Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coupon for Last Minute Gifts!

You've lost track of time and here it is the 20th of December. You can't believe it, you're aghast. The malls are completely packed and you aren't the type of person who can just buy a random present anyway. Am I right?

I may just be projecting my own feelings. At this point, I've shopped for one person in my family. One. That leaves four more without gifts on Christmas morning. Don't worry I have thoughts for meaningful things under the tree!

For those of you in my same predicament, you can use the code "lastminute" in our shop for 35% off! :) It's my way of easing the burden and sending a not so subtle reminder that Christmas is coming!!!!

In truth, presents are fun at Christmas. But a gift from Scarlet Threads provides pathway out of poverty for a woman a world away and forges a permanent connection between the recipient, the giver, and the artisan producer. Wow.

Another quick way to give and save this Christmas! Have you seen our posts about Wendy? We are seeking to raise $5,000 to cover her medical expenses at New Day Foster Home. At five years old, the poor darling was abandoned a few weeks ago, with a heart problem requiring immediate attention. Two shops (Delicate Fortress Creations and Seven Hopes United) joined with us to provide $30.00 in gift coupons ($10 to each shop) to each donor who contributes $25.00 or more. We also received generous offers from three sponsors to match the funds we raise! So, when we raise $5,000, we will receive $10,000 in matching funds and a total of $15,000 will be sent to New Day!

Have a joyous Christmas season! Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your lives this year. We are so lucky to have the ST community who can share in our passion for women in need of work and special needs orphans in rural China. We are grateful for your continued support and understanding!


Friday, December 16, 2011

A Joyful Gift: Wendy's Story

Last night was a big night for sweet little Wendy.

She had a very risky heart surgery... and she survived.  Which is a miracle in and of itself.  The surgeons gave many warnings as they began the operation:

1. Wendy was just abandoned in August 2011 at four years old. The surgeons told NDFH the optimum time to have done her surgery was when she was 3 or 4 months old.
2. 30% of children with this condition die following surgery.
3. They will try to complete the repair in one surgery.
4. Without surgery she had NO chance of survival. Even with surgery the chance of survival is small.
5. Post surgery she will need to be on medication to try and reduce the hypertension. This medication is quite expensive and she will need to be on it at least a year.
6. She will need frequent checkups and close monitoring to monitor the hypertension.
7. She will be on limited activity. She might have no symptoms, but even slight activity could cause her heart to fail.

We're all so thankful she survived the surgery, but now she's begun another journey, just as dangerous... a journey of recovery.  We're still working to raise the funds to cover the cost of Wendy's medical treatment, and we ask that each of you will consider giving to help NDFH as they work to save Wendy's life.  But even more than that, we ask that you will keep sweet Wendy in your thoughts and prayers.  She needs us now more than ever.  Of course, the funds are needed to pay for her surgery.  But more importantly, Wendy needs our love and care and prayers and encouragement.

She has such a sad story.  We may never know the real reason behind her abandonment, but generally it seems that when a child is abandoned with a serious medical problem at a late age, it is because the family knows medical care is needed that they cannot provide.  It is a bit like putting Moses in the basket... you know you can't give what is needed to save her life, so you pray someone else might.

Her basket led her, thankfully, to New Day Foster Home.  A place just as concerned with her emotional health as they are with repairing her broken heart.  But can you imagine a little four year old experiencing abandonment, an orphanage, a new home, and a major surgery all in the course of four months?  And experiencing the surgery without her mama and daddy by her side? She has experienced much trauma and sadness these last few months... we can be a small part of changing her story to one of hope and love.  Just think, when she's ten and her adoptive family tells her that her life-saving surgery was provided by a group of strangers who gave for the pure joy of sharing life and love with a little girl they'll never know...

That, my friends, is the power of redemption... turning pain and brokenness and tragedy - something this world is far too full of - to hope and new life and restoration.  We can be a part of this redemption.  Won't you join us?


And remember, in this holiday gift-giving season when if you're like me, you are scrambling for last-minute gifts, a $25 contribution to the Joyful Gift fundraising drive gets you three $10-off coupons valid with Delicate Fortress, 7 Hopes United, and Scarlet Threads.  That's $30 worth of coupons for a $25 donation!  Need last-minute gift ideas?  All of these retailers offer great gifts that give back to the artisans who created them.  Just e-mail carrie@scarletthreads.org for your coupon codes after you make your $25 or more donation!  (All donations go directly to NDFH, a registered 501c3 nonprofit, are matched by a fund established by NDFH-adoptive families, and are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law!)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Announcement! Rewarding Joyful Gifts


Please don't forget our Joyful Gift matching funds drive going on, now! We are seeking to sponsor two special needs orphans' surgeries at New Day Foster Home in our village in rural China. Please click here for more details! To date, we've already raised $960 - I am totally impressed and awestruck by the generosity of our ST community. Thank you!

