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Once upon a time in 2001, I stood at a supermarket checkout. Scanning the magazine rack, as I always did, my attention was caught by a bright yellow cover and a picture of a healthy lunchbox. On further inspection, I saw a magazine devoted solely to food, which I'd never seen before… and I was so excited. No more copying recipes by hand from books I borrowed at the library - here was a magazine for less than three dollars a month and hundreds of recipes in each one! I bought every single copy of Super Food Ideas for the next four years, until I ran out of space to keep them all. Now I pinch my sister's copies before she's had a chance to read them… I'm awesome like that.
I still get the Christmas issues, because I love the fun ideas inside, and the bright, Christmassy covers.
Last year, all my Christmas presents came from my kitchen. Tomato relish, chocolate fudge, rum balls, rice bubble slice, sugar scrub - you name it, I made it. This year, I'm particularly excited about making the coconut snowballs and chewy caramels I found in the "All Wrapped Up" article in this month's SFI issue - seriously, how cute are these?
Edible gifts are the best!
Christmas time to me is basically another phrase for "condensed milk time" - my most favourite time of the year. Condensed-milk and-Marie-biscuit concoctions should totally feature more in my life than they already do, but I love having an excuse every year to buy a ton and secretly eat the condensed milk straight from the can under the guise of "Christmas cooking". There's a good chance I will have to make a double batch of these Coconut snowballs as a gift to myself.
As a gift to my sister, I'm likely to get her a subscription to SFI so she'll actually get to read the magazine before I steal it.
Sorry, Marshmallow Mum :)
Another very recent favourite (because I've been too lazy to make it before) is the addition of butter to sugar and cream in the pursuit of caramel. This recipe makes 48 (so eight left over to give away, which seems fair) and sounds really easy. I love their idea of wrapping in cellophane and putting in a glass jar for gifts - that is way cute! The Christmas toffees remind me of the ones my mama made for school fetes and the honey, pistachio and cranberry nougat might make a welcome change to the usual pistachio and cranberry biscotti I make for work presents every year.
I love how these recipes are simple and quick, but look so very impressive. The toffee pieces work out to be only 6c each and I know from childhood experience eating them takes upwards of three hours, so they are the best value for money in the history of gift-giving!
And what else is surprising is that I'm loving this colour scheme. Normally I never, ever, EVER deviate from red and green for Christmas, I'm sort of, kind of, maybe thinking of adding more white. And possibly blue. Look, blame that gorgeous plate under the caramels, I'm a little bit enamoured with it. Surely a pretty aqua bauble wouldn't go too far astray.
To be honest, I've gone a little crazy with food magazine subscriptions in the past. I see no reason to change this behaviour! Everybody loves a little somethin' from the oven.
They usually love trips to Hawaii, too… if you get a magazine subscription this year, you can win a tropical escape to Hawaii with Magshop’s Christmas competition. Treat your family and friends to a magazine subscription today - it’s the gift that keeps on giving all year round! I've got my passport, I can totally come to Hawaii with you!