Friday Favorites #58
December 13th, 2019

Handmade Gifts from the Heart

Be moved by love.      
                          - a wise woman

I have long loved giving a homemade gift. When I’m invited to someone's house, I typically bring a jar of chicken stock, tomato soup, or meat sauce. I don't know if I’ve told you, but not only do I love nurses, I absolutely adore teachers. They are one of the many unsung heroes of the world, people who truly make a difference. When Patrick and Lucy were growing up I delighted in creating something lovely for their teachers. I was joyful to show up to my kids’ school with Mason jars full of goodness as a way to truly thank their teachers with love.

December 2014, my gift delivery to Lucy's teachers and the inspiration for this issue.

Let's begin with meat sauce. My mother was certainly not a talented cook, but she knew how to put together a pot of meat sauce, and on a snowy day I adore making a giant pot and and squirreling away labeled jars destined to make someone’s day. It is perfect to give to a plumber who shows up when you're having an emergency or to share with the tradesmen doing work in your home. (Let's not even get started on the workmen I made the sandwiches for during a rehab to my house. They essentially stayed an extra half year, so I'm not sure I recommend offering delectable craft sandwiches!)

Meat sauce, ready to gift!

Some of my other favorite homemade gifts: Red Pepper Soup and Chicken Stock. If you want a gift for someone who's already a cook, there is nothing better than a couple of quarts of homemade chicken stock; it's the kind of magic that takes a dish from ordinary to extraordinary.

When I think winter gifts, Preserved Lemons is the first thing that comes to mind. It's a true Magic Elixir made from scratch, and the magic is doubled by using Redmond’s gorgeous, clean salt. Preserved Lemons are easy and so much fun to have your kids help with. If you’re wondering, “Where would I use it?” think anywhere you like a salty, briny, lemony flavor, so soup, sauce, vinaigrette, fish, sautéed vegetables, pesto, Caesar dressing. Delicious!  

And speaking of Magic Elixirs....they are another favorite homemade gift.  A jar of Pistachio Pesto or a batch of Marinated Onions is something special that I love to share...and for someone really special, I love giving a Marinated Onion Bowl along with Magic Elixirs so they have another beautiful handmade gift that keeps on giving.

Another lovely winter gift is this luxurious homemade granola. Let's face it: fresh fruits do not abound in the winter, so this is a fantastic time to rely on California Grown produce like dried golden apricots and cherries. Rather than making this sweet like candy, I use notes of dried fruit, honey, nuts, coconut and olive oil. It's absolutely simple to make, so much fun to do with your kids, and their teachers will love it.

A thoughtful class project is to have each child write a note, to be delivered in envelopes or made into a book. It is a unique way to truly appreciate a teacher and let them know why you think they’re special. In this issue, we've included more great gift ideas, including one teacher’s favorite gift to receive, and how one coach really gives back to his players during the holiday season.

Teri, Founder @nocrumblseft, Author, Blogger, Podcaster

Cookbook: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous
Podcast: nocrumblseft Table Talks

Lexi, CEO and Founder @lexiscleankitchen

The gift of something homemade from the heart is the best and most appreciated by everyone. I always make a huge batch of my Sea Salt Trail Mix Chocolate Bark and package it up for my family members, friends, co-workers, teacher gifts, and neighbors! It also makes for a perfect "welcome to the neighborhood" gift, or really the perfect little token of DIY homemade love for anyone—it's the perfect way to thank teachers or anyone in your life this holiday season. 

Lexi Davidson, CEO and Founder of @lexiscleankitchen
You can find Lexi's Cookbook, Lexi's Clean Kitchen: 150 Delicious Paleo-Friendly Recipes to Nourish Your Life on Amazon or at your local bookstore!
FB: Lexiscleankitchen

One of my favorite teachers, Theresa Collins and two of her advisees.

The BEST teacher gifts are the ones that remind me instantly of the person who gave it. I can see their faces, remember them sitting in my classroom making me laugh, cry, or cringe. Unpacking a gift of "winter in a jar" for the holiday season reminds me of Molly M's dry wit and great sense of humor. Anna Ceci R. made me a "message in a bottle," and you can see the picture of me and my Advisory, and inside, a gorgeous handwritten thank you letter. I have a "Forget Me Not" postcard from one of my favorite parents, who became a friend, that is always on my classroom inspiration board. All that said, a handwritten, heartfelt thank you to a special teacher is always, always welcome and so wonderful.  

Theresa Collins, Teacher


Coach Philip Montgomery carving the turkey!

Coaching is about much more than football! University of Tulsa head football coach Philip Montgomery, aka: Coach Monty, and his wife, aka: Momma Monty, love an extended family that includes all their players, staff, support personnel…everyone associated with the program. 

That means everyone is welcome to the Montgomery home for food, fellowship, and fun. There is always too much to eat, football on the TV, cards/dominoes/games being played, and room on the couch for an after-dinner nap. 

“We open our home to our family--that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. That’s what families do,” Coach Monty explained. “Our door is always open,” Ashli added, “on a holiday or special event, but every single day, and we make sure our football family knows that.”  

Follow Coach and Ashli’s adventures at 

Coach Philip and one of his hungry team members.
Special thanks to Breezi and Willie for this wonderful idea!
Have you seen the Malachite Collection? 
If you want to get your hands on some of these gorgeous new pieces in the New Year, just DM me so you can get on the wait list!  We will have Marinated Onion Bowls, Platters, Triple Prep (a few still available in the store), Patrick Bowls and Everything Bowls.  Most of these will only be available via private link to blog subscribers - so be sure to DM me
This week we are giving away a handmade Marinated Onion Bowl to your favorite teacher.  (And of course, there will be a little something special for you too!) Click below to enter. 

S2:E7 Don’t Burn That Bridge!

In this episode, I sit down with Laura Wasser, a high profile divorce attorney from Los Angeles who, like me, believes that divorce can be accomplished amicably. Her online resources help couples move into a new paradigm in which divorce can be viewed as a beginning and not an ending, a rebirth and not a death. She calls the path toward a good divorce the “evolution of dissolution,” offering divorcing couples not just information but a sense of community. 
It's not too late to get the nocrumbsleft cookbook for the holidays! Visit your local bookstore or click here to find it on Amazon.
Instagram Instagram
Facebook Facebook
YouTube YouTube
Pinterest Pinterest
Blog Blog
Email Email
Store Store
Podcast Podcast
Copyright © 2019 nocrumbsleft, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.