The Teacher Gift that Lars Gave

The start of a new school year means new classes, new friends, and new teachers. There’s simply too much to say about how we need to treat (and pay!) teachers better, so I won’t get into it. But we can at least show our gratitude!

Here are some great, simple teacher gift ideas to show appreciation for all the hard work and love they put into educating our communities.

Teacher Gift Ideas

Books Books Books!

Lots of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies (and let’s face it–they’re not exactly being paid the big bucks, so this is a real sacrifice). One great way to show appreciation to your teacher or your kid’s teacher is to give them some of your favorite books!

Last week on Instagram I asked about your favorite children’s books, and you really delivered! I loved your list so much that I put it together as a collection on my Bookshop page. If you’ve never heard of Bookshop before, it’s a great place to buy books that gives back to small bookstores all over the country. We love Bookshop, so be sure to check out our full list of favorite children’s books on their site!

And don’t forget these lists of our favorite Black-authored books, which would also be great teacher gifts!


Classroom Decor

A literary-themed art print would make another great teacher gift. Lucky for you, we have lots of storybook themed art prints in our shop!

Little Women art print on a patterned wall with warm colors around.A print of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables walking through a corridor of blossoms against a pink background with real blossoms in front.

This Little Women or Anne of Green Gables art print would make a great teacher gift, especially if the teacher is a fan of the books!

four art prints by Ayang Cempaka hanging above a play kitchen. The prints show hansel and gretel, thumbelina, little red riding hood, and Pippi Longstocking.

And wouldn’t these whimsical fairy tale prints be precious in an elementary classroom?

Everyone Loves Treats

Teachers pretty much always could use a snack–after all, molding the future generation is hard work! Cookies or other treats in a cute printable cookie box are sure to hit the spot. You can find our printable cookie boxes in the shop (I know that some say that they’re for Christmas or Valentines Day, but there’s never a bad time to show your teachers some love)!

Colorful cookie boxes arranged next to a handpainted midcentury nativity against a pink wall Colorful paper takeout boxes Pink and blue house-shaped cookie boxes next to a green squiggly background and some heart-shaped cookies Pink house-shaped cookie boxes Tell me your favorite teacher gifts!

I would love to hear what your go-to teacher gift is. Are you a classic apple-on-the-desk person or do you put your own spin on things? Let me know what you do to show your teachers that you care!

A summer garden party with Twig NY

House Lars Built Dinnerware

If you’re just joining The House that Lars Built, welcome! I’m so glad to have you here! I announced earlier this year that I designed three dinnerware collections for Twig NY and Oh Happy Day featured the Language of Flowers collection yesterday. Hooray! I styled this summer garden party using this bright and cheery collection and Oh Happy Day is sharing the recipes for the Smoked Salmon Toasts that Ramblin Rose Cafe made for it.  You guys will want to bookmark it. It’s super tasty and fresh and beautiful—everything I love in a meal.

Today I thought I’d share how to get the look for your own party.

Dessert sushi

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Dessert sushi
If you don’t like raw fish maybe you like raw cookie dough? With ice cream? As sushi? Just maybe? Guys, dessert sushi rocked my world. It would be so fun for a party or a fun dinner surprise.
Chocolate and peanut butter sushi
dessert sushi
Baker ME Hammond replicated a full sushi experience with sweets. Here’s what we did:
dessert sushi
Whipped pistachio paste for wasabi
Starburst for ginger
Chocolate sauce for soy sauce
Coconut flakes for rice
Strawberry ice cream with sugar dough and sprinkles
Vanilla with chocolate chip cookie dough
Chocolate ice cream with peanut butter
dessert sushi
vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookie dough
dessert sushi
dessert sushi
styling by Brittany Jepsen
Click below for full recipes!

Tasting Hygge: Rice Porridge with Cranberries and Rose

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Tasting Hygge

Many of you know that I lived in Denmark for a short while. That’s where I met my husband, Paul, and it’s also the birthplace of The House That Lars Built! And though my time there was short, I grew to love the country, the traditions, and the food! Which is why I was thrilled to receive Leela Cyd’s new cookbook, “Tasting Hygge: Joyful Recipes for Cozy Days and Nights“! Hyyge is a Danish custom that’s caught quite a bit of attention the past few years. We even read about in our Book Club! Although there isn’t an exact English translation, hygge refers to a feeling of warmth and coziness, often characterized by glowing candles, warm sweaters, and close friends and family circled around a crackling fire. I think we can all get behind that.Tasting Hygge

Leela’s cookbook is full of recipes that capture these exact feelings. One recipe, in particular, caught my eye and I knew I had to share it! This Rice Porridge with Cranberries and Rose sounds absolutely dreamy, right? Paul makes rice pudding every year, so I know he’ll be thrilled to try this! Make sure to check out Tasting Hygge for more scrumptious recipes!

