Ancient Grains – Crockpot Quinoameal Recipe

Ancient Grains_Quinoa Crockpot Oatmeal Quinoameal Recipe_FB

Ancient grains have been around a long time. I’m sorry, but that’s funny; of course they’ve been around a long time. You don’t get the title,“ancient grains,” unless you’ve been around a few hundred millennia. Those words have been showing up a lot lately. It’s kind of the new “all natural.” Food companies are throwing those words onto their products as a way of attracting those consumers who are looking for healthy options in the grocery store. In order to understand whether “ancient grains” are good for us, we need to look closer at what is considered an ancient grain.

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Basically, any grain that has gone unchanged for hundreds of years can be considered “ancient.” For example, einkorn wheat is considered ancient, but the wheat we get in products today is not because it has been bred, changed and altered over the years. So, in general, things like barley, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, oats, black, red and wild rice, farro, kamut, teff, and a few others are all considered ancient.

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Well, Jena and I decided to highlight a few of these ancient grains this month. Since many people out there, including myself, are supposed to be eating a more healthy diet due to those annoying New Year’s resolutions, we should of course be interested in these grains. Funny, I don’t remember seeing any ancient grains in those blood orange margaritas or the Chicago style hot dog I had last week during my week of food debauchery. Oh well, I’m sure they were there or I wouldn’t have ordered them.

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We are starting the month of February off with a basic recipe for crockpot oatmeal that I’ve been using for about two months. I love crockpot oatmeal, because you put all the ingredients in a small slow cooker at night, before you go to bed, and when you wake up, you are greeted with the wonderful smell of fresh oatmeal and everything you decided to embellish it with. Personally, I like apples, cinnamon, maple syrup and walnuts. It tastes like apple pie. Yummy!! Because it takes about seven hours to cook completely, it becomes necessary to plan this in advance. I’m not always big at planning and sometimes just want to eat. I came up with a good alternative: using quinoa instead of oat groats (the whole version of oats) for the oatmeal. I guess you could call it quinoameal. Quinoa, which comes from the Incas in India, cooks quicker than oat groats or steel cut oats. In fact, it cooks similar to cous cous, another ancient grain, which cooks in about five to ten minutes. We used a Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Quinoa, which has a nice color and taste to it.  Feel free to use whatever quinoa you prefer though.

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Simply add all your ingredients to a small crockpot. One part quinoa, two parts liquid. I used a combination of almond coconut milk, water and apple cider because I love apples, and dairy is not nice to me. However, you can use water or regular milk instead. Maple syrup, cinnamon, a pinch of sea salt were added, as well as some chia and flax seeds to boost the protein. I skipped the nuts, but feel free to add almonds, pecans or walnuts. They are all tasty. Stir up the mixture with a spoon, cover and cook for about one hour on high or until the quinoa has been soaked up and is cooked through. One last stir and you have a delicious alternative to oatmeal. Top with fresh berries, a little cream and a drizzle of honey or syrup and a few pistachios and you’ve got a delicious, healthy breakfast that took you five minutes to make and cook as long as it took me to write this article. Thanks to being a hunt and peck kind of typist, that means about an hour and some change. Of course you can make it much quicker if you make it on the stove top or in the microwave. That’s your choice; don’t sweat it.

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So you say you don’t like quinoa? No problem, the recipe below works with oats and buckwheat too. There, now you can say you know how to cook with ancient grains. It will make you sound smart in front of your kids and friends. Plus, it will make you feel better following that night of chicken wings and beer with a nutritious breakfast of ancient grains, fruit and nuts.

See you next week, when Jena and I will show you what to do with that oatmeal/quinoameal/buckwheatmeal you have left over from this week. Enjoy and don’t forget to cook with love and live to cook.

