Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I LOVE cookies.  Love them.  Crispy, chewy, chunky, warm, cold...love them! 

I worked for a cookie company for about 2 years after we first moved to Maine.  Yes, I'm still carrying around a few extra lbs. from that job.  We made plain Sugar Cookies sprinkled with coarse sanding sugar that just melted in your mouth.  Ginger Krinkles with a yummy amount of ginger, Chocolate Chip cookies with coconut that made them soo tropical-ish and chewy. 

I don't make cookies often, because I will devour them.  I have no control.   And I don't eat them often, because when I do, they have got to be the best.  I mean it.  No packaged cookies, no store bought cookies even from the bakery section, they have got to be really good.  This time of year, it's all cookies all over the place, and I will be making a few batches of my favorites.  First up, Jumbo Peanut Butter Cup Cookies.  And being a thrifty Yankee, I bought Peanut Butter cups on sale after Halloween and saved them in my freezer until now.  Bake up a batch on a cold wintry day and enjoy.

Credit for the recipe belongs here, at Tasty Kitchen: 

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cup Cookies


½ cups Butter, Softened
¾ cups Smooth Peanut Butter
¾ cups Granulated Sugar
¾ cups Packed Brown Sugar
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 whole Eggs
⅛ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 cups All-purpose Flour
½ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
10 whole Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Unwrapped And Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 or 375 degrees (see note below).

In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Stir in vanilla extract and eggs. Incorporate salt, baking soda and flour together into the dough until all ingredients are moist. Stir in chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups.

Roll cookies out between the palms of your hands to be the size of golf balls. Place 6 cookie dough balls on a lightly greased baking sheet and using a fork, press down to make a cross hatch pattern.

Note: For chewier and softer cookies, bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes. For crunchier cookies with slightly soft centers, bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

NYA Craft Fair, Saturday Dec. 4

My last craft fair of the season is this Saturday, December 4th at NYA (North Yarmouth Academy) located on Main St. in Yarmouth.  It is my favorite and best craft fair.  I do hope that you can stop by. 

There are crafters in both the Gym and the Cafeteria.  I am located in the Cafeteria, and I love it there.  It is a smaller venue and thus quieter.  But that doesn't mean less of a crowd.  We are right off the front door and  Main St. is often buzzing with activity on this first Saturday of December.   Many of the Churches on Main St. also hold their craft fairs so lots of shoppers park and walk from craft fair to craft fair.  The Cafeteria also has the food.  They have coffee and hot cocoa, muffins and donuts in the morning and sandwiches, soups and chowders in the afternoon.  Many folks stop in for a bite to eat and shop the crafters at this time.    I love this fair because it is full of super talented crafters.  I bought some gorgeous recycled sweater mittens 2 years ago and last year some beautiful earrings.   I only have a minute to shop, and only with the crafters in the Cafeteria with me.  I am super busy at this fair and last year ran out of soap only 1/2 way through.  My husband had to make an emergency delivery of more soap to the fair! 

The fair is from 9:00-3:00, hope to see you there!

"The North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) Parents’ Association will host the Annual Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, December 4, 2010 from 9:00 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 Café 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".

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's Small Business Saturday!

Shop your favorite small, local business on Saturday November 27th.    Celebrating the very first Small Business Saturday! 

Do you know that many of the dollars that you give me for that bar of soap or bag of laundry detergent I then use to shop local and small businesses for my own supplies?  No need to purchase from the big box store!  I often get a better deal from my corner store.  Not only that, they know me, they know my product and they love that I am creating and selling soaps right in their community.  Help support your favorite small business on Small Business Saturday.

More info. on the website:  http://smallbusinesssaturday.com/index.html

Here is the Face Book page for Small Business Satruday:


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I am grateful for my wonderful customers. I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving Day!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Soap For Sale! Studio On The Hill, Freeport

Thanksgiving weekend my soaps will be for sale at several venues.  You can find me at the Brunswick Winter Market (Ft. Andross, Maine St. Brunswick Sat. 9:00-12:30) and my soap at Bessie's Farm Goods  (Litchfield Rd. Freeport) and at Cat Schwenk's Studio On The Hill on Pleasant Hill Road, Freeport. 

This will be the third year my soap is included in her Ccreative Economy Studio Show.  She offers a glimpse inside her home and studio with many artists work and different types of crafts showcased in a relaxed home/studio atmosphere while you shop.  Over 30 artist will participate.

Cat Schwenk of Studio on the Hill invites you to support your local creative economy as you shop for unique gifts at the fourth annual Creative Economy Studio Show and Sale on Thanksgiving weekend.

Explore a wide variety of work by over thirty local artists and artisans as well as locally produced food items. Gather with friends and enjoy delicious refreshments (many of the food ingredients are locally grown) while you enjoy a feast for the eyes, belly and soul.

Studio on the Hill is a warm and welcoming artist’s studio that celebrates creativity and offers customized workshops and art celebrations. If you are searching for affordable, exquisitely crafted, unusual gifts that are made locally, you won't want to miss this event.

Studio on the Hill is located at 21 Pleasant Hill Road in Freeport, Maine.