Sparking basil limeade popsicle

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Sparkling basil limeade popsicle

Though school may be starting, it’s still sunny and popsicles still rule the the summer! Photographer and popsicle maker, Trisha Zemp, was determined to make 1000 popsicles this summer and she’s nearing the end of her goal with today’s recipe, Sparkling Basil Limeade.

See the rest of the recipes here!

Recipes and photography by Trisha Zemp

Rainbow Cupcakes

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Rainbow cupcakes

You know the song “Over the Rainbow” by Harry Nilsson? It’s one of my most favorite songs. That along with “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. Clearly I’m a fair-weather girl. And always looking to the future? Maybe I should delve into the deeper meaning of this…but, back to the song. Guys, it is a classic. The melody, the lyrics–“Where troubles melt like lemon drops”?! It’s so sweet! Which inspired us to create an even sweeter (pun intended) application of rainbows! These rainbow cupcakes are so simple to create and look absolutely adorable! With St. Patrick’s Day coming right up, these are the perfect treat to celebrate. Or maybe you know someone who is feeling a little blue and could use a pick me up. These rainbow cupcakes are a surefire way to melt their troubles like lemon drops. So listen to a little Harry Nilsson, make a batch of rainbow cupcakes, and ride a unicorn! Okay, forget the unicorn, let’s just spread some cheer!

Directions after the jump!

3 Pie Crust Decorating Ideas

3 Pie Crust Decorating Ideas

These 3 pie crust decorating ideas will give that extra bit of flair to your holiday desserts, and they’re super easy to make! You don’t have to be a baker (or an artist) to ace these pie designs.

Use a stencil on your Pie

Get the message across with a stencil on your pie. This “Give Thanks and Eat Pie” does just that with powdered sugar. Perfect for extra sweetness too!

I love how simple yet impactful this one is. Ashley came up with the idea to apply a stencil to a pie…genius! This one is great for the Cricut or Silhouette machine. And it’s perfect for your Thanksgiving pie!

Give Thanks and Eat Pie Stencil

Instructions:

  1. Simply download this file and cut it out on your machine or cut it out by hand. I used a piece of scrapbook paper to create the stencil.
  2. Set onto the pie. Not too firmly, it might take a layer of the pie off.
  3.  Sprinkle powdered sugar on top with a sifter.
  4.  Gently take the stencil with hands on either side so you pull it all off at the same time.

Voila!

Give Thanks and Eat pie pie stencil
Cricut ready SVG pie stencil file.Matisse inspired pie crust idea.

Paint your pie crust with food coloring–The Matisse Pie

Last week while I was in NYC I attended the exhibition on Matisse’s cutouts at the MOMA (after getting bummed I couldn’t go to the Tate in London). I was inspired, so we came up with the Matisse pie, of course! Put those beautiful shapes to use!
Carli came up with this brilliant idea to paint the pie crust with food coloring. It went on so smoothly and bakes brilliantly.

Instructions:

  1.  Cover your pie with the dough to have a large surface to work with.
  2. Use a paintbrush to paint on your design with food coloring. We didn’t water down at all but used pure food coloring. We looked at images from Matisses’ paper cut-outs.
  3. Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes to brown the crust (you should have already baked the pie filling).
Matisse inspired pie crust.
Voila! If you want to throw your own tortured artist 
party, try out this pie crust decoration to incorporate Matisse!
Dot pie crust.

The polka dot pie crust decoration

Victoria came up with this fun and easy idea of decorating your pie crust.

Instructions:

  1. Roll out your dough and use the back end of an icing tip to punch holes into the dough like a cookie cutter.
  2.  Apply the dots to the perimeter of the pie then coming into the center of the pie filling and bake for the last 15-20 minutes of the pie cooking time.

Voila!

Pie crust idea.

How will you be making your pies for the holidays? Tell me in the comments!

Have some leftover slices of pie? Check out our printable boxes for Thanksgiving pies and summer pies

Photography by Laura Sumrak
Baking and crafting by Victoria Riza, Carli Randolf, and Ashley Isenhour,

Peach mango coconut popsicle recipe

Peach mango coconut popsicle recipe by Trisha Zemp

And we’re back with another round of  #PopsicleTheRainbow (I know, I know, so many rainbows right now!) but how can we help it?! There are so many popsicles to be made and so little hot days in one year. Today it’s peach mango coconut and it’s dreamy. Think orange creamsicle, only better. I know. Mind blown.

