Friday, July 3, 2009

Find it Friday ~ Fabulous Needlecase
Each Friday we will showcase a product, service, offering or event that is a MUST to check out!

How cute is this needlecase? ~ I just LOVE IT! This is from Be Sweet . I am always looking for new and fun ways to hold my ever growing stash ~ the bright colors, fabulous design and a company that is serious about giving back and empowering women make this one a no brainer for me!Needle Case: hand made colorful stitches on black cotton fabric. zip closure. 5x13"
Be Sweet, a company with a conscience, was founded on the principle of being kind to others. Nadine Curtis created Be Sweet in 2003 while living in Cape Town, South Africa. Be Sweet's mission; to bring socially and environmentally friendly products to fashionable consumers that evoke an individual style and help support community development around the world.

Be Sweet began with Curtis wholesaling a handful of handmade items to boutiques in Northern California and upstate New York. Be Sweet's products can now be found in over 200 boutique stores in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Sweden, Austria and Japan. Be Sweet works with several job creation programs in South Africa by giving artisans the confidence and the means to support themselves and their families in an otherwise economically depressed region. The empowerment groups have grown to include over 200 villagers, mostly female members of the Xhosa tribe, who live in Cape Town, the Eastern Cape region and Johannesburg. Participants are responsible for making mohair, bamboo and organic cotton yarns, accessories and home goods. Many of the women depend on their work for their survival. With the help of experienced program directors, the women are able to work in stable environments where they can earn a fair wage, learn a new skill and enjoy their jobs.

Love Love Love a company with a heart!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Munchies ~ Cheese Puffs
Each Monday we will kick off the week with a Must have recipe to help get you out of the kitchen and back stitching ASAP!

Cheese Puffs

3/4 cup buttermilk
5 TB butter
1 cup flour
3 eggs
2 strips bacon, diced
1 cup cheddar, shredded
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp fresh basil, minced
1/2 tsp buttermilk dressing base powder
salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Step 1: Dice bacon very small, and cook in a small skillet until very crispy. Place on a paper towel to drain.

Step 2: In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter in the buttermilk. When melted, dump in the flour all at once.

Step 3: Stir briskly with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.

Step 4: Add eggs one at a time, whisking constantly until blended. Turn off heat, and continue whisking until cohesive and a little bit of a sheen develops.

Step 5: Add in bacon, herbs, cheese, dressing-base, fresh ground pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a silpat-lined cookie sheet. Smooth out the edges with the back of a wet spoon, or wet fingers. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until starting to brown and puffed. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and turn off the heat, poke bottoms of gougeres / cheese puffs with a toothpick or chopstick to let additional steam escape, and put back in the oven (still off!) for another 15-20 minutes to dry out a tad.

Step 6: Serve the cheese puffs warm or at room temperature. Keeps really well in an air-tight container for several days, simply rewarm in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes.