Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Hahahha so as promised today's tip segment! Now this tip comes from my house to yours! It is a little strange, but effective. So you love your white rice, your Spanish rice, your sticky rice and so on and so forth. We know rice as one of those blank canvases that is fantastic at absorbing flavor!
Well have you ever gone into your cabinet and pulled out your chili powder or your garlic powder and found it all clumpy and your like wtf?? Well that is because there is moisture in the air and it cause it to clump. Kinda like when you are trying to shake paprika into a steaming pan of chili, the moisture makes it bind up!
Now some states have more moisture than others, like TX. I lived there as a kid, and besides bad hair days (I looked like Bozo the clown) our spices would all clump together, even our salt! I grew up not knowing any different until we moved from TX, I though everyone had a salt shaker on the table that was a quarter of the way filled up with rice. YES I SAID RICE!! LOL, I remember doing this when I got my apartment here in AZ back in the day. My BF (Jared) was like wtf, why is there rice in our salt shaker? Hheheheh well in AZ for the most part the humidity is low and there is no need for the rice, but well as we all know childhood habits die hard!!
So the tip well get your rice out, and fill your shakers a quarter full of rice. You need to make sure that the holes in your shaker are small enough so that the rice doesn't come out when you are using it! Now if you can't find a shaker with small enough holes, don't panic! Just unscrew the shaker lid, get a piece of cheese cloth and cut out a circle that is the size of the lid. Then put the cheese cloth in the lid and viola, spices come out rice stays in! Best of all no more clumps!!
Ok, ok so you all want a fast rice recipe don't you? Well I have one for you. You want to dress up that plain ole white rice here is what you do:
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
1 8 oz container Mango Papaya Salsa ( can be found at: A Thyme To Bee Comforted )
1 Large lemon zested and juiced
.250 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
So in a medium sauce pan bring the 2C of water and 1 tsp of salt to a boil. Once water is boiling add 1 cup of long grain rice. Turn heat down to medium low and cook until all water is gone, about 20 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl add additional tsp of salt, lemon juice and zest, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning. Give it a quick whisk, and then while still whisking slowly pour in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Once the consistency has thickened and it looks like a vinaigrette you are done! If you don't want to whisk add all of the ingredients except EVOO into a food processor or a blender. Give it a quick pulse. Then put it on low and slowly stream in the EVOO, until it thickens up!
Now add the vinaigrette to your rice and let it cook on low for a couple of minutes, until the rice soaks up some of the Vinaigrette. Then turn off the heat and add in the Mango Papaya salsa and viola you are done!!
Pare it with a nice chicken breast and you have a healthy and tasty meal!!
Well I hope you give my tip a try and give the above recipe a try! I am sure you won't be disappointed!! Well I am outtie for the day, tomorrow is New Years Eve so I have shopping to do! We will be dining on Wantons, Baby Back Ribs, and maybe some spring rolls! I hope you all have a SAFE and Happy New Year!! I will see you all back here in 2009!!!!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Ok so I know I was suppose to publish my tips segment and I have been bad and didn't do it today. I PROMISE I will do it tomorrow!! Today I wanted to share some of the stuff that I have been working on!
Yes I know we aren't even into the new year yet, but I must plan ahead!! So the next holiday is Valentine's Day, and yes I have been hard at work thinking of something for the day of love. So far what have I come up with, well I did a gift basket! Not your typical gift basket either, this one is a complete dinner for two!! It will have my Spicy Asian Wantons for the Appetizer, for the Entree it will have my Lasagna for Two and for the Dessert you will have a choice between my Raspberry Marscapone Cup Cake or my Lemon Curd Trifle. I am also thinking of doing some chocolate covered strawberries, but first I must go and test all of those out!
So if you don't know what to give your loved ones for V day send them a very special gift basket, nothing says lovin like tasty treats!!
My other topic on today's agenda is to let you know that I have been firming up the date for our next give away. I have determined that it will run from January 26 until February 6th! It will be a scavenger hunt. As for the prize Heather is still figuring out what she wants to do! I will give you guys more details as soon as we are closer to the time of the give away!!
Well New Years is this week, so be SAFE!!! Don't do anything I wouldn't do, and have FUN!!!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I just signed up with a GREAT new site to peddle my treats; Artfire!! They are running in Beta mode right now, but let me tell you so far I have been VERY impressed with their customer service and the ability to roll out fixes and new services on their site! I was having an issue and not only did I get a prompt email, but I also got a phone call!! A PHONE CALL can you believe it?!?!?!? Well I couldn't, my mouth fell open when I listened to my VM!! Oh here is my Art Fire shop, same name as my Etsy shop, A Thyme To Bee Comforted.
