June 01, 2013

The June giveaway! And a Strawberry Basil Spritzer

June is here! Although today it feels more like a mid-August heat wave. In honour of this heavy weather, I have a cool summery drink for you. But first, Sara Casey you are the lucky winner of Fat Toad Farm's goat milk caramel gift package. Congratulations!! You are going to fall in love with their Salted Bourbon caramel, it's exquisite. Please send me a little note via my contact me page with your mailing address so we can send you your present.

And now my June giveaway, which I am so very very thrilled to announce. Madder Root is a Maine-based company that creates gorgeous eco-friendly screen-printed linens. Their products are beautifully handcrafted using water-based, solvent-free inks and organic fabrics. I am in love with oh, only every single thing that they make.

Janyce and Christina are the creative team who cut, print, and sew everything by hand in small batches using hand drawn designs inspired by the ocean, forest, and mountain vistas of Maine. You can see all their stylish kitchen linens on their etsy page.

I recently treated myself to a set of their tea towels: these ones with the mason jar prints.

When the package came in the mail, it was such a joy. I found myself savouring every moment of opening it because it was so caringly and elegantly wrapped. I love everything about how this company designs and packages their product with attention to every detail. I especially appreciate that they use organic fabrics because the cotton industry actually uses more pesticides than any other crop. So finding organic alternatives is a move for a better planet.

Madder Root is generously giving away a beautiful set of 4 hand-printed organic linen produce bags to a lucky Kitchen Vignettes reader. Next time you go to the farmer's market or grocery store, you can avoid using plastic altogether and shop in style. I absolutely love the designs on these bags, check them out! (My favourite is the honey jar.) 


To be eligible, you need to be a resident of Canada or the United States and there are two ways you can enter the draw: 
  • Leave me a comment below saying why you'd like to win this giveaway (please include your email address). 
  • Or go to my Facebook page and share the giveaway photo on your page.
I will select a name at random at the end of the month and announce the winner on July 1st.

Now, here's a cool drink for you to help you get through this heat wave. 

You'll have to excuse me today for dabbling in an area I know next to nothing about. I've never really made cocktails (except for a few parties I threw in my twenties) but this heat had me craving an icy summery drink to lounge around with and sip in the evening sunshine last night. And I had some strawberries and basil syrup kicking around, so it seemed like a no-brainer. The result of mashing up a few strawberries with basil syrup, crushed ice, vodka, and soda water was delightful. Actually dangerously good. Like I could have drank a bucketful. So be careful. You can also leave out the vodka altogether for a kid-friendly version (or if you want to drink it by the bucketful, this is also a good idea).

Makes 2 glasses

10 medium-small strawberries
4 oz vodka (1/2 cup) 
1/4 cup basil simple syrup (see easy recipe below)
Crushed Ice
Seltzer water to top up the drink
Basil leaves for garnish

Chill 2 glasses and your cocktail shaker (mine is a mason jar) in the freezer for about 20 minutes. In your shaker, mash the strawberries (I used the end of a large wooden spoon). Add the basil syrup, vodka and ice and shake it well. Pour into your cold glasses and top with a bit of seltzer water (to taste) and garnish with basil leaves. Alternately, you could put the strawberries, syrup, vodka and ice in the blender and then pour into the glasses, adding seltzer water. Enjoy and stay cool out there!

1 cup cane sugar
1 cup water
1 cup chopped basil (see here for my favourite primer on how to properly chop basil)

Boil the water and sugar until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour syrup over basil leaves. Let this rest overnight. Strain out the leaves. Jar up and refrigerate.


  1. I'd love to win this giveaway because the sanddollar napkins are adorable and would be great for my beach wedding!

  2. love the produce bags- shared Facebook photo on my page-Jennifer Blanton

  3. Who doesn't need more bags? Organic and gorgeous and made close by. I would love them. thunder_rainy (at) yahoo (dot) com

  4. My 74 year old awesome mother needs new organic handmade towels! klp56@live.com

  5. They towels are absolutely adorable! Would love to have them in my kitchen :)

  6. Love the idea of using these bags as opposed to plastic when I hit the local farmer's markets. Thanks! lypsiladdict@yahoo.ca

  7. I would be delighted to use these bags at the wonderfully weekly, whimsical, wholesome Wolfville market!!

  8. databirth@hotmail.com2 June 2013 at 20:26

    I would love to win this giveaway because Organic Linen Produce Bags = BRILLIANT and I want to move away from plastics! -Sacha, Ann Arbor, MI

  9. I'd love to win. These are beautiful.

  10. I have more reusable bags than I can count, but they are all starting to fall apart. I would love to replace them with these adorable little guys. LA2012MQ@gmail.com

  11. I would love to win this giveaway because these lines are my sort of thing! They are lovely. I really like the cabbage head print. maggiestilson at yahoo dot ca

  12. I need this Ayoo! These are so beautiful and would be perfect for the kids and I as we run around getting our local produce from our neighbourhood farmers market! (And did you say heatwave!? That's so crazy - it's cold here! I wore a touque today.)

