Archive For The “Hostess Gifts” Category

Sugar & Spice Makes Everything Nice

Sugar & Spice Makes Everything Nice

Pairs Well With… Friendship & Foodie Flare

When time allows, I LOVE to make homemade gifts for people.  It’s a nice, personal touch that holds so much meaning.  This week, I created a gift set for a foodie friend of mine that was comprised of:

  • Cinnamon Chipotle Rub
  • Zesty Taco Seasoning
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping


Outstanding Infused Vodkas

Outstanding Infused Vodkas

Pairs Well With…  Sparkly club soda (and if you’re in Minnesota, a big snowstorm & a night in!)

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  Perhaps you need a hostess gift for your upcoming singles brunch or are looking for something with a homemade touch to give to your sweetie.  Maybe you’d like to kick back with a cocktail or two while watching a Nicholas Sparks movie. Either way, these infused vodkas are delightful and refreshing.

Plan ahead, as these take 5-6 days to reach perfection.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 glass bottles with toppers (for gifting)
  • 3 canning jars (for infusing)
  • 3 types of fruit or veggies for infusing (blueberry, raspberry, cucumber)
  • 1 bottle (750ml) unflavored vodka
  • Twine (optional)
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Funnel
  • Strainer (optional)


  1. Wash, rinse and dry glass gifting bottles and canning jars.  Set aside gifting bottles for future use.  We’ll be using the canning jars soon.
  2. Wash and dry fruit.  Cut up if necessary.  I chose to use blueberries, raspberries and cucumbers, as they don’t require any dicing, which means less work straining out fruit pieces at the end of the infusion process.

Infusions Fruit and Veggies

Bottles and Infusions

3. Place each of your washed and cut fruit/veggies in your canning jars.

4. Divide 3/4 of the vodka between the three jars.  Save the remaining quarter until the          end of the infusion process.

5. Place lids on jars and put in the refrigerator.  Infuse for 5-6 days, shaking lightly             each day.  This duration will give the vodka a subtle fruit forward flavor without                  being too potent.

6. While your vodkas are busy infusing, you can add charm to your bottles! I chose to              use twine to create ribbons around the bottle necks.

Bottles Twine Ribbon 2

Bottles with Twine Ribbon

     7. Once done infusing, remove from refrigerator and get ready to pour into gifting                bottles.  Using a funnel is very helpful.  I suggest using a strainer if you see                          fruit/veggie pieces floating around.  The goal is to not carry any of the product over            to your gifting bottles.  Note: it is normal and expected for your vodka to change color.

8. You’re ready to gift and go!

Infused Vodka gifts

Suggestion: Place gifting jars in a 6-pack carrier for easier transportation. Put three cans of sparkling water in the other three carrier holes for mixing and to balance out the weight.

Be sure to let me know which one is your favorite!

Don’t forget to follow Pairs Well With… for more fun!

Gifts of Gratitude

Gifts of Gratitude

Pairs Well With…Appreciation, an ear-to-ear smile and, of course, The Golden Girls theme song

There are so many things I have to be thankful for in life.  My friends are one of them.  When I have the time, and especially around the holiday season, I like to show my appreciation by putting together a little something to let them know that everything they do for me does not go unnoticed.

I may not be Martha Stewart in the craft department, but I know how to put a smile on someone’s face.  Guys, I’m confident even you can pull this one off!


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