Monday, November 5, 2007

Made with Love

Dawn is hosting a Loveliness of Handmade Gifts fair over at her blog, By Sun and Candlelight! I am so excited and really looking forward to seeing everyones ideas and submissions!

What perfect timing! Since we now have our All Saints Party behind us, it is time to start planning for the Christmas season. The kids and I were just talking about what we could make to give as Christmas gifts this year. Last year they all made their own ornaments. They had so much fun doing so, that when asked, the votes were unanimous, they would like to make ornaments, once again.

So our search began and, just like last year, I ended up letting each child choose their own ornament kit to make. I know there are many of you out there that can come up with these little crafts on your own, but I'm just not creative enough! And with 5 little ones, it is so nice to have all the supplies arrive together, this saves me so much time and makes the craft oh so much easier. It looks like, this year, our assortment of ornaments will include: Baby Jesus, a Nativity, a "Colors of Faith" Snowflake, and the Legend of the Snowflake! The kids usually make ornaments for their Grandparents, Godparents, Aunt & Uncles and a few family friends.

In addition to making ornaments, we love to make some sort of edible treat for our friends as well! A couple years ago the kids and I made Saint Nicholas Cocoa to give away. The kids especially loved smashing up the peppermint candy! We packaged the mix in Mason jars with decorated lids. With red and white ribbon, we attached candy canes to be used to stir the cocoa mix. It was so much fun and a perfect Christmas morning treat!
Saint Nicholas Cocoa Mix
8 cups powdered milk
1 (16-ounce) package instant cocoa
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
10-ounces powdered non-dairy creamer
8-ounces miniature marshmallows
6-ounces finely crushed peppermint candy
  1. Combine powdered milk, cocoa, powdered sugar, creamer, marshmallows and peppermint candy; mix well. Store in an airtight container.

RECIPE TO ATTACH:
For each serving, mix 1/3 to 1/2 cup of mix with 1 cup boiling water; mix well with candy cane. ENJOY!!

Last year, instead of making another jar mix, I purchased a number of small batter bowls (since I am a Pampered Chef Consultant) and the kids and I filled them with either Celebration Cookie Mix or Batter Bowl Brownie Mix. We then tied the directions, along with a bamboo spoon, to the handle. These looked really cool! I wish I had a photo to share, but this was pre-blog days ;) I do have the flier with the recipes, if anyone wants it, I can email it.


There is a sweet older woman at church who has been spoiling me the last few Sundays with her DELICIOUS biscotti. She bakes it weekly to sell at a local growers market. This last Sunday she sent me home with a bag full of at least 10 different kinds! It looks lovely, and tastes even better.. It has inspired me and although I have never made biscotti myself, I am going to give it a shot and try making this recipe to give as gifts this year. I think I will dip them in Chocolate, top them with Coconut and Pecans, and then wrap them up and place them in a pretty coffee mug with a packet of cappuchino. There's nothing better than a hot cup of joe and a crispy biscotti. Unless, of course, you're enjoying them at a cafe in Italy! Right?!


Anyways, these are a few of our ideas. They are not the most elaborate gifts, but they are made with much love and that is the important thing! As Mother Teresa said:

It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. That makes our offering something beautiful for God.

6 comments:

  1. Loved your blog-- and will try the biscotti recipe! 12 kids! I'm from a family of 11! Where did you grow up?
    Ana

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  2. Thank you so much for that cocoa recipe! I had that on my list to search for and now I don't have to:) Could you e-mail the recipes for the brownie mix, pretty please? Thank you!

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  3. Hi Ana! Thanks for visiting!! That is great that you are from a big family as well! Isn't it wonderful? I grew up in CA & OR, how about you?

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  4. Here is the recipe for Celebration Cookie Mix for anyone else who would like it!

    Celebration Cookie Mix
    A great gift for teachers and co-workers! Cranberries, chocolate morsels and
    pecans look lovely when layered in our Small Batter Bowl.
    ½ cup granulated sugar
    ¾ cup sweetened
    dried cranberries
    ½ cup white or semi-sweet
    chocolate morsels
    ¾ cup packed brown sugar
    1½ cups all-purpose flour
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
    ½ cup pecan or walnut halves,
    coarsely chopped
    In Small Batter Bowl, layer ingredients as follows, gently patting each
    layer before adding the next ingredient: granulated sugar, cranberries,
    chocolate morsels, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt,
    oats and pecans. Cover with lid. Attach the gift tag and give it as a gift.

    Attach these directions:

    Celebration Cookies

    ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter or margarine, softened
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 recipe Celebration Cookie Mix
    Preheat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine butter, eggs and vanilla; mix
    until well blended. Add cookie mix to butter mixture; mix until well blended.
    Using Medium Scoop, drop 12 level scoops of dough (about 2 tablespoons),
    2 inches apart, onto Rectangle Stone. Flatten dough slightly using back of
    scoop. Bake 13-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes;
    remove to cooling rack.
    Yield: 3 dozen cookies
    Nutrients per serving (1 cookie): Calories 120, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 3 g,
    Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 16 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 85 mg, Fiber less than 1 g
    ©The Pampered Chef, Ltd., 2007 3061-10/07

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  5. The warmest of greetings to you and your lovely family :)

    Thank you for the wonderful cocoa recipe. What a fun idea to add to our celebration.

    Blessed you are :)

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