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The $0 Holiday Challenge - Page 4

post #61 of 625
peaut brittle, microwave version

1lb shelled p-nuts
1c light corn syrup
1c sugar
~~put these into a big 8-cup glass measuring cup and microwave on hi for 5 minutes. stir~~ microwave for 3 minutes on hi, then add:
1ts vanilla
3tbs butter, the real stuff, or margarine, not a veg spread like country crock
~~microwave on high 3 miuntes, then add
1ts baking soda, stir very quickly to mix it all together, then pour it onto 2 foil-lined cookie sheets that you sprayed with no-stick spray. spread it with a butter knife you also sprayed w/ non-stick spray.

allow to harden, then, using the foil, pick up the brittle and drop on the counter a couple of times, then pick up the bigger pieces and break by hand.

i did this from memory, so i hope it's all right, lol...i've made it enought that i ought to know it by heart, lol.
post #62 of 625
does anyone have a good gingerbread recipe? like the actual bread, not the cookies...
post #63 of 625
Originally Posted by ja mama
I've actually tried to tell all my friends that we're either making or recycling all of the gifts that leave our house. Somehow that was the hardest thing. Once I'd mentioned what we are doing, I feel absolved of the guilt. Now if they choose to buy us gifts, it's because they want to, not because I expect them to spend money.

I just phrased it as a novel idea I'd heard, trying to cut down on consumerism, handmade and chosen from our house gifts mean a lot more...
I so respect this. I also understand how hard it is- I've never made a formal announcement and have always felt worried about how the handmade gifts were received. This year I'm going to "recycle" or "borrow" your idea and tell everyone this ahead of time to clear the air.

Thanks for posting that.
post #64 of 625
Wow a whole thread filled with great ideas- thanks mamas.

Even with wonderful ideas, I'll have to work on what the OP talked about with not getting overwhelmed too.

On the subject of beanbags- I have made alphabet beanbags and they are a huge hit.
post #65 of 625
Anyone have some ideas for men/boys?
post #66 of 625
My dh makes an awesome aftershave that we both love. I can get the 'recipe' from him if you like. I think he found it on care2.com

I know it uses tea tree oil, witch hazel, aloe vera gel, rose water, etc.

all the other things that have been posted, btw
post #67 of 625
That would be great, thanks!
post #68 of 625
you all are awesome!! thank so much for posting your ideas!

the only thing i have come up w/ that is not listed is making home made granola.
making granola is pretty easy ( i used to make it at a restaurant i managed) and so yummy! i'm sorry- i don't have the recipe anymore.
post #69 of 625
I love this thread, I have made my DD and my niece 9 bean bags each- in pretty girl colors- I have them all sewn but I need to get the filler- should I use rice, or beans or birdseed? I made my nephew 10 beanbags 5 with "X's" and 5 with "O's" I have to also fill those. I will post photos when I am done. I am looking for a winter fleece hat pattern- I want the one that kinda looks like a box- does anyone know a good online pattern?

The peaut brittle looks easy enough and my dad loves it! So I am going to make some of that for my family.

Anyone have any good places to get info on how to make non-bake cookies?
post #70 of 625
the beanbag I have is filled with feedcorn. It can be heated in the microwave (or frozen) and stays warm for a loooong time. I used it a ton on my back when I was pregnant.
post #71 of 625
Feedcorn huh??? How much does that cost- I am thinking I would need about a 5lb bag. I should call my feed store.

Okay- I have a ton of plastic milk jugs- the gallon kind, what can I do with these? Something cool- I am going to go research google!
post #72 of 625
okay here are some IDEAS!!!

Magazine House

Using an old catalog or magazine, cut out pictures of chairs, tables, curtains, bathroom fixtures and other furnishings. Spread out a newspaper or large sheet of drawing paper. Sketch an "open sided" house. Have children place the pictures of the furnishings in the rooms of their choice. They can cut out more pictures to redecorate their house, cut out pictures of people, toys, pets, anything they like!


