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‘Tis the season to give your debit and/or credit card ... a break?!? How you ask? With thoughtful, homemade gifts from the kitchen.
I developed the following DIY ‘Gifts From The Kitchen’ as fun-to-make: teacher/coach/neighbour/grandparent gifts/hostess gifts/stocking stuffers and/or little party favours placed at each table setting. These festive recipes are simple to prepare, use ingredients you likely already have on hand, and will not have you regretting gift giving come January. Grab the kids (or a glass of wine), roll up your sleeves, crank up the holiday hits and get busy in the kitchen!
Double Decker Peanut Butter Fudge
Seven ingredients and only 15 minutes to prepare - this DIY fudge recipe will be a
family and gift giving favourite. Visit www.peanutbureau.ca for more tasty recipes made with peanuts and peanut butter.
2 (300 mL) cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (250 mL) peanut butter, divided (preferably smooth *I prefer natural peanut butter)
1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla, divided
10 oz (300 g) milk chocolate chips
10 oz (300 g) peanut butter chips
3 tbsp (45 mL) peanuts, coarsely chopped
Line an 8x8-inch (2-L) square baking pan with parchment paper (or aluminum foil) so
the edges overhang the sides. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine 1
can of condensed milk, 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) peanut butter and 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Cook,
stirring until mixture just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and immediately stir in
chocolate chips and 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla. Scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Refrigerate while making peanut butter layer.
In a clean medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the remaining can of
condensed milk, 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) peanut butter and 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Cook, stirring
until mixture just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and immediately stir in peanut
butter chips and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla. Spread evenly over chocolate fudge
layer. Sprinkle with peanuts, pressing gently into fudge. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or until firm. Lift the fudge out of the pan and cut into small
Cheese Ball Mix
I know it’s the year 2019, but cheese ball mixes are still a popular hostess/teacher gift (and retail for $5 to over $10!) This recipe costs literally pennies to prepare, therefore makes a perfect homemade treat to give with a bottle of wine or craft beer.
2 tsp (10 mL) dried parsley flakes
2 tsp (10 mL) dried basil leaves
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano leaves
1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) dried onion powder
1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) dried garlic powder
1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
Stir together all ingredients and place in a small candy bag (found at craft/bulk food stores) Tie with decorative ribbon and attach recipe card with instructions. Tie to neck of wine bottle or craft beer.
Recipe Card Instructions:
Pistachio Cherry Cheese Ball ~ a contemporary twist on a retro style appetizer.
Pistachio Cherry Cheese Ball
What you will need:
1⁄2 lb. (8 oz.) goat cheese, softened
1/4 lb. (4 oz.) brick style cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest
1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
prepared cheese ball mix
1 cooking onion, diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) roughly chopped pistachios
Place cheeses, cherries, honey and orange zest in a mixing bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a medium fry pan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, until lightly brown (about 3 minutes.) Add prepared ‘cheese ball mix’. Cook, while stirring, until herbs are fragrant (about 30 seconds.) Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add onion/herb mix to cheese mixture. Using a wooden spoon (or spatula), mix ingredients until evenly combined. Form into a ball. Roll ball in pistachios. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight.) Serve with crackers, pickled veggies, cured meats and dried fruit.
Citrus Coconut Body Scrub
Three ingredients, eco friendly and edible (although, it’s not meant to eat - ha!) A perfect homemade gift for the beauty Queen or King in your life.
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) softened coconut oil
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest (or clementine zest)
Stir together all ingredients (I like using the back of a wooden spoon and pressing mixture into the sides of the bowl - to make sure sugar and coconut oil become evenly combined.) Place in a 250 mL (or two, 125 mL) mason jar(s) with lid. Tie with decorative ribbon and homemade label.
How to use: Use as a body exfoliator and/or face scrub - works best on wet skin (ideally use in bath or shower.) Leaves your skin feeling soft, exfoliated and hydrated.
Charmaine Broughton is a food media specialist, cooking instructor and host of “In Char’s Kitchen Kitchen” on YourTV Muskoka. Most importantly; she’s the mom of two hungry teenage boys; Tyler & Colgan. Charmaine understands the importance of preparing wholesome dishes while keeping time and budget in mind.
Follow along: FB: Charmaine Broughton * Instagram: Charmaine_Broughton #InCharsKitchen www.charmainebroughton.com