Thursday, December 31, 2009

Once In A Blue Moon...

Just a fun fact for our New Year Eve...

When you hear someone say "Once in a Blue Moon…" you know what they mean: Rare. Seldom. Maybe even absurd. After all, when was the last time you saw the moon turn blue?

A blue moon occurs when there are two full moons in one month. There was a full moon on December 2nd and there will be a full moon on December 31st. A very rare blue moon for New Year’s Eve! New Years Eve blue moons occur only every 19 years; the next one will come again in 2028.

Happy New Year!

Whatever you may be doing tonight ~ staying in and enjoying the evening with your special someone, joining a crowd at the local bar, or ringing in the New Year at a lively home party, may it be a Happy New Year for you!

Thank you for being part of my blog this past year. It means a lot to me that you come to this little place and read my little blog. You people are truly great! More to come in 2010!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Felted Soaps

My dear friend Launa sent me a wonderful smelling package in the mail. I knew right away that it was something Lavender, I could smell it through the box! Upon unwrapping the package I was delighted to find a beautiful felted bar of lavender soap.

Felted soap is a very cool concept. You cover a bar of soap with fabulous wool fiber, then felt* it, and you have a soap and washcloth all in one! Moisturizing, handmade soaps are wrapped in softly spun, naturally anti-fungal wool to create an exfoliating, fragrantly lathering, long-lasting bath time soap/washcloth all in one. When the soap dissolves, reuse the washcloth by making a small cut and slipping a new bar inside

This is also a great idea for children because the soap doesn't get slippery and slip out of their hands, you don't have to have a separate cloth or scrubby in the bath, and if brightly felted is easy to find in a bathtub of bubbles.

I made felted soap a few years back and my niece just loved her bar of felted soap.As I said above, I have indeed felted soap before, and sold many bars at the farmers market. I even had several customers come back and ask if I had more, a whole year later! And while it is a bit time consuming, they are beautiful to look at, fun to use and I have just been inspired to do it again. Look for my felted soaps soon. Thanks Launa!

* Felting ~ Felting is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibers together. Hot water and friction is needed to mat these fibers together. You can "felt" an old wood sweater by putting it in a hot water wash. When it comes out of the wash, the fibers have all matted together and you can now cut that sweater without it unraveling. I will use fibers that have not yet been spun into yarn, called roving to felt my soap. These fibers will be laid on top of one another and I will add hot water and friction and the fibers will all lock together! Neat-o!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The 3/50 Project

Have you heard of the 3/50 project?
Their philosophy is pretty basic:
Think of three businesses you'd hate to see disappear, then pop in and say hello....
Pick 3. Spend 50.
Save your local economy.
They are looking for a few more fans to reach 30,000. Join them on Facebook and help them reach their goal for the New Year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Need Some Inspiration?

Martha has "Organizing Tip Of The Day" to inspire you to get it put away, keep it tidy, find it fast. Seems that the New Year always brings out all sorts of feelings of organizing ones life, exercising more, eating healthy. Maybe with the numbers 01/01/10, we just feel it's a clean slate on which to start with.

Holiday Food Part 3

More from my Holiday food menu....

My friend Rick loves stuffed mushrooms and orders them every time we got out to our favorite haunt for dinner. We headed over to Rick and Deede's house for a little Christmas Eve cocktail and appetizer party. I brought delicious little beauties along. They were gone in a snap. I made a second dish at the same time, and saved and served them the next day at Christmas dinner as a side to Roast Beef. De-lish! A bit of a new take on stuffed mushrooms, no breadcrumbs in this dish. Only a few simple ingredients and one shining star, Brie.

This recipe is from my BFF, Pioneer Woman (well, she doesn't know who I am, but I love her just the same)

Here is the link to her page:

Brie Stuffed Mushrooms


1 package White Button Mushrooms, Washed And Stems Removed
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped
4 whole (to 5) Green Onions, Sliced (up To Middle Of Dark Green Part)
Splash Of White Wine (optional)
1 slice (wedge) Of Brie Cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add mushroom caps and toss to coat in butter. Sprinkle lightly with salt and cook for 1 minute. Remove mushrooms from pan and place upside down in a baking dish.
In the same saucepan (without cleaning it) throw in garlic, parsley, and green onions. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and splash in wine, if using. Stir around until wine evaporates, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Cut rind off of brie wedge, then cut pieces of brie to fit each mushroom cap. Place inside, lightly pressing to anchor each piece of brie.

