If you're looking for something a little different for you're holiday parties that's sure to impress, this is it! Don't be afraid, I swear it's awesome! Shrimp mousse and variations of it have been around forever. This spread always makes me think of my grandma. Which could be because she used to make it or the jello mold presentation is reminiscent of 50's housewives. Either way it's great and you'll definitely want to hold on to this recipe.
1 can condensed tomato soup
2 (8 oz.) pkgs cream cheese
1 tbsp. Knox gelatin
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. cooked shrimp, chopped
In medium saucepan, combine tomato soup and cream cheese over low-medium heat. Stir in gelatin and remove from heat. Add onions, celery, mayonnaise and shrimp. Mixed well, pour into a mold greased with mayonnaise. If you don't want to use a mold just pour into a container you can cover and place in refrigerator. Chill for at least a couple hours to allow gelatin to set.
This makes enough for a crowd, so get lots of crackers to serve with your shrimp mousse!
I show my love for family and friends by giving handmade gifts! I figure they are sick of the same old stuff and and handmade means you get something one of a kind and hopefully useful. Here are some crochet gifts I made this year along with links to the free patterns(photos are my own).
I did make a few alteration to the pattern as advised by others on Ravelry
This is an awesome breakfast idea for a crowd. I make this every year for Christmas morning. It's so nice to just throw it in the oven and not have to worry about it. You do have to prepare it the night before, so plan ahead!
12 slices day old bread( I used wheat bread because that's what I prefer, white or wheat is fine. I take bread out morning before and lay slices out on a cookie sheet to dry out)
5-10 oz frozen chopped broccoli(spinach is also great too!)
3/4 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 c. cubed ham (8 oz)
1/2 chopped onion
6 eggs beaten
3 1/2 c. milk
Night before...grease 13x9 casserole dish. Cube day old bread and place into dish. Thaw and drain broccoli or spinach. If I'm using broccoli, I'll usually throw in the whole 10 oz pkg. If I'm using spinach, I just do half of package(5 oz). Spread veggies, ham, onions, cheese on top of bread cubes and mix it up a little with your hands. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk together. Pour egg mix over all ingredients. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning on top. Cover and refrigerate over night.
In the morning...preheat oven to 350. Bake uncovered 55 minutes. Last few minute of baking add some more shredded cheddar to top.
When my kids were little, we would take them to the grandparents, aunts and uncles to spread holiday cheer and of course to exchange gifts. At that time, they were still little and it was pretty much all about the kids. I found them having the attitude of, "I'm here, where's my present?" Ummm, I don't think so!
How do you teach kids it's better to give than to receive? Who am I kidding, we all love to get gifts! We did it by implementing a family gift exchange. We exchange names every year at Thanksgiving, the kids exchange names with the kids and the adults exchange with the adults. It's tons of fun and it's a great way to get the kids excited about giving, not to mention way more economical than buying a present for every single member of the family! In addition to the gift exchange I have my three children get or make gifts for each other as well. The kids end up happy to get their own gift but are really excited to see the reaction that their gift they gave gets.
Another way to get kids more involved in gift giving is making homemade gifts. It gets them away from the idea of ‘material’ gifts and helps them start thinking about meaningful gift ideas instead. There are some great ways to give homemade gifts that people will really want and use. Here are a few ideas that would be great for kids to do themselves or at least help out with...
I'm a huge fan of photo gifts. I take tons of pictures throughout the year and now is a great time to get them out of your computer for everyone to see. Sites like Shutterfly have tons of beautiful photo gifts you can personalize. Your kids could absolutely help pick out their favorite photos from the year and make something like a photo book or a calendar for the grandparents, OR...hand over your camera!
While browsing through Shutterfly I was trying to think how you could make all these awesome gifts more kid friendly. Here's the secret, your photos don't have to be of people! Let your kids take photos of their gift recipient's favorite stuff! It could be a special toy, sports equipment, favorite places or even pets. Their pictures could be compiled into a holiday calendar or poster collage. They could even take one special picture and put it on a blanket, pillow or cup. There are so many possibilities!
Here's a project that my boys have been working on for their sister. They're taking her Barbies and making a calendar.
Put Kid's Artwork On A Pillowcase I saw this great DIY idea to transfer kids artwork on to tea towels and it got me thinking, how else could kids share their unique artwork? My oldest son loves to draw and I wish more people could see and appreciate his art. Here is a homemade pillow case he made as a gift for his brother.
Soap Melt and pour soap is crazy easy. You can purchase the soap base and scented oil at almost any craft supply store. Let the kids pick out and experiment with different add ins. Melt base in microwave, add the scent oil and any other add ins, then pour into molds. See my Honey Almond Chamomile Recipe here.If you did clear glycerin soap you could even stick a prize inside for fun soaps for kids!
Bracelets are fun and easy, plus they are great for girls or boys. I spent hours making friendship bracelets when I was a kid and now they are back in style. Here are some creative tutorials I found online:
Sock Creatures Make stuffed creatures out of stray socks! This project is better for kids a little bit older that can handle a needle and thread. I found this book Stupid Sock Creatures at my library and my kids really had fun with it. See the sock creatures my kids created and my tutorial for a sock monkey here.
Personalized Headphones Or Phone Charger
You can't go anywhere without seeing someone on their cell or with ear buds in. My kids go through headphone like crazy! It seems like either the head phones or the phone chargers are always lost or getting mixed up with someone else's. You can easily personalize these with embroidery floss! All you "not crafty" people, never fear...it's so easy, your kids can do it! You only have to know how to tie a knot! Tutorial here.
I usually go way overboard with Christmas cookies...along with everyone else. What if you gave ready to bake cookie dough instead? That way your friends, neighbors, teachers, family could bake it later after they've eaten all their other Christmas cookies! See how I make mine here. Last year as an alternative to cookies I made various flavored popcorn. There are a billion recipes on Pinterest for everyone's taste. Toss it in a cute container and it's the perfect gift! Kids love to help out in the kitchen and the popcorn especially is really easy.