Special Occasions

Simple Steps To A Happy Valentines Dinner

Valentines cooking special

Everyone wants to have a Valentines that is a special occasion and the good news is you can create that ambiance at home without taking the whole day doing it. After all, what makes Valentines Day so special is spending time with the one or ones that you love. There are many ways to accomplish a nice Valentines evening, so please don’t feel restricted to the following suggestions. These are just some simple idea’s to help put a little enchantment into your Valentines holiday.

1. Of course you will want to use your finest dishes, cutlery, and linens for this meal. Naturally you are going to use a holiday recipe or two for Valentines Day. A recipe such as that deserves to be served on something as special as this occasion. Be sure to have those dishes on a nice, ironed tablecloth. Adding red napkins are a nice touch and they can be folded into the shape of a heart and placed on the plate with a small chocolate or chocolate covered strawberry.

2. Candles around the room set the tone for the evening. Whether the candles are scented or not is up to you. It is perfectly fine to have unscented candles if the one you love has allergies to contend with. Remember to dim the lights, so the candlelight can be thoroughly enjoyed.

3. A simple touch of a few beautiful, bright red flowers can go a long way. In addition to a few well-placed flowers through out the house and dinner table, you can add to the magic by scattering some rose petals on the dining room table.

4. Don’t forget the music. I always love to cook with some music playing quietly in the background. This also works extremely well for when you are dining. Be sure not to play party music like rock and roll, but select something soothing. This is the day of love and love songs are totally appropriate at this time. You may want to have some music selected that you can dance close together to afterwards or just sit and enjoy the lyrics.

5. The menu you select can be as important as your décor. I would recommend staying away from greasy, heavy foods. Being caught up in the moment and trying to hold hands with rib sauce covering them just looses something in the translation. This is not to say that finger food is not acceptable. Hors d’oeuvres are a nice way to start a romantic meal. Something special liked Baked Brie with Raspberry Coulis might be nice. Above all, don’t forget the dessert. There are many Valentines Day recipes for desserts that would complement most dinners. A Linzer Heart Torte or a Mint Cheesecake would do nicely.

With a little preparation you can put together a romantic evening without a lot of work on your part. This leaves time for you to enjoy putting together a special evening and then enjoying that evening in the company of the one you love.

About the Author: Dean Carl enjoys time in the kitchen and making special meals for family and friends. Many fond memories have come from times around the dinner table. This article has been shared courtesy ofhttp://www.recipesforholidays.comand



Special Occasions

Ideas for Valentines Day

[adinserter name=”ebayValentines”]

loveHere are some ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts and dinners. We have found some articles and recipes that will help you create something special that says I Love You.

Great reading and ideas: Simple Steps To A Happy Valentines Dinner and Cooking with Love in the Kitchen

Sweets or cookies that can be packaged creatively make great valentines gifts, here are some recipe ideas:

Jam Drops

Caramel Biscuits

Easy Coconut Ice


Nutty Chocolate Fudge

No Bake Cookies

Recipes for a romantic dinner:

Crab Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Parmesan Crumbed Chicken

Linguine Thai Prawn Balls

Tandoori Chicken with Coriander Tagliatelle

Seafood and Scallops with Hot Chilli Linguine

Seafood Risotto

Beef in Red Wine

Pork and Mango Risotto

Balmain Bugs and Whiting

Desserts for a romantic dinner for Valentines Day:

Peach Chocolate Crepes

Chocolate Mousse

No Cook Lemon Cheesecake


Special Occasions

The Power Of The Meal

Lamb Shanks in Red WineSince the beginning of time one aspect of human social experience has stood out as the ‘place to be’ for communication and family bonding: the meal. In contemporary human life the evening dinner is often the only place and time that a family all sits down together. In tribal times (of course there are still tribes today) the cooking of a slaughtered animal or cultivated vegetables brought the group together to share ideas and feelings. Think about it these days; when you want to take someone out for a romantic date, meet business colleagues, get together with old friends and acquaintances, we go out for a bite to eat. What is it about sharing some food that puts us in such a relaxed and communicable state? Could it simply be science, and the fact that if you are tense when you eat, the food doesn’t digest as well? Or, could it have some psychological basis having to do with the idea that you are sharing some life-giving sustenance with your fellow species instead of warring over it? Subconsciously do we recognize the facts that we will be able to live another day as well as sew healthy seeds for future generations?

