Showing posts with label holiday gift giving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday gift giving. Show all posts

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to All Our Readers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen




We hope you're having a wonderful day filled with family and friends and turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing and vegetables and pie--or whatever your favorite Thanksgiving traditions are! We are so grateful for your visits to our blog, for your comments, for reading our books, and for making our lives a little bit richer.

We thought it might be fun to share a few of our favorite foodie gifts--to make your mouth water while you're waiting for dinner. So if you're visiting this holiday season or want ideas for the elves in your lives, here are some ideas.



LUCY BURDETTE: For immediately edible treats, I'm mad for Nocciolato, an organic Nutella-like hazelnut spread that I use to make fudge (about $10.) I took the fudge when we were houseguests at our son’s prospective in-laws’ home—it was an instant sensation.

KRISTA DAVIS: I recommend Theo Pink Salted Caramels. Perfect caramels are enrobed in dark chocolate and sprinkled with exactly enough pink sea salt. About $7.50 for four little mouthwatering wonders. I added a box to our tip for the garbage collectors last Christmas, and our trash cans haven’t been tossed to the curb since.


SHEILA CONNOLLY: My grandmother used to arrive for Thanksgiving laden with foodie nibbles (since she lived in New York, they were pretty special): all kinds of nuts in the shell, dates, giant apples and grapes. Most of them I stuck up my nose at, but she also brought wonderful macaroons from what used to be Robert Day Dean's. I'm still hunting for any as good as those. Their decorated sugar and ginger cookies were also pretty spectacular. So if you're eating Thanksgiving with children: bring sweets (and if mom is worried about spoiling their appetites, just slip them a few tastes under the table).



DARYL WOOD GERBER
aka AVERY AAMES: I love making a hot chocolate mix and putting it in a jar with a special spoon attached. I print out these directions. Dump all these things in a bowl: 2 cups powdered sugar; 1 cup cocoa; 2 1/2 cups powdered milk; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Stir. Put into jars. You can top with some marshmallows, but if you have a gluten-free recipient, don’t do that unless the marshmallows are gluten-free. FYI: Kraft Marshmallows are!  J Add a tag with directions to fill the mug half full with mix and then add steaming hot water. Stir and enjoy!





PEG COCHRAN: One of my favorite things to make and bring is a gift box (or bag) of homemade peanut brittle (recipe here).  Just add some fancy wrapping and you have a delicious hostess gift that can be nibbled after dinner or saved for another occasion (if you can resist the temptation!)


VICTORIA ABBOTT: Everyone we know is so busy.  We all want gifts that work for us. One gift that keeps on giving is a stash of refrigerator or freezer cookies. They'll be there the day or the week after when the busy hostess wants to put her feet up. She can slice off the exact number and enjoy cookies fresh from the oven without all the clean-up, with our without guests. We love to get them and this year we plan to give a brown sugar and almond version.  Or should it be the chocolate chip ones? Hmmm.


CLEO COYLE: For coffee lovers, a premium package of coffee makes a lovely gift. This year, Marc and I are excited to be giving our very own blend, "Billionaire's Blend," which was created by Holly O'Connor of One Good Woman Fine Coffees and Teas and her master roaster Shane in honor of our visit to their store in Eastern PA. The name of the blend is taken from our Coffeehouse Mystery, Billionaire Blend, and the customers liked it so much that Holly and Shane decided to keep roasting and selling it. Giving someone a gift with the word "Billionaire" in the title is a real hoot. And while this delicious blend is rich, the price is not (under $15.00 a pound, which is a good deal for premium, small-batch roasted coffee). To order it for yourself, simply call the toll free number at their shop 1-866-610-2872. Their staff is incredibly warm and friendly and they excel at fulfilling special orders. May you drink with joy!





Happy Thanksgiving, friends!





Saturday, December 18, 2010

The neighborly thing to do...egg nog quick bread!



Every year my neighbor bakes
cookies, really good ones, and then lovingly
wraps them and brings them over. How
thoughtful, kind and yummy and a true
symbol of the spirit of the season.
And every year, I am caught with nothing
prepared to give return. You'd think I'd catch
on and plan ahead, but no, that's just not who
I am. I have come to embrace my ill preparedness
and consider it a challenge to my creativity instead
of a character flaw.
So when the cookies arrived this year and I was again
stumped (I'd already doled out my peppermint bark
-- see last week's post) this was my solution:

Egg Nog Quick Bread

For those of you "creative" souls out there like
me, this bread is delish and can be whipped up pretty
quickly for those days when you get caught
unprepared!

Ingredients
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup eggnog
2 teaspoons rum extract
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg




Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease bottom only of a
loaf pan.
Blend together the eggs,
eggnog, rum extract, sugar,
vanilla and butter.
Sift together the flour, baking
powder, salt and nutmeg.
Add to eggnog mixture and stir just enough to moisten;
pour into prepared pan. Bake bread in large pan for 50 to 55 minutes, or
until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, wrap
tightly and store in refrigerator.

*Tip: It looks smashing wrapped in red cellophane with a big old bow slapped on it!

Happy Holidays!

Jenn

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