How to Choose and Use Cutting Boards

I use several different cutting boards when I’m cooking dinner.

I have one that I use just to cut raw meat, chicken or fish. It’s made of some type of acrylic material that is safe to put in the dishwasher.   Keeping a dedicated cutting board just for this purpose means that I don’t have to worry about inadvertently spreading the germs that raw meat, chicken and fish contain.

Wooden boards are fabulous and the best choice to look after your knives. Glass boards look fabulous, but they are nasty to knives — your knives will dull quickly. Most acrylic boards are OK for knives, but wood is best.

Wooden cutting boards should only be washed by hand with hot soapy water and dried immediately. They should never be left to soak in water. Minor stains and odors can be removed with lemon juice and by rubbing the stain with salt.

Every so often you will want to sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution consisting of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and air dry or pat dry with paper towels.

Occasionally, you need to rub mineral oil on your wooden boards, or else they may dry out and age very quickly.

You can buy mineral oil at some grocery stores, usually in the non-food aisles. Or you could just get some at the hardware store.

Cooking oils, like vegetable, corn, or olive oils are NEVER used to oil wooden cutting boards. These oils will turn rancid in time and ruin your good cutting boards.

Before I use any of my cutting boards I put a wet paper towel under the board.

This stops the cutting board from sliding all over the counter-top. (Sharp knives and slippery boards are not a safe combination!)

We have a wonderful selection of engraved cutting boards in our store.  They are so lovely they can be left on your counter all the time.  No more stashing away in the cupboard.

large cutting boards      cutting board round            Engraved cutting boards with handles            features juice groove






Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake

Six-step preparation of the Black Forest Cake. This cake is a variation on the traditional Black Forest Cake, which is all-chocolate. If you prefer, you can make an all-chocolate variety.

1. Yellow Cake Ingredients

  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • Raspberry preserves (if not using Kirsch)
  • Morello/maraschino cherries or cherry topping for garnish
  • Shaved chocolate for garnish
    (Mini chips can be used—chocolate sprinkles can be substituted, but they don’t provide the same luxurious flavor and texture as real shaved or grated chocolate)

Yellow Cake Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Using an electric mixer on low speed with the paddle attachment, incorporate all ingredients slowly; mix until well-blended. Increase mixer speed to high; mix for two minutes more, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  3. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 25 minutes until cake springs to the touch.  Set aside to cool.


2. Chocolate Cake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs

Chocolate Cake Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans; dust with cocoa.
  2. Using an electric mixer, on low speed with the paddle attachment, incorporate all ingredients slowly; mix until well-blended.
  3. Increase mixer speed to high; mix for two more minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  4. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake springs to the touch. Set aside to cool.

3. Cherry Filling Ingredients

Brandy or rum can be substituted for the Kirsch.

  • Two 16-ounce cans pitted tart cherries in
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch (optional)

Cherry Filling Preparation

  1. Drain liquid from canned cherries, reserving 1 cup liquid.
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, reserved cherry liquid and 1/3 cup sugar.
  3.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens, approximately 1 minute.
  4. Remove pan from heat, stir in butter and vanilla extract; fold in cherries.  Set aside to cool.

4. Kirsch Syrup Ingredients (Optional)

Make this syrup if you plan to use Kirsch in the recipe.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 water
  • 1/4 cup Kirsch

Kirsch Syrup Preparation

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in Kirsch. Let cool.
 Black Forest Cake


5. Whipped Cream Ingredients

  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar


  1. During assembly (see below), whip cream with an electric mixer at high speed, using the paddle attachment.

6. Chocolate Whipped Cream Ingredients

  • 1/2 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder


  1. Using a small chilled bowl, whip ingredients together until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Black Forest Cake

Now that you’ve baked and simmered and whipped all of the components to perfection, you’re ready for the final challenge: putting them all together into one picturesque masterpiece.

Black Forest Cake


  1. Using a serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally into 3 layers. Place 1 layer of chocolate cake on a cake plate or cardboard round. If you are using Kirsch syrup, brush the top with syrup.
  2. Using a metal spatula, spread a thin layer of chocolate whipped cream on top of cake.
  3. Using a pastry bag with an open tube, pipe 2 circles of chocolate whipped cream on the cake, one around the outer edge and one in the center of the cake.
  4. Using a pastry bag, pipe the cherry filling inside the chocolate circles.
  5. On top of the first layer, place the yellow cake and brush it with Kirsch syrup. If you are not using Kirsch syrup, spread a thin layer of raspberry preserves on the cake.
  6. Using an electric mixer, at high speed with the paddle attachment, whip together 1 quart heavy whipping cream and 1 cup confectioner’s sugar. Apply a thin layer of the whipped cream on top of the preserves.  Set aside the remaining cream.
  7. On top of the whipped cream, place the last chocolate cake layer and brush with Kirsch syrup. With the remaining whipped cream, coat sides and top of cake. Press chocolate shavings onto sides of cake.
  8. Spoon remaining whipped cream into a pastry bag, using a star-shaped tip. Pipe small rosettes around perimeter of cake. Decorate with a cherry on each rosette. (Or use other decorating ideas from this article.)
  9. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Artware iPad Stands Designed to Look Great


Why leave a piece of plastic on the counter or at your desk when you remove your iPad? Our Artware iPad Stands ensure there’s always something interesting that reflects your own tastes.

