Nuts for the Holidays

'Tis the season for gifts ... for everyone on your list and then some!  With two children in preschool, I am always busy this time of year putting together gifts for the wonderful and loving teachers at our school/daycare.  My gift each year is always a variation on the same theme: a card with a handwritten, personalized note for each teacher; cash; a scratch-off lottery ticket (one of them won $100 one year!) and a home-made goodie.  This year, I made my friend Jennie's spiced pecans, which I packaged in a pretty box and tag I made for each person.  Here are the deets on how it all came together:

* I bought the cute red and white Martha Stewart favor boxes at Michaels with one of their 40% off coupons. I think I got them for less than $5 for the pack of six.  Sweet.

* I took a few minutes and made personalized tags for each teacher.  I simply printed on white cardstock, used a small glass to draw a circle around each tag and then cut with a pair of patterned scissors for an even more fun look.  I punched a hole in the top and used ribbon to attach it to the box.

* I printed out the recipe for the pecans with a laser printer - so the recipient knew what they were and what was in them.  Then I made the pecans with a little help from my 4 year old.  Mmmmmm:  I am telling you, these pecans are ah-maz-ing.  The recipe is ridiculously simple (I will post it below my signature in this post).

* I put the spiced pecans in clear, sandwich-sized plastic baggies (about one cup per gift) and the recipe print-out in each box.  Then I closed up the boxes (which resembled little milk cartons!) and used some red satin ribbon to make a sweet bow.  Apologies to Martha, but while her boxes came with a red ribbon, it was too skinny.  So I used my own thicker, prettier ribbon.

* Finally, I put all of the boxes in an empty clementine crate to transport them to school.  I accumulate tons of these during the holidays because come on - who doesn't love clementines? I like being able to put something that would otherwise go in the trash to good use.

Are you giving any home-made treats or crafts for the holidays? Please do share!

See you swoon,


* Spiced Pecans *


4 c pecan halves
1.5 tsp Kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 heaping tsp dark brown sugar
1 heaping Tbsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place pecans on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Mix rest of ingredients together in a bowl. Remove pecans from oven and toss them together with rest of ingredients, until completely coated. Return pecans to oven for another 2-3 minutes, until toasted and fragrant, but be careful not to overcook them.

From Frank Stitt's Southern Table


  1. I love your packaging! Much cuter than cellophane bags. I hope everyone enjoyed the pecans.

  2. Very cute! The pecans sound awesome.

  3. Jennie and Heather, thanks so much! We have about 3 cups of the pecans left and I know they will not be around for long.