Janet's Notebook
Give the Gift of Food this Christmas

Peppermint Bark

The Christmas countdown is on. I've made my list and checked it twice. You know I have been keeping my eyes open, so I already know who's been naughty or nice! This year, I've decided to make a few gifts for friends and neighbors.

I love to make gifts to give to people. I think it's so personal to give something you spent time putting together. And nothing is more touching than cooking a dish, put it in some nice packaging, attach the recipe and it's the gift that keeps on giving!

Sharry Murawski's Peppermint Bark just screams Christmas to me. According to Sharry, "[It's] one of the best I've tasted!" I would definitely agree. It's a classic peppermint bark and a holiday favorite in my house. Put this in a vellum bag and tie it up with a nice ribbon and you've got a wonderful holiday party hostess gift. A pretty cookie tin would work too.

What a nice treat it would be to receive Jordan Falco's Pink Peppermint Marshmallows. Pair them with your favorite hot chocolate mix and you've got a great gift. "These marshmallows are so easy and making them is so rewarding," says Jordan. I like how Jordan suggests swapping out the extract for different flavors. I'll be sticking with peppermint, but use whatever makes you happy!

Apple butter is one of my all-time favorite things. As a kid, I always enjoyed apple butter on toast when I went to my Aunt Margaret's. Every time I taste it, wonderful memories come flooding back. Russ Myers' Mind-Blowing Apple Butter is a really easy recipe to prepare and tastes like what I remember from when I was a kid. Cooking it in the slow cooker, gives you time to whip-up some other goodies.

Another easy gift to put together are Ann Simmons' Potato Candy. Seriously. The hardest part of this recipe is deciding whether to use creamy or crunchy peanut butter. If you're trying to save some money, these are a great treat too. "My mother-in-law makes this candy every Christmas," says Ann. "She came from a large family and this was an inexpensive treat for them." These are quick and easy!

I do have my sweet tooth (I'm sure everyone has picked up on that!). But sometimes, it's nice to give something that's a little savory. Rhonda Wheeler's Homemade Cheese Crackers would be my recommendation. "You can use a mixer or a food processor works very well," says Rhonda about how she makes these. "Serve these with cream cheese or any dip." These little crackers are easy to make and oh so enjoyable!

If you have a friend who likes things a little spicy, I would definitely make Annie Melton's Hot Pepper Jelly. This is spicy, hot and sweet! This would make a great gift packaged with the cheese crackers. Add some cream cheese, and you have a lovely little appetizer.

Whatever you decide to do this year, I'm sure your friends and family will love what you give them. After all, it really is the thought that counts!

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Penny Roberts - Dec 13, 2013
I am giving my adult grandchildren bread & butter pickles and salsa that I made a canned last summer. They love them and I love making them. My daughter makes homemade yeast rolls (my mother's recipe) and gives them to her friends for Christmas - every year more people are asking for them. We enjoy giving gifts of food.
Melanie B - Dec 10, 2013
I will also be giving
Grandma Browns Dill Pickles By Freda
that I canned earlier this year. YUM!
As well as
Famous Ohio Buckeyes and
Chocolate Crunch Cookies with Peanut Butter
by request.