Archive for April, 2013

2013 Mother’s Day Gift Guide!

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Can you believe Mother’s Day is only a couple of weeks away? That’s right, it’s on May 12, which means you have 2 weeks to find the perfect gift for the person who gave you life. But don’t worry. Here at Pacific Merchants, we’re ready to help with a great Mother’s Day Gift Guide. We’ve got beautiful gifts for everyone, and we want to help you get your shopping out of the way so that you can spend more time with your mom. What’s more important than family, after all?

First up is a really cool Price and Kensington Teapot. I particularly like this one with the infuser. It’s great for all those fancy loose leaf teas. Plus, we have matching mugs, so your mom can entertain in style! It says “Mom, I appreciate you. I want you to relax and take time for yourself. These are the perfect gifts for the woman who likes to entertain. They are also great for the woman who does everything for everyone else and sometimes needs to be reminded to take some time and spoil herself. Now if your mom loves tea, but doesn’t love to entertain, don’t worry. We thought about her too. If you get her a teapot with infuser, splurge a little, spoil your mom, and pick up some nice loose leaf tea to go along with it. How about the Zen tea by Tazo? Give your mom her moment of zen.

 

 

We’ve got a line of clever tea-for-ones just for her. These are neatly designed teapots that nest with a single cup right under the pot. They come whimsically decorated with everything from beautiful floral motifs to funny farm animals, and even cats and dogs. There’s something for everyone.

Now, don’t worry, we didn’t forget the coffee lovers out there. If you’re a coffee fan, you know that you can never have too many coffee mugs. So if mom’s into coffee instead of tea, surprise her with this beautiful 4-pack of cute, polka dot coffee cups. They come in a pretty gift box and whether your mother is into coffee, tea or hot chocolate, she’ll smile when she drinks out of them and thinks of you. Plus, with a 4-pack of extra mugs, it’s easier to get the whole family together for coffee more

If your mom loves to bake there’s a pretty good change that you’ve been spoiled with amazing baked goods growing up. It’s time for you to spoil her back with a set of Mason Cash Mixing bowls. Our set is made of high quality glazed stoneware. These traditional British bowls, made in the same style for over 150 years and are heavy enough to stay still while mixing. The classic raised pattern provides texture to make sure the bowl doesn’t slip out of slippery hands. Our mixing bowl set features bowls in 5.25qt, 3.75qt, and 3qt sizes, which nest perfectly inside of each other. Any serious baker or cook will love these bowls. Of course, if a big set is out of your budget we’ve got some great single bowls, like these adorable fruit embossed designs. Check out our whole line of beautiful, durable Mason Cash stoneware bowls. Chefs from Julia Child to Martha Stewart have fallen in love with Mason Cash bowls over the years and we’re sure you’ll find something your mom will love. To sweeten the deal, we’ll throw in a free spoon rest with any set of Mason Cash Mixing bowls OR with any bowl 12 inches or longer. Our Mason Cash spoon rests are perfect matches for the cane mixing bowls and they’ll help keep mom’s counters clean! Just enter the code ILOVEMOM at checkout.

 

 

If your mom is more of a savory cook than a baker, we suggest this Mason Cash tagine, especially if she has a flair for the exotic. It’s modeled after a traditional Moroccan cooking vessel and makes the most flavorful, tender dishes. Cooking and steaming food in tagines is delicious, healthy and easy. Tangines produce tender, succulent, natural and vitamin rich dishes. Tagine recipes are usually stews cooked slowly at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauces. By soaking terracotta the Mason and Cash tagine in water before cooking, users can intensify flavors and the succulence of food even further. Our line of Mason Cash tagines also comes in beautiful colors. Each of them is oven safe up to 350 degrees, perfect for low slow cooking.

 

 

 

Now, if your mom is an ice cream lover (and let’s face it, who isn’t) we suggest you bring over a set of four of these small Mason Cash Pudding Bowls and a couple of pints of her favorite ice cream. These classic pudding basins are not only the perfect size for ice cream and small snacks, they’re sleek, made of durable stoneware, and feature a classic British design that hasn’t changed in well over 100 years. Mason Cash pudding basins are so well-known and well-loved in England that Even the Queen of England and British Royal household rely on Mason Cash pudding basins and pudding bowls for Christmas pudding gifts. So treat your mom like a queen. You know she deserves it!

