Saturday, October 30, 2010

Naming Contest: Swanky Soiree


It has been a crazy few days, and I totally forgot to load the last apron for you to help name!!

And how could I forget this beauty?

Elegant black, understated gray, and warm tones of gold dance across this hostess apron.  Perfect for your swanky holiday soirees, the vibrant bird and flower motif will start more than a few conversations!  With a scalloped hemline and long waist ties in a delicate grey and white polka dot fabric, we know you'll love serving wine and cheese at your next party.

We'll announce the winners for the naming contest Wednesday, November 3!  And, as long as our shipment clears customs soon, they will all be available for sale around the same time!!

Entries accepted until Tuesday, November 2. (We'll go ahead and leave the other products open for name suggestions until the same time.) Winner will receive a 50 percent off coupon good for one item in our shop, and all participants will qualify for a half-price baglette with any purchase... A perfect stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season! Leave your entries as comments on this post or on facebook.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Naming Contest: Christmas Surprise

Our Christmas surprise is this... not one, but two beautiful tree skirts to choose from!
Candlelight shades of gold and evergreen hues of green... the colors of a holiday.  This traditional paisley Christmas tree skirt dresses up the tree with understated and quiet elegance.  More "Silent Night" than "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," the dignified pattern will dance and shimmer under the twinkle of your tree's lights.  An heirloom-quality piece sure to be in your family for years to come, you can bring the joy of providing dignified work for a woman on the other side of the world into your home this Christmas season.

Entries accepted until Friday, October 29. Winner will receive a 50 percent off coupon good for one item in our shop, and all participants will qualify for a half-price baglette with any purchase... A perfect stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season! Leave your entries as comments on this post or on facebook.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Naming Contest: Mama's Helper

Back by popular demand, another Mommy and Me combo!  Matching mom perfectly, this little girl apron will definitely make your big helper feel all grown up.  Gently Asian-inspired fabrics in shades of evergreen, eggplant, and burnt orange stay true to Scarlet Threads' roots while appealing to the most modern of cooks this holiday season.  With a ruffle all the way around the skirt and a tie long enough for either the back or the front, this apron is sure to help you whip up tasty holiday treats and inspire your little one to at least unload the dishwasher.

Note: Adult apron has a button-neck while child-sized version ties at the neck with a button detail to match mom.


We will choose one name for this apron.  If, for example, the winning name were Jewel, the child's apron would be called Xiao Jewel.  Xiao means "little" in Chinese.  Entries accepted until Friday, October 29. Winner will receive a 50 percent off coupon good for one item in our shop, and all participants will qualify for a half-price baglette with any purchase... A perfect stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season! Leave your entries as comments on this post or on facebook.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Naming Contest: Deck the Halls!

It's back!!  Our ever-popular naming contest!

We are officially launching our new Christmas line, and we want your help naming the goods.

I thought we'd start the Christmas cheer a bit early, and launch this week-long naming contest with one of our Christmas-themed items!  Making its Scarlet Threads debut... A Christmas tree skirt!


This gorgeous tree skirt's understated elegance is perfectly poised to bring a little extra holiday cheer into your home. Classy in black, the unexpected ruby and sapphire-toned accents add the spark needed to turn this heirloom-quality tree skirt into a conversation piece. Trimmed with scarlet red fabric and finished with adorable little bows, this isn't a run-of-the-mill tree skirt. Chic without being kitschy, we know this limited edition tree skirt will become part of your Christmas memories in years to come.

Now, whatever should we call it?

Entries accepted until Friday, October 29. Winner will receive a 50 percent off coupon good for one item in our shop, and all participants will qualify for a half-price baglette with any purchase... A perfect stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season! Leave your entries as comments on this post or on facebook.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Potato Soup

Well, it's been a while since I've been on here, so I thought I'd welcome Fall with a yummy soup!

You'll need:
5 lb. bag of potatoes, chopped (and skinned, if you want)
milk, to taste
butter, to taste
3 cups of water
3 cans of Chicken Broth
1 package of bacon, cooked and chopped
sour cream, to taste
Shredded Cheddar Cheese, to taste

What to do:
Boil the potatoes until they are soft and can be mashed; make mashed potatoes with the milk and butter.
Put the potatoes back on the stove on low heat and add the water and Chicken Broth; stir until well mixed and heat for 15 minutes.
Add the bacon, sour cream and cheddar cheese, stirring until the sour cream and cheese are melted in.
Cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent the bottom from burning. The longer you cook it, the more blended the flavors will be!

Hope that this soup warms you up on a cold night! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Gorgonzola Risotto

I discovered a recipe some time ago. I don't even remember from whence it came, nor does it really matter. As we know, I seldom follow a recipe.

I had friends over for dinner, and my favorite dinner to serve is a roasted chicken with gorgonzola risotto and a cucumber salad. Divine. That's the way to describe it. Julia Child taught me never to apologize for anything that I serve. Chew merrily away, that's her motto. Well, I've taken it a step further: I'm proud of everything I make. I decide (delusionally, on occasion) that what I have created is the best in the word. It helps the "less good" items make an easier journey to my stomach.

