July 28, 2011

"Summertime... and the Living Is Easy" Lemon Penne Pasta

This is what I've had for lunch a couple of times this week-I love this recipe-it's perfectly summery and oh so easy (Two qualities I love when it's my turn to cook.)

1/4 virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 clove of garlic minced or put through the press
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. of black pepper

1 Package of Penne Pasta
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
1 package of baby spinach

Top with Parmasan Cheese

You could also add:
Pine Nuts
Arugula (in the place of spinach)

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt,garlic and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10minutes(the pasta I buy says 11 minutes and in my experience 11 minutes is perfect.) Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a high-sided skillet, whisk the butter over medium heat until melted. Simmer until foamy. Continue to cook until the butter has a nutty aroma and turns a caramel color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, dressing, spinach, petite diced tomatoes. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce, if needed. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.Top with Parmasan cheese and pine nuts if desired.

July 22, 2011

Quote of the Day

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.
- Bill Cosby

July 19, 2011

Paying It Forward

My blogging/soaping buddy and all around good friend Amy-over at Great  Cakes Soapworks has honored Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps with "The Versatile Blogger" award. If you make soap and read soapy blogs-you probably know Amy-she is known for her generous sharing of information and techniques. Her soap is always beautifully executed and most definitely a testament to her own unique style, but most of all Amy is a lovely person that I am honored to know.

I borrowed this information regarding the award from Amy's blog.

The concept behind the Versatile Blogger Award is to follow a few rules and then pass it on to whatever blog you think deserves it. The rules are:
1 – Make a post and link it back to the person who gave you the award (and include their website address)
2 – Share 7 random things about yourself
3 – Award 7 recently discovered bloggers with this award and contact them to let them know they have won

Now on to the 7 random things, hmmmmm

1) I am a huge "I Love Lucy" fan-I love that era-the clothes, the humor, the writing-it's all so innocent and genuinely funny with out being torrid.

2) My husband is 2 years younger than me.

3) I've read all of "Gone With The Wind."

4) One of my favorite movies is "The Sound of Music." Yep, I'm a bit of nerd.lol!

5) I used to have a crush on Cat Stevens.

6) I was THE swim team in high school.

7) I was five years old when we had a devastating tornado here in Lubbock-and I remember bits and pieces of it. I used to be mortified of thunder,lightening and storms-but I have since overcome that fear and now I love storms.

Now to pay it forward-because I think this is a fun way to learn interesting tidbits about my blogging buddies. I would like to nominate the following blogs.

Inner Earth Soaps
Jenora Soaps
Joyful Soaps
Revive Bath and Body
Two Blooms Design Studio
Simply Soap

July 15, 2011

Fresh Lemon Has a Fresh New Look

Fresh Lemon - Garden fresh lemons; Sunny and bright with a note of earthy green, a perfect way to revive and refresh your senses. Pure essential oils provide fabulously fresh scent and a happy yellow color to the soap while olive oil infused with calendula calms and soothes your skin.

Fresh Lemon has always smelled fabulous now she has a fresh new look! The newest edition of  Fresh Lemon will be ready  Aug. 11. 2011-until then there are still a few bars of the previous edition left. Pick yourself a Fresh Lemon today!

So, this photo is the first taken on the manual setting. I find yellow a very difficult color to get right-it washes out very easily looking almost white(hint-white balance is your friend.lol!) I wasn't able to get a good yellow via manual-this is a photo my husband took. I am going to work on learning the manual side of photography, mostly because I've noticed that when you do get a feel for the settings-the colors just come alive in a way that Auto photographs just do not. I think it may be a long journey for me, but in the end so worth it. 

July 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul."
-Yiddish Proverb

July 8, 2011

What's On Tap for Fall? Help Me Create "The Perfect Fall Blend" and Win a Free Bar of "Our" Creation

Pale Ale- "Barley and Hops"

Plans are underway for a few special soaps for Autumn-one of which will include an intoxicating bubbly brew of beer and a specially fitting essential oil blend. Help me create the "Perfect Fall Blend" and win a free bar of "our" collaborative efforts.

Here is the theme-
Autumn-the season for tailgating, football games,the glowing orange orb of the Harvest Moon, bon fires that light up the West Texas sky, and the crackle of fallen leaves.

The soap will consist of a beer base- Beer provides a warm nutty canvas for spicy notes of cinnamon and clove, or perhaps a bit of lavender and anise... just like the ever popular bubbly beverage can be infused with the subtle taste of wood,spices,fruit, and grains;beer soap can be infused with subtle nuances of scent. Help me select a special blend of "nuance" for a limited edition Autumnal Beer soap and win a free bar. Make a suggestion based on these choices of essential oils.What essential oil blend speaks Fall to you?

Sweet Orange 
Pink Grapefruit
Clove Leaf
Blood Orange
Fir Needle

Suggestions will be taken until July 30.  I will make a choice based on-

1) How closely the blend fits the theme
2) How nicely the essential oils will play together
3) How complimentary the blend is to beer

*Sadly this contest is applicable for US and Canadian residents only.(A big apology to my international friends.)

July 7, 2011

Easy Peasy Basil Tomato Pizza-It's What's for Dinner

I had some homegrown basil and was looking for a way to use it-ahhhh pizza is a great idea. We started out with a store bought crust (but of course you could make your own)with which we drizzled some EVOO on; followed by pizza sauce (again store bought)followed by a bit of an Italian cheese blend, thinly sliced Roma tomatoes, fresh sweet basil, finely chopped garlic and a bit of sea salt. The resulting delicious masterpiece is my new favorite pizza. I am just not into the Pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, hamburger-pile all the meat you can find type of pizza. I love this because it's so easy and fairly nutritionally sound- give it a try!

July 6, 2011

Steps to Take if Supplies Arrive Damaged (and a Vent)

So, what do you do if a driver (affiliated with a well known shipping co.)leaves this on your porch-doesn't ring the doorbell, and runs to his truck?

1) Take photos immediately before you move the damaged, contaminated,oozing, grimy product.
2) E-mail supplier with photos attached
3) Call supplier who then advises you to file a claim with (well known shipping co.)
4) File a claim immediately with (well known shipping co.) They will ask a plethora of questions and then you are required to keep the dilapidated, oozing, sad, useless,dirty, filthy, grimy bucket of stuff  for 5 days in case the (well known shipping co.) wants to investigate. Shipping co. then notifies supplier who then makes the decision whether or not to send said supply again. Ugh! (rant over)

July 5, 2011

Business Tip Tuesday-Seven Tips to Make Your Customers Love You

These days when every customer counts, what are some steps you can take to keep your customers in your corner ? Over the next 7 weeks I will post 7 ways to make your customers love you. Tip #5 Never Assume

Never assume. You may think you know what your customers want. A high percentage of new businesses fail because they try to create demand where there isn’t any. Test out your market and start small, build your product around the wants, needs and desires of your target market. A great way to test your market is to introduce your product to friends, while also working shows and markets to see how your product sells. Is there a good amount of repeat business, are you receiving wholesale inquiries? Listen closely to what customers tell you about your products, is there something you need to improve on, are they requesting a larger variety? Not only will you be able to get a better handle on your customers needs by listening to their input,but you will also be able to exceed their expectations creating a win/win situation for both customers and your business.

July 2, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life."
Wayne Dyer

July 1, 2011

Beautiful Thing Friday

Check out this gorgeous Dahlia from Foxland Growers-Shallowater,Texas