I am excited to announce that two of our very dear friends (and retailers) who share our heart for the forgotten ones, are joining us to raise $5,000 for Wendy's heart surgery.

Seven Hopes United
Delicate Fortress Creations

When you contribute $25.00 (or more!) via the chip-in at the top right, you will be eligible for a $10.00 gift card in our Scarlet Threads shop. Here's the fun part, Seven Hopes will match that $10.00 gift card with another gift card for use in their shop! AND, Delicate Fortress will match it AGAIN with a $10.00 gift card in their shop!

(Donors: please send an email to Carrie@ScarletThreads.org to receive the gift certificate codes.)

That is $30.00 in gift cards for a $25.00 donation. Can it get any better? Oh yes, yes it can!

This is Wendy!

One other huge blessing is that two very generous anonymous sponsors have pledged matching funds up to $2,500! That means when we reach our $5,000 goal, we will have raised $10,000 total for Wendy's life-saving heart surgery. Carrie will be putting up a profile on this sweet little one who is in desperate need in coming days. We will also be sponsoring Asa's surgery - look for her profile coming soon!

In the mean time, please visit New Day Foster Home to find out more about their worthy mission to care for special needs orphans in China.

This just in, we have another very generous anonymous sponsor who has pledged additional matching funds up to $5,000! That means it isn't $10,000, but $15,000 total that will be raised for Wendy's heart surgery!

If you are a retailer interested in matching the $10.00 gift card offer, please contact Carrie@ScarletThreads.org!

New Day Foster Home is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Joyful Gift

We had our first snow today.  And I sat outside with my daughter, watching her experience for the first time the way snowflakes feel when they catch on your eyelashes.  The snow took me back to the last time I felt the crunch of winter's whiteness under my feet... 

I was walking to one of my last days of work at New Day Foster Home, a few days before we were to move back to the USA.  Nearly four years had passed since we had moved to a little village outside of Beijing, and our lives had changed so much in China.  We came a family of two, and we were leaving a family of three - four if you counted the dog!  (Which I do.)  And in those four years, we saw so much pain and brokenness... sick babies, abandoned little ones, broken hearts.  But what stands out the most is the LIFE... children coming into the foster home who were barely surviving, leaving a few short months later with their adoptive families, so full of life!

Scarlet Threads was birthed in this same village... the same village where we loved on those little orphans and prayed them back to health.  The same village where we learned that so many families are fractured and splintered because of simple economics.  There is no money, so mama must move to another place to find work.  There is no money for a baby's life-saving surgery, so the tiny one is left in a hospital's back hallway with the hope that someone can give what they cannot.  Scarlet Threads was born out of a desire to provide economic development opportunities for women so that they could preserve their families and protect their children.

But there are still orphans.  And thankfully, there are organizations like NDFH providing hope and a future for them.  This Christmas season, Scarlet Threads is partnering with NDFH and some generous donors to sponsor a matching-fund drive.  Two anonymous donor families have each offered $2,500 to be matched.  That means if we're able to raise $5,000 in the next month, NDFH will receive $10,000.  Ten thousand dollars goes a long ways in that little Chinese village... it can provide a heart surgery!

So here's what we're doing.  We want to raise $5,000 in the next month.  If we reach the goal, it will be matched to $10,000.  You can make a contribution using the ChipIn box at the top right of this blog.  All funds go directly to NDFH, which is a 501c3 non-profit, so your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

And to make it a little sweeter, for every $25 contribution you make, you will receive a coupon worth $10 off in the Scarlet Threads shop.  If you would like to be issued a coupon, please e-mail carrie@scarletthreads.org with your name, email address, and the amount you contributed.  We will not be sending all donors a coupon - only those who request one - so be sure to let us know if it is something you want to receive!

It is a busy time of year - with many things pulling for our resources and our attention.  But when we spend a morning playing in the snow with our little ones, remembering just how richly we have been blessed, we will find that giving life and hope and love to others is really the most joyful gift of all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: a fun appetizer

Several weeks ago, I was home in NH for the weekend. My best friend had a baby in July, and I hadn't met him yet (gasp!). She and her husband planned his baptism for a Sunday, and I wasn't going to be home for Thanksgiving, so it seemed like a good reason to go. Plus, it was Veterans Day weekend, and she and her husband are both Vets, and I had Friday off. Also, their older son is my godson Jackson. Winning all around!

