Give Away!

March 30, 2012

I don’t usually post on Friday’s–but a special occasion, make that TWO, special occasions are occurring this upcoming Thursday, April 5th.

The First–It’s the Cubs home opener! I’m so excited for baseball to be back. I especially can’t wait to see all the changes that Theo Epstein has implemented.

The Second–April 5th is National Caramel Day!!!

To celebrate two of my favorite things–I’m GIVING AWAY two 1/2 lb bags of Wrigleyville City Caramels.  My current favorite. Think Baby Ruth candy bar, with a twist.  Lots of salty, roasted peanuts embedded in caramel that’s been infused with Old Style beer.  A taste of Wrigley!

The Contest Details:

1) Tell me who your favorite Cub player (past or present) is and why.  Also, just for fun, let me know the number of games you think the Cubs are going to win this year. At the end of the season I’ll send a bag to the person whose guess was most accurate.

2) There are a number of ways you can let me know your thoughts:

a) You can leave your answer directly on this blog.

b) You can LIKE City Caramels  on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall.

c) Or you can follow City Caramels on Twitter and tweet me your answer.

3) I will randomly choose two winners on the morning of Thursday, April 5th. I’ll contact you directly and then you can let me know where you would like the caramels delivered.

 

Sound good? Okay. Let the games begin!

 

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Tweet, tweet, tweet…

March 28, 2012

Week one of my social media experiment is done.  This past week I concentrated on getting to know Twitter.  Of all the social media out there, this was the one that I had the worst handle on.  

I’m proud to write that I (think I) get the concept of Twitter now.  Downloading Tweet Deck made understanding Twitter infinitely easier.  I was also incredibly impressed with the amount of free tutorials that one can find on line–what did people do before You tube?  

What I found disconcerting? The amount of spam that exists out in tweet land. And lots of it is of the triple x variety. Gross.  A few times this past week I was so excited to see that I had garnered a few new followers, only to discover that these followers were less than desirable…Block.  Block. Block. Yuck. I’m taking about caramel, people–let’s keep things G rated.

There’s still loads for me to learn, but I do like the format.  One must be pithy and succinct. 

I’m going to continue my tweeting and add on face booking this week as well…

Etsy Love

March 21, 2012

City Caramels has been on Etsy for a while and it’s been a great forum for getting City Caramels out to people who don’t live in the immediate Chicagoland area.  

Recently, I decided to really try and ramp up my usage of Etsy. One, I love the concept behind the site. I’ve purchased unique, one of a kind items. (I really enjoy buying and using something that not everyone else has–Etsy makes that easy.)  

Two, It’s been a goal of mine to get better at social networking–that includes blogging, face-booking, tweeting, pintetest etc.  I’ve been saying this for a while, but haven’t actually executed anything.  It goes back to business 101–a goal’s gotta be S.M.A.R.T. I know the acronym is cliche, but there is something to be said for measurement…

And that brings me back to Etsy, a lot of sellers who do well on Etsy do so because they are social networking super stars.    So, I figure now’s City Caramels time.  I can really delve into social networking and measure my success (or lack there of) based on Etsy sales.  

I’ll keep you updated in the weeks and months to come on how my social networking experiment is working out for City Caramels. I’ve never been a great fan of self-promotion but I’d like to think there’s a way to be authentic and promote yourself/one’s business while still adding value and helping others.  We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you updated.

Thanks!

Oh! A website that I came across that I am loving right now,  

http://www.handmadeology.com.  Great site for any of you who might be contemplating Etsy…

Happy Birthday, Chicago

March 8, 2012

175 years old. And you still look amazing, Chi town!

Chicago celebrated it’s b-day this past Sunday, March 4th. I really enjoyed reading Neil Steinberg’s essay published in the Sun Times. Chicago has been the birthplace to so many American institutions-from Twinkies to skyscrapers to zoos. I’m so damn proud of our gorgeous, friendly city.

I also really enjoyed this list of 175 ways to celebrate Chicago’s birthday. I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy many of the items on this list–but there’s still a lot left for me to check out (for example, Architectural Artifacts on Ravenswood).

In City Caramel news…I’m gearing up for wedding season. It’s March and with weather like this, as far as I’m concerned, spring is here. Wedding season is upon us. Every year lots of brides contact me directly to order Mini Bags as wedding favors. If you are interested, shoot me an email so that I can plan accordingly. Talk to you next week!

Happy Leap Day

February 29, 2012

What an incredible day! Sixty one degrees in February. I celebrated the holiday at Navy Pier. Free parking, Twenty nine cent Ferris wheel rides. Food specials galore. I thought it was incredibly cool that the Pier was celebrating the day–the free parking alone was enough to put me in a festive mood!

