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Christmas Present Food Recipes
Old 11-11-2008, 12:29 PM   #1
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Christmas Present Food Recipes

This is the place to post your recipes for candy or other food designed to be given as presents. Recipes for things that will last and can be mailed are especially appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:17 PM   #2
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Holiday Cheese Balls

3 parts Cream Cheese
1 part fine shredded Cheddar/Blue/Colby/Jack (suit your palate)
Minced Onion & Garlic to taste
Lea & Perrins to taste (1T per 8oz cream cheese)
Dash of preferred Hot Sauce/light sprinkle cayenne
Mix in heavy duty mixer
Stir in a modest splash of Red Wine
Form into balls and roll in fine chopped nuts of choice
Keeps in fridge for a couple of weeks and can freeze for longer storage.

Take out of fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with wine or drinks of choice with assorted crackers. Excellent alongside finger fruits & nuts for holiday entertaining.

I have been known to get several of the 3 lb blocks of cream cheese and make up 20 or more cheese balls for holiday gifts.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
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Darn those cheese balls sound good!
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:08 PM   #4
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I will look in my Greek cookbooks for some phyllo dough recipes. Baklava anyone? it's easier to make than it looks. and besides, we've got time cuz we're FIREd. stay tuned...
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:21 PM   #5
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I will look in my Greek cookbooks for some phyllo dough recipes. Baklava anyone? it's easier to make than it looks. and besides, we've got time cuz we're FIREd. stay tuned...
Oh, yeah. SO's nephew is a fireman and they do a great baked egg in phyllo dough.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by crazy connie View Post
Holiday Cheese Balls

3 parts Cream Cheese
1 part fine shredded Cheddar/Blue/Colby/Jack (suit your palate)
Minced Onion & Garlic to taste
Lea & Perrins to taste (1T per 8oz cream cheese)
Dash of preferred Hot Sauce/light sprinkle cayenne
Mix in heavy duty mixer
Stir in a modest splash of Red Wine
Form into balls and roll in fine chopped nuts of choice
Keeps in fridge for a couple of weeks and can freeze for longer storage.

Take out of fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with wine or drinks of choice with assorted crackers. Excellent alongside finger fruits & nuts for holiday entertaining.

I have been known to get several of the 3 lb blocks of cream cheese and make up 20 or more cheese balls for holiday gifts.

Your recipes always look good ! I think I'll try this one !
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:32 AM   #7
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If i'm not actually visiting Mom and Dad at Chritmas i usually send them a premade food basket from an FTD outlet Floral Originals By Gregory Scotte - Beverly Hills Gourmet Food Baskets : Home
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:35 PM   #8
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Oh, yeah. SO's nephew is a fireman and they do a great baked egg in phyllo dough.
ok, go here and read the recipe.
Baklava - Allrecipes
my shortcuts and a much lower fat method...plus it will be ok for shipping minus the butter...
substitute butter flavored cooking spray for real butter. it also speeds up the process. if not shipping, use real butter every third layer.
it's ok if you pull multiple sheets of phyllo at one time.
use walnuts only for chopped nuts. pecans are not authentic for Greek style baklava.
cut into 2"-3"squares, not tiny diamonds , before cooking. use a really sharp knife. cut all the way through to bottom of glass pan.
freeze immediately when done with recipe instructions and cooled. use parchment paper to protect from freezer burn.
when ready to ship, go to post office for freebies and cover 100% with brown paper for lesser ship cost. ssshhhhhhh!
much cheaper to ship in multiple lightweight boxes vs one large one, too heavy.
pull out the portion you want to send. place in flat plastic container with sealing lid, using parchment paper again to directly cover baklava. fill gaps in small box with paper towels or tissue paper.
mail it today!

soooo...baked egg in phyllo dough? need the recipe, please, so....give it up!
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
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Here's our favorite Christmas cookie recipe, straight from the Colonial Williamsburg cookbook.

A few items of interest. First, we always end up using at least the extra 1/2 cup of flour before the dough stops being sticky. Just add in more until you get the right consistancy. Be prepared to get aerobic stirring/kneading the dough, it gets pretty stiff. The lemon extract is optional, but IMO is what makes the gingerbread exceptional. As far as shelf life, they are still good after a few weeks. After a month or so they get hard, but are still tasty. I've never seen them go bad, but after a couple of months you can start to use them in various home repair projects. Merry Christmas.

GINGERBREAD

1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup unsulfered molasses
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
4 cups stone-ground or unbleached flour, unsifted

Combine the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well. Add the melted margarine, evaporated milk and molasses. Add the extracts. Mix well. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. The dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to fingers. Knead the dough for a smoother texture. Add up to cup additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking. When the dough is smooth, roll it out inch thick on a floured surface and cut it into cookies. Bake on floured or greased cookie sheets in a preheated 375 F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. The gingerbread cookies are done when they spring back when touched.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:21 PM   #10
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T-Al,

Great thread! Here are some more ideas:

1. JD at Get Rich Slowly had a post today on homemade gift ideas. There are a couple of food ideas in there, including granola, which might make a great gift idea -- just package it in a cellophane bag from a craft store and you're in business. Ships well, is relatively lightweight, and college students would probably love it.

2. For co-workers, etc. I make a small "assorted treats" box. I make cookies (small chocolate chip cookies, shortbreads, molasses crisps, snickerdoodles, gingerbread -- usually using the recipes I find in Joy of Cooking) and also usually include a candy (fudge, toffee, peanut brittle). This year's candy is going to be a knockoff of some amazing stuff we bought from a farm stand last summer. Basically, you take dark chocolate, melt it, then mix in dried tart cherries, pecans, and mini marshmallows. Pour it out on parchment paper to harden and then cut into squares. So good! I'll also probably dip dried apricots halfway into melted white chocolate and then sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Looks fancy, tastes good, is really easy.

