Sunday, December 19, 2010


I think my Christmas baskets were pretty successful this year - so if you're still looking for a hostess gift, neighbor gift or work gift - I got ya covered. There are many sources of good value baskets and other containers like Cost Plus and Ross (mine were low buckets that I found in the $ section at the front of Target, but bowls or actual baskets would also work- or recycle a basket that someone just gave to you!). In an effort to be green, I bought festive - but not specifically Christmasey so they'd be more useful - kitchen towels at Cost Plus and used them to line the basket. Found fun holiday muffin cups at Cost Plus as well. Then I made four different kinds of muffins, piled them in the baskets, added a holiday gift tag and was ready for delivery. After a few trial runs (with disaster Oatmeal Raisin muffins and so so Gingerbread muffins) I ended up making CHOCOLATE MUFFINS, SWEET POTATO & PECAN MUFFINS, APPLE PECAN COFFEE CAKE MUFFINS (note that the latter 2 require softening butter ahead of time!) and, I confess I made Trader Joe's Cranberry bread mix into muffins. Added the zest of one orange to spice it up, divided among about 16 muffin cups and cooked for about 16 minutes. As a timing note, I cooked the sweet potatoes and made the CHOCOLATE MUFFINS the night before, cooled them completely, then put in tupperware. Then I got up, started with the TJ's mix to get things going in the oven, then made the other two muffin batches. One batch of each of these rounded out three baskets nicely. Happy Holidays!

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