Anybody making something fun as homemade Christmas gifts this year? I'm looking for some new ideas.
Jazzy Razzy.....a raspberry/cranberry/ red wine vinegar preserves, with habaneros.
Oh my, Linda. That sounds scrumptious!!! So far I've made Chipotle Ketchup and Green Dragon Sauce. My family likes spicy more than just sweet and Linda, yours would fit right in. Care to share the recipe?
I invented the recipe....so I guess I can call it whatever I want! LOL!...Jazzy Razzy or Razz-ma-Taz...or whatever. I like it with blue cheese...
2 10 oz packages frozen raspberries.
1 10 oz package fresh cranberries
5 habanera peppers..
1 cup red wine vinegar
6 1/2 cups sugar.
1 envelop Certo
seed and remove ribs from the peppers...wearing gloves! Whir the vinegar and the peppers in the blender until you see no more pieces of peppers.
Dump berries, sugar and the vinegar and pepper mixture into a kettle, stir and simmer until all berries have popped....bring to a hard boil and add an envelope of Certo and stir and boil hard for one minute.
Then I pour into sterile jars and cover with wax.....you may like to put on lids and
Water bath them.
Makes 10 jelly jars....with a little left over to eat right away.
I had cranberries in the freezer.....and will make more when the cranberries are back in the stores again!
I've made Peach jam with Grand Marnier,
I'm also making "soup in a jar"'
So far that's all I've done.
Thanks Linda, I'll gather the ingredients. And.....I forgot about the homemade vanilla I'm making that is smelling more wonderful by the day.
I would love the soup in a jar recipe if you don't mind sharing Linda!
I always do candy for Christmas gifts. Toffee, caramel corn, buckeyes, peanut clusters and Sharon's peppermint bark are the mainstays with a few others rotated in. This year I was thinking of doing just some different flavors of popcorn, like my usual caramel and another sweet flavor and then a savory version. I have two to try out. A ranch version and a bacon flavor. I will still do some candy for a few family members but I think I will be cutting way down.
Everything sounds good.
Linda, your jam sounds really yummy but DH and me are the only people on our list that would eat it! :( I have a family full of heat wimps.
I'm not a candy maker so that doesn't work, for me. :(
And, I've not had good luck with the Soup in a Jar mixes. They all seem to have a variety of different beans, lentils, etc. My problem in testing the recipes as gift potentials is that they don't cook well. The various beans take different cooking times so the soup has mushy lentils and hard beans. Am I doing something wrong???
I'm wondering about making several different types of homemade potato chips? BBQ? Dorito-type flavor? Cheese?
Anybody have spice recipe blends for that type useage?
I could package them in KA cello bags and I think they'd make pretty packages.
Still looking for new and different ideas...
The number of habaneras in that recipe is adjustable....I started with one.....and people kept saying..."more"...And there are some that say I still need to add more.
I also make biscotti... a few biscotti, chocolate dipped on one end and sprinkled with chopped nuts would be beautiful in those cello bags!....tied with a ribbon and a piece of holly or a cinnamon stick
Tricia, I'm going to make your citrus salts for the people I didn't give it to last year. My husband is smoking some sockeye (today as a matter of fact)some of which my BIL's and Dad will receive as Christmas gifts. I'm going to do a batch of bacon jam and one of pecan praline syrup (for ice cream) and since I bought a bunch of fresh cranberries from the farm last weekend, I'm going to try a cranberry chutney recipe that has candied pineapple and fresh ginger.I like giving preserves because they can be done so far ahead!
I always make flavored cocoa mixes and we made the first two batches last weekend when we had our first below freezing temperatures, and I sent two large containers of mix to work with hubby and vacuum-sealed the rest in canning jars to use as refills. Aldi had Pumpkin Pie Spice Coffee Creamer and Hazelnut, so those were the kinds I made. I added 2 t. pumpkin pie spice to the one containing Pumpkin Pie Spice Coffee Creamer for some added flavor.
MOO-LICIOUS FLAVORED COCOA MIX
2 c. Morning Moo's Whey-based milk substitute or instant non-fat dry milk powder
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted (Or you'll have lumps!)
7-1/2 to 8 oz. (by weight) flavored non-dairy coffee creamer (amaretto, hazelnut, french vanilla, etc.)
5-1/2 oz. (by weight) non-dairy coffee creamer
8 oz. (by weight) chocolate milk mix (Nesquik)
1/4 t. salt
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
To serve: mix 2 T. into 6-8 oz. hot water.
Our son prefers goodies made with white chocolate, so I thought I'd make this recipe.
Wintry White Chocolate Bark
1-1/2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 c. toasted pistachios
1/2 c. dried cherries
1/2 c. dried cranberries
Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper; set aside.
