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LakeMartinGal
10-19-2008, 11:09 AM
At TestKitchen45's request, I'm starting this thread about Christmas gifts. We're a little strapped for cash this year, because of the stock market, and decided to do some home-made gifts for the IL's and friends!

For the ladies, I'm buying some sweatshirts at the Russell outlet near our house, and cross-stitching their initials and a small design on them... that'll give me an excuse to watch tv while I'm stitching in the middle of the day!;)

I also thought I'd make a pizza kit -- my homemade sauce, canned, and enough of my pizza dough mix, with directions, for 1 pizza. I haven't figured out a container for this idea, yet.

Then, there's always cookies and candy. I've decided on crockpot candy, and maybe some fudge -- I have a recipe for pumpkin fudge somewhere around. I have a couple of signature cookies that I make (Rocks, snickerdoodles, bourbon balls) and I'm watching with interest the thread on sugar cookies, and making them pretty, without spending tons of time, so I'll be using some of those suggestions, I think.

I was thinking about making maybe a sweet or spicy batch of chex mix, and/or the oyster crackers with the ranch dressing mix, which are VERY tasty!

Any other ideas are welcome, of course!

I've found a few packaging options -- places online where I can buy tins. DD2, the graphic artist, will decorate the tins with the same design she's using on my Christmas cards, so that will be her contribution, since she's just started a job.

So, what are you doing in the home-made gift department?

Chocolate Rose
10-19-2008, 11:31 AM
You've got some great ideas! What is crockpot candy?

I'm on a committee with the company I work for and we have put together a cookbook with employee recipe submissions. It's to benefit Relay for Life. I'm going to give every adult on my list a copy of the cookbook along with a container of homemade vanilla sugar and maybe one other food item. I'm considering raspberry or cranberry vinegar, but haven't decided for sure yet. So, I'll be watching this thread carefully for additional ideas. ;) We loved the Honey-Chipotle Pecans we made last year. And, I'm on the lookout for new cookie and candy recipe ideas. I was going to do a trial of the Chocolate Cherry Cordial Truffles this weekend but I forgot to get the cherry brandy. So, it'll have to wait til next weekend.

Terri_A
10-19-2008, 12:09 PM
I'm doing jars of candied jalapenos, spiced nuts and candied popcorn! I've never made candied jalapenos before and am excited about doing them. The others are old standbys. I found some cute 1/2 pint jars with sealing lids that I think will work perfectly and I'll order printable waterproof labels and design cool labels for the jars!

TieKitty
10-19-2008, 12:15 PM
I'm doing jars of candied jalapenos, spiced nuts and candied popcorn! I've never made candied jalapenos before and am excited about doing them. The others are old standbys. I found some cute 1/2 pint jars with sealing lids that I think will work perfectly and I'll order printable waterproof labels and design cool labels for the jars!

Where did you find your jars? DH and I are hosting a holiday party for about 30 people and their spouses. I thought I might make some spiced pecans for each family and give them at the party in decorative jars. I've never made spiced pecans before so I'm hoping they're not too much work.

stefania4
10-19-2008, 12:16 PM
I'm doing my sister's baking and shipping it to her. While her husband is in Iraq and she's at home with 3 kids ages 6 and under, her neighbors have been amazing - babysitting, doing yardwork, etc. I'm shipping mini-poundcakes and cookies so that she can give homemade (just not her home!) thank-you gifts.

I'm thinking vanilla bean poundcakes, oatmeal butterscotch cookies, and gingersnaps will do it. Michael's craft store has 50% off coupons every week, so I should be able to get cute gift bags & ribbon. And of course Big Lots excels in that area.

As for gifts I'm giving, I'll probably do cranberry applesauce again. It just looks so festive, being that pretty, jewel-like red and I usually tie it with some gold ribbon and a sprig of holly.

LakeMartinGal
10-19-2008, 12:25 PM
You've got some great ideas! What is crockpot candy?

A friend of mine made this, and I couldn't stop eating it!:eek: So, I'll have to give it away...and maybe save a little for us!:o

CROCK POT CANDY

1 1/2 lbs. almond bark
1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 sq. chocolate, unsweetened
1 (24 oz.) can cocktail peanuts

Melt chocolate on high in crock pot. Let cool a little. Stir in nuts. Let cool some more and spoon on wax paper.

gigicancook
10-19-2008, 06:33 PM
I am making a few machine quilted purses for my friends. I also make aprons and embroider them or embelish them. I have made bath salts one year and have thought about making infused oils.

