I thought it would be fun to participate in Debbiedoo’s Dollar Tree Christmas party this Friday, and so I came up with a sweet little hostess gift that utilizes items from Dollar Tree.
Several of the gift wrap supplies came from Dollar Tree:
- green-stemmed martini glass
- red and white ribbon
- clip-on bird decoration
This is such a simple little project. The first step is to make a batch of Spiced Nuts–recipe is below. You will probably want to make a double batch, because if you start nibbling on them you won’t have many left to give away–addictively tasty :)
Once the Spiced Nuts are done and cooled, you can wrap it all up. I used waxed paper to create a sandwich wrap around the nuts, shaping it to fit the bowl of the martini glass, and I used a little piece of tape to hold it together underneath. A piece of red and white ribbon goes around the center of the nut bundle, taped on the back. Then I just used some regular ol’ white string to wrap a couple of times around the ribbon, knotting it on the top. I like how the rougher texture of the string contrasts with the silky glitter of the ribbon. Clip the cute bird decoration (it came with a little clip already attached) to the back of the glass, and you are done!
I love little bird ornaments, and this little guy was so cute that when I saw him at Dollar Tree I knew he was coming home with me!
The nice thing about this hostess gift is that, once you give it to your hostess, if she so chooses, she can open the nuts, pour them in the glass, and serve right away. It never hurts to come bearing an easy appetizer that goes perfectly with drinks when you are a guest at a holiday party!
The recipe is inspired from an old magazine clipping I’ve had for years that I believe came from Martha Stewart Living, but I cannot find it at their website so I can’t confirm that definitely. I have modified it to make it more to my liking, and this is my modified version below. It is super quick and easy to make.
Makes: 2 cups
Prep, cook and cooling time: approximately 40 minutes
3 Tablespoons peanut oil (I have also used canola oil successfully)
2 cups whole almonds, blanched (I often substitute almonds with skins on, or do a mix of almonds, walnuts and pecans–all are great)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar (I find this to be too sweet, so I cut it down to 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon, but go with the larger amount if you prefer it sweeter)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Kosher salt to taste
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the almonds, and stir with a wooden spoon, coating each thoroughly with oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar, and continue to stir until the almonds become golden brown and the sugar caramelizes, about 4 minutes.
2. Remove the pan from heat, and pour almonds into a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tablespoon sugar, salt, cumin, and red-pepper flakes over the nuts, and toss well.
3. Pour the spiced nuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and separate with a wooden spoon. Allow nuts to cool for about 30 minutes.
Spiced nuts can be stored up to two weeks in an airtight container.
What do you like to bring for a little hostess gift when you go to a dinner party? I’d love to hear from you in the comments, so stop by for a visit!
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Till next time,
I’m participating at:
DIY Project Parade at DIY Showoff
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence
Catch as Catch Can at My Repurposed Life