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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ready to start giving

Like everyone these days, I am trying to be frugal and spend wisely this holiday season. One way I am doing that is by making many of my Christmas gifts. I've also not bought any new Christmas decorations this season, I am making sure I use what I've got. Although my stash is being continually depleted each day, as little tiny Thing fingers touch my glass ornaments and they shatter lifelessly to the floor. Thankfully, I have spent almost nothing on all the ornaments - they were all bought over 60 per cent off at post-Christmas sales.

Notice there are very few ornaments, and, um, NONE, at the bottom?

And the annual sugar-fest has started . . . and in all honesty it began a few weeks ago as I started to bake some items early so I could put them in the freezer. This butterscotch/peanut butter bar mixture is one of my favourites - I got the recipe from my teaching friend Shannon several years ago and have been making it ever since. So rich and so decadent. If I keep them cold, or frozen, they are easy to package up and give as little thank-you or housewarming gifts.

Teachers must really like their food, because I lucked into a recipe for truffles from my friend Shelly, with whom I also used to teach. I've made these suckers for five years - I finally perfected it this year and think they taste fairly divine. These are the big ticket item for me - almost everyone gets this as a gift from us.

This year, because I have been having a mild bout of insomnia and not sleeping well anyway, I decided to make my own boxes and cards as well. The boxes were easy to do, just trace them and cut them out and then I stamped Christmas sayings on them, glued them together and VOILA. Truffles are stuffed inside in wax paper.

I used my mom's bits and bites recipe to make a huge batch. I stuff snack-sized portions in cellophane bags, throw a ribbon around them and they end up looking kinda fancy. (Which is entirely ironic because clearly bits and bites are not fancy at all.)

Here are the goodies I will give out this week to Thing 1's kindergarten teacher, Thing 2's three preschool teachers, two school bus drivers, one dog groomer, and our hair dresser. As always I will forget somebody and need to grab something last minute, so I always have extras ready to go.

And last, but not least, here are totally delicious and melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies, which come from my grandmother "Gurney's" recipe. I cannot bake enough to last. Everyone seems to eat them. I think of my grandmother each and every time I sink my teeth into one. I think if she were alive, she'd be mighty proud that I managed to closely replicate her perfection. (I'm not saying they're perfect, I'm just saying they taste like hers!)

Hey, is that Santa???

I promise I will be posting all the recipes on my meal-planning blog, A Crafty Mom Eats, later this week when I have a bit more time!


Landerson said...

Wow, looks like you are officially ready! Wish I could say the same. All the baking looks yummy:)

Donna M said...

Very impressive display!
Love the Santa!

Jen said...

Your tree looks really cute and all your treats look so yummy! We are making some things this year too.

Can't wait to see the recipes!

Leslee P said...

YOu are so crafty.. I just love all of your ideas. I am going to use some of them. I promise I will give you credit. I am totally trying to save $$$ this year too. I have scaled back our buying list and made stuff for some people this year. I love making gifts. It makes me feel so festive.

Glad you love your necklace...


Anti-Supermom said...

You are really living by your bloggy name today, I'm totally impressed.

I just got Target gift cards for those extras on the list. You are making me feel bad ;)

amanda said...


this is definitely the time of year i miss being a teacher the most...the teachers lounge :)

Nemeth family said...

Yum-O! I used to bake, bake, bake and give, give, give...before kids. I wish I had time now because I really enjoy it...maybe in a few years! I can't wait for the sugar cookie recipe. Do post!

Unknown said...

Everything looks delicious, especially those chocolate thingys!!

I am ready to bake this week too! YAY!

tiarastantrums said...

look at all those goodies - how do you make the truffles??

Rach (Mommy Learns to Blog) said...

You are impressive! And thank goodness for the last line of your post because I was going to beg you to send me every last recipe!

I forgot you were a stamper too! I did some great monogrammed stationary this year and last that a friend of mine purchased as gifts for her son's teachers. I'll have to send you pics sometime!

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