Non-traditional items such as natural, rustic tree branches in varying sizes can easily transform into gorgeous ornaments.
• Brush the bottom of a rectangular piece of driftwood with gold paint.
• Stack various sizes of wooden circles for an organic, yet chic take on teardrop-shaped ornaments.
• A light misting of white spray paint and gold wire transform sticks into pieces of art.
Drill two small holes in the top of each ornament, then place ends of string in each hole and secure with hot glue.
A little bit of creativity transforms corrugated cardboard from a shipping necessity to a surprisingly chic decorative accent.
• Cut sheets of corrugated cardboard at various angles (very gradual angles for more rounded ornaments and sharper angles for thinner ornaments).
• Starting with the wider end, roll each piece of cardboard.
• Hot glue the end of the cardboard to form an ornament.
String as individual ornaments or string several together to form a garland.
Covering a gift box with faux tree shavings (available at craft stores) is an easy and unique alternative to traditional giftwrap. Simply hot glue equally spaced strips to the box and your gift box is instantly elevated.
Abstract watercolor paintings are simple to do and can revamp everyday Kraft Paper. Choose 2-3 similar colors and paint a few large strokes. Wrap your gift in Kraft Paper, and once painting is dry, carefully tear the edge of watercolor paper, and use it to wrap one end of the gift.
For a finishing touch, adorn your gifts with fun trinkets that double as ornaments. Spray paint a small toy deer gold for a gilded effect, and hot glue it to a small piece of wood, then attach to the top of your gift. Transform a twig into a lovely curiosity with white and gold paint.
The holidays wouldn’t be complete without sweets, so we’ve included three recipes that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Recipes compliments of Repertoire
¾ c. butter (softened)
1 c. brown sugar
¾ c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. All-Purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ c. granola
½ c. quick oats
¾ c. craisins
¼ c. pecans
Preheat the oven to 350º. Cream butter and sugars, and then add vanilla and eggs. Next, add flour, baking soda and salt. Add in granola and oatmeal. Fold in raisins and pecans. With a cookie scoop or two spoons, drop onto un-greased, not-lined cookie sheets and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely.
ORANGE SHORTBREAD COOKIES
1 c. salted butter (softened)
½ c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. finely grated, fresh orange peel (packed)
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. orange juice
½ tsp. butter flavoring
2 c. All-Purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350º. In a medium bowl, beat together butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Mix in orange zest, vanilla, orange juice and butter flavoring. Add flour, and then beat until well blended. With a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom to make sure everything is combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, for 20-30 minutes. Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thickness. Using a 2″circular cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place them on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Chill pan for 10 minutes. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes, until light brown on bottom and just barely golden around the edges. Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely.
2 tbsp. orange juice
1 c. powdered sugar
zest of half an orange
2 tbsp. cream cheese (melted)
In a medium bowl, slowly whisk orange juice and powdered sugar. Add orange zest and cream cheese and whisk until well combined. Once cookies are cooled, brush them with icing using a pastry brush.
RED VELVET BISCOTTI
1 box red velvet cake mix
¾ c. All-Purpose flour
½ c. butter (melted)
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 bags white chocolate
1 c. pecans (chopped)
Preheat oven to 350º. Combine first five ingredients. Mix with a spatula. On a parchment lined baking sheet, separate the dough in half and mold each half into a 12×2 inch log. Make sure the top is flat. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Cut the logs diagonally into 1-inch slices. Arrange the slices, side up, on the baking sheet. Bake for another 10 minutes, and then allow the biscotti to cool completely. Dip the individual biscotti in white chocolate and cover in chopped pecans.
Get in the holiday spirit with these seasonal drinks.
GET THE LOOK • Sparkling Pomegranate-Rosemary served in Juliska glass >> ANNELLE PRIMOS | Jackson, MS • Marble Coasters >> BELLACHES | Ridgeland, MS • Grown Up Eggnog served in pewter cup & Beelicious Wildflower Honey >> The Everyday Gourmet | Ridgeland, MS
¼ c. water
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. fresh rosemary
½ c. pomegranate juice
2 c. champagne
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add rosemary and let stand 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve to remove rosemary leaves.
Pour 2 parts pomegranate juice and 1 part rosemary syrup into glass. Top with champagne. Garnish with pomegranate and lemon rind (optional).
Grown Up Eggnog
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
¾ c. sugar
⅓ c. whiskey
⅓ c. brandy
⅓ c. dark rum
1 whole nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
Separate the yolk and white of 6 eggs. Mix yolks well, slowly adding in 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk and ¾ cup sugar. Whip the whites until small peaks form. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Add in ⅓ cup whiskey, ⅓ cup brandy and ⅓ cup dark rum. Refrigerate uncovered mixture for 2 hours. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Recipe compliments of The Iron Horse Grill
8 oz. fresh cranberries
1 c. sugar water
1 fresh pineapple
Four Roses Bourbon
local Mississippi honey
In small pot reduce cranberries down with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to make cranberry simple syrup. Light the grill and cut pineapple into rings. Grill pineapple rings (make sure to put grill marks on pineapple at 45 degrees). Smoke cinnamon sticks. Combine cranberry simple syrup,one part honey and two parts bourbon in shaker glass. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and steep smoked cinnamon sticks and half of pineapple in the hot water to make a “tea.” Combine everything, pour into festive mug, garnish with smoked cinnamon stick and a grilled pineapple wedge and enjoy!
Think Outside of the (Gift) Box
Package gifts in Mason jars for a cute and quirky option to traditional wrapping.
Combine the dry ingredients to your favorite sweet treat and top with a handmade recipe card. Paint the end of a wooden spoon gold, and attach to jar with twine or hemp cord.
• Transplant succulents into a canning jar without the inner lid to create a terrarium for a simple and thoughtful gift. Tie a handmade gift tag to the top of the jar with twine or hemp cord.
• Use wooden blocks (found at craft stores) to create a handmade “Scraggle” game. Take a paint pen and quirky letting to create a fun gift worth treasuring.