 

And if your mom is a pizza aficionado, might we suggest our Mason Cash Terracotta baking stone? The Terracotta Clay Baking Stone is unglazed, which aids in the browning and crisping of the pizza crust while the porous clay material holds steam and moisture when soaked. This ensures that breads and pizzas do not dry out while baking, making for the perfect tender, but crisp crust and gooey, melty pizza every time. If you want to go all out, throw your mom a pizza party. Our sectioned Acaciaware serving dishes are perfect for holding a buffet of toppings, so mom can make her ultimate pizza!

 

We hope we were able to help you figure out your mother’s gift with plenty of time to spare. Please order by MONDAY, MAY 6th to make sure that your mom gets her gift in time. And once you’re done ordering, go hang out with your mom. She’ll love getting to spend time with you, even if it’s not mother’s day yet. You don’t need an excuse to enjoy family.

From all of us here at Pacific Merchants, we hope you have a wonderful Mother’s day!

An easy guide to canning with Kilner by Pacific Merchants!

Monday, April 15th, 2013

With summer coming, it’s time to figure out the best way to preserve all the great seasonal fruits and vegetables long after school starts back up and the days get shorter. Our suggestion? Canning. It’s a great way to preserve food, it saves money in the long run, and it’s actually fun to do. There are tons of awesome books on canning out there, but here’s a list of necessities to get you started. Plus, we’ve thrown in an awesome recipe that’s awesome as part of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. And with an awesome line of beautiful, high end canning goods coming our way, we can’t wait to get started canning with Kilner!

The most important thing in canning (aside from the food) is the container. I highly suggest these half-liter Kilner by Pacific Merchant jars with screw tops. They’re sturdy, pretty, and really easy to use. I go through about a dozen half liter jars every summer canning my jam and tomato sauce for the rest of the year, so plan accordingly. You’re probably better off having a few too many jars than too few. You’re going to need to sanitize your jars and lids thoroughly before using them. There are a couple of methods. You can do it in the dishwasher (just time a REALLY hot cycle to finish exactly when you’re ready for the jars) or you can do it in boiling water. I suggest the water method since you can just keep the jars in there on the back burner until you’re ready for them. Just make sure to have a set of jam tongs handy to pull the jars out of the boiling water.

 

When you’re canning food you’ll find that a lot of canning recipes are pretty high acid, whether the acid comes from brine or the fruits and vegetables themselves. Because of this, it’s important to have a non-reactive pot to cook your food in. You don’t want to ruin the pot or create weird flavors in your food.

Other canning essentials include a funnel to fill the jars (I’d suggest a wide mouthed funnel. It makes life SO much easier,) a good non-reactive long necked spoon, a ladle, labels so you don’t go end up spreading tomato sauce on your peanut butter and jelly instead of strawberry jam, and a thermometer.
As you get into preserving and get more creative, you’ll want things like infusing bags, a strainer, funnel adapters for different sized jars, fancy jar covers, and way more seals (the jars are re-usable, the seals are not).

Now that you know what you’ll need to preserve all the great flavors of spring and summer, we’ll leave you with this awesome strawberry jam recipe. It’s simple, easy, and absolutely delicious. Keep checking back for more great canning recipes all summer long.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 large lemon juiced
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 24 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

Put a freezer safe plate in the freezer
Combine the sugar, lemon juice orange zest in a non-reactive pot and cook over very low heat for 8-10 minutes minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 25 minutes, until the strawberry juice mixes with the sugar and the mixture boils slowly.
Cook until a small amount of the juice gels on the frozen plate.
Pour car

efully into 2 canning jars and either seal according to instructions below or keep refrigerated.

  • To sterilize jars, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.
  • Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water. Before using tongs, sterilize them by dipping their ends in boiling water.
  • Put the jam into the jars after it has cooled for 5 minutes but while it is still hot, leaving about a centimeter between the lid and the top of the jam. Seal immediately.


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