Last Minute Edible Gifts

Last Minute Gift Ideas that you can make from ingredients in your Pantry!

Uh oh! Guys, Christmas is in 5 Days! FIVE. DAYS. Have you finished all your Christmas shopping yet? Are you like me, who thought she’d done all her shopping and then realised she’d forgotten someone. Noooooo! What’s a girl to do? Rather than braving the stores for something less than personal, let’s make something! These little gifts only take a few minutes to make and you can tailor them for who you are giving them too. Share your favourite cookie recipe with your friend at work, or make a pretty bottle of vanilla extract for your foodie friend. They will love it!

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DRINK | Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters

Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters! This spicy and sweet shooter is the perfect boozy dessert or nightcap for the festive season!

So, I know that we only just made sangria, so maybe I should hold off on the alcoholic drinks for at least a few days. But to hell with being responsible! Instead we’re going to make Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters! Hooorraaaaayyy!

In my defence, these little drinks need to be made in advanced, so really, even though we’re making them today, we wont actually be drinking them for a week or more!

Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters are exactly what they sound like; cherries soaked in rum! Eat the cherries and drink the rum. No one, not even the most useless amateur cook in the world, can mess that up! But here’s the secret, when soaked together the cherries and the spiced rum mix together to create something extra special. The cherries, keep they crunchy texture, but suddenly have a whole lotta kick to them! And the juices from the cherries marry together with the rum, resulting in a sweeter, fruitier taste. Kind of like a strong schnapps! And don’t let the name fool you, these drinks are designed to be sipped and enjoyed, not shot down tequila style ;)

Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters! This spicy and sweet shooter is the perfect boozy dessert or nightcap for the festive season!Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters! This spicy and sweet shooter is the perfect boozy dessert or nightcap for the festive season!

At first glance there’s not a lot to this recipe -grab some cherries, a bottle of spiced rum , add together a voilà! And really that’s the beauty of it! It takes literally 5 minutes to prepare and then you can set it and forget it! While there isn’t much to the method, there are some tricks that will help you get the most out of your shooters:

  • Make sure you get fresh, ripe, crunchy cherries! You want them to crisp and full of flavour!
  • The cherries will lose a lot of colour the longer they are soaked, but don’t worry, they should retain that crunch factor as long as you keep them refrigerated.
  • If you want to make and serve these the same day, simply slice the cherries all the way around  before soaking and allow to sit fir a few hours. The flavours wont be as strong as if you soak them for a longer period of time, but you will get a similar outcome. The best way to do this is prepare the shooters in the morning and serve after dinner.
  • Simarly, if you are short on time, instead of refrigerating, store in a warm, dry, dark place, like a cupboard or pantry. This will expedite the process, but your cherries will end up a little softer and mushier than if refrigerated.

Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters! This spicy and sweet shooter is the perfect boozy dessert or nightcap for the festive season!

RUM SOAKED CHERRY SHOOTERS
 
This spicy and sweet shooter is the perfect boozy dessert or nightcap for the festive season!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 500g of Fresh Cherries
  • 1 Bottle of Spiced Rum (we use Kraken Rum)
Instructions
  1. Prepare your cherries by removing the stems and washing the cherries thoroughly.
  2. Place the cherries into the vessel they will be soaked in; this can be a large jar (from which you can serve from later) or if you have individual sized jars or cups, these will also work. It is best to store your rum & cherries in something with an air tight lid.
  3. Fill the vessel with as many cherries as you can without going over the rim of the glass.
  4. Pour the rum over the cherries until they are completely submerged, leaving at least 2cm at the top of the vessel to allow for the release of juices.
  5. Seal your cherries tightly; either with the vessels lid, or if that wasn't possible, with a couple of layers of plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Place in your refrigerator to soak.
  6. Soak for at least 24 hours - 1 week. How long you soak the cherries for is up to you- the longer they soak, the stronger the flavours will be! 1 month is optimal for the boldest flavours but the cherries and rum should keep for 2 - 3 months as long as they are kept refrigerated.
  7. If not already individually prepared, serve in a large shotglass or small jar/glass. Don't worry about the name, these little drinks are designed to be sipped - not shot!

Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters! This spicy and sweet shooter is the perfect boozy dessert or nightcap for the festive season!Rum Soaked Cherry Shooters! This spicy and sweet shooter is the perfect boozy dessert or nightcap for the festive season!

Gift Guide | For the Boyz 2 Men

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Now it’s time to get something for the guys in our lives. Personally, I love shopping for menswear, some might say a little too much. I just think that most mens accessories and gifts are so well designed; simple and elegant, I often find myself wanting to keep the ‘boy’ gifts I buy, even more so than the pretty things I buy for my girlfriends! Go figure!

From the boyz to the manliest of men, here are my picks for every gentleman in your life. (I’ll try to keep my hands to myself!)

For the Stylish Fellow: Not many guys can pull off a hat, but for those who can, this Trilby is super fly!
For the Hipster: If your hipster BF doesn’t love this wood finish Radio,  I’ll totally take it off your hands!
For a Tropical Holiday : Everyone looks good in a pair of  wayfarers, they’re just so timeless!
For the Music Lover: A good pair of Headphones are a must have for the fellow who is always jammin’ out!
For the Adventurer: That guy who is always on exciting adventures totally needs this dreamy backpack.
For the Business man: Keep your career man on time with this simple and striking watch.
For the Gym Junkie: If there’s one thing an exercise enthusiast always needs, its a good water bottle.
For the Foodie: For the fan of finer things, grab a set of whiskey stones so he can enjoy them ice cold!
For a Stocking Stuffer: – in the most literal sense of the term, adorable winter socks to keep his feet warm.

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DRINK | White Christmas Sangria

Get boozy on Christmas Day with some  Apple Cider White Sangria - it's just fancy punch!

Now that we’re adults, Christmas has changed from being all about the presents, to being all about the food and booze. C’mon, don’t look at me like that – you know its true! Everyone loves to talk about all the amazing food they are going to overeat on the big day, but (in my opinion), not enough is said about the liquor situation. I’m not sure how well that reflects on me, but I’m going with it!

Here in Australia it is HOT on Christmas Day. It’s actually the hottest time of year for us. So my Christmas usually revolves around staying cool: air conditioned houses and friends pools are at the top of my list, just after keeping ‘hydrated’. A refreshing beverage can make all the difference, so I’m happy to present my Christmas time/summer time favourite – White Christmas Sangria.

The beauty of sangria is its simplicity. Grab some of your favourite fruit – drench it in a good bottle of wine – add some more liquor (brandy, rum, or in my case; apple cider (coz I love a bit of fizz!) and top with some soda water or ginger ale for extra bubbles! If you’re feeling really adventurous you can always add fruit juice or extra sweeteners. And of course, a few herbs or spices are always a welcome addition fora bit of extra kick! This being a Christmas Sangria, I usually add a cinnamon quill, but you can replace this with some leafy herbs or omit it all together.

Essentially, we’re just making fancy punch, and you can never go wrong with punch. Merry Christmas!

Get boozy on Christmas Day with some  Apple Cider White Sangria - it's just fancy punch! Get boozy on Christmas Day with some  Apple Cider White Sangria - it's just fancy punch!

White Christmas Sangria

Ingredients

  • 750ml of white wine
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 cinnamon quill (*optional)
  • Soda water (to top off)

Instructions

  1. Prepare your fruit by thinly slicing the apple, orange and lemon and placing into a large jug or container.
  2. Pour the wine and apple cider into the jug, making sure that all your fruit is submerged. Add the pomegranate seeds and cinnamon to the top.
  3. Cover with airtight lid or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight if you have time) Remove the cinnamon before serving.
  4. To serve, scoop out some of the fruit and place into a glass with ice. Top up 3/4 full with the sangria mixture and top off with soda water for extra fizz!
http://www.highwallsblog.com/2014/12/drink-white-christmas-sangria/
Get boozy on Christmas Day with some  Apple Cider White Sangria - it's just fancy punch!Get boozy on Christmas Day with some  Apple Cider White Sangria - it's just fancy punch!Get boozy on Christmas Day with some  Apple Cider White Sangria - it's just fancy punch!

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EAT | Eggnog French Toast

Enjoy a festive breakfast the RIGHT way, with a big helping of  Eggnog French Toast! (Click through for the full recipe)  Now I know all of y’all are super excited for Christmas eats. Glazed hams, roast turkeys, chocolates as far as the eye can see! But you know what meal everyone seems to neglect during the holiday season? Breakfast. Sure, you might still serve yourself up a big ol’ plate of bacon and eggs, but you’re not really getting the most out of the season if you’re not making every  meal a little bit festive!

This is your sweeter version of French Toast. It’s light and fluffy on the inside and crisp and crunchy on the outside, but with an unexpected sweetness you don’t normally find that early in the day. The ‘noggy’ flavour isn’t too overpowering, so even if the nog ain’t your speed, you still can get on board with this breakfast. Serve with berries and maple syrup or go the whole hog and serve with an iced cold glass of eggnog! Nothing like getting a carried away this time of year!

I do have one caveat on this recipe: please, please – promise me you will use some good quality, thick, crusty bread. This is serious guys. Your average sliced white is not gonna cut it I’m afraid. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just  thickly sliced and the crustier the better. Trust me, this one thing makes a world of difference! You wont regret it.

Enjoy a festive breakfast the RIGHT way, with a big helping of  Eggnog French Toast! (Click through for the full recipe)Enjoy a festive breakfast the RIGHT way, with a big helping of  Eggnog French Toast! (Click through for the full recipe)

Eggnog French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of eggnog
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 8 slices of thick, crusty bread
  • Toppings to serve (ie: icing sugar, maple syrup, berries)

Instructions

  1. Place the eggnog, eggs, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour into a wide, shallow dish.
  2. Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. While the butter melts, place 2 slices of bread into the eggnog mixture and allow to soak for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Turn over and soak the opposite side. Make sure both sides are well covered.
  3. Shake off any excess and place directly into the frying pan, pushing down with a spatula to ensure that the heat is touching the whole piece. Cook each side for around 3-4 minutes or until the bread is brown and toasted. (The surface of the toast should be crisp but not burned - you may need extra time if you are using particularly thick slices)
  4. Repeat the above steps until all slices of bread have been toasted. Place cooked pieces in a low oven to keep warm until you are ready to serve.
  5. To serve, dust with a generous coating of icing sugar. Top with berries and maple syrup if desired or serve plain,with butter.
http://www.highwallsblog.com/2014/12/eat-eggnog-french-toast/
Enjoy a festive breakfast the RIGHT way, with a big helping of  Eggnog French Toast! (Click through for the full recipe)Enjoy a festive breakfast the RIGHT way, with a big helping of  Eggnog French Toast! (Click through for the full recipe) Enjoy a festive breakfast the RIGHT way, with a big helping of  Eggnog French Toast! (Click through for the full recipe)

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No tree? Why not make a
Christmas Display instead?

Short on space this Christmas? Can't fit a full sized tree? Why not make a pretty Christmas themed display instead? (Your presents need somewhere to live leading up to the big day!)

Not everyone lives in a big house, and sometimes, even a small tree is just not feasible! I know that I am very fortunate to have always lived in a house that not only had room for a decent sized tree, but also room for lights and various other festive flairs that others might not be able to cater too. So if you’re finding yourself a little short on space this year, why not make a Christmas Display to store your gifts under?

All you need is a stool and a few decorative items to get your display looking like ‘Christmas’! Bottle brush trees are inexpensive and can be found at most craft stores. You can never go wrong with a few deer figurines. Cram one of each into an upturned mason jar with a little Styrofoam ‘snow’ and you have yourself a ready made ‘snow globe’. If all else fails and you feel yourself really pining for a tree, a pruned branch in a vase with a few baubles and tinsel will certainly do the trick!

Do you have any clever tree alternatives that you use when you’re short on space? Honestly, even though I have a tree, I sometimes like to make little displays for hiding presents in other rooms all over the house. But I’m a little crazy like that… ;)

Short on space this Christmas? Can't fit a full sized tree? Why not make a pretty Christmas themed display instead? (Your presents need somewhere to live leading up to the big day!)Short on space this Christmas? Can't fit a full sized tree? Why not make a pretty Christmas themed display instead? (Your presents need somewhere to live leading up to the big day!)

Short on space this Christmas? Can't fit a full sized tree? Why not make a pretty Christmas themed display instead? (Your presents need somewhere to live leading up to the big day!)Short on space this Christmas? Can't fit a full sized tree? Why not make a pretty Christmas themed display instead? (Your presents need somewhere to live leading up to the big day!) Short on space this Christmas? Can't fit a full sized tree? Why not make a pretty Christmas themed display instead? (Your presents need somewhere to live leading up to the big day!)

Mixtape | All I want for Christmas

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Let’s be real, you either hate Christmas Carols or you love them. There is no middle ground. Me? I’m firmly in the “love” category. In my opinion, Christmas Carols make everyday life at least 45% more magical. Seriously! Try it out: pop in some headphones and jam out to some carols next time you’re doing your grocery shopping. I don’t mean the store carols – they always suck. I mean hand picked songs that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Here! I’ll even give you give you a few of my favourites :) There’s nothing quite like the spring in your step you get from some feel good carolling. You know, if that’s your kind of thing…

Disclaimer: I make no apologies for my Love of Michael Buble. The man can sing a good Christmas Carol! If I’m really honest with myself 80% of this playlist would be just him, but I chose to branch out a bit! Haha!

