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Unless otherwise noted, all content and photos are property of Elle @ Elle's New England Kitchen. Copyright 2008-14. All rights reserved. If you'd like to reprint an article or use a photo, please contact me for permission at ellenekitchen at gmail dot com. All photos, unless specified, have been taken by me, and if used without permission, an invoice will be forwarded to the proper business/individual. Thank you.

 

 

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Entries in new england (232)

Tuesday
May282013

The New England Trading Company, LTD. Sea Bags Giveaway

Large blue Star Sea Bags Tote

There are just some things that go together. When I think of New England, I think of beautiful countryside, towering mountains, small towns and big cities, and most of all--our beautiful coastline. It’s one of my favorite places to be!

A drive along our picturesque coastline will reveal many small bays and coves that are full of sailboats, docked and patiently waiting to hit the open sea. Large ones, small ones--even tiny ones! I don’t sail, but if I did--I’m living in one of the best places to do it.

Sailing on the NH Coastline

Thanks to the New England Trading Company, Ltd., I can get my sailing fix (sort of) in a gorgeous tote bag made from reclaimed and recycled sails! They travel the back roads and byways in New England in search of truly unique and beautiful pieces handcrafted by local artisans and showcase them on their site so anyone, anywhere can enjoy them. You can read the full back story here on the site. It was founded in Waterford, Vermont in 2009 by native New Englander Karen Mayo, and is a 2012 Winner of StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Competition. How great is that?

The New England Trading Company. Ltd.

I have been trying out a beautiful tote bag from Sea Bags for the last couple of weeks, and I’m sold! Like I said, they’re made from recycled sails, and they’re pretty much indestructible. They’re super durable and of course, water resistant--they’re made from sails!

Large Blue Star Sea Bags Tote

The one I’ve been using is the Large Blue Star Sea Bags Tote, and it’s a monster! It measures in at 24 inches at the top of the bag (end to end), 18 inches across the bottom, 14 inches tall, and expands to about 20 inches wide from front to back. This bag is so big, that for the photos I took of it, I had to add a very thick throw blanket and a large bath towel in the bottom just to “prop up” my props!

Large Blue Star Sea Bags Tote

The bag also has braided rope handles for a nice comfy feel when you carry it. You can imagine how easy it is to clean, too. You can spot clean or machine wash, and hang it or lay flat to dry. Easy! Carrying a lot? This one’s for you! Big family with lots of stuff? You need this bag. Lots of weekend getaways? This one’s got your name on it! It’s handmade at Sea Bags in Portland Maine, right on the waterfront. You can feel good about it because it’s recycled! You may have seen these mentioned in Real Simple, Martha Stewart, Coastal Living, and Vanity Fair, as well!

Giveaway!

I also have the same bag to give away to one of you lucky readers! The New England Trading Company, Ltd. has been very generous and has provided me with an additional Large Blue Star Sea Bag for a giveaway. It’s a $150.00 retail value. Use the easy widget below for your entries. NOTE! You’ll receive the bag only, not the items photographed in the bag.

Giveaway ends June 5th, 2013 - US shipping only. A huge thanks to The New England Trading Company for reaching out to me and sponsoring this giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Large Blue Star Sea Bags Tote

 

Disclaimer: I received the Sea Bags Tote at no charge, and my opinions in this post are my own, and not a paid sponsor.

Wednesday
May222013

Kicking Off Summer Recipe Ideas

new-england-memorial-day-2

I can’t believe this weekend is Memorial Day. Seems like just a few weeks ago we still had snow! Time, as always, flies by. So let’s get some recipe ideas out there for the official summer season, shall we? (Please forgive some of the old photos.)

 

Appetizers and Snacks

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (which goes so well with the next recipe…)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Fresh Summer Salad

Fresh Summer Salad

Guacamole

Guacamole

Watermelon Nectarine Salsa with Homemade Chips - Two Ways

Watermelon Nectarine Salsa with Homemade Chips - Two Ways

Teddy Graham Trail Mix (Don’t forget the kids!)

