Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Cranberry, Pear, Ginger Relish

To round out this merry month of sharing, we have one more cooking blogger for you to hear from: Holly at One Spicy Dish. Holly is a dedicated foodie who loves to share food with the people she loves. She must love a lot of people because she started a blog to share her passion for food!

Scarlet Threads is the lucky beneficiary of a specially designed recipe from One Spicy Dish. Just take a look at the pictures and I know you can't resist trying it. It was completely apropos and timely, as we all have some leftover cranberry sauce this time of year - Holly has given us a way to turn it into a chic appetizer for New Years! :)
For more kitchen ideas, hop over to One Spicy Dish and become a blog follower or facebook fan. You will never be at a loss for dinner plans.

Cranberry/Pear/Ginger relish ingredients:

2 bags Fresh cranberries
2 Bartlett Pears cored and diced
2 Oranges
1 Lemon
1 ½ cups sugar
½ Cup Dried Cranberries
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
¼ Cup Apricot Preserves
2 6 oz logs of goat cheese
2 skinny baguettes

Cranberry/Pear/Ginger Relish

In a large saucepan over medium low heat combine the cranberries, pears, ginger, sugar, zest from two oranges and one lemon and the juice of one orange. Let cook down until berries pop and the mixture becomes thick and syrupy. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Add dried cranberries and the apricot preserves and stir.

Continue to cook over low heat for 5 more minutes just to give the dried cranberries time to plump up.

Remove mixture from heat and cool. Once cool, place in the fridge to thicken. Relish will keep for at least a week in the fridge. Before assembling crostini, remove relish from refrigerator and bring to room temperature

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the baguettes on a bias in quarter inch thick pieces and place on cookie sheet. Drizzle with EVOO. Place the crostini in the oven. At the same time, put the goat cheese in oven safe dish and place that in the oven as well. Bake the crostini until lightly golden brown and the cheese until warmed through. It will be easily spreadable. In order to keep the goat cheese warm, you can do two things. You can place an oven safe serving platter in the oven to heat it. Transfer warmed goat cheese to the heated service plate. If your serving dish isn’t oven proof, fill with boiling water while the cheese and crostini bake. This will heat the plate enough to keep the cheese warmed. While the cheese warms through, put pinenuts in small dry skillet over low heat just until they begin to turn light brown. They will burn easily so be sure to not take your eyes off them. Immediately remove from heat.

To assemble:

Spread a layer of the warmed goat cheese on a crostini, followed by layer of your cranberry relish. Garnish with pinenuts and serve.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Sugar Cookies from Mommy's Kitchen!

Hello Scarlet Thread Readers. I’m Tina a writer for Mommy’s Kitchen. I’m also a fan of Scarlet Threads and their mission. I want to start by saying thank you to Eileen for asking me to Guest Post today. I first stumbled upon Scarlet threads about 5 months ago. I stumbled on a post from a fellow blogger. She was hosting an apron party and I immediately fell in love with all of the gorgeous aprons pictured. I am an apron fanatic so it was no surprise. I headed straight over to Scarlet Threads and read their story and vision. I was instantly touched on how Scarlet Threads came to be.

It was at that moment that I started saving a few dollars here and there so I could purchase my first apron. I was so excited to know that part of the money I pay for the apron will help families just like mine. Because of me someone will be able to take their child to the doctor or just add an extra plate of food at the table. As a mother and a woman I could not be more proud to know that the apron I am wearing (phoebe) was made by a remarkable woman and seamstress.

Today I would also like to share a recipe with you. As I mentioned above I am a food blogger and my blog is called Mommy’s Kitchen. My site centers around all the recipes that I cook and bake for my family. Since the holidays are upon on I wanted to share a holiday recipe. Christmas is approaching very quickly. In fact there are just a couple days left. Today I wanted to share our Christmas Eve Tradition with everyone.

