Weekend Foodie Warriors – Christmas Blog 🎄
Happy Holidays Foodie Friends! 🙂 Hope you’ve had a fantastic Christmas weekend! For this edition of Foodie Adventures, we’re showcasing all the local Greenville gifts we bought this year, along with holiday baking, and more! 🎁
Local Gifts 🎁
This year was special and different for a lot of reasons. One of the things I’m most grateful for are the great relationships I’ve made with local small businesses and restaurants over the last year. These gave me a start to some awesome gift ideas for Christmas this season!
My parents have always loved the pair of geese motif. The fact that they’re one of the few animals that mate for life, was always a symbol of strength for them over the years.
This sign, made custom by Belle Terre Studios, was such a great present for the two of them. Ellen, one of the two owners, had so much fun designing this with us. My parents absolutely loved it, and spent the next few minutes planning on where to put it in the house and how to hang it!
One of my mom and my favorite after Christmas traditions is going around to all the stores to grab the great deals on all the leftover decorations, wrapping paper, and more! I love to add to my collection little by little, and it’s always a surprise as to what you’ll find!
On a recent trip up to Blowing Rock, NC, we found this great woodworking shop right off of Main Street called High Country Woodworks. We’ll give them a more detailed review in our upcoming Blue Ridge Mountain blog in the works. However, I absolutely loved this sign when I saw it and definitely knew Mom would love it, so I snagged it for her while we were there. She’s already hung it up!
These next gifts I was super excited about! The pictures below are handmade, crocheted plushies and keychains from one of my favorite artisans, Anita from Knittable Memories. This year, I had her knit an elephant for my best friend, whose nursery was elephant themed, and she absolutely loved it!
From left to right, these are the adorable characters I had Anita create for my friends and family: Melted ice cream monster, Onigiri (Japanese rice ball) keychain, Pumpkin Pokeball, and Ice cream cone keychains (Mint chocolate chip, Chocolate chip cookie dough, and Chocolate chocolate chip). My friends absolutely loved these, and while they aren’t local per-say (Anita is based out of Canada), I still loved being able to support another small business during the holidays!
It wouldn’t be a 2020 holiday without some those trending hot cocoa bombs! My friend Julie from Sweets by Julie teamed up with local Sarah Jo from Sarah Jo Ceramics to create these great these little gift bags. They really added something sweet to the end of the year!
The ones above, which I got for my sister, are Dark chocolate raspberry, Mint Chocolate, and Vanilla Mint hot cocoa bombs.
These last two sets above are Salted Caramel (top two) and a Mint Chocolate flavored bomb! These were all delish and would love to try my hand at making these at home (or have Julie make me more in the future).
One of my favorite gifts to give this year was Jamie’s wallet. I purchased it at Ayer’s Leather Shop in downtown Greenville, a small, family owned place about a block from Tupelo Honey Cafe. They were so sweet in helping me choose the perfect one for him, a bi-fold made of Buffalo leather. I was even able to get it engraved for free! Jamie had had his current bi-fold wallet for about 10 years, which was stretched out and falling apart at the seams. He was really happy to transfer everything over when I got him this one!
My parents gift from Jamie this year was inspired by a recent trip to Charleston with friends (blog on more of that coming soon).
We first visited Old World Glass Studio in Charleston, SC a couple months ago.
The couple who run the studio, Lane and Cheryl, are most know for their recycled and repurposed bottle work, on display in the Historic Charleston City Market. They take old wine and alcohol bottles, and flatten or mold them into candles, candlesticks, tumblers, and these fantastic trays!
My parents love a good cheese and cracker at 3-4 pm, so this wine bottle tray was the perfect gift for the cheese lovers in them! The coolest part about it is the cheese knife fits into the neck of the bottle. My sister also unknowingly got them a cheese and meat basket for Christmas, so this was a perfect thing to go along with it!
I’ve saved the best for last, for a good reason. This necklace that my mom is wearing was created for her by Bethany Williams at Bethany’s Art Abstractions in Greenville, SC. She has a space in the Open Art Studio in downtown Greenville, and I met her there for a special request.
Our first dog, Misty (a Goldendoodle), was with us since she was a puppy.
She made two moves with us from Massachusetts to Maryland, then Maryland to North Carolina, and tragically died of kidney failure at the age of five.
We were all absolutely devastated, as no one had seen this coming, and we expected her to live a lot longer. I spent the last three years since her passing trying to find someone to make a necklace for my mom in memorial of her, so she could always keep Misty close to her heart. We tried Etsy, artisans in Asheville, NC, and no one could come up with something that looked like what we envisioned.
In one last attempt on Facebook, I posted on my favorite local Greenville groups about my necklace request. Luckily, Bethany reached out to me and invited me for a meeting at her studio. We wanted her to incorporate Misty’s dark hair into the necklace without it screaming “DOG HAIR”, along with adding in some pieces of seaglass, as the beach was Misty’s (and our) favorite place.
The two necklaces came out absolutely gorgeous. My mom picked the first one (first two pics) and mine was the bottom two pictures. I loved mine as the two bottom pieces of seaglass look like a heart. She even included a little shimmer and sand to really emulate the beach in her design.
I also wanted to get my sister something to remember Misty by, along with a cool new art piece to hang on her wall. Bethany came up with an idea for the best of both worlds, with this resin painting that included Misty’s hair swirled throughout the teal, seaglass at the bottom from our family’s collection, and her favorite jewel tones in emerald, teal, and grays. Bethany also included the shiny mica powders in the resin art, which gave it that super metallic, shimmery quality that made it look different in different lighting. Jen loved it so much, she hung it on her wall the next day!
We were so grateful to have made friends and connections with so many local artisans and makers this year, and love the idea of continuing to shop and support local (not just when we have an occasion to). 💜
One of our favorite traditions over the Christmas season is holiday baking! This year, Jamie wanted to make his boss a cake for a Christmas present, so we made a German chocolate cake on his request.
We had never made a German Chocolate cake before, so we chose a recipe online from Sally’s Baking Addiction (recipe we used here). The recipe turned out great with us using our two 6″ round cake pans (creating a four layer cake) and enough for a dozen extra cupcakes!
We didn’t fill these like we typically did to match our other cakes, however, put the pecan filling on top of the cupcakes to match the big cake. I’ve gotten some new frosting tips and have been working with those more, so we were happy with the way these came out! We also just got a rotating cake decorator/lazy susan for Christmas, so super excited to use that next time.
One of my favorite holiday traditions is making my Grandma Nancy’s Yorkshire Pudding recipe. This is something that I always remember having at Christmas time. Since my grandma passed away a couple years ago, it’s been my job to carry on the tradition of making them in my family.
This is one of the most simple recipes in my arsenal and is such a crowd pleaser. Sometimes they don’t always pop, but they always taste good regardless. If you’ve never had one before, it almost tastes like a cross between a dinner roll and a muffin, but they’re hollow on the inside! We love to eat these the next day, stuffed with scrambled eggs and bacon, or with some butter and lemon curd for a mid-morning snack!
This is one of my other favorite holiday recipes, my mom’s microwave fudge! I just finished creating a recipe page for this, see the link below for our original version, Pecan fudge, Peanut butter fudge, and Nutella versions too.
So how was your weekend, Foodie Friends? What are your favorite spots to get local gifts in Greenville and the Upstate? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of what dishes to make or places we should visit next. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share 🤗