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01 | All I Want For Christmas Is You | Michael Buble
02 | White Christmas | Otis Redding
03 | Happy Xmas (War is Over) | John Lennon
04 | Last Christmas | Wham!
05 | Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | Michael Buble
06 | Do You Hear What I Hear? | Idina Menzel
07 | Christmas Waltz | Kristin Chenoweth
08 | The Christmas Song | Ella Fitzgerald
09 | Do They Know Its Christmas? | Band Aid
10 | Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) | Mariah Carey
11 | Wonderful Christmas Time | Paul McCartney
12 | Sleigh Ride | Relient K
13 | It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas  | Michael Buble
14 | In like a Lion (always winter) | Relient K

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 BONUS: Baby it’s Cold Outside | Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Lady Gaga

Christmas Gift Guide | for the Color Addict

Christmas Gift Guide: for the Color Addict! Hav eyou completed your Christmas shopping yet? Only 19 days until Christmas! AAAAHHH!!!! Don’t worry if you’re stuck for ideas; you can have some of mine: this time, for a lady who loves a bit of color!

1  | Any color lover would be stoked to store their change in this painted coin purse.
2  | This striking mini-pendant light fitting comes in so many colors, but this turquoise version is my favourite!
3  | These gold heeled shoes are a two-fer: Color lovers AND citrus lovers will be all over these bad boys!
4  | It’s a 2-way tie for what I’m crushing on the most: the patterns or color combo on this pretty serving tray.
5  | Who wouldn’t want to rock this bead necklace on the daily? (I know I would!)
6  | Nobody ever said  holiday card‘s had to  relegate themselves to the traditional red and green palette.
7  | Just think how supa fly you (or a loved one) would look in some delightful sea foam green sunglasses!
8  | A vibrant  teacup set to brighten up any tea time, even on the rainiest of days.
9  | Match your watch with your outfit or visa-versa!
10 | A gift for the color addict in the most literal sense of the term: a color wheel necklace!

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Recipe | Individual Christmas Fruitcakes

Merry Christmas! Try these single serve Cherry Fruitcakes (click through for full recipe)

Forget those sticky store bought fruitcakes you buy in a cheesy tin. And forget the dry, crusty slab of fruitcake your great aunt is always trying to serve you on Christmas Day. I was a fruitcake nay-sayer until I started making these individual cherry fruitcakes for Christmas. They are moist and sweet, and they are just so damn festive!

These fruity little treasures are “single serve” but as with most things, are best shared with a loved one.  I mean,  if you (like me) like to gorge yourself, even though you know you’re going to end up feeling a little sick: well then more power to you! But for those more sensible folk out there, while these cakes are small, they are still pretty dense, so going halvsies with a friend, ain’t such a bad idea after all!

On an unrelated note, I’ve been trying out this recipe plugin for my food posts the last few weeks. It’s not as pretty as when I format it myself, but it does add the option of easy print action for recipes. What do you guys think? Good or bad? Should we keep it or go back to the old way?

Merry Christmas! Try these single serve Cherry Fruitcakes (click through for full recipe) Merry Christmas! Try these single serve Cherry Fruitcakes (click through for full recipe)

Individual Christmas Fruitcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of mixed peel
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 orange (juice and zest)
  • 1/2 cup of sherry*
  • 225g of butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 & 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of glacé cherries
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons of citrus juice
  • Fresh cherries and vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak your dried fruit the night before you want to make your fruitcake: combine the cranberries, raisins, mixed peel and the zest of 1 orange into a bowl. Cover with the juice of 1 orange and 1/2 cup of sherry* ensuring that the fruit is completely submerged (add a little water if needed). Cover with plastic wrap and leave to sit overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the liquid away reserving the soaked fruit. Set aside until needed.
  3. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius and grease 6 mini bundt tins.
  4. In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and creamy.
  5. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well in between additions.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and then fold into the wet mixture, adding in small parts until combined.
  7. Slice the glacé cherries in half and add to the soaked fruit. Stir the fruit into the cake mixture gently, until well combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared tins and smooth the top. Bake for approximately 65 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly (this may vary depending on your oven so keep at eye on it from the 1 hour mark onwards)
  9. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  10. Once the cake has cooled, mix together 1 cup of icing sugar and 2 - 3 tablespoons of citrus juice until a smooth glaze forms. Spoon onto each of the cakes, allowing the glaze to spill over the sides.
  11. Serve as is or with fresh cherries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Notes

* The sherry can be omitted and replaced with water if you prefer a less boozy cake.

http://www.highwallsblog.com/2014/12/recipe-individual-christmas-fruitcakes/

Merry Christmas! Try these single serve Cherry Fruitcakes (click through for full recipe) Merry Christmas! Try these single serve Cherry Fruitcakes (click through for full recipe) Merry Christmas! Try these single serve Cherry Fruitcakes (click through for full recipe)

Oh Etsy | Stocking Stuffers

 oe-sticking-stuffers2015 diary | pouch | jewel soaps | wish list | key ring

Etsy is my favourite place to find stocking stuffers. Anyone can buy the old candle and chocolates combination, but what I really love is finding a little something that is quirky and fun to surprise my loved ones with on Christmas morning.  All of these pretty finds are $20 or under, so not only are they gorgeous, but also totally affordable!

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