Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holidays 2012 :: Full Swing!

It's here, it's here! Holiday season 2012 has officially launched! I feel like we've been prepping for the last six months to have a smooth season and now we're finally under way! Our team is trained and ready to execute!
 
I love our simple eco friendly packaging. :)

More pics after the jump!


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Monday, November 19, 2012

Recipe :: Pumpkin Puree

I love pumpkin. The smell, texture and color make me love autumn even more! Plus, it's delicious - creamy, savory and SO easy to make! In preparation for Thanksgiving, I roasted and pureed a delicious sugar pumpkin for my homemade pumpkin treats this week!

This will be used for pumpkin pies & pumpkin muffins this week!
Here are a few pictures of the nitty gritty on roasting your own pumpkin to spin into some beautiful puree {sorry for the high quality iphone photos {lol} - but big bad camera was SO not charged!}


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Friday, November 16, 2012

London London!

A little mini recap of London in photos...

More photos after the jump!

Reunited with my BFF {we're a bit soggy here...lol}


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Free Range Turkeys....Thankful

It's a busy week! Actually each week is busy, which I'm oh so grateful for!! I'm finalizing preparations for the kick off of our Holiday season, Thanksgiving with my husband and the arrival of family for Christmas. {YAY!} But amidst all the chaos, I came across this photo and video that I took on an afternoon running errands before Hurricane Sandy. It really made me realize how "thankful" I am for so many things in my life including :: farmers that love what they do! ::


In preparation for Sandy, these free range turkeys at Forks Farm Market in Orangeville, PA were sheltered from the storm. Oh, and they're cute little guys. When I walked up to the barn where they were being housed for the storm, they all waddled over to check me out! Even pecked at my phone...{see still shot!}

Hello to you too!
Take a peek at the video below - they were pretty talkative that day.

Until next time,

Your prepping for Thanksgiving Caramel Girl


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Grilled Turkey :: Beer Wed Group

In between oodles of caramel making, wrapping and shipping, I try to find time to spend with those I love! Specifically, our Beer Wed Group! This is exactly what it sounds like. A group, that meets on Wednesdays to drink beer.

Sure, we could have thought of a more catchy "name" for our group, but honestly, let's call it what it is. Keep it simple.

This past weekend, my husband and I were trying some new recipes including a grilled turkey! Think of a cross between a smoked turkey and a roasted turkey. And yes, the skin was delicious! Ladies, keeps the men busy and out of your kitchen. {Just saying...}

Of course, if you cook a turkey, I feel like it calls for a party. Most days we're not as fancy as Ina Garten....Perhaps there aren't flowers, place mats or even chairs for that matter. But we gather to drink, eat and be merry. I truly couldn't ask for better friends {really family} to share our joys and life challenges with.

A couple photos of the before and after bird!

Mister Turkey filled with onion, orange and apple!
Almost done!
Until next time,

Your stuffed Carameltier

p.s. follow us on Instagram @thecarameljar for real time photos of what we're making!


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Vacation and Hurricane Sandy...

We won't talk about my absence from blogging b/c let's be honest I'm busy here! Amidst the crazy fall schedule and exciting press coverage, this Caramel Girl is heading to London.... That is if Hurricane Sandy doesn't give me a big fat rainy detour or delay!

Seriously...of all weeks to come up the coast. lol
Why London? Once upon a time, this Carameltier traveled to Finland to study abroad {circa 1999-I'm old}. Seriously, how many people do you know that studied in Finland! I met some crazy people, including a great British gal named S. We bonded over late night trips to the Grilli {think french fries at 5am after clubbing all night}, pancake parties and banana bread. So with Mom as a perfect travel companion {her first abroad trip} I'm headed across the big pond for an a bit of an adventure together!

Stay tuned as I post more about the food {of course}, traveling abroad with my mama and how Hurricane Sandy gives us a gentle send off...

Until next time,

Your traveling Carameltier


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Friday, September 7, 2012

Facing Fears :: Conquering Goals!

It's hard to believe there are just a few weeks left to savor the longer nights and warmer breezes! With a bit of a lull in our weddings and an extra day off, I took a little time to chip away at a long term personal goal. Conquering my fear of heights. Yep, I'm that girl.

Baxter State Park
I'm the girl that gracefully declines any and all adventure seeking on ropes that hang perilously above water, land, or crevices of rock. I'm the one with two feet firmly on the ground rather than racing away on a rickety roller coaster. Although I've been to the top of the Empire State Building, I always stay as far away from the edge as possible. I *may* have a severe case of butterflies before I even fly up the elevator to the observation deck. More photos after the jump!