  13. Oh my goodness that drink looks so refreshing! We definitely need some of it down here in the sweltering, smoggy, muggy D.C. heat.
    Those bags are also beautiful! I joined a CSA this year and I'm running out of bags/bowls to store all my delicious produce once I've gotten it! My fridge is currently overflowing with leafy greens wrapped in tea towels. The bags seem perfect for that! slk48@geogetown.edu

  14. This would be amazing to win! These bags would work perfectly with the theme in my kitchen, and would be very chic to bring to a farmers market!

  15. The bags are gorgeous and I'd just love to use them for summer market trips!

  16. Laurie Schnarr10 June 2013 at 16:56

    I shared on my Facebook page. I love the look of these bags - and so practical too! Great for the Saturday market and produce from the farmshare pick-ups. Thanks for the opportunity.

  17. these are beautiful bags! they'll find a home in my kitchen for breads and grains and bagged lunches!

  18. I'd love to win because these fun prints will add a touch of whimsy to my kitchen and home!

  19. Gorgeous, eco friendly, locally made (for me!!) and useful - what more could anyone ask for?!!! Believe me - I'd put these to good use :)

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  21. First of all, I want one! Then I have two friends who are addicted to Farmer's markets, these would be the perfect gift.

  22. Well, I'll need something to carry all the strawberries and vodka! No really, these would make a wonderful housewarming gift for myself, as I'll be relocating in less than two weeks! kristielockerman(at)gmail

  23. victoria paskett10 June 2013 at 18:02

    I would love to win these and give them to my mum. She has a victory garden and grows all her own vegetables. These would be lovely to use to bring them home in. Victoria@annasquietside.com

  24. My family would love these. We use fabric bags for everything we get from the natural food store or farmers market. These bags would be great!

  25. My son loves to go to the Farmers' Market with me (he's been going almost weekly for all of his 15 months), but he also has a penchant for plastic bags. It's time to encourage him in a different direction, and these produce bags are the perfect size for him. (edixon@gwi.net)

  26. Our now family of three has recently made an effort to switch to organic & pesticide/chemical/plastic free lifestyle. The transition has resulted in less waste by our household. These lovely cloth bags and kitchen towels would make wonderful gifts for friends inspired by our change!

  27. I always forget my resuables because they're bulky and unattractive. I'd never forget these!

  28. These are simple, but beautiful linens. I'd love to win them and they would also make great gifts! - Rebecca (bekasreid@gmail.com)

  29. I would love to win these because they are quite simply, beautiful. I may just have to order some if I don't win.

  30. Oh how awesome! I would love to win : ) ginger(dot)brooks(at)ymail(dot)com

  31. Hi
    I"d love to win!
    why? the beauty of these linens is inspiring.
    i need to make more changes in my daily life so that my more of my actions are congruent with the values i aspire to.
    the beauty of these linens will inspire me to, more honestly, make those changes.
    thank you

  32. These are so beautiful!!! I love unique items.

  33. Grace Torreano25 June 2013 at 16:09

    Hello! These are so beautiful and I'd love to win a set. We recently moved and they would be the perfect addition to our kitchen as we make our new place our own!


    Grace Torreano

  34. I am in the process of "defining" my kitchen's style. A real challenge for a compact apartment! I love the look of these towels - they bespeak my farm-girl roots and our recently adopted food philosophy on eating natural, local and delicious!


  35. These linens are gorgeous! They would fit right in with my quirky/natural kitchen style. I always love to see folks combine ecological responsibility with art! Thank you for the chance to win one! :)



  36. These are so cute! I have a friend that would love them for her birthday (if I could give them up, which I probably couldn't!) Thank you for the chance to win them!

  37. Oh my gosh! I was grocery shopping yesterday and just mentioned that I need some of these reusable produce bags! I actually stopped myself from buying something because I didn't want to waste a plastic bag!
    And I adore Madder Root! Hey from Maine! I'd love to own something of theirs!

  38. Produce bags that are organic and NOT plastic? I'm in!! Super cute designs from two talented ladies.

  39. oui, je veux bien gagner

    yes, I would love to win


  40. I must have these bags, I live in Portland where they have banned plastic. Thank you for your time and consideration.


  41. Hello Really a good info and thanks for Posting, very nice designs and making of these attractive products ,if anyone interested in Kitchen linen details and many more things can check here and hope its useful.

    thank you

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