Thinking ahead…

As one of my most recent posts suggests, I am thinking about Christmas gifts already.  Really, if you are going to make your own gifts, it is going to take some planning and time.  Baked goods are cool for anybody, but being able to hand make something someone LOVES, is what I am striving for.  I want to be creative with my gift giving this year and it is time to start thinking about it now.  I did a little Pinterest research for a while on some gifts that would be worth of making myself and I wanted to share a few with you.

Here are some things that women would like:

Produce Bags, Ornaments, Jewelry, Sugars

Here are some things to consider for men in your life:

Bacon, washers, skittles, bottletops

You cannot forgot your furry friends:

Cat toy, dog biscuit

I hope that gives you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming holidays.  I look forward to my friends and family opening their homemade gifts this year.  Enjoy!

Cranberry Infused Vodka

I am realizing that Christmas is going to be upon us before we know it.  It feels like I was just staying awake until midnight watching the new year start.  Now 2012 is about 66.67% over.

I am one of those people who starts thinking about Christmas shopping in July, but usually ends up buying the presents the week before Christmas stressed out of my mind.  I want to change that this year for sure.  We have 4 months to go and I want to start making my homemade gift lists now.

I had this bag of frozen cranberries in my freezer from last year that I wanted to use.  Our freezer is stuffed with food I want to start using before it goes bad.  I HATE wasting food.  I don’t want to know if rotten food is being thrown away.  I’d rather not know.

I figured, around Christmas, who doesn’t have a holiday party with family or friends at least once?  Why not bring the host a gift of infused vodka?  It is SO easy to make.

Ingredients:

12 oz of whole cranberries

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 cup stevia

800 mL of vodka

1 lime

funnel

Before I give the directions let me explain these weird measurements.  I had a 1.75 L of vodka and I just used the rest of it.  It was about half full.  It also meant I could store the infused vodka in the vodka bottle.  Nice reuse. 🙂

I put the cranberries and sugar on the stove in a pot on about medium.  I started them off frozen, right out of the freezer and it worked fine.  It will develop a liquid on the bottom of the pot.  Once all of the sugar is blended well into the cranberries, and the cranberries are not mush (but whole, for the most part), you can remove them from the heat and add them to the vodka via funnel.  My funnel had a hole too small to fit the cranberries through so I just spooned them in.

Chop up the lime in thin circles and squeeze them into the bottle.  I shook the bottle up a bit just to blend the syrup into the vodka (with the cap on).

Store in a cool dark place.  Let me tell you that cranberries and lime marry very well together.  My friend at Recipe Diaries told me that and it’s true.