Melt white chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from heat. Add pistachios, cherries and cranberries; stir until evenly coated. Pour onto center of prepared cookie sheet. Spread to 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness using a knife or offset spatula. Set aside overnight to cool completely. (Do not refrigerate.)
Cut or break into pieces; arrange in gift jar and seal.
I harvested a "ton" of lavender this year and will make:
LAVENDER BATH SALT SACHETS
3/4 c. Epsom salts
3/4 c. coarse sea sale, rock salt or Dead Sea mineral salt
3 T. dried lavender buds or blossoms
2\-3 drops purple cosmetic\-grade soap colorant (optional)
6\-8 drops lavender cosmetic\-grade soap fragrance
10\-12 small self\-closing sachet bags
Place Epsom salts and coarse salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add lavender; stir to blend well. Stir in colorant and fragrance a few drops at a time, if desired; blend well. Rub mixture with fingers to break up any clumps.
Measure 2 T. into each sachet bag; close bag opening. Place in decorative clear jar with tight\-fitting lid. Seal container.
To use: Toss a Lavender Bath Salt Sachet into a tub of warm water while the water is running. (Keep mixture in the bag to prevent the lavender from clogging the drain. Discard the used sachet before draining the tub.)
Last year I made enough Easy Caramel Popcorn to use the better part of 5\# of popcorn, and expect to do the same this year. I air\-popped the corn.
EASY CARAMEL POPCORN
10 c. popped popcorn
6 caramel candies, cut into small pieces
2 T. dark or light corn syrup (I used agave nectar.)
1/2 T. water
1\. Preheat the oven to 350\-degrees F. Spray a large jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with non\-stick cooking spray and set aside. Place the popcorn in a large ceramic or glass bowl and set aside.
2\. In a 1\-cup measure or similar microwave\-safe bowl, combine the caramels, syrup, and water. Microwave on high power for 40\-seconds. Stir. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds until the caramels are completely melted.
3\. Being very careful to keep fingers away from the hot syrup, slowly pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn, stirring with a large wooden spoon to coat evenly. Spread the popcorn evenly on the prepared baking pan. Bake the popcorn for 4\-6 minutes until the syrup hardens slightly.
4\. Cool before serving, or store tightly covered at room temperature. Leftover popcorn will keep for 4\-5 days.
\[Grainlady note: Add 1 t. pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, or cinnamon to the hot syrup for flavored caramel popcorn. I also used different liquid flavorings \- caramel, cinnamon oil (caution: a little cinnamon oil is all you need), rum, coconut, root beer.....\]
1 g. fat
59 mg. sodium
11 g. total carbohydrates (6 g. sugars, 1 g. dietary fiber)
1 g. protein
I still like to do a tin of assorted Christmas cookies, the best compliment came from a manager who said, "By golly, every one of your cookies tasted really good!"
I guess some assorted homemade tins don't!
Mine aren't cheap or easy but I love doing them.
I make about a dozen different varieties starting in early December and carefully freeze, make up the tins a few hours before giving.
Some family members would like me to make granola every single year.
OK, so far I've decided on brandied whole pears and Gingersnap Palmiers. Maybe spiced nuts? There's so many different types of spice combinations that are yummy.
What do you think of this...olive oil infused with lemon peel.
Tricia - will you share the recipe for Gingersnap Palmiers?
We are ginger freaks!
My new favorite gift is my grandmother's Oranged Walnuts. Recipients have told me they couldn't stop eating them.
I have committed to making Madeleine turtles again this year - I did not make them last year or perhaps the year before, but now they are back in demand. I am hoping that my brother will send me pecans from Texas - they have a bumper crop this year, but I don't know how reliable he is with shipping. I may have to ask our sister to do the shipping instead. I'll make toffee also, but that is so easy that I don't have to think about it.
Spice bread, banana nut bread in hand made wooden trays/baskets.
Jane, here's the recipe for the Gingersnap Palmiers. It's an older (2006) Martha Stewart recipe.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup Grandma's molasses
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
14 ounces good-quality thawed frozen puff pastry
1. Bring brown sugar, molasses, ginger, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Simmer until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour syrup into a bowl. Let cool.
2. Whisk granulated sugar, salt, and spices in a bowl. Lightly sprinkle sugar mixture over a clean work surface; place puff pastry on top. Cut into two 10 1/2-by-7-inch pieces. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture; press into pastry with a rolling pin. Brush generously with syrup.
3. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll in from both long sides, meeting in the center; brush with syrup to seal. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture. Wrap in plastic, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours (up to overnight).
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Dip slices in sugar mixture. Space 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten with your palm. Freeze 30 minutes.
5. Bake 10 minutes. Flip, and brush with syrup. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until darkened, 10 minutes more. Transfer palmiers to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Palmiers can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
I always seem to need more sugar mixture so I triple those ingredients in the recipe. Extra is great as a muffin topping or even sprinkled on buttered toast for breakfast around the holidays.