SO, because I realize just how much fun it is to receive something free, I updated the City Caramels etsy site. Free shipping on Mini bags! I’m not sure how long this offer will last, but I thought it would be a fun thing to promote. I’m always a tiny bit resentful when I’m shopping online and find something at a seemingly low price only to have that price jacked up by shipping and handling costs. Check out the goods. I look forward to hearing from you…

Happy Leap Year Day!

Paczki Tuesday

February 22, 2012

Image

Love this; “A pączek is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with confiture or other sweet filling..”  What’s not to like, right?  I especially adore this Fat Tuesday tradition.  Back in my younger days, I thought going to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras was where it was at, and it is a good time…if you are in your early twenties.  May still be cool if you could snag a fabulous room in a building with those pretty curlicue terraces like the one pictured above. (What can I say? I’m always game for a good parade.) However, my days of public debauchery are long behind me!


But I digress, back to the paczki.  If you read my blog with any regularity you probably are well aware that I am a fan of Dinkel’s Bakery.  I think their chocolate covered cake donuts are tops.  Also, I’m a sucker when it comes to nostalgia–they still tie up their bakery boxes with white twine. (Sigh.)  It’s the little things that make me happy. 


 I was very, very happy when my sweet, gym loving husband brought home two paczki from Dinkels last night. Mine, strawberry filled with a generous powdered sugar dusting on top.  His, butterscotch icing with bavarian cream filling.  They were excellent.

Show me your paczki!

 

Oh the weather outside…isn’t so bad!

February 15, 2012

I’m so thankful for the mild weather that we’ve been experiencing this winter.  I am.  But, I miss summer–I yearn for long warm days.  For fireflies and walks to my favorite frozen custard place.  I miss going to the pool and wearing summer sun dresses.  I miss farmers markets…  

Oh wait, scratch that, turns out there’s an INDOOR farmers market. Yep, I’ve known about it for a while but just never thought about checking it out.  What can I say, farmer’s markets in February aren’t top of mind for me.   This past Sunday my husband suggested that we go to the Congress Theatre on Milwaukee to check out Logan Square’s indoor market. Great idea, no?

Liked it.  Obviously, not a huge market because this is the Midwest and there aren’t a ton of locally produced vegetables and fruits available–but it was nice to see apples and  micro greens and there were plenty of prepared foods that I’ve been wanting to try. Definitely worth checking out. My favorite thing there–Mama’s Nut’s hot horchata–perfect on a wintry Sunday morning. I guess winter time has does have it’s distinct advantages!

Sweet February

February 8, 2012

 

 

It’s February! The big game is over (loved,loved,loved Madonna by the way!) and now I’m anxiously awaiting The Oscars. I can’t say that I’m on board with nominating nine different films for Best Picture, but I am pleased with many of the movies that are up for this year’s award.  

One of my favorite movies from this past year also happened to be a favorite book of mine as well, The Help.  One very humorous scene in the book revolves around a chocolate pie.  Yeah, you remember the scene. I was thinking about that pie and the fried chicken and all the other delicious recipes that Minny whips up in the book/movie.  I’ve always wanted to do a cooking club where we each make a food item either mentioned in one of the year’s movies or inspired by a movie. (If you are reading this Cooking Club Ladies, what do you think?  I think we have CC scheduled for Febraury 26th, Oscar’s night.) I could do the chocolate pie, but I think the Caramel Cake is a little bit more up my alley.  I did some internet surfing and discovered Caramel Cake tea–thought you’d enjoy the pic.  I was also really pleased to see that the writer of The Help, Kathyrn Stockett, included a recipe for ‘Never-Fail’ creamy caramel icing on her blog (I just posted the link a little prematurely, sorry about that!)

 Caramels are my thing, and I loved the book/movie so the way I see it, this cake and I destined for one another. Gotta try making it I’m usually not a fan of baking but I love the idea of caramel in cake form…

 

http://www.kathrynstockett.com/stockett-recommends.htm

February 8, 2012

http://www.kathrynstockett.com/stockett-recommends.htm

Topics

February 2, 2012

Last Friday I dropped off Wrigleyville City Caramels and Old Town City Caramels at a great new coffee spot in Lincoln Park; Topics.

Great location (just a few doors north of Nookies on Halsted) Topics is more than just a hip coffee spot.  There’s incredible art adorning the walls–I’m told that there’s a featured artist each month.  Inteligensia coffee.  Treats galore (including City Caramels!).

Perhaps one of the best features of this modern spot are the private work spaces available for rent.  I would have loved a place like this when I was going back to school a few years ago.  There were so many times when I wanted to get out of the house to study but didn’t want to be in a sterile library and traditional coffee spots were just too chatty–I need peaceful quiet when I study so I can concentrate.   Enter Topics.  There’s a private meeting room, private cubes, even a business center. Genius, no?

So, check it out when you get a chance.  Lots of good seating and free wifi too!