Art Fire has no selling fees, as in re listing, or a percentage of what you sell. You can have a "free" account or right now they are having $7.00 a month for the next 3k that sign up. Which is a flat fee and VERY reasonable. I spend at least that much in one of my Etsy accounts per month, I have two Etsy accounts and I typically spend about $15 bucks in each of my stores to re-list, list etc. That also doesn't include the % that they take from my sales. Not that I am complaining because I also love Etsy, they have been good to me! But if I can sell my products and have less $ taken from my pocket I am all for it!!
Like I said AF is still in Beta mode, so if you sign up make sure that you keep in mind that they are in Beta mode and there will be glitches!! But the AF staff is very quick to respond to issues that you post in their forums aka Chatter Box. Also the people in the community have been VERY helpful!! I think it will be a GREAT place to grow my business with!
Hheheheh if you sign up with AF because of my Blog make sure to mention me when you sign up, they have perks........we all love perks!!!
All Right I hope you all had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Alas I am addicted to my computer so I had to pop in and work on my AF store, so that I am ready to roll for the new year!!
Monday, December 22, 2008
So I did a mini interview with Suanne as I am sure all of you our a little curious about the winner!! Here is the DL on the interview:
Wow! What a delightful surprise! You have some lovely items in your shop!!! I think I also visited your other store with all of the delicious food, but I couldn't check because it is closed for Christmas. (yes for all of you foodies A Thyme To Bee Comforted is closed for Christmas, but we will be re-opening January 2nd!!)
Where did you hear about my blog contest?: I'm not sure exactly where I found your blog contest. I have a group of friends that email each other items of interest, I do searches, and some of the other blogs tell readers about contests.
What Comforts you when you are feeling blue?: As a general rule, just being with my daughter chases my blues away. She is such a sweetheart!!! If that fails, bring on the chocolate!
Tell us a little about yourself, ie favorite food, color etc: Let's see. My favorite food. Hmm... I guess it is almost anything Paula Deen cooks. I love all colors but purple -- and I have no idea why certain colors of purple can be so unpleasant to me. I guess an analyst would certainly trace it back to an event in my childhood. My most enjoyable time is spent at my computer, but I hate to type. I use the Biblical method -- seek and ye will find (hunt and peck).
Are you an Etsy Seller?: I am not a seller on Etsy, but I will probably be a buyer when my personal finances make an upward swing. There are a lot of nice things that I have found. Thank you for making me a winner!
Suanne you seem like a really fun lady!! I am so glad you participated in my contest and took the time to reply to all of my questions!! Lol on the biblical method....that really made me laugh, you and my BF have something in common!! What a great interview!! Well I hope you have fun shopping, I know you wanted to check out some stuff in A Thyme To Bee Comforted, you can go to the sales link on my shop to see the kind of food that I have sold in the past! Or you can wait until January to get your fill of some yummy treats!
Well this contest just like last month has put a smile on my face, and I am already working on January's contest! She was featured on my blog a couple months ago (blog link); Heather from Heathers Handmade Creations will be ponying up the prize for January. I still have some details to iron out, but keep on the look out!! Once everything has been finalized I will blast email all of those on my mailing list, so if you aren't on the list email me and I will add you or become a blog follower!!
For those of you that follow the blog I will be posting this weeks Tip/Trick of the week tomorrow, as Suanne needs her day in the sun!!
Christmas is near, so be on your best behavior and spread some cheer!! Love and kisses from my family to yours!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Well enough about that! So today's tip and trick is the Leek! A leek you say, what the hell is a leek. It's that thing at the grocery store that looks like a green onion on steroids!!! Wikipedia defines the leek as:
Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum(L.) J.Gay
The leek, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.), also sometimes known as Allium porrum, is a vegetable which belongs, along with the onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae family. Two related vegetables, the elephant garlic and kurrat, are also variant subspecies of Allium ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food. The edible part of the leek plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths which is sometimes called a stem or stalk.
Why use a leek you may ask, well because it has a subtle onion flavor, not strong at all. It's darn tasty to!!! You also might be thinking to yourself well what tips or tricks could you possibly have for a leek??? Well the tip is on how to to wash a leek. A leek is like an onion it has many layers, and the stem is open not as tight as a green onion. So dirty etc tend to get stuck in the stems! So how do we was a leek, well there are two ways:
1. To wash a whole Leek halve the leek length wise, splay open the layers, and run water over them until your sure that all the grit has been removed. See pretty straight forward and simple!
2. To wash sliced Leeks soak the sliced leeks in a bowl of cold water. Let them stand undisturbed for about ten minutes to let the grit fall to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop the leeks out gently, taking care not to stir up the grit. Pat the leeks dry.
Now that you have some clean leeks what can you do with them, well you can make Home At Least Leek Salad, the recipe is courtesy of the Food Network (one of my fave sites).
