Archive | August, 2013

Britta’s Shower – A Sneak Peek

Britta’s Shower is only a few days away!  It has been a little harder than we thought it would be to  plan a shower from a distance,  but it everything seems to be coming together nicely!  Here is a little sneak peak at some of the decor:

Jar

Bunting

Ice Cream cups

Pots

Plates

It is going to be beautiful! I cannot wait to get home to be with my family,  it will be so fun to be TOGETHER while  putting all the final details for the shower together!!!

Xoxo-

em

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Britta’s Shower – Cindy’s Homemade Fair Trade Caramel Sauce

Watch out caramel lovers – this recipe is dangerously delicious!!!

More Ice Cream

I am not even a caramel person, I prefer chocolate over caramel (and pretty much every other food on the planet) and would normally never chose caramel if chocolate could be used instead.  However, I had one taste of this caramel sauce passed on the chocolate just about every night last week.  It really is that good!  Since no Ice Cream Sundae bar is complete without a wide selection of toppings, we will be serving both chocolate and Caramel sauce at Britt’s shower, so I won’t have to choose between the two :).

Ice Cream

Here is the recipe (from bhg.com):

Fair trade Sugar

Ingredients –

3/4 cup whipping cream (organic – if possible)

2 tablespoons water

1 cup Fair Trade sugar  (we use Wholesome sweeteners)

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan heat cream and 2 Tbsp. water until steaming hot; remove from heat; set aside.

2. Place the 1/2 cup water in a 2-quart saucepan; pour sugar and salt in a thin stream in center of pan to form a low mound. Don’t stir; use your fingers to pat the sugar mound down until it is entirely moistened. Any sugar touching edges of pan should be below the water line. Cover and cook over medium heat without stirring until sugar is dissolved and syrup looks clear.

3. Uncover and continue to cook without stirring until syrup begins to color slightly. Swirl pan gently (rather than stirring) if syrup is coloring unevenly. If syrup gets too dark, it will taste bitter. Use a skewer to drop a bead of syrup on a plate from time to time. When a drop of syrup looks amber (about 13 minutes), remove pan from heat. Holding pan away from you, gradually pour in the hot cream mixture. Stir over low heat to blend the caramel into the cream mixture. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Let cool until slightly thickened (220 degrees F-222 degrees F). Serve warm with Walnut Cake with Caramel Whipped Cream. Or store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator up to a week – but it won’t last that long!!!!

Happy

 You really shouldn’t spend another summer night not eating this caramel! It will make you happy.

P.S. – I am still on the hunt for the perfect chocolate sauce, does anybody have the perfect recipe? Please share it with me in the comment section!

Happy Monday!

em

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Britta’s Bridal Shower – Fair Trade Recipes

Britta’s Bridal Shower is only 10 days away!!!  Wow, time sure does fly!  Doesn’t it seem to go especially fast during the last few weeks of summer?  We have been on vacation in Minnesota and the weather is too glorious and my newest nephew too precious to spend too much time on the computer.  I had planned on posting shower tidbits everyday, but have not been able to pull myself away.

Minnesota Sweet Boy

Today, I just wanted to share a little bit about the shower menu and few of the key things we are doing to make it a “Bought.Beautifully” menu :).  Here is the menu:

Menu2

As we were deciding on the menu, we knew we wanted delicious food but we also wanted it to be quick and easy to pull together  (all of the host will be arriving the day before the shower!) Of course, we also wanted to take the bride’s culinary tastes into consideration and finally we used the following guide lines when creating the menu:

1. Use Fair Trade ingredients whenever possible

We strive to buy Fair Trade whenever there is a fair trade alternative and always choose Fair Trade on: coffee, sugar and chocolate. Watch this quick video as to why Fair Trade matters.

2. Use Organic fruits & vegetables whenever possible

There are many reasons to buy organic, but our main reason is that organic farming is healthier and safer (less exposure to poisons and toxics) for the workers planting and harvesting the fruits and vegetables.

3. Local ingredients when possible

We want to support local economies, reduce green house emissions from transporting products long distances, and we love knowing where our food comes from!

