Last year when I prepared Food Waste DIY gifts for Mother’s Day, I never could have realized just how different the world would be today. Could any of us have? No malls to shop and no restaurants to make Mother’s Day brunch reservations.

This year will be the first year that I do not get to see my mom in person. Yes, we will video chat and are planning a family Zoom gathering and I will be grateful for that, but it won’t be the same. If you are lucky enough to be quarantined with your mom, please give her a hug from me. If you are making brunch for her here are some of my mom’s favorites:Β  Blueberry Caramel French Toast, Apple Crumble Muffins, Mashed Potato Almond Torte with Whipped Lemon Curd, Grits Golden Bread, and Potato Au Gratin Puffs (okay, the last one is my favorite!) If your mom is away from you, consider supporting a local restaurant and have her brunch delivered.

I know if mom and I were together she would be enjoying a mimosa and I would be having a glass of champagne. I would tell her thanks for being my number one fan and that I love her to the moon and back. Thanks for letting me share that with you. Happy Mother’s Day Mom and Happy Mother’s Day to You All.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Here’s to You!

Since so many of us are quarantined at home, I thought I would repost these FOOD WASTE DIY GIFTS. Whether mom is a coffee lover, tea lover, a baker,a cook, a cocktail shaker, or has sweet tooth, like mine, there is something on this tray for her. Make mom a gift and save food waste at the same time–two things to feel good about doing.

The following was originally published on May 10, 2019.

Food Waste DIY Gifts
A tray full of DIY Food Waste Gifts

It’s Mother’s Day Weekend! Did you finish your shopping? Mail your cards? Ordered flowers? Made brunch reservations?

If you’re looking for a little something extra to surprise mom. Check out these food waste DIY gift ideas I did on the morning show.

Susanne Duplantis Makeover My Leftover
WAFB Morning Show Mother’s Day Edition



Save the morning coffee grounds for aroma awakening treats. Let coffee grounds dry. Then use in these gifts.

  • Put coffee grounds into a dish with a candle, as the candle burns it will smell like fresh roasted coffee
  • Melt coconut oil. Add coffee grounds. Pour mixture into an ice cube tray. Let sit on counter for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate. When solid, remove, store in a covered container. One side is a nice exfoliator and the other is a rich moisturizer. I like to keep mine in the fridge. Think about all the cute ice cube molds to shape your cubes.
  • Add grounds to a small dish. Add your favorite oil to your desired consistency. Keep by sink with a small spoon. Use as a daily hand scrub.


Strawberry Top Tea and Vinegar
Strawberry Top Tea and Vinegar

Save those strawberry tops!

  • Put tops into a food dehydrator or on a sheet pan and dry in a low oven for 2 hours or longer if needed. Put dry tops into a food processor. Pulse until minced. Use in your favorite loose tea blend.
  • Add strawberry tops to a bottle. Cover with vinegar. Refrigerate overnight. Strain and use in your favorite salad dressing. I like to use white wine vinegar for dressings and balsamic vinegar for dessert sauce.
  • Add strawberry tops to a jar. Cover with vodka. Let sit for 2 days. Strain and enjoy! I love this in a champagne cocktail!


Flavored Salts and Sugars
Flavored Salts and Sugars
  • Use fresh or dried herbs to flavor salt. Process until finely minced. Add 1/4 cup Kosher salt. Pulse a few times. Remove and mix with 1/4 cup course sea salt.
  • Add citrus peels to a food dehydrator to dry or place on cookie sheet in low oven to dry, 1-2 hours. Add dried peels to food processor. Mince. Add to sugar. Keep covered in an airtight jar. Orange peel sugar is delightful as a glass rimmer for a mimosa! Want a great Bloody Mary spice? Add dried lemon and lime peels to a mix of salt, sugar, powdered onion, black pepper, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, and celery seed.

    Bloody Mary Spice and Orange Peel Sugar
    Bloody Mary Spice and Orange Peel Sugar
  • Use your favorite liqueur or cordial to make other flavored sugars.
Candied Orange Peels
Candied Orange Peels

Candied Orange Peels
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Yield: 1

Candied Orange Peels


  • Peels from 4 mandarin oranges, cut into strips 1/4 inch wide
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. If needed, use a melon baller to remove pith. (Pith can be dried and used in spice mix, tea blend, or to flavor sugar or salt)
  2. Add peels to a small saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. reduce heat to low. Add extract. Simmer for 25 minutes. Drain. (Reserve water to use for tea, if desired.)
  3. Combine sugar and water to the pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  4. Add peels. When they begin to boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove peels with tongs or slotted spoon. Set on a drying rack. Dry overnight.
  6. Toss in additional sugar.
  7. Store in an airtight jar.


Recipe can easily be doubled and used for any citrus rinds.

Put On Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap: The strawberry tops can be used in gin or rum, too. No booze? Use strawberry tops to infuse water for a refreshing drink. Making strawberry top tea? Buy mom a cute tea cup to go with it. For the candied rinds, use a mixture of orange, lemon, and lime. Gift the orange sugar with a nice bottle of champagne. Made a herb flavored salt? Look up a recipe using it, write it out, and attach it to the jar. It’s all about presentation, go to the dollar or craft store and pick up some fancy bottles to hold these food waste gifts or make a few and arrange them in a basket. It is the thought that counts, but I’m betting mom will love you even more knowing you saved food and money.

FOOD FUN: I want to wish all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day especially my mom, my best friend and my number one fan. I wouldn’t be doing what I am today without her love and support. She truly makes my food waste journey my food fun everyday of the week.




Food Waste DIY Gifts
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