Gift Ideas

This is a new idea I had.  This Christmas when I was thinking of gifts, I found it very easy to purchase for those I had taken notes for through out the year.  I found this idea worked for any gift occassion.  I have a notebook that I have people's names listed on each page.  Then on that page I write down different things I have learned about the person.  Such as...  I have a sister in-law that has a favorite color of purple.  So purple is on the page.  She likes to bake and collect cookbooks.  Those two things are written also.  She loves to read.  So you see, as you talk to people you can make notes of things you have learned.  Not when you are sitting with them, but later.  When you go back and look at your book it helps you pick out something for them and you learn more about them. 
That is the first tip.
Second tip-I had seen different things throughout the year that I thought would make a wonderful gift.  I didn't write them all down and then wish I did.  So under my label of Gift Ideas I will be adding things this year, then we all can take a peek in there for ideas.  Now sometimes you will see something that doesn't fit for anyone you know, but it just might trigger another idea.  Please, when I add an idea, add your comments of the ideas it gives you, so we all can share.
So my first thing I would like to show you is.......

I took this picture from Amazon.  You know how for many years a cookie in a jar were very popular?  Then they went on to make soup in a jar, cakes, breads in a jar.  All are great ideas for everyone to give to those who you just don't have an idea for.  I gave recipes from this book.  This was perfect for Grandparents, people who don't have kids around.  You can make one treat and enjoy.  That way you don't have a pan of brownies sitting there calling to you.  You need a mug that is safe in the microwave.  I found very nice mugs at Walmart for 1.98 and they came in 4 different colors.  Then I made up the chocolate chip cookie recipe and brownie.  I had tried both of these.  They were very chocolatey.  I then made it the second time with less chocolate chips and it was perfect for me.  Here is a couple of things I learned. I purchased this book from Amazon, they have another by the same author that is geared towards kids.  I looked at both and decided the first is the better.  The kids version has the same recipes except one that isn't in the original book.  And the kids book has less recipes.  Now this gift is one you can give the next year because they use them up.  I have had raves over the treats.  I enjoyed them when I made them for myself.  You wouldn't have to give another mug the second year. 
Sometimes when you get a cookbook it has odd things that you can't find at your local store.  The only ingrediant I didn't find was dried egg whites.  I did a search online and found this huge can for 24.00 and it will last for along time.  So if you use for gift giving you will still have plenty left over.  Most of the recipes are like 1 tsp of egg white.  You can find smaller cans.  The recipes have an optional ingrediant of dried vanilla.  One of the reviews said they used coffee creamer in vanilla flavor.  I tried it and it works great!
For one person who I knew would enjoy giving these to others, I purchased the book and gave her that.  It was great because she had someone give her one of these in a mug last year and her cake was so good, she wanted to do it.  So when she received the books she was excited to try the dessert recipes.
There is another set of books called mug'ems

There is several of these books with different thems, like soups, breads and muffins.  The difference with these books is you cook them in the oven.  So you need to find a mug that is not only safe for the microwave, but safe for the oven.  I had a harder time finding this.  I did find some and they were 7 and 8 dollars each.  I did find one that was a like soup bowl and had a lid.  I found one place that sold these for $5.95.  So keep that in mind.
There is a newer book out now that I have not tried and not all the reviews are good about the outcome of the goodies

I am curious.  So the first gift idea is to purchase a recipe book make a recipe, put it in a bag.  Tuck it in a mug and decorate a little with a tag so they will be able to add a couple of things and bake in the microwave and enjoy.
I made up several goodies in a bag this last Christmas and it goes very quickly.


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