Making Mayonnaise at Home

It's easier than you think!

Making Mayonnaise at Home

First off, you should know that I LOVE mayonnaise. I was raised on toasted tomato and egg salad sandwiches, with extra mayo. There was nothing worse than boiling up a couple eggs, or having a beautiful Ontario-grown field tomato and finding an empty jar of mayo at the back of the fridge.

Those days are over my friends. Prepare to be empowered to make your own mayonnaise! There's nothing wrong with store-bought stuff (assuming you're cool with Calcium Disodium EDTA), but you may start questioning spending $1.96/Cup for prepared stuff when you can make it at home for about $0.96/Cup at home, fresh.
I only just started making mayo at home routinely, and I'm glad I did because it's quick and easy to do. There's no reason to not have that egg salad sandwich just because you're out of mayo in the fridge.
1 egg yolk (you can actually throw in the whole thing, it doesn't seem to matter)
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard
Lemon juice to taste (about 1/4 of lemon works for me)
Yield: 1 Cup of the white stuff.
Put everything except the lemon juice and the oil in a small bowl, drop your immersion blender in to the mix and give it a couple pulses to mix up the ingredients (this can, of course, be done in a blender if that's what you've got).  Now drizzle in the oil while continuously blending the mixture. By the time half the oil is in, the mixture will thicken up—when all the oil is in... Mayo! Now blend in the lemon juice to give it some zest—the put it in the fridge right away to keep.*
I made a quick video of the blending part to show you how simple it is, and demonstrate what I mean by "drizzle":
* I don't keep this fresh mayo around all that long because of the raw egg. For that matter this mayo isn't suitable for the very young, very old, or pregnant women. BUT, you can use pasteurized egg yolk if you want to serve it up to the restricted list.
Like this recipe? Come and check out my super simple smoothie recipe here

Upsize Your Tall to Venti for Grande Savings

How to lower your Starbucks costs (some conditions apply)

Upsize Your Tall to Venti for Grande Savings

So, now you know about the health benefits of coffee, which is great, because you were already a coffee fiend anyway. But you also want to save money like Sarah. Well, here's an easy way to save some money on Starbucks coffee with very little sacrifice.

Admittedly, my wife Alexandria and I are Starbucks* junkies. Even our kids are budding Starbucks fans (Iced Passion Tea Lemonaid is a big hit with the little people). Given that this is one of our few treats and we aren't about to give it up, here's how we learned to save lots on lattes by getting more.
Fact 1: A Tall Latte at Starbucks is $3.95 (varies by location) and is twelve fluid ounces.
Fact 2: A Venti Latte at Starbucks is $4.95 (again, varies by location) and is twenty fluid ounces (Venti is Italian for twenty, in case you were wondering).
Fact 3: Sharing a drink with your spouse or partner isn't grody—it's cute.
You may already be at the conclusion. The bottom line is, ounce for ounce, a Venti is 24% cheaper than a Tall coffee. We realized that we could satisfy our Starbucks craving with a single Venti for $4.95 instead of two Talls at $3.95 each, a savings of $2.95 every visit with a sacrifice of only four ounces (a third of a Tall). The savings is also compounded by the tax. In Ontario, with HST, the after-tax savings swells to $3.43 cents for every single visit.
You might be thinking: "Yeah, but I want my own drink if it means I have to pay $3.43, I'm going to get it."
Agreed, $3.43 may not sound like a lot by itself, but let's do a little more math. If you're a twice-a-weekend couple (as we are), then your weekly savings is $6.86. With 52 weeks in the year, the annual savings grows to $357. If you're an every day Starbucks couple, perhaps on the way to work, the annual savings grows to $1,216.  You can use this chart to find your annual savings:
What could you do with that extra money?  Well, for starters, you could go to Starbucks more often. For every two 2-Tall trips, you can take three 1-Venti trips and actually STILL be saving over a dollar AND getting more drink.  More. For less. I live for this sort of math!
If you've got a weekly, or monthly budget you can use the tables below to see the number of trips you can take for the same amount of money, as well as how much drink you'll actually be getting. It all adds up.
If course, there are a few conditions:
  1. You have to go with your spouse (or an uncomfortably-close friend, I suppose)
  2. You have to be willing to drink the same drink
  3. You have to be willing to accept that you might not be as good at sharing as you think you are. I have accidentally finished most of the Venti myself while Alexandria was in the store more times than I care to admit


I really encourage you to try this for a little while—you might be surprised how enjoyable it is to share a drink with your spouse. It automatically puts you in talking and listening modes as you share the drink back and forth. What's more, we find our drink always gets finished while its still warm, and we never waste a drop.
* Actually we're fans of good coffee anywhere, but Starbucks is the most convenient for us. The idea in this should work anywhere Small and Large drinks are sold.

Rolling in Ford's 5.0

A few words on the amazing 2012 Ford Mustang GT

Rolling in Ford's 5.0

Thinking back, I've had a long history with Ford Mustangs...

Way back, my uncle drove me by my school once in his Mustang. He peeled rubber in front of the school, leaving long black streaks on the pavement which made me smile every day for at least a week after.

I first drove manual in my aunt's red on white GT convertible on a perfect summer day in the hills of Vancouver.  I can still remember the clutch being so hard to press my leg started to cramp and shake while waiting for a light to change green.

Back when I was in university I rented a bright yellow convertible GT to drive from Vancouver to Whistler for my Cousin's wedding - driving, top-down through the Canadian rockies was automotive nirvana.

Driving a convertible Mustang with a V8 is an experience everybody should put on their list of things to do. I've driven a lot of cars over the years (I used to work valet with my friend Scotty) but there's something very magical about the Mustang. Like a Margherita pizza, sometimes simple can be extraordinary.

2012 Ford Mustang Interior

Enter the 2012 Mustang GT convertible. Ford loaned our family this monster for a few short days, and that's all it took to fall in love. On its first night with us Alexandria, my lovely and car savvy wife, took it out to run an errand, and I can still picture her recounting her highway on-ramp blast through the gears with a huge grin on her face.  Over 400 horsepower in a car with no roof is a lot of fun.

You probably already know that the Mustang GT continues to be a modern take the American muscle car, but it's really grown up over the years. The interior is retro, but nice. The leather seats in our tester were terrific and everything inside feels much better than I expected. The shifter and clutch (for those of you who row-your-own gears) are downright pleasant to use.  The stereo was kickin' - a must in a convertible - and even sported a simplified version of Ford and Microsoft's excellent Sync technology (no touchscreen here, though) for excellent handsfree calling and voice activated controls.

Family friendly 2012 Ford Mustang ConvertiblePerhaps most surprising was how family friendly the Mustang was. The kids' seats were a breeze to install, and with the roof down the kids loved being dropped into their seats over the side of the car. Blasts from stoplights on rural highways yielded squeals and smiles.  The trunk, which was remarkably generous for a convertible, easily ate up our stroller and shopping with ease.

Sure, some things about the mustang did seem a little cheap, but that's okay, the Mustang is cheap.  With recent incentives, Ford has been selling the V6 mustang coupe for as little as $21,249. But, if you have the means, get the full-fat version - the GT. Starting at $35,199, it costs full Ford Fiesta more than the base V6, but there's just nothing quite like the sound and feel of the V8.

The 2013 mustang is almost upon us now, but if the evolution of the Mustang over the last 20 years is any indication, it's only going to get better.

2012 Ford Mustang GT

Check out all the pictures in the gallery here.