Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ST, a Freedom Rally, and Fair Trade Mission

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Scarlet Threads was going to participate in a Human Trafficking Awareness Convention in Orlando! Well, the event was a success.

Here to introduce it is Fair Trade Mission, our newest Scarlet Threads retailer! They support many other fair trade artisan groups from around the world, so jump on over to their website to take a look. Their goal is to make it easy for normal people to make a huge impact in the lives of farmers and artisans around the world!

Here is Leah, the founder, to tell you about the event in her own words.

Fair Trade Mission was thrilled to take part in Orlando’s 3rd annual Freedom Rally on Sunday Jan 16. This year I’m told it was bigger and better than ever. Being a relative newby to the issues of human trafficking and yes, labor trafficking this was my first rally. So I have nothing with which to compare it. The disclaimer out of the way, now I can say that it far exceeded my expectations. You can see me here modeling the too cute “Aubergine” apron from Scarlet Threads. But more about that later. First let me tell you about the Rally.

The event took place at Lake Eola Park making use of the bandshell for music, skits, testimonials, speeches and prayers. The weather cooperated and it was a perfect day to enjoy a stroll around the lake. It was thrilling to see so many people come out to learn more about human trafficking. We loaded people up with a lot of information, gave out fair trade coffee, hot chocolate and chocolate bar samples and met countless new friends. Some folks seemed surprised that fair trade products have such a high level of quality. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m very glad to have a hand in changing their minds.

My friend Diana Scimone of Born To Fly International spoke briefly about how she got involved in stopping child trafficking. If you ever get the chance, ask Diana about the picture that changed her life. Your life will be changed too.

Now let’s get back to that apron. Scarlet Threads is a new (to us) company that we are very excited to be working with. They genrously donated one of their “Kyra” aprons to be given away as a door prize. Thank You! They are helping poor women who happen to be fine seemstresses in a Chinese village to support their families and gain independence by sewing- aprons and little girls dresses mostly. A portion of the profits are reinvested into their community. You can read more about Scarlet Threads at their website Scarletthreads.org. I got so many compliments on this apron that I know our new line from Scarlet Threads will be much in demand. I can’t wait to see the new items they come up with this year.

The Freedom Rally was a big success. Who knew that creating awareness for the serious subject of human trafficking could be so enjoyable?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Gumbo!

In order to avoid the "lashes" threatened by a facebook fan, I found a quick Tasty Tuesday lurking in my in-box! Many thanks to a very special virtual volunteer. I am indebted. Coffee next week, my friend?

To save me from future run-ins, send me a recipe for Tasty Tuesday!

Revised Gumbo (adapted from The Little Gumbo Book by Glen McKee)

2-4 lbs. chicken (chop into larger chunks for easy handling)
K’s Cajun Seasoning (see below or other Cajun seasoning with kosher salt)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 cup minced onion
¼ to ½ cup bell pepper
¼ Ancho pepper (if you like it warm)
¼ chili and/or jalapeƱo pepper (if you like it hot)
½ cup sliced/chopped celery
1 tsp. Tabasco or Louisiana Sauce
3 tbsp. Worcester sauce
½ tbsp. ground bay leaves
OR 2-3 bay leaves (dried)
OR 1 ½ bay leaves fresh
1 tbsp. K’s Cajun Seasoning
2 ¼ quarts water
½ cup sliced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. sausage (not Italian)
File (after served)

Coat chicken w/K’s seasoning and sear in vegetable oil. Don’t worry about doneness, just sear both sides and set aside.

In large pot (ceramic coated cast iron Dutch oven works well), put heat on medium, add flour and make roux. Roux, in this case is to be only oil and flour. Brown to color of peanut butter or slightly darker, but DO NOT BURN! Stir constantly.

Stir in onion, peppers and celery and cook until tender. Add chicken back in and add Louisiana Sauce/Tabasco Sauce, Worcester sauce, bay leaves, K’s Cajun seasoning and water. Cover and cook on low heat for 1-1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally.

Add sausage and garlic then simmer and cover again for 1 hour.

Serve with steamed rice (I use an ice cream scoop for the rice) and shake file over it!


K’s Cajun Seasoning

26 oz. salt
3 tbsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 ¼ tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
Or 1 ¼ tbsp. parsley fresh
3 tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. chili powder or ground Ancho pepper
½ tsp. paprika

Mix together and whisk.

Goes well with everything… I use it to make blackened fish/steak/chicken and any Creole dishes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Dippin' Style

Lexi, our most diligent Virtual Volunteer, offered up the most delicious recipe! I can't wait to serve it to my guests! If you have a recipe for us, send it along with a picture to eileen@scarletthreads.org.

I recently found a recipe for a dip that I thought sounded good, so I sent it to my mother and we decided to make it on Christmas Day! I can't find the link to the blog I found it on- I apologize now and will look, and then edit it when I do!

This dip was SO good, and yes, it makes a TON! We actually halved it and still had a ton, and had twelve people there eating!

We served it with blue corn chips, but of course, you can do whatever you'd like! I was thinking after that it might be a fun topping for something Mexican, like burritos or nachos!
*Feta Black Bean Dip*

Serves 30 {and that’s not a typo, it makes a TON!}

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 {15 oz} cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 {15 oz} cans of Shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 {8 oz} block feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk sugar, vinegar and oil in a large bowl.
Add the black beans, corn, scallions, cilantro, and feta and mix well.
Chill until serving time.
Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips.