Wednesday 8 November 2017

Brownie Mix #FoodGifts

There's nothing more personal than a homemade gift.  I think they're especially good for those hard-to-buy-for people on your lists.  Some people seem to have everything, so it can be overwhelming searching through the copious amounts of nick-nacks and gadgets that flood the store shelves during the holidays.  The best homemade gift (in my opinion), is that of the food variety.  It's a consumable, so it's not going to sit on a shelf and collect dust until it eventually gets donated or tossed in the garbage.  Ugh...there's just so much unnecessary waste because we all have this need to buy that perfect something for people when it's actually really hard to find a gift that people actually want!

I am definitely guilty of what I describe above, so I'm trying to get better at really trying to think and find out exactly what a person wants or needs.   For those people who seem to have everything, today's post contains links to some super fun and creative homemade food gifts ideas, as gathered by Ellen at Family Around the Table.  We all have to eat, right?!   Check them all out, and maybe a few of the ideas will jump out at you as being a perfect treat for someone special to you.

I've been working on a few homemade projects this year, including this homemade brownie mix.  I tweaked a few ingredients in my usual favorite brownie recipe to make it shelf stable, and then put it in a festive jar, with a little note describing how to prepare.  With this mix, you only add eggs, vanilla, and a little bit of milk, and after baking you've got perfectly soft, fudgy brownies.  I've even included a little package of ingredients to mix up with milk and a bit of vanilla to glaze the top with.  This will be the perfect homemade gift for any chocolate lover in your life!

Thursday 2 November 2017

Spinach Phyllo Bundles

One of my favorite evenings to host is an appetizer party!  It's so much more casual than a big dinner, and if you're hosting other families with children, it seems to work well to get the kids to eat a variety of items too.  I find that kids like to snack in packs anyway, and are constantly looking for something in the kitchen while I'm prepping dinner, so I prefer to linger around, have a few drinks, and snack away while visiting.  It is also a great opportunity to prep a lot of stuff in advance, and really just be using the oven on and off for the evening too.   At this time of year, I usually prep a couple appetizers a week to have on hand in the freezer.   With the holiday season fast approaching, it's so awesome to just pull a few things out when people pop by for a visit.

This is one of my all time favorites.  They are basically my take on spanakopita.  Everyone loves them, they're easy to prep and freeze, and they bake up in about 20 minutes prior to serving.  They're great to pull out to have for a weeknight dinner, too!