When you think of comfort and food, your mind may immediately wander to thoughts of cookies. (Truth be told, our mind wanders there quite often, regardless of mental prompts.)
And that's why - when we were planning our recent "Comfort Food" Batch - we had to have some cookies. And if we could find some that complement the season, even better.
Enter: Gracey's Gourmet Cookies.
What do you get when you take delicious family recipes and combine them with seasonal spices? If you’re Brigitte Hohman, you get Gracey’s. Named after her grandmother and baked with love, all of her confections will delight your taste buds. If you’re looking for something homemade (but don’t want to make it in your home), Gracey’s has you covered.
Light and fluffy with just the right amount of spices, we bet you can't eat just one (but no one ate more than 12, because that was all we sent).
Cake on a stick? Fashioned into a ball? Pristinely decorated?
Yes to all of the above.
And yes to everything that Faye's Cake Pops creates.
What began as a hobby blossomed into full-time work, especially after Kristy Barkley’s fourth child arrived. Made from scratch with a personal touch, these artfully-designed pops will get everyone at your office, birthday party, wedding, or fantasy-football draft talking (and coming back for more).
And that's why we were excited to include them in our recent "Comfort Food" shipment. Nothing is more comforting than cake, and if you can take the cake with you, even better. Faye's Cake Pops cranks out high quality conversation piece desserts in a variety of flavors and shapes.
Pour. Stir. Bake. There are no simpler directions when it comes to making a loaf of bread.
And that's why we were super excited to meet Veronica and Soberdough, her well-branded creation of beer bread mix. When we found this mix at a local market earlier this year, we couldn't wait to share it with you. And we're glad we did.
How easy is it to make this bread? Lets' say you've just come home from a long day. Your routine may be to crack open a cold one (we've been there). With Soberdough, you can pour that (local) beer into the mix and baking becomes as easy as opening your favorite brew. You’ll have a tasty loaf of bread and five beers leftover, the ingredients for a great night.
The phrase “Just Add Beer” usually appears on Spring Break shirts, but when you open a bag of Soberdough, it’s the only instructions you’ll need. The mother-and-son team (Veronica and Jordan) combined their respective passions (baking and craft beer) and came up with a handful of flavors perfect for any meal.
In fact, check out all the flavors available here.
If you're in or around Nashville the first weekend in December (and why wouldn't you be?), then your first order of business should be to check out Porter Flea Holiday.
Nashville's third annual modern holiday market travels to Chestnut Hill on Saturday, December 7th, from 10am-6pm at the Track One Building (4th and Chestnut), 1211 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37210. Featuring the area's largest selection of affordable, one-of-a-kind goods from the most talented artisans, Porter Flea Holiday 2013 boasts its biggest and most diverse lineup ever, including over 30 new and local designers.
You also may recognize some tasty food purveyors that will be there. Some of these delicious items have already shown up at your doorstep; now's your chance to go and get more.
In all, Porter Flea Holiday 2013 will showcase over 85 of the region’s best designers of modern handmade apparel and accessories, home goods, furniture, jewelry, children's gifts and toys, and paper goods to satisfy all types of holiday shopping lists. Check 'em all out right here.
Don't miss the opportunity to see them all -- and to enjoy complimentary local craft beer from Jackalope Brewing Co while enjoying first crack at the season's hottest handmade gifts -- at the first-ever exclusive Preview Market on Friday, December 6th from 6-9pm. Tickets can be purchased here for this exclusive, 21+ event. And come hungry! The Grilled Cheeserie will be parked outside all night selling their legendary sandwiches and Grimey's will provide the tunes while you shop!
So if you can get out that weekend, go. And if you're stuck inside, turn off Twitter because it's all anyone will be talking about.
For our final after dinner puzzle piece, we selected a delicious post-meal beverage that would warm you up and calm you down.
Meet: Firepot Chai.
To round our our October After Dinner Batch, we asked Sarah Scarborough, founder of Firepot Chai to include some of her looseleaf tea. Firepot is Sarah's third tea venture, so we were confident she knew what she was doing. And she dropped her tea expertise on this Batch with a 3 oz. tin of her chocolate chai tea.
This combination of sweet and savory spices is the perfect way to relax after a long day. It's also a great way to get you going in the morning. Actually, we can't think of a time that isn't perfect for some Firepot Chai, so be sure to grab a tin (or a bottle of concentrate) to have at the ready, especially as the weather turns colder and relatives start showing up at your house.
