Fall Foodie Swap and a New Friend

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I’m a daily reader over at A Dozen Eggs blog. Laura amazes me with her talent and her creative ideas. As a small business owner she inspires and challenges me to develop my own small business…and besides - she’s just plain interesting. How many people do you know pop over to Paris with their hubby for a sweet and sentimental weekend? Full of great ideas, she recently put together a Fall Foodie Swap with a $20 limit and it was the first time I participated in a swap of any kind. I asked her to match me with a dog lover- and she really came through for me-on a couple of levels. Thanks so much Laura! I would have not gotten to know Melissa without your swap. We are at opposite ends of the country and opposite ends of the age scale. Our paths would not have crossed and I would have missed knowing this lovely and talented young woman.

As you may know, I suffer from piping envy. I envy anyone who can wield a mean piping bag...and my swap partner Melissa, does just that.
A visit to her blog La Belle Cookie will prove my point. She turns a bag of icing into art. I spent quite a lot of time at her blog getting to know her and reading about her interests. It was time well spent; I found a lot about her to like.

As total dog lovers, she and her (really cute, btw) husband have two darling dachshunds, Sabrett and Elliot, which made putting together a package for her so easy for me.

One box of my chicken treats and one box of peanut butter treats for the long, low, lovely girls

and one of my Dog Duty Pouches for clean-up during Dog Park outings. Now, before you say "Hey! That's not food!" stop and consider- it IS food related. Think about it. It deals with..... um...well...I guess you could say processed food.

And for Melissa, three jars of Aldrich Farms jam. I put them in a little gingham bag. (I'm a "container" freak. Love boxes & bags & jars, oh my!) Rich Aldrich is my neighbor at our local Farmer’s Market and as a regular samplerer of his good stuff, I chose my two favorites for her: Raspberry Chocolate and Pumpkin Butter. Having seen so many of Melissa’s wonderful recipes I decided to send her a challenge: Apple Garlic Pepper. Can’t wait to hear what she does with it. BTW, her French Onion Soup recipe is fast & fabulous comfort food. Today was a gusty & rainy Saturday and I made a cauldron of it & I feel sooooo comforted!

I also found these cute little bone-shaped mints- also for Melissa- not the girls.

and because I live in the great, gray, wet northwest, I sent her a shampoo bar of Fidalgo Rain because it's made by my friend, Kyra at Ancient Dragonfly Soap Company and because I live on Fidalgo Island and it always, always rains.
simple enough. No, not food but cool, just the same.

Melissa's package had such great goodies!

Upon opening, the package was full of fall colored tissue with a maple leaf shaped, hand-written note. Unlike the crushed local newspaper I packed in mine. Well, maybe she liked reading our local news..or not. Look at the picture... so totally autumn.. and so totally gone in a flash. Thankfully, Melissa took a picture before she packed everything. My sons & grandsons have a food radar and almost before the UPS guy was out of the driveway, the buzzards landed. Would you like to see a picture of the empty Pumpkin Bark tin? No, I didn't think so. You'll just have to take my word for it that it looked yummy and didn't disappoint. The guys loved it.
Another big hit was from Becky’s Brittle - chocolate covered peanut brittle. Gracie really liked the dog treats too. I love seeing dog treat products from other areas & was delighted to see these Peanut Butter Little Bites from Star Barks Dog Treat Bakery. Natural and healthy treats- just like mine. I like that.

Those little loaf pans are darling and they'll be on my Thanksgiving table, full of cranberry sauce or butter curls. Too cute to just bake in. Can't wait to use those cupcake papers. I smiled when I saw the bone shaped cookie cutters- exactly the same ones I use. You know what they say about great minds thinking alike.

When I opened the autumn leaf embossed take-out container I was absolutely thrilled. Melissa sent me some of her gorgeous cookies. The guys and Gracie didn't get a crumb. Mine - all mine.

to be hidden and savored selfishly.
Arent they cool? and sooo delicious. Now every time I see cookies on her blog, I remember how yummy they were. I think I'll be needing more.

What a treat this Swap turned out to be! I received some great goodies and made a great new friend. That doesn't happen every day. Happy Autumn, indeed.

Why dogs hate Halloween...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gracie doesn't dress up for Halloween...
...or any other holiday. Content in her own skin, she thinks it's beneath her dignity. Donning her trademark blue shirt collar for our label photo was a stretch for her... and she was paid handsomely for her trouble.

I'll leave it to you to decide if these dogs should bite the hand that feeds them. Some of their expressions lead me to anthropomorphize. (attach human emotions or characteristics)

Do I see...Disgust? Humiliation? Bewilderment?

I must say some costumes are very clever.. the alligator is positively inspired! But the very last one..? It is wrong, wrong wrong!!!


Fluffy, the 3 headed guard dog from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
I love it. It's a dog dressed as.... a dog. How clever is that??

This really is brilliant!

and this.....

This isn't a costume... it's the way the dog was groomed.
The poodle should sue. Shameful.

That's All, Folks!