Top mushrooms with parsley/garlic mixture.

Place into the oven for 15 minutes, or until brie is melted.

Note: mushrooms are best when they’ve been allowed to cool slightly. Delicious

And you can buy Pioneer Woman's cookbook on Amazon, it highly recommend it!

End Of Year ~ Time To Take Stock....

(No, this is not my space, merely an inspiration)!

After a whirlwind of a past few weeks, things have settled down a bit and I have taken a long look at the aftermath of these busy busy weeks. A little tidy up is in order as well as a handful of tasks. This week I will be taking end of the year inventory on my soap supplies and finished products, as well as planning lots of new project for 2010, working on my 2010 business plan and much much more.  Time to look at the numbers, take stock of the company direction and accountabilities.

Farmers Markets continue and I will be at Allen, Sterling & Lothrop this Wednesday from 10-2, Rt. 1 Falmouth.

New soaps will be coming soon! Any suggestions for soap fragrances you would like to see/smell? I love hearing from you.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Food Part 2


A French-Canadian tradition, Tourtiere is simply a savory meat pie. While neither I nor my husband or any of our families are French or Canadian, living in Maine, we are pretty close to Canadian. If you read this blog with any regularity or know me personally, you know that I love to cook/bake and new recipes are my thing.  I love to try new things.  We both know several families that cook up this delicious dish each Christmas and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I set out to find and make our own Tourtire!
Some Tourtiere History I have found online:
A tourtière is a meat pie originating from Quebec, usually made with ground pork and/or veal, or beef. It is a traditional part of the Christmas and/or Christmas Eve réveillon and New Year's Eve meal in Quebec, but is also enjoyed and sold in grocery stores all year long
While every region claims to be the birthplace of "real" meat pie, which is traditionally served with a tomato ketchup, the English regime also played a part in its history. Tourtière would come to be known as "Pâté à l'angloise," the red devil's delight, served with a sweet and sour condiment of vegetables and fruit.
Lots of debate, should potatoes be added, and if so, in what proportion? Should they be raw or cooked?
Should it made from beef, pork, veal, game or what is the best combination?
Should the meat be ground or cubed?
And the spices… apart from salt and pepper, should you add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, even sage or thyme?
Some varieties add mushrooms, and there are even vegetarian versions available.
All versions call for a savory spiced filling in a double crust served warm, at room temperature or cold. There are old family recipes that have been passed down generation to generation, and there are folks like me that have found a few recipes and adapted it to her own liking.

This is the recipe I choose.



2 T. Butter
2 T. Olive Oil
1 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C. chicken Broth
1 1/2 t.salt
1/2 t. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 t. ground sage
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/8 t. ground cloves (I did not have ground cloves in the pantry! I added about 1/4 t. Allspice for some Holiday flavor)

Your favorite pie crust recipe for a 9 inch double crust pie ~ OR store bought crust.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt butter and add olive oil, heat to combine.  Add onions and saute untill soft.   Add garlic and cook only about 1 minute.

Add and combine pork, beef, chicken broth, salt, thyme, sage, black pepper and cloves.

Cook over medium heat until beef and pork is no longer pink and cooked through, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is completly cooked, about 5-7 minutes.

Spoon the meat mixture into the pie crust. Place top crust on top of pie and pinch edges to seal. Cut slits in top crust so steam can escape. Cover edges of pie with strips of aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Remove foil and return to oven. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Holiday Foods

A blog fan asked me if I had any "special" Christmas food that I had prepared.  Well, yes.  I will post more recipes in the next few days, lets start with this one:

Sherried Carrots


5 lb. Bag Of Carrots
2 Sticks Of Butter
1 C. Of Cooking Sherry


Peel carrots. 

Slice carrots into thin coins, you may slice them on an angle if you want to get a bit fancy.

Melt 2 sticks of butter in large saute pan.

Add sliced carrotts.  Cover saute pan.  If you do not have a cover for this particular pan, use a cookie sheet to cover.  The idea is to cook/steam the carrots in the butter and soften those babies up.

Cook, cook, cook those carrots down.  It should take about 30-40 minutes.  Test for "doneness" and make sure that those carrots are soft. 

Add the 1 Cup of Cooking Sherry and combine with the carrots and butter.  Cook about 5-8 more minutes.

Serve warm, and may easily be re-heated.  Enjoy.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Night AFTER Christmas Party!

I'm headed out....for "sure to be a good time" Night After Christmas Party located at The Frontier Cafe.  This fanstasict place in Brunwick on the Androscoggin River.  Set in a cool, old, 4 story brick mill, the ceilings must reach 20' high.  Windows overlook the river and they offer some fantastic food ~ "Fresh Ingredients, World Flavors and Seasonal Specialties". Tonight they are having Blues & Bluegrass music to continue the Holiday spirit. 

Ft. Andross is the buidling that the Saturday Winter Market where I sell my soaps (Satrudays 9-12:30) is held.  Here is a fantastic write up about the history of Ft. Andross:

For over 300 years, Fort Andross has influenced life along the banks of the Androscoggin River. It has been a trading post for fur trappers, a pre-Revolutionary fort and a bustling textile mill. Fort Andross continues to evolve as life around it changes and today serves as a vibrant hub for professionals, non-profits, artists, craftspeople and a growing number of “creative economy” businesses. The Fort is conveniently located at the base of downtown Brunswick’s Maine Street, within walking distance to Topsham and Bowdoin College and in the heart of the midcoast region. The combination of location, a diverse local and professional community, historic character and spectacular river views made Fort Andross the ideal site to build Frontier’s meeting place.

And the description for tonights "festivities".

"Bring family, friends, or just your jolly self for an evening filled with live blues + bluegrass music, a savory dinner selection, beer + wine specials, and community spirit. Please consider bringing unwanted gifts and Frontier will donate gifts to Toys For Tots, The Salvation Army, and Family Crisis Services. All donated non-perishable food items will be donated to the Tedford Shelter.  We hope you will join us for this special gathering"!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! 
From my house (on the coast of Maine) to yours. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Candy Land!

Something fun to strive for next year?  I don't know if I will be quite as elaborate as this, but I am on the look out for kitchen themed ornaments.  Next year I would like to have a Christmas tree in the kitchen, all decked out in cookie ornaments and Christmas kitchen themed items. 

Check out the full story of this Candy Land at one of my favorite sites, Bakerella

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last Farmers Market ~ Wednesday Dec. 23rd


It's been a whirlwind of a Holiday Season for me. Making hundreds of bars of soap, labeling them all, sending out packages, fielding desperate phone calls and meeting customers in Shaw's parking lot for a soap delivery, selling at Craft Fairs and Farmers Markets....whew!

I have managed to squeeze in some shopping of my own, trying to support local merchants when I can.  I have also baked a few batches of cookies Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share (Martha Stewart Living Magazine) some new recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl as well as attended a great neighborhood party and walked away with an awesome Yankee Swap gift, a Wine Bottle Pepper Mill!   You can find it here: Marlux 9-3/4-Inch Red Wine Bottle Pepper Mill .  I have another party tonight, a Pot Luck/Yankee Swap at the bakery where I work.  Hoping that maybe I come home with something like this Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients, or this And Winter Came (by Enya) or I would even take this Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition) !  What fun we have at our Yankee swap,
you just never know what will be there and after a few cocktails and a lovely meal, it is all great!

There is one more chance for you to shop for soap....Wednesday we are having an extended Farmers Market in Falmouth and are calling it (are you ready?) The Festival Of The Last Minute! Come to Allen, Sterling & Lothrop on Rt. 1 Falmouth from 10-3 for all sorts of last minute gifts. There will of course be plenty of soap for you to choose from as well as knit items, yarns, pottery, baked goods, teas, specialty Olive Oils and much more. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Glimpses Of The Winter Market

Here are a few recent photos I took of some of the fantastic items you can find at the Winter Farmers Markets.