Studio Sale hours are:

Friday, November 26th from 11:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 27th, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 28th, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Call (207) 865-0605
Or email catschwenk@comcast.net for more information.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soap For Sale! Bessie's Farm Goods

I stopped into Bessie's Farm Goods the other day.  What a beautiful little store!  Have you been?  I sell my soaps at Bessie's and are friends with the two wonderful women that own and run the store.  Kathy and Deede were creating evergreen wreaths on the porch when I arrived and they escorted me in to find a roaring fire the wood stove and the smells of soup on the stove.  So many creative and talented crafts fill the room as well as fresh baked bread, cookies, muffins and more. 

Kathy and Deede are entering their first winter season at Bessie's and will be kicking it off with a Thanksgiving weekend sale at the store.

Here's the info.:

Local artisans offering a variety of beautifully handmade pieces.  Seasonal bulbs and greenery, goodies for the birds, wooden kitchen ware, unique local treats, lots and lots of bags, pottery and stone buttons, soaps and sachets, whimsical baby gifts, fiber in every form- roving, hand dyed and spun yarn and knitted wear- beeswax candles, practical pottery, a variety of special cards, handcrafted silver and beaded jewelry, handwoven kitchen linens, and lots of surprises!  
Sat. and Sun. Nov 27th and 28th   9-5    
33 Lichfield Rd., Freeport  
Watch for Bessie's signs on the way to Wolf Neck Farm.  
For directions:  bessiesfarmgoods.com
Here are a few pictures to get you excited about visiting Bessie's...

A view of the shop...

Beautiful note cards.  Don't you just love how they displayed them?

 Gorgeous yarns.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Felted Acron Earrings

I bought (or rather traded soap for) these adorable felted acorn earring at last weekends craft fair!  I choose a plum color and I am in LOVE.  What fun!  Real acorn caps with a cute little needle felted ball of wool.  Soo sweet.  This is what I love about the fairs, being around all these creative, talented artist.   Of course I said to myself, "I can make these", but thank goodness I have finally learned that I simply can not do it all.  Sometimes, it's okay to buy. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wealdon Farm & Farmstand

On my way over to Bessie's Farm Goods the other day (post about that coming soon), I stopped by Wealdon Farm.   Yet another totally inspirational and very cool place!  It's like a mini grocery store all full of locally grown and made items!  They have added a 3 door fridge to expand upon their already great refrigerated local food offerings.  I peeked in to find local cheese, milk & creams, cider, eggs and meats.   The store has been rearranged a bit for the colder winter months and it is looking spiffy.  Listen to music while shopping the waist high shelves propped up on wooden crates.  On top, bins are full of several different types of apples and squash.  Over by the back windows I found 5 different types of organic garlic.  You can even buy it by the clove!  Honey, beeswax candles, dried beans, dilly beans, and my very own Casco Bay soap line the many shelves.  You can even purchase a t-shirt bearing the farms logo.  While checking out, you can't help but notice the huge apple tree outside the window heavy with the most beautiful yellow apples.    Another inspirational, creative and wonderful place to shop for local goods. 

Here is some more info. on Wealdon Farm:

"Wealden Farm &  Farmstand is a diversified family-run farm offering a wide variety of our own chem-free produce & other local produce including seasonal fruits, berries & eggs. Seedlings, plants & cut flowers. Garden sculpture and other gifts.  Located 2 miles from downtown Freeport".

Wealdon Farm & Farmstand
19 Pleasant Hill Road
Freeport, ME 04032

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feeding the birds?

I turned my back for minute the other day while filing my birdfeeders and found this little fellow sneaking a few seeds to fill his cheeks.  I let him have as much as he could take.

Look closley between his eyes.  It looks as if he tangled wth someone before and made it out alive.  Lucky guy.

New Blog Grab Button

See that mini version of my new logo right over there on the top of the right hand sidebar?  Well that is my new blog grab button!  Grab it, and the code and feel free to paste it into your blog.  This will send readers, blogger, customers etc. back to my blog.  It's a lot like advertising.  Thanks to dRE from Solid Art Collective for making it for me, it's soo very cool! 

Solid Art Collective on Etsy ~ http://www.etsy.com/shop/SolidArtCollective

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brunswick Winter Market Fall 2010

This past Saturday was my first Saturday of the season at the Brunswick Winter Market.   I had a great opening day!  Lots of regular customers found me, a made some new friends and contacts and even had a customer come all the way from Canada for my soap!  Another customer said she was down to only enough laundry detergent for 3 more washes and just had to have some more of my detergent and quick! 

I love this market.  What a fantastic and creative group!  Baking, making, cooking, canning, smoking (meats!), farming, blowing (glass), knitting, sewing, spinning (yarn), jamming (jam and/or music!), turning (wood), fishing, pickling, creating and so much more. 

Here are some pictures for you of the market. 

Loads of seasonal veggies...

Crusty, artisan breads...

Delicious prepared Mexican foods...(fresh made chips, salsa, and even Mexican hot chocolate)

Aprons and beautiful jewelry...

Soy wax candles...

