Easy (&Boozy) Last Minute Gifts

IMG_2774

I hear those sleigh bells jingling…ring ting tingling, too. The holidays crept up this year when I wasn’t paying attention and now, here we are 5 days out and I’m doing my best to suppress sheer panic. Christmas is a time for family, friends, glitter, twinkly lights, loads of cookies…and blowing budgets. It’s that budget part that gets me all in a tizzy. There is just something about another cashmere sweater, insanely priced imported chocolates, or those witty (but pointless) gifts that fit the recipient so perfectly that would bring a big shameonyou for not purchasing.

Usually at this time of year, I turn to the exotic food section at Wegmans, the gourmet aisles of DiBruno Bros or extra special bottles of the local Wines and Spirits for some inspiration and saving grace. Christmas for us is all about the food and drink (surprised?). From the coffee we drink while opening presents to the bread we clean our dinner plates with, everything is just a bit more decadent than usual.
IMG_2725

And since gifts for me should always be decadent, thoughtful and maybe a little ridiculous, what’s a better way than gifting food? Don’t think I skimped on the booze…not even a little bitnot even at all. Here are some ideas to save your butt and budget over the next few days so you can avoid traffic and standing in line for that giant snowflake sweater …again. Plus you’ll get bonus points for the handmade gifts.

And what mother doesn’t love that?!

A few places that are musts to hit: a liquor store, unless of course you have random bottles of alcohol that you’re able to use, a Home Goods (or something similar) for some fun, funky glassware and kitchen products that are cheapcheap, and the grocery store. Most grocery stores will sell Ball Mason jars—check the bottom shelves in the dry goods section or ask. If not there, check hardware or craft store. You might have been headed there anyway!

IMG_2756

Red Wine Cherries with Black Magic Cake Recipe

  • 1 Half Pint Mason Jar
  • 1 16 oz. Bag of Frozen Dark Sweet Pitted Cherries—fresh ones are nice but pricey and the work of pitting is already done for you (go frozen!)
  • 6-8 oz. of a full-bodied red wine (Zinfandel or Cabernet work well)

Fill the clean Mason jar with as many cherries as you can fit. Top with red wine. Seal jar. I topped mine with a split wine cork for a little homey touch. Since these cherries are fantastic spooned over chocolate cake, I packaged with this amazing Black Magic Chocolate Cake recipe, a container of Sharffen Berger cocoa, some cake pans and a spatula.

IMG_2771

Orange Vodka for Christmas Morning ManMosas

  • 1 Pint Mason Jar
  • 2 Jumbo Navel Oranges
  • 12 – 14 oz. Vodka

Slice one of the oranges into wheels and cut each in half, add to clean Mason jar. With a zest cutter, cut the skin of the second orange completely, add to jar. This should fill the jar pretty well. Top with vodka and seal. Package with pint glass or beer stein and a recipe breakfast ManMosas: the manly alternative to the mimosa with orange vodka, OJ and Blue Moon. *Thanks to Jimmy for teaching me to drink like a man in the morning.*

IMG_2751

Christian Brothers Brandy Soaked Cherries and Rye Manhattan Recipe

  • 1 Half Pint Mason Jar
  • 1 16 oz. bag of Frozen Dark Sweet Pitted Cherries
  • 6-8 oz. Christian Brothers VS Brandy

Fill the clean Mason jar with as many cherries as possible and top with brandy. Seal. These little suckers are fantastic in a Manhattan and can be packaged with a glass if you know your recipients preference of up or on the rocks. I didn’t, so I stuck with the shaker and a simple drink recipe. A little chalk board paint on the lid let me label it in a fun way.

IMG_2776

Star Fruit and Dried Berries for Fantastic Winter Cosmo

  • 1 Half Pint Mason Jar
  • 2 star fruit, slice thinly
  • 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 4-6 oz. Triple Sec

Add the sliced star fruit, cranberries, raisins and cinnamon sticks to the jar and top with triple sec. Package with a fun shaker, martini glass (or a combo of both!) and a great winter Cosmo recipe that calls for the drunken fruits, white cranberry juice and vodka.

Advertisements