Monday, March 29, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
If your product is all-natural, made from eco-friendly materials, etc. you might consider recycled cardboard packaging with soy ink printing. Like this packaging from Lindsay Faye Sherman.
You can also use pattern, font choice and color to grab the customer's attention. The colors and patterns you choose don't necessarily have to be bright or overpowering, but can be interesting if they are different than the majority of packaging in the market for your particular product.Products whose packaging showcase a simple elegance often attract customers and position themselves as higher quality like this packaging for organic honey from designer Marcel Buerkle.
Even if you think your product will best be served by a more traditional package design, there are ways to do this that exude professionalism and quality. This butter packaging gives you the feeling of straight from the farm, yet you know that great care has gone into its production.
Even if you are just packaging your items for friends and family there are plenty of resources on the web that enable you to do it in style like these boxes from Twig and Thistle.
If you have any resources or photos of your own packaging please share them with us all!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
The most common fruit in these said bars are dates, but I use any ol' moist dried fruit that I have around, like these prunes and raisins. Works for me.
A good serving size is about 2 tablespoons. I line a cupcake pan with plastic wrap, drop in 2 Tbsp. of the mixture, and press them in the holes with the bottom of a cup so they become nice, flat discs.
They are nothing to look at, but these homemade fruit & nut bars are perfect for travel and snacking. I store mine in zip-top plastic bags separated by wax paper and keep them in the refrigerator. The batch pictured above was made from 1 cup prunes, 1/2 cup raisins, 3/4 cup hazelnuts, 1/4 cup almonds, and 1/2 cup walnuts. (1 1/2 cup of fruit to 1 1/2 cup of nuts.) It made about 12 servings. This recipe is perfect to mix and match. The last time I made them, I threw in some flax seeds for kicks. Just think, the possibilities are endless! Let me know what you put in yours!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Use your crust of choice. For this pie, we used your standard pie crust, but for a more traditional Key lime pie, graham cracker does the trick.
If using a refrigerated pie crust, prebake it for about 10 minutes. Those crusts take longer to bake than this filling.
Ours turned out a bit dark, so keep an eye on yours. Slice a slice, put on some shades, and pretend that you're living it up somewhere where it's hot and the dress code is almost naked.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
At this same specialty store, I picked up this beauty. It's butter from Parma, Italy. I'm thinking, "Hey that's got to be some good stuff," and the packaging sucked me in like it always does. I conducted a blind taste test immediately upon arrival back home. I fed my fella two slices of toast, each lathered with one of the fancy butters. Toast #1 was the Parma butter and #2 was our new favorite from Vermont. After his blind tasting, he noted that #1 had a more average taste - a very subtle difference, but #2 had that little extra somethin' somethin'. But you don't have to take my word for it. This edible gold speaks for itself.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I substituted roasted pumpkin chunks for butternut squash chunks. I liked the variety. They are very similar and go well together. The herbs and spices were a wonderful addition.
Here sits the rice and red onion after their drink of wine. It's crucial that you let all of the liquid absorb before you add the next addition.
Stirring is the key. I've tried to get past this with previous attempts, but if you want to make good risotto, you have to put forth the muscle. Don't even think of putting down that spoon!
Adapted from Jennie Love's Perfect Pumpkin Risotto
Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes (can be made in advance)
1 medium butternut squash
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t. coarse sea salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. finely minced fresh rosemary
pinch of white pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel and cut the squash in half; scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Cut into 1 inch cubes and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on top of squash and toss to coat. Place in oven and bake until the flesh is soft and slightly browned, about 30 minutes.
4 C. vegetable stock
3 T. butter
3/4 C. diced onion
1 1/2 C. arborio rice
1/2 C. white wine
1/2 t. finely minced fresh rosemary
1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 C. pumpkin puree
2 C. roasted butternut squash cubes (above)
1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir for about two minutes until it is thoroughly coated with the butter and toasted a bit. Add the wine and let everything simmer for another minute or two until the wine has evaporated.
Set a timer for 18 minutes. Add about half a cup of hot stock to the risotto and stir constantly until it is absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat this process, adjusting the amount of liquid you add to the needs of the rice, until 18 minutes is up. The closer the rice is to being done, the less liquid you will need to add. Add the pumpkin puree, nutmeg, rosemary, and a final bit of stock, if necessary, and stir vigorously to combine. When risotto has once again become thick and creamy, add the roasted pumpkin cubes and grated cheese and stir again to combine. Finally, finish the risotto by stirring in the heavy cream and adding pepper and salt to taste.
Serve immediately while hot, garnishing with addition grated cheese.