December 9, 2004 at 1:36 p.m.
Since I’m talking about gift giving, how about some recipes that you can give as gifts to special friends at Christmastime, or any time really. Here we go. Anyone on your list who likes chocolate? This would work and it's so easy and made especially by you.
CASHEW CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE CLUSTERS
9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (that would be 9 squares from a packaged container)
1/2 c. craisins (dried cranberries)
1/2 c. cashews (broken if you wish)
Melt chocolate in micro (according to directions on package) in a medium-sized glass bowl. Take out of micro and cool slightly. Stir in craisins and nuts.
Drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Let harden at room temp. Put into waxed paper lined container (as in a pretty Christmas tin) putting paper between each layer. Makes about 16 clusters.
Salad dressing as a gift? Make a fresh fruit basket (or pick one up in the produce department) and include this yummy salad dressing with.
1/4 c. toasted sesame seed*
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. dry mustard
3/4 t. paprika
3/4 t. salt
dash of hot pepper sauce
1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
1 T. instant minced onion
1 c. canola oil (or salad oil)
2/3 c. wine vinegar
Combine all ingredients and whirl in blender or beat with mixer until well mixed. Very good drizzled on a fresh fruit salad or over mixed salad greens. Makes one pint.
*Put sesame seeds in small dry frying pan over medium heat stirring till golden.
Is there someone you know who likes to munch on snacks? This recipe has a little kick to it.
2 c. cashews
2 c. pecans
1/4 c. butter or margarine
2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. cayenne (ground red pepper)
1/2 t. garlic or onion salt
1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
Spread nuts in 9x13 baking pan. Toast in 300 degree oven, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, cool.
In small saucepan, combine rest of ingredients; simmer gently until butter is melted and all ingredients are blended. Pour over nuts and bake, stirring often, for 20 minutes. Drain on paper toweling. Makes 4 cups.
NOTE: Make a couple batches and put them in 1/2 pint pressed glass jars (like jelly jars) or a larger jar and put a lid and screw cap on. Cut Christmas fabric in a 7-inch diameter circle, put it over the cap and tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar. Include a tag that says what’s in the jar. A nice little gift, don’t you think?
I have never made “brown bread” but one of our daughters has, making several for Christmas gifts. It’s great for anyone but especially someone who lives alone, who no longer bakes. It’s great to serve with coffee when someone stops by.
NEW ENGLAND BROWN BREAD
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. dark molasses
1 c. raisins
In a large bowl, combine first three ingredients.
In another bowl, combine next three ingredients; add to flour mixture and mix well. Stir in raisins.
Pour into two well-greased 1 lb. coffee cans (5-1/4x3-3/4). Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until bread tests done. Let cool on rack 5-8 minutes; remove from can and let cool completely. Makes 2 loaves.
NOTE: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use sour milk by putting 2 T. white vinegar in a measuring cup and adding enough milk to equal two cups.
If you know someone who makes casseroles for meals, this is a great recipe for a different kind of topping. Also good sprinkled on vegetable dishes.
1 c. crushed pretzels
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. dried parsley flakes
1 t. paprika
1/4 t. dry minced onion or all-purpose seasoning
Combine all ingredients.
Package as a gift and attach these directions:
Mix with melted butter or margarine (1-2T) to moisten. Sprinkle on casserole or vegetable.
Makes about 1-1/4 c.
Again, this could be put in a 1/2 pint jar and finished the same as in the Chili Nut recipe.
Thought for the day: I’ve learned that God didn’t do it all in one day–-so what makes me think I can!
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