Tag Archives: gifts

Bank Your DIY Holiday Gift Game with..
Beeswax Coconut Candles

One of these days I will finally sort through my reflections from hiking Sahale Arm and seeing a glacier up close, or adventures in the Catskill Mountains of New York, but in the mean time, this:

The days are getting shorter, the weather’s getting crisper early in the morning. School supply ads reign supreme on live television between sports games. Before you know it, it’ll be Fall, and then Winter, and you might find yourself scrambling to put together a gift for that office party exchange, or family get-together where everyone draws a number from a hat. Well..

Do you have lots of leftover expired coconut oil?

No no, I mean LOTS.

Do you have a weakness for collecting empty containers your spouse/housemate/talking cat keeps suggesting you recycle, but perhaps they are the classy-looking “biscuit” tins you brought back from London last November, and they make you nostalgic for your travels to the the land of tea time, so you keep saying you’ll make candles with them?

Primary inspiration from internet research:
I did some other research on soy wax, and paraffin wax and decided beeswax was my preferred option, as I try to avoid ingesting processed soy for myself and paraffin is a petroleum byproduct, so it strikes me as a little odd to be breathing either in. See citations at bottom of post for more. Mad props to my co-conspirator Jillian who balanced out my OCD-craziness with wingin’ it like a boss, plus ensuring I didn’t burn my house down in the process somehow.
Amass your supplies, pioneer!
Amass your supplies, pioneer!

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No Knead Artisan Bread with Dried Fruit

I wanted to give my friends a housewarming gift that would not add to the giant pile of things they just had to move into their new home, so I tried my hand at some rustic, thick crusty bread. I doubled the portions but the bread was a tiny bit wetter than I’d like so I didn’t adjust the portions below for the double portion.

WARNING: this is one of those crazy multi-day recipes. The trade-off with no knead is waiting for the air bubbles and yeast to develop. And no, this was not something I did last night, it’s from Sunday. You know, that day you have time to do crazy things like bake bread..

Originally called:
Cranberry Orange Almond Artisan Bread from Simply So Good

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I did a mix of dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots and golden raisins)
1/2 cup chopped almonds (I used toasted almond slices)
Zest from one orange (I used lemon rind, didn’t have an orange on hand)
1 1/2 cups water  (water does not have to be warm)

 

Mix dry ingredients, add water and mix, cover and wait for ever, then bake!

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Herbed Butter

Some of you may be wondering why there hasn’t been a post in a while. Maybe one of you is wondering what happened with the spiralizer you loaned me, or what I ate on vacation in South America. Ooops, sorry, I’ve been busy seizing life by the throat and shaking it around. I do plan on recapping both those topics soon, but in honor of low maintenance recipes, herbed butter:

From Food52’s “Five Ways to Flavor Your Butter with Fresh Herbs,” I thought I wouldn’t use it a lot since I don’t eat toast much, but this little jar of deliciousness turned out to be a nice bonus to put on roast chicken, a green onion pancake egg sandwich, in a microwaved sweet potato at work, and anything else with a spreadable surface!

I used a tiny jam jar from a great wedding i went to, which was the perfect low commitment trial amount. I highly recommend trying out different flavor combos like in the article until it hits your taste buds just right.

Stick with the basics!
Stick with the basics!

Herbed Butter

Ingredients
2 Tbs unsalted butter
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1Tbs honey
Salt (to taste)

Steps

  1. Set butter out to warm to room temperature.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the thyme, removing stems.
  3. Once butter is warm enough to stir awkwardly, mix in thyme, honey and a dash of salt to taste.
  4. Serve immediately, or store in fridge at eye level for maximum usage.

Gift storage note from Food 52: “To gift or store the butter, dollop the flavored butter down the middle of a sheet of parchment paper. Using a straightedge, form the butter into a cylinder and roll the paper over it so that it keeps its shape. You can store it in the freezer for up to 6 months, slicing off coins of butter as needed.”

Herbed Butter

Today’s Trial Recipe Rating:
Novelty Rating:
 4 of 5 stars.
It’s not a 5 only because i wouldn’t eat it on its own.
Likelihood of Repeat: 75%
prolly going to add this to my repertoire of edible gifts, for those I’m not worried abouy fattening up.
Lesson Learned: Do not underestimate the power of butter. Also: this will be a great way to use the herbs growing in my spring garden while also trimming them to grow bushier.