Friday, December 31, 2010

Spectacular New Years' Dessert

Chocolate Yule Log

This fantastic dessert is my family's New Year's tradition.

We don't do the cabbage and peas thing; we have opted, instead, for a yule log. This one is chocolate sponge cake rolled with ice cream and covered in chocolate glaze. Yummy!

Even though it is spectacular looking, it is also fairly easy to make. You can also make it ahead of time so it's great for the busy holidays.


Jelly Roll Cake:
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup sifted cake flour (or 1 cup all purpose minus 2 Tbs.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa

Beat egg yolks till thick and lemon-colored; gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar; add vanilla. Beat egg whites till soft peaks form; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat till stiff peaks form. Fold yolks into whites. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; fold into egg mixture.

Spread batter evenly in greased and lightly floured 15 1/2 X 10 1/2 X 1-inch jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet with sides). Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Immediately loosen sides and turn out on towel sprinkled with sifted confectioners' sugar. Starting at narrow end, roll cake and towel together; cool on rack.

Unroll; spread with ice cream; roll back up and freeze. Cover with Chocolate Glaze.

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1-ounce square unsweetened chocolate
Dash salt
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar and cornstarch; add chocolate, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly and chocolate melts. Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla. Stir well and frost rolled cake while glaze is hot.


Thursday, December 30, 2010


The Gingham Grasshopper's newest baby name bracelet is Flutterby; a sweet little design in sterling silver and lead-free birthstones. Two beautiful "Flutterbyes" in flight and a tiny flower dangling from the extender adorn our delightful baby and children's bracelet.

Shown in October's pink tourmaline birthstones, but all 12 birthstones are available. Or just choose the color you like.

Another new bracelet, the Abbey ID bracelet, has quickly become a customer favorite! A dainty oval ID medallion engraved with your child's name has been set on a sterling silver rolo chain and includes an extension.

Dad's especially seem to like this ID bracelet. It is the perfect size for newborns so it makes a great "new baby" gift.

The Abbey ID can be engraved on both the front and the back and a number of different fonts are available.

See the Abbey ID baby bracelet

Have a wonderful and Happy New Year!

Monday, November 1, 2010

New! Sweet Birthstone Charms

This is a brand new item at The Gingham Grasshopper. These are little birthstone flower charms with genuine faceted birthstones. They are available in both sterling silver and 14 kt. gold flowers and all twelve birthstones, plus a few alternate birthstones.

These precious little charms can be added to any of our baby bracelets or baby and children's jewelry. They are available in our Jewelry Accessories category, along with other new engravable items.

The faceted gemstones in our birthstone charms are 4 mm, and the flower charm is approximately 8 - 9 mm. Come check out the new accessories at The Gingham Grasshopper.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jewelry Pouch

Protect your baby bracelets and other baby jewelry with our 100% cotton flannel Jewelry Pouches. These wonderful pouches are completely lined with anti-tarnish fabric inside to protect sterling silver and gold. The soft interiors will also protect engravings and pearls from scratches and damage.

These sweet little pouches are the perfect solution for storing your baby bracelets and baby jewelry while not being worn.

To use, simply hook the clasp of your bracelet or other jewelry and tie loosely to the inner ribbon (as shown). Then slip the jewelry down inside the pocket and close. The Gingham Grasshopper's bracelet pouches will also prevent necklaces from becoming tangled.

These darling flannel bracelet pouches are available in a variety of patterns including blue gingham and pink rosebuds, as shown. Patterns also include several dot styles and even owls!

These pouches should not be washed in a washing machine or dry cleaned as this will remove the anti-tarnish properties from the inner lining. These wonderful anti-tarnish jewelry pouches are a customer favorite!

A creation of The Gingham Grasshopper©
All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Road Trip Must Have!

Taking a road trip and need to keep kids busy? We found the perfect thing... Chalk Mats. These designer mats are made with a soft 'chalkboard' on one side and designer fabric on the other.

Your kids will love creating their own masterpiece on the chalkboard surface while riding in a vehicle. They clean easily with a damp cloth, ready to start again.

These wonderful little mats are available at Bonita Boutique. Each chalk mat measures 14 in. X 18 in., and they roll up and tie for stashing in a diaper bag or backpack.

The Chalk Mats come in 6 different designer fabrics like the ones shown here.

For a road trip, or a trip to the grocery store, these are just what the Mother ordered to keep the kids busy and entertained.

You just may begin to wonder how you ever got along without them!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

July 4th Rice Krispie Treats

What a kid-friendly idea! The Mommy Insider has this wonderful Rice Krispies treat recipe that is perfect for your Independence Day celebration. Admit it, everyone loves Rice Krispies treats, and this looks absolutely wonderful.

Years ago when I started making these with my children we used the original recipe that was published. Since then, I've discovered that the recipe has been changed.

I'm so glad I had the good sense to write down the original recipe all those years ago. My copy is a little smeared and yellowed, but still readable. For all of you who have never tried the original, you're going to love it!

1/4 cup butter
1 10oz. pkg. (about 40) regular marshmellows or
4 cups miniture marshmellows
4- 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmellows and stir until melted and well blended. Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cereal and stir until well coated. Press mixture evenly into buttered 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Cut when cooled.