Check out JoAnn Fabric for containers, ribbons, and baskets for your items. They always have things on sale as well as coupons in the paper or on line.

I have a suggestion for the pizza kit: Use a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon and get round pizza pans. Use blue tack or something sticky to keep your items stuck to the pan. Sprinkle around some curly shredded paper and then wrap in clear cellaphane and tie with red, white, and green ribbon or a bow. You could make pasta kits with a strainer too. The Dollar Store might have some bowls to use for cake mix kits. Use a basket lined with a pretty napkin or cut piece of fabric for your favorite muffin or scone recipe.

Terri_A
10-19-2008, 07:23 PM
Where did you find your jars? DH and I are hosting a holiday party for about 30 people and their spouses. I thought I might make some spiced pecans for each family and give them at the party in decorative jars. I've never made spiced pecans before so I'm hoping they're not too much work.

I found the jars at Crate and Barrel.

erin elizabeth
10-20-2008, 07:20 AM
LakeMartinGal--could you post your pizza dough mix? I like the pizza kit idea a lot.

This year I made blueberry jam for the first time and it won 2nd prize at our local fair. So everyone is getting a jar of jam and some holiday muffin mix and maybe some cute paper muffin cups. I also usually bake big batches of cookies to give away. Not really sure what my whole plan is this year though. I always get good ideas off this BB :)

Hoodone
10-20-2008, 07:20 AM
I'm lacking time these days so I'm doing potted amaryllis bulbs this year. In the past I've just bought the kits from Home Depot, Target, etc., but this year I've ordered nicer bulbs on-line and will do something for the pots (haven't figured that part out yet). It's a bit like giving someone flowers, but there is the interactive part of watching them grow, then bloom. Plus afterwards it can be saved as a houseplant and should re-bloom for years to come. I'll be including instructions on how to keep an amaryllis.

So if anyone's short on time, this is an option to consider.

testkitchen45
10-20-2008, 07:52 AM
For those making goodies from the kitchen, this is a good recipe:


* Exported from MasterCook *

Pumpkin Butter (Slow-Cooker)

Recipe By :Sweet and tasty, with nice pumpkin flavor.
Serving Size : 24 Preparation Time :0:15

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
29 ounces pumpkin purée -- which is one large can
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 lemon -- juice only
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or apple pie spice)

Put all ingredients into the slow cooker (the 29-oz-pumpkin recipe can fit
into my small green cooker or my 4-quart red cooker). Stir with a spatula
until well mixed. Don't worry if there are some lumps in the sugar;
they'll melt into the pumpkin butter during cooking. Use the spatula to
scrape down the sides. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring
occasionally.

Remove lid and let cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour to
reach desired thickness. (Covering with a spatter screen is a good idea,
just in case.)

Turn slow cooker off and let cool to room temperature in the crock. Scrape
with a spatula into spring-top glass jars or into screw-tops with new
lids.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks or freeze for 3
months. (I've frozen mine for much longer.) Serve cold or at room temperature.

Description:
"An easy Christmas-gift idea, too."
Source:
"Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger, page 482"
S(Internet Address):
""
Yield:
"3 cups"
Start to Finish Time:
"4:00"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 77 Calories; trace Fat (1.1%
calories from fat); trace Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg
Cholesterol; 7mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Other
Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas : Good on bread, toast, English muffins, pancakes, and even yogurt.

NOTES : Don't be tempted to add more spices; they intensify during
the cooking time.

29-oz-pumpkin recipe is supposed to make 3 3/4 cups. I may
have let mine cook down a bit more; I didn't measure but
think I got 3 cups or a bit more. I've written the recipe
for 3 cups, with generous 2-tablespoon servings.

LakeMartinGal
10-20-2008, 08:25 AM
LakeMartinGal--could you post your pizza dough mix? I like the pizza kit idea a lot.
Here it is! I also like to add 1 T of garlic powder to the dough the night I make it for a pizza.

'Pizza Hut' Style Dough Mix

The secret ingredient here is baking powder. Extensive testing has revealed that baking powder plus yeast in a pizza dough yields a chewy, tender crust. Baking powder also produces a near-instant oven rise.

