December Sponsor of the Month: Hershey

Our December Sponsor of the Month is Hershey! We’re so excited to feature America’s favorite chocolate company this month, because who isn’t stocking up on cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and Hershey’s Kisses for all their holiday baking?

We began our partnership with Hershey after making a connection during Masters week in Augusta. We reached out about having them sponsor VeryVera Cooking Camp, and they jumped on board. All summer, we featured recipes made with Hershey ingredients (best summer ever!) and send campers home with Hershey products at the end of the week. We even had Hershey’s Kisses props for our photo booth!

When Season 6 of The VeryVera Show began, we reached back out to our friends at Hershey to see if they would want to partner with us on the show. Again, they gladly partnered with us, which we took as a huge compliment. So far, we’ve had Hershey’s corporate chef, Chef Darren Belnavis, on the show for a special Halloween episode. Since then, we’ve been doing some recipe testing in the VeryVera kitchen to incorporate chocolate into savory dishes. We’ve tried a few chocolate and balsamic pairings, and even…chocolate pasta? Keep an eye out in the second half of the season to see what we’re able to create!

To celebrate our partnership, we’re giving away three 5-lb Hershey Milk Chocolate bars! To enter, click this link and follow the instructions. We will randomly select a winner on Monday, December 18th. Good luck!

 

If you’re still trying to figure out that perfect Christmas dessert to bring to your family gathering, I highly recommend the Chocolate Ganache Tart we made earlier this season. Be sure to use Hershey chocolate for the full effect!

Thank you to Hershey for sponsoring The VeryVera Show, and happy baking!

November Sponsor of the Month: SubZero-Wolf

Since this is the month of Thanksgiving, we want to express our gratitude for our show’s overall sponsor: Sub-Zero and Wolf. SubZero-Wolf became our sponsor at the beginning of Season 6 and told us they were going to fully outfit our studio kitchen with their appliances. The first day we filmed at the studio with our new appliances felt like Christmas morning!

In over a year since, we’ve had the opportunity to grow this valuable relationship with the “crème de la crème” of appliance companies. Our team had the chance to visit the gorgeous SubZero-Wolf Southeast showroom in Charlotte, NC for a course in using our new appliances. Chef Vinnie (two-time show alumnus) treated us to a spread of various treats made using several different showroom appliances.

Perhaps my favorite demonstration was when Vinnie placed a tray of ginger snap cookies into the M-Series oven, followed by a tray of bacon, onions, and other fragrant ingredients. He turned on the convection feature and assured me that the ginger snaps would only taste like ginger. He was right.

We’ve also had the pleasure of renovating our kitchen with brand new SubZero-Wolf appliances to make off-site filming an absolute breeze. Having these appliances in our kitchen this summer as we tested recipes for the VeryVera Cookbook was completely invaluable! We never had to worry that the oven was negatively affecting the outcome of any layer or pound cake. This took the guess work out of each day of recipe testing, which made the entire process much easier than it could have been. I even loved our Wolf oven so much that I put one in my home kitchen this summer!

Our team at the Charlotte showroom is constantly in touch to make sure that everything is going well with the appliances and seeing if we need anything. We’ve been fortunate enough to have their support with giveaways on the show and at our own events. So far, we’ve given away a Wolf blender, a Wolf counter top oven, and a set of Wolf cookware.

Thanks to Sub-Zero and Wolf for believing in our show, and we hope you’ll check them out next time you’re shopping for appliances!

When Life Throws You Curveballs…

Life really throws some amazing curve balls. Believe me, I’ve had some that have sent me sailing into left field, but this week I caught one square in the middle of my oven mitt!

Having been asked months ago to do a simple cooking demonstration for high school students that come to a local Boys and Girls Club location after school, the assignment was given to our Camp Director to determine a proper menu and execute all of the preliminary prep, ideas for take home treats, and a great door prize. Haleigh did her part in getting the pre-game practice in order, and I was set to get there in time to greet the young people and “do my thing.”

As usual, my deadlines get enormous as we approach an execution date that was set in place over a month ago. I literally ran out of the building to get there on time and could only think of a million other projects I have in place as I arrived and went inside. Seeing Haleigh’s set up in place and being familiar with the treats we would prepare, I had time to look at the amazing new facility in Augusta and get a glimpse at the opportunities that are being provided to these youths.

When all 15 students came into the kitchen, I got smiling faces, upbeat attitudes, and shouts of “thank you for coming” and “glad you are here.” All of my stress and concerns for ANYTHING other than the next hour completely left my brain. I knew I was in for a great experience.

