Whether it's your world famous fudge or a special seasoning blend that everyone requests, the gifts that come from our kitchens are some of the best and most thoughtful ways to remember special folks at this time of year. We're already thinking about what we'll make this year...how about you?
We'd love to know...
What are your favorite GIFTS FROM THE KITCHEN?
Share 'em all in today's Recipe Round-Up!
This recipe was published in our cookbook, 101 Christmas Recipes, and Paula (below) is right...once you start snacking on these, you won't want to stop!
Spiced Christmas Cashews
Paula Marchesi from Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania shared this recipe with us. She writes, "Sweet, salty, crunchy and oh-so snackable! Everybody raves about them. I often make 10 to 12 batches for holiday gifts...maybe more!"
Whisk together egg white and water in a large bowl. Add cashews; toss to coat. Transfer to a colander; drain for 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and spices; add cashews and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a greased 15"x10" jelly-roll pan. Bake at 250 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, stirring once. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 3-1/2 cups.
Ready to add your own GIFTS FROM THE KITCHEN?
See below to join the party and, if you're sharing this hop on your
own blog, link back here with button below.
Just click here to get the code.
Be sure to visit some new friends this week and VOTE for your favorites by clicking Like under their entries...we'll feature the recipes with the most likes on Sunday!
Even if you don't have a blog to link below, tell us about YOUR recipe in the comments or, if you have a moment, share it with us on our website!
Want to save this collection for later?
Pin it with this handy image!
Want to share these recipes with a friend? Use the buttons below!
Two Fridays in a row with Free Goodies?
We didn't think you'd mind...especially at this time of year when wrapping presents is bound to be on your to-do list!
Click below to download our new set of Christmas Gift Tags!
Share these goodies with a friend!
As the holidays draw closer, we know we'll be spending at least a few days baking up goodies to share with family, friends and folks who've been extra nice all year long. Maybe you have the same plans, or are headed to a cookie swap this year? If so, this week's Cookbook of the Week couldn't have come at a better time.
Say hello to...
Let's take a look at the chapters inside...
When we were gathering all of our favorite cookie recipes from cooks just like you, we wanted to make sure we covered all of your favorite types of treats - Frost-Kissed Cut-Outs, Razzle-Dazzle Drop Cookies, and A Blizzard of Bar Cookies.
We also selected some of those picture perfect ones that you save for the most special folks...you'll find those in the chapter called Sugar-Plum Perfect Cookies.
When creating Christmas Cookies, we aimed to include recipes for every skill level and for folks who don't have hours to spend on cookies, but still want to whip something quick to share. You'll find these in the chapter called Snow Kidding...it's filled with cookies that are so quick, you won't believe it!
Candy Cane Lane covers sweet confections and Very Merry Mixes features gifts for giving...they'll bake up fresh goodies and think of YOU! These chapters are both filled with terrific ideas for teachers and coaches...you'll be all set!
Here's a quickie recipe that starts with a mix...
maybe it'll ease you into the baking mood!
This black-forest inspired recipe was shared with us by Maylene Anderson of Webster City, Iowa. She writes, "What could possibly be better than chocolate and cherries? Make these bars to share with friends, but keep a few for yourself too!"
18-1/2 oz. pkg. devil’s food cake mix
21-oz. can cherry pie filling
1 t. almond extract
Mix together all ingredients; spread in a greased 13"x9" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 35 minutes, until top springs back when touched. Spread with Chocolate Frosting while still warm; cut into bars. Makes 2-1/2 to 3 dozen.
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. milk
5 T. margarine
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine sugar, milk and margarine in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips until melted.
When you're all ready to give some treats to share,
Christmas Cookies has some finishing touches to make
your packages extra special: GIFT TAGS!
There are a few at the end of each chapter...
click the images above to view them larger!
Ready to add Christmas Cookies to your collection?
Click the button below!
Ever wondered if you have THIS cookbook or THAT one?
With so many Gooseberry Patch titles available,
it can be a challenge...but kinda fun too, right?
Well, if you've ever found yourself in this happy predicament,
today's Friday Free Goodie is for YOU!
It's also pretty handy if you want to leave
oh-so-subtle gift suggestions at this time of year!
Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Collectors Checklist
Oh, and if you've downloaded this checklist before,
you might want to treat yourself to a NEW copy.
