Tuesday, November 5, 2013

An October to Remember

So much happened this past month for me, my family and here on the blog.  As a blogger it's rather interesting to look back at what was covered & written about for any given time span, because it helps one focus on the future.  A couple of things that I'm very proud of occurred during the month and it's nice knowing there is a large amount of support from well wishers throughout the world.  I thank all of you!


I began October with the M&M cookies that I had been meaning to get to for a couple of years after someone requested them.  Thinking about the different ways to make those particular cookies like the ones found at local bakeries, I finally came up with a foolproof method for keeping the candy-coated chocolates from becoming broken bits.  It's not that difficult to produce scrumptious cookies that kids of all ages adore.  Look at the post for the complete how-to.  Oh, don't forget, there is also a nice Rice Krispie pop treat that I've been making on a weekly basis for a cafe here in town.  Some are left plain and some are dipped in sweet melted chocolate.

If you love granola and can't abide by the store bought variety, you must go through my recipe for Autumn Harvest Granola which has a mix of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, spices and pure maple syrup.  Several of my friends received special care packages which contained a generous portion of my granola.  I've gotten good feedback from them and some have even posted photographs about it; a few are even going to make it at home.  The delicious mix is one of my favorite things to have for breakfast with a cup or so of plain Greek yogurt.

As for the launching of my online store, well, I couldn't be any prouder.  Although I should have debuted Heritage Home during the summer months, several things delayed its start.  Production scheduling, website design and product placement were all things that factored into a late start, but it got done.  Finally!

I think we should look back at the good things for October.  November is already here and there are so many things I want to get to.

Let's go!

People have responded well to these cookies because they are reminded of their childhood.  For the base I decided to use a reliable chocolate chip cookie recipe that I've been making for a couple of years now.    To it I added a small amount of M&Ms.  The remaining chocolate covered candies were added after baking.  If you're interested to see how I made them, click on the link above.

The batter is made using melted butter instead of room temperature butter.  This prevents the cookies from spreading too much during baking and keeps them in nice round shapes.  Cookie baking doesn't get any easier.

I guarantee you will get lots of praise from whomever receives a batch of these cookies.  Kids like them, it's true, but just watch the adults sneak a cookie or two from the cookie jar when no one is looking.  


I was recently told by a client that she had to have Rice Krispie Squares every single day while she was expecting her baby.  And now?  Well, let's just say she still indulges once a week or so.  My chocolate-dipped ones are some of her favorite, so there is a standing order at the cafe for them.

Rather than just coating them with plain melted chocolate, I make a semisweet ganache that pours much easier.  It's quite delectable.  Follow the simple recipe & proportions to make this version.


 Although it's simple to just cut squares and have people eat them this way, if you want to make a nice presentation of your work, use lollipop sticks.  Nothing could be easier.  If you want to make them even better, drop the pops into cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon or butcher twine before sending them off. 


I couldn't be more proud of my Heritage Bee & Hive Cookie cutters made by none other than, Michael Bonne.  What began as a conversation and an idea, quickly became a reality for me.  With a few sketches and some instruction, my first set of cookie cutters saw the light of day.  Without a moment to lose, I set out to create whimsical Bees & shapely Hives.  

Note: these were slated to be out during the summer, but creating and starting a business doesn't happen overnight, so they made their debut in October.  My customers have given me such positive feedback on the quality and beauty of these works of art.   

What could be better than having one's website stamped onto small works of art?  The generous proportions of the cutters and the brushed copper finish are the result of close collaboration with the artist.  I know of no other cutters that resemble these exquisite pieces.

Do you want to order your set before they're gone?  

Reserve a Set

These cookie cutters are the "Bee's Knees".

Thank You Michael Bonne!


This granola found its way into several people's homes a few days ago and let me tell you that they all loved it.  It's everything you want from the season.  Just look at the wonderful ingredients!

Packaged up into cellophane bags, they become excellent gifts.

Another artisan I'm proud of working with through Heritage Home, is Michael Laico (click on his name).  Several months ago I was approached by this wonderful artisan from South Carolina, and again, a conversation and a few ideas became a reality in a matter of months.  With a store already in the works for me, I kindly asked Michael if he would be interested in becoming a part of Heritage Home.  He graciously said yes and our work began.  

The boards you see above are prototypes I received after discussing an antique board from the early 20th century with Michael.  That gigantic 24" board next to the big mixer is one of my favorite pieces.  It's one I use for photography and display here in Pennsylvania quite often.

During one of my conversations with Michael, I learned that Ina Garten, of Barefoot Contessa & Food Network fame, was a fan of his cutting boards.  He made a special checkerboard cutting board for her to use in her East Hampton kitchen and to Michael's delight, she phoned him personally to thank him for his work.

 Here is a part of a handwritten note!

This is the actual board that was sent to Ina.  Michael included a small pot of his wood conditioner that works remarkably well on all wooden surfaces.  I use it on all of my cutting boards.

Go through my step by step instructions on how I keep my numerous cutting boards conditioned and in shape throughout the year.  It's important to properly care for these kitchen workhorses.

These are the paddle cutting boards Michael made exclusively for my online store.  Not only are the boards offered at good price points, they are extremely well made and gorgeous for any kitchen.  They make great gifts! 

Thank You Michael Laico!

I told some people that it was such a great relief to finally open up my store.  My store is a mix of contemporary pieces of Americana, artisanal work and collectibles from yesteryear.  

If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting the store, please stop by and take a look.

My home is filled with both old & new.  I think it's nice to value the antique by showcasing it and using it in one's home, but it's also nice to be able to bring something into one's home that's contemporary & made with durability. I truly feel that contemporary items which are constructed from quality material are bound to become the vintage & collectible for future generations. 

My friend and blogging colleague, Andrew Ritchie of Martha Moments, was kind enough to write a wonderful post about the opening of my online store.  I've been a reader of Andrew's blog since the very beginning (a long time!) and I can honestly say that he is one of the reasons I began Good Things by David in the first place.  I can't thank him enough for his encouragement and support throughout the years.

Read his post on Curating a Heritage Home.


This is my favorite time of year.  I know a lot of you feel the same way about Autumn's beautiful colors, because they are truly spectacular.  The leaves above were gathered during one of my walks around the field.  I just couldn't resist.

This small maple is still a young tree compared to some of the more mature specimens on the property.  It stands at the entrance of the driveway.

The beech trees in front of the house provide so much shade, but it's during the Fall that they provide quite a show of color.

My afternoon walks never get old for me.  I'm looking forward to November's goodness with enthusiasm and renewed energy.  I hope you are too!


David

4 comments:

  1. Thank YOU, David, for all the inspiration you provide to your readers. If I played even a small role in your decision to start this blog then I am truly honoured because so many others have benefited from your house & home wisdom. I wish you all the best, always.

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  2. Andrew,

    I'm humbled. Truly. If it weren't for your vision, your commitment to bring useful information to your readers, I may not have shaped Good Things by David to what it is today.

    I am in your debt.

    Merci beaucoup!!

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  3. What a momentous month you have had David! I hope that it keeps going upwards from here on.

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  4. A lot did happen, Amy!

    :)

    Here's to more "good things"!!

    ReplyDelete

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