Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Gifts for the Baker

Welcome to the first in this year’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide series! As Mother’s Day approaches, finding the perfect gift for the moms in your life can be a daunting task. But fear not! If your mom loves to bake and whip up delicious treats in the kitchen, I’ve got you covered with this curated gift guide featuring some of my favorite baking essentials sure to make any baking enthusiast mom’s day extra special.

As a fellow baking enthusiast and mom, I understand the joy and fulfillment that comes from creating delicious treats for loved ones. Baking is not just about making food; it’s about creating memories, fostering connections, and spreading joy. That’s why I’ve put together this gift guide, filled with items that I personally love and would be thrilled to receive as a gift.

The Perfect Gifts for Baking Moms

  1. Mini Bundt Cake Mold: Ideal for moms who love to entertain, this mini bundt cake mold is perfect for creating sweet little treats to end a meal when hosting. Pair it with a lovely cake mix from Williams-Sonoma for a thoughtful gift bundle.
  2. Colorful Baking Sheet Set or Gold Baking Sheet Set: Every baker needs a good set of baking sheets, and this set with various sizes and shapes is sure to please. Perfect for baking cookies, pastries, and more, these baking sheets are a kitchen essential. Pair them with a spatula and dish towel for a complete baking kit.
  3. KitchenAid Cordless Hand Mixer: A game-changer for bakers, this cordless hand mixer allows for easy movement around the kitchen and is perfect for taking on the go. Whether whipping up cookies or making whipped cream, this mixer is a must-have for any baking enthusiast mom. I’ve brought mine on vacation with me!
  4. Brownie Baking Pan with Edges Only: For brownie lovers who always want the crispy edge, this brownie baking pan is a dream come true.
  5. Mixing Bowl Set: This nesting mixing bowl set is great for bakers who like to have a variety of bowl sizes on hand for baking projects. Say goodbye to mismatched sets and hello to organized baking with this practical gift. Pair it with a pancake mix and a spatula for a delightful breakfast-themed gift bundle.
  6. Dessert Person Cookbook: Treat your mom to a dessert baking cookbook from popular chef Claire Saffitz. Filled with mouthwatering recipes and expert tips, this cookbook is sure to inspire countless baking adventures.
  7. Cake and Cupcake Decorating Tips & Set: Kickstart your mom’s cake decorating journey with this comprehensive decorating set. Perfect for creating stunning cakes and cupcakes, this set is a great way to unleash her creativity in the kitchen.

This Mother’s Day, show your appreciation for the baking enthusiast mom in your life with one of these thoughtful gifts. Whether she’s whipping up cookies, cakes, or pastries, these essentials are sure to elevate her baking game and bring joy to her kitchen. Here’s to celebrating the love, memories, and delicious treats that make Mother’s Day extra sweet!

How to Create an After School Snack Cart

Do you ever find yourself struggling to navigate the snack selection in your pantry? Do your kids constantly ask for snacks? Same, friend, same. This is why I decided to create an after-school snack cart for my two toddler girls! I scooped up a cart, some bins, and let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer for our family.

cart filled with snacks

Why a Snack Cart?

The idea for the snack cart came from wanting to give my girls a sense of independence when it comes to choosing their snacks. I wanted them to have easy access to a variety of options while also freeing up cabinet space in our kitchen. With the snack cart, everything is neatly organized and visible, making it easier for the girls to make their selections without any of us having to dig through cabinets.

close up of snack cart filled with snacks
snack cart stocked with snacks

Choosing the Snacks

When selecting snacks for the cart, I focused on items with lower sugar content, aiming for 6 grams or less per serving. This meant prioritizing fruit, such as apple sauce pouches, clementines, and peach fruit cups, as well as healthier alternatives like Teddy Grahams, snack bags of peanut butter-filled pretzels, and Annie’s Homegrown chewy granola bars. I also keep additional fruit, low-fat string cheese, and yogurts in the fridge for added variety.

This week, we stocked up with apple sauce pouches, strawberry apple sauce pouches, clementines, Sun-Maid yogurt covered raisins, mini yogurt raisins (we love them for church and the car) peach cups, Heavenly Hunks, peanut butter filled pretzels, granola bites, Teddy Grahams and Annie’s Homegrown chewy granola bars.

This will last us 2-3 weeks!

hand reaching for clementines

Establishing Rules

To encourage healthy choices, we established some guidelines for the snack cart. Fruit is mostly unlimited, while the other snacks are more controlled, with the girls allowed to choose one per day. This helps them learn about moderation while still enjoying a variety of treats.

hand reaching for snack

Involving the Kids

One of the best parts of the snack cart is involving the girls in the selection process. We go shopping together, and I allow them to pick from a selection of pre-approved options. They love trying new things and are always excited to see what’s in the cart each week. It’s also a great opportunity for them to practice decision-making and explore different flavors and textures.

clementines and apple sauce in snack cart

Benefits for the Family

The snack cart has had numerous benefits for our family. Not only does it give the girls a sense of independence and responsibility, but it also helps my husband and me focus on other tasks, knowing that the girls can easily grab a snack when they’re hungry. It’s especially helpful for us as we work from home, allowing us to stay productive without constant interruptions.

