Archive for the ‘Pet Goods’ Category

4 Bean Chili and Halloween – My First Stop on My Holiday Cooking and Overeating Binge

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

 

It’s so hard to believe that it’s almost Halloween! You know what this means don’t you? It’s time to…well…put away your scale. I’ve already begun to have conversations with myself about NOT dipping into the trick or treat candy. The conversations go something like this: “You don’t need that, you’ve had it before, it tastes the same” – and then I eat it anyway – AUGH!

Halloween marks the beginning of the end for me…the end of the year that is.  I will be cooking and overeating nonstop from now until New Year’s Day. I actually bought my first can of cranberry sauce for a salad dressing, and began to dream about ginger bread cookies. Sorry, I can’t help but jump ahead. The best part of it is that I’m already looking forward to New Year’s Day. We have a family tradition of going to the Rose Bowl Parade inPasadena. The parade is nice, but you want to know what I’m really looking forward to?   Eating a bacon wrapped hot dog from a street vendor at 7 a.m.  Sounds crazy I know, but you can’t mess with tradition. You just have to do it.

What are your Halloween traditions that mark the beginning of the holiday season?

My Halloween Traditions

Fight with my son about his costume not being too scary.
Pull out my multitude of fake pumpkins and hope the Santa Ana winds don’t blow them away.
Medicate my dog’s food in her Mason Cash pet bowl so she won’t have a heart attack.
Pull out the holiday decoration and eat Snickers bars.

Make a huge pot of low fat, high fiber, healthy turkey chili, and then pile on cheese and sour cream.

Attempt to convince myself I am still a “healthy” eater  by making a fresh tangerine and avocado salad using my Pacific Merchants acacia wood  salad bowl

 

Homemade  Bean Turkey Chili is one of my favorite fall treats. I can’t think of a meal more perfect for Halloween evening to energize the little ones before a long night of trick or treating. It’s warm, hearty, and quick and easy to prepare amidst the hustle and bustle of the day’s holiday activities. The smell of it simmering on the stovetop, how it looks in my favorite Mason Cash Pudding Basin and, of course, the mouthwatering taste can’t be beat. The perfect presentation is almost as important as the taste – almost! My eyes feast first, then my taste buds, and it couldn’t be a more divine moment.

As a chef I use a wide array of kitchenware when I cook and serve meals, but I have to say the Mason Cash and Acacia wooden products from Pacific Merchants are some of my absolute favorite go-to pieces, and are the perfect “assistant” in the kitchen.  I especially love using my hand carved Calabash Acacia Dipping Bowls to prep my ingredients when I’m cooking chili on a breezy fall afternoon. And my Mason Cash Mixing Bowls andPuddingBasins are both beautiful and versatile. ThePuddingBasin’s sleek design lends itself well to be used as a mixing bowl, serving bowl, pasta bowl, ice cream and cereal bowls! The perfect kitchenware is like the perfect pair of shoes. Makes you feel like million bucks whether you’re lounging around the house or showing them off to family and friends.

4 Bean Turkey Chili

Makes 24 8oz servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large white or yellow onion – diced

1 large yellow bell pepper – diced
1 large red bell pepper – diced
Pinch of salt and pepper

2 pounds of lean ground turkey (not extra lean; you need some fat for flavor.)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons dried thyme
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoons chili powder

40 oz can pinto beans – drained
30 oz can dark red kidney beans – drained
30 oz can black beans – drained
30 oz can white beans – drained
28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce

6 cups low salt chicken broth
3 Tablespoons corn starch

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large bay leaf

  • In an extra large soup/stock pot warm olive oil over medium heat and sweat the onions and peppers with a pinch of salt and pepper until they appear translucent – about 4-5 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to high, add in turkey meat and begin to brown.
  • Season the turkey with salt, pepper, cumin, thyme, garlic powder, and chili powder.
  • Once the meat is browned, add in the beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce.
  • In a small Mason Cash Mixing Bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold chicken broth and add to the chili – stir to combine.
  • Add in remaining ingredients – apple cider vinegar, ketchup, seasoning, and bay leaf –  and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes.
  • Serve warm in a Size 42 Mason Cash Pudding Basins.

Tangerine & Avocado Salad

One head of  butter lettuce

One 6 oz can of your favorite tangerine slices (refridgerated)

One large avocado

One pinch Garlic Salt

One pinch Seasoned Pepper

Cut lettuce into bit sized pieces.  Pour in tangerine slices and slice avocado into a large Pacific Merchants salad bowl.  Use a bottled mango dressing or you can use a home made dressing using white wine vinegar, olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and garlic salt.

