I abandoned my traditional Teacher Emergency Kit back to school gift this year for a teacher snack bar that all the teachers at my school could enjoy. My children attend the school where I teach, and traditionally, I have made THESE KITS for my kid’s homeroom teachers. Well, my son and daughter are in middle school now (*sniff*), and they see multiple teachers throughout the day. I thought setting up a snack bar in the teacher kitchen for everybody to enjoy would be a great way to thank all the teachers.
Last spring during Teacher Appreciation Week, I put together a BEVERAGE BAR, and I used that same idea but with snacks. The interesting thing is that everyone commented on loving the salty snacks. I think when people bring treats for teachers, it is often cookies, cakes, muffins… I made a mental note to provide salty teacher treats more often.
Setting up a Teacher Snack Bar
I made Spicy Ritz Crackers, Tijuana Tidbit Snack Mix (CLICK HERE), and my daughter baked brownies. We put the mixes in cookie tins, the brownies on a platter, and set out napkins, small plates, and small 5-oz plastic tumbler cups to hold the snack mix. All the snacks were on the counter in the common teacher kitchen, and people walked by throughout the day and grabbed a little bite. The seasoned Ritz crackers were the crowd favorite. I was worried they would be too spicy but that is why everyone loved them.
1/2 c. melted butter (one stick)
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. red pepper flakes
1 t. garlic powder
1 box original Ritz crackers
Let melted butter cool slightly. Mix butter, Ranch dressing mix, grated Parmesan, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.
Put Ritz crackers in a mixing bowl.
Pour butter mixture over the Ritz crackers and gently stir to coat crackers.
Put crackers on a foil lined baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.
Let cool and store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.
All the snacks were gone before lunchtime! It was an easy teacher appreciation gift, and I will definitely set up something similar again.
One Lucky Winner will receive TWO ribbon bookmarks and journal books plus a $25 Amazon giftcard!
Just in time for Teacher Appreciation Day on May 3, 2016, I am giving away two (2) ribbon bookmarks with coordinating journal books and a $25 Amazon giftcard to one (1) lucky winner! You can keep one journal book set and give one to a teacher friend (or make two teachers, friends, co-workers, neighbors… super happy and give both as gifts). Giveaway ends this Wednesday, April 13 at midnight (EST). Shipping addresses must be within the USA or Canada.
Winner will receive 2 ribbon bookmarks with a matching journal book and $25 to spend at Amazon. See this BLOG POST for more details about the ribbon bookmarks.
Honestly, I need an Etsy store for all of my craft project overages (or I need craft counseling). Currently, I am over-producing ribbon bookmarks to wrap around journal books. I was testing an idea to make some riboon bookmarks to give to my children’s teachers for Teacher’s Appreciation Day on May 3. Come to find out, the ribbon bookmarks are easy to make; the color combinations look super cute, and I like making things in large batches.
I thought these would make nice teacher gifts because, as a teacher, I always need something to mark my page in all of my teacher materials. Teachers use bookmarks for class novels, textbooks, manuals, planning books, grade books… I currently have about 8 Post-it notes, 3 notecards, and 11 scraps of paper peeking out of the stack of teacher books near my school computer. A few ribbon bookmarks would definitely come in handy for me. Plus, they have the added benefit of not dropping out of the book when I pick it up, and I can slide my scraps of papers with notes under the edge of the bookmark where it will hold.
durable ribbon, at least 1/2″ wide (like grosgrain ribbon)
buttons in coordinating colors
Fray Check (a little like clear fingernail polish to keep ribbon ends from unraveling)
covered hair bands in coordinating colors
thread in coordinating colors
Cut strips of ribbon to match the size of the book you will use with your bookmark. I used 5″ x 8″ journals, which are a similar size to a basic paperback book. I cut my ribbons to 15″. This allowed for the length of the attached rubberband not stretched too much and a little end piece to fold around the rubberband when sewing. Your finished bookmark stretches a little because of the rubberband, so the bookmark will fit a book that is a little bigger and smaller than the book you use as a guide for measuring.
Drop Fray Check onto each end of the ribbon to prevent the ribbon ends from fraying. Let dry.
Place the rubberband near one end of the ribbon and fold the ribbon end over. Stitch across the width of the ribbon with the rubberband held in place. You can hand sew or use a sewing machine.
Loop the ribbon over and let the ends meet to see which side of the ribbon will need the button attached. Sew the button to the non-rubberband end of the ribbon. The button should be attached with only a little ribbon showing beyond the edge of the button.
I am exhausted. The teachers at my school all feel the same way. We pass each other in the hallway with a slight nod and a reference to the remaining time until our summer release. I am not sure why this year I feel more tired than usual, but since it seems to be a common theme, I put together small “restful” gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week. I found directions at MarthaStewart.com for sachets filled with lavender. Apparently, if you place lavender under your pillow while you sleep, it will bring sweet dreams. Sign me up!
The parents’ group at our school organizes daily events for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, but I usually like to send an extra thank you to all of the teachers who work with my two children. Since I work at the school my children attend, I know teachers put in additional time with my kids who arrive early and leave late every day. The lavender sachets are meant to be a fancy version of a card. Just a small sirsee to say that we appreciate our teachers.
5″ fabric squares with pinked edges (Hobby Lobby sells 24 packs of assorted fabrics)
lavender buds (Whole Foods sells small quantities in the spice section, I ordered in bulk from www.thesage.com)
In my last post, I shared a banana bread recipe baked in mini loaf pans that I wrapped up to give as teacher appreciation gifts. Most people have a family banana bread recipe, so it is not that new and exciting. I was thinking it might be a nice twist to bake a breakfast bread recipe that may not be as widely recognized. I pulled out a recipe I have for Rosemary-Olive Oil Bread because I needed a few more teacher sirsees this week. This is a savory bread, and a slice tastes REALLY good toasted.
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. pine nuts
2 t. baking powder
2 t. dried rosemary
1/4 t. salt
1 T. freshly grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c. apple juice
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
Pam or Crisco
standard loaf pan (8″x 4″) or 3 mini loaf pans (5 3/4″ x 3 1/4″)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray or grease the pan with Crisco.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, pine nuts, baking powder, rosemary, salt, and lemon zest.
In another bowl, blend the eggs, apple juice, and olive oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and smooth the surface.
Bake 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
The pine nuts can be replaced with chopped walnuts or pecans. You can also use a combination of nuts if you only have a 1/4 cup of pine nuts and need to add a few pecans to make 1/2 cup. This combination has been tested and approved.
If using mini loaf pans, fill about halfway with batter. I get about 3 mini loaves per recipe. Reduce the cooking time for the mini size. After about 30 minutes, watch until the top is browned, then test the center to determine if the rosemary bread is baked through.
Wrap with parchment paper and have kids decorate with stickers to give as gifts.
These work well as a teacher appreciation gift, hostess gift, or housewarming present.