Think of all the problems in the world today. Maybe if we all got together for a feast we could work out some practical solutions, say while sipping on coconut milk, or chewing on a loaf of bread. The current (14th) Dalai Lama is quoted as having said, “I sometimes think that the act of bringing food is one of the basic roots of all relationships.”

There is also the idea of food as being a medium for the transferal of emotional energy. I am currently living with a friend who is very adept in the kitchen. He uses high quality ingredients and professional techniques, but he also follows the belief that what mood you are in, the amount of effort and awareness you give the cooking process, and the love and gratitude that you feel for the ability to eat is imperative to making a good meal. I have read in a famous Hari Krishna cookbook as well as Taoist teachings how the actual emotions that the cook feels when making a meal is transmitted into the food via chi energy. Feelings and food are both forms of energy. Native Americans believe that all thoughts and emotions are ‘alive’.

You may have seen the recent film, ‘What the bleep do we know?’ Read about it at In this film world-renowned scientists discuss the idea that all thoughts and emotions are actually physically material in the sense that they are produced by chemicals and are transmitted in electrical forms. Therefore, a happy chef truly spreads happiness by enjoying the preparation of a meal.

So, next time you sit down to a meal with friends or family, or cook for guests, remember the significance of this often undervalued experience. For hundreds of thousands of years our distant relatives’ whole way of social life was based around the acquisition and sharing of food. It is often the main time to communicate to the ones you hold most dearly, so please don’t take it for granted or think that just because it is necessary for survival that there aren’t any meaningful and mysterious aspects to the experience. Relating to each other is one of the most important elements in a social creature’s existence; the meal is a time and place for relationships to sprout and grow. That’s just some of the power of the meal.

About the Author: Jesse S. Somer, M6.Net,


Miscellaneous Food Articles

The Importance of Family Recipes

Potato CakesAs a child I remember waking up early to the smell of my grandmother’s cooking. She would rise at 6 or 7 AM to begin preparing a meal for the family. As usual, this meal would be special. She would know each of our favorite dishes and find the time to make all of them while offering breakfast to the grandchildren, who spent the night frequently. For many people food and family are intimately connected. Modern families have a difficult task when it comes to preserving this connection. How is it possible to make a meal from scratch when you have to work, pick up the kids, clean the house, do the grocery shopping, and carry on relationships with friends and loved ones? We may not be able to do the exact same things in the kitchen that our grandmothers did twenty or thirty years ago, but there are new, innovative ways for both men and women to honor family traditions and preserve the culinary knowledge that has been handed down for generations.

Feeling Full: The Emotional Experience of Food

In her seventh book “The Way To Cook” Julia Child writes “Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.” Family recipes are a way of keeping our ancestry alive, as well as a part of ourselves. Food appeals to all five of our senses and because of this it can evoke vivid memories of our childhood, of our relationships with family members who have passed away and of who we were during that time period. Food can remind us of experiences long forgotten and allow us to relive feelings of comfort, satisfaction or excitement. Preserving family recipes allows us to access these emotions any time we choose, whether it’s a holiday or a simple occasion we want to make special.

Dedicated to Those Who Came Before Us: The Legacy of Food

Documenting family recipes keeps part of the legacy of our relatives and loved ones alive. Each cook in a family contributes her own flavor and style. Laurie Colwin writes, “No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” As we record the thoughts, ideas and processes of our traditional family meals we create an heirloom that will be handed down to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We build a bridge by which our loved ones can learn about who we are, even after we are gone from this world. Part of knowing the path ahead is to understand where you come from. This legacy of food passed down from one generation to another is a tool, a family tree of foods, a line that can be traced for decades into the past and the future.

