A compilations of A Return To Loveliness posts from A Delight Life.

Homemade Gifts

Christmas is just a few short days away, but I think there’s 
still time to make a few homemade gifts,
or something to bring to a party!

From Your Heart and From Your Hands
that will be greatly appreciated!
I am taking my inspiration from special books
I was perusing this afternoon.

 While I was reading, I was enjoying a wonderful cup of Earl Grey tea
in my Gibson Holly mug with a gift I received - Snickerdoodles!

I love the work of Emelie Barnes and her
The Twelve Teas of Christmas
is full of wonderful ideas, insights, pictures and recipes!

Fruit Salsa
2 medium Granny Smith apples
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled
1 small orange
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple jelly

peel, core and chop apples. Hull strawberries and slice. Peel, core
and chop kiwi. Grate 2 tablespoons orange zest, squeeze rest of orange to equal ¼ cup of juice. Stir all of the above with brown sugar
and apple jelly in a bowl. Terrific on breads or muffins.
You can put this in a snap sealable container.

Christmas Candle Holder

4-ounce juice glass with straight sides
tea light
water-based craft paint
paint brush
craft knife
heavy black paper

Paint the outside of the surface of the glass, covering it entirely. You can use red or green paint., or even a shimmering color. Cut out a piece of black paper that fits around the outside of the glass. Next, cut Christmas shapes trees, stars, bells---out of the paper. Now you’ll glue the paper, making sure the black is facing out to the outside of the glass so it covers the paint, except where you’ve cut out the shapes. Place the tea light inside the glass. When you light the wick, your original cut-outs will shine through the black paper.

The Heart of Christmas
By Victoria

Herbes de Provence

3 tablespoons dried marjoram
3 tablespoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons dried summer savory
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 ½ tablespoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried or rubbed sage
½ teaspoon fennel seed
¼ teaspoon dried lavender

in a small bowl, mix together all theingredients. Store in a glass container in a cool, dry, dark place.
Makes ¾ cup.
You can put this in a small jelly jar, decorate with
Rustic fabric and add a homemade label.

Three-Fruit Marmalade

1 ½ pounds mixed citrus fruits
(grapefruit, oranges and lemons)
washed dried, quartered, and seeded but not peeled
12 cups cold water
6 cups sugar

1.   cut the fruit quarters into very thin slices, working over a bowl to catch the juices.
2.   Measure 4 cups of the fruit slices, including juices, into a heavy 8-quart nonreactive (enamel or stainless steel) saucepan. Add the water. Cover and let stand for 24 hours.
3.   Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Remove the lid, lower the heat to medium, and boil gently for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until reduced to 6 cups, stirring often. Cool slightly.
4.   Add the sugar, bring to a boil over high hieat, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Keep the mixture at a rapid boil until it sheets off a metal spoon and registers 220 degrees F. on a candy thermomenter.
5.   Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off the foam from the top and stir gently.
6.   Quickly, ladle the marmalade int 6 hot, sterilized 1/2 –pint glass canning jars, leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Seal with canning lids according to the manufacturers directions.
7.   Process the sealed hot marmalade ina boiling water bath for 5 minutes after the water returns to a full boil. (add 1 minute processing time for each 1,00 feet above sea level) Cool upright on a rack and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Gifts In A Jar

I have made these already and have them at the ready for hostess gifts and for last-minute gifts.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® 
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
 Place these instructions on a card attached to the side of the jar.

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)
softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg and 3/4 teaspoon
vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Add cookie
mix and 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional); mix well, breaking
up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased
baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to
cool completely.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.