Monday, October 24, 2011

made with care ~ for the foodie

OK, who just turned their page in their planner to this week, and realized Christmas is 2 months away. It’s 'bout time for Santa’s workshop to kick it into gear! I’ve thought of 3 categories of handmade gift ideas to share.  First up, for the foodie. 'Cuz back in the day, this used to be a food blog…

I may have sold out and joined pinterest.  So some ideas are from there, mixed in with some of my own.  
{Links to the recipes are in red - just click on the title.}

.: made with care :.
The above is a honey caramel corn with orange zest I made last year.  
I also love this recipe and would like to try this one.

~ Christmas Trail Mix ~
This is a mixture of honey roasted peanuts, dried cranberries, 
pistachios, almonds, white chocolate chips, 
pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) and holiday m&m's (optional)
Great for co-workers, teachers, bus drivers, secretaries.  
And, a welcomed alternative to the token cookie plate.

Moose Munch ~
I've never made this before, 
but the picture was enough to make me want to try it out.
(pic from pinterest)

{How cute are these little bottles?}
(above pic from pinterest)
I was pretty skeptical when I made my first vanilla...vanilla beans in vodka for 2 months, and that's it?  It's true!  And, it's a money-saver.  1 pint of homemade vanilla extract costs $10, which is what you can pay for a little bottle of pure vanilla.  

~ Cookie Dough ~
I thought this was a cute idea to give away your favorite cookie dough.  Plus, it would allow for a treat on a later date.
Pinned Image
(pic from pinterest)

I had never had rum cake in my life, until one arrived on a blistery December day in a cute Christmas tin to our front door, all the way from Florida!  
Such a thoughtful, super-yummy gift!  It's easy to make gluten-free - simply substitute a gluten-free yellow cake mix.  Just sayin... :)
(pic from the pioneer woman)

~ Coffee ~
We have officially gone full-blown coffee snob.  We used to spend $8/pound on grocery-store coffee.  Our coffee budget was $50 a month!  {We like coffee, we have friends who like coffee, and we like to drink coffee with friends.}  So, to save money, we started roasting our own coffee.  5 years ago, for an early Christmas present, I bought Andy an iRoast2.  We could get green coffee beans for $1.85/pound.  {Prices of coffee have gone *way* up.  Our last shipment was $4/pound, which is still a savings.}  
That year for Christmas, we roasted coffee for our family and friends.  
I'm still not sure I can come up with a better gift for a coffee lover...
Pinned Image
(pic from pinterest)

Does anyone else feel like they just gained 5 pounds reading that post?
Sorry about that.  
I promise you didn't.  
We'll move onto kiddo gifts next...sans calories.
While it's fun to create a gift for someone special, I never want to forget why we do this.  Christmas is a celebration of the most remarkable gift of all ~ our Savior born into this world that we. may. have. life!  New life!  Life everlasting!  Life in and through Him!   I think sometimes we settle for celebrating the festivities rather than the honored guest.  It's like we miss the King being in our presence because we are enamored by the glittering tinsel and twinkling lights.  

The thought of making a gift for someone may stress you out as much as me having to push a cart through a crowded store on Christmas Eve.  I get that.   So whether you buy your gifts at the mall or make them all, my hope is that every heart prepare Him room.  That we don't chase after stuff to fulfill a longing only He can.  That our days would sing long and loud...
What can I say? 
What can I do? 
But offer this heart, O God, 
Completely to You. 
So I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, 
In awe of the One who gave it all. 
I'll stand. My soul, Lord, to You surrendered. 
All I am is Yours!

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