DIY: make your home smell like christmas!
there are many ways to do this - for example, you could bake a bread, make a pot of apple sauce, and buy a christmas tree then ta-da! christmas smells! but maybe it’s already 5pm on a work night, or maybe you don’t actually feeling like putting time in in the kitchen, or maybe you have things to do all day like laundry and lesson planning, but it would just be so much easier to do all of that if you were surrounded by the smells of holidays… if that is the case this how-to is for you.
- the core of an apple, and maybe some of the peel or scraps you cut off because they were bruised *
- a clementine sliced up (mine was over ripe - so i wasn’t going to use it anyway) or the rind/peel of an orange *
- spices - i used about 2 tsp all together, a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and all spice plus a quarter of a nutmeg *
- a herbal tea bag (mine was ginger peach from trader joes) *
- a vanilla bean or two *
now all you have to do is:
- fill a small sauce pan about half way with water
- throw in all of the ingredients
- cover and bring to a boil
- uncover (or half cover) the pot and simmer on the lowest heat setting on your stove!* all of the ingredients are optional! you can put in whatever smells make YOU think of the holidays! for example - yesterday after isaac and i came home with a teeny wreath i threw some of the broken pieces of pine in the pot too!
your home will QUICKLY fill with the scents of christmas and the best part is that you can re-use this for days in a row. today is day 3 for me! each night i just turn off the stove and leave the contents covered in the pot and in the morning i refill with water and bring it all to a boil again! over time the scent does weaken, but from my current experimentation i’m pretty sure you can use the same pot of ingredients for around 4 days - if you experiment with this i’d love to hear your results!
today my apartment REALLY is smelling lovely since i have a chicken in the slow cooker AND this lovely pot of spices on the stove! i hope you enjoy this easy diy as much as i have so far!!! and you can look forward to some more holiday diys in the coming days and weeks! HAPPY DECEMBER!!!
makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
grated zest of two lemons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together until fluffy. Add vanilla and lemon zest.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients.
Pour into cupcake tins and bake for 20-25 mins at 350. Let cool, then frost.
Strawberry and Lemon Buttercream
2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar + 1 cup extra
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 -1/2 cup chopped strawberries
grated zest of two lemons
1-2 tablespoons of milk (just have on hand if needed)
In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add in powdered sugar slowly with the mixer on low, increasing to combine. Add in vanilla extract. At this point you need to separate the frosting in two. It all depends on how much you want to frost each cupcake. I choose to take about 3/4 of the mixture and make it strawberry, with the rest being lemon. Whichever you decide to do, leave the frosting for the strawberry IN THE MIXER. Put the frosting for the lemon flavor in a separate bowl.
For the strawberry frosting: once the berries are chopped, press them with a paper towel to just release any extra moisture. Add 1/4 cup of the berries and turn the mixer on high, scraping down the sides as you go. Being that strawberries have a high water content, you may need to add some (or all) of the extra cup of powdered sugar. This will depend on the water content of YOUR strawberries, so add 1/4 cup, then more sugar if needed. Repeat until desired flavor/consistency is readers.
For lemon frosting: take the remaining butter mixture and either add it to a clean bowl of your electric mixer or a bowl large enough that you can whisk with some elbow grease. Fold in lemon zest and add milk if needed. I was able to do this by hand with a whisk (whisking VERY hard), but it will also work with an electric mixer.
1. Make a graham cracker crust.
2. Make some cookie dough.
3. Make some cheesecake batter.
4. Put globs of cookie dough in the cheesecake batter.
5. Pour into a springform.
6. Top with more cookie dough.
7. Bake that shit for 40 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit. If patient, go to next step. If you don’t give a fuck, skip directly to step 9.
8. Let chill in fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
9. EAT THAT BITCH.
Watermelon Cake! (tutorial/recipes)
- Adult Version: soak in rum or vodka
- melon balls make lovely toppers for drinks (more serving ideas in the link)