Each 3-cup batch makes 1 16-20 inch round pizza, or a 17 by 11 inch rectangle, or a variety of smaller, free form individual pizzas.

8 cups unbleached bread flour
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup stone ground cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salt (note: amount reported as too salty - maybe try 3 teaspoons or add to taste instead)
3 tablespoons baking powder

In a large bowl, whisk together bread flour, all purpose flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder very well. Store in well sealed plastic bags. Keeps 4 months. (I keep it in a large Tupperware container -- it NEVER lasts 4 months!;)

To make pizza dough for 16 to 20" pizza.
1 cup water
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fast-rise yeast (I use 2 tsp.- we like a thicker crust)
3 cups dough mix
2 tablespoons olive oil

To make pizza dough for 12 to 14" pizza:
2/3 cup water
2 tsp fast-rise yeast
2 cups dough mix
4 tsp. olive oil

If you like your pizza crisp, use the lesser amount of yeast. For a fluffier, breadier pizza, use the larger amount (and do not roll out too thin). Depending on the yeast you choose (i.e. brands differ in performance as do fast or active dry varieties), the fermentation may vary somewhat.

This dough can be kneaded by hand, in a mixer with a dough hook or in a bread machine (on dough cycle, following manufacturer instructions). For the mixer, place water in a bowl with yeast. Mix a moment and allow mixture to sit about five minutes, to allow yeast to expand. Add pizza mix and oil, then knead, until smooth and elastic on slow speed - about 5-7 minutes. Once dough is made, cover well with oiled plastic (or refrigerate) and allow to rest one hour. Deflate before proceeding. If you refrigerate, allow 1 hour for dough to come to room temperature before shaping.

Bake on a heated pizza stone at 425* for 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown, and cheese has melted.

erin elizabeth
10-20-2008, 09:18 AM
Thanks so much Kay!

LakeMartinGal
10-20-2008, 09:24 AM
Thanks so much Kay!
You are very welcome! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!:D

Gracie
10-20-2008, 10:10 AM
Kay - I love the idea of a mix that you can keep over time. I've given up on homemade dough because I can never plan that far ahead deciding when we are having pizza. So I stop into our favorite takeout pizza place and buy dough.

Have you ever tried to add some whole wheat?

lindrusso
10-20-2008, 11:19 AM
Homemade wine charms make a nice gift/stocking stuffer. A lot of wine charms on the market are either pricey or tacky. If you browse the jewelry section of the craft stores, you can usually find the wire parts of the charm and then you can pick whatever you like to go on them. I did a beach them with blue and green beads for my MIL one year and those are the only ones I ever got around to making! :o Maybe I'll make some for my mom this year.......

I'm contemplating doing this this year as well. Mostly because I'm tired of shopping off of everyone's lists - it's getting a bit boring and impersonal. With homemade, you can save a little money AND give something a bit more thoughtful. But me contemplating it and doing it are two VERY different things. :rolleyes:

Robyn1007
10-20-2008, 11:22 AM
November's CL has some ideas in it, including a mix for porcini risotto that looked really interesting. Too bad anyone I give to also gets CL so it wouldn't look so neat to them knowing where the idea came from. :o

LakeMartinGal
10-20-2008, 11:33 AM
Kay - I love the idea of a mix that you can keep over time. I've given up on homemade dough because I can never plan that far ahead deciding when we are having pizza. So I stop into our favorite takeout pizza place and buy dough.

Have you ever tried to add some whole wheat?I haven't, yet... DH is not a fan, but I might sneak some in there next time, to replace a little of the AP flour!;)


With homemade, you can save a little money AND give something a bit more thoughtful. But me contemplating it and doing it are two VERY different things. :rolleyes:I hear that! Trying to find the time is what's getting me! Cross stitching does take time, so I've really got to start NOW!

I forgot to add that DH is making pen/pencil sets from Corian. He found the directions and findings on the web, and ordered the Corian blanks! They will really be unique!

jjsooner73
10-20-2008, 12:05 PM
Eating Well has a section on homemade gifts.

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/collections/healthy_holiday_gift_recipes.html

jjsooner73
10-20-2008, 12:12 PM
I LOVE these burnt sugar lollipops from Eating Well! Click on picture for the recipe.

