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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Holidays are coming...

Starbucks has red cups, The Dome has decorations and here at Charlie and Evelyn's Table, we have easy canape and gift ideas:

Homemade buttery oat biscuits and simple hot smoked salmon mousse.

Pea and pecorino topping on homemade oat biscuits with crispy bacon.

Last week, we introduced these ideas with our first live demo for the Women at Greenbank (WAGS). Email the WAGs Commitee for details. They're organising a Christmas craft fair for next month where you can sell your wares or simply shop.

Buttery oat biscuits, packaged for festive giving.

It was great fun presenting our double act and sharing our story and ideas for easy and enjoyable entertaining and gifts. And we now have some charming, printable pdf recipe cards to share by email (you can print or view at home). We'll be sending them with our next newsletter but, if you're not on our mailing list or really can't wait, email us and we'll send them out right away.

Celebration brownies, for tasting.

The canape ideas we decided to share were those above, which have been successfully tried and tested at our suppers and those which work well as pre prepared options namely, buttery oat biscuits, simple hot smoked salmon mousse, pea and pecorino topping (which can be finished with crispy bacon) and indulgent celebration brownies (with gin soaked berries). We also offered a taster of and recipes for tried and tested courgette chutney and sweet plum jam if the idea delicious homemade goodies appeals.

Pretty jar of courgette chutney with sparking snowflake and gold raffia.

Given my love of packaging, ribbons and gift giving, we also wanted to share some tips on how the oatcakes, brownies and preserves might be presented as presents. Afterall, if you are going to go to the effort of making oat biscuits, brownies or chutney why not share the love and make some cost effective gifts at the same time?

Butterfly packaging and natural raffia.
The jam keeps for up to a year, so is perfect for birthday, thank you or house warming gifts before and after Christmas.

And, back to festive thoughts, jar decked with berried holly.

I also promised I'd share links to suppliers that I've found and used in the past. So here it is:

For holly, take a walk here, let's hope the red berries last a few more weeks yet.

For speedy delivery and useable quanities of jam jars in all sizes (be warned, they also sell hampers, bottles, labels and other jam making equipment).

For simple twine and other divine gifts.

For natural raffia, I got mine from this delightful lady but your local florist is probably a good start or perhaps fellow WAG and florist Carol Walker could help?

For luggage labels, you'll also find small labels and brown paper.

For presentation bags and all manner of bakeware and equipment should your collection need a boost.
For snowflake decorations ( I bought mine as a garland a couple of years ago but, this year, it was so tangled, I thought I'd cut it and use differently.) You can still get similar decorations. These reindeer are cute or this charming and cheap collection of hearts, stars and angels would work well.

And, last but not least, go here for beautiful ribbons, they will arrive beautifully packaged for sure.
Happy preparations, happy eating and of course, happy giving!
If you have any questions, please ask. We'd also love you to leave your comments and, if you do try our ideas, please let us know how they work for you.

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