Gift Ideas for Someone Who Spends All Their Time in the Kitchen

Gift Guide|Frankly Entertaining

I love putting together gift lists. It involves shopping, but not necessarily spending money! Who am I kidding, I own a lot of the stuff on this list… all in the name of research … it’s because I love you guys! I’m loving my lists this year, because they’re all things that I’m excited about.

I spend a huge chunk of my day in the kitchen. In fact, I spend so much time in the kitchen that my husband installed a touchscreen computer for me. (He thought I would use it for recipes, but really I use it to watch Netflix while I cook!!) I think it’s important to enjoy your space, and these are nine ideas that will help you do just that.

These are a few things that I think anyone who loves to cook or entertain would love:

  • copper measuring-cups|Frankly Entertaining teatowel utensils | Frankly Entertaining plaidconfetti |Frankly Entertaining
     Napkins |Frankly Entertaining  nigella lawson | Frankly Entertaining  kiehls-hand-salve |Frankly Entertaining
     mrs-meyers|Frankly Entertaining  kate-spade-recipe-box  wireless-bluetooth-speaker
  1. Wood Handled Copper Measuring Cups: I own these, and they’re both beautiful and super sturdy.
  2. Utensil Tea Towel: This would make the perfect gift for the holiday hostess. Pair it with a wooden spoon and you’ll be all set!
  3. Confetti: A little confetti can take your tabletop to the next level. It’s a great décor trick when your throwing a party.
  4. Coordinating Napkins: Matching napkins are so 1985. Coordinating colors are modern, and this fabric is super luxurious.
  5. Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food: I love reading through Nigella’s books. They’re beautiful and the food is delicious.
  6. Kiehls Hand Salve: When you’re cooking and washing your hands a lot, you need to keep lotion by the sink, and this one is amazing.
  7. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dish Soap : If you have to wash dishes, you might as well use the best smelling dish soap available
  8. Kate Spade Recipe Box: This is chic and fun, not to mention practical. I still use the recipe box I was given as a wedding gift.
  9. Wireless Bluetooth Speaker: I love listening to podcasts and music while I’m baking, and a wireless speaker helps me to hear over the sound of the mixer, without having me ignore my kids like I do when I’m wearing headphones.

 

 

What I’m Loving Wednesday: 12/7/16

 

National Parks Explorer MapThanks to Uncommon Goods for helping with today’s post.

I’m going to start a new series called, What I’m Loving Wednesdays. Sometimes I put together lists of things I’d like, but haven’t tried, but this is stuff that I like and use. I love recommending things when I find something I love, and I hope you guys will love them too! Today’s item is something that I think will make an amazing gift this holiday season.

National Parks Map | Frankly Entertaining

A few weeks ago my sister sent me a link to a National Parks map that she thought I’d like. Even though I’m not the most outdoors-y person, I love the National Parks. We’ve been fortunate enough to visit a few as a family, and I’m definitely planning to visit a few more. If you’ve been to any of the parks you might have noticed the passport books. I bought one for our family during our first National Park trip to Yellowstone over ten years ago. The only problem is that half the time I forget to take the book with me to the park, so what I have is a book full of stamped scraps of paper! This map is the perfect complement to the passport book.

National Parks Map Stickers|Frankly Entertaining

A couple of days after Christina sent me the text about the map I got an email from Uncommon Goods asking if I wanted to review a product. If you’re not familiar with Uncommon Goods, you should definitely check them out. Their stocking stuffers are great, and so different. I love giving gifts that people haven’t seen before. It was pretty much fate for me to get this map, and I was so excited when it came. The National Parks Explorer Map from Uncommon Goods comes with stickers that you affix for every park. We had so much fun adding the parks we’ve already been to as a family, and I can’t wait to go to Denali so that we can cross that one off! The paper is high quality, and the whole thing just makes for a great souvenir. I got my map framed (mostly because I have a three year old with a major Sharpie habit!), and we attached the sticker sheet to the back so that it won’t get lost. We also put it in an easy to remove frame so that there aren’t any issues when we need to add new stickers. We got it framed professionally, but I don’t think there would be an issue using a ready made frame.

I just love the idea that we’re combining family memories with home décor. Plus, it serves as a great geography reminder for all of my kids! I put the map on top of the kids’ bookshelf. I like keeping it a little out of reach, but still in a location that my children visit many times a day.

