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CAMP Workshops

OK, so the title of this post may be a little misleading because quite frankly I have yet to find a version of “camp” that’s not my kind. I loved summer camp, Girl Scout camp, still love weekend camping trips and am quite sure I’d even take fondly to glamping. Nonetheless, CAMP Workshops are truly my kind of camp.

Ginny Branch and a host of Atlanta creatives are behind this very special series of classes, perfect for the novice or master, and sure to spark your creative juices. The new Fall classes were just released, so I knew you’d want to be in the know! Hand lettering, market to table, botanical drawings – it’s hard to even begin to narrow down which to attend.

I had the very great privilege of collaborating with Ginny on a Stylist Apron by IceMIlk Aprons – exclusively for CAMP! This little number is perfect for staying neat & organized {and looking the part} for any stylist or designer – with plenty of pockets to stash pins, markers, and other objects of affection as well as twill tabs for holstering scissors, clips and the likes. Thought I’d share a sneak peak {image via}!

stylist apron

 

 

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I’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio working on some fabulously creative projects lately. Designing new products, reviewing fabrics, planning a photoshoot, reworking our space for the gift show … the list goes on. So, I thought it might be fun to share a little behind-the-scenes look into the IceMilk Aprons studio! I hope you enjoy … more to come so stay tuned.

in the studio ... icemilk aprons

icemilk aprons details

icemilk aprons studio

There is nothing I love more than finding other Southern artisans, designers & business owners that are passionate about their business. I believe the cultural and craft of the South inspires companies and products that are truly meant to tell a story, and Sweet Six Candy Co. is no different.

I have loved meeting Jenny DeWitt on our weekly #southernchats and really have enjoyed watching her business grow. This week’s Southern Sweets #southernchat will feature Jenny as our guest, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Her beautiful candies are family recipe inspired and I just love their round tin packaging, too. I hope you enjoy sitting back and reading more about Sweet Six! Sweet Six Candy Co

How did you come up with the name of your business?
I was actually gifted the domain name sweetsix.com and wondered whether it might work for a candy. When I realized the original recipe had six ingredients it just made sense. Also, if someone happens to be searching online for sweet sex and misspells it, I think that gives me a fair chance of making a sale. You just never know.

What inspired you to go into the business of sweets?

Last year, I started a personal home economics journey. I taught myself canning, started a small vegetable garden, learned to make cheese, bought a sewing machine, and finally got my mother to share her secret candy recipe with me. It’s a recipe she invented back in 1956 and had never written it down. We worked on it for about a month to get the measurements just right and I started giving samples and small batches away to friends. Everyone said I should start selling it. So, I worked on a label and branding with a designer friend of mine and opened up an Etsy shop back in September. The response has been great.

What do you love most about being in the sweets business?

Honestly, I love that look on people’s faces after they take their first bite of Sweet Six. It’s as if they light up with happiness. I also love the experimentation part of the research and development process. Testing new flavors and combinations is really interesting. Sea salt was a complete failure, while the newest flavor, ginger, was so much fun to figure out.

Sweet-Six-No1_Original

Are there any characteristics of southern sweets that stand out above the rest?

I’d have to say dependability and creativity. You always know it’s going to be good and a little bit different than anything else you’ve tried. Southern cooks are not afraid of sweets. In fact, I don’t know a Southern cook who is afraid of anything in the kitchen. Whether they follow the spidery handwriting of their grandmother off of a hundred-year-old recipe card or fly by the seat of their pants, southern cooks are fearless. That comes out in the dishes they makes and most definitely in the desserts.

What are your most popular candies?

Right now I have eight flavors of Sweet Six and the most popular flavor has been No.2 Espresso. I know people who buy it to use in their coffee as sweetener or as an after-dinner treat. I make it with a locally roasted espresso beans. It’s pretty intense. During the winter holidays, No. 7 Pumpkin Spice is really popular. It’s great crumbled on top of Sweet Potato Pie or ice cream.

What can we expect from you next?

I’m excited to start adding new types of candies to my repertoire this summer. I’m working on lollipops right now. I’m playing with flavors like rose and saffron. I’ve started doing custom wedding favors which is a lot of fun. I think it would be amazing to come up with a unique and exclusive flavor combination for someone’s big day or event.

This week, I am so excited to have designer + blogger Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo, also known to many as ABCD Designs!

Aside from having fabulous initials, her taste for design resonates clearly through her beautiful line of papers and invites, as well as her divine blog. I just adore the black background with white script. Her tweets are friendly and her taste is just as wonderful as she is. And, now truly a blog-veteran, I am so proud to congratulate Amy on her third-anniversary of blogging this week (have you seen how we’re celebrating?) Blog years is quite like dog years at this point, so three is quite a wonderful accomplishment.

