Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Remembrance and Renewal: Rosemary Salt, Spice Shakers, Cakes, a Pie, and lots of Gingerbread

Happy New Year, everyone!  
While my computer is behaving, let's catch up with some things I’ve been making, including my holiday projects. Then onward into 2013.

Handmade holiday gifts.  
I made the Rosemary Salt with my house organic rosemary and Kosher salt.  

For each cup of Kosher salt, add 1/4 cup of packed, fresh herbs.  
Process in a food processor a bit until flecked with green snow.

Now you need to dry it for a bit before packing and storing.  The fresh rosemary or other herbs will make the salt damp.  Spread out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (so you can easily pour it off later).
Dry for a few hours at room temperature, then stir up from the bottom (it will be stiff/dry and have caked a bit).  Or for quick drying, put in a 200 degree oven for ten minutes at a time until nice and dry.  Stir.  
Evergreen Snow.  

Pack in pretty jelly jars with tight fitting lids (I used my canning funnel so the salt didn't spill everywhere).  Keeps indefinitely.

If you want to do gift shakers of spices, order some in bulk (like from Penzeys) or use your dried herbs from your garden if you got a lot.  I got those cute shakers at Bed, Bath and Beyond for a very reasonable price.
Yeah, I know how it's starting to look.  No, I'm not making any money from this operation.

 I used a plastic funnel to load the jars with Za'atar or Zatar, or whichever spelling you like.

I had to make a special wax paper funnel for the cinnamon because it is such a fine powder, it wouldn't go through the narrow spout of the plastic funnel.

I did Rosemary salt for family, teachers and friends and added the spices for special family members.  

Here is another vegan food gift that I made:
Another batch of Soft Gruyere from Artisan Vegan Cheese!
My vegan friend (another mom at my son's school) got this.

We both made pasta with it!

I also made my famous Tortilla Pie again recently:
I do need to do a recipe post for this one day.  I have done so many variations! 
I love Tortilla Pie!

And I've been doing a lot of pancakes lately...
Apple Walnut Cakes

Blueberry Flax Cakes, with a Strawberry Blend

Plain Maple Flax Cakes with Fresh Strawberries.

The apples (Organic Galas have been cheap!) and berries from Wegmans (Cali and Chile imports) have been really good lately.  And all the winter citrus is arriving!

I also did three rounds of gingerbread house crafts:
 My son and I made this at his school holiday party, my favorite one of the year...
The Cookie House Party!  Note the extensive landscaping (Landscaper's Daughter, here!).

And, to prepare for Santa's Arrival, a Sleigh Train of Santas:

A Swish Tail makes for a faster Santa Train.

The Slowest Santa!

Hope he made his way swiftly to all of you, perhaps with the help of

And a church:

Santa visits churches, right?

And little mini gingerbread loaves I made for more gifts:

These were so super tasty.  I can post the recipe if you guys want.  It was easy!

Here's a salad for good measure.  
Spinach Strawberry Salad with Chickpeas. Nekked.
I've been trying to eat a lot of greens lately, as post-holiday nutrient replacement!

Phew! And we didn't even get to see what Santa brought me this year...but, we will, yes indeedy.

Happy New Year, everyone!  

May you all eat well, cook well and be well in 2013.



  1. Homemade gifts are the best! Awesome and impressive salts! Hope yr computer woes are over soon...

    1. Thank you, my friend! My computer woes will definitely be over soon, you'll see...

  2. What a cracking line up of homemade goodies. I'm impressed with the artistry of the gingerbread, but my stomach is crying out for some tortilla pie. What's in there (apart from the tortillas?!)

    1. Thanks, Joey! I'll post the recipe one day, it's one of my favorites, but basically you can put whatever you want in them. That one above has homemade kindney beans (seasoned) and cooked with garlic and onions, fresh cilantro on top etc. and probably some salsa sprinkled in there. The green layer is garlicky spinach (I think I put it on two layers), and on top is more salsa and cheese (you can use whatever cheese you like, or even a cheese sauce!). I also like to do at least one layer of olives, but I didn't have any that time! Stay tuned :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!