Bringing the Family Together: The Heritage of Food

Food is a universal need, eating is something all human beings do. Because of this, meals have been a symbol throughout the ages of sharing, nurturing and loving one another. Remembering, collecting, recording and passing down the recipes your loved ones have passed to you is a wonderful way to honor and immortalize your family. These traditions from the past are part of who you are as an individual. Not only will these recipes allow you to create meals that are a meaningful experience, but they will also inspire you to create your own versions of dishes, to add your own flavor and style. You will take what your family has given to you and infuse it with your own meaning and power. Family ties are bonds that stand the test of time. Preserving family recipes is saving and honoring our heritage so future generations can continue to strengthen those ties. To learn more about recipe collecting and creative projects please visit

About the Author: Kate Walling
Kate Walling is the founder of Sous Chef, Inc. and Her love of food and family tradition combined with her artistic and creative ability has inspired her interactive web site, which offers the newest in online technology and a cookbook project unlike any other. To learn more about the perfect gift for any occasion please visit

Cooking Meat

Luke Mangan Spices Up Lilydale Chicken

Provencal Herb Chicken CasseroleCelebrity chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan is helping Australian families add a little bit of spice to their everyday cooking through an innovative new range of Lilydale free range chicken products. The gourmet Free Range Dining varieties combine premium cuts of chicken with a delicious spice sachet packed full of flavour.

Making dishes to impress quick and easy, even for kitchen novices, the new Lilydale range features African Spice Breast Escalopes and Tarragon and Mint Thigh Cutlets. Cooking is also made simple with no marinating needed – simply rub the spice onto the chicken and add a tablespoon of olive oil just prior to cooking.

Gourmand Mangan says combining the right spice with the right cut of chicken is a convenient way for Australian families to create mouth-watering meals.

“The spice sachet is all you need. You don’t have to buy a multitude of spices and herbs to create a unique flavour – it’s all done for you and it tastes delicious!” said Mangan.

The first of their kind in the Australian chicken meat industry, the Lilydale Free Range Dining rubs make cooking succulent meals at home both simple and affordable.

“The range is cost-effective while still maintaining Lilydale’s passion for fresh premium cuts of chicken with quality ingredients,” said Celia Camilleri-Pace, Marketing Manager for Lilydale.

“It takes the guess work out of finding the right spice in a convenient and affordable way for Australian families.”

The recipes use all natural ingredients and contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. For the health conscious, they are low in fat, low in sodium and gluten free.

Products are packaged in a beautifully presented tray with the spice sachets and chicken in separate compartments to ensure the highest quality product. Each pack also contains a recipe suggestion with easy to follow steps that make creating a meal the whole family will love even easier.

The new products come as Australians increasingly make the switch from regular to free range chicken. Recent Newspoll research indicates that one in five people are eating more free range meat now than they did two years ago, with one in ten eating it a lot more often.

“Our birds are naturally raised and are free from growth promoters. Once fully-feathered, chickens can roam during the day on chemical-free paddocks sheltering under trees and foraging amongst the natural vegetation,” said Ms Camilleri-Pace.

All Lilydale farms are accredited by Free Range Egg and Poultry Australia (FREPA) and are audited regularly.

The Luke Mangan Lilydale Free Range Dining Rub range will be available from March 9 in selected Coles, Thomas Dux, Harris Farm Market and David Jones Food Halls throughout New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and the ACT

Miscellaneous Food Articles

Cook Ahead to Save Time and Money

Pea and Ham SoupWhen budgeting, saving time is a consideration for the frugal as is saving cash. It’s important to do both. One way to save both time and money is to organize your schedule and your pantry and begin to plan your meals in advance. Now don’t panic and think you have to lay out a full week’s menu every Sunday! Planning even one day ahead will make a huge difference in your pocketbook because you’ll eliminate those quick trips to McD’s when supper-time hits and there’s nothing on the stove.

This is especially important if you work full-time or are away from home all day, driving kids to practice, running errands or taking care of your household. Planning your meals and even cooking in advance will tremendously simplify your life .

Meal planning and bulk cooking are both wonderful techniques you can utilize and modify to fit your family’s needs. The idea is simple. You cook and/or prepare your meals ahead of time and then preserve them by either freezing or refrigerating them. This will also help stretch your food budget, since you can cook one large meal and get two or three other meals from it with proper planning.

Start by writing down a list of your family’s favorite meals. Next, prepare a grocery list that coincides with your menu. Since you’re learning to cook in bulk, your shopping list will have to change accordingly so you’re sure to have enough ingredients on hand when the time comes to do the actual cooking.

