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maggiethecat

"Artisanal" Holiday Presents

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Katie!

Your very name brought to mind simething we made last Christmas that got good reviews: Limoncello!  Time to start a batch.

Maggie:

I was just thinking that it's time for me to start the holiday batch soon! Great minds think alike! My car is in the shop until probably tomorrow afternoon or Saturday AM at the latest. I need to go hit the store and get some more 100 proof vodka to start it with and another 1.75 Liter bottle of Denaka to finish it with over the weekend. :smile:

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Barbque sauce, mac nut toffee, mac nut brittle, coconut macaroons, gingerbread people. The sauce has always been a big hit, as everyone I know loves to grill.

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Last year I made a big batch of granola/muesli and boxed it up in noodle boxes as presents. I got rave reviews for that. People thought is was a nice sensible thing to get during the holidays that was healthy. I really only gave people about enough for 1 or 2 servings. I loved the noodle boxes!

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Katie!

Your very name brought to mind something we made last Christmas that got good reviews: Limoncello!  Time to start a batch.

I was thinking the very same thing this morning.

Any recommendations for online sources of clear bottles (maybe 500ml)? Or even popcorn tins if we decide to do caramel corn. Googling brings up a few but I have no experience ordering from these folks.

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Cost Plus has a good selection of clear bottles that I use for limoncello and other infusion fun. Not sure if they have the selection on line, but they're all over the place.

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Katie!

Your very name brought to mind something we made last Christmas that got good reviews: Limoncello!  Time to start a batch.

I was thinking the very same thing this morning.

Any recommendations for online sources of clear bottles (maybe 500ml)? Or even popcorn tins if we decide to do caramel corn. Googling brings up a few but I have no experience ordering from these folks.

The Specialty Bottle folks are reliable and have good prices. No minimum on orders. In addition to that the My Own Labels site is great! You can design your labels using one of their many, many templates. Lots of designs, shapes, sticker labels, and hang tags. Very cool. :cool::biggrin:

This is what I do with some of the Tabasco peppers I grow every year. The red sauce has been aged for three years (an ongoing project), but the vinegar sprinkle is fresh peppers. Labels and bottle (larger bottle on left -- also use the smaller size of same style but this photo happens to be red sauce in a recycled hot sauce bottle) are from above sources. Red is so good for the holidays. :raz:

gallery_12550_103_1098898049.jpg

Also, (both artisanally grown and made :rolleyes: ) Back Fence Grape Jelly, Peach Butter, Wild Persimmon Jammy, Red Jalapeno Jelly, pickled peppers, hot pickled okra, and herb bouquets (rosemary/cinnamon basil/lemon/lavendar/ thyme) from the gardens.

Rosemary Shortbread is also a favorite of mine to do. And the girls love to help do candies for the relatives out of state in CA and LA -- fudge, chocolate truffles rolled in toasted crushed nuts, whatever else new we want to try. Haven't decided on the third entry this year. Tie up in individual colored cellopane puffs with a few pieces of candy in each packet (so each kid and the adults get their own) tie with pretty ribbons and pack in tins to mail.

Always breads. I've also done the make a mix to give things with instructions -- a big hit was cinnamon/ginger pancake mix with a jar of my artisanal (does a bell go off somewhere? :raz: ) apple syrup. Also muffin mixes are great to do.

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Last year we made limoncello and dry rubs. We made one dry rub cajun and one all purpose. We put the dry rubs in baby food jars with painted lids and paper labels. We are getting requests for mere this year! It was fun.

I like the lavender cookie idea alot!

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If you are looking for bottles for limoncello -

Here is a link for Bader Brew and Wine. I am sure I posted the link improperly but I will work on learning how to do it better.

I used the clear bottles - about 5 down on this page - they are VERY cute with a nice design and they were very reasonable on the cost of the bottle and shipping.

They package them VERY well and they arrived in great shape. Don't forget to get extra washers - they are the next pic down.

Good luck.

Cheers ~ Della

http://webtrolley.org/mivastore/merchant.m...egory_Code=1072

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maggiethecat Posted Yesterday, 08:39 PM

  Katie!

Your very name brought to mind something we made last Christmas that got good reviews: Limoncello! Time to start a batch.

I came to this thread all set to mention this, and y'all have beaten me to it. :smile: I'm making infused pepper vodka (jalapenos plus a little bit of roasted red bell for sweetness) this year...all my friends are bloody mary fanatics.

Lots of good ideas on this thread!

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lyz, do a search at the top! There are several threads on this, I think.

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In the past, I have made lemoncello, cranberry and pumpkin breads, always cookie trays, truffles, pretzels filled with caramel then dipped in chocolate and covered with nuts.

This is the recipe I use for spiced nuts.

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maggiethecat Posted Yesterday, 08:39 PM

  Katie!

I'm making infused pepper vodka (jalapenos plus a little bit of roasted red bell for sweetness) this year...all my friends are bloody mary fanatics.

This ia a really great idea! I'll throw a can of V8 or Clamato into the gift basket with it.

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Previously, I've made truffles, caramels, and flavored hot chocolates (mocha, chile, cinnamon).

This year I'm thinking about making individual sized Jamaican black cakes (need to get the fruits in the rum NOW!); and possibly some other things.... chocolate sparkle cookies, shortbreads, maybe granola. I bet I could make some killer ginger granola. Yum.

Thanks for the links to the bottle and label websites - those are great!

