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More Holiday Gift Making Ideas!









Letter from the Editor

Gourmet coffee is not usually an item a person would buy for themselves, but how theyBeansCoffee.jpg (24344 bytes) love to wake up to it!  I love coffee shops as do many people.  When I visit these shops I wondered how they coat some of their beans to appear unique and unusual.  One example is the popular "White Christmas" where the bean is coated in a flavor oil first, and then a substance that appears to be white.  Another example is their "German Chocolate Cake" that appears to have a brown powdered coating.   The answer was all too simple.  Ready to pull out some Folgers whole bean, mason jars and have a blast?  You can do decaf as well as regular, but you may want to give them a coffee grinder with this!  Click thumbnail on the right to get a better view of the coated beans.

I do think Folgers is the best unless you can find Douwe and Egbert Coffee which is owned by Sarah Lee.  Douwe & Egbert coffee is what most Doctors and nurses drink and a well kept secret see my Notes from Room 336.  Back to preparing your own gourmet coffee you mainly need great basic coffee beans and some quart sized mason jars.  The jar to the right is an 8 ounce where I layered different flavored beans that would compliment the final taste when put to use.  You also need flavor oils and items you wish to powder the bean in to match your theme.  Flavor must be oil based and cannot be water based.  This means you cannot use vanilla extract, for example.  A little flavor oil goes a long way and we carry it in our supply store.  I do not recommend this recipe for already ground coffee as it looses its appeal.  Again, you can also use decaf beans for the recipe below.

How to Make Your Own Gourmet Coffee?

Assuming you will present this in a quart sized mason jar, (you can do this using a smaller mason version)  basically dump a quart of whole coffee beans (decaf or regular) into a big zip lock bag, and sprinkle with the flavor oils of your choice. Shake the bag until all beans have some coating.  If you want to get fancy,  you can add a coat of powdered vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, or coca by using a heaping tablespoon of the powder after they are coated with oil, and then shaking the bag again to evenly coat.  Shake the bag vigorously to coat all of the beans.  When you are done simply pour your creation into a mason jar and tie natural raffia around the neck along with a gift card or what have you.  You may also want to secure a rock candy stirrer stick around the neck or a chocolate dipped spoon.  Most people know what to do with coffee--which is LOVE IT. If they do not have a coffee grinder--they run about $10 so you may want to add that with the gift.  Coffee grinders can also be used for so many other things.  You can also layer the beans in the mason jar, alternating say, White Christmas with German Chocolate Cake.  For Powdered Vanilla Click Here.  We are proud to announce we now have new flavor oils in our flavor oil line that include butterscotch, caramel, coconut, and hazelnut.  Click here to see our 40 flavor oils!  1/4 ounce flavors at least four pounds of beans and you can mix and match.    

Themes for Your Gourmet Coffee?  Flavor Oils... For Flavor Oils Click Here.

*Amaretto:  Almond and Vanilla.  Suggested coating totally crushed almonds.

*Bananas Foster:  Banana, Caramel and Rum.  

*Cherry Cordial: Chocolate and Cherry.  Suggested coating powdered cocoa.

*Chocolate Mint:  Chocolate and Peppermint.  Suggested coating powdered cocoa.

*Cinnamon Butter Cookie:  Cinnamon and Vanilla.  Suggested coating powdered sugar.

*Eggnog:  Vanilla and Rum.  Suggested coating powdered sugar and nutmeg. 

*German Chocolate Cake:  Chocolate, Coconut and Macadamia Nut.  Suggested coating powdered cocoa.

*Raspberry Truffle:  Chocolate and Raspberry.  Suggested coating powdered cocoa.

*White Chocolate Macadamia Nut:  White Chocolate Macadamia Nut.  Suggested coating powdered sugar.  

 *White Christmas:  Coconut, Carmel and Vanilla.  Suggested coating powered sugar or vanilla powder.

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Making Chocolate Dipped Spoons

Here is another easy project that is so fast to prepare you will be actually be disappointed.  Fist of all you need plastic spoons and gold are the best color.  I do not recommend the dipping chocolate the stores sell because it is all waxy junk.  I prefer to melt dark chocolate chips in the microwave very slowly as to not scald the  chocolate and then dip away.  When I am done dipping I place them on a sheet of wax paper.  While still warm you can even dip them in holiday sprinkles if you like.    Michael's Craft Center does sell the spoons with wrappers, but I would skip the dipping wax they also offer and stick with the chocolate chips.  White chocolate chips are very delicate and will scald so easy you need to warm VERY slowly if you desire to incorporate that into your spoon design.  Here you can also add flavor oils to the warm chocolate if so desired.  They take about an hour to dry and you may want to re-dip to get it right.  A pretty small gold bow at the neck is a great finishing touch to making these spoons as gifts.

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Easy Spin on Deserts

The coolest thing I have seen in a long time is the use of caramel, chocolate, raspberry and mango sauces placed in ketchup and mustard style bottle that can last a long time in the refrigerator and be used as a last minute spice up to any dish or desert.  What you call that type of container is another matter. Jacquard Plastic Squeeze Bottle is one phrase these units are known as. Having those four elements you can decorate a glass off eggnog, for example before pouring in the eggnog.  

You see bartenders do it all the time to dress up a glass before the pour the drink as well as desert plates spun with the art prior to the desert being placed on top--or just poured all over the desert in an artsy fashion.  The best part is you do not have to be a great aimer to be a creative entertainer.  Wolfgang Puck look out!  

Other Treats

I also noticed a neat way to present items such as fudge and that it to use a cookie cutter to cut the fudge in the shape of a star or Christmas tree.  An extra step to be sure, but well worth the personal gesture.

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Edible Christmas Tree Using the Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

This is a great solution to the old and labor intensive Gingerbread house.  You simply have your kids shape the warm crispy treat recipe into the shape of a Christmas Tree, Snow Man, what ever inspires them.  Do supply them with lots of candy and garnishments so creativity can be unlimited!  This project, if made large enough can also serve as a dining room table centerpiece.  We have not figured out how to shape a turkey, or a pilgrim, so we did skip on to Christmas for this one.

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A New Angle on Scent Throw

Here is  a new and fashionable idea for fragrance throw.  Pour about 4 ounces (about 1/3 way up the bottle) of your favorite fragrance oil into a pretty old fashioned apothecary bottle.  Insert ten 18" Bamboo reed sticks.  Arrange the reeds to fan out.   I placed the artsy object in my guest bathroom so I could really tell if this works.  It was splendid.

Within 24 hours you will notice the Bamboo absorbed the oil and did a great job on throwing fragrance.  Quality fragrance oil should throw scent for about 4 weeks. Click here for our Bamboo Reeds and here for our fragrance oils.

Another angle on making a candle last longer is to place it on an electric aroma plate as seen here.  Click here to see aroma plate.  This is great for people who are not allowed to actually burn a candle such as college dorms and retirement homes.  Click here to see our vast line of strong fragrance oils


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Free Pour Soy Candle Base

After having to deal with paraffin and other waxes that are hard to clean up, we just love working with soy wax.  It burns longer, soot free and cleans up with water among its other well known attribute of being the most economical wax to buy.  Customers seem to like our recipe the best, that also includes fragrance binders to increase the throw of your preferred scent, so we made it easy and now offer the Free Pour Candle Base in our supply company.  You simply take the metal lid off, put our jar in the microwave and nuke until just melted and from there you can add any scent or oil based color you desire.  You can also re-sue the jar later.  One quart of our pre-made soy candle base makes two 16 ounce containers or eight 4 ounce travel sized tins.  You need only add the wick and the fragrance. A quart of this base is $8.95.  Click here to order.   

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Now a Collector's Item:  The Mabel White Entire Collection

The Mabel White Entire Collection on CD ROM will be discontinued as of November 7th, 2003.  It was a limited item and no more than 500 copies were ever made.  This is also a symbolic day because it was my deceased husbands birthday who nick named me Mabel White and who is the very reason I wrote a ton of books there after over a ten year period with the goal of helping other people.  

Anyone who had or has purchased any of the Entire Collections previous to the date mentioned above is very lucky and will be sent a CD ROM with "Collector Edition" marked on the CD along with my personal signature.  This includes Subscriber's and former Subscribers.  At the time all true owners have possession of their CD ROM, all manuals and books will be taken off line that were for purchase only.  The extensive books, manuals and articles I have written will be on the Collector CD ROM and on longer from the site where they were gaining access.  Basic recipes and instructions will stay intact on the site, my books and e-books will also remain for sale. I do deeply appreciate those customers who have encouraged me to continue writing in hard times as well as good and helped me build this business.   Deborah R. Dolen    

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New "How To" DVD's

One of the most popular products Mabel ever offered was a line of VHS video's with subjects such as How to Make Gift Baskets, How to Make Heavily Scented Candles and other demonstrational tapes based on the Mabel line of craft books.  A few years ago Hurricane Gabrielle hit Florida and flooded the building the VHS masters were in.  Since that time we have not been able to provide the highly requested quality instructional mediums we had.  As we approach year 2004 we are in reproduction of these instructional guides that will now be offered in DVD as well as VHS formats.  

This weekend we completed the filming of How to Make Gift Baskets, and How to Make Home Made Toiletry Products.  The Toiletry filming is based on two books The Bathroom Chemist and The Self Apothecary.  We had a ton of fun making the instructional tapes!  Each VHS/DVD will be about one hour in length and packed with great ideas and knowledge of the subject matter.  We even included how to make bows in the Gift Basket film as that is a perplexing technique we are often asked about.

The next tapings will include How to Make Heavily Scented Candles, Floral Design, Making Melt and Pour Soaps, How to Make Gel Candles, and How to Make Cold/Hot Process Old Fashioned Soap.  We expect all video's edited and available by the end of this year if not sooner.  We will be sure to announce them in this newsletter when they are completed.  

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New Holiday Items Just In

Mabel White's Christmas in Spiral Bound Version is now available by clicking here.  We are now offering Mabel's All Purpose Balm Base in Coconut as well as original.  Click here to check that out.  We now love and use Fed Ex so all shipping is current, on time, and packages are not broken up by our wonderful United States Postal Office homeland security as they were this summer.

We are also getting very cute heart shaped tins in any day now for lip balm making use.  The decorative mason lids are finally in and will stay in stock even out of season.    Our Animal Lover's Treats Cookbook now comes with a copper dog biscuit cookie cutter and we think that is great.  We finally located 6" wooden spoons from the Netherlands that go perfect with any stacked cookies or dinners in masons jars being made as a gift.  Click photos to buy!

Our Fragrance Oil Blending Chart is now for sale in e-book format and well worth the $29.95 price.  Click here to order.  

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Did You Know?

  • To keep FRESH FLOWERS longer Add a little Clorox, or 2 Bayer aspirin, or just use 7-up instead of water.

  • Fleas in your carpet? 20 Mule Team Borax - sprinkle and let stand for 24 hours.

  • Grease Stains - Coca Cola, it will also remove grease stains from the driveway overnight. We know it will take corrosion from batteries!

  • Remove labels off glassware, etc., rub with peanut butter or a hot blow dryer.

  • Preserving a newspaper clipping -- large bottle of club soda and 1/2 cup of milk of magnesia, soak for 20 min. and let dry, will last for many years!

  • Got hit with ink?  Run for the hairspray and it will help lift most of the ink for cleaning later.

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