tis' the season

To start thinking about gift ideas for teachers...therapists...acquaintences...

In fact...I put out a facebook update asking for thoughtful, creative, sweet, and BUDGET FRIENDLY ideas. And loved some of the feedback SO much that I'm going to share the first three today!

With one itty bitty string attached...

if you have a creative idea you'll share it with me either via email or comments!


Cake Balls (by

Bake a cake. Crumble the cake into a bowl. Add the frosting you would have frosted the cake with. Squish it all up. Roll it into little truffle sized balls. Stick them in the freezer. While freezing, melt some chocolate or candy coating in a double boiler. After the balls are frozen a bit, pull them out. Roll them in the chocolate. Let them sit to harden. You can sprinkle them with stuff while the chocolate is still gooey too. You may have to keep melting the chocolate. It can be a little time consuming, but they are so good!!

Since I didn't have a lot of cash to spend, I got some of those reusable containers from the store, filled it with truffles, and put a ribbon around it.


Puzzle Wreath Ornament and Mitten Bookmark Clip

instructions for both can be found
here compliments of an IS mommy friend, Jen!


Garlic Dill Oyster Crackers (by

1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dill weed (optional)
(I usually only use about 1/4 of the dill weed called for,
as we like to taste mostly the garlic.)
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
2 12 oz. boxes of oyster crackers

Mix all ingredients, except crackers, well (I use a 2 cup measuring cup to mix this so I can pour evenly). Place all of the crackers evenly on cookie sheet(s). (Don't worry about the crackers being in a thin layer. It doesn't matter.) Pour entire mixture over all the crackers. With a spatula, begin turning the crackers over and over, allowing the oil mixture to coat the crackers evenly. DO NOT BAKE! The mixture will gradually coat the crackers and sink in. Store in an airtight container.

This might look strange as you mix it, and you may think the crackers will get soggy...But they stay crisp as new!!! Amazing!!!


JSmith5780 said...

The cake balls and gaelic oyster crackers are both like crack.... addicting!

Sinead said...

My simple cookie recipe. No substitutions allowed. It's simplicity is dependant on consistency and minimal handling.

6oz self raising white flour
1oz cornstarch (ok you can substitute an ounce of self raising flour if you don't have)
1oz good quality dark unsweetened cocao (not hot chocolate mix)
4oz sugar (superfine is best but regular is ok)
4oz real unsalted butter (not margarine)
1 egg (not beaters or substitute)

throw all ingredients in the food processor. Mix until it forms 1 solid doughball. If it feels soft to the touch then refridgerate for one hour. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into Christmas shapes. Minimize the amount of handling/ touching.

Optional brush lightly with beaten egg mixture.

Bake at approx 375 until a skewer placed in the center of one comes out clean.

Melt good quality dark baking chocolate (I like ghiardelli) and coat one or both sides. Optional, sprinkle with coconut before chocolate dries. Put in a clear partyfavor bag and wrap with Christmas ribbon.

Katy said...

I do not cook, so this won't be that kind of gift idea. I give Charlie's therapists a "survival kit" which is hand sanitizer, a frozen starbucks drink (I buy a four pack @ Target and split it up), and some other kind of nibble. They'll use all of it, I know.

MJStump said...

Cake balls are amazing! Definitely freeze before dipping into chocolate, and take like a dozen or so out at a time to dip. They get soft if they sit out on the counter waiting to be dunked. Maybe use a spoon to coat with chocolate...I used forks and speared some of the cake balls, causing little chunks of cake to flake off and float around in the chocolate.

Take a peak at some of the crafts on MarthaStewart.com Some are pretty cute and look like fun :)


Colby said...


Thanks for asking for these ideas...This was a great way to share! With Colby being 25, I have spent YEARS trying to come up with ideas for all of the folks who worked with him!

(I MUST try the cake balls!)


Erin P. from G. said...

a well written card of appreciation (maybe with a great smiley picture of your adorable one attached) is always more than enough. educators and therapists totally love being rewarded with praise and feedback from families. at least this educator does. =P