Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Caramel Apple Lip Balm

October's Flavor of the Month is Caramel Apple.
Free sample provided in every October order. Also available to order through October 31.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Flavors of Autumn

We're still a few days shy of fall, but the bright blue skies and crisp frosty mornings are already telling the story. Chapter One: tart apples, simmered to sweet perfection on the stovetop...or sliced and tucked into a flaky crust and topped with cream. Chapter Two: spicy, cheese-y pumpkin bites with a dusting of sugar. Chapter Three: ...shall I go on? Here are our fall recipes all in one place for your convenience. If you'll excuse me, I think I hear a cheesecake calling me...

Apple Pie

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

Spooky Juice

Applesauce

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

Maple Pecan Popcorn

Friday, September 14, 2012

Eggplant Tomato Bake

A few weeks ago a friend brought this for dinner. This baked  dish from Whole Living was delicious and very easy. This time of year my menu is dictated largely by the CSA: what's in our share this week? When the eggplant got a little out of control, I decided to experiment with more vegetable baking and today's recipe is the result.

Remember how I planted that herb garden way back in May? Remember how I promised to share recipes? Well, those herbs are still growing and definitely coming in handy. If you have fresh oregano and thyme, you will love this. Of course you can choose your own herbs...marjoram and basil would be delicious, too.

Eggplant Tomato Bake

1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced (about 1/2 inch slices or a bit thinner work well)
2-3 medium tomatoes, sliced (you can also peel the tomatoes before using, but it isn't necessary)
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup panko or other bread crumbs
1/4 -1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp each (or more) fresh thyme and oregano leaves

Preheat oven to 375. Spread a tablespoon or two of oil in a 9 x 12 baking dish, then layer eggplant and tomato slices, overlapping them to fill the pan. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the slices, then sprinkle with the fresh herbs (you can chop the oregano if the leaves are too big). Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove foil and sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs and cheeses, then return the uncovered pan to the oven until cheese is melted (about 10 minutes). Serve as a side or on pasta (we used angel hair. Yum.).

If you have lots of eggplant in your garden or your farm share, have you tried baba ghanoush? (Even if you haven't, you should definitely try saying it. It's a garlicky dip and it's delicious. And it has a great name.)

What's your favorite way to eat these end-of-summer veggies?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jared DeSimio: American Made Awards Finalist

I've been wanting to share this local designer's work for some time now. When I found out that he was one of 100 finalists in the American Made Audience Choice Awards (selected out of more than 2,000!), I knew the time was right.

Jared DeSimio is a designer and photographer from Maine who finds forgotten bits of history and crafts them into pieces that can continue their journey. DeSimio skillfully converts duffels to book bags, drop cloths to totes, revealing the "flaws" that make each material and piece unique. The result is an almost wabi-sabi aesthetic, the beauty of imperfection through the wear and tear of time. 

Though time has left its mark on DeSimio's designs, his pieces are constructed to last. I've seen his work up close and I'm impressed by his workmanship and attention to detail. His rugged designs appeal to men and women alike as well as those interested in vintage items. Of course if you like to recycle or upcycle, you'll love this aspect of his work, too. You can see all of his available pieces in DeSimio's Etsy shop.

If you're impressed by what you see, won't you consider supporting Jared DeSimio, maker in the American Made Audience Choice Awards? I've been voting every day, and voting continues through September 24. The winner will receive $10,000 and appear in Martha Stewart Living magazine. It's a terrific opportunity for a handmade artisan like DeSimio, and I'd love to see his work shared with a larger audience!

You can find Jared DeSimio, maker on Facebook and Twitter. His work is available in his Etsy shop, and a great description and video of his story are shared at his American Made page.


Canvas tote made from paint splattered military canvas, Jared DeSimioMaker

Thursday, September 06, 2012

A is for Apple Favors

We're looking forward to some apple picking in the coming weeks. Fall is coming early; I'm already making the Caramel Apple lip balms (among other fall flavors), so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite apple favors.

Our apple theme ideas are mostly on one page, but we also have Appletini scented and flavored gifts with our Sweetini Spa products. Working with an apple theme? Looking for unique Caramel Apple wedding favors that won't stick to your fingers, or Apple of My Eye baby shower favors with cute tags? Here are a few examples, but please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss the details of your event!





Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Start Anyway

My kids both started at new schools today, my son in middle school and my daughter at the high school. For days we've been gathering all of their materials, shopping for pencils and notebooks and a ton of other supplies that we loaded into each backpack last night. We carefully packed their favorite lunches, tucking them into the bags at the last minute this morning. Then I walked the kids to the bus and waved them on their way, confident that they had what they needed and were prepared.

When I got home, I found my son's book sitting by the door.

A few weeks ago his teachers sent a letter asking their students to bring the books they were reading. My son spent the weekend debating which book to bring, selected his new favorite, and set it next to his backpack. And promptly forgot it.

I considered following the bus to his school to deliver it, but quickly reminded myself that he's older now and I shouldn't be doing that. If he doesn't have what he needs, he should be able to deal with it, right?

How often do we remember to bring along everything we might need? Do we always know what we might need? How often do we find ourselves in new places, with new jobs or roles, missing some skill or bit of experience that would really help us? I'll answer this last one: for me, it's every day. My kids are different every day, and what I've learned about them doesn't always prepare me for the new "tricks" around the corner. My job is also changing all the time; software and skills become obsolete or irrelevant. In fact, the world is so different from day to day that even after endless reading and working and learning, I admit that I have moments when I don't know exactly what I'm doing. How am I going to figure this out? (I'll wonder after spending hours on some new bit of social media.) Am I qualified for this??

The truth is, you may never feel prepared. Start anyway. Start because it's today, and today is better than tomorrow. Start just to get the ball rolling. Start because the bus came and you're there anyway so you might as well just do your best.


I hope my kids had a good day starting the school year (even if they didn't have everything they needed). I started a few projects today because it seemed like the best day to start something new.  What are you starting this week?

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.” ~Buddha

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