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 to 3 sprigs thyme, stripped from stems
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade and quartered
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
6 leeks, soaked in salt water to remove grit and thoroughly rinsed
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup olive oil
6 ears fresh corn, boiled until tender and cooled to room temperature
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil or if dehydrated soaked in water to rehydrate
6 small sprigs parsley
Through the feed opening of a running blender add, 1 at a time, vinegar, thyme, mustard, garlic, honey, salt, and ground black pepper. Leaving the blender running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream. Set aside until needed.
Slice the white and tender green parts of the leeks into 1/2-inch diagonals. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and saute until tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Slice the corn from the cobs and place in a bowl with the sauteed leeks. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Toss with enough of the dressing to coat. Do not feel compelled to use all of the dressing.
Serve garnished with parsley and additional dressing on the side.
There are over 700 hundred recipes for leeks on the Food Network site, so if you haven't ever cooked with likes I suggest you give them a try and you might surprise yourself! They make a great soup!! Well thanks for joining me in this late but great tips and tricks segment......I am off to finish up my Pecan Brittle order! Here is wishing you and your family a safe and HAPPY Holiday season!!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Spicy Asian Wontons
Good Morning All!!
Here is hoping that it is a sunny and happy morning in your neighborhood!! Well it is Monday, and time for another tip/ trick segment!!
Today we are tackling your fear of frying!!! Let's be honest frying is a scary thing, all of that hot oil inches from your skin, splashes of it flying in the air when you putt your chicken or fries in. I fry often and I am still intimidated by the oil, and yes I have been burned more than once, but it each time it has been my carelessness that has caused the burns!!
The number one rule when frying PAY ATTENTION, this isn't the time to be answering the phone, or answering one of your kids million questions!! This is NOT the time to multi task!!
That being said there are some ways to eliminated or reduce the intimidation factor. The easy way to do this is to go out and buy yourself an actual deep fryer!! Now when selecting a fryer you need to keep a couple of things in mind.
1. The most important of them all, how easy is it going to be to clean. Sure it is easy to pour the oil into the fryer, but you need to remember at some point you will be having to take dirty oil out of that puppy!! My suggestion is to find one that you actually remove the oil cavity and put it in the dishwasher (one of mans BEST inventions). This is the type I have, and it makes cleaning the fryer A LOT easier!!
2. Gauge how much frying you are going to be doing, and what you are going to be frying the most. Like with everything in this day and age you can get fryers from about for about $40 or all the way up to several hundred!! In my case I got the heavy duty professional series, because well I am a foodie and I am constantly cooking!! I fry several times a month from chips to fish!!
3. I find it easier to have a fryer that has a basket that is like what you would find in your local restaurant, a nice big rectangular basket. It allows you to but a decent amount of food in it. So you can do larger batches instead of having to do a million little baskets!!
Alright well lets say a deep fryer is not in your budget, lets face it now people are having to tighten their belts!! You don't need a fancy dancy deep fryer to make your fave crispy chicken. All you need is a large heavy duty stock pot and a thermometer!!
There fryer in the photo is from the Food Network store, visit this link for their selection of fryers: http://www.foodnetworkstore.com/ProductList.aspx?Ntt=deep+friers&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchall&Nty=1&N=0&Ntk=All
Of course your local Target or Sears will also have them!!
Here is what you do to help reduce the splat er factor, i.e the fear of getting burned.
1. Just before you start to fry the food sprinkle about a quarter teaspoon of coarse kosher salt into the oil to help keep it from splattering.
2. Lower food gently into the hot oil, don't drop it from high up. Yes I know what you are thinking you want me to put my fingers close to the 300 plus degree oil?!?!?!? Are you friggin crazy?!??!?! No I am not, thank you very much, the bottom line is the closer you get your little piggies to the oil, the less it will splatter when you are puttin in your chicken leg, i.e. burning risk is reduced!!
3. If you are using tongs, keep them pointed downward to prevent hot oil from dripping down the handles. Yes I know this seems like its a no brainier, but just wait til you are multi tasking and you forget that you just had those tongs in the hot oil....yeah ouch.....been there done that......WHAT ARE U DOING MULTI TASKING??? What was the number one rule PAY ATTENTION!!
So now you got your beautiful crispy juicy chicken all fried up and you are thinkin to yourself well now what do I do with all this oil. Unless you have fried fish in the oil, strain chill, and reuse it for sauteing, NOT for deep frying. Particles that are left over in the oil lower the flash point, so it's potentially unsafe for frying.
The other option for the used oil is to cool the oil, strain into a big glass jar and store it at room temperature. When the jar is full, toss it. Or to be more green call a recycling center to see if it takes wasted vegetable oil.
Well I hope these tips help to make you feel safer in your frying adventures!! I know you can do it, and besides your kids will LOVE you even more if you are able to produce some tasty chicken fingers and fries for them at home!!
