We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This page may contain affiliate links.
Since I am a foodie mom blogger, I thought I would share my favorite gifts for foodies, moms, and bloggers just in time for the Christmas season.
First, let me tell you about my favorite jeans. Every mom needs a great pair of comfy and fashionable jeans that she can dress up or down and wear almost anywhere. Last year I wrote a review for prAna Kara jeans and they are still my favorite jeans. In fact, I am wearing them now. In addition to these jeans being super comfortable and cute, they are also made with organic cotton and they are fair trade. My only complaint about these jeans is that I have to wear longer shirts because they are lower waisted. A reader commented on my post that I should try the Kayla jean which is the same jean, but with a higher rise. I think my next pair will be the Kayla jean.
Since we are still talking clothes, I'll share another favorite. I love love love my Pact Organic hoodie. I wear it all the time. This was also a blog review favorite from the past year. Soooooo comfy and cute! They actually have a really good sale going on at their website today. (Referral link. You will get 20% off your first purchase and I will get a credit ) You should check it out. They have some nice things for kids too including some really soft pj's for only $10. My husband reviewed their underwear for my post and he now calls them his favorite underwear. This would be a great stocking stuffer idea as they are a really good deal right now.
I don't actually have any of these yet, but see everyone wearing these cute little boots and think I am finally ready for this fashion trend. I know they have been around awhile and I am slow to adopt trends, but I am a practical mom so that's how it goes. Anyway, I think the practical, but fashionable woman in your life would love a great pair of booties.
I've got one more fashion related item and it's actually makeup. Three years ago, I had my 20 year high school reunion. I decided it was time for a great under-eye concealer. I walked into a Sephora store and asked for help. I came out with the most amazing concealer I have ever used. It is Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in light vanilla. It is on the pricier side, but lasts a long time. I am only on my second tube in 3 years. I asked for this one for Christmas last year and this tube will probably last me another year with almost daily use. I do use a small brush to apply it which was recommended by the Sephora lady. My sister did a blind test with my concealer and her own and my mom, my other sister, and myself all thought she looked younger using my Nars concealer.
Now for some foodie gifts.
We'll start with the instant pot craze that is all over the blogesphere. I don't actually have one of these yet, but will probably get one at some point. As much as I love my slow cooker, an instant pot would be nice for the time factor. I asked a fellow food blogger, Lindsay from pinch of yum, who uses an instant pot a lot, which one she would recommend and this is it. You can check out pinch of yum for lots of great instant pot recipes too.
Since this post is starting to get long, here are some more of my favorite foodie gifts. My husband gave me my 12" Lodge cast iron skillet our first Christmas that we were married 15 years ago. It must be my most used gift ever. One year I got a Nordic Ware cookie scoop in my stocking and I use it every time I make drop cookies of any kind. For the baker in your life, you can't go wrong with parchment baking sheets. We just discovered at Thanksgiving that we don't have a small gravy ladle so this will go on my list.
Some gifts for the blogger.
How to blog for Profit by Ruth Soukup is a must read for every blogger. I learned so much from reading her book. I just started ProBlogger and like it so far. I'll have to let you know how it goes. If you buy any books on Amazon today (cyber Monday 11/27/17) save $5 off a $20 book purchase (they have to be sold and shipped from Amazon) with code GIFTBOOK17. (I first saw this coupon code at Money Saving Mom.) I use my Lowell EGO light for almost all of my indoor food photography. It is really easy to set up and works well for close-up still photos. I photograph in front of a window in our kitchen nook, but find I usually need more light than just natural window light. This is also be a great tool for anyone taking photos for ebay or Etsy sales.
As far as blogging resources go, the most beneficial book I have ever read was actually an ebook written by the highly successful food blogger Lindsay of Pinch of Yum. Most of what I know about food photography I owe to her. I actually set a goal this summer of getting two photos a month accepted to foodgawker and I have been accomplishing this every month since. This is coming from a girl who has been rejected over 100 times by foodgawker. In fact, I just found out today that I got three photos accepted this month.
Food bloggers are always on the lookout for interesting dishes that would photograph well. You can find absolute treasures in thrift stores. My current favorites are these homemade bowls which I did find in a thrift store. I usually look for rustic looking pieces without a lot of shine. Shine doesn't photograph well.
In addition to dishes, I keep a lookout for interesting and attractive kitchen towels. Simple patterns in lightweight cotton (no terrycloth) and colors that compliment my dishes are best. I love this striped towel I found at Walmart for a dollar. Another favorite is this towel my sister-in-law brought me from New Zealand. Towels and fabric pieces add dimension and style to food photos and can really make the food pop in the picture. I also use this piece of burlap fabric a lot. I found it in the remnants section in the fabric department at Walmart.
Some gifts just for fun.
I got The Magnolia Story for my birthday and it's a fun read. If you are as obsessed with Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper as half of the US is, you'll love this behind the scenes look at their lives.
Our family is a board game family, as in serious gamers who go to board game conventions and own hundreds of games (more my husband and the boys than me). While they often play serious strategy games, I enjoy the more lighthearted family type games. My favorite (which we all love) is Wits and Wagers. It's a great game for get togethers, parties, or just family time that anyone can play. We have the family edition too which is geared towards a younger crowd, but our kids play the original version with us and do just fine.
Happy gifting. I hope you all find the perfect gifts for your loved ones and still have time to enjoy the Christmas season and celebrate God's greatest gift, Jesus. Blessings to you all.
Even if you only bake pies once or twice a year, there's something magical about shaping dough, filling it, then baking and sharing your creation with those you love. A homemade pie is a labor of love. It is effort put forth to take simple ingredients and turn them into something special, something memorable. Food brings people together and memories are made around food, both in the kitchen and around the table. Let's make those memories extra special this year with a little extra (homemade) effort and lots of love.
