5 Last Minute Holiday Gifts

You’ve been there before...you have a couple more people on your list who usually merit some type of food item, neighbors, co-workers, the postman, etc and you have nothing made.  Here are some of my all time favorite holiday treats.  Bear in mind that since these are being given away you don’t always have to go super healthy. candied-sugar-glazed-pecans-11 -Candied and Roasted Nuts: I made a huge batch of this to be given away to multiple family members.  Take 2 1/2 cups of nuts (any combination of walnuts, pecans, and almonds) and set aside.  Whisk together one egg white and 1 tablespoon of water until fluffy.  Then add in the nuts and softly fold until thoroughly coated.  Then add in 2 teaspoons of either cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 cup of sugar and stir until the nuts are coated.  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a 225 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Take out and cool for an hour and then store in an airtight container. images-2 -Red Velvet Fudge: Fudge sometimes gets the unwelcome attention of being hard to make.  This red velvet fudge is incredibly easy and delicious.  You’ll need: 1 cup red velvet cake mix, 1 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar), 1/2 cup of butter cut into 4 pieces, 1/4 cup of milk. First grease a 9x13 pan.  Then mix cake mix and confectioners sugar in a large bowl.  Add butter and milk while stirring constantly.  Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes and then stir immediately.  Pour fudge into prepared pan and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Cut into squares and then decorate the top if you wish!!! Cranberry-Vodka-Spritzer-021_crop -Cranberry Infused Vodka:  This one is a great “I have no time to make anything” gift.  Buy one bottle of vodka (cheap is always ok) and a bag of cranberries.  Poke holes in the cranberries, add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the vodka, and then add the cranberries to the vodka.  Take the stickers off the bottle and add your own along with a bow.  If you don’t have time to let it infuse put a note on the bottle to let it sit for a couple weeks before enjoying. stovetop-potpourri-graphic -Stovetop Potpourri Kits: This is a great and rather cute neighbor gift idea which has the great advantage of being low cost and easy to make.  Consider doing multiples of these.  Add one orange, 1/2 c cranberries, 1 Tbs whole cloves, 3 sticks cinnamon, a bit of grated nutmeg. Put into a small cellophane bag and tie with ribbon.  Print out these instructions and give with the gift: "Quarter the orange, place all in a small saucepan filled with water and simmer on lowest setting. Refill water as needed. il_fullxfull.447744925_frdz -Cutesy Alphabet: This one is great for almost any person on your list.  Find a small ringed notebook and add one letter of the alphabet per page then fill in with something that you admire about the person or a favorite memory.  This can be given to a parent, spouse, to a grandparent from the grandchild, or to a child.  

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