Keep safe, and spread the food love!!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Being tagged is a game bloggers play where they have to write seven random things about their self, and tag seven other people.
Oh lord know you guys are going to know even MORE about me...ehehhehehe...beware...
1. I am a Scorpio and I have the personality to match, yes everything the say about Scorps is true in my case!! Hehhehe
2. I love to read, Nora Roberts, Dean Koontz, Stephen King are a couple of my fav authors.
3. I love dessert, and pastries are my krypto-nite!!!
4. I have a two kids, Justin and Tristen.....oh well 3 if you count my BF Jared
5. Jared and I have been together now, going on 14 years.......and NO we aren't married yet, we are doing the Goldie Hawn and the Kurt Russel thing....ehhehehe
6. I hate the cold, which is why I live in AZ, although I would LOVE to live by the ocean.
7. My fave color is purple!!
I have to tag 7 of you, gee I hope I have 7 lol!!
Hehheheh I had to dig deep for those!!!!
What is clarified butter you ask, well it is also called drawn butter or ghee. Simply defined, clarified butter is unsalted butter that has the milk solids and water removed so all that remains is pure liquid golden-yellow butterfat. The advantages of this type of butter is its long keeping quality (several months refrigerated) and its high smoke point (can be used in frying without burning).
Well it is a 3 step processes to make, not really all that hard!! Once again the instructions for this process comes from one of my favorite magazines Bon Appetit! So here is the D/L on how to make your own clarified butter:
1. Melt two sticks of butter in a small sauce pan (un alted butter). Let it sit of the heat for a couple of minutes to allow the milk solids to fall to the bottom of the pan. Why unsalted butter you ask....well that is because you want to be able to control the salt content in your dishes. If you use butter that is salted, your dish may come out way to salty, and that is definitely not a tasty thing!!!!
2. Use a large slotted spoon or a fine-meshed skimmer to remove any remaining foam from the top of the melted butter. Discard the foam.
3. Slowly pour the clarified butter into a bowl leaving behind the milky solids. Discard solids. Keep the clarified butter covered and chilled.
So what are you going to use this butter for.....well you know those yummy lobsters and crab that you get at your fave restaurant, well the butter they give you to dip all of that delicate goodness in is clarified butter! What else can you do with it, well you can fry with it, and it is also used in different baking applications!
Rosti-Styled Latkes with Rosemary and Brown Butter Apple Sauce
6 large russet potatoes (4lbs)
2 tbs (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped shallots (about 6)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
12 tablespoons clarified butter, divided Rosemary and Brown Butter Applesauce (see recipe)
Cook potatoes in large pot of generously salted boiling water until partially cooked (tester will meet some resistance), about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, rinse in cold water, and drain again. Peel, cover, and chill until very cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
Coarsely grate potatoes into large bowl. Melt butter in large ovenproof cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots; sute until soft, about 6 minutes. Add shallot mixture, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to potatoes (reserve skillet). Toss to blend evenly (do not compact potato mixture). DO AHEAD can be made 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Melt 4 tbs of clarified butter in reserved skillet over medium heat. Add half of potato mixture (5.5 to 6 cups). Stir gently until clarified butter is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Spread potatoes to even layer, then press firmly with metal spatula to compact. Cook 5 minutes, pressing and flattening occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Place slightly smaller skillet atop potato cake. Weigh down with heavy can (like a big can of tomatoes). Cook potato cake 15 minutes, pressing occasionally.
Remove can and small skillet. Press potato cake again to flatten. Spread with 2 tbs of clarified butter.
Place skillet in oven and bake potato cake uncovered 15 minutes. Run narrow spatula around potato cake. Turn out onto platter, bottom (crusty) side up. Immediately cut into wedges and serve with applesauce.
Rosemary & Brown Butter Applesauce
Makes about 3 cups and can be made 1 day ahead
3c unsweetened apple juice
3 4" fresh Rosemary springs
1.5 cinnamon sticks
3.5 lbs (7 to 8 medium) Braeburn apples or other tart-sweet apples, unpeeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1" chunks (about 12 cups)
3 tbs unsalted butter
Combine first three ingredients and large pinch of salt in a large pot. Boil until juice is reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Mix in apples. Cover; cook over medium heat until apples are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Uncover and, if necessary, cook until liquid evaporates. Discard rosemary and cinnamon.
Transfer apples to food mill fitted with fine or medium plate and pass apples through mill (or press through coarse sieve) into medium bowl, discard skins. Melt butter int small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until butter browns, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Mix brown butter into apple sauce.
Well try this out, yes it sounds complicated but well worth it!! Hope this inspires you to delve into your kitchen and cook up some delisious treats for your family and friends!!!
Monday, December 1, 2008
It has been a long night for me, I was up til 3 am tossing and turning, trying to figure out what I should blog about. Well duh it came to me!! Tips and tricks that you all can use in your own homes!!!
