Gift Boxes From the Kitchen

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When planning my 13th annual Gifts From the Kitchen class this year, the words bento boxes kept coming to my head. Collecting an assortment of goods and packing them artfully in boxes seemed like a good plan.

I bought festive gift boxes at the craft store along with crinkle paper shred and of course lots of Mason jars to stuff with goodies.

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Creating a recipe for Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix, was the first step. The jars were filled with the chocolaty goodness and a “Got Milk?” tag was added.  On the back of the tags are the instructions for use. Next, old fashioned peppermint sticks were dipped into white chocolate and dusted with Christmas sprinkles.

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To give the boxes some whimsy, I decorated marshmallows to look like snowmen.

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SnowBall Cookies rounded out the edible assortment.  Each package was tied  with my HoHoHo From the Fangio’s ribbon.

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Add a holiday dish towel, some festive straws and you are done!

   Making the Relax-Bath Boxes was a fun project too!

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Creating charming gift boxes is fun and easy.  I hope you will give it a try this season!

Join me in 2018 for cooking classes, new titles just posted.

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Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

3 ½ cups sugar

2 cups unsweetened cocoa extra dark

10 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate chopped

1 tablespoon salt

Mix all ingredients well in an airtight container.  When ready to serve, add 2 tablespoons mix to 1 cup warmed whole milk.

Snowball Cookies Everyone’s Favorite!

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Christmas cookies inspire such joy. I remember as a child baking with my mother.  The holidays were such fun because we had so many goodies in the house, it was hard to choose what to sample. The smell of baking cookies takes me right back to childhood.

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If you want to feel like a kid again too, bake up a batch of these darling treats.  They are salty, sweet, buttery, bites of goodness. Enjoy them yourself or give them as a gift.

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I love to place edible treats in special containers for a gifts.  It’s like an extra sweet surprise.

Enjoy!

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Snowball Cookies

1 cup butter softened

1 2/3 cup powdered sugar divided

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup finely ground pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a medium bowl cream butter and 2/3 cup powdered sugar, add vanilla.  Stir in the flour, salt and pecans and mix well. Form 1 inch balls of cookie dough using a melon scoop.  Place balls on a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes and roll them in powdered sugar.  When cookies are completely cooled roll them in the last of the sugar and store in zip lock.

Gifts From the Kitchen on Fox 4 Good Day Monday!

Looking for gift ideas?  Join me Monday, December 19th on Fox 4 Good Day around 8:40 for Gifts From The Kitchen!  I’ll be showing viewers how to make magnificent morsels perfect for sharing.  The best part is just how simple these tasty treats are!  Hope you will try some or all of these ideas this year!  Enjoy!  Lorie

Citrus Olive Oil

1 orange

1 lemon

2 cups olive oil

Using a sharp knife remove the rind from the lemon and orange in strips leaving the pitchy white part behind.  Push rind into a clean jar and pour oil on top.  Let oil steep for 3-4 days, before straining oil.  Store the citrus oil in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Walnut Thyme Honey

¾ cup honey

1 cup walnuts toasted and chopped

4 sprigs thyme

½ teaspoon lemon zest

Whisk the honey and zest until very well mixed.  Place cooled nuts and thyme sprigs into a clean jar.  Pour honey over the nuts.  Store the nut mixture in the refrigerator for several weeks before using to allow flavors to meld.

Jalapeno Vodka

2 cups vodka

1 large jalapeno pepper

Score the pepper 5 or 6 times from stem to end being careful not to cut all the way through to the seeds. Pour vodka into a clean jar or container, add pepper.  Shake 2-3 times a day for 1 week.

Remove pepper or leave it in for more intense flavor.

Spicy Nuts Mix

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup shelled pistachios

1 ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup almonds, whole

1 ½ cups cashews

1 egg white

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon oranges zest

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with non stick cooking spray.  In a small bowl combine the salt with zest and spices.  Beat egg white until foamy and add seasonings, mix well.  Stir in nuts and toss to coat.  Lay nuts out in a single layer on prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes checking them often.  Store nuts in air tight container once completely cooled.

Chocoholics Delight

1 cup chocolate covered almonds

1 cup chocolate covered cherries

1 cup chocolate covered pecans

1 cup chocolate covered orange pieces

1 cup chocolate covered raisins

Mix all ingredients and store in a jar