National Parks Map|Frankly Entertaining

I think this would make an amazing family holiday gift, or it would also be perfect for newlyweds. I’m all about useful gifts and gifts that involve an experience. This map is extremely reasonable ($55), and it would be absolutely perfect paired with a National Parks pass. In fact, I’m mad that I didn’t do that for the family that I have for the family gift exchange this year! And, if you’ve never been to one of this country’s amazing National Parks, this map will show you that they’re not out of reach!

Make sure to check out Uncommon Goods for more great Christmas Gift Ideas, especially the list for boys (you know, if  you want to get them something besides a video game!!).

National PArks Map|Frankly Entertaining

I’d love to know what your favorite family gifts are.

TWD: Pfefferneusse

pfefferneuse TWD|Frankly Entertaining

This week for Tuesdays with Dorie we got to choose between the Pfefferneusse and the Christmas Spice Cookies. I went with Pfefferneusse, just because I’ve been having so much fun saying it! I have a cookie exchange next week, and I think that will be the perfect time to try the spice cookies.

I was a little hesitant on the flavor combinations in this recipe. I wasn’t sure how the pepper and the mustard would mix with the more typical holiday flavors like cinnamon and cloves. I didn’t really think that these would be cookies that my kids would enjoy, but I should know better than to question what my kids will eat!

I put together a little box for the ladies at the dentist office (since I’ve practically been living there this month!), but my kids inhaled the rest. Every time they came into the kitchen, it was to ask if they could have another cookie! Dorie included an option for topping the cookies with a chocolate glaze, but I stuck with the powdered sugar. I’m sure my kids would have loved it, but I’m not a huge fan of mixing chocolate with spices!

These cookies came together quickly and easily. I had everything done in under an hour, and there wasn’t even a lot of mess to clean up. I left out the chopped pecans, just because my oldest is allergic. Also, pecans are pretty pricey up here! If this is a recipe that you’re unsure of, give it  a try. You might be surprised by how all the flavors work together! If nothing else, make them for a holiday potluck. There probably won’t be a lot of people bringing these!

We don’t publish the recipes from Tuesdays with Dorie, but you can buy Dorie’s Cookies and try these recipes for yourself! IF you want to see what everyone else thought, check out their posts here.

TWD:French Snacklettes

French Snacklettes | Frankly Entertaining

This is this 5th Tuesday, so it’s considered a make up week. Since this is the first month of the new Dorie’s Cookies project, I’m not actually behind yet! For this week I made Dorie’s French Snacklettes. This was one of Dorie’s Cookies for Kindness recipes. I had thought about giving these cookies to the school nurse who helped assess my daughter’s early morning head wound yesterday (no stitches necessary!), or to the car repair place who only charged me $3 to change the battery in my key. Unfortunately there will be no gifting of cookies because when I left the cookies alone (rookie mistake), my three year old ate most of them!

French Snacklettes | Frankly Entertaining

I made these into little bite sized morsels, and they came together pretty easily. In the book, Dorie made the cookies into perfect little pyramids, but when I tried the pyramids they ended up looking like an inappropriate emoji! Instead, I decided make little cubes.

French Snacklettes | Frankly Entertaining

The cookies are rich (nothing unusual there), and they’re a little dry, so they needed a little hot chocolate to wash them down. I’ve woken up to single digit temperatures the past few days, so hot chocolate is a staple in my pantry. The ground almonds give the cookie an almost coconut texture. These are called French Snacklettes, but I never tried anything like these when I lived in France (to be fair, I was more of a pastry person!).

I made this as part of the Dorie Greenspan cooking club known as Tuesdays with Dorie. We’re baking out of the cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies. This group makes a recipe every week (I’m only going to be working with the cookie book, so I’m doing the first and third Tuesdays).

 

TWD: Peanut Butter Change Ups

Peanut Butter Change Ups|Frankly Entertaining

Two recipes in a row! I’m on a roll! This week is Dorie’s recipe for Peanut Butter Change-Ups. So, here’s a question, if I change up the change ups does that make them Change Up Squared?! Maybe I’m putting too much thought into a cookie!

I love peanut butter cookies, but I don’t make them very often because my oldest son is allergic to peanuts. It seems kind of unfair to parade warm cookies under my son’s nose when he can’t eat them. I had a few thank yous to give out, and cookies seemed like the right way to do that!

Peanut BUtter Change Ups|Frankly Entertaining

The original recipe called for peanuts, and I didn’t have any on hand, but I did have sweetened coconut and chocolate chips. I also made these minis because, as usual, I like an excuse to eat two cookies instead of one!

I thought the flavor in these was great, and I really liked the chocolate chips even if they weren’t part of the original recipe! The cookies were a little cakey for me, but I’m wondering if that would change if I flattened them. All my non-allergic kids loved these though. I just have a preference for a chewy cookie!