The attitudes, interest, and overall respect that I was shown gave me so much enthusiasm for these students and the time we were spending together in the kitchen. We started with making the dough for Hershey’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. Once the dough was complete, we divided into groups of five in which they all had a hand in the preparation of the final cookie.

While they baked, I did a demonstration on a chocolate cake that was decorated to look like a pumpkin to use as a centerpiece for Halloween or Thanksgiving. These high school students were ready to make this themselves and had great questions about the process. Once complete, it was time for cookies to come out of oven and be topped with a mini Reece’s Peanut butter cup.

As those cooled in the refrigerator to be ready to be packaged attractively to take home, I had a few minutes to talk to them about the “recipe of life” and how using ingredients to make a successful dessert can be applied to having all of the key ingredients to be a good student, good person, and great leader.

Funny, that curve ball I mentioned that I caught—it was the ball I thought was going to distract me from matters of importance that had accelerated that day at my office. When I caught the ball, a shift happened. I had been asked to come to inspire those young people, but instead they inspired me. I will definitely be going back for more of what I received.

Need to get a dose of what I received this week? Check out Boys and Girls Clubs…BE INSPIRED!

 

October Advertiser of the Month

My Advertiser of the Month is a real GEM–Crown Jewelers in Augusta, GA!

Crown Jewelers has been a loyal advertiser during The VeryVera Show for several years and has become one of the southeast’s leading wedding and engagement ring stores. The owner and president of Crown Jewelers, Joel Conte, has over 49 years experience in the manufacturing and retail jewelry business. 

Joel’s business philosophy is, “Royal treatment makes loyal customers.” Step into Crown Jewelers to experience this philosophy in action and to browse their impressive collection of antique and contemporary jewelry, heirloom gifts, and baby and wedding gifts.

Services provided by Crown Jewelers include jewelry and watch repairs, appraisals, custom designs, and more! Check out their website for more information!

 

Seasons Remembered

WOW…hard to believe we are going into year 6 of The VeryVera Show. Small things really do matter:

  • I still have the same apron I’ve been wearing since Day 1 and it looks great! (HINT – I don’t put it in the dryer and I iron it, too)
  • I have quit with the fake eyelashes, but I try to eat more carrots!
  • I still say, “No matter what you do, do it in good taste” when I close the show each week

In looking back over the last 5 years, these would be my favorite moments from each Season:

EPISODE 1 of Season 1 with Ann Boardman.  Truly, she is one of my all-time favorite people, huge supporter of any project I have ever tackled and has been a cheerleader to me along the way.  We did a recipe I made for years for her when she entertained, Deviled Shrimp.

EPISODE 18 of Season 2 with my granddaughter Bentley Boyd from Mt. Pleasant. Her birthday is on the 28th of October, so we did a Halloween-themed show complete with darkness, scary noises, and dry ice. She dressed in her 50’s Halloween costume.

EPISODE 9 of Season 3 I did a trio of pies. I had so many people comment on that episode as I think folks just LOVE pies, in general. The recipes were great and my comfort level showed in my performance.

EPISODE 8 of Season 4 was all of my younger grandchildren in the Fairy Garden all dressed up and we did a tea party. At the time, there were 3 and now there are 5. Do I hear Sequel??

EPISODE 28 of Season 5 brought my niece, Anna Beck Chapman, in from Nashville to showcase her ABC Bakery cookie business and talk about her new baby that would be coming soon. Our chemistry was over the top, and it brought back memories of her visits in the summer as a child to my VeryVera Bakery.

Season 6 will introduce lots of new guests, a NEW style for Vera’s Corner, a NEW introductory segment giving an overall view of the show before we get started, and finally LOTS of great give-a-ways as well as NEW markets where the show will air!

I’m glad to be back and can’t wait to bring some new recipes and energy to the kitchen.

September Advertiser of the Month

Jeff Faircloth and wife Ruthie post in Jeff’s Sewing and Vacuum

We’re excited to announce Jeff’s Sewing and Vacuum in Augusta, GA as our September Advertiser of the Month! Jeff’s has been on board with the VeryVera Show since Season 5, and we’re proud to have an Augusta staple supporting our show.

Jeff’s Sewing and Vacuum is locally owned and operated, and they’re all about service! Anyone can sell you a sewing machine, but Jeff’s Sewing and Vacuum sticks around to help when things aren’t going right. The store offers sewing machines, fabric, and sewing/quilting classes, along with Miele vacuums.

