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October 21, 2012

Vanilla Sugar & BBQ Spice Rub

Vanilla Sugar & BBQ Spice Rub ~ The perfect DIY edible gifts for him and her {great to give to the host and hostess at a dinner party!} #ChristmasGifts #DIYGifts

Christmas is in a little over two months!  I'd like to start sharing some GIFT ideas with you, as I see many people are pinning, not only food ideas/recipes, but homemade gift ideas as well.

Homemade is so much more personal - to think you give a gift {or receive...} which was made for a specific person, whether it is a child, parent, aunts/uncles, cousins or friends, makes is much more special.

{Of course, I am not saying NO to certain hinted, by me, bought gifts!}  Gifts, especially Christmas time, are getting more expensive every year.  Many people buy in advance, when it is cheaper or on sale, but in the case of buying for kids, you will find that the specified gift {usually in big demand} - as per the kids' letter to Santa, naturally... - is unavailable till a few weeks before Christmas.

What do we do?? We love our kids and want to give them what they have been waiting for, for a year ... and that again means we fall into the marketing pit of " pay whatever, as soon as this specific item appears in the store.." Kids gifts are usually a problem and they do not always appreciate the work put into a handmade item.

That is why I will mostly {over the next few weeks} share gifts, which you can make, suitable for adults - you can sort out your kids as usual BIG Whink here!

Today I am sharing how to make Vanilla Sugar Hearts - or any shape you want. It looks so fancy, even the plain white cubes... love them!  But, have you seen the store prices on these..?  Ridiculous - and it is so easy to make.  {for the lady recipients}

I am also sharing a recipe for a very nice BBQ Spice Rub - there are many on the internet, but I like this one which we use at home.  {for the guy recipients}

Vanilla Sugar Hearts

You will need:

- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 t Water
- 1 t Vanilla Essence
- a Drop of Pink Food coloring     (this all depends on what color you want)
- a Mold   (I used my Silicone Ice Tray)

Mix all the ingredients together until it feels like wet beach sand - you can add a drop or two more water.
Press tightly into the mold and even out on the tops - press a spoon over the sugar
As soon as you are done with the tray, place a paper plate on top, tip it over and gently tap out the sugar shapes - they loosen very easily
Leave on the paper plate (this helps to dry them out) overnight

Next morning - rock hard and very pretty  !

BBQ Spice Rub

You will need:

1/4 cup Dry Coriander Seeds
2 TB Chilli flakes or crushed
2 TB Ground Cumin
1 TB Black Peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 TB Lemon Peppercorns, coarsely ground
2 TB Mustard Seeds
2 TB Salt
2 TB Paprika
2 t Brown Sugar

Mix all the ingredients together using a fork, pressing lightly - 10 minutes - Done !

Vanilla Sugar & BBQ Spice Rub ~ The perfect DIY edible gifts for him and her {great to give to the host and hostess at a dinner party!} #ChristmasGifts #DIYGifts

Place in jars or plastic bags - I used  cup size jars, added a wooden scoop (wrote the name on the scoop) and (for the Vanilla Sugar Hearts) a thin ribbon - (for the BBQ Spice Rub) I added a leather cord-like ribbon.

Pretty as a gift or for yourself!

Have you started buying/making gifts yet ?  What do you prefer, .. as a recipient..?Bought or Homemade?


  1. Great idea! They would make great teacher gifts.

  2. Love the BBQ spice rub so easy and yet the people who got it would find it useful - particularly since Xmas is BBQ season here in NZ being high summer! Thanks for the idea. xx

  3. These are great ideas! I was going to make a spice rub also but I like your presentation!

  4. Hi Linda, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (, and I’m visiting from the Clever Chicks Blog Hop.

    These are great! I'm with you, homemade gifts are the best...

  5. What a wonderful idea! I bet it smells divine :)

  6. These are great ideas! I've just emailed them to a couple friends who were looking for something different for large gift exchanges. Thank you!

  7. The rub sounds terrific. I can see it spicing up dishes for the maximum of enjoyment. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Great ideas, thanks so much for the recipes! Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  9. What great gift ideas! I am going to have to remember these when I start to put together my gift baskets. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.

  10. Those are both excellent gift ideas and your jars are soo cute!

  11. I love to give and receive homemade gifts and these are just wonderful ideas. The scoops just make the finished gift. Where did you find them and are they wooden or plastic? Saw your link on Friday Fun Party on Craftionary.

  12. I love the idea of gifting these pretty, little sugar hearts! Thanks for linking up with the Clever Chicks this week! Hope to see you on the next hop!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  13. Love this! make sure you come link it up with us if you haven't already!

  14. I love homemade gifts! I bet those vanilla sugar hearts taste wonderful. Thanks for linking up on Super Sweet Saturday.

  15. Great ideas. May have to use this for some teacher gifts. Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  16. Linda, these are awesome little gifts! Have a fabulous weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  17. Super gift idea. Really quick and cute!
    Thanks for sharing over on Tutorial Thursdays.

  18. These are such great gift ideas :) In my opinion, homemade gifts are almost always better than anything store-bought!

  19. What great ideas!
    I would LOVE for you to link this up at my Ginger Jamboree Link Party!!

  20. Such a great idea! They would make fabulous gifts. Thank you so much for sharing again this week at A Bouquet of Talent! So happy to have you. :)

  21. What cute ideas! Perfect for gift-giving. I've pinned this as well - thanks for sharing at MightyCrafty Mondays.

  22. Great gift ideas! Thanks so much for sharing them with us at ‘Or so she says…’. I would love to have you back again to share even more of your great ideas. There’s a link party kicking off in the morning (every Sat. through Tues.) Hope to see you there!

  23. Both are great Linda. I love vanilla sugar and the BBQ rub sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing another great recipe with Share Your Cup.

  24. I love the sugar heart idea! I may have to use that for some of my girlfriends! The BBQ rub is great too! Thanks for sharing at Sweet Saturday, sorry I didn't thank you sooner ;)


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