Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Global Mamas

During a recent trip to SCAD, I learned about an amazing organization called Global Mamas.
Global Mama’s reduces the economic inequality of women by increasing the revenues and profits of woman-owned businesses in Africa. This in turn increases employee wages, generates new jobs and improves the standard of living. They believe that helping women gain economic independence is the most effective way to reduce dependence on foreign aid and steadily create a prosperous society.

Global Mamas is a very proud member of  the Fair Trade Federation (FTF). The FTF is a non-profit organization in the United States that accepted Global Mamas to its ranks only after conducting a thorough investigation that ensured the African women who comprise the Global Mamas cooperative are the primary beneficiaries of the proceeds from clothing sales.

Products can be purchased in stores all over the country, check out the list in your area.  Products can also be purchased online through Trade for Change.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Week After

From almost the first day of October, pumpkins have been on prominent display in stores all over Macon. Watching little kids select a pumpkin twice their size is always a treat, with the groaning parents in the background pleading with them to pick something that can actually be carried. Have you ever wondered about the fate of those pumpkins after Halloween? You know, when they flies stay around a little longer, it looks a little more wrinkled, and it doesn’t exactly smell like anything that was once edible?  THE GARBAGE! That’s right, people pick them up, holding their breath, being sure to not touch the gross parts and pitch it into the garbage! That poor pumpkin which was once carefully chosen is thrown away, after only being used as decoration.

Some of you might say, “Oh JeKaren, It’s just a pumpkin. No harm done.” WRONG! Other than the fact that pumpkins are mixed up in landfills, there are so many cool things that could have been done with them before they became a pile of decay. (Disclaimer: The Cluster and its staff are not responsible for damages as a result of this article. Please use your best judgment, or the best judgment of someone you know.)

Bra- (Oh Madonna, you will never be able to live down the Cones.) If for some reason, your sorority (or fraternity) decided to make a calendar benefiting your chapter’s charity, what better way to honor the month of October.  With a few holes on each side and at the top to string around your neck, you are ready to go! (If you decide to do this, the pumpkin bra goes over your shirt. This is a Baptist university!)

 Serving Dish- If you bought your pumpkin later in the season there is a good chance that will be fairly fresh the day after Halloween. By slicing it in half and cleaning out the guts and meat, you can use the remaining shell as a serving dish. Using it as a cereal bowl could be iffy, but using it as a soup bowl would add a little color to your dining experience!

Pumpkin Smashing Party- Finals are about 6 weeks away for some people, and for those that have procrastinated for the first twelve weeks are feeling the pinch. One way to relieve the stress is to host a pumpkin smashing party. Yes, this will hurt the pumpkins, but for those that actually enjoy this, it will be great for you!  Please remember to clean up all traces of pumpkin after the party is over. The wonderful cleaning staff does no appreciate cleaning up parties they had no part of, and it is just plain bad manners. What would your mother say? (Pumpkin Smashing is not allowed on campus, so please don’t get me or yourself into trouble.)

Start an ant colony- We all learned about the complex structure of the ant colony in elementary school. Other than being extremely cool, ants are also decomposers, they farm fungi, and they aerate the soil. Starting your own any colony at home would be a cool way to contribute to their system. The easiest way to do this would be to cut up the pumpkin into pieces and to place them in a location you want the ant colony to form. Again, this is not recommended for campus, the landscapers work really hard to keep our campus beautiful. A great location would be a woodsy area that is full of naturally occurring wildlife.

Face mask- A great way to freshen you your skin is to apply a natural face mask. Not only is pumpkin loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids,  it is a good source of vitamins C, K, and E, in addition to lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron. In order to make this mask, simply mix pumpkin puree, honey and milk together. Leave on skin for 20 minutes and no more than twice a week (Dry skin is not happy skin).
Pumpkin piñata- By now, you should be an expert in cleaning out pumpkins and hollowing out the inside. For giggles, a great way to celebrate the beginning of fall is to host a party, with a pumpkin piñata proudly on display. You would use the same method for a traditional piñata, but using a bat instead of a stick.

