Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's Fall!

Fall in New England means apples, state fairs, pumpkin picking, apple pie, wood stove fires, apple cider, falling leaves, pumpkin bread, hay rides, corn mazes and getting the house/yard ready for the winter.  I made up some delicious and easy Pumpkin Bread to get us in the spirit.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

* Stir in some of these favorites to make your bread extra special:  dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips (or regular size!), pumpkin seeds, or your favorite nut.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apple Acres Pictures

Here are some perfectly New England pictures that I took when I delivered soap to Apple Acres Farm in South Hiram, Maine.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Holiday Packaging

I have been working on some Holiday soap packaging.  The soap alone is a great gift, but now add a cute ribbon and a little gift card and you are ready to gift your co-worker / kids teacher / mailman / hairdresser / postman with a sweet and thoughtful gift!   I am going to keep the cost to you low on these little gifts, so the price will be right for you.  Look for them at the Winter Farmers Markets and the Holiday Craft Fairs!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Has Arrived

Apple Cider & Pumpkin Spice soaps are selling huge at the Farmers Markets.  Everyone seems to be in the mood for Fall fragrances.  The leaves, here on the coast of Maine, are just staring to turn.  The evenings are cool and crisp, but our days are still nice and warm.   Apple farms all over the state are jam packed with customers.  Many have pick-you-own apples, fresh cider, wonderful donuts, caramel apples and other seasonal favorites.  Visiting a Farmers Market you will find gorgeous acorn squash, colorful Indian corn, and beautiful dried hydrangeas for decorating.   What a colorful time of year! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fresh Soaps Delivered To Sea Side Creations

More soap headed out to Bailey Island, Sea Side Creations.  Stop by if you are visiting or vacationing in Maine.  The island has some fantastic viewing area, access to the shore and great restaurants.  Summer may be on the way out, but the Fall is just gorgeous here in Maine too! 

Here's more information about Bailey Island and what to do on the island:

This lovely island is located on the coast of Maine about 15 miles south of Brunswick, Maine at the southern most end of Route 24. It is part of the Town of Harpswell. The island is almost 3 miles long and less than one mile wide. It is located about 50 miles from Portland, Maine.

History of Bailey Island

Farmers and fishermen settled the island in earlier days. It is not farmed much now although many fishermen still work live and work on the island. Many lobstermen still make a living on this island. In the late 1880's, with the advent of steamships, visitors would come from Portland for weekend trips. The island also saw its share of summer residents from more distant places such as Boston and New York. As a result, many boarding houses and cottages were built.

The island has seen some name changes throughout time. The Abenaki Indians called the island Newwaggin. The first known settler was a man named Will Black and he lived on the island for many years. He eventually gained title to the island and the name of Will's Island came to be. He lost claim to the island to a man called Timothy Bailey (and his wife Hannah) through some illegal manipulation of the law on the part of the Bailey's. The island then became know as Bailey's Island and then later Bailey Island.

Places to See on or near Bailey Island
Mackerel Cove. A nice view whether from the top of the hill on Route 24 or in the public parking spot at the head of the cove. Not many yachts here - just working fishing vessels.

Bronze Fisherman's Statue. Located at the southern most tip of the island. A Bailey Island fisherman was immortalized in bronze as a dedication to all men who make their living from the sea. (see photo at right).
Cribstone Bridge. This unique bridge was built in the 1920's and joined Orr's Island and Bailey Island - spanning Will's Gut. It was made of granite stone slabs quarried in Yarmouth and Pownal, Maine. It is the only bridge like it in the world and is now a historical site. A newer bridge has since replaced it.

