Thursday, December 30, 2010

Simple Lives Thursday #24

Hey everybody!
It's Thursday and that means it's time for the Simple Lives Thursday blog hop.
These ladies and I host:
Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
and Annette at Sustainable Eats

Grab that badge, link up your posts, and tell us, what are you doing to keep it simple in the new year?  Any resolutions?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bakery Madness, Bowls, Blizzard Scenes, and Foodie Gifts

Wowza.  It has been a crazy few days.
I don't know how your holidays go, but mine are usually pretty laid back, other than the drama caused by winter travel.
This year, however, was not an average year for me.  Though my shop was ready, I wasn't fully mentally prepared for the effect national exposure would have on my sales.  Things came together beautifully, and the extra push came while I was on vacation, so I got to pretend that I was a full time home baker.  Frankly, it was really fun.  Crazy busy, but fun. Of course, I was also handmaking many of my Christmas gifts at the same time, so things got a little nuts around here.
I'm going to start this post by sharing some images from my work days at Rosie's Best, and then I'll show you what I've been up to on the personal side of things, including the best food-related gifts I was given this year.
After my episode of  On Point aired, Rosie's Best received an outpouring of support and interest.  Somehow, people were able to connect with my story and product from my short time on air.  They bought tons of granola, and wrote to encourage me in my endeavor.  Some shared their own stories of starting a business and others expressed their enthusiasm for real food.   I can't say enough positive things about my customers.  I feel grateful to have been given the opportunity to do what I love.
I broke my holiday orders down into one full day of baking and another for packaging and shipping.  My whole kitchen table was covered with bags and boxes.
I tried to make them extra pretty for their future homes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Simple Lives Thursday #23

I'm taking a quick break between marathon sewing sessions to put up this post for Simple Lives Thursday, the weekly blog hop where these ladies and I host a gathering of stories, recipes, and tips from bloggers all over the country who are making an effort to consume less and produce more.

Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
and Annette at Sustainable Eats

This year I'm making as many homemade gifts as I can.  This combined with bakery work is keeping me busy!

Link up your posts, have a look around, and I'll have some pictures and words for you very soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rosie's Best on NPR and Simple Lives Thursday #22

Hey y'all!
It's Thursday, which means it's time for the Simple Lives Thursday blog hop!

I'm honored to host with these ladies 

Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
and Annette at Sustainable Eats

I'm especially excited this week because I get to share with you the radio show I participated in yesterday.

A good friend recommended me to be a guest on the show On Point, a live nationally broadcast show which is recorded in Boston.  I was a little nervous to be on national radio, but Tom and the staff at On Point were fantastic and made me feel totally comfortable.

The theme of the show was young entrepreneurs who are starting or have started a business recently.  I got to talk about why I bake and what it means in light of my full time job.  If you'd like to listen, here's the interview on their website, or you can find it as a free podcast on iTunes for the next week.  (Just look for "On Point with Tom Ashbrook") (You can *like* On Point on facebook here) You can also listen to it here:

01 Young Entrepeneurs Inventing Jobs

As a result of the interview, Rosie's Best has been BUSY!  In addition to getting lots of orders, I have been totally overwhelmed at the support and encouragement that I've received from people all over the country.  I was only on the program for a short time, but people still somehow connected with me and my story.  This is a small sample of some of the things people have been writing to me:

"I just wanted to tell you I heard you on the On Point Show yesterday. You were wonderful. Good luck to you and your journey."

"Heard you on NPR and happy to support the cause!"

"What a great story I just heard on the radio program On Point with Tom Ashbrook.
I stopped folding laundry to look you up on-line.  I want to support you by ordering your granola."
To all these people, and to all my readers, THANK YOU for supporting me and joining me while I figure this all out.  You guys make it all worth it.
And if you'd like to give some homemade goodies made with real food this holiday, order from Etsy or by email ( by Saturday for Monday a.m. shipping!  You can order after that, but I cannot guarantee it will arrive before the 25th. 

Since it's Thursday, link up your real food posts!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rosie's Best Holiday Order Form and on Kath Eats!

