Sugared Cranberries @themerrythoughtSugared cranberries are a favorite to make for the holidays. They’re super easy – it’s just 3 ingredients and mostly just wait time. And they make everything look merry and sparkly. If you’re into sweet, tart snacks, you can pop them as a yummy treat. Or they’re a nice touch to add to food and drinks – we like to use them in holiday mocktails – to give an easy, edible festive look. Like the cake below, just add some sugared cranberries to the top of a store-bought cake, a few sprigs of rosemary around the sides, and you have a pretty, Christmas-y dessert in no time!Sugared Cranberries @themerrythoughtSugared Cranberries @themerrythoughtSugared Cranberries @themerrythoughtSugared Cranberries @themerrythoughtSugared Cranberries @themerrythoughtSugared Cranberries

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
12 ounce bag fresh cranberries

Simmer 1/2 cup sugar and the water over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in cranberries, making sure that the cranberries are well coated with the simple syrup. Use a slotted spoon and place cranberries in a single layer on a piece of wax paper. Let dry for about an hour. Place remaining 1 cup of sugar in a shallow dish, add cranberries (in small batches), and roll to coat. Place on wax paper in a single layer again and allow to dry for another hour or so. Enjoy!Sugared Cranberries @themerrythought

-Manda

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 1:52 pm

    Nienke - They are so sweet and easy to make. Nice as snack but also for decoration. Thanks for the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 3:17 pm

    Amy - These are so pretty, and I love your idea of using them the spruce up a simple store bought cake! I just so happen to be going to a party this weekend, and I think that’s what I’ll be bringing 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Friday, December 8, 2017 - 9:39 am

      Manda - So glad you like it! Enjoy! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 11:07 am

    Alka - These are so beautiful, and I cherish your concept of utilizing them the spruce up a straightforward locally acquired cake! I just so happen to go to a gathering this end of the week, and I believe that is the thing that I’ll be bringingReplyCancel

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DIY Brass Ornaments @themerrythoughtLast year I made and photographed these brass ornaments for the blog but didn’t get around to posting them before Christmas because we were in the process of moving into the new house. So the photos have been sitting on my external hard drive for months and when I brought the ornaments up from the basement to decorate this year I was so excited to be able to share them with you! They’re super quick to make and you can make some of our brass magnets with the leftovers to give out as gifts! Or you could just buy a few sets from our shop… 😉 I paired these with our diy geometric ornaments, diy clay ornaments, and a bunch of faded vintage bulbs I’ve collected throughout the years on our tree and it’s pretty much perfect! The only thing missing is those vintage wooden ornaments we had as kids. Did you guys have those??DIY Brass Ornaments @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
Brass Stamping Blanks
-Drill
-String
-Scissors

How to make it:
-Drill a small hole through the top of the brass circle.
-Cut a 3-4″ piece of string and string it through the hole.
-Tie off string and hang your ornament!
DIY Brass Ornaments @themerrythoughtDIY Brass Ornaments @themerrythoughtDIY Brass Ornaments @themerrythought-Caitlin

  • Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 4:20 pm

    Chloe - Love these! I’ll definitely have to try it next year 🙂

    chloehford.comReplyCancel

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DIY Christmas Card Display @themerrythoughtWe created a simple plywood display for all of those Christmas cards we’ve got coming in! It’s one of the only times of the year that we’re consistently getting mail that’s fun to receive. Haha! So we’re making the most of it by setting them all out to see! You can do the same by following the tutorial we shared over on Shutterfly.DIY Christmas Card Display @themerrythought

  • Monday, December 4, 2017 - 8:08 pm

    Tori - I love this so much! What a great idea for displaying the cards you receive. Every single year I wonder what to do with all of these little gems and this is perfection.ReplyCancel

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Persimmon Pomegranate Mocktail @themerrythoughtIn October, we attended a local event here in Rochester, Modern Minimal Entertaining + Mocktail Merriment, hosted by our friend Christine and Hannah from Lives Styled. We had so much fun mixing and sipping drinks and learning from Christine! Christine is a co-founder of flavor ID and we’re so inspired by all she shares (read more about her below). A while back she shared how to make herbal hydrosols here on the blog and today’s she back with a delicious mocktail recipe that’s perfect for all your upcoming holiday gatherings!
Persimmon Pomegranate Mocktail @themerrythoughtInspired by the sweetly sliced Misilmeri persimmon that was served to me by family in Sicily and decorated with pomegranate seeds, this holiday mocktail is my take on Italian soda- it is perfect for adults and children alike!Persimmon Pomegranate Mocktail @themerrythought
Yields approximately 2 mocktails

