Thursday, November 29, 2012

Helping Hands~

I believe in community- the idea that people come together to make something happen. Sometimes this is in the form of social change, sometimes it is as simple as baking cookies. Whatever the form, my community came together to help me make it possible for Kimberley's Kitchen to attend our local Christmas market for artisans- Winter Gold.

Last year, our first Christmas here, many friends recommended that I attend as a vendor. It was too late to make it happen but I was sure to apply for the event this year. However, after my car accident, I realized I wouldn't be able to make anything and told my husband I would cancel my attendance. He knew that I would be so disappointed and also knew that having something creative would actually help me stay positive during a stressful time.

My husband, neighbours, and family came together to pull it all off. I really didn't do anything (nor could I). My neighbours baked for hours, stayed up until 3 am packing marshmallows whipped up by my husband and ensured my table was "staffed" for the 2-day market.

Market attendance was the highest it has been in 5 years. We definitely didn't make enough product (and had no way of really knowing how much to make). Kimberley's Kitchen sold out 2 hours before the end of the last day, much to the disappointment of people walking in for the marshmallows on snowflake picks!

My Original Marshmallow Sliders (think pre-made s'mores) were a big hit! They sold out very quickly. My other top sellers were these beautiful picks (made by my friend Chrissie of Party Paper Scissors) with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Mitts. The kits were popular for gifts for teachers and hostesses- S'mores for Four, S'mores for Two, Fondue for Two (with these pretty Bon Appetit wooden forks for dipping from Garnish). And of course my Hot Chocolate kit with premuim hot chocolate mix in an upcycled jar and marshmallow stirrers were picked up quickly for gifts too.

Packaging and merchandising is my second favorite creative part of my business, next to creating new flavors and recipes. I was so happy to receive so many compliments on my packaging and presentation. The little red felt bags with a kit of S'mores for Two sold out quickly.

Top marshmallow flavors were my Marshmallow Bites in Vanilla Bean, Gingerbread, and Peppermint. The Espresso Crunch made with local Chicken Creek Coffee and the Pomegranate (a perennial favorite) were enjoyed as well. And my Vanilla Bean Snowflake marshmallows (perfect for floating in hot chocolate) make a perfect stocking stuffer.

I am so grateful for all the helping hands that made it all possible. I am still recovering from my accident and on limited duties. My husband (who worked as a cook for over 10 years) has stepped up and helped out. For now, I am recovering at home and enjoying some home baking with my girls. What are you baking for Christmas?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Teacher Treats~

How do you show your appreciation for all that your teachers do? Give them a thoughtful gift with quality ingredients. Let's face it, they have enough pencils. What they will really enjoy is a sweet treat made by hand.

Different tastes for different teachers~

Classic Peanut Brittle- I would have given this to Mr. Breen. He was a substitute teacher that we had in elementary school for a year. We spent most of the year doing sports, but somehow he managed to sneak in some math.

Almond Butter Crunch- I would have given this to Mr. Denos- our highschool drama teacher. He also taught Western Civilization and I fully credit him for inspiring me to study Theatre at university.

Gluten Free Shortbread- I would have given this to one of my university professors Peter MacKinnon, who taught me that the foundation of art is craft. I took only one course with him but he influenced my entire university career and I often think of his lessons when I work on my craft.

What treats will you surprise the teachers in your life with?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Custom Confections~

Moms really do so much during the holidays. From entertaining, to decorating, to cooking, to shopping, it is no wonder it is a stressful time! Let Kimberley's Kitchen take one big task off your To-Do List and provide handmade confections for your dinner party or dessert table.

Custom Confections~

Order from one of the following menus, or email with a specific request. It couldn't be easier. Simply include the date for arrival and Kimberley will take care of all your sweet needs. And confections stay fresh for a long time so you can order now and have beautiful treats for your event. Every order will include matching buffet tags so that you can label the treats and easily set up to delight your guests.

Winter Wonderland

 White, ivory and silver treats- an assortment of marshmallows, shortbread and sugar cookie s'mores.

Merry & Bright

 Pink, red and green- inspired by candy canes, with marshmallows and s'mores.

The S'more the Merrier

 The Ultimate S'mores Bar- complete with 3 seasonal marshmallows, graham crackers, sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies and chocolate. 

Frolicking Fondue

All you need to put on a fabulous fondue- melting chocolate with marshmallows and cookies for dipping. Just add fresh fruit such as strawberries and bananas for a fun dessert at the table or on the buffet.

Please email with your menu of choice, date of event, and number of guests.

Cheers! ~Kimberley

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gluten Free Goodness~

With so many people moving to a gluten-free diet, I am often sharing with people that marshmallows are naturally gluten free. In fact, my marshmallows don't contain egg or dairy too. (There may be some flavor exceptions so always check). They do contain sugar but if you are okay with the occasional sweet but need to avoid gluten, then marshmallows are a perfect treat!

My S'mores for Four kits are very popular all year and this summer I experimented with a gluten-free option for the handmade grahams included in the kits. They were so delicious and sold out so fast I knew that GF baked goods would do well on my menu.

For the holidays, I am adding a new line of GF treats! I have been busy testing alternative flours in my shortbread recipes. Shortbread lends itself very well to a GF flour base and the flavors really enhance the cookie. I am thrilled to have some gluten-free choices for my customers and for gifts.

I will be offering Vanilla Bean Brown Sugar, Lemon, and Chai shortbread for the holidays in bags of 1 dozen cookies. Please visit the SHOP for more gluten free options.

Happy Holidays!

*please note that my commercial kitchen is not gluten-free, but the products listed as GF will not contain gluten ingredients*