Our Trip to Handmade Market Spring 2013

This past weekend, on Mother’s Day, we took a trip to the Handmade Market (http://www.handmademarket.ca/) in St Davids at the Ravine Vineyard (Niagara region). Despite the crazy weather, the event was gorgeous and included 60+ Artisan Vendors, Live Music, Food Trucks and Wine while you shop.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts visits the Handmade Market in Niagara Spring 2013

It was our first trip to the Handmade Market and it definitely won’t be our last! We loved the market so much that we wanted to share our experience with all of our lovely customers and friends. Since we’re working on a new packaging design for our Chardonnay Wine Brittle, this was also the perfect venue to get some inspiration!

Vintage Truck at the Handmade Market Spring 2013

Some of our favourite parts of the show included:

Everything we sampled from ‘Itty Bitty Pie Company’ was completely amazing, from their pies – of course – to her meat marinades. Our favourite product of theirs was definitely the Salted Caramel Sauce! We imagine it would go very well with sliced apples for an easy treat or appetizer. (Yummy!) This is definitely a shop we will be following around to craft markets. ;)

Itty Bitty Pie Company, Salted Caramel Sauce and Meat Marinades

‘a little hello’ has found an amazing use for those vintage buttons that just don’t have a home. Gorgeous one-of-a-kind earrings! Our very favourites were their pearl button earrings, and the sailor inspired silver anchor buttons. Their set-up was also beautiful, very earthy with fresh flowers – perfect for Handmade Market!

'A Little Hello' Vintage Buttons repurposed into earrings

  • Handmade Tiered Dessert Tray from ‘Cupcakestands Dream’

Tea & dessert together in one beautiful tray – we’re officially in love! ‘Cupcakestands Dream’ uses repurposed vintage china to create gorgeous tiered dessert trays, which in our minds would be so perfect for Afternoon tea. Another factor we love – each piece is completely unique!

'Cupcakestands Dream' Tiered Vintage China Dessert Tray

The Handmade Market really inspired us overall and we wanted to share a quote that embodied that inspiration! Feel free to share, pin etc. We believe it really is true! “Small things become great when done with love”.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts "Small Things Become Great When Done With Love." #quote

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Everyday leading up to Cinco de Mayo we have had a special party tip, to make your themed party a blast. Check through all our latest blog posts to give your guests, or your family, a festive Cinco de Mayo!

Todays Party Tip Number 1: A Mexican Main!

Show your guests you can really get into the festive spirit by preparing this delicious main, which is one of the most representative dishes of Mexico – Chicken Mole Poblano! Reportedly, Chicken Mole Poblano is so popular, it’s been said that ninety-nine percent of Mexicans have tried at least one type of mole. (Wikipedia.) Spicy and sweet at the same time, with an addition of CHOCOLATE?! What more could you ask for in a meal?

If you have quite a lot of guests, rather than have a sit down meal.. you could serve this meal in tiny bowls with small spoons. That way, it’s still ‘appetizer’ style!

Chicken Mole Poblano recipe

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Cinco de Mayo Chicken Mole Poblano Chocolate Sauce Recipe

What you will need:

  • 4 dried pasilla peppers (stems and seeds removed)
  • 4 dried New Mexico chilies (stems and seeds removed)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium tomatoes (peeled and seeds removed, chopped)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ corn tortilla (ripped into pieces)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • Water
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate square (or more, to taste)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite sizes pieces)

How to: In a blender or food processor, mix together pasilla peppers, chilies, onion, garlic, tomatoes, 1 tbsp sesame seeds (the rest will be for garnish), almonds, tortilla, raisins, cloves, cinnamon and coriander. Add a small amount of water while it’s pureeing to be sure you finish with a smooth sauce. Heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring often. Mix in the chicken broth and chocolate square. Bring down the heat to very low and cook the sauce for 45 minutes. When done, the sauce should be very thick. While the sauce is simmering, in a separate stir fry pan, drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Heat over medium high heat and place bite sized chicken pieces in to the stir fry pan. Stir fry until completely browned and cooked through. Serve chicken over white rice, cover with mole sauce and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds.

Today’s Party Tip 2: Fresh Dessert!

You can use whatever fruit you have on-hand. Citrus fruits and tree fruits work best, such as oranges, nectarines, peaches etc.

Sangria Fruit Salad Recipe

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Cinco de Mayo Sangria Fruit Salad Recipe with White Wine

What you will need:

For the Fruit Salad:

  • Kiwis, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Nectarines, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Grapes (green, purple) , cut into bite sized pieces
  • Figs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Apples, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Oranges, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Peaches, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Package Christy’s Gourmet Gifts Chardonnay Wine Brittle, broken into small pieces
  • Sugar for sprinkling

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 white wine
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey

How to: Mix all of your cut pieces of fruit in a large bowl. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, in a separate bowl. Pour the mixture over top of the fruit in the bowl. Sprinkle a bit of sugar, and the Chardonnay Wine Brittle pieces over your fruit salad. Serve with small bowls and spoons.

Dressing recipe is an adaptation from: Real Simple White Wine Vinaigrette

Have a great Cinco de Mayo party! 

