Friday, October 18, 2013

A Gift Basket

Life has blessed me with an amazing husband and wonderful in-laws.  My sister-in-law is one of my very favorite people and she never ceases to amaze me.  She had a birthday recently, and I wanted to give her something homemade.

Inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest from a post on the Everyday Occasions blog for  Hostess Gifts, I put together the gift basket pictured above.

I picked up a cross-stitch towel at Michael's (much like this towel I found on and cross stitched the Halloween pattern above that I found in the Good Natured Girls Holiday Towels leaflet. 

My Better Homes and Garden cookbook has a recipe for lemon bread that my boys both like, so I made a few mini loafs to add to the gift basket.

My wonderful husband was kind enough to dress the jars up with Oregon State Beaver Fabric.

The taller jar in the back contains homemade cocoa mix, inspired by a recipe I found via Pinterest.  The recipe is from In Jennie's Kitchen. I did not have vanilla powder, but I did have a vanilla bean.  So, I scraped the inside of the bean into the mix.

One of the smaller containers is vanilla sugar, in case the cocoa was not sweet enough.  (After taste testing the hot cocoa mix (which we made with almond milk) my youngest declared he did not like it.  My eldest did not care for it alone, but added some vanilla sugar and loved it.  My husband and I loved that it was not overly sweet.)  I do not remember where I read the tip about vanilla beans...  Somewhere, I read you can put the remainder of a vanilla bean (after scraping out the inside) into a container of sugar to create Vanilla Sugar.  The moisture from the bean makes the sugar a little clumpy, but we love the flavor.

The other container is homemade pear butter.  Another discovery from Pinterest.  I used unsweetened apple juice instead of water or pear juice, and used honey as the sweetener.  It was a huge hit with my eldest son - he wants me to make more.

It was fun to put some time into a gift especially for my wonderful sister-in-law.

What kind of homemade gifts do you like to give?


Becca said...

That is an awesome basket!

Renee said...

Thank you, Becca!