Friday, March 5, 2010

The Art of Trading Goods and Services (or Look at All the Cool Stuff I Got!)

   I've found myself trading a lot lately with fellow sellers, crafters and artists on  It's a great way to get some of the things you'd like even when you don't have the spending cash.  It supports other sellers.  It moves inventory.  It makes new friends and connections.  It's fun.  I've traded for art, jewelry, clothes, even ad space!
How do you approach a seller if you'd like to get a deal cookin'?  Normally the rejection-fearing shy type, this was difficult for me at first.  I received a few nicely worded requests, like this short and sweet~ "Adorable! Do you accept trades? If so please have a look at my shop.  :) Thanks!"  So when writing, I use something similar, and try to think- The worst they could do is say no.   Or ignore you.  Or e-yell at you.  Either way, you're still relatively unharmed.

Approached by a shopkeep and nothing is quite your style?  Think of upcoming birthdays and other gifties.  Otherwise, a polite "Sorry, I'm not taking trades at the moment, but I've hearted your shop for the future" will do. 

I've only had one bad experience, it was a personal e-mail trade, and I got suckered.  It's safest to reserve or make a custom etsy listing, so the rules apply as if it were a regular purchase.  Plus, you get to leave feedback!

Amazing Original Drawing by Poppy Fields
Kick Ass FrankenElvis by MissLuckyHellcat
Cute Custom Bow Hat by Apricotbabybaby
More awesome traders~

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Recipe Time! mmmm... Posole

My Mother is an awesome cook. Within the last few years, I found out that some of the things she taught me stuck and now I LOVE cooking. Even more than that, I LOVE eating. I thought I'd start sharing a few of my favorite recipes.
Please keep in mind that I've had no real training, and that there will be a lot of meat involved. I try to cook light most of the time, (since this new found love, my husband and I had both gained a combined 75 lbs. *but since lost it!*) but often, the flavor I'm after is in the bad stuff.
I don't want to horrify any Vegans or Diabetics, but my style is far more like Paula Deen than Cooking Light magazine. I use fresh ingredients when possible, but money is tight, so I end up using a lot of canned or dried ingredients as well.
Intro out of the way, here's my first recipe posting...


1-2 Lbs Pork butt or rib meat
2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 28 oz Can Hominy
1 Cube Chicken bullion
1 Cube Beef bullion
2 C Water
15 1/2 oz Can Diced Tomatoes with Jalapenos
1 C Chopped Onion
1 or 2 4 oz Can(s) Diced Green Chilies
Tapatio (to taste)
Lime Wedges
Sour Cream
Flour Tortillas

Cut pork into cubes, cover with spices and brown in oil in a soup or stock pot. Remove meat from pan.
To the same pan, add a little more oil, garlic and onion and lightly saute.
Add the browned meat, hominy, bullion and water. Cook on medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Blend the tomatoes and green chilies. Add tomato chili mixture to pot and cook for 30 minutes more.
Serve with warmed flour tortillas, lime wedge, sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Please share your results if you use this recipe and lemme know what you think!