Friday, October 24, 2014

ZULA

I can not believe November 1 is a week from this Saturday! I apologize to those I might be putting into shock with this information and you are also Welcome because I know you needed the reminder that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and you have things to do to prepare!
Zula was my Grandmother who live directly behind me growing up. She was beautiful, classy,  loved her soap opera's, Johnny Carson, Lawrence Welk and she was a great cook! That being said she amazed me during the Holidays because she could create a feast, get it all out on the table and every item was the perfect temperature. She would also prep as many dishes she could ahead of time. I would help polish the silver, the fall table cloth that was stored in her beautiful buffet cabinet would be cleaned and ironed and placed on the large dining room table. Appetizers would be set out in her best dishes for nibbling and the TV was set to the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. I still watch that parade to this very day. Her table would hold many around it and a few of us may have had to eat at the kiddie table which was her coffee table in the living room but no one seemed to care. We enjoyed the delicious meal and our time together as a family. Our family has grown and some traditions have changed but  I enjoy stepping back in time when the Holidays arrive because I have many wonderful memories of my Grandmother, her big beautiful home, the aroma's filling her house up and her in her apron singing or humming as she prepared her dishes and did so without appearing to be stressed. Notices the word appearing she could have been but you would never have known.
All of us have traditions and it could be sitting down altogether at the table with the Thanksgiving meal placed upon it, other's may choose buffet style and others may dine out.
Next week I will be sharing a two week schedule or planner to help you get prepared for your Thanksgiving gathering. I want you to enjoy the planning, preparing of the dishes and making memories you, your children & grandchildren will look back on in the future and smile because they were happy and even relaxing times.  So while you have some down time this weekend grab a notebook or your laptops and  start jotting down your Thanksgiving to do's and meet me back here on Monday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HOLIDAYS

I know some of you may be reading this title and shaking your heads because Halloween is still a few days off and some of you are tired of retail shops bringing Christmas items out in September and you feel that Thanksgiving is overlooked. I want you to know I agree with you but I as a business owner have to order months ahead in order to offer you, my great customers  great seasonal  merchandise. I choose to keep it locked up tight in the storeroom until the week before Thanksgiving because that is  when Christmas merchandise makes it's début in my store. It is always an exciting and busy time  dressing the store in it's Christmas décor. I am thankful for my elves that help me through it because with out them I would be stressed. So I am going to try and be your personal elf this year!
Many of us know how much time, energy and prep goes into Thanksgiving and  Christmas plus you still have work, kids activities and everyday household chores that need to be completed. I have decided that starting next week I am going to do my best to make this years holidays more enjoyable and less stressful for each of you in one way or another. I want each and everyone one of you to enjoy each holiday, your family, the beauty and special memories that you might otherwise miss out on because of running here, there and everywhere. I will be sharing tips, recipes and  gadgets that make life easier. Table top décor and gift ideas that may just help you enjoy the holidays a bit more and RELAX a bit more!




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HALLOWEEN

Those who know me well know I enjoy all holidays and for those who did not know this now you do! Halloween is one of those holidays you either like or you don't like. I find most people enjoy it because it is a holiday for all ages and no gifts are expected to be given unless you consider chocolate a gift. My husband and I used to hold an annual Halloween party. Since my living space is not large enough to host more than one other couple in it I figured the shop was large enough to host a Halloween party. I would decorate one whole side of the shop with fun decorations, work on fun menu items, rent tables, have a friends band play and there was costume judging too. It was a family affair all kids welcome and everyone would bring a dish to pass and their own beverages. Those who did not dress up made sure to the next year because they saw how much more fun it was to be in costume. We no longer have those Halloween parties which many miss as do I but I still enjoy looking at costumes, decorations and fun recipe ideas. I am sharing some recipe ideas found on Pintrest you can use the Wilton Candy Melts we carry to create! Happy Halloween Everyone! 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, October 10, 2014

HIGH FIVE FRIDAY!!!!

High Five Friday!!!! What a great week we have had here at the store! I would like to share five things that have impacted & brightened my week! There is this new class being offered for  Juniors & Seniors in and around the Whiteside School district who want to own or work in business called CEO and the calls was here at the store on Thursday morning to learn about my business and how I got started. We also spoke about customer service and how I market my business. I and the instructor thought it would be fun to split them up into teams to create two displays. They did quite well and you can see their displays by looking at yesterday's post.
I had some new customers in the store which is always great because you see your business growing before your eyes and I also had a regular customer stop in to purchase another jelly roll pan from USA. These pans are amazing and I always tell the customer you will be back for more because they are just that remarkable and made in the USA.
I am happy to announce my final Christmas orders arrived this week! My store room is filled and I am happy to see this because it is comforting to know all of the orders we worked so hard on since March are here. It is very difficult to look and order Christmas right after Christmas but this is how it works in retail.
You will be able to add a little spice to your life because we have found a spice company to order from!!! I am so stinking happy about this connection. I will be placing an order for what we have been asked for already like Dutch Coca, Sumac, Espresso Powder, Dried Chili Peppers but it their is something you are in need of we will be happy to look at the list to see if we can bring it in for you.
Last but not least I have a new logo for our first Thursday events I host each month. It will now be called Late Night-Date Night rather than Girls Night Out. The reason I am changing the name is because I have had some men interested in attending as well as there are more and more men who enjoy being in the kitchen baking/cooking and couples who enjoy being in the kitchen together. I do not want to exclude anyone from our events and there will be more information on our Late Night-Date Night events in future posts.
Enjoy your three day weekend everyone & add some spice to your life!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall is here and I am enjoying this beautiful day even if I am inside working on orders and the Christmas Open House Menu.
My day started out bright and early with the CEO class  stopping by to learn about small business, how I got started & customer service. This class offers the students who want to go into business for themselves or work in business a first hand look at what it takes and how to go about it. They had great questions and we even had them work on setting up some displays to see how they would do. They did a great job and I posted some picks of their work.
 
It's always a great time to share your passion with others.
 

Friday, September 26, 2014

High Five Friday!

Friday's are the day's I post about 5 positive things that happened to me this week! Chef  Anna & I finalized the menu for our Christmas Open House. There is a great deal of time & prep that goes into this menu every year. My fall flavors have arrived!!! So those of you who enjoy apple, maple or pumpkin flavored anything you will be happy to see the pumpkin pancake mix, spiced pumpkin latte mix, maple honey caramel sauce, apple cranberry chutney, apple cider jam, cinnamon apple jelly & mulling spices! I had some new people in the store this week which is always fun & a sign my business is growing. I do enjoy chatting with foodies!!! I received some beautiful table linens from a wonderful customer. She was doing some fall cleaning & thought I might enjoy them & I will be looking forward to using them in my displays. Finally I am making my first blog post. I will be learning as I go & I am ok with that but I wanted to do this to stay connected to my customers without social media trying to control my page. I like many other businesses have worked hard to be here, build our customer base & keep connected with you on a daily basis. I look forward to seeing how the A Cook's Corner blog develops!!! Enjoy your weekend & Happy Eating!!!!