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The Best Gifts for Your Favorite Pet Lover

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

We’re getting down to the wire on Christmas 2010, and while some people have had their holiday shopping squared away for months now, there are still some out there scrambling to find that “perfect gift.” If you’re at a loss as to what you’ll get the pet lover in your life, allow us to point you in the right direction!

Eco Pet Mats

Some of our very favorite items that we carry are our Eco Pet Mats. If you or your loved ones fancy yourself to be “green,” this is a gift that could be right up your alley. Made from 90% recycled materials, these mats are great for doorways, mud rooms, laundry rooms, and especially underneath your pet’s bowls. The bottom is made from durable non-skid recycled rubber, so you and your pets are sure not to slip or slide on them.

Our Eco Mats (short for “Ecology Matters”) are also fade resistant, UV safe, and made right here in the United States. On top of all of their other wonderful features, our Eco Mats are also easy to clean, simply scrub with warm soapy water and dry. Available in six beautiful styles, our Eco Mats retail for $29.95. For more information, head over to our website.

Cane Petware

Our Mason Cash Cane Petware Water Dish

Want to treat your animals right this holiday? You can’t forget to slip a little something under the tree for them, and we’ve got just the perfect thing. Our Cane Petware is imported from Mason Cash, a 200 year old English brand. Mason Cash’s Cane Petware has been the ultimate in design and sophistication as far as animal dishes go for the last 70 years, and we’re very excited to offer it to you.

Our Cane Petware is made from heavy stoneware in order to ensure durability. Because our bowls are made from ceramic as opposed to plastic, they are bite resistant, as well as heavier so they are increasingly difficult to tip over (meaning less messes for mom and dad). Additionally, the sides of the bowls are thick so they are chip-resistant as well as able to keep food and water cooler for longer.

Our Cane Petware contributes to a happier, healthier pet, not just for those who buy it. Mason Cash is happy to donate a percentage of all proceeds to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (or RSPCA). Along with Mason Cash, we at Pacific Merchants feel that all animals deserve to be happy, healthy, and respected, so we’re proud to be a part of this amazing partnership that makes more than $20,000 available every year. To see our selection of Cane Petware (available for nearly any household pet) stop by our Pet Accessories page.

Pet Mugs

If you’re looking for that perfect “little gift” for the animal lover in your life- hoping to show you care without breaking the bank- our cute pet mugs could do just the trick. With eight total designs available, the cat and dog lovers in your life are sure to be spoiled when you give them one of our adorable Price & Kensington pet mugs. The Price & Kensington line dates back to 1896 and is a quality way to show your favorite animal lover you care. Take a peek at our selection here.

We hope you’ll spoil your favorite animal lover this year with our unique pet-themed gifts, and from all of us have at Pacific Merchants we wish you the happiest of holidays.

Man’s Best Friend

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Anyone who tells you that 2009 was a walk in the park has been dipping into the egg nog. With the possible exception of my two best friends on earth… my dogs!

Now look, I love my family. I am truly blessed. But heck, they are only human. They have their ups and downs. They have needs that are complicated, time consuming, and expensive! My canine companions, however, are undemanding, loyal, easy to please. A fresh bowl of kibble, a bone, a belly rub, and life is beautiful! Which is probably why I derive such satisfaction from spoiling them rotten.

When Pacific Merchants launched the Mason Cash line of stoneware stateside this summer, the first thing I did was order a wide variety of their legendary pet bowls. Sold in dozens of countries around the world for over forty years, these handsome dog and cat bowls are considered the “Rolls Royce” of pet products. Beautifully designed, crafted and meant to last a lifetime, they are also an excellent value!

Made of heavy stoneware, Mason Cash pet bowls won’t get tipped or pushed around during meal time, and keep food and water cool longer than other bowls. The thick lip at the top of bowls is chip and bite resistant, and we even carry angled bowls that prevent spillage, and keep long, droopy ears dry and out of the chow! To make a sweet deal sweeter, a percentage of all proceeds of Mason Cash pet accessories also goes to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals!

So, when you want to spoil your very best friend (dog, cat, rabbit, hamster), purchase a set of Mason Cash pet bowls. And don’t forget that walk in the park.


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