The most important tool in meal planning and bulk cooking is your freezer. Freezer bags are a great space saver if you have a small freezer. You can fit many in the same space of a few storage containers. Be sure to incorporate lots of quick and easy meals that your family can warm up and serve themselves in the event you’re not at home at dinner time or if you just need to grab something quick.

Menu planning and cooking in advance will help you learn to love your slow cooker, too. It’s a cinch to throw something simple in the crock pot before heading off to work in the morning, and you’ll love coming home to dinner ready to set on the table!

Experiment with different recipes and variations of your favorites. Slow cookers make easy work of cooking whole chickens or roasts which can be frozen or refrigerated for later use very easily as well.

You’re only limited by your imagination and creativity when cooking in bulk for the week ahead. Factor in the time you save by not having to do a lot of after dinner cleanup or dishes, and you’ll be thrilled you took the time to master this valuable homemaking skill for yourself.


About the Author:
Darlene ‘Dee’ Bishop is a Christian minister and speaker, writer, and tightwad extraordinaire. She is the author of Frugal Fancy: Your Guide to Living Better for Less (release date Spring 2009) and the publisher of Frugal Fancy’s Newsletter, a free weekly resource filled with money saving ideas and information. Visit her online athttp://frugalfancy.comfor more information.

Article source:


Baking Articles

Lazy Cooks – Pastry Cooking

The Secret Ingredient for Lazy Cooks – Pastry Cooking

Onion FlanHave you ever found yourself wondering how you can give a new lift to old favorites? Or worrying over how you can tempt those picky eaters? Try keeping a few sheets of frozen puff pastry in the freezer.Puff pastry is one of the most useful, and at the same time most overlooked, weapons in the cook’s arsenal. It gets less exposure than it should because many people are nervous of using it. If you are one of those, read on. You are about to become an expert.

Frozen puff pastry is one of the food industry’s great success stories. From the cook’s point of view it’s easy to handle, needs no preparation and, even more to the point, it works every time. On top of all that, it’s versatile enough to be used in any number of ways from making mini pizzas to decorating the lamb roast. There is practically no end to its flexibility.

Take desserts for example. Cut one sheet of thawed out puff pastry into four pieces, place a spoonful of fruit into the middle of each one, bring the opposite corners of the pastry into the center and crimp them together between finger and thumb. Lightly glaze with an egg beaten in milk, top with half an apricot and a sprinkling of sugar and pop into a medium hot oven for 15 minutes.

You can use exactly the same technique for individual savory pies or, for a terrific farmhouse-style result, use two whole sheets, one for the base and one for the top. You don’t even need a pie dish. Put the base directly on to a baking sheet, add the filling and top with the second sheet, folding the edges over and pinching the corners together. The base will be light and crisp when cooked and the crust golden-brown and flaky.

Once you get started on using puff pastry in this way, you may find it difficult to stop. One great technique is to cut the pastry into shapes using a cookie cutter, glaze and bake the individual pieces and then use them to decorate whatever dish you are serving.

You could use crescent shapes to top off a casserole, or prepare triangles and place them artfully on cooked meat or chops. You could even cut the pastry into rounds, cover with something like sweet chilli sauce and grated cheese, bake for 15 minutes or so and serve them with pre-dinner drinks. Kids love these min-pizzas too.

The truth is you can go down any path your imagination takes you. As an ingredient this kind of pastry is just so forgiving it’s hard to get it wrong. There are really only a couple of things to guard against. One is incorrect cooking temperature, either too hot or too cool. Most ready-made puff pastry ‘lifts’ successfully at around 200-220 degrees Centigrade. The other thing to bear in mind is not to overdo the glaze. Too much egg-wash may result in a soggy finish that will not rise successfully. Just a light brushing will do.

So there you have it. A great product that is labor-saving, versatile, looks good and tastes great. What more could you ask for?

About the Author: Ian Williamson
For more Cooking Articles by Ian Williamson please visit


Miscellaneous Food Articles

Once-A-Month Cooking

Vegetarian LasagnaEvery evening, all around the world, the same dilemma faces many homemakers. What can be prepared for tonight’s dinner with a minimum of fuss that will be filling and nutritious?

