Monday, March 26, 2012

Fresh Spring Giveaway...Pink Lemonade

Well, Spring has sprung up here in the North Country, briefly & prematurely, but I'll take it. Seems we're all itching to ditch the dull & dreary and ready for some fresh! I've got just the thing. An Apron Giveaway, of course and here's what's up for grabs.

A Spring Fresh Domestic Dress...

"Pink Lemonade"
Perhaps some Spring Cleaning motivation?

Are you ready to enter? Here's the dish...

The heart warming Hostess for this Giveaway is
fellow Michigander, Sheila from Eat2Gather.
Isn't she lovely?

I first met Sheila on Twitter and felt an instant connection because...
Sheila & I (and every other Mitten resident) adore & share the charming (or annoying) habit of raising our right hand and pointing to where we live. For me, that would be way up at the top of your ring finger. (Now I'm wondering how many people I annoyed with that gesture on my last trip to Florida.)

Sheila shares the same passion & appreciation that I do when it comes to gathering around the table. It's a tradition I believe is the heart of the family, and Sheila shares that belief, the importance of it, and makes it a priority in her everyday life. She's a foodie who's truly discovered the "joy of cooking" sharing both the tried & true and the new recipes that she brings to the table.

Another reason I love to check out her blog: Well, she just plain cracks me up!

The Giveaway is just a click away... HERE

*You'll also find a Spring Savings Promo Code for both
The Hip Hostess website and the new Etsy Shop!

Oh, and by way don't miss Sheila's recipe for Goulash. A dish I love, but totally forgot about. I mean really, when was the last time you made Goulash? Ah... the comfort of comfort food!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Garnishing Your Products

If you own a budding business that you're striving to grow into a booming, blooming bouquet, here's some FYI from yours truly and I'm delighted to add... a guest post from Denise at Rapid Tag & Label, the maker of all my tags and labels.

I think Presentation is everything.
It's your image, your style, your signature,
and so to speak...your "garnish."

Tags and labels on your product are the finishing touch you put on all your labors of love and creative efforts. Rapid Tags has been helping me put the hip look on my products from the very onset of The Hip Hostess.

Starting out as a very new and very small business owner, Rapid Tags treated me with the same dedication and effort they give to their big clients, providing me not only with ideas and info, but Denise and Ursula consistently accommodate my needs and with speedy replies and outstanding communication. I think working with a company that "gets you" is an invaluable tool to achieving the look you're going for and your path to success. Rapid Tags is all that!

Denise speaks volumes when she says...

It’s all about the garnish!

It’s not enough just to be able to cook like a professional chef. All of your time, effort and money won’t mean a thing if you serve a decadent chocolate mousse pie on a paper plate. The saying goes “God is in the details”. Without adding a beautiful serving plate, whipped cream and chocolate shavings it’s just another piece of pie.

The same theory applies with clothing and apparel design. A clever idea will fall flat without paying close attention to the additional trims that can add pizzazz to anything. Buckles, buttons, zippers and clothing labels may not seem all that important but they embellish your brand. They tell customers who you are and about the quality of your merchandise. They make your apparel or design stand out from the rest.

Rapid Tag & Label has been providing The Hip Hostess with their woven logo labels, care/fiber content labels and hangtags for years.

The Hip Hostess damask woven brand label looks elegant in simple black and white and is perfect to accompany any pattern or color pallet. The labels are sewn on the outside and are part of the Hip Hostess’ unmistakeable look. The satin printed labels are sewn inside of all the aprons to offer the fiber content, country of origin and care of the apron. Finally, the joker hangtag has a classic black and white glossy finish that completes the overall chic look of The Hip Hostess Collection.

We’re the garnish that help makes The Hip Hostess more than just an apron company. Please visit us at www.RAPIDTAGS.

~Denise Newton of Rapid Tags & Labels

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Soup for all Seasons

I have a french Mother-in-law. If that's not intimidating enough... over the last 36 years, I've actually had the courage to attempt many of her recipes. This is my family's favorite. After years of tasting and testing I think I've finally got it right and as close to hers as I'll ever get.

Served warm I just call it Potato Leek Soup, 
but served cold I like to get all fancy 
and call it Vichyssoise! Delicious both ways.
A tasty soup for a cold winter night 
or a hot summer day.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dishsponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset 


6-8 Potatoes peeled & quartered
6-8 Leeks
1 Medium Onion chopped
1-3 Scallions (green onions) chopped
1 Cup Chicken Broth
Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1/2 Cup Half & Half
1/2 Cup Milk
¼ TSP Thyme
¼ TSP Marjoram
¼ TSP Dill

Cut the roots off the leeks
Cut about 1-2 inches of the green ends off the leeks
Slice each leek down the center lengthwise
Lay leeks on paper towel & dry throughly
Chop the leeks in 1/2" chunks
Chop the onions & scallions

Cut up the potatoes, cover with water and add 1 bouillon cube and cook until tender.
Saute the leeks, scallions and onions in 1 Tsps Olive Oil and a few Tsps of butter.
Cook over medium heat stirring & mixing often until leeks are soft & translucent.
When Potatoes are done: pour into large colander to drain.
*I don't use the water the potatoes are cooked in.

Let them sit for a few minutes then add the cooked leeks, onions & scallions.
Mash entire mixture with electric mixer or immersion blender adding milk & butter until they look like whipped potatoes.
In large pot, add the potato mixture, chicken broth, half & half, Thyme, Marjoram, & Dill.
Stir throughly over low heat and continue stirring until heated through.

*At this point I taste it and add a chicken boullion cube one at time if needed for more flavor.  It's kind of like a work in progress, and you may want to tweak it.  You can also add a bit more of the spices, add more milk, broth, or half & half until you get the desired consistency,you don't want it too thick or too thin.

*Serve immediately or store in the fridge and reheat it later.
Remember, this can also be served cold, but be sure to stir it well before serving.