Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tasty Treats

I am thankful for the Our Best Bites blog, and this recipe. Bubbling away in the oven as I type.  I love sweet potatoes, but hate marshmallows, so most sweet potato casseroles I skip. Unless my mother in law makes it, because she leaves me a marshmallow free corner. Thanks, Patsy!

When I saw this recipe, which was marshmallow-less AND had coconut, it was going to be on my Thanksgiving table.

Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Worth the trip!

I don't think I ever made the announcement that my organza flower hairclips are now being sold at

in the Plaza-Midwood area.  If you have never been there, GO! Lydia and her staff are awesome, and I could play in the chain section all day.  And the vintage section. And the see where I'm going with this!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Local Events

Check out this blog post from Brooke at the myindiecharlotte blog that features local handmade artists at the recent Dogtopia of Charlotte Craft fair. Lots of Crowntowners were there, including yours truly, intenyears, who thought she wasn't in the picture. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lunch Bunch Thurs. Nov. 4

Lunch Bunch has still been going on! I just have been slack in getting the posts online.  Being smarter than the average box o' rocks, though, I prepared this post the night before. 

When I picked this recipe, I hadn't looked at the weather report. It was cooooold, and rainy, and gray all day long. Perfect for a hot bowl of chili. And this bowl of chili was yummy, and healthy.

You could add a bit more broth, and some toasted tortilla strips, and it would make an awesome chicken tortilla soup, also.

Chicken Chili
Weight Watchers POINTS: 5

Cooking Spray
1.5 lbs skinless, bone in chicken thighs (I used breasts)
1.25 c chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1 c chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 14.5oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped (I used diced)
1 14oz can fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
2 tbs hot pepper sauce
1 15oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed
6 tbs light sour cream
6 tbs chopped fresh cilantro

Heat a Dutch oven over med-hi heat, coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken, cook 4 minutes on each side to brown. Set aside.
Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic to pan. Cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add reserved chicken, tomatoes, broth, and 1 tbs hot pepper sauce. Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes or until chicken is done.
Remove pan from heat. Remove chicken from pan and shred, disregarding bones. (See why I used breasts?!?) Stir shredded chicken into broth mixture. Stir in navy beans and remaining 1 tbs hot sauce (I held off and let everyone add their own). Let stand 10 minutes. Top each serving with sour cream and cilantro.
Servings: 1 cup chili, 1 tbs sour cream, 1 tbs cilantro

We added some low-fat baked tortilla chips on the side. Especially once we realized that substituting chicken breast for thighs dropped the point total to 3. 3!  Go ahead, add some cheese to that puppy, too!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Makings of a Craft Fair

Imagine you are a small business owner. You want to do something good for your community and promote your business. You've tried emails, coupons and ads, but want to try something different for a change. How about hosting a craft show? That is exactly what Nicole Pennell, owner of Dogtopia in Charlotte, NC decided to do.

I wanted to know what inspired her to support local handmade artists and the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte's Center of Hope, a charity which provides food and shelter homeless women and children.
The idea started because one of my employees makes homemade crafts,” says Nicole. “She was getting ready to go to a craft fair in Greensboro one weekend, and we were talking about it. She asked if I had ever thought of holding one here.” She hadn't, and the idea for Dogtopia's craft fair was born.

Nicole went on to mention that as a business owner, she is always looking for new ways to get people to bring their pets in for a visit. Nicole continues, “Although this isn't a dog-related event it gives us a chance to meet a lot of people and show them what a great facility we have. I'm also very community-oriented.” The hosting of a charitable event was a natural fit.

Using social media for input, The Center of Hope was suggested by several people as the charity to benefit. “Most people that make homemade crafts are women” says Nicole, “I think there's something really beautiful about women using their own creativity and hard work to help other women who are going through hard times.”

With the charity decided, she needed artists to present their work at the show. Searching on the internet, specifically Etsy, a web site devoted to handmade goods, she began the difficult task of finding artists. As luck would have it, she contacted a member of CrownTown Handmade. Word spread quickly through the group and many were excited to be part of this special event.

Nicole will be donating all proceeds from the Dogtopia craft fair, including vendor fees and a raffle, entirely to the charity. So, come out and support a great cause, a community business owner and CrownTown Handmade members. If you'd like to participate, or have any questions about the show, please email Check out the flyer here.