October Q&Amp&#59;A - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 200232

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

October Q&A 
Oct. 14, 2010 10:30 pm 
Updated: Oct. 16, 2010 1:19 am
I'm determined this holiday season to "make" as many gifts as I can for local friends... oh and the neighbors all get a "goodie bag" mid December(ish.)  I've saved many a rec to my recipe box, have some old faithful goodies I've  made for years, but during the past couple of weeks, I've been pondering... just what to make (besides cookies etc) to give to caring friends, especially those who are... shall I be "polite" and say, "cooking challenged?" 

Of late, I've saved from AR a number of recipes for things like "cookie mix" or "soup" in a jar, but there really must be more!  I've also thought about making trail mix and granola bars for a few in particular, but I'm still faced with something for a dear friend, who I swear eats nothing but beef and potatoes!  No wonder her body has "issues!" 

So, plain and simple, "Do you have a favorite home-made gift that you like to give during the Holidays?"

Cookies and breads are an old standby, the "in a jar" mixes are not foreign to me, but still, I'm coming up short, I think!  So, meantime, I have been baking as much as I can, but this far have only 4 batches of yummies in the freezer... for once, I'm not waiting until late November to begin! I've even considered putting together some sort of "bath salts," thinking of  my mom, of course, but then can't think of anyone locally who actually "soaks in the tub" anymore!  Sis, neice, and mom will get the usual catalog stuff, as to keep me from needing to hassle the post office in Dec! 

I'm also wondering if I made granola bars now and froze them, if they'd thaw well?  For that quandry, I'm holding off, although I do have the ingredients on hand, just put the sunflower kernels in the freezer...

So, folks, guess I'm just "holiday crazy," while still attempting to keep the house together... although we are out of sandwich bread for lunches, and are dangerously low on milk.  While I blew off getting to a store today, I guess that means that I MUST, MUST, MUST bite the bullet and venture out come Friday afternoon!
Oct. 15, 2010 2:49 am
I can't wait to start baking for everyone. It usually involves many full days in the kitchen but I love it. I have made Jan Hagel, banana cake, sort a a glazed almond, etc. I'm always looking for new recipes as well, I hope you get lots of responses. I have used voy craft forums alot to find crafts, lots of crafty people on there.
Oct. 15, 2010 3:21 am
This is a good question, Stevie, as I've been wondering the same thing. I'm looking for something "special" but don't quite know what it is!
Oct. 15, 2010 4:01 am
good morning Stevie, you are really on the ball with the holiday gift making ...good for you...well you know i always make cho. fudge & peanut butter fudge for every one ,i also make pumpkin rolls to give to a few...i'm always cooking up something heck i make birthday cakes for everyone that is kin or that i know...but the lady that only eats beef & potatoes...give her a gift card...or get her the lotion set...you have good ideas, I'm sure she will like what ever you give her...oh my Stevie you are so sweet to be making all these gifts...your friends are so lucky...ttyl...judy
Oct. 15, 2010 5:27 am
WOW! You're on top of it!! This might not help in the "make well in advance" department, but this "Spicy Almonds" recipe is my latest "go-to" food gift, and it's been getting great reviews. SPICY ALMONDS: 1 tbsp. chili powder 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 1/8 tsp. powdered curry 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 c. whole almonds Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine chili powder, olive oil, salt, cumin, cinnamon, and pepper; add almonds and toss to coat. Transfer to a large baking dish (13 x 9). Bake about 10 minutes or until almonds are toasted, stirring twice. Cool almonds before serving. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days, but they're particularly delicious when still warm to the touch.
Oct. 15, 2010 8:40 am
Last year my good baskets contained truffles - with and without liqueurs, fudge - chocolate and peanut butter, sugar cookies which were frosted and mini pound cakes (marbled chocolate/vanilla). Now here is an idea I am working on this year, last year I didn't think of this when I made the mini pound cakes, but buy those mini disposable loaf pans and of course we don't want the cake or loaf stuck to the pan so grease it up good. Anyway after baking, just get cellophane wrap and wrap the whole pan with the cake in it and tie a nice ribbon on top. I actually wrapped my sugar cookies in cellophane bags last year. I will do another post with recipes I am considering making this year to give :).
Oct. 15, 2010 8:49 am
I personally love these sugar cookies with the butter frosting so it is staple every year >>> http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Soft-Sugar-Cookies-IV/Detail.aspx <<< and >>> http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Butter-Icing-for-Cookies/Detail.aspx <<< One of my friends said her sister loved those cookies. I'll be doing this one this year, very easy, very delicious >>> http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Coffee-Bonbons/Detail.aspx <<< OMG, everyone loved this brittle >>> http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Brittle-Surprise/Detail.aspx <<< I also did sugar coated pecans with cinnamon last year. This is one I am definitely doing this year >>> http://www.food.com/recipe/microwave-caramels-367414 <<< I actually found this recipe around the middle of this year and I've made it so many times since then it's crazy. I think of doing this recipe for the mini pound cake loaves >>> http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&amp;recipe_id=10000001023810 <<< Here are 2 bar recipes I am sure people would love >>> http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Peanut-Butter-Bars-I/Detail.aspx <<< and >>> http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pecan-Turtle-Bars/Detail.aspx <<< I will be making this one for select people and myself of course >>> http://www.food.com/recipe/trinidad-black-cake-415428 <<< and look up chocolate crinkles, they are some awesome cookies.
Oct. 15, 2010 11:34 am
Hi Stevie - You are so ahead of the curve! I have cut back on the cookies and started concentrating on healthy quick breads: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Downeast-Maine-Pumpkin-Bread/Detail.aspx or http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62458707/Better-Banana-Bread/Detail.aspx or http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Cranberry-Bread/Detail.aspx - none are too expensive to make, I bake them in the foil pans wrap them well and freeze until just before I'm ready to give them then I take them from the foil and wrap the whole pan in colored cellophane with a ribbon. I also save jars all year and fill them with spiced nuts or http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Roasted-Chickpeas/Detail.aspx again you can make them well ahead of time and they are well received
Oct. 16, 2010 1:19 am
Thank you ALL, for your thoughts and comments, not to mention the reicpe ideas!! If you think of any other ideas... let me know! Just wish I could make/send out of state, but just not too comfortable doing that! Luv ya, and stay "crazy!"
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Stevie crazycook

Home Town
Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2008

Cooking Level

Quilting, Gardening, Music

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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