With a little forward planning, you can have a month of meals waiting in the freezer, ready to be thawed and heated. All you need to do is add simple side dishes or a salad.

This approach is known as Once A Month Cooking (or OAMC for short). The basic principle is that you take your family’s own favourite meals, adapt them for freezing, and then spend a couple of days a month doing all your cooking.

Once A Month Cooking saves in many ways. It takes very little more time or energy to make, say, four meals of lasagne at one time than it takes to make one. But it would take a lot more to make one meal of lasagne on each of four different days.

You can take advantage both of specials at the market and of gluts in the garden. You can improve the health of your family by not relying on pre-made ingredients or on fast food.

I don’t recommend you try new recipes for Once A Month Cooking. It would be terrible for your family to have to eat four meals of a dish they don’t like, and nothing will put them off the idea of OAMC faster. Adapt your family’s favourites and you can’t go wrong. If you want to try something new, make it on a small scale first and make sure it is a hit.

The actual OAMC process is spread over three days, once a month. Let’s look at it in a little more detail.

Day One – Preparation and planning

The first day of my OAMC, I go to the shops. I check what is on special, and what is in season. I take note of what does not look good, too. I come home and check what is in the garden that is in peak condition to be used. This is my research phase.

Next, I clean out and defrost the freezer. I keep a written inventory of what I have in the freezer, and this clean-out helps me to check the inventory is up-to-date.

While the freezer is defrosting, I check my family’s calendar for the next month and count how many dinners I would like to freeze. Then, with the knowledge I gained from my research earlier, I make up a list of what I will cook, and how many meals of each.

The next step is to make up a shopping list, broken up according to where I will be buying each food item. The last stage is to make myself lists showing what I will need to do to prepare and cook the food.

Day Two – Shopping and Chopping Day

The next day is broken up into two distinct phases. I like to get to the shopping centre early in the day while it is still not too busy. I buy all the food I will need, making sure to keep perishable items like meat cool by putting them in a cooler bag as soon as they are purchased.

After coming home and unpacking, I can start the second phase of this day. This is when I peel and chop all my vegetables except onion and garlic (they smell if cut too early), and trim and dice the meat. This is all stored in the refrigerator overnight.

The last job for Day Two is to freeze any meals that will not require further cooking. For example, I like to make Fish Parcels. This is where I place a boneless fillet of fish on a square of aluminium foil and top it with a little butter, lemon juice, herbs, garlic, chilli (or whatever flavorings I like at the time). The fish is wrapped in the foil and frozen. To cook it, I simply place the fish parcels straight from the freezer into a pre-heated oven. I add frozen garlic bread to the oven to heat at the same time, and prepare a simple salad.

Other ideas for meals that can be frozen without being cooked first include marinated chicken wings, lamb chops in marinade, hamburger patties, and so on.

Day Three – Cooking Day

The third day of the OAMC is the big one. But it is made much easier by having so much of the preparation work done the day before.

I start the day by cutting up all my onions and garlic and browning them. Then I brown all my meats. I can do several different kinds of meat simultaneously to save time, but I do them in small batches to avoid over-crowding the pans.

The next step depends on what you are making. Many dishes are fully cooked before being frozen, so they must be assembled and cooked. Others are only partially cooked, and are perhaps properly cooked in a crockpot (slow cooker) after thawing.

But whatever you are cooking, it all goes into labelled containers in the refrigerator to thoroughly cool before being frozen. I use rigid plastic containers, because I have been doing this for years and have bought a few at a time. A cheaper alternative is to use food-quality plastic bags to line a foil or plastic box. The bag is popped out of the box after it is frozen, so the box can be used again.

Using the meals

Once you have your freezer full of dinners, you will find there very little effort required to cook up some pasta to go with the frozen Bolognese Sauce, or some rice to have with the Beef Curry. Since I put tomorrow night’s dinner in the refrigerator to thaw each evening, there is little left to do but re-heat the main course. A salad fresh from the garden is a great accompaniment to any meal and quick to prepare.

