Sal del Mar is Feeling a Little Salacious

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

And so we designed a Salacious Valentine bag that makes a perfect "little" gift.

One pound of our hand-harvested sea salt is packaged in a fabulous hand-embroidered bag with either a red or hot pink heart.

We've even added a gift tag with a few of the magic ways salt has been thought for centuries to enhance the matters of the heart.

It's a gift for anyone. For friends, lovers, and even a favorite Aunt.  And it's already wrapped!

A New Year... and a New Design

We decided to get "dressed up" a bit with our new Sal de Cocktail hand-embroidered bag.  And what better time than at New Year's?

It's the same salt from the Sea of Cortez that is dried by the wind and sun and hand-harvested. The taste is ideal for food or for cocktails whether it is a Margarita, Salty Dog, or a Bloody Mary because the taste of the Sal de Cocktail-rimmed glass enhances the flavors in any cocktail.

We wanted a sophisticated look so we choose a grey linen fabric and a white on white embroidered design, using sea horses holding a shell as our new label (we patterned it after sophisticated liquor labels).

They make a great gift anytime of year.  Bon Boutique in Tucson made up gift package of Sal de Cocktail and a shallow crystal bowl for dipping the salt, tied with a simple twine bow.  

We always salt the rim of our cocktail glasses in advance of the party so they have a chance for the salt to crust a bit....and so the salt doesn't drip down into the cocktail.  Another tip:   just salt half the rim so that the guests can have salt or not. I guarantee that even "non-salt people" will like Sal de Cocktail.

We wish you and yours a happy, healthy 2015!  We value you as customers and as friends and thank you for your support.  It is because of you that our embroiders are able to help sustain their families.

PS:  We still have all of our other Sal del Mar and Sal de Cocktail designs available.  Our new linen bag is another design to choose from!

This Little Mermaid Has a .....

santamermaid.jpg

It's Thanksgiving week, but visions of the holidays haven been on my mind lately. This means that among many other ideas, I want to show off our Sal del Mar holiday bag design because (of course) it makes a great gift for the holiday season... for a hostess gift, a stocking stuffer or for any of the "little" gift needs that come up.

I have had the holiday Santa Mermaid bags tucked safely away . . . well, since last November/December.  When I opened the cupboard where they were "fast asleep," I immediately smiled.  There they were: all their little mermaid "holiday" faces looking up at me.

They made me smile and feel that "I love this time of year" feeling.  

As I looked through them, I saw something that I have never taken time to see before....they all have different personalities!

This little holiday mermaid has an innocent look with her blue eyes and pink lips.

This little holiday mermaid is "Hot" with her dark eyes and red lips.

This little holiday mermaid is Sweet.

This little holiday mermaid is happy...look at her smile!

There is also Bashful, Flirty, and Jolly. Each mermaid has her own special charm because  all of the Santa Mermaids are created by our embroiderers who reflect their own personal style, giving each mermaid her own special magic.

The women who embroider have a working partnership with Sal del Mar and they are able to earn money from their work to benefit their families.

You can order the Santa Mermaids on our website shop. And if you order by December 21st you should have them in time for Christmas (and you never have to pay for shipping!)

And don't forget... it's a gift that's already wrapped.

 

Memorial Day By The Sea

Our view of Memorial Day began with sails filling the blue sky and kayaks and paddle boards dotting the blue waters on the bay where we live. There is a sense of celebration of the beginning of summer.

Our menu for Memorial Day isn’t what I grew up having . . . . hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, potato salad, cole slaw, and corn on the cob.  We are having spicy shrimp with a smoked paprika mayonnaise and a watermelon salad.

WATERMELON SALAD

  • Seedless Watermelon (we used watermelon with seed and took out most of the seeds) cut into large but bite-size pieces
  • Feta cut into chunks
  • Chopped Fresh Basil
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette

Toss and serve as cold as you can get it.  Add a pinch or two of Sal del Mar, of course!

Buen Provecho

watermelon salad

Our celebration of summer is only part of our day as we take time to remember how fortunate we are as Americans for the sacrifices of our brave countrymen that made our precious freedom possible.

Summer Setting

Perfect Summer Setting

Perfect Summer Setting

I always think of Memorial Day as the beginning of lazy days of summer.

I know that there are still errands to be done, meals to cook and cleaning to do but...

it is also a time I give myself “permission” to do nothing.  

So I designed a “Summer Setting” and then had a photo shoot session with stylist Paula Hamilton (she is the artist too for Sal del Mar embroidered bag designs) and “my third daughter

” and photographer, Amy Haskell.

This is where I can imagine reading...

or napping...

and, of course, with a margarita 

in a frosty glass rimmed with Sal de Margarita and a little snack

New Sal de Margarita Bag

New Sal de Margarita Bag

Just in Time for Cinco de Mayo -- The Art of Salting the Glass

With Cinco del Mayo in a couple of days, there are many great margarita recipes being posted -- check out this video "How to Make a Margarita Cocktail" by one of my favorite blogs – Epicurious.

