Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Couple Last Minute Makes for the Hard to Buy For

Three weeks and counting - oh my.
There are always those people who are hard to buy for.  Of course there are some people who will never be happy, no matter what they receive (sadly).
You all know I am a homemade kind of gal.  I am working on gift baskets this week.  Some things are store bought (especially for the teens), but much is homemade.

Here are a couple ideas that may help YOU or may make a fun GIFT idea for someone else.

3/4 C flour
1/2 C water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (sold at most grocery stores in multiple packs)
3 Tbsp. corn syrup
4 C - birdseed, crushed nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Mix the first 4 ingredients together and then mix in seed/nuts.  You can use just regular bird seed, sunflower seeds, whatever you have.
You can place in plastic suet packs (re-use old ones), or you can spread this our in a shallow pan or cookie sheet.  Score to cut later - if you want it in the size of suet feeders.  Let this dry overnight and finish cutting.
I just made a double batch as squirrel treats.  They love it.  I cut mine into 1/2" - 1" bites.  They sit and eat them like cookies!  Adorable to watch.
So, if you have a friend that loves nature and feeds the birds and squirrels - this is a super easy make and brings nature much happiness (as well as the watcher of nature!)
Packed them up in the suet containers, or cut and package in 'cookie' bags or some other sort of plastic container.
This was the double batch I put together Sunday.  Spread out on an old cookie sheet to dry.  I then cut into small bites for squirrels.  Storing in an old ice cream tub.
Here's some I made in older suet containers.  They are a perfect in the suet feeder and the woodpeckers loved them.
***Along this line you may also think about GIFTING  a bag of bird seed, a bird or squirrel feeder or suet feeder or a thistle sock filled with feed (I see them at the grocery all the time).  There are many gifts that the naturist would enjoy.  Maybe even a book on birds of the area!

12 C rolled oats (old fashioned)
2 C nuts or seeds
1/2 C packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt.
1 C coconut oil
2/3 C honey

Preheat your oven to 350*
Whisk the coconut oil and honey well to combine thoroughly.  Combine with all the dry. 
**** I like to leave the buts out until almost the end of baking time - or they tend to burn or scorch!!!!
You ALSO can add dried fruit if you like - dried apples or pineapple, dried bananas, cranberries, raisins, etc.  (I put this in closer to the end as well)
Grease 2 cookies sheets (with sides) or use parchment paper.  Spread out the granola mix evenly on the sheets.  
You are going to bake about 30 minutes TOTAL.  Stop and stir mixture every 5 minutes or so.
Add fruit in at about 20 minutes into baking and nuts at about 25 minutes into baking.
Remove from the oven and let this all cool COMPLETELY before packaging.
Makes nice containers of granola (use what you have) or place into baggies.
I like to make with a label that states  - eat as cereal or just as a snack.  Spread over yogurt or ice cream.
This is going in some of my baskets this year!!!!!

So there you go.  A couple more easy and frugal ideas for gifts for that hard to buy for person (or just yourself).  Either one of these makes a nice addition to any goodie bag.

Have fun and enjoy!


  1. I love granola, haven't made any for years as we always eat way to much in a bowl and it is so high in calories.

  2. Could canola oil be used instead of coconut oil?

    1. Probably - not positive. I know coconut oil is more solid when it comes out of jar, like shortening.
      I am not really sure. The recipe I use calls for coconut oil - but I will do some research and see what I can come up with.
      OR if ANYONE else knows the answer PLEASE CHIME IN!!!!!

  3. You can also do granola in the crock pot so it won't burn. I love your recipe for suet. I need to make that for the birds here.

    1. Belinda - do tell. How long and what temp (H or L) in crockpot?
      Bird treats are so easy!

  4. Thank you for the bird seed recipe!

  5. I know I would love to receive both of these gifts. I love handmade gifts, especially food and items for my animal babies. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Me too! Those are my 2 favorite categories as well.
      You are welcome

  6. ooo, I don't understand this comment about the granola: **** I like to leave the buts out until almost the end of baking time - or they tend to burn or scorch!!!!
    Can you let me know what that means? :( Thanks!

  7. Replies
    1. LOL - I guess I didn't proof as well as I thought!!!
      YES, I met nuts.
      I guess you better leave the buts out of the oven too!!! LOL

  8. I absolutely love the idea of making the bird and squirrel food. I think I am going to try this. My grandkids have a bird feed area and I think they would love this.

    1. Good. They are so very easy and the kids would have fun watching the critters!

  9. Hi Cheryl, Thank you for all your wonderful ideas and reminders to think of those less fortunate. Last year I saw a great blog post regarding an advent of giving calendar (donating food items) that I thought was on your blog. If so, could you post it again? It was a wonderful reminder (and list) of items to donate at this time of year (especially with the sales).

    1. WOW, do you have a good memory. I was trying to remember if I did something like that and had to go back and do some looking. You were right. YES, I will repost.
      Thanks for being such a good student!!!!