Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Featured Artist: Everything Dawn Bakery Candle Treats

Meet Dawn from Everything Dawn Bakery Candle Treats. She makes sweet smelling treats with zero calories!Thanksgiving is just a week away, and many of us are already thinking about the yummy feasts and treats that will soon be eaten. Wouldn't it be great if all those sweet scents that fill the air on Thanksgiving day were zero calories? Yeah, you heard me, ZERO CALORIES!

You are definitely going to want to meet my friend Dawn from Everything Dawn Bakery Candles Shop. She can help you fill the air with those heavenly scents and nothing will go to your hips.

Who are you and where are you from?

I’m Dawn Mayo, and I’m the owner and lead designer at Everything Dawn Bakery Candle Treats. It’s a shop on a small corner of the web where I create and sell handmade, dessert style, scented home décor. I create these items from my studio in Hagerstown, MD. 

What do you create?

Oh wow. We create almost anything that looks like an edible dessert or baked good that you’d either create at home or get from a bakery or dessert shop. That would be your pies, cakes, ice cream sundaes, parfaits, doughnuts and cookies. We also create realistic looking biscuit sets with candles that look like jars of jam, loaves of bread. I have also had the opportunity to design more extensive creations that customers have requested as custom orders for their own unique occasions, such as the Croquembouche, the Bouche de Noel, and faux wedding cakes.

What is your favorite craft or hobby and how did you learn it?

That’s a really hard question to answer, but if I were to be honest. I think my most favorite craft would be cooking and baking. I began creating dishes in the kitchen when I was about 12 years old. My first dish was eggs benedict that I made for my parents in bed one morning. They still remember that dish, and will ask me if I can remember making it for them. It must have left a pretty good impression. My favorite cookbook was ‘The Joy of Cooking’ because was (and still is) my go to for templating. It’s my inspiration for creating my own food. I love creating in the kitchen, and since there are 12 of us at home, it’s something that I have had the pleasure of acquiring quite a bit of experience in over the years. My girls and I are always experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with creations. We love that time together. It really gives us a bond.

When did you realize your creative passion?

It’s funny that I have never really considered myself as being “creative.” In fact, I believe that if I’m viewed as creative, anyone can be creative. I’ve had people come up to me and tell me how creative I am and how much they love my work. I’m deeply honored, and I think that those comments are really what have made me desire to come up with more items that people love. I would also say that my children are a huge part of the creative passion in my shop because they have their own unique ideas and contributions to what’s in the shop. There are many times when we’re just brainstorming and one of them will come up with a brilliant idea of what to make next. Another will follow with something to add on to that one creation, and before you know it, we have a one of a kind creation that is uniquely our own. My 12 and 14 year old daughters, Caniah and Cayla, are also very instrumental in the creation process. I think that if I really do have any sense of creative passion, it truly comes from from the combination of the admirers of my work and watching my daughters as they imitate what I do. That’s what gives me the passion to keep creating.

What or who inspires you in your crafting?

I’m deeply inspired by food. If it’s a dessert or bakery item, I’m inspired to make it into a fake dessert. There are so many crazy new things that people come up with as desserts, like baking desserts in mason jars. Really, that’s what dessert candle makers have been doing for years. It’s funny that people would once look at the amazingly realistic dessert candles in jars and say, ‘Hey, that looks so real.’ Now, we dessert candle makers can find these really wonderful looking mason jar desserts on Pinterest and say, ‘Hey, that dessert looks like a candle I make.’ It’s also a lot of fun to have people contact me to create customized faux baked goods. I think that’s one of the biggest inspirations and challenges. So far, I’ve been able to duplicate desserts in photos, and I’m always inspired by the ability to hear an elated customer when their photo is crafted into a faux dessert display.

What’s your philosophy about crafting and/or life?

I think one of my philosophies would be to keep on pressing on. There are days I really want to quit, but nothing good comes without sacrifice. If I don’t keep pressing toward the mark, I’ll never get to the finish line. I look forward to the moment when I can really relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Is crafting a hobby, business, or something in between?

Crafting is definitely a business for me. It’s no longer something that I do in my free time. In fact, I find myself having to take a bit of a vacation from it. It has definitely become a part of livelihood, but whenever I try to break from it, I find myself thinking about what I can create next. Food is always around me. I think I’ve lost about 20 pounds since the dessert creations have been keeping me so busy. That’s a pretty good thing.

How did you choose your brand or shop name?

My husband actually chose the name for the shop back when we were doing home décor alongside the candles. He thought that it would be good to call the shop Everything Dawn. Later, when I established my niche, I changed it to Everything Dawn Bakery Candle Treats.