Hey everybody!
I'm writing between end-of-semester meetings to share a little blog appearance Rosie's Best granola from the illustrious Kath this morning!
If you don't read her blog, Kath Eats Real Food, you might not know that she is a granola *expert*, eating it most mornings for breakfast.  She gets sent samples of granola from all kinds of companies, so I was very honored that she liked my granola enough to write about it in her post this morning!
Head on over here to check out her post, and stay tuned for a special KERF discount code for the Etsy shop!
Doesn't it look great in her breakfast bowl?! (from this url)

'Tis the season for gifting, so I typed up a simple Rosie's Best order form that you can use to place holiday orders.  Here's the list of things you can order and pricing.
NOTE: All granola is also available in reusable glass jars, as seen in this listing, for one dollar more.  This is a great option for people who hate wasting packaging materials!

And here are photos of everything you can order! Check the list above for ingredients and pricing.

If you have vegan friends, please note that everything I make also comes in vegan versions! Please just note so in your email to me.
Email me here with your orders.
Holiday orders must be received by Saturday, December 18th and will ship on Monday the 20th.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Hey everybody!
How are you?
I'd planned to get this update up sooner, but today has been packed full of awesome work and food related things.  After our final ceremony where we celebrated the accomplishments of my students this semester, Tim and I headed to a little eat-in for Terra Madre.

I tweeted this picture just before we started eating food prepared by friends and neighbors.  Then we listened to a presentation about Terra Madre, which was held this year in Italy.  I, of course, felt a little jealous of the delegates who got to fly to Italy and network about sustainability and local food, but I mostly felt excited to meet some new people that are interested in coming together to cook and eat, my two favorite things!  I look forward to sharing more with these people in the very near future, and you can bet I'll be blogging about it.

On to the best part of the post:
the giveaway winner!
Ready to find out who won this big box full of Rosie's Best goodies?

I asked Tim to help me pick a random number from the comments section below, and he dutifully turned on his iPod touch and used his dice bag application.
The lucky winner as selected by a 20 sided die is....

#4!  Bethany!

Bethany, please email me your mailing info at culinarybliss AT  (And tell me your twitter name so I can follow you! :P)

Didn't win but still want some goodies for yourself?  Visit the Etsy shop here, or stick around this weekend.  I'll be posting a special order form just for the holidays!  I'll also be showing some of the simple handmade gifts I've been putting together for the special ones on my list this year.

Until then, have a great day!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Simple Lives Thursday #21

Hey, blogosphere!
How are you today?  It's Thursday, and that means it's time to link up all the stuff you're doing right now to consume less and produce more.  Next week I'll be sharing some of my homemade gifts for the holidays, but in the mean time you can get plenty of ideas from the other contributers!
How are you reducing your impact this year?  Write a post and share!
Remember these three bloggers host with me

Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
and Annette at Sustainable Eats
Grab this badge for your post, and link up!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vegetarian Pasta Fra Diavolo, Green Tomato Chutney, Inspiration and your Last Chance at the Giveaway!

