Twelve days left to finish the shopping and wrapping and stashing and…. Are you done, yet? Do you have those last few stragglers on your list and you’re not quite sure what would be right? This week, in our final week of the Holiday Progressive Dinner, we have some excellent ideas to share with you! A few of them can be purchased from this week’s sponsor, The Country Door. A dozen or so of them can be made right in your own kitchen, many of them in just minutes! And as if that was excitement enough, we are having one final giveaway that will knock your socks off. Put away that wrapping paper, bring along your hot tea and take a minute to unwind with me and four of my favorite foodie bloggers and friends. We’ve got your back! We’ll have those last minute gifts sorted out in no time. Enjoy! (P.S. You’ll want to visit every blog. Each of us reviewed different products, so you’ll get a good feel for all that Country Door can add to your kitchen, your home and to your gift list.)
Holiday Progressive Dinner Week 7 Recipe LinksGifts from Your Kitchen
Mini Holiday Loaves – Cranberry Orange – Banana – Pumpkin Chocolate
at Adventures in All Things Food
Cinnamon Vanilla Candied Nuts
at Flour on My Face
at The Gunny Sack
5 Easy Last Minute Gifts from the Kitchen
at Daily Dish Recipes
Our sponsor this week is The Country Door and I have had the great good fortune of using two different products form their online store, over the last several weeks. This gorgeous, nesting colander set comes in three color choices. The turquoise is perfect in my kitchen! I’ve never had colanders that I WANTED to leave sitting out on the counters, before. Who knew something so functional could be so pretty? The set includes a 1 1/2 qt, a 3 qt and a 5 qt colander. These tools have already had miles put on them in my kitchen. They’ve been very sturdy and have nice, solid handles. I also love the stand at the bottom of each that elevates them above the liquid that is draining off. It’s so cool to reach for a strainer, remember that you already have something in your colander and then realize, no worries! You’ve got two more! Having multiple sizes means I always have the right one for the job!
I’ve also been extremely fortunate to be able to enjoy the lovely Inspirations Canisters in my kitchen. These decorative earthenware canisters are dishwasher- and microwave-safe. They have gasketed lids to help create a tighter seal. The creamy color is pretty and the perfect backdrop for the Faith, Family, Friends sayings that encircle the top of each stoneware jar, along with the sentiment on each canister’s front. The Inspirations Canisters lend a welcoming and “homey” air to kitchen decor and though I didn’t review them, the matching Inspirations Mixing Bowl Set would only serve to increase that comfortable, “at home” feeling. Both would make beautiful gifts, as sets or divided to create multiple presents. One lucky Holiday Progressive Dinner reader will win them BOTH! Yes ma’am! I said, “BOTH!” The Inspirations Canisters and Inspirations Bowl Set will be the prize in this week’s Giveaway!
Okay, let’s make some candy! Using flavored Almond Bark, I was able to create all three of these recipes in about an hour and had 11 dozen pieces of confectionary deliciousness to share. It seems too good to be true, but I have to tell you, I always get rave reviews and asked for the recipe whenever I take these simple peanut clusters, anywhere, and the White Chocolate Snowballs are requested at my husband’s work Christmas party, every year. Simple can be a VERY good thing! 🙂
- 1 (24 oz) pkg. chocolate almond bark
- 3½ to 4 cups salted dry roasted peanuts
- Melt the almond bark in a microwave-safe bowl. I used full power for 3½ to 4 minutes and stirred twice during the melting process.
- Stir in the peanuts, being sure that all the nuts are coated.
- Spoon mounds onto a sheet of waxed paper or Silpat baking mat or Roul'pat workstation mat. I actually used both of my mats for this candy-making session and they worked beautifully!!
- Candy will set up in 15-20 minutes and can be stored in covered containers or ziptop bags. I usually combine it with other types of homemade candy to create a tray or tin to use as gifts.
Making Toffee Pecan Clusters is an identical process to the Peanut Clusters. While my Peanut Clusters were setting up, I made a quick batch of these wonderful toffee candies and so in about 25 minutes, I had completed TWO candy recipes. See what I mean? Simple! You can totally do this and enjoy giving gifts that will bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike!
- 2 (8 oz) bags Heath Toffee Bits
- 2 cups pecan pieces
- 1 (24 oz) pkg. chocolate almond bark
- Melt the chocolate almond bark in a microwave-safe bowl, on high power for 3½ - 4 minutes. Stir once or twice throughout the melting process.
- Stir the pecans and toffee bits into the melted almond bark.
- Spoon mounds of the mixture onto waxed paper or Silpat baking mats, to cool and harden.
- Store in covered containers or ziptop bags once they are completely set up.
White Chocolate Snowballs are no more difficult than the first two recipes. They just take a couple more ingredients, like the leftover popcorn from last night’s movie and the last bit of chow mein noodles left over from your homecooked Chinese dinner, last week. This recipe was actually born out of a need to quickly prepare something that David could take to work for a holiday party. He had signed me up to make dessert and forgot to mention it until the night before. lol I had vanilla almond bark and only about half the dry roasted peanuts I would need to make clusters, so I rummaged through the cupboards and found some chow mein noodles and some marshmallows. Sometimes, you just have to go with what you’ve got. White Chocolate Snowballs were born, and as I mentioned above, they were a huge hit. I’ve made them, on purpose, every year since. Enjoy!
- 1 (24 oz) pkg. vanilla almond bark
- 4 cups popped and salted popcorn
- 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
- 1 cup chow mein noodles
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- Melt the almond bark in a microwave-safe container, on high for 3½ - 4 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout the melting process.
- Stir the popcorn, peanuts, noodles and marshmallows into the melted almond bark.
- Stir until you are sure everything is completely coated with almond bark.
- Spoon mounds of the mixture onto waxed paper or silicone baking mats and allow to cool and harden.
- I had some extra chocolate, so I drizzled it over the tops of the snowballs, but they are just as good without. Go with your preference.
- Store in covered containers or ziptop bags.
There you go! In a little under an hour, I made 11 dozen very generously-sized pieces of candy. If you prefer yours a little smaller, this recipes will yield even more. Who doesn’t enjoy and appreciate some homemade treats over the holidays? You can always wrap them up pretty in a beautiful stainless steel colander or lovely Inspirations Canister from The Country Door, to leave them ooohing and aaahing about your kitchen skills and good taste. Just sayin’. 🙂
Now, go make some candy! You know you want to. But first, don’t forget to enter the incredible Country Door giveaway. The winner will receive this beautiful 3-piece Canister Set AND a matching 3-piece Mixing Bowl Set. The prize is valued at $100.
GIVEAWAY MANDATORY ENTRY:
The Country Door website will blow your mind! There are so many beautiful things to choose from, for yourself, or for gifts! Browse the catalog and try to pick one thing you like most. Share it in a comment on this post, with a link to the page you found it on. That’s it! Register your comment in the Rafflecopter form, below. Have fun!
a Rafflecopter giveaway