Let the kids help and have a great time!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Vegetable Pot for Kids

An easy summer idea for kids!

Get your children interested in gardening by letting them grow their own vegetables. There are a number of easy-to-grow vegetables that are suitable for growing in pots.

Radishes are the easiest and they grow quickly, which is a plus when dealing with children. Radishes are ready to eat in about 30 days (if they aren't pulled up sooner!)

Carrots are are another vegetable that is easy to grow in pots. They work well when planted with the radishes.

Chives are my personal favorite. I love the flowering tops and I like to put chives in just about everything! If your kids won't eat radishes, they may enjoy growing something, like chives, that you can use in cooking.

You may be able to interest older children in growing flowers in pots in their school colors if they aren't interested in vegetables!

Just about any pot will do as long as it is at least 10 inches in diameter and about 12 inches deep. Plastic pots work best as they don't dry out as quickly. You can even recycle an old plastic bucket, or something you have on hand. Just make sure the container has drainage holes in the bottom.

Put a small layer of gravel in the bottom of the container, or cover the hole with a few layers of coffee filters to prevent the soil from washing out; then fill with sterile compost mixed with topsoil. It's easiest to just buy a bag from the garden center.

Keep the containers watered and feed the vegetables every two weeks.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Summer Tea Party!

School is out and summertime is almost here-- Celebrate the fun with a Tea Party. We found these adorable Tea Sets with included baskets. What little girl wouldn't feel like a princess hosting a tea party with one of these adorable sets?

We found a beautiful selection of children's tea sets to inspire any little girl. Shown here are; Fairy Tea Set (top left), Daisy Tea Set in pink (top right), and Cotton Candy Tea Set (bottom).

Each one of these darling little tea sets comes in its own basket, ready for a summertime tea party!

These will make wonderful gifts for a little princess this summer. Several of the tea sets are on sale, so don't miss out!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Baby Bracelet

Graceful Child is our newest baby bracelet design. This beautiful little baby bracelet has a soft, elegant look. Designed with white freshwater pearls and sterling silver. Two beautiful sterling beads are set with sparkling clear cz.

Graceful Child baby name bracelet is an heirloom quality design and includes a free birthstone charm (shown). This wonderful new bracelet is resizable to grow with your child.

We have also added Diamond Girl, a sterling silver toggle-style baby bracelet. This adorable little bracelet has a small toggle clasp just the right size for babies. Dangling from the clasp is a polished sterling silver heart set with a genuine 1 pt. diamond! You can have an initial engraved on the heart if you choose.

We've been adding a number of new bracelets and necklaces for babies and children to our store.

Come by and see all of our new items today!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Graduation Invitations

My youngest daughter has finally graduated from college! This child has never been the 'typical' girl; not interested in shopping, clothes, or bling. She graduated in Equine Science... horses, almost her only interest. She also received a minor in psychology. Hmm, can't you just see the horses stretched out on a couch in her office...?

What is typical, for her, is that she never even considered graduation invitations. Until three days before they had to be mailed! Then she mentioned to me that she hadn't ordered any. Yipes! That meant we (I say we), had to make them ourselves.

Actually, this turned out very good. I already had some linen card stock and matching envelopes. Now I needed a design and the proper wording for the inside. I hunted around the internet and found a simple design for the front that my printer could handle. Her college website offered official logos that could be downloaded at no charge.

I found various styles of wording for college invitations, and chose the one I liked best. Then I had to make sure exactly how her degree was worded, where the ceremony would take place and when. Once I had the wording in place, I decided it needed a little something extra. I used a black graphic of a running horse and put it behind the wording. It was opaque enough to see, but faint enough to easily read. It looked great!

We had a good picture of her with one of her saddles in the background on a hitching post, so we decided to use it. In my photo program I turned the picture into a black and white, then copied it onto velum. We applied the picture inside the invitations with double-sided tape; after all the printing had been done.

Her college invitations were absolutely perfect for her! Doing the invitations ourselves meant we could customize them just for her. And my unfussy girl(?) was delighted with them.

It wasn't a difficult project, but I would suggest giving yourself more than three days to do it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dr. Seuss Can be Wrong!

I loved Dr. Seuss as a child, my mother read all the books to my sister and I. So, of course, as a mom I read all the books to my daughters.

Years ago, at the age of 7, my oldest daughter's favorite book was Green Eggs and Ham. At that time the animated special of Green Eggs and Ham played on TV once a year-- she never missed it.

I had the wonderful idea one year to surprise her. When the show was over I made a special supper for her and myself of green eggs and ham (well, the eggs were green anyway- food coloring). I knew she would be delighted!

Well..... I have news for 'Sam, I Am'. She would not eat them on a box, she would not eat them with a fox. She would not eat them in a train, she would not eat them on a plane! As a matter of fact... she wailed!

