Friday, March 20, 2009

Last day for 15% off site-wide!


Tomorrow ends our 15% off site-wide sale!

Enjoy this discount through midnight Saturday, March 21st.

Enter Yeah Toddler! in the coupon section at check-out.

Happy Spring, Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Inspiration

"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work." H. L. Hungt

Why I like this quote: Being an entrepreneur is not easy. My family has made many sacrifices so that Hand Picked Pumpkin can be both what it is today, and what it will become in the future. Many years ago, I did a lot of soul searching regarding my whole life path. Launching and managing a business like Hand Picked Pumpkin was what I wanted. I exchanged a nice, steady pay-check and benefits for this wonderful roller coaster. I guess posting inspirational quotes each Friday is ultimately more for me but I do it to inspire others. I draw strength from these inspirations and refocus on my priorities. I hope you do too. Now back to work! I've got an SEO call scheduled in 4 minutes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Baking gone way wrong!



Where was Chef Stephanie last night when I needed her?! See Exhibit A above.
I learned a big cooking lesson last night that I'm happy to pass along so the above mess doesn't happen to you. You can NOT substitute gluten free flour for all-purpose flour.
Can you even tell what was supposed to come out of the oven? See Exhibit B below: Molassas Crinkles

The sadest part of it all, is that my nine-year-old son had made the dough all by himself and had even decided to make a double batch. Then his silly - trying to be healthy parents - asked him to substitute gluten free flour.
He actually handled the catastophy better than me. I was so looking forward to biting into these delicious treats, but instead had to dump them in the trash.
Here's the Molasses Crinkles recipe from Fine Cooking. We'll be trying another batch tonight, made with good old fashion all-purpose flour.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lots of new goodies to share!


We're very excited to announce some great new additions to Hand Picked Pumpkin!

First, we've expanded many popular styles up to size 4T. Shop for your toddler at Hand Picked Pumpkin this week and enjoy 15% off, enter Yeah Toddler! in the coupon section.

Spring has arrived at Hand Picked Pumpkin, shop our newest line of ready-made warm & sunny favorites, including our lovely Lane skort, raglan dress with bloomers, short sleeve lap tee, and shirt dress and for the boys be sure to try our Charlie overall short.

We've added new patterns too! Have fun designing a short sleeve shirt dress (the perfect bridge dress, now available in short sleeve) and a bloomer separate for your little pumpkin.

Wait! There's more...
We now offer the cutest card stock gift cards, just in time for spring showers! No need to call or email for this style, they can now be easily purchased on our website, here.

And Hand Picked Pumpkin has joined Facebook. Please join us there too. We'll be posting lots of goodies in the days and weeks to come.

Happy Spring, Happy Shopping, oh what the heck Happy Everything! Don't have a toddler but still want to save, go ahead and enter Yeah Toddler! in the coupon section for 15% off site-wide, this week only!

And if you are stilling reading, I'd really appreciate your vote for Leading Moms in Business competion at Start Up Nation. Just click here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Inspiration

"Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."
-Max Ehrmann

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chef Stephanie's February Treat: Barbecued Pulled Pork


I've been down with mono so I'm a bit behind blogging on Notions! Chef Stephanie of Nourish treated us to her best meal in February, I'm just a little late sharing it with you. It looks to be as yummy as all the other recipes she has shared with us.


February 27, 2009 – Barbecued Pulled Pork
During the winter, I love my slow cooker! But I find myself a little bit limited, because I don’t like the way chicken comes out of it – I find it a little bit dry and stringy. So I usually just slow cook beef and pork. I have a great recipe for Guinness-Braised Beef Brisket that I love (maybe I’ll share that one with you soon – I do have a can of Guinness in the fridge waiting to be used), and this is one of my other favorites. With a couple more months before I put my slow cooker away for the summer, I thought I would share this recipe with you now. And actually, now that I think about it, this recipe would also be perfect for a summer get-together. Who doesn’t love sloppy, saucy barbecue for a summer party?
There is very little prep involved in making this dish, which is great when you want dinner to be ready for you when you get home, but don’t have a lot of time in the morning. All you have to do is trim the meat, chop one onion and one pepper, put a spice rub on the pork and pour the (store-bought) barbecue sauce over the meat. Voila – you are done and dinner is waiting (and making your house smell really good) when you get home from work or from running errands with the kids. Definitely get a good-quality barbecue sauce, since that provides a lot of the flavor of the dish. Here in Chicago we get Frontera Grill sauces at Whole Foods, which I like because not only are they delicious and come in lots of varieties, but they also have no high fructose corn syrup in them, which most barbecue sauces are loaded with. (And despite what the Corn Refiners Association wants you to believe from their commercials, I don’t think anyone should be consuming a whole lot of HFCS.)
I usually serve this over rice or with flour tortillas, but it would also be great on a bun for a pulled pork sandwich (add a little coleslaw on top and yuuummmmm). Bon App├ętit!

Barbecued Pulled Pork

Ingredients:
3 to 4 pound boneless pork roast (shoulder or butt)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 jar (18 ounces) barbecue sauce
Cooked rice and flour tortillas (optional)

Preparation:
Trim excess fat from pork. Combine salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and ground red pepper in a small bowl; rub over pork. Place onion and bell pepper in slow cooker; add pork. Pour barbecue sauce over meat. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (or on high for 6 hours). Remove pork from slow cooker and shred with two forks, discarding any fatty pieces that are left behind. Return pork to slow cooker to combine with sauce. Serve over rice with tortillas, if desired

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our March Pumpkin of the Month!


Here's Mackenzie, our newest Pumpkin of the Month! Her mom Brittany included this note:
"Mackenzie loves her reversible hoodie from Hand Picked Pumpkin. She has two outfits that both coordinate with this perfect layering piece for colder days. The quality, fit, fabric, and practical yet stylish design make this line a favorite of mine!"

Congratulations Mackenzie and Brittany on receiving a $50 hpp gift certificate!
Want to tell us how cute your pumpkin is, then email us a photo of your little one dressed in hpp and tell us about it!