Spring & Easter

Spring is the season of birth and renewal, making it a special time for religious holidays and private family holidays. With the beginning of April now upon us, we are busy decorating our house for Easter! Our favorite Holiday Blocks are front and center in the living room, giving a warm Hoppy Easter to all those who enter, and LeeLoo’s Baby’s First Easter Block is just beside them.

These baby blocks are perfect for commemorating the little one’s first Easter! Complete with images of a cross, an Easter bunny, and a basket filled with eggs, the inscription of the date and the baby’s name make for an absolutely adorable gift to add to their first Easter basket – plus, the block comes in color or our standard engraved if you prefer!

To add some additional spring colors to our house, we love to do the traditional decoration of Easter eggs. We found our favorite way on Pinterest, and it makes the annoying egg cracks useful! Rather than being extremely careful to not crack the egg shells, you gently crack them from the get-go so you don’t have to worry about it later. Plus, when you peel off the shell, the egg has an awesome marble design! We love to spice up holiday traditions – I think this year LeeLoo will be trying an egg dye that involves shaving cream since she has some left over from the slime recipe she found. Looking at it, I often wonder if kids are just as addicted to Pinterest as their moms!

Until next time, Keep It Craft E!

A New Member in the Family!!!!!!

— Block Family That Is! 🙂

March also brings spring with it (finally!) which means BABY SEASON is upon us. Not just for animals, but also for us humans! Although, with cute babies coming there is also the pressure of gifts, but thankfully our number one best seller is the Personalized Baby Block. At the shop, we often hear about heated debates on who in a friend group gets the first shot at sending a block. But this year, you can be the first to give a color block with our new upgraded baby block! This project has been in the works for about a year, and we’re now able to show it to you. The blocks are the same as our standard ones, only they now come in color. A poly-whey finish is used instead of beeswax, and rather than being engraved, they are printed – which means it’s all still kid safe! So when those babies start toddling around, they won’t be in harm’s way if they get a hold of their colorful block.

 

Until next time, Keep It Craft E!

St. Patrick’s Day

It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating New Years, and now today it’s March! This means our favorite Irish holiday is coming up quickly this year, and we cannot wait for the food. Since Saint Patrick’s Day can sometimes be an underappreciated holiday, we feel the need to make up for this by cooking our favorite dishes. Irish Stew made with Guinness, Guinness Chocolate Pudding, and Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes are recipes that definitely top our Irish list. We also cannot resist adding an Asian twist to corned beef and cabbage with cabbage rolls! We love our food around here, especially Guinness (of course the beer is Irish!) and Asian foods, and we can never celebrate a holiday without special food! If any one of these dishes interests you, I’ve added a link for recipes below. We’re also open to any suggestions! We love to spread ideas for celebrating. To celebrate with us even more, our Holiday Blocks spelling out St. Patrick’s Day are great for decoration! You could create a beautiful dinner table with our Irish recipes (or your own) with these blocks as center pieces, or you could even just set them up in a room to add a little festivity. Just make sure you remember to wear green!

 

Also don’t forget you can get the little ones their own personalized St. Patrick’s Day Blocks 🙂

 

   

Click Here for Irish Stew Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Stew Beef
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 6 Garlic Cloves Chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Red Wine
  • 1 Bottle Guinness
  • 5 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp White Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Russet Potatoes Cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3 Red Potatoes Cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3 Stalks Celery Chopped
  • 2 Cups Carrots Cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Starch + 1 Tbsp water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the olive oil in large skillet, medium-high heat.

Salt and pepper beef, dust with flour and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to dutch oven or heated crockpot. May have to do in several batches (don’t crowd pan when browning).

Add garlic and sauté another minute, until fragrant.

Deglaze pan with red wine, add Guinness, beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaves.

Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer, then transfer to beef.

In skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the potatoes, celery, onion and carrots, sautéing until golden, about 10 minutes.

Add vegetables to beef mixture.

Bake in oven 350 degrees for about 1 hour until vegetables and beef are tender.

If juices need to be thickened add (mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water until combined). Slowly stir into the stew.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

   

Click Here for Guinness Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Bottle Guinness Stout
  • 3 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 7 oz Chocolate, Bittersweet 70-72% chopped (I use 60% Ghirardelli Chips)

Directions

In large mixing bowl whisk together the egg yokes and sugar. Open a can of chilled Guinness from the refrigerator and slowly pour into 4-cup measuring cup, pouring down side of cup to reduce foaming. Pour half of Guinness (about 7/8 cup) into heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan.

Add 2 1/4 cups cream and whisk to combine. Set over medium heat and heat, whisking occasionally, until bubbles just begin to form at edges. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth.

Slowly pour hot chocolate mixture into eggs, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Return mixture to saucepan and set over moderately low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon, about 15 minutes. (The pudding will look separated.) Pour into blender and blend on high for 1 minute. Divide the pudding among the six old fashioned glasses, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top of each. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining Guinness into small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 20 minutes. Pour syrup into small bowl and let cool.

Beat remaining cream until soft peaks form. Add Guinness syrup and beat until combined. Divide cream among 6 glasses of pudding.

 

Until next time, Keep It Craft E!