• Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Lily-of-the-valley is traditionally associated with May 1st and commonly sold in the streets of France on this day.
Lily-of-the-valley has spear-shaped leaves and white nodding, bell-shaped flowers that appear in spring. These blooms produce an intoxicating, sweet fragrance, making it a popular garden plant.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
That's the day Herbie, the largest American elm tree in New England, is scheduled to be cut down after a long battle with Dutch elm disease. The process is expected to take two days.
The tree is more than 230 years old and 110 feet tall.
I found this old fashion handy dandy way to remember what days of the month have 30 and 31 days. Such an easy way to remember! It is from an old book called The Boy Mechanic, 700 Things for Boys to Do that a fellow blogger had found at a yard sale over the summer. Her blog: Just Something I Made, is one of a few blogs that I check out every couple of days for stories, inspiration and fun.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
My favorite Hot Chocolate recipe......re-posting for you to enjoy on these coooold days that many are experiencing throughout the country.
Plain and simple, I love hot chocolate. For those of you that know me personally, you know that I love to cook & bake. Food to me is creative, a visual treat and a comfort. During the holidays, I made a big batch of hot chocolate mix, kept some for my own personal use and gave some away little glass jars to friends. I wanted to share with you the recipe that I use, it is from Epicurious.com It may have few extra steps, but it is well worth it.
4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split crosswise (see tips, below)
1 1/2 pounds high-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
Place sugar in large bowl. Split half vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape seeds into sugar, and add pod. Work seeds in with your fingers. Cover snugly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.
In food processor fitted with metal blade, process semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate until finely ground, using 4-second pulses. (Process in two batches if necessary.)
Remove pod from sugar. Add ground chocolate and cocoa powder to sugar and whisk to blend.
Store mix airtight at room temperature for up to six months.
To serve:For each serving, heat 8 ounces milk in small saucepan over medium heat until scalded (or microwave 2 1/2 minutes at full power). Whisk in 1/4 to 1/3 cup mix. Serve with unsweetened softly whipped cream or marshmallows.
Tips: •Save the other half of the vanilla bean for another use, such as a second batch of vanilla sugar, which keeps indefinitely and can be used in baking, coffee, or simply to sprinkle on fruit or waffles.
Even better top with your own homemade marshmallows. I will post that recipe down the road. I have made them a few times and boy, are they good. Melt in your mouth, pillow soft, and boy do they toast up nice over a campfire....
Rich and steaming, a mug of hot chocolate will help soothe away the winter cold. We are expecting a winter storm in the form of 8-12" of beautiful snow in the next day or so, a mug of hot chocolate is just what I will be mixing up. Keep warm!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
(The soap from Fight Club)
Okay, this blog post may seem a bit strange....lately (well, mostly around the Holidays) there have been more men purchasing soap. And more men mean a different slant on soap and soap making. Many of these men ask me either if I have seen Fight Club, been inspired by fight club or if my soap is made like it is in Fight Club.
Have you seen or heard of the movie Fight Club? It came out back in 1999 (so000 last century!) starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter.
The movie synopsis is this:
"A lonely, isolated thirty-something young professional seeks an escape from his mundane existence with the help of a devious soap salesman. They find their release from the prison of reality through underground fight clubs, where men can be what the world now denies them. Their boxing matches and harmless pranks soon lead to an out-of-control spiral towards oblivion".
Okay, so here is where the soap comes in. Seems that in the movie (which I had to watch due to all the comments from the men) the main character makes soap. But special, expensive soap. He makes soap from the fat sucked out of people during liposuction. He then sells that soap (made from the peoples fat) back to the people at very high prices. They are in fact now bathing in their own fat. Nice (not really). Weird. Gross. Who thinks of this stuff? But at least now I can nod my head, smile and have a conversation with the men that make jokes about my soap.
Oh and by the way, YES, my soap does work great on blood stains, just like the movie poster above says.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
This soap fragrance is a wonderful blend of sugar and blue spruce. It is clean, crisp and refreshing without resorting to the traditional 'pine' scent. The blue spruce adds a fresh outdoors element. There is a bit of sweet in the fragrance as well, maybe some berries that you may find growing in the woods. It is a brilliant blend!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Here is the link to KAANG's shop on Etsy. She sells these wonderful butterfly hair clips and other wonderful little gems for your hair and more. The description of this hair clip:
Stop by and check out her shop, or go to the Etsy front page and see all the brilliant items made by creative people.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This Black Eyed Junco was waiting patiently for his turn at the feeder were I am sure to offer all the birds (and squirrels) plenty of seeds throughout the winter months.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
It's not all soap making. I have been working on business goals for 2010, working on some promotional materials, packaging and the business plan is on the schedule too.
Thanks to all of you that brave the wind, cold,ice and snow to stop by our Winter Farmers Markets. Whether it is the Wednesday Market @ Allen, Sterling & Lothrop (10-2), or the Saturday Market @ Ft. Andross (9-12:30), a trip to the market is a great way to beat Cabin Fever and it's a feel good moment for all of us when you support local businesses.
Yes! Real tomatoes, grown right here in Maine!
These super sweet cherry tomatoes are grown by Olivia's Garden.
Hydroponic tomatoes, basil, pea shoots, watercress and lettuce are grown in greenhouses in New Gloucester and can be found for sale with Kay @ Spring Brook Farm, she is at the Wednesday Market @ Allen, Sterling & Lothrop in Falmouth from 10-2 with me.
Come early, they sell out FAST!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
They can be found on Amazon, or in any fine kitchen store.
Here's the info. on them:
"Snip the herbs you need quickly, neatly and right where you want with our Herb Scissors. The unusual blade design features a set of five, sharp 3-in. stainless steel blades that allow you to cut, chop, or mince herbs directly into a pan or over a plate for garnishing. The large plastic handles have a soft silicone lining for the most comfortable grip. 7.5-in. long overall. Dishwasher safe".
My pair even came with a little blade cover, to keep the tips all safe and sound in the drawer. The little blade cover also has the ability to clean between those 5 blades, so you can get out all the yummy fresh herbs.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Spelt Right (Website here: Spelt Right )
They make bagels, pizza dough and breads and mainly sell them wholesale to grocery stores in our area. My friend Rommy works at their bakery part time, and that is how I recently learned of them. I also learned that they make/bake their products in an old historic mill in Yarmouth (just the next town over) call the Sparhawk Mill. Spelt Right has over 1500 square feet overlooking the beautiful Royal River. And, how cool is this, the Royal River generates the power for the building from the powerful hydro turbines located under the mill! Built at the turn of the century, the Sparhawk Mill is now home to a number of successful Maine businesses. Too cool!
Here is some info. directly from their site, their mission:
"Our Story & Mission ~
Spelt Right® is a small Maine company that specializes in baked goods made with organic spelt flour and other organic and all natural ingredients. The founders, Beth George, a Portland attorney who specialized for 10 years in representing children, and Tim Kane, a vice president of a local college, started Spelt Right as a result of the profound impact diet change made on their son’s life.
Our story is about taking our personal and professional life
We hope, through our company, to convey the message that parents can make a huge positive difference in their children’s lives if they examine, as a first step, how their kids are nourished".