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This blog has moved to emilybinder.com

SOS- Save Our Shores

Today I stumbled onto an Etsy seller, Gypsy Charms Jewelry, via the Greater New Orleans Foundation website.  She has listed an SOS necklace with the proceeds from the sale of this necklace going to The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.  It’s a lovely necklace and I applaud this seller and all the other Etsyers supporting the oil spill relief effort.  I was so inspired that I listed my popular Southern Pecan Pralines as another item with proceeds donated to the relief fund.  And then I was feeling gung ho and created a Gulf Oil Spill Relief Treasury.  Check it out! Includes a keychain from a favorite seller, RiskyBeads.

Gulf Oil Spill Relief Treasury by Adore a Jar Bakery

Proceeds from all these handpicked items go to help oil spill relief funds.

IOil Spill Shrimpnstead of Mother Teresacomplaining about the sublime ineptitude of BP and the unfathomable, astronomical damage this spill is causing each day, I will attempt to heed the words of Mother Teresa as per The Secret and the Law of Attraction: “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”  Yes, let’s all try to attract positive energy and not marinate in this catastrophe which affects many things including… (since I must relate my rant to food for this blog) the seafood industry! I don’t want crude in my shrimp gumbo! According to the NY Times Diners Journal blog, many are worried about the havoc on our seafood…

Etsy Treasuries

KnitsYoursKnotMine Etsy icon


Recently, three lovely Etsy treasuries have included me.

All of them chose my Southern Pecan Pralines.

Corky Crafts   etsy icon

Corky Crafts

Thank you again to Corky Crafts and KnitsYoursKnotMine (unfortunately treasuries expire, so these ones aren’t viewable anymore).

Kudos to you on some skilled hand-picking of theme items!  Current treasury featuring Adore a Jar Bakery:

1. SwSweetDelaney  Etsy Iconeet Tea, Spanish Moss, and Steamy Nights- Curator: Sweet Delaney

Sweet Tea, Spanish Moss Etsy Treasury Screenshot

Readers: Do check out these Etsy treasuries, and if you have an idea for a treasury of your own, go ahead and create one on Etsy!  You may have Favoritized several items that fit under one theme- for example, your favorite color, tree-related knick knacks, or summertime handmade items… you name it.  Go for it!  It’s a great way to contribute to the community and boost visibility of sellers you like.

100 Cocktails to Try Before You Die

I came across Anvil’s 100 List, a list of 100 cocktails you should try once in your life.  It’s by Bobby Heugel and Justin Burrows, master mixologists at Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston.  Just from the excellent design of their website and this wonderfully anachronistic and multivariate list, this bar is on my list! #96, the Vieux Carre, caught my eye.

Which cocktail below would you most like to try?

100 Cocktails to Try Before You Die- List

Check this out- Anvil is upcycled! From their About section:

“Anvil is located in a Bridgestone-Firestone tire store built in the late 1950’s. Designed and remodeled by the partners, the finished space reflects the same respect for history, elegant simplicity, and raw ingredients as the cocktails that are served there. The building was completely gutted, revealing original brick walls, high ceilings and industrial ductwork, all of which remain untouched. Reclaimed materials and locally salvaged artifacts were discovered at antique stores and thrift shops and then retooled to craft the bar, shelving and tables. The result is a modern industrial design softened by the rich, recycled natural materials that furnish Anvil. Even the glassware is vintage, reminiscent of grandmother’s fancy glasses, all unearthed at small local stores.”

Anvil Bar & Refuge- bar picture

Etsy Sellers on Craftcount.com

Thank you to Fridah at Craftcount.com for featuring Adore a Jar Bakery this week!AAJB icon  Craftcount.com

Two other great shops featured at Craftcount:

Here is the most eyeRisky Beads  Etsy Shop Icon Craftcount.com-catching icon and an excellent shop.  Lori offers beads of all kinds, and nursing necklaces, too.  Check out the graphics on her icon!:

Clip Art for  Crafters Craftcount.com Icon

<—-And this gal at Piddix on Etsy has a pinup (she wins in my book) and neat Scrabble pieces (I love Scrabble).

Em’s Real Orange Frosting Recipe & Etsy Discount & Light Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe.

Want to spruce up a frosting with natural flavors?

I have several chocolate cake varieties in my bakery and the plain old chocolate and vanilla were getting boring. I’ve always loved the combo of orange and dark chocolate (remember the retired Baskin Robbins ice cream flavor?) so I created a special edition Real Orange Frosting to compliment my Chocolate Tennessee Whiskey Cake.

Little Mermaid Cake

Little Mermaid by Cake Stylist

Note: If you want to make icing, here is an excellent recipe for Royal Icing from the helpful Diary of a Cake Stylist.  There, you can learn how to create buttercream chrysanthemums and a Mario cake, etc.  Here she explains the uses for three different icing consistencies (E.g., are you decorating with stiff flower petals (thick), stars (medium), or dots/lettering (thin)?)