By the time I finally got her to stop crying, assuring her she did not have to eat the green eggs and ham, they were a cold, soggy mess. We decided to go and get a burger and fries-- she hiccuped the entire time. Then we came home, called her dad, who was (happily for him), out of town; and went to bed.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For Mother's Day

What better way to celebrate mothers than with a Mother's Bracelet. This is the perfect way for mom to showcase her children in style. The Gingham Grasshopper offers a large selection of elegant mothers bracelets and grandmother bracelets, too.

Our selection includes Pearl Mommy Bracelets, Sterling Silver Mommy Bracelets, and a unique collection of Mother's Charm Bracelets.

All of our Mother's bracelets include the name, you choose the clasp you like and other options. You can add charms to your bracelet to personalize it.

Each bracelet is handcrafted with quality materials so your mother's bracelet will last through the years. Come see all the beautiful designs we offer and choose the one that is just right for you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weeber, The Tree Frog

Meet Weeber, a plump tree frog who came to live on our screened-in porch last summer. We're not sure how he snuck in, but we're glad he did.

Weeber made friends with our little cat, Hallelujah, who is partially blind. When we lived in south Louisiana, Hallelujah had plenty of tree frogs to play with; she loved to 'play tag' with them and hop along behind them. She never hurt them, and playing tag with tree frogs was her favorite thing to do. After moving to north Louisiana two years ago, we never even saw a tree frog until Weeber showed up.

Weeber was quite content to play with Hallelujah three evenings a week and didn't seem to be afraid of her. He soon took over the wall fountain (see photo) for his private swimming pool, complete with a shower; found a hidden cranny near the ceiling for a bedroom; and hangs out on a potted palm tree during warm weather.

Weeber made such a "splash" with the family we began purchasing live crickets twice a week for his supper. When we asked the employee at the pet store how long the crickets would last in their container we were told they would live almost a week, but they would live longer if we purchased cricket food for them.

While we really enjoy Weeber, I told the young man at the pet store that I was drawing the line on buying food for my cat's pet's food!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Special Lawyer Gifts

Graduation is just around the corner for many students, including law school graduates. Give a special gift that will be well worn and will make the giver much appreciated!

Jewelry for Counsel offers an exclusive line of jewelry made just for attorneys. These beautiful pieces, like the Attorney Triple bracelet shown, are crafted from fine quality materials.

Unique jewelry styles include bracelets, necklaces, and earrings made with top grade freshwater pearls, sterling silver, and gemstones. A new lapel pin is also available.

These exclusive jewelry pieces have been designed by Jewelry for Counsel and are not available anywhere else.

Each piece in the Attorney Jewelry line comes professionally boxed. You may have your gift wrapped and include a free gift card. Be sure to order your gift early and avoid the rush during graduation.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Global Warming Hits Louisiana

Last Thursday and Friday a blast of 'Global Warming' hit Louisiana and we received 3 to 4 inches of snow! This may not seem like much to some people, however, it is a rarity for us. Even as far south as Baton Rouge had 3 inches of snow!

By Saturday the sun had come out again and the snow on the ground was quickly melting.  By late afternoon, it was gone.  But if you drove through the neighborhoods you saw a very odd-looking sight.  The kids, naturally, built snowmen and rolled them out to the edge of their yards.

The snow on the ground and trees melted quickly but the snowmen didn't!  So you could drive around and see lots of snowmen sitting in a yard full of green grass and dried leaves!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chocolate Chip Valentines!

Are you looking for a new Valentine treat? Need to send something to school for a party? Then this is for you.

These adorable, and yummy, heart-shaped cookies are easy to make and look like you spent hours on them. A few things you need are: your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, plain aluminum cookie cutters (don't use the new colored ones), Hersey's chocolate kisses, and your choice of packaging.

Whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Place the aluminum cookie cutters on a cookie sheet (the more you have, the quicker it will be). Use about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and lightly press it into the cutter. It doesn't have to fit perfectly, the dough will spread out as it bakes. Bake the cookies 1 minute less than the recipe calls for but don't remove the cookie cutters! Bake the cookies with the cutters still on (as shown).
Take the cookies out of the oven and cool about one minute. (The cookies will "sink" in the middle; if not, press them with the back of a spoon while warm). Remove the cutters and place one or two chocolate kisses on top of each cookie. Put the cookies back in the oven for one minute to melt the chocolate.

Remove the cookies and spread the softened chocolate with the back of a small spoon. The "sunken" center is heart-shaped and makes spreading easy. My family likes chocolate, so we use two kisses. Set the cookies on a rack to cool and re-set the chocolate.

Once the chocolate has re-set, you can wrap and package them any way you like. If you need to speed up the setting, place them in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Valentine Gift for Mom

If you're looking for a gorgeous gift for mom -- we have it!

Forever Loved is a beautiful mother's necklace made with quality craftsmanship. The genuine stone carved cameo is done with two-layered agate; the bottom layer is black and the top layer is white.

The depiction of the mother and baby is absolutely stunning in the fine details.  The scene clearly shows a mother's love for her child.  

We have set the cameo in a graceful sterling silver pendant frame and included a rope chain. The chain is available in two different lengths.

This makes a great gift for any mother, but especially a new mother. Limited quantities are available - if you'd like this for a Valentine gift, order early!