Tag Archives: christmas

Enter the Christmas Basket, 2012

In my pantry today:2012basket2

Instead of actually typing out a list of everything in the 50+lb tupperware bins my brothers and I each received from mom and dad this year, here’s a snapshot of its contents on my kitchen table. To know why this is happening check out last year’s post explaining the wonder of these baskets. In fact, these baskets warrant quoting directly from that post:

You know all those things at World Market or Big Lots you’d like to try but don’t have the disposable income to waste? SANTA’S GOT YOUR BACK! Now, this is not to say my folks are highfalutin and can slap together jaunty foodwealth like this so easily — it is a process in which three equal baskets must be compiled over the weeks or even months before the holidays. My parents are more-than-admirably steadfast in their goal of sibling equality. It is a labor of love, and one for which I will gladly go ahead and clear out some cupboards.

In lieu of writing (and/or then typing) a list of every item, I’ll share a couple photos of some of my favorite individual basket items:

2012basket_bayleaveFlavored (cooking?) Oil: I imagine I understand why this might’ve been on the clearance rack. I mean, I “bay leave” why.


OSTRIM beef/ostrich “jerkee”: This might be more respectable were it named less like a nightmare about haircuts.




Larry the Cable Guy Cheesy Tuna Dinner: To be fair, not everything in the basket is necessarily intended to be edible. I don’t give two whits what a picture of Larry the Cable Guy tells me to do with my tuna.

Lavender-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

In my pantry today:
  • 1 box gluten-free white cake mix
  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp. vanilla
  • 1.5 drops doTerra® lavender essential oil
  • 2/3 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 c frozen blueberries
lavenderblueberrycheesecakeMix cake mix, butter and egg until crumbly rather than powdery. Pat down into a 9″x13″ pan, pushing sides slightly up. Have cream cheese and eggs at room temperature and mix cream cheese, eggs and vanilla until they are a smooth liquid — I used a food processor for this and I do not consider that in any way cheating.  Add powdered sugar to the food processor,  pulsing between every cup or so. Then — and here’s where I step blindly into the abyss — I added a drop and a half of lavender essential oil. In addition to smelling wonderful, this oil happens to be pure enough to be eaten. I lavenderblueberrycheesecakebarshave heard tale of lavender being a flavor as well as a scent. I wanted to try, and cheesecake can be a gentle delivery medium for a first taste of something long considered just a perfume plant. After it’s been pulsed in, take a deep breath and pour it all over the cake mix. In a small sauce pan, heat frozen blueberries until smashable and drizzle they and their liquids onto the cheesy topping. Swirl with abandon. Bake at 300° for 60 minutes or until a butter knife comes out the middle relatively clean. Cool very completely (everything has to settle in together) and cut into squares. I cannot in good legal conscience guarantee that you will be delighted, but, well, you’ll probably be delighted. 5 spoons!