Gifts, Crafts & Pets Tips

Read these 71 Gifts, Crafts & Pets Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Recipe tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Do you have a recipe for iced coffee mix?

Spicy Iced Coffee Mix

1 cup instant coffee granules
1 cup non-dairy powdered creamer
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Process all ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Store in an airtight container.

Gift card instructions: Pour 8 ounces boiling water over 2 Tablespoons mix; stir until well
blended. Cool and serve chilled over ice.

   
Do you have a recipe for edible clay?

Chocolate Clay

1 can ready-to-spread chocolate frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix together all 3 ingredients, and use as you would use Play-Doh. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Keeps for a few weeks when stored as directed. (and it tastes pretty good, too!)

   
How do I make finger paint?

Kool-Aid Finger Paint

2 cups flour
2 packs unsweetened Kool-aid
1/2 cup salt
3 cups boiling water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Mix flour, Kool-aid and salt. Add water and oil and mix thoroughly.

   
Do you have a recipe for spicy nuts?

Hot & Spicy Mixed Nuts

2 cups pecan halves
2 cups walnut halves
2 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp white wine Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground white pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Place nuts in a 9 x 13" baking pan. In a small bowl,
combine melted butter, white wine Worcestershire sauce, salt, and peppers. Pour mixture over nuts; stir to coat. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10
minutes. Cool in pan. Store in an airtight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for play-dough?

Homemade Play-Doh

Mix together...
1 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup salt
1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid (for scent)
Add...
1 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Stir until a soft dough forms and then knead until smooth. Store in an air-tight container in refrigerator.

   
Do you have a recipe for popcorn spice?

Louisiana Popcorn Spice

3 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1-1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
bag of microwave popcorn

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except popcorn until well blended. Store in an
airtight container.

Gift Card Instructions: Microwave popcorn according to package directions. Open bag carefully to avoid steam. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon seasoning mix over popcorn. Hold top of bag closed and shake until popcorn is completely coated.

   
Do you have a recipe for dog biscuits?

Doggie Christmas Cookies

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour 1/4 cup Cornmeal 1 Egg 3/4 cup Water 1/4 tsp Nutmeg 1/2 cup Peanut Butter 2 Tbsp Honey Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine all dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8" thick. If the dough is too tough to roll, add a little more water. Using the cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the shapes and place them on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick coating. Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Let air dry for 24 hours.

   
Do you have a recipe for dog biscuits?

Chicken Flavored Dog Biscuits

1 package Dry yeast
1/4 cup Warm water
2 cups Chicken stock
3-1/2 cups Unbleached flour
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 cup Rye flour
2 cups Cracked wheat or wheat germ
1/2 cup Dry milk
1 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Milk

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Beat egg with 1 Tbsp milk. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Add to chicken stock. Combine all dry ingredients. Add chicken stock mixture. Knead on a floured surface for about 3 minutes, working into a stiff dough. Roll out to a thickness of 1/4". Cut into bars, or shape with a cookie cutter. Brush with egg/milk wash and place on cookie sheets. Bake in 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Turn off heat and leave biscuits in oven overnight.

   
Do you have a recipe for dog biscuits?

Bacon Dog Biscuits

5 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 cup Milk
2 Eggs
10 Tbsp Vegetable oil or bacon fat
1 tsp Onion or garlic powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients well. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll them into two-inch balls. Put them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Let them cool, then store in an airtight container. Makes 40 biscuits.

   
Do you have a recipe for potato soup mix?

Potato Soup Mix

1-1/4 cups instant potato flakes
1 cup nonfat dry milk
1 cup dry creamer
2 Tbsp instant chicken bouillon
2 tsp dried minced onions
1-1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well. Put in decorative bags or mason jars as gifts.

Gift card instructions: To Serve, put 1/4 cup of dry soup mix in a bowl or mug. Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir, let stand for a minute to thicken.

   
Do you have a recipe for a snack mix?

Sweet & Hot Snack Mix

1 (14 ounce) package honey nut toasted oat cereal
1 (12 ounce) package square corn cereal
8 cups popped popcorn
1 (11-1/2 ounce) can mixed nuts
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup small red cinnamon candies
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 (16 ounce) package candy coated peanut butter pieces

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large greased roasting pan, combine cereals,
popcorn, and nuts. In a medium pan, combine butter, corn syrup, cinnamon candies, sugar, chili powder, salt, and red pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until candies melt. Pour
over cereal mixture. Stir until well coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on foil. Cool completely. Add peanut butter pieces. Store in
an airtight container. Makes about 34 cups of snack mix.

