Party Food

Making Cold Winter Nights Warmer

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Like an unwanted dental appointment, somehow wrapping presents gets bumped to the last of my seasonal to-do list. In my head, my goal is to be amazing and wrap each gift as soon as it’s in the house. Rarely happens, but I have found a couple of ways to get the job done.

Making Cold Winter Nights Warmer

I told you how awesome it is to live close to beaches and water this summer, but this is our first winter in our new home. Have I mentioned how very cold it seems now? There’s something about lake effect snow…sure gets you in the mood to bake cookies and wrap Christmas presents!

Christmas Wrap

I box-and-paper wrap most of my gifts. The anticipation of tearing into a wrapped box doesn’t happen with gift bags, especially for kids. But it can be tough to find the right box for some presents. If you’re a seamstress (I’m not) you can sew fabric bags to reuse for several seasons, but paper gift bags work for me.

Having a designated wrapping spot where supplies can stay for a few days helps the process. I set up a present wrapping station in our basement. But our new basement is COLD.

De'Longhi Heater

Our basement needed this new Radia S Eco Radiant Heater. It gives off consistent heat that permeates the room for comfort and it’s quiet. I also like the 24-hour digital timer. No worries about forgetting the space heater is on in an infrequently used room.

The digital controls are easy to use and attached wheels make it simple to move. It adds a lot of cozy and it’s much easier to wrap presents when your fingers aren’t frozen!

If you know someone who has cold spots in their house, wrap up the Radia S Eco Space Heater for Christmas. What a way to giftwrap warm fuzzies!

Christmas Gift Wrap & Party Food Ideas

Here are a few of my giftwrapping tips:

  • A work table will save your back but setting on the floor works.
  • Gather necessary supplies: scissors/paper cutter, wrapping paper, tissue paper, boxes, tape, glue dots, ribbon, twine, tulle, fun embellishments, name tags, pen.
  • Think assembly line and wrap same-size boxes all at once—cuts down on having to place a box and measure paper every time.
  • When you’ve determined what size of paper you’ll need for a gift, fold the paper to make a crease. Cut along the line—it’s much neater and easier to follow a line instead of trying to eye ball it. Or only buy paper with pre-marked grids on the underside. 🙂
  • Don’t put bows on until you’ve wrapped a stack of boxes.
Peppermint Expresso Drink
Peppermint Meringue

Noshing on cookies and coffee makes the job even merrier. May I suggest brewed coffee with cream, cocoa powder and crushed peppermints and these delicious Peppermint Meringues for your wrapping pleasure? The meringues recipe is one I found in the De’Longhi gift basket — it’s called Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: All the Good Cookies.

Peppermint Hot Drink

This year De’Longhi is celebrating the holiday season with De’Longhi Days of Giving by giving back to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit dedicated to funding research for safer, more effective pediatric cancer treatments. Cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S.

Peppermint Meringue Recipe

You can help make a difference, too. Through December 20th, De’Longhi will donate 10% of its delonghi.us sales site-wide to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. They’re also providing a chance to win a holiday cookie decorating gift basket filled with cookie cookbooks, cutters, icing and De’Longhi cappuccino glasses—cool stuff!

And for the first time, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has launched a Challenge Gift Campaign where all the money raised from now to December 31st will be matched, up to $250K.

Christmas Cookie Ideas

Host a bake sale or cookie swap and raise $1,000 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and you’ll receive a FREE signed copy of Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Dorie’s Cookies. If you raise $2,500, you receive the signed book copy and a chance to win a day of baking with Dorie.

All the Great Cookies Cook Book

Another simple way to donate is to make a recipe from Dorie’s new cookbook and post a photo to your Instagram page, tag @Cookies4Kids with the hashtag #Dorie’sCookies and you’ll trigger a $5 donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Days of Giving

You can also order gourmet cookies from the CFKC site. 100% of the profits go directly to research. Learn more about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and the details for supporting this great cause at www.cookiesforkidscancer.org. You can save an additional 30% off site wide through Dec. 20th when you use the code COOKIES at checkout. 

Easy Peppermint Meringue Recipe
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Peppermint Meringues


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed peppermint candy
  • 3 large egg whites, room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the confectioners’ sugar and peppermint candy in a medium bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Place the egg whites, lemon juice and salt in a bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk and beat until foamy. Add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase speed to high and beat until still peaks form. Gently fold the confectioners’ sugar mixture into the egg whites until no white streaks remain.
  4. Fill a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe about 1 tablespoon of the batter, 1 inch apart, on the prepared cookie sheets, or drop the batter by level tablespoons.
  5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the over and leave the meringues in the oven for at least an additional hour.
  6. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 872
  • Sugar: 202
  • Sodium: 763
  • Fat: 2
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 208
  • Protein: 11
  • Cholesterol: 0

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of De’Longhi and Braun. The opinions and text are all mine.

Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it’s okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.