Some people might be concerned about the possible loss of so much food in the event of a power failure. The trick is to keep your freezer as full as possible. It doesn’t have to be full of food – I put soda bottles half-full of water in the empty spaces. The idea is that the more frozen volume there is in the freezer, as opposed to air pockets, the longer it will take for the contents to thaw if the power goes off. This approach also makes the freezer work more efficiently, since it will turn on and off less often.

In summary, by concentrating your time and effort (and mess!) into a big cooking session once a month, you can have a freezer full of your family’s favourite meals. This will give you more time, save you money, and give you peace of mind that your family can eat a proper meal every evening.

About the Author:
Christine has written a course on OAMC. This is available at her web site write for more details to Gecko Gully, PO Box 1201, Werribee Plaza, Victoria 3030, Australia.

Sweet Stuff

Creative Ideas to Package Cookies

Quick And Easy Way To Home Package Cookies With These 8 Yummy Creative Ideas

Easy BiscuitsYou’ve spent the time and effort to bake your delicious homemade cookie gifts, now it’s time to package them!

Don’t spoil all your hard work with boring cookie boxes and packaging ideas.

You want cookie gifts that say “Yummy!” – Perception is everything!

First impressions are truly important. So it’s unavoidable that you make a little effort to package your home-baked treats.

But where do you start? Here it is…

Think about what the theme is for your cookie gift packages. For example, it is a birthday gift or for Christmas holiday giving? Perhaps it’s for your Valentine? Use the theme on your packaging.

What are the main flavors or the cookie ingredients you used? Apply this element to help enhance the aroma that you may want to portray on your cookie boxes or packages.

Are your cookies fragile? Or do they need to be air-tight and stored in the fridge? Consider using for example, zip seal bags, if necessary.

Always clean any used containers (or even store-bought new boxes) and dry before using.

When decorating your packages, be sure to use food safe items. Eg. Don’t use glues where cookies may be in contact. Consider the point that your cookie gift recipient may not always be as careful as you when replacing cookies back into containers. Think from their viewpoint and see whether there is an alternative method for better hygiene.

With that said and done, here are your “8 Yummy Creative Package Ideas”:


“The Coffee Cup”

You may have seen a similar idea before, using a mug or coffee cup, but this is really a brilliant idea as people associate coffee cups with aroma.

Whether it be coffee or tea, this idea spells: ‘Good times with a friend over a cup of coffee/tea and some sweets!’

– Pre-pack about 2 – 4 cookies in cellophane or sealed bag and place inside cup. – Embellish with a gift tag and fabric ribbon around cellophane. (You can also write a message or recipient name on the mug).


“Milk Carton”

This is perfect for butter cookies or packaging cookies for children. Either way, the milk carton makes a great packaging box.

– Wash and dry container before use. Carefully open the top without tearing the cardboard.
– Place cookies inside.
– Seal top with staples or strong sticky-tape. (Do not use glues as they are unhygienic and not re-openable.
– Decorate exterior with wrapping paper or fabric and ribbon.

If you are computer savvy, you could create a milk carton label with recipient name, theme graphics and colors to print and apply to your cookie carton!

Use one litre carton for giving to an entire family or a smaller carton for children or single recipients.

This is a great container for refrigerating your cookies also. Plus, the benefit is that the design of the carton semi-closes on its own with the folding techniques incorporated.


“Peanut Butter Bottle”

Great for peanut butter cookies! The theme, feeling and association is already there! And you don’t even need to worry about pealing the bottle stickers off. Use it instead to create a quirky cookie packaging.

Use a square piece of fabric almost twice as large as the lid size and cover cookies before closing with the lid to create instant effective packaging.

Create a label digitally and print out for a dynamic gift. You don’t have to cover the entire glass or bottle, leave a bit of room so they can take a peek at the yummy cookies you baked.


“Butter or Margarine Containers”

Unusual but very effective and fun. What’s more, it has a lid and is lightweight for posting your cookies. Just keep in mind that most butter containers aren’t air-tight.

You can decorate the exterior by creating your own labels, or sticking appropriate wrapping paper over. I recommend a food style, earthy tones and colors for this method.

Lastly, tie a ribbon around the package like you would a gift box. Large wide ribbons would give you a dazzling package.

Great for milk and butter cookies.


