Thursday, November 16, 2017

Holiday Baking With Your Family

Here at our family owned ornament shop, we enjoy baking the holidays. Baking can be a form of art. Baking can bring a family closer together because you can enjoy baking new recipes together and trying your finished product with one another. Ornaments for Keeps is a huge fan of baking around the holidays, we create a lot of our Christmas ornaments by baking them out of bread dough. In the spirit of baking for Christmas, we found 2 awesome recipes that you and your family may enjoy!



Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gingerbread-house-recipe-1963254

Gingerbread House


Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
For assemblage and decoration:
Melted white chocolate or Royal Icing, recipe follows
Gumdrops, licorice, and peppermint, as desired
Royal Icing:
1 pound (3-3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
1 to 2 large egg whites, or substitute 4 teaspoons packaged egg whites and 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla or lemon juice


Directions

For assemblage and decoration:
Gingerbread House: 

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Cut out the following paper patterns for the gingerbread house template: 

Two rectangles, 3 by 5 inches, to make the front and back of the house. Two rectangles, 3 by 5 1/2 inches for the roof. Two pieces for the ends of the house, 3 inches wide at the base, 3 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 5 1/2 inches from the bottom. Four smaller rectangles, 1 1/2 by 1 inch for the roof and sides of the entryway. And one piece, 2 inches wide at the base, 1 1/2 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 2 1/2 inches from the bottom for the front of the entryway. 

Roll gingerbread dough out to edges on a large, rimless cookie sheet. Place paper patterns onto the rolled out dough. With a sharp, straight-edged knife, cut around each of the pieces, but leave pieces in place. 

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm. 

Place patterns on top of the gingerbread again and trim shapes, cutting edges with a straight-edged sharp knife. Leave to cool on baking sheet. 

Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and press out to decorate individual parts of the house, piping on decorations, windows, door, etc., as desired. Let dry until hardened. 

Glue sides, front and back of house together at corners using royal icing. Place an object against the pieces to prop up until icing is dry (it only takes a few minutes). 

Glue the two roof pieces to the pitched roofline of the house. Then, similarly, glue the sides and roof of the entryway together with icing. Attach the entryway to the front of the house. 

Continue decorating the house, gluing on gumdrops, licorice, and peppermint, as desired.

Royal Icing:
Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice, if necessary.


Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/warm-sticky-figgy-pudding-recipe-1918585


Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
2 cups water
1 teaspoon baking soda
100 grams (3 1/2 ounces or 7 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
75 grams (2 1/2-ounces) dark chocolate, grated
Butter, for coating ramekins
Ice cream or whipped cream, for garnish
Sauce:
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
200 grams (7-ounces or 14 tablespoons) butter
Fresh figs, quartered, for garnish
Vanilla ice cream, optional
Whipped heavy cream, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the dates, dried figs and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blender and puree.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, the pureed date mixture and the chocolate.

Put the mixture into 4 buttered, 1-cup individual ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by stirring the sugar, cream and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. May be served in the ramekin or unmolded onto a small serving plate. With a paring knife cut across in the top of the puddings for the sauce.

Pour the sauce into the cross in the center of each pudding, then pour more sauce over the puddings and it allow to soak in slightly. Top with fresh figs and vanilla ice cream or heavily whipped cream. Serve warm.


We hope you enjoy these 2 fantastic Christmas recipes. If you are interested in continuing or starting your very own collection of homemade bread dough Christmas ornaments, grab a cup of hot cocoa and browse through our ornaments on our website. Enjoy!




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Phone: (573) 893-3272
www.ornamentsforkeeps.com

Friday, November 10, 2017

New Christmas Tradition Ideas for 2017

Christmas is such a special time of year. What's not to love? Spending time with your family and friends, creating unforgettable memories while cooking up a fantastic Christmas feast can really warm your heart. Giving that perfect Christmas present to one of your loved ones and seeing that bright smile on their face is part of what Christmas is all about. Most families have their own Christmas traditions, whether it be hanging a personalized Christmas ornament or watching Christmas movies with your loved ones, do what works for you and your family. Ornaments for Keeps invites you to try something new this year. Our personalized ornament company is here to give you some new Christmas tradition ideas to try for 2017.




Christmas Tradition Ideas to Try for 2017


Try a new Christmas dish.


Who wouldn't want to try a delicious new Christmas dish? There so many fun ideas you can incorporate into your food to bring a Christmas feel to the dish. Here's a recipe we found that your family may just love.

Source: CakesCottage

Candy Cane Oreo Truffles

Prep time: 25 mins
Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 30-34

Ingredients:

36 Oreos

8 oz cream cheese, softened

16 oz. white chocolate chips

¼ cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies, for decorating

Instructions

Place the Oreo cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
Add the cream cheese and pulse until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scoop the mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter. I like to use a cookie scoop.
Place the cookie balls in the freezer until well chilled, at least 1 hour.
Remove truffles from freezer and dip in melted chocolate.
Return to baking sheet, immediately sprinkle tops with crushed candy canes then allow chocolate to set.

Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.




Create some new DIY Christmas decorations.


Add some pizzazz to your Christmas this year and make your very own unique Christmas decoration. This may even be an awesome activity you can do with your kids. Here's a fun Christmas decoration you could try to make:

Source: MasonJarCraftsLove


Start a new tradition with your children.


Creating a new tradition with your kids can make your Christmas all the more special. Here's a couple of ideas to try:


Allow your child to pick their very own personalized Christmas ornament.


Go to OrnamentsforKeeps.com and allow your child to pick their very own personalized Christmas ornament. Whether your child is a sports fan, into music, or just a HUGE fan of Santa, they can have an enjoyable experience picking out their very own personalized Christmas ornament with you.


Start the 25 books tradition.


Choose 25 books to wrap up and place under the tree. Then, starting 25 days before Christmas, let your child pick a new book from under the tree to unwrap and read with you or you can read to them. 


Make Your Own Christmas Tradition!


From our family to yours, we invite you to begin or continue your Christmas traditions and collection of personalized Christmas ornaments. Browse through our wonderful selection and find the ornament that captures you and your family's unforgettable memories the best. Visit OrnamentsforKeeps.com.




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Friday, November 3, 2017

How to Give the Perfect Christmas Gift!

Halloween is officially over and more and more people are starting to think about Christmas now. Christmas is literally only 2 months away and we could not be more excited! Now that Halloween is over and more people are starting to think about preparing for Christmas, have you thought about which Christmas gifts you will buy yet? Certain people can be very hard to buy for and you don't want to end up stressing out at the last minute trying to find the perfect gift or personalized Christmas ornament. Ornaments for Keeps is here to give you some tips for giving the best Christmas presents this year.




Tips for Christmas Gift Giving


Create a Christmas budget.


Think about who all you are going to buy for this year. Make a list. Then, budget enough money for what you think you will need to spend for each person.


Don't forget about these people!



While remembering to buy gifts for your family may be easy, there may be others in your life that you want to buy a gift for and you end up forgetting each year, such as your:

  • Teacher
  • Nursing home worker
  • Assistant
  • Boss
  • Babysitter
  • Client
  • Daycare worker
  • Coworker
  • Doctor
  • Housekeeper

If you plan to mail your gifts, plan ahead.


Give yourself plenty of time. You don't want your present to end up arriving a week late. Before you choose to ship a gift, check with your mail carrier to see if it will most likely arrive on time. 


If traveling with gifts, lighten your load. 



You can easily lighten your load, when traveling, by getting gift cards instead of large gifts. Some people prefer gift cards. Then, you don't have to worry about airport security taking a long time to go through your bulky packages or gifts.




Gift Wrapping Tips



Do not wait until the last minute.


Save yourself the stress and wrap your presents as you buy them rather than waiting to the last minute.


Don't forget about leftover Christmas wrapping paper from last year.



Keep your Christmas gift wrapping supplies organized, so you know where to find it each year.


"The greatest gifts are not wrapped in paper but in love." - Author Unknown




Need Help Finding the Perfect Christmas Gift?



Personalized Christmas ornaments make unique, creative and thoughtful gifts for family, kids, weddings, a new baby, good friends, a special hostess, a sports enthusiast, a Mizzou Tiger fan, or a snowman, angel or Santa ornament collector. Here at Ornaments for Keeps, we love to design and create bread dough ornaments. We also enjoy finding different types of personalized ornaments to offer you. We invite you to begin or continue your tradition and collection of personalized Christmas ornaments. Grab a cup of coffee, sit and browse our wonderful selection! Visit our website at OrnamentsforKeeps.com. If you happen to have any questions, you may call us at 573-680-7078. Good luck on your Christmas gift search!


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Phone: (573) 893-3272
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Surprising Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Christmas is only 2 months away! Part of what makes Christmas so special are the traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. Have you ever thought about what people from other countries do for Christmas? It can be very interesting. Ornaments for Keeps is here to tell you about some fascinating Christmas traditions from around the around the world. 




Surprising Christmas Traditions From Around The World

India

In India, instead of handing out presents, they distribute Christmas candies, referred to as kuswar to their neighbors. They will also prepare a Christmas meal of traditional curry and newrio, which is sweet dumplings stuffed with palm sugar, sweet grated coconut, and sesame seeds.

Philipines


In the Philippines, on Christmas Eve, they will attend mass and then eat a traditional Nochebuena Feast. They don't serve dinner until 11:30 p.m. The foods typically consist of ham, bread, noodles, and rice.



Spain


In Spain, the employers gift their employees with baskets of delicious food and booze around Christmas time. 


Ethiopia


It is a tradition in Ethiopia to fast for a full 40 days leading up to Christmas, just eating 1 meal a day. That meal can only be vegan too. Also, Christmas comes on January 7 there. On Christmas, they will only eat rooster carved into 12 pieces, which can symbolize the 12 disciples and 12 hard boiled eggs, which can symbolize eternity.


Iceland


In Iceland, Santa Claus takes on a whole new meaning. Instead of Santa, they have Yule Lads. Yule Lads are mischievous guys who climb through kids windows for 13 nights wither leaving a treat or rotting potato in the shoes of children, depending on whether they were naughty or nice. 


Italy


Italians who are Catholic will typically eat seafood on Christmas Eve. In America, this tradition is referred to as the Feast of the Seven Dishes. 


A Traditional Christmas Dinner in America 

A traditional Christmas dinner in America may include some of the following fabulous dishes:


  • glazed spiral sliced ham
  • green bean casserole
  • mashed potatoes and gravy
  • sweet potato casserole
  • corn casserole
  • stuffing
  • cranberry sauce
We can't forget about the deserts!
  • pumpkin pie
  • sugar cookies
  • gingerbread cookies
  • banana cream pie
  • apple pie


"Christmas - when eating a cookie or chocolate for breakfast is perfectly acceptable." - Author Unknown




Commemorate Your Christmas Dinner Memories!


There's nothing like eating a home-cooked meal on Christmas with all of your loved ones. Even cooking those meals with your family can make for quite the fond memories to cherish as well. Whether you are baking Christmas cookies with your grandma or helping with the different side dishes that will be part of the magnificent Christmas feast, you can commemorate these memories with an ornament to hang on the tree. From one family to another, we'd like to invite you to start your very own collection of personalized Christmas ornaments. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, your favorite type of Christmas cookie, and browse through our VERY, MERRY Christmas tree ornaments simply by visiting our website. Happy browsing!



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Phone: (573) 893-3272
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

5 Ways to Give Back as a Family This Holiday Season

Christmas is a time for giving. There are people out there, less fortunate than we are that could use a little extra help and kindness around this time of year. It's also nice to be able to teach your kids the importance of giving back around the holidays. Ornaments for Keeps is here to give you 5 ways to give back around the holiday season with your family and an example of how we have enjoyed giving back as a family ourselves.





5 Ways to Give Back as a Family This Holiday Season 


1. Bake goodies for our heroes.

As a family, bake some cookies or casseroles for those law enforcement officers or firefighters that have to work around the holidays and deliver them to the police department or fire station. How special would that be? Your local heroes would probably very much appreciate it.

2. Pack stockings for the homeless.

Purchase some cheap stockings and fill them up with different items with your kids. Stocking stuffer ideas for the homeless may include:

  • granola bars
  • water bottles
  • toothpaste
  • warm gloves
  • socks

3. Donate toys.

Go through your kid's old toys that they don't play with anymore or have just outgrown and donate them to the less fortunate. That could MAKE a child's Christmas to receive an awesome toy!

4. Adopt a family.

There are many organizations that help you sponsor a family in your area over the holiday season. They may need some extra food around the holidays and this could be a great way to donate to the less fortunate as a family.

5. Donate to a food bank.

Your kids may enjoy picking out food items at the grocery store to donate. Allow them to help pick out items to donate to a local food bank.


"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving." - Mother Teresa




We Have Enjoyed Giving Back as a Family


"We do a couple of fundraisers a year for different organizations. We are currently doing one for Bishop Guertin High School in New Hampshire. It's the fourth year we have done this. They order 200 ornaments and I design a new one for each year. They bake for 5 hours and then the detail is painted on. They are then dipped in epoxy twice to get that shine. It is a four-day process. We can't take any more fundraisers this year but if anyone is interested next year, check with us early. " -  owner of Ornaments for Keeps


Ornaments for Keeps is Here for Your Tree Decoration Needs!


Personalized Christmas ornaments can brighten up your tree and allow you to reflect on the memories your ornaments may represent. We encourage you to start your own family traditions at Christmas. It can bring a smile to your family's faces and make your Christmas all the more special. We invite you to begin your very own collection of personalized Christmas ornaments. Check out our website at OrnamentsforKeeps.com.




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Phone: (573) 893-3272
www.ornamentsforkeeps.com

Friday, October 13, 2017

5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Teacher!