Jim & Jena

 

Crockpot Quinoameal
 
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This slow cooker quinoa recipe is great for those looking for a healthy breakfast, but might be sick of oatmeal.
Author:
Recipe type: Slow cooker recipe
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. Quinoa
  • 2 C. almond milk
  • 2 C. filtered water
  • 2 C. Apple cider
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. Flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 C. fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries), optional
  • ½ C. chopped or whole nuts(almonds, walnuts, pecans or pistachios), optional
  • ⅓ C. fresh cream, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. honey, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a 2 qt. slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover, then set cooking level knob to low. Cook for 7 hours or overnight. Stir mixture. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with fresh fruit, nuts or a little cream, a drizzle of honey and butter. Serve.
Notes
You can substitute oat groats, steel cut oats or buckwheat groats for the quinoa.

Feel free to experiment with different additions like dried fruit, fresh apples or pears,

Adding a touch of pure vanilla extract at the end adds great flavor

Brown sugar, raw sugar or maple syrup can also be drizzled on top.

 

Bethany @ Athletic Avocado - This quinoameal looks delicious and the pictures are beautiful! I need to make this in place of my oatmeal asap!

Sugar et al. - These stunning close-up photos can make anyone fall in love with quinoa!

Summer - This looks so good! Delish ♥

summerdaisy.net

Summer - Your photography is amazing! And this really looks yummy ♥

summerdaisy.net

Calendar Photo Shoot for Kerry

In the three years since Jena and I have been doing LRL, we have been fortunate enough to have other businesses so happy with our blog photography, that they hire us to do the same for them. Companies like Fromm Family Foods, Rhodes Frozen Bread Dough, The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, and Harvest Mill Grain Company are a few that come to mind. Recently, we were also asked to do a calendar project for a local company in Beloit, Wisconsin. Kerry specializes in ingredients, flavorings, and services catering to food companies as big as Tyson, or as little as a start up mom and pop company. They asked LRL to help them create a new look that would not only show their capabilities, but would also do it in a way that was real world and not too product driven. This was a fun project, because it involved some organization, planning and feedback from clients. I thought it might be fun to go through that process for this project while showing off our work at the same time. As a professional food photographer and stylist team, we sometimes assume that every aspiring blog writer knows what is involved with doing food photography of great quality, and maybe they do. However, we thought we’d share some of the behind the scenes thoughts that went into the making of this calendar so people can get a sense of what we do as a food blogger team. I’ll go first with my thoughts, then Jena will add her own thoughts on the same project from a different perspective.

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Since it was a calendar, every month was represented. Although January is first in the year, it was one of the last shots we did. For this shot, the focus was breakfast, so we wanted to show variety. Waffles with berries muffins, coffee, milk, breads and baking ingredients were shown to emphasize Kerry’s vast capabilities. The breads and waffles were all made the day before. When styling baked goods, it doesn’t matter if it is fresh. It matters if it looks fresh. Making them fresh the day of the shoot was not an option due to shoot schedules. Plus, when it comes to styling waffles, you never want to show them hot. Powdered sugar melts immediately on hot waffles, so cold waffles are used and cornstarch is used in place of powdered sugar so it lasts longer. The berries are places exactly where we want them, but with a sense of casualness to give the appearance of a “real life” look. Adding a few bubbles on top of the coffee at the end adds to that feeling. We also add a few crumbs coffee beans and spilled powdered sugar to make it look like mom made it all that day.

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The goal of this shot was to give it a restaurant feel. Like plates were being prepared and served by chefs. Actually doing that kind of a shot at a restaurant can be almost impossible in a casual restaurant because the food rarely looks good enough to photograph, and chefs are rarely willing to have people in their kitchens during open hours. Plus, lighting in never ideal in “the real world”, so in this case, we created the atmosphere in a test kitchen. All the food was in place for quite awhile before we were ready to shoot the final image. Melting the cheese, adding drops of water to the condiments and mayo on the burger were all added at the last minute to maintain that fresh out of the kitchen look. The end result is fabulous. Jena really captured that live feel of a restaurant by showing action in the background but still emphasizing the beauty of the food in the foreground.

