Monday, April 23, 2012

Gifting Rachael Ray-Simply Delish!

I confess, I’m a huge Rachael Ray fan. I don’t know what I love more, her infectious smile and perky personality or her spunky, get it done attitude. Whether I’m watching the Rachael Ray Show, reading Everyday with Rachael Ray, or sampling one of her recipes—she’s always good for a dash of inspiration. If I had been in Alaska when Rachael visited in 2006, I’m sure I would have made the two and a half hour trek from Sterling to Anchorage on the off-chance of catching a glimpse of her at Mr. Whitekeys’ Fly By Night Club!

Needless to say, when The Artisan Group selected me to take part in an exclusive cooperative gift bag destined for Rachael herself, I got a little excited. Once the euphoria wore off, I started to think about what I should send. I knew I wanted to do a one-of-a-kind, created especially for her, piece of jewelry. Should I go with my own personal favorite stone, Picasso Jasper? Or maybe a blingy, Druzy crystal agate? In the end, I decided on Peridot, in honor of Rachael’s birthday month, August. The fact that Peridot brings balance and reduces stress was an additional consideration. The search for a stone was on, and in time I came across a stunning raw Peridot that I knew would make the perfect dramatic focal. Here it is: 

Raw Peridot

I always let the stone decide how I will wrap the piece, allowing the curves and swirls of the wire setting to enhance and add to the stone’s personality. This is part of what makes each pendant unique. For Rachael’s Peridot, I chose a rustic gun metal wire for the wrap, to enhance the stone’s lime, olive and emerald green tones. As a finishing touch, I selected a long gunmetal chain to hang the pendant on, in keeping with Rachael’s straightforward style. Here’s the end result:

Rachael Ray Pendant
                              Raw Natural Peridot, Rustic gun-metal Wire, gun-metal Chain

The pendant is now on its way to Rachael in New York City. What do you think? I hope she loves it. If I’m lucky maybe I’ll see her wearing it on The Rachael Ray Show. You know that I’ll be watching!

Oh, and one more thing! I create my jewelry pieces in the corner of my living room, overlooking the Kenai River. It’s not uncommon to catch a glimpse of salmon leaping in the water. In honor of Rachael Ray and my beautiful studio view, here’s a favorite salmon recipe, one I think Rachael would love. Enjoy!

And now, off to finish up my pieces for the 2012 MTV Movie Awards. I’ll have my pendants on display and in the celebrity gift bags there. I’ll be blogging about that later so stay tuned.

Hugs, Carolyn


1 C maple syrup
2 T ketchup                                                                        
2T brown sugar
1 T cider vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
½ t salt
½ t ground mustard
1/8 t hot pepper sauce
1 salmon fillet

In bowl combine first 8 ingredients; mix well.  Pour ½ C into large resealable plastic bag;  add salmon and seal bag.  Turn to coat; refrigerate for up to 2 hrs.  Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.  Before starting the grill coat grill with nonstick cooking spray.  Drain and discard marinade from salmon.  Grill salmon skin side up over med-hot heat for 2-4 mins.  Transfer to a double thickness of heavy-duty foil.  Spoon some of the reserved marinade over salmon.  Fold foil around fillet and seal tightly.  Grill 5-6 mins longer or until fish flakes easily with fork.  Brush with remaining marinade if desired.  Serves 8


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