Owner Jeff Faircloth’s Christian faith is the heart behind the company’s renowned customer service. Take it from their customers:

“The BEST sewing and quilting shop in Augusta!!! Great, helpful, knowledgeable, friendly
staff!!”

“Friendliest staff, very helpful and always willing to go the extra mile!”

“We drove from Greenwood to have my machine serviced and he did it in an hour!! Nice friendly, efficient staff. This is my kind of place!”

Augusta and Aiken fans, be on the lookout for details on an event with The VeryVera Show and Jeff’s Sewing and Vacuum coming up before the end of the year!

Referee Food Cards

Getting ready for the big game? Add these fun referee food cards to your buffet! There is a card for the Buffalo Chicken Dip, Cheesy Bacon Chips, Homemade Mozzarella Sticks, as well as a blank one so you can write in your favorite recipe. All you have to do is download one of the documents below (in Word Document or PDF form), print the file on cardstock, cut them out, and place them on your table using a card holder. Happy Game Day!

VeryVera Jar Labels

Are you ready to make your own Pickled Okra and Black Mission Fig Preserves? Take your packaging to the next level with our very own jar labels! All you have to do is download one of the documents below (in Word Document or PDF form), print the file on some printable sticker paper , cut out, and you’re ready to go! Each label fits perfectly on a standard-sized jar lid. Happy canning!

 

Jar Labels

Word Document

Jar Labels

PDF Version

New Kitchen for a New Season

During Season 6 of The VeryVera Show, you might notice a new location being filmed: my brand new test kitchen! Back in April, the VeryVera Cottage underwent a total kitchen renovation. Starting with an outdated, family-sized kitchen, we were on a mission to make the best VeryVera test kitchen possible. We started by tearing down the wall to our craft room and to create one large kitchen space. We now have the room we need for recipe testing, camps, and our upcoming Chef Series (more on that coming out later)!

Before

The first hero on the project was Mitchell Florence and his guys at Madison’s Millwork and Coating Specialists, who custom-built all of the cabinetry and the prep tables. Madison’s Millwork gave us the structure of our beautiful new kitchen and provided us with enough storage for all of our kitchen necessities. To be able to film in the new space, we needed to update the lighting in the kitchen. After running into a few renovation hiccups (as is expected), we were able to add in recessed can lighting as well as great under-the-cabinet lighting to make a bright and energizing space in which to cook. With the biggest issues behind us, we continued. We decided to go with laminate hardwood floors throughout the entire kitchen. With so many children coming through the kitchen during Camp, we thought this would be the most practical and durable decision.

During

Cabinets, done. Electric, done. Floors, done. Now it was time for the fun stuff: counter tops and appliances! When filming the Easter-themed episode from the Southern Living-inspired home in Woodside, we took note of the gorgeous marble counter tops and asked who provided them. The answer was Cambria, and that they were actually quartz. Quartz is durable, cost effective, and, best of all, beautiful. Our friends at Star Granite put us in contact with Cambria to have their “Britannica” counter tops put into our new kitchen, and we were blown away at the result! Made to look like marble, you wish you could wear it as a dress! We chose to use the quartz as our back splash as well for a continuous, luxurious feel. We could not be happier with our counter top and back splash.

Finally, the other stars of the show could make their grand entrance. Our overall show sponsor, Sub-Zero and Wolf, outfitted our new test kitchen with M-Series built-in double ovens, a warming drawer, a built-in drawer microwave, an induction stovetop, an ice machine, an Asko dishwasher, and a French door refrigerator. We could not be more excited to share our new space on this season of the show!

After

Thank you to all of our test kitchen sponsors: Madison’s Millwork, Star Granite Interiors, Cambria Quartz, and Sub-Zero and Wolf! Be sure to tune in for Season 6!

–Rachel Schifter, Associate Producer of The VeryVera Show

August Advertiser of the Month

This month is all about our most stylish advertiser- Amelia Myers Interior Design! Amelia Myers is a fantastic interior designer who studied at the University of Georgia and now works out of Camden, SC. We are so proud to be able to work with her! She has been with the show since we began airing on WCBD in September of 2016, and she’s even joined me for a cooking demonstration in Charleston, where she expertly demonstrated setting a holiday table.

  Be sure to check out her new website. The photos of her work are swoon-worthy. We know you’ll love her rustic, clean style as much as we do!