DIY Edible Gifts

Do you need a reminder that the holidays are right around the corner? We don’t! WE CAN’T WAIT. too much?

Today we’ve rounded up a few ideas that make perfect edible DIY gifts. There’s a range of options on this list, from nuts in solid and liquid form to citrus peels and marshmallow. Some take a bit more preparation than others (some are so easy you’ll have all of your teacher gifts done in an afternoon). But I may be a bit biased when I say that possibly the best gift on this list is the one that takes the longest to make.

And, as we all know, the best part about giving receiving an edible gift is that you don’t have to remember to put out that neon light up statue of Mt. Rushmore every time Aunt Peggy comes to visit. So get on with it.

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Spiced Mixed Nuts : a truly perfect blend of sweet and spicy. These are super easy to make with basic ingredients (think nuts, honey, cayenne pepper). Just make sure you share more than you eat!

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Hazelnut Liqueur : give this and you will be loved by all. Especially if you pass along a few key serving suggestions, such as mixing a shot into a cup of hot chocolate or a vanilla milkshake. BUT start making this one ASAP, because you need about three weeks of steeping time.

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Marshmallows! : There are so many perks to making your own marshmallows. You can personalize the color and flavor. Cut them out with cute cookie cutter shapes. Pair them with hot co for a real treat. And we aren’t kidding when we claim that these are easy to make.

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Candied Citrus Rinds : Again, another super easy treat. I added chocolate to these, but you can totally skip that. And as a bonus – we shared our orange marshmallows at the bottom of that post.

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Use this post as an excuse to get a jump start on the eating, drinking, and merriment! xo

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Hexagon Afghan

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This hexagon afghan was crocheted over five (yes, five!) years. To quote little Luc, “(some things) just take a little time”. Granted, he says that when he’s getting ready to jump off the curb, but it’s a good bit of wisdom to remember when working on those seemingly never-ending projects.

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Gift Guides : Dinos in the Kitchen

LIVE SEASONED dino gift guide

Happy Monday! Yesterday we started singing Christmas carols, talking about Santa, and counting down the weeks (six!) until Christmas. With that in mind, we’re rounding up some of our favorite gift ideas – today we’re welcoming dinosaurs into the kitchen. I never realized I needed a taco holder, but now that there are triceratops shaped ones, I need it.

CLOCKWISE: pasta serving spoon / paper towel holder /

taco holder / kids place setting /sandwich cutter

We also love this dino tea strainer, these cookie cutters, and this dino candy mold.

 

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Welcome November

Near the beginning of each month we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us…. this month, as opposed to most, we seem to be focusing on us.

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Gah!

I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to start this post. Sarah made an attempt yesterday, but stalled.

We had a little chat, and I know exactly what our problem is – our minds are going in a million different directions. I find that it often happens at this time of year. We’re trying our best to live in the moment, to enjoy these beautifully crisp fall days, plan a delicious meal with fresh farm share produce, and knit by the fire in the evenings with a mug of cider.

BUT!

But then our mind starts to wonder to the holidays. We start scheming up the gifts that we want to make and special traditions that we want to continue. And since we’re spending so much time inside, let’s think about redecorating that corner of the house that’s been ignored. Then we’re stuck in the Pinterest hole… and well, GAH!

The best thing that I can do for myself is to always make sure that I’m doing *something*. I may chip away at gifts one day, do a bit of cleaning and rearranging another, write plenty of lists to keep my thoughts organized, and bit by bit a clear signal of where life is going rises above the noise.

If your November is off to the same start as ours, I hope you’ll take some time today to get mentally organized and set your intentions for your day/week/month. We love to start by looking back at previous Novembers as we think about how to make the most of the month ahead.

Looking Back

Today I noticed that this is our forth November writing Live Seasoned! You can see what we were talking about during 2014 and 2015 by clicking those links.

In 2016 I think we were feeling the weight of the political climate (I’m sorry to even bring it up!). We didn’t write a Welcome post for the month and after the crazy presidential election, we took the rest of the month off! A clear sign that we needed to turn our energy inwards, comforting and quieting our minds and souls. A year later, I still can’t believe the craziness that has unfolded over the past year, but the elections this past Tuesday have me feeling so hopeful.

