Friday, December 9, 2011

Neighbor treats with printables

Growing up I absolutely loved getting our plate of goodies from my Grandma.  She would load our plates up with a variety of homemade goodness.  It didn't get any better than her Christmas plates.  I sure have missed those plates these past 13+ years.

Last year I decided to hand out my neighbor/friends/family/teachers (you get the drift) treats early.  I realized that I was stressing myself out and not enjoying the holiday as much as I should be.  So I made all my goodies up early and delivered them the 2nd week in December (check off a big stress reliever). 

This helped me not only be less stressed closer to Christmas, but I hope my friends enjoyed an early treat before the rush of all the other treats. 

Every year I am bombarded with goodies the week of Christmas (don't take that as a complaint...I would never be one to complain about too many goodies).  I find that my kitchen counters become so full of sweets that I can't even enjoy them all.  So the perk of delivering early is that your recipients can enjoy them without being overwhelmed with a million other goodies.  GENIUS I know:) 

Ideally if all your friends and neighbors could sign up for a day throughout December to deliver your treats that way you would be getting a few treats a day.  I might need to put a sign up sheet on my front door with dates for treat deliveries:)

So today I am sharing just a few treats I make for neighbor gifts.  It seems like every year my list grows by leaps and bounds that I am forced to add more recipes to my list and easier ones as well.  And I like to make up a few extra plates of goodies for those people who accidentally slipped my mind and didn't make my list.  That way when they deliver their treat to you, you go to the kitchen and grab your spare plate, write their name on the tag real fast and bring it to them and they will never know you overlooked them.  Sometimes it is just obvious you are getting a plate of goodies from someone because you gave them some (you know what I am talking about...we have all done it.  Someone delivers you a plate of goodies and not wanting to look foolish you quickly make a plate of goodies the next day and deliver to them).  Or yes I will admit in the past I have re gifted neighbor treats.  Yep you read that right.  A few years ago I got some store bought treats from some people.  I knew I wasn't going to eat it so I just took the tag off and put a new one on and sent it to a new owner.  Please tell me I am not the only one to have ever done that?

Now I will be sharing homemade goodies and store bought ones (because really we all need something simple to take that requires little or no work). 


1 (3oz) box of jello (any flavor)
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
3 packages of microwave popcorn (popped and all the kernels sifted out)

Combine jello, sugar and karo syrup into a pan and cook over medium heat.  Stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil.  Let it boil from 30 sec to a 1 minute, making sure all the sugar dissolves (mixture will get thinner as the sugar dissolves).  Remove mixture from stove and pour over popped popcorn.  Stir popcorn up making sure all the popcorn is getting coated with the jello mixture.  Allow to cool for a minute or two and then butter your hands up and form into tight balls.  Place onto wax paper. 

Now I re-butter my hands after every ball.  If your hands aren't nice and buttery than the popcorn sticks right to your hands making it almost impossible to form them into balls.  My personal favorite jello is CHERRY.  And for Christmas I always make a cherry batch and a lime batch to get pretty Christmas colors. 

I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  My camera battery died and I only had my cheapo cell phone to use. 

 PopcornGreen                                                                            Popcorn Blue  

Materials Needed:
Rootbeer in glass bottles
Brown chenille stems
googly eyes
red pom poms

Twist chenille stems around top of bottle to make antlers.  Then hot glue googly eyes and a red pom pom on to make nose.  So simple and yet so cute.   Get some cute ribbon to attach this saying and you got yourself an easy, yet adorable neighbor gift. 

Image found here

I will admit I got this idea from Charissa.  But it has been a hit with some of my friends and neighbors.  In fact last year I didn't give a certain neighbor salsa (I opted for a sweet treat for them) and she genuinely seemed disappointed that I didn't bring the salsa.  She even asked for it.  Its a nice change from the sweets.  This year I incorporated a new recipe into my mix.  I love the new recipe for 2 reasons.  1) its delish and 2) its so easy to make.  Anyways here are the 2 salsa recipes.

Chili's Copycat Salsa Recipe
from Deals to Meals found here

2 cans whole tomatoes, drained
1 small can diced or whole jalapenos (not pickled)...I add only half a can because a whole can would be way to spicy for me
1/4 c. yellow onion, cut into quarters (you can also use dried minced onion)
1 t. garlic salt
1/2-1 t. salt
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. sugar
1 t. lime juice (I use the bottled kind)

Place all of the ingredients together into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

I got this recipe from my husbands cousin a few years ago.  I love this recipe so much.  It may be my favorite salsa ever. 

6-8 Roma tomatoes- diced
1 bunch of green onions- diced
1 bunch of cilantro- chopped finely
1 can corn- drained
1 black eye peas- drained
1 8oz bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing
avocado- diced (you can choose to leave this out...but if you add it make sure to tell your neighbors to eat it within 2 days).

Cut the tomatoes, onions, cilantro up. Add the canned corn and black eye peas.  Throw all into a bowl and stir.  Add dressing and right before serving add avocado. 

This year I poured my salsa into half pint mason jars.  But in years past I have used throw away tupperware.  I then put the mason jar/tupperware of salsa in the middle of a paper plate and then put tortilla chips all around the jar/tupperware. 

I have lots of cookie recipes to share but next week we will be doing an online cookie exchange so check back then for some awesome and yummy cookie recipes. 

Anything Sweet:
Since I usually make treats for roughly 50+ people every year I am always looking for easy and fast treats that are also yummy.  Here are a few of my favorites. 

Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods:
Pretzel Rods
Chocolate (I used Andes baking chips...the green (mint) and the red (peppermint) packages)
Sprinkles (optional)

Melt chocolate in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring each time.  Once it is melted dip your Pretzel Rods in the chocolate and coat anywhere from 1/2 -3/4 of the rod.  Tap off excess and lay on wax paper.  Dip about 4 more pretzels and then sprinkle the sprinkles on top.  Repeat til all are done. 

I put a few pretzel rods in a cello bag and attached the below tag and tied it on with some tulle (ribbon could be used). 

Fruity Pebble Rice Krispies:
I love to make these instead of Rice Krispies.  They look Christmas-y with all the red and green in them and they are delish.  This year I rolled them up into balls (just like a popcorn ball) but you could use cookie cutters and make them into cute shapes or you could be traditional and cut them into squares. 

Mug with Hot Chocolate packets:
I found some $1 holiday mugs at the dollar store that were actually cute.  So I snatched up a few and then bought a package of hot cocoa that came with 10 individual packages.  I placed 2 packages into each cup, placed a candy cane inside and then dipped marshmallows into chocolate and poked a lollipop stick in them and your done.  I made these for single people I was giving too.  These wouldn't be as logical to give a family of 5, although you could. 


Hopefully we have given you a few neighbor gift ideas. Remember if you print off the tags to print them onto cardstock.  It works better to have them on thicker paper.

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Our Delightful Home said...

Thanks for sharing!

~Mrs. Delightful

Crafting Rebellion said...

That rootbeer is too cute!

The Hills Family said...

I Love this! Such a good idea for neighbor gifts! Thanks for sharing this on Strut your stuff with the Six Sisters! We hope to see you again next week!
Kristen... one of the sisters! :)

Linda :) said...

Great ideas ~ thanks!


Lori said...

Now I'm hungry! Thanks for the ideas. I'm a new follower. Stop by and enter to win my Heirloom ornament...only 1 day left to enter. Warm wishes

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