What is a typical day for you?

Being a mom of 10 children, my days are very busy. I home school all of my children, so I start my day at about 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. We try to have breakfast at 7:30 with Bible study and our lessons beginning around 8:00 a.m. Some time around midday, when the children are having lunch, I’m browsing my email and checking orders. I check in with my admin team to see what’s going on, and I work with my girls on what we have to accomplish for the day. We spend the afternoon working on orders, doing household chores, and we try to stop all work before dinner. In the evenings, we may do some reading together or watch a favorite TV show. That’s about as typical as it gets for us.

What is an ideal day for you?

Ideally, I’d like to be able to get through everything on my home-school schedule and finish daily orders before 5 pm. Unfortunately, that has never happened.

What projects are you the most proud of?

I think I’m most proud of the Croquembouche. It was a monster to put together, but when it was done, I was very pleased. I think I was even doing a Croquembouche dance!

What is the strangest thing you have ever created?

I think the strangest thing that I’ve ever created would have to be the Buche de Noel. It’s a cake that is served around Christmas that looks like a log and has decorations that adorn it. It’s actually a Yule log that is served by the French around the Christmas holiday.

How do you deal with crafting failures?

I’m sort of a perfectionist with my work. I strongly dislike when things don’t turn out right. I think I turn into Gordon Ramsay in his kitchen (minus the language) when I’m in work mode. I’m learning to keep calm about these things, but it’s soooo hard when you want things to come out perfectly the first time. On the other hand, there have been crafting failures that have turned into brand new, well-loved items. This is why I have become a bit calmer when something doesn’t turn out right at first.

Where do you do most of your crafting?

I craft in my home studio. I’m not the most organizationally savvy person, but my studio is where you’ll find me when I’m not with the children.

What keeps you busy when you are not creating?

Are you kidding? Those 10 children keep me busy. I’m listening to stories, answering questions, helping, nursing, disciplining, teaching, and praying all the while. Right now, it’s 11:00 at night, and I can hear them running up and down the hallway. If you could possibly imagine. I’m always doing something. J

Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself, your craft, or business tips to help others with small crafting businesses?

I’d like to say to anyone who is considering crafting as a business or who is currently operating a craft business to set goals. It was Ben Franklin who said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Goals help you to stay focused during those times when you’re not sure what to do next. They help you to remember why it’s important not to give up.

Also, don’t just rely on your crafting to bring you business. Share your craft by teaching others to do what you do. I’m not telling you to share your biggest secrets, but maybe a version of what you create. For example, I sell e courses that teach others the science of candle making as well as some easy recipes for making dessert candles. I don’t worry about not getting customers because the people who enroll in my courses are not buyers, but people who have an interest in crafting. So, in essence, I see it as capitalizing on sharing my knowledge with others who would likely not purchase from me anyway. It’s just one great way to expand my customer base. Find ways you can share versions of what you do and make more people customers!


Stay Connected with Dawn

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Zero calorie treats from Everything Dawn Bakery Candle Treats

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Recipe: Homemade Granola

Easy to make granola recipe with oats, coconut, almonds, flax seed, honey and agave nectarI love granola. I love the bars. I love the cereal. I don't love all the chemicals, preservatives and fat.

I never even thought about making it myself until my step-sister kindly shared her recipe with me. In less than an hour you can whip up a big batch and only about 10 minutes of that is hands-on time. That's my kind of cooking!

I modified her recipe slightly, eliminating the dried fruit (I just don't like it in my granola) and substituting a couple local, southwestern ingredients. Enjoy!

Dry Ingredients

  • 5 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flax seed
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cinamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and thoroughly stir them together. Divide the mixture and pour it into two 9 x 13 cake pas.

Bake for 20 minutes. Stir the granola. Bake an additional 20 minutes.


Stir a few times while it cools completely then store granola in an airtight container. Yummy!

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Recipe: Layered Coconut Cupcakes

Yummy Spring Recipe: How to make layered coconut cupcakesFor years, it has been a tradition to make Four Layer Coconut Cake for my husband's birthday. This year, since our nest is empty and it's just the two of us, I tried a new twist on the recipe and made filled cupcakes, instead.

My hope is that some of the cupcakes will make their way to the office or neighbor's house because it would probably take us a year to eat an entire cake.

Ingredients


  • white cake mix
  • 2 cups flake coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 1/3 c sour cream
  • 2/3 c Cool Whip


Directions

Bake 24 cupcakes according to the cake mix instructions. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them cool completely.

For the filling, combine coconut, sugar, and sour cream.