November is when we first opened our Etsy shop. Which reminds me that we have to post a few of our most recent potions (they are the best yet!). Look for those soon.

Looking Forward

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for the long dark evenings in the house. We’re all about hygge. For me it means an afghan on every couch, cozy slippers, candles, and a warm toddy in my hand. I’m also looking forward to:

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  • hanging our bird feeders. We hang hummingbird feeders in the summer, but we only hang seeds for the birds during the winter months (when the chances of attracting bears is low). We hang black sunflower seeds in a squirrel-proof feeder. We also hang a few suet feeders around the house knowing that suet’s extra energy can really help the birds during the cold months. We have this one with a tail prop (pic above is from Amazon), and we really do see more woodpeckers at it than the other ones. It’s always exciting to see who comes for a visit!

Festivals and Celebrations

As much as we love our time inside, it’s also good to get out and celebrate the season with others. We love visiting markets at this time of year to pick up gifts for the holidays and to get inspired with ideas for future craft and food projects.

  • November 11-12 : Boulder Mountain Handmade – this is a crafts market that supports our local firemen, whose work is so important for those of us living in the Colorado mountains!
  • November 11-12 : B&N Mini Maker Faires – Barnes and Noble stores across the US are holding mini maker faires this weekend. Last year, our local store invited robotics clubs to present their work and set up a maker zone in the store. We had such a great time and am looking forward to this weekend. Throughout the month, there are many Maker Faires going on across the globe (not associated with B&N).
  • Throughout November : The San Francisco, New York, and Austin Renegade Craft Fairs – this has become a global craft and design fair, and it’s a great way to find local artisans. You can also shop their website if you can’t find a market nearby.

If there’s a festival or craft market that you love – leave a note in the comments!

 

 

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First Snow Cake!

This is part of our ongoing Cooking with Kids series, because bringing them into the kitchen creates bonding moments, opportunities to learn, and plenty of messes! And ginger is our ingredient of the season this fall. You can find more ginger recipes here, but if you want another dessert recommendation, skip right ahead to these chewy ginger cookies.

A few weeks ago, we woke up to our first snow of the season. If that wasn’t special enough, I thought that it was worth fully celebrating the day, and any celebration worth its salt requires a cake. That was the humble beginning of our “First Snow Cake”.

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The base of our cake is a delicious ginger cake and it’s topped with a healthy layer of powered sugar snow. It’s a simple cake that’s easy to bake on a whim and should definitely be incorporated into your next snow day. The recipe and more thoughts on celebrating the everyday below. *I’m thinking that next year the cake has to be baked in this pan.

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Deer Mountain Trail

Want to see more hiking posts? Click here. The only thing you’ll regret is the time spent in front of the screen instead of outside ;-).

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Today we’re sharing some photographs and info about our hike to the top of Deer Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you want even more info when planning a visit, leave us a comment, check out this post about winter camping in the park, or pick up this hiking guide (it’s super detailed and our favorite).

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Cooking with Kids : Chia Pudding

Cooking with Kids is an ongoing series where we share recipes that are easy enough to make with a two-year-old. If you’re new to the series, our first post that provides our detailed tips for cooking with little ones.

We’re so excited about today’s chia pudding because it’s a delicious dessert that’s  amazingly healthy thanks to the chia seeds. This is also a dish that a little chef can put together *almost* entirely on their own! Why almost? There is a pesky can opener involved, and that can slow down even the most ambitious 4 year old.

There are so many benefits to letting your kids help in the kitchen, from the basics of learning to count and measure, to the more advanced following of instructions. You’ll also delight in seeing them take pride in their work and their ability to do something for others – how excited will they be to serve this pudding to everyone else in the family?! And finally, for some kids, this recipe may introduce new tastes; there’s the strong coconut flavor with a hint of cinnamon, and there’s the unique texture of the saturated chia seeds.

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Read on to learn more about chia seeds and our simple recipe for chia pudding!

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