Holiday Bread Jars

Homemade Holiday Bread in a Jar

My friend Mary and I love giving home-baked gifts. And since she is an amazing chef, I asked her to help me come up with one we could bake in jars and mail to friends. She created this amazing recipe for holiday bread!

Ingredients:

  • 8 8-oz Ball jars
  • 2c flour
  • 1-½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¹⁄₈ tsp nutmeg
  • 1c buttermilk
  • 1c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1c peeled, diced apple
  • ½ c dried cherries (you can substitute raisins or craisins)
  • 1c chocolate chips

Instructions:

Recipe & ButtermilkChop ApplesZest over bowlWhish wet and dry ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease Ball jars.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sugar, eggs, oil, zest, and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry mix. Give three good stirs (should be about half-way mixed) and add apples, cherries, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine. [Don’t overmix! It’ll make it tough.]
  5. Fill jars about ⅔ full. Bake 35min or until done.
  6. Cool completely. If they’ve overflowed, scrape off a bit so you can put the glaze and lid on (and taste it ;))!
  7. Then spoon 1 tbs of the glaze* on each and top with sprinkles (optional).
  8. Package them up pretty and send away 😀

*Glaze: Mix 1c powdered sugar with 1 tbs orange juice (from the one you just zested!).

Put into ovenCook 35 minutes or until donePour on glazeAdd sprinkles

I hope you’re enjoying my Handmade Holiday Blogathon! Feel free to share your favorite handmade gifts/recipes/tutorials, too :)

Fabric Button Ornaments

Mini tree with Fabric Button Ornaments

Here’s a little tutorial to make some adorable button ornaments!

First, cut fabric of your choice (consider a theme for your tree as you go) and use a button maker to make your fabric buttons.

Add ribbon to fabric button ornament

Then attach coordinating ribbon or a wire hook to the back of the button.

Lastly, hang on your tree and admire your work!

Fabric Button Ornaments hanging on treeFabric Button Ornaments hanging on tree

Handmade Gifts: Ideas

Here are some ideas for gifts to make and give this holiday season :) [Click the photo to go to the tutorial!]

Holiday baked goods: Cookies, brownies, bread…it’s all golden! Just make sure to package it beautifully :) [I’ll be uploading a delicious holiday bread recipe later today!]
Easy Gingerbread Friends Recipe
Mixes in a jar. Layer dry ingredients for cookies, soups, bread, etc. in a Mason jar. Attach the recipe with a ribbon and a handmade card. Add a wooden spoon or measuring spoon for an extra touch. It’s a great, old-fashioned gift!
Cowgirl Cookies
Terrariums in vintage containers (or ornaments!). A little plant brightens up any room :)
terrarium party favorsterrarium ornaments
Reusable fabric shopping bags. Everyone goes grocery shopping – why not spread the environmentally-friendly love? Choose interesting fabrics, or upcycle old cloth into useful bags!
Quick fix grocery bag :: a tutorial
Accessories. A girl can always use an extra headband, bracelet, scarf, or ring. (At least I think so ;)) Whip up a little cutie for each of your friends!tutorial: fabric flower ring

Peppermint Marshmallows

Ever seen those fancy square marshmallows in a little boutique? They look fabulously delicious, but it’s hard to swallow the $20 price tag for one mug’s worth. So we decided to make our own :)

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

…It was a bizarre experience. My friend Mary (chef extraordinaire) and I modified the Toasted Coconut Marshmallow recipe found on the Food Network to make these awesome peppermint marshmallows!

