not so healthy holiday food ideas.

while reminiscing about past holiday craft projects, a couple of you reminded me about food gifts.  i thought it a great idea to look back and to also give you all some tried and true ideas.

first up.  if you are having guests stay at your house and want something special but super easy to make for breakfast this is for you.  between the husband and my out of state cousins this was a huge hit.

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here is the recipe.  i added pecans to the bottom of the pan for a little crunch.  i love recipes that look and taste like the were “work” but, in fact, are simple with little ingredients and minimal effort.

for christmas food gifts i love themes.  one year i bought (in bulk to save money) bread dishes.  the gift was baked banana nut bread in their dishes that the gift recipient got to keep.  i wrapped the bread with cellophane and scrapbook paper with personalized tag.

another year i made homemade marshmallows.  these are super easy and completely worth the extra time in the kitchen.  store bought marshmallows won’t be the same after you try your hand at homemade.  some i made plain and some i drizzled red food coloring on top along with peppermint flavoring.  these are simple to package with a cellophane bag and a chalkboard tag.  i clothes-pinned a snowflake ornament for a little something extra.

canned goods are always fun to make and fun to eat.  one year i did a breakfast theme.  i made jars of cinnamon pancake mix and made scrapbook paper labels.  then gave a jar of my praline pecan syrup.  if you are new to canning this is a great place to start.  the recipe is simple and requires few ingredients.  my recipe comes from the ball canning book that is my canning bible.

ingredients:

2 cups dark corn syrup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup pecan pieces — (more is better)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla — (i used 1 tsp.)
1. bring syrup, sugar and water to a boil over medium heat. boil one minute. remove from heat; stir in pecans and vanilla.
2. pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4″ head space. wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids. process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at 0-1000 ft., 15 minutes at 1001-3000 ft., 20 minutes 3001-6000 ft.
makes about four 1/2 pint jars.
i went on a canning run for several years.  another year i gave peach jams and apple butters with biscuit mix.  have i mentioned that i love a good theme gift.
chocolate is always a big hit.  barks are easy to make in large batches and package nicely.  this is a go to idea for co-workers for myself and the husband.  for halloween i made a candy corn bark.  past years i have made oreo chocolate barks.

line an baking pan with enough parchment or wax paper for a 1 inch overhang on each side.
10oz. ghirardelli white chocolate chips
10oz. ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
15 regular size oreos, plus 3 more for topping
instructions:
1- place chocolate in a double boiler over low heat and stir continuously, until chocolate is completely melted.  transfer chocolate to a heat proof bowl and cool for 5 minutes. add chopped oreos and stir to combine. pour mixture into pan. use a spatula to smooth out top.
2- finely chop remaining oreos and sprinkle on top. chill for about 10 minutes until chocolate becomes solid. break bark into pieces.
i hope this has given you so fun ideas for your holiday list this year! it is fun looking back.  
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