Perfect for any tablet, and especially iPads:


Ipad stand featuring an Ipad

Adjustable back allows multiple viewing angles for office desks, kitchen countertops and more. Great for Kindles, Windows tablets, iPads, Minis, Android tablets, smart phones and thinner books as well.

Adjustable tablet stand

  • Easy to clean with mild soap and water. Dry thoroughly after washing. 
  • Constructed of ecologically responsible bamboo for natural look and feel.
  • Looks great in the office as well as the living room, bedroom or kitchen.
  • Adjusts to three different positions.
  • Adjusts to 8-1/4-Inch high.
  • Dimensions: 8-inch wide by 1-5/8-inch deep by 8-1/4-inch high.

We offer an enormous variety of iPad stand designs to fit your personality. See our entire Artware iPad Stand collection here. We also do bulk designs, allowing you to put your company logo or other ideas on the stands.

Recipe Card Dividers

Check out the newest addition to our site.×6-tab-dividers-wood-set-of-9/

No more worn, dog-eared dividers.  These will last a lifetime.

Nine Wood Recipe Card Dividers

We manufacture these in-house. These add some rigidity to your box to allow them to stand up more evenly. Includes six dividers built for our standard 4×6 boxes. Although photo only shows six, there is a third bank of 3 for a total of nine:


Fruits & Vegetables



Fish & Seafood

Past & Grains

Breads & Pastries


Main Dishes




All You Need Is A Crayon

Walnut is a dark wood, and that richness of a hardwood adds an elegance not found in other woods. But the engraving does go only so far.

There are a lot of products out there that can create a ‘fill’ to make it darker…

I’ll let you in on a little secret that makes a great safe solution, and opens a number of possibilities in creativity! All you need is a crayon and a hairdryer.

Here’s an example of a Walnut box we didn’t ship because it was a little on the light side:


It does have a carbon burn to it, but the natural wood does overshadow the effect.  In the past, I’ve placed the boxes in the oven first.
I set the oven on ‘warm’, let it preheat, and placed the box in the oven for about 5 minutes, just to warm it up. This sometimes makes the process easier.

In this example, I’ve just went to applying. When applying, move the crayon in circular motions. The point is to leave a portion of the crayon in the groove. Don’t worry about the mess this creates on the box surface, this will all wipe away.   Now, after we have an ‘applied’ box, wipe off all the standing wax. Here is a shot of the applied box, though not exactly what we were hoping for:

Next, we set the hairdryer to low and hot. Start slowly, and get a feel for when the wax is melting. This is what we are looking for:


Start by melting the wax in the channels, using a paper towel mop up the excess. Be careful not to wipe the channels, or you’ll take all the fill away.
After all the channels are melted, take the crayon, warm it at the end of the hairdryer, and apply it to all the missed or light areas.
Here is the end result:


Now, I didn’t stop there. I added other colors to this one.


Keep in mind that I chose a more complicated pattern. Also, crayon doesn’t melt into an absolute solid color. But it is non-toxic, and that’s great in the kitchen!
And here it is finished:

This also works for the bamboo boxes and patterns. I used red in the hearts and orange and red in the the wording, with a touch of brown in the lines:

I hope this helps in make a more personalized box and broadening a gift idea!



Look-a-Like KFC Fried Chicken

Want to try making fried chicken like the Colonel? We don’t have the Official Recipe, but our test kitchen came up with the closest equivalent. Give it a shot!

1 frying chicken, cut into frying pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Pkt. (dry) Good Seasons Italian Dressing (The 11 or so herbs and spices!)
1 Envelope Lipton (or other brand) Tomato Cup of Soup
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup milk
Vegetable oil to cover bottom of your skillet; about 1/2 inch deep.

1. Combine eggs and milk. Set aside.
2. Combine flour with the Italian dressing and soup mix.
3. Dip chicken pieces in milk-egg mixture and roll them in the
flour-seasoning mixture. Repeat procedure.
4. Fry pieces over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, turning often.
5. Remove from fire. Drain and serve.

