Thursday, 31 October 2013

ALMOND BUTTER CRUNCH

ALMOND BUTTER CRUNCH
by
 
 
I have never made anything like this before -- and I am hooked!  I had some very wonderful Almond Butter Crunch given to me by friend Lorna from Your Perfect Gift.  ( if you order one of her awesome gift baskets -- make sure you ask for some! It is made by Frazer Valley Gourmet. (and it is gluten free)
 
I can't even begin to tell you how wonderfully smooth and delicious it is!  I had to try and at least come close to delectable treat.  I searched all over the internet and came up with a few different recipes that I thought might work -- I kind of looked them over and came up with what to do.
 
 
I did have a candy thermometer and that is a must when doing this recipe. I tried to do a little video -- to show you what it looks like... make sure your thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pam - or you will get a false reading.
 
Recipe:
1 cup of butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons water
1Tablespoon of clear corn syrup  ( next time I am going to use pure maple syrup!)
1 cup toasted slivered almonds -- (next time I am going to use chunks of almonds too)
1 cup of toasted slivered almonds for the topping - crush really well
 
It is very important to melt the butter, sugar, water and syrup all together -- don't melt the butter first!  It changes how things come together.
 
This takes a bit of time -- it gets up to the 200's very quickly but takes longer to reach 300 degrees
video
It will bubble away - just keep an eye on it and stir it every so often.
 
Once it reaches the temperature - remove from heat and stir in one cup of the almonds right away.  It is important to have everything ready to go - so get your almonds toasted as the mixture is coming to the correct temperature.
 
Pour onto a cookie sheet - there is no need to grease it because of the butter in the  recipe.
You can pour it all together or make round dollops of it if you are making some for gifts.  Or cut it right away into bars... or just break it up once it is cool... your choice.
Let it cool completely -- really don't skip this... then add either melted milk or dark chocolate on to the top! (I recommend using good chocolate)  Cool it again and then it is ready to eat!   OMG it was so good!!   
I will update this as I make it again and try and get better pictures and directions... until then if you have any questions feel free to ask.
Gwen
 
 
 



Thursday, 24 October 2013

Rambling thoughts from our little business meeting

 
As a home based business it is nice to be able to sit down with others and bounce ideas and information off others who are in the same boat.  That's what we did today - I always feel rejuvenated and refreshed.  Lorna from Your Perfect Gift has the most amazing gift baskets - I know how much work she puts into each basket order.  Getting ready for Christmas as a business can be frustrating because most consumers don't want to even think about it!  Lorna puts personal attention into her Christmas baskets so they are stunning and you won't be disappointed!(plus it when you send one - you look good too)  Also check out the Facebook page too! 
 
Kristina from Par-T-Perfect runs an awesome party event company!  Educating people to know that they make sure their equipment is properly maintained and checked all the time, insurance coverage is there, and the staff is well trained to make sure no one gets hurt.  Something most people don't think about when hiring a party company.  Check out their Facebook page too!
 
Myself (Gwen) from SweetArt Supplies have some incredible cake and cupcake decorating supplies, edible imaging and some party supplies too.  We now have two big bulk stores in Victoria - some of items we just can't compete with! Except as Lorna and Kristina pointed out a few things - FRESHNESS - our edible products don't sit on a shelf for months and months, Quality- our liners come from Sweden they are grease proof and don't lose the colour, and to me the most important thing - Sanitary.  Bulk items can have their place for many people - I prefer - if I have to buy from bulk personally to use bins that you put the bag underneath and fill it.  There is something about bins that you bend over so hair and stuff can fall into it, everyone's hands on the handle - etc --- don't get me started --- it just grosses me out!  Also most people who are selling their cakes - cannot take a chance of contamination of the products that they use.
 
We chatted about social media - that is making us all less social even when we are face to face!  I like picking up the phone or sitting down and chatting with people. 
 
If every one spent just once a month $10- $20.00 at a small local business - how much that would help us all!
 
We all have advertising challenges - and small budgets, so asking our customers to write a referral or note that goes on the website always helps especially an on listing sites like Shop in Victoria 
 
If you have bought something from us we would really appreciate a review :)
 
Here is the recipe for the Scones (repeated so you don't have to go hunting for them)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheese Scones


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1 1/2 tsp baking powder


1 tsp dry mustard


1/2 tsp salt


1 green onion chopped finely (optional) or chives


2 bacon strips cooked and chopped (optional)


4 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut up


1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese


2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese


1 large egg


1/2 cup buttermilk


Heat oven to 400F


Put flour, baking powder, dry mustard, and salt into large bowl; mix well


Add butter and cut in with pastry blender or rub in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine granules.


Add cheeses, bacon and or green onion and toss to mix


Break egg into the milk and beat with a fork to blend well.


Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a fork until dough forms - do not over mix


turn out dough onto a lightly floured board and give 10 to 12 kneads. Cut dough in half and knead each half briefly into a ball, turn smooth side up and pat or roll into a 6inch circle.


Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.




Bake 12 - 15 minutes --- check at 12 or until medium brown.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Thanks in Giving


Thank you - a powerful word when you really think of it.  Yet sometimes we say it "like it is nothing" We don't give it any thought and sometimes we don't even give it a proper "You're Welcome". 
Yet if we don't hear it when we anticipate it - the lack of it or the silence of it not being said is as loud as a blow horn. 
I want to be sincere when I say Thank- you to someone because I know how I feel when I don't hear it. It's a strange feeling - it can happen once and you sort of notice it but think "maybe I didn't hear it". Although if you do something for someone many times and don't get a Thank-you or some kind of acknowledgement - you eventually just stop doing it and there is a sadness that starts to creep into your heart. 
So I realized tonight on this Thanksgiving weekend just how very important those two (four) little words are.  I hope this makes you think about these words - Thank-you and You're Welcome. 
So here is mine....
To my son and daughter Thank-you for being there through some pretty tough times and a lot of great times. I am proud to be your Mom. 
To my husband of 33 years - Thank-you. no one ever said it would be easy but we have never given up and we love each other. 
To my parents - Thank-you-  it doesn't seem enough but I mean it from the bottom of my heart. 
To my friends past and present Thank-you. I learned many lessons from each of you. Arigato Gozaimasu
And to those of you whom have supported me in my business even if it's through Facebook and maybe we have never met but we chat on Facebook - Thank-You for your words of encouragement, laughter and support on this journey. 

Thank-you and You're Welcome!👍😀



Gwen


Friday, 11 October 2013

Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday Dad


Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday Dad


This weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving. For me personally I have so much to be thankful for. It also falls on what would have been my father's 93rd birthday. He passed away 4 years ago and there isn't one day that goes by that I don't think of him and miss him with all my heart. I am grateful for having such wonderful parents. My Mom will 91 in February and is as sweet as ever.

This November will be 10 years since my bone marrow transplant.  I got to see my children grow up (something I didn't know if I would be here for)  see my daughter get married to a wonderful man. My son is with a wonderful woman and they have bought their first house. They are all happy - and as a parent I couldn't ask for anything more. 
 I have let go of relationships that were not healthy for me with no regrets. Some were harder than others to let go of - the time had come to move on and that's ok... I have reconnected with some old friends and have new friends in my life. (My Tomodachi- you know who you are)

I am thankful all the time- not just on Thanksgiving. I take the time to see the beauty that surrounds me- thanks to my daily walks with Libby. 

We see the colours of nature



I hope you are able take the time to breathe in the fresh air, enjoy your surroundings and have friends and family that bring happiness to your life. 
Thank you for taking the time to join me on Facebook and my blog - I appreciate and truely thank you. 
Cheers!
Gwen
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