Do you have any of those friends who are all prepared for Christmas before the first day of December even rolls around? I used to work with a friend who had all her Christmas shopping done in August, before the first autumn-hued tree even appeared. Yikes, I felt like a super slacker around her!
I do like to be prepared, but honestly, it’s usually not until Thanksgiving has passed that my wheels really start whirring in anticipation of Christmas. So, after harnessing a 22 pound turkey a few days ago, I’m ready to roll. How about you?
I started thinking about some of my favorite holiday recipes for entertaining, celebrating and gift giving and decided to do a short series over the next two weeks called “Let’s Get Ready”. I’ve got lots of ideas to help with your holiday planning and thought I’d start with this Gifts from the Kitchen post. Don’t you just love giving delicious homemade gifts to family, friends and all those people who take such good care of us all year long (postmen, hairdressers, teachers, nail techs, etc.)? Now’s the time to make our lists, check them twice and start having some fun. Are you ready?
Peppermint Bark Cutouts – I don’t know many people who don’t love Peppermint Bark. It seems to delight young and old alike. These great cutouts (made with cookie cutters) make it super fun in addition to delicious!
Lemon Rosemary Sea Salt This stuff is crazy good and adds incredible flavor to everything it touches. You’ll never want to be with out it! Make a double batch; one for a gift and one for yourself, to make all your holiday cooking extra delicious. Then find some cute little jars and fill them up for foodie friends. They’ll be asking for more before next Christmas rolls around!
Best Ever Hot Fudge Sauce Oh my word! This stuff is amazing, and so easy you won’t even believe it! How about a gift bag with a carton of premium ice cream and a jar of this wonderful sauce. You will be thought of very fondly, believe me!
Ombre Butter Mints – this traditional butter mint recipe takes on a fun new twist when the dough is rolled and cut with cookie cutters. Make them in any shape and color you like!
Orange Pineapple Marmalade – this delicious breakfast treat requires no knowledge of canning, because it’s freezer jam. Make a batch in less than an hour, fill the jars and you’re done. Oh, and this stuff makes a crazy good appetizer too – just mix a few spoonfuls with a splash of rice vinegar and a dash of Sriracha. Spoon it over cream cheese and add some crackers. Everyone will be asking “What is this delicious appetizer?”!
Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps – okay, how about a pretty basket with a bag of these delicious gourmet crackers (they cost a fortune at the market but you can make them for pennies!), a few wedges of yummy cheese and some beautiful red apples. Put me on your gift-giving list!! Please!
Red Velvet Kiss Cookies – it seems that everyone loves red velvet and these cookies are no exception. A box of these tied with a ribbon is the perfect way to say “Thanks!”, “I appreciate you.”, “I care.”, “You’re the best.”, etc.
Winter White Red Velvet Fudge – and speaking of Red Velvet, you have to try this fudge. Everyone goes crazy over it. It’s so fun and so delicious. Right now, it’s the most popular recipe on The Café, it’s had over 400,000 pageviews in November (I know! I can’t believe it either!). I’ve gotten all kinds of emails from people who’ve tried it and loved it. You can make it in the microwave or on the stovetop (both recipes are included).
Does this give you some new ideas? There’s lots more in the archives of Café recipes, you might want to do a little more browsing. We’ll be back with a brand new recipe on Tuesday, but until then, Bon Appetit! And have fun!