“Milo or Food Tins (with lid)”

Tins come in all different sizes and are great for air-tight cookie storing. And you won’t have to pre-package your cookies in bags first.

Ideal for cookies that do not need to be refrigerated.

Also makes a great cookie gifting idea for boys or men.

You can even etch in writing or graphics onto the tin if you have the proper tools and use correct safety precautions.


“Candy or Chocolate Boxes”

Candies and cookies go hand in hand! These are little treats that the whole world love!

– Place your cookies lying flat into the box. You may need to take out the pre-made mould shapes used and use cardboard dividers to separate your cookies. – Simply tie with ribbon and gift tag the package!


“Cocktail or Martini Glass”

Great for alcohol-based cookies like rum balls during Christmas season!

– Place one cookie or two in cellophane, seal and place inside glass. – Seal glass with clear food wrapping. Add ribbon and gift tag on glass stalk.


“Tea Box”

Use small aroma infusion tea packaging boxes – usually ones that have only 10 tea-bags in each box. You can pack 2 to 3 cookies in each box and give more than one tea box for fun.

– Seal cookies with cellophane or food bag first and place inside decorated tea boxes.

Why not leave one tea bag in front of your cookies? It’s a perfect invitation to a relaxing snack with a drink.

If you do not have any of these containers handy, you can easily buy them and transfer contents to other containers. Just make sure that it’s well washed and that most of the original scents are gone (except in the case such as the peanut butter bottles).

Not only are these 8 Yummy Ideas creative and fun, they also bring out the aroma of your delicious homemade cookies.

Start using these mouth-watering cookie packaging ideas. It’s a sure way that your cookies will be eaten instantly!

Copyright 2006 Janlia Chong
Janlia Chong has held onto her title as Baking Sensation because of her near endless knowledge of baking and packaging treats. Her ability to impress is one of her biggest traits. What’s her trick? Simple, she takes something that sounds difficult and makes it easy and fun. Follow Janlia’s advice and you’ll be busy baking treats for the entire family. Visit

Article Source:


Sweet Stuff

The Untold Secrets To Making Ice Cream

Coconut IcecreamHave you ever wondered if there was a healthful alternative to the sugar and preservative filled ice cream you buy in the supermarkets?
If you have or if you would truly like to try homemade ice cream then this is for you. I have a recipe for vanilla ice cream, that will knock your socks off when you taste it.

The first thing you need to know is how to make your own 100% healthy and natural vanilla extract which is a basic ingredient in almost any ice cream.
You might buy this from a good quality store if you can find an unadulterated brand. But to make your own you’ll need about a quart of milk, a vanilla bean (available at most health food stores), and a teaspoon of honey.
You pour the milk in a saucepan and heat on high while you slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and in half.
Then put the halves of the vanilla bean into the milk. Boil for around 15 to 20 minutes, then cook on medium heat for a half hour or until the milk has a thin sheet of film on top.
Stir the mixture constantly as it cooks to prevent burning. Cool the extract and freeze in several small plastic bottles or containers.

This extract will last you for quite awhile since recipes call for only a few teaspoons each. You should-if you plan to make the ice cream anytime soon- save a half cup of the extract in a container in your refrigerator.
Whenever you want to make more ice cream just get the extract out of the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator until a few tablespoons or so are thawed, then refreeze the rest before it thaws out.

Now I’ll give you my vanilla ice cream recipe, follow the instructions carefully and you’ll get wonderful results.

Vanilla Ice Cream

You’ll need: 3 eggs, with the egg whites and yolks separated, 1/2 cup honey, 4 cups light cream, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

  1. 1. In a medium size bowl beat the yolks until smooth. Gradually add honey, beating until well-blended and thick. In a different small bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, stir beaten whites in with the yolk and honey.
  2. 2. Then add the cream and egg mixture together in a saucepan, cook on medium heat, stirring constantly for 15 minutes.
  3. 3. Stir in vanilla extract, and either process in an ice cream maker or just freeze in a bucket container overnight, stirring the ice cream every few hours at first and then allowing the ice cream to freeze on its own.

Serve with an ice cream scoop. This ice cream is rich, creamy, natural, and very healthy I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

For more amazing recipes and baking how-to’s visit

Article Source: