Monday, December 16, 2013

Last minute Make-at-Home Herb Gifts

Every year in this season, I post items on making your own gifts.  I think it is simple, easy and fun and gives you a great sense of accomplishment.  This year, I am making Tea Breads for those I care about!

In previous Advent Calendars I have posted recipes for making soups in jars and bath sachets and such.  (To check out the previous years of calendars, see my website.)  I also had a Gift Making Series a year or so ago that featured a few items to try:

Cinnamon Hot Pads 

Bath Sachets and lip balms

Quick and easy gifts (perfect for the last minutes!)

Gifts for Birds (outdoor birds!)

Try these quick gifts ideas too!

Sleep pillows
Gather equal portions of dried lavender, hops and rosemary. Grind the rosemary to release scent. Place inside a small muslin bag and secure firmly. You can add a few drops of lavender essential oil if you wish before securing the bag. The muslin bag can be placed inside a cotton case if desired. Place this sleep bag either on or under the pillow to aid sleep. It can also be used when travelling to aid sleep in a strange bed.

Scent bags
Fill a small muslin or organza bag with your herb of choice – lavender (soothing), rose petals (uplifting), lemon balm and marjoram (soothing), mugwort (to aid dreaming), pennyroyal (to deter insects).

Chocolate Spoons
Chocolate is an herb and I do not get the opportunity to suggest using it as often as I could, so here is a quick give you can make at home and enjoy the calorie free scent while you do it!

 Place a bundle of chocolate spoons set in a coffee mug makes a nice gift.  Tie a few spoons to a bag of gourmet coffee beans for a coffee loving friend (I have more of these friends than tea friends I am sad to say!) Or just keep the spoons on hand during the holidays to use when serving drinks to your visitors. They are great with a hot chocolate mix too!

Chocolate Spoons

§  12 ounce package of chocolate chips. You may use semi-sweet, white chocolate, raspberry flavored, or any other kind of baking chip of your choice.
§  40 heavy plastic spoons
§  Shortening
§  Deep glass measuring cup
§  Colored cellophane or Saran Wrap
§  Waxed paper
1.   Pour the chips into a heatproof container, such as a measuring cup. A deep cup is the best for this project.
2.   Microwave the cup of chips at half power for one minute. Stir. Repeat in 30 second bursts until chocolate is smooth and fully melted, but do NOT overcook.
3.   Add to the melted chocolate one teaspoon of shortening for each cup of chips. Stir lightly until just blended.
4.   Dip plastic spoons into the chocolate to coat the bowl and about one inch of the handle. If the chocolate starts to harden, microwave 30 seconds at half power.
5.   Lay spoons on wax paper to set, resting on the handle of a wooden spoon.. When chocolate spoons have set, put them in the freezer for 15 minutes. This makes them easier to handle when you start to wrap them.
6.   Take squares of colored cellophane and wrap the coated spoons. Tie with a pretty ribbon.
7.   Once you have mastered the basic technique, you can experiment! Try drizzling streaks of white chocolate over dipped spoons to create a design. Sprinkle colored sugar on chocolate before it sets for a holiday look.


  1. I've made the chocolate spoons several times in the past. They do make great gifts along with some coffee mugs, bags of coffee and homemade cookies or biscotti. Kids like to use the spoons in their hot cocoa for an extra bit of chocolate yumminess.

  2. I think the double decadence of Chocolate in Chocolate would be divine!


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