Valentine’s Day would not be complete without the delectable treats that go along with it! We’ve found a great recipe for red velvet cupcakes from Better Homes and Gardens that we think you will enjoy. Not only will this recipe make great tasting cupcakes, but these tasty treats are absolutely adorable as well!
Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
For more information on ingredients and baking directions for this recipe, click here.
Get your home ready for Valentine’s Day with these cute Valentine’s gourds. They are currently available at our retail store in Carlisle, PA.
As January comes to a close, we realize that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. While a store bought bouquet of roses or a box of chocolates would be a nice gift, what mother doesn’t enjoy receiving a homemade card from her children!? We found some cute and easy homemade card ideas from Kaboose.com
that both kids and mom will enjoy!
This first card idea is both fun and easy for kids of all ages.
Allow the younger children to use glitter to jazz up their creations. Meanwhile, the older kids can create shapes using scissors and different designs of paper. For more detailed information on required materials and this simple project check out: http://crafts.kaboose.com/valentine_homemade.html
The next card idea allows kids to literally get “hands on” with their project.
Here’s a suggestion: pair one of these charming homemade cards with one of our precious Meadowbrooke gourds.
“He’ll steal mom’s heart!”
This gourd would make a cute night light!
Click here for more information.
We don’t know about you, but at Meadowbrooke Gourds we are on to thinking about spring! During these dreary, snowy winter days, cheer yourself up by thinking of warm weather and spring blossoms! Here are some of our new gourds available online now.
(Stay tuned…we will be taking you behind the scenes of our production area to show you the crafting process of our new spring products!)
This chick has a yellow top with a white egg shell bottom. The top comes off like a lid so you can fill it with treats for Easter. Approximately 5" in diameter.
Our new grey Kourtney bunny collection has a white belly and a bright colored bow. The Large Lit, Medium Tall Lit and Large Tall Lit come with an electric light.
A close up of the medium tall Kourtney bunny!
We found this project from Crystal and Company – a wonderful blog that is definitely worth checking out!
Crystal posted a project for making these really cute Mod Podge Vases to give as gifts!
Mod Podge vase from Crystal & Co.
The project is so simple. First you tear scrapbook paper into imperfect pieces, then you layer it on any glass vase or recycled jar with mod podge. For more detail instructions with photos click here.
This made us think how pretty this technique would be on a dried, raw gourd vase! Dried gourds can be crafted just like a fragile piece of wood – perfect for decoupaging!
Grab your mod podge, interesting scrapbook paper pages and create a one-of-a-kind gourd.
These penguin gourds would make great decorative vases with the tops cut off!
We thought it was appropriate to talk about everyone’s favorite cold weather drink on this snowy evening in Central PA. Hot chocolate – or hot cocoa – is a a staple during this cold months, and every culture has its
Mate Gourd Drink magazine.istopover.com
own unique twist on it. For instance, there’s Mexican hot chocolate that adds a pinch of cayenne pepper. It sounds odd, but it’s actually delicious! In our culture today, we have the convenience of instant hot chocolate packets.
Yerba mate is an ancient primarily South American drink that is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Read more about it here. It is traditionally served in mate gourds, which refers to the many small gourds that are recruited for that purpose, such as the roger gourd, or those our miniature witches and hellers are made from.
This drink is just regular yerba mate with cocoa added. You can use sweetened cocoa or unsweetened and add your own sugar. It is often made with milk substitutes such as soy or rice milk, so, unlike traditional hot chocolate, it could even be considered somewhat healthy.
What we think of as traditional hot cocoa. gateway.aurorak12.com
If you are like the many of us enjoying a night at home because of the snowy conditions, here is a good ‘ol traditional American hot chocolate recipe for you to try. If you are really adventurous you can make your own marshmallows too. Martha Stewart has a great recipe for that here.
This recipe is for a deliciously creamy cup and from allrecipes.com.
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.
Stay warm tonight!
Meet our Purchaser/Crafter – Marc!
Briefly Explain what you do at Meadowbrooke Gourds: I craft gourds. I also purchase and research all items in production.
What do you like most about your job: The flexibility of my schedule.
Name one thing that not many people know about you: I won 1st place in a poetry contest when I was 15.
Where is your favorite place in the world? So far- Scotland
What is your favorite movie? Through a Glass Darkly
If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? An ancient Egyptian to find out how they built the pyramids.
What music is playing in your car right now? Music from Hawaii Five-O
What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten? Probably some bug, I didn’t know what was in my food.
What do you do when you’re not at work? Spend time with my wife and daughter, and also play drums
Favorite ice cream flavor: Chocolate
What is your favorite gourd? The huge gourds used for masks
Winter Gourds image courtesy sheknows.com
For today’s post we wanted to share a recipe with you for winter gourds – the kind you eat, better known as winter squash.
These tips and recipes are from wholeliving.com
Winter Squash Tips:
These robust, versatile gourds come in all kinds of quirky shapes, colors, and textures, from the striped carnival squash to the elongated butternut. Winter squash get their incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from beta-carotene and high levels of vitamin C.
They also provide significant amounts of potassium (good for bone health), vitamin B6 (essential for the immune and nervous systems), and plenty of fiber, making them an especially heart-friendly choice. Folate adds yet another boost to their heart-healthy reputation and, when consumed during pregnancy, helps guard against some birth defects.
Easy Preparation Tip:
Place a halved squash, cut side down, on an oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until you can pierce it with a sharp knife. Or you can remove the skin using a peeler and cut the flesh into chunks for roasting, steaming, or sauteing. Once cooked, mash the squash, puree it for soup, or fold it into pasta or risotto.
Try this delicious recipe for Butternut Squash Curry!
image courtesy of wholeliving.com
- 2 medium butternut squashes (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved, and seeded
- 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 cups plus 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 two-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
- Fresh cilantro, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Cut solid sections of squashes into large chunks and seed-pod sections into 3/4-inch-thick wedges. Puree onion, garlic, and 1 tablespoon water in a blender until smooth.
- Heat oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and coriander, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in onion paste and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, scraping bottom of pot if needed. Stir in remaining 3 cups water, the salt, and crushed red-pepper flakes. Add squash, and cover partially. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer gently until squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve over brown rice with cilantro and lime wedges.
Read more at Wholeliving.com: Butternut Squash Curry
Happy New Year 2011 and welcome to a New Year at Meadowbrooke Gourds! We are starting 2011 out with a Sunflower gourd as our January product of the month. It comes in a walnut color, it is unlit and is approximately 4 inches in diameter. Can you tell we are already thinking Spring? It will cheer you up if you have the Winter blahs!
January Product of the Month