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Monday, August 20, 2012

Back in Action!

Perhaps the title of the post is deceiving since we never really stopped our action packed production! We've been busy, crossing off wedding after wedding from our calendar & creating amazing little elephants for our baby shower favors! Hundreds of spools of ribbon later, we're thinking about the final push to 2013. Between closing out summer and celebrating the New Year, we'll embark on another holiday frenzy!

Stay tuned for more as we prep for the season! You can always follow us on Instagram at @thecarameljar to see more behind the scenes at The Caramel Jar!

Until then, a few food pics from our adventure in DC.

We biked, so I ate. Lots. Grits, eggs & crab cakes! YUM!



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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recipes :: Creamsicle Cups

I scream, you scream, we all scream for homemade ice cream! Remember Creamsicles, the popsicle with the glorious ice cream center? These were my favorite as a kid. Citrus outsides, creamy insides, the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

 Check our new twist on an old favorite after the jump!


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Recipes :: Chickpea Burgers

Hosting a BBQ this weekend? One of the trickiest parts of a barbecue is figuring out what to offer your vegetarian friends. Skip the freezer-burned Boca burgers that stick all over the grill and try our Chick Pea burgers! These little morsels are sure to delight even the non-vegetarians and {bonus} they won't stick to your grill! ;)

These remind me of Falafel on a roll. ;)
More photos and full recipe after the jump.


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Monday, August 6, 2012

Recipe :: Goat Cheese Puffs

Looking for an appetizer your guests won't be able to stop eating? Try these delicious mini goat cheese puffs. The pastry and filling are simple to create - something we love! Your friends might think they walked into a fancy catered event after munching on a few of these rich and creamy treats!

Goat cheese puffs - the perfect tea party snack or Bridal shower appetizer!
Recipe and more pics after the jump!


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recipes :: Delightful Hamburger Buns

If you're like me, you're thinking - hmmm beautiful day, empty patio, let's host a BBQ tonight! The perfect buns for your Juicy Lucy, yep - homemade! Read on as I knead my new favorite dough that I discovered from The Kitchn to create these beautiful light and airy hamburger buns! We're confident that your guests will love them! My favorite way to use the extras {if you even have any!}, is bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches the next morning!

Soft and pillowy hamburger buns!
More photos and full recipe after the jump.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recipes :: Juicy Lucy

Looking to spice up your burgers for your next summer BBQ? Try a Juicy Lucy! These hamburgers have been a family favorite for the past 15 years. Perhaps you've even seen some TV footage on various cooking shows about the famous Minnesota Juicy Lucy's {don't forget, I hail from this town!}. Our legendary Juicy Lucy joints {for those going to MN} would be Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club.

For those that aren't familiar, the Juicy Lucy is basically a cheeseburger with the cheese on the inside. It melts down, oozes out and keeps the patty moist! My family's favorite version has a few pickled jalepeno slices and cream cheese in the middle - creating the perfect spicy burger!

Full recipe and a few how-to photos after the jump!


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Monday, July 9, 2012

On The Road Again...Silver Springs, MD

You may recall from last summer, my husband and I drove from PA to MN to see family. Yep, we're road trippers. We love it. Trapped in the car together, no where to run. It's like heaven to us! Seriously!

This summer, my husband is on the road with his job - so we had to rent a little sublet in a town outside of DC. Silver Springs, MD to be exact! Lots of time in the car for us, but so many adventures to be had!

Take a peek at our first weekend...

Sunset on the Susquehanna River - near Harrisburg, PA
We rode 40 miles this weekend, with a goal of 100 by the end of August
Husband on the road during our 7am ride. Thank goodness it was shady!
We went to our old favorite Indian Restaurant {Heritage India} on Wisconsin Ave. Still AMAZING!
Until next time,

Your traveling Caramel Girl


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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Recipes :: Best Blueberry Muffins

I took a minute this week and recreated these amazing muffins {pssst...this is an updated post from 2011} after finding a heap of beautiful blueberries at our local market. Blueberries are in season across the eastern US - so head out, grab some at your market, pick your own or perhaps you rob your blueberry bush outside your front door {hehe} to create these memorable treats.
Slightly crunch tops on these delicious blueberry muffins will have you indulging in more than one!
Blueberry muffins...I know, seems simple right? And this recipe is simple, but I think they are by far, the best blueberry muffins I've ever had! The flavors of the buttermilk and blueberries together is light, yet creamy and makes a great "wake-up" treat!