My family is big on cocktail hour. We have cocktails and snacks, and have for as long as I can remember. I do think that this is a big reason why I like cheese and crackers so much! My grandmother drinks a Manhattan, my mother, vodka on the rocks and my father, likely Scotch. Me? I don't seem to have a signature cocktail these days. Should I? Do you?

Anyway, I digress.

Are you familiar with the food company called Schwanns? It is an online food and grocery delivery service, mostly frozen foods, and my parents have used them for a long time. They have some great products and all sorts of fun things. With each delivery, they leave a catalogue and a date they will return, a couple of weeks later. I was flipping through the catalogue and saw a recipe that I thought looked fun. My grandmother was coming over for dinner that night, and I thought this would be a great snack to make, and I thought she'd get a kick out of it. It was Schwanns Meatball Roll-up with Queso Dip!

Meatball Roll-Up with Queso Dip

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Number of Servings: 14-16


1 Starter Crust, slightly thawed
1 cup roasted peppers, drained and chopped
16 Italian Style Meatballs, frozen
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp
seasoning (coarse salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, chives)
1 tray Roasted Pepper Queso Dip, prepared


1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Cut crust into 16 slices starting from the center and leaving edges uncut.

3. Drizzle peppers over raw crust.

4. Place meatballs in center of cut crust and roll to outer edges. Push down slightly to secure.

5. Brush olive oil over crust and sprinkle with seasoning.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Pour prepared queso into a round serving dish and place in center for dipping sauce.

My notes-

We didn't used the red peppers.

I forgot the drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings until about halfway through.

It was still delicious!

We used marinara sauce for dipping too!



I will say that the pieces are a bit clumsy, as the part with the meatball tends to break off the crust part, since it's heavier, but it really is a two or three bite snack anyway!


This was definitely a fun thing to make, and my grandmother loved it. It would be a great snack for one of your holiday parties!

What is your favorite appetizer?

Monday, November 28, 2011

cyber Monday with Scarlet Threads!

Happy Monday all, and happy Cyber Monday to you! We hope that you had a most wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by those you love and plenty of pumpkin pie. Were you wearing one of our aprons while you cooked? We'd love to see a photo, so please send one along!

We're pleased to announce that we are participating in Cyber Monday this year with a really terrific sale! Due to great responses on facebook and twitter, we are offering a 50% discount today!!! This sale will be good through tomorrow morning, Tuesday, at 8am!

50% off!

That means that this gorgeous Noelle tree skirt could be yours for just $22.50! I know she'll look lovely under your tree this year. I bought Noelle last year, and will be decorating my tree this coming weekend...can't wait to get her out of her summer hibernation!

Also, have you seen our hand-sewn tiger hats? Aren't they just darling? I think that I will be buying one for my four-year old godson Jackson this Christmas. It seems like something that every little boy (or girl!) needs, right? At $34, they are a steal at just $17 today!

It is because of you, dear readers, that we are doing this sale. We are so thankful for your unwavering support this past year and we look forward to the future. Please use the code cybermondayblog when checking out for 50% off your purchase. Share with your family and friends via email, twitter, facebook and your blog, if you wish! New supporters are always welcome, and we are most grateful for all you do to help our mission.

We have a lot of fun plans in store for you over the next few weeks, so please come back and see us, and come back often! We love your comments and ideas you might share!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Naming Contest Winners!

Carrie and I selected the winners of the naming contests on Thanksgiving morning! There were many wonderful selections and it was so difficult to pick.

In the end, we were left with Betsy, Tallulah, and Talia.

Congratulations to

Introducing Talia - Many thanks to Erika for the name!

Introducing Tallulah - Many thanks to Emily!

And finally, Betsy - Many thanks to Sarah!

Everyone who submitted a name or made a comment can use "wintersuggestion" for 20% off in our shop. Winners can contact me (eileen@scarletthreads.org) for their 50% off code. Both discounts are good for your entire purchase! Yay!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday Sale

Dear Friends and Loyal Customers!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Today, we are thankful to our whole Scarlet Threads online community of 128 blog followers, 3,555 facebook fans, and 640 Tweeps. We know that our successes are entirely due to your prayers and support over the last two years. It is overwhelming that so many people share our passion for providing a pathway out of poverty to women in rural China.

Thank you.

And, now... I have a very exciting announcement. We are going to have a Black Friday sale starting tonight at midnight. We are offering 50% off your entire purchase in our shop, with free shipping on orders over $100 (which means free shipping on your $50 order after the discount)!