Photo and recipe by Popsicle Master Trisha Zemp. See the full recipe below! 

Pineapple pink lemonade popsicle

Pineapple pink lemonade popsicles

You might remember Trisha Zemp from the stellar photos she’s been taking for me for the past year and a half. Well, Trisha recently bought 1,000 popsicle sticks (1,000 was cheaper than 100!) and she’s proclaimed this summer the #Summerof1000Popsicles. This is something I can get behind, folks. Clearly. She’s kicked if off with a few recipes on her Instagram a few weeks ago but now is going gung ho and popsicling until they run out! For this first set of 8 popsicles, we’ve collaborated to create something you will not be surprised about, #PopsicleTheRainbow. Based on #CraftTheRainbow and #LetterTheRainbow, #PopsicleTheRainbow is all about creating a rainbow of tried and true popsicle flavors.

We’ll be posting the recipes here on the blog, but join us on Instagram (and Trisha’s here) for some beautiful rainbow popsicles as well! And if you make some, be sure to tag them with #Summerof1000Popsicles or #PopsicleTheRainbow.

See you there and see below for the full recipe!

Photography by Trisha Zemp  |  Styling by Brittany Jepsen

Mini baked donuts

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No sugar mini baked donuts
As we all know, National Donut Day is coming up on Friday, June 6th. And since donuts are the new…well, everything*, I thought you might enjoy a spin on the traditional donut. These mini donuts are not only adorable, but they are healthy! No processed sugar! No fried! Now, I know the joy of donuts is that they are not healthy, but these guys are so yum that you can eat 1,000 of them and feel great about yourself still. Kind of. Ok, you might have control issues.
Mini donuts
mini baked donuts with no sugar
mini baked donuts with no sugar
4 mini donut flavors

photography by Laura Sumrak
recipe and assisting styling by Karlee Bronson
art direction and styling by Brittany Jepsen

*If your head has been in the sand the last two years. Donuts are big right now. Like really big. Take a look on Pinterest for all things donut related or Kelly’s Dreaming of Donuts board
Click for recipes on 4 delightful donuts!

How to make an ombre wedding cake pinata

I have to say that this is one of my favorite shoots I’ve done. And there’s a lot more where these come from. ooOOOoo! I did this one for the Etsy wedding blog and talked about creating an interactive wedding favor, hence the fortune cookies inside with little love fortunes. I also thought a wedding cake would be a nice alternative to the couple who doesn’t really do wedding cakes or sugar. But let’s face, the real reason to have a pinata at a wedding is…who doesn’t want to hit stuff? I’m sure it would release a lot of tension for the couple as well as the wedding planners.

Get the full instructions here.

Thank you Amanda Thomsen for taking these beautiful photos!

Char-boo-terie Halloween Snack Board

Our char-boo-terie board is a Halloween snack board in the shape of a ghost! It’s perfect for movie nights and Halloween parties, but hey–I’m not going to stop you from eating it for dinner.

Closeup of a ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really not a fan of cooking. It’s just not my thing. But I do love snacks! So rather than cooking up a meal, I arranged some snacks into a cute ghost-shaped char-boo-terie Halloween snack board!

You can easily make a char-boo-terie board, too!

Closeup of a ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

Make Your Own Halloween Snack Board

You’ll need:

A wooden cutting board and an assortment of white snacks. We used yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, rice cakes, goat cheese, pita wedges, sliced cheese, crackers, and ghost-shaped potato crisps, then Oreos (or a similar cookie) for the eyes and mouth. Trader Joe’s is your friend here.

Closeup of a ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

Instructions:

  1. Place a stack of 2-3 oreos where you want each eye. Make a pile of cookies where you want the ghost’s gaping mouth.
  2. Arrange white snacks in a ghost shape around the eyes and mouth.
  3. Consider what flavors you want touching each other. We used neutral-tasting foods like jicama and rice cakes to separate our sweet and savory snacks.

Enjoy your boo-tiful Halloween snack board!

Closeup of a ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.

More Inspiration

Because charcuterie refers to a specific kind of meat, I’ve started calling my boards “snack-uterie” boards. Do you think it will stick? Either way, you can see my first Kids Charcuterie Board here.

If you’re looking for more Halloween inspiration, you’ll find lots in our Halloween shop! I also recommend these easy Halloween ideas and this post about how to get into the Halloween spirit!

A ghost shaped Halloween snack board. It includes oreos, yogurt-covered pretzels, merengues, jicama, white chocolate chips, pita slices, ghost-shaped potato crisps, rice puffs, cheese, goat cheese, and crackers.