Being a foodie I love all things food, so I am always doing research (actually it's me time) on different tips, gadgets etc to use in the kitchen. While I have a knack for throwing together some scrumptious dishes, somethings still allude me or I have the "Angelica" way of doing things, which is not necessarily the right way (wait did I say that, my way is always the right way......hehehe).
So we are going to find the right way to do things together!! If you have a dish that you just can't get right and can't figure out why or you are thinking to yourself there has to be some kind of gadget to make a process easier, email me!! I will do the research and then your question and of course the answer will be featured on the blog!! Until I start getting those questions I will delve into the culinary arts on my own!!
So this brings us to today's Tip, the all intimidating Standing Rib Roast!!! For those of you that do not know what a standing rib roast is, it's that sheek hunk of meat that you see on all those Holiday food commercials, you know the hunk of meet that looks like a crown!!! Yes your family will ooooooooooh and ahhhh if you prepare one of these!!! Well did you know that you can actually stuff one of these puppy's to really impress your family?? Yes I said stuff it, like a turkey!!!
This technique comes to us from one of my fav magazines, Bon Appetit!! Ok here are the steps to stuff your own standing rib roast!
1. Position roast on work surface with bones up right. With a long, sharp knife, start at the top and work down, cutting a five - to- six inch crevice between the bones and meat. Be sure to keep the bones attached. Basically what you are doing is cutting behind the bones to create a pocket for the stuffing, when you are creating the pocket make sure that you don't cut it all the way down, I would say leave a good 2 inches at the bottom!
2. Gently pry the bones away from the meat, creating a space. Fill the crevice with the stuffing, making sure to pack firmly. Basically you are going to take the side with the bones in one hand and with your other hand you are going to pull the meat away from the bones, be careful not to pull to hard, you don't want to have a rip in your pocket!! If you are having trouble pulling the meat away, take your free hand and make a fist and fit it into the pocket to help stretch the meat.
3. Once you have inserted all the stuffing press the bones in to compact the stuffing. Tie the bones back in place with three to four loops of kitchen string. Bring the string completely around the roast to secure it and to keep the stuffing in place. You can buy butchers twine at Fry's or any of your large grocery stores. Basically you are just trussing this puppy together, cut 3 to 4 strands of the butchers twine that are long enough to go around the roast (vertically) and long enough to let you give it a good tight knot. This also depends on how big the roast is, if your roast is larger you may need more twine!!
Well there you go, now you can stuff your own Standing Rib Roast!! Now I know what your thinking I don't have a recipe to make one of these, well Angelica is here to please!! You need to visit one of my favorite web sites, Food Network!! There is a video that Tyler Florence has and also the recipe for the roast! His version is not stuffed, but you can apply the technique above and stuff it!!
Well I hope this helps to inspire you to do something different on Christmas!! It will most definitely become a Christmas tradition if you prepare this for your family, give that tired old ham and turkey a rest already!!! Check back on Wednesday when we tackle how to make clarified butter, yes something that a TON of recipes call for!!! See you then, be safe and kind!!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sorry for the late post in regards to the winner, our house was hit by the hideious stomach flu, and today is the first day I feel good enough to be on the net! Darn school, don't you love how kids just bring home EVERYTHING!?!?! I vote for them going to school in bubbles!!!
Anyway, I did a short interview with Karen since she is Novembers BIG winner!
What comforts you in hard times?
Family and Friends - just as in the good times !!
What is your favorite internet site to shop on?
I like Kohls.com.
What's your favorite meal?
If you could learn to cook one thing, what would it be?
Pasta Alfredo, I've always had trouble with white sauce - it comes out either too thick or too thin... I could use some helpful hints.
Well my suggestion for the white sauce it to slowly add more parmesan cheese in small batches to make the sauce thicker or you can mix butter and flour together in another dish, then slowly add it in to also make it thicker! Becareful with the butter flour mixture, it can thicken it pretty quick. If it is to thick you can always thin it out with some milk or cream.
Well this brings us to the end of Novembers give away! I hope that you all had fun in participating, and I also hope that you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!! Can you belive it is this week!!?!? Check back in December, I will be having a December giveaway from my other store, A Time 2b Unique!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
A Rainbow in a Heart
Well if you find yourself on Etsy (which you should be for the Holiday's) come and stop by A Time 2 Bee Unique, I would love to have you!! So pull up a chair and come browse for awhile! If you see something you like but you want it bigger or smaller just email me and I can adjust! I also have Holiday gift wrapping available, which is sooooooooo cute!! I had Shopbub design the packaging for me!!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The first event is the Holiday blog give away which is a scavenger hunt!!! It is being held on the Team Eeat Blog. We are giving away two $10 gift certificates that can be used in any participating shop!! For detailed rules of the give away and to see the participating shops visit the blog!!
