I sort of went crazy in the kitchen today. I made muddy buddies & s’mores cookies & Oreo truffles. I made mixes for oatmeal & chocolate chip & pecan cookies as well as curried lentil soup. I seriously made cheese straws exactly according to the directions, but they were horribly burned. I have enough to make tomorrow as well, and I might try them again at half the baking time.
I had some difficulties as my in-laws decided to do a gift swap this year instead of individual presents. That’s fine, but we had to come up with a bunch of $25 presents. The age range is from mid-20s to mid-70s with people everywhere in between. They don’t drink (alcohol being an easy & popular gift choice), and I was thoroughly flummoxed. Here’s what I ended up doing:
1: Everyone Loves Chocolate: homemade hot cocoa (on a stick!), a selection of each of the three cookies / truffles listed above, the movie Chocolat, and the mix for the cookies listed above.
2: Let’s Stay Home: a thick fleece blanket, microwave popcorn & a four-in-one DVD (Ocean’s 11, Ocean’s 12, Ocean’s 13 & the original Ocean’s 11, something for everyone, I hoped!)
3. It’s Cold Outside, So Let’s Stay In: curried lentil soup mix (linked above), a recipe book for CrockPot meals & the new Norah Jones CD
4: Christmas Spirit: two movies – Elf & A Christmas Story, a box of microwave popcorn, a couple of candy canes, the hot cocoa on a stick mentioned earlier, a few Christmas cookies, a mix CD of Christmas songs
The first two were chosen by my mother-in-law (#1 & she loves chocolate, so I think it went over well) & my great-uncle-in-law (#2 & they liked the blanket & will probably like the movies, so that should be okay). I’ve never been so nervous that my gifts might not go over well! (Note: We have two gatherings with my in-laws, one on Christmas Eve with one side & one on Christmas Day with the other.)
My family’s gathering isn’t until Monday, but I’ll see my mother & older sister + her family tomorrow, and we’ll exchange gifts. I love watching people open presents. Have I mentioned that before?
Christmas is grand!