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12 Days of Holiday Food Gifts

Give the gift of healthier edible goodies this season.

11. On the eleventh day of Christmas my FOODIE gