We live in an awesome neighborhood. We get together with the neighbors throughout the year to celebrate life events and sometimes just for the heck of it. Each year, the doorbell rings and standing there is a kid or parent of one of the houses on our little corner holding some delectable holiday goody. So often during the holidays those treats are sweet and far from low-cal/fat. I'm totally not complaining and will scarf them down with glee. But last year, I decided that I wanted to take a little different approach to holiday treat-giving that would compliment (and hopefully offset some of the calorie intake) those sweet treats.
December is sure to bring chilly temperatures, even in Arizona. The chill in the air inspired me to make some belly and soul warming soup for my friends and co-workers last year. It worked out awesome, so I'm doing it again this year. I'm lucky enough to have a few giant stock pots to make the process a whole lot easier and quicker. I like to make one of my own recipes that I've created during the year. This year I'm going back to this post for Garlic Wonder Soup for my recipe. It is a simple, hearty and very healthy soup that anyone can make.
It is super easy to dress up your edible gift. This year I'm doing two versions. The first one I used last year. I bought a case of quart canning jars from the local hardware store. I found some very cute holiday fabric at Joann Fabrics. I recommend getting a thin cotton fabric to make sealing the jar a breeze. I cut circles about 2 inches bigger in circumference than the lids using pinking shears. I placed the lid on the filled jar (make sure to wipe it off first), centered the fabric circle over that and screwed on the outer ring. Tie on a cute curly ribbon and add a tag and you have a thoughtful, delicious home made treat for those on your list. Their waist lines will thank you.
There is a second option you can do as well. I just happened upon a great sale at the Pyrex/Corelle outlet store in Mesa this week. They had these awesome soup mugs with handles on sale for only $4.99. I have the same ones that I paid double that for. They have some great colors this year as well. I got every color they had for my co-workers this year. I simply tied a colorful wired ribbon around the handle and tied a tag on with gold string.
My sister and a couple of our friends are avid stampers. They make beautiful cards and lots of other fun things. I just happened to walk in on one of their stamp-fests yesterday afternoon. They helped me create adorable hand-made tags. Now if you aren't as lucky as I am to have stampers in your world, there are tons of adorable tags out there. Pick up a pack and get a small hole punch to make the holes to insert the ribbon. Tie, sign and there you have it: special homemade holiday gifts for everyone.
The holiday gift giving season can get crazy and stress us all out. But I am so incredibly thankful for every year I have with my friends and family. It is so special to be able to share my love of cooking and my life with those I love. This is a nice way to show that love.