What a Great Idea!

Do you love smoothies?  I do.  I just might try this.  Prepared ahead of time.  Basic things to know . . . start with frozen fruit/greens, don’t include ice or milk products, label smoothie and write details for all items to be added (milk products, ice).

FREEZE AHEAD SMOOTHIES} Basic things to know . . . start with frozen fruit/greens, don't include ice or milk products, label smoothie and write details for all items to be added (milk products, ice).:



3 Ingredient Pie

What could be easier?

Possibly from the depression (the one in 1929) or maybe even earlier.  I  A pie with only 3 ingredients?

It is similar to a custard pie, but not as heavy.  I usually put cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg in mine, though I have made it with coconut, which is delicious!  It really is versatile, you can even make a chocolate version by adding cocoa powder and chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  My husband’s favorite is orange, I just put a few drops of orange extract in the filling and zest some orange peel on top.


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups real cream
  • Pie shell (homemade or store bought)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine sugar and flour in a mixing bowl
  3. Hand wisk in cream a bit at a time
  4. When thoroughly mixed, pour into pie shell
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is set

You can serve it hot, but I prefer to chill mine and serve it cold with some nice hot tea.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!


2 Ingredient Cakes

All the cakes you can make with just a bottle of soda.

Eggs, butter (or oil), water. Heat, beat, bake. Easy as cake from a box pie.

But there is something easier, dear cake-lovers. Swap all but the cake mix for a bottle of soda. Stir 12 ounces of a carbonated beverage into your prepackaged cake flour, plop the mixture into a pan and bake it in the oven as directed on the box. There you have it: Cake.

Are you one of those that go for baking complicated cakes — the kind that take precise measuring, delicate flavor pairings and fine-tuned focus.   Not me.  But this soda-plus-cake recipe can be justified: It does wonders for the time-pressed, cake-driven baker. And for a bit of bonus, the soda will cut the fat from the cake and, if you choose a low-calorie or diet beverage, the calories, too.


All the cakes you can make with just a bottle of soda and cake mix!:

This particular recipe, which combines a Betty Crocker Super Moist White cake mix and 12 ounces of peach mango-flavored, no-calorie soda, contains 160 calories and 3 grams of fat per slice. The original recipe on the box contains 228 calories and 10 grams of fat. Not a bad reduction.



And the fruity vanilla flavored cake is only the start to the exciting taste combinations.  Have fun using your imagination to create some interesting cakes.



Bride & Groom to Be

Do you know someone recently engaged?  Looking for the perfect and one of a kind gift?  Something that will say WOW?  Look no further!  we have some very lovely Lazy Susans.  You can have it engraved to make it very personal or if you know what the love couple likes you can go with a standard design.  We have many laser cut designs to choose from.  You can see the collection here:

Make a young couple very happy with a unique gift straight from the heart.

Lazy Susan




Cutting Boards

Are you tired of that ugly looking cutting board you have been using for years?  I know I’m tired of mine.  Try one of our many custom designs.  Maybe you know someone with an anniversary coming up.  This would make a beautiful and thoughtful gift.  Just fill out the Fields when you place your order.

Rectangle Chopping Board with Handle









With Christmas behind us, its time to start a new year.  What can possibly be in the new year.  How about a little something for yourself.  You spent a lot of time making your family and friends happy.  Now it is time for you.  Take a look at these delightful laser etched boxes.  I find them absolutely beautiful.  In fact, i plan on getting myself the rooster one.  It will be a very nice addition to my rooster collection.

Bread Box Close Up of Lid


Bread Box Close Up of Lid

Maybe you know some one that became engaged this Christmas.  This one would make a lovely gift.  You can make it very personal.  Just fill the fields when you place an order.

Bread Box Close Up of Lid


This is a really nice roll-top bread box that is only available here at, because we do the custom design work on the top ourselves here in Boise, Idaho Idaho, USA. The delightful honey color of Bamboo is produced entirely naturally, without the use of stain or paint, through a special heating process that caramelizes the sugar in the wood.    there are over 48 designs to choose from.  Here is the link to our site.


Christmas Classic – Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire

You know how you hear certain songs and you can never get it out of your head.  You keep singing it over and over and over.  Well, here is one that is bound to stick with you!  Or least have visions of this every time you hear the song by Nat King Cole.  It made me laugh.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow

Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother’s child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you

And Merry Christmas to all of our readers!


Christmas Traditions

Are you stuck in a rut?  Do you get tired of the same things on your Christmas menu?  Ham and all the fixin’s! Always a favorite.


Switch things up a bit.  Try something new.  One year my big family of 20 tried chili.

