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archive for December 3rd, 2012

know the code

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Recipe: roasted butternut squash with moroccan spices

Well well well, if it isn’t December. How have you been, December? You certainly haven’t been very snowy lately, at least not in Colorado. While December has been acting more like August around here, I’ve noticed a frenzy of gift shopping going on all around me for the impending holidays. I’ve gone and done a little hunting myself. That is, I’ve gone and gathered up a few dealios on some lovely gift ideas just for my readers. I know a few kickass ladies who happen to run their own small businesses and turn out beautiful, high-quality products. Each one gave me a code for a discount or a free gift for my readers!


cmh design (code through December 20, 2012: HOLIDAYSHIP)



Cindi Miller Herleman is the Denver-based artist and boss lady at cmh design. She handcrafts adorable squee-worthy stuffed toys and other items for kids, big and small. I recently ordered a Whee One from Cindi for a present, and got two little security bunnies to gift to a couple of children in need. It was tough just ordering the gifts and not picking out a few for myself – like the zombies, frankensteins, and draculas! Cindi even makes scary monsters cuddly and sweet. She also maintains a collection of brightly-colored whimsical bibs and burpies for the littlest kids as well as pillows and knit hats.

cmh design is carried in physical stores around Denver as well as in Seal Beach, California and in New York City (see listings). But don’t fret if you can’t get to those places, Cindi has an Etsy store where she graciously set up a discount code for all use real butter readers. Enter HOLIDAYSHIP on your order BEFORE DECEMBER 20, 2012 to receive free shipping on your order. Go check out the cuteness and see her latest creations on the cmh design Facebook page.


spotted dog farm (code through December 31, 2012: BUTTER)



Hopping over to Asheville, North Carolina, you will find Sumner Smith, the proprietor of Spotted Dog Farm. Sumner has mastered handmade botanical resin jewelry – real flowers or delicate leaves suspended and preserved in resin. She has a most gorgeous selection of pendants, rings, earrings, and bangles in a delightful array of colors and designs. Browsing the jewelry on offer is like a walk through a field of summer wildflowers. These lovely pieces make fantastic gifts for others or… for yourself!

You can peruse the handmade botanical resin jewelry at the Spotted Dog Farm Etsy store. Sumner has kindly provided free shipping to all use real butter readers through DECEMBER 31, 2012. Just enter BUTTER to get free shipping on your order. Keep up with the latest on the Spotted Dog Farm Facebook page.


helliemae’s (code through December 24, 2012: mobutter)



And last, but certainly not least, is my dear Ellen Daehnick, the owner and caramel pusher at Helliemae’s in Denver, Colorado. Helliemae’s caramels are rich, creamy, buttery (how could we not be friends?!), salted, and dark – dark as in burnt caramel. They are luxurious and indulgent treats that melt in your mouth. Ellen constantly experiments with new flavors, testing products to her exacting standards and treating the rest of us to seasonal favorites like apple caramels in the fall, candy cane caramels for the holidays, jasmine tea caramels for Mother’s Day, and Atticus caramels (Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey, cane syrup, and bourbon barrel smoked salt) for Father’s Day. These punctuate the year-round goodness of classic salt caramels, coffee caramels, Chili-Palmer caramels (cinnamon, chili, salt), cardamom caramels, caramel sauce, and heavenly Magnolia Praline Crunch (pecan praline crunch with sea salt, black pepper, and grapefruit zest – oh my word…).

So here’s the deal that Helliemae’s has for use real butter readers: order $50 or more, add a 2-ounce box of classic salt caramels to your cart, enter mobutter at checkout, and you will receive the 2-ounce gift box of tiny caramels ($10 value) for free through DECEMBER 24, 2012. Stay on top of the latest in caramel flavor goodness at the Helliemae’s Facebook page or follow Helliemae’s on Twitter @helliemaes.

Full disclosure: I was not asked, given stuff, nor paid by these fine ladies to feature their products. It’s all about sharing the awesome with you.

Whew! That’s a lot of fabulousness on one page, kids. Let’s wrap it up with a recipe. I call it a sleeper recipe because people tend to ignore vegetables, as if they were the shy nerd in the hall. Truth is, that nerd just needs a little olive oil, some spices, and suddenly it owns dinner! That’s right. Butternut squash never ceases to thrill me with its sweetness, nuttiness, and versatility.


salt, pepper, olive oil, spices, and a butternut squash

cumin, coriander, chile, paprika, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cayenne, cloves

mix the spices together and use a teaspoon



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