Sunday, November 12, 2017

Another Edible Gift - Herbal Holiday Cookies

Check out the first post with Tarragon Mustard that also shows all the links for the Gift Card Giveaway.  You can enter the giveaway until Midnight on Wednesday November 22, 2017

This rosy cider simmers for just 10 minutes, making a great choice for drop-in visitors or last-minute parties. Great served with Christmas Cookies.

Rosie Christmas Cider
small orange, halved
teaspoon whole cloves
cups apple cider or apple juice
cups cranberry juice
tablespoon honey
inches stick cinnamon

Push tips of cloves into orange rinds. 
 In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven, combine cider, cranberry juice and honey. Add clove-studded orange halves and stick cinnamon. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard orange halves and cinnamon sticks before serving.

Holiday Spice Cookies
Cookies always take some planning and a bit of effort, but the recipients of these cookie gifts will be grinning all through the holiday.  And the spicy flavor makes them a perfect complement to the Cider recipe above.

Chewy Spice Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 
3 1/4 teaspoons Cinnfull Dessert Blend*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
3/4 cup vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free) 
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar 
1 large egg 
1/2 cup molasses 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1/4 cup granulated sugar 

Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, Cinnful Dessert Blend, baking soda, salt, and pepper. Using an electric mixer, beat the shortening and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in the egg, molasses, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined (do not over mix).  Place the granulated sugar on a plate. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls; roll in the sugar to coat. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Using a glass, press the balls to a ⅜-inch thickness and sprinkle with more granulated sugar.  Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the edges are firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

*Email me at if you want a substitute spice blend for the Cinnful Desert Blend mentioned in the recipe.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Herbal Gifting and Giveaways

I decided to give my guests some holiday cash!  In addition to helping you make some herbal and edible gifts this Christmas, we are kicking off the holiday posts with a gift card giveaway.  Scroll past the recipe to find all the details.  And stop back for more recipes and entry reminders in the coming days.

Make a hand-made mustard and pair it with Herbal Honey for a perfect homemade gift.  They this sophisticated mustard that is very simple to make.

Tarragon Mustard
1/4 cup black mustard seeds
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup dry powdered mustard
3/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Mix mustard seeds, powdered mustard, and water in the upper pan of a lined, glass or stainless steel  double boiler. Let stand at least three hours. In another stainless steel or enamel saucepan, mix the wine, vinegar, tarragon, and allspice and bring to a boil. Strain the liquid into the mustard mixture and blend well.  In the lower pan of the double boiler, heat water to boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer. Place the upper pan, containing the mustard mixture, on top. Cook, stirring, until the mustard is as thick as you like. It will thicken a bit more as it cools. Cover and refrigerate.

Mustard keeps for an extended time, so make ahead and give as a gift, just tell the recipient to keep it refrigerated and bring freshness into their winter cooking.

Now if you do not want to make all your gifts, then check out these great gift cards we are giving away and visit some great blogs in the process!

Enter for your chance to win $300 in gift cards from Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Kohls. There will be 5 winners in all!
We are so excited to be giving away $300 in cash prizes for you to use starting this Thanksgiving weekend. Here are the prizes: 1 - $100 Amazon Gift Card 1 - $75 Target Gift Card 2 - $50 Walmart Gift Card 1 - $25 Kohls Gift Card And a $20 Starbucks gift card as an extra bonus winner!! There will be 6 winners in this giveaway. Each winner will receive a gift card code to use on the online store or in the actual store. Now its time to meet our wonderful co-hosts who have made this giveaway possible.
  Cash for Christmas hostsStarting at the top row we have: Sinea Pies - Ducks 'n a Row, Susan Renker - Culinary Envy, Linda Cassidy - A Labour of Life, Sarah Louderback - Devastate Boredom, Melissa Russo - The Farm Girl Gabs, Monica Geglio - Mommy & Love, Tammy Doiel - Creative K Kids, Kim Purvis - Made in a Day, Meredith Spidel - The Mom of the Year, Audrey Humaciu - That Recipe, Michelle James - Our Crafty Mom, Christine Luken - Your Strong Tower, Kari Carter (Jonard) - Keep it Simple, DIY, Trish Sutton - By Trish Sutton, Marie Dabbs - The Inspiration Vault, Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh - Backyard Patch Herbal Blog, Carrie Albrecht - Curly Crafty Mom, Whitney Johnson - Beauty, Baby, and a Budget, Lauren Becker - Shooting Stars Mag, Lauren Kim - Mom Home Guide, Leslie Clingan - Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After, Carol Bray - The Red Painted Cottage, Emily Fish - Domestic Deadline, Kenyatta Harris - My Design Rules, Dana Lardner - Goods Giving Back & How In The World, Habiba Elkaihel - Craftify My Love, Tammy Adams - My Life Abundant, Pam Lamore - P.S. I Love You Crafts  Erlene Amat - My Pinterventures

 Please stop by and say hi to these wonderful ladies and their blogs. The giveaway will end midnight on Wednesday, November 22nd, the night before Thanksgiving. You will have 48 hours to respond to the email claiming the prize. If you respond right away, we will get you the gift card code promptly so that you can shop with it on Black Friday! If we don't hear in 48 hours, we will choose another winner. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Brown Sugar Body Scrub - Bath Blend of the Month

Body scrubs are a great way to protect your skin form moisture loss and give it a smooth and wonderful feel.  This sweet smelling body scrub will leave you with silky smooth skin!

Brown Sugar and Vanilla Body Scrub 

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ + 3 Tbls sunflower oil
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Blend sugars together in a bowl, add oil and vanilla.  Mix well.  Place in an old fashioned canning or jelly jar and wrap up as a gift!

To Use: scoop out two fingers worth and massage into skin.  Be careful as the oil can make the tub slippery.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Whipped Herbal Honey Butter - Weekend Recipe

One of my favorite meal items when I eat out is the mini loaf of wheat bread and butter you get at the Outback Restaurant.  I do not go out there very often however, so I found a way to make a honeyed butter with herbs that is an improvement on that sweet restaurant treat so I do not have to wait until my next birthday to have some.

Herbal Honey Whipped Butter

¼ cup honey
1 Tbls. finely minced fresh herbs (like lavender, rosemary, marjoram or lemon thyme)
½ cup unsalted butter, softened

Heat the honey in the microwave until just warm (about 30 to 454 seconds.)  Stir in the herbs, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.  Skim the herbs from the top and discard.  Bring honey to room temperature and whip for 1 minute with a hand held mixer set at medium speed.  Add butter and mix 30 seconds more until mixture is light and creamy.

Because honey has a great shelf life and anti-bacterial qualities, you can store this covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  It should always be served at room temperature for best flavor.

What can you use whipped butter on?

  • ·         Savory whipped butter can be piped onto dishes to make your food look extra fancy. Garnish foods with savory whipped butter directly before serving to preserve your pretty presentation,
    ·         While savory whipped butter is best the same day made, it can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator until it's time to serve.
    ·         You can pair savory whipped butter with dessert! A chili-infused whipped butter, for instance, would pair nicely with brownies, and a basil-lemon flavored whipped butter would be a delight with a lemon tart.
    ·         Chives, thyme, sage, and rosemary make a fantastic pairing as a steak or meat topping.
    ·         Use a bit of mustard in the butter instead of honey and you make a fantastic butter for sandwiches and burgers (as a bonus, it's tasty for dipping fries, chips, or pretzels, too),
    ·         Add a savory whipped butter to spicy soup such as gazpacho
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