Sunday Afternoon Housewife

Handmade Crafts and Unsolicited Advice

Whose Your Mama? May 27, 2010

Filed under: chocolate,Cooking,Favorites,Miscellany,Recipes — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 7:31 pm

Well, It’s not too very often at all that I take time to write about food on my blog, though it is one thing that I enjoy probably as much as, if not more, than crafting. Good local food is a total weakness for me. From fresh grown vegetables and fruits, to locally owned restaurants, if it’s local, I’m game to try it. Raw food in general is great, but throw in the time it takes to hand-craft a delicious artisan creation, and I’m head over heels in love.

Just recently I took a trip to fabulous Nashville, TN, and I was at the local coffee shop, Bongo Java, in East Nashville (for breakfast mind you) and there on the counter sat the most gorgeously wrapped chocolate bars I may have ever seen. Further inspection proved what I suspected to be true: it was LOCAL chocolate! This chocolate is small batch, stone ground, slow-roasted, and hand-crafted right in Nashville, Tennessee! Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company boasts chocolate bars in 67% and 75% dark chocolate, as well as NIBS in 67%, coffee in 75%, salt and pepper in 67%, and sea salt in 75% dark chocolate. They also have a seasonal Mexican style Cinn-chili bar. I had to settle for only one sea salt dark chocolate bar (it was breakfast after all) and leave the others behind because I knew they wouldn’t be able to beat the Nashville heat while I sat outside for my craft fair.  I was sad to leave the rest of this chocolate on the counter, but the one bar I had was oh so delicious.

After I got home (still have the wrapper, of course) I looked up the website hoping to learn how to order some more, and found the Facebook page with an awesome photo shoot showing how the chocolate is made. While I may have to wait for the direct mail services to start, right now I can just look at these pictures every once in a while and dream about the day I get to have another one of these Southern Artisan chocolate bars.

Back much closer to home, the awesomest Erin Edds has been whipping up gallons of something super delish: Hoosier Momma’s Brand Bloody Mary Maker. Just yesterday I was lucky enough to finally get my hands on a jar of this locally sourced, secret recipe awesomeness. Now, I must admit that even a year ago, I wouldn’t have touched a Bloody Mary with a ten foot pole, but my silly grown up taste buds keep changing all the time, and I’m finally able to enjoy this tomato based, wholesome goodness. Hoosier Momma’s mix is made from Indiana tomatoes, and as anyone who has ever lived or eaten a tomato in Indiana will tell you, there’s no other taste like that of an Indiana tomato. This mix is good enough to drink on it’s own. If you like V8, this is a much better, MUCH yummier, slightly spicy substitute.

A match made in heaven

Last night I whipped up a Bloody Mary with my new jar of Hoosier Momma and my favorite vodka, Indiana Vodka, which is also made right here in good old Indianapolis, Indiana by Heartland Distillers. I mixed up 6 ounces of Hoosier Momma’s to 2 ounces of Indiana vodka, poured it over some ice, and added the juice of half a lime (that’s just how I like mine!). Two drinks later, I also decided it would be a great idea to cook with this deliciousness, so I took the chicken I was making for my husband and marinated it in the Hoosier Momma, and then made a foil pouch with more Hoosier Momma in the pouch with the chicken, and cooked it on the grill. Now, I don’t eat the land animal meat, but my husband, and 2 neighbors who had joined us for dinner loved the flavor. So, not only is Hoosier Momma’s good for drinking with or without the vodka, you can also use it to make show-stopping awesomeness in the kitchen.

So, here’s enough local awesomeness to make me hungry for drinks and dessert (who needs dinner anyway?). I  hope you’ll check out these great local companies and tell me what you think. And oh yes, Happy Memorial Day!

 

Friday Favorites: Birthday Edition! February 5, 2010

Filed under: chocolate,craft,Favorites — sundayafternoonhousewife @ 2:57 pm

Tomorrow just happens to be my birthday and since that is the case, I thought today’s Friday Favorites could have less of a specific theme and be more of a “I want it for my birthday!”  list. So, while these items might seem a bit random, consider them a nice list of items you could refer to when wanting to buy a gift for that hard-to-please crafty friend of yours!