Guess what?  I had my final classes of Fall 2010 today.  It feels pretty good to be done, this semester in particular since I've had some great students.
I'm working on a new logo and packaging for Rosie's Best, and things have been chugging along.  You now have until 1 PM CST on Thursday, December 9th. to enter my big giveaway below.
Speaking of a giveaway, one of the entrants and commenters on that post is my friend Caitlin, who runs a blog at So Sous Me.  She earned her extra entry by posting about the giveaway on her blog.  Cait pegged a problem with this blog lately when she said:
"there are some older posts on there with really good recipes."
My head hung after I read this sentence, because it's TRUE!
So I'm going to make an effort to post more recipes, and to work to make this blog more user friendly.  Would you use print versions of the recipes if I made them?  I will also try to recategorize posts so it's easier to find what you want or explore.
This post has two whole recipes in it, so read on!
First I'd like to share this quick pasta recipe I threw together.  It is a riff on a fra diavolo sauce, which is normally made with shrimp. I threw this together with ingredients we almost always have on hand: beans, home canned tomatoes, whole wheat pasta, and local eggs.  We also used red wine instead of white.
Vegetarian Pasta Fra Diavolo
Serves two
Boil enough pasta for two the way you like it in well-salted water.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan over medium high heat, warm up
2 tbsp. oil of your choice
when it's hot, add
1 diced onion
any vegetables you have on hand.  We used
5 chopped carrots
cook until the onion softens and becomes translucent.  then add
2-5 cloves thinly sliced garlic
cook until you smell the garlic, maybe one minute. don't let it brown!  deglaze with
1/3 c. red wine
then, add
1 quart (4 cups) of tomatoes, whatever you have.  Ours are whole and we break them up in the sauce.
2 cups beans, preferably dried.  I used garbanzo.
the diavolo in this recipe comes from chili flakes.  We used
2 tbsp. dried chili flakes
Cook this down until everything tastes right and the pasta is done, around 10 minutes.
While it's cooking away, fry up an egg.   (Here's how I do it.)
Drain the pasta.  While it's cooling, I like to throw a crushed garlic clove into the hot noodles.  We eat a ton of garlic.
Pile some of that sauce on the pasta
Top with the fried egg, another sprinkling of dried chili flakes, and a little parm if you've got it.
High protein, full of veggies, and easy to make vegan by removing the egg.  It also reheats well, so it's easy to take for lunch.
Believe it or not, we still had some green tomatoes hanging around a few weeks ago, so I made some green tomato chutney to use them up.  I tried to make this recipe lower in sugar by reducing it by half from most recipes I saw, but it still tasted pretty sweet.  If you like it on the sour side, you can use less sugar.  (Note: this is for a chutney that must be refrigerated.  If you want to can your chutney, you'll have to use more sugar.)  You can easily halve this recipe.
Green Tomato Chutney
Start with
5 lbs.  green tomatoes, chopped
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 c. golden raisins
3/4 c. raw sugar
2 c. apple cider vinegar (We use Bragg's.)
a 2 in. piece of fresh ginger, grated or diced
1 tsp. all spice
1 tsp. fresh nutmeg, freshly grated
salt and pepper
Put it all in a dutch oven.
Simmer it all for around 30 minutes, covered.  This is about halfway through.  Let it cool, and then use it on everything from meats to bread with cheese.  It gives a sweet and sour punch, and the tomato flavor makes it totally different than any other chutney I've ever had.DSC09247.JPG
Now I get to tell you about the things that have been inspiring me lately.
The winter sky:
These women:  (If you wonder where my entrepreneurial sprit comes from, you've found your answer.)
This place, where I always feel warm and welcome:
These two, who are pretty darn cute.
And especially this woman.  Diana is still in the running for Project Food Blog, and you can vote for her here.  She has impressed me throughout this competition, and we had a fantastic time at the cafe talking about real food.
If you have the time and the inclination, enter my giveaway for some granola, crackers, AND cookies!
Otherwise, tell me, what's inspiring you these days?  What are you cooking?
Until next time, stay warm!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One HUGE Rosie's Best Giveaway, and Simple Lives Thursday #20!

Greetings, sweet readers!
How are you today?  Things have been busy busy busy but I'm very excited to post on this, the 20th edition of our Simple Lives Thursday blog hop!  It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I've been sharing this hop with these three inspirational women for the last 20 weeks, and all of you!
A huge thank you to all who have participated.   You're a source of inspiration for me each week and I always look forward to sharing with you.
If you like to participate in the hop with me and these ladies
Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
and Annette at Sustainable Eats
grab this badge

and use the linky at the bottom of the page!
Now for the giveaway!
I've been a busy little bee in the bakery.  When I bake, the kitchen looks like this:

I've been plowing through lots of test batches and I'd like to share some abundance with one lucky reader!
Rosie's Best Gift Box Giveaway!
From today until 9 a.m. on Thursday, December 11th, please leave a comment to enter to win a big box FULL of some really great stuff from the bakery!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pies, a Gift, and More Granola to Give Away!

Hey everybody!

How was your Thanksgiving?  I had a restful break full of family time and a welcome repose from bakery and school work.  Monday I returned to the final full week of class, which has been busy but fun because I have some great students this semester.  I wanted to update you on everything I've been cooking around here but I'm also giving you a heads up about a big giveaway coming tomorrow for Simple Lives Thursday!  Come on back tomorrow!  My post will likely go up in the afternoon, so keep an eye out, and read all the other interesting contributions about sustainability and thrift to our Simple Lives Thursday blog hop.

For Thanksgiving, I made herbed dinner rolls and Dorie's twofer pie, which is a pumpkin pie with a pecan topping.  The crust is white whole wheat, my new favorite thing.


I brought my sister a small hostess gift.  I made her a little jar of cane sugar infused with crystalized ginger.


Thanksgiving was a blast.

On the homestead, we've been cooking Danelle's spare ribs. (Seriously good.)  After about 6 hours in the slow cooker they magically became perfectly tender and fell off the bone, which I did not manage to photograph.


I've also been making a lot of THIS!



So come back tomorrow and try to win some.

See you then!



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