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!)
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!