Friday, August 26, 2016

Bruegger’s Blueberry Greek Cream Cheese and Lemon Filled Crumb Cake

I was challenged by Bruegger's Bagels to turn one of their special edition Summer items into a new recipe that would delight their fans and our tastebuds! I was immediately drawn to their whipped blueberry greek cream cheese because duh, I friggin' love cream cheese but I wanted to put a little bit of a baking twist on it for y'all. 

For the crumbs
For the filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Grease the sides and bottom of a 13x9x2-inch cake pan with butter.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix with your hands to form crumbs. Tip: Use a small handheld pastry blender or whisk to cut the butter into the mix. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when you see little crumbs forming throughout the mix.
  4. Take out just enough for crumbs on top of cake, 3/4 cup. Set aside. To the remaining crumbs add the eggs and milk; beat well. Your batter will be thick and sticky.
  5. Place all filling ingredients into a medium bowl and beat with a whisk or mixer until smooth.
  6. Spread half the batter into the cake pan. The batter is very thick and sticky but try to spread as evenly as possible.
  7. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top to within about 1/2-inch of the edges (this is to ensure it does not leak)
  8. Gently spread the remaining batter on top of the cream cheese . Again the batter is thick so try adding dollups evenly on top and spreading that way.
  9. Sprinkle the top with the reserved crumbs.
  10. Bake for 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  11. Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool.

I enjoyed this recipe with all in my house and over tea while I worked. It serves 12 but won't last long in a home that love sweets! It's great to incorporate things you might now intially think of into different types of recipes... So do you want the opportunity to bring brunch to your house? Bruegger's Bagels is generously giving two Prim and Propah readers a $10 gift card to Bruegger's Bagels so they can snag some yums for themselves. Just leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite bagel is...

*This recipe was created in collaboration with Bruegger's Bagels. Ingredients and gift cards were provided by BB. All opinions are 100% my own and this recipe was created in my home. Thank you, as always, for support those that help keep Prim and Propah up and running!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Neighborly + Delicious Homemade Pickles

When we moved into our house a few years back, it was during the Winter and we had barely gotten to know our neighbors. They are about 20 years older than us but once Spring came and we saw what their garden flourished into, I had to get some tips from them! Over the past few years, we have become friends who joke about our dogs, text about bear sightings and share produce (mostly them to us lol). This year, there seems to be an excess of cucumbers in their garden and they thoughtfully offered some to us. I said sure, but what I wasn't expecting was a batch of homemade pickles too! I will admit that as much as I love cucumbers, I have never made my own batch of pickles. They were delicious and I just had to get the recipe.

1 Large Cucumber
1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
5 Tablespoons of Water- 1/4 Cup
5 Tablespoons of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
A Touch of Ground Black Pepper

This is absolutely so simple and the fact that this can be done in a snap means that there's no reason not to grab a couple cucumbers from the Farmer's Market and whip up a batch of fresh pickles to feed your family, bbq guests or yourself a cool snack when you're hungry for something healthy but a little bit sweet. This isn't the same process you would use in canning but that's juzt fine by me. The shelf life s much shorter but they won't last long in my home anyway. I popped these in some tupperware and ate them within 24 hours. The neighbor was impressed with my immediate need to make these but was also touched that her mother's recipe had made it's way into new hands and new appreciation!

Do you have a recipe for pickles or anything using cucumbers? I'd love to try it!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Local Lovin': Tapered Collection + Giveaway

I love a good basic tee. No really. I have WAY too many but in my opinion, you can't have too many. Another requirement in my tees? ABSOLUTE SOFT COMFORT. If you add Made in USA and from a responsible fashion company then I am all in... enter Tapered Collection from local designer Astrid Glass. The Tapered Collection is based on delivering two simple principles:  a flattering silhouette and consistent fit. The Tapered Tee is designed with a longer tapered bottom, using fabrics sourced and made in the United States. The result is a high-quality, soft, pre-shrunk, t-shirt with perfect fit that drapes effortlessly on the body. I was so stoked when we connected because you know that I'm really yearning to cast my vote with my ethical shopping dollars and supporting local whenever possible. This was an awesome opportunity to introduce Prim and Propah readers to a new brand to watch! I asked Astrid about her brand and what they have in store for us!