Peanut Butter Change Ups|Frankly Entertaining

I made this as part of the Dorie Greenspan cooking club known as Tuesdays with Dorie. We’re baking out of the cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies. This group makes a recipe every week (I’m only going to be working with the cookie book, so I’m doing the first and third Tuesdays).

Peanut Butter Change Ups|Frankly Entertaining

 

TWD: Chocolate Crème Sandwiches

TWD Chocolate Cremes|Frankly Entertaining

Well looky there, Dorie Greenspan has a new book out. That means I can rejoin the Dorie Greenspan cooking club known as Tuesdays with Dorie. The new cookbook is Dorie’s Cookies. This group makes a recipe every week (I’m only going to be working with the cookie book, so I’m doing the first and third Tuesdays}.

The Tuesdays with Dorie group doesn’t post recipes. For the first couple of weeks they’re using recipes that have been published on the internet. You can find this week’s recipe here.

TWD Chocolate Cremes|Frankly Entertaining

This is basically a deluxe Oreo. If you make this recipe as it’s written it requires a lot of down time. The dough needs one hour in the freezer to chill, and then when you re-roll the scraps it’s supposed to go back in the freezer for another hour. I’m not going to lie to you, I feel no need for the full hour. I put the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes, and I felt good about the dough.

In the picture in the book the frosting filling is bright white. I don’t know how Dorie accomplished this with butter, maybe she used the Wilton icing whitener, but my frosting was a little more yellow. I decided to add a little mint flavor to spice things up a bit! The mint may have been a mistake! I also wish I had used a cookie cutter with a scalloped edge.

Chocolate Cremes|Frankly Entertaining

The flavor in these cookies is pretty intense. Since there are two cookies plus frosting these are pretty rich. I would make them a little smaller next time. My kids weren’t overly impressed with these ones, but I think it was mostly the mint and the extra dark Valrhona chocolate.

Next up are peanut butter change ups, and I’m pretty excited about this one.

TWD: Chocolate Cremes|Frankly Entertaining

DIY Halloween Votives

 

Jack O'Lantern Votives|Frankly Entertaining

 

I had so many Halloween ideas this year, I thought for sure I’d get all kinds of posts up, but Halloween is a week away, and here we are. I have a couple of other festive things up my sleeve, but we’ll see if they make it on here! Halloween isn’t just about the pumpkin recipes, it’s also about the pumpkin themed tea light holders!

Jack O' Lantern Votives|Frankly Entertaining

 

For these Jack O’ Lantern inspired Halloween votives I really just wanted to try my hand at using Glass Etching Cream. I had never used it before, and it seemed like there was a lot that you could do with it. I also thought it would be a great use for the Silhouette Cameo and vinyl.

Halloween Votives|Frankly Entertaining

We cut out a bunch of jack – o – lantern shapes (right now these, and all Halloween files are on sale on the Silhouette store), and just mixed and matched on glass votive holders. A couple of friends came over and we just played around with everything.

Halloween Votives|Frankly Entertaining

The big thing I learned about working with the Glass etching cream is that you have to shake it really well, and put it on really thick.

Halloween Votives | Frankly Entertaining

 

Because the glass votives are so small, we were able to cut more than enough out of one small sheet of vinyl to do seven votives. This is a quick and easy  Halloween craft. I don’t know if I’d make it with kids because the etching cream is pretty potent, but kids can definitely help place the vinyl and design the jack o’ lanterns. To make it more kid friendly, you can also use the battery operated tea lights instead of candles. This project is also extremely cost effective because I had everything on hand. Even if you had to go buy everything, it would still be under $10 (except the Silhouette!).

Jack O'Lantern Votives

Fluffernutter Cheesecake

Fluffernutter Cheesecake | Frankly Entertaining

I promised you guys a recipe that would take you back to your childhood, and this is it, but a little bit grown up! I don’t think I’m the only one who used to love fluffernutter sandwiches when I was a kid. (If you never got to experience the joys of fluffernutter, it’s a peanut butter and marshmallow cream sandwich) What’s not to love about a peanut butter cheesecake topped with a whole lot of peanut butter cream! Make sure you keep a glass of milk close by!

Make sure you add the marshmallow cream right before you serve the cake. The cream spreads quickly, and marshmallow will be everywhere if you let the cake sit. I’m not saying this happened to me, but maybe it happened to … a .. friend … of … a … friend?!

