Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Window Shopping Gift List and Cherry Almond Granola

When I was young, Christmas seemed to be all about what I would get.  I wouldn't sleep well on Christmas eve because I was dreaming about what might be waiting for me the next day.  Now, I find that I love pouring my energy into what I will give others.  I still don't sleep well on Christmas eve, but my excitement is more over sharing the day with others, and being able to bless them with gifts! 

When it comes to gifts, I'm more of a window shopper.  I love looking at the gift guides, seeing what's new and what's wanted, but I don't do much of the actual purchasing.  Apart from my husband and a few family members, most of my gifting is of the home-crafted kind.  But since I do love window shopping, I wanted to share my "window shopping" gift list with you.  Many of these things I already have and love, and others are on my wish list.  Maybe my little window shopping list will help you fill in those last few gifts that you have been looking for. 

My favorite gifts for the food lover:

Peppermint Hot Chocolate (Williams-Sonoma); Tucker Honey Glazed Pecans; Crate of Clementines

My favorite gifts for the host:

Mug Cozy (Socks and Mittens); Monogrammed Mug (Anthropology); Dorothy Gail Apron (ImaginAprons)
Latte Bowls (Anthropology); Alabama Dish Towel (Catstudio); Provence Platter (Williams-Sonoma)
12 Days of Christmas Napkins (Williams-Sonoma); Cow Creamer (Williams-Sonoma); Bon Appetit, Y'all (Amazon)

My favorite gifts for the chef: 

In case you're like me and prefer to give gifts of the homemade variety, here are a few ideas that go beyond the cookie jar.  I love the combination of Colonial Oatmeal bread with Apple Butter, or a pretty glass container of pimento cheese.  And a bag of granola will always be welcome. 

Cherry Almond Granola

1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup powdered milk
½ cup honey
1/3 cup 100% cherry juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon almond extract
5 ½ cups old fashioned oats
¼ cup wheat germ
¼ cup oat bran
½ cup millet
1 ½ cups dried cherries
1 cup slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, powdered milk, honey, juice, and oil. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the extract.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour the sugar mixture over the oats and stir well.

Spread the oatmeal over a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring 2-3 times. Reduce the heat to 250 and bake for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

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Jennifurla said...

one of each please.

con-tain-it said...

Thanks for the granola looks great and I'd love to make this for my family this holiday ;)
Fondly, Roberta

Rachel said...

Yumm!!! This looks so good. I'm constantly searching for my perfect granola recipe so I'll definitely be trying this one out! Thanks for the recipe.