The thing that makes these so delicious for me, is the delicate nature of these muffins! I'm used to dense, overly sweet, and super greasy muffins and these are so soft with the crunchy sugary top, moist on the inside and oh so delicious. You can't have just one...Seriously...More pics and full recipe after the jump!


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oh Fab, You are Fab-u-lous!

Are you a small vendor pondering the possibility of offering your product on a flash sale website such as Fab.com? I took the plunge and haven't looked back since. Here's a bit of the low down on how it went for us!

The actual screen shot from our sale!
More details after the jump!


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Friday, June 8, 2012

Recipe :: Black Bean & Avocado Salad with Quinoa

I have a new favorite summer salad that I can't stop eating - black beans and avocado with lime. It's the perfect summery mix to take along to a potluck picnic. Or grab some flour tortillas and throw together a vegetarian-friendly wrap. It's guaranteed to delight even the non-vegetarians! For the best results, grab some fresh corn on the cob from your local farmer's market :)
Fresh ingredients ready to go!
More photos and full recipe after the jump!



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Monday, June 4, 2012

Recipes :: Chocolate Pecan Blondies

It's gorgeous weather for a picnic! I know brownies are a big go-to dessert for picnics, but I have a recipe that's just as easy as pouring brownie mix from a box but even more delicious.... BLONDIES!

Blondies are the BFF to brownies and a new favorite of The Caramel Jar families. Chewy, buttery and chocolatey! I am positive that I can convert some of you brownie-holics to the lighter side.

Pass the milk!
Full recipe after the jump!


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Friday, May 18, 2012

Recipes :: Pickled Daikon

Perhaps you've noticed that I love Asian food? If you've seen me post on Instagram, you know I love Pho, Japanese ramen, curry, Korean BBQ, and sushi.  

So this week, after going to Mitsuwa market in NJ {mega Japanese grocery}, I spent a little time in the kitchen creating some of my faves: Korean dumplings, fried rice and some pickled Daikon. If you're unfamiliar with it, Daikon is just a delicious type of radish! Given the summer is about to hit central PA, pickled Daikon is the perfect summer side dish to any Asian inspired or American BBQ feast! Think pickled slaw...

Sweet, spicy and refreshing!
I love these because they are quick and easy! The crisp crunch of the carrots and daikon is refreshing and the spice of the jalapenos is just enough to wake you up!

Full recipe after the jump!


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Monday, May 14, 2012

A Glimpse Into My Life

Every now and then, life takes over and my house is left a little overgrown {yard, mail - rsvp's to events {yes, I'm coming}, clean laundry piles etc - eeek!}. Yes, I admit, I let this happen. I have this little problem with saying, "no." It's as if that word doesn't even exist.

But this weekend, I took a little time to start a book, watch uninterrupted TV while not multi-tasking and organize a few things.

Whew! I feel better already!

FYI, these bins were :: overflowing with mail, cooking magazines and receipts :: before the organization began!


This photo shows a bit about my life in case you don't know already...

I love pink
My husband loves blue
I found my favorite hat
We have located at least {1} set of our car keys {ha!}
I have a heap of reusable target bags {see red peeking out!}

Until next time,

Your :: organized and rested :: Caramel Girl


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Friday, May 11, 2012

Recipes :: Garlic Knots

Looking for a quick addition to the regular spaghetti night? Whip up some simple, easy {really!} garlic knots that are sure to please everyone. And there's hardly any kneading for those who shy away from breads :)



Full recipe and more photos after the jump!


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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Recipes :: Sausage & Red Lentil Soup - Healthy & Delish!

I've been trying to find ways to sneak a few healthy foods into my weekly meals. Running The Caramel Jar - although loads of fun, is a tad time consuming! Thus, finding yummy and healthy foods that will last more than one meal is essential. At last... I've created a lentil soup that is delicious, colorful and filled with tasty sausage and healthy lentils! I have a feeling even your kids will eat this one too!
This is one of my all time favorite soups!
Full recipe after the jump!


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Friday, March 23, 2012

Coasting Away :: Featured Seller :: Lemon Plum Designs

On the hunt for fun and functional coasters? Look no further than fellow Etsy seller Monika at Lemon Plum Designs. With vibrant colors and quirky subjects, these ceramic coasters are sure to please every cup of iced tea while keeping your tables free of drips and dents :)


Adorable Owls!