Little Harbor. Located on the southeastern shoreline of Bailey Island. Hard to get to as it is on a small side road coming off Route 24. A very nice cove to visit. Waves crashing into the cliffs provide a lovely view.
The Giants Stairs Trail. Located on the eastern shoreline. Take Route 24, go east on Washington Avenue. Parking at the Episcopal Chapel is limited and prohibited on Sunday mornings. From there walk down Ocean Street to the end to find the entrance to the trail. For more information on this lovely ocean side walking path visit Giant's Stairs Trail on Bailey Island. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Special Order Soap

I have been working on a special custom soap for a customer.  A while ago I donated a "make your custom soap" gift to the Freeport Historic Society as part of their Spring Fundraiser.  The winner contacted me just a couple of weeks ago.  She chose from a large list of fragrances and stir-ins to make her very own soap.  I recently stirred it all up after she choose, Lemon & Eucalyptus with Poppy Seeds.  It smells divine!
Here is more about the idea:

I was contacted by the Historic Society to see if I would like to donate soap to their auction. After discussing with my contact the ups and downs, ins and outs of soap, we decided on something very different, that I think is very very cool.

The winner would work with me to design their own soap bar. I would give them a list of fragrances, stir in's like oatmeal, poppy seeds, seaweed and they create their own signature, personal bar of soap! But they don't get just one bar, the will received 14 bars, a full 1/2 batch of soap. This signature batch of theirs will easily last them a full year. They could give it away to friends or keep it all to themselves.

What fun!  This idea was such a hit and well received, I am considering offering it as an option to you! Would you like to create your own soap?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Close Buy Catalog

Do you remember I mentioned I would be part of school fundraising catalog? A fundraising catalog for Maine schools?  Do you remember?  I was very excited about it several months back.  Okay, here's the deal.  Instead of the usually wrapping paper made in China, these kids are selling several dozen local products.  All handmade and handcrafted by local businesses and super talented folks from the great state of Maine.  I blogged a bit about it here:

Well, here we go.  The catalogs are in the students backpacks and on their way home!

Link to the online catalog (it's a PDF and I'm on page 7):

What a fantastic opportunity!   I would like to thank Masey Kaplan for creating  and organizing such a great catalog and program and for including me.  Thank you Masey!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Homemade Basil Pesto

I bought a pot of Basil at the Farmers Market the other day. A whole pot.  I mean, they were selling fresh, Maine grown, vibrantly green, on the stalk, in the pot Basil for only $3.00.  You can't beat that with a stick.  I had to get it.  Dreams of eating pasta with fresh bail pesto danced in my head.  But first, for dinner that night, I plucked a few leaves and stacked it up with heirloom tomatoes (from another vendor) in red, yellow and orange, some fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil.  Oh, how so very wonderful!  I took the time (really only like 15 minutes start to finish) and made up fresh Basil Pesto on Sunday.   I was wonderful, I mean it is wonderful!  Bright green and fresh, garlicky and cheesy.  I ate some, just a big ole spoon of it and then put the rest into a container for future meals.  Here is the recipe I used, make it if you can!

Fresh Basil Pesto

3 medium sized garlic cloves
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Special equipment needed: A food processor

Prep Work:

Pluck basil leaves off of stem/plant, set aside.

Peel garlic cloves, set aside.


Add garlic to food processor and process until chopped fine.  Add basil leaves, process until chopped fine.  Add olive oil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts or walnuts, salt and pepper to taste.  Process entire mixture until combined.

Makes 1 cup.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, on top of cooked salmon, or spread over toasted baguette slice.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Unscented soap? Who wants that!?

I do have some customers at the Farmers Markets that smell and sniff the my soap for about 20 minutes before decided on just the right bar for them.  When they see the Unscented soap I often hear the phrase.  "Who would want unscented soap?!"  I gently tell them that I sell a good amount of unscented soap to some regular customers and an occasional bar or two to someone new.   Sounds a bit boring, right?  Well maybe to you, but there are a good deal of people out there that are fragrance sensitive.  Whether it is their skin or their nose, the want to enjoy homemade soap without the added fragrances.  I am happy to report that I sell a good deal of unscented soaps.  I offer Unscented, Unscented With Oats and Calendula.  All these soaps are still  my 100% vegetable recipe just sans fragrance.