Hand dyed Alpaca yarns in shades that will make you want to learn how to knit!

My friend Jeanette's dehydrated vegan raw granola! It is sooo good. She uses all super fantastic ingredients, organic and fresh. She offers samples too....

Super chubby and short carrots! Too cute and soo orange!

Cranberry plants! That's right, buy and plant your own Cranberry plants and maybe you will someday be in competition with Ocean Spray!

Beautiful wood scarf/shawl/wrap holder. Simply artfully wrap yourself in your hand knit shawl and secure it in place with this gorgeous all wood "pin"! How clever!

Yummy red skinned onions from Jillson's Farm.

And this is what is happening right next to me! My fellow Farmers Market vendor Cordelia is spending her time at market spinning wool fibers into yarn! The colors she spins each week are just so beautiful, see that lovely blue on the bobbin?

Crisp , fresh and beautifully green heads of cabbage.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Soap For Gift Giving....

(Oh! And that above is a glimpse of my new soap labels! Everyone is loving them!)

Soap makes a great gift! Everyone uses it (we hope), it doesn't have any calories, it "goes away" meaning it doesn't sit on a shelf and collect dust, it's great for men & women, young & old.

Just a reminder that you can find soap at these locations....

Maine Wreath & Flower ~ Freeport

Lisa Marie's Made In Maine Gift Shop ~ Bath

The Vegetable Corner ~ Brunwick

In Good Hands ~ Bucksport

Farmers Fare ~ Rockport

BUT, If you want the best selection, see me at the Farmers Market on Saturday at Ft. Andross 9-12:30. Or call/email/send me a message via carrier pigeon and I will met you some where for a soap delivery.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Soap Growing Pains....

More soaps on the way! I have some on the shelves curing and I am frantically making more just for you to use as stocking stuffers, gfits for your family members, co-workers, hair dresser, mail carrier, secret Santa, teacher or to treat yourself this Holiday season.

I had a very very successful craft show at North Yarmouth Acadamy on Saturday December 5th and was just about wiped out of soap. I had to place an emergency call to "The Captain" (my husband) at 11:00 to bring me more soap. I didn't even have any soaps labeled at home for him to bring, so he had to bring along printed labels, tape, scissors and more so I could label soaps in between customers. He was even given special double parking privileges as he entered the parking lot and explained to the attendant that he was delivering an emergency supply of soap to his wife. I was thrilled and overwhelmed that this was happening to me, and didn't want to disappoint my customers. I started out with 28 variety's of soap to choose from, by the end of the craft fair, the last customers had only about 12 fragrances left to sniff. I had to turn away a few friends that wanted to buy soap. They saw what was happening and volunteered to not buy soap at the craft fair so I would have enough for the customers. In turn I had to promise that I would met up with them sometime in the next week so they could do their shopping.

I have a few wholesale orders to fill and have been sending out mail order packages as well. It has been a busy start to the Holiday season!

If you are local, you can still find me at Ft. Andross on Maine St. Brunswick on Saturday mornings from 9-12:30.

Ordering online? Please understand that I may be very low or out of your favorite fragrance. I underestimated the surge of soap purchases this season. A growing pain, for sure. But a welcome one.

Thank you all for your support!

Cheddar Biscuits

You should really try to make these biscuits. I mean it. They are just way too good to not make. With just a little work on your part, fresh herbs (they make all the difference) and your food processor, you can have these delicious melt in your mouth, tangy cheese, slightly crumbly, melt in your mouth (did I already say that?) biscuits. I paired them with a potato soup last Wednesday night. My husband requested that these be put at the top of list of most awesome things I cook/bake.


For the

Cooking spray
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons
baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons
1/4 teaspoon
3 tablespoons
vegetable shortening, at room temperature
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 ounces grated yellow cheddar
cheese (about 1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup whole

For the garlic butter:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley


Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Lightly mist a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Make the biscuits:

Pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a food processor.

Add the shortening and pulse until combined.