Who doesn't love BINGO!?



Lemon Plum Designs also offers wall art and prints. Stop on the by her shop and take a peek!

Your Caramel Apprentice, Jen


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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thanksgiving in March!

With the weather taking a wacky turn up here in Central Pennsylvania, we decided to unthaw our Forks Farm turkey and celebrate Thanksgiving in March!

Yum! I know my turkey lived a great life on the hills of Central PA! Thx Forks Farm! 
A few photos of the - VERY casual Thanksgiving after the jump!


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Friday, March 16, 2012

Recipes :: Stout Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting

Happy {early} St. Patrick's Day!! To celebrate a little bit of the luck of the Irish in the kitchen, we whipped up a batch of boozey inspired cupcakes. With a little bit of beer and splash of Bailey's, this is the perfect St Paddy's Day potluck dessert. These are seriously good.



Full recipe and more pictures after the jump!


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Monday, March 12, 2012

Tools We Love :: OXO Can Opener

OXO Can Opener, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...




What I love:

  • Operates horizontally - meaning, it cuts on the side of the can, not the top - no sharp edges, ever! 
  • Excellent hand grip - so easy to turn!
  • Mini pliers on the side let you pick up the lid without getting the cans contents all over your fingers (which is great when it's covered in sticky sweetened condensed milk)
  • Bonus - it's dishwasher safe!


Where to Buy - OXO $21.99 + shipping

Until next time,

Your Caramel Apprentice


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Friday, February 24, 2012

Punchy Pottery :: Etsy Sellers :: Catherine Reece

Catherine Reece's Etsy shop tagline is "whimsical pottery for every day use" and we couldn't agree more! Everything in her shop just calls for spring to show up soon. How adorable are these bird vases? I want this rainbow crew lined up on my windowsill! 

(all photos from the Catherine Reece Etsy shop)

The cute illustrations she creates make even creepy crawly bugs like preying mantises and roaches look downright cuddly. 





I just love peacocks. Catherine's pieces are all hand-drawn and completely dishwasher and microwave safe (bonus!) and arrive in tucked in craft paper and a recycled box (extra bonus!). Go take a peek at her shop and let's hope spring arrives soon!

Your Caramel Apprentice,
Jen


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Friday, February 17, 2012

Press :: Dash Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Valentine's Day was quite sweet over here at The Caramel Jar.  The Caramel Husband and Caramel Boyfriend brought the chocolates and flowers galore. And bonus - the editors over at Dash recently featured us as one of their Great Valentine's Day Gift Ideas!




Hop on over and check out the rest of their gift ideas (it's never too late to start shopping for next year!!)

Hoping you had a lovely Valentine's Day,
Caramel Apprentice Jen


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Friday, February 10, 2012

Tools We Love :: Blackboard Contact Paper

Happy February, Caramel Lovers! We spent most of January resting our wrapping fingers before diving back into a brand new year of giant vats of delicious buttery caramel. With Valentine's Day around the corner, we're back in action!

This week's Tool We Love was really a life saver over the holiday season. How did we stay so organized with all the orders going out the door? Blackboard contact paper, of course!



We cut out cute shapes and literally covered the walls with rolls of these to keep track of all the important scheduling details and used smaller squares for other labeling around the office. To top it off, we're now reusing it for all of our current to-do lists. It's more eco-friendly than piles of paper lists and we get to use brightly colored chalkboard pens {purple is our fave}! We've seen it used in picture frames for adorable quick reminders around the house, too.  Bonus: the markers we have wipe off super easily with a wet paper towel. Grab some and get back to your grade-school chalk lovin' self :)

{Photos from Amazon}


To buy: your local craft store or Amazon - contact paper and markers.


Your official challenger in the next round of Tic Tac Toe,
Caramel Apprentice Jen


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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Registered Trademark

All I have to say about trademarks - do it! Seriously, go and do it. Stop reading, research an attorney or ask around and call. Make the call and get it done.


Don't lose sleep over it, don't waste any more time fretting, just hire the attorney today! You can do it yourself, but seriously, you need to run your business and this is something that needs detail, focus and time. If you aren't a legal whiz kid, married, engaged or dating an attorney or have a lawyer friend, just hire the attorney and get it done.


Thank you Alexis Arena of Flaster/Greenberg P.C.
Best IP attorney I could have found that listened, cared and bottom line - executed professionally and timely with excellent follow-up. 



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