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Spice Blends for a Happy Holiday

Posted Dec 24 2013 2:31pm

We’ve made it to Christmas Eve and here I am, feeling all festive. Presents were purchased and wrapped a while ago, so what’s left for today are the things that make Christmas Eve feeling Christmas Eve. Baking cookies, preparing holiday dinner, drinking hot chocolate…

…you know, the important things.

Rosemary Lemon Cookies |

(photo from my Instagram )

But what I really wanted to do today was talk to you. Because I can’t send you, my readers, a Christmas card in the mail, I wanted to make sure you know how much I hope your holiday is delightful. I hope you hug family, eat buttery, sugar things, and share gifts.

I hope you celebrate!

This year, I tried as hard as I could to purchase gifts from as many local, independent stores as possible. I did well, overall. A few gifts slipped out of Target (as they always do) but for the most part, the gifts going to my family members are supporting St. Louis and the people who love to live here.

I only made one small gift this year, and was as easy as you’d imagine. The idea came from Pinterest and the recipe from Naturally Ella entirely. Spice blends are so easy that it’s a crime not to give them as gifts.

Homemade Spice Blends |

Again, the recipes for each blend came entirely from Naturally Ella and in fact, she has two blends that I didn’t even attempt that sound divine as well – a baker’s blend and a curry blend.

What I did attempt was an herb blend and southwest blend. Because I started these fairly close to Christmas, ordering spice jars in bulk online wasn’t happening. I ended up using 4 ounce mason jars that I found in 4-packs at Target (that pesky Target!) for $5. I thought that $1.25 per jar was a good price (as good as I would find without serious internet searching), so I picked up 3 packages (below, left).

Homemade Spice Blends |

The key to making spice blends is truly to buy your spices in bulk. If you can find a store that sells bulk spices, do it! Whole Foods has some (I haven’t personally used their bulk spices so I can’t say what the selection is like). Luckily, we have a store called Green Earth Grocery that has a wide variety of bulk spices, so it was my next stop. I paid about $15 for all the spices needed (though I already had garlic powder in bulk at home) and went on my way (above, middle).

Homemade Spice Blends |

The spices needed for each blend were common enough – chipotle powder, cumin, oregano for the southwest; thyme, rosemary, sage for the herb. Mix, fill, and your gifts are 75% of the way there. See Naturally Ella for proportions.

Homemade Spice Blends |

The 25% you have yet to do is decorate. No wrapping needed – I circled the lid with twine, attached a Sucre Shop spoon, and a gift tag. I used chalkboard labels (Crate and Barrel) and a paint pen for the spice blend name and date. Here you go – spice blends ready for the holidays!

Homemade Spice Blends |

I hope your enjoy your celebration today, and every day. Happy holidays!

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