January Resolutions?

December 31st isn’t the only time to set resolutions.  I actually find it is usually the worst time for me to set resolutions, because I am putting so much pressure on starting the New Year right that I blow it and can’t mentally recover for months. So this year, I have eased into resolutions.

In early January I created a road map for my business with goals for each month, so I could focus each month of doing something better or different instead of making a list of all the things I wanted to fix instantly. Similarly, Nick and I broke our year up into quadrants for personal development, allowing each quarter of the year to be focused on something specifically, including books, learning, and actions.

So, even though I was behind in reading my various newsletters, I pulled up the December issue of Celebrate Gluten-Free Magazine and noticed an article titled Gluten-Free Resolutions. The author’s three resolutions, in summary, are 1) convert a family recipe to gluten-free at each holiday, 2) get involved with the gluten-free community, and 3) cook more.

It got me to thinking how much those resolutions jived with my goals, both personal and business. One of my BTN big picture goals is to create a community of people centered around both gluten-free education and food.  Food in-general is known to bring people together, but specifically allowing gluten-free food to do the same in our community, north of Pittsburgh… and HERE in this little virtual space I’ve created.

So maybe it’s cheating to steal other people’s resolutions, but I also really liked the first one about converting family recipes and it has inspired me. Just being honest… we don’t have very many “family recipes”, and even less family recipes that are baked goods.  One of those was the peanut butter chocolate kiss cookie… which I did end up making gluten-free for this Christmas! Then in anticipation of Valentines day and spring, I have remade the sugar cookie, and I suppose every family has some tried and true sugar cookie recipe.

So be on the look out for future holidays where I reveal some family or simply traditional recipes that we have remade, gluten-freedom style. What old family recipes can you add your own twist too this year? Comment below and share with the community! I’ll try not to steal any of your ideas!

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Have a cookie,

Lauren Marts

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Growing Pains

Today was the craft boutique in Monaca. It was a lovely event and we’ll run. It was not the right place for Baked True North.

As I have a tendency to do, I over prepared for this show. I baked dozens of cookies, half dozen yum-breads, 2 dozen doughnuts, put together the most attractive table I could with samples and all! But I suppose I am still learning.

I am actually writing this from my table at the event because it has been so uneventful here. I thought the North Boroughs had a lack of gluten-free products and knowledge, but as one would expect, the further from the city you go, the greater the population who truly seem to be disgusted by the idea of gluten-free. At all my other events, people try the cookies and are buying whether they need it or not because it tastes good. Today people are just looking away like I’m selling a medication or something they don’t need.

Thankfully I stopped myself yesterday from making more. I haven’t rolled out the surprise yet and I decided last minute to scrap the paleo cookies.

But as all learning and growing experiences are, I know what I’ll do differently for next time I’m at a show… And I’ll probably stay out of Monaca for now. It was lovely to meet everyone and I’ll come back whenever you want to order! Haha

Now for the exciting part… Up to 50% off everything I have left over until midnight on Tuesday!

  • Doughnuts $3/half dozen
  • Yum-breads $3/mini loaf
  • Jars of mini chocolate chip cookies $10/jar
  • Pumpkin spice waffle cookies $4/half dozen
  • All large cookies (oktoberfest/pumpkin chocolate chip/signature chocolate chip) $3/each

Email me at bakedtruenorth@gmail.com to order!

Thanks for all of your support as I find the rhythm of business.

Stay delicious,

Lauren

The Gluten-Free Lady

Saturday was the Bellevue House Tour here in the North Boroughs, and I was blessed enough to have the right acquaintances that I could be one of the featured foods at the final reception. The house tour is set up so you travel along a map through Bellevue and visit the most beautiful homes in our area, all decorated for Halloween and fall.  Then the final house, which is actually a gorgeous mansion, hosted a reception where local fooderies brought in some hors d’oeuvres.  1029161605_hdr

I made pumpkin chocolate chip minis, Signature Chocolate Chip minis, and my newest cookie mini: The OKTOBERFEST! This was inspired by the German Chocolate Cake I wrote about at the beginning of the month. It is packed with dark chocolate and enough coconut and pecans that you will definitely remember the last German Chocolate Cake you had. These will probably only be a seasonal cookie, but I have added them to my Options until Christmas.

During the house tour I realized I was affectionately beginning to be known as The Gluten-Free Lady around our town.  That’s kind of awesome.  And you can always tell it’s someone that understands gluten-freedom when they call you that… because a lot of people have said over the past few months, “so, these are the gluten ones?” in reference to my cookies.  Um… no.  No gluten. But what that means is that I get to spread the word about something I am passionate about!

One more thing I wanted to add into this short and random post is that another event is coming up on November 6th.  I’ll be at the 2nd Annual Simply Chic Craft Boutique in Monaca, PA from 10am to 4pm.  It will be a lot of fun and I will have another 2 or 3 items I am going to be rolling out for the event.

  • Cocoa Spiced Wine YUM-Bread: It is as amazing as it sounds.  I had a bunch of friends taste test this one and I got some good feedback and decided to roll it out.  I’ll have some pictures after the event.
  • PALEO Pumpkin Waffle Cookies!!: Paleo mostly means unprocessed, natural, and accessible to primal ancestors (in lay man/Lauren terms). I tested it out at a fellow health-enthusiast’s house last week (picture below) and it was a hit, so  I have added it to my Options as well. I’ll probably write more about paleo eating in the new year, for those interested.
  • SURPRISE – you’ll have to wait and see for this one.
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Paleo Pumpkin Waffle Cookies

So check out the event if you can as I will have a basket or two in a drawing and coupons for all my visitors at the table!

Stay delicious,

Lauren

 

Our FIRST EVENT!

Sunday was Baked True North’s first event and our first sales ever! And it went awesome!

For comic relief, the most challenging part was getting the tent set up in the morning… Our dear dear friends were nice enough to let us borrow both a table and their tent for the day. Admittedly they had only used the tent once and told us “good luck” when handing it off. Neither Nick (my awesome, wonderful husband) or myself had ever put together a tent like this before. But thanks to Nick’s willingness to try-fail-adjust, and me biting my tongue occassionally, we got it figured out! Only 75ish minutes later.

But anyway, our table set up was awesome and we got many compliments on it.

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I thought the tablecloth and flowers gave a nice touch. We sampled the cookies all day, and had a very high turnover rate of skeptical people trying to hurry by, but when I convinced them to try the Signature Chocolate Chip, they were hooked, purchased, and signed up for the dozen cookie giveaway.

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The 2 cookies we sold and sampled were the Signature Chocolate Chip and the Pumpkin Waffle Cookie. We got great feedback again on the waffle cookies as I try to perfect them… “Surprisingly cakey” and “oh, there’s nuts in here!”

My lovely friend Brianna and her beautiful son came and helped for a while, and it was so great to have some Bellevue friend support. Over all I hit my personal sales goal and got my name out there! We made some new friends as well!

After the event was over we ran up to the main drag in Bellevue where a car cruise was happening. I brought with me a few cookies to deliver to the lovely family that loaned us the table and tent, and I got stopped in the street and asked where he could get some homemade cookies like what I was carrying!

So… Next time we join the car cruise. Done. Successful day for Baked True North! Thanks for everyone that came out and supported!

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