Find my unscented soaps here, listed with my "Classic Soaps":

Friday, September 10, 2010

Jacqueline's Tea Room

Fresh soaps have been delivered to Jacqueline's Tea Room!  Jacqueline's Tea Room was a new customer just at the end of July.  I am soo happy to report that she is selling a good deal of my soaps.  Check out her lovely tea room pictures:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fresh Guest Soaps Delivered

The James Place Inn B&B in Freeport is one of my longest wholesale customers.  I met innkeeper Tori at a one of my first Farmers Markets a few summers back.  She was sniffing my soaps and simply asked "do you make guest size soaps".  I thought quick, "well, I do now"!  She and I worked on the signature fragrance for their B&B and they have been ordering soaps ever since.

Here is the James Place Inn B&B in the fall...

And from the side in the winter!  The decorations Tori did just perfect!

If you are in Freeport and stay at The James Place Inn B&B, you will be treated with your very own, little guest size bar of Peppermint Oatmeal soap made by Casco Bay Soap Co.

Today I delivered a fresh batch of soap as the Inn gears up for the fall rush of guests.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Homemade Granola Recipe

I LOVE yogurt and granola for breakfast or a snack.  I really think that I can make a better granola than any out there that I have ever bought.  With just a few ingredients, you can make your own tasty crunchy granola.  Add whatever fruits and nuts you like.


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds or pecans or walnuts (really your favorite nuts)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 tablespoon wheat germ (optional)
½ T. flax seed (optional)
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A Dark Amber)
1 cup dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, and/or raisins) (optional)

Prep Work:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.


In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, all nuts, seeds, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, brown sugar and salt.

In a small bowl, stir together the oil (or melted butter), vanilla and maple syrup.

Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry is coated with the wet.

Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for about 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be.)

Remove from the oven and cool. You will notice that the granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while the mixture is still warm.   Add fruits at this point.  Stir to combine.  The reason why you don't bake the fruit is so it doesn't get dry and hard. 

Dried fruits, of your choice ~ cranberries, cherries, pineapple, currants, raisins, dates, figs, and apricots ~ or even chocolate chips can be stirred into the baked and cooled granola.

Try adding coconut, cocoa nibs or whatever you want for YOUR own granola.

I store my homemade granola in a Tupperware style container and it stays fresh for several weeks (maybe months, but it never has lasted that long)!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Operation Beautiful

Have you heard of Operation Beautiful?  It is a wonderful concept!  Here is a bit about it:

"The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough... just the way you are"!

Isnt' that wonderful?  While I personally have not found a note, yet, you can be sure that I know someone that is posting them!   Keep your eyes out and your heart open.  And remember, YOU are beautiful and amazing, just the way you are.

You can read more here:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lemongrass & Lavender Soap

I made a wonderful batch of soap a couple weeks back and it is just about ready for you.  Lemongrass & Lavender.  What a delicious combination of 2 of my most popular fragrances!  This was a suggestion by a customer (hi there Michelle!) and I welcomed the blending of these two fragrances.  I had recently read on the web about some hot new fragrances and Lemongrass Lavender was one of them.   Ever the one to have my finger on the pulse (ha!) I agreed with Michelle to give it a try.  Wonderful!  A little more Lemon-y than Lavender, but both stand up great in my 100% vegetable soap.  Purchase a bar (or two) at market and try it for yourself.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bessie's Farm Goods

Fresh soaps, laundry detergent and dryer sachets delivered to Bessie's Farm Goods, Freeport.

Located on Litchfield Road in Freeport, Bessie's is a great little shop offering fantastic, all local crafts.  From soap to pottery, yarn and hand knit items to turned wooden bowls.  Bessie's also offers fresh baked good (cookies, bread, granola), cut flowers and fresh picked vegetables.  They grow a garden right next to the store and have an abundance of wonderful veggies right now. 

Every time I visit them for a soap delivery, I try to resist the chocolate chip cookies.  I usually win that fight.  I did give in, once.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sea Side Creations

Fresh soaps delivered to Sea Side Creations on Baily Island.  Should be a fun and busy weekend on the island...Hurricane Earl is threatening the East Coast and if he misses, it's nice weather.  If he hits, Baily Island is a great place to watch the surf.  This long weekend generally ends the summer tourist season here in Maine.  After this, we have leaf peepers coming through in the Fall.  Then, the Holidays!