Oh, previously I've made small batches of red chile sauce to give to people, but one of those times by the time the person opened the jar the contents had fermented and nearly exploded. :shock: Perhaps I need to actually "can" them, meaning sterilize everything? Ooops. :unsure:

Andrea

http://tenacity.net

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Homemade onion relish, cranberry, dried cherry and clove sauce, pickled green beans, Indian spiced pickled cauliflower, and pear/sour cherry chutney. I have been cleaning my canning kettle and rounding up jars this week.

Cookies - about ten kinds plus some quick breads.

Martha's Dowager Duchess Fruitcake. Mini loaves. Best fruitcake ever.

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Thought I'd post an update as to what I actually did for people. (Yes, we give gifts at Thanksgiving in my family...)

The adults got:

the infamous Jaymes caramel popcorn in blue and white striped tins

my signature candied almonds: plain, chocolate-and-powdered sugared, and chocolate-and-cocoaed, layered in a cellophane bag with a pretty tie and stuffed into a pretty plastic box

a mustard dressing, for salads or for smearing on fish or chicken

lavender sugar, for coffee or tea or sprinkling on cookies or using in whipped cream

My grandparents got chili popcorn too since my grandfather is diabetic and couldn't eat the sugary things.

The kids got just the first two items.

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The adults got:

the infamous Jaymes caramel popcorn in blue and white striped tins

Is there any way I can get my paws on this recipe? I would be most grateful...

And thoughts of candied almonds have me fantasizing about all that marzipan I made a couple of years back. Four kinds; plain, pistachio, chocolate, cherry- all cut into thin, flat, one inch squares and placed in a single layer into clear boxes. Very pretty, and it freezes and ships well.

This year, I'm making chocolates again, but I'm going with the recipients' favorites. So, for example, A will get a dozen peanut butter cups, B will get stack of thin mints, C will get dark chocolate cashew turtles, Mom like Almond Joy bars so I'm making my own and using Valrhona dark since she prefers dark anyway, and sisters love marzipan but this year they'll be getting their second favorite: candied orange peel dipped in dark.

I make these because chocolate is the single ingredient that I can keep around in huge quantities. I love it, but it doesn't keep me up at night or anything like that.

Baked goods, forget about it.

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Anyone willing to part with their recipes for chutneys, dips and jellies? I haven't really ventured out into that territory when it comes to holiday gift giving, so I'd appreciate a little help! Especially if you have any ideas for the quart jars - I inherited literally hundreds from my mother-in-law when she moved and I was too busy this summer to do any canning or preserving!

As for what I'm making, here's the list (if anyone wants recipes, just let me know).

- Truffles (My mum owns a chocolate factory, so it's easy to get my hands on cheap chocolate... I just pop over and mess up the kitchen at the factory!)

- Scottish Shortbread (Famous family recipe), with some dipped in chocolate

- Peppermint marshmellows with hot chocolate mix

- Stollen (a German Christmas sweet bread), sliced and put into clear bags and tied with a bow

- Cookie decorating kits (with sprinkles, icings... and the cookies already baked) for my nieces and nephews (my sisters will love me!)

I might make more, it just depends on the amount of overtime I put in until Christmas! :raz:

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Megaroo, could you elaborate on the peppermint marshmallows?!? Sounds like that would be a great gift along with some hot chocolate mix...do you make that as well? Tell! Tell! Please? :raz:

Curlz

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Megaroo, could you elaborate on the peppermint marshmallows?!?  Sounds like that would be a great gift along with some hot chocolate mix...do you make that as well?  Tell!  Tell!  Please?  :raz:

Curlz

Here is the ongoing thread on egullet, including marblelized ones:

Egullet Thread on Homemade Marshmallows

And here is the link to the recipe on recipegullet--it includes vanilla and chocolate variations:

Strawberry Marshmallows

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Megaroo, could you elaborate on the peppermint marshmallows?!?  Sounds like that would be a great gift along with some hot chocolate mix...do you make that as well?  Tell!  Tell!  Please?  :raz:

Curlz

The recipe for peppermint marshmellows is actually found in this month's Martha Stewart Living (a guilty pleasure of mine :biggrin: )... as for the hot chocolate mix - I haven't made it in several years, so I'm frantically searching for it everyday in the recipes scattered about my apartment (I will get organized... some day). So for now, I might actually just buy some cocoa mixes. However, I will try and hunt down the old recipe I used to use. :hmmm:

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Anyone willing to part with their recipes for chutneys, dips and jellies?  I haven't really ventured out into that territory when it comes to holiday gift giving, so I'd appreciate a little help!  Especially if you have any ideas for the quart jars - I inherited literally hundreds from my mother-in-law when she moved and I was too busy this summer to do any canning or preserving!

Megaroo, spiced pears are beautiful -- and delicious in quart jars. I'll have to rummage through my handwritten sheets to find my recipe. I'll try to post in a day or so. Also a couple of pear conserve/chutney/chow chow recipes in that bunch. A friend gave me about 40 lbs of pears one week several years ago and I had to think fast! :biggrin: So I have a few ideas floating around on paper that worked out very well.

These are a bit outside what you're asking for but other good options for quart jars -- not everything is good in quarts -- are hot, sweet or spiced pickled peppers and and other vegs such as cauliflower with red pepper in curry mix, or whole red jalapenoes with pearl onions and garlic. Also green olives with a sliced red jalapeno/pearl onion mix in vinegar and EVOO is pretty and tasty.

Chutney and jelly can be OK :hmmm: in large jars such as quarts but it's not the best way to pack it. Jelly especially just doesn't set as well in that large a volume.

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