Tag Archives: king arthur flour

Stuck On Early Holiday Shopping? Have Some Ideas!

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Stuck On Early Holiday Shopping? Have Some Ideas!

Hello!! Yes, yes, roll your eyes all you want to my last minute holiday shoppers but Lil Red is over halfway done with her Christmas shopping! In case you haven’t noticed, I absolutely love gift giving and because I have so many people to shop for – the earlier I can get done the better for me. A stress free December where all I have to do is wrap up prezzies is the goal.

However, my drive to complete my holiday shopping doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten stuck on gifts to purchase. In fact, it’s been difficult this year because I feel like I’ve used up all of my best ideas before. Lol, so I had to get creative and if you got gifter’s block like me, you might appreciate these ideas:

Insect Condos:

I have quite a few giftees with a positively green thumb and gifts for the garden always go over well for them. This year, I was very interested in insect condos to help promote healthy garden growth as well as our bee population. These little “houses” feature all of the materials that handy insects like lady bugs, bees, butterflies (the list goes on) love like sawdust, bamboo, and cedar wood.

I thought these insect condos would be a perfect addition to the gardens that my giftees tend so lovingly and you can find tons of amazing homemade ones on Etsy or there are plenty on Amazon. I also had to snag a butterfly feeder for my dad (He doesn’t read my blog so I can post this, I swear!) because him and his granddaughter love watching the butterflies in his garden together. I know they will both be happy with it!

Baking Boxes:

This year, I wanted to get something different for the families I work with as opposed to the normal holiday decor, chocolates, or ornaments. So, I found some baking boxes through King Arthur Flour to gift them with. These boxes come with all of the ingredients to make a delicious dessert and I thought it would be a fun activity that all of them could bake and enjoy together.

There is nothing better for baking than products from King Arthur Flour and I was happy to be able to get such nice gifts for a price I was comfortable with. In fact, I plan on purchasing more as it gets closer to Christmas to have shipped to other loved ones on my list.

Willow Tree Figures:

I have always been fond of gifting the beautiful Willow Tree figurines to people because they are sentimental and simple decor and it’s easy to find one that applies to wherever your giftee is in life. For example, last year when my mom and dad became grandparents, I gifted my mom a statue to represent that, as it was a grandma holding her sweet grandbaby.

From celebrating your pets and relationships to saying thank you by purchasing a Willow figure holding a bouquet of flowers, you are surely to find the right one for your giftee!

Stocking Stuffers:

Stocking stuffers are great if you need a little something extra for a gift or you want to do an entire goodie basket. Winter accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves are a great place to start if you’re doing a gift exchange in your friend group. Cozy blankets, a decadent box of chocolates, and bottles of wine always go over well too! Still stuck? Candles, bath and body care, gift cards, your favorite book, and even socks (I like getting them!) are all crowd pleasers.

Take some of the stress out of your holiday preparations with the gift ideas above. Happy shopping!

When do you normally start holiday shopping? Who is the most difficult person on your list to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Best Tomato Soup You’ll Ever Have

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The Best Tomato Soup You’ll Ever Have

So my mom does a lot of cooking and baking, and she stumbled upon this recipe on http://www.kingarthurflour.com that’s too good not to share with the world. This tomato soup will change your life! It’s SO easy to make and completely delicious.

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 28 oz can tomato puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste (we only use one tablespoon!)
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large saucepan, heat the butter and vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened and golden. Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for ten minutes

In a small bowl, combine the flour and broth, whisking until smooth and add this mixture to the soup, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you’ve used diced tomatoes, puree the soup in a blender or food processor, or use a hang blender. If you’ve used tomato puree, there’s no need to blend; the onion bits will give the soup a bit of body. Return the soup to the stove, and set it on a burner over low to medium heat. Stir in the baking soda (the soup will foam up briefly – don’t worry – but be sure it’s in a big enough pot) the sugar, the milk, and the salt. Heat, stirring to a bare simmer.

The nutrition information is listed right here, along with photos of the recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/creamy-tomato-soup-recipe

All credit to this goes to the fantastic chefs and bakers at King Arthur Flour. Make sure you check out their blog Baking Banter, which you can find on their website.

If you make this recipe, leave me a comment and let me know how you like it! I’m about to go have a bowl now! -Sarah