Archive for February, 2017

aaa5We have been treated to quite a prolonged warm spell lately here on the Kansas prairie (just across the river from the great town of Kansas City, MO) but we know there is still some winter left yet. Which is why I am still scoping out great soup recipes, like this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup I found from the fine folks at All Recipes.

About the recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup from All Recipes:

“This is simple and delicious. The taste is so smooth and creamy most people think this is a fattening soup loaded with cream and potatoes. People are always shocked by how few ingredients are needed.”

Find the recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup here.

See all the great recipes and other product and tips from All Recipes here.

FF: The Stealth Hunter and Fisherman Soap from Rainwater Farm

aaa3Need a good soap to make sure you clean your hardworking hands? Look no further that the Stealth Hunter and Fisherman Soap I found from the fine folks at Rainwater Farm.

About the Stealth Hunter and Fisherman Soap from Rainwater Farm:

“Anise essential oil and coffee mask human scent—perfect for outdoorsmen who want to go undetected. And, no washcloth needed: the coffee is a natural exfoliant that scrubs away dirt and rough skin. Ingredients: rainwater, tallow, olive oil, coconut oil, sodium hydroxide, coffee, essential herbal oils.”

Find the Stealth Hunter and Fisherman Soap from Rainwater Farm here.

See all the fine products from Rainwater Farm here.

FF: The Swan Soap Dish from Rice

aaa5Need a place to park your new Stealth Hunter and Fisherman Soap from Rainwater Farm?

You can’t do much better than the soft blue swan soap dish I found from the fine folks at Rice.

About Rice:

“RICE is a Danish homewares and accessories company known for colorful melamine, handmade baskets, storage, and hand glazed tableware. The designs are made with a joyful spirit and with lots of details. The RICE dream is to make your everyday more colorful – when washing, cleaning, baking and relaxing in your home.”

Find the swan soap dish from Rice here.

See all the fine homewares and accessories from Rice here.

aaa5In the past I have raved about the fine heirloom bean offerings from the fine folks a Rancho Gordo.

Today, I have to rave about another find from the same place – Rancho Gordo’s Ancient Salt Sampler.

About Rancho Gordo’s Ancient Salt Sampler:

“Three unusual salts from Mexico, for cooking, for softening and for finishing. A collection of all three of our imported Mexican salts from Archeological salt mines and marshes. Sal de Mar is chunks of sea salt ready to be crushed in your salt grinder or just tossed into a sauce or stew, as you like. Flor de Sal is comparable to France’s more expensive Fleur de Sel and makes an ideal finishing salt Sal Mixteca is from an ancient mine in Oaxaca that naturally contains bicarbonates that help soften beans and keep vegetables green without the nasty flavor of baking soda. Use just a pinch!”

The Ancient Salt Sampler from Rancho Gordo is the perfect addition to my ever-expanding collection of cool and unique salts.

Find the Ancient Salt Sampler from Rancho Gordo here.

Learn more about the heirloom beans and other products from Rancho Gordo here.

aa1I am a big fan of historian and writer Candice Millard, her River of Doubt, about the exploits of Teddy Roosevelt in the tangles of South America, is one of the best books I have read in recent years. So imagine my delight when she turned her talents to one of my heroes, Winston Churchill. Having read many books on the great man, I feared I would be on well-trod ground. However, in Ms. Millard  new book, Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill, she concentrates on an early part of Churchill’s career bringing to vivid detail what is often just a chapter in other full life biographies.

About Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard: “At age twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England one day, despite the fact he had just lost his first election campaign for Parliament.  He believed that to achieve his goal he must do something spectacular on the battlefield.  Despite deliberately putting himself in extreme danger as a British Army officer in colonial wars in India and Sudan, and as a journalist covering a Cuban uprising against the Spanish, glory and fame had eluded him. Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, there to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels. But just two weeks after his arrival, the soldiers he was accompanying on an armored train were ambushed, and Churchill was taken prisoner.  Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape–but then had to traverse hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him. The story of his escape is incredible enough, but then Churchill enlisted, returned to South Africa, fought in several battles, and ultimately liberated the men with whom he had been imprisoned.”

I have read so many book about Churchill it is hard to think there is anything new to be learned. I’ve read books on just his dinner parties, on his watercolor hobby, and other more obscure parts of his life and they are all fascinating and illuminating. Learning more about his experiences in the Boer War, I have a much better understanding of the man who was destined to be in the right place at the right time to save a nation and a way of life.

Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard is available from Amazon and wherever fine books are sold.

