RECIPE: 3 Homemade Spice Blends

DIY: Homemade Spice Blends #foodie #gift #cook
Every year for Christmas, my boyfriend James and I like to make gifts for our friends and family. Since James is a home-chef, we decided to make our own spice blends to give to our fellow foodies this year. We chose three different blends: Herbs de Provence, Asian 5-Spice, Fajita Seasoning. We plan to pair each blend with a few of our favorite recipes written on recipe cards.

DIY: Homemade Spice Blends #foodie #gift #cook

Herbs de Provence
Cuisine: French
Serves: Approx. 1½ cups
  • ½ cup thyme
  • ¼ cup marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon lavender, ground
  • 2 teaspoons dried orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon fennel, ground
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  1. To make the dried orange zest, use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin of an organic orange. You want to peel the least amount of white pith as possible. Place the orange strips onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 200 degrees (you can also use a dehydrator) until completely dry (a few hours). Let cool and grind using a mortar and pestle.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a jar or bowl.

RECIPE: Herbs de Provence #gift #foodie #homemade

Recipes to try:

Roasted Herbs de Provence Chicken by Taste Love & Nourish
Popcorn with Herbs de Provence and Asiago Cheese by Giada De Laurentiis
New Potatoes With Herbes De Provence, Lemon and Coarse Salt by KitchME
Creamy Roasted Red Onions by Miss in the Kitchen
Simple Salad Dressing by Pamela Braun

DIY: Homemade Spice Blends #foodie #gift #cook

Asian 5-Spice
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: Approx. ½ cup
  • 2 tablespoons anice powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  • 1 tablespoon clove
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Himalayan sea salt
  1. Use a mortar and pestle to grind any herbs necessary. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

RECIPE: Asian 5-Spice blend #gift #foodie #homemade

Recipes to try:

Crispy Baked Asian Chicken Wings by Just A Taste
Chinese Pork Jerky by China Sichuan Food
Vegetable Lo Mein by One Sweet Appetite
Five-Spice Chicken Noodle Soup by William Sonoma
5-Spice Asian Pork Tacos by Country Cleaver

DIY: Homemade Spice Blends #foodie #gift #cook

Fajita Seasoning
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: Approx. 1 cup
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  1. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

RECIPE: Fajita Seasoning #gift #foodie #homemade

Recipes to try:

Vegetarian Black Bean Fajitas by Katie’s Cucina
Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas by Food Family & Finds
Chicken Fajita Quesadillas by Jo Cooks
Chicken Fajita Queso Dip by Inside BruCrew Life
Steak Fajita Rice Bowls by Oh Sweet Basil

I packaged up our spice blends in 4 oz. glass jars and decorated them with custom labels courtesy of Evermine. I can’t wait to give these as gifts!

RECIPE: Brownie Mix In A Jar

RECIPE: Brownie Mix In A Jar #gift #holiday #christmas

Every year for Christmas, I try my best to avoid shopping at big box stores and instead shop locally or make gifts to give. This brownie mix is a favorite because it’s very easy to put together and is a great activity to do with a child. Simply layer the dry ingredients in a large mason jar and decorate with baker’s twine, a gift tag and baking instructions.

RECIPE: Brownie Mix In A Jar #gift #holiday #christmas


(Makes 1 jar)
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup cocoa powder
• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• 2/3 cup white sugar
• 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
• 1/3 cup chopped pecans

RECIPE: Brownie Mix In A Jar #gift #holiday #christmas

In a small bowl mix the flour and salt together. Then begin layering your ingredients into your jar in the following order:

• 1/2 the flour/salt mixture
• Cocoa powder
• Remaining of the flour/salt mixture
• Brown sugar
• White sugar
• Semi-sweet chocolate chips
• White chocolate chips
• Pecans

Once you’ve filled your jar, decorate with baker’s twine or ribbon and a gift tag. You can write the baking instructions on a card and wrap it about the jar with the string, or use a custom oval text label.

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9×9 baking pan.
Pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl and mix well.
Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil and three eggs. Beat until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

RECIPE: Brownie Mix In A Jar #gift #holiday #christmas

Custom labels and tags courtesy of

RECIPE: Curried Pineapple Tomatillo Chutney

RECIPE: Curried Pineapple Tomatillo Chutney #sauce #groundcherry

My neighbor gifted me a bag of pineapple tomatillos (also called ‘ground cherries’) from her garden this week, so I decided use them up and make something delicious. After doing a bit of research (you can make pies, jam, salsa, etc. with these little guys), I settled on making a batch of chutney. This was my first attempt at making chutney and boy did it turn out delicious!

RECIPE: Curried Pineapple Tomatillo Chutney #sauce #groundcherry

Now a little more about the pineapple tomatillo (ie. ground cherry)- they grow much like a regular tomatillo in that they form lantern husks with the fruit inside. They’re about the size of a cherry tomato and taste sweet, much like pineapple. You can literally eat these fresh off the vine and they taste like candy!

RECIPE: Curried Pineapple Tomatillo Chutney #sauce #groundcherry
RECIPE: Curried Pineapple Tomatillo Chutney #sauce #groundcherry

Curried Pineapple Tomatillo Chutney
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: Indian
  • 2 cups pineapple tomatillos
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  1. Saute onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil until slightly caramelized.
  2. Combine honey and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add in the cooked onions, pineapple tomatillos, vinegar, curry powder and mustard seed. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until mixture has thickened slightly.
  3. Allow chutney to cool, then pour into a glass jar and refrigerate.

I can’t wait to try this chutney served over pork and rice. You could also use this with your favorite curry recipe or other indian food, or even in a grilled cheese sandwich!

RECIPE: Curried Pineapple Tomatillo Chutney
RECIPE: Curried Pineapple Tomatillo Chutney #sauce #groundcherry

What new recipes are you experimenting with your garden harvest this year?

RECIPE: S’more Trail Mix

RECIPE: S'more Trail Mix by Adventures In Making blog #homemade #favor #snack

S’mores are one of my favorite treats. You’ll often find me roasting a marshmallow over the stove in my kitchen late at night, chocolate and graham cracker in hand. I recently made up a batch of S’more Trail Mix for a woodland theme baby shower I hosted for my brother. Not only did this recipe make for wonderful favors to send home with our family and friends, but it was super easy to make. Feel free to adapt this recipe to suit your tastes.

RECIPE: S'more Trail Mix
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
  • Honey flavored Teddy Grahams (Golden Graham Cereal would also work great)
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate Candies (I used M&M’s)
  • Honey roasted peanuts
  • Mixed Nuts
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Keep fresh for up to 1 week in an airtight container until ready to serve or package into favors.


RECIPE: S'more Trail Mix by Adventures In Making blog #homemade #favor #snack
RECIPE: S'more Trail Mix by Adventures In Making blog #homemade #favor #snack