Merlino & Gonzalez - November 2023

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After the grand feast of Thanksgiving comes to an end, you’re often left with a delicious abundance of leftovers. For some of us, the whole point of Thanksgiving is the leftovers! Instead of putting together the same reheated plate for the next few meals following Turkey Day, why not get creative and transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into new and exciting dishes? Here are some of the best hacks and ideas for making the most of your yummy holiday leftovers for you and your guests. Muffin Tin ‘Goodie Bags’ If you host the holiday celebrations at your home, create a leftover station for your guests! Use disposable muffin tins to separate small portions of each dish — this way, everyone can get a little bit of everything or double up on their favorite sides. Turkey Sandwiches With a Twist The classic turkey sandwich is a leftover staple, but why not elevate it? Add cranberry sauce, stuffing, and a smear of gravy for a Thanksgiving-inspired sandwich that captures all the flavors of the holiday. Thanksgiving Leftover Hash Transform your leftovers into a hearty hash by sautéing diced turkey, roasted vegetables, and stuffing in a skillet. Top with a fried or poached egg for a satisfying breakfast or brunch. Savory Turkey Pot Pie Use your leftover turkey, vegetables, and even some mashed potatoes to create a comforting turkey pot pie. Top it off with a flaky crust or leftover biscuits for a warm, filling meal. You can even make two pot pies and freeze one for later. Cranberry Sauce Pancakes Yes, you heard that right — pancakes! Add a bit of cranberry sauce to your pancake batter for a tangy and sweet twist on a breakfast classic. Top it off with some maple syrup or whipped cream for a touch of extra sweetness.

leftover stuffing into a tasty treat for you to eat at any time of day. Just press portions of the stuffing into a waffle iron until crispy. Then, serve them with leftover gravy and turkey! Thanksgiving Pizza By using a premade pizza crust (or making your own from scratch), you can layer leftover turkey, gravy, vegetables, and even cranberry sauce for a tasty Turkey Day pizza. If you have reservations, don’t knock it until you try it — this one will surprise you! Cranberry Parfait If you enjoy yogurt parfaits, this one is for you! Layer leftover cranberry sauce with Greek yogurt and granola for a sweet and tart parfait for an easy, delicious breakfast or dessert. You can even toss in other fruits! Pumpkin Pie Smoothie After filling up on turkey and all of the traditional sides, Thanksgiving desserts often turn into leftovers, too! Blend leftover pumpkin pie with yogurt or milk for a creamy and indulgent pumpkin pie smoothie. For extra flavor, add a dash of cinnamon!

This Thanksgiving, don’t let your leftovers go to waste. Instead, let your culinary creativity shine, and enjoy a whole new feast with these fun ideas!

Stuffing Waffles Just like the cranberry pancakes, stuffing waffles are a great way to turn your



Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Here’s an easy and affordable way to wow your guests: Turn a pumpkin into a centerpiece in just four steps! Impress Your Guests With a DIY Pumpkin Centerpiece

1. Choose a vase . Look for one with a flared top and narrower base that can hold the ideal size of floral arrangement for your table.

2. Purchase a pumpkin. Make sure the pumpkin is roughly the same height as your vase or a little bit taller.

3. Cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin and hollow out the inside. The hole should be big enough for the thickest part of our vase to fit through. After hollowing, drop the vase inside. Its rim should line up with the hole you carved. 4. Fill the vase with fall foliage. You can gather leafy branches, twigs, pine boughs, and pine cones outside or purchase fake ones! Stick to a fall color scheme of browns, reds, oranges, and yellows, or find items that match your table linens. Have fun and be creative!

Say Goodbye to Chronic Clutter — Use the CORE 4 Method to Transform Your Home!

Step 3: Cut Out — Assess the storage in your room and use that space to calculate how many items you can keep from each category. For example, if you have a category of books, figure out how many will fit on your bookshelf. That’s how many books you can keep! Then, choose a category and go through it item by item. Kelly recommends using the “3 Second Rule”: Give yourself three seconds to decide if each item is a “Yes’’ or a “No,” and consider anything you hesitate on a “Yes.” Repeat this cycle until you have the right number of items in each category. Step 4: Contain — Stash each category of items in its designated storage space. Kelly suggests keeping “like” items together and ensuring your regularly used things are easy to access.

If you’ve attempted Marie Kondo’s famous “spark joy” approach to decluttering but still have too much stuff, you might want to try the CORE 4 Method designed by professional organizer Kayleen Kelly. Kelly specializes in tackling “chronic clutter” and designs her techniques to work for everyone, including people who are neurodivergent. Her CORE 4 Method has earned her millions of online fans because it includes just four steps anyone can follow to purge clutter! Here’s how it works. Step 1: Clear Out — First, choose one room of your home to work on. Then, grab a trash bag and several sturdy boxes. Use the bag to collect trash like food wrappers or broken items you never got around to repairing. Then, look for things that belong in other rooms of your home and toss them into the boxes, using a different box for each room. If you’re working in your office, for example, move extra sweaters to your bedroom box and the spare hammer to your garage box. Then, put the boxes in their corresponding rooms to deal with later. Step 2: Categorize — Sort everything left in your room into categories. In your bedroom, you might have one pile for clothes, one for shoes, and another for hobby items.