Give us a little background as to how The Tapered Collection came about. What initially drove you to start your brand? 

I started thinking about Tapered Collection about two years ago when I realized I couldn’t put on a simple tee and jeans and feel good about the way I looked.  All of my tees were too sheer, lost shape, or too clingy around the waistline (where pants would hit).  I began to play around with some fabric and worked out a pattern that solved for the flattering silhouette.  I realized after speaking with friends and showing them my samples, that I am not alone with this issue and tees — and so I decided to make it a “real” brand. 

It took forever to go from a home sewing tee to a true brand!  I took many, many trips to NYC to meet with fabric suppliers and meet with manufactures.  I wanted beautiful, substantial cotton - and that is a lot harder to find than you think!  I also wanted to garment dye (dye after production) to keep inventory flexible and take 99% of the shrinkage out of tees.  How annoying is it when you get a tee, wash it, and it becomes tiny-sized?  I found a local production house in Fall River that worked with me to get all the details right and they are a great partner for Tapered Collection.

I wanted to start with tees first - because I figured if women would trust me to make a good tee, they would trust new silhouettes down the line.  Now, this fall I have a 3/4 sleeve tee and a dress coming - all inspired by customers’ feedback.  

When creating your products, where do you take inspiration from? 

For the first tee, I found a lot of inspiration in work-out clothes!  Many of the yoga silhouettes are more “forgiving” in the waistline.  The flow and drape is especially inspiring, and I wanted to take those same principles and apply them to an everyday tee.

With the 3/4 sleeve, I asked customers what they liked best about their favorite tees.  What I found, is most people did not want a full length tee.  The sleeves got dirty, they got caught up in jackets, and they didn’t provide good laying options.  So, I took the drape of the original tee, and added a dolman sleeve right past the elbow.

The dress for fall was inspired by a Farmers Market day!  I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have a wash and wear dress that you could take from the Farmers Market to dinner.  You wouldn’t be worried about getting it dirty.  It’s comfortable.  You can dress it up later.  It can be washed and dried!  

For the spring, I really need to offer a longer short sleeve shirt - something that comes right above the elbow.  Inspired by an oversized men’s tee perhaps - but without the boxy look.  And I’m experimenting with some elastic waistlines for spring to incorporate in dresses. Overall, I’m inspired by simple, clean shapes that can be worn with ease, with an eye to flattering to a women’s waistline.

I love that you have shaped your business around being eco-friendly. Why is this important to you?

While I didn’t start Tapered Collection to be on the forefront of the eco-friendly world - it certainly is shaping up to be a small business that makes choices that work for our environment!  I am trying hard to make good choices whenever I can along the way.   It is definitely more expensive to make the more eco-friendly choices, but I am happy knowing that the clothing is produced in good environments.  I recently watched The True Cost movie, which talks about fashion and its damage to the environment. Some of the small choices I have made to make sure that Tapered Collection is a responsible fashion company include keeping inventory low (small batches), designing closet staples, using local factories that have good standards, using eco-friendly shipping products, and keeping my retail footprint small.

What do you love to do in New England, when you aren't busy running your business?

We are an outdoors type of family!  In the summer, we enjoy playing “tourist” in our city and taking advantage of all that Boston and the Northeast has to offer.  We hike in the Blue Hills, go on walks at the Boston waterfront, visit museums (this summer Sturbridge was a hit!), and day trips like Sunapee (the amazing adventure park there) or Kimball farms. In winter, we try to do ski day trips to Wachusett or Pats Peak.  It’s amazing to have such fun winter slopes within a two-hour drive. In fall, we try to get out and do the apple picking and pumpkin picking day trips and I love to go to the open markets available on a crisp fall day. Spring, well, spring is the one disappointing season for me as a California transplant.  I have terrible allergies (as does one of my children) and usually pray for a short, sweet spring and a huge leap into summer!

You have certainly found some fantastic early success! Where do you see The Tapered Collection headed in the future?

Thank you for your kind words!  I have found that local support (likes yours) has been crucial to growing the business.  I hope that customers continue to shop and spread the word about Tapered Collection!  My husband jokes that I make a great entrepreneur because I am so invested in how women look in the clothing.  I am always stressed that customers are happy, and have a good experience - they are investing in the company when they buy this clothing and I truly appreciate that. I would love to continue to build the brand offering and move into some new fabrications (like stripes!) and a continued focus on everyday basics with flattering silhouettes.  