   
Do you have a recipe for Potpourri?

Potpourri Bundles

1/2 yard of burlap
1/2 cup of bay leaves
1/2 cup of pinecones
1/2 cup of rose hips
orange oil
cinnamon oil

Combine bay leaves, pinecones and rose hips. Add 20 drops of orange and 10 drops of cinnamon oil. Shake together in a paper bag to distribute the scent.

Cut burlap into a large square shape. Add potpourri to the center of the square. Grab all four ends and tie with twine.

   
Do you have a recipe for spicy walnuts?

Spicy Walnuts

2 Cups Walnuts
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay walnuts in a jelly roll pan. Toast walnuts in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix sugar, oil, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and salt in a bowl. Remove walnuts from the oven. Shake the spice mixture over the nuts and
toss until thoroughly coated. Spread nuts in a single layer; cool completely in pan. Store at room temperature in an airtight container up to 1 month.

   
Do you have a recipe for face paint?

Face Paint

1/2 tsp water
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cold cream
2 drops of food coloring, whatever color you desire

Mix ingredients well and apply to face. Make many different colors for variety.

   
Do you have a recipe for salsa mix?

Salsa Mix

1-1/2 cup dried cilantro
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup dried onion flakes
1/4 cup dried red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container.

Gift card instructions...
Blend 2 Tbsp salsa mix with one (10 ounce) can Mexican style tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips.

   
Do you have a recipe for cinnamon ornaments?

No-Bake Cinnamon Ornaments

3/4 to 1 cup applesauce
4 ounces ground cinnamon

Mix applesauce with cinnamon to form stiff dough. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut dough with cookie cutters. Make a hole for a hanging ribbon with a straw.

Let dry on rack for several days, turning occasionally. Decorate with royal icing or paint as desired. When thoroughly dry, spray with clear spray to preserve. Put a thin ribbon through hole to hang.

   
What are some easy gift basket ideas?

Mocha Fudge Mix

1 - 16 ounce package powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients. Store in a decorative, airtight container.

Gift card instructions...Place Fudge mix in a 2 quart glass bowl. Add 1/2 cup butter or margarine. Microwave on high, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1 cup chopped pecans. Pour mixture into an 8 inch buttered square baking dish. Refrigerate until firm, and cut into squares.

   
Can I make my own watercolor paints?

Water Color Paints

For 1/4 cup of paint...

1 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp glycerin
2 drops of any food coloring
1 tsp water

Combine the baking soda and vinegar. When the baking soda mixture stops foaming, add the cornstarch and glycerin, mix well. Add food coloring. Add water a drop at a time until the paint is the right consistency. Store the watercolors in a tightly covered jar (baby food jars work great).

   
What is the best way to mail holiday cookies to my children?

Mailing cookies

The best way I've found to mail cookies is to pack them in cooled, popped popcorn. The popcorn prevents broken cookies and is lightweight so it won't add to the postage costs.

   
Do you have a recipe for a beverage I can include in a gift basket?

Hot Cocoa Mix

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 cups instant nonfat dry milk powder
2 cups powdered nondairy coffee creamer
2 cups powdered chocolate milk mix
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. Makes 8 cups mix.

Attach a gift card with these instructions...Combine 1/4 cup mix and 3/4 cup boiling water, stirring well.

This is really nice when packaged in a pretty mug.

   
Any ideas for a good holiday drink?

Mulling Spice Mix

1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground orange peel (fresh or dried)
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine all. (makes enough for 4 servings) Store in airtight containers.

To make mulled cider or wine: (this is for one serving, so adjust amounts to make more)

1/4 cup mix
1 cup apple juice or wine
1/4 cup cup water

Bring all the ingredients to a boil. Let simmer gently for 5 minutes. This smells heavenly while you are simmering!

   
What are some easy gift basket ideas?

