Category Archives: edible gifts

Breakfast easter edible gifts etsy holiday

Lovely List | Easter Roundup

We’re home and it feels so good. I missed this place despite the rain and gray skies. I still cannot quite get used to a rainy Easter, but it’s fun to brighten it up with pretty things. Here are some of my favorite Easter bits from around the web.

DIY eggs from silk neckties. Pretty incredible.

Vibrant DIY eggs with Rit dye.

DIY speckled eggs.

Wooden bunnies.

Paper bunnies.

DIY cloth bunny puppets.

Make your own bunny kit.

A very sweet bunny bowl for the wee one.

Spring pudding from delightful Sweet Paul Magazine.

Hot cross buns glazed with apricot jam (pictured above) are always a favorite. Or, possibly an apple oven pancake?

I just can’t resist sweet bunny cookies.

A pretty pink necktie for the ladies. And, one really sweet bow for the wee one too.

Scalloped white shoes.

appetizers canning easy edible gifts travel

Starting Anew | Garlic Confit

Garlic Confit Recipe

If you were starting anew in a fresh kitchen, what would you take with you? What would you create from scratch? I am quite serious. I ask in earnest. Just imagine a kitchen that is empty. Oh sure, there are some cabinets, a sink, a refrigerator, and an ordinary gas stove. Otherwise, it’s a blank canvas. You might as well have tumbleweeds twirling about through the empty spaces.

It is hard to know where to begin. There are the spices that fill your cupboards, the different types of yeasts, flours, dried beans, and salts. But what other things do you use that might be overlooked? Preserved lemons for the refrigerator? Chicken stock in the freezer? Condiments collected over many many moons? The odd can of white beans or chickpeas in the pantry for the spontaneous hummus craving.

When I left the dormitory in college and moved into my first apartment, I had a mug and a sorry piece of tupperware. That was it. I didn’t own anything else that might be of any use in a kitchen and I had absolutely no idea where to start. The only good thing about the situation was my cluelessness. My excitement to begin real adult life far outweighed any anxiety over the task of stocking a kitchen. My first trip to the grocery store was a total disaster. I didn’t have a list. I headed for the condiment aisle first.

I realize it sounds strange to begin in the condiment aisle, but I had no guidance. What I had was a picture in my head of all the kitchens I knew. Those kitchens of loved ones, friends, and the parents of friends, all had one thing in common. The refrigerators were overflowing with condiments. Mustard. Mayonaise. Ketchup. Soy sauce. Jars of salsa with of various levels of spiciness. Most people’s refrigerators were so full of condiments the doors rattled when they swung wide open. This was what I knew.

I left the grocery store that day with two enormous brown paper bags. They were ridiculously heavy. I had to readjust and set them down on the pavement repeatedly during the short walk back to my apartment. When I finally reached my front door, my arms were barely functioning. However, I managed to empty out the bags nearly immediately. I was motivated by pride, I suppose. I lined the sides of the refrigerator with glass bottles of all sizes. It was so satisfying in that moment. That satisfaction, however, was fleeting. I was hungry. There was nothing to eat. And my arms hurt.

Garlic Confit Recipe

Garlic Confit Recipe

I learned a thing or two from that experience and from the many years of nomadic life which followed. And, today, I find myself walking into a similar situation albeit briefly. I’ll be gone for a month. I leave behind about a million spice jars, the fresh herbs from my garden, my canned goods, my stock of beef and chicken broth, and countless other staples. There are a few things I will bring with me, of course. I’m going to share one of them with you today. It’s garlic confit.

Garlic Confit Recipe

Is this surprising? It might seem a bit out of the ordinary. I know how it sounds, but do you know how it tastes? It’s something to behold. It’s slightly salty and rich. The garlic is golden and roasted to perfection giving it that soft and nearly creamy texture. The pepper adds the softest bite and the bay leaves add the absolute perfect touch of earthiness. The flavors are so perfect yet complex. The possibilities that exist with this very simple condiment are endless. Consider roasted vegetables, soups, vinaigrettes, pastas, dips, tomato sauces. Garlic confit can be added to nearly anything to pump up the volume of a dish.

I hope you love it as much as we do. It’s going into the suitcase for certain.

And, while we are on the topic of packing, I must get to it. But don’t worry. I will still be posting. If you want to know where to find me, follow your nose. There is garlic in the air, I’m sure.

Garlic Confit (makes 3 cups)

3 cups garlic cloves, peeled

1 fresh bay leaf or 2 drived leaves

8 – 10 fresh thyme sprigs

Kosher salt, black peppercorns

About 2 cups blended oil (50% canola. 50% extra virgin olive oil)

Put the garlic cloves in a heavy, covered braising pan or Dutch oven.  Add the bay leaf and thyme, a scant tablespoon kosher salt, and 15-20 peppercorns. Barely cover with the oil.