Compost it- There are many people that love to garden, and who have their own special compost. It is usually a delicate mixture of old fruit, veggies, and manure. If you are not one of these people, ask around. This would be a great way to dispose of the pieces created after your parties above. Be sure to remove the seeds or you will have a nice but unexpected surprise in your compost this spring!

Feed the squirrels- The students at Mercer have a love hate relationship with the squirrels on campus. We love to see them, they hate us. A great way to advocate peace between man and beast is to offer them a treat. From numerous stories online to funny YouTube videos, squirrels are known to love pumpkins, especially the really pretty one you spent six hours carving. By cutting off the top half of a 2 liter bottle and attaching a sturdy handle, you can create a simple feeder for squirrels to hang from trees. By cutting the pumpkin into small pieces, the squirrels will love you for treating them to something that they are usually scolded for having. Please be careful to not give the squirrels moldy pumpkin, as they can become drunk. This is a dry campus, squirrels included.

I hope that you have learned a little more about ways to use your pumpkins. Whether you use these ideas or a little chuckle, pumpkins are worth more than just a spot on your porch or filling for your pie.

* This article is also featured in the Mercer University's  The Cluster.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I am not a morning person. Its probably better for you not to look at me before 9am. My doctor told me it was because I didn't eat breakfast. While I love breakfast food, eating at 8am when I wake up does not sound appealing.

This morning, having nothing planned until later this afternoon (ugh, I hate midterm), I decided to roll out of bed at 10am and cook breakfast. The end results were delicious.

I started out with shredded hash browns, added pre-cooked sausage (thank you Jimmy Dean), and topped it off with cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, and black beans. All of this yumminess was wrapped in a flour tortilla.

I can say with all certainty that this is much better than my usual strawberry pop-tarts. And oh, wait...is that happiness I'm feeling? My tummy IS happy! Time to conquer the world (and by world, I mean my printmaking midterm.)
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Sunday, October 10, 2010


I love coffee. Espresso to be more specific. I like to experiment with different ways of having espresso, but my tried and true is Cafe' Americano. Regular coffee never seemed to be strong enough for me. I would find myself pouring extra coffee into the brewing pot just to have that awesome coffee taste. Then, one magical day, I was chit-chatting with friends who worked at the coffee shop on my college campus when I asked about the ultimate coffee drink. He gave me a sneaky half smile and told me that he had just the thing. I was a little nervous, but excited. I mean, there was a real drink that I dreamed about.

After allowing it to cool for a bit, I took my first sip. HEAVEN!!!!  I was in love! After finishing it, I felt like a freight train on a bumpy track. It then occurred to me to ask what I drank. I drank a Tall Triple Espresso! I was flying for days! I loved the taste, but there was no way I could consume that much caffeine daily. After conceding that I was not looking for the ultimate drink, rather a meekly strong one, he let me in on the Americano. Much better.

Fast forward four yeas later, and I still love my Americano, but I now purchase it from Killian's Place downtown on the corner of 3rd and Cherry. (If you ever get a chance, stop by and pick up one of their brownies! OMG!!) When I am home, I still brew coffee, what's better at midnight? I am always reluctant to throw out my coffee grounds. I mean, that can't be the end of their life, right? RIGHT! Shane Genziuk over at  Sane but Different, has a great way to use your coffee grounds if you are a gardener or if you know any. I think a similar program would be great for Macon, and with the number of coffee shops available, I think there would be enough to furnish every garden in Macon! Check out the list of local coffee shops and inquire about their used coffee grounds.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh, What a Suprise!

The lovely lady over at Vanilla and Lace has a fantastic use for arrowroot powder. Though I did not know much about its use before Spice Entice, this herb is great for gravies, and substitution for anything that requires cornstarch. This homemade deodorant is made with a minimum number of ingredients, and great for people who are allergic to the additives in traditional deodorant.

In other news, Spice Entice will be opening a booth at the Forsyth Farmer's Market in Forsyth, Ga. It will be held every Friday from 12 noon - 6 pm behind the Farmer's Bank. If it is raining, the market will be in Aldermen Hall at The Welcome Center at 68 North Lee Street in Forsyth. This market is similar to that of the City Market on the Green in Macon, GA.

