Archive for the ‘recipe’ Category

DIY Flavored Sea Salts


It’s always fun to give homemade gifts, especially when they’re food related, even more especially when they’re very fancy and very gourmet. Flavored sea salts are one of those great little gifts that don’t cost much to make, but look really beautiful and are very much appreciated by the recipients. They’re perfect for hostess gifts, housewarming presents, and neighbor gifts for the holidays, and would make excellent take-home party favors. They look especially lovely packaged in small glass jars and bottles, and are pretty enough to be left out on the kitchen counter. Below you’ll find a 3 different lovely recipes to make your own DIY Flavored Sea Salts!


Rosemary Sea Salt

1 cup sea salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary

Combine the sea salt and fresh rosemary in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-covered baking sheet, and place in the oven on the lowest temperature setting for 1 hour. Let cool, package, and give.

Good on meats and veggies!

Vanilla Bean Sea Salt

1 cup sea salt
4 vanilla beans

Pour the salt into a medium bowl. Cut each vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. Using the tip of the knife, scrape the seeds out of all of the vanilla bean halves, and add them to the salt. Mix well with clean hands, rubbing the salt and vanilla seeds together until well-combined. Package and give.

Perfect for sprinkling on chocolate chips cookies, homemade caramels, and other sweets!

Lemon Sea Salt

1 cup sea salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest

Combine the sea salt and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-covered baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour on the lowest temperature setting. Remove from oven, allow to cool, package, and give.

Great on chicken, fish, and veggies!

* * *

Of course, you can’t give a cute jar of homemade flavored sea salt without a matching tag, right?! I’ve created three simple graphics, one for each type of salt, that you can download and use to make printable labels. Use them to make squares or circles or rectangles, stickers, hang tags, etc! Just right click on the graphic you want, save the image, and use it in whatever program you want to create your labels in!

DIY rosemary salt label DIY vanilla salt labelDIY lemon salt label


- Melissa Bahen, Lulu the Baker

Vanilla Extract Recipe + Free Label Printable

Vanilla Extract Recipe Plus Bottle Label //

Can you really call something a recipe if it’s only 2 ingredients? Well, Vanilla Extract is surprisingly easy to make. Just two things you need: alcohol and vanilla beans. Yup. You wouldn’t know that if you looked on the ingredients of most vanilla extracts, since a lot of companies like to sweeten their extracts with corn syrup.

We tend to go through a ton of vanilla extract over in my home. I’m always making my no-refined sugars homemade granola, and we just go right through the extract. Making my own has saved a bit of cash! I mean, vanilla beans can be a little expensive… but we have a local store that sold some lovely organic beans for $1.50 each. There’s also a company I found online, Beanilla, that has a lovely variety of beans (for less than you’d probably pay at most grocery stores).

Vanilla Extract Recipe Plus Bottle Label //

Vanilla Extract Recipe


Vanilla Extract Recipe Plus Bottle Label //

- Split your vanilla bean in half (lengthwise).

Vanilla Extract Recipe Plus Bottle Label //

- Cut the bean sections into pieces that will fit into your bottle. Put the beans into the bottle.

Vanilla Extract Recipe Plus Bottle Label //

- Pour the alcohol into the bottle and screw on the lid. Shake the bottle a couple times. Store in a dark space for 6 – 8 weeks. Ta dah! You now have Vanilla Extract. Head on over to my HP Post to get those free Vanilla Extract Labels! I also made some blank labels for you to use for other spices and extracts.

Vanilla Extract Recipe Plus Bottle Label //

Vanilla Extract Recipe Plus Bottle Label //

You know what’s super cool about this? When you run out of the vanilla extract you made, just add more alcohol and let the beans soak for another 6 – 8 weeks. I think keeping 3 bottles on hand and refilling as needed will help. I’m not sure how many times you can reuse the bean, but test it out!

Ok, enjoy that homemade vanilla extract!

Vanilla Recipe GIF //

- Chelsey

P.S. I am a paid contributor on the HP Create website. 

Cheesy Broccoli Crock Pot Recipe

Cheesy Broccoli Crock Pot Recipe //

The first of hopefully many successful crock pot adventures: the Cheesy Broccoli Crock Pot Recipe. I say it ALL the time: I don’t like to cook. I don’t like to experiment with food and I prefer that meals come with the least amount of effort possible. A few months ago my mom, knowing my distaste for cooking, bought us a crock pot. I’ve heard MANY stories about how easy it is to create a meal with this one tool. Toss it all in and you’re done.

Well, it took me a while to actually give it a try because my husband does the majority of the cooking, and I don’t want to. Well, the crock pot has been great! My first attempt was to make a different version of this recipe. You throw ALL the ingredients in at once. The result: mushy rice + broccoli. It was still very delicious (cause cheese), but I wanted to avoid the mush. My husband suggested cooking the rice and broccoli completely separate (or just plain baking the recipe), but that sounded like way more effort than I wanted to put into this meal. Ha! So, I made a few adjustments of when you put some of the ingredients into the crock pot (like the rice and broccoli), and it worked!


Cheesy Broccoli Crock Pot Recipe

  • 2 lbs uncooked chicken breasts
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 16 oz. container of sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


- Place your chicken breasts, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper at the bottom of the crock pot. Cover the chicken with the broth (about 2/3 of the broth container).

- Cook the chicken on high for 2.5 or 3 hours. Watch the liquid level. If the liquid is too low before the chicken is cooked, add some more warm broth (not cold).

- When the chicken is cooked, pull the breasts out of the crock pot and shred with two forks. Put the chicken back into the crock pot.

- Add the rice and broccoli. Add more broth if needed (just so the rice and broccoli are covered). Cook for another hour, or until rice and broccoli are cooked.

- When the rice is cooked, add your sour cream and cheese. Cook till warmed.

Serve and enjoy!

- Chelsey

P.S. the kiddo loved this! She ate the whole thing, veggies and all (again, cause covered in cheese). 

Rainbow Cupcake Recipe & Free Rainbow Cupcake Topper Printable

Rainbow Cupcake Recipe and Rainbow Cupcake Topper Printables // Lulu the Baker for

Here’s a real quick intro to the newest contributor for The Paper Mama Blog: Lulu the BakerThis post is sponsored by CourseCraft.
I am of the opinion that cupcakes are the perfect sweet ending to any celebration or event. They have pretty much everything you could ever ask for in a party food. Miniature size? Check! Self-serve-ability? Check! No utensil dirtying? Check! Delicious and cute and colorful and did I mention delicious? Check! I can’t think of a single person I know who doesn’t like cupcakes, or a single holiday that they wouldn’t be perfect for. In honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities, I made sweet little rainbow cupcakes. They’re so party-perfect, and guess what? They’re so easy too! It only takes a few extra minutes of work to get this eye-popping effect. And for an even bigger dose of rainbow cuteness, I topped my rainbow cupcakes with…you guessed it: rainbows!

Rainbow Cupcake Recipe and Rainbow Cupcake Topper Printables // Lulu the Baker for

Rainbow Cupcakes Recipe How-to


  • 1 white cake mix, plus all of the ingredients to make it (usually oil, water, and eggs), or your favorite recipe for homemade white cake
  • a large mixing bowl
  • a large spoon or electric mixer
  • 6 small bowls
  • food coloring (you can get by with just red, yellow, and blue if you have to)
  • a small spoon
  • cupcake pans
  • 24 paper cupcake liners (the rainbow striped ones I used were from Shop Lemon Drop)
  • a teaspoon
  • 1 batch cream cheese frosting
  • a frosting spreader or butter knife
  • a 2″ circle punch
  • scissors or a paper trimmer
  • Rainbow Cupcake Topper printable

Rainbow Cupcake Recipe and Rainbow Cupcake Topper Printables // Lulu the Baker for


1. In the large mixing bowl, make the white cake batter according to package directions.

2. Divide the cake batter evenly among the 6 small bowls. You should get about 1/2 cup of batter per bowl.

3. Add 15 drops of food coloring to each bowl. For the red (really pink), use all red. For the orange, use orange food coloring or a combination of red and yellow. For the yellow, use all yellow. For the green, use green food coloring or a combination of blue and yellow. For the blue, use all blue. For the purple, use purple food coloring or a combination of blue and red. In all instances, only use 15 drops of food coloring TOTAL per bowl. Mix well with a small spoon, and rinse the spoon in between colors.

4. Put the paper cupcake liners in the cupcake pans.

5. Put 1 teaspoon of purple batter in the bottom of each cupcake paper. If you still have leftover purple batter after you’ve put a teaspoon in each cup, distribute the leftover batter among the cupcakes papers. Repeat the process with the blue batter, then green, yellow, orange, and finally pink.

6. Bake the cupcakes according to package directions. Allow to cool completely.

7. Using the frosting spreader or butter knife, frost the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

8. To make the rainbow cupcake toppers, begin by downloading the printable pdf. Once the file is saved to your computer, open it and print it. I scaled it to about 94% so nothing would be cut off, and chose the “Best” quality option.

9. Punch each rainbow circle out with the 2″ circle punch, then use the scissors or paper trimmer to cut each circle in half.

10. Gently push a paper rainbow into the frosting on each cupcake. Voila! A rainbow extravaganza!

Rainbow Cupcake Recipe and Rainbow Cupcake Topper Printables // Lulu the Baker for

Rainbow Cupcake Recipe and Rainbow Cupcake Topper Printables // Lulu the Baker for

- Melissa, Lulu the Baker

This Rainbow Cupcake Recipe post was sponsored by the very fun site, CourseCraft:

CourseCraft //