Teddy Graham Trail Mix

Garden Gazpacho with Hazelnuts

Garden Gazpacho with Hazelnuts

Balsamic Berry and Ricotta Bruschetta

Balsamic Berry and Ricotta Bruschetta

 

Main Dishes

White Pizza topped with Fresh Greens (While not traditional cookout food, grilled pizza is amazing!)

White Pizza topped with Fresh Greens

Classic New England Lobster Rolls

Classic New England Lobster Rolls

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa (Just grill the chicken. Also, the pineapple salsa is great with chips!)

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Tortilla Wrapped Burgers

Tortilla Wrapped Burgers

Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Steak Wraps

Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Steak Wraps

Woodchuck Summer Cider Blueberry BBQ Sauce on Pork Ribs, plus All Purpose Grill and Smoking Rub

Woodchuck Summer Cider Blueberry BBQ Sauce on Pork Ribs, plus All Purpose Grill and Smoking Rub

Grilled Sausage and Peppers on Naan

Grilled Sausage and Peppers on Naan

Steak Wraps with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce

Steak Wraps with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce

 

Sides

Grilled Veggie Kabobs with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Fresh Rosemary

Grilled Veggie Kabobs with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Fresh Rosemary

Mom’s Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans (I’ve worked years perfecting these!)

Mom’s Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans

 

Beverages

Homemade Fruit Soda & Lime Rickeys (Feel free to make these adult friendly.)

Homemade Fruit Soda & Lime Rickeys

The Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule

 

Desserts (I seem to have a lot of these.)

Mixed Berry Pandowdy

Mixed Berry Pandowdy

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Cosmic Brownies

Cosmic Brownies

Brownie Crisp Ice Cream Sandwiches

Brownie Crisp Ice Cream Sandwiches

Raspberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars

Raspberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars

Fresh Blueberry Pie (So easy!)

Fresh Blueberry Pie

Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies

Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies

S’mores and Rice Krispie Treats

S’mores and Rice Krispie Treats

 

Let’s not forget Ice Cream!

Find all of my ice cream recipes by clicking on this photo:

Scoopapalooza

Tuesday
Jan152013

Noodle Bead Bracelets in Pink, Blue and Silver

Pink and Silver Noodle Bead Bracelet

Iron Craft ‘13 Challenge #1 - Cotton

I’ve decided to join Iron Craft Challenge this year! I’ve watched Kathy, Susi and co. show off their beautiful projects and this year, Kathy asked me if it was time for me to join. After doing my Ornament Wreath a while back, I realized I’d missed crafting. So when she asked, I said yes! Every challenge has a different theme, and this first one is Cotton. We could make anything we wanted, but it had to be made with cotton.

Pink and Silver Noodle Bead Bracelet

See my new shop for these bracelets and other handmade items for sale! Click the photo below and you'll be taken directly to the shop.


I gave it some thought, and came up with these bracelets made with waxed cotton cord. I can’t sew to save my life, or crochet or knit, and these seemed like a good way to ease back into crafting. I love the bright silver noodle beads, and you can use any color cotton cord you want to personalize yours. I already have some supplies for making jewelry, though for this project, I needed everything but the tools that I have.

My local Michael’s and Hobby Lobby were out of the findings I needed to make these, and I almost panicked until I found Beadaholique!  Beadaholique.com makes it so simple! Not only do they sell everything you could ever need to make jewelry, but they also sell ready made kits that they put together. Pick a project, see the directions, and go ahead and order a kit if you like. That’s what I did for these bracelets.

Blue and Silver Noodle Bead Bracelet

You can find the directions and supply list here. I also picked up these extender chains for a little dangling action. The crystal charms are to add some sparkle and are from Hobby Lobby--a set of 4 for under $2. It was pretty simple to make these! It definitely helps to have the correct tools, so if you can spare it, the tools are pretty inexpensive at your local big chain craft stores.

