Category Archives: Homemade Gifts

Maddie’s Dog Biscuits with Peanut Butter and Pumpkin

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A few weeks ago, we had a birthday in the family… A doggy birthday! My furry nephew (an adorable chocolate lab named Chester) turned one year old.

Of course, Maddie and I had to whip up something for the birthday boy. She is becoming a great helper in the kitchen, so I put her to work. She helped to mix up the dough, rolled out treats, and helped to cut out bone shapes with the cookie cutter. Continue Reading

How to Make Tea Bag Cookie Favors

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Today I thought I’d share a quick cookie tutorial with you… Sound like fun? I thought so!

I am all about tea these days. Sure, I still drink the occasional cup of coffee (or, in my case, it’s more often a latte), but I’m obsessed with tea. My current favorite is a coconut chai tea with just a bit of honey and a splash of milk (when I feel like indulging).

Now I want a cup of tea… Back to the cookies.

I was thrilled to be a part of a tea party bridal shower for one of my best friends who is getting married this fall.  Naturally, I offered to bring cookies to the shower.  I did some tea cup and tea pot cookies (of course… I’ll show some of those another day), but my favorites were these little tea bag cookies that we used as favors. We put one cookie in the tea cup at each place setting at the shower. How fun is that?

They’re super easy to make, too… Here’s what I did! Continue Reading

Spiced Cranberry Apple Preserves

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When we moved into our house over eight years ago, my husband and I planted a small apple tree. We were new homeowners and knew very little about gardening. We did, however, love  the idea of having fresh apples in our back yard.  So, when we were at the local hardware store and spotted the cute little dwarf macintosh apple trees all lined up, we had to have one.

Fast forward to the present. Our tiny sapling of a tree is now a full fledged apple tree full of apples. (Granted, it is a dwarf apple tree, so it’s not huge.) They always say that the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago, right? There may be some truth to that saying.

In years past, the apples were very small and rotted or fell to the ground before we ever had a chance to pick them. This year, though, the tree was full of apples. So, on a sunny Saturday morning a few weeks ago, we headed out to the back yard to pick some apples.

I was just hoping for a handful of apples to make a pie, or perhaps an apple crisp.  We got to picking and having a good time (the kiddo LOVES to pick apples), and pretty soon we had two giant baskets full of apples. I didn’t weigh them, but I think there were 30 pounds of apples. Continue Reading

Baby Texan Cookies (A Shower for Amber!)

Hey y’all…. It’s (virtual) baby shower time! And, this is not just any baby shower. This is a Texas-themed baby shower for Amber!

You know Amber, right? If you don’t, you should. She is the fabulous blogger behind Bluebonnets & Brownies.  And, (more importantly) she is also a great friend of mine! We met at the very first Big Summer Potluck over three years ago, and we were fast friends.

Amber is the authority on Tex-Mex food (don’t mess with her breakfast tacos, people), and she’s an amazing baker. If you’re not already familiar with her Movie Theatre Cookies, please go check them out ASAP. And, don’t bother with a single batch… You’ll want two. At least. Thank me later.

In addition to our love of food, Amber and I connected on a more personal level a few years ago as we were both struggling with fertility issues. We’ve both had our ups and downs in the last few years, and I’m so grateful that I have had Amber by my side along the way.  She’s one of the most encouraging and supportive people I know. She was there for me after my major abdominal surgery two years ago when I was told by numerous doctors that my severe endometriosis left me with little chance of ever having children. And, she celebrated with me when I found out that we were miraciously expecting a sweet baby girl last year. Though we lives miles and miles from each other, she is one of my closest friends!

So, now that Amber and her hubby James (the Brit) are expecting a sweet little boy in October, I am so thrilled to be celebrating with them. I understand the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy after waiting and praying for years. And, I know how exciting it is to finally set up a nursery and celebrate with friends and family when you thought that you probably never would.

Of course, I am not the only one who loves Amber and wanted to celebrate with her! As soon as we heard that Amber was expecting, Tracy, Jamie, and I started plans for a virtual baby shower since we knew we wouldn’t all be able to celebrate with her in person. When we sent out the shower “invites” via email, we immediately had lots of excited responses. It turns out that a lot of people were just as excited as we were to celebrate the baby on the way.

Amber, today is your day… We are all overjoyed to help you welcome your sweet little EJ! Congratulations!! Continue Reading

Peppermint Marshmallows (WFMW)

Still looking for a last minute homemade gift idea? I’ve got you covered!

Ever since I tried making these chocolate marshmallow bunnies from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles for Easter, I’ve wanted to make them again. If you’re tried making homemade marshmallows before, you know what I’m talking about.  And, if you haven’t made homemade marshmallows, take my word for it and give them a try.  They are nothing (I repeat nothing!) like the chalky and spongy things you find at the grocery store.  They are perfectly fluffy and light… And, they are pretty addictive.

I have always been a peppermint fan, and I especially love peppermint treats for Christmas.  If you pair the peppermint with some chocolate, I am a happy girl. I’d been thinking about making some homemade cocoa mix, and I knew I’d need some marshmallows to go with it.  So, naturally, I decided to make some peppermint marshmallows. Of course, I haven’t yet gotten around to making the cocoa mix.  But, the marshmallows are fabulous on their own. Dipped in dark chocolate, they are a lot like a fluffy version of a peppermint patty.

You can easily make a big batch of these marshmallows in one afternoon… And, most of that time is just letting the marshmallows cool and set up in a pan on the counter (i.e. you can also be wrapping presents, cleaning the house, etc.).  I’d just recommend that you package them up as soon as possible after making them.  Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of snacking on them and not having any left for gifts! Not that I would have any experience with that…

works for me wednesday at we are that family Continue Reading