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.
The “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 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.
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