Glass rim

¼ tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
½ tsp maple syrup

Mocktail

¼ cup pomegranate seeds
1 large or two small persimmon juiced or pureed/blended/liquified
6 oz soda water

Tools

blender
2 clear glasses (looks pretty in coupes or wine glasses)
mixing glass
muddler

Method

Puree or juice persimmon and chill. If you puree, your mocktail will simply be slightly thicker.
Chill glasses for a few minutes in the freezer or on-demand by filling with ice, then, dumping ice right before the next step. .
Right before pouring mocktail into glass, paint rim of glass with maple syrup and sprinkle cinnamon onto maple. Alternatively, pour maple into one small dish and cinnamon into another, then “roll” glass rim into maple and coat with cinnamon.
In a mixing glass pour chilled persimmon. Gently muddle pomegranate seeds into persimmon.
Pour persimmon and pomegranate into glass, top with soda water and serve.Persimmon Pomegranate Mocktail @themerrythought

Christine Dionese, co-founder of flavor ID, is an integrative health & food therapy specialist, wellness, lifestyle & food journalist. To balance the more serious side of her work, she loves to concoct, write about and connect people through food & drink. You can check out her latest work at The Chalkboard Magazine, Poppy & Seed and Rochester’s Boomtown Table. Christine lives, works and plays between Southern California & Upstate New York.

Author- Christine | Photography- Caitlin

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DIY Napkin Holder @themerrythoughtAfter we opened our shop, my brother was asking if he bought the coffee filter stand, would it work as a napkin holder. Because he doesn’t drink coffee (how are we related?!) and needed a napkin holder. So being the good sister that I am 😉, I decided to make him a napkin holder.
This project started out a lot different than how you’re seeing it here. I kept tweaking the design and materials. It’s one of those projects where I wanted to make like 5 different designs, but Mike kept me in check and we stuck with just one. For now. I might have to go into the napkin holder business…😉
We ended up using corian as the base, because I wanted white to go with the brass rings. I wanted to try marble, but marble is very hard to drill, so Mike suggested corian, which is softer. I recommend buying some kind of sample piece or side splash like this, unless you also happen to just have pieces of corian laying around (Mike always seems to have everything, but it’s why I can’t walk through our garage 😜). You could also go the easy route and use wood and paint it white.DIY Napkin Holder @themerrythoughtDIY Napkin Holder @themerrythoughtDIY Napkin Holder @themerrythoughtMaterials:

– 1/2-inch white corian (you can also just use wood and paint it white)
– table saw
– sand paper
– two 6” brass rings
– two rulers
cut-off tool
– drill with 1/8” drill bit
– glue
DIY Napkin Holder @themerrythoughtDIY Napkin Holder @themerrythought
Directions:

– Cut corian to size – we made ours 6.5” x 2-1/4”.

– Sand the edges.

– Lay a brass ring down on a flat surface. Lay a ruler across the ring and measure down 4-1/8” from the top center of the ring to the ruler, make a mark at the edge of the ruler on each side of the ring.

– Cut the ring at the marked spots using a cut-off tool.

– Repeat with the second ring.

– Measure and mark where the four holes for the brass rings will be: 1/2” in from the ends and 3/16” from the sides.

– Lay the ring in the position it will go and mark the angle that the holes will need to be drilled at.

– Using an 1/8” drill bit, drill your holes stopping before you drill all the way through.

– Test fit the ring into the holes; you may have to bend it out slightly to get it to go into the holes.

– Apply glue into the holes and put the ring into the holes. Make sure the rings are sitting perpendicular to the base and are parallel with each other.

– Let glue dry, fill with napkins and enjoy your handiwork.DIY Napkin Holder @themerrythoughtDIY Napkin Holder @themerrythought

-Manda

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