This one includes all of our newest titles and
has been updated with our Classics and
Country Friends series too!
Share this free goodie with a friend!
If you're one of those early shoppers who like to wrap it ALL up before Thanksgiving, today's post will come at the perfect time!
We created these tags as a free download...print them onto cardstock
and cut them out to add a little Gooseberry Patch charm
to your loved ones' gifts this year.
Even if you haven't started shopping yet (guilty!) these make great additions
to homemade gifts or treats that you'll be sharing
with teachers, neighbors and friends.
Print 'em out and keep with your wrapping paper
or in the kitchen and you'll be ready!
We like to wait until after Thanksgiving to really start decorating or celebrating the Christmas season, although we recently found out on our Page on Facebook that some of you feel differently. We will gladly suspend this rule when giving homemade gifts is part of our holiday plan. In that case, it's always best to start thinking early, right?
This kind of early planning was what we had in mind when we selected this week's Cookbook of the Week to share with you. Even if you won't start making gifts until December, we're hoping to get you thinking and inspire your creativity with...
The sequel to our cookbook, Gifts for Giving, this cookbook is filled with a wide variety of recipes...those that you'll enjoy warm from the oven, plenty to wrap up and give later and even a few that aren't for eating at all!
Let's take a look at the chapters inside...
Each chapter inside is home to a different kind of recipes. In More Gifts for Giving, you'll find everything from the sweets & treats we all love to give (and receive!) to the savory snacks, spreads and seasonings that make tasty gifts at the holidays or any time of year.
In addition to the yummy recipes in each chapter, you'll find lots of quickie tips (45 extra ideas in all!) on the chapter pages too...they look just like the table of contents above with tips sprinkled all around. These are in addition to the tips on every page that we always include.
Many of the page-by-page tips apply to any gift but, as you'll see below, lots of them are geared toward giving the recipe that's on the page. We're aiming to make giving homemade goodies easier than ever!
Here's one from the Soups & Snacks chapter...so tasty any time of year.
Tortilla Soup Mix in a Jar
2 T. chicken bouillon granules
1 t. lemon pepper
1 t. dried cilantro
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. dried, minced onion
1 c. long-grain rice, uncooked
2 to 2-1/2 c. tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
5-oz. can chicken
10-oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a plastic zipping bag; set aside. Layer rice in a wide-mouth, one-quart jar; pack seasoning bag on top. Fill remaining jar with crushed tortilla chips, packing gently; secure lid. Tape can of chicken to the top of the jar, if desired. Tie jar of mix to the can of diced tomatoes; attach instructions.
Place tortilla chips in a small bowl; set aside. Remove seasoning packet; set aside. Add rice to a stockpot; stir in 10 cups water. Mix in chicken and tomatoes with chiles and seasoning packet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes. Add tortilla chips; cover and simmer 5 additional minutes. Spoon into bowls while hot. Makes 3 quarts.
Tuck this soup mix, the can of chicken and the can of tomatoes into a basket lined with a festive towel. Add a jar of your homemade (or storebought) salsa and a bag of tortilla chips for scooping and you're ready to give this meal to anyone on your list!
So, with hundreds of geared-for-giving recipes, the 250+ tips & ideas and tons of inspiring illustrations to get you started, what ELSE could we include in More Gifts for Giving?
Gift tags, of course!
At the end of every chapter in the book, and scattered throught the book as well, you'll find two pages of gift tags that you can copy and embellish for YOUR holiday gifts for giving this year!
Click below to get a look at a few of these pages...lots more inside the book.
Stay tuned all week long for lots more goodies from our Cookbook of the Week...join us on our Page on Facebook and you won't miss a single one!
Ready to add More Gifts for Giving to your collection?
Click the button below!
This week's Cookbook of the Week, Recipes for Warming Hearts, is filled
with delicious dishes that are will not only delight your family but they make
great gifts to deliver to a friend who could use a pick-me-up.
We all have our go-to recipe that we always drop off with a new mom or
send to a loved one who's under the weather. Maybe you have a favorite
goodie to make for teachers or coaches to say thanks...those are the
recipes we're rounding up this week!
What's YOUR favorite recipe to MAKE & GIVE?
Share 'em all in today's Recipe Round-Up!
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Popcorn
A yummy pick-me-up for a good friend...deliver with a new book or magazine for an extra-special treat!