Slow-Cooker Family-Favorite Chili

We had three varieties all being kept in crock pots.    The traditional beef and bean , white bean chicken Alfredo, and ground turkey 3-bean.  Huge success!

We also had a year, by request, for a baked potato bar.

BAKED POTATO BAR for a fun family meal or party buffet.

PILE ON THE TOPPINGS. Here are some to choose from:


  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • butter (try whipped, herbed, or garlic butter)
  • sour cream (I use light) or yogurt


  • shredded cheddar or jack
  • crumbled blue or feta
  • grated Parmesan

Fresh herbs and seasonings:

  • chopped fresh basil, cilantro, oregano, or dill
  • crushed red pepper
  • seasoned salt
  • chopped chives


  • chili
  • taco meat
  • fajita chicken or beef
  • pulled pork
  • crumbled bacon (use the real thing–so much better than those bits in a jar)
  • chopped ham
  • smoked salmon
  • chopped salami or pepperoni


  • chopped scallions or red onions
  • steamed broccoli, green beans, or asparagus
  • grilled corn
  • beans (canned black beans or chili beans)
  • chopped fresh tomatoes
  • chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • sauteed spinach
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • grilled onions
  • roasted red peppers
  • sliced jalapenos (fresh or from a jar)
  • thawed frozen peas (no need to cook them)
  • chopped avocados or guacamole

Sauces & dressings:

  • salsa
  • barbecue sauce
  • gravy
  • alfredo sauce
  • nacho sauce
  • blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
  • marinara sauce – or other red Italian sauce
  • pesto

My loaded potato has chili, light sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, and chopped scallions. Pretty darn tasty considering it was an unplanned meal made from leftovers from my fridge. Fritos sprinkled on top would be a good, crunchy finishing touch.

While they all seemed to work  we find ourselves going back to our “tradition”.  Ham.  Most of us like it the traditional way, but I prefer my ham as a sandwich.  A while back I posted the ham and cheese sliders.  I think I like that for myself.  How about you?  What’s your tradition?  Feel free to share your “family tradition”.


Ham and Cheese Sliders………..Yummy!

These Ham and Cheese sliders are simple and crowd pleasing sandwiches. Ham and melted cheese topped with a poppy seed butter sauce.

I know what you are thinking…ham and cheese sliders; does that really require a recipe? The answer is YES it does. These have so much flavor. Sure you have your classic ham and cheese sandwich as the base of the recipe but then you top it with a flavorful poppyseed sauce. The sauce is a combo of Worcestershire sauce, onion, mustard, and butter that makes these anything but ordinary. These can be made ahead for a party and are kid friendly because they are small and familiar.

I hate mustard but couldn’t taste the little bit of mustard in the sauce. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just want to cook something that I know kids will eat without complaining about it.

These are great as an appetizer or make it a meal.

  • 24 white dinner rolls
  • 24 pieces honey ham
  • 24 small slices Swiss cheese
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup miracle whip
Poppy seed sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon poppyseeds
  • 1½ Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. You do not have to use all of the sauce! Just use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm. Note: Sandwiches can be assembled ahead of time. I don’t like to do it more than a day ahead because they can get soggy from the mayo mixture.



Christmas Deviled Eggs that WOW!

You will need

  • eggs already boiled
  • vinegar
  • water
  • food dye


1) I didn’t have any Easter Egg dye from last year, but I did have food dye. If you want really specific or bright colors, you can hit up the food dye section at a craft store, but I just have regular old 4 pack primary kit from Target. I prepped the food dye by following the box, but it was 1 tsp white vinegar and a half cup of HOT water.

2) Cut your eggs in half and remove yokes. You can prep those anyway you like. I like mine with Hellmanns. Also the reason my eggs yolks are so runny in these shots is because I may have accidentally eaten more yokes than eggs.

Christmas Eggs: Beautiful the Holiday Table with Red and Green Dyed Deviled eggs

Christmas Eggs: Beautiful the Holiday Table with Red and Green Dyed Deviled eggs


3) Add your already boiled egg whites into the dye mixture, leave for approx 3 minutes and then rotate up.  Once your eggs have the desired color, remove and pat dry with napkin. Now if you find that your dye isn’t the color you want, I have to tell you that you can put a little on your finger (or a clean paintbrush), rub on the outside of the boiled shell and sit it down for about a minute. Then rinse off any excess. That is how I got this REALLY bright color for photos.

Christmas Eggs: Beautiful the Holiday Table with Red and Green Dyed Deviled eggs

Christmas Eggs: Beautiful the Holiday Table with Red and Green Dyed Deviled eggs


Done! Check out my gorgeous Dyed Deviled eggs that are sure to WOW everyone at the holiday table.
colored deviled eggs