Friendship Tea

1-1/4 cups instant tea
1/2 cup lemonade flavor drink mix
1/2 cup orange flavor drink powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup red cinnamon candies

Combine ingredients as listed. Package for gift-giving...I like to put it in a pretty bag and place it in a big mug.

Directions on card...

For 1 serving combine 1 tablespoon of mix and 1 cup hot water in a mug. Add sweetener if desired.

   
How do I make birdseed?

Wild Birdseed Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup pure rendered suet
2 eggs
2/3 cup of Wild Bird Seed Blend
Elbow Macaroni
2 egg whites for wash
Bird-shaped cookie cutters
Twine or string to hang cookies

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until crumbly. Add eggs until well blended. Add birdseed, and knead until smooth.

Wrap 'dough' in waxed paper and plastic bag and chill for an hour or overnight.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thickness. Cut out shapes with a lightly floured cookie cutter.

Press one elbow macaroni toward the top of each cookie for easy hanging. Brush cookies with slightly beaten egg whites, and press more birdseed over the top of each cookie. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until cookies harden. Cool, and hang in a tree.

   
How do I make pumpkin potpourri?

Pumpkin Potpourri

1-2 cups Pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp allspice
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup whole cloves
3-4 Sticks of cinnamon
Fake red berries or red hots

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Clean the pumpkin seeds & dry with a paper towel. Pour the seeds into a baking dish. Add cinnamon, allspice and oil. Mix well so that all seeds are coated.

Place in the oven, stirring every 5 minutes until golden brown, 30-50 minutes. Mix in the cloves.

Put mixture into a potpourri bowl and add the cinnamon sticks and berries or red hots.

   
How do I make caramel corn?

Caramel Corn

15 cups popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Divide popcorn between 2 ungreased 13x9x2" baking pans. Cook brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup and salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly around edges. Continue cooking for 5 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in baking soda until foamy. Pour over popcorn, stirring until corn is well coated. Bake for one hour, uncovered, stirring every 15 minutes.

   
Do you have a recipe for spiced walnuts?

Cinnamon Walnuts

1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1-1/2 cups walnut halves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Bring the water to a boil. Add the sugar, cinnamon and cream of tartar. Stirring occasionally, boil to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove
from the heat and add the walnuts. Stir in vanilla and continue stirring until all of the nuts are coated and mixture has sugared completely. Remove
the walnuts and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Cool for 1 hour and then store in an airtight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for dog biscuits?

Liver treats for dogs

1 pound of raw liver
2 cloves garlic
1 box corn muffin mix

Place liver and garlic in a blender, mix until liquefied, then add the muffin mix. Press onto cookie sheet, until between 1/2" and 1" thick. Bake at the suggested time and temperature for muffin mix, until firm. Cut into bite sized pieces. Can be frozen and thawed as needed.

   
Do you have a recipe for potpourri?

Simmering Potpourri

1/4 cup whole cloves
3 bay leaves
2 pieces orange peel
3 sticks cinnamon
2 sections lemon
1 quart water

Simmer over low heat. Can be used day after day by adding more water and re-heating.

For gift giving, put ingredients in a jar with instructions on how to use.

   
Do you have a recipe for soap crayons?

Soap Crayons

2 Tbsp water
soap flakes
food coloring

Pour the water into a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill the cup to the top with soap flakes. Stir until mixture is thick, with no big lumps. Add 30 to 40 drops of food coloring of your choice and stir. Scoop the mixture into ice cube trays, tamping down until full. Allow cubes to sit in a dry, warm place for 1 or 2 days or until completely hardened. Pop out of tray and store in an airtight container.

   
What are some easy gift basket ideas?

Herb & Pepper Cheese Spread

2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp dillseeds
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet red, green or yellow pepper...or a mixture of the 3

Combine first 6 ingredients; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in sweet pepper. Spoon into crocks or airtight containers; refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Directions for gift card: Store cheese spread in refrigerator up to 1 week. Serve with bagel chips or crackers.

   
Do you have a recipe for cat food?

Meal for Finicky Cats

1 cup cooked chicken, diced
1/4 cup shredded carrots, steamed
1/4 cup fresh broccoli, diced & steamed
Chicken broth

Mix ingredients with enough chicken broth to hold mixture together. Serve!

You can add variety by adding rice or other vegetables, or use steamed fish instead of the chicken.

   
Do you have a recipe to make finger paints for my kids?