Every year on Christmas Eve the kids and I bake cookies for Santa Claus. Sugar Cookie Cut Out’s are the cookies that we bake for Santa every year. I have been making this recipe for so long, that when it comes to baking sugar cookie this is my go to recipe. I can always count on these cookies to turn out perfectly every time. For me the perfect sugar cookie is soft and chewy on the inside and crisp and firm on the outside. This cookie recipe uses both butter and shortening so it's the perfect combination. I like to cut my sugar cookies a bit on the thicker side.

This really ensures the softness of the cookie. I also don't use any fancy frostings, just a simple colored icing and festive sprinkles. Our festive sugar cookies turn out beautiful every time. When we bake cookies for Santa it’s all about the kids having fun. So let your kids jump in and do all the cutting and decorating by themselves.

All I do is mix up cookie dough and icing and let them loose with the cookie cutters, icing and sprinkles. I can’t wait until Christmas Eve so we can watch our favorite Christmas Movies together and bake our traditional batch of Sugar Cookies for Santa.

Merry Christmas
Tina, The Mom in Mommy’s Kitchen

Santa’s Sugar Cookie Cut Out’s
1/3 - cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 - cup shortening
1 - cup granulated sugar
1 - tsp baking powder
dash salt
1 - egg
1 - tsp vanilla extract
2 - cups all purpose flour
2 - 3 recipes colored icing, below

In a medium size bowl beat shortening and butter together with a electric mixer. Add sugar, vanilla extract and egg. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix together scraping the sides of the bowl. I used my kitchen aid mixer to mix everything until it came away from the sides of the bowl and starts to form into a ball. Try and mix enough of the flour mixture in using mixer, stir in any remaining flour with wooden spoon. Place dough inside a large zip lock bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Remove dough and let it sit on the counter for least 30 minutes. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/4 inch thick. I like thick cookies because they turn out softer inside. Cut with desired cookie cutters and place on a UN greased baking sheet. Place cookies in a 375 degree oven for 7-8 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden brown. The bottom of the cookies should be light brown as well. Watch carefully so you do not over bake the cookies. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. Remove and place on a baking rack to cool completely. Frost the cookies with colored icing when cool.

Colored Icing
1 - cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
1 - tablespoon softened butter or margarine
2 - tablespoons milk
1 – teaspoon vanilla extract
desired food coloring

I used three separate bowls to mix the icing. One recipe for each bowl, mix all ingredients together with fork or whisk. If too dry, add a little more milk. Once mixed, add a few drops of food coloring. We did red, green and yellow. Don't worry about the icing running off the sides. The icing glaze will set up and be so pretty.

Recipe from: mommysktichen.net

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One Day Sale: 10% Off Entire Purchase

As far as Scarlet Threads is concerned, tomorrow (12/20) is the last shopping day before Christmas! With priority shipping, it is the final day that we can say with confidence your order will reach you prior to the 25th. Now, if your family gives gifts for the Epiphany, you are still in good shape.

So, in honor of this special day, we are offering 10% off your entire purchase in our shop! Remember our tree skirts are already on sale, so this discount makes them a positive steal! And I'm curious who will be the lucky recipient of our final Olivia apron - that's right, there is ONE left!

Enter "lastminute" at checkout to redeem the discount! :)

The staff here at Scarlet Threads wants to say thank you (again and again!) for making this Christmas season and our entire first year of operation tremendously successful. The women we employ are equally grateful for your tremendous support, your heart-felt wishes even more than your purchases. Please accept our sincerest well wishes for a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year! :)


Eileen, Tisha, Carrie, and Jenny

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Christmas Season

The Christmas season is fast approaching; can you believe that another year has passed already? One of the things that I love most about this time of year is the constant reminder that we have cause to celebrate, to be joyful, to share, and to enjoy our lives. It’s the season where selflessness abounds, where we think of others before ourselves. We open our homes to family and friends, and occasionally the distant relative who is for all practical purposes a stranger. The strange thing to me is that it all seems so natural!