Since I am just married, I've been subjecting my new hubbin to my cooking as often as I can get in the kitchen. I'm looking to perfect my art! And, since we are just married, my new hubbin is not allowed to critcize my victuals. The criticism I expect in the next year or two. For now, I content myself with asking, "Isn't this delicious?" to which he responds, "yes." I reply to his yes with another question, "Do you know why this is so delicious?" Aaron shakes his head. "Because I made it."

As for the gorgonzola risotto, it truly is delicious. I'm not even lying or stretching the truth.

Ingredients:
4 c. (+) chicken stock
1 c. dry white wine (or dry vermouth)
1.5 c. rice (I like medium grain, but if you are high class go with Arborio)
2 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 c. coarsely chopped mushrooms (some would suggest dried porcini, but I'm cheap and buy regular mushrooms)
0.5 c. parmesan cheese (shredded)
0.75 c. gorgonzola cheese (If you aren't a gorogonzola fan, use less!)
1 small onion diced

Directions:
You are going to need two pots and a frying pan for this recipe.

In a sacuce pan, bring the chicken stock to a boil and then continue simmering covered.

In the frying pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the coarsely chopped mushrooms.

In a large saucepan, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add the diced onion and browned mushrooms. Sautee until onion is tender.
Add rice and stir to coat with butter. Add vermouth and stir until absorbed.

At this point, you add the warm stock a half cup at a time and stir until absorbed. I typically get impatient and add at a faster rate. But the requirement is still the same, stir until absorbed.
Test the rice to see if it is tender. If not add more stock (or wine)! Once the rice is at the desired firmness, remove from heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese, followed by the gorgonzola.

Season to taste with Sea Salt or kosher salt.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is a Tree Skirt a Skirt?

My husband is adorable. I wrote on our facebook page recently about a conversation we had about our new products, specifically tree skirts. I need to preface this story that my husband is a smart man: top of his class in engineering, very driven, and normally well endowed with common sense.

When I showed him a picture of our new tree skirts, he responded by saying he needed to see it on. On? I was confused. He continued by saying he didn’t really know what it would look like and whether it would be flattering on me.

I definitely got a good laugh. But, it didn’t stop there. Oh no, I am far too sinful to let on. Carrie mailed me the samples of the new “skirts” and Aaron opened the package. The tree skirts are around 60 inches in diameter and made of vibrant colors.

As with all tree skirts, there is a slit up the side so that you can slip it around the base of your Christmas tree. My husband was intrigued. How will you keep it from flying open on a windy day? That’s easy, I replied and pointed to the three ties down the slit. Ah. And again, he wanted to see what it looked like on. Being the good sport that I am, I indulged him.

Here are the results. Aaron tends to think that the tree skirt is a bit too conservative for his tastes. Although, he concedes that there are certain segments and cultures within our population where this type of skirt might be quite popular.

As you can see from the picture, we had just returned home from our kickball playoff game. We lost. It was terribly sad, but such is life.

Can you make out my name? It’s Cuisine, an obvious reference to my love of food and cooking. J

My husband was slightly irritated at my having played such a wicked trick, but was visibly relieved that I will not be sporting the Scarlet Threads tree skirt at his company Christmas party.

Believe me, the tree skirt looks much better around a tree than it does on me! They will be available for purchase in early November. Keep your fingers crossed that the journey from China is uneventful.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Roasting a Chicken

Those of you who know me personally know that I am an ardent admirer of Julia Child. I just think she is wonderful as a person and as a chef. Her personality comes through in her cookbooks, but it is in her book My Life in France that I saw her as charmingly optimistic and very real.

Miss Julia taught me how to truss and roast a chicken a few weeks ago! As a frugal gourmet, I have assimilated this meal into the monthly rotation. It is relatively easy, economical, and absolutely delicious.
Here is a picture of my chicken prior to roasting. It's a little 4.5 pounder that will feed four and provide a decent amount of leftovers.



My first task was to remove anything that remained inside the cavity. I won't bore you with the details. Put on a pair of disposable gloves and go for the gold! Typically I just tie it up quickly with some baking twine to keep the legs and wings pinned to the bird so that they don't get over done.
Then rub some olive oil or soft butter all over the bird. Season it with salt, black pepper, garlic, garlic powder, white pepper, herbs du provence, and some sprigs of rosemary. In order to cook the chicken more evenly, try to let it reach near room temperature before placing it in the oven. Some people recommend squeezing a lemon over the bird and sticking the lemon in the cavity for some extra aroma. I didn't have a lemon.
Now, I'm going to remember to try brining the chicken ahead of time for some added flavor.

Place the chicken in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10 minutes (this will provide a golden brown color to the skin). Then reduce the heat to 350 for 35 minutes. Now, if you can, flip the bird and continue baking (to crisp the bottom skin and help the bird to roast evenly). At this point, it might also be a good idea to check the temperature.

Do not serve chicken with a lower internal temperature than 180 degrees. But, keep a good eye on it from here on out, no one likes dry chicken - at least, no one I know.

We served this little beauty with a fantastic gorgonzola risotto and a cucumber salad. But, you will have to stay tuned for the risotto recipe and the salad. We have to space out our recipes here at ST.


Of course, we'd always love some new material! Send your tasty tuesday recipe to Info@ScarletThreads.org.