Coupon Code: blackfridayblog

As you'll notice we have finally put up the Christmas tree skirts and lovely new aprons.

Important Quantity Announcements! If you want one of these styles, act fast!

Aubergine (quantity 2)
Noelle Tree Skirt (quantity 2)
Genevieve Tree Skirt (quantity 2)
Tiger Hats (quantity 3)

Please share our mission to change one village with your friends and family this holiday season! Especially their opportunity to make a difference at a 50% discount tomorrow on Black Friday...

Many Blessings - today and every day.

Carrie, Eileen, Tisha, Jenny, and Lexi

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Naming Contest: Flirty Floral

Here is our final naming contest of the year! I just love this one, especially the pink polka dot trim. That is my favorite part!

And the pocket! Why do I love pockets? I wanted a pocket in my wedding dress. Alas, I chose not to cut the gorgeous lace to create one. My one regret, it needed a pocket. Perhaps it was for the best. If I had added pockets, there is a good chance that the wedding rings would have been hidden from all photos - my hands being thrust in my pockets.

What is her name to be? Something to match her vibrant personality, I'm sure.

Like with all the others, please leave a comment here or on or facebook page with your suggestion! Entries are accepted until Thursday (Thanksgiving!!) and the winner will receive 50% off an item in our shop!

Good Luck!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Naming Contest 2: Bright and Bubbly

We continue the unveiling of new products! This number was especially popular at the St Andrew's Bazaar last weekend. People really seemed to like the bright fabric and its contrast with the brown trim!

What shall we name her!? Again suggestions are accepted in comments here or on our facebook page until November 24th. The person who submits the winning name will receive 50% off an item in our shop! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Naming Contests: Blue Winter Wonderland

Here is our first apron style for Winter 2011! Isn't she lovely? She reminds me of our Caroline apron from 2009. But, if possible I like this fabric combination even more!

You know there is a funny story here. We asked Christina of Christina Shippey Photography to come over to shoot our new products. And, what do you guess happened? I grabbed the child's size apron as I ran out the door. Well, it turned out OK because as you can see, it fits! We will be taking an adult size this weekend for the official collages - never fear.

Now comes the point! We need your help to name her. This is our favorite contest, where you submit your name suggestions in the comments of this post or on the facebook post! :)

Suggestions accepted through November 24th (Happy Thanksgiving!). Winner will receive a 50 percent off coupon good for one item in our shop!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

As some of you may have seen on facebook, I made a soup in honor of Fall last weekend. It was an experiment in pre-preparing specific staples that can be used to make a variety of meals. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of this technique, but is that really terribly surprising??

I adapted a recipe from Whole Living magazine (I started receiving it after my first triathlon - gee I hope they aren't charging my credit card!). And, I combined that with another recipe that I had seen a couple of years ago because I had a couple of additional ingredients that I wanted to use out of the fridge. Here is the original recipe from WL - it is way healthier than the one to follow.

1 1/2 c. roasted butternut squash (ahead of time)
1 c. blanched cauliflower (ahead of time)
2 apples (cored and thickly sliced)
1 14 oz can of low sodium chiken broth
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp carmelized onion jam
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 oz bacon (cooked ahead of time)
1/2 tsp sage

In a wide sauce pan, melt butter and add apples. Cook down 5 min.
Add flour and coat apples. Cook 2 min.
Add roasted butternut squash, blanched cauliflower, and carmelized onion jam. Cook 2 min.
Add chicken broth. Stir and simmer 5 minutes.
Add heavy cream. Stir and simmer.
Melt in the shredded cheddar.
Season with sage.

In batches, blend soup in a blender until smooth.

I served this soup with a take and bake multigrain bread and it was wonderful! We had enough left over for another meal later in the week! :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Sale!

It's a spooky day and many people's favorite holiday because it let's you get away with almost anything! I'm expecting many of us will don our Scarlet Threads aprons, pumps, and pearls and go as June Cleaver or Donna Reed? Maybe not.

However, if you are missing the essential piece of that costume (or daily wardrobe), never fear! Here is a $10.00 off coupon for use in our shop. Just enter "spooky" for the savings.

Also, I would just love to hear what you (or the kids) are doing for Halloween! Carrie (founder of ST) made her little baby a costume, and I'm confident pictures will follow. She wore it to breakfast yesterday morning so that she could be shown off to family and friends in Houston before heading home.

Is 9 months a bit young for Trick of Treating? I think no! I choose Trick!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: TWO ingredient pumpkin muffins!

Happy Tuesday, and here comes a really complicated recipe for you, so I hope that you are paying attention.

Two ingredient pumpkin muffins.

