Everyone loves receiving a homemade gift, especially when it's something you can eat! Here are some easy holiday gift ideas that are simple to make and will please everyone on your gift list.
Holiday Trail Mix
Combine honey roasted nuts, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, and Gourmet Kettle corn in a fancy container wrapped with ribbon.
Mini Lemon Tarts with Raspberries
Makes 15 tarts
15 mini phyllo tart shells
½ Jar of lemon curd
Arrange tart shells and fill with a spoonful of lemon curd. Top with raspberries and garnish with mint leaves. Place tarts in a festive holiday tin.
Oven Roasted Spiced Nuts
2 egg whites lightly beaten (or 1/2 cup liquid egg white)
2 Tablespoons of water
6 cups Shelled walnuts or Pecan halves
1 cup Meijer sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground McCormick cinnamon
1 tsp. ground McCormick cloves
1 tsp. ground McCormick nutmeg
1 tsp. McCormick Chinese 5-spice powder
1. Preheat conventional oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment baking paper or use a silicone baking sheet.
3. In a bowl beat egg white, mix in water, and add nuts. In a separate bowl whisk together well all spices and sugar. Add spice-sugar mix to nut mix.
4. Mix well and spread onto cookie sheet. Place in the middle rack of oven – bake for 30 minutes (no longer) until mostly dry, stir every 10 minutes (this is important to avoid burning). Watch closely at end of baking time to avoid burning.
5. Allow to cool completely before storing. Do not refrigerate. Seal tightly in a zipper lock bag or an air-tight sealed container. Makes 24 -- 1/4 cup portions.
Homemade Hot Chocolate
4-5 tsp. unsweetened powdered cocoa
4 Tablespoon sugar (or sugar substitute if preferred—refer to package for sugar substitution proportions)
1/8 tsp. Meijer salt
1/8 tsp. McCormick ground cinnamon
2 cups milk (or plain soy milk)
1/2 tsp. McCormick pure vanilla extract
1. Mix sugar, cocoa & salt in a large mug.
2. Heat milk on the stovetop or in a microwave, until hot. Gradually add the milk to cocoa mixture; stirring well. Stir in vanilla and enjoy.
3. Top with marshmallows or whipped topping if desired. A cinnamon candy stick or peppermint candy cane makes a festive stirrer!
Fido's Fabulous People Biscuits
1/4 cup warm water
8 chicken or beef bouillon cubes
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp. Meijer sugar
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups wheat germ
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pour warm water in a large bowl, add the sugar and yeast and let stand for about 5 minutes. Add bouillon cubes, crushing them as you stir them in.
2. Add tomato juice, 1 cup all-purpose flour and wheat germ, stirring until you form a thin paste. Add remaining flour and work together into a thick dough using hands.
3. Sprinkle flour onto a pastry or cutting board. Take a "couple handfuls" of dough and work into a small ball shape. Use a rolling pin to flatten dough to about 1/4" thickness. (If dough is sticky, add a little more flour.) Using a table knife or sturdy cookie cutters, cut dough into people shapes (or whatever shape you desire). Repeat this process with remaining dough.
4. Use a spatula to transfer biscuits from cutting board to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour. Afterwards, let them dry in turned-off oven (or at room temperature) for about four hours.
Maranda teams up with E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety for some holiday advice.
The Sparkle Celebration is a holiday networking and shopping event to celebrate women entrepreneurs, and the latest evolution of GROW. See photos from the celebration here!
Did you know the Kostume Room is a wig bank for the American Cancer Society? They offer free wigs to anyone undergoing chemo or radiation. Gayle Vaartjes is the owner of the Kostume Room and came up with the idea after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. She was looking for a way to give back.