Anyway, here’s my recipe for Real Orange Frosting (warning, this uses shortening whichorange art deviantart contains partially hydrogenated oils. Buy the brands that don’t contain these nasty oils, or make a real butter based frosting and substitute the orange extract where vanilla or almond extract is called for):

Em’s Real Orange Frosting

4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup shortening
1/4 cup orange juice (water works too)
1 tsp. real orange extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Several drops of orange food coloring (or 2 parts red, 1 part yellow = orange)

1. Cream the shortening and powdered sugar (ideally with an electric hand mixer).
2. Gradually add the orange juice and extracts, continue creaming.
3. Add about 4-5 drops of food color and blend in- if you want a darker orange, add more!

Oh and here’s the word to convo me for 15% off your purchase in my Etsy store: mobility.

Chocolate Tennessee Whiskey Cake with Orange Frosting

Chocolate Tennessee Whiskey Jar Cake with Orange Frosting

A. I can’t give away my secret whiskey cake recipe and B. Many people are looking for lighter desserts (which this frosting is not!), so here is a recipe for chocolate cake I found on sparkrecipes.com (click link for nutritional info and original recipe). It uses MAYO and has no eggs or oil. It’s is actually pretty good… for a diet cake!

Light Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (from DakotaTurtle)

    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 cup mayonnaise (I like Duke’s Light Mayo but any will work)
    1 cup water
    1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a large bowl, with a metal sieve/sifter, sift  the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together.
2. In a separate medium bowl, cream the sugar, mayonnaise, water and vanilla together.
3. Add the dries to the creamed wet mixture and stir to combine.
4. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan (lightly sprinkle a pinch of flour over the pan- the higher your hand is, the finer the sprinkle- a good thing).
5. Bake at 350°F. for about 25-30 minutes.

Serves 12

Store cake covered tightly to retain its moistness, and ideally refrigerate after 1-2 days.  Top with my above orange frosting or just some powdered sugar lightly sprinkled over it.

Pickled Watermelon Rind. Ormsby’s Atlanta.

Am I becoming a Southerner?  It has been seven months since I transplanted to GA- you tell me.

I tried pickled watermelon rind at a favorite haunt of mine, Ormsby's (almost all the Yelp reviews are accurate, so if you live in ATL or come here to visit, DO check it out!  The owner Michael, who I have nicknamed Patagonia due to his mountain man appearance and evident traveling past, is incredibly friendly and generous.

Darts at Ormsby's Atlanta

Darts at Ormsby's (Self, Dec. 2009)

( He also has impeccable taste in decor- the pub has a modern/rustic feel with handmade solid wood everything, perfect greenish light, and two levels split by a central staircase where servers hoist gourmet carnival fare on trays ascending and descending toward wide-eyed and happy tipsy dart and pool players. )

The second night Captain and I drank/dined there, Michael was kind enough to bring us samples of the vinegar deviled eggs and pickled watermelon rind.  (We had sweat a lot that day?)  I about died- so amazing and so foreign to me, pickling a fruit rind into salty heaven.  So being me, I had to make it myself (granted I resolved to do so in December and hello April but here we go anyway).

Here’s the recipe I used (quartered and doctored a bit with one from epicurious.com which I hate to admit using, but I have to be honestbaker):


  • 1 pound watermelon rind (use fresh, firm watermelon, not mushy/old melon!)
  • 1 cup sugar/Splenda
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 mini orange
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

(I was missing allspice and the orange and I only had ground cinnamon.  In retrospect I see that having all the true whole ingredients really makes a difference.  And cinna sticks in that mason jar would look sick.  Additionally, proportions are key in pickling- this relates to my entry on precision and left-brained baking vs. right-brained cooking.  Anyway I wanted to experiment for my first (small) rind batch.)

Directions (adapted)

  • Scrape off any pink flesh from rind.
  • Cut rind into 3/4″ squares or rectangles/slivers (not that important to have perfect size).
  • Cover with cold, salted water (1/4 cup salt to 1 quart (or 4 cups) water), and leave out overnight loosely covered.
  • Drain, cover with fresh water and cook 1/2 hour over low stove heat, or until just tender.
  • Drain again.
  • Stir together sugar, vinegar and water in a large pot.
  • Slice oranges and lemons thinly, discard pits and add fruit to the pot.
  • Tie cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a cheesecloth bag and add to the pot (if using ground spices, just sprinkle them in).
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves (about 10-15min).
  • Add watermelon rind and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the rind is translucent and the juices syrupy.
  • Ladle all contents into hot sterilized preserving jars.
  • Open cheesecloth, place a piece of cinnamon in each jar, cover and seal.
  • Consume now or later.

My rind turned out a bit too sweet but it ya gotta love the look:  Pickled Watermelon Rind

And the texture was brilliant!  Very soft.  I’ll definitely have another go at it.  The directions seem long or hard but really it’s just long- the steps are quite simple.  Give it a shot and let me know your results!  If you do so and leave a comment, you’ll receive 10% off in my Etsy store (remind me when you purchase something).  If you tweet about this blog post, same deal.  And if you don’t care to buy anything or tweet, that’s cool– you’ll receive my respect for being awesome and trying the picklin’! Yahoo



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