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/img/recipe_images/DS4584.JPG (http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/burnt_sugar_lollipops.html)

helene
10-20-2008, 01:42 PM
Since I have to post my gifts (Family is in Quebec) I decided:

-to make bags (they still use plastic)

-send Gifts Cards like Tim Horton's, Starbucks

-send good Coffee Beans from this area

-Collector Pins for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Games

-I also included small aprons for my young nieces and some makeup.

That's about it for this year.

CookinginMO/KS
10-20-2008, 07:45 PM
Kay - I hate to ask a stupid question, but I've always been intimidated by homemade pizza dough and would love to try mix. When you say "Deflate before proceeding" does that mean to punch the dough again and then roll it out? Thanks for sharing!

jessicacoy
10-20-2008, 08:49 PM
I love all these ideas!!! I am going to try and get one present for everyone on my list this year (instead of the 3-4 we usually do) and then supplement with homemade goodies including:

homemade vanilla extract....it's "brewing" now and I got some cute little dark glass bottles to put it in

home roasted coffee beans, I even bought some decaf ones to do for the decaf drinkers in the family

assorted jars of things I have canned this summer (I wasn't going to do this because, for some reason, it seemed like a lame present, but relatives keep asking if they are going to get some for Christmas, so I guess they want it?!?) apple butter, caramel pear butter, bread and butter pickles, etc.

that is all I have come up with so far. i am not really "crafty" but hoping to do a couple sewn items (toy animals) for my kids. we'll see if I get that done though. projects in the kitchen are so much more fun to me!

Jessica

Eatwell
10-21-2008, 06:03 AM
Jessica-

do you mind posting the recipe you used for your caramel pear butter? That sounds so delicious!

Spotted Pony
10-21-2008, 06:35 AM
I second the request for the carmel pear butter. Could you substitute apples?

I made apple butter for the first time this weekend. It's really easy, but it sure made a splatter-y mess while it was cooking down on the stove! I canned it in cute little jelly jars.

heavy hedonist
10-21-2008, 08:24 AM
I second the request for the carmel pear butter. Could you substitute apples?

I made apple butter for the first time this weekend. It's really easy, but it sure made a splatter-y mess while it was cooking down on the stove! I canned it in cute little jelly jars.

slowcookers make it easier, and neater!

Kyra
10-21-2008, 08:40 AM
I'm not Kay, but I am guessing that "deflate before proceeding" in her pizza dough recipe does mean to punch the dough down before rolling it out.

Jessica, I am also shamelessly begging for the caramel pear butter recipe, please. I know some pears that would love to sacrifice themselves to the cause of caramel pear butter. Thank you!

LakeMartinGal
10-21-2008, 10:54 AM
Kay - I hate to ask a stupid question, but I've always been intimidated by homemade pizza dough and would love to try mix. When you say "Deflate before proceeding" does that mean to punch the dough again and then roll it out? Thanks for sharing!


I'm not Kay, but I am guessing that "deflate before proceeding" in her pizza dough recipe does mean to punch the dough down before rolling it out.
Yes, that's exactly what it means. I use a bread machine to make my dough, and the final minute of the cycle is the paddle deflating the dough.:)

jessicacoy
10-21-2008, 01:10 PM
Here is the much requested caramel pear butter recipe. It is from the October 2008 BA magazine. I think I made just about everything from the article (something about preserving) but this was my favorite. And it was really easy. And, yes, I think you could substitute apples if you wanted a caramel apple butter.

Caramel-Pear Butter
Makes about eight 1/2-pint jars
Recipe by Jill Silverman Hough

Ingredients
1/4 cup apple juice
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
7 pounds ripe Bartlett pears
3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Preparation
Combine apple juice and 4 tablespoons lemon juice in heavy large deep pot. Peel, core, and cut pears, 1 at a time, into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces; mix pears into juice mixture in pot as soon as pears are cut, to prevent browning. Cook over medium heat until pears release enough juice for mixture to boil, stirring frequently, about 16 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pears are very tender, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes (mixture will splatter). Remove pot from heat. Press pear mixture through fine plate of food mill into large bowl. Return pear puree to same pot. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until pear butter thickens and is reduced to 8 cups, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent scorching, about 1 hour.
Ladle pear butter into 8 hot clean 1/2-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at top of jars. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Cool completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.