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Photographing this calendar we did a mix of shooting outdoors, natural window light and strobe. This one was taken using strobe lighting from one direction. A fill card was added to wrap around the light and highlight the yogurt. We loved adding the human element to this shot! Rusty did a wonderful job modeling for us while we did multiple takes to get it just right.

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From a food stylist perspective, this shot was the most challenging of them all. We all wanted to capture the feel of a backyard barbecue, by showing various smoked meats and foods that one would find in a backyard barbecue. The problem was that it needed to be shot on location first thing in the morning and it was the end of October, so it was fairly cold. There was no power, grill or tables anywhere near where we shot it, so everything you see in the shot had to be transported by car, then unloaded and set up. This meant that all food needed to be made in advance, yet look like it was fresh off the barbecue for the final shot. Since it was shot in October in Wisconsin, we could not get smoke to naturally appear in the final shot due to temperatures and timing, so we used a smoke machine to give the appearance of smoke. It adds motion and that real life barbecue feel that really sells this shot. Homemade pickles, corn, onions, water and beer added enough color and visuals to help tell the story.

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Photographing this rustic fall image was one of my favorites. With our tight schedule we realized we would not be able to go to a location with this look and feel. I brought in the windows, table as well as the other props to set the stage. Our assistant, Rusty and I placed the windows in front of the existing window and blocked the rest of the light coming in with black cards.  The afternoon light was beautiful but we had to be quick on the trigger as the sun was setting.

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Have you ever made an entire Thanksgiving meal in less than four hours from scratch? Me either, yet we needed to achieve that goal when we did the shot above. Luckily, I had a staff of talented chefs from Kerry at my disposal, or it would have never happened. In order to create a photo worthy turkey it requires a fair amount of time, coloring and luck. Having styled many a turkey for companies like Jenny O Turkey and Taste of Home, it is pretty easy to me. However, when you add mashed potatoes, stuffing, and all the other trimmings, it can be a little overwhelming. It is always a lot of fun collaborating with corporate chefs when working on a project this big. Their talent and help are what made this shot look so great. That and Jena’s incredible propping and photography, which make the whole shot come together. The added motion of people serving the dishes give it that real look. Makes you want Thanksgiving all over again doesn’t it?

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Raschell | MissHomemade.com - These photos are stunning. Congratulations!

Lori - This is such an excellent post. Thanks so much for sharing. Such beautiful work! There looks to be motion in the grapefruit juice as you captured the shot. How did you all accomplish that?

littlerustedladle - Thank you so much Lori! We used an eyedropper tool about the same hight as the lens and dropped it in as I took some captures.

littlerustedladle - Thank you Raschell!

Lovoni Walker - Such a great post you two. Love the shots. May was a particular favourite for obvious reasons. Cheers! Nice job!

littlerustedladle - Thanks Lovoni.

Dolphia Nandi-Arnstein - Breathtaking!

Giveaway Mockmill – Parsnip Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe

Giveaway - Mock Mill - Parsnip Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe | Little Rusted Ladle #FoodStyling #FoodPhotography #Parsnips

Parsnips are so great that we decided to do another article about them. That and maybe we’re feeling a little guilty that we haven’t been posting recently. Also, we have this really cool gadget that we are giving away. Since you have probably already looked at the photos(I would too), I guess I can discuss the fancy gadget we used for this articles parsnip recipe, which is parsnip and pumpkin seed bread. Awhile back, I started eating healthier and began thinking about getting a grain mill for grinding my own flour.  Since most of the flour today doesn’t contain much nutritional value, and even store-bought products labeled “whole grain” usually aren’t, I thought I’d look into it more.   A client of mine grinds his own wheat, and said the quality of bread made with flour ground from whole wheat berries is far better than any commercial bread. About the same time, the wonderful people pleasanthillgrain.com asked if we could review a new product they carry called the Mockmill for Kitchen Aid mixers. Mockmill is known for making very high quality grain mills. It sounded like a match made in heaven. I was looking for a grain mill and they had one to review. The best part is that this new product attaches to a standard Kitchen Aid mixer. Simply attach the mill to the front, add wheat berries, corn, rice, etc.. to the hopper on top and turn on the mixer. Out comes your own home ground flour. You can also adjust the size of the grind from coarse to fine.