Add the butter; pulse 4 or 5 times, or until the butter is in pea-size pieces.

Add the cheese and pulse 2 or 3 times.

Pour in the milk and pulse just until the mixture is moistened and forms a shaggy dough.

Turn out onto a clean surface and gently knead until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough.

Using a biscuit cutting or a drinking glass, cut the biscuits into rounds and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart, and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the garlic butter:

Melt the butter with the garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

Brush the biscuits with the garlic butter when they come out of the oven. Serve warm. Yum!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NYA Holiday Craft Fair This Saturday, December 5th

I will be selling at one of the best craft fairs in the area this Saturday December 5th. The North Yarmouth Academy Holiday Craft Fair! Hope to see you there....


It is AWESOME for holiday shopping! I barely had a moment to check out the fair last year, but shopped just from the 4 booths directly in my area for 5 people last year!

"The North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) Parents' Association will host the Annual Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in North Yarmouth Academy's gymnasium (154 Main Street) and Safford Center cafeteria (148 Main Street) in Yarmouth. This annual event is held in conjunction with a town-wide holiday celebration. Over sixty vendors from across the state will present a diverse variety of crafts including artwork, photography, jewelry, candles, soap, alpaca products, blown glass, woodworking and much more. Enjoy a sit-down lunch at the NYA Cafe and listen to holiday music by the NYA Chorus. Gift wrap service is available. Money raised from booth rental fees will help support NYA teacher grant requests".

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Winter Markets In The News!

This is the Falmouth Winter Market that I participate in on Wednesdays from 10-2. You can see that we are inside a clear plastic greenhouse. It is pretty toasty on a sunny day. Today was drizzling and the sun was not out, that made for a little colder day.

This is Kay Fowlers booth (above) she sells veggies, eggs, milk, meats and more. Oh hey! That's me, on the left side of the picture, I am wearing a teal blue cardigan sweater and looking down at my table. I think I was straightening some stuff out. Some children had been by and were smelling all the soaps.
This is Cordelia, she has a booth to my left. She is a farmer and owns New Elm Farm. She sells veggies during the summer, but will be spinning and knitting her OWN fleece this winter. She spins at market, and it is quite an attraction. Many people stop to talk with her about it.

This is a typical "hoop" style greenhouse that farmers will use to grow greens and more during the cold winter months.

Winter Farmers Markets in Maine, the new "in" thing....(but we already knew that, right)?

There are 6 Winter Markets in Maine this year, and yours truly is participating in 3 of them.

Here is an article in the Portland Press Herald all about the winter growing season and the expansion of Winter's a bit from the article.....

"The vegetable-growing season used to end with the first hard frost in Maine.

Not anymore.

An increasing number of farmers are pushing the growing season into the winter to take advantage of the surging demand for locally grown food. As a result, more farmers are operating greenhouses, branching out into cool-weather crops and creating new markets for their produce".

The Pioneer Woman

My new BFF has a cookbook out. Okay, so she doesn't know that I even exist up here on the coast of Maine. She is after all living on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma with 4 kids and a horse riding husband. But I really like her and I bet we would be fast friends. We couldn't be more different! My husband rides sailboats not horses, I am not a redhead but a brunette (with high lights) and she has a cookbook, I do not! But we have much in common too. I just adore this woman known to many as The Pioneer Woman a.k.a. Ree Drumond.

Visit her blog and you will see why thousands of woman all across the USA are in love with her with, her cooking, her style. She has captured the hearts of us all with her humor and sense of reality. It's a unique blog, started merely as a way to keep her family up to date with the children's lives, pictures and maybe a post or two about life on the ranch. It now has evolved into 5 tabs which you can click on to visit a peek inside her life. Confessions, Cooking, Photography, Home & Garden and Homeschooling (yes, she home schools her 4 kids!) The Pioneer

I just received her cookbook via Amazon (click on the left side bar of my blog to check it out on Amazon) due to the sad fact that she is on a fabulous book tour and I can't be there. She will not be coming to Maine, but is keeping herself busy touring and signing books, in the south. You can follow her book tour adventures by clicking on "confessions" on her blog.

