Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nifty idea for Christmas giving

Sometimes ideas just come out of nowhere, apparently. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say ideas are everywhere. An idea came to me unexpectedly this week that I think will be so much fun to use.

I think I may have shared on my other blog how I make personalized cookbooks for gifts for showers, weddings, etc. Briefly, I am working on typing all of my recipes into a word processing document. (I had them all on a floppy disk some years ago and somehow the disk became corrupted and I lost the entire thing. Be that as it may, I have added many more recipes to my list of favorites since then!) Anyway, when a gift-giving occasion comes up, I print out the recipes I think the particular couple will enjoy. Then I embellish the pages with bits and pieces I’ve cut from catalogs and magazines, slip each page into a clear page protector -- I actually put 2 recipes in each one, back to back -- and then put the pages into a binder. I make a nice front and back cover to slip into the clear covers of the binder.

This week I was making one of these books for a bridal shower. As I sorted through my old catalogs to snip out embellishments for the pages, I came across a wonderful idea. The catalog (from 1998) offered for sale neat little packets of spices enclosed in homespun fabric bags tied with raffia. For example, there were things like apple pie spice, chicken soup herbs, etc. Each little bag also contained recipes which made use of the particular spice blend.

I’m sure I had seen these items back when the catalog was new, but it never really clicked with me that these are something I could make for gifts. I love making my own spice and herb mixes and blends and do it all the time -- apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, italian and ranch dressings, taco seasoning mix. I can easily stitch up some little fabric bags and print out some recipe cards which will go with each mix.

Doesn’t this sound like fun? I’m anxious to get started, but know that realistically I don’t have the time in the next couple of weeks. I will, however, begin listing down what mixes I’ll make and what recipes I can use to go with each one.


  1. That's a good idea! I'll have to keep that in mind. It sounds simple enough.

  2. It does seem simple, doesn't it? But I think it will be lots of fun to do. I may not use homespun for the bags (although that would be cute) -- I may just use up odds & ends of Christmas fabric and tie the bags closed with ribbon rather than the raffia used with the homespun. (Of course, the spice mix will be packaged in a ziplock bag inside the fabric bag. I don't think I made that very clear.)

  3. That is an awesome idea! I have printed your mix recipes and just need to purchase a few more spices/ingredients to get started. What new bride or gift recipient wouldn't want spice mixes? :) Are you planning to post the recipes and photos of the finished product? This idea is clever, unique, useful and economical. Thanks for passing it along!

  4. Hi Rachel!

    I'm glad you were inspired by this idea! Yes, I think I will post my mix recipes here and maybe at least mention what recipes I plan to include with each spice. I may try to post some photos of the finished product, as you suggest.

    Have fun with this idea!


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