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Scents of the Season: Ways to Fill Your Home with the Aromas of the Holidays

Here are some quick and easy ways to mix up spices and fruits to make a delightful simmering potpourri!

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Nothing welcomes guests into your home during the holiday season like warm, delicious scents.  You won't have to whip up a festive pie each day to achieve this heavenly smell - take the easy and inexpensive route and make a stovetop potpourri using fruits and spices of the season.  The key ingredients for great fall and winter smells are citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges, and cinnamon.  When using cinnamon sticks, be sure to break the sticks in half so that it breaks down faster and you can get the most scent out of the stick.  When cooking, most of these potpourri recipes are designed to simmer for 2-4 hours, so you will need to add more water if you want it to last longer. You can also give stovetop potpourri as a cute gift by putting all of the ingredients in a small bag and adding ribbon and a tag.  Also, if you want to make your home smell nice without having to worry about the stove being on, try one of the dry potpourri recipes at the bottom!

Thanksgiving Simmering Stovetop Holiday Potpourri

  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 nutmeg, grated
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.  Keep an eye on it while it simmers, and add more apple cider as needed. 

Christmas Potpourri

  • 1 sliced orange
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1-2 teaspoons cloves (whole or ground)
  • 1-2 teaspoons nutmeg

Directions: Pour water into a small saucepan, covering about 1 inch below the rim.  Add all of the ingredients, put on the stove, and simmer on low.

Williams Sonoma Signature Scent Potpourri

  • 1-2 sliced lemons
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla.

Directions: Pour water into a small saucepan, covering about 1 inch below the rim.  Add all of the ingredients, put on the stove, and simmer on low.

Dry Christmas Potpourri

  • Handful of dried orange slices
  • Handful of small pinecones
  • Handful of whole cinnamon sticks
  • Half-dozen star anise

Directions:  To dry orange slices, blot away extra juice with a paper towel, then put slices in the oven on a cookie sheet and bake for 3 hours at 280 degrees Fahrenheit, checking on them often to make sure they do not burn.  After it cools, mix all ingredients together in a decorative bowl or dish.

[Source: Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, One Good Thing, Homemade Gifts Made Easy]