Spring seems to be about as elusive as naughty bunnies hiding in the garden at night. Yes, I know, many of our gardens are still under a blanket of snow, but to us, bunnies symbolize the hope and energy spring willbring. We are sharing five of Pebble’s bunnies with you in hopes that they will be a timely reminder that spring is on its way!
Boy Bunny – A classic from Pebble. Comfortable at the beach, at a 4th of July parade, he has that charming way of putting those around him at ease.
Girl Bunny – Another classic from Pebble. A sunshine-y friend in a sundress. She lights up the room and has a great imagination. Recently spotlighted by The Talking Walnut blog, she didn’t even blush at all of the attention.
Rainbow Stripey Bunny Rattle – A quick best-seller, this character is cheerful and energetic although his prankster antics often get him in “trouble”.
Organic Stripey Bunny Rattle – Showcasing the latest color-ways from Pebble, the Organic Stripey Bunny is happy-go-lucky and always ready to tell a good story.
Which one is your favorite? Let us know on Facebook.
Pebble products are Fair Trade and made entirely by hand. To date, Pebble provides rural employment to over 6,500 women in rural Bangladesh. To read more about Pebble’s innovative and ethical manufacturing model read our postwhich summarizes a case study that MIT’s Innovations Journal published about it.
The shelves at the store seem to be sagging these days with the load of candy piled on them. From one store to another, one holiday to another, one ad to another, there’s not much difference. Oh the color of the wrappings change and the words used to lure us to buy lots of sugary “goodness” change according to the theme of the holiday, but underneath all the wrappings, there’s not much difference. I don’t know about you, but I get a little weary of it all.
It wasn’t always this way; I used to to be charmed by chocolate in any way, shape or form. I was pretty shocked, about 5 years ago, when a friend told me he didn’t buy chocolate because of the slavery issues surrounding it. I had no idea that such a sweet little item had such huge controversy behind it. It was appalling to me there were indeed many cocoa plantations in West Africa, in particular, which were run by slaves, often children. The more I researched, the more I became convinced that this was something I could no longer turn a blind eye to. For starters, our family simply began by eating a lot less chocolate. At the same time, I discovered a growing number of fair-trade companies who are sourcing their cocoa from farmers who are paid a fair wage and producing amazing chocolate. It was not a difficult decision to make the switch! I fell in love with the baking cocoa from Equal Exchange. Not only can I feel good about my purchase, I believe the quality is far superior to other brands making it well worth the price. The most difficult thing to make the switch in for me was chocolate chips. Fair trade chocolate chips are hard to come by and are costly. As a compromise, I opted for organic chocolate chips for a time, since organic farmers are subjected to a lot of screening and it is less likely that slave labor is used on these farms. This past fall, I was thrilled to discover that Equal Exchange had begun selling chocolate chips! And are they good! A friend of mine didn’t believe me until she tasted what I’m about to share with you.
Fair trade, chocolate and baking are big passions of mine. I’ve combined all three and come up with a recipe that I want to share with you, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
No Dark Secret Brownies
1 cup butter
3/4 cup fair trade baking cocoa
1/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 – 1 cup fair trade chocolate chips
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the oil and baking cocoa. Cook for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Beat eggs and vanilla. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla, mixing just until combined. Sift the flour and gently stir in. Add the pecans and chocolate chips. Avoid over-mixing. Pour into a greased 9×13″ baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30 -40 minutes, until a toothpick an inch or two from the edge comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.
Life has been a bit of a blur since the holidays. Amidst a trip to Atlanta, GA for the gift show, an unusual number of snow days for the boys, the daunting task of taking inventory and rounds of the flu, a bouncy little puppy came into our lives. While the timing seems a bit crazy, we have no regrets. Shadow is a very loveable 6 month old Yorkiepoo and has fast become a treasured member of the family. While he was a birthday gift for our youngest son, he is adored by all of us.