Thursday, December 22, 2005

Homemade Christmas Gifts...oh my!

This is the first time I am making my own (hand made with much love if not expertise!) foodie Christmas gifts. I had been toying with the idea for some time now. I have made food gifts in the past, but these were all for individual persons, on individual occasions. I had the luxury of time to plan out personalized selections, excitedly including what I knew were favorites, expanding the selection as much as my imagination dictated. Christmas is a whole other affair. Multiple recipients, timing, and the logistics of it all daunted me. But all the inspiring posts out there about fabulous Christmas goodies straight out of the kitchen motivated me to go for it.

Also, this is the first Christmas C and I will be giving joint presents. Our little dry run for next year. So why not mark this first with another? Something which perhaps will lead to our very first Christmas tradition...and something which can be continued next year from our very own shared kitchen. Ok, warm and tingly moment there.

Moving right along, what to give? I decided on something I have already tried (no need to up the stress level unnecessarily)...these dark and decadent chocolate truffles. This is one of the first recipes I bookmarked from a food blog -- Truffes au Chocolat from Chocolate & Zucchini. Clotilde made these as Christmas presents back in 2003. She is an inspiration, and so here I am, 2 years later, trying to follow her talented Parisian footsteps. I am rolling some in unsweetened cocoa (as above) and others in crushed walnuts. I have merrily procured some gold tins, chocolate brown ribbon, white paper doilies, plastic sacks with a white lace design, and gold wire ties to package these little balls of chocolate goodness.

Good luck to me and Happy Holidays to everyone!!! Here's to a very merry Christmas with great food all around! :)


Gia-Gina said...

I am doing the same thing with my biscotti, your truffles look great. I am on low carb so I'm only tasting the biscotti not really eating them. Too bad for me.

Mila Tan said...

The truffles look amazing. Were all the ingredients locally available? Or did you dig into your balikbayan box c/o mom?
Great going chichajo and have a great holiday weekend!

Lera said...

Home made goodies are a real treat !

Merry X'mas & a happy new year!

Marketmanila said...

I made some truffles two weeks ago...and will post my version in the days after Christmas...was really easy and delicious if the base chocolate is good...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Gia! That biscotti looked mighty tempting :) Hey, have a whole's Christmas! I won't tell the low-carb police ;)

Hi Mila! Thanks! I got all the ingredients locally: dark Callebaut chocolate blocks from Cooks Exchange, and local butter and cream. I was making 4 batches so I didn't have enough funds for a splurge. But if I'm just making one batch for someone special (like for a birthday) then I'd use Vahlrona (also available locally at Bacchus, Shangri-la Makati) and French or Danish butter (also available locally in Rustan's or Terry's Selection) :) Have a wonderful holidays!

Hi Lera! I agree, they are a treat and a gift from the heart to boot :) Merry Christmas! :)

Hi Marketman! Can't wait for your post! Yes, it all hinges on the quality of chocolate used...and I love how easy it is :)

sailu said...

Those truffles look absolutely awesome....filled with love!
Happy holidays and a Merry X'mas!

JMom said...

Your truffles look absolutely delicious, and sounds easy enough to make, too!
Merry Christmas to you and your family, chichajo!

Mona said...

Wow Joey, those would bring any recipient a smile !!
I'm jealous of who you're sending those to:)
Any fun plans for this holiday? What do you celebrate? If anything:) ANd I'm sure it will be fun with your new fiance!

paz said...

What a wonderful idea! I think homemade Christmas gifts are the best.

Have a wonderful Christmas.


sha said...

I just packed meringue, cookies in gold boxes with dark burgundy bows... all home made

I feel a great satisfaction giving home baked goodies to friends, you can never go wrong

of course like last at 1am yes am I was just clearing up mopping the floor

but the smell of fresh cookies washes the exhaustion


Been 3 years I had my last xmas here in Athens.....

Pille said...

Hi Joey - you've got some yummy homemade gifts there!!!
Have a lovely festive season!

tattum said...

