Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Couldn't Wait Any Longer! Meet Katie from The Bloom Commissary!

The original plan is to do my features on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In part, to give me a bit of a break in between blog posts, (after all I do have to come up with new material!) and also to give myself time to sit back and enjoy other aspects of my craft. (okay there really isn't a lot of sitting back these days!) 

My friend Katie, who is actually a real life friend as well as an Etsy friend, sent me her answers to my questionnaire today. I had originally planned on featuring her tomorrow (although I did double book. opps! I must work a little harder on my organizational skills) but after I read her favorite recipe, I couldn't help but post today. 

No, these blog features are not intended to highlight the Etsians cooking ability, but in Katie's case, cooking is part of who she is and the craft she does. Not to mention, I have tried these desserts in person and they are AMAZING!!! Please note while reading that this isn't actually Katie's favorite recipe but obviously mine! 

For those of you who like to cook/bake, I HIGHLY recommend trying these out this weekend. I gave you a whole extra day to prepare for dessert making..... you are welcome! 

Without further ado, meet Katie, my real life Etsy friend who happens to be a crafter, personal trainer, chef and more! 

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Southern California and I currently live in Newport Beach with my boyfriend and our dog. About a year ago I got into fitness and nutrition and I’ve made quite a few life changes throughout the past year as I’ve learned more. I just got my personal training certification and I’ve started training clients. Helping people achieve their full potential through fitness is very rewarding for me. I am also very interested in nutrition and I’ve always loved to cook. My nutrition philosophy is based on whole foods, including organic produce and properly raised meats. I love to feed other people! I also love to craft! I started my Etsy store as a creative outlet and I like to make things that fit into the holistic and simple lifestyle that I try to live. I love to take a bath at the end of the day with a candle, a cup of tea, and a good book so I decided to make my own candles and share that experience with others. I am also excited to start offering tea blends on my Etsy site and will be posting those over the weekend! And of course, who doesn’t love a handmade card or beautifully wrapped gift? Paper crafts were the first craft projects that I did and I still love everything about them.

When did you first discover etsy? What made you decide to start a shop?

I have always loved weddings and I started to see a lot of Etsy listings on wedding blogs that I read. However, I didn’t really start to take notice of Etsy until my friend Lauren (you!) started an Etsy shop and I got to see how rewarding it was to share your craft projects with others. I decided to start a shop after I did a lot of crafting for the holidays. I just didn’t want to stop so I decided an Etsy store would be a good reason to craft all year!

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

For my day job, I work for a medical device manufacturer in a marketing/administrative position. I am also a personal trainer and I teach bootcamp classes and do individual training on the side.  I got my MBA in 2010 and I love that I’m starting to put it to greater use with my side business. I hope to one day make my side business into a full time business. 

What steps do you take in your creative process? 

I always have to have lists, so I will usually make a list of what I want to get done and any supplies that I need. Then, I like to pull out all the supplies that I need and set them up just the way I want them. Then I get to work and start crafting. I try to finish a few things and then take photos. I need to get better about taking photos during the process so I can post them on my blogs and create tutorials. Taking more photos is something that I’m working on! I always like to finish by organizing all of my craft supplies. Since I work with a lot of small supplies like stamps and stamp pads, essential oils, etc. my organization is pretty important to me and I like for it to be pretty. I have big jars for my loose tea and a big bin that holds my soy wax for candles and then I have pretty green boxes and metal tins to hold the rest of my supplies. 

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?

I really like the Relax Candle. The lavender scent is really nice and it’s a mellow candle that isn’t overwhelming. I like to light that one when I read in the bathtub at night. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and different things that I see. I am always thinking about how I could tweak something to make it more me. Typically I make things that I would like to have or give to someone else. I am always inspired by a trip to Paper Source or Michaels. I also get a lot of inspiration from food, whether from ingredients in my CSA basket or farmer’s market, or beautiful restaurant dishes, or cookbooks. 

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community? 

I love that anyone can be on Etsy. I’ve been trying to get my Grandma to start selling her knitted hats and headbands! It really is a community and anyone with an idea and the ability to create something can sell that item. I’ve seen some pretty crazy things on Etsy and I just think “Hey, more power to you!” 

Who or what has been most influential in being where you are today?

 My mom has definitely been my biggest influence. She is very good at crafts (especially scrapbooking) and she is always a perfectionist! I’m less of a perfectionist but I think some of her crafting rubbed off on me. She is also my constant supporter and confidante.

Who is your most influential Etsian? 

Lauren (you) are my most influential Etsian. ahhh.... Thanks Katie! 

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

 A lot of my creativity comes from cooking and being in the kitchen really inspires me to be creative out of the kitchen. So if I am not feeling very creative or crafty sometimes just getting in the kitchen and cooking something will get my ideas flowing and break me out of the rut.

Drum roll please...... here comes my FAVORITE part!!!!! 

Please include your favorite recipe.

My current favorite recipe is the Sausage, Lentil, and White Bean Soup that I make probably once a week: But I know the recipe that you want so here is a second favorite recipe that is the one everyone LOVES! yes.... we really do! 

Butterscotch budino with caramel sauce
(Serves 10 or more if you make them in the little glasses!) 

Katie serves these in shot glasses with tiny spoons. It's part of what I like about this dessert. Apart from loving mason jars, I really like little silverware... now you know! 

3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum

To make budino, in a large bowl, combine the cream and milk and set aside.
In a large, heavy pot, combine brown sugar, water, and salt and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from scorching, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture is a deep brown and smells nutty and caramelized. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk the cream mixture into the caramelized sugar to stop the cooking. The mixture will steam vigorously and the sugar will seize. Use caution to keep from getting burned by the bubbling mixture. Whisk until smooth and the caramel is fully incorporated. Return to high heat, bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and cornstarch. While whisking constantly, add about half of the caramel cream, 1/2 cup at a time, to the egg mixture. Pour the combined mixtures back into the saucepan holding the remaining caramel cream and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until a very thick custard forms.
Remove the custard from the heat and whisk in the butter and rum. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into ten 3/4-cup ramekins or glasses, dividing it evenly and filling to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until well chilled, or for up to 3 days.

Caramel sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
About 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup crème fraiche
1 1/4 teaspoons Maldon salt

To make the caramel sauce, pour the cream into a small saucepan. With the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds from the split vanilla bean into the bowl, and then add the pod. Place the pan over medium heat and heat for about 3 minutes, or until the cream comes to a simmer. Add the butter, remove from the heat, and set aside.

Have ready a large bowl filled with ice water. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the corn syrup and sugar. Add enough of the water to make a wet, sandy texture. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling the pan slightly to gauge the caramelization, for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar turns a medium amber.
Remove from the heat, add the cream mixture — be careful, as it will steam and bubble vigorously — and whisk to combine. Place the pan in the ice-water bath and let cool.

In a chilled bowl, whip the cream with a whisk until it begins to thicken. Add the crème fraiche and beat until thick and fluffy. This may be done up to 3 hours ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Just before serving, remove ramekins from the refrigerator. Reheat the sauce over medium heat, discard the vanilla pod, and spoon 1 tablespoon of the sauce over each budino. Top each with about 1/8 teaspoon Maldon salt and a dollop of the whipped cream.

Thank you Katie for participating in our Etsy Features! 

You can find Katie here: (and I suggest you do, she made me lavender tea for my birthday that is to die for!) 

twitter @bloomcommissary. 

1 comment:

  1. Ha...good timing. I am just making lentil soup for dinner.