cover page

cover page

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Christmas Inspiration

Some more Christmas Gift Ideas

I thought I would show you a bit of green today. I know I do so love all things red at the moment, however I do have a weakness for green too. I just love this gorgeous green bowl.

It is such a lovely colour, so vibrant and I also love that it was made in France...and...the fact that I managed to pick it up at a thrift store for only $4 nice is that?! I think it would look lovely with some white roses in it or some floating tealight candles or the green baubels as pictured or even just plain and simple as is.
I also love the white and green platter....very cracked, chipped and crazed, but that's how I like em!

And my last bit of green are these beads. Little Miss O loves to fling these round her neck and tottle off around the house, parading them around. So I thought I would share them with you....they make me smile.

Hope you are all surviving this last week before Christmas and are not crumbling under the pressure and crowded shopping centres?! I am done with the shops YAY! I now need to get myself into gear...stop blogging and start packing up house and home, not to mention clothes for our time away over Christmas and New Year....Hellllllp!!!

Before I go do that though, as promised in my last post here I am going to show you some more of my Christmas gift ideas. I have been thinking up a storm over here and have come up with a few goodies!

First up is:

Herbed Butter
I wanted to do something with the sage that I picked from my prolific supply in the vegie patch, so I have been trying to come up with some ideas for using it for gifts. I had the thought to make a herbed butter and put it in a cute jar and label it and give it away to someone for Christmas this year. Cute idea and pretty flippin easy!

Here is my recipe

Herbed Butter 

1 Tub of Spreadable butter
Handful of fresh herbs of your choice I am using sage for this one
Salt and pepper
Smidge of lemon juice

Allow butter to become temperature will do.
Chop up herbs finely

Mix herbs into butter in a bowl
Add salt and pepper and lemon juice

Spoon butter into sterilised jar, seal and refrigerate.
Attach a cute label with some ideas for how to use it (ie, on a steak, on a french stick with pasta on toast...etc)

There you have it...too easy in my book!

My other brainwave with trying to use up herbs is to make herb infused olive oil. Now I have never done this up until writing this post, so I am no expert by any stretch. I looked some info up online about flavouring oils and you do need to be careful to do it properly. You need to make sure you use sterilised jars and also be careful in preparing the herbs.
Here is the recipe

Lemon and Sage Olive Oil

Zest of 1 lemon (must be completely dried out.)
Good quality olive oil (however much you need for your jar/bottle size)
Dried handful of sage (or another herb of your choice, but it must completely dried unless you plan to use it within the week and keep it refrigerated)
1 Sterilised jar or bottle (whatever size you want)

Peel the lemon with a peeler and place on a tray to dry completely. I read online that this may take a few days. You could alternatively dry it in a dehydrator (but as if I have one of those) or you could put the tray in the oven on very very low. The main thing is that both the herbs and the zest need to be completely dry, or else bacteria can start to grow in the oil.

Give the lemon zest a bit of a bruise with a mortar and pestle (just to bring out the oils)

Add the dried herbs and lemon zest to the jar or bottle.

Pour in enough olive oil to fill your bottle.

Label and seal. Done.

Store in a cool, dark place. Keep an eye on it and if the herbs look a bit funny or you start to notice any bubbles you probably need to discard it. It means that you may not have dried out the herbs or lemon zest properly and bacteria has started to form. If you are worried about it, you can always just keep it in the refrigerator and use within a week. Go here for more information about safely infusing oils.

Too easy yes?!

Next up is nice and simple too! My sister started making this a couple of years ago and it has been a great hit ever since. Can't remember where she got the recipe? It may have been in a Coles recipe booklet, but I just think of her when we have this so I am going to call it her Peppermint Chocolate Slab. It is super easy and really tastes yum...surprisingly.

Peppermint  Chocolate Slab

400 grams of chocolate (I actually used coles chocolate blocks and had a mixture of dark chocolate and milk chocolate, which was quite nice.

Not too bitter or not too sweet). You can even use chocolate melts if that is all you have.

12 Peppermint flavoured candy canes

Prepare a baking tray with some baking paper/grease proof paper
Melt the chocolate in a bowl....I use the microwave to do this, but you can do it over a double boiler or whatever over the stove if you prefer.

Crush up (pound the living daylights out of) the candy canes

Spread the melted chocolate out on the lined tray as smoothly as you can, then add the crushed up candy canes on top.

Refrigerate till set. Should take about 1 hour or so.
Break up the hardened chocolate slab or cut up into shard-like bits.

Place in a nice jar or wrap in celophane and label with a cute gift tag and you're done! How cute is that?

Mr PTF has just seen this post and these peppermint slabs have gotten the better of him.....he is raiding the fridge as I write this and eating some with a cup of tea....better go and stop him....

See you soon,
Hope these ideas have given you some inspiration!
xo Rachel

I linked up with...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...