Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tools We Love :: Mason Jars

Silly right - of course we l-o-v-e mason jars! But do you love mason jars as measuring tools?? Especially the "wide mouth" ones?

 Yes, I have some of the fancy OXO Kitchen gadgets including their 4 cup measuring cup. I love it, but let's be honest. Sometimes, those crooks/crevices aren't the easiest thing to scoop out all of the syrup etc for making our caramels. So what do I use instead? A classic Ball Wide Mouth Pint jar. Love them!

What I love:
  • Easy to scoop out liquids
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Hard to break {I'm a bit of a clumsy gal}
  • Multi-functional {drinking glass, vase, and vessel to hold canned goods...} lol
  • Inexpensive! Usually a dozen will go for $10-$12 at your local hardware, grocery or kitchen store
Where to buy - Kmart online for $9.99 + shipping.

Until next time,

Your Chief Caramel Making Girl


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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tools We Love :: Crate & Barrel Jelli Board

We've been busy here at The Caramel Jar! Press, Press and more fabulous press. An anniversary and now the winter holidays have crept in and absorbed our focus! But it's not too late to ask Santa for one of these cutting boards!
We cut our caramels by hand, on a cutting board! This is just one of many things that makes our caramels extra special treats for you to enjoy and share! I have a blue version of this Crate & Barrel Jelli Board for hmmmm....so long that I cannot even recall when I purchased it. A true testament to how much I love this cutting board!

What I love:

  • Simple design and standard size 11 x 14.5
  • {4} little rubber circles on the bottom keep it in place - no more sliding cutting boards!
  • Dishwasher safe {YAY}
  • Colorful! 
  • Cheap! Seriously - $12.95 + shipping or if you are lucky enough to live near a C&B, pick one up on your next shopping trip. 
Where to buy - Crate & Barrel.com

Until next time,

Your very busy caramel making team {Nicole & Jen}


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tools We Love :: Taylor Stainless Steel Kitchen Scale

Another favorite in our kitchen since my caramel world revolves on exact quantities. Here's how we measure your caramels...

What I like:
  • The bowl is big enough to weigh at least 1.5 lbs of caramels at one time - but easily weighs up to 11lbs
  • Large and easy to read scale
  • Looks great on our kitchen counter {don't feel the need to 'hide' it} the same way I might with a digital version
  • The bowl is easy to clean to avoid cross contamination of foods.
To buy: I found ours at our local Target, but they can be found at Taylor's online shop.

Happy Shopping!

Your Chief Caramel Making Girl


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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tools We Love :: Silicone Spoon Spatula :: Sur la table

So some of you might wonder, what tools and small appliances are we using in The Caramel Jar kitchen? In preparation of some serious holiday shopping for your favorite home cook, chef or aspiring candy maker, I'll be divulging some of the tools we use and can't live without! Some might surprise you, others might be more predictable. Happy Shopping!

Let's talk silicone spatulas. I've discovered through trial and error, that this one is the absolute best. I've had them all, but none have stood up to the caramel making challenge like this one! Some features that I love:

1. Easy to care for - dishwasher safe
2. You cannot melt this one - seriously! Leave it on the side of the bubbling pot forever and it will not burn!
3. Bright colors {we prefer green}
4. Flat bottom - great for scraping/stirring the bottoms of pots/pans or scooping
5. Long! It is the longest spatula I could find with a flat bottom at 11.5 inches
6. Does not bend! No weeble - wobbling when you're trying to stir! YAY!
7. It is not attached to a wooden stick that comes apart!!! Seriously, why make {2} part spatulas???

Where to buy: Sur la Table!






Yours truly,

Chief Caramel Making Girl


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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wedding Wednesday :: Brooklyn Wedding :: Style Me Pretty

Have I mentioned, we work with some amazing brides? Take a peek at this wedding featured on Style Me Pretty spotlighting the Brooklyn Botanical Garden! Adorable! Congrats Paloma & Damian!

Beautiful!!!
Simple yet elegant
LOVE mason jar vases!
To buy our edible caramel wedding favors, take a peek at our Etsy shop.
Family style!
Absolutely stunning!

Photography by Ellie M. Photography

Until next time,

Your inspired Chief Caramel Making Girl


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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recipe :: Hummus

I feel like hummus has finally been discovered in the U.S. with numerous varieties found in your local grocery market. Personally, I find those a bit too processed or over flavored and you may know by now that I'm a classic kind of gal! In my quest to find a hummus that reminded me of the one at the Caspian Bistro in Minneapolis near the University of MN campus, Jen and I decided to take to the kitchen and create our own.


