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    You are in: Home / Cookbooks / Gift Giving
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    107 recipes in

    Gift Giving

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    A basic recipe for homemade vanilla extract, with a variation using sweetener, to make it taste more like store bought vanilla. Corn syrup or sugar helps extract and develop the flavor from the vanilla pods (corn syrup dissolves more easily). Using a variety of vanilla pods (Madagascar, Indonesia, Tahitian, Mexican) will produce a vanilla extract with a much more complex flavor and aroma. Try using Madagascar pods as a base, adding Tahitian and Mexican pods for additional flavor/fragrance notes. Vodka is used most often(you can also use rum or brandy) because it usually has the hightest alcohol content. You can double or triple this recipe.

    Recipe #326069

    I hated fruitcake until I tried this. It took me 2 years to get the recipe from a friend at church. I am patient. It was worth the wait. A little history from Christmas Corner-Traditions: Fruitcake has been a holiday tradition for hundreds of years. The oldest references to fruitcake date back to Roman times, when the recipe included pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins mixed into barley mash. In Europe in the 1700s, a ceremonial type of fruitcake was baked at the end of the nut harvest and consumed the following year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest. In the 18th century in England, there were laws restricting the use of plum cake (the generic word for dried fruit at the time) to Christmas, Easter, weddings, christenings, and funerals. Between 1837 and 1901, fruitcake was popular. It is said Queen Victoria received a fruitcake for her birthday one year, and legend has it, she put it aside for a year as a sign of restraint, moderation, and good taste. It is the custom in England for unmarried wedding guests to put a slice of the cake, traditionally a dark fruitcake, under their pillow at night so they will dream of the person they will marry. Fruitcake is full of healthy nutrients. The fruit and fiber in fruitcake is loaded with anti-oxidants, molecules that protect cells from disease and damage. The cakes contain a lot of sugar which means that water activity will be low, which keeps mold from forming and makes the cake last a long time. A fruitcake can last several months. If there's no mold, it's safe to eat, even if it has been around a while. But fruitcakes can't last forever.

    Recipe #281687

    Cherries, almonds and chocolate! Easy and so good, even healthy! It's also a good source of fiber! Adapted from Healthy Living with Ellie Krieger!

    Recipe #279798

    Mix the melted chocolate, nuts, fruit and marshmallows together, and just it let it harden in the fridge for an addictive dessert! These make great gifts too!

    Recipe #163581

    This is an adaptation of Sour Cream Banana Bread which I posted, then found out it was a duplicate. The difference is you use yogurt instead of sour cream. You may use plain, or be adventurous and try vanilla, lemon, or your choice of flavors! Or go ahead and use sour cream if you wish. I even used part mayonnaise once in a pinch. For the nuts, use whatever nuts you wish. So here is the recipe,I hope you enjoy! I used to make this for the Colonial Pines Inn in Highlands, NC. It was always well received, and the customers could buy a loaf to take home, which they frequently did!

    Recipe #208920

    This simple but lovely granola comes from the Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, Vermont. I love the addition of maple syrup! A little history: Sylvester Graham develops Graham flour and Graham Crackers; later, Dr. James C. Jackson uses sheets of baked Graham flour, broken up, rebaked and broken up again to create "Granula". Then Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a Seventh Day Adventist and director of their Battle Creek Sanitarium, develops a mix of baked and rebaked whole grains, and also calls it "Granula", which was later made famous by Charles W. Post, remaking it and calling it Grape Nuts.

    Recipe #221683

    Easy with lots of flavor! This is great sprinkled on buttered corn on the cob, mixed in with sour cream for a dip, over salads, rice, potatoes, the list is endless! Adapted from Gourmet magazine(2006). Southwestern, Mexican, also Middle Eastern and African!

    Recipe #222425

    An easy, quick way to pickle dried chipotle peppers adapted from Cookiing With Too Hot Tamales Cookbook! Pickled peppers are popular in Mexico, Spain and the Southwestern USA.

    Recipe #227352

    A $400 winner in the tropical fruit category for Better Homes & Gardens, March 1997. Yum!

    Recipe #227388

    Spicy chipotle peppers, one of my favorite chiles, balances with tart tomatillos for a restaurant worthy salsa! Adapted from Cooking With Too Hot Tamales cookbook.

    Recipe #227901

    A little different from the other posted. Adapted from Cooking With Too Hot Tamales cookbook.

    Recipe #227983

    In honor of the Caribbean island of the month, here is a great taste of de islands! This makes much more barbecue sauce than you need for a single chicken. It keeps well in the refrigerator. Adapted from the Cookin' & Grillin'.

    Recipe #229143

    An unusual and interesting change from the usual nuts and crackers! Adapted from Cooking With Too Hot Tamales cookbook. This fits into the Southern category because coconuts are grown in Florida and also the Mexican/TexMex category because the chili powder is used.

    Recipe #229145

    A yummy recipe from the Caribbean island of Aruba. Traditionally cocada is served on broken bits of the coconut shell. I've included this in the southern category too, since coconut is grown and used in Florida!

