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Monday, November 28, 2011

A Girlfriends' Christmas Luncheon...

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``The object of a dinner is not to eat and drink, but to join in the merrymaking.``
-Lin Yutang

Merrymaking happened here yesterday.
Yesterday I finally did something that has been on my Christmas list for a few years, but never seemed to work out for one reason or another....
I hosted a Girlfriends' Christmas Luncheon.
I invited 6 girlfriends for a festive lunch at my home and we had so much fun!
I enjoyed every aspect of the luncheon....from setting the table, to planning the menu, to the uproarious laughing that we shared together!
I was determined to decorate using things I already had.
I used mismatched Christmas 12x12 scrapbook paper for placemats.
 The Christmas Oreo Pops I made last week made a terrific table favour.
I tied ribbon and mini candy canes to martini glasses for a touch of pretty.
And I unearthed this centerpiece from my basement and and revived it with some red berries to match the rest of the red that was gracing the table.
Can you believe that I almost sent this piece to Goodwill last month when I was doing some ruthless purging in the basement?
Almost.
  We kicked off our luncheon with candy cane martinis.
This was our yummy menu:
{Everyone brought something...which was so nice and gave me more time for visiting!}

Appetizers
Candy Cane Martinis
Shrimp & Cocktail Sauce
Cheese Ball & Crackers

Main Course
Spinach Salad
Homemade Vegetable & Beef Soup
Homemeade Bread

Dessert
Fruit Plate
Nanaimo Bars

It was so awesome to be able to get together with girlfriends right before the rush of the season begins.
This group of girlfriends is so special to me...they were the first group of friends I made when I moved here from Nova Scotia.
We all had sons in a Kindergarten class together....so we used to see each other every morning and chit chat as we were dropping off our boys.
We all gradually became great friends, and though we don't see each other as often as we used to,
the connection is still there.



This post is linked to these terrific parties:

The 36th Avenue




Design Dazzle








The Lettered Cottage






UndertheTableandDreaming


Link Party











Thirty Hand Made Days











 






Tablescape Party @ Centsational Girl

Tip Junkie handmade projects



Home Stories A2Z

Todays Creative Blog

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Cookie Week: Gourmet Oatmeal Cookies In A Jar...

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I want to thank everyone for coming along with Grace and I  this week for "Christmas Cookie Week".
It has been so fun sharing all of these cookies with you!
I want to bring you the final recipe which can be used as gifts in a jar, or as a big mix you can keep in your fridge to bake as the need arrives.
*Gourmet Oatmeal Cookies In A Jar*
This recipe comes from the Canadian Living Christmas Book, which came out around the time I got married and it is one of my Christmas books!
So here goes:
In one big bowl dump together:
6 cups rolled oats
4 cups all purpose flour
3 cups packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda 
Stir together dry ingredients.
With pastry blender, cut in
1 lb. shortening
{I used Tenderflake. It come packaged in 1 lb. blocks.}
Set aside.
In separate bowl, stir together:
{this has been adapted by me slightly...I reduced the raisins and added craisins.}
1 cup raisins
1 cup craisins
1 1/2 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup nuts {I used walnuts.}
This is the fun stuff that goes into the cookies. It was put in a separate bowl so it can be added to the top of the mix in a jar to give it some different texture.
The cookies mix now goes into 1 litre mason jars {which holds 4 cups} or any other jar of the same quantity.
If you have one of these canning helpers, it is great to use to load the mix into the jar.
In the jar, spoon in 3 1/2 cups of oatmeal mix.
Tap down cookie mix with the end of a wooden spoon to make enough room.
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chocolate chip mixture to top.
Then close up the jar and decorate as desired.
I used ribbon and a cinnamon stick.
Then I went to my computer  and made labels at avery.com.
The directions for the cookies mix that go on the jar are:
In bowl combine Cookie Mix with 1 egg, 2 tbsp. milk and 2 tsp. vanilla until soft dough forms.
Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls.
Flatten with fork dipped in sugar.
Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
Makes approx. 24 cookies.
This mix makes 20 cups of mix, or enough for 4-5 batches of cookies.
 The Mix can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 10 weeks.
So that means you can make it now, put it in mason jars or ziploc bags and keep it in the fridge until gift-giving time.
I have 3 jars of mix in my fridge right now!
And here's another way you can package the cookie mix without using jars.
Measure the mix into ziploc bags.
Then put  the ziploc bag into a paper lunch bag and decorate with the label and ribbon.
This is a great cost effective way of giving cookie mix if you don't have mason jars, or if you would like to mail the mix or send it to school in your child's backpack without fear of broken glass.

Thank you so much for sharing in  Christmas Cookie Week with Echoes of Laughter and Sense & Simplicity
and
I hope you have found something that inspires you!



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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas Cookie Week: Christmas Oreo Pops...

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Of all the cookies I have made this week, this cookie was easy, fun and ended up looking so cute!
Yes...I know...it's a bit of a cheater.....cause I didn't actually make it...I just coated it in stuff and sprinkled it with stuff, and packaged  it up tres cute.
So I hope the cuteness factor makes up for the cheater factor!
*Christmas Oreo Pops*

Let me walk you through this easy process.
You will need:
oreo cookies
white chocolate melting wafers
crushed candy canes
lollipop sticks
lollipop bags
{I purchased the melting wafers, lollipop sticks and lollipop bags at Michaels in the cake decorating section}
Now lay out the oreo cookies on a cookie sheet. You will need 2 for each Christmas Pop.
Melt some white chocolate wafers. Now add some melted white chocolate on each cookie.
This is the 'glue' that will hold the lollipop stick in place.
Now add the lollipop stick on the bottom oreo and press a second oreo on top.
Place the Pops in the freezer for 20 minutes so the chocolate can 'set' and the lollipops sticks will hold.
Cover the cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.
Remove the pops from the freezer and coat the Christmas Pops in white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes,or whatever you like.
{I only sprinkled crushed candy canes on one side of the pop}
Let the chocolate coating dry and harden.
Ta-da!
  The Christmas Oreo Pops are done.
Now you can start the cute packaging process...my favorite part!
Package each pop in a lollipop bag and tie with a ribbon.
I found this adorable tag at a blog called 'The Blackberry Vine'
It is a free printable, so you can hop on over there and print some for yourself.
You can find the tags here.
{If you visit Jami at The Blackberry Vine, please say 'hi' and thank her for the free tags!}
{I didn't print the tags on avery labels as suggested. I printed then on cardstock and cut them into squares and punched a hole in them.}
Christmas Oreo Pops are a great gift for your child's classmates, or Sunday school class, or sports team.
They would also make a cute package topper, or a party favor.
I am hosting a girlfriends' Christmas Luncheon on Sunday, and I plan to use the Christmas Oreo Pops as table favors at each place setting.
Except all my girlfriends who read my blog now know what the table will look like.
Just one of the hazards of blogging!

Tomorrow is the last day of Christmas Cookie Week already!
I have been having so much fun this week and I have all my homemade gifts ready to give out...bonus!
Please be sure to visit Grace at Sense & Simplicity to see her Christmas Cookie of the day.


Happy Thanksgiving if you are visiting from the U.S.!




This post is linked to: Home Stories of A to Z/Between Naps on the Porch/Design Dazzle/Just A Girl/Nap Time Creations/ Uncommon/ Tatertots and Jello/ Shabby Art Boutique













The 36th Avenue



 Creating Christmas at The Girl Creative












Holiday






Thirty Hand Made Days











Tip Junkie handmade projects


Todays Creative Blog



UndertheTableandDreaming
Link Party











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