santa's workshop.

today is the day.
teacher present day.

every year i make the presents and every year they are very well recieved. the principal of the kids school tells me that she meticulously eats the granola i give her at end of year and christmas so "it lasts her six months till the next offering." since hearing such a nice comment i decided to double her bag - cause now it's from two kids! ;)

the school my kids go to is kind of amazing with the teachers giving their all and completely loving their job and the kids. it kind of helps too that they think my kids are pretty rad. in my books, anyone who thinks that deserves a big bag of sweets!

some of what i made is from yours truly and some has been inspired from pinterest.

hot chocolate kit.

i have seen many of these around - single serving and enough for a group. i combined a few i saw into what we gave out. hot chocolate mix on the bottom, then mini chocolate chips, then mini marshmallows and finally some crushed up candy canes {i put these in a little baggie as they are for a particular taste.} and to add that something extra  some chocolate dipped wooden spoons for stirring and striped paper straws for sipping!

whole wheat pancake mix.

my secret recipe. this, my granola and my cupcakes were the first thing i started selling when i started my business. i have been handing this out for years and the recipe is off limits...sorry!!

maple granola and cranberry crunch granola.

maple granola pictured.
big hits! and again...top secret recipe. i wouldn't even give it to my mom! ha!

honey orange cranberry sauce.

in late november i made a large batch and canned it for this very purpose. to can the sauce - sterilize your jars and lids. pour warm sauce into hot jars and place in canning pot. process for 20 minutes, starting from when the water starts boiling again. perfect for christmas dinner!

hot fudge sauce.

my new secret weapon! this sauce is amazing and i will be letting you in on it in the next couple of days. come back for it - you won't be sorry!

shortbread. {not pictured.}

last year we handed out this version but this year i went plain, simple, classic. and nobody does it better than martha!!
{i did the fingers but didn't dip them.}

cranberry almond bark.

this is something i have been doing for years! like i think about 15 years. i started out using white chocolate because it definitely looks more festive but since i can't stand the stuff i have changed to milk. when this recipe was first developed it was determined by price not measurement. i knew what i wanted to spend so i mapped it out that way. a few years later i went with my dad to the store to get the ingredients and as we approached the bulk section he asked my what i needed. i answered him "$6 of chocolate melting wafers, $3 of whole unsalted almonds and $3 of cranberries." he stopped dead in his tracks, looked at me and proclaimed "that is the craziest recipe i have ever heard." in turn i said "well - that's all i want to spend." yes i could have said 1200 grams of chocolate, 200 grams of cranberries and 200 grams of almonds...but where is the fun in that? plus a girl has to budget - especially at christmas time!!!
{please don't judge the recipe by my picture...my kitchen got hot so the chocolate heated a bit causing some white colouration!! oops!}

cranberry almond bark
1200 grams choclate melting wafers or your favorite chocolate
200 grams dried cranberries
200 grams whole unsalted almonds

first toast your almonds. pre-heat the oven to 375. spread the almonds out on a tray and place in oven for 5 minutes. pull out toss on tray and place in for another 3 minutes. pull out once more and if you think they need a little more {like me but i don't know that strength of your oven!} place them in for two more minutes. remove from oven and let cool.

once they are cool melt your chocolate. place your chocolate wafers or chopped up chocolate bits into a heat proof bowl and either use a double boiler or microwave. i use the microwave. i heat it for 30 seconds, pull it out, stir it and then place back into micro. i then repeat this in 15 seconds intervals. yes this sounds horrendous but it doesn't burn your chocolate and you will be happier for it. once it's all melted add in your cranberries and almonds {you may have to upgrade to a larger bowl at this point.} then pour onto a pan covered in parchment - sides too! - then put it in a coerner of your kitchen and forget about it. let in harden. once nice and hard, lift it off the parchment slightly and smack it down. keep doing this till it breaks into your desired sized and number of pieces. bag it up and hand them out!!

cinnamon stars.

these were something i saw on pinterest and had to do them ourselves. each one of our packages will have one of these with them as well. and did you see the ribbon? it was such a score from pick your plum - merry christmas from the gronick family - personalized ribbon? yes please!

our tags.

i love christmas cards. i love the design and the sentiment behind them. what i can never do  is bear to part with them so i thought if i turned them into something else and spread their cheer that would be awesome. so i came up with this - using the covers of old cards as new tags for our gifts.
perfectly festive and to quote mooseletoe... so perfectly perfect.

what are the teachers on your list getting this year?

happy holidays from us to you!



Anonymous said...

Oh my god that all looks great!!! I wish I was a teacher so I could have some.

Anonymous said...

Very nice! Your teachers are lucky. In recent years, our kids' schools have started collecting money to buy the teacher a group gift. I don't like that--not only do I not have the money, I also always liked baking the gift, and I so I ignore them and keep baking. We make apple cinnamon bread, which is what my mother made for my teachers. So this is a tradition that has been going on for almost 40 years.