Where is the time going?

Weeks are flying by and I can’t get caught up. Yikes.  Sorry for the delay with the winner of the contest.

The winner of the beautiful cutting board was Christine. Lucky girl.   Congratulations and thank you to Ralph Teets at Cutting Board Art for his generous donation.  His boards are lovely and make fantastic gifts, either by themselves or as part of a gift of wine, crackers, dried fruit and cheese.  Artisan made gifts are so much more valuable than factory made. Thanks, Cutting Board Art!!

Another fabulous holiday gift is the sampler from The Berry Patch.  You get to pick three different flavors of jams or jellies  in 4 oz jars.  Not only are they so tasty, but they have a multitude of uses from marinades to salad dressings and  come already packaged in a beautiful box ( notice the box in the above photo.)  Stop down to the Pittsburgh Public Market to select your flavors  today.  You can sample them before you purchase, too. Don’t forget to say hello to Scottie and Brenda, the owners of The Berry Patch.  The Berry Patch folks can be reached at 724-238-4714 or at  the.berrypatch@hotmail.com if you want to pre-order your gifts.  Things can get crazy on weekends and sometimes they do sell out.

Still looking for something to do on Thanksgiving?   The nice folks at the stunning TreeTops at Polymath Park  near Donegal would love to have you join them for Thanksgiving dinner. The menu includes roasted butternut squash soup, in house smoked salmon and many traditional goodies such as roast turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Oh, and pumpkin pie brulee.  Call them today!!!

My 2011 Holiday Local Food-ish Gift List. . . .and a Giveaway, too!

Although it’s only Halloween, the next few months fly by, so my “2011 holiday local food-ish gift list”  begins today. Yahoo!! Why the non-word food–ish in the title?  Well, there is so much negativity – really silly, in my opinion –  in the food world around “foodie” as a word to describe someone uber-interested in edible treats . . .and since this list doesn’t just include food . . . .  and since the word culinary is sounding too snooty to me today, I am using food-ish. Don’t be a hater of words. Just keep reading. And read alllll the way to the end to find out how you can be a winner.

Oh, so nice . . . .with some crackers and Common Folk Organics blue cheese.


My first gift suggestion is a beautiful cutting board by Cutting Board Art, Inc., made in nearby Girard, Ohio.  The boards come in various sizes, are safe for using with food and are made with various woods (maple, cherry and oak.) They are stunning. A Cutting Board Art board works as serving piece for cheese and crackers, sliced bread, charcuterie or dried fruit . . but it’s also great used simply as a cutting board. It can be used every day in the kitchen and also on special occasions. I think it is a perfect gift for everyone .. .whether a new homeowner or someone who has everything. Timeless and beautiful.

See, it even looks good just hanging out on my ottoman!

Owner Ralph Teets, a master woodworker,  makes each and every board himself and he will happily ship to you in time for the winter holidays.  Lucky for my blog readers, Mr. Teets has offered to give a cutting board to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment below about your favorite local food gift.   Tell me what it is and where we can buy it.  Then, on November 8, I will randomly choose a winner using an online random number generator. What a way to kick off the 2011 Holiday Local Food Gift List!  Good luck!!

Holiday Foodie Gift Suggestion #2 – Sugar Scrub

Today’s gift idea is made with edible stuff, but isn’t for eating. It’s my favorite brown sugar scrub, called Candy,  from Paisley & Company, a precious little bath boutique and fragrance bar in Kutztown, PA.  Not only does it smooth and soften, but it smells divine, like a mixture of oats, apricots and brown sugar.   Never into floral frangrances (maybe because most flowers make me sneeze) I always go for scents of vanilla and sugar. Candy is listed as a facial product on the store’s website, but I use it mainly as a daily treat for my hands. Other personal  favorites are the Sugar line by Fresh, and the Creme Brulee products from Laura Mercier.  These are lined up on my bathroom shelf, but I most often first reach for that little jar called Candy.  (I know, Creme Brulee is supposed to have all sorts of little accents above the letters, but bear with me, I just can’t find that stuff on WordPress.)

Last weekend, in a “forced by mom” crafting event, my girls and I made a homemade scrub and it rivals the best of the storebought varieties. At least we think so.   Here’s the recipe in case you want to craft your own:

Sugar Scrub

1 cup organic cane sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil – one with a neutral scent like canola

1 or 2 drops essential oil (scent of your choice – we used Banana Nut)

Glass containers with lids ( I found the perfect jars with little spoons attached at Pat Catan’s)

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to  a container with a lid. Make a pretty label for your lovely gift of sugar scrub! ( I tossed in a few tablespoons of brown sugar to the mixture just for fun.)

Before using: Stir, then scoop a few teaspoons into your hands and massage onto wet skin.

Our homemade sugar scrub