I have been testing recipes to find the best options.  We live in a small town in Wyoming, finding rare/different/Fair Trade ingredients is often impossible or prohibitively expensive.  I typically have to buy most Fair Trade ingredients online.  However, last week we made a trip to Montana and stopped at Costco.  I couldn’t believe the Fair Trade and organic options they had and at awesome prices!!!!!! I found Fair Trade sugar, chocolate chips, other random bars/treats, and many great organic dairy options, cheeses, fruits and veggies.

Fair trade Sugar

10 lb. bag of organic FairTrade Sugar for under $14.

Organic Strawberries

Dole is certified through the FairTradeUSA program for their pineapples and bananas, since there is no certification for strawberries and since these were organically grown in the USA, they seemed like the perfect option (They are also from Costco)

The entrée for the evening will be a Strawberry Spinach Goat Cheese Salad.

Fair Trade Salad

I made the salad last week to test it out.  It is delicious! Although I am still looking for the perfect vinaigrette, one that is not too strong but compliments creamy goat cheese and sweet strawberries? Any one have any suggestions? Please share with me in the comment section.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad:

It is so easy, just adjust quantities to how many people you will be serving.

     ~ Spinach or mixed greens – from your garden or farmers market or the store

     ~ Strawberries

     ~ Goat Cheese

     ~ Grilled Chicken – cooled and shredded

     ~ Candied Almonds – I used this recipe, it is not too sweet and super easy to make.

      ~ The perfect Vinaigrette…Any suggestions? I think I will try this one next.

Mix everything together and enjoy!

Stay tuned for the next recipe – Cindy’s Homemade Fair Trade Caramel Sauce….YUMMMMM!

Also, if you are interested here are a few more links about Fair Trade:

FairTrade Resource Network – A slew of information

10 Products to buy Fair Trade

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What She Wore Wednesday – Girl Rising

Hello and Happy Wednesday! It is a happy Wednesday for me indeed.

Em in Hand-me-downs

Do you ever have one of those days when you are fully aware of the ample blessings and good fortune all around you?

Today is one of those days.  Last night I had a wonderful girls night out.  What a treat; complete with great food, conversation, girl togetherness, and a movie!  Surprisingly, one of the best parts was the movie, this was no ordinary movie, it was a special screening of the film, Girl Rising. I am pretty sure just watching the trailer below will bring you to tears.  The film is really well done, beautiful while presenting hard, sad and often ugly truths, challenging yet inspiring and encouraging.  Instead of leaving you discouraged by the size of the problem it definitely leaves you motivated to be part of the change.

Which, of course that left me with the question: What can I do right now?  The answer came to me this morning as I was getting dressed.  I have been so lucky to have so many generous friends (with great taste, I might add) who have passed on their gently used maternity clothes.  It has amazed me how many items were sitting by my front door, at exactly the right time during my belly expansion.  So, as I was looking through my super cute, used, maternity dress options,  I realized that the best way I could pay my friends’ generosity forward would be to donate the money that I had budgeted for maternity clothes to a worthy cause!

10x10GirlRising

Since, I was so inspired by the film and the awareness they are creating, we decided to go with their 10×10 Fund. The 10×10 fund is a global action fund to raise awareness about girls’ education. Normally, we would choose to give directly to one of the organizations (World Vision, Partners in Health), who are actually on the ground doing the work of educating girls, that way more money would go straight to the cause we want to support.  However, in this case we decided to support the larger fund because we were so impressed by the film and how they are spreading the word.  So, thank you to all my wonderful friends who have so willingly shared all their items, thus enabling the chain of sharing and love to go  further and impact girls in other parts of the world!  WOOHOO!

So back to today’s post and What I Wore :)

Emily in Hand me downs

I am wearing hand-me-down maternity clothes and a smile on my face because I know I am one of the lucky ones. Lucky, because I was born in the United States into a family that loved and cherished me, I was born with rights, opportunities and privileges not given to all girls, and I was considered as important and valuable as the boy who was born in the room next to me.

Oh and I am wearing this awesome necklace from 31Bits that my mom lent me.  Read this post to see how this necklace is also  making a positive impact for women in Africa.

Don’t forget to check out all the other great “What I Wore Wednesdays” over at  ThePleatedPoppy.

Happy Wednesday!

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