Do you people realize that a week from today we will be celebrating Christmas? Hard to believe.
But just in case there are those of you who are still about three months away from finishing shopping, (insert my photo), here’s another great gift idea (which just happens to be in a dead heat with pomegranate vinegar for this year’s favorite in my opinion):
Bird Seed Ball
Oh the simplicity. This is such a great idea, I could just hug the person who originally dreamed this up. Here’s what you’ll need for one batch:
4-5 inch twig balls
- 1 cup animal lard
- 1 cup peanut butter
- raisins, cranberries or other bird-friendly fruits
- 3 cups corn meal
- 1 cup oats
- sunflower seeds or any other seed (as far as I know…)
- Press n seal wrap
Melt peanut butter and lard in large pot (don’t boil). Add oats and cornmeal. It should be the consistency of a heavy paste, but still stirable. If not, add more oats or cornmeal. Add seeds and fruit and stir thoroughly.
Cover the twig ball with the press n seal stuff (I am very technical – try to keep up, here.), leaving an opening in the twigs to fill. In fact, I looked for the biggest gap in the ball and then spread it a little wider.
Fill and call it a day. Just kidding. This was probably the most intimidating part – at least at first. You’ll need a narrow spoon (like a measuring spoon) to stuff the bird food into the ball. As you go, be sure to pack the food mixture into the ball as tightly as you can.
After filling and pressing the food in, filling and pressing some more, I called it a day and put them in the refrigerator to finish hardening. The original project had pretty decorations on top, but being me, I decided the best way to present this to the birds would be with little fanfare. So I used twine, and suggest hanging outside very simply. Birds know a good a thing when they see it. Trust me on this one…
Let’s move on to my friend Niki’s recipe for a great appetizer. I know by this suggestion that this chick has my back! Thanks, Niki!
Here is the “Single Ladies “Way to Make an Impression on the Men at your next Christmas Party” recipe:
Bacon Deviled Eggs
- 12 Large Eggs – hard boiled, peeled and sliced in half
- 1/2 cup Mayo
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 tbs prepared white horseradish (or to taste)
- 8 oz bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled fine
- 4 green onions, chopped fine
- Salt and Pepper (optional)
Plop egg yolks in a bowl and mash with whatever utensil makes you happy. Then stir in mayo, sour cream, mustard and horseradish. Once it’s all combined add bacon and green onion. Add salt and pepper if you are so inclined. Use two spoons to transfer the golden deliciousness back into each egg half (don’t bother with the pastry bag and star tip for this recipe you’ll end up with a mess of bacon and green onion stuck in the tip of the star). Place these little babies on a platter or egg dish and stand back – the men will come running!
Need I say more??
Next up, this delicious, quick and easy recipe was submitted by newlywed Jessica Gardner, from Provo, Utah. She is giving these homemade Oreo cookies to friends and family for the holidays.
Homemade Christmas Oreos
1 devil’s food cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil in a large bowl until well mixed.
Drop balls of dough onto greased baking sheet.
Bake 9 – 12 minutes, remove from pan and cool.
1 cube butter softened
1 pkg cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients in bowl and spread between two same sized cookies.
And now for one more grand finale Christmas picture, sure to make your day, Kate’s daughter’s collapsed gingerbread house! Lesson learned: keep the heavy candy on the BOTTOM!
So it looks like that about wraps things up for this year’s Craftdown to Christmas. It’s been quite fun, if I do say so myself (and I do). Kate and I certainly appreciate your help with this. You’ve provided great ideas that every one of us can capitalize on and have great fun doing. Regardless of the gifts we give, it is always the thought that counts, as trite as that might sound.
We extend a big hearty “thank you!” to all who offered the splendid ideas and look forward to the next go ’round. After all, Christmas 2010 is only 12 months away!
-Liz and Kate
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