Yes. Two ingredients.


Lately, I've become rather obsessed with pinterest, and a few weeks ago, this recipe was all over it, so I decided to try it. It seemed too good to be true. One box of cake mix, one can of pumpkin.

Badabing, badaboom, that's it!

They recently opened a Whole Foods right by my office (SO dangerous!), so I stopped in on the way home last week. I'm not a total organic shopper...I try to buy some organic fruits and veggies, but I wouldn't really buy organic box mixes....but, it was convenient!

I had heard from a few people who tried the recipe that they were slightly bland, so I decided to kick things up a notch and add chocolate chips...as well as several shakes of cinnamon! So, here are the step-by-step photos of the very complicated pumpkin muffins......

I forgot to take a final photo, of one on a plate with a little pat of butter, but trust me when I say that they were delish! Put on a Penelope apron and bake at 375* for about 25 minutes or so, and then you are done! You could certainly mix things up, and add nuts, or something instead of chocolate chips...maybe caramel chips?! Just a thought :)

What's baking in your kitchen this week?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Cheesey Chicken Lasagna Roll-ups!

Hello friends, and a very happy Tuesday to you! We have some exciting things going on here at Scarlet Threads, and to start with, here's a great recipe for you to try! I don't know about you, but I am SO thrilled that the weather has finally cooled off. I am not a warm weather girl, and DC was just unbearable this summer. Today was about 50*! BLISS! I'm excited for cold weather recipes, like stews and roasts!

For now, try this! Cheesey chicken lasagna roll-ups!

Fun fact: when I was in elementary school, I had an imaginary friend that I called Cheesey. Yeah, I don't know either :)

I found the recipe on pinterest, my new favorite site ever. I sort-of followed the recipe, but mostly made it up as I went along, as usual for me!

Here's me and Lucy, preparing our chicken.

Side note: do you have a Lucy in your collection? She's an oldie, but isn't she cute? I've heard rumors that Delicate Fortress has just a very few left, so if you love the looks of this sunshiny girl, head over to Delicate Fortress and snap one up!

Cheesey chicken lasagna roll-ups


three large chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
one-two jars of spagetti sauce, depending on how much sauce you like
ten pieces of lasagna
one package feta cheese
one package parmesan cheese
one container ricotta cheese
whatever spices you like the best


1- boil water and cook lasagna

2- cook chicken, adding whatever spices you like (I used LOTS of basil, onion flavor (I hate the actual onions, but like the flavor!) salt, pepper and garlic)

3- once chicken is cooked through, put in bowl and add cheeses (I am very generous with the cheese!)

note- the original recipe called for 1/2 cup milk, but I forgot that I had run out that morning, so didn't add any, and it was okay

4- mix chicken and cheeses together, add more spices if you wish!

5- pour half a jar of sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish

6- take a piece of cooked lasagna, and place a spoonful of chicken mix, and roll up. place seam-side down in baking dish full of sauce. repeat until you use each piece of lasagna (you could obviously use less than ten pieces!)

7- once all rolls are in dish, pour more sauce over it all, and add more sprinkled parmesan cheese (we like a lot of cheese!)

8- bake at 375* for about 30 minutes until bubbly and delicious smelling!

Then, enjoy

(it may not be super pretty, but it was super good!)

I totally love my babushka baking mitt :)
I have a matching tea towel and mug!

Another side note- see these placemats? They were my mother's, and she had them FOREVER. When I was a wee young thing, I thought they were the most beautiful placemats ever. There are matching napkins too! A few years ago, she wrapped them up for me one Christmas, and I was thrilled! Yes, I think they are nearly 30 years old :)

What are you cooking this week? Send us the recipe, we'd love to feature you and your favorite Scarlet Threads apron!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remember Lucy?

Someone recently begged me to check the Scarlet Threads stock room for the adorable Lucy apron. Maybe, she cried, just maybe you saved a sample for posterity??! (We abandoned the practice of posterity apron saving due to the fact that ST stock rooms are a closet in my Houston home and a rather larger closet in Jenny's Perryton home. We were simply running out of space and reasons to keep the collection of styles of which ST is SOLD OUT.)
One of our most popular styles in Scarlet Threads history was the sunny and lovable Lucy! She just reminded me of Summer every time I saw her. Well, to the point! Our retail partner Delicate Fortress Creations informed me that they have ONE (maybe 2?) of our Lucy styles remaining in their inventory.

So, if she was your favorite, you better place your purchase NOW or NEVER!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Coming Up!