Heirloom Recipe Series with Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo:

Hello, my name is Amy Beth Cupp (ABC!) and in 2007, I married Mr. D! What are the chances that I’d be lucky enough to meet the man of my dreams and get to add a D to my already catchy set of initials? During the Fall of ’07, we were newly married and gut renovating an apartment in NYC. I was stuck at home during the kitchen installation. It was at that point that I thought it might be fun to write a blog about newlywed life. www.abcddesign.com was born! ABCD Design stands for Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo designs (fill-in-the-blank-here) her life! I write about all things that make a house a home. I am an artist, a trained chef and a floral designer. I have worked in interior design as well as events and photo styling. On ABCD Design, it’s a mixed bag of nesting topics, but it’s always about what inspires me, and living a well-lived life. You can also see me tweeting @abcddesigns.

Who’s heirloom recipe are you sharing with us today, Amy?

The recipe belongs to my dearly departed mother-in-law, Barbara. I think she’d be so proud to have a recipe featured on your blog! My mother in law read my blog as though it was a religion. Often, after I pressed ‘publish’ I’d receive a lengthy phone call to discuss whatever it was that I had chosen to blog about on any given day. One morning, she called the Mr. up at work to talk about how much she loved ABCD Design, and how it was giving her a whole new insight into the personality of her new daughter in law. During that phone conversation, (in her wonderfully rich southern accent) she said “You know, I even follow Amy’s Twitter!” The Mr. was like “Um, Mom… what’s a Twitter?”

What makes this recipe especially meaningful to you?

I prepare this recipe on occasion when I sense that my husband is in need of a little comfort food. I think losing your mother has to be one of the hardest things that a person can go through in their lifetimes. It’s been a year and a half, and the sadness is still pulling at our heart strings like we lost her just yesterday. Last Christmas, I went through my mother in law’s recipe box. I scanned in all of her handwritten recipes and presented my sister-in-law in book form so that she too can recreate the dishes she remembers from her childhood. Until now, I have kept them all private, and I intend to do so going forward. But on this occasion, (as I mentioned above) I think that sharing the beef stroganoff recipe is appropriate. Like I said, she was very proud of her new daughter-in-law’s blogging and I have no doubt she’d be delighted that I have kept the blog going for the last three years, and honored to be featured by IceMilk Aprons!

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– Beef Stroganoff  –

The Mr. likes to have beef stroganoff on egg noodles – just like his mama used to serve it. I also know that she liked to make peas, and a green salad as a side dish. At the table, he likes to top it with a condiment called Tiger Sauce.  (It adds a little kick of heat to the dish.)

I have made my own version of Beef Stroganoff based off of Barbara’s recipe, mine is a little more descriptive! As a side note, I like to use organic ingredients whenever possible – it makes the dish taste cleaner, and more vivid. With the Mr.’s birthday coming up, I made beef stroganoff last week. This time I served it on fresh porcini mushroom ravioli. I must admit, it was a delicious addition to the recipe!

2 lbs grass-fed, antibiotic free, 85% lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1lb fresh sliced mushrooms
2 cans of Amy’s organic cream of mushroom condensed soup  (It’s available at Whole Foods)
Garlic – I use about 6-8 cloves, minced.
Salt – I think it is important to season throughout the cooking process – so just sprinkle on a little pinch with each step in which I suggest you add salt.
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1T Dry Mustard
1/2 Cup Water
1/3 cup Vermouth
8oz Organic, hormone free Sour Cream
Add fresh ground pepper to taste at the table

Directions:
In a large sautee pan, melt a pat of butter on medium-high heat, being careful not to burn the butter. Sautee the mushrooms on medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt to release water in the mushrooms. This will help them cook. Once they’ve softened, add the onion, and season with a bit of salt again. This will help the onions release water and continue to keep everything moist. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic. Turn the heat down way low and continue to stir on occasion, or you can simply turn off the heat and set it aside.

In a large dutch oven or soup pot, brown the beef. There no need to brown in butter and drain fat as it says on Barbara’s recipe card. There is plenty of fat in the beef to brown properly without added butter. Season the meat with a bit of salt.

Once the beef is fully cooked, add your onion/mushroom/garlic ingredients to the pot with the beef.

At this point, add the ketchup, water, and Vermouth. Bring this up to a simmer so that the alcohol will burn off and only leave the rich flavor, not the taste of alcohol. I like to let it simmer for at least 10 minutes, if not 20.

Prepare noodles in a separate pot – by the time they are done cooking, your stroganoff will be too!

Right before you serve the stroganoff, add the 8oz sour cream. Be sure it is fully incorporated before you serve it atop the noodles.

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Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

The beauty, grace and elegance of vintage jewelry is all the rage. Those precious heirloom jewels – from authentic Grandmother quality to design-heavy costume jewelry is adorning ladies as far as the eye can see.

A beautiful designer in particular, Winifred Grace has a most-wonderful pair of vintage-inspired chandelier earrings that are reminiscent of a cascading pile of jewels. Such a treat.

Everything from earrings to rings to necklaces and the oh-so-popular brooch that has been present for some time now. We’ve seen it everywhere from high-end lines to mainstream stores like Banana Republic and J.Crew.

If you are lucky enough to have some of the true family jewels – no matter the shape, size or luster – be sure to consider them a treasured heirloom to be passed down in your family for years to come. A little sparkle never hurt anyone!

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