DIY Gift Party

there is a group of woman that came into my life when I was a new mom.  they were also new mommas.  I still vividly remember all of us sitting around in rocking chairs in the nursery of our church, looking like deer in headlights.

the dessert divas 4 yrs later, or as I like to refer to us as the "yummy mommies."

we have been meeting regularly since that crazy beginning, I think there are basically two things that glue us together, dessert.  always.  and the love of Jesus.  {not counting all those other things - another post entirely}

about twice a year we have a homemade gift party.  we all bring something that we have made to share with eachother.  since pinterest, our game has definitely been upped.  not only do we get to go home with 5 awesome homemade gifts, we also get great ideas for sharing with others.

here's what we came up with this time...

naturally antibacterial honey, yummy vanilla, organic.  makes you glow.  uh yes.

how chic are these totes?  in Seattle we now are charged a fee for grocery and retail bags.  so this is a super practical addition to my life.  and the doily print is dear to my heart.

 mason jars.  chocolate.  obvious love.

obviously I need all the help I can get in the cleaning dept.  I try to use all natural cleaners as much as possible, but I do not like the smell of vinegar.  this is awesome, because you can just barely smell the vinegar and a big plus is the pesky fruit flies don't like it.

I don't know about you but sometimes I hold on to my pride at the sake of my family.  this friend is so great at realizing when life is just too much and she needs to draw some boundaries.  how perfectly simple and lovely is this presentation for banana smoothie recipes.
{banana smoothie recipes}

sundae toppings.  pinwheels tutorial here.
{organic salted carmel sauce, vanilla bean dark chocolate fudge sauce, and organic blueberry sauce see below}

and then we enjoy some dessert and non-interrupted conversation.  good night right?

*recipe for organic salted caramel sauce.  oooh its soooo yum.
{I usually make a double batch - its sooooo good!}
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
1/3 cup filtered water
1T brown rice syrup (or could use corn syrup, this keeps the caramel from crystalizing.)
1 1/4 cup organic cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2T grey sea salt (or regular sea salt will also work).  can do less and add to taste.  I like it salty.

bring sugar, water, and syrup to a boil in heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat.  stir minimally, make sure all the sugar is dissolved, you can also use a pastry brush dipped in cold water to brush down any crystals on the sides.  using a candy thermometer, keep boiling until the temperature reaches 330 degrees f.  (in the pacific northwest this takes a while, be patient! - we have lots of humidity, the contessa says 5-7mins where she makes it).  once it reaches near 330, quickly remove from heat, add cream and vanilla and salt.  be careful it may splatter.  return back to low heat and stir until mixture is completely incorporated.

cool and eat!  store in fridge.

*vanilla bean dark chocolate fudge sauce came from here and I just added scraped vanilla bean seeds to it.

*blueberry sauce came from here.  the only change - I cleaned the berries prior to cooking and used a hand blender to mix up the berries while they were cooking, making a thicker sauce rather than a filtered syrup.  do you know how much better a homemade berry sauce/syrup is than store bought?  it actually tastes like berries.  oh my goodness.

happy monday.


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