Christmas is right around the corner and you know what that means... PRESENTS, PRESENTS, PRESENTS! There's a pleasure you can get when finding the perfect Christmas present for your friends, family, co-workers, even your TEACHERS! Ornaments for Keeps understands how difficult it can be to find the PERFECT present for your favorite teacher. Perhaps you haven't spoken with them on a personal level and you're just not sure what they like. Don't fret, we have prepared a list of Christmas present ideas that could be PERFECT for your favorite teacher.



5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Teacher!


1. Coffee Mug

What teacher doesn't like coffee, hot chocolate, or even tea? All of these delightful beverages can go great in a brand new coffee mug for Christmas!

2. Gift Cards

The great thing about getting your teacher a gift card, whether it be to Amazon, Target, or Wal-Mart, is it allows them to purchase what they really want for Christmas. Teachers have busy enough lives, treating themselves to a little shopping spree can be just the thing they need!

3. A Planner for the New Year


Teachers plan so much for their students throughout the year, that a new planner for the new year can go a long way.



4. A Hand-Written Letter of Reasons Why Your Teacher is Your Favorite


Showing your teacher what makes them your favorite teacher through a hand-written letter can mean the world to them. Teachers work hard so something like this can be really touching.

5. Last but not Least, a New Christmas Ornament for Your Teacher's Tree


A personalized Christmas ornament can allow your favorite teacher to remember each year how good it made them feel to receive such a thoughtful gift from their student. Christmas ornaments are the gifts that keep on giving because each year the ornaments commemorate some touching memories to reflect on.


Looking for Personalized Christmas Ornaments for Your Favorite Teacher?


Personalized Christmas ornaments can make your teacher feel special. No matter who you may be buying a personalized ornament for, whether it's for a new baby, sporting event, special friend, or wedding, Christmas ornaments can become a very special keepsake.

Each year as our family decorates our Christmas tree, the personalized family ornaments we hang bring smiles and reflection. When our children grew up and left home, we gave them their personalized ornaments to start their own family Christmas tree tradition!

I invite you to begin or continue your tradition and collection of personalized Christmas ornaments. Grab a cup of coffee, sit and browse our wonderful selection!


Connect with us for the latest inspired, creative ideas!



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Phone: (573) 893-3272
www.ornamentsforkeeps.com

Friday, October 6, 2017

5 Cute Things You Can Do With Your Dogs for Christmas

Christmas is such a magical time of the year! The entire family should get together and spend this time together, INCLUDING your dogs. Our dogs are family too, right? Ornaments for Keeps is here to let you know there are many cute and fun things you can do with your pets around Christmas time. It's their Christmas too. Here are a few things you can do with your dogs around Christmas time.


5 Cute Things You Can Do With Your Dogs for Christmas


1. Wear your BEST Christmas pajamas and dress your dog in Christmas pajamas too. 


There is such a cute selection of Christmas themed pajamas out there, not only for you, but for your fur babies too. This could be you and your fur baby's new Christmas tradition. What a great memory to make!


2. Make homemade Christmas themed dog treats.


What dog wouldn't love some homemade dog treats around Christmas time? There are an abundance of recipes online you can try. Make your dog some homemade candy cane shaped dog treats this year. This smells like a new, fantastic Christmas tradition to us!

"The best of all Christmas gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." - Burton Hills






3. Show your dog some Christmas love and hang an ornament to represent them.



Ornaments for Keeps has a GREAT selection of personalized dog themed Christmas ornaments to choose from. Honor your dog this Christmas and commemorate the memory of getting to share Christmas with them.


4. Include your dog in your family Christmas card.


There are so many adorable Christmas cards out there where families included their fur babies in the photo. Try including your dog in the Christmas card. Dress them up in a cute dog Christmas sweater or drape some pretty garland around your dog. This can make for a Christmas card you will never forget!




5. Get your dog a present to "unwrap" at Christmas too.



Last but not least, your fur baby deserves a present to open to right? Whether it be a NEW dog toy or some new dog treats, include your dog in the excitement of opening presents at Christmas.



In Need of the Perfect Ornament to Represent Your Fur Baby on the Christmas Tree?



Ornaments for Keeps specializes in creating unique, personalized Christmas ornaments. No matter if your ornament is for a new baby, sporting event, special friend, or wedding, Christmas ornaments can become a very special keepsake. Each year as our family decorates our Christmas tree, the personalized family ornaments we hang bring smiles and reflection. When our children grew up and left home, we gave them their personalized ornaments to start their own family Christmas tree tradition! We invite you to begin or continue your tradition and collection of personalized Christmas ornaments. Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, sit and browse our wonderful selection of personalized Christmas ornaments!


Connect with us for the latest inspired, creative ideas!



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Phone: (573) 893-3272
www.ornamentsforkeeps.com