Giveaway - Mock Mill - Parsnip Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe | Little Rusted Ladle #FoodStyling #FoodPhotography #Parsnips

Milling my own whole wheat flour made me feel like an amish farmer. Next thing you know Jena and I will be wearing straw hats and riding in a horse drawn buggy. O.K., maybe not, but the Mockmill is easy and fun to use. I experimented with the mill by making cookies, crackers and bread. What I found out was there is a learning curve with using fresh ground flour that takes some time to get used to. It’s a little too technical for this article, but maybe in the future we can do an article just on home milled grain.  Regardless, I’m very happy with my new Mockmill for Kitchen Aid.  It’s great knowing where our food comes from.  Flour was one of those ingredients that you just never know.  Until now that is.  Would I recommend a grain mill to grind your own grain?  You bet.  I bought twenty pounds of Einkorn wheat berries to prove it, which are the first plants to be domestically cultivated, dating back over 10,000 years ago.  How awesome is that?

Giveaway - Mock Mill - Parsnip Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe | Little Rusted Ladle #FoodStyling #FoodPhotography #ParsnipsGiveaway - Mock Mill - Parsnip Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe | Little Rusted Ladle #FoodStyling #FoodPhotography #Parsnips

The recipe chosen for the second part of our parsnip and parsley root series is a delightful parsnip bread. Sweet parsnips, brown sugar, eggs, yogurt, carrots, and of course whole wheat flour are the foundation. I decided to make it and substitute some whole wheat flour that I ground in the Mockmill. The bread is sweet like banana bread, but has a nice nutty, full flavor from the whole wheat that diffuses the sweetness. Added pumpkin seeds gave it a nice crunch, while the addition of a little sea salt and melted butter on top really made it all come together. I used 2 cups of cooked parsnips that we used to make the soup from our Parsnip and Parsley Root Bisque article a couple of days ago. It’s a great way of doing the prep for two recipes at once. Cooking the parsnips in the milk and broth gave added flavor to the soup, and the liquid also flavored the parsnips better than cooking them in water.

Giveaway - Mock Mill - Parsnip Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe | Little Rusted Ladle #FoodStyling #FoodPhotography #ParsnipsGiveaway - Mock Mill - Parsnip Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe | Little Rusted Ladle #FoodStyling #FoodPhotography #Parsnips

Since Jena and I like to mix it up a little, we decided to make the bread in a cast iron skillet. Feel free to use any kind of pan you’d like. Remember, it’s a quick bread, which uses baking soda instead of yeast to make it rise, so it works in just about any kind of pan you want. We even made some in small mason jars that were cute as a button. I love parsnips and I’m sure after trying this bread and our soup, you will too. As far as the Mockmill goes, I find it very useful and fun, as well as being a great way of Getting added nutrients to my food.  It’s so fun, I’m headed to the kitchen to get some more bread going. Now for the fun part. Here’s your chance to win a Mockmill of your own thanks to Pleasant Hill Grain.  Simply fill in the entry form below by Friday January 15th. One winner will be chosen, and you will be sent a new Mockmill valued at $199.00 free of charge. It’s January, which means diets and exercise. Adding home ground flour to your cooking will give added flavor and nutrition to your breads, polenta, and custom flours. Until next time, remember to cook with love and live to cook.
Jim & Jena

 

