Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I have returned!

How has it been 20 months since my last blog post???
Where did the time go???

Well, lets see where we left off.
Last time I wrote, I was a new vegan, a mother of two & was trying to fall in love with the craft/diy world.
Now I am a meat eater, a mother of three & I am indeed in love with the craft/diy world!

I am not that great at diy stuff. But I watch the channel all the time! And I do actually enjoy doing crafts with my kids. When I was a teenager, I used to watch my Mom do crafts with kids & I just could not understand how she found it fun, but now I get it. :)

So it's already Christmas time. Is it just me, or has this December just flown by? I feel like I just flipped the calendar & now I am about to replace it already.
I was so determined to get gifts for everyone this year, but alas... My husband & I both have very large families & that proved to be impossible. So we just bought for the kids/teens & I made gifts for the adults.

For my parent's & brother/sister-in-law, we got them a "date around the world". This was inspired by something I saw on Dating Divas (love their site! They have so many great ideas for fun dates) a long time ago. I added my own spin & made it so the giftees never have to leave their home.

"Date around the world!"

We start off with breakfast in Switzerland!

There they enjoy overnight oatmeal. This is all ready for them to add milk or yogurt & soak it overnight in the refrigerator & enjoy it the next morning. Though, they can always just cook it for 5 minutes on the stove top & enjoy it hot too. :)
Muesli or your favorite oatmeal ingredients & a jar are all it takes to put this gift together. Decorate however you like. I was pressed for time so I put a little homemade label on it & some ribbon, but you could really make it look fancy if you wanted to.

Then lunch in Italy!

Pasta & a yummy sauce are all that is needed for this one. I liked this because all they had to use to prepare it was water. I didn't want to give them anything perishable for this one, so I thought it was perfect. And pumpkin pasta sauce?? I almost kept that one for myself & gave them the marinara jar in my pantry! ;)
For my brother/sister-in-law we gave them Udon Soup from Japan (that was supposed to be complete with chopsticks, but I forgot until I found them in my purse the next day...). Again, all that's needed for that is hot water. :)

Dinner in India!!

I think this one is my favorite because this dish is SOOO yummy! I found the recipe at Veggie Belly & had to test it out for myself before giving it away. I will be making this a lot! It was seriously so delicious. You must try this. Then make up these adorable jars & give them away to your friends. They will love you for it!
My jars didn't turn out as pretty as hers did, but I still think they look nice. I am going to get some patches of cloth & make several of these to keep in my cupboard for last minute gifts (and maybe to use for myself!).

Side note: You should seriously check out her site though. She has a ton of amazing recipes & ideas. Like the cauliflower hummus recipe that I must try!

Then it was back to the United States for dessert in Hawaii!

My husband was born & raised in Hawaii & he said these looked pretty authentic. Though I think he was just trying to boost my ego. He's such a sweet guy! ;)

Rainbow Macaroons & Pineapple Hand Pies
I just used a simple biscuit dough (from Bisquik) for the crust, because personally I cannot make pie dough to save my life. It never turns out! But I have no problem making (or eating) biscuits, so I just went with that. And I used the filling that I found at Fork vs. Spoon. It all came together in about 30 minutes, start to finish. The macaroons are the easiest recipe in the universe.
A 14oz bag of shredded, sweetened coconut, a 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 a cup of A.P. flour & some M&Ms for the "rainbow". Bake until golden (about 9 minutes, depending on how big you make them & how hot your stove is).

Everyone seemed to enjoy their gifts. And anyway, it's the thought that counts, isn't it? I had a lot of fun putting them together & even more fun giving them out. :)

Have you ever given out a homemade gift? What was it & how was it received?

I hope that everyone has a Safe & Happy Holiday!! :)