CLustik
10-21-2008, 01:11 PM
Hoodone, do you have directions already for how to plant and care for an amaryllis? I really like that idea.

Laurielee
10-21-2008, 01:22 PM
I am thinking of doing breakfast baskets

here are my ideas so far, wont be all of these, I will have to pick a few.

muffins or mini breads
homemade pancake mix
homemade hot chocolate
homemade granola
coffee/tea
marshmellows, (After reading Ltjrs post though, I may skip)
Testkitchens pumpkin butter

Laurie

LakeMartinGal
10-21-2008, 01:59 PM
I'd love to do the breakfast basket idea, but most of my gifts have to be mailed 'cross country, so I'll have to stick to non-perishables. Cookies will be ok, though I think, don't you?

I'm having some problems finding tins that are not already decorated, as DD wants that to be her part of the gifts...

How far ahead do you have to make the vanilla extract?

Laurielee
10-21-2008, 03:00 PM
I'd love to do the breakfast basket idea, but most of my gifts have to be mailed 'cross country, so I'll have to stick to non-perishables. Cookies will be ok, though I think, don't you?

I have to mail mine too and in the past I have frozen the muffins/ breads and pulled out of the freezer right before I shipped them.

This time I thinking of leaving them out and just doing the pancake mix and granola.

I have also frozen cookies but think the breads held up better shipping

Laurie

sugaree
10-21-2008, 03:16 PM
How about biscotti instead of cookies? They keep forever and go great with coffee. There are several threads on this BB about biscotti, but the double chocolate walnut ones are my favorite.


DOUBLE CHOCOLATE WALNUT BISCOTTI

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter -- (6 tablespoons) softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup walnuts -- chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a large baking sheet.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined well. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Bake logs 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.

On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack. Biscotti keep in airtight containers 1 week and frozen, 1 month.

Makes about 30 biscotti.

Gourmet
December 1994

Laurielee
10-21-2008, 03:22 PM
sugaree, biscotti is an exellant idea!

Laurie

LakeMartinGal
10-21-2008, 03:23 PM
Biscotti are definitely going in our package, along with the Lite Truffles, pizza kit and some other things!

TKay
10-21-2008, 03:37 PM
Ooh, ooh, ooh! Is it time for spiced nuts yet?

testkitchen45
10-21-2008, 06:09 PM
I am thinking of doing breakfast baskets

here are my ideas so far, wont be all of these, I will have to pick a few.

muffins or mini breads
homemade pancake mix
homemade hot chocolate
homemade granola
coffee/tea
marshmellows, (After reading Ltjrs post though, I may skip)
Testkitchens pumpkin butter

Laurie

So glad you're considering the pumpkin butter! :) I like the fact that it's freezable, so you don't have to make it in a busy mid-December. Enjoy!

sha
10-21-2008, 06:56 PM
for those doing flavored vinegars, could you post recipes? how long does it need to "brew"? also, where are you getting your bottles for it?

we were planning to do homemade vanilla extract this year but haven't been able to start anything so we know it's too late now. i wonder if flavored vinegars might be doable?

Sheila in MD
10-22-2008, 07:09 AM
I'm having some problems finding tins that are not already decorated, as DD wants that to be her part of the gifts...

For an unconventional yet fun tin...Home Depot sells brand new paint cans that are easy to decorate with paint pens! They have the small size and the larger one (I think quart and gallon) and they are pretty cheap. The quart size is fun for candies, spiced nuts etc. I usually package cookies for a tin in little snack sized zip locks as I don't like to mix textures and you can just put them in the can. They are in the paint department-they don't have them on line. They are silver colored.