Finger Paints

4 cups boiling water (add more or less till paint is the right consistency)
1 cup Linit starch
1/2 cup soap flakes (like Ivory)

Mix the starch with enough cold water to make a smooth paste. Add boiling water and cook until mixture is glossy. Add food coloring after the mixture cools.

   
Do you have a recipe for craft slime?

I've been slimed!

Measure equal amounts of white glue and liquid laundry starch, about 1/2 cup to start, into a bowl.
Stir thoroughly, and then let rest for 5 minutes.
Knead it with your hands, until it comes together. It will stay fresh for weeks in an air-tight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for modeling dough?

Modeling Dough

Ingredients...
1 cup very warm water
1 cup table salt
2 cups all purpose flour
Egg white

Tools...
Bowl and spoon for mixing
Damp cloth
Pastry brush

Mix together water, salt and flour, knead until smooth. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for a few minutes.

Make any shapes you like. You can even roll out the dough to about 1/2" thick and let your children put their handprints in the dough. If you want to hang the "ornaments", put a hole in the top with a straw before baking. Brush with egg white and bake in 325 degree oven until golden brown.

   
Do you have a soup mix I can add to a gift basket?

Beef & Bean Soup

1/4 cup dried Pinto beans
1/4 cup split peas
1/4 cup white beans
1/4 cup kidney beans

Layer these in a mason jar, and add a seasoning packet that contains...
2 Tbsp. dried onion
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. parsley
2 Tbsp. powdered beef broth
1/8 tsp. pepper

The instruction card should read:

Wash and soak beans overnight. Drain, and add one can of tomato soup and a pound of browned hamburger. Simmer for 20 minutes.

   
How do I make dog biscuits?

SnickerPoodles

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup honey
2 eggs
3-3/4 cups white flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix vegetable oil, shortening and honey together until smooth. Add eggs and beat well. Blend in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Knead dough until mixed well. Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls. Mix the cornmeal and cinnamon together in a bowl and roll balls in cornmeal mixture. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with a nonstick spray. Press the balls down with a fork twice going in 2 different directions or press with your favorite stamp. Bake 8 minutes at 400. Remove from baking
sheet and cool on a rack. Makes 36 biscuits.

   
How do I make dog biscuits?

Peanut Butter & Banana Dog Biscuits

1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/8 cup nonfat dry milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 to 1 cup of water

Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the egg, banana and peanut butter. Blend well with a pastry blender until peanut butter and banana are about the size of small peas. Add the water gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon. The dough should be very stiff; if it isn't, add a little more flour. Knead the dough with your hands to create a smooth texture.

Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. It helps to lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough. Use the cookie cutter to cut out the biscuits. Place the biscuits about 1/2 inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes to one hour. The biscuits should be lightly browned and they should not be moist on the inside. Turn the oven off and let the biscuits stay inside without opening the door for five hours, or overnight, to let them harden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

   
Do you have a recipe for a snack mix?

Easy snack mix

8 cups oyster crackers
1 jar (12 ounce) dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 packages ranch style dressing mix (0.4 ounces each)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large roasting pan, combine crackers and peanuts.
In a small pan, melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in dressing mix. Pour over cracker mixture. Stir until well coated. Bake 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool in pan. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 11 cups snack mix.

   
Do you have a recipe for biscuit mix?

Cheddar Garlic Biscuit mix

4 cups baking mix, such as Bisquik
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning

In a large bowl, combine baking mix, cheese, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Divide mix in half. Place each half in a resealable plastic bag.
Store in refrigerator.

Gift card instructions: Store biscuit mix in refrigerator until ready to prepare. Preheat
oven to 425 degrees F. Place mix (about 2-1/2 cups) in a medium bowl. Add 3/4 cups milk; stir until well blended. On a lightly floured surface, use a floured
rolling pin to roll out dough to 1/2" thickness. Use a 2" diameter biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits. Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Bake 11-13
minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

   
Do you have a recipe for pralines?

Pralines

1 package butterscotch pudding mix
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups pecans

Mix all ingredients except pecans in a large saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture boils. Continue to cook, stirring, until it reaches soft ball stage. Remove from the heat and add pecans. Beat until mixture begins to thicken. Drop by tablespoonful onto waxed paper.

