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Wedding Favor Idea: Tea Blends

With three of our favorite tea flavor combinations.

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If you and your spouse-to-be are aficionados of the tea leaf, you may want to consider gifting a hand-blend featuring both your favorite tea flavors as favors for your wedding guests. When it comes to tea, there are endless possibilities for combining tea leaves with flowers, herbs and spices (for a comprehensive list, see Jeanne's post on tea favor bags), and we've listed three of our favorites: 1. Loose Green Tea Leaves with a Pinch of Dried Ginger This combination is surprisingly … [Read more...]

Simple Gift: Split Pea Soup Mix

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This is about the easiest gift of any you could possibly make. And it is simple for the recipient too; there is nothing on earth easier to make than split pea soup! Plus it comes with such a satisfying reward: it is so delicious and warming on a winter day. All you really need to make great split pea soup is split peas, salt and water. You can add all kinds of things if you have the energy and time - celery, onions, garlic, chives, tiny diced carrot bits, parsley, ham bacon; but it’s the peas … [Read more...]

Mulling Spice Wedding Favors

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Mulled wine is my favorite way to celebrate the beginning of the fall season. The spices are easy to put together and can make the perfect favor for a fall wedding. Pair small bottles of red wine and apple cider with pouches of mulling spices for a unique and beautiful gift your friends and family will love. Mulling Spices • Cinnamon sticks • Allspice berries • Cloves • Cardamom • Orange Peel Break up the cinnamon sticks into small pieces and mix together equal parts of … [Read more...]

Homemade Garlic Salt

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This is an amazing gift, and is not difficult. It needs some planning ahead. And talk about mileage! You will be remembered every time the cook adds a bit of garlic salt to a dish. If you don't grow your own garlic, purchase it from a farmer's market where you will find the best and freshest, and you will be able to get a variety that can't be found at a grocery store. Every year I provide garlic from my garden for our entire family. My favorite is a pink variety that I have grown since we … [Read more...]

Pickling Spice Blend

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(Used in this project: Rectangle Labels in Dottie style with Medium Cellophane Bags.) Every year, just before the first garden vegetables are ready to harvest, I prepare a pickling spice blend for all my small-batch pickling. I only make a few jars of pickles per vegetable (I eat or freeze the rest), so my spices generally last through the whole summer, or until I’m ready to start making dill pickles. I use this spice blend with pickled carrots, onions, green tomatoes, etc., and I always … [Read more...]

Beer Bottle BBQ Spice Rub

Beer Bottle BBQ Spice Rub from My Own Ideas blog

(Used in this project: Beer Labels in Greenfield style.) It's BBQ season again. Finally! While some can get out and grill all year long, the real fun is in hosting a group and dining in the gorgeous outdoors. Oh, and trying new recipes! We can't forget how much fun it is to experiment with all that there is available for the grill. Veggies, grilling baskets, and even cake recipes are now commonly cooked on the deck. The old standby for me is a some BBQ chicken or ribs, with a big punch of … [Read more...]

Infused Sugar

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(Used in this project: Circle Labels and Small Diamond Tags in Color Wash style.) I always keep a vanilla bean in my sugar jar. I have yet to find a recipe or need for plain old sugar that doesn't get a little lift from a vanilla bean. This got me thinking, "hmmm, I wonder what other yummy flavors you could add to sugar?". A search of the handy dandy internet and I found a plethora of recipe ideas. Rosemary sugar? I've read it's wonderful in apple pie. Cardamom sugar? Delicious on … [Read more...]

Mulling Spices

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One thing I crave during the holidays when it's cold outside is a warm mug of mulled cider or wine. I especially enjoy making a large batch during family gatherings for Thanksgiving or Christmas because it makes the house smell cozy and festive while it's on the stove. I always keep the heat on low so people can come back for more throughout the evening until it's gone. I'm especially excited this year because I'm preparing gift packets of mulling spices for my friends and family so they … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Pie Spice

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A bottle of pumpkin pie spice can be a really handy thing to have around the house, especially during the fall season when pumpkin and apple flavored baked goods are in full swing. Unfortunately, most store-bought versions are stale and exorbitantly priced, so I like to make myself a big homemade batch from whole spices to use throughout the season. This year, because our pumpkin harvest was so bountiful, I've decided to give a few of our smaller sugar pumpkins away to friends of ours who … [Read more...]

Simple Gifts: Savory Herb Rub for Chicken

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My husband is in love with me for the savory herb rub I use on baked chicken. I know he loves me for more, but there is definitely good reason for his liking my herb-roasted chicken. Nothing adds juicy, tasty and crispy to chicken like an herb rub. It’s hard to beat a simple recipe that works, and this fits the bill: simple, fast, easy, and really, really yummy. Savory Herb Rub for baked or barbecued meats A big thank you to Steve Dimitrovic, who served this chicken years ago and told me … [Read more...]