It seems I have picked up a new job as a caterer this holiday season.  We have reached that point in our lives where we are going to travel to our daughter and son-in-law’s home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Taylor and Ella have reached the age where it is good to be home for the arrival of Santa on Christmas morning.   As a special treat this year, my brother-in-law, from Ohio will also be joining us.  To make it a little easier on my daughter to host all of us,  I happily volunteered for the catering job.  My master plan for organizing Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day brunch and Christmas Day dinner involves grocery bags that are labeled for each meal.  As I gather non-perishable items, I drop them in the appropriate bag. I am then making everything I can in advance and freezing, leaving very little prep necessary in Kerry’s kitchen.  Just before we leave home, I’ll load everything in the bags for each meal.  It really cuts down on the stress and mess in Kerry’s kitchen.   A few items will need last minute touches, but basically, most of the work is done.  It’s cold enough in Minnesota that the bags can stay in the back of my car until needed for each meal.  I can easily send my husband out to the car with simple instructions as…”just bring in the Christmas brunch bag”.  It saves a great deal of time, explanation and multiple trips.

IMG_1605The “Snack Sacks” are packaged in the brown paper sandwich bags and tied with a holiday cord just to dress them up a bit.  I thought the whole tray could be placed on the island or buffet and serving dishes would not be needed. Everyone can help themselves, whenever.  I’ve identified each one with a simple inventory tag. The contents were first put in cellophane bags and then slipped into the paper sandwich bags.  Our challenge the few days before the big day is to stay out of the bags! The presentation looses something when half the contents are gone when the tray of goodies is delivered.

The Snack Sacks are filled with Swedish Raspberry Shortbread, Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies, White Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Cherry Cashew Chocolate Bark, Caramel Pecan Corn, Almond Frosted Butter Cookies, and Jan Hagel (yon-hagel).  This by the way, is the easiest and tastiest little cookie treat.  I make it every holiday and often many times during the holiday. The ingredients are few and simple and I always seem to have them on hand so I can make it without a trip to the grocery store and at the spur of the moment.  This is one recipe you are going to turn to often.

Jan HagelJan Hagel Recipe




The following pictures show you what the dough looks like.  Sorry, I packaged them up for gifts for friends so quickly that I forgot to take a picture of them all nicely cut.


Here they are all packed up and ready to “gift”.  Directions for these gift bags are found in the post, Double Duty Gift Wrap. They really work out well, both as a gift bag and as a major part of the gift.  My fifteen year old red pick-up truck is one of my favorite possessions.  It looks just like the truck in this towel print.

IMG_1573Find more of my favorite recipes on YUM!

7 Comments on GETTING READY

  1. Barbara Snedegar
    December 27, 2015 at 6:27 am (5 years ago)

    The first quilt I ever made was “Wildflowers” from one of your many books I bought. I gave it to my parents for their 60th wedding anniversary in 2004. Dad passed in 2012 and mom moved in with us for 3 years. She’s now in a nursing home and has Alzheimer’s, but the quilt is still on the bed in her room upstairs. I was sad when you closed down Thimbleberries, so you can only imagine how thrilled I was to hear you are back!! I just read you blog and I’m signing up for the block of the month on Craftsy. I’m looking forward to seeing the new fabric lines and anything else you come up with! Welcome back!

    • thimbleberries
      December 27, 2015 at 7:20 am (5 years ago)

      Dear Barbara,
      Thank you for sharing your story. My mother also became a victim of Alheimer’s. I certainly understand the journey you are going through with your mother now. I hope you will experience a few moments of joy while stitching your Garden Charm quilt. My thoughts are with you.
      My Best,

  2. Gail Brown
    December 22, 2015 at 5:00 am (5 years ago)

    Sounds like you’re going to have a wonderful family Christmas. Grandchildren are the greatest fun. It makes me realize why I had so many children [7], so I could have lots of grands and greatgrands. So much fun seeing it all through a childs eyes, so magic and exciting. I have to admit I love the part where everyone wonders what Grandma made for them and for them to really be excited about it.

  3. Valeria Russell
    December 22, 2015 at 3:59 am (5 years ago)

    I love being in contact with you, again, Lynette. I have quite a few of your books but oh how I miss your fabrics! I bought quite a bit when Rachel’s Fabrics, Lubbock TX, retired. But, I didnt get enough, as if there ever is! But I will enjoy each e-mail from you. MERRY CHRISTMAS, and Happy New Year.

  4. Linda McGraw
    December 22, 2015 at 1:33 am (5 years ago)

    Merry Christmas, Lynette! Thanks for all your great ideas.

  5. Kris
    December 21, 2015 at 9:11 pm (5 years ago)

    As long as you have picked up the new job title…… more house on the delivery wouldn’t hurt, would it??!!!!
    Seriously… I envy your organization when it comes to your holidays and cooking. Merry Christmas to both you and Neil.

    • thimbleberries
      December 22, 2015 at 11:27 am (5 years ago)

      I do have a tray of “Snack Sacks” ready for delivery to Shady Ridge Road on the 24th before we leave town. Have fun with the family and Merry Christmas to all of you as well.



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