   
Do you have a recipe for bird treats?

Bird treats

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 large egg whites
2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups instant oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
1/4 cup thawed frozen pineapple-orange concentrate
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts
1 package of Sun Maid Fruit Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat egg white and oil until frothy. Add juice and blend. Add flour, oats, baking soda, and cinnamon and blend well. Stir in walnuts or pine nuts and fruit bits. Place teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Store in an air-tight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for cat food?

Cat Treats

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp wheat germ
1/4 cup soy flour
1/3 cup dry milk
1 tsp catnip
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Unsulfured molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix dry ingredients, then add the rest. Roll onto a greased cookie sheet, and cut into bite sized pieces.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Store in an air-tight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for dog biscuits?

Cheesy Dog Treats

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup Butter
1 cup Water
3/4 cup Cornmeal
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Beef Bouillon
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 Egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Boil water. Combine oats, butter and water. Let stand ten minutes. Stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, cheese and egg. Mix well. Add flour, a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition to form a stiff dough. On floured surface, knead in remaining flour until dough is smooth and no longer sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. Roll or pat out dough to 1/2" thickness. Cut with bone shaped cookie cutter. Place 1" apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

   
Do you have a recipe for granola cookies?

Granola Cookies

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup coconut, packed
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Layer ingredients in the order given in a quart sized wide mouth canning jar, mixing the flour together with the baking powder. Press each layer firmly in place, seal lid tightly.

Gift card directions...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Empty jar of cookie mix into a large mixing bowl, blend well. Add 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 slightly beaten egg, and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix with your hands until completely blended. Shape into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 14 minutes until edges are lightly browned.

   
Do you have a recipe for a beverage I can include in a gift basket?

Spiced Tea Punch mix

1 (22 ounce) jar instant orange-flavored drink (Tang)
3/4 cup instant tea with lemon
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp ground cloves
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

Directions for gift card...Combine 3/4 cup Spiced Tea Punch mix, 1/2 gallon unsweetened pineapple juice, 1/2 gallon apple juice, and 4 cups water in a dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

   
Is there a way to make my own sidewalk chalk?

Sidewalk Chalk

Plaster of Paris
Water
Tempra Paint or Food Coloring

Mix 2 quarts Plaster of Paris with 1 part water. Mix in desired color.

Pour into paper towel or toilet paper tubes, tube should be about 3" long.

Leave tubes to dry, this could take several days. Remove the chalk from the tubes and it is ready to use.

   
Do you have a recipe for dog biscuits?

Dog Biscuits

3-1/2 cups White Flour
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 cup Rye flour
1 cup Cornmeal
2 cups Cracked wheat
4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Dried milk
1 Egg
1 packet Dry yeast
2 cups Chicken stock

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water. Add chicken stock to yeast. Mix together the dry ingredients, and then add the stock/yeast mixture.

Knead for 3 minutes, working into a (very) stiff dough. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut with cookie cutter.

Bake in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the biscuits in the oven overnight to harden.

   
How do I make nectar for hummingbirds?

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

Mix together 1 cup boiling water with 1/4 cup white sugar until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool completely before placing in a hummingbird feeder.

Nectar should be replaced a minimum of once a week and more often in the summer. Locate the feeder in a sunny spot if possible. Clean the feeder with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly each time the nectar is replaced.

   
My daughter wants to make dough ornaments, can you tell me how?

Clay for Baking

4 cups flour
1-1/4 cups water
1 cup salt

Mix together all ingredients and knead the dough until smooth. Add food coloring if desired. Make shapes and bake at 300 degrees until set and golden (30-60 minutes). After the shapes have cooled, you can seal them with shellac. For a more golden appearance, you can paint the cooked dough with a beaten egg.

   
How do I make a volcano for a science project?

Chemical Volcano

1 Empty 25 ounce plastic bottle
1 Tbsp liquid dish detergent
A Few drops red food coloring
1 cup vinegar
1-1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp baking soda
dirt

Build a mound of dirt around the bottle, keeping the top of the bottle open. Combine the liquid detergent and food coloring in the bottle. Add 1 cup vinegar. Pour in the warm water almost to the top. In a spoon, blend the baking soda with a little water to moisten it
and then quickly pour into the bottle. Stand back and watch your volcano...this is best done outside.