Take a minute or two to check her out, I know you won't be disappointed. And tell her Shannon in Maine said hello!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Buy Homemade The Holiday Season

Starting your Holiday shopping? Consider purchasing local and handmade this year. By supporting your local businesses, your are keeping your hard earned dollar within the community you live. In turn, those business owners generally keep their profits and spending in the community as well.

For example, I purchase my raw materials from a local distributor (actually only 20 miles from me). The sales man that takes my order (and credit card) for Olive Oil and Coconut Oils, for example, actually shops at the Farmers Market and buys my soap. Last week, his wife came by the market and bought 5 bars of soap. What a circle we have created! I help pay his salary and he helps support my business.

You can take The Homemade Pledge this Holiday season and support your local farmers, bakers, artist, craftsmen:

"The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left people all dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. The connection between producer and consumer has been lost. Buying handmade helps them reconnect. We created the pledge as a call to action for consumers to be conscious of how they spend their money this holiday season. We want people, whenever possible, to support independent creators and shop outside the big boxes".

Creative Economy Studio Show

Third Annual Creative Economy Studio Show & Sale

(Follow this link for an article about the show in Maine Arts & Culture Online Magazine)

Friday November 27th, 4-8

Saturday November 28th, 10-6

Sunday November 29th, 10-6

Support Your Local Creative Economy

Shop for unique Maine made gifts

Explores a wide variety of work by local artists and craftspeople

Enjoy refreshments and gather with friends

Studio On The Hill

21 Pleasant Hill Road
Freeport, ME

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Let The Holiday Craft Fairs Begin!

You can find my soaps at many many shopping venues this Thanksgiving weekend, here is one of them:


20 local artisans offering a variety of beautifully made unique gifts.

Hand spun local exotic fiber and knit wear

Shimmering silver and beaded jewelry

Handwoven kitchen linens

Naturally made, 100% vegetable soap

Charming children and baby wear

Splint baskets

Hand sewn aprons and pillowcases

Painted glassware

Holiday candle centerpieces

Much more and lots of surprises!!

Saturday November 28th


9 Main St.
South Freeport, ME

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Roasted Brussle Sprouts

I try to buy something new each week at at least one of the 3 the Farmers Market where I sell my soaps. I try to support each vendor throughout the season and expand my (already very broad) culinary horizons.

This week I purchased fresh cheese curds with a sweet BBQ flavor, 4 pieces of fudge (2 peanut butter, 2 chocolate) made with Goat Milk and Brussels Sprouts still on their stalk!

What a fun looking veggie, like mini cabbage. My husband loves cabbage, he eats it raw like lettuce on sandwiches, likes it in his New England boiled dinner and loves all types of slaw. I wasn't sure after our 9 years of marriage if I knew whether or not he liked Brussels sprouts. But we were going to try something new anyway. Luck was on my side, he asked right away if those were Brussels sprout, and if they were, he loves them!

I found a roasted Brussels sprout recipe on and roasted these right up to go with our Sunday night dinner.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts ~ Thanks to Ina Gartin via The Food

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Olive Oil Answer...

A few post back (here) I asked if you might guess how many gallons of Olive Oil I would use in my soap making this year. While there are no answers directly on the blog post, I received a few emails and a response via my Face Book fan page.

I will use just about 30 gallons of Olive Oil this year in my soap production! Thanks for all your interest!

Christmas In Maine

I've been making soap like mad! Lots to do to get ready for the Holiday gift giving season and people LOVE to give soap. 3 Farmers Markets a week, Craft Shows, special requests from friends and co-workers (you know who you are!) and online orders keep me making soap daily. Along with my standard favorites (Lavender, Blueberry Cream, Sea Shore Scrub, Wild Sea Rose ~ to name just a few), I am working hard to squeeze in some seasonal favorites and some new fragrance blends.

I named this soap Christmas In Maine because that is exactly what it smells like to me. Last year I made only 2 batches of this (which is 56 bars of soap) and sold it all at one craft fair alone!

