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Make it From Scratch: ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas Edition

Hello everyone, Happy Holidays and Merry almost-Christmas! With one week to go, here are some great from-scratch ideas to enhance your holiday.


We’ll begin with recipes. Nothing cozier than yummy food and lots of relatives gathered around the table.

Katy at Sugarlaws presents a delicious-looking broccoli frittata. It looks reasonably easy to make and great for those holiday brunches. I’m always looking for a good broccoli recipe, since my husband adores the stuff!

English Major at English Major Money gave me permission to post her yummy, frugal lentils and chorizo recipe. I made it this week, so I can give it a full recommendation.

Sunny at Dandelions and Daydreams has copied an Olive Garden recipe for hot artichoke and spinach dip. I haven’t tasted hers, it looks quite similar to a delicious one I had at Thanksgiving. Definitely something to bring to the Christmas potluck.

Christmas shopping got you busy? Veteran Military Wife has given us a great selection for our recipes section, though perhaps it doesn’t technically belong here. She lists some great “no recipe” meals that work in a pinch. I’ll testify to having used several of these. It’s lucky that my husband is as happy with PB&J as with more elaborate curries.

Joanna at Sunflowers in my Kitchen shows us how to make your own chicken nuggets. Won’t it be relieving to know what’s really in them!?

MetaMommy has found a way to make MetaBaby raw applesauce. You can experiment with coarseness or fluidity and it works on pears, carrots, etc.

For those looking for a good Christmas dessert, Chef Andrew at the Recipe Bank presents a recipe for Red Velvet cake. Very festive color!

The Prince of Thrift has a wonderful microwaveable chocolate fudge recipe! You can’t whip it up at the last minute (needs chill time) but the cooking part takes only 3 minutes–great for time-saving and getting other things done. He notes that he tried it with other types of chips and advises sticking with semi-sweet morsels, since they turned out the best. Those are my favorite anyway!

Summer of Summer’s Nook has a somewhat more indepth fudge recipe–maple pecan fudge! There’s something very wintery about maple-syrup flavored things. I wonder if one can use darker chocolate on these too…Summer, any thoughts?

From Lisa’s Cookbook, we get a recipe for chocolate Italian cookies. That means spices…I wonder what cloves and chocolate taste like together. Good, apparently!

Suzanne from Adventures in Daily Living adapted Mrs. Ron Paul’s recipe for chocolate apricot coconut pecan balls. Simple and straightforward. Plus, those are 4 of my favorite ingredients!

This submission from Heather, the Fat Bottomed Girl, makes a great transition into our next section: Edible Christmas Ornaments! It’s a recipe, a gift, and/or a decoration–whatever you want.

Gift and Decoration Ideas

Here are some ideas for gifts and/or decorations (or gifts of decorations) that you can still get done before Christmas!

GP from Inside Montana — Your Home at the Range outlines some kinds of gifts that keep on giving all year long. She advocates not being pulled into the holiday rush but instead finding time to make it meaningful!

M at There But for the Grace of God has found inexpensive ways to get great art in your home. Do it for yourself or make some for a friend this Christmas! We really need to get on that here–we have almost no artwork up…

Rebecca at The Experimental Kitchen has put together a great resource list if you want to make a gingerbread house this season. They can be so fun and interactive…though all I can think of right now is “yummy!”

Summer of Wired for Noise has been making pretties lately–I mean, um, jewelry. She has some tips and instructions for great handmade gift jewelry.

Christine of The Thinking Mother made some oatmeal complexion soap back in October which is finally ready for use. Sorry, can’t get this one done in time for Christmas, but you could invite your giftee to make it with you afterward! Participatory gifts can be the best.

JennyAnyDots of The Common Room has finished another doll. Very cute! The only question is–how do we make one ourselves?

Jacob of Early Retirement Extreme has some tips for making olive oil lamps. Very nifty gift for someone who already likes candles–change things up a bit! Or use it yourself for some good old-fashioned lamplight.