Since June, we've picked one Thursday out of each month to celebrate our online community! Next Thursday is September's Thrifty Thursday (9.15.2011). The fun part about Thrifty Thursday at Scarlet Threads is that we empower you (the reader) to pick the sale discount. How?

Do you remember how we calculate the sale percentage? We give 1% off for every "like" we get on facebook, every "follow" on twitter and the blog (from today to Thursday morning). For every friend you introduce to ST, you march the discount to our goal of 50%!

Last month we only got to 39%... will this month be the month for 50%?

Facebook Followers: 3356
Blog Followers: 127
Twitter Followers: 618

It almost seems TOO easy to get a 50% discount, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Scarlet Threads in South Africa!

I'm really excited to share these photos with you today! For the past four years, I've been a sponsor with World Vision, an organization based in Seattle, WA that works to build better worlds for children through various programs. I began sponsoring a little girl in Albania called Majlinda, and now sponsor a second little girl in South Africa, called Boikokobetso. I do also sponsor a little boy in Albania, called Redion. There is a monthly donation, and I also send them letters and packages, usually once a month or so. When I send a letter or package, they write back too, though it often takes several months for the reply, due to the amount of time it takes for mail to get there and back!

Recently, I decided to send each of my girls one of the Scarlet Threads little girls dresses
(I didn't think that Redion would be very excited about a pink dress!). I ordered one of each and sent them off to them. I was thrilled beyond thrilled when not only did I get a letter
back from Boikokobetso (who turned four last month!), but they included two photos
of her wearing the dress I sent!

Here is my little Boikokobetso modeling Scarlet Threads lovely Summer Joy!

(in this photo, she's also wearing a little tshirt from Old Navy that I sent a while ago!)

Isn't she the sweetest???

I love how she just never smiles in the photos, and always seems to be a bit confused as to what is going on and why her picture is being taken! I was so surprised and charmed to see these photos, since I've never received photos like this before. I do occasionally receive photos, but not often of them with things that I've sent. Also, rather than them being actual photos like we are used to, they were full size and on paper, as if the original photo had been photocopied and sent that way! You can tell somewhat, the way the creases are! I should probably print them out on photo paper though, and put them in frames, wouldn't you agree?

Have you sent any of our products anywhere? We'd love to see you or someone else modeling them, so please share a photo or two if you have one!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: mozzarella stuffed meatballs!

Hello! Happy Tuesday, and happy last week of August/first week of September! Can you believe that September is nearly here??? Have your children started school yet? I have none of my own, and I always started school after Labor Day, but I've learned that most seem to start in August! Crazy to me! I always loved the first day of school though.

It's been a bit crazy in DC the last week or so. First there was an earthquake, and then a hurricane! We were lucky, and neither were too bad at all. Also, the weather has cooled off a bit lately, which is so pleasant, because it had been so, so hot this summer. I'm from

New Hampshire- I am not a hot weather girl at all! I'm not sure that I could make it as a Texan ;)

On the way home, I was considering dinner options, and nothing really jumped into my mind initially. I often decide at the grocery store, and today was no different! I saw containers of fresh mozzarella, and thought of this.....

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs!

I didn't really follow a recipe, I kind of made it up as I went along...feel free to do your own improvisations! If you want to add something, do it, and if you don't like something I used, delete it! That is the beauty of cooking...you can make it to your taste!

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

1 package ground beef (1 pound, ish!)

1 container fresh mozzarella (mine was already balled!)

1 jar pasta sauce (I used basil garlic)

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 generous spoonful of minced garlic

salt and pepper

1 egg

empty package of ground beef into large bowl. add egg and mush together with hands (it is the easiest method!). add cup of breadcrumbs and much further. add minced garlic (oh, and a shake or two of parsley!), and feel free to add any other spices that you'd like. I just used salt and pepper in this case.

grab handfuls of ground beef and form into disk. press one mozzarella ball into the center and form the meat around it. be sure to seal the meat well, or the cheese will oooze out, the way mine did! I made 12 meatballs. you could make them smaller, and use half a mozzarella ball to each, if you prefer them smaller. mine were about 2" in diameter.

drink a glass of moscato while preparing the meatballs. it helps. trust me.

bake the meatballs at 375* for about 45 minutes. mine stayed in the oven a bit longer, so they were crispier around the edges, but that is how we like them! oh, and be sure to use cooking spray on the baking pan before you put the meatballs down!

cook pasta of your choice and when it's ready, place on plate and spoon the sauce over/next to it, and then add the meatballs.

then, enjoy!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Ratatouille??

There is a question mark in the name of this post because the recipe I used made reference to this famous dish. I must say, I have no idea what Ratatouille actually is. I've only seen a portion of the Disney movie that bears its name.