HOW TO FORM PALMIERS...
1. After rolling out the puff pastry to a rectangle and topping with sugar, roll up one side of pastry along the edges lengthwise, halfway to center; repeat with the other side.
2. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough.
I like making palmiers for gifts. They're pretty cookies, travel well, and people love 'em. It helps that they are so easy!
Tricia, that recipe looks great. I always make cookies, cookies, cookies and then, more cookies! Right now I have an
"A" list, "B" list and "C" list of cookies to make. I generally make about 12-18 different kinds.
I'll also be giving some homemade jams (grape, habanera gold, apple pie jam) and salsa (Annie's of course) that I canned.
Something new for me this year, I'm going to try making marshmallows & French macaroons.
In case anybody's interested and also because these need to be made before Thanksgiving if for a Christmas gift, I thought I'd post the recipe for Brandied Pears also. They need to sit in the refrigerator for 4-5 weeks to mellow.
Makes 3 quarts (USE THE WIDE MOUTH JARS!)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
5 1/2 pounds fresh pears of your favorite type (about 20 pears)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cups brandy
1. Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water, and add lemon juice. Peel pears as carefully and smoothly as possible, leaving stems attached. Place pears in water as they are peeled.
2. Combine sugar, cinnamon sticks, and 3 quarts water in a large stockpot. Drain pears, and add to pot. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until just tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 30 minutes, depending on size and ripeness.
3. Remove pears from liquid with a slotted spoon and divide evenly among three quart jars. (It's OK to slice them in half to make them fit into the jars, if necessary, but they present better whole, IMO.)
4. Raise heat under pot to high and cook liquid until reduced to 2 cups, about 50 minutes. Remove from heat; strain liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a bowl. Divide the liquid evenly among the jars, and add about 1 cup brandy, or enough to cover pears, to each.
Allow jars to cool, and screw on lids. Refrigerate for several weeks before eating to allow flavors to develop.
These are very good and make a lovely gift presentation tied with cinnamon sticks and a pretty bow.
BTW, these brandied pears are super delicious on that NYT summer fruit tart. They turn a quick, easy, dessert into something very special. With a little garnish it looks/tastes like much more than the sum of its parts!
And the Oranged Walnuts recipe is .... ???
Thanks for the palmiers recipe Tricia. Definitely going on my list!
I have a CD with all 17 years of Taste of Home magazine. This is from that CD...
Orange-Ancho Spiced Nuts
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 can mixed nuts, no peanuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
3/4 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate baking chips
In a large bowl, beat egg white and water until frothy. Add nuts; stir gently to coat. Combine the sugar, pie spice, orange peel and chili pepper; add to nut mixture and gently stir to coat.
Spread into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 275� for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring once.
Sprinkle with chips.
Cool completely. Break into pieces.
Store in an airtight container.
Yield: 4 cups.
I'm thinking maybe granola this year. I personally love the homeade stuff and find it so much better than store bought. I'll also probably do some Christmas breads, as I always have fun playing with my bread machine!! I've always wanted to make spiced nuts but I somehow never find the time. Also might still get around to making some canned goods, but I just can't seem to get it together this year. I can't justify the time, its competing with too many other essential survival type things (I was tempted to type "lol" but its really more of a "phooey"). I'm on the road way too much but so far haven't found a way out of that destiny.
I have a cook book with all kinds of soup recipes for a jar...
Here are some of them
Rainbow Bean Soup Mix
Navy Bean & Ham soup mis
Chicken Noodle soup mix
White bean chowder mis
Wild rice & Barley soup mix
Tortilla soup mix
Black Bean sou mix
Split pea soup mix
Creamy cheese soup mix
Cheesy Potato soup mix
Let me know if any of these soud good to you
I also have a cook book for cookies in a jar.
Let me know if you would like them also
Chocolate covered raisin cookie mix
Chunky Chocolate cookie mix
Chocolate Pedan chewies cookie mix
Reese's Peanut butter cups cookie mix
Orange slice cookie mix
dreamsicle cookie mis
Oatmeal Raisin spice cookie mix
Potato chip cookie mix
Blarney stones cookie mix
Hot Homemade cdookies mix
Vanilla & chocolate chip cookie mix
Chocolate chip cookie mix
Cowboy cookie mix
Trail cookie mix
Honolulus cookie mix
White Chocolate macadamia nut cookie mix
Pecan chewies cookie mix
Holiday M & M's cookie mix
Butterscotch Brownie mix
Lyndaluu2, I'd love your recipe for Kahlua if you care to share. Do you make it with instant coffee or do you use real coffee beans?
I haven't thought too much about homemade gifts. Maybe some of the jams I'm making and spiced nuts. Shortbread is always welcomed. I will probably make tamales to share with friends.