Merry Christmas to you too Joey!! I send you my best wishes from Marbella!! And I love those little presents!!Besos

Marketmanila said...

Joey, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Sailu! Thanks and merry Christams to you too! :)

Hi Jmom! Merry Christmas to you and your family...hope you had a wonderful time :)

Hi Mona! My family celebrates Chrsitmas. We have "Christmas dinners" on the 23rd to the 25th, and a Christmas lunch on the 25th. We have a "post-Christmas" dinner with my friends on the 26th and finally a huge family reunion on the 27th. Then we go to the beach to celebrate New Year's. My jeans are already complaining...hahaha! :) Hope you are having a blast over the holidays!

Hi Paz! Hope you had a great Christmas and will have a fun New Year's!!! :) Hugs!

Merry Christmas Sha! Looks like you had a lot of wonderful goodies coming out of your kitchen...and some lucky friends ;) Thanks for the Greek greeting...made me smile :) I recognize the word "kala" :)

Hi Pille! Thanks! Hope you also have a wonderful and fun-filled season :)

Hi Tattum! Thanks! Hope you are having a blast in Marbella! :)

Hi Marketman! Merry Christmas to you too and a wonderful New Year's! :)

scanns said...

Joey, a Joyous CHRISTmas to you & your family! Those truffles look so scrumptious! May God bless you all! :)

Lani said...

Joey, happy holidays!!!

alley cat said...

Hey chichajo. I found your blog through Ruth. You have an amazing blog and I love the food. I've recently gone Bangus crazy from my visit to the philippines in October. Can't get enough of it.
Those chocy's look YUM. :-)
Happy New Year.

Cynthia said...

Hi Joey, I got here via Lori's blog. Just wanted you to know that I love reading your entries. Coming from someone kitchen-challenged, I think it's a wonderful blessing that you can whip up so many delicious goodies from scratch. Keep on posting your yummy creations :)

Happy holidays!

Cate said...

I don't have a big sweet tooth, but truffles are a particular weakness, and yours look great. Now, the most important question ... how to get on your recipient list for next year?! ;)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Scanns! Thanks! Hope you also had a blessed Christmas :)

Thanks Lani! :)

Hey there Alley Cat! Thanks for dropping by and for all your sweet comments :) It really means a lot! I love bangus too! Hope you have a great New Year's! :)

Hi Cynthia! Thanks for stopping by :) I'm no cooking expert and don't have a ton of experience, just love experimenting in the kitchen :) And I LOVE food :) Thank you for your kind words and encouragement...they mean a lot :)

Hi Sweetnicks! Thanks! I love truffles...the darker the better :) To get on my recipient list next year? Well, I guess you'd have to visit these little islands because I don't think the truffles would survive the journey ;)

alley cat said...

thanks for your message joey. I cant wait to come back and see more of the philippines. I hardly got to see anything...only makati!!! but i love the food. where abouts in the philippines are you? hope you have a great new years at the beach. i love the water.
Happy New Year!!

Anonymous said...

I made homemade xmas gifts this yr as well. a jar of garlic paste, marinated feta, and yema. It was such a hit. I will be doing the same thing for xmas 06. But I might venture into confectionaries. Para maiba naman. Good on you for taking the time to make these gifts.

Zita said...

I made homemade xmas gifts this yr as well. a jar of garlic paste, marinated feta, and yema. It was such a hit. I will be doing the same thing for xmas 06. But I might venture into confectionaries. Para maiba naman. Good on you for taking the time to make these gifts.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Alley Cat! It warms my heart to hear people say nice things about my home :) You should definitely make a trip back and explore some more...I live in Manila so I have to travel a bit to get to the beaches but it's well worth the effort for me. I love the beach! :)

Hello Zita! Your homemade gifts sound lovely! :) Especially the garlic paste...I love garlic! Would you mind sharing the recipe? :)

Anonymous said...

The naughty bite on your chocolate truffle temps me to leave this comments.

That's looks so yummy!

ChichaJo said...

Hello there Anonymous! I couldn't resist! :)