A Handmade Christmas

26 Dec

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I know I did, I’m still full from all the eating!

This Christmas was really great for me, because this year I had time to make homemade gifts.

For my mom, I knitted her this scarf. I’m not the best knitter, and the only stitch I know is the knit stitch, but it turned out pretty good. It was down to the wire though; I finished it at 3am the day before Christmas Eve!

For my brother, I made homemade marshmallows. A few Christmas’s ago he spotted some “homemade” marshmallows in a Williams-Sonoma catalogue, and he wanted them. Well when I went into the store, they were $16!! For 10 marshmallows! I love Williams-Sonoma, but sometimes the prices are a bit ridiculous! So I found some that were a little cheaper at Crate & Barrel. But this year, I had time to make them myself. They’re strawberry, peppermint, and vanilla flavored. I’m hoping to post the recipe one day soon. The wonders of vegetarian gelatin amaze me! I also made him some hot cocoa mix to go along with them.

For my Dad, I roasted him some cashews. My dad has always been a difficult person to buy for, but he loves cashews. Every year my brother and I would fight over who was going to get him the big jar of roasted nuts. Well my brother has moved on to other gift ideas, and I get to keep the cashews. Instead of buying some, I decided to make them myself. I left some just simply salted, and I put a spice mixture on the rest. The recipe is as follows:

Spicy Roasted Cashews:

2 cups cashews
1 tablespoons salt (You can put more or less, but my father has been dealing with some high sodium intake lately, so I decided to go lightly
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive because I liked the taste, but I’m sure any would work.)

Optional: (For the spicy ones) 1 tablespoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (Less to clean up!)

First, toss the nuts in the olive oil, to gently coat them so the salt and spices will stick. Then add the salt and spices (if using) and spread out onto the baking sheet.


Bake for about 20 minutes. You’ll start to smell the nuts, that’s how I normally know that they are done.  Take them out and let them cool, and munch away!

I also got really cute Chinese takeout containers for them, as well as a tin for my brother’s marshmallows from The Container Store. They have all sorts of containers, it’s a great website to check out!

Later this week I’ll be posting some cookies as well as more cupcakes!

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3 Responses to “A Handmade Christmas”

  1. ezsrecipes December 27, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Your knitted scarf looks wonderful. I am trying to learn how to crochet. Merry belated Christmas! :)

  2. bakebooks December 27, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Thank you for finding my blog! I don’t know how – but stick around :)

    Cupcakes?! YES please.

    I love cashews. Merry Xmas :)

  3. hedonistnutritionist December 29, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Hiya! Thanks so much for cute comment re; the flax – so glad it was helpful! Ive been reading your blog and your review of baking books couldnt have come at a more amazing time – i’m looking to improve my cooking library and really needed some good book reviews. The boozy cakes book is written for ME and I will be ordering off Amazon ASAP. I look forward to reading more about your pastry school adventures – and it you are ever looking for a break from baking (and if vegan white chocolate exists?) I couldnt recommend the white chocolate cheesecake on my blog any more! I just wish my baking skills were up to re-creating it – some of the steps look highly complicated and my aunt is a very GOOD COOK. Happy New Year!xx

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