She had us at bacon.
In her email to us that served as a hearty introduction, Judy Beaudin, of Scrumptious, let us know that she made some very delightful and oh-so-memorable bacon chocolate chunk cookies.
And of course, when we heard that, we simply had to try them.
Once we did, we couldn't wait to try and fit them in a Batch. As it turned out, these bacon cookies were a nice teammate for the other items in our After Dinner Batch that shipped earlier this month.
But, Judy and Scrumptious don't only make bacon cookies. Her knack for presentation and a commitment to quality ingredients also means that her whoopie pies, cakes, breads, and other treats are equally as memorable.
Better yet, Scrumptious doesn't just bring the food; it also brings the party. Offering catering services for any size gathering, you'll have an event friends and family remember for a very long time.
Just like bacon cookies.
One thing a lot of people seem to love about our Batches is that many of our purveyors make wonderful things with very few ingredients. It takes a truly skilled artisan to whip up something out of thin air.
And this is one of the things we love about Oil & Wax and its founder, Rachel Mueller. While planning her wedding looking for candles, Rachel didn't want to spend an arm and a leg on these much-needed accents. So, she tried her hand at making the candles she needed. And we're glad she did.
Keeping things simple and configuring the right mixture of oil and wax in every candle she pours, Oil & Wax candles come in a variety of scents. If you didn't think it was possible to capture something like a Christmas tree or an entire season in a 4.5-ounce glass jar, then you need to find a match and take a whiff.
As Rachel continues to add new scents, we're sure you'll find something that suits your home, event, or gift-giving needs.
There may be more than one way to cook a caramel, but we think that Walker Creek found the perfect way and just kept adding to it. As subscribers for our October Batch (After Dinner) know, a little bourbon with caramels goes a long way.
Cathy McCook and Bruce Mott began making confections years ago and now have a home for their sweet treats on the square in Watertown, Tennessee. Cooking up toffee and caramels is the name of the game and dripping some spirits in the mix is the play of the day. This husband-and-wife team cooks, wraps, sells, and delights with every creation.
Once After Dinner landed on doorsteps, people told us how out-of-this-world these caramels were. All we could say in response was "Aren't you glad we didn't eat them all."
At Batch, we've been known to send you a thing or two in that most iconic of containers: the Mason Jar. And while you can certainly wash and reuse as a cup, food container, or Southern-chic moonshine glass, we did some digging and found a few other ways to creatively reuse old Mason Jars.
(And, we can't say too much, but November's Batch will include something in a Mason Jar, too.)
The most popular way to reuse Mason Jars seems to be to collect supplies or hold lots of small things. The best we've seen in this bucket are these very simple jars holding your kids' craft supplies:
Need 8 more ideas for what Mason Jars can hold? Click here to get the skinny on bathroom supplies, stationery, and hardware.
Now let's get artistic. This post has 10 ways to use Mason Jars, including using one as a lantern or even - wait for it - a photo frame.
Want 47 more ideas? Of course you do. Click here to get to a slide show with a bevy of ideas, including our favorite (given the season) of crafting some Halloween luminaries.
And in the reuse post to end all posts, here are yet 100 more ideas for repurposing Mason Jars. From painting the jars to creating an advent calendar, take a look at each idea. We're really craving any of the recipes listed and can't resist reposting this clever idea:
What about you? How do you reuse old Mason Jars?
One of the most popular requests we've gotten since Batch began is something akin to:
I really love the products in my Batch, but my son/daughter can't use pancake mix/a candle/coffee beans at college. Any chance I can send them a Batch of locally-made products that are ready to eat?
Today we say, "Yes!"
Replace the Ramen is Batch's newest offering. Each month, we'll send your favorite college student(s) a Batch of four locally-made goods that will quickly make them the most popular kid at school (for all the right reasons).
Each Replace the Ramen Batch has:
Best of all, each Batch ships at the beginning of the month so your student will get his or her Batch around the same time you get yours, although the items will vary.
Replace the Ramen can ship to any campus or apartment complex in the U.S., so be sure to order today to send the November Replace the Ramen Batch in just a few weeks. When it ships, you'll also get an email telling you what they got. We're quite sure they'll be texting you to "send more food, plz."