Monday, July 28, 2008

Serving Dish Challenge

Join the Etsy Mud Team for our SERVING DISH CHALLENGE
July 27 - August 3
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Participating Etsy Mud Team members have been busy creating serving dishes! Please visit our website to view all entries and vote for your favorite. In return for your vote, you will receive a discount coupon code via e-mail. This coupon will entitle you to a 10% discount on all merchandise listed in the Mud Shop

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Another Sweet Gift

Yesterday, we received the sweetest gift from another talented potter! I was having a bluesy day and moping around when we got an email saying to look on our front porch. I ran to the door and there was a box from Judy B Freeman. Inside was this beauty:

Isn't is lovely? Monarchs are my favorite butterflies. Each butterfly represents a member of our family. It is so touching that Judy B Freeman put so much thought into this gift! We have been blessed by such wonderful friends on Etsy and through the Etsy Mud Team.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sweet Thank Yous!

I'm not sure how it all happened, but after sharing a little bit of my experience with Vana of Le Papier Studio, I received a lovely package in the mail as a little thank you from her - these great LaPella Pottery note cards! We are so touched and grateful! These kind of experiences make selling on Etsy so much fun.

We are going to use these note cards in our packages to say thank you to our customers. I hope they will turn these wonderful cards over, see the designer, and take a look at what else Le Papier Studio has to offer.

In the meantime, I am looking through our photos to see if we have a good shot of our boys so we can have some beach note cards made in this style:

Isn't it sweet?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Baking Bread

I used to bake all of our bread. But when things at the shop got busy, I'd give up baking and cooking and, well, cleaning, too! Lately the grocery prices have been rising and that motivated me to begin baking again. Also, I discovered the bread at the store contains high fructose corn syrup! Blech!

So, in honor of my refound joy in homemade bread, I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite recipes. I don't often photo my food, so there are no pictures of today's loaf. I'll try to do better with the upcoming recipes.

Dutch Apple Bread

1 envelope yeast
2 cups warm (110˚) milk
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP vegetable oil
2 TBSP honey or sugar
3 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
2 apples, peeled and finely chopped (approx. 1cm cubes)
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch allspice
1tsp salt

In a 6 quart mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add 2.5 cups flour and mix well. Allow to ferment for 30 minutes in a warm place. Then add remaining ingredients, mixing the salt with the flour, and work into a dough.

Knead for 6 to 7 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth and somewhat glossy. Return to mixing bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Divide dough in half and shape each half into a round loaf. Set loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray with oil and let rise 50 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350˚ oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Remove loaves from sheet immediately and let cool on wire racks.

Yield: two medium sized round loaves.

This bread is delicious straight from the oven spread with butter. We sometimes make this bread in loaf pans; it is really good for chicken salad sandwiches. I love to use Granny Smith of Gala apples in the Dutch apple bread. This is not a sweet bread, rather it is pretty hearty. You could up the honey, cinnamon, and allspice to make it more of a breakfast bread.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

We celebrated Independence Day all weekend long with swimming and parties, but our favorite part is always the fireworks! Keeping 2 kids confined to a blanket for 2 hours is all worth it once the show begins.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vacation Sale!

July 6th - 10th we are having a vacation sale!

All purchases will be 10% off until midnight EST on July 10th. Etsy Mud Team members can take off an extra 5%!

We will ship out everything by the 11th and then no more shipping until the 21st of July.

Just put the discount code VACATION in the "Notes to Seller" upon check out to receive your discount!
Thank you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Turkey Talk

Yesterday I took the kids to the WNC Nature Center in Asheville to see the butterfly exhibit. The volunteers sprayed the kids with sugar water and the butterflies flocked to them!

The Nature Center has a lot of native animals and a petting farm as well. My oldest wants one of everything we saw: goats, chickens, turkeys, donkeys, bunnies, and more!

He had a tender moment with a big tom turkey. They were nose to snood. Free was gobbling softly and the tom just eyed him and gobbled back. It was sweet!

As we walked away, I was feeling so touched by that tender moment when Free said, "Mom, boy turkeys just have that floppy thing instead of a pecker."