The next Holiday event is taking the place of our next FFF, it is our Black Friday Sale!! There are going to great sales in participating Team Eeat shops!!!
Yes I know that you are in denial, but it is that time of the year already!! There will be a Turkey on the table before you know it, and a house full of family and friends!! For many Black Friday is D Day, it signals the official start of the Holiday Season and prime time shopping for loved ones!! So in honor of the Black Friday tradition Team Eeat will be having a Black Friday Sale! It will be in the Etsy Forums, members will be having significant discounts, games, prizes etc! Do yourself a favor and buy handmade this season!! Pull up your favorite chair and cup of hot coco and take a trip to Etsy Lane for unique Holiday gifts!! Best of all let Team Eeat help you with your Holiday cooking!! There is enough stress during the Holidays, why worry about making food!?!??! So give the gift of time this Holiday Season with some delicious desserts or side dishes!!!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Well I have decided to answer these questions in detail as they pertain to my Etsy shop A Thyme To Bee Comforted. Please keep in mind, this is how I ship and does not reflect the shipping policies of any of the edible shops that you will find on Etsy.
So to answer the first question: "How can you ship food like this"?
Well to begin with it is all in the packaging and delivery time. I ship priority mail as my standard shipping method which means that your package will arrive on your door step with in 2-3 days. I can also ship overnight, at an additional cost. Priority mail is the most cost effective method for both of us as I use a flat rate box. The benefit of using flat rate boxes is that the shipping cost is based on what you can fit into the box up to 70lbs and does not go off of weight. That is where overnight or express mail get you!! They go by weight and by box size!!
I typically use the Large Flat Rate priority box (measures 12” x 12” x 5-1/2” ), as this gives me the most space to pack your product in. You need to keep in mind that I am not only shipping your product in your box, but also ice packs and dry ice. All of which take up a good amount of space!!
Since I am using a flat rate box, I am limited on space. I do combine orders if you order multiple items. Typically 4 items will fit into one Large box, this is an estimate of course as it is all dependant on what you are ordering. Some products are larger than others and will take up more space. I would only charging shipping on one box, if all the items fit into one box, once they do not fit into one box you of course would incur another shipping charge. Unfortunately Etsy does not let me structure my shipping profile this way. So if you end up buying multiple items don't panic when you see the shipping amount!! Once your order has been packed and shipped out to you, I will refund you the overage in shipping!
Well now you know how the box gets to your door but I know that doesn't explain how the food gets there fresh!! Well it is a combination of things that helps the food get to your door fresh and delish!! For the most part everything that you purchase from me is completely cooked, when it arrives at your door all you will be doing is reheating (reheating instructions are provided). Once I have cooked everything in your order it goes into the freezer to help insure that it arrives at your door cold. The only thing that is not frozen prior to shipping are the fresh salsas , as they only need to be kept cool to keep them fresh. I only offer items that will not lose their taste or texture when frozen.
Next is the packaging, while I use the priority boxes to ship in I alter the interior of them to help keep the food insulated. I use Cool Shield Bubble to insulate the boxes. It provide short term thermal shipping protection for food, plants and pharmaceuticals and is safe to use with food per the FDA. Your order is completely surrounded by the cool shield, from top to bottom!!
The next step is ice packs and dry ice. I put about 3 ice packs at the bottom of your box and on top of them I put about 5lbs of dry ice. This will extend the life of the ice packs by keeping them frozen. You can find out all about shipping with dry ice at ://www.dryiceinfo.com/shipping.htm . In addition to food, pharmaceuticals are also shipped with dry ice! Basically I have made my own cooler to ship your food in!!
This brings us to the final question of "Why is your shipping cost so high"? As you can see I take great care in packaging your orders. My shipping cost is high because not just as simple as put the product in the box and sending it out! Dry ice and the packaging that I use is not inexpensive. Here in AZ dry ice is $1.20 or so a pound. As I mentioned I typically ship with 5lbs so if you do the math on that it is $6 just in dry ice!! Not to mention the ice packs and the lining of the boxes! I want your food to get to you as cold and as quick as possible! Also my food products are more delicate than those of the Bakery shops you will find on Etsy. I ship this way because I want the food to be completely safe when it arrives on your door step!
Keeping this in mind if you know that your mail is slower than most places, shoot me an email and let me know before you order that way I can put in some extra ice packs! Typically with priority mail the packages arrive in 2 days and do not go into the 3rd day.
Well I hope that this little post helps you feel better about ordering for over the net!! If you ever have any questions about the products in either of my stores feel free to convo or email me!!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The bruschetta was the appetizer, I also made two deep dish lasagnas and a Panzenella salad!! Everyone was out back hovered around the food, waiting for me to give the ok to chow down!! Finally Amy came in and asked me if they could eat (as usual I was still in the kitchen finishing the last minute details). I said "of course that is why all the food is out on the table silly!!"
The night was finished out back with some Nutella Wantons!! Ohhhh my those were goood!! I also made a raspberry reduction to go with them!! A couple of the party goers gave me the look when they first saw them, but as soon as they took a bite "The Look" went from one of doubt to pure joy!! Hehehhe then they were following me around because I had the tray!!! Since they were such a big hit I have also added them to my Etsy shop!!
Well here is hoping for another great year of fun, laughs, family and friends!!!
Monday, November 3, 2008
What is Etsy for those of you that may have never heard of it? Well it is only the most unique place to purchase quality handmade items. What's unique about it you may ask? Well there is such a large diversity of products on this site that you will be amazed. For those of you that think handmade items are questionable, well you are sadly mistaken!! I have never seen such an array of talented individuals all located on one site that produce such high quality items. Some even will rival your typical name brands. I have seen jewelry that could be featured at Tiffanie's, purses that could be in Coach, and food that could be on the Food Network.
All this being said brings me to the focus of this blog, The FFF. The FFF is the Friday Food Fest that is hosted by Team Eeat. It occurs twice a month on the First and Third Friday of the month in a chat room on Etsy that has been started by Team Eeat. What is the FFF, well it is a chat room where you can come and chat with the members of Team Eeat and those that are in love with food.
In addition to the great chat, Team Eeat members typically run sales in their shops to honor the FFF. So if you have not yet had a chance to partake in any of the delectable desserts or delish dishes on Etsy the FFF is defiantly the time to take the plunge. In addition to Team Eeat giving great sales, other Sellers have started participating in the idea of the FFF. They also may offer discounts on items in their shops and sponsor their own giveaways!!
At the FFF there are several games sponsored by the members of Team Eat where you have the chance to win various prizes, from gift certs to actual food!! It is a great place to be if you are going to be online on a Friday night! Make sure that you do your calistenics with your fingers before you log on and get your speed readers shined, because the chat moves like lightning with a lot of laughs and fun!!!
I suggest you peruse the sales at the Team Eeat blog before you enter chat, you can do this by visiting the Team Eeat blog at: http://etsyedibleartsteam.blogspot.com/. That way you have an idea of who is having what sale and from whom you may want to win a prize from!! There are sooo many different members on the Team that I really do suggest doing this, otherwise you may feel overwhelmed in chat by each tasty treat that is presented.......or tempted...heheeh....
I really suggest visiting the FFF in the next couple of months as the holidays draw near, you may find yourself not having enough time for making that dish that you need to take to the holiday party, or to the pot luck. Or surprise!!! The family has decided to come down for the holidays and now you need to cook a meal for 12 hungry and judgemental family members (yes we all have one of those in our families). Give yourself the gift of time and sanity let the VERY talented members of Team Eeat grace your tables with inventive, creative and scrumptious food! Heheheh you can even take the credit for it, no one will no that you didn't make it!!
So lets break it down, the next FFF is this Friday, November 7th 8pm est time in the Etsy Chat rooms! Don't forget to visit the blog before coming or peruse this blog for the members that I have featured, http://etsyedibleartsteam.blogspot.com/!! I hope to see you there!!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Bliss does not even begin to describes these little square jewels. When they arrive at your door they are in the regular old post office box, but once you crack the seal on the outer box you are surprised with some really beautiful packaging! It was like opening a Christmas present from the lovely white bakers box to the color coordinated ribbon!!
Lets get to the good stuff..... each little Bliss bar was wrapped in its own cellophane bag and tied with a coordinating bow and they were nestled in cute little fluted paper cups! I will be honest I didn't think of the wonderful packaging until later.........hehhehe I was just trying to rip through the cellophane to get to the goods.........and damn it my teeth don't work as good as they use too....I had to bust out the scissors as I had no patience to untie the cute ribbon!
My mouth was watering in anticipation.........let me just tell you it was NOT disappointed. When you bite into one of these little Bomber Blisses you immediately taste the buttery and flaky crust. Then you mouth is assaulted with the sweet juiciness from the maraschino cherries. The combination of the flaky crust and cherries are an explosion of a happy marriage in your mouth. My mouth is watering as I am typing this...........gee I wish I still had some...........hmmm the FFF is coming up again!!
Now being the sweet girl that Justbakin is she through in some extra goodies for me to taste (hmmmm I actually think it is an evil plan of hers). They were also as delectable as the Cherry Bliss Bombers (hehehe). She sent me:
Pecan Pie Bars
If you love Pecan Pie and chocolate, ummm I suggest you go to her shop immediately and buy these..........I am IN LOVE with them. I love pecan pie, but these bars were even better than the old fashion pie! Once again the girl has a knack for crust, flaky buttery and light! They are like having a whole pie in a little bar! The combination of nuts and chocolate make it a divine treat!! Angelica did NOT share any of these with her family!!! Shhhhh don't tell them, they will be mad at me!!
