Friday, February 11, 2011

Love Free Perfume?

It's Valentine's Day weekend and I'm giving away a free perfume with orders over $40.00! Simply add at least $40 worth of merchandise to your shopping cart and then choose your perfume! No coupon code is necessary, the discount will be applied automatically.

Twice as nice! If you order is over $75.00, you get two free perfumes! Simply leave me a message in the comments box with your perfume choice and I'll be sure to include it.

Offer ends February 14, 2011 at midnight EST.

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Coming and Going

I need spring to be here. Actually I need summer! The ground here has been snow covered for far, far too long. At this point I'd even welcome the muddy soupy mess that is our yard each March. Even though it is still only three degrees outside, I still get to plan for spring here at Wylde Ivy.

Planning for spring means deciding which scents will go into hibernation and which scents will be emerging again come March 1st.

The following scents will be retiring until next fall:
Amber Chai
Autumn's Promise
As American as Apple Pie
Chocolate Mint Truffle
Berry Crimson
Gingered Vanille
Ginger Brulee
Pumpkin Masquerade
Triple W
Woodland Cider
Woodland Orchard
Winter Cranberry

The following are the scents that will be available again on March 1st:
Dreaming of Violets
Electric Berry
Green Tea Sorbet
Island Beauty
Pale Vanilla
She Sells Sea Shells
Sun Tea
Violet Sun

I'm still working on the re-release list and of coarse working on some all new scents. If there are any spring and summer seasonal scents that you'd like to see brought back, just let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Lemon Cream Cheese Cake

I adapted this recipe from Martha's Meyer Lemon Cupcake recipe which can be found in the Martha Steward Cupcakes book (which I'm absolutely loving by the way!) I just made a few minor changes to the recipe, like using salted butter instead of unsalted, regular lemons instead of Meyer, and of coarse I made a cake instead of cupcakes. I very much like to cook and bake with what I have on hand. If I need to buy special ingredients or *gasp* plan ahead, it usually doesn't happen. I am going to give you the recipe for the cupcakes and at the end I'll include the changes that I made for the cakes. This recipe makes a ton of cupcakes. If you are making them for personal consumption and not planning on sharing them with a crowd of people, you may want to half the recipe or plan on freezing some.

A little preemptive warning. These cakes are dense, very very dense. It is much for of a pound cake type of consistency.

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (Martha called for Meyer lemon zest)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (Martha called for Meyer lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) of butter, room temperature (Martha called for unsalted)
3 cups granulated sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
7 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 325. Line standard sized muffin tins with liners.
- Whisk together flour, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt.
- Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low until each is well incorporated. Scrap down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.
- Add flour mixture in three batches, and be sure to only beat until the batter is just combined
- Divide evenly among the cups filling each about three quarters of the way full.
- Bake for 28 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

***Changes I make when baking this as a cake***

Warning, math ahead! If you are anything like me, this is when your brain with shut off to protect itself.
- I wanted to make a mini cake so I used two 6" inch cake pans.
- I halved the above recipe and it fit perfectly
- I baked the cakes just about 20 minutes longer then the time quoted for the cupcakes at the same temperature of 325). Basically I set my timer for the 28 minutes and then checked it every five minutes after that.

I filled this cake with a really easy homemade Lemon Curd that I made in the microwave, believe it or not! You can find the recipe for that here
Easy Lemon Curd on All Recipes
I've made this Curd a few times now and it has always come out great...even though microwaving eggs seems scary. I do strain the curd (you must do this as soon as it is done cooking and screaming hot) to removing and teeny, tiny bits of egg that have cooked. Seriously though, it has always been such a minute amount that I really don't have to strain it. I'm just a little particular about that. Oh, and I also omit the zest since Jeremy doesn't like chewing his curd...ha!

I didn't forget the recipe

For those of you who may be out there waiting, beaters and butter in hand...I didn't forget you! This is what I've been doing instead.

I've been working very late nights in the shop and by the time I quit, pick up all the kid debris that is strewn about our living room, exercise (yes my sanity is questionable when I only start exercising at 11:45pm but it does relax me), and then stew myself in a hot bath while I catch up on some of the blogs I'm subscribed to...I'm pretty much unable to form a cohesive sentence. See, my case in point, look at the size of that last sentence. Surely I must have broken at least six grammer laws there.

I could just throw up a link to the recipe on some other website but I want to give you the full experience. So I'll see you tomorrow then!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Month of Birthdays

That's right, I have birthdays galore in February. I'll be a cake making machine by month's end. The first is my mom's. The girls and I made her a lemon cream cheese cake with lemon curd filling. Yes, we are a family of lemon lovers. We still have a nice layer of ice coating everything outside so I wanted something to brighten up my mom's day with something sunny looking. What better then a tangy lemon cake and a pile of happy little daisies. The girls are getting to be quite proficient in the kitchen already. My secret evil plan to have them both go to culinary school and then of coarse repay me in culinary delights is coming along quite nicely.

They helped me mold the flowers (eating about half as many as they completed) and then color in the centers after they were dried. They also helped me stick the flowers onto the cake. Ah, marshmallow fondant...the world's yummiest play-doh.

I'll stop by tomorrow and share the recipe.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Treasury Tuesday

I made another Treasury. This one was inspired by the weather here the past few weeks...gray, somber, but beautiful.

A Gray Morning

For those that may not be Etsy addicts like me, Treasuries are beautiful collections of Etsy wares that members curate around a certain theme or color scheme. It is just a fun way to share all the beautiful, unique, and wonderful handmade goodies that can be found on Etsy. If you are very new to Etsy, you can check out the Help section for answers to all of your questions (and possibly set up your own account to buy and sell!). Support Handmade!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Hello February

February already and I know that I’ve (or I should say Wylde Ivy) was very quite in January. I’ve been working behind the scenes recovering form the chaos that is the holiday season and gearing up for the spring season. My business was exceptionally busy this holiday season….thank you to all out there! I was actually caught off guard a little and of coarse the holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without me trying to accomplish more then is feasibly possible for a mere mortal. I worked very hard but the holidays this year were magical. How could they not be with two “almost three year olds” in the house.

I took about a week after the holidays to recoup and change gears a little. Since then I’ve been working in the shop, still revamping my work stations to flow better with my work style now. I’ve been really looking hard at how I work and trying to find ways to make better use of my time. This means reorganizing my equipment and supplies, setting up my work stations a little differently, and of coarse purging some clutter that has been in my way. By clutter I mean the dribs and drabs of old packaging that I no longer use, soap mold in sizes that are no longer needed, old paper work and such. That is the thing about owning your own business. You must constantly evolve. Evolving means leaving behind what doesn’t work and reaching for new ideas and inspiration. I leave behind clutter when I evolve. It’s just me. I’ve been working at decluttering for a long time. Actually it was part of my resolutions for 2010 believe it or not. I’ve done really well at decluttering my personal life, but business life if a little harder for me. It is hard for me to admit that supplies I invested in are no longer needed and even harder for me to let them go. Oh I could go on and on about that subject, perhaps I’ll will later on. Right now I just wanted to do a quick catch up for the new year.

I had quite a few custom projects that I worked on in the beginning of the month. They are done and shipped or the soaps are curing and now it is time for me to start planning and getting ready for the upcoming spring season. I love saying that. SPRING! As I type this, we have piles of ice crusted snow on the ground and temps have been in the single digits at night. The sun rarely shines in January here. Our days are gray. This is the time I year I like to start thinking about sparkling fruit scents, dewy florals, and airy breezy scents as I envision lush wildflower meadows and gentle floating butterflies….perhaps even an old wooden swing hung from a giant Oak tree or a majestic Weeping Willow tickling the edge of a pond with it’s long tendrils….a place where everyone carries fresh farm eggs and produce home in wicker baskets and woman where grand floppy brim hats. Yep, that is how I get through the freezing months here, with sun soaked fairy tale like visions and run on sentences. Clearly watching Howards End the other days has not influenced my daydreams in the least.

Ok, out of Edwardian England and back to my workshop where the first order of business is to plan which scents I’ll be retiring next month and which scents will return from the spring and summer season last year. Keep your eye here for the retiring list coming in a few days. Most of the winter and autumn scents will have to be put away to make room for the new season scents. I have a few new scents that are in the works too, but it is just a little too early to be able to talk about that.

Soap is also in the works. I'm restocking my shop and getting ready for the new season of soaps scents! Today, my shop smells like Sandcastles and my beloved Shine soap. I restocked a few soaps today like Violetta, Rhassoul Glow, Sweet Oat, Black Tea Jasmine, and Sweet Alpine.