Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday Sale

One day only… buy anything in my store http://boerbarn.etsy.com and use the coupon code CYBERMONDAY2010 upon checkout in Paypal and take 50% off!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Sale

For 1 day only!  EVERYTHING in my store will be 50% off.  Yes, that's half off everything.  In order to take advantage of this discount, pay for your items with Paypal and use the following code when checking out.

BLACKFRIDAY2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

EVERYTHING is 20% off in my store

NEW!! When you buy something from me on my Etsy store and pay with Paypal, use the following code to receive a 20% off discount. Simply enter in the discount code when paying for your item and 20% will be deducted from your order.

TAKE20OFF


Bigger discounts will be coming soon so check back soon and keep an eye out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Relaxing Bath Salts Recipe

Just reposted a recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs on making bath salts.  Thought I'd pass along my own recipe.  This leaves your skin so soft.  You can also grind up oatmeal and add it as well.  This is great for sensitive skin and rashes.  Do some research on the essential oils you add however.  Some can be harsh on the skin.  Tea Tree, Lavender and Geranium are some that are great in this.  Cinnamon and Clove are too harsh.  Tea Tree, Lavender and Geranium are also great natural antifungals.  You can also just add Almond, Grapeseed or Olive oil instead of the essential oils and that is also great for sensitive skin and rashes.  I like to use seasalt if I have any on hand.  The Epsom salts are also great for sore and tired muscles.  Enjoy!

Make Your Own Bathsalts


The basic ingredients are table salt, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) & Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Some herbalists also use borax. I prefer to add sea salts if I have them on hand, if not plain table salt works fine.  Add the salts to a large bowl in these proportions:

3 parts Epsom salts
2 parts baking soda
1 part table sea salt (or borax)
Essential (scented, herbal/floral) Oils

Mix thoroughly using your hands to stir the ingredients. Some people will tell you to use a spoon or other utensil, although others find the salts work better if you use your hands. This is now the base from which you can create a wide variety of bath salts. You can add colours to bath salts. Use plain food colouring for this purpose, letting it fall drop by drop onto the salt base. If two or more colours are required to mix an exotic hue (such as purple), mix these in a spoon first and then add to the salts to avoid creating a two-toned product, unless of course, you plan on a two or three tone salt. Add many drops for a darker coloured salt; fewer for a lightly hued salt. Mix the colour into the salts until it is evenly distributed; again use your hands or you may use a utensil.

Now add the essential oils drop by drop, one ingredient at a time, until the scent seems right. using your hands and fingertips, mix it until all salt particles are moistened. This may take up to fifteen minutes or longer. As to proportions, rely on your nose to determine the exact quantities. The more potent the finished products' scent, the less will have to be used for each bath. They should be strongly scented.

To use, add from 2 tablespoons to one-half cup of the bath salts to a full tub. Mix with your hands into the water. Enjoy your homemade bath salts!

Gumbo and Turkey Sausage Recipes

I made homemade turkey sausage yesterday and later also made my gumbo using the sausage.  Both of these are great recipes.  For both I basically looked up some recipes and came up with my own based on my own tastes and a little trial and error.  I do that alot with my recipes. 

As for the gumbo recipe I found two or three recipes from people that were experts on Cajun cooking and sort of combined the recipes and made some tweaks to make it my own.  When I made this yesterday, I didn't have any shrimp on hand and didn't put in any chicken either but I did have some leftover BBQ and it was great!  Possibly the best batch I've ever made.  I substituted the shrimp stock for chicken stock.  You can pretty much substitute any kind of meat (well, maybe except lunch meat).  This is spicy, so if you don't like spicy food you can try cutting the Cayenne pepper back to 1/4 - 1/2tsp.  I myself love spicy food and to me this isn't that spicy but it does have a nice kick. 