Cinco de Mayo Countdown – Day 3

Everyday leading up to Cinco de Mayo (the 5thof May) we will have a special party tip, to make your themed party a blast! Stay tuned for recipes, décor tips and lots more.

Today’s Party Tip: 3. Party Décor!

You can’t have a themed party without some themed décor! Get your guests into the Cinco de Mayo spirit the moment they walk into the door by using some of these easy décor tips:

 *String up some paper garlands*

Purchase paper garlands or easily create them yourself using tissue paper.  

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Paper Garland for Cinco de Mayo Party DIY Do it Yourself

How to create them yourself:

  1. Take two different coloured, large pieces of tissue paper. Cut the tissue paper into four lengthwise pieces.
  2. Lay them out flat on a large surface (or the ground), alternating between colours. Cut a long piece of ribbon to cover all pieces and have extra ribbon on each end.
  3. Lay the ribbon flat over all the pieces of tissue paper, slightly below the center line of the tissue paper.Christy's Gourmet Gifts Paper Garland Cinco de Mayo DIY
  4. Fold each piece of tissue paper over the ribbon. Staple the tissue paper onto the ribbon at the top center. Now all your tissue paper garlands are in place.
  5. Cut each tissue paper into slices, about ¾ of the way up.
  6. Take your extra ribbon ends and pin or attach to a table or wall. And there you have it – a beautiful piece of décor for your party!

*Bright Colours*

Cover tables in brightly-coloured tablecloths or fabrics. Use fabric napkins for the centerpiece and cover with brightly-coloured bowls, cake plates or vintage tins. Fill the bowls, plates or tins with candies or sweets in fun colours.

ruffledblog.com Cinco de Mayo Party - Bright Colours - Centerpieces

ruffledblog.com

*Paper Lanterns*

Paper Lanterns can be purchased at party stores or can sometimes be found at a reduced cost at the dollar store.  They bring a pop of colour to plain rooms and also add a sense of fun and whimsy. Perfect for the party spirit!

celebrateexpress.com Cinco de Mayo Party Paper Lanterns

celebrateexpress.com

*Margarita Mason Jars*

Keep your guests’ thirst at bay! Prepare margaritas ahead of time with a plain margarita mix. Pour the prepared drinks into mason jars and put them into a container full of ice for your guests to pick up when they come in your door. They’re perfect for moving around a party, especially with a straw, and won’t spill when you place them in the ice bucket.

livinglocurto.com Cinco de Mayo party Margarita Mason Jars

livinglocurto.com

*Embroidered Fabrics or Patterned Fabrics & Fresh Flowers*

Be sure to have fresh bright-coloured flowers throughout your party area, as well as some embroidered patterned fabrics . Think fresh and bright!

ruffledblog.com Cinco de Mayo Party fresh flowers and embroidered fabrics

ruffledblog.com

Stay tuned for party tip number 4 tomorrow!

Cinco de Mayo Countdown

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Christy’s Gourmet Gifts style!

Though Cinco de Mayo originally began as a celebration over a battle (yikes!) more info here..  it is now widely recognized as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.  But, you can find many people internationally celebrating this day, regardless of heritage! Take a look at Martha Stewart’s ideas  and the Food Network Cinco de Mayo party menu. Cinco de Mayo definitely looks like a celebration that we want to be a part of! 

Everyday leading up to Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) we will have a special party tip, to make your themed party a blast! Stay tuned for recipes, décor tips and lots more.

Today’s Party Tips:

1.Cinco de Mayo party favours!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Cinco De Mayo Party Theme - Party Favours

Christy’s Gourmet Gifts is famous for our Christy’s Crunch so why not share our famous goodie with your friends and family at your party?! We put together a favour for our Cinco de Mayo party and we can do the same for you. If you can dream it, we can do it. (Not just for Cinco de Mayo either, we can help with all of your themed – or un-themed! – party favour needs.)

For the favour design, we spruced up a plain white gift box with some bright colours and patterns, added a bow and filled it up with some famous Christy’s Crunch. Yum! Guests will definitely be in the party spirit after receiving these little guys.

2.  Mexican Lime Pie Recipe!

What’s a party without some yummy desserts?! Bring some fresh citrus flavouring into your festivities, while giving your guests their sweets fix. You can whip up this easy Mexican Lime Pie in no time (really, anyone can make this recipe). Enjoy!

 Cinco De Mayo Themed Party - Mexican Lime Pie Recipe

What you will need:

  • 15 graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 large eggs, yolks only
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12     key limes, juiced or ½ cup fresh lime juice (3 to 4 regular limes)
  • 2 tsp lime zest (+ a bit extra for garnish)

 How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Crush the graham crackers and mix together with sugar and butter. Take a rectangular baking dish (or a 9” pie dish for a more traditional look) and press the mixture into the bottom of it, in an even layer. Bake until the mixture is golden, about 12 minutes.
  • While the pie shell is in the oven, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixture, until they lighten and thicken. Stir in ½ of the lime juice and the condensed milk. Whisk the egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the remaining ½ of the lime juice, and the lime zest.
  • Fill your baked pie shell with the lime mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 350F.
  • Take your key lime pie out of the oven and cool. Serve each pie piece with a dollop of whipped cream and a bit of lime zest.

Delicious and so easy!

Stay tuned for party tip number 3 tomorrow!