What doesn’t feel entirely natural to me is to buy “stuff” for someone you truly care about. I think many consumers have begun shifting in that direction as well. I guarantee you I am not ahead of the curve! People are looking for products that have a story, that have an origin, that mean something. And, handmade items are in high demand!

In 2009, we started a little company called Scarlet Threads. Our story is a little different than your average company. Like some other great ideas, it began almost by accident. Our founders were living in a tiny rural village in China, volunteering for a foster home for special needs children. They were struck at once by the pride of the villagers and also by the immense poverty that surrounded them, and they began to wonder how they could help. The answer was to start a business to provide a pathway out of poverty through dignified employment for rural women. The village is full of talented and resourceful women, many with a penchant for sewing. Scarlet Threads was born.

We specialize in aprons, but we have a rapidly expanding product line that now includes purses, children’s dresses, and for the Christmas season tree skirts! Our products are handmade and fair trade, and they come in several styles and unique fabrics. We visit the fabric market every few months to design new products, so there is always something fresh in our online boutique.

When you purchase a boutique-quality item, you become intricately connected to a woman half a world away and you help to make our core vision of Work. Dignity. Beauty. a reality in the lives of our partner seamstresses.We would love for you to join our cause and our online community by becoming a blog, Facebook, or Twitter follower.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Holiday Sweetness from Glowing Temple!

Holiday Sweetness from Glowing Temple (www.glowingtemple.com)
by Natalia

As a foodie, for me holidays have always been about what's happening around the dinner table. I love to gather with friends and family, sharing delicious, homemade meals and catching up with meaningful conversation. My path has lead me into the magical world of the raw vegan lifestyle and now I'm on a mission to share fresh organic goodness with everyone. So although my feelings surrounding the holidays haven't changed, the meals I share certainly have evolved over the past few years. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite new holiday dessert traditions with you. Whether you're looking for something raw, vegan, gluten-free, or just a little bit lighter and healthier, here are a couple of treats that would be a wonderful addition to any holiday dessert table.

Cranberry Apple Pie with Cinnamon Swirl Ice Cream
Serves 8

Ginger Cookie Crust
1 1/2 cups raw Brazil nuts
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
pinch of salt
Place the Brazil nuts into your food processor and process until finely ground. Add all remaining ingredients and process until sticky. Scrape into a 9" pie pan or an 8-9" springform or silicone pan and press evenly into the bottom. Place in the freezer to set.

Cranberry Apple Filling
1 cup roughly chopped apple
3/4 cup raw agave nectar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen & thawed)
1 1/2 cups finely diced apple
4 teaspoons ground chia seed

Place the roughly chopped apple, agave, cinnamon and ginger into your food processor. Process to puree the apple. Add the cranberries to the food processor and pulse to chop, but do not puree. Scrape into a bowl. Add the finely diced apple and chia seed to the bowl and mix very well. Pour over your crust and place the freezer to set for 3 hours. Once frozen, cut into 8 slices. Thaw completely to serve.

Cinnamon Swirl Ice Cream
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups pure water
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
1/3 cup coconut butter (not oil!)
2 vanilla beans or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup agave with the cinnamon and salt. Place in the freezer to chill. In a high-speed blender, combine water, cashews, agave, coconut butter, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Blend on high until very smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and process until rich and creamy. At the last minute, add the chilled cinnamon agave and continue to process until the ice cream is nicely swirled. Serve each slice of pie with a scoop of ice cream.

Sweet Potato Pie
serves 8-10

Spiced Crust
1 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons raw agave
1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt

Place the walnuts in your food processor fit with the S-blade. Process to finely chop. Add all remaining ingredients and process until sticky. Press into the bottom of a 9" spring form pan. Place in the freezer to set.

