March 2009


There’s a brand new item available in my Etsy shop today! It’s a one-of-a-kind set of 3 Button Note Cards that come with matching envelopes. I’ve taken bi-fold cards and embellished them with earthtone buttons in different patterns. Since these cards are blank inside, they’re perfect for any occasion or no occasion at all!

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Do you like this design but not the colors? Leave a comment and tell me what kind of color combinations you’d be interested in seeing. Or, visit me on Etsy and send a message there. I’m also available for custom orders!

Spring is a great time for turning over a new leaf. Whether it’s just a little spring cleaning or a major life change, the sweet newness of fresh buds on the trees invites us into new eras.

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Light, crusty and oh so sweet!

In honor of spring and of turning over, I’m sharing a recipe for Spring Pineapple Turnovers using my Pineapple Upside Down Jam. Pineapples may be sweet enough on their own, but to enhance their flavor and create the illusion of cake, we’ve combined them with organic brown sugar and pure vanilla extract from Mexico. This jam is perfect for your morning English muffin, paired with peanut butter in a sandwich, or baked into turnovers!

These Spring Pineapple Turnovers are done mini style, for a yummy bite-sized dessert (or breakfast pastry!) that doesn’t overdo it. I’m using puff pastry for this recipe, something we veggie-ites used to think we couldn’t have! After all, it’s just layers of dough and butter-butter-butter, right? Well, if you’re a so-called veggie-vore and you’re ambitious, you can make your own puff pastry, using a recipe like this one and substituting Earth Balance for the butter. Oooooor, you can take the less ambitious route and wimp out (like me) and buy a package of Pepperidge Farm® puff pastry, which is not only vegan but free of trans fats.

Ok, enough puff talk, let’s get down to the business of turnovers!

Spring Pineapple Turnovers

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry
Approx 1/3 cups Pineapple Upside Down Jam
flour, for rolling surface
9 maraschino cherries, optional

Thaw the puff pastry until it’s easy to handle (about 40 minutes). Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 2-inch squares (I use a pizza cutter for this).

Spoon 1 tsp of Pineapple Upside Down Jam onto the center of each square. Brush the edges with water and fold diagonally, to create a triangle. Press the edges with your fingers or a fork to seal. Place on an ungreased baking sheet (or Silpat) about 2 inches apart.

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That's my jar. Get your own!

Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Cool about 5 minutes on a wire rack, and then proceed to nom.

Note:
Don’t own a rolling pin? Neither do I! I’ve removed the label from a straight-sided glass bottle, and do my rolling with that. Rummage through your recycling bin, and you’ll find rolling pins of all sizes!

Variations:
For a spicy pineapple treat, add 1/4 tsp minced jalapeño to each square before sealing.
For more of a tropical delight, add 1/4 tsp shredded coconut.
For all you chocoholics, add 1/4 tsp grated chocolate (of your choice).

Some sources say that caffeine can be absorbed through your skin. I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know how true that is, but I do know that the smell of coffee in the morning can make a beautiful difference in any day!

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Get your buzz on!

If you share my sentiment or you just wanna know what all the “buzz” is about, you’ll love my new Brown Sugar Buzz Body Scrub. It’s virtually guaranteed to leave your skin smooth and your eyes just a little wider than before. I’ve crafted this blend using organic brown sugar, organic (and fair trade!) coffee, sea salt, olive oil, and just a little squeeze of ginger and lemon oils for your aromatic pleasure. Imagine a deep, dark cup o’ joe, sugared and spiced, with the faintest fresh kick of citrus. Now imagine swimming in that nice warm cuppa! Brown Sugar Buzz will make that little coffee fantasy come to life for you.

When you slather a palmful of Brown Sugar Buzz on your elbows, knees and heels, just remember this cautionary mantra: “I must not gnaw on my extremities, no matter how tasty they smell!”

Slices of Heaven

Citrus & spice: a classic pair

My Slices of Heaven are fantastic for cold sufferers, for tea lovers, and for anyone who just had a rough day. These goodies are made from organic Valencia oranges, honey, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Just add a slice or two and a spoonful of the syrup to a cup of hot water for a delish tea-like beverage that will warm your insides and bring a smile to your face.

At the end of a long hard day, or when the weather just isn’t cooperating, I like my Slices with a little instant ginger tea. They’re also a spectacular addition to Indian dishes or anywhere you might use preserved lemons. Add them atop a baked dessert for an edible garnish, or mix them into your iced tea. There are a thousand ways to incorporate a few Slices of Heaven into your day.

Mustard is way more than just a condiment. Here’s proof!

For all you omnivores out there, my dear sister-friend Lana shares a recipe today for Mustard Baked Pork Tenderloin using Mustard After My Own Heart.

Mustard Baked Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin (veg-heads: five-grain tempeh is a nice substitute here)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Mustard After My Own Heart

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a baking pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil and set aside.

In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and sear tenderloin (or tempeh steak) until nicely browned. Place the tenderloin in your pre-oiled baking pan. Slater with Mustard After My Own Heart using a spatula for even coverage. Roast for 40 minutes until no longer pink inside. (For tempeh, bake 30 minutes.)

Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes before slicing. Place slices on a serving platter or individual plates and set aside. Reduce the liquids from the baking pan until thick. Drizzle the reduced liquids over the slices.

For an extra special garnish, fry a few sage leaves in olive oil until crispy and pile atop your tenderloin.

Accompanying side dishes included: new potatoes, steamed green beans, and cucumber-tomato salad with olives and feta. Lana’s wine pick for the dish: La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Luberon

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Food is a lot more forgiving than we give it credit for. Enjoy!

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Fresh, organic ingredients

That’s what I call it. You can call it lemon sage wine mustard. Heck, call it whatever suits your fancy. Just eat. Make your tuna sandwich. Schmear some on a toasted bagel. Build a salad dressing with it. Stir it into your potato soup. Eat.

I’ve just finished a new batch of my favorite mustard, combining fresh organic sage leaves, lemons, white wine and agave nectar. It’s a hefty, hearty kind of mustard but the flavors aren’t too strong or too bold. Everything dances together juuuust riiiight. You know you want some and you can find it here.

Welcome – come on in! This shiny new blog will help me (I hope!) keep in touch with all of you, and let you know about my new projects and their progress.

I’m a proud jam/jelly/mustard maker and my wares are available at catzia.etsy.com but that’s not all. I also repurpose found objects into unusually handy items you can’t live without. I glue, sew, crochet, and fashion in all sorts of mediums, and I never know what my next project will be until the inspiration strikes. I’ll be selling my quirky necessities online very soon, but I’m also available to discuss custom orders for anything you’ve always wanted but have just never been able to find.

On top of the made items, I’m also a crafter of words. A writer since I could hold a pencil, I have a long history in creative non-fiction as well as a number of years under my belt as a copyeditor. My day job doesn’t allow much opportunity to exercise these creative urges, so I’m always seeking freelance gigs to flex my verbal skills.

Please stay tuned for news on new projects and opportunities for you to partake of my goods and goodies!