Foodie Gifts 2013

Marzipan How To~ A Stack of Dishes .com

Step by Step instructions for making traditional marzipan fruits.

 I’ve had a few folks ask me about some things I’ve made in the past as gifts recently. So I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite things- from my recipes for food gifts, a book, and a coupon to one of the best Healthy Menu Services in the world! {OK, it’s MY company, but I think you are seriously going to love it}.

Buffardi_GreatBalls.rev1

 This is an adorable and awesome little cookbook written by my associate Michelle Buffardi, is packed with some adorable and clever cheese ball ideas- with delicious fresh flavor combinations. She’s got a cute idea for Super Bowl you’re going to want to check out. Great Balls of Cheese

is a sweet book, which at just over $10 on Amazon, makes the perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer for the entertainer in your life.

penguin

Two seasons ago I did a marathon 12 days of gift giving that contains over 25 recipes for food gifts. You can find the full compilation HERE.

2 Days of Food Gifts~A Stack of Dishes

12 Days of Edible Gifts with over 25 recipes.

Flavored Vinegars~ A Stack of Dishes

Here is the link for 3 different flavored vinegar combinations that you can make yourself. My favorite was the grapefruit. In fact, I plan to make a batch for myself today. It’s bright with a hint of tangy citrus that is wonderful on salads, fish and meats.

8 tips for perfect caramels~ A Stack of Dishes

 

Homemade caramels are quite the rage these days. This post has a list of 8 tips for making successful caramels.

And lastly I am offering my readers a COUPON for a 50% discount on any menu plan at A Healthy Hunger. For anywhere from $2.50-5.00/month you can help someone get their health on track and love every bite.

A Healthy Hunger has meal plans for Diabetics, or Pre-Diabetics and my Clean Eating plan is great for anyone with high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, heart health concerns- or anyone who just wants to eat better and doesn’t know where to begin.

The menus are designed with nutritional balance for your health, and great taste for the foodie. And check out the blog for health tips, kitchen wisdom, inspiration and more!

Holday50Click HERE to find out more and use the coupon code at checkout. The coupon expires December 31.

 Happy Holidays All!

{Day 10} Homemade syrups: Fizzy Water Surprises

Homemade syrups for soda and cocktail making

As a birthday treat to myself this year I purchased a soda making device that has been a lovely addition to my life. Years ago I used to get old fashioned glass seltzer bottles delivered to my door once every two weeks. It was a bit decadent but I just loved that wooden box by the front door that held blue and clear glass bottles. The guy that ran the business was a bit of a character too, and it was always fun to hear about his past weeks antics. Those days, and the Seltzer Man are now past and gone- so now enter my newest toy.

 

I will admit that I am not a plain seltzer water gal. I like a little zip or somethin’ somethin’ with my bubbles, and a slice of lime is just not quite enough for me.
I love the notion of homemade ginger ale or root beer. Kinda makes me want to sit at a counter on a stool and drink from a straw while swinging my legs. The beauty of homemade syrups is that they are great for kids or the non drinkers in your life- I would have LOVED something interesting to sip when I was pregnant for instance.

The other beauty is that added to some booze flavored syrups also work for the imbibing crowd. A little splash of syrup over some chilled vodka can mean a Schmancy Martini in a flash. When entertaining I’ve made a row of several different types to syrups with suggestions and let my guests play around. A great conversation starter and more interesting than the usual.

The soda maker company sells syrups, but why not make your own? Fresh made syrups don’t last as long as the store bought ones, so unless you’re giving them away, make them in small batches and store in the fridge.
Blueberry Thyme Syrup
makes ~ 3 c
 
4c Blueberries, may use frozen berries
juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch of thyme
2.5c sugar
 
Wash and crush berries in a medium saucepan. Add lemon and thyme and simmer for 10 minutes
 
Strain juice from the solids through a seive pressing down on the berries to remove as much juice as possible.
 
Return the juice to the pot and add sugar.
 
Simmer for another 10 minutes.
 
I strain a second time through a paper filter to remove any seeds etc., cool before bottling.
 
Keep bottled syrup in the fridge
 
Ginger Ale Syrup
makes ~ 3c
 
.5c peeled and chopped fresh ginger
3 c sugar
3c water
 
Combine all in a heavy bottomed saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.
 
Strain the ginger and cool before bottling.
 
Keep bottled syrup in the fridge
 
Fresh Mint Syrup
makes ~3 c
 
3c water
1 bunch fresh mint leaves rough chopped
3c sugar
 
Combine water and leaves in a saucepan.
 
Bring water to a boil then turn off heat. Allow leaves to steep until cool.
 
Strain leaves and return the tea to the pot. Add the sugar
 
Bring back to the boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.
 
Cool before bottling and store in the fridge.