Silvia of Po Moyemu posted instructions and links for making a secret hollow book. Fun crafting idea. I know I would have loved one of these when I was in my spy phase as a kid…or probably even now…

Stephanie at Stop the Ride! has a great Christmas craft for preschoolers. Keep these precious ornaments yourself or give them to doting grandparents!

Laura Williams outlines making herb vinegars as gifts. They can be used for dressings, soups, sauces, and more…

Tara at Walkabout shows us how to make a beautiful snowstorm in a bottle. You can buy specific materials or just use some of the odds and ends you’ve got around–beads, sequins, glitter, etc.

Karen from Two Boys and a Dragon has a simple pattern for a knitted mini-purse. Great idea for the big and little girls on your list.

Nina Makes gives us some pointers on making orange/clove combinations for seasonal scents.

Karen of Little Fun, Little Learning has more really cute Christmas ornament ideas. Do them yourself or with your kids.

Reuse and Recycle!

Nothing says thrifty like finding a way to turn used goods into something helpful around the house.

Melanie Rimmer of Bean Sprouts has instructions for homemade firelighters sure to get your fireplace crackling for all that chestnut roasting. It’s an ingenious combination of wax, dryer fluff (or other) and…well, you’ll see!

Zamejias at Verb shows us a creative way to turn a tissue box into an organizational tool. The awesome pictures on the box are a bonus for getting kids to use it!

HowToMe made lacing cards from cereal boxes to teach kids about sewing/lacing. I had some of these as a kid and they were lots of fun!

Alison of This Wasn’t in the Plan has turned old Christmas cards into new Christmas placements. Great craft idea, for you or the kids.

And after Christmas, for those not-so-sublime gifts, Susan at the Urban Basket Case has provided a link to a regifting swap site. Or go there now if you still need ideas.

And as a special bonus, Midwest Neurotica will be posting on an MIFS theme ’till Christmas, at least once a day. She’s already got up a few posts with more to come!

Thanks so much everyone for contributing! Merry Christmas to all!

The next MIFS won’t be held on Christmas but will be on January 1, hosted by Joanna at Keeping Feet.

{ 4 trackbacks }

Topical Carnivals December 17-18 | Frugal For Life
December 18, 2007 at 9:49 pm
Carnival Roundup — New Library Job Edition | Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life
December 21, 2007 at 4:48 pm
midwest neurotica » ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas
January 4, 2008 at 10:25 am
“I need it” thinking | On Financial Success
April 3, 2008 at 12:34 pm


Money Blue Book December 17, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Speaking of recipes…how about a post on extremely (heavy emphasis) easy and quick dishes for kitchen klutzy guys like me to make for ourselves that is not only healthy but tasty? 🙂

mrsmicah December 17, 2007 at 11:56 pm

I can look into something like that. 🙂

RacerX December 18, 2007 at 12:44 am


That was a lot of work and appreciated…of course, now I am hungry!

Thanks Mrs M!

m December 18, 2007 at 12:51 am

Thanks so much for hosting that–and including my post. So many great ideas here!

joanie December 18, 2007 at 7:03 am

Thanks for hosting this very comprehensive MIFS! And if anyone’s wondering it’s still Nini Makes – often cofused with the more common name Nina.

Stephanie December 18, 2007 at 7:10 am


Summer December 18, 2007 at 8:31 am

Lots of linkage this week! Great job hosting!

RecycleCindy December 18, 2007 at 10:19 am

Lots of wonderful recipes and ideas for Christmas. I love checking out this carnival every week. I’m never disappointed as there are so many great blog posters out there. Merry Christmas everyone!

Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings December 18, 2007 at 11:47 am

Thanks for hosting this week! Great list!

ChristineMM aka The Thinking Mother December 18, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Thanks for publishing this weeks edition! I just linked to it. There are so many entries!!

HowToMe December 19, 2007 at 9:10 am

Thank you. Nice job!

zamejias December 20, 2007 at 7:57 am

Thanks a lot for including my post! This is a great round up. Good job.

Appliace April 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm

It is Easter for me and I used some of these recipes. Thanks for shering them.

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