Everyday Inspirations


~ day 11: home ~

Guest Blogger: Alyssa Kaldahl
Alyssa is the Figure Skating Director and a private coach at The Peaks Ice Arena in Provo, UT. She is also a board member of the Catalystic Cadence Collective, a nonprofit visceral arts company with a mission to educate, serve and entertain while blurring the lines between mediums. Beyond that, she has been my best friend since we were 8 years old. Among her many talents, she also made these adorable gift sets that are perfect for gifts or to use for holiday entertaining. A perfectly elegant gift for your friends or family!

A couple of years ago I found some great recipes in my "Holiday Favorites" cookbook by Williams-Sonoma. I made some really cute oil and vinegar sets to give as Christmas gifts. They are really easy to make and are very tasty! You can find bottles at many different stores. This year Ross has some great sets for a good price. Last time I made these I found some awesome bottles that had light house stickers on the front at a home decor store (my mom's whole kitchen is decorated with light houses = perfect personalize gift). If you find some really cool bottles you want to use you can go to Bed Bath and Beyond to get the stoppers with a pour spout. You can be as simple or as creative as you like.

Olive Oil with Lemon and Bay Leaf

1 large fresh lemon
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bay leave (the highly aromatic California bay leaves are best)
¼ teaspoon whole peppercorns

Scrub the lemon with an sponge clean, rinse, and dry. Pour the olive oil into a small heavy saucepan and zest the lemon, into the oil. Add the bay leave and peppercorns. Clip a thermometer onto the side of the pan and heat the oil over medium-low it reaches 200 degrees. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool.

Carefully pour the oil to a clean bottle and cover, sealing tightly. Store at room temperature for up to 2 months. Include a gift tag suggesting brushing this on toasted Italian bread, mixing with pasta and grated romano cheese or tossing it with a salad.

Orange and Rosemary Vinegar

2 fresh rosemary sprigs
About 1 ½ cups red wine vinegar
3 orange zest strips, each 2 inches long and 1 inch wide

Fill a 1 1/2 cup bottle with hot water and set aside. In a small saucepan, warm the vinegar over medium heat until hot. Drain the bottle and while it's still hot, place the rosemary and orange zest strips in it. Carefully pour in the vinegar with a funnel. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 weeks to let the flavors to mix. Store at room temperature.

Include a gift tag suggesting mixing the oil and vinegar to make an outstanding vinaigrette for fresh greens and vegetables, or for dipping bread.

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