   
How do I make edible clay?

Edible Modeling Clay

1/3 cup margarine
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar
food coloring (optional)

Mix first 4 ingredients together; add powdered sugar. Knead well, then divide and add food coloring. Keep refrigerated to keep from spoiling when not in use. You can replace vanilla with any other flavored extracts.

   
How do I make bathtub paints?

Bathtub Finger Paints

1/3 cup clear, mild liquid dish detergent 1 Tbsp cornstarch Food coloring Mix liquid dish detergent and cornstarch together in a small bowl until blended. Pour the mixture, in equal parts, into several sections of a plastic ice cube tray. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring to each section of the tray and mix with a small spoon. Let the kids paint up the tub all they want, it will all rinse clean!

   
How do I make a candy rose?

Candy Roses

Two Hershey's Kisses
25 inches of floral tape
Red cellophane wrap
Artificial stem

Hold the two Kisses flat sides together. Smoothly and tightly wrap the pieces of cellophane over the tip of one of the kisses and down the other kiss. Twist the excess cellophane at the tip of the second kiss.

Lay the stem on top of the excess cellophane and hold snugly. Start wrapping the floral tape around the stem and cellophane just beneath the kisses, inserting the artificial leaf near the top of the stem.

Continue wrapping the tape down the stem, overlapping it and pulling it tight until you reach the bottom. tear off excess tape. Tie a bow from the ribbon just beneath the leaf. Repeat with more kisses to make a bouquet.

   
Do you have a recipe for caramel corn?

Caramel Corn Supreme

16 cups popped popcorn
2 (10 ounce) cans cashews
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp amaretto flavored oil
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Combine popcorn and cashews in a large roasting pan.

In a heavy large pan, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stop stirring, and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in flavored oil and baking soda (mixture will foam). Pour caramel syrup over popcorn mixture; stir until well coated. Bake 45
minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Spread on foil to cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 21 cups popcorn.

   
How do I get started making gift baskets?

Save your baskets

Save any baskets you get throughout the year, that way you`ll always have a good supply for gifts. You can make many different types of baskets, but choose a few recipes that are universal and can be included in all of the baskets you make.

   
Do you have a recipe for trail mix?

Trail Mix

3 cups honey nut round toasted oat cereal
1 cup sunflower kernels
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup finely chopped dried apples
1 cup golden raisins
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine cereal, sunflower kernels,
almonds, coconut, cranberries, apples, and raisins. Pour sweetened condensed milk over mixture; stir until well coated.

Transfer to a greased jelly roll pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until mixture beings to dry and is
golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Transfer to foil to cool. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Makes about 11 cups.

   
Do you have a recipe for honey pecans?

Honey Pecans

1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups pecan halves
1 Tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine honey, water, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir in pecans until coated with honey mixture. Using a slotted spoon, place pecans in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, turning halfway through baking time. Cool slightly on baking sheet.
Remove and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for potpourri?

Spicy Potpourri

1/4 cup whole cloves
Rind of 1 orange, cut in strips
Rind of 1 lemon, cut in strips
1 cup whole allspice
10 cinnamon sticks
8 small bay leaves
4 whole nutmegs
3 Tbsp star anise
2 Tbsp whole cardamom pods

Mix all ingredients together and display in a large bowl.

   
Do you have a recipe for cinnamon pecans?

Cinnamon Pecans

1 Tbsp egg white
2 cups pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place nuts in a small bowl; pour egg white over nuts and stir until nuts are coated and sticky. Mix sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over nuts, stirring until sugar
mixture completely coats nuts. Spread on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for candied walnuts?

Candied Walnuts

1 egg white
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 pound shelled walnuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until it
becomes foamy. Stir in the brown sugar, spices, vanilla and walnuts, making sure the nuts are well-coated. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray,
and spread the nuts evenly in pan. Bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until well-toasted and golden brown. Cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

   
Do you have a recipe for squeeze paint?

Squeeze Paint

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp tempera powder
plastic squeeze bottle

Mix the flour, salt, water and tempera. Pour mixture into the squeeze bottle. Repeat, using different
colored tempera powder.

Squeeze design onto paper, cardboard or anything you would normally paint. Store paint at room temperature for 4-5 days.

   
Do you have a recipe for peanut butter playdough?

Peanut Butter Playdough

1 (18 ounce) jar creamy peanut butter
6 Tbsp honey
Nonfat dry milk

Mix ingredients with enough of the dry milk to form into a workable dough. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator, or eat your creations.

   
Do you have a recipe for a snack mix?

Onion Sesame Snack Mix

3 cups oyster crackers
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup butter
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine crackers and peanuts. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in soup mix and sesame seeds. Pour over the cracker mixture, and toss until well coated. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely in pan. Store in an airtight container.

   
Do you have an easy mix for a gift basket?

Southwestern Spice Rub

1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
8 dried chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Cook cumin and coriander seeds in a small skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Combine roasted seeds, chiles, and remaining ingredients in a blender; process until mixture is fairly smooth. Store in an airtight container.

Directions for gift card...Sprinkle Southwestern Spice Rub on chicken, beef, and pork before grilling, broiling or baking.

   
How do I make Paper Mache?

Paper Mache'

Newspaper
old nylon stockings
1/4 cup dry wallpaper paste
1 cup water

Tear newspaper into small pieces until you have
about 4 cups. Soak the paper in a bowl of
water overnight.

The next day, place the paper into a nylon stocking and squeeze out the excess moisture. Remove the paper and place it in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix the wallpaper paste with a cup of water. Stir until smooth. Pour a little of the paste over the paper and work it in with your hands. Add a little paste at a time until the paper feels like wet clay.

Dry your projects at room temperature for several days.

   
Is there a way to recycle my eggshells?

Recycle your Eggshells

When you start your garden seeds indoors, plant the seeds in egg shell halves. When it is time to plant them outside, simply crack the shells around the roots of your plants & transplant them outdoors. The shell also acts as a natural fertilizer.

   
Do you have a recipe for homemade bubbles?

Homemade Bubbles

Gently stir together 1/2 cup Dishwashing detergent,
4-1/2 Cups Water, and
4 Tablespoons of glycerin (from the pharmacy). The bubbles seem to work better if you let the mixture set for a day or so before using.

   
What are some easy gift basket ideas?

Holiday Cheese Spread

1 - 10 ounce package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon into 1/2 cup gift containers, cover and chill.

Directions for gift card...Store Holiday Cheese Spread in refrigerator up to 1 week. Serve with crackers.

   
How do I make a homemade bird feeder?

Homemade Bird Feeder

Mix 1 cup of peanut butter with 1/4 cup of honey.
Spread the mixture on a pine cone or bagel. Roll the pine cone or bagel in bird seed. Add a piece of yarn, and hang the feeder from a tree.

   
Do you have a recipe for clay?

Cinnamon Clay

Ingredients...

1 cup applesauce
1-1/2 cups ground cinnamon
1/3 cup white school glue

Tools needed...

Rolling pin
1 medium sized bowl
Wax paper
Selection of Cookie cutters
Knife
Straw
Non-stick cooling rack
Ribbon

What to do...

Mix the applesauce, cinnamon, and glue together in a bowl. Remove from bowl and knead the mixture until it turns into a firm clay, then let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Clay is best when used at room temperature. You may need to dust your rolling pin, hands, or working surface with cinnamon, or you can also use wax paper as your working surface.

Roll out the clay with a rolling pin to approximately 1/8 of an inch thick. Use the cookie cutters to cut out shapes. If you are going to hang your "cookie", use a straw to cut out a hole near the top of it.

Place "cookies" on a non-stick cooling rack or on wax paper. Turn them over occasionally so that they dry evenly and flat. Dry the "cookies" for approximately 5 days. When they have dried you can put a ribbon through the hole for hanging on your Christmas tree or adding to a package.

   
Do you have a recipe for dog biscuits?

Microwave Dog Biscuits

1 cup Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup Dry milk
1/4 cup Cornmeal
1/2 cup Quick cooking oats
1 tsp Sugar
1/3 cup Shortening
1 Tbsp Bouillon granules
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup hot water

Combine first 6 ingredients. Cut in shortening; then add egg, bouillon, and hot water. Knead for 5 minutes and then roll into 1/2" thickness and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Microwave at half power for 5 to 10 minutes, rotating the plate halfway through cooking time.

   
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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.