3. I make homemade jam in the summer and always make some small (4-oz) jars to give as gifts in the winter. This year we have strawberry and apricot. A nice gift idea is to send a quick-bread mix (either homemade or purchased) with a couple of jars of jam and a gourmet tea. Brunch in a box! The jam ships well so long as it's wrapped carefully -- I use bubble wrap and make sure it can't shift around inside the box much. If you're looking for something to make now, try apple butter.

4. This year we were going to make homemade limoncello and kahlua, but haven't yet. If we don't do it this weekend we probably won't get it done. So, we'll make some when the citrus crop comes in after the holidays and see how it tastes.

5. One year one of my cousins cut herbs from her garden, dried them, and made her own spice/herb mix. She put it in little cellophane bags, designed a pretty tag with the story on it, and sent it to all the cousins and aunts/uncles. It was a great gift, since we all like food. It also had the benefit of being lightweight.

6. This year we'll give some good friends of ours a week's worth of dinners -- delivered. They both work full-time, he goes to school and they have a toddler. They're swamped. So I'll have them pick seven dinners they'd like and I make them and take them over. Some items (like enchiladas, soup and lasagna) are easy to make in advance and freeze, but sometimes I bring the meal over hot at dinnertime. It works out well -- I like cooking, they like eating.

7. Last year my mom bought handmade pottery bowls and sent them to family members with a couple of pre-made soup mixes and the family recipe for clam chowder. She made the soup mixes -- something along the lines of 13-bean-soup. She found the recipes for the mixes in a book at the library. Add in a mix for a savory quick bread and you've got dinner-in-a-box.

I'll send more later if I think of any.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:32 PM   #11
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"6. This year we'll give some good friends of ours a week's worth of dinners -- delivered. They both work full-time, he goes to school and they have a toddler. They're swamped. So I'll have them pick seven dinners they'd like and I make them and take them over. Some items (like enchiladas, soup and lasagna) are easy to make in advance and freeze, but sometimes I bring the meal over hot at dinnertime. It works out well -- I like cooking, they like eating."

Wow that is a great idea! I need to put that one away for future gifts.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:04 AM   #12
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Here are the two food items we'll be making for Christmas presents. We'll package them up in tins from the dollar store.

1. Megan's Granola - Allrecipes

2. Almond Rocca (toffee) recipe from Pillsbury cookbook (like this).


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Old 11-22-2008, 05:32 PM   #13
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Just made a test batch of the granola. It's very good, but no better than granola that you'd get at the grocery store.

After eating some more of this, I'd say it is in fact better than what you can buy in the store.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by crazy connie View Post
Holiday Cheese Balls

3 parts Cream Cheese
1 part fine shredded Cheddar/Blue/Colby/Jack (suit your palate)
Minced Onion & Garlic to taste
Lea & Perrins to taste (1T per 8oz cream cheese)
Dash of preferred Hot Sauce/light sprinkle cayenne
Mix in heavy duty mixer
Stir in a modest splash of Red Wine
Form into balls and roll in fine chopped nuts of choice
Keeps in fridge for a couple of weeks and can freeze for longer storage.

Take out of fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with wine or drinks of choice with assorted crackers. Excellent alongside finger fruits & nuts for holiday entertaining.

I have been known to get several of the 3 lb blocks of cream cheese and make up 20 or more cheese balls for holiday gifts.
Made up the nutballs last night. Didn't use any onion, but did 4/5 cloves of garlic and a tad more blue cheese than the 1/3 ratio in the recipe. Used 1/2 of a 3# box of cream cheese from Costlyco and ended up with 4 balls. Learned that a modest splash of red wine is a smaller amount than i put in. Learned that trying to form a roll in waxed paper is a bad idea - had it chilling in the frig and the paper got soft and fragile and had to be picked away from the roll. Chopped walnuts to roll the balls in. Learned that 90 minutes of chilling time didn't make the roll any firmer - really fun trying to form balls out of a sticky, gummy mass. Smells great and tastes great though - looking forward to the flavour after a few days of mellowing.

Cream cheese box has a recipe for cheesecake - hmm. How similiar to graham crackers is zwieback toast?
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:00 PM   #15
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Used 1/2 of a 3# box of cream cheese from Costlyco and ended up with 4 balls.
That'll teach you to deviate from the recipe...
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:06 PM   #16
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That'll teach you to deviate from the recipe...
No doubt - i am a deviant.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:17 PM   #17
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Used 1/2 of a 3# box of cream cheese from Costlyco and ended up with 4 balls.
and you are advertising that fact?

i'll help with the extras!

seriously, can they be frozen?
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:43 PM   #18
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"seriously, can they be frozen?"

Counting on it per Crazy Connie's instructions - I've had fair luck freezing cheeses, texture changes on some types, but the cheese balls are a pretty homogenous soft mass, doubt they will turn grainy. My cunning plan is to watch who really chows down on them at Thanksgiving, freeze the remaining balls, and gift those who like them for Christmas.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:55 PM   #19
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"seriously, can they be frozen?"

...the cheese balls are a pretty homogenous soft mass, doubt they will turn grainy. My cunning plan is to watch who really chows down on them at Thanksgiving, freeze the remaining balls, and gift those who like them for Christmas.
ummmmm...she delivers a slow pitch over the plate....he swings, he misses, he's out.

i guess you're not yet accustomed my twisted humor yet. i was innocent, but bbami corrupted me.

but i will behave and NOT EVEN TOUCH the last line of your post. i repeat...I WILL NOT TOUCH THE LAST LINE

however..."the day is young yet..." Jack Palance as Curly, City Slickers
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:09 AM   #20
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OK, we have to add this video to the thread:

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