Parsnip Pumpkin Seed Bread Recipe
 
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This wonderfully sweet quick bread gets a lot of it's sweetness from parsnips and carrots. Using fresh ground whole wheat flour adds a great full, nutty flavor that really balances the bread nicely.
Author:
Recipe type: baked goods
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour 9 preferably freshly ground from berries
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 lg. organic eggs, beaten,
  • 2 cups cooked parsnips (see parsnip & parsley root soup for method)
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • additional melted butter
  • coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large bread loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.
  3. In another medium bowl, combine butter, yogurt, eggs, parsnips, carrots, and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Add wet ingredients to bowl of dry ingredients and gently stir until combined.
  5. Spoon batter into greased pans and sprinkle with additional pumpkin seeds if desired.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Brush with melted butter if desired and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  9. Serve with parsnip and parsley root soup.
Notes
For a different twist, batter can be spooned into small cast iron skillets, or small mason jars. Reduce baking time if the pan used is smaller than a bread loaf pan.

Emilie @ The Clever Carrot - What a gorgeous recipe (and beautiful photos, too!). I love the flavor of gingery parsnips and I can almost smell the aroma of this skillet bread from here 😉 Thank you for hosting such a generous giveaway. I would use this mill to grind grain into flour for my homemade sourdough… xx

Margaret - Hi – I cannot find where to enter! Thanks – great post!

littlerustedladle - Hi Margaret, The entry form is at the bottom of the post. It did disappear though so that you for letting us know! Thank you for entering. Good luck

Josh Lippman - Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway. I commented before but it seems to have disappeared. I would use this mill grain to make some whole wheat challah bread

Sugar et al. - Wow! Such stunning photos. And a great way of using parsnips in a recipe.I’d so love to give this a try.

Dolphia Nandi-Arnstein - What lens did you use for the first one : Extreme closeup one.

Parsnip & Parsley Root Bisque with White Truffle Oil

Parsnip Parsley Root Bisque White Truffle Oil - Little Rusted Ladle

Every once in awhile as a foodie, you have one of those “aha” moments. These can also be called “oh my god am I stupid” moments, but it doesn’t sound as good, so aha moments they are. Well, recently, I had an aha moment when I was buying parsnips at the grocery store for our latest article on, yes you guessed, parsnips. The story goes something like this; I run to the store looking for parsnips(those white carrot looking vegetables that often have wax on them). I find them, but the only bag left has huge parsnips, which I know will never look good. Knowing Jena would kill me if I brought her big, ugly, waxed parsnips to photograph, I tried another store, but no luck. I tried one more store, praying that they would have these often overlooked vegetables. Luckily for me, not only did the store have the ugly waxed ones, but they also had beautiful baby parsnips with no wax and gorgeous stems. I know, I thought the same thing, I’ve never seen parsnips at the store with stems. I’ve never even seen parsnip stems. My dad would always let them winter over in the ground, then dig them up the following spring, so the stems were always dead. These stems looked like they came right out of the ground. What a great find! Jena will be very proud of me. lol. Except for one thing. They weren’t parsnips. They were parsley root.
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Yup, that was the aha moment I mentioned earlier. You see, as I was looking at my prize find at hour 99 on my way to the shoot, I noticed a sign next to the parsnips that read “parsley root”. I looked at the stems, and guess what they looked like? That’s right, parsley. You know, that herb that grows so easily in the midwest? The parsley used tomato tabouleh and flavor so many soups and dishes. I looked at the sign, then at my perfect parsnips and felt instantly stupid. You see, I consider myself pretty knowledgable about herbs, but have never actually seen or cared about what grew under the herb that grows all spring, summer and fall. I’d cut sprigs off the plant thinking I was using natures treasures so effectively. Well, I wasn’t, because under those beautiful green sprigs, grew a root that was not only edible, but is also a very good substitute for parsnips.

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The taste of parsley root is not as sweet as parsnips, but still very delicious. Since parsley root is so close to parsnips, we decided to combine the two for this article. Use them interchangeably. Personally, I’m partial to parsnips for their sweetness, but am now happy to say I know the difference between those nice looking ones with the green tops and the waxy ones I grew up with. If only mom had dug up the parsley and served it, I wouldn’t have needed that “aha” moment. Oh well, at least I learned something. Now maybe you have too. By the way, in case your wondering, the recipe for this article is a velvety smooth bisque that is so easy and delicious. You simply simmer a pound of parsnips, parsley root or both in a mixture of chicken broth and half and half, then puree the mixture with a little parmesan cheese, a touch of salt and then top it with toasted hazelnuts, a few drops of white truffle oil and a sprig of, you guessed it, parsley. Enjoy.
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Check back tomorrow, because we are giving away a very special new kitchen gadget valued at over $200 to one lucky person. This gadget is great for anyone looking to improve their health and the quality of their food this new year. See you tomorrow. Until then, don’t forget to cook with love and live to cook.

Jim & Jena

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Parsnip & Parsley Root Bisque with White Truffle Oil
 
Prep time
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This easy to make sweet vegetable bisque gets a gourmet upgrade with the addition of white truffle oil and hazelnuts. It can also be made into a vegetarian soup by using vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (about 1 lb.) peeled and chopped parsnips or parsley root
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. good quality Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 6-10 drops white truffle oil, optional
  • 6-10 toasted hazelnuts
  • reserved parsley sprigs (if using parsley root)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine parsnips and or parsley root, milk, and broth of choice. Simmer over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.
  2. Add mixture to a blender with parmesan cheese.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle into 2-4 bowls or cups.
  6. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, white truffle oil and a parsley sprig.

 

Lovoni Walker - I loved this post. No offence to anyone, but for some reason Americans love to cut the root off all herbs…cila tro is the one the kills me as that’s the best part, especially for my curry paste but impossible to find here. Gorgeous shots & great narrative as always.

Dione White - So beautiful you guys! I had no idea about the parsley roots either. But I have a bunch of parsnips from the garden that were waiting for this recipe : )

Colleen Johnson - Glad you had that “aha” moment! :) You guys rock!

Maren Epstein - This soup sounds great! Do you think it would work with coconut milk instead?

DIY Snow Globe Ornament and Place Cards

DIY Snow Globe Ornament Place Cards Craft 2- Little Rusted Ladle Blog
Hello! Jena here, with a special holiday entertaining post. With my family growing I have been so excited to implement new holiday family traditions. One of the traditions is making a special Christmas ornament every year. This year, I love what we came up with, our ornament also doubles as a place card holder. (Extra important for our new additional place setting even though it is quite obvious that Austin will be sitting in the high-chair.) Regardless, I ended up making 14 of these for friends and family and I had fun doing it.
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What you will need:

Clear plastic Christmas ornaments
2 sizes of thin ribbon
Metallic pipe cleaners
Metal stamps/hammer/metal for tags (optional)
Wooden tags
Craft trees (two sizes)
Martha Stewart Crafts DIE-CUT LACE TAGS
White craft paint
Salt
Blade
Hot glue gun

Prepare:

1. Start by painting the wooden tags and trees white. Then dip the trees in salt while there are still wet. Set aside to dry.

2. I stamped the metal tags using Making Memories Stamping Die Set and cutting them to fit in the wooden tags. You can use paper or write on the painted wooden tag. Cut ribbon to border the wooden tags. Hot glue them all together.

3. Cut pipe cleaners in half and make circles out of them, twist the ends to keep them together.

4. Use the pipe cleaner circles to mark the bottom of the plastic ornament. cut it out with an exacto-knife.

5. Tie thin ribbon to the top of the ornament

Assemble:

1. Hot glue the pipe cleaners to the center of the white die-cut lace circle tags.

2. Pick out 1 tall and 1 short tree and hot glue them to the white die-cut lace circle tags.

Hot glue the name tags on the trees.

Fit the ornament snug over the place setting and twist under the pipe cleaners.

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S u b s c r i b e
S e a r c h
M o r e   i n f o