Friday, December 17, 2010

Haband Holiday Party

Some more fun times from the home office... We had our annual Holiday Party last Wednesday night to celebrate another successful year and to reward everyone's hard work.

We had a semi-formal dinner at Macaluso's in Hawthorne, NJ, and if you ever get the opportunity to attend a function there, I would strongly recommend attending. The food was outstanding and the variety of things to choose was very impressive as well! While I'm not the most adventurous person when it comes to eating, those colleagues of mine who are said everything was superb!

Once the tables were cleared, the dance floor came alive. Like dancing at most parties, two women started things off (ahem, Bonnie L. & Mildred R.). They had the floor to themselves for about a minute before others started joining. But as soon as two joined, 4 more followed and before you know it, the floor was packed! The DJ kept the music playing throughout the night and a good GREAT time was had by all.

Please enjoy some pictures from that night and let us know how you're celebrating the holidays this year.













Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby, it's (not so) cold outside (anymore)

More good things happening at Haband this Holiday Season - in November, we participated in the 15th Annual Jersey Cares Coat Drive. We put collection bins near our cafeteria with a request to our associates to contribute any new or "gently used" coats for local residents in need.

Throughout the month, I monitored the progress of our collections each day and was, at first, surprised how slowly it seemed to be going. I questioned the people in charge of the effort and quickly learned that they were emptying the bins sometimes twice a day as they were filling up so fast!

In the end, the turn out was overwhelming! We collected nearly 400 coats - and considering that there are a little more than 100 people in the office, I'd say it was a huge success!

Jersey Cares has been collecting coats for the past 14 years for at-risk men, women, & children. They have collected and distributed over 50,000 coats throughout these years and have had numerous companies, churches, schools and other organizations helping out with both collections and distribution. Fore more information about their worthy cause, click here.





Friday, December 3, 2010

Want to Improve Your Memory? Read on!

We installed a new feature to haband.com this week and couldn't wait to tell everyone about it! We've been working with a very talented group of game designers in nearby Ramsey, NJ called All Things Media. We've signed with them to produce 3 games for us for as a starter, but hope to do many more!

The first game we have finished is a classic memory game, like Concentration®. We've designed it to look like Duke's desk with images of some of our great products, some free gifts, and an old-time pocket watch that will keep your time. See snapshot below...




We have several of our top-selling brand logos on flipped-over cards. To play, you have to flip the cards over one-by-one and remember where the matches are. You are competing against the clock and you want to improve your time through each level. The further you go in the game, the better the prizes get. And we are giving away some pretty cool free items (with purchase of course), but you have to play the game to find out exactly what.

Click over to www.haband.com/memgame and give it a try - it's very addicting so don't blame me if you lose track of time. Drop a note on our blog here and let us know how what you think about it and what your best time was.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Treats

This Summer, we had our annual company picnic and, in addition to some great BBQ, we hosted several contests. One of which was a bake-off where several participants brought in their finest desserts. There were four categories: Cookies, Pie, Cupcakes, & Cake. I'm going to share with you the winning recipe for the Cupcake category in hopes that you'll try it and enjoy as much as we did!

This recipe comes from Lisa B., our non-apparel re-buyer who's been with us for a little over a year.


Red Velvet Cupcakes Stuffed With Chocolate Mouse,
Dipped In Chocolate Ganache.

Red Velvet Cake

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the shortening, eggs and sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and food coloring. Add the paste to the shortening mixture. Sift the flour and salt together over parchment. Add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk in 3 additions. Add the vanilla extract. Fold in the baking soda and vinegar. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack. Invert the cakes from the pans.

Chocolate Mousse

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup milk chocolate

Chop chocolate and place in small mixing bowl. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. (A double boiler is a small pot of water on the stove, place to small mixing bowl into the pot so it is in the water but not touching the bottom of the pot.) Heat and stir until completely melted. Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar until semi - stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate gently until all is combined.

Ganache
  • ½ cup dark chocolate
  • ½ cup milk chocolate
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
Chop chocolate and place in large mixing bowl. Heat heavy cream to just before a boil. Pour heavy cream over chocolate, let sit for 2 minutes and whisk together to form a thick smooth chocolate sauce.

Putting it all together

After your cupcakes are cooled off, place the chocolate mousses in a zip lock bag and cut off the tip. Create a small hole in the top of your cupcake and fill with mousse. Make your chocolate ganche and dip the cupcakes in the ganche after they are filled. You can decorate the top with sprinkles or anything you would like.