These four steps can help you tackle even the most cluttered spaces. With help from a few friends, you can organize an entire room in a single day!


Are Solar Panels a Smart Financial Choice?

A Bright Idea for Your Home’s Value and Energy Bills

25% of the solar panel installation cost.

Solar panels often scare homeowners because of their hefty installation costs. But there are plenty of factors (and savings) to consider when deciding whether or not solar panels are right for you. Despite the average cost of installing solar panels ranging from $15,000 to $30,000, the panels support the environment, save you money on energy bills, and even raise the value of your home. Reducing your energy bill to practically nothing is an incredible saving, but you must ensure the cost of installing solar panels doesn’t surpass the savings you’ll see in the long run. Incentives Cut Costs When calculating your costs, you shouldn’t rely on the upfront price tag of your solar panels alone. The state of New York offers numerous incentives and rebates to promote solar energy, and these savings can add up to more than you imagine. These incentives include: • Federal solar tax credit: Declare a tax credit of 30% of the cost of the installed panels on your federal income tax. • New York state tax credit: Claim a credit on New York taxes equal to

Sales tax exemption: Solar panels are exempt from sales tax!

• Property tax exemption: Prevents your home’s tax value from increasing for 15 years to save you on annual property tax. All these savings are available to you and can significantly reduce the cost of solar panels. When considering these incentives and rebates, the upfront cost of solar panels can be much lower than you think! Savings in the Long Run So, is the savings enough to cover your installation expenses? You will need to calculate these tax savings and exemptions, as well as the savings on your energy bill in the long run. If you have a monthly electric bill of around $75, then you’re spending approximately $1,200 a year on your electricity. Now, if your solar panels cost $20,000, but you only paid $9,000 out of pocket due to incentives, you would regain your expenses in savings in just eight years! Solar panels are a fantastic financial investment for any homeowner, but if you’re uncertain about applying for these tax credits, contact your local solar company directly to inquire.





• 3/4 cup granulated sugar • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour • 2 tbsp butter

• 2 9-inch unbaked pie crusts • 6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples • 1 tsp cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 425 F. 2. Place 1 pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate.

3. In a large bowl, combine apples, cinnamon, sugar, and flour. 4. Spoon mixture into pastry-lined pie plate and dot with butter. 5. Cut remaining crust into 1/2-inch-wide strips, then arrange strips in a lattice design over top of pie. 6. Trim, seal, and flute edges. 7. Bake for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314




Transform Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Page 1

Easy and Affordable: Transform a Pumpkin Into a Centerpiece!

Tackle Clutter With the CORE 4 Method Page 2

Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?

Tasty Apple Pie Page 3

Your Post-Thanksgiving Delights Await! Page 4

From Wine Tasting to Lantern Gazing Sip, Learn, and Explore

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Live! Friday, Nov. 24, 2023 $20

created. The hour-long tour is perfect for any wine and/or history lovers!

While you may be busy this November racing to grocery stores and cooking up endless side dishes, Staten Island and New Jersey offer plenty of post- Thanksgiving events for you to discover! The Tour & Taste of Renault Every weekend from October to December Purchase tickets on $25 Take a trip down to the historic Renault Winery, known for being the oldest continually open winery in the U.S. The Tour & Taste of Renault offers visitors a look into the building’s most picturesque rooms to learn about the winery’s history dating back to 1864. At the end of the tour, guests can sip on three different wines and discover how they were

Winter Lantern Festival Select dates from October through December Adult - $17, Children 10 and under - $10 Over 1,000 Chinese lanterns light up and ring in the season at the New Jersey Winter Lantern Festival! Each lantern is handmade by artisans and provides a spectacular look in traditional Chinese culture. The immersive experience includes dinosaurs, creatures, and flowers created with vibrant colors that will catch anyone’s eye. From Thursday to Sunday, you can enjoy the hour- long stroll through the Winter Lantern Festival and even make your own paper lantern!

Everyone loves the holiday classic “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” which is perfect for both Halloween and Christmas! Any fan of the film should get to see it on the big screen, and this event also includes a pre-show concert with the local zombie punk cabaret band The Flesh Junkies at 6:30 p.m. Following the concert is the costume contest, where anyone can participate with their best ensemble. The movie will then begin at 7:45 p.m., and it’s sure to be an event to remember! 4

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