Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One Clue...

I realize I've been doing some food posts lately, so I guess I owe in the 'life' and 'making other stuff' department.
Being a very creative person can be very frustrating at times. So much I want to do, so little time. I also tend to flit around a lot, which is never good for business. Oh, I do enjoy my creativity! However, I've had the hardest time settling on which one to pursue. Asking a creatively ADD person to pick one thing and stick with it is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child... excruciatingly difficult.
I came back to my Taiwo products because it's the one I have the most experience in. I have been making soaps and other body products since December 1998 when it first hit me that it was possible to make this stuff at home. It's just always seemed logical to do that. After taking a 3 year break from the business (due to the increasing size of my family), I decided it was time to go back. I came back to the same problem I had before: how to pick a niche and focus on that niche. I always thought I had to offer EVERYTHING. That can be the death of a business too, trying to be everything to everyone. Just because you CAN do everything doesn't mean you SHOULD.
I think I may have finally found that niche. I am excited, but waiting until the initial excitement passes to make any announcements.
Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


You know that scene in the movie "Envy" with Jack Black where they announce at dinner that 'Flan' will be served. suddenly everyone gets real excited like Flan is just the best thing in the world! Well, if you don't know that scene, run to the nearest video store and get a copy. It's hi-larious!

Anyway, the reaction in that scene is what you'll get everytime you make Coquito, Puerto Rico's answer to the American Eggnog. Think Eggnog by the beach on a hot sunny day. That's how yummy this drink is.

I first discovered this drink about 2 years ago when The Man brought it home from a weekend with his Capoeira buddies. I had a taste and just had to make it! Alas, in my old age, I've grown to become somewhat lactose intolerant, but this drink is not as dairy intensive as its American counterpart. Warning: it's not for the faint of heart. It's very sweet, and possibly very fattening, but it's a wonderful once a year induldgence. Here's my recipe

1 Can Coconut Milk (I use Goya)
1 Can Coconut Cream (the sweetened kind, I use Goya)
1 small can sweetened condensed Milk
6 oz Rum (Preferably Coconut Flavored)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
makes approximately 46oz

Combine all ingredients in your blender cup and blend until smooth. Chill in the fridge for about an hour. It will thicken slightly, just mix with your whisk. It will be thick but smooth.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A time to give

So, it's that time of the year again.

This year I decided not to do my usual last minute mad-dash of trying to figure out what to give my kids' teachers the night before. I decided to actually be ahead of the curve this time.
Actually, this new-found preparedness began with the secret santa at work. I mindlessly filled out the form, thinking, how cool it would be to get presents from someone I didn't know. At the time, it barely occurred to me that I would have to reciprocate (insert comments about my self-absorption here...) When the lightbulb finally went off, I started to think. Since my secret santa recipient likes hot cocoa, I set out to make a gift mug filled with hot-cocoa, marshmallows and the works. What I I ended up with was even better.

I used cone bags, instead of the usual mugs, to package the mix. I really got excited when I realized that I could use my newest toy, silhouette machine, to cut the tags. I tied some ribbon around it, and finished it off with a tag and some bling! I got really into packaging the stuff, and for once I was on-time!

This makes a great gift for coworkers, teachers, mailpeople, babysitters, and anyone else you'd like to appreciate! It's also a great stocking stuffer.

Here's the recipe for the Hot Chocolate Cones. This makes about 6 cones.

Hot Cocoa Mix:

  • 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Measure all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them until they are evenly blended.

  2. Store the mix in a tightly covered container at room temperature until you're ready to package it. Makes about 4 cups of mix.

To package each cone:

Ingredients (For Each Cone:
  • 1/2 cup cocoa mix
  • 2 (6- by 12-inch) cone-shaped cellophane bags (available at party stores)
  • 2 clear rubber bands (I used twist ties)
  • Scissors
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 Peppermint Candy Canes

  1. Pour the cocoa mix into one of the bags. Close the bag with a clear rubber band, then trim the end of the bag 1 inch above the band.

  2. Place the cocoa-filled bag into the second bag and flatten its top so the end doesn't stick up.

  3. Layer the chocolate chips and the marshmallows, then stick 1 candy cane in the center. Fasten the bag around the candy cane with one twist tie. Secure the bag with the other rubber band.

1. Tie a piece of ribbon around the cone to cover up the twist tie.
2. Address a decorative gift tag and hang from the ribbon.

Happy Gift Giving!