30 November, 2010

Holiday Baking

I'm a big fan of Amy Karol's blog, Angry Chicken. She lives here in Portland and her pre-holiday gift idea is worth borrowing.
She likes to come up with basic recipes and enhance them as she makes the item. One of her spice mixes caught my eye: Pumpkin Pie Spice. The blog entry is here.

 Cook's Vanilla is my favorite brand of vanilla. I started buying it at the grocery store  many years ago and then bit the bullet and now I order it once a year from the web site. I also like their lemon extract, peppermint extract and their vanilla powder. You can use the powder in Orange Julius's and in frosting. It's an off-white powder so it won't add color to whatever you are making.  
I thought how fun it would be to get some of this vanilla and make some pumpkin pie spice for friends and family who like to bake. Imagine how lovely it would be to get into the holiday baking spirit with a small package in the mailbox.

The most difficult part of making a quantity of pumpkin spice mix is converting tablespoons into cups, etc. Just to make sure, I hauled out my Betty Crocker cookbook with the cook's glossary. 4Tbsp. = 1/4 cup. Just so you know.

I had some little spice-type bottles but not enough. I finally found some on the bottom shelf at Fred Meyer's where they sell the kitchen gadgets. That was my biggest expense other than the vanilla. I bought the spices in bulk at Winco in their bulk foods department. They constantly turn over their stock so I feel assured of the quality.

For labels, I went very simple as  I really needed to post these to arrive before Thanksgiving. You can be as fancy as you need to be. I printed out these labels (after I changed out my color cartridge). I then hand-wrote the name of the spice, the year, a couple things you could do with the spice. Then I cut them out and glue-sticked them onto the jars.
---Here's another label idea from Martha.


Here's a sneak peek at what else I did this weekend.

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