In a very large bowl, mix popcorn, cereal and peanuts; set aside. Combine chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes until melted, stirring after every minute. Pour over popcorn mixture, tossing to coat well. Spread onto a large greased non-stick baking sheet; cool completely. Break apart; store in an airtight container up to 5 days. Makes about 20 to 22 cups.
Here's a delightful way to deliver Chocolate & Peanut Butter popcorn. Cut a “window” from a lunch bag using a cookie cutter as the stencil. Glue a square of cellophane inside the bag over the cut-out, then place a plastic zipping bag filled with popcorn inside!
Link up your recipes to MAKE & GIVE b elow
and, if you're joining this hop, link back
here by using the handy button below.
Want to add this hop to your OWN blog?
Be our guest...just click here to get the code.
Want to share these recipes with a friend? Use the buttons below!
When we created this week's Cookbook of the Week, we were on the search for recipes that are perfect for sharing, crafts to make & give as thoughtful gifts and all of our best ideas for being thoughtful, thankful and just plain nice to friends & family.
We know you'll be inspired by...
While it's a little different than our usual featured titles - it comes in a smaller, perfect-for-giving size! - once you have it in your collection, you're sure to find many times throughout the year to put it to use.
Let's take a look at what's inside...
With three sections of recipes and another filled with crafts, there's no shortage of goodies to make. Sprinkled in between sections, you'll find inspiring stories of unexpected kindness, quotes to brighten your day and some very handy collections of tips.
Click the image below to see a few of these pages up close.
Here's a crafty recipe from inside the book. Gather your pals together for a girls’ night in and mix up a batch...it's a sure-fire way to lift everyone's spirits!
Pepperminty Lip Balm
So cool and refreshing, everyone on your list will want some!
In a double boiler, melt almond oil, honey and beeswax together. Remove from heat, allowing mixture to cool slightly. Add vitamin E and peppermint oils; stir until well blended. Spoon into pots and allow to cool before covering. Makes 8 pots.
For even more recipes from this little book,
visit some of our Early Bird Reviewers and
see what they cooked up!
Ready to add Recipes for Warming Hearts to your collection?
Click the button below!
This speedy craft might be one of our quickest yet and it makes a great gift for almost any occasion. Who knew you could use a simple glass-front frame as a memo board?
Dress it up with vintage fabric or change out the paper season-
ally...this craft is all about personalization. It's a great way to share an encouraging word or just a smile every day!
Find it in our book, Recipes for Warming Hearts.
Wipe-Off Memo Board
One more way to personalize...use a purchased vinyl decal to add a monogram or favorite quote! Look for them at the craft store.
Trim paper to fit frame. Use vinyl decal to personalize, if desired. Place paper in frame. To use, stand memo board on an easel, or attach four magnets with a hot-glue gun and hang on the refrigerator. Write on glass front with dry-erase maker; wipe off with a soft cloth.
Want to share this fun idea with a friend or print it out for later?
Click the buttons below!
Potlucks, carry-ins and church socials...these little labels will come in handy the next time you take a covered dish to any gathering! Download from Scribd and print on a sheet of sticker paper or onto these labels and not only will your recipe taste delicious, it'll look extra cute too!
You could even print 'em on cardstock and they'd make great gift tags for your homemade goodies any time of year. Punch a hole in the corner and tie on with a little raffia or ribbon and it'll be all set to give!
Share these free goodies with a friend...just click the buttons below!
Just in time, here's a great little project that you can whip up in
an afternoon to treat a sweet friend. Just start with a basket,
a cloth napkin and some goodies from your kitchen & craft room.
You won't believe how easy it is to make a...
Berry Sweet Basket!
Baskets are one of our favorite things to find just a dollar or two. We've found them at the flea market, the craft store, garage sales and even the thrift shop. Add a coat of creamy white paint and they're ready to be filled!
Next you'll need to whip up the liner. This one starts with a cloth napkin, one of our favorite craft supplies to keep on hand. What's that? You don't consider cloth napkins craft supplies? Well, after today, you just might change your mind.
They're perfect for lining baskets, obviously, but they're also perfect for gift-wrapping a homemade goodie from the kitchen. Cut them down to size and they're great for jar toppers. You can embroider an initial on the corner of a few for a personal and super-easy housewarming or hostess gift...really, the possibilities are endless. We LOVE finding these (and stocking up!) during the end-of-season clearance sales. Keep an eye out for them!
