Oven Lovin'

A Perfect Pear-ing

This weekend, Delish made its public appearance debut.  Yay!  We had a booth showcasing our goods at the Jackson County Pear Blossom Festival in the Pear-A-Fare tent.  It was our first venture into having our community sample our products (outside of word of mouth through friends and clients).

We’ve considered doing booths for the last year or so.  We talked about bridal shows, local farmers markets and pretty much popping up a tent on the side of the road to get our eats to a bigger audience.  Pear-A-Fare had been on our radar because it matched local area wineries, breweries, and distilleries with local food creations.  Booze and sweets?  What could be better?

While there was much enthusiasm, we didn’t really know what to expect.  Here are some tips we learned in our first adventure that might help if you’re considering doing a show.

1.)  Meet the Other Vendors.

This was our favorite part.  Lucky for us, our neighbors were a delightful couple of ladies from Arch Rock Brewing Co.  When we realized our gear was far too much to fit on our small table, they invited us to take over there’s.  (We are forever thankful to Kristen and Margie.)  We also met an adorable girl from another bakery who was great about liking our Facebook page and telling others about our cute stuff.  The distillery next to us let us sample some of their vodkas, including a coffee one.  (Of course I bought a bottle, did you even have to ask?)  Call it meeting and greeting, networking, or whatever you want, it was so much fun to chat up the other vendors and feel part of the group.

2.)  Look the Part.

We have shirts!  Don’t we look super excited in our Delish-wear?  Because we totally were.  I’ll admit, I totally geeked out about it.  However, there was more purpose than feeling cool.  It also helped the other vendors remember who we were.  Potential customers saw us walking around and we were able to direct them to our table when they asked.  Even when I stopped by the store on my way to the event, the checker guessed I was on my way to the Pear Festival.

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Doesn’t Tia look adorable?
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Selfie time.

3.)  Show Your Brand/Be Flexible.

I had visions for weeks about how our table would be set, our samples would be showcased, and our plan to work together to make sure everything was prepped perfectly for our potential new clients.  Er, until we showed up.  We only had one table (not two as expected) and our heating set up had to be shut down due to fire regulations.  Eek, Disaster!  It took about three minutes to pull myself together and come up with a new plan.

We pared down what we could keep and what would have to go.  My multi-layer designed with boxes and sparkled runners were out.  The tiered cake plates would give the height I wanted and we would show a select few items instead of the arsenal.  We adjusted our work station into two halves and coordinated what each of us would be responsible for in our tiny space.  And it worked!  We had a beautiful table we were proud of and kept the food flying out at an amazing pace.  (Tia made sure.)

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Our pretty table.
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Tia working hard to set up while I take pictures and design the table.

4.)  Give Them Your Best/Less Might Be More.

Go figure Tia and I would have too much stuff.  Our great worry about running out led us to have TONS of samples.  Probably more samples than people in our small town.  Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but we did have tons.  That being said, we didn’t sacrifice quality.  We put out our best product and the people said they liked it.

Two quiches to sample, Monte Cristco and Spanakopita.
Two quiches to sample, Monte Cristo and Spanakopita.

5.)  Get Details in Writing/Check With Previous Participants.

The biggest lesson we learned, and might have saved some worry lines across our foreheads, was to get more details beforehand.  Solidifying things in writing like how big is your space and where you will be placed.  (We were sandwiched between two vendors with no room to move around.  We also had to go through the other vendor’s space to get out.)  We could have also learned what challenges to expect by checking with previous participants.

While it may have been a bit chaotic in the beginning and we have sample galore to eat through after, we had a great experience.  Only time will tell if it yields results and if more booths are in our future.

Tell us in the comments what you think.  What’s your favorite part about events?  Do you like meeting new vendors?  If you have been a vendor, what was the biggest lesson you learned?

Oven Lovin'

Book Clubbin’: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Breaking Books

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailCover Me:  The cover is pretty classic and makes even more sense when you read the forward.  The boot is a symbol for many things throughout the book.  Well, at least I looked at it that way.  It seems like the perfect cover for her story.

