Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homemade Pasta!

I went to a cooking demonstration the other day at Bessie's Farm Goods here in Freeport.  The cooking demo. turned into more of a cooking class and boy did I have fun!   Pasta.  have you ever made homemade pasta?  I haven't and was eager to learn more. 

The demo. was by Chris Toy who, I found out, has alot of videos on Youtube about all sorts of cooking!  I was thrilled to talk with him.

Here are some picture from the event.  

People are starting to gather for the demo....

Here is one of the guest learning to make up some pasta dough with instructor Chris Toy.  He showed us how to make it by hand and in a food processor.

We used farm fresh eggs, that you can buy at Bessie's.  Pasta is only flour and egg, that's it!

These are 2 balls of pasta dough, all ready to roll.   The red-ish one is red because we added a bit of tomato paste, the green is fresh spinach!

Here Chirs is feeding the pasta through the rollers to flatten it and make it thin.  This is done several times and you adjust the rollers so each time (or two) you can make it thinner and thinner.  He let us do it too.  We all had a chance to make the dough and make our own pasta!  It was awesome!

The pasta goes through a final roller where it is cut into the familiar strips!  Here it is drying on a rack.  You can dry it fully and store it for later or cook it right away.  We cooked it right away and enjoyed a wonderful lunch.

Here is a bowl of the spinach pasta.  Look at the beautiful color!  The texture of the fresh pasta is wonderful too.  Chris had 2 sauces he made up quickly for the pasta and they simmered while we created the pasta itself.  A tomato sauce with garlic, onion and tomatoes and a white sauce with butter, mushrooms and ricotta.  Kathy (in the orange below holding the bowl) wanted to skip the sauce and try her pasta naked. 

I didn't expect this...we also learned how to make tortellini!  Here, we took the sheets of pasta dough and instead of putting them through the rollers, we cut out circles with a biscuit cutter.  Then added a filling of ricotta, Parmesan and spinach (the filling is in the red bowl below).  We learned to fold and seal them.   We made tortellini!

They were amazing! 

Of course, now I want my own pasta maker and want to make fresh pasta for everyone I know.  It was such fun and soo easy.    You can find lots of Chris Toy's videos for all sorts of different dishes on Youtube.com.  Here is a link to the video he made about pasta.

And Bessie's has lots of other classes you can attend. 

Find them on FaceBook: 

Their website:

or call the shop: 

207 865-3747
Bessie's Farm Good
33 Litchefield Road
Freeport, ME

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lots of Labels

We have been very busy behind the scenes here at Casco Bay Soap Co.!   I finally have a local printer printing all my product labels.  Yipee!  I am thrilled that I now have new labels for my soap, laundry detergent, dryer sachets and  little gift tag that all match and someone else is printing them.  It's a big job and my time/printer wasn't able to keep up.   Next to be printed are new business cards.   My designer and I are also working on labels for my new round shaving soaps too.   I do need new product pictures for the website that reflect the new labels, and they are on their way.  Here is a look at the new labels:

Soaps.  These actually are on their way to Maine Heritage Village in Wiscasett later this week.

Hundreds and hundreds of labels.  Yippee!  My little home printer has been working over time for years printing all my soap labels, one sheet at a time.  Then, I had to cut and trim them all with a paper cutter.  This is going to save me sooo much time!

Below are the Dryer Sachets all wrapped up in their new labels and ready to purchase.  Notice that the soap label has a Sand Dollar/Starfish/Seaweed background and the Dryer Sachets have a Lobster/Starfish/Seaweed background? All the new labels are a bit different, but have the same color pallet and underwater theme.  I have received a huge amount of great feedback from the customers at the Farmers Market, wholesale customers and my online sales that love this new peaceful color pallet and slightly whimsical, natural history type look to the labels.  I like it too.

Thanks again to Cynthia, whom I found on Esty.  She is great to work with and has lots of beautiful Natural History type artwork on sale here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/HighStreetVintage

And also thank you to Yarmouth Printing for working on my order with such attention.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Soaps Now In Belfast, MAINE

I have sent off my soaps to a new retail location, Beyond The Sea in Belfast MAINE.  The soaps should arrive at their doorstep any day now!   I am thrilled to have my soaps in their lovely store in the beautiful seaside town of Belfast.  

Captain (my hubby) and I often visited the town of Belfast before we lived here in Maine.  We would travel up the coast and find ourselves stopping in Belfast for lunch, a sail on the Friendship Sloop Amity or browsing the Farmers Market.  I love the quaint, seaside, artistic, old fashioned town. 

Belfast Harbor

Main St. is much the way it was years ago.  Lots of beautiful buildings all sandwiched together.  Loads of great shops line the streets.

 Belfast has a bustling Farmers Market too!  I wish I was closer so I could sell my soaps there, but Beyond The Sea will do a great job for me.
Here's a bit about them from their website:

A Distinctive Gift Shop featuring Quality Gifts and Books, MADE IN MAINE, New England, and USA, by small family owned businesses or individuals. We pamper our shoppers with knowledgeable service, an Espresso Bar, Comfortable Seats and a Warm, Relaxing Atmosphere.

If you are in the area, be sure to stop in and visit them.   (And maybe buy some soap)!

Beyond The Sea
74 Main St.
Belfast, MAINE

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lattitudes & Atttitudes

Those of you that read my blog know that I also like to cook.  And bake.  You may or may not know that Captain and I sail in the warmer months.  I combined the 2 interests and have submitted some recipes to my favorite Sailing Magazine, Latitudes &  Attitudes.  The magazine chose me as this months feature cook in their "Galley Gourmet"!  Here are some shots from the magazine:

I will post the recipes too.  I think you'll enjoy them.  Super Easy Beer Bread, Chocolate Pudding Cake and a Cheesy Rice & Bean Bake.  I was sure to make them all in my little on-board oven in my tiny galley on the sailboat.  I wanted to be sure that these could indeed be made on a boat successfully.  I listed some shortcuts for easy cleanup and multiple ingredients (with limited space on board, these tips were helpful).  It was fun!  I am working on more recipes to submit to the magazine again.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I was away....

I was away last week. 

And it was hard to come back!  My husband and I were off ccelebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.  But I'm back and working on all sorts of soap "stuff".  The new Sea Urchine soap has been ordered up by Lisa Marie's Made In Maine, shaving soaps is on the schedule (I have had lots of requests for it) and the new labels are ready at the printer for all my products (soap, laundry detergent, dryers sachets and a special gift tag).  Lots to do!  I'm happy to be soaping again.