Tag Archives: christmas gift

and another christmas gift from the kitchen – dark chocolate candied ginger bark


This is another Christmas treat recipe that I got from a co-worker. My husband tried to convince me that this batch should be a “test batch” but I managed to save most of it and hide it away from him. And then I ate a couple of pieces. And maybe another. I think I might have to buy some more dark chocolate tomorrow.

It’s an un-recipe, really. You can put anything in this that you like – the only constants are good quality dark chocolate and candied ginger. I like to make mine with a salted nut of some kind, though having forgotten to buy peanuts or cashews one year, I substituted trail mix and it turned out great. The proportions are up to you, but I will give you what I use.

Dark Chocolate Candied Ginger Bark

  • 1 lb dark chocolate (I use wafers)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of candied ginger, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 1/3 cup or more dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup or more nuts (macadamia, cashews, peanuts, almonds – all good)

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, add in remaining ingredients and spread on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Put it someplace cool to harden, then gently break into pieces. Store somewhere cool until needed.

I usually just store my candies and fudge out in the garage until Christmas. I did learn the hard way to keep them up out of the reach of the dogs. They can demolish hours of work in seconds. And our vets are our friends, but even they get tired of telephone calls on weekends and holidays.

Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Frugally Sustainable

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getting ready for Christmas – a spiced chai sugar body scrub


Christmas is getting closer and I really don’t have much of a plan. In fact, knowing that we are moving in January, I didn’t put up any lights or greenery outside of the house. We always have a real tree inside, so we don’t decorate until a week or two before Christmas to avoid having a needle-bare tree by Christmas. This year I am reluctant to do even that, knowing that the Christmas decorations are the only boxes that I already have packed. But somehow I doubt that I will win that battle.

I made a head start today on an idea for teacher’s gifts. I’ve started knitting a few dish cloths with an apple pattern (I know, exciting, right?) and I thought that I would include a sugar scrub of some sort. This is one that doesn’t require refrigeration, making it easy to give as a gift. It’s also pretty easy to customize according to ingredients that you have on hand.

You can make this in any quantity you like, to fit any container you have on hand. The basic rule of thumb is 2/3 sugar to 1/3 oil – and then you can add any scents/additions that you think would go well together. I used Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea because I think it smells like Christmas.

Spiced Chai Sugar Body Scrub

  • 2/3 cup sugar (white or brown or half and half)
  • 1/3 oil of your choice (olive oil, grapeseed, almond, etc)
  • 3-4 bags of Bengal Spice (or your preference) chai tea

Cut open the bags of tea (use more bags if making a larger batch or you want a stronger smelling scrub) and mix it together with the sugar and oil in a jar. Use it anywhere on your body that needs a little scrub, moisturizer or general healthy glow. This should keep indefinitely without the need for refrigeration – just give it a stir to mix in the oils and sugar occasionally.


Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday

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