    Recipe #229155

    A nice, basic recipe for making yummy flan! Spanish influenced but also popular in the Southwest, Mexico and the Caribbean! This is also widely popular in Cuba and since there is such a large Cuban population in Florida, I guess that makes puts this in a Southern category too!

    Recipe #231653

    Adapted from a recipe by Mike Mills. This sauce is smooth and on the thin side, and it seeps down into the meat. Mike Mills is the only person to win three Grand World Champion titles at the Memphis in May International Barbecue Festival. He is also barbecue guru and partner at Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke restaurant in New York City and owner of six notable barbecue joints, two in Southern Illinois and four in Las Vegas. Mike is the author of Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue. Gleaned from the Boston Globe.

    Recipe #236350

    This recipe was adapted from Racheal Ray's Tasty Travels, Episode Best Barbeque and is from the Cowgirl Hall of Fame Bar-B-Q & Western Grill in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Enjoy! This is a southwestern and Western recipe.

    Recipe #236641

    This cake is different in that it has red, white and blue sprinkles which makes it perfect for 4th of July! Change the color of the sprinkles and you can use this for any celebration! And now a little history: Angel food cake is also called ice cream cake (a Pennsylvania Dutch wedding cake). It is felt that the abundance of cake molds in southeastern Pennsylvania, one of the major producer of cake molds, indicates that the angel food cake originated there in the early 1800s. Some historians think that the first angel food cakes were probably baked by African-American slaves from the South because making this cake required a strong beating arm and lots of labor to whip the air into the whites. Angel food cakes are also a traditional African-American favorite for post-funeral feasting.

    Recipe #238167

    The classic chocolate cream pie, served at the Hershey Hotel. And now a little history: While the nation was suffering through the Great Depression, the "Chocolate King," Milton S. Hershey, had a vision. Though close friends and associates called him crazy and urged him not to do it, he was determined to build a grand hotel high atop Pat's Hill in the town he built on chocolate. Nearly three decades earlier, Hershey had perfected his formula for milk chocolate and began his planned community of Hershey, Pennsylvania. He had already constructed the chocolate factory, homes for his employees and a school for orphaned boys. Now it was time to realize his dream. Before his wife, Catherine, passed away in 1915, she and Milton had planned to build a luxury hotel in the style of those they loved during their travels abroad. They dreamed of re-creating the Heliopolis Hotel, a famous resort in Cairo, Egypt. Hershey went so far as to purchase the architectural plans, but when the estimated cost to duplicate the structure was $5 million, he abandoned the idea. In 1930, Hershey announced that he intended to build his hotel after all. He gave his architect, D. Paul Witmer, a postcard of a smaller hotel he and Catherine had enjoyed on the Mediterranean. His involvement didn't stop there. Based on travel notes he and his wife had kept, Hershey instructed Witmer to outfit the new hotel with a Spanish patio, tiled floors, a fountain, and a dining room with a good view from every table. During construction, as many a 800 steelworkers, masons, carpenters, and other craftsmen and laborers were employed on the Hershey payroll. "We have about 600 construction workers in this town," Hershey said. "If I don't provide work for them, I'll have to feed them. And since building materials are now at their lowest cost levels, I'm going to build and give them jobs." Work began in 1932, continued through a very mild winter and was completed in 1933. A formal opening celebration was held on May 26, 1933 with a dinner and dance for 400 invited guests. The $2 million Hotel Hershey opened for business the next day. It was an elegant jewel nestled in the rolling hills of Hershey's birthplace. A local newspaper observed, "Somewhat belying the simplicity of taste for which the "Chocolate King" is noted, the hotel is characterized by great luxury of detail and elegance of appointment. Tinted walls, palms and fountains, carved woodwork, and brilliant hangings and rugs." Indeed, a Mediterranean-style hotel in central Pennsylvania was unarguably distinctive. Among its unique features, the Circular Dining Room promised what Hershey wanted - a view from every table. Built in a semicircle, without pillars or corners, it allows each guest to view the breathtaking formal gardens on the far side of the windows. Thirteen stained glass windows frame the outside perimeter, with each pane depicting birds and blooms native to Hershey's beloved state. The Hotel Hershey celebrates over 70 years of tradition and elegance.

    Recipe #238800

    Adapted from Tom Reilly, a staff baker in Esalen Institute’s famous kitchen while he was a Work Scholar and student there for a year and a half. When he introduced this sweet bread recipe from "The Bread Bible" he was besieged with requests to make it often – 30 loaves at a time! I lived off and on at Esalen Institute for several years during the early 70's. oh, the stories I could tell! A little history: Founded in 1962 as an alternative educational center devoted to the exploration of what "Brave New World" author Aldous Huxley called the "human potential," Esalen has attracted free-thinking philosophers, creative artists, top-notch body workers and nervous wrecks in need of Gestalt therapy for the past 40 years.

    Recipe #239447

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