Sheila in MD

LakeMartinGal
10-22-2008, 07:43 AM
I have a suggestion for the pizza kit: Use a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon and get round pizza pans. Use blue tack or something sticky to keep your items stuck to the pan. Sprinkle around some curly shredded paper and then wrap in clear cellaphane and tie with red, white, and green ribbon or a bow. You could make pasta kits with a strainer too. The Dollar Store might have some bowls to use for cake mix kits. Use a basket lined with a pretty napkin or cut piece of fabric for your favorite muffin or scone recipe.I found some pizza stones online (http://www.webstaurantstore.com/american-metalcraft-stone15-15-round-ceramic-pizza-baking-stone/124STONE15.html) for under $12, including shipping, so I've bought those to use with your suggestions on packaging! Thanks!:D

testkitchen45
10-22-2008, 08:01 AM
For an unconventional yet fun tin...Home Depot sells brand new paint cans that are easy to decorate with paint pens! They have the small size and the larger one (I think quart and gallon) and they are pretty cheap. The quart size is fun for candies, spiced nuts etc. I usually package cookies for a tin in little snack sized zip locks as I don't like to mix textures and you can just put them in the can. They are in the paint department-they don't have them on line. They are silver colored.

Sheila in MD

I think this sounds like a great idea, but I'd be sure to line the cans with a plastic bag. I'm sure the cans are not food-safe. You could get some small clear bags to keep your food protected in the (cute) can. :) I know you're separating your cookies with bags, but I wouldn't put candies or nuts directly into the can w/o a liner.

LakeMartinGal
10-22-2008, 08:19 AM
For an unconventional yet fun tin...Home Depot sells brand new paint cans that are easy to decorate with paint pens! They have the small size and the larger one (I think quart and gallon) and they are pretty cheap. The quart size is fun for candies, spiced nuts etc. I usually package cookies for a tin in little snack sized zip locks as I don't like to mix textures and you can just put them in the can. They are in the paint department-they don't have them on line. They are silver colored.

Sheila in MD
What a great idea! I'll run that by DD, with TK's caveat in mind! Thanks, guys!:D

JJeannette
10-22-2008, 10:49 AM
http://www.specialtybottle.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=25

http://www.independentcan.com/category.php?id=1&type=2

the first site has unpainted tin containers; the second has unpainted and solid colored cookie tins--

Sheila in MD
10-23-2008, 06:35 AM
You could get some small clear bags to keep your food protected in the (cute) can. :) I know you're separating your cookies with bags, but I wouldn't put candies or nuts directly into the can w/o a liner.

Not sure how this is different then putting cookies in plastic bags first and then putting in the can...they do not touch the can and to be honest-a brand new paint can is no different then a brand new cookie tin....

Sheila in MD

testkitchen45
10-23-2008, 06:41 AM
Not sure how this is different then putting cookies in plastic bags first and then putting in the can...they do not touch the can and to be honest-a brand new paint can is no different then a brand new cookie tin....

Sheila in MD

Good point. :) I had the impression that if someone didn't see the need to separate varieties of cookies, candies, or whatever, as you're doing, then she'd go ahead & put cookies directly into the tin, & I'm just not sure that's a good idea even with the cute tins, so just to be safe I'd want to line it with something. But you're probably right that the metal in paint cans is the same thing as the metal in cute tins. I'm probably being influenced by knowing of all the chemicals in paint, which of course aren't in the tin itself anyway. ;)

LakeMartinGal
10-23-2008, 10:56 AM
Thanks for the ideas, ladies. The Specialty Bottle tins are really small, so I'm not sure they'll work, and the Independent Can tins have to be ordered in case lots. Hmmm. The paint cans were ~$3 for the quart, and ~$5 for the gallon. DD didn't think that was as good as a tin, so I'm going to keep looking!:)

Sheila in MD
10-23-2008, 12:24 PM
The paint cans were ~$3 for the quart, and ~$5 for the gallon. DD didn't think that was as good as a tin, so I'm going to keep looking!:)

Wow..they have gone up since I last bought them but then again...what hasn't gone up in price?:(

Try http://e-cookietins.com/

Sheila in MD

sugaree
10-23-2008, 01:17 PM
Ooh, ooh, ooh! Is it time for spiced nuts yet?

Yes, absolutely. I've only ever done spiced pecans - I'd love to hear some other ideas and recipes.

LakeMartinGal
10-23-2008, 04:32 PM
Well, I caved and bought pre-decorated tins at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 price! They're a little smaller than I would have liked, but they'll do, and maybe we'll have some of the cookies left over for us!;) Now, to figure out who gets the pizza kits, and who gets those plus cookies, and who just gets cookies, and which ones... Oh, and I've got to cross-stitch 3 sweatshirts before December 15th, too!:eek:

I loved the look of Joe's cranberry jellies for one of the tins...