Sweet Potato Filling
3/4 cup coconut butter (not oil! I love Artisana brand available at most Whole Foods)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup raw agave
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato

Place all ingredients except for the sweet potato in a high speed blender and blend until well combined. Add the sweet potato and blend again until very smooth. Pour over the crust.

Candied Walnut Topping
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons raw agave
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, toss all ingredients together until the walnuts are evenly coated. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the pie. Place the entire pie in the freezer for 3-4 hours until set. Cut into 8-10 slices when fully frozen. Thaw 30 minutes before serving.

Wishes of Bliss!

Visit Natalia on www.glowingtemple.com
or on Facebook!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fair Trade Winds: a New ST Retailer!

I’d like to introduce our newest partner and retailer, Fair Trade Winds! A couple of months ago we “met” on twitter and became fast friends. It’s an easy thing to do when we find a group of people who share our heart and vision.

As you can see in the picture to the right, our ST aprons have found a warm place to call home as they await discovery by new customers who are becoming "an integral part of a cooperative effort that benefits farmers, artisans, and the environment."

Fair Trade Winds is a family-run retail store providing certified fair trade and environmentally sustainable products supporting artisans, farmers, and craftspeople from around the world. They are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation and Green America.

They have three retail stores in the North East - if you are in the region, stop by and check them out!

August 2012 Update
Last year FTW opened a store in the Seattle area. Don't miss it, Pacific North West Folks! They have a fresh stock of our latest aprons. Happy Shopping - in Fair Trade Style.
1815 N. 45th Street
Seattle, Washington 98103

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Just wanted to give a quick heads up to those planning on ordering Christmas/Holiday gifts: For standard shipping make sure to order by December 17th and for rush shipping December 20th.

Also, we only have a few tree skirts left!

Princess Game: Win $5!

It is time to play the Princess Game again! If Olivia were a fairytale princess, who would she be and why?!

{Tomorrow, the winner, as selected by ME, will receive a $5.00 off coupon for our shop!}

Lucy was our fairytale princess, last week and I selected two winners: one from the blog and one from our Facebook Fan Page! Jennifer was just so original that I had to issue a special award for creativity. Here was her response:

"Lucy would be her very own princess - no other character can come close to how strong and vibrant she is. I love thinking of how caring, compassionate, and determinded she is. Princess Lucy would have soft, curly reddish blonde hair and blue eyes. Her attention to detail and mothering nature helps her forge strong alliances and get the job done. Make a movie about that Disney! LOL"

Danae on Facebook opted for a traditional princess of the Disney Rennaissance, a bookish gal who is near and dear to my heart.

Jennifer, I haven't heard from you to claim your prize! Send me a note and I'll send you the code! Eileen@ScarletThreads.org
May the best post win!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Lasagna a la Lexi

One of our favorite virtual volunteers sent in this recipe for a tasty lasagna! Give it a try, she swears by it! :)

Lasagna a la Lexi

1 lb. ground beef (or turkey, if you prefer)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1 pinch each- basil, garlic powder, oregano, sage, black pepper, minced garlic and onion flakes (I do large pinches, as I am very generous with spices!)
1 jar maranara sauce
1/2 package lasagna noodles (no bake noodles- I don't precook them)
1 large container ricotta cheese
1 bag mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. brown the beef in a large skillet over med-high heat. drain excessive grease, stir in water, olives and spices. simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. stir in maranara sauce and then remove from heat

2. place a layer of meat/sauce mixture at the bottom of a 9x13" pan. cover with dry noodles (three across). spread layer of rocotta cheese over noodles, sprinkle with mozzarella. cover with layer of meat/sauce and then repeat until pan is full.

3. bake 45 minutes at 375*

4. enjoy :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Princess Game!

Let's play the Princess Game. Were Lucy a fairytale princess, who would she be - and why?!
Leave a comment here or on the Facebook Fan Page!

{Tomorrow, the winner, as selected by ME, will receive a $5.00 off coupon for our shop!}