This fragrance is a super blend of sugar and blue spruce. It is clean, crisp and refreshing but not quite the traditional 'pine' scent. The blue spruce adds an outdoors element. There is some fruity fragrance in there as well. Reminds me of a Christmas Barn type of store, maybe a rustic gift shop in an old wood barn that carries all sorts of holiday decorations, potpourri, fresh green Christmas wreaths, dried oranges studded with cloves and has hot cider to drink while you shop... all these fragrances wrapped up in a beautiful bar of wonderful creamy soap.

This is a limited edition soap....get it while you can!

"Hop To It"

Just stirred up a fresh batch of "Hop To It" my beer soap made with Gritty's Scottish Ale.

I made a batch of this over the summer as a way to lure the men over to look at the soap. It worked! I sold many bars to men and many more to moms, girlfriends, sisters and friends that wanted to give the man in their life a bar of this cool beer soap.

I have had several requests for the beer soap in just the past week alone, as everyone is starting to shop for the Holidays. It will be ready in about 4 weeks, hang in there folks!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brunswick Winter Market Pictures

Here are some photos from the Brunswick Winter Market. I apologize for the yellow-ish quality. Note fluorescent lighting on the ceiling. I also started taking pictures with the flash, but was drawing too much attention to myself and a few vendors were ducking and hiding. I turned off the flash and this is what I got.

I wasn't able to attend the market last week, which was opening day, as I was double booked and had a craft fair scheduled. So this was my first week. I had a good day and some of my regulars found me here. I imagine it will take about 4 weeks for all those new customers to see me among the 49 other vendors, and get used to seeing a soap maker at the market. This group of vendors sell during the summer at Crystal Springs Market and it is a whole new group of loyal Crystal Spring customers that need to see/smell/hear all abut my soaps.
A few booths down, these gals were selling handmade cheeses. They also had a cheese they called "frying cheese" and they fried it up in a little pan for customers to try. It smelled great! Imagine, creamy, fresh cheese and NOW it is fried! That couldn't have many calories, could it?!
This is peeking through the booth directly behind me. A flute player, a fiddler and a guitar. They played great foot stomping Celtic type music. They play for tips and what is cute about the market, is sometimes musician like this end up with not just dollar bills, but bags of fresh lettuce, carrots, a jar of jam, bar of donations from vendors too.

Beautiful wood bowls and other little items, made from reclaimed wood.

Across the way a bit, these beautiful sweaters created with the colorful hand dyed yarns. Behind that woman on the left, in the blue, is baskets of beautiful colored yarns. And check out their display for the knit sweaters... they are hanging in the back right of the photo with dowels through the sleeves to show the maximum sweater.

Looking down the aisle from my table. This is a big old mill on the river here in Brunswick. A lot of the spaces have been converted into large rooms like this. Large windows overlook the river, there are original wood floors and lots of charm.

Around the corner, fresh seasonal produce.
Love that the tables are covered in burlap. So earthy!
Directly across from me....local roasted coffee beans sold by the pound and they will even grind the beans for you, if you wish. They also sell cups of coffee, little cookies and few other baked goods. It smells fantastic!

Maybe I will see YOU there??

Brunswick Winter Market
Saturday 9-12:30
Ft. Andross Maine St. Brunwsick

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How Many Gallons Of Olive Oil?

How many gallons of Olive Oil do you think I will have used this year in my soaps?

Olive Oil is one of the primary ingredient in my soap and helps make your skins soo nice and soft.

Rich Olive Oil soaps contain many of the moisture and nutrients your skin desires. Stress, your diet, environment, pollutants, medications and exposure to ultra-violet rays all take a toll on the health of your skin. Olive oil helps replaces the moisture and elasticity lost. Olive Oil is naturally rich in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. These have fantastic healing and preserving properties, helping to restore and retain hair and skin's health, youthfulness and beauty. Dry skin and many dermatological conditions, from dandruff to psoriasis and eczema, all may respond extremely favorably to soap containing high concentrations of olive oil.

So, what is your guess for how many gallons of Olive Oils I will have used this year? Keep in mind that I have 2 full months of Winter Farmers Market and Holiday Craft Fairs coming up. These are my busiest months. Any guesses? I'll get back to you in a few days with the answer....