  • Note that their project instructions are for a finished 6 1/2 inch bracelet. I wanted a 7 inch bracelet, so I cut my cords at 6 3/4 inches.
  • I’d also like to note that the blue cord was from Michael’s and had no measurement on it. The pink cord from the kit is 1.5 mm, and the blue one is much thinner, so I cut 10 blue cords to fit into the Barrel Cord Ends.
  • I had a little trouble getting the ends of the cords all to go easily into the Barrel Cord Ends, so I grabbed the pointy file in my kit that looks like the first one on the left in this photo to push any stray ones in. That made it simple.

I hope you’ll check out the other entries in the Iron Craft Challenge, and you can also check out the Flickr Group!

Blue and Silver Noodle Bead Bracelet



Friday
Dec072012

Whole Wheat Brownies you’ll actually love!

Decadent Whole Wheat Brownies

Who doesn’t love brownies? I guess there may be one or two of you out there. For the rest of you that do love them, keep reading. I’ve made them with finely stone-ground whole wheat pastry flour and your kids/family/friends are never going to tell the difference.

We all want to eat healthier, and I think the easiest way to do that is by making small changes that add up. Once you start making small changes, they have a way of snowballing. Before you know it, good things are happening all over the place!

Decadent Whole Wheat Brownies

This recipe is for Hodgson Mill’s “Have a Grain Holiday” recipe contest. The idea is to chuck the white four for a change and get that whole wheat in there. It’s  not as difficult as it seems. Last year, I did a Whole Wheat Whisky Gingerbread. My daughter still talks about that one--she loved it, whole wheat flour and all!

I’ve taken the white flour out of these brownies and brought in the whole wheat pastry flour as a replacement. Now, does this make these 100% healthy? No, of course not--they’re still brownies. And it’s the holidays, so we all indulge somewhat. The brownies, even with whole wheat flour, are so rich, dark and fudgy, that no one would ever guess the change that was made. Go ahead and try these, you won’t believe how decadent they are!

__________________________________________________________________________

Click here and enter to win one of 50 Baker’s Holiday Gift Packs, including whole wheat flours, baking mixes, and more from Hodgson Mill, valued at $85!

Added bonus: Click here to get a coupon for $1.00 off any 5 pound flour or cornmeal from Hodgson Mill!

__________________________________________________________________________

I also have $25 worth of assorted Hodgson Mill products to give away to one of you! Hodgson Mill uses grains that are of the highest grade, produced domestically wherever available, and purchased in the United States. They use only stoneground milling to ensure, unlike other mills, that their products contain the entire nutritional benefit of the grain. And Hodgson Mill has a commitment to solar and wind power at our mill and an award-winning recycling program.

How could you not love all of that? See below to enter!

______________________________________________________

Decadent Whole Wheat Brownies

Decadent Whole Wheat Brownies

Makes a 9"x13" pan

This makes a lot--good for holiday parties, potlucks, etc. The mini chocolate chips I use are Ghirardelli, in a 10 oz bag. You're dividing it into 3 and 7 oz portions in this recipe. In case you’re wondering, these got big thumbs up all around.

To make the Christmas decorations, I simply used candy melts from the candy making section at any craft store. Melt them, pour into a zip top bag and snip a small corner off the bag. SMALL. Make your shapes on parchment paper or foil, and set aside to cool. I stuck them on the brownies using a simple ganache, and I'll include the recipe below. I free handed the decorations, as you can clearly tell, ha! They give the brownies a nice, old-school homey look. Yeah, that's what I'm going with! You can also just dust with a small amount of powdered sugar for that “snowed on” look.

3 (1-oz) squares of unsweetened chocolate
3 tbsp cocoa (I use Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
3 tbsp canola oil
3 oz of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 tbsp espresso powder or instant coffee
1 tbsp Raspberry Liqueur, optional
5 eggs
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tsp salt
7 oz (remaining chips from the bag) mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9 x 13" pan with foil, and lightly grease the foil.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the unsweetened chocolate squares, cocoa and oil, the 3 oz of mini chips, the butter, the espresso powder or instant coffee, and raspberry liqueur, if using--and melt over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

While that's all melting, start the next step. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes. This is where a stand mixer comes in handy, but a hand mixer will also do the job.

