Sunday, September 2, 2018

Tips for Making a Cute DIY Muffin Gift Basket and Strawberry Muffins

Stitching it Right is honored to partner with Village Bakery to bring you this post about how to make a yummy muffin gift basket.

When you're looking for a great, thoughtful gift, maybe a muffin gift basket would be a good choice. After all, muffins are tasty, baskets are pretty, and if you stitch up a little basket liner to put in the basket, it makes it look even cuter. It also gives the recipient a way to temporarily cover up the muffins when she or he isn’t eating them.

muffin gift basket
Muffin Gift Basket image courtesy of Pixabay

Prepare the Muffin Basket

Get started by choosing a basket the size you’re thinking of giving. Keep in mind that a really big basket, while it may look cool and exciting, can mean a LOT more time baking, plus, if the recipient doesn’t have a large family, the muffins may go stale before they get eaten. A basket that’s big enough to hold six to twelve muffins or twelve to twenty-four mini-muffins is usually ideal.

Make sure the basket is clean inside and out. Put a layer of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or waxed paper in the bottom to help keep food particles out of the basket’s weave.

Sew a Simple Basket Liner

Take a large bandanna or piece of fabric and lay it in the bottom of the basket. Press it down in, to line the entire bottom of the basket with the edges of the fabric hanging over. The excess fabric will fold over the muffins for a pretty cover.

Use a needle and thread to sew small pieces of ribbon onto the liner right where the handles of the basket are - this will let you tie the liner to the basket so it doesn't shift around after you put in the muffins.

My Favorite Strawberry Muffin Recipe

(You’ll have to let me know if you try these berry muffins and like them. I really love them, but I know everyone’s got their own preferences. I’ve also made them with blackberries, and those were tasty, too.)

Strawberry Muffin Ingredients:

  • 1/4-cup cooking oil
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1/2-cup milk
  • 1-cup minced strawberries
  • (If using strawberry preserves, reduce this to 1/4-cup and puree the jam)
  • 1&3/4-cup flour
  • 1/2-teaspoon salt
  • 2-teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2-cup sugar
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Steps to Make Strawberry Muffins:

  1. Gather your ingredients and your baking supplies, including mixing bowls, a mixing spoon, a hand mixer, muffin tins, and muffin papers.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in one small mixing bowl and the dry ingredients in a larger mixing bowl.
  3. (The minced strawberries go in the dry ingredient bowl - who knows why - but it works!)
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir just long enough that the dry ingredients are coated, but still lumpy.
  5. Fill the muffin tins
  6. (this makes about 8 large or 16 mini muffins)
  7. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 20-25 minutes for full-size muffins or 15 to 20 for mini muffins. (When they turn golden brown, they're done.)
  8. Let the muffins cool before loading your gift basket and presenting your friend or loved one with your DIY muffin gift basket.
(If it's going to be a while before you see them, take advantage of a sealing food container or zipper bag to keep the muffins fresh in transport.)

Thank you for visiting Stitching it Right! Comments are always welcome here and on our Facebook page, and if you're interested in learning how to sew, it would be great if you subscribe to our Sewing Lessons from Stitching it Right YouTube channel.


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Things to Do on Vacation in Scranton

When you're planning a vacation in Scranton, there's a lot to get ready. You have to come up a with some sort of schedule or itinerary that includes something for everyone. You have to plan out what to wear and which necessities to pack.

Scranton Vacation Ideas image courtesy of Pixabay

If you sew, you may even want to stitch up a  few new outfits or a new swimsuit. So, because this is a sewing website, I wanted to mention a few fun things to do in Scranton, and suggest an idea or two you can sew up in a jiffy to wear while enjoying your Scranton vacation.

Things to Do in Scranton

There are a variety of fun and interesting things to do in the Scranton area when you travel there for a vacation.
  • Historic Sites and Museums: There are a number of great historic venues and museums in Scranton. Places like the Electric City Trolley Station and museum, the Pennsylvania Anthracite Museum, and the Steamtown National Historic Site all give you a sense of the area's history and culture. 
    • For these destinations, you'll want comfortable clothes and shoes. 
    • If you're stitching up a special outfit to wear visiting historic sites, choose comfy shorts in summer or slacks in winter. 
    • Be sure to pack a light jacket, too, in case the weather changes while you're out.
  • Vineyards and Wineries: If you enjoy sipping wine and nibbling on small plate foods, you may want to visit one of Scranton's vineyards or wineries. Enjoy the views at the Capra Collina Vineyard, the Ferrona Family Winery, or enjoy a traditional wine tasting session at Bartolai Winery
    • Choose comfortable outfits for this type of destination, though consider sticking to business casual. 
    • If you feel like sewing up an outfit for a trip to the winery, consider a simple sundress or dress short and slacks with simple, classic lines. 
  • Resorts and Spas: In the mood for some pampering? Consider heading to a spa or resort like Montage Mountain Resorts. The resort is only open in winter, so think skiing and pack warm. 
    • If you want to make an outfit for this type of outing, consider making some simple fleece scarves, a warm polar fleece hat with face covering mask, or insulated leggings. 
    • You'll want to be layered up and warm when you head out to enjoy the winter activities.
  • Scranton Nightlife: There are so many great places to visit in the evening in Scranton. Whether you're in the mood for a traditional pub with a rowdy, earthy quality or an upscale venue where you can wear your best clothes and dance the night away, there's something for you in the Scranton nightlife scene. 
    • The type of club you choose to visit can help you decide what type of outfit to wear. 
    • A casual pub is perfect for a casual outfit while an upscale club is a great place to wear a cocktail dress or dressy outfit. 

Something for Everyone to Enjoy in Scranton

I tried to pick some thigns that are suitable for kids and some that are more adult-themed for this piece about things to do when you're vacationing in Scranton. Historic and outdoor activities are a fun way for families to spend an afternoon, and enjoying Scranton's nightlife scene or visiting wineries is a fun way for adults to relax in the city.

If you've been to Scranton, or would like to share your ideas on my choices, comments are welcome here or in the Facebook Stitching it Right Sewing Talk group.

Thanks for visiting Stitching it Right, 

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