Cut each cupcake in half. Spread a spoonful of filling in the center.
Replace the top of the cup cake.

To make the frosting, add a generous 2/3 c of Cool Whip to the remaining filling and stir. Frost the top of each cupcake.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours (although I prefer to refrigerate them overnight). Enjoy!


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Recipe: Oven Dehydrated Strawberries and Bananas

As my daughter and I were preparing for the epic 18th birthday Disneyland celebration (here's the shirt), I gathered up the snacks for our little road trip adventure. Of course road trips always mean splurging on some junk food, but healthy treats can be yummy, too. (Insert teenage eye roll here!)

I thought about buying some dehydrated fruit, but when I saw the gorgeous, fresh strawberries on sale for $0.87, I decided to just make my own.

Yes, dehydrating fruits in a food dehydrator is probably the quickest method, but since I don't have one I made my dried strawberries and bananas in the oven. It's still pretty easy.

Ingredients


  • 1 lb of fresh strawberries
  • 5 small bananas
  • lemon juice
  • water

  • Directions


    Preheat the oven to 200F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Tip - The use of parchment paper is not required, but it makes it a lot easier to get your dried fruit of the pan. You'll be thanking me later.
    Wash your strawberries.
    Blot your strawberries to remove the excess moisture.
    Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch thick chips.
    Place the strawberry chips on your parchment lined baking sheet so they are not touching.
    Slice your bananas into 1/4-inch chips.
    Mix 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh or bottled) with 1-2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.

    Gently toss the banana slices in the juice. This helps prevent excessive browning.
    Place the banana chips on your parchment lined baking sheet so they are not touching.
    Put the fruit into the oven and bake for about 5 hours, rotating the pan placement every hour for even heating.

    You may also want to turn the fruit slices over about halfway through the baking process.
    When your fruit is nice and dry, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. For long term storage, it's best to put your fruit loosely into a non-plastic container and give it a little shake from time to time to mix it up. However, since we're taking ours on the road and it doesn't need to be preserved for an excessive number of days, I'll be tossing it all into a large Ziplock bag. Yum!


    Since the shirt is made and the snacks are ready, it's time for us to hit the road. I can't wait to ride Big Thunder Mountain!!
    8(:-D


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    Tutorial: Lip Balm

    Tutorial and 5 all natural recipes for lip balmI recently discovered how easy it is to make soy candles (here's the tutorial) and thought I could use some of the same supplies and techniques to make lip balm. The two projects are remarkably similar.

    While it's not impossible to make one tube of lip balm, I recommend getting together with a group of friends for this project. If you have a daughter, it might even be a fun sleepover craft to do with the upper-elementary or middle school crowd.

    If you melt the wax and oil in a mini crock pot, each person can choose there own favorite scents to customize their gloss.

    Please note that some people have sensitivities to nuts and essential oils, so please proceed with caution.

    Materials


    Directions


    Melt equal parts beeswax and coconut oil in a crock pot on the lowest heat setting.

    Tip - Melting a blend of 1/4 cup of wax and 1/4 cup of oil makes approximately 18 tubes of lip gloss

    The next part needs to be done rather quickly so the balm doesn't solidify before they get poured into the tube.
    Pour 1 tsp of the wax/oil mixture into a small paper cup. Add 5 drops of almond oil and 4-8 drops of your favorite essential oils. Stir until completely blended.

    If the wax mixture begins to solidify, you can microwave it on low for a few seconds.
    Set a tube onto your work surface and fill it as much as possible. Be careful because the wax/oil mixture is hot. It's ok if the balm overflows a little. It can be wiped off after it cools.
    An alternative to using lip gloss tubes for this project is to use bead storage containers. Please note that these containers are larger than the lip gloss tubes, so you will need to measure the capacity of the tubs and adjust the recipes accordingly.

    Here are a few of my favorite flavor blends:

    Rosemary Mint
    1/2 tsp melted beeswax
    1/2 tsp melted coconut oil
    5 drops almond oil
    1 drop rosemary essential oil
    5 drops peppermint essential oil
    Spicy Orange
    1/2 tsp melted beeswax
    1/2 tsp melted coconut oil
    5 drops of almond oil
    2 drops clove essential oil
    6 drops orange essential oil
    Mint Chocolate Chip
    1/2 tsp melted beeswax
    1/2 tsp melted coconut oil
    5 drops of almond oil
    6 drops peppermint essential oil
    pinch of unsweetened cocoa powder
    Orange Chocolate
    1/2 tsp melted beeswax
    1/2 tsp melted coconut oil
    5 drops of almond oil
    6 drops orange essential oil
    pinch of unsweetened cocoa powder
    Mojito
    1/2 tsp melted beeswax
    1/2 tsp melted coconut oil
    5 drops of almond oil
    2 drops peppermint essential oil
    5 drops lime essential oil


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    Recipe: Kale Chips

    Recipe: kale chips are easy to make and can be a tempting treat for even the fussiest eatersEvery year, in early November I plant my winter garden. That's one of the benefits of living in a temperate climate. I typically grow a couple varieties of lettuce, spinach, cabbage, chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and snow peas. Yummy!

