Tag Archives | squirrel mix

some-what {HOME-MADE GIFTS}

Here are a few some-what HOME-MADE gift ideas! They would be great for friends, Sunday-school teachers or even neighbors! But let’s talk teachers for a moment! Don’t our kid’s precious teachers deserve the best?  They are so wonderful and do so much for our kids. It never seems like enough to give them a small little gift during the holidays…but I always hope to do at least something beyond thanking them almost everyday in person!  When Paige was just 3 and in her first preschool class I adored her teachers! That year I decorated a small Christmas tree for her teacher that lived in the country and would potentially plant it! It was somewhat personal and cute! For her “gardening-loving” teacher I gave a kit to “grow your own” amaryllis plant in the hopes that she would actually use it! I simply attached a cute tag to both packages that said “Thank you for helping Paige BLOOM this year” and included some home-made goodies for them to munch on (see below). If I were to do it over again I would change the word BLOOM to BLOSSOM or GROW. But even now I still like how it turned out and hope they did too!
At that time Paige was becoming our little Squirrel which was a nice way of calling her a little robber (her teachers were aware since things were finding their way home via her pockets and out of their classroom). With this in mind I decided to call my home-made mix “Paige’s Squirrel Mix” instead of the usual “Puppy Chow” or “Muddy Buddies” (and I gave it a “nutty” twist to make it more fun)! Hopefully they enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed making it!
Check out how I made the yummy mix HERE.
What are you making home-made this year?
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squirrel mix {aka muddy buddies} & grandma Lil’s potato leek soup

 So here is a new idea for Valentine’s Day…something for your neighbors or teachers that will warm the soul!
First you can double this potato soup recipe, add a loaf of bread and a bag of this scrumptious dessert and you are set to make someones day! How delighted would you be to receive something like that on a cold afternoon?  Here is a great attachment for a free gift tag you can print to add to your package:
grandma Lil’s potato leek soup
2 ½ cups Chicken or Veg Broth
(or 2 ½ cups water + 4 chic bullion)
4 or 5 Medium Potatoes (cubed)
2 or 3 good sized Leeks (washed well)
2 or 3 good sized Celery stalks
1 piece of Bacon (plus more for garnish if desired)
Lots of Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Place chopped bacon in the bottom of a medium-sized pan with butter (or oil)…after a few minutes of browning bacon add veggies and cook until sautéed. Season with Salt & Pepper.  Add broth and cook about 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add more seasoning, to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, green onions, bacon, sour cream; any or all will be great with this soup. Enjoy!
*For a creamy texture…slowly add 1 ½ cup milk at the end of the 30 minutes. I did not add the milk, it was so good with out it!
*If you are not a bacon eater just use your favorite sausage or skip this all together and just use your favorite oil to brown the veggies for a minute before adding the broth! Be sure to season it well if not using the salty bacon!

 
Squirrel Mix {a twist on Muddy Buddies}
For my Muddy Buddies (or Squirrel Mix as we called it) I used a slow-cooker recipe that allowed me to make the soup on the stove while the chocolate was melting in a crock-pot on the counter.  I added craisins, pistachios, dried cherries and almonds to ours.  We gave it away as gifts so I tried to make it more personal by calling it “Squirrel Mix.” We call Paige our little squirrel these days because she loves to pile little “treasures” into tiny boxes and bags and hide them in corners all over the house.  She carts them around as she scurries about her day and can always find what she is looking for even if it’s in a random & tiny spot…that girl keeps us laughing. You can often hear us saying, “Don’t squirrel that!” as she scurries away with a stolen treasure! Click on this link from www.cookeatshare.com for a Traditional recipe for “puppy chow OR muddy buddies” (I don’t like to bake so this is a good dessert for me to whip up and somehow feel more domestic)!
  
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