Homemade Turkey Sausage
1 lb. Ground turkey
¾ tsp. Ground ginger
1 ½ tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Sage
¼ tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Ground black pepper
½ tsp. Onion powder
2 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp. Garlic powder
½ tsp. Dried thyme
½ tsp. White pepper
1 ½ tsp. Splenda brown sugar or 3 tsp. Brown sugar
1 tsp. Paprika
dash allspice

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Knead until all spices are incorporated well.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with nonstick cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil. Form the turkey sausage into patties and fry until browned on both sides and no longer pink in the center. Cook approximately 15 minutes.

Tip:
for maple sausage add
¼ tsp. Maple flavoring or 2 tbsp. Maple syrup

 
Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
12 - 16 oz. of shrimp
16 oz. (1 qt.) tomatoes
14 oz. smoked sausage or Andouille sausage
12 oz. turkey sausage (see turkey sausage recipe)
½ cup oil and/or butter
½ cup flour
12 oz. okra
1 large onion
1 or more cloves or garlic
3 stalks of celery
2 green bell pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. file powder
1 tsp. parsley
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
1 qt. shrimp stock

Add a little oil or melted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey sausage, onions, celery, bell peppers, okra and garlic until the sausage is cooked and onions are translucent. Cook okra until they are no longer sticky. Set aside.

Add ½ cups oil to a large heavy cast iron skillet. Add ½ cup flour and stir until completely mixed. Put the skillet in a preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake for 1 ½ hours stirring at least two or three times while baking. When done, the roux should be a dark chocolate brown. While it is baking, you can peel and devein the shrimp if needed. If you don’t already have shrimp stock available, go ahead and make some now with the shrimp shells. Add about 2 – 3 cups of water to a stock pot, add the shells and some seasonings if desired and boil for at least an hour. Strain off everything but the broth and reserve.

If you want a quicker method for the roux, you can also cook in a stockpot on the stovetop. Stirring constantly over medium-high heat until the roux becomes a chocolate brown color.

Add all of the roux to a stockpot. Return vegetables to the pot. Add the tomatoes. Add the shrimp stock. Add bay leaves, salt, basil, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, lemon or lime juice, turkey sausage and smoked sausage or andouille. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add shrimp. Cook an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until the shrimp is completely cooked and has turned pink.

Remove the pot from heat and add the file powder and stir. Let it rest for about 15 minutes. Be very careful not to overcook the file powder or it’ll turn stringy.

Mound rice in bowls and ladle the gumbo over and serve.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Jewelry

I've created these to go in the local store.

Blue Floral Pendant on a Velvet Cord with two pair of matching earrings.  I'll probably sell the necklace and earrings separately.


Large Aurora Borealis Crystal Heart Pendant with a pair of matching earrings.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My journey to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure: Why I'm Walking

I thought this was well worth passing along.  Carolyn contacted me a few months back asking if I'd be open to contributing some of my handmade peppermint swirl soy candles.  The answer was a resounding "YES!!".  My own mother has been battling cancer herself and was recently hospitalized due to the cancer spreading into her brain.  Fortunately, the surgeons believe they got it all and she came through the surgery with no lasting damage.  She's had to go through another round of chemo and is still recovering but all considering is doing extremely well.  This is a topic that is close to my heart.  I recommend everyone check out Carolyn's blog and support her in her efforts. 

My journey to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure: Why I'm Walking: "I lost my mother, Anne Forcier Watson, a little over 4 years ago. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, and outlived the doctors' ..."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grow Your Own and Can your Own.

I found this great site with loads of information. This particular page is for canning tomatoes. This is the method I use to can tomatoes. Except I also add 1/4 tsp. salt to each quart jar.

Thought I'd pass this along to anyone interested in trying this. I once heard someone say canning was a lost art. Hopefully not lost. I learned from my mom, aunt and grandma. Its so much better, healthier and economical to grow and can your own. Its well worth the effort, especially when you're able to use your own tomatoes in the dead of winter to make soup, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc. etc. WELL WORTH IT! http://www.pickyourown.org/canning_tomatoes.htm

Plus, if you make it yourself you know exactly what is in it.