Fluffernutter Cheesecake | Frankly Entertaining

I served his at a fun cheesecake tasting party that I had with some friends, because sometimes the ladies need to get together and enjoy cake! If you need a girls’ night, I highly recommend one where everyone brings a dessert to share!

The chocolate part of this is in the crust, but you could definitely add a chocolate drizzle over the top if you want to amp it up a bit. Whatever you do, you can’t go wrong with a chocolate and peanut butter combo!

This recipe is part of #choctoberfest. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win an amazing prize pack.

 

Fluffernutter Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. crushed Oreos
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 3 x  80z. packages Cream Cheese
  • 3/4 c. Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 jar marshmallow cream

 

Instructions:

  1. Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter and press into a springform pan and bake at 350º for 10 minutes.
  2. Cream together cream cheese and sugar.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  4. Mix in vanilla.
  5. Stir in peanut butter.
  6. Bake at 425º for ten minutes and then lower the temperature to 250º for 45 minutes.
  7. Put it in the fridge overnight. Top with marshmallow cream right before serving.

Enter now to win our #Choctoberfest 2016 prize pack! We’ll be picking a winner at random winner on Saturday, Oct. 22, so enter by Friday to make sure your name is in the drawing:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Choctoberfest-2015-1

An InLinkz Link-up


Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints|Frankly Entertaining

Thanks to Imperial Sugar for helping with today’s recipe.

Today I’m posting my first recipe for #Choctoberfest. I definitely think #Choctoberfest is a celebration that I can get behind. What’s not to love about dozens of bloggers getting together to celebrate their love of chocolate! I have a couple of recipes to share. Today’s is a recipe that I really thought about because I want it to be delicious (obviously) and I wanted it to look good. So, if I’m being completely honest with you, this recipe probably doesn’t need the white chocolate drizzle, but I thought it added a nice contrast! My kids ate all the drizzle ones and I ate more than my fair share of the plain ones!

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints|Frankly Entertaining

One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and cherry, and so this cookie seemed like a natural extension of everything that I hold near and dear.

I used a store brand cherry jam and it’s just the right balance with the chocolate. My husband’s comment was, “they’re sweet,” and I think that’s perfect when Imperial Sugar sent me 40lbs of sugar (my UPS guy must love me!)! I used a baby spoon to get the perfect amount of jam onto the cookies before baking. If you have little helpers, creating the thumbprints is a perfect job for little hands and thumbs! I also used a mini cookie scoop, and this recipe made 5 dozen of the mini cookies.

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints|Frankly Entertaining

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, and be sure to check out today’s other #Choctober recipes at the end of the post.

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 1/4 c. Imperial Sugar + 1/4 c. for rolling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. cocoa
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. cherry jam

Instructions:

  1. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add eggs and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients (except for the extra sugar for rolling), and add to the butter mixture.
  4. Use a mini scoop to create balls of dough.
  5. Roll dough balls in sugar and create an indentation with your thumb.
  6. Add 1/2 tsp of jam to each indentation.
  7. Bake at 375º for ten minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Choctoberfest-2015-1

Thank you to the sponsors who make #Choctoberfest possible! This year, Imperial Sugar is back as our Gold Sponsor. They have been a trusted name in kitchens since 1843, and their website is home to thousands of sweet recipes tested in the Imperial Sugar Kitchen. You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, or join their Sweet Community so you can share your own recipes, save recipes to a virtual inbox, print Imperial Sugar coupons, and connect with other sugar lovers.

Imperial Sugar and our silver sponsors have banded together to offer a huge #Choctoberfest prize pack, which you can enter to win below! One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive the following:

  • From our Gold Sponsor Imperial Sugar: 1 case of granulated sugar (40 pounds), 1 case of brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of dark brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of powdered sugar (24 pounds bags), and an Imperial Sugar red ruffle apron
  • From our Silver Sponsor Nature Nate’s: 32 oz. Raw & Unfiltered Honey bottle, Honey Syrup, Honey Packets, a Nature Nate’s T-shirt, various kitchen supplies, and $50 Amazon gift card
  • From our Silver Sponsor Barlean’s:16 oz Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Coconut Oil, 9.52 oz canister of Chocolate Silk Greens, and 8oz bottle of Essential Women Omega-Swirl Chocolate Mint
  • From our Silver Sponsor Caveman Coffee: 1 Bag of Coffee (you choice of blacklisted or sabertooth), 1 coconut MCT oil, and 1 Cacao Butter
  • From #Choctoberfest blog hosts The PinterTest Kitchen: 1 specialty chocolate gift pack (your choice of dark or milk chocolate), 1 tin (14 ounces) drinking chocolate, and Divine’s Fair Trade Gift Set

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints|Frankly Entertaining

Enter now to win our #Choctoberfest 2016 prize pack! We’ll be picking a winner at random winner on Saturday, Oct. 22, so enter by Friday to make sure your name is in the drawing:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s #Choctoberfest + A Giveaway

Choctoberfest-2015-1

I am so excited to be participating in #Choctoberfest this year (who needs beer and sausage?!)! I have some fun recipes to post including an amazing cheesecake that will take you back to your elementary school days. I hope you check back for the recipes and check out what the other bloggers are making. don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page.