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup ground peppermint candies
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Tools:

  • Electric mixer with whisk attachment
  • Candy thermometer
  • 8×12″ non-metal pan
  • Food processor (you can do this by hand, but it’s harder that way)
  • Measuring cups, mixing bowl, saucepan, mixing utensils

Grind peppermint candiesPour syrup into gelatinMix on high until thick and fluffy!"Pour" into pan

Instructions:

  1. Finely grind peppermint candies in a food processor. Then line an 8×12″ pan with parchment paper and grease. (Or you can do this during step 3.)
  2. Combine gelatin and ½ cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Allow to sit while you make the syrup.
  3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240˚F on a candy thermometer (will take several minutes). Remove from heat.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 8-10 minutes (really neat to watch!). Add the peppermint extract and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour* the marshmallow batter into the pan and smooth. Sprinkle the peppermint candy on top. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight.
  6. Remove the marshmallows on the parchment paper from the pan. Use kitchen shears to cut into squares (I suggest cutting through the parchment paper, then peeling off). Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Add to a mug of hot cocoa and enjoy with friends! :)

Marhsmallows is sticky stuffsSprinkle peppermintMarshmallow CuttingCoat in powdered sugar

*I don’t know how other people do it, but for us the “pour the marshmallow batter” step did not go smoothly. That stuff is sticky! However, it was really fun, and I recommend it if you don’t mind getting a little messy!

Keep checking all day for more tutorials on my Handmade Holiday Blogathon!

Make a Wreath

There are so many unique, beautiful, awesome wreaths out there! The best part about making your own wreath is that you can make it however you want. Choose your colors and theme, and you can change it throughout the seasons, too.

You could make a cork wreath with this tutorial by saveoncraftsCork Wreath

There is the ever-beautiful yarn-wrapped wreath (make, buy, argyle =  awesome)Antarctica Yarn WreathChalet - Handmade Yarn WreathArgyle Yarn Wreath

Learn how to make a tie wreath on Good Housekeeping.Tie Wreath

Make a button wreath with this tutorial Button Wreath Tut 13Button Wreath Complete

How about a gumdrop button wreath? (“Not my gumdrop buttons!”) Instructions here Gumdrop Button Wreath

Or you could make a cardboard wreath like ours 😀Cardboard Christmas Wreath

Have you made one? Leave a link with your image/post – I’d love to see :)

Monday Mix-Up

This post brought to you by my husband’s computer! Thank you, Alex, for letting me use your computer while you try to fix mine, you wonderful man.

Since my computer (and the photos on it) are down for the count, my planned weekend wrap-up post is postponed for the time being. Instead I’m going to share with you some beautiful tutorials I’ve come across! [Click on the image to go straight to the tutorial.]

Learn how to make a huge paper flower on 100 Layer Cake:DIY paper flowers by Brittany

Then Heather Said shows you how to make vintage style earrings from buttons:Button Craft: Vintage Styled Earrings

Learn how to make “alchemy bookends” on Design*Sponge:diy project: halligan’s alchemy bookends

Want to create an upside-down book shelf? Check out the DIY on Instructables:Inverted Bookshelf

Make adorable paper pom-poms on Nice Package:DIY: Paper Pom Pom Gift Toppers

So many fun tutorials! And with the holidays fast approaching, there are so many I want to try :) And I’m preparing some of my own for a secret project. I can’t wait to show you all!!!

. . .

[SPOILER ALERT!] Okay, I hate keeping secrets. I’m planning a holiday blog party, complete with tutorials, inspiration, advice, and more! 😀 If you’d like to contribute, please contact me. I’m so excited already!

Strawberry Mint Lemonade

It’s still frothy from the blender. And it’s YUM.

Strawberry Mint Lemonade:

  1. Pour lemonade (I used this whole jar) in blender.
  2. Add 8-12 fresh strawberries, leaves removed.
  3. Add leaves from 3-5 sprigs of mint.
  4. Puree until smooth.
  5. Drink your tasty, tasty treat!

This is seriously my new favorite drink. LOVE it.

Sew YOU! Sneak Peek #1

Happy Monday :)
Here’s a sneak peek of two projects I’m perfecting for Craft Academy‘s Fall Semester!

(I’m not going to tell you what they are – yet!)

Sew You 101 will consist of a series of sewing projects that become more complex as your skills grow. I’ll be teaching valuable sewing skills all semester long! Stay tuned to learn more!

Remember: Registration opens August 8th!