[brightcove vid=1915433486&exp3=8541555001&surl=http://c.brightcove.com/services&pubid=1570026296&pk=AQ~~,AAAAAF2Uszg~,4oZHOeCNZ16srhB7vMWsbSsT2nb7Xcc8&lbu=http://www.epicurious.com/video/cocktails/cocktails-classics/1915458821/how-to-make-a-margarita-cocktail/1915433486&w=300&h=225]

But what’s missing is how to correctly salt the margarita glass.  We at Sal del Mar pride ourselves on how to salt a margarita correctly so that the salt enhances the flavor of the tequila and integrates the flavors. Many of you may be salt-shy due to heavy salting in your past experiences.

So, here is how Sal del Mar recommends salting your margarita glass:

1. Spread Sal del Margarita* evenly on a small plate 2. Moisten the rim of your glass — just the top edge — by running a lime slice around the rim delivering a light coating of lime juice 3. Press the rim of the glass into the salt to crust the rim 4. Tap off the excess 5. Allow the salt to air-dry before filling the glass — this ensures that the salt lightly flakes off with each sip

Other tips: •   Use a martini glass instead of the bowl-sized glasses served in some bars that are so big that they require a straw to drink the margarita because they are too heavy to lift. I call margaritas made this way the “new martini.”

•   Salt just half of the glass rim so that you don't have to have a salted rim every sip.

•   Use a cocktail shaker and mix small amounts of margaritas. The shaken method of making a margarita gives it a purer taste over the taste of sweet slushy margaritas. Shake for about 10 seconds to melt the ice into the drink. Strain into your glass.

•   Ingredients matter. Margaritas are best made with 100% pure agave blanco tequila; fresh-squeezed lime juice and the orange sweetness of Cointreau. There is a growing trend of using boutique aged tequilas.

•   Experiment with adding other flavors to the salt. For a mango margarita, I finely chop mint leaves and mix it in the Sal de Margarita.

Be sure to use Sal del Margarita and let the crisp, salty taste complement the lime and the tequila ingredients while delivering a light crunch as you sip from the glass. Notice how Sal de Margarita quickly dissolves on the palate? Be sure to see my blog archive “marvelous margaritas” for more ideas.

Our New Arrival

I think I now know what fashion designers go through before they show a new line each season. Well, it might not be quite as intense, but I certainly experienced the anticipation and excitement while creating our latest bag design which we named the "Oyster Shell."

I love the design. I was inspired when I Googled “Sea of Cortez Pearl” and found that the Sea of Cortez is famous for its pearls. In fact, the Cortez Pearl was discovered by Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortez on one of his first expeditions in 1533 (click here if you want to learn more).

I give our embroiderers in the village of Sabinito most of the credit because their intricate craftsmanship gave the design something that couldn't be drawn on paper...life and beauty.

The Oyster Shell bag is available through our website, select stores and markets throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Holiday Time in Mexico

Our first Sal del Mar “tasting” held in Mexico was a big hit. It took place at the Sagitario gift shop in San Carlos, Sonora, a Mexican port town on the Sea of Cortez, near where we harvest our flavorful Sal del Mar sea salt.

The best part of the Sagitario “tasting” was when Vivian Arellano-Bennett brought us a box of Chocolate Holiday Bark candy she made using Sal del Mar as “snow.” Her recipe is an interpretation of an Ina Garten recipe and it was amazing. I must admit, I was a bit wary... even though salted chocolates and carmel are very popular, I just wasn’t sure how I would like chocolate and salt together. But what I discovered is that Sal del Mar brings out a new dimension of flavor in chocolate. It's an easy recipe and a way to pair Sal del Mar with a box of homemade chocolates for the holidays. In fact, the Editor at House Beautiful chose Sal del Mar as one of her favorite gourmet gifts to give this holiday season!

Here's the recipe...

Chocolate Holiday Bark with Sal del Mar Snow Adapted from an Ina Garten 2007 recipe. Prep time: 15 min Inactive Prep time: 2 hrs Cook Time: 10 min Serves: 24 pieces

Ingredients:  8 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 8 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 1 cup whole pistachios, chopped 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped Sal del Mar, to taste and sight

Directions:  On parchment paper, using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper face down on a baking sheet pan. Melt the two chocolates in a heatproof bowl, metal or glass, set over a pan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the nuts and cranberries over the chocolate. Finish by sprinkling Sal del Mar over the chocolate, nuts and cranberries.  Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 x 3” pieces and serve at room temperature.

Helpful hints: The water in the pan should not be boiling under the bowl. Keep the water just simmering. Chocolate does not like oil or water.  Make certain your bowl is clean and dry.  When you remove the bowl with the melted chocolate from the pan of simmering water, give the under side of the bowl a quick wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel so it doesn't drip onto your paper-lined pan when you are pouring out the chocolate.