The dear also sent me some of her Cherry Undercover Darkness
If you like chocolate covered cherries well these are about a million times better!! So once again go straight to her shop and order them!!!! The cookie is so moist, the chocolate is deep and rich and then you get a little explosion in your mouth as you bite into the cherry and the sweet juices roll onto your tongue..........mmmmmmmmmmm my mouth is drooling again......damn I am out of these too!
Don't let me fool you, the box of goodies didn't even last a full 2 day at the house. It was worse than having your favorite ice cream in the freezer! I found myself thinking about the box constantly.....in fact we went to a friends BBQ and I found myself wishing that I had brought the box with me......hehehehe....but that would of meant I had to share...hmmmm glad I didn't bring it with me!
Do yourself a favor this holiday season, give the gift of Time!! Give the girls at Team Eeat the chance to fill your house with some yummy treats and give you the time to spend with your family instead of being a slave to the oven!!
Check out the blog on Monday, as it will be about the FFF............. do you know what the FFF is?? Come find out on Monday!!!
Just incase you want to order from Justbakin !!!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Well I have had the pleasure of ordering the treats from these yummy artist's, and my Featured artist today is Vanilla Bean Bake shop (http://www.vanillabeanbakeshop.etsy.com/)!!! From this lovely lady I ordered her Organic Double Chocolate Pecan Brownies. They are organic but best off all they are TASTY!! They were moist, the perfect brownie consistency. They were not too sweet, and they had a little crunch from the pecans. They made your mouth sing!!!! Let me tell you, you need to order some...10 seconds in the microwave and you will think that you have arrived in heaven!!!
VB has some other GREAT things in her shop that I am dying to order (however, my booty is not to happy with all the treats I have been getting......it's mad cuz it's been growing!!). You need to do yourself a favor and check out the following..............shhhh I won't tell............the holidays are almost here anyway......just make it your New Years resolution to go on a diet.......hehehehe...
Organic Pumpkin Bars with Dark Chocolate Chips:
Organic Lemon Pound Cake with Citrus Lemon Glaze:
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
To kick off my new blog I am going to be giving away a Free Meal for one!!! You can choose between my Carne De Puerco or my Enchilada's!!! They will come with the main dish and a side of my YUMMMY rice!!! They are all packaged up and delivered to your door!! To view a full description of each visit my Etsy store at http://www.athyme2bcomforted.etsy.com/.
What do you have to do? Just join my mailing list and post a comment about what comforts you most in my shop!!! The more comments I see from you, the better chances of winning you have!!! Contest will run from October 21 until Midnight Friday, November 21st . Winner will be chosen on Saturday, November 22!!!
**** Participants must be in the US due to type of prize*************
Also Proud Participante of the Bloggy GiveAways Carnival!!!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Well it has been a BUSY month for "partaking"..... my first indulgence was Double Dipped Sweets Sea Salted Caramel Apple.
This apple was delicious, it was the perfect balance of sweet, salty and tart. Her apples are HUGE...I think she may have some magic dust that she sprinkles on them to enlarge them...I know I have not seen apples that big here in AZ!! The apple was big enough for me to share (not willingly) with both of my kids. When you bite into the slice of apple you get the immediate crunch from the fresh crisp apple, then you taste the sweet Carmel and then your taste buds are assaulted by the salty goodness of the sea salt. The Carmel is also a perfect consistency, not to sticky....it won't glue your teeth together like some other apples!!
Well I also got some little presents in that package from DDS (as I call her in chat) she sent me a sample of her Ginger bread popcorn.
All I can say is that popcorn puts the kettle corn that you get at the fair to shame!! It was scrumptious!!! Crunchy and sweet and like taking a big bite of a gingerbread man!!
The other little gift I got was her Coconut Haystack Bark, omg it was soooooooooooooo good!! Just the right balance between chocolaty goodness and coconut. Your tongue is coated by the delicious chocolate and then there is a slight chewy crunch from the coconut.
Let's just say I had to fight off the kids from each one of my "gifts". Hmmm I think I should of locked myself in the bedroom, I will have to do that next time I buy from DDS!!
Give your family a treat from DDS you won't be disappointed!! I also suggest the following apples also......heheheh I told you it was a busy month of "partaking"!!!
Apple Pie Caramel Apple and Fall Delight Caramel Apple
Sunday, October 19, 2008
More importanly we have fun together in all of our team events, from our Virtual Bake Sale to the FFF (Friday Food Fest); these events are hosted in either the Etsy Labs or the Etsy Chat rooms. It has been a great way to promote all of our shops and to have a really great time!!!!
So here is a BIG THANKS to Team Eeat and their ability to offer me comfort in all of my new ventures and ideas!!!