Add the melted chocolate mixture to the mixing bowl, along with the flour and salt. Mix until just blended, and then stir in the remaining 7 oz of chocolate chips. Let the batter sit on the counter for 20 minutes before pouring into the greased pan. That's right, 20 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan on your work surface a few times to release air bubbles.

Bake for 25-27 minutes. The top should be shiny and the sides should be pulling away from the sides of the pan. Let them cool completely before cutting! To cut, lift them out of the pan using the edges of the foil. Cut into squares, decorate if you wish, and store in an airtight container.

Ganache Recipe

1/2 cup heavy cream
7 oz bittersweet chocolate
pinch of salt
1 tbsp raspberry liqueur, optional

Put the chocolate in a bowl, add the pinch of salt and liqueur, if using. Set aside.

Set the cream over low-medium heat in a small saucepan. Heat gently until small bubbles start to appear around the edges of the pan. Don’t let it boil.

Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let this sit for 2-3 minutes, and then using a rubber spatula, gently stir the cream into the chocolate. Doing this gently prevents any air bubbles in the ganache.

To attach the decorations, put the ganache into a plastic zip top bag and seal. Snip off a tiny corner of the bag, and gently add a dollop of ganache to the center of each brownie. Set the decoration right on top of the ganache, and let them sit for a while to set up. Store any leftover ganache in the fridge, and then you can eat it with a spoon. That’s what I’m doing with it!

__________________________________________________________________________

To enter the giveaway for $25 of assorted Hodgson Mill products:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what kind of recipe you’d like to make with Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour. Use a valid email address so you can be reached.

Optional Entries:

2. Tweet about this giveaway and leave another comment here telling me that you did.

3. Share this on Facebook and again, leave another comment on this post letting me know.

I’ll choose a winner next Friday, December 14th. The winner will have 48 hours to get back to me or I’ll choose another name. Good luck!

Don’t forget to go and enter to win one of 50 Gift Packs full of assorted Hodgson Mill products!

 Decadent Whole Wheat Brownies



Tuesday
Oct092012

Product Review-UNREAL Candy

UNREAL41 (Candy Coated Chocolates)

Above: UNREAL41 (Candy Coated Chocolates)

Have you guys had a chance to try UNREAL Candy? I hope so! It’s starting to show up now in major grocery chains and drug stores. Reasonably priced, too!

What is UNREAL Candy? It’s simple. Candy--unjunked. It’s got all of the flavor without all of the junk! Read their story here.

  • No corn syrup.
  • No hydrogenated oil.
  • No artificial flavors.
  • No GMO’s.
  • No synthetic colors.

Reasonably sourced ingredients, including:

  • Traceable cacao beans from Ghana and Ecuador.
  • 100% sustainable and organic Palm Kernel Oil from Brazil.    
  • Dairy from free-range cows raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
  • All natural colors from plants like beets, red cabbage, etc.
  • 30% less sugar, 60% more protein, and 250% more fiver per serving on average compared to leading competing brands. 

Now after reading all of that, you’re most likely wondering how do the candies taste? They taste fantastic! My kids love them, too, and I can feel good about them having this kind of candy as opposed to the larger brands that are loaded with chemicals and artificial ingredients. My oldest daughter has an issue when she eats most chocolates on the market--it makes her throat burn. The UNREAL Candies do not!

With Halloween parties and Trick or Treating just around the corner, why not consider giving out UNREAL candies to your guests and the neighborhood kids? It’s a small change, but those small changes lead to large ones!

UNREAL54 (Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts):

UNREAL54 (Candy Coated Chocolates with Peanuts)

UNREAL77 (Peanut Butter Cups):

UNREAL77 (Peanut Butter Cups)

UNREAL8 (Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat Bar):

UNREAL8 (Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat Bar)

UNREAL5 (Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar):

UNREAL5 (Chocolate Caramel Nougat Bar)

So the next time you’re out shopping or running into the store for a quick candy snack, look for UNREAL Candy. You won’t be disappointed in the taste and you won’t feel guilty about such a good cause. Click here for availability.

 

Disclaimer: I received some samples of UNREAL Candy to try at no charge. This did not influence my opinion of the product.