For those of you who are equally bewildered, I looked it up! According to Aubergine Recipes, "In addition to being an animated film about an industrious rat who aspires to be a Parisian chef, Ratatouille is a delicious vegetable stew that comes to us from the Provence region of Southern France." Our lovely Aubergine apron is named after one of the key ingredients in this side dish - the fabulously versatile and always delicious eggplant!

Back to the Ratatouille. I found this recipe in Whole Living Magazine, which miraculously started coming to my house after my first triathlon. This is probably the first magazine subscription I've ever had and the first magazine that I've ever read cover to cover (almost). The recipe was pretty simple: summer squash, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions all baked together after being drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with provencal spices, and dusted with parmesan cheese. Yum.

Next time, I will be using eggplant in the mix. I can't believe that I forgot to use
the eggplant that I purchased at the farmer's market two weekends ago. But, c'e la vie!

1 Zucchini or Magda Squash
3 Roma Tomatoes
2 Potatoes
1 Onion

Thinly slice the onion and brown in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Slice zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes and layer on top of the onions in the casserole dish. The recipe stated to slice them 1/4 inch thick, however I recommend a thinner cut or 1/8 inch thick.

Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, and thyme. I might recommend some garlic powder. Then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes covered, 30 minutes uncovered. And, voila! Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Carrot Raisin Buckwheat Muffins (gluten-free!)

Happy Tuesday, and you know what that means....another Tasty Tuesday recipe for you! This one was sent to me from my friend Hillary...my oldest friend in the world! Our parents lived across the street from one another, so we've been friends since the day she was born- I was born in January, she was born in February!

Here's a photo of us in July 1980...I'm on the right, she's on the left...aren't we cute? I love how she's trying to hold my little hand! :)

So cute, hehe!

So, without further ado!

Carrot Raisin Buckwheat Muffins

If you are a buckwheat lover then you will to enjoy these gluten-free muffins. Try adding more carrots, raisins, some shredded apple, or any chopped nut for a denser, more nutritious treat. These muffins work great as a quick breakfast, simply serve with a green smoothie for a balanced and energizing meal. I grind my own buckwheat flour from raw buckwheat groats. I find the flavor and texture of this fresh flour superior to that of the packaged roasted, ground buckwheat flour. You can use a Vita-Mix to grind the flour or a small electric grinder such as a coffee grinder.

2 ½ cups buckwheat flour
½ cup tapioca flour
½ cup organic brown sugar, Sucanat, or maple sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 cups applesauce
¼ cup melted virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
½ to 1 cup raisins, soaked for 10 minutes in ¼ cup water (then drain)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl combine the buckwheat flour, tapioca flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and spices. Mix well.

Place apple sauce into a separate bowl and add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, carrots, and raisins; whisk together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix together being careful not to over mix.

Spoon batter into oiled muffin tins. Fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Loosen sides with a knife and gently take out of tins and place onto a wire rack to cool.

Then, enjoy!

What's baking in your kitchen this week??

Friday, August 5, 2011

cookbook swap partners!!!

I'm really excited to see that we had ten people sign up for our first ever cookbook swap! That means, of course, that there will be five sets of partners.

For fear of my emails ending up in your junk folders, I am listing the partners right here, on this post. Each persons' email is listed back at the original post, found HERE. Please go to that post to find your partner's email and then send them a note and introduce yourself. The two of you can then find out each other's likes and dislikes and then exchange address and mail books accordingly. Feel free to exchange more than one book, if you choose to, and any other goodies that you wish, but that is totally optional! One cookbook exchanged is the minimum.

Without further ado, here are your partners!

Unknown (Gretchen) and TheLittleKitchen

Does this make sense?

Please visit each other's blogs and make a new friend in the process!

There is no strict deadline on sending- we all have busy lives, but please try to be prompt when sending to your partner- I don't want anyone to be disappointed! Please email me with any issues that you may run into- lexi @ scarletthreads.org and I will look into any situation that may arise!

Most of all, have fun with this! I have high hopes for our first ever swap! I'd love to see what you receive with the swap, so please blog about it, and send the link to me- we can do a linkup and see what everyone received! Sound good? :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tasty Tuesday! Red Velvet Brownies with Buttercream Icing!

Good morning! I'm so excited to share this recipe with you! Sometime over the weekend, I came across a recipe for red velvet brownies with white chocolate buttercream icing and became obsessed with the idea of making them immediately. I had several things going on Saturday, so decided to make them on Sunday. I had most of the ingredients, but needed to run out for a few things, so off I went to the nearest grocery store.

