Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sample Exchange

In the past, I have signed up for several exchanges where you make and send samples to the host, who in turn packages them up and sends them to participants in the exchange. This is a great way to get your name and items out to customers who might otherwise not know you exist.  The sellers simply put the samples in their packages when they mail them out to buyers--thus promoting your shop!

I would love to host a sample exchange. It's simple enough to get involved: just leave me a comment here if you'd like to participate, how many, and what types of samples you'd like to send. The more samples you send, the more buyers will know who you are--simple as that.  You don't necessarily have to send a sample of something you make in your shop either--just something that shows off your craftsmanship and gets buyers interested enough to go have a look at your shop. If you cannot think of samples to make, you can simply send some business cards (you will also have to send a business card or your shop address with each sample of course).

I will let you know when the boxes will be sent once all participants have sent their samples to me and I package up the boxes (I will divide samples evenly). I will then let you know when I will have to have your samples.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Shall Overcome

Have you ever wanted to make something so badly but no matter how hard you tried you just couldn't get it right--be it crafting, cooking, or whatever? Well, last year I encountered that. I wanted to try to make wedding soup from scratch. Now, if you don't know what wedding soup is, well, you're really missing out! It's an Italian soup that has mini meatballs, chicken, spinach, small pasta, carrots, and celery. Well, of course I could figure out those ingredients, but what I couldn't figure out was the broth. This soup has such a totally different tasting broth from any soup I've ever had (and I've had a lot of soups!). Not chicken, not beef, not vegetable--just not sure what it was about that broth--but that was the part I couldn't seem to get.

UNTIL one day, I decided to do a little experimenting. I decided to mix chicken and vegetable broths. So I combined them half and half. And guess what--it turned out right!! MONTHS I spent trying to figure out that darned broth and it was something as simple as combining two broths. Well, isn't that just the way the cookie crumbles?

If you'd like to try making a big crock pot full of this wonderful soup, here's the recipe (and let me know if you've ever had this experience). Oh--and I don't measure things so you'll just have to sort of eyeball the ingredients.

Wedding Soup

Equal parts chicken and vegetable broth
Frozen mini meatballs (which I usually quarter)
Chicken breast cooked and cut up
Carrots (diced)
Frozen spinach (or fresh but don't use canned--gross)
Any type of small size pasta
Italian seasoning

Combine all ingredients except pasta in a large pan or crock pot and cook until 
carrots and celery are almost done.
Add pasta and cook until done. 

I also like to take sub rolls, separate the tops from bottoms, sprinkle on some olive oil, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese and toast. Dip it in the soup---Mmmm mmm good!