and drizzled it across quickly tossed together afternoon salads. If, like me, you plan to eat the pesto raw, I recommend you use decent quality olive oil. Other than that, there really are no rules. Mixing assorted herbs is encouraged. So is eating the pesto straight from the jar. When kept covered and refrigerated, it will last you a good two weeks. Ours, however, made it about a day and a half. 

 I hope you’ll enjoy keeping a jar of this on hand throughout the spring to add a little something special to all your recipes. 

P.S. – You might have noticed that this site was also the target of my spring cleaning spree. I hope you’ll like the updates. Please let me know what you think.  

Minty Spring Pesto

from Eating Well

  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup packed mint leaves  
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 8-10 minutes, being sure to stir the nuts mid-way through. Add the almonds, basil leaves, mint leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic clove to a food processor or Vitamix and blend until the ingredients are chopped. With the machine turned on low, drizzle in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. If desired, lightly season the pesto with sea salt. 

Cranberry Brownies

I didn’t plan on baking brownies last week. In fact, for the past month, I’ve been committed to a regimen of daily hot yoga classes, complimented by nutty red quinoa salads, roasted vegetables and a healthy sprinkling of sesame seeds. It’s been my attempt to slowly wean sugar and wheat and all that other bad stuff out of my diet, which for the most part has been really great, and much easier than I anticipated. 

And yet, these brownies exist (or existed…they disappeared rather fast). I should tell you upfront they are not made with healthy flours or coconut oil or a pricey cup of cacao nibs. No, these brownies are the real deal –cocoa powder, butter, and that ever frowned upon all-purpose flour (aka white flour…eek!) — which, of course, is the reason they taste just like the boxed brownie mix your mom used to bake up for you when you were a kid. The only exception to your mom’s version is the generous cup of fruit folded into the batter just before you slide the pan into the oven. Which, it should be noted, is the reason I was able to rationalize them as an acceptable part of my clean eating routine.   

My decision to make these brownies arrived with a phone call. A friend of ours, who owns several successful bars and restaurants downtown, dropped us a line last weekend to ask if we’d be willing to meet him for a few day beers to discuss a business opportunity he thought might interest us. 

It turned out our friend is opening a new bar early this summer and is looking for someone to run his food program. The bar is in a great location, with an amazing commercial kitchen already in place, and a rooftop that will open to the drinking public once the weather warms up. On our end, we wouldn’t have to deal with any of the build-out or the permits or any other start-up headaches since, technically, the bar would belong to someone else. All we’d need to do is walk in, drop down our stuff, cook our food, and collect a profit.

Sweet gig. 

After our meeting, Jay and I went out for a casual dinner to discuss all the pros and cons of such a venture. The pro, of course, is that we’d be able to do very little and turn a quick profit. Easy. Peasy. The con, however, is that it would take our attention away from our own brand, right at a time when we are about to open a second location and embark on a hectic summer pop-up season.
There are many factors that go into making a small food business a success. First, you need to sell a good product (sounds obvious, though you’d be surprised!). You need to have a strong brand identity and a relatively cool aesthetic (at least in New York you do). You need to have the backbone to be the boss when it is time to be the boss, though you also need to have the compassion to treat your employees like actual people and not like “the help.” And for us, one of the most important traits of a successful business is this: you’ve got to run your business based on your passion, and not based on the trail of dollar signs you see as your potential end game. 

After dinner, we went home, where we spent the better part of the next two days further hashing out pros and cons, which is how these brownies came into play. I needed something sweet and indulgent to help settle me while my brain spun with ideas. But more, I needed something I could whip up fast, using the most basic of ingredients I already had on hand. (I mean, Jay and I were in mid-conversation while all this baking was happening; it would have been in poor taste for me to dash out the door to run to the store.) 

If you read this blog regularly, than you know I bake for two reasons: to help me celebrate and to help me think. These Cranberry Brownies are a combination of both those things. First off, they were a big help in the thinking department. Over the course of two days, and many conversations about whether or not we were ready to add something else to our (business) plate, these brownies were my source of both comfort and calm. They were the centerpiece for the conversations we had in which we realized we’d never made any of our business decisions based exclusively on money. If we had, we would have run ourselves into the ground by this point, if I’m being honest.  

Ultimately, we walked away from the offer, rationalizing it was best to trust our guts instead of our wallets. 

In that way, I think these brownies turned out to be of the celebratory type too: a celebration of our willingness to stand by our brand’s vision and to make our decisions based on our sense of passion for our business, as opposed to a series of dancing dollar signs.  

The brownie base is adapted from Deb Perelman’s “Best Cocoa Brownies” recipe, which I first discovered a few months back when I needed a super easy recipe to churn out as a “welcome home” gift for a friend who gave birth to her first child. The brownies, which are made with cocoa, that old pantry standby, as opposed to expensive chocolate bars, come out that ideal brownie consistency of both super dense and yet satisfyingly moist, and boast a gorgeous, crackly top that makes them entirely addicting. The other part of this recipe — the cranberries — are inspired by Luisa Weiss’s recent post about “Boston Brownies.” The warm cranberries sort of melt into the brownie batter and prove to be an amazingly tart compliment to the chocolate. 

I hope you’ll enjoy them. 

Cranberry Brownies

adapted from Smitten Kitchen & The Wednesday Chef

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottoms and sides of an 8×8 baking pan with parchment and set aside. 

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl on top of a small pot of near boiling water to create a double boiler. Stir the ingredients until the butter melts (the ingredients will look a bit grainy). Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to slightly cool, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon between each addition. Add the flour and beat vigorously, until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture becomes smooth. Gently fold the cranberries into the batter, being sure to reserve some to sprinkle on top. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, but no more than 35 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out nearly clean (you don’t want it to come out completely clean, or it means your brownies are overcooked). It is likely that the brownies will not look “done.” Remove the pan from the oven anyway and allow it to cool to nearly room temperature. Remove the brownies, keeping them on the parchment, and set on a cooling rack. The brownies will firm up as they continue to cool. 1 Like