Cover the pan and braise in a 300 degree oven until the cloves are pale golden and very tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Cool it to room temperature,

Transfer the garlic and all of the oil to a sterilized jar.  Press a square of plastic wrap down directly onto the surface of the oil.  Place another square of plastic over the rim of the jar and twist on the lid or secure with a rubber band.  With every use, replace the square of plastic that touches the oil and use a perfectly clean fork or tongs each time to prevent cross contamination from the surfaces of your kitchen.  As long as the cloves are covered in oil, they will last for at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Note:  I halved this recipe and it worked out beautifully!

Source:How to Roast a Lamb.

 

dessert edible gifts holiday peppermint Valentines Day

Homemade Candy for Valentines | Peppermint Hearts

homemade candy recipe

I used to share office space with a woman who decorated her desk for the seasons. In the springtime, there were lots of stuffed white bears clutching colorful hard plastic eggs. At Thanksgiving, there was always a smattering of multi-colored leaves tucked into between tiny stuffed animals adorned in pilgrim attire. During the December holiday season, you would find the typical santas and elves along with much tinsel. There was always lots of tinsel.

My colleague didn’t discriminate. She seemed to appreciate all the holidays equally. It didn’t matter whether the holiday was religious or one created by a greeting card company.  I suppose this egalitarian approach is sort of admirable, but I imagine most people are not at all like this. Am I silly to think nearly everyone picks and choses their favorite holidays? It seems more realistic. I know folks who just adore Christmas and can’t wait for Thanksgiving to end so they can light up their houses like the Las Vegas strip. I have neighbors who blow up an enormous leprechaun for their lawn every St. Patrick’s Day. There are also a surprising number of people in Seattle who celebrate the summer solstice by cycling naked through the streets of Seattle.

homemade peppermint candy

If you think I’m kidding about that last one, I am not. I was once accidentally caught up in the parade while riding my bike to the farmer’s market. I was entirely clothed, but taunted for appearing so. It was horrible. I like summer, but I don’t celebrate the solstice and I don’t ride my bike or go out in public without clothing. Quite honestly, I am a Thanksgiving girl. I love food and I can’t imagine anything better than cooking and eating with friends all day long. Oh, well, I suppose an entire week of cooking and eating might be better if one could somehow avoid the inevitable tummy trouble, which results from such indulgence.

homemade peppermint candy

The point I am making concerns the holiday that is rapidly approaching. It’s Valentine’s Day. And, for some of you, Valentine’s Day is your day. It’s Thanksgiving for lovers. I get it and I think it’s wonderful. Love is certainly a good thing to celebrate.

homemade peppermint candy

I didn’t decorate my house in hearts or wear a appliqued cupid sweatshirt this week, but I didn’t forget you lovebirds. I made something special for you and the rest of your Valentine’s Day gang. I really hope you like them. They’re pretty. They’re pink and, of course, they are shaped like lovely little hearts. These candy peppermint hearts are sure to induce warm feelings in even the biggest Valentine’s Day crumudgeons. I just know it. They’re smooth and utterly sweet. If you are a candy addict like me, I know you’ll appreciate them.

If Valentines Day isn’t your thing, I understand. You will still enjoy these candies. You can make them for any holiday. Cut them into triangles, shamrocks or stars. They will be delicious any day of the week.

homemade candy recipe

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Peppermint Candy Hearts

2 tblsp. salted butter

2 tblsp. vegetable shortening

3 tblsp. warm water

5 cups sifted confectioners sugar

2 drops of red food color

1/4 tsp. oil of peppermint

Combine butter, shortening, 2 tblsp. warm water and 2 cups of the confectioners sugar in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining sugar and 1 tablespoon warm water. Mix. (You might need to add 1 tablespoon more confectioners sugar if the mixture is not stiff enough to roll out.

Dilute the 2 drops of food coloring in teaspoon of water. Pour the coloring into the sugar mixture and mix until the batter is pink. Add the oil of peppermint. Mix again.

Roll out the dough onto a surface lightly dusted with the confectioners sugar. It should be rolled until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut it into shapes and lay them flat for about 2 hours to dry and form.

Store in an airtight container. The recipe makes about 42 hearts.

Adapted from Homemade Candy

edible gifts holiday lovely list

The Lovely List | Valentine Edition

Hello friends,

It is officially one week until Valentine’s Day.  I do have something delicious and special to share with you tomorrow, but I thought I’d send out a quick list of some of my favorite lovey dovey gifts. Just in time!

I love this card and this folk art card too.

Craft hearts.

Charming DIY garlands here and here.

And, of course, DIY favor bags for your party.

Why not send a needlepoint valentine this year? Or, a crochet one?

I’ve always wanted to wear a crown of hearts in my hair. Or, possibly, an arrow?

Rose gold heart studs. Treat her!

Or, a pretty heart shaped locket?

Excellent chocolates.

Homemade chocolate cupcakes. 

Aren’t the cookies in the photo precious? They are from a gorgeous Scottish wedding.

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