December 11th, 2012
I love to give gifts, especially gifts for or from the garden! There is something special in a wild flower bouquet just because.... or a small start from a perennial plant for a special friend. I have several perennials in my gardens that are from friends and each time I venture through I think of them, and I do believe this is the point. Right now many of us are starting to get those beautiful seed catalogs in the mail... oh yes I've already ordered! As they come in I get more and more excited about the coming Spring. Next week will herald in the first day of Winter... my personal countdown to Spring... the days will start to grow longer, miniute by minute and then my beloved Spring will arrive.
Garden and Seed Themed Gifts
Each Spring most local stores have the 10 for $1.00 seed packs, I like to stock up on them and include in gift baskets, birthday cards or any other little garden type gift. Store them in an air tight container and keep in the freezer, it will add to their longevity. These make beautiful gifts for all occasions and with Christmas right around the corner here is a lovelyidea for your gardening friends and loved ones. You can use anything you want for a 'Gift Basket". Here is a cute Garden Caddy that you can fill will all kinds of gardening goodies. Terra cotta pots are another great gift basket that you can fill up. Don't allow yourself to be confined to the normal idea of a basket... although I love baskets and never mind getting one as a gift. My point is simply to think out of the box, or in this case 'basket'! Have fun and be creative.
Watch for my next post on specific Gift Basket creations...
Have you ever had or been a Secret Pal?
I have been on both the receiving and giving end, it is so much fun! Here are a few tips on how to be one!
*First pick someone who you think could really use some cheering up or someone you think it would just be really fun to surprise.
*Decide how long you want to do it- 3months, 6 months, the longest should be a year.
*Decide on a theme- this makes it easier when deciding on gifts. Once you decide on the person, that should make the theme easier because you will more than likely know what they like. Make a list with the twelve gifts you want to give fitting each one to the month.
*Premake your monthly cards- I used the pictures out of one of those mini calenders you can get for a buck or two, cut the pictures down to fit on a piece of card stock- 4"x6" works really well- also they are already themed to the months! I glue the picture down for the front of the card and then write or stamp what I want in each one, put it with the envelope and you're ready to roll every month.
*Watch at thrift stores for gifts- you would be shocked what you can find. Typically most of the bigger thrift shops have a section that is jam packed with Brand New items, still in the wrappers with price tags!
*You can even preplan you gift 'container'. Choose if you want to go with simple yet cute gift bags- which can also be picked up at thrift stores- or cute baskets or even nesting boxes. The options are endless.
.... so choose that special person and gift away, after all, 'it is better to give then to receive'...
Here is a really yummy Quiche for a special brunch you may be planning or just a really special breakfast...
"Michigan Winter Farmer's Market Quiche"
1 deep dish pie shell
2 cups Organic Monterrey Cheese (or similar), shredded
1 pound Garden Gate Hot Italian Sausage
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
3 Garden Gate eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp each Pink Himalayan Salt and Black Pepper
1 3/4 cup Milk
1 8oz. container Salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1. Prebake unpricked pie crust on a preheated cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven for about 5-6 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees.
2. Remove casing from sausage, brown in skillet, breaking up the meat until crumbly and cook thoroughly. Drain well.
3. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, cooked sausage, cheese and peppers. Turn into partially baked pastry shell. Bake at 325 degrees on the preheated cookie sheet for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from center. Let stand about 10 minutes to set before serving.
Serve topped with sour cream, salsa and shredded lettuce for a super yummy treat! Enjoy.