As a bonus, I'm including one of my favorite canned items of all time. Green tomato relish. This stuff is great on greens, beans, hotdogs... If you've ever had chow chow its alot like that.

Green Tomato Relish
"This delicious, tangy relish of green tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and spices, is perfect with sandwiches, potatoes, cheese, and lots of other entrees."
INGREDIENTS:
24 large green tomatoes
3 red bell peppers, halved and
seeded
3 green bell peppers, halved
and seeded
12 large onions 3 tablespoons celery seed
3 tablespoons mustard seed
1 tablespoon salt
5 cups white sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a grinder or food processor, coarsely grind tomatoes, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and onions. (You may need to do this in batches.) Line a large colander with cheesecloth, place in sink or in a large bowl, and pour in tomato mixture to drain for 1 hour.

2. In a large, non-aluminum stockpot, combine tomato mixture, celery seed, mustard seed, salt, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Sterilize enough jars and lids to hold relish (12 one-pint jars, or 6 one-quart jars). Pack relish into sterilized jars, making sure there are no spaces or air pockets. Fill jars all the way to top. Screw on lids.

4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with boiling water. Carefully lower jars into pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary, until tops of jars are covered by 2 inches of water. Bring water to a full boil, then cover and process for 30 minutes.

5. Remove jars from pot and place on cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press top of each lid with finger, ensuring that seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Relish can be stored for up to a year.

The 7 Ways to Make Sure Your Online Business Fails

Came across this great informative blog on Artfire that has alot of great advice on succeeding with your own online business. Found the link on Twitter. Good reading. Enjoy... http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=art_daily&op=view_article&id=1122

Newly Added Soy Tarts

Just added 10 new soy tarts to my store. http://boerbarn.etsy.com/ They mostly have a Celtic theme and are scented with scents like "Moonlight Musk", "Bite Me", "Dragons Blood" and "Love Spell". I had originally intended these to be included in the gift baskets for celebs and guests at TwiCon but unfortunately it got cancelled. :( So... I'm selling half of what I've made on Etsy and the other half at the A Hidden Treasure Store here in town.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

JEWELRY!

I've recently started my hand at making jewelry. Its pretty addictive I must say. I've made several pairs of earrings, a necklace and a couple of pendants so far. I love this. I try to make things that I think are pretty and would love to wear myself.

To see more of my work click here. http://www.etsy.com/shop/BoerBarn?section_id=6758480

Contribute to TwiCon Gift Baskets

I've recently signed up to contribute to celebrity and guest gift baskets at TwiCon. This is an exciting opportunity to show off some of my work. I'm planning on sending a big batch of my soy tarts in various Celtic shapes scented with scents such as "Love Spell", "Bite Me" and "Dragon's Blood".

For anyone else interested in contributing to the gift baskets, follow the link above for more information and a signup sheet. So far the following have confirmed attending TwiCon. Sam Trammel (Sam from TrueBlood), Joe Mangienello (just cast as Alcide from TrueBlood) and Peter Facinelli (Carlisle Cullen from Twilight) and more. http://www.twilightcrafts.net/2010/01/three-more-cast-members-announced-for.html

For more information and updates, follow the website listed. You can also follow Twilight Crafts on Twitter and Facebook. http://www.twilightcrafts.net/2010/01/twicon-2010-celebrity-craft-basket-faq.html

For Locals

Just before Christmas I've started renting shelf space at "A Hidden Treasure" which is located in downtown Monroe, NC.

Currently, I've got various items for sale such as Carnival Glass, art glass, Avon collectibles, gardening items and more.  Recently I've reserved one shelf for just my soy candles and tarts.  I'm considering taking some handmade jewelry and soaps to sell as well.  To see more of my work online visit, http://boerbarn.etsy.com.