A few people expressed concern over my Facebook status professing my love of Mace Pound Cake made by John Relyea. I have in fact, not lost my mind. Mace is a spice that comes from the outer covering of the nutmeg seed. Mace has a warm, spicy flavor that is subtler, but similar to nutmeg. Its strong aroma is similar to a combination of pepper & cinnamon. I had a slice after dinner with applesauce drizzled on top and the end result made me want to eat it for breakfast!


4 eggs

1 c. butter

1 c. milk

1 lb. confectioners sugar

3 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. mace

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix all ingredients. Grease and flour tube pan or Bundt pan.

Bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Join me!

It is that time of the week! Make plans to visit the City Market on the Green tomorrow 9-1pm. Rain is expected in the afternoon, so enjoy a bit of fresh air in the morning. Stay tuned for more information about Friday events!
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Perfect First Day

Do you ever feel like you don't know enough cool people? Are you looking to meet people that are different and unique? You are in luck! Those such people can be found at your local market, specifically the City Market on the Green. I've never enjoyed waking up at 7am as much as I have today. The variety of new and fresh items as well as people made Spice Entice feel right at home.

For coffee lovers, Espresso Brownies will be yours! For the ladies, a variety of handmade soaps and spa items will have you in a puddle. The fresh veggies will turn you into a snob, you will never want to eat from a can again. The handmade jewelry will give your jewelry box a little more sparkle.

From now until December 18, the market will be our new home on Saturday mornings. Now, if only I could convince my favorite coffee shop, Killian's Place, to open at 8am on Saturdays....Thanks to everyone who came out, and if you missed it, be sure to stop by any Saturday 9-1pm.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Official!

Spice Entice will be officially open for business Saturday, September 18 at 9:00 am. Join us and other vendors at the City Market on the Green on a beautiful Saturday morning. The first 10 customers from facebook will receive a strawberry collapsible shopping tote! Free! Fall and Winter are rapidly approaching, enjoy it while you can! See you there!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Congratulations Ebony Jenkins! You are the winner of the first Spice Entice giveaway. Thanks for your support and thank you to everyone that entered!
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Try It Until You Master It!

A good friend of mine often invites me over for dinner. She is really into organic foods and I love to try her recipes, some her own, and others from friends and cookbooks. She is one of those people that can cook from a magazine and have it turn out EXACTLY the way it looks in the photo. I on the other hand know my way around a kitchen, but not nearly as well as this kitchen veteran.

The best example is a mistake I made a few months ago that still causes me slight embarrassment (OK, I've embarrassed myself enough in life to not feel it, but I know I should be.) In her refrigerator, I discovered a half pitcher of wonderful Ginger Lemonade. It was sweet, but had a great peppery kick of gingery-goodness. Of course, myself and her daughters enjoyed the remainder of the lemonade. I thought the only right thing to do would be to replace it by making a new pitcher. I had no recipe, but I figured, lemons, ginger, sugar, pretty simple, right? WRONG! I chopped the ginger root and added it to the lemonade that I made. *sigh* It was good lemonade, but was missing the kick. Where was the kick!?! IT WAS STILL IN THE GINGER! Apparently boiling the ginger was the only way to extract the flavor. (There is a little more to it, check out the recipe.) I felt silly, she laughed, the girls laughed, we drank it anyway. Moral of the story: Just because there are three ingredients doesn't mean it will be easy if you have never worked with it. With any unfamiliar spice, don't be afraid to use it, just remember to do a little research to find recipes that prepare it in different ways; it will give you great (and sometimes not so great) ideas. Here is a similar recipe that I make at home. It isn't the same as the kitchen wiz's, but all chefs have their secrets! ;)

Ginger Lemonade

4 cups lemon juice
4 quarts water
3 cups sugar
14 slices of fresh ginger

    Put water, sugar and ginger root together in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in 4 cups of lemon juice (Fresh please. Yes, I am being a snob about it.). Let it sit and cool for about 20 minutes or so, then remove the ginger root pieces if you would like to. I leave mine in for texture. Chill your ginger lemonade before serving. Sliced ginger will make strong lemonade, but if you really like the ginger taste, you could chop it into smaller pieces for more flavor.

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Celebrate with Me!

