Tuesday, November 25, 2008

5 Secrets to a Perfect Turkey

The “Cook's Illustrated” test kitchen has roasted thousands (yes, thousands) of turkeys over the years and has figured out where turkey preparation often goes wrong. Here are the most common mistakes — and how to avoid them.

Defrost early
A frozen bird that hasn't fully defrosted is a disaster. Don't try to speed up the process on the counter — it's just not safe. A turkey must defrost slowly in the refrigerator. Plan on 1 day in the fridge for every 4 pounds of turkey. A 16-pound turkey needs 4 days to thaw.

Brine if necessary
If you don't buy a kosher or self-basting bird, you really should brine the bird a day in advance. Place the turkey in a bucket filled with cold water and salt. Use 1/2 cup table salt for every gallon of water. (Two gallons of water should cover all but the largest turkeys.) After 12 hours in the refrigerator, rinse and pat the turkey dry. The salt seasons the bird and helps it retain moisture as it cooks.

Baste before roasting
Brushing butter or pan drippings over the bird as it cooks is a messy proposition and actually makes the skin less crisp. To promote browning, brush the bird with melted butter before it goes into the oven.

Roast upside down
To prevent the breast meat from drying out, roast the turkey upside down in a V-rack set inside your roasting pan for the first hour. This shields the breast meat from direct heat and causes juices in the bird to run down into the breast. After an hour, flip the turkey breast side up so the skin on the breast can brown.

Ignore the thermometer
The plastic pop-up thermometers in most turkeys are designed to pop when the bird is overcooked. Instead, use an instant-read thermometer to measure the progress of your bird.

A big thank you to MSNBC. You can read the entire article by going to: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21836561/

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Does smoking affect AUTO insurance??

We got a really interesting question from one of the kids at the driving school last week (for more details, check out the 11/12/08 post on our teen blog www.savon-teendriver.blogspot.com). A young woman asked "I heard that smoking can make your insurance higher?" I replied that I'd never heard of anything like that...we certainly don't have any companies that surcharge for smoking (unless it's a life insurance policy which is a whole 'nother ballgame). But I decided to look into it...

I found that some companies do surcharge for a home policy...which makes sense. A smoker runs a higher risk of burning down the house. I'm sure you've heard stories in the news about a house or apartment catching fire and the cause was a lit cigarette. You also have to take into account that smoking inside your home will lower its value and the value of your possessions (due to the smell and damage caused by the smoke) which, in turn, could affect your premium of a renters or condo policy.

And evidently, auto premiums can be higher for smokers due to the fact that smokers tend to be more reckless drivers.

Again, I've never run into this problem with any of our companies we represent and I was unable to find out what states this affects. Has anyone else heard of this?

Thank you to www.ampminsure.org

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cell Phone Use Polls

PEMCO Insurance Company released some information today regarding the new cell phone laws.

Findings show that before the law went into effect 60% of respondents said that talking on a cell phone while driving should be a primary offense. Three months have passed and this number has dropped to 50%. At this time it is a secondary offense-- which means you must be violating another law (i.e. speeding, tailgating, running a red light, etc...) before being charged with the cell phone law.

The study was conducted in September by FBK Research.

You can see how your answers stack up with the research by going to http://survey.pemco.com

Thursday, November 6, 2008

October Graduate Results!

We had 57 total grads for the month of October for a total of 489 for the year.

Our top 10 savers:
Donna G - Tacoma $2327
Frenton D - Federal Way $1200
Gail D - Everett $808
Juan S - Burien $795
Mark C - Seattle $694
Alyson S - Everett $544
Alejandro R - Everett $508
April A - Seattle $452
Lawrence H - Renton $421
Semsudi C - Everett $379

The average saving was 26%! Congratulations Graduates!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mike Kriedler elected for 3rd term

Democrat Mike Kriedler has been re-elected for his 3rd term as Washington State Insurance Commissioner.

He won with 57 to 43 percent against Republican John Adams.

Sav-on Insurance Agencies is happy to have Kriedler in office again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Calls For Cora!

Sav-on Insurance will support Cora as our annual "Christmas Family". The support has already started however with Calls For Cora program this month.

Make a call through our bilingual (Spanish and Engligh) call center this month and Sav-on will donate for each call made to the family's benevolent fund.

Cora was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor in her kidney late June of this year. She's currently undergoing 6 months of chemotherapy. She's a wonderful little girl and a shining star to the family.

Please call our call center at 206-249-0552 and don't forget to tell us to donate to Team Cora!