Beth
10-23-2008, 10:22 PM
we were planning to do homemade vanilla extract this year but haven't been able to start anything so we know it's too late now. i wonder if flavored vinegars might be doable?

It's not too late. You've got two months yet and a month will do. Longer just keeps getting better, but I also figure that most folks won't start using a bottle of vanilla as soon as they get one they weren't planning on or buying themselves. If they use the stuff often, they probably have an open bottle to use up first.

All you need to do is get your beans and get them into the vodka, brandy or whatever and let them brew while you get your bottles and labels ready. If you order some beans online, you'll likely have them in a few days since they can ship first class or priority mail. So what's your excuse now? ;) :p

granolagirl
10-24-2008, 12:03 PM
In the past I've done homemade hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. :) Big hits!

jessicacoy
10-24-2008, 02:32 PM
For an unconventional yet fun tin...Home Depot sells brand new paint cans that are easy to decorate with paint pens! They have the small size and the larger one (I think quart and gallon) and they are pretty cheap. The quart size is fun for candies, spiced nuts etc. I usually package cookies for a tin in little snack sized zip locks as I don't like to mix textures and you can just put them in the can. They are in the paint department-they don't have them on line. They are silver colored.

Sheila in MD

Thanks for the tip! I had been looking for some paint cans to decorate to store my kiddos art supplies....markers, stickers, scissors, etc. They had this at a children's museum art room when we were on vacation, but our craft store has been out of the empties forever. I am totally going to Home Depot next week!

Thanks!!!!

jessicacoy
10-24-2008, 02:35 PM
It's not too late. You've got two months yet and a month will do. Longer just keeps getting better, but I also figure that most folks won't start using a bottle of vanilla as soon as they get one they weren't planning on or buying themselves. If they use the stuff often, they probably have an open bottle to use up first.

All you need to do is get your beans and get them into the vodka, brandy or whatever and let them brew while you get your bottles and labels ready. If you order some beans online, you'll likely have them in a few days since they can ship first class or priority mail. So what's your excuse now? ;) :p

And if you split open a bean or 2 it will infuse faster too....

Beth
10-24-2008, 04:35 PM
Oh yes. I always split the beans, and I cap the bottle and give it a good shaking too. I like the seeds in the extract as well as the jump start. :)

2HUNGRY!
10-28-2008, 08:36 AM
This thread has gotten me thinking. I have tons of sage in my garden so I was thinking of making pumpkin gnocchi and some sage compound butter (maybe with roasted garlic in it?). I could freeze it all and then give it with a blockbuster gift card, i.e. dinner and a movie.

I was also thinking of making hot cocoa mix for out of state relatives. If I were to attempt marshmallows how long do they last?

KGL
10-28-2008, 08:55 AM
Dear Sugaree,
I wanted to thank you for posting the wonderful recipe for the Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti. They're absolutely delicious and will be our holiday gift this year. My daughter needs to have gifts for 30 people at work so this will be an inexpensive, yummy gift that won't spoil. I made them on Sunday and there's only 1 left!
For all those looking for a great food gift, this is one we like to use. BTW, the Mom" in the recipe is me; I've made a cookbook for my daughters so my notes are sprinkled throughout the recipe in red (not sure the red will show in this post).

English Toffee
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen/The Food Network and adapted by Mom
Mom’s notes are in red. *This recipe is really outrageous. It makes a WOW Christmas gift.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: about 40 pieces

14 tablespoons (1 stick, plus 6 tablespoons) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 chopped pecans (This can also be done with chopped peanuts. It works but pecans are the best)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dash salt
1 (6-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips or thin chocolate bars

Generously butter a cookie sheet.
Put butter, sugar, and water in a heavy pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a bubbling boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.

Remove spoon from pan, and cook to a very brittle stage (300 degrees to 310 degrees F on a candy thermometer). *I cook about 8-10 min. or until it turns a light to med. caramel color Or, make a cold water test: candy will separate into hard, brittle threads when dropped in cold water. Remove from heat and add nuts to mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Pour onto prepared cookie sheet and spread to 1/4-inch thickness. Cool slightly, top with chocolate chips or chocolate bars, and spread as it melts. Cool completely and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Episode#: PA0910
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

Thanks again sugaree!
Karen

granolagirl
12-10-2008, 09:22 AM
bump for last minute types like myself. ;)