Sunday, November 11, 2012

10 Weeks to an Organized Christmas-7 Edible Gift Ideas

Welcome back to the 10 Weeks to an Organized Christmas series!  Are you already feeling a little bit more "on top" of the Christmas thing this year? (If you're just joining us, be sure to check out the posts in the series HERE)

We are working our way to having a more organized, easy-going, enjoyable, and meaning-filled Christmas!  Planning out our gifts is a great step in being prepared and organized for Christmas.

Today, I will be giving you a few ideas for homemade, edible gifts.  I understand that not everyone enjoys giving homemade gifts, and if that's you, you totally have my permission to skip over this post ;)  However, if you do enjoy making gifts, here are a few edible gift ideas that you can use.

Who doesn't love nutella?  Check out this recipe for Homemade Nutella from  Package it in a jar, and decorate it up using fabric, ribbon, and a tag and you've got yourself a super cute and sweet gift!

One of my signature homemade gifts last year was this Homemade Chai Mix.  It is very easy to make, and is so good!  In jars, I used it as a gift for friends and family members.  And in small bags tied with ribbons, I even used it for neighbors.

Using old baby food jars, hot glue the lids to the base of the jar above it (except for the lid on top!).  Fill the jars with hot cocoa (Winco sells hot cocoa in the bulk bins, or you can use cocoa from packets), mini marshmallow, and mint candies.  Decorate with fabrics and puffy paint to complete your snowman! 

Ever enjoyed a homemade marshmallow before?  Well, if you have not, you most definitely should!  They are absolutely amazing and are so simple to make.  Pictured above are some of my peppermint flavored Homemade Marshmallows.  These make excellent neighbor gifts, and everyone is always so surprised and taken aback that you can, indeed, make marshmallows at home!

Last year, I mastered these Whiskey Caramels by sips, etc.  My #1 tip when making caramels at home is to use parchment paper-NOT wax paper!  My other #1 tip is to NEVER leave your caramel; you must constantly keep your eye on it, or you will easily overcook it.  Once you taste these whiskey caramels, though, there will be no turning back for you!  So tasty.  Wrap them up in a cute bag with ribbon, or package them in a box with individual mini muffin cup liners (just like at the candy stores!).

How to Make Vanilla Extract

If you get started right away, this one will only be a little late for Christmas :)  But, I think that its awesomeness will win you over.  Did you know that you can make Homemade Vanilla Extract?  Well you can, and it's super easy.  It needs to sit for 2 months in a cool, dark place, though, so you're recipient may need some instructions (i.e "place this in a cool, dark place for 1 month, watch the color continue to change, and then enjoy it in your baking!").  I don't think anyone would mind waiting ;)  (Note: Many grocery stores carry vanilla beans in their spices section.  I also recently saw that Costco was selling a pack of vanilla beans for a decent price.)

Have a coffee lover in your family?  Try giving them a jar of homemade coffee syrup!  This is a frugal option, and is so simple to make. You can customize it using any flavor of extract you want (peppermint, vanilla, etc.).  You can also customize it by using unique or special jars.  Decorate with ribbon and a cute tag, and you've got a great gift for that coffee lover in your life! 

Looking for more edible homemade gifts?  Browse around Pinterest!  There are an abundance of great ideas out there!  (You can follow me and all my pins on Pinterest by clicking on the "Follow Me on Pinterest" button on the upper left of my blog).

I hope you'll be able to use some of these homemade ideas to narrow down gift ideas for your "homemade" gift recipients!  Keep your eyes open-I will be posting many more homemade ideas in the near future!

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