Astrid and her team have kindly offered a tee for one lucky Prim and Propah reader! Would you like to give her brand a try (and trust me, you do)? The lucky winner will receive a Tapered tee in their size delivered right to her door! Enter on the rafflecopter below (Open to US residents) and be sure to check Tapered out ASAP!

You can find Tapered on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Whole Foods Whole Body Dept Sale- August 12-14th

Headed to Whole Foods this weekend? If so, be on the lookout for an amazing sale on all supplements and powders... 25% off is a really nice deal if you ask me. I took some time (toddler free) to head to my local Whole Foods to grab some goods to try myself so that I would have some items to recommend to you all, since my experience with supplementing is pretty small. What did I snag? Protein powder... and no, I'm not "bulking up". The Vega Protein & Greens spoke to me when I did a little research --- "Your best inentions don't have to wilt in the fridge like a half-eaten container of green..." That's totally me and to be honest, my husband and son aren't the best veggie eaters when I do actually cook them for the pair. I thought this would be a great idea, since I know for a fact that they are both big ol' smoothie and shake fans.

It's tasty (surprising) and the Whole Body associate told me that it is absolutely one of thier best sellers. Low in calories and high in servings of veggies (what we need), I love that this "suppliment" is safe for the whole family, meaning that I can whip up a shake for myself, hubs and the toddler when we need that nutritional boost. I may grab the tropical flavor next time, that's how much I like this shake. I have to thank Whole Foods for letting me know about this sale and encouraging me to share with you or I would have never had the opportunity/motivation to try something like this.

Some honorable mentions? Urban Moonshine Digestive Bitters, Maine Medicinals Elderberry Syrup and the Zyflamend which is an "herbal approach to pain." Whether you're looking for suppliments or chia or vitamins, Whole Foods has got you covered this weekend. I'd suggest you stop in and stock up, especially if you have old stand bys that are always needed in the house. Let me know what you pick up!

*Whole Foods provided me with a gift card so that I could make honest recommendations for you guys. All opinions are 100% my own and thank you, as always, for supporting Prim and Propah! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

DIY Terrariums with World Market

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to take part in a workshop at my local World Market store (Framingham MA) and I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks from this DIY event since I knew it would interest a lot of you! I love all the terrariums at World Market so jumped at the chance to show shoppers and now you guys how easy and affordable it is to build one of these beauties for your home or even a friends home (super gift giving friend you are!)

Cori from Hey, Let's Make Stuff and a part of my World Market Tribe put together some super simple yet super fun steps on putting together your own decorative terrarium that is maintenance free (score!)... I even purchased all the goods to make my own, that's how much I loved this project! Check out my terrarium and everything you'd need to put yours together yourself!

Choose a Container: 

Live terrariums require a more specialized container (because you're keeping things alive) but the beauty of a maintenance free version is that you can choose whatever you want. Jars, wine glasses, apothocaries, candle holders and on and on.


Fill it with Layers:

One thing I made sure to tell all my shoppers at World Market was that these customized terrariums were all about the layers. Building from the bottom up, you're creating the foundation then adding elements to make it your own. You can use sand, pebbles, glass marbles, soil and more!

Place Larger Elements to Create Height:

Adding some larger elements can help build up the height and add a little special something to the terrarium's personality. Try rocks in different sizes, driftwood, seashells, sticks and anything you can think of really!

Include some "Life":

Want your terrarium to have the live feel? Add faux air plants, succulents, cacti, dried moss and faux flowers to add pops of color and "life" to the little world you're creating!

Add Interest:

Do you have a theme? Is this terrarium for your beach house... add some seashells or dried starfish and urchins. Is this for your daughter's room? Add some fairy lights, butterflies and tiny figurine. Add the elements that make this a special decor item that you'll enjoy.

I would have to say that making a decorative (maintenance free) terrarium for right around $30 is money well spent. You've created something beautiful for your home that is affordable and customized. I would absolutely recommend picking up supplies, a bottle of wine and inviting your friends over to build your own. What a great way to spend some time!

Have you ever created your own terrarium living or maintenance free?