I’m Listening

February 8th, 2010

Hi there !

Just thought I’d give you a heads up – next week is the First Anniversary of Centsational Girl (yay !) with giveaways galore, and some reflections on what I’ve learned about blogging over this past year.

For today, rather than leaving any comments, I’d appreciate if you’d indulge me in this very brief survey.  It is only 12 questions and will take about two to three minutes to complete.  The survey is designed to really get to know who you are and what you want to hear about when you take the time to visit this site.  I truly welcome your opinion.

Rules: this is a drama-free survey, so please provide only constructive feedback that will be helpful.  You do NOT have to answer any question that you prefer not to answer. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Good Company

February 8th, 2010

I’m back from the conference in Nashville and a whirlwind weekend.  The hotel was gigantic, over 600,000 square feet, imagine that!  From an architectural standpoint, the hotel was truly incredible.  But the most significant thing about the weekend conference was the comradery that occurred among all the gals in attendance.  I’m still floating in the clouds, have bonded with remarkable ladies at this unique event.

The Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, Tennessee is like one giant conservatory that is the size of a small town.  Everything is housed under gigantic glass paneled ceilings.  There were so many restaurants and shops and clubs and gardens.  There were fountains and waterfalls, a miniature river and lush botanicals around every corner.

waterfall and urns

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Adventures in Candy Making, Part One

February 5th, 2010

I’ve got a few savory recipes up my sleeve, and now and then I like to share them.  However, one thing I have never done (until this week) is made candy.  I’ve made brownies and fudge.  I’ve even made a ganash.  But never ever in my life had I ever dipped my toe into the pool that is candy making, whether it be truffles or caramels.

Several months ago, I stumbled across this recipe for salted caramels at Smitten Kitchen, and ever since I’ve had caramels with sea salt on the brain.  Some of you may be thinking, how do sweet caramel and salt even go together ?  But I assure you, there’s something about the competing flavors of sweetness and saltiness, and when blended together, it forms the perfect medley.

Making caramels requires a tool that I previously did not possess: a candy thermometer.  Since Valentine’s Day is approaching, I thought I’d try my hand at actually making some caramels and chocolate candies for friends.  So I bought a candy thermometer for $15 dollars at Michaels and thus began this little adventure into making caramels and other chocolate candies.

centsational girl candy box

Oh yes, I know what you’re thinking.  What a darling little carton of candy !  Do not be fooled.  Yes, it’s true, all’s well that ends well, but I must confess it was a somewhat rough journey to get to this blissful box.

Originally, when I glanced at the simple ingredients for caramel candy, I was emboldened.   Butter, sugar, cream and corn syrup.  What could go wrong ?

Little did I know that complexities and complications lurked around the bend.

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