If you're feeling really crafty, you could whip up some homemade cloth napkins with some linen or heavy cotton from the fabric store. They're easy to finish with a simple rolled hem around the edge. We like to buy them already finished though, whenever they're on sale. They're so very handy...heck, you can even use them at the dinnertable!
Below, you'll find the easy instructions dressing up a humble cloth napkin, just like the one shown in the photo above...
Berry Basket Liner
Trace strawberry and stem onto tissue paper and cut out templates. You can also use transfer paper, found in the notions section of the craft store. Follow the instructions for its use from the manufacturer. Using templates, cut strawberry from red felt and stem from green felt. Pin embroidery patterns to felt shapes and then pin shapes into place on napkin. Sewing through all layers, embrioder design using 2 strands of floss in coordinating colors. Tear off tissue paper once embroidery is complete. Using 6 strands of floss, work chain stitches along hemline or 1/2" from edge on napkin.
Need a refresher course on your embroidery stitches?
Click the images below to view them larger...
they'll help get you started!
Now, how about some jam to pack inside? With just four ingredients, it doesn't get much easier than this recipe!
4 c. sugar
2 c. strawberries, hulled and crushed
1-3/4 oz. pkg. powdered pectin
3/4 c. water
Combine sugar and strawberries in a large mixing bowl; set aside. Whisk pectin and water together in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for one minute; remove from heat. Pour pectin mixture over fruit mixture' stir until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Spoon into jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace; secure lids. Allow to stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store jars in freezer up to one year and opened jars in refrigerator for one month. Makes about 5 cups.
Add a sweet little fabric square to the top of the jar, tie it with ribbon and add it to the basket and it's ready to give.
They'll never know how easy it was to create...they'll just know that they're loved!
You'll find this project in our crafty booklet,
It's just ONE of 15 fun and easy projects inside, all perfect for gifts or just to treat yourself. Pick up a copy today by clicking the big red button!
Stack buttons together and glue to secure. Once dry, glue a paperclip to the back of your button stack and allow to dry. Cut a circle of felt just slightly larger than the bottom button in the stack, or at least large enough to cover the paperclip. Glue in place. We used pinking shears to cut out our felt scrap...gives it a fun edge, doesn't it?
Have fun making these easy little goodies...heck, they're so easy, maybe you'll whip a few up and give them as gifts too!
You can find this project and over 20 others in our craft book, Fun-to-Fashion Jewelry. Add it to your collection and you're sure to be inspired.
Share this project any way you like, using the buttons below.
Vanilla-Brown Sugar Scrub
You can find this recipe in our book, Recipes for Kindness. Made from grocery-store ingredients, this scrub will leave skin smooth and glowing...add a drizzle of honey for extra moisturizing!
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sweet almond oil
2 vitamin E capsules
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Combine brown sugar and almond oil in a mixing bowl. Pierce capsules with a knife or cut in half with kitchen scissors. Empty oil into sugar mixture and discard capsules. Add vanilla and stir well to combine. Store in an airtight container. Makes about one cup.
Pour into a jar with a rubber seal, add the label below
and surprise someone special!
To save, just click the image above. When it opens in a new window, right-click (or control-click) on the image and Save As a file name you'll remember. Open the image from your desktop, or wherever you choose to save it, and print.
It'll look lovely attached to the top of your jar before giving the scrub...add a little ribbon and it makes a great gift tag too!
Share this gifty goodie with all your friends...just click the buttons below!
Though the birds are chirping and the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds, the calendar says it's still winter. But that won't stop us from thinking spring! Since March is National Craft Month, we're sharing a springtime recipe with a crafty spin.
Springtime Pea Soup Mix
From our book, Seasons for Sharing.
16-oz. pkg. split green peas
16-oz. pkg. dried lentils
16-oz. pkg. pearled barley
2 c. elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 c. dried, minced onion
1/2 c. celery flakes
1/2 c. dried parsley
2 t. white pepper
1-1/2 t. dried thyme
Combine all ingredients together; spoon into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Makes 10 cups.
Attach instructions below when giving.
Combine one cup soup mix with 4 cups seasoned chicken broth; add one cup cooked chicken, if desired. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until peas are tender, about 45 to 60 minutes. Serves 4.