Alphabet Catalog Collage

Using old toy, clothing, and plant catalogs, have the kids cut out colorful pictures that begin with a specific letter of the alphabet. Have them glue the pictures onto an index card and give the gift to other kids who are learning their ABC's


Tea Lover’s Gift: So many people today love tea. Of course this gift could be given to a coffee lover too, substituting a small pouch of flavored coffee instead of tea. All of your discount stores carry large varieties of oversized mugs. Get an oversized mug you think your recipient would enjoy most. Next you’ll need a box of quality tea—either herbal or a good Earl Grey or English Breakfast. A nice box of gourmet tea biscuits are available at most of the large grocery store chains for under three dollars. Throw in a chocolate coated spoon (also usually available in the gourmet section) and you have a tea (or coffee) lover’s delight.


For The SO **

Make a scrapbook of the history of your relationship with the recipient. Fill it with pictures, mementos and memories from the past. Include your own heartfelt note thanking the recipient for the value and warmth she/he adds to your life.


Put your artistic abilities to work and create a piece of art in honor of the recipient. Write a personalized song, do a painting or sketch, or write a poem.


I have written poems and framed them before also photography and framed them- you can get a print for under $0.50 and the frames for a buck or less at the second hand store. This always makes my mother cry!


If you have artistic flair, purchase blank note cards with envelopes. Decorate the cards with your own drawings to make personalized note cards for your loved one.


Use a desktop publishing program or your calligraphy skills to create a wall-hanging featuring a inspirational quote or Bible verse that is particularly meaningful. If you are handy with a needle and embroidery floss, do the same thing using your needlework skills. Display the finished product in an inexpensive, yet attractive frame.


I have taken most of these right off the internet! So, if I get slamed for copying then I will be in jail come the holidays and I guess I will not have to worry about gifts anyhow!

DP needs the computer, but I will keep looking tonight and post more!
post #73 of 625
am thinking the aftershave would be useful for 2 on my list....
post #74 of 625
here's one for bay rum aftershave. My DH it!
post #75 of 625
Originally Posted by boysrus
tricia, I am in the same boat, my ds turns 8 on the 19th of December. It is hard enough to buy for one thing, but two! whew!!

ditto, ds will be 5 on the 14th...

love the spa day idea!!!!
post #76 of 625

Chocolate Truffles

I think I got this years ago from Martha S., but not sure. I also have one from a 2001 Issue of Real Simple. I think I got one from the book How to Cook Everything as well.

Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 5 dozen

28 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2tablespoons liqueur, such as Cognac, Grand Marnier, or Poire William (optional)
Best-quality cocoa powder

1. Make the ganache; place 16 ounces of chocolate and the cream in the top of a double boiler, or a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted; remove from heat. Add butter and Cognac and stir until combined.

2. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the mixture is very cold and set, but still pliable, about 2 hours.

3. Melt remaining 12 ounces chocolate in the top of a double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted; remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature.

4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Using a 1/4-ounce ice cream scoop, drop ganache onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Chill 10 minutes.

5. Coat the palm of one of your hands with about 1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate. Roll balls, one at a time, between your palms until evenly coated with chocolate. Roll in cocoa powder to coat. Transfer to second baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls, coating your palm with more chocolate as needed. Chill until ready to serve. Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I like Sharffen Berger chocolate (melts very well), but any high-quality dark baking chocolate will do.
post #77 of 625
Thread Starter 
OK< carlasher, can you dumb it and cheapen it down for us common peasants!!??
I need to spend about $1 or less per present
post #78 of 625
meant to post this earlier...there are lots of cute gifts for kids to make. (I have tons more links like this btw if you need them )
post #79 of 625
Thread Starter 
I am poking around looking for cheaper truffles, but they dont seem to exist How much does it cost to buy those fancy ingredients? I really want this to be aimed at people who are really broke like me, and it doesnt sound like something I can afford to make.

But, while poking around, I came across a few ideas for making heated rice bags :http://www.cancerlynx.com/morericebag.html
This is a cute stuffed animal out of scraps: http://www.dltk-kids.

I am trying to think of ways to decorate a rice sock, so it deosnt look like you are just giving a sock!! ANy ideas?
post #80 of 625
how about fabric painting for the rice bags? you can find lots of painting ideas here btw

here is a long list of truffle recipes too you should be able to find something to fit your budget among these!
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