Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Teacher Christmas Gifts and Sugared Pecan Recipe

Today I want to share my teacher Christmas gifts and a couple of recipes with you.

My daughter wanted to give her current three teachers a gift plus her three former teachers from Elementary school.  That is six gifts that I had to come up with. Gift cards would have been too expensive so I decided to do what I have done in the past....cook.
Homemade goodies always make nice gifts. That is what I have done in the past and the teachers have always told me that they love taking home homemade goodies to their families or they share with the other teachers.
This year I decided to make homemade salsa and my cinnamon-sugared pecans.
For the homemade salsa, I used the Restaurant Style Salsa recipe from Pioneer Woman. Here is the link to the recipe on her blog. If you haven't checked out Ree at Pioneer Woman, you have been missing out. I love her and her recipes!!
This recipe is super easy and tastes wonderful!! I made two batches to fill up 6 small jars of salsa.
This is going to be my go to salsa recipe from now on. After eating something that tastes so fresh, I can't imagine buying store bought salsa anymore.
I also included some tortilla chips in cute red kraft bags in case the teachers want to eat some at school.
For my cinnamon-sugared pecans, I placed them in holiday gift bags and placed them in cute snowman tins.
Here is the Cinnamon-Sugared Pecan recipe if you are interested. I made a double batch so that I would have enough for six teachers.
This are so yummy and they will make your house smell so good.  I had to keep my daughter and husband from eating them all!!
Cinnamon Sugar Coated Pecans
Makes 3 cups
1 egg white
1 tbsp water
3 cups pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with foil. In a medium sized bowl combine egg white with 1 tbsp water and whisk until foamy. Add pecans and stir until they are all coated with the egg whites.  Set aside. In another bowl, combine sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour sugar mixture over the nuts and stir to coat evenly.
In a preheated oven, melt butter in jelly roll pan. Remove pan from oven and gently stir nuts into the melted butter. Spread nuts out evenly and bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch them so they don't burn. Remove and allow to cool for about a minute and then remove from the pan so they don't stick.
I used some tinsel yarn and tags to label and decorate the salsa and pecans.  I added a 2 1/2 inch circle made with scrapbook paper to the top of the jar. I used small glue dots to adhere. It can be removed later when the jar is ready to be cleaned.
I added in one of our Christmas cards and put everything in these pretty Christmas bags.
Total spent for everything for six teachers was maybe $45.  I bought all of the Christmas items at Hobby Lobby for half off.  The pecans came from my Mom and Dad's farm and the ingredients for the sugared pecans and salsa were not expensive at all.
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Have a Merry Christmas.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to my home for Christmas.

Today I want to share an overview of all of my Christmas decorations around my home.
Let's get started. I have lots of pictures.
I will start with my front door and end with my tree!

Front door.

Here is more information on my sled.


Entryway - Antique Hall tree and office door

I made all of these decorations on the hall tree last year.
Ho, Ho, Ho Banner

Santa's Workshop Sign
Joy Stocking Banner
Christmas Tree Paper Cone
Paper covered box
Curly Paper Wreath

Entryway Table

Printers Tray

Antique Hutch - Hallway

Framed subway art and JOY letters

Dining Room

I made these paper cones, grapevine wreath and burlap runner last year.
The wreath lights up.
Dining room light - the balls are filled with fake snow and curled scrapbook paper


Bar Vignette - you have to have some candy and a great smelling candle!
Kitchen framed art vignette

My Daughter's Curly Paper wreath on her door


Living Room

Christmas Cone Trees - you can see here for more information on these.
My Mantel - You can see here for more information.
I love my yarn wreath!
Handmade Stocking Holders - Click here for more information.


Our Tree

For my tree decorations, I love to use handmade ornaments and I frame Emily's school pictures and a family picture every year. I also have all of Emily's pictures with Santa framed on the tree. I top the tree with a Santa hat and that is my tree every year. Love it!
Here is a view of the tree from the entryway.
Thank you so much for taking this tour with me. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

My 2012 Christmas Mantel

Today I want to share with you my Christmas Mantel.

Here is a closeup of the top of the mantel.
Here are my homemade stocking holders. You can find out more about these here.
My mother made the stockings for us years ago and she also made Emily's stocking.
I made the red and white yarn wreath last year. You can see a video about this wreath here.
Here is a closeup of the wreath.
I have it hanging on my faux window that my husband made for me.
I decided to put some pretty wrapping paper from Hobby Lobby behind the top of the faux window. I love how it came out!
Behind the window is a snow blanket and some battery operated LED Martha Stewart lights. The three pretty red birds are from Hobby Lobby.
I wrapped my candles with some sheer green ribbon and used some card stock die cuts from My Minds Eye Lost and Found paper collection.
I have had the snowmen in my collection for years.
For the front of the fireplace, I hung our fur babies stockings on the fireplace cover.
This wooden snowman was purchased at a craft show a long time ago.
I added some colored balls and gifts to my red lanterns.
Here is another overall view of the mantel. 
If you have any questions, please let me know. I will share the rest of my home later this week.
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