I came home, wrapped Penelope around me (do you remember the Penelope apron? she's no longer available, but is my favorite! shhhh, don't tell the others!) and got baking. The recipe is not too difficult at all and soon I had these delicious brownies cooling on my counter, just waiting to be iced. Side note- do you call it icing or frosting? Just curious!

I didn't take any pre-iced photos, but here are my brownies, in all of their deliciousness!

The recipe! I found it on a new (to me) cooking blog called Smells Like Home and it is just lovely. Tara has some amazing recipes on there, and she's also a fellow New Englander :)

This is her recipe.

For the brownies:

3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 oz red food coloring (this is one small bottle or a scant 2 tbsp)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided

1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

For the white chocolate buttercream frosting:

1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

4 oz good-quality white chocolate (not chips), melted – I recommend Callebaut

1 – 2 tbsp heavy cream

To make the brownies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour an 8″x8″ baking pan.

In a small bowl, slowly stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring,

and 1 tsp vanilla into a thick paste until not lumps of cocoa remain.

Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla.

With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture, then turn the mixer to medium and beat the two mixtures together until they are one uniform color.

div align="center">Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed, just until combined.

Do not overmix.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl.

You’ll want one uniformly colored (red) batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies.

Allow brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack, about 45-60 minutes.

Frost brownies in the pan, cut into 12 bars, and serve, or remove the entire batch from the pan to a cutting board, cut into 12 bars, frost, and serve.

To make the frosting:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,

cream butter until soft and fluffy then beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time;

allow the sugar to mix in before adding the next 1/2 cup.

Once all of the sugar has been added, beat on medium speed for 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add in the melted white chocolate and beat on medium speed until incorporated.

With the mixer on low, add in heavy cream 1 tbsp at a time and beat at medium speed until the frosting has reached your desired consistency.

My changes-

First off, the bottles of food coloring that I bought were tiny and barely 1tbls, so I used the bottle of yellow too! It didn't seem to make them any less red!

I'm also very generous when it comes to vanilla. It's my favorite spice! (does vanilla count as a spice, exactly?)

Also, I don't have an electric stand mixer (oh, the shame!), so I stirred by hand with a wooden spoon. It worked just fine!

Also, my icing was just buttercream, without the white chocolate. I did buy a bar of white chocolate, but when I was melting it in the microwave, I accidentally burnt it! Oooops. So, I just omitted it, because I didn't want to go back to the store for more, and to be honest, I am not a huge fan of white chocolate to begin with! I don't think that the lack of white chocolate made them any less delicious ;)

After a lovely dinner of bacon-wrapped chicken with potatoes, Steve and I enjoyed these-

He loves anything with buttercream, so was quite pleased with the results, as was I! These will definitely go into my regular rotation!

Did you do any baking this weekend?

Monday, June 27, 2011

our first cookbook swap!!!

As you'll see from the photo below, I have a lot of cookbooks. When I say a lot, I really mean it.
Exhibit a-

This photo doesn't even show all of my cookbooks! There are a lot more that you can't see, off to the left on other shelves and such! They range from all sorts of types, from international to baking to southern cooking. I love having them, but I will admit that I don't use them all as often as I should. There are some I use regularly, but there are others that I've never used. Awful, so awful, I know! I'm sure though, that I'm not the only one who doesn't always use all of her cookbooks, right?

This is where I thought of hosting a cookbook swap! We can trade a few cookbooks that we don't use, and then get a few in return that we will! Here's the idea. Leave us a comment and say that you'd like to participate. In a week or so, depending on the number of comments, we will end sign-ups and then partner people up. We will email you your partner's information and then then the two of you can discuss what you like, what you don't, etc and exchange addresses. Each pair will swap a cookbook, more if you'd like, but one minimum. Please don't go out and buy anything, take something from your shelf that hasn't had much use by you, but that your partner will love and use!

How does this sound? Make sense? Ask any questions, of course, and we will answer them as best we can! Also, please share this post on your own blog/twitter/facebook, etc! We'd love to have lots of people participating, as more people makes it more fun!

Maybe you'll find a great recipe you can share for a Tasty Tuesday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

giveaway with We are Not Martha!

We're so excited that the girls of We are Not Martha are hosting a Scarlet Threads giveaway! Do you read their blog? Chels and Sues blog from Boston and have some really amazing recipes. Today they are sharing a recipe for lemony summer risotto and offering a Daphne to a lucky reader! I know I will be trying this recipe sometime soon!

Thank you, Sues and Chels, we're so thrilled you agreed to this. Check out their blog for a chance to win and keep reading them for amazing recipes!