 

#Choctoberfest is a virtual event put together by The PinterTest Kitchen. Bloggers from around the world will be posting their favorite chocolate recipes, and you’ll get a chance to win some awesome prizes. What’s not to love?

Thank you to the sponsors who make #Choctoberfest possible! This year, Imperial Sugar is back as our Gold Sponsor. They have been a trusted name in kitchens since 1843, and their website is home to thousands of sweet recipes tested in the Imperial Sugar Kitchen. You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, or join their Sweet Community so you can share your own recipes, save recipes to a virtual inbox, print Imperial Sugar coupons, and connect with other sugar lovers.

Imperial Sugar and our silver sponsors have banded together to offer a huge #Choctoberfest prize pack, which you can enter to win below! One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive the following:

  • From our Gold Sponsor Imperial Sugar: 1 case of granulated sugar (40 pounds), 1 case of brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of dark brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of powdered sugar (24 pounds bags), and an Imperial Sugar red ruffle apron
  • From our Silver Sponsor Nature Nate’s: 32 oz. Raw & Unfiltered Honey bottle, Honey Syrup, Honey Packets, a Nature Nate’s T-shirt, various kitchen supplies, and $50 Amazon gift card
  • From our Silver Sponsor Barlean’s:16 oz Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Coconut Oil, 9.52 oz canister of Chocolate Silk Greens, and 8oz bottle of Essential Women Omega-Swirl Chocolate Mint
  • From our Silver Sponsor Caveman Coffee: 1 Bag of Coffee (you choice of blacklisted or sabertooth), 1 coconut MCT oil, and 1 Cacao Butter
  • From #Choctoberfest blog hosts The PinterTest Kitchen: 1 specialty chocolate gift pack (your choice of dark or milk chocolate), 1 tin (14 ounces) drinking chocolate, and Divine’s Fair Trade Gift Set

Enter now to win our #Choctoberfest 2016 prize pack! We’ll be picking a winner at random winner on Saturday, Oct. 15, so enter by Friday to make sure your name is in the drawing:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s a list of all of the bloggers participating in #Choctoberfest 2016. Visit any of their blogs to get delicious chocolate recipes throughout the week:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin’ MamasA Kitchen Hoor’s Adventuresaddicted 2 recipesAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAn Affair From The HeartBalancing MotherhoodBody RebootedBottom Left of the MittenBy the PoundsCanning and Cooking at HomeCoconut & LimeCook with 5 KidsCook’s HideoutCookaholic WifeCooking with CarleeCopyKat RecipesCricket’s ConfectionsCrumbs in my MustachioElisabeth JeanFairyburgerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFamily Around the TableFantastical Sharing of RecipesFeed Your Soul TooFeeding BigFrankly EntertainingFull Belly SistersGet the Good StuffGrumpy’s HoneybunchHezzi-D’s Books and CooksHostess At HeartInk and SugarJane’s Adventures in DinnerJoin Us, Pull Up a ChairKaren’s Kitchen AdventuresKate’s Recipe BoxKudos Kitchen by ReneeKylee CooksLetz EatLife CurrentsLife on Food Making MiraclesMonica’s TableMoore or Less Cooking Food BlogMy Catholic KitchenMy Gluten Free MiamiOur Good LifePalatable PastimeRestless ChipotleSeduction in The KitchenSew You Think You Can CookSimple Food 365Southern With A TwistSumptuous SpoonfulsTake Two TapasTampa Cake GirlTeaspoon of GoodnessThat RecipeThe Crumby CupcakeThe FlavouristaThe Food Hunter’s Guide To CuisineThe Freshman CookThe Pajama ChefThe Redhead BakerThe Spiffy CookieTramplingroseWildflour’s Cottage KitchenZesty South Indian Kitchen

I’m looking forward to seeing all of the yummy recipes posted on these blogs. Check them out throughout the week and don’t forget to follow our sponsors and bloggers using the Rafflecopter giveaway widget above for your chance to win the amazing prize pack.

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