Maybe I'll make some of the dry mixes I've created. These would be handy for a few people I know.
I usually give packages of different cookies but always make sure to include at least a couple "holly cookies" in each package. They're so cute!
Make just like rice krispy treats but use corn flakes instead. Die green, cure in cookie-size chunks on wax paper. Add 2-3 little "red hots" to each one while still tacky for the berries. Don't know where this idea came from, my Mom's been doing it since I was a kid in the 70's.
So far have done Cranberry Cordial & Apple Pie Vodka, a month from now will get the Fire & Ice pickles done & get doughs in freezer for cookies.
Hey!!! craftyrn, I'm so, so, SO glad to see you again!
Yeah yeah, me too....now how about a recipe for those 2 liquors?
Actually I am glad to see you...in addition to the recipes you have! LOL!
Here's my recipe for Oranged Walnuts. Or, as one recipient called them, "little nuggets of gold".
NOTE: I've made these many times and now use almost twice the amount of walnuts called for in the recipe, a total of almost 4 cups. A lot of the syrup falls to the bottom of the pan anyway and may as well be used to coat additional nuts. Or, you might like a thicker coating of syrup, in which case use fewer nuts or the amount called for in the recipe. Add each additional cup one at a time, and work quickly before the syrup hardens.
1-1/2 C sugar
1/4 C orange juice (if possible, use fresh squeezed)
1/4 C water
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 C walnut halves
Pour nuts into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with orange zest.
Combine sugar, orange juice, and water in saucepan; cook to softball stage (234F).
Remove from heat. Pour over nuts, and quickly mix well until the syrup becomes cloudy and difficult to stir. Quickly turn out onto waxed paper or buttered cookie sheet.
Separate into small clusters with 2 forks.
Makes 3 cups (or more, if you use more nuts).
Wow, some amazing ideas here!
I made Cowboy Candy a few weeks ago, jars of pickled jalapenos in a sweet brine. Late last winter I made Meyer Lemon marmalade and Blood Orange marmalade. I have lots of blueberries in the freezer and should make jams with them.
I need to try the homemade vanilla.
I am interested in recipes for gifts to give people who don't eat sweets and like foods with 'heat' (peppers, etc.). I have no experience in canning so that would be a first for me.
Sure here it is.
3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp instant coffee (I use Fogers crystals)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water
Mix well making sure the sugar dissolves
Pour into fifth-size bottle. Fill bottle with 12 oz vodka and 1/4 of a vanilla bean.
I use an old Kahlua bottle.
Let stand at least 30 days before using.
The longer it sits the better it gets!!
Jenn, last year I made the Spicy Wine Mustard. The recipe is from Whole Foods. Family loved it and I will make it again this year. Most of the people, including family, that I gift to,prefer spicy over sweet.
Thank you, Linda!
Yum, Jenn, those sound good.
For hot I make Habanero Gold jelly, it's great stuff with some cream cheese on a bagel or cracker. I got my first Grand Champion ribbon at the fair this year with Habanero Gold.
I've also canned some bread and butter jalapenos, some peach and habanero hot sauce and a mixed hot pickle with cauliflower, carrot, cucumber and hungarian pepper rings.
I mostly give cookies, though, that's what everyone wants since the family mostly raids my basement at will, LOL.
Jude31 and Annie - thank you! Those sound yummy.
"I am interested in recipes for gifts to give people who don't eat sweets and like foods with 'heat' (peppers, etc.). I have no experience in canning so that would be a first for me."
Jenn, I think maybe you should start a new thread regarding this. Maybe make your own hot sauce? or flavored vinegars? I few years ago there was a savory cheddar thumbprint cookie recipe with hot pepper jelly (habanero Gold Jam) for the centers.
Booberry, that recipe came from Rick Rodgers, via Readinglady. MThey make a "thumbprint" kind of savory cookie with centers filled with Habanero Gold, they're amazing!
Jenn, canning is easy, as long as you use recipes that can be canned safely and things that only need a hot water bath. This year I've done hot pepper jellies, smoky chipotle catsup (thanks Katiec!), pickled jalapenos, salsa, habanero/peach hot sauce, chipotle lime marinade for lamb or chicken, all with a hot water bath. Just yell if you need help!
Linda, I would love the tortilla soup recipe if its not too much trouble. Thanks!
Booberry, good idea - I will! Thanks.
Annie, thanks for getting me started there. I'll search or do another post to keep that discussion out of this thread -- but I will say that what has kept me from canning is the safety thing and fear of not doing that correctly.
I was in the gourmet grocery the other day and saw a whole bunch of assorted type of italian crackers. Homeade crackers aren't that hard to make and they would be great in gift baskets with some chutney/relish and cheese and a bottle of wine. Oh I am hungry!