Slow + Simple :: How to Make Homemade Butter in 3 Easy Steps

In advance I would like to apologize for the quality - or lack thereof - of the photos. The following started as fun projects to entertain myself and the children... they turned out to be so much more. Over the past couple of weeks my children and I have been enjoying a perfectly quintessential summer... swims in the pool, afternoons at the beach with friends, gardening, strawberry picking, making homemade jam, bread and butter... 

The latter three happened almost by accident. I have always wanted to make jam but the process always terrified me. After hearing from so many how easy it is to make I decided to give it a try. With about 10 pounds of freshly picked berries we needed a means to use them all up. The jam was such a success that we then decided to try our hand at bread. Something else I have always wanted to do - sans bread machine - and yet too scared to... and logically what goes best with homemade bread? Butter, naturally. Oh it wasn't that we had no butter in the house. Butter is a staple that we almost never run out of but I thought that while we were making our own bread and jam which we ought to make our own butter. And really, there's absolutely nothing in the world that is easier to make. All you need is some heavy whipping cream and some sea salt... and maybe some herbs... 

Today I will tell you how to make butter, tomorrow the jam and Thursday the bread and by the weekend you will have everything for a perfectly slow + simple homemade petite dejeuner!

1 pint of heavy whipping cream
3/4 tsp sea salt - optional
1/2-3/4 tsp Herbes de Provence or Italian Seasonings - optional

What you will need:
2 - 3 airtight jars (We used canning jars. Baby food jars work well too.)
Ceramic dishes or ramekins

How to make butter:

1. Pour cream into jars, distributing evenly, filling about 3/4 to the top. Securely add lid to the top of the jars.

2. Shake jars with vigor for 7 - 15 minutes depending on the size of the jars. (Less time for smaller jars and more for the larger jars.) 
As you shake you can feel and hear the cream start to solidify. When the jar feels as though nothing is shaking inside any longer, open it up and take a look. You should see a light, pale yellow mixture to the sides of the jar with a hollow center. (See photo below)

3. When the mixture is no longer runny, but semi firm and airy, you can transfer the butter to a ceramic bowl and add your sea salt. Then, if desired, remove some of the salted butter and place it into another bowl adding the herbs, even garlic or garlic powder if you like. Season to taste.

1. How butter will look in the jar when it's done

2. Transfer butter to a bowl and add sea salt, if desired

3. Then add other seasonings such as Herbes de Provence, if desired.

And then, voila et bon appetit!

Note: This butter is great on bread, but not great for cooking.

A Stylish Guide to Teacher's Gift This Holiday Season

Not all teachers drink, and I wouldn't necessarily gift wine to all my children's teachers,
but I think this would be such a fun gift for a teacher!

Salt & Pepper

I love serial thriller's salt and pepper grinders! How fun, unique and different!

Homemade gifts like this lemon salt scrub are always appreciated,
and can be gifted alone or paired with a gift certificate
to a salon near their home (as opposed to near the school)
for a day at the spa or a manicure and pedicure
if class parents want to give a group gift.
The lemon scrub recipe above is simple and can be found on the Martha Stewart website.

a rainbow of notebooks

My Shaeffer Snorkel Fountain Pen.
via Tumblr
Pretty notebooks, stationery, note cards and pens are always a lovely treat!

Gardening without a Garden: 10 ideas for your patio or balcony

A pretty potted plant to last throughout the years...

Organic Gardening (2-year) « Delay Gifts

Does your teacher have a hobby or anyhting she's passionate about? How about a gift for the gardener, 
or a magazine subscription for the gardener, or any hobby or passion?

Does she like to cook, or bake?

I adore this autobiographical, recipe-filled book that's all about the family dinner. It would make a great book for any food-loving teacher. A few months ago I went to hear Jenny Rosenstrach read an excerpt at the Darien Library. Her stories resonated with me immediately. Not only is this book fantastic,
but her blog of the same name is as well!

and homebaked goods are always appreciated!

beautiful packaging!
via dustjacket attic

White Chocolate Rocky Road..with dried cranberries and macadamia nuts
via G-free foodie

vanilla bean caramel sauce . . . might be a great homemade gift • annie's eats
Something like a homemade vanilla bean caramel sauce doesn't have to be enjoyed immediately. (As your teacher may indeed get lots of edible treats!) It can be made in large batches and gifted to several teachers, or friends and neighbors.
This recipe can be found at Annie's Eats.

LV charm
via Tumblr

Perhaps a charm for her charm bracelet? There are plenty of reasonably priced charms available.

Please refrain from tote bags and ornaments, as teachers have more than they can count!

Candles are tricky as they can have offensive smells...So if you choose to gift a candle you must be very careful to select one that is mild, more floral than sweet...

Diptyque - Baies Candle -

DIY Wedding: How To Create Wedding Candle Centerpieces. wedding ideas #koyal @Koyal Wholesaleesale

Plain white candles in pretty little votives decorated with wasabi tape would make a lovely gift... Does your teacher have certain colors that she adores?

Most teachers love to read... find out what's on her wish list....

The Paris Wife

or perhaps a gift card to a bookstore where she could purchase a book or a Kindle or Nook edition...

Gorgeous tea cups
Via Bella Cupcakes

A pretty tea cup along with a box of nice tea always makes for a lovely gift.
You could do the same thing with coffee, if your teacher prefers such.

Please, I've been asked to tell you all, hold off on the tchotchkes and cutesy-cutesy gifts. A seasoned teacher will have too many of these already.

Teachers need to be organized...

I need a calendar for the new year!
via Kate Spade
A calendar or other organization tool would make for a lovely gift!

I hope I've given you all some inspiration and ideas... if you have any that I have not mentioned, please feel free to leave a comment and share them! I have 3 kids and am always looking for ideas!

Have a wonderful weekend!



Have yourself a happy little homemade Christmas!

I love receiving homemade gifts. Likewise, I love to deliver homemade gifts. In previous years my gifts have hailed from the kitchen in the form of some sort of baked good dripping in calories and sugar! These are the best kids of baked goods, right? Well, there are other wonderful ideas that can be created from your kitchen... Some won't even add pounds to your perfect little figure!

I think homemade speaks from the heart and lets someone know that you have cared enough of them to put time and thought into their gift. A perfect gift needs not damage your bank account any further. With homemade there is truly something for everyone on your list. I've gathered some of my favorite things to make - and I'll be sure to make a little extra for me!

This lemon scrub is a favorite of mine!

I'm going to whip up some of this later today!

It's 5:00 somewhere, right? These delightful fruit-infused vodkas hail from my friend Kelsey Banfield's blog The Naptime Chef. (She's got loads of other ideas and her book is out this Spring!)

I have never met a Limoncello I didn't like love!

Easy, elegant, sophistication!

A different kind of baked good. I adapted this Egg Nog cake recipe from another and it is deliciously decadent!

These biscotti are soft, crunchy and a lovely alternative to a traditional cookie!

With the exception of the Eggnog cake recipe, these are all perfect gifts for any time of year!

Do you like to give homemade gifts? What sorts of gifts do you like?