Overall, creating an after-school snack cart has been a game-changer for our family. Not only does it promote independence and healthy choices, but it also streamlines our snack routine and reduces stress for everyone involved. If you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to improve your snack game, I highly recommend giving it a try!

snack cart fully stocked

Peach & Burrata Salads with Rosé Vinaigrette

Now that summer is in full swing – heat and crazy storms and all – I can’t get enough of peaches, watermelon and grilling. So I guess expect a whole lot of that? The whole house – myself, hubby and Harper – were all loving this peach and burrata salad with rosé vinaigrette I made this week.

The peaches were so juicy and bursting with flavor. Harper kept running around with peaches in her hand, asking for more. Hubby and I topped some toasted sourdough with ours while we waited for dinner to come off the grill – it was the perfect appetizer.

Bourbon & Cherry Mule Cocktail

Since I’m not pregnant this summer for the first time in two years, I’ve really been enjoying making all sorts of different cocktails. I’ve had this one in the back of my head since last summer, just before I got pregnant with our second, Ava, and have had all the ingredients just sitting and waiting for the right moment.

The time has come! This is a bourbon and cherry mule – the smokey bourbon is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the cherries and the spice of ginger beer.

Summery Fruit Salad Topped with Seasonal Salt and Honey

All any of us have been reaching for in this heat wave is fruit. Harper can crush a pound of strawberries on a regular day, so you can imagine how much fruit is flowing through our kitchen right now.

I love this easy fruit salad, especially when it comes right out of the fridge. Is there anything better than extra cold watermelon when the real feel is 104?

Hot Chocolate Sweet Rolls with Marshmallow Frosting

If you follow on Instagram, you know that I have a ton of hot chocolate-related recipe ideas swirling through my head. But this one is the one I just couldn’t let go of – I knew I had to make these! I love cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, but I wanted to try something new. So, here we are with these hot chocolate sweet rolls with marshmallow frosting!

You all know lately I’ve been into shortcuts and making things easier as we quickly approach baby #2. These are a most excellent short cut for sweet rolls! I used Pillsbury canned pizza crust and packets of hot chocolate. The most from-scratch part of this is the icing, which is only a few ingredients and a stand or hand mixer.

DIY No-Bake Cookie Boxes

What better day to talk about cookie boxes than on National Cookie Day?! I had high hopes for my Christmas baking this year, but the reality of the third trimester and a now-ten-month-old (!!!!) is that I just can’t bring myself to bake several different types of cookies.

I grabbed most of everything for these cookie boxes from Trader Joe’s. It’s always my favorite place for charcuterie boards, and basically that’s what we’re making here!

I added some customization by melting my favorite Dolci Frutta and dipping two of the cookies in them and then topping them with crushed candy canes and sprinkles.

Here’s what’s in these cookie boxes:

  • Triple Ginger Cookies and Christmas Tree cookies (Trader Joe’s – left them naked and tied the trees with ribbon)
  • Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies, for which I used Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (from the regular grocery store)
  • Chocolate Batons from Trader Joe’s
  • Hershey Kisses, Trader Joe’s Almond Butter Cups, Trader Joe’s Peppermint Covered Almonds
  • Peppermint Joe Joe’s dipped in chocolate and crushed candy canes
  • Trader Joe’s shortbread dipped in chocolate and sprinkles (sprinkles from Target!).

Love these boxes for an easy way to DIY something for the holiday but also maintain your sanity. God bless all of you who have the patience to DIY actual cookie boxes from scratch!

New Cookbooks Perfect for Holiday Gifts

One of my favorite gifts – to give or receive – is a great cookbook. There are so many cookbooks that came out this year that would make the perfect gift!

Here are some ideas on how to gift a cookbook:

Buttermilk Pumpkin Muffins with Pumpkin Spice Coffee Crumb Topping

Guys. This is the pumpkin muffin dreams are made of! I cannot tell you how good they are with coffee – you just need to try it for yourself!

The pumpkin spice is so warm and comforting, especially as the temps are getting cooler. The coffee crumb has the best crunch and reinforces that pumpkin spice in the base. And the base is moist and delicious and I’ve made them so many times in the past week – we can’t stop eating them!

Pecan Pie Short Bread Bars with Drizzled Chocolate

Don’t you just love making a treat that is like, just a little less effort? Guys, I love a good pie (and I really love a great pecan pie). Forget “easy as pie” – this is “easier than pie!”

Especially at this point in my pregnancy (hey, 29 weeks!), I’m getting tired on my feet, and my belly is getting in the way. Like, to be honest, the idea of rolling out a pie crust right now is not my idea of fun!