Author Topic: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas  (Read 1623 times)

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Offline Maddy

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A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« on: October 25, 2013, 04:11:15 PM »
While Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, I'm horrible at prepping for it - just H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E !

So, in the past few years since I've gotten married I realize that I basically have no choice but to act like a grown up and actually have my act together for the holidays. That, and I really do despise the last minute shopping that is a direct result of my procrastination. In an attempt to get a jump on gifts this year I've decided to spend some time and get a little creative. Last weekend I canned some homemade chili and strawberry jam, and tonight I'm going to infuse some vodka w/ cranberry and lime and see how it turns out. Anyone tried this before? It looks impossible to screw up and is beyond easy so I thought I'd pass the recipe along.



Another easy gift idea that I put together last week is made some Homemade Vanilla Extract with some vanilla beans I ordered off of Amazon and yes - vodka again! So easy!


Offline AlanS

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 05:13:32 PM »
I'm sensing you're part Russian with your obsession with vodka. ::exitstageleft::

Great ideas, though. ::thumbsup::
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Offline Maddy

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 05:25:00 PM »
Lol, you would think! I'm actually German & Sioux. I actually like vodka, but am more of a beer and wine girl.  ;D

FYI, I ran across an article recently 17 Unusual Uses For Vodka. From skincare to killing weeds. Who knew? Crazy - but cool!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/17-unusual-uses-for-vodka

Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 05:38:48 PM »
I make my own vanilla with vodka.  It supposed to "last" forever but I use so much vanilla in baking it didn't keep up so I went back to buying it.

I've made baking mixes as gifts.  There are books and recipes to be found on the web.  But you can use a favorite recipe too. I use my banana bread recipe.  Just put all the dry ingredients in a baggie or jar.  Include with  the instructions any additional ingredients needed like eggs or milk or oil. I also used to do this for my self so I didn't have to haul out all the ingredients every time I wanted to bake something.

I haven't tried it yet but I recently read about baking desserts in small canning jars --individual apple crumbs, stuff like that.
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Offline Maddy

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 05:55:35 PM »
I make my own vanilla with vodka.  It supposed to "last" forever but I use so much vanilla in baking it didn't keep up so I went back to buying it.

I've made baking mixes as gifts.  There are books and recipes to be found on the web.  But you can use a favorite recipe too. I use my banana bread recipe.  Just put all the dry ingredients in a baggie or jar.  Include with  the instructions any additional ingredients needed like eggs or milk or oil. I also used to do this for my self so I didn't have to haul out all the ingredients every time I wanted to bake something.

I haven't tried it yet but I recently read about baking desserts in small canning jars --individual apple crumbs, stuff like that.

Thanks for the tips. I read the same thing about vanilla so I'm looking forward to see how it turns out & how long it lasts. I've received the baking mixes before and they are fantastic - but I'm glad you mentioned doing them for yourself as I hadn't thought of that. Thanks! Banana bread...one of my husbands favorites. Might have to make some this weekend... ::thumbsup::

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 05:57:45 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.
"A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means."

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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 06:06:36 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.

eh, skip the cleaning and just drink it, then you won't care about the surfaces
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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 06:11:01 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.

Hope she buys the rot gut.

One year, I received a jar (with the wire flip top glass lid that seals on a ring of rubber) of homemade Chex mix.  That was my favorite food gift.  It seems to last forever, is easy to make in large batches and can have various spice/seasoning mixes.  The jar can then be recycled for storage.

Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 06:13:25 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.

Hope she buys the rot gut.

One year, I received a jar (with the wire flip top glass lid that seals on a ring of rubber) of homemade Chex mix.  That was my favorite food gift.  It seems to last forever, is easy to make in large batches and can have various spice/seasoning mixes.  The jar can then be recycled for storage.

There are a number of those snack mixes that are good to make and get.  My kids love the one with cereal, peanut butter,chocolate and covered in powered sugar.
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Offline Dan

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 08:10:28 PM »
"So, in the past few years since I've gotten married I realize that I basically have no choice but to act like a grown up and actually have my act together for the holidays"
I've found that revelation to be very inconvenient!
But those are some good ideas.,the vanilla booze I especially like. I used to drink vanilla schnapps, Dr McGillicuddys, but every time I did, I'll be dammed, but the wife would pick a fight with me!!!
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Offline Maddy

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2013, 12:12:33 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.

Yeah, apparently it works great for a lot of things. At the same time I think I'm w/ LadyVirginia as far as that goes - I'd much rather drink it.  ;)

Offline Maddy

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 12:18:47 PM »
"So, in the past few years since I've gotten married I realize that I basically have no choice but to act like a grown up and actually have my act together for the holidays"
I've found that revelation to be very inconvenient!

Indeed!

But those are some good ideas.,the vanilla booze I especially like. I used to drink vanilla schnapps, Dr McGillicuddys, but every time I did, I'll be dammed, but the wife would pick a fight with me!!!


Yep, I've had fun making the stuff so far. According to the recipe the vodka should be ready in about 7 days, so I'll be interested to see how it turns out and how it will end up tasting by Christmas. So after next weekend you see me posting and typing something akin to Mye Xmasss prodjeks are comming along grate! you'll know I've been tapping my own stash  ;D

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 12:30:40 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.

Yeah, apparently it works great for a lot of things. At the same time I think I'm w/ LadyVirginia as far as that goes - I'd much rather drink it.  ;)

LOL. Our friend jokes about that. She puts the vodka in a spray bottle. We were teasing her one evening while she was cleaning the counter, so she started saying, "three for you... one for me... three for you... one for me..."

Of course, on "one for me", she was grinning and giving herself a spritz.
"A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means."

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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2013, 12:34:50 PM »
My vanilla bean in vodka too much longer than 7 days.  It was weeks.
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Offline Maddy

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2013, 03:21:57 PM »
My vanilla bean in vodka too much longer than 7 days.  It was weeks.

Yep - I'm pretty sure that the vanilla extract I made will take probably at least 60 days before it's ready. As far as the cranberry vodka that I'm making (to drink) the recipe said that it should be ready in a minimum of 7 days. I'll probably check it in a couple of weeks to make sure that it's not getting too sweet too fast. Otherwise I'll just let it sit until Christmas before I portion it out and give it away.

Offline AlanS

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2013, 05:47:31 PM »
Neat thread. What other flavors can you do with vodka? I may have to start experimenting soon.
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Offline Maddy

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2013, 06:13:21 PM »
Neat thread. What other flavors can you do with vodka? I may have to start experimenting soon.

As far as infused vodka (and some other liquors) go, I'm pretty sure the sky's the limit. Naturally you could pretty much do any type of fruit (lemon, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, watermelon, etc..) and then there's vanilla, cinnamon, mint, etc... Below are some links that you might find handy  :D


How to Make Your Own Infused Vodka


General Google search on making your own - some great links to check out.

I had to edit this as I remembered that I'm seeing around the web that people are also using candy to make their own infused vodkas (gummy bears, jelly belly's, peppermints, Laffy Taffy, etc...)

Here's an article I found when I Googled it -it gives you the general gist:

http://www.1finecookie.com/2012/02/candy-infused-vodka-a-different-flavor-a-different-candy-for-every-sweet-tooth/
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 06:44:41 PM by Maddy »

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2013, 09:05:15 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.

Yeah, apparently it works great for a lot of things. At the same time I think I'm w/ LadyVirginia as far as that goes - I'd much rather drink it.  ;)

LOL. Our friend jokes about that. She puts the vodka in a spray bottle. We were teasing her one evening while she was cleaning the counter, so she started saying, "three for you... one for me... three for you... one for me..."

Of course, on "one for me", she was grinning and giving herself a spritz.

I just hate it when I catch the neighbors licking my counter-tops.

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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2013, 09:39:23 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.

Yeah, apparently it works great for a lot of things. At the same time I think I'm w/ LadyVirginia as far as that goes - I'd much rather drink it.  ;)

LOL. Our friend jokes about that. She puts the vodka in a spray bottle. We were teasing her one evening while she was cleaning the counter, so she started saying, "three for you... one for me... three for you... one for me..."

Of course, on "one for me", she was grinning and giving herself a spritz.

Hahaha!  I use Anisette in my Christmas cookies and it's sorta the same drill; one for them, one-two for me.
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Re: A DIY Christmas - Gift Ideas
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2013, 04:34:01 PM »
I don't wanna hijack the thread, but re; multiple uses for vodka... a very good friend of ours uses vodka as a cleaner on all her kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Swears by it.

eh, skip the cleaning and just drink it, then you won't care about the surfaces

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