    This year, I'm happy to say that my garden has been ridiculously over abundant. I have more veggies than I know what to do with. We've had fresh salads for dinner almost every night and enjoyed a couple soups featuring spinach or chard as the main ingredient. But what to do with the under-apprecited kale?

    No one in my house gets particularly excited about eating kale. I have to hide it in stuff. Which is sad, because kale is filled with vitamins and antioxidants which are really good for you. Instead of hiding it, I decided to be bold and try making some kale chips.

    Ingredients


    • 1 bunch of kale
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground salt
    • cayenne pepper (optional)

    Directions


    Preheat the oven to 300 F.
    Wash and dry the kale leaves and remove the thick ribs. Tear the leaves into fairly large pieces. They shrink up a bit when you bake them.
    Put the kale in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a little salt. If you want to add a little zip to your chip, add a light sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Toss gently to evenly coat the leaves.
    Arrange the kale leaves in a single layer on two baking sheets. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after about 10 minutes.
    The kale leaves are a dry and crispy treat that everyone is sure to enjoy!

    Recipe: kale chips are easy to make and can be a tempting treat for even the fussiest eaters

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    Recipe: Strawberry Watermelon Slush

    Recipe: Strawberry Watermelon frozen slush dessert in my Ninja blenderTucson in July is HOT and we are always looking for ways to cool down. Since it would be a ridiculous to even consider turning on the oven this time of year, I like to prepare a different kind of treat. This recipe makes about 4 servings and is so quick and easy, even I can make it ;)

    Ingredients



    • 1 small seedless watermelon
    • 24 oz frozen sliced strawberries with sugar, partially thawed
    • juice from 1 lime


    Directions


    Remove the watermelon rind and cut the melon into large cubes. Combine the melon, strawberries and lime juice in a blender. (I use my Ninja Professional Blender an love it!)

    Recipe: Strawberry Watermelon frozen slush dessert in my Ninja blender

    Once the fruits are well blended, pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 glass pan. Cover the pan to prevent spilling and place it in the freezer for 3-4 hour, stirring the slush hourly until it reaches the desired consistency. Spoon the slush into glasses or bowls to serve.


    Serving variations - Although we haven't tried it yet, my daughter thinks this recipe would be delicious garnished with a few sprigs of fresh mint. Another option would be to pour the slush into popsicle molds instead of the glass pan and freeze them completely. And, if you are looking for an adult beverage, this slush makes a great base for a daiquiri-type drink. Yummy!

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    Recipe: Four Layer Coconut Cake

    Recipe: Four Layer Coconut Cake for birthdays, Easter or other special occasionsWhen I think of April, I think of coconut cake. I have made this cake once a year for the last 20 years. In fact, I bought my Tupperware cake container specifically for this cake. It's my mother-in-law's recipe and my husbands favorite cake. It's a great for celebrations like birthdays but would also be a delicious finale for an Easter dinner or other special occasions.

    Now, those of you who know me, also know that I am not the cook in the house. So, I'll admit that in the early years of our marriage, I took a shortcut and made this as a two layer cake instead of four. The cake still tastes the same, but even I can appreciate that adding those extra two layers just fills the cake with love and it's worth the effort.

    Ingredients


    • white cake mix
    • 7 oz flake coconut
    • 1 1/2 c sugar
    • 16 oz sour cream
    • 4 oz Cool Whip

    Directions


    Bake two, round 8 or 9-inch cakes according to the package directions. Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool completely.

    Place the cakes in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the freezer and use a bread knife to carefully cut each cake in half horizontally.
    For the filling, combine the coconut, sugar and sour cream. Set aside one cup of the filling.
    Place the first layer of the cake on a dish and spread 1/3 of the filling over the cake. Add the second layer and top with filling, then the third layer and the last of the filling. Place the fourth layer on the top.
    For the frosting, mix 4 oz Cool Whip with the reserved 1 cup of filling.

    Frost the top and sides of the cake.

    Cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 6 hours before serving.

    Invite your friends over, blow up some balloons and it's a party!


    Recipe: Four Layer Coconut Cake for birthdays, Easter or other special occasions



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