Archive for March, 2011

Invite us to your Tea Party

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

“There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and the talking over its head. ‘Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: ‘No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming. ‘There’s plenty of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.” -From Lewis Carroll’s Classic Alice in Wonderland

Reading up on the classics can be a great way to spend a Spring afternoon. While curling up with a copy of Alice in Wonderland, our Account Executive Jill got to thinking how crazy a tea party like the one described in the book would actually be. Before she knew it, her mind had wandered to consideration of the interesting individuals she’d like to take tea with.

“I have often wondered what it would be like to stop and pick Sandra Day O’Connor’s brain,” mused Jill, “not only was she the first Female Supreme Court Justice, but beyond that, Justice O’Connor had to overcome the fact that no law firm in the state of California wanted to hire her once she’d graduated law school. Add to that the fact that she was a wife to a man who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 20 years before he passed away as well as a mother to three sons, and Justice O’Connor seems to be fascinating on all levels.”

Price & Kensington's 5 Piece Teaset in Blue

All this thought of interesting conversation mixed with Carroll’s colorful tea party scene got Jill wondering- who would make the most interesting tea party guest? Right now, we’re hosting a contest on our facebook fan page- simply become a fan of Pacific Merchants and tell us who you’d have tea with (dead or alive) and why! We’ll pick a winner Friday night, April 1st to receive a five piece Price & Kensington tea set- the winner gets to choose one of seven available colors. Hurry and get your entry in so you can win!

A Penchant for Pancakes

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Pacific Merchants Loves Pancakes

Here at Pacific Merchants, we’re pretty crazy about breakfast, especially our pancakes. Crepes, Latkes, Banana, or Blueberry- we don’t discriminate, we just love pancakes, whatever form they come in.

This week, we tried out some amazing cornmeal pancakes which were quite unlike any other we’ve tried before- so light and fluffy we ate breakfast for dinner! All this delicious breakfast fare got us thinking- we really want to hear what kinds of pancakes our blog readers and facebook fans are into. With that in mind, Pacific Merchants is excited to host our April Pancake Recipe Contest!

Win a Mixing Bowl

Mason Cash's Size 18 Mixing Bowl

Entering our contest is easy- simply become a fan of Mason Cash on Facebook and share your favorite pancake recipe on the wall (or, if it’s too long, post it into a discussion). We’ll be accepting entries until April 29th, so be sure and get yours in. Our winner will receive a size 18 Mason Cash mixing bowl, which holds 3.75 quarts!

Mason Cash & Company

We’re proud to be the United States distributor of Mason Cash, a 200 year old brand of English mixing bowls, pudding basins, and kitchen accessories. These bowls are not only beautiful, but ergonomic, and have been made with the same design for over 100 years. The brand is so popular that the Queen of England even uses the pudding basins each Christmas when she gives away Christmas Puddings to her employees and subjects!

We’re excited to see what our readers come up with, so get your entries in now so you can win our beautiful Mason Cash mixing bowl!

Check out our Spring Special Placemats!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

This Spring, Pacific Merchants has decided to offer a line of limited edition place mats at a special value.

We’re dedicated to helping our customers keep their tabletop looking stylish, as well as saving our customers money. From our line of polyvinyl placemats we’re pleased to offer our Spring Promo selection. Available only while quantities last, these nine patterns are offered at an excellent price point- only $3.95 each!

Measuring 12″ by 17″, these place mats have the same wonderful qualities you’ve come to expect from us- they’re UV resistant, bacteria resistant, are easily cleaned with soapy water, and even top-rack dishwasher safe!

Khaki Placemat

Truffle Placemat

Dijon Placemat

Whatever color scheme you decorate with, we’ve got the placemat for you; our promo placemats come in Khaki, Truffle, Dijon, Cornsilk, Aqua, Ruby, Cantaloupe, Lemonade, and Cobalt. Hurry and get your order in before this deal, and these colors, disappear for good! For more colors, patterns, and size selections, be sure and check out the rest of our place mats.

Sherry’s Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Check out this wonderful recipe from our Facebook friend Sherry! She was kind enough to share it with us during our February Facebook contest.

Ingredients:

French Toast-

  • 12 slices of bread, any kind
  • 2 packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/3 c maple syrup or honey

Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Directions:

French Toast Casserole:

1. Spray 9 X 13 inch dish with Pam (Our size four baking dish might just do the trick…) Cut or tear bread into cubes and arrange in the bottom of dish
2. Cut up cream cheese into 1 in cubes. Drop the cream cheese cubes over the top of the bread. Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the top.
3. In mixing bowl, combine 12 eggs, 2 cups milk, 1/3 cup maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the bread, cream cheese and blueberries. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Blueberry Sauce:

You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate, then warm up before serving.
1. Stir together 1 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp cornstarch in a medium sauce pan. Add 1 cup water and stir until smooth. Stir well so cornstarch won’t be clumpy. Heat to boiling and stir 2-3 minutes until thickened. 2. Add 1 cup blueberries, simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until blueberries start to burst. Don’t let them all burst. I like some of the blueberries whole.
3. Turn heat off the blueberry sauce and stir in 1 Tbls butter. Store in plastic or glass container and refrigerate until ready to use.
4. The next morning preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take casserole out of the refrigerator. Place covered cassrole in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until top is a golden brown and the center is set.
5. While the casserole is baking, you can heat up the blueberry sauce on top of the oven or microwave until warm. Serve over top of casserole.
6. Prep time: 30 min to put everything together 8-24 hours – refrigerate several hours or overnight until bread is soaked through with egg, milk mixture. Cook time: 1 hour

You can also make this recipe with strawberries. If you are feeding two or three people you might consider cutting the recipe in half.

Freshen up Your Serving Collection This Spring!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

If you’re looking for an excellent excuse to shop- have we got one for you! Today, The Foundary is hosting an event featuring our amazingly beautiful acacia wood serving pieces.

Now is the time to prepare yourself (and your tabletop) for your Spring dinner parties as well as Summer Bar-be-ques. Available today on The Foundary is a large selection of our very favorite acacia items, including our very popular “Calabash” shaped salad bowls, a collection of our most popular wood serving trays, and a few other goodies mixed in.

Our 10" Calabash-Shaped Salad Bowl

Looking for more things to help with your hosting duties? Be sure and stop by pacificmerchants.com and check out our fun collection of cocktail napkins. With a selection of wine-inspired designs, as well as a fun collection of dog and cat themed art available, you’re sure to find napkins that will have your guests smiling- and talking.

One of our Wine-Themed Napkin Designs

 

If you’ve been looking for a simple and cost-effective way to update the look of your table, make sure you take a look at our collection of placemats. We offer both round placemats and rectangular placemats in a variety of patterns and colors at excellent prices, so that you can afford to buy a few different styles and keep mixing things up! We recently just debuted a few new spring colors, so be sure to check them out while they’re still available.

As always, make sure you keep coming back to our blog for the latest in recipes and entertaining ideas from Pacific Merchants!

Celebrate Spring With Pineapple Upside Down Cake!

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Happy Spring! Since March 20th is the first day of Spring for 2011, we felt it was the perfect time to share a fresh and fruity baking recipe. Pineapple is in season this month, making Pineapple Upside Down Cake the perfect choice for those looking to make an old favorite, or, for those who’ve been a little less curious in the past, explore a new one altogether.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 ripe, medium pineapple (Peeled, cored, eyes removed and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds- approx. 4-5 slices)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 14 pecan halves
  • 1 cup cake flour (not self rising)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. dark rum
  • 4 fresh cherries (halved with pits removed)

Directions:

Melt four tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch skillet (preferably cast-iron), over medium heat. Add brown sugar, stirring to combine. Increase heat to medium-high until the mixture begins to bubble, approximately two minutes. Arrange the pineapple slices in a pattern in the skillet and cook for two more minutes, or until the mixture turns an amber-type color. Turn the pineapple slices over and remove pan from heat. Arrange the pecan halves in between the rings, and set pan aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a Medium Mixing Bowl (we recommend our Mason Cash Size 12) combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Inside the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the remaining 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing only until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately in three steps, mixing at a low speed until each portion is just combined. Stir in the vanilla and rum.

Spoon the mixture over the pineapple slices within the skillet, bake in the center of the oven until golden brown and a tester comes clean, approximately 35-40 minutes.

Cool the cake on a wire rack for four minutes, run a knife around the edge of the cake, and while wearing oven mitts, quickly transfer the cake to a cake plate by inverting the skillet over the cake plate. Carefully replace any fruit from the skillet, if necessary, and arrange the fresh cut cherry halves in center of the rings.

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Legasse

Pacific Merchants Prepares for The International Housewares Association Show

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

2011 International Housewares Show

We’re excited to be preparing for the 2011 International Housewares Association trade show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. This trade show will run from Sunday March 6 until Tuesday March 8, and is one of the premier places for buyers from around the world to view new product lines from distributors, importers, and wholesalers.

Pacific Merchants Prepares Booth

This year, Pacific Merchants will be located at space S1668, and we’re excited to share some of our newest finds and products with attendees. Our booth will have plenty of room and ample lighting to show off our fabulous selection of products, so be sure and plan on stopping by. We’ll have plenty of Pacific Merchants employees and representatives handy to answer your questions and help with orders.

Products on Display

We’re proud to have a stunning selection of our acacia wood line, Acaciaware, to display at our booth, along with our vast selection of place mats and our Mason Cash baking and cooking tools. As a little something extra, we’ll also have our Mason Cash pet accessories available, for the stores who like to offer a little of everything. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled, as there will be new products available in virtually every product category that we carry!