So, first I present a great present idea to you: a good enough to eat, beautifully crafted, 110% vegan soap from Haus of Gloi. This cold processed vegan soap even has a deliciously addictive name: Vice Turkish Coffee Graham Cracker Soap

In my search for soaps, I found another fantastic soap, and it is available in lots  of  scents, like green tea and bay rum, but what makes it even better is simply what it is! I must admit I’ve always had an little inner Tyler Durden-ish desire to punch a lot of people in the face and basically this soap just rocks and reminds me that I probably should start punching more people in the face. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Luxury Lane Soaps brings us an amazing Fight Club soap!

Ok, I know some people aren’t into scented soaps (though I don’t understand those people!) But that being the case, I have found lots of other goodies, too. Personally, I’ve been carrying around an adorable owl purse for a couple of years now, and I love it to death (or you could say I have loved it to death) ! My owl purse is starting to rip in places and it makes me very sad. Since the one I have is one of a kind and was made for me in a craft swap, I know there no hope of ever having it again! I love the little owls, so I did  Etsy search of purses with owls and I think I found a very suitable replacement. In fact, this is it. This is the owl purse that can replace my current purse and make me happy just by looking at it every day. From Little Odd Forest comes the Hoot Owl Sling Purse!

All this searching got me thinking about other things I love besides owls, and of course chocolate came right to my mind! While my all time favorite local truffle comes from The Best Chocolate in Town , which also happens to be right down the street from my house, I wanted to do a little searching to see what else was out there. I didn’t get very far before I came across these “Just a Little Taste of Cloud Nine Caramels” made by Have It Sweet Confections. And it’s true that I really was looking for truffles first, but then I found these and read this:

“I’m pretty sure after you try one of these you’ll agree that you’re on Cloud Nine. The first layer is Have It Sweet’s Fleur de Sel Caramel. The second layer is our unrefined, hand harvested Fleur de Sel. The third layer is our Mayan Dark Chocolate Caramels. It is an amazing combination.

Our top secret recipe is just the beginning. You will never find another caramel like Have It Sweet’s. We use only the finest all natural (usually organic) ingredients to guarantee that you are eating the very best. We are, as our slogan says, “Purveyors Of Confectionary Excellence”.”

And now my mouth is watering!

Another thing that would be pretty darn cool, even if it comes well into the summer and after my birthday would be if my friend Amanda could get her handmade retail store Homespun open.  Amanda describes Homespun as:

“a retail shop, classroom and gallery space located in the heart of the Irvington neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis. The focus of homespun will be on modern handmade goods. We anticipate opening in July 2010.”

Right now she is in the running for a grant from Pepsi Refresh Project for $5,000. If you like handmade, and you have a minute, it would be fantastic if you could go over and vote for Homespun at the Pepsi Refresh webpage.

There’s just one more thing that would make my birthday totally awesome.  I was thinking what is the thing, the one thing, that if I got it for my birthday I would be so happy, and I decided it would be no less than a heifer!

I honestly would personally love a cow, or a llama, or even a chicken, but since I live in the big city, all these options are quite impossible. They best thing though, is that Heifer International can give said cows and llamas and goats and chickens, and even honey bees to those who need them most. So, in light of it all, a heifer may be my best choice. Only a mere $50 will buy a heifer share, and with 10% of Etsy sales going to charity this month, I’m about $30 away from buying a heifer share on behalf of myself and my Etsy Customers. If you want to score a little goodie for yourself and help me reach a goal of cow sponsorship, you can head over to my Etsy and help. Right now we have worked together and made enough to buy a flock of chicks, but I’d really like to see it become a cow, or at least a share of a cow!

I hope you’ll consider the latter, that you’ll have a good weekend, and be careful out there in all that snow that is coming our way! I also hope you’ll help support handmade by voting for Homespun and purchasing one or all of the goodies on the blog today either as a gift or just for yourself!