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Since the launch of our company online, we have offered the highest quality indoor plaques on the market. I say this with absolute certainty because I literally started Family Plaque out of my husband’s tool shed. My husband and I would head to Home Depot, buy wood, bring it home, cut it, rout it, sand it, prime it, paint it, paint it again, and then finally add the vinyl. I sold these products on eBay to test the waters and see what interest, if any, there was for these items. After spending a year selling on eBay, I realized the company was viable and I took the plunge and created www.familyplaque.com. We were the first and only company to offer a real-time plaque building feature and are still the leader in this application today. We moved plaque production out of the husband’s shed and into commercial fabrication & finish shops. The result was beautiful, durable and well-crafted plaques that would stand the test of time. So when I say our product is the best, I truly mean that. We put a lot of time & love into our plaques, and it shows in the final product. And the best news? The product is getting even better!
During the past four years, I’ve had a lot of interaction with customers and gotten terrific feedback as to what you all would like to see us offer in addition to our Indoor plaques. In 2009, we began offering Whitehall plaques & home goods. And as we rolled into 2011, we expanded our search and are currently looking for more “off the shelf” products for our customers. When we first started out on eBay, we created small, distressed plaques such as this “Home is where your horse is” plaque. Would these plaques be something you’d like to see back in our product offering?
We are also researching personalized baby/kids items. We had a lot of fun creating these personalized Piggy Banks recently and we hope they will make it to the site soon.
As I stated in the beginning of this post, our plaques are getting better. This week, we shut down our Plaque Builder because we are taking a few weeks to revamp & improve our plaque production methods. And although the product is improving, we will not be raising prices on these items. In addition to improving the Indoor plaques, we will be adding additional plaque & text colors, a third line of text, additional ornaments, and more. These changes will slowly roll out during the course of 2011, so keep in touch and see what we have to offer! A great way to stay in touch with us is by joining our new Facebook Fan page. You can also keep up with me & the company by following us on Twitter.
Have a great weekend & stay tuned!
A new year, a new set of “goals” that I want to accomplish. In college, I studied and became fluent in German. I was quite the, “kleinen deutschen Sprecher.” But, after graduating, I used my German little, if at all, and my skills suffered. So, when listing my goals for 2011, becoming fluent in German once again was high on my list. Fabelhaft!
Or not… The more I thought about my goals, the more the German nagged me. I love the German language – sincerely. It suits my personality. However, my dream language at this stage of my life is Italian. My husband and I celebrated our college graduation by going to Rome for two weeks. We rented a fabulous villa near the Piazza Navona and, thus, my love affair with Italy began. I loved the food, the history, the people, the lifestyle and, of course, the language. And so, since I believe there is no time like the present, I have decided to learn Italian. Favoloso!
When I say I’m going to learn it, I mean I’m going all in. Not only am I going to learn it, but so is the Boss. In addition to our studies, once week we will cook an authentic Italian meal. Now, before I start posting recipes, experiences and whatnot from all this, I want to make it clear that I AM NOT trying to recreate Julie & Julia. I’m not cooking my way through an Italian cookbook, I’ll promise you that. Especially after I saw an Italian recipe called, ”Whitebait Fish Salad.” Pass.
Last night, I made, “Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperconcino.” This translates to, “Spaghetti with garlic and Chile oil.” This recipe came from the Il cucchiaio d’argento cookbook. I read that the ingredients in this dish are never missing from any Italian kitchen, so I thought what better way to begin my Italian learning & cooking adventure. Here is the recipe, and you can print it here.
Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino
(Spaghetti with Garlic and Chile Oil)
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ fresh Chile, seeded and chopped
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
12 ounces spaghetti
Heat olive oil in a small pan, add the garlic and Chile and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until the garlic is golden brown. Season lightly with salt, remove from heat and add the parsley. Cook the spaghetti in large pan of salted, boiling water until al dente, then drain, toss with the garlic & Chile oil, and serve.
Here are my tips on this recipe. First, don’t get the oil too hot. I let it get too hot, and the garlic got crispy. I crushed the garlic up as much as I could while the spaghetti was cooking, so that helped. But, live and learn. In addition to that mishap, I was confused by the recipe just saying, “Chile.” I used a red jalapeno, but I think next time I’ll try a serrano. The pasta was delicious, but could have used more spice. Still, not bad for my first meal! The masses didn’t complain at the dinner table, so I was happy.
Now, since deciding to take up Italian, I have felt some pangs of guilt about putting my German aside. I have over six years in on that language, and worked really hard at learning it in the first place. This being the case, I will study German while learning Italian. The languages are very different, so I think it’ll be ok. I’m undaunted…. at this moment, anyhow…. but get back to me in a month or so. However, I will not be cooking German meals. My waistline can’t handle both, so no German recipes to follow, sorry! Ok, ok, how about this… I’ll drink some German beers during all this to further my German education. Prost!
Enjoy! And until next time, “Vita, amore, cuoco!”