This year for Thanksgiving I decided to jazz up the pecan pie a bit with maple syrup and bourbon. We use real maple syrup all the time so I decided to substitute it for half of the corn syrup. It was a good syrup blend and worked well for both flavor and texture. Bourbon seemed like a natural addition to a maple pecan pie especially since we have been official Kentuckians for a couple of years now.
I went light on the bourbon adding only 2 Tablespoons. Many recipes call for 3 to 4 Tablespoons of bourbon. I thought 2 Tablespoons added just the right amount of flavor without overpowering other flavors. You can always start with 2 Tablespoons and add more if you think it needs it.
Since we're talking food memories and bourbon, I'm getting into the Holiday family memories mood. I have the fondest memories of going to my great grandmother, Doddin's house in Cynthiana, KY every Christmas. We usually only saw Doddin once a year because we lived a 12 hour drive away. Her house was pretty formal and my sisters and I had to mostly sit quietly while we visited in her sitting room. My great grandmother always had a tray of homemade bourbon balls. If I remember correctly they were strong and we weren't allowed to eat them. But that was ok because we always got to go in her kitchen for a special treat of Reese's cups and Coke.
Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie
1 unbaked pie crust
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/2 C. maple syrup
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. bourbon
1 1/4 C. pecan halves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Whisk ingredients together to combine and pour into unbaked pie shell.
3. Bake 40-45 minutes until crust has browned and filling has set. I make foil pie shields to cover the crust edges and protect them from over-browning and leave them on for most of the baking time. Let pie cool before serving.
Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!
I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
When it comes to cookies, chocolate chip cookies are pretty much at the top of the list. And as much as I love baking homemade chocolate chip cookies, I don't have a gazillion hours in the day to make everything homemade all of the time.
To be honest, I don't like most store bought cookies. Many are too soft or too hard and taste like they have been sitting around way too long. With some there is a weird aftertaste that tastes so unnatural it makes them taste like they were made in a chemical laboratory. You don't have to worry about that with Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies. These cookies are delicious, the perfect crispness, and no weird aftertaste.
My husband, who really should be a food critic, was skeptical at first, but after trying one, he went for another and then another. The only bad thing is that they are kind of addicting. We went through the whole box in just a couple of days.
In addition to being so delicious, Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies are Non-GMO and contain no hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. They retail for $3.49 to $3.99 each and are available at almost all major retailers, including Kroger, Ahold Delhaize stores, Publix, Whole Foods Market, and Sprouts Farmers Market. To find a store near you, visit: backtonaturefoods.com/where-to-buy
I love to eat healthy fresh foods like salads, but as the temperature drops, I find myself craving warm comfort foods like soups, casseroles, and breads. While these can be healthy, I notice a decreasing amount of fresh vegetables grace our table this time of year.
The key for me is finding fresh vegetables that I love to cook and eat. Some of my favorites this time of year are carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, cabbage, acorn squash, butternut squash, and sugar snap peas. Sugar snap peas are pretty much my favorite all year long, but they can be a bit pricier so I keep my eye out for the marked down packages. I never pay full price for sugar snap peas because in my local stores, they run $5 to $6 a pound, but when they mark them down 50% or more, I snatch them up. They are usually packaged in the produce section with a sale by or use by date so when they get close to that date, the store marks them down. I use within a day or two of purchase and they are always fresh and delicious.
Since shrimp are on the pricier side too, when I see a deal I buy a pound or two for the freezer. Some of my favorite shrimp recipes are Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo and Shrimp and Grits. I like to buy raw shrimp for recipes so there is less chance I will overcook them. I am almost always multi-tasking in the kitchen since I have four kiddos so any help in the "not overcooking department" is always appreciated.
Slightly sweet and savory with just a little kick, you will love these honey lime shrimp with sugar snap peas. So much flavor in the sauce...pour it over the rice to soak into every delicious bite!
Honey Lime Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas
1 pound medium or large raw shrimp
1/2 cup olive oil
¼ cup honey
Juice and zest of 2 limes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
¼ to ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound fresh sugar snap peas
Hot cooked rice for serving
1. Thaw shrimp in a colander under running water. Then peel off shells. Most shrimp is deveined when processed, if not, remove veins. Set shrimp aside.
2. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a Zipper seal bag or plastic container. Add the shrimp. Refrigerate for ½ an hour or more.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok to medium high. Then add the shrimp, marinade and sugar snap peas. Cook until the shrimp turns a creamy pink color. Serve over rice.
Linking up at Mommy Moments
I think beets are one of those vegetables that are often overlooked like turnips or brussel sprouts. Maybe you've never tried them. Maybe they grace your table once a year for a special dinner. Maybe you tried canned beets once at a salad bar. Whatever your experience with beets, these roasted beets are a game changer.
Simply delicious! These balsamic roasted beets are tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and roasted until tender. That's it. Simple seasonings that come together to create an amazing flavor explosion.
And guess what? You don't even have to get out the measuring spoons. Just drizzle the olive oil and vinegar, grind the salt and pepper and toss. If you have never peeled beets before, let me tell you it's really easy to peel beets after they have simmered for an hour. The skins will soften and come right off with a pairing knife.
Balsamic Roasted Beets
4 to 5 large beets*
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1. Boil beets, then reduce heat and simmer on low for about an hour.
2. Peel beets, then quarter and toss in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
3. Toss with salt and pepper.
4. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at 400 degrees F. or until tender.
*4 to 5 beets is just a recommendation (for a family of 4 to 5). Make as many or as few as you like.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
Most Popular Posts