    I love celebrations. Life is short and every minute is worth celebrating. I have had my doubts about starting Spice Entice, but I think my mission will help carry me through. According to my timeline, I am expecting to open a booth at the Macon City Market on the Green next weekend. As the date rapidly approaches, my belief that I can make this successful flees just as quickly. To help me get past this, I am going to have a drawing to celebrate the beginning. You will have the chance to win a gift basket full of goodies, handpicked by me! It will include anything from teas to spices, to cool accessories. A mystery of sorts! Everyone wants to be able to say that they found something before it became popular, and this is the perfect way to do that, while helping me build morale! ;) In order to enter, shoot me an email to spiceentice@gmail.com including your name, address, and phone number. The winner will be announced September 10, 2011.  Share this link with your friends; the more people enter, the more often these celebrations will happen!

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Fair Trade

    One of the main reasons I wanted to start Spice Entice was to support fair trade and organic living. After my recent trip to South Africa, I wanted to find a way to support people in different areas of the world, contributing directly to their well being. This task has been more difficult that I first imagined. I thought that I would be able to google what I wanted and it appeared magically (because that is the google way). 


    What I found was that many suppliers don't openly supply information about the origins of their products or the method of obtaining them. Other than coffee, it would seem that most places view their suppliers as their secret weapons. Despite this, my mission remains the same.


    I want to offer the residents of Macon spices, teas, herbs, and coffees from around the world that support fair trade practices and sustainable or organic farming. It is important to me to not only offer the highest quality of goods, but to know that the suppliers and their workers are not suffering for our need to have the best.

    Before South Africa, I was skeptical about fair trade and the truth behind its practices. I worried that it was a classification that had no read basis in the lives of its workers. After seeing more than a few organizations that are fair trade certified, and seeing the workers with my own eyes, I have become a huge supporter. For more information, go to http://www.fairtrade.net/ 

    Friday, August 6, 2010


    Not too long ago, I worked in a Caribbean restaurant in Chicago named Calypso Cafe. It is a great little restaurant on the south side of Chicago in the historic Hyde Park. The year that I worked there was amazing: the people were diverse and interesting, and the food was absolutely amazing. Before working there, I had never tried Caribbean food. The selection in Macon, GA was limited when I was growing up. One of the things I absolutely loved about the food were the sauces. We had a Lime Cilantro Mayo that was pared with Plantain Crusted Tilapia that was to die for. Literally. I did a couple of time I'm sure. I begged for the recipe when I moved back to Macon, but no great restaurant gives away their secrets. So, I've had to resort to making my own version.

    I should tell you, I love Cilantro. The sweet citrus flavor makes me want to grow a plot of it (not on Farmville) and lay in it. The smell of it is clean and refreshing. No matter where I buy it, it usually costs less than a dollar for a nice sized bunch. It is used in a variety of dishes, most notably Mexican food. The recipe below is great with seafood in place of the generic tarter sauce. If you are ever in the area, stop by Calypso Cafe for the Shrimp and Conch Fritters to see what the fuss is about!

    Lime Cilantro Mayo

    1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Blend all ingredients together and chill until serving. 

    Thursday, August 5, 2010


    What is Rosemary?
    Rosemary gets its name not from roses or a from woman named Mary, but from the Latin rosmarinus, which translates to "dew of the sea." Although the rosemary herb is a member of the mint family, it's an evergreen plant that looks and smells very much like pine.

    How to Store Rosemary
    Store rosemary in a plastic bag in the fridge. This will help it stay fresh longer.
    Freeze rosemary. If you definitely won't be using rosemary for some time, freezing it is the best way to retain most of the flavor.
    Dry the rosemary. Hang the rosemary sprigs upside-down in a warm, dry, dark place. Once dry, store the rosemary sprigs in an airtight container.

     Yummy Rosemary Recipe

    The smell of Rosemary reminds me of walking through a forest after a rain. Eating  it makes me feel like I am in a foreign country enjoying a luxurious meal.


     4 chicken breasts
    1 tsp. vegetable oil
    1 tsp. rosemary
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. ground pepper

    Place chicken, skin side up, in baking dish. Brush oil over chicken. In small dish, mix together rosemary, paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle mixture over chicken.  Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Makes 4 servings.