The new version is based on the movie and splashes Reese Witherspoon on it looking less glamorous than she usually is.  I guess this is a selling point to highlight the fact you can watch the movie too.  I deliberately bought the cover with the boot like I was proving something to myself about wanting to read it for the story it was and not the movie it became.

The Concept: This is Cheryl Strayed’s true story about hiking across the Pacific Trail to heal from her mother’s death.  Yep, that’s it.  Nothing really more.  This is one of those coming of age…

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Pies

Mini Makes a Big Impression

Tia knows I love minis.  Anything where the original version has been shrunk down, I’m a sucker for.  This goes for little Redken shampoos, small Ciroc vodka bottles, and tiny Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.  So when she wanted to surprise me with just a little touch of spoiling, I got my favorite dessert coconut cream pie in a miniature version. coconut cream miniAren’t they adorable?  So easy to pop a whole bite in your mouth.  Or maybe even scarf down three in a sitting.  Don’t judge, it’s my favorite!  The perfect thing about a mini is the ability to splurge without being excessive.  Unless, you eat three.  (Hey…that sounds awfully judgy.)

The next time you’re feeling like you want to pamper yourself without the guilt the next day, try a mini.  It may be the exact thing you wanted.

Oven Lovin'

Sugar Rush!

It’s been so long since the blog had some new eye candy, uh, I mean eye cakery.  Instead of coming up with some witty story about how it was created, I thought it better to let the pictures speak for themselves.  Here are a few things we’ve been up to lately.

Frozen Birthday
Frozen Birthday

xo

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Strawberry Cake
Strawberry Cake

hearts (2)

Peanut Butter Cake

tiffany

Lavendar cake with a berry compote filling.
Lavendar cake with a berry compote filling.
Oven Lovin'

Easy Candy Cane Cookies

In the holiday rush, sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about baking.  The last thing you’re prepared to do is offer something fantastic at a cookie exchange.  How about something that has a homemade WOW factor, but didn’t take all day in the kitchen?  This candy cane cookie is the perfect holiday treat.

I remember my sister making this cookie for every holiday package she put together.  People were amazed with her skill in molding two colors to mirror the holiday candy.  I’m going to show you an easy way to impress your friends just like she did.

First, you need sugar cookie dough.  I made mine from scratch.  You can too.  It’s really not that hard, I promise.  If you decide you don’t have the time, pick up a pre-made dough tube or one of those packets.  To give it that special touch, which makes it different than pre-made mix, mix in a teaspoon or two of peppermint extract.  Then divide the dough into two different bowls.

cane2Take one ball and mix in red food coloring.  I used my Red Velvet mix because I wanted a strong red instead of a pale pink.

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Add enough color until you get your desired effect.  I think mine took about 3-4 teaspoons.

cane3Then tear off some dough from each ball.  I took a quarter of each to make it easier to work with on my counter.  Roll lightly from your palm to fingertips to get each started.  Then mush the two colors next to each other.  (I did it separate at first and it didn’t work as well.)

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Roll the two pieces into one with your hand.  Start in the middle and roll out to increase the length of the dough rope.

cane6Once you have a desired length, cut small portions to make your cane.  Once you have the size, twist the rope to make the candy cane.  You can keep it super easy by leaving it in the stick shape, but I think the curve makes the cookie.

cane5Lay it on the cookie sheet and turn the top for the hook on the cane.  Don’t worry if you mess up or the dough breaks.  Just smooche it back together.  It’s going to spread when it bakes.  And this is supposed to be easy, remember?

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Bake on 350 for about 11 minutes.  (More if you like a crunchy cookie.)  Pull it out of the oven and let it cool.

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All that’s left is to stack them on a plate and amaze your friends.  That’s if you don’t give in to the peppermint wafting in the air.  You might decide to skip the party, make a hot cocoa, and snack on your new holiday treat.

Bars, Quick Breads

Going Bananas

There’s something about bananas which pairs incredibly well with baked goods.  Maybe it’s the moisture it brings to the party or the subtle flavor hinted throughout.  Either way, we can’t wait to share our banana creations with you.

Banana bread
Banana bread
Banana Chocolate Walnut muffins
Banana Chocolate Walnut muffins
banana brownie
Banana Brownie with Brown Butter Frosting
Banara Chocolate Chip Bar
Banana Chocolate Chip Bar