Pass out jars of Springtime Pea Soup Mix to your friends and watch how their smiles blossom! For the prettiest packaging, use decoupage medium to attach a vintage-style pea seed packet to the front of a quart jar. Use thin ribbon to tie the instructions to the jar lid..how pretty!
Want to pass this along to a friend? Click a button below to share!
To celebrate this week's Cookbook of the Week, we're sharing a week full of FREE goodies inspired by 101 Cupcake, Cookie & Brownie Recipes.
Today, you'll get the Gooseberry Patch Sweet Shoppe Gift Tags, ready to print from right here or you can click download to save them to your computer and print later. Enjoy!
Want to share these tags with someone sweet? You know what to do...
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, today's Friday Fun post features a project perfect to surprise Mom, sisters and best friends...anyone who's been extra sweet to YOU!
This idea originally appeared in our crafty booklet, Homemade Gifts from the Heart, as a thank you gift but its shape is just right for a sweetheart you know.
Want to get crafty?
Whip up a Sweetheart Ribbon Wreath!
Below, you'll find easy instructions to make one of your own, plus a cookie recipe you can use for the treats. It'd be just as sweet to fill the little bags with jelly beans, conversation hearts or chocolate kisses too!
To make the wreath:
You'll need to choose...
Tear each fabric piece into about twenty-four 1-1/2" x 6" lengths. Next, cut each ribbon into twenty-four 6" lengths.
Tie the fabric and ribbon lengths around the wire wreath. Next, use the 1/4" wide ribbon to tie small cellophane bags of cookies or treats onto the wreath. Lastly, add a ribbon hanger to the top of the wreath. That's it!
Use your favorite cookie recipe for the treats or fill those bags with whatever you like. Here's a bonus recipe from our Cookbook of the Week, Fast-Fix Meals!
Choco-Berry Cookie Drops
Thanks to Edward Smulski of Lyons, Illinois!
Blend dry cake mix, oil and eggs together until well mixed. Add chocolate chips, vanilla and jam; blend well. Drop by half-teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets, leaving room for cookies to expand. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 10 minutes. Makes 7 to 8 dozen.
Want to share these goodies with someone sweet?
Just click the button below!
With ten more days until Christmas Eve, we're thinking about handmade gifts. Setting aside some time to make a heartfelt present is a fun way of expressing creativity and can even be therapeutic!
We've gathered a few of our favorite gift ideas you can make for the special people on your list. No need to fret if you don't consider yourself very crafty...we have oh-so-simple ideas for you, too! And if you don't have the time right now, after the holidays, you can get a head-start on next year's presents!
Make a holiday memory tray! Paint a wooden tray with craft paint. When dry, arrange cut-outs from favorite photos and Christmas cards on the tray. Glue them in place using découpage medium, then brush another layer or two over top and sprinkle with glitter.
Lay tote bag out flat; tuck sheets of wax paper inside tote bag to prevent glue from soaking through. Use pinking shears to cut a decorative edge around each fabric square. Arrange squares on tote as desired; attach with fabric glue. Let dry; discard wax paper. Use needle and thread to attach embellishments as desired.
Make hot cocoa cones...a welcome gift to send to college students! Just fill disposable frosting bags (found in the cake decorating aisle of your craft store) 2/3 full with hot cocoa mix. Add a layer of mini marshmallows, chocolate chips or even crushed candy canes and close with a twist tie.
Cheery Stamped Bulletin Board
- craft glue
- 8 to 10 round craft buttons
- 8 to 10 flat silver thumbtacks
- flower rubber stamps
- stamp pads in coordinating colors
- 24"x18" bulletin board
- yellow gingham ribbon
Glue buttons to the flat surface of thumbtacks; set aside. Stamp the flower stamps in stamp pads and stamp 8 to 10 images on bulletin board in desired pattern; allow to dry completely. Add button thumbtacks to the center of each flower. Glue gingham ribbon around the edges of the bulletin board.
A sweet sewing jar is a speedy gift perfect for a crafty friend! Fill a Mason jar with vintage buttons, mini thread spools and other sewing notions. Top the lid with batting and a circle of homespun, add a few pearl headed pins and it’s ready to give. She’ll love it!
Want to share these handmade gift ideas with a friend? Just click a button below!