 

aa4I can’t tell you how many times in recent years that I have been browsing in some shop or online and I find a really cool product and look to see who made it and it turns out it is from the fine folks at DCI.

Seriously, these guys some really neat things, like the World Champion Bottle Stopper which makes your favorite bottle of wine or spirits look like an old school bowling trophy (right), and who doesn’t need an inflatable cat or an inflatable moose head?

About DCI: “DCI is a consumer product design & distribution company. Our approach marries innovation, function and fun design inspired by fashion, color, lifestyle trend & technology. We are experts at bringing new products to market sold in thousands of retail stores globally. DCI started in 1998 in New York City and relocated to Providence, Rhode Island in 2013. The DCI product design center was established to promote an open dialog between individuals and companies, a place to network and share ideas, a space to explore consumer products, and develop products. Keep it fun and colorful!”

I have to add that I am quite fond of DCI’s mitten flask: “When it’s cold outside and you need a nip of something to warm you up, use the Mitten Flask. Sewn into one of the mittens, it has a tethered cap (at the tip of the thumb) and funnel. A stroke of genius!”

Check out all the “fun and colorful” products from DCI here.

Val

aaa4I am totally obsessed with the Rocket Clock I found from the fine folks at Pendulux. I love how it is retro and futuristic all at the same time – just like yours truly.

About the Rocket Clock from Pendulux (right):

“An icon from the birth of the space age, our Rocket Clock houses a retro 1950s dial and hand amidst sleek lines of polished aluminum and brass. An homage to model rocket ships from the 1950s with its antenna and hatch windows, this retrofuturistic display stands 17” on three sturdy legs.”

Find the Rocket Clock from Pendulux here.

I also love Pendulux’s similarly themed Rocket Bookends (below right):

aaa4a“As if split by a wormhole, the two solid cast polished aluminum halves of the Rocket Bookends can hold an infinite mass of knowledge between them. Heavy iron bases and soft felt bottoms keep planetary sagas secure without scratching shelves, while the brass antenna and portholes allow unseen passengers to look out over your personal library.”

Find the Rocket Bookends from Pendulux here.

In fact, the fine folks at Pendulux have so many cool clocks, lamps and “objects” one can only hope to ever have one or two. But in the meantime it is fun to look.

See all the cool products from Pedulux here.

A totally gratuitous post for a Sunday morning – two things that make me very happy in life – kittens and Mr. Johnny Cash:

JohnnyCash

aaa1I don’t like to use metal spoons when I am cooking. I have been using a set of plastic spoons I purchased a few years back from the fine folks at IKEA. However, I would really like to use wooden spoons more, but the ones I seem to find are not really that great and are better suited for kindling in the fireplace. But I think I have found the solution – the Baker’s Dozen Wood Spoon set from the fine folks at Sir Madam.

About the Baker’s Dozen Wood Spoons from Sir Madam: “The wooden spoon is a kitchen workhorse, and we’ve been amassing bouquets of well-worn examples for years. Our Baker’s Dozen Wood Spoons sets are an instant collection of thirteen assorted styles with no two alike, replicated from some of our favorites and sold packaged as a set in a printed muslin pouch. The large spoons are great for cooking and serving, and the small spoons are ideal for spices, sauces, and desserts. Each spoon is hand-carved from beautiful beech hardwood, and they gain a warm patina with age and use.”

See all great find from Sir Madam here.

FF: The Brown Sugar Bourbon Fudge from Iva Jean’s

aaa1It is well documented that when I was a wee lad I quite fancied brown sugar – especially in my oatmeal. As an adult, it has been noted that I quite fancy the joys of bourbon. These two great flavors come together in the I found from the fine folks at Iva Jean’s Friday Night Fudge collection.

About the Brown Sugar Bourbon Fudge from Iva Jean’s:

“Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Brown Sugar, Farm Fresh Butter, Homemade Evaporated Milk, Homemade Marshmallow Whip, Guittard White Chocolate Chips, Pecans, and Bourbon.”

Check out Iva Jean’s Friday Night Fudge collection here.

FF: The Amor Chocolate Heart from Alma Chocolate

aaa2Meanwhile, the fine folks at Mouth have you covered for a last minute Valentine’s treat with the Amor Chocolate Heart from Alma Chocolate.

About the Amor Chocolate Heart from Alma Chocolate:

“This solid heart of darkness (74%, to be exact) features a soaring swallow, blooming flowers and a sweeping engraved banner. Alma Chocolate in Portland pours dark Dominican chocolate into custom handmade molds, then hand-gilds each icon with edible 23-karat gold leaf.”

See all the great treats for your mouth from Mouth here.