More fantastic seasonal veggies...

Spinning up some beautiful Alpaca yarn...

Creamy hand made cheeses...

Colorful recycled sweater mittens...

Local grown mushrooms...

It's a wonderful market with close to 50 vendors.  These are just a small group of the great vendors you can find each week at the Brunswick Winter Market located at Ft. Andross, Maine St. Brunswick, ME from 9:00-12:30 every Saturday through April.

Hope to see YOU there!

Help The Hungry

What a great idea!!!   My friend Jinger from Yo Mamma's Apron Strings is donating $1.00 to the Good Shepard Food Bank here in Maine for every new "like" on Face Book.  AND you will be entered to win a her HHoliday Swirly apron that she made.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Distributing Close Buy Catalog

Thanks to Close Buy on Face Book, they have kept us up to date on the entire process.  I borrowed these pictures from them to show you a bit behind the scenes. 

After all the merchandise was picked up from the various Close Buy vendors...

 All the merchandise had to be sorted, picked and put into bags for the students to then bring home and distribute to their customers.  Here is a school hallway with packages ready to be picked up.  Looks like Little Lad's Popcorn was a popular item! 

This was a indeed a huge job. Close Buy had the help of volunteers from the individual schools, mom, teachers etc.   Yay for Close Buy Catalog!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cranberry Squares

Saturday evening I was part of our annual Cumberland Farmers Market Association Potluck and end of season wrap up meeting.  I brought along my favorite Cranberry Squares.  Soo super simple and since I can't offer you a taste of the most delicious, tart, easy to make Cranberry Squares EVER, here is the recipe so you can make them yourself. Only 6 ingredients and one bowl, come on, give it a try. It's easy-peasy!

Laura's (that's my mom!) Super Easy Cranberry Squares
1 1/2 C. Flour
1 1/2 C. Sugar
9 T. Melted Butter (butter is essential for flavor, do not substitute)
2 Eggs, beaten
2 C. Whole Cranberries
1 C. Chopped Walnuts

Grease & Flour a 13x9" pan, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add in melted butter and beaten eggs, mix well. Mixture will be stiff. Add in cranberries and nuts. Stir to combine.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares.

Enjoy the flavors of November.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Close Buy Catalog

I got a great amount of order from Close Buy Catalog, the local school fundraising catalog that featured 30+ local vendor selling over 100 products.  I was so happy to be part of their pilot year!  They did very well and all the money made and exchanging hands came from the community and went back into the community. What a fantastic concept!

Here are some pictures while I put together the order:

Assembling the 4 packs of soap.  These 4 packs included Sea Shore Scrub, Mermaids Garden, Kitchen Scrub and Walk In The Woods soaps all nestled neatly in a square box with a clear lid.  Tied off with a brown sheer organza ribbon adorned with polka dots and a little Casco Bay Soap Co. tag, they couldn't be cuter!

Okay, maybe they could get cuter...here is a 2 pack under construction.  Same idea, just 2 soaps.  This pack included Maine Pine and Mermaids Garden.

And my biggest surprise was the amount of Laundry Detergent that was ordered....

I'm soo pleased that folks are willing to try something new.  My detergent is all natural and good for both top and front loading machines.  Low sudsing and available in both Unscented and Lavender, these 2 pound bags of soap come in a resealable bag and a wooden scoop tied onto the polka dot sheer organza ribbon.

I do sincerely hope to be part of Close Buy Catalog again.  It is wonderful to help support the school children and to be included with such a great group of respectable craft people was such an honor. 

Roses Will Indeed Cheer Up Your Day

I have been super busy the past 4 weeks and just running around like crazy.  My sweet husband brought me this beautiful tea roses in funky shades of orange and red.  So beautiful!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Casco Bay Soap Co. Rebranding

I have been working behind the scenes on some Casco Bay Soap Co. re branding.  A little shabby chic, french inspired, old fashion-ish look is what I wanted, and Solid Art Collective has indeed delivered!

She is a dream to work with and so great as we worked hard to get my ideas and her skills together on paper.  More to come!

You can check out my new logo here:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Craft Fair Season Begins!

I have been busy busy busy.  I will confess to you that I took on a temporary part time job (at Macy's putting up the Christmas trim, trees, garland, making bows etc.) and this has proven to be more of a time commitment than I expected.  AND during my busiest time of year...what was I thinking?  But, it will all be over soon and I can get back on track and blogging for you every week day and keeping you up to date on all the Casco Bay Soap Co. happenings!

So, in the meantime, I have been labeling and making soap, laundry detergents, working on holiday packaging and the website re-design after work.  Phew!  AND preparing for the first craft show of the season. 

This Saturday I will be selling soap at the All Military Holiday Fair @ Brunswick High School in Brunswick, ME.  I sold at this fair last year and it is a great event, full of a variety of handmade, local goods.  Including hand knit and sewn items, fun dip mixes, jams, jellies and pickles, ceramics, felted items and so much more.   I will have my bars of soap available for sale as well as lots of bars pre-wrapped in some great Holiday packaging.  Come on down!  I hope to see you.