Since Jen, the fabulous Caramel Apprentice and I live in a sparse rural community, finding delicacies like homemade hummus with the rich and creamy texture like the Caspian Bistro is slim to none. But we will say, that one of the main ingredients, Tahini is easily found in your international section in your local grocery. If we can find it, you definitely can find it ;) Therefore, Jen dug up a fabulous recipe from All Recipes and we gave it a go! More pictures and recipe after the jump!


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Monday, November 7, 2011

Recipe :: Mom's Easy Cinnamon Popovers

Growing up, our family was small {4 of us} but you'd swear there were {12} of us when it came to gobbling up my Mom's popovers! Light, fluffy, eggy and filled with cinnamon. The aroma in the kitchen would draw anyone out of their post swim coma or physical exhaustion from tennis practice. These are easy, take all of 5 minutes to prep or faster {how fast can you crack eggs?} and will surely please even the the pickiest of eaters.


Full recipe & more photos after the jump!


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Friday, November 4, 2011

Etsy Sellers :: Education :: Google Alerts

Wondering if your small business is receiving some mentions on blogs and product review websites? Ever curious about your competitions new products? Need some help learning about your product market before you start your Etsy shop? Google Alerts is a great tool!




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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recipe :: Braised Beef with Mushrooms

Love the smell of braised beef simmering on the stove? Well this recipe is for you! I don't know the origins of the recipe beyond "Mom's Kitchen" but I've adapted it a bit further for my husband and I. We use fresh v. canned mushrooms and omit excess salt when possible {no beef salty cube things}!

Hungry yet?
Read on for the full recipe and a few pictures.


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Monday, October 17, 2011

News Flash :: Introducing Harvest Spice Caramels

They are here! Just in time for Thanksgiving hostess gifts! Our Harvest Spice caramels are created using the perfect blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves! Like our other caramels, the Harvest Spice caramels come in an eco-wax paper bag or a reusable mason jar!

Take a peek at these delicious morsels!






To buy, take a peek at The Caramel Jar's Etsy shop.

Until tomorrow,

Your Chief Caramel Making Girl


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recipe :: Hearty Scottish Eggs

Chief Caramel Husband is a huge fan of Scottish eggs. Having tried my first one just recently at Manitou Station in White Bear Lake, MN, I have to admit, I'm hooked too! These yummy pub fare snacks are the same ones that you may have tried at a recent renaissance festival, Scottish Festival or Scottish pub. Recipe and a few photos after the jump!

Proper Scottish Eggs : Great pub fare!



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Monday, September 26, 2011

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

You may have noticed, The Caramel Jar was recently on hiatus from blogging! Yes, I took my very first week long vacation since opening our Etsy Shop in May 2010! Just a few highlights from our road trip across the U.S. from Danville, PA - Minneapolis, MN.

1. We're still happily married -40 hours in a car to/from MN.

2. The food is SO much better in MN than in Danville, PA. {sorry Danville, I like some spice!}

3. BUT, PA is one of the most scenic states to drive through!


See our trip in pictures below {lots of food} - including our trip to the fabulous MN State Fair.

Wild Rice omelet {a classic} from MN's Keys Cafe {White Bear Lake & Fridley}
Pho - um, Yes Please!
Kramarczyks in Northeast Minneapolis - Cabbage roll, sausage & Kraut.
Traffic in Chicago & the skyline.
Chief Caramel Husband & his donuts.
Paul Bunyon Cook Shanty, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Paul Bunyon!
I LOVE Minneapolis!
Familiar? The sculpture garden!
I love me some sculptures!
And...I tend to not follow directions. ;)
A MN classic!
My niece!
Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
Windy waves at Lake Calhoun
Me hoping more people will embrace windmills!
State Fair! 179,000 people went this year!
Kiddie rides!
Slide??
The best, and a classic! Cheese Curds.
Seriously, fried cheese.
Our fair has a bit of everything hailing from Scandinavia.
I tried to be healthy...veggie pizza.
Onions!
Honey!
A new addition for 2011.
So we had to try some delicious honey ice cream w/sunflower seeds!
Can you imagine carving this guy? lol
A staple at our fair.
Ok, we are quirky in MN.
We carve our princesses heads in butter.
Do they serve it at Thanksgiving?
We're from the dairy land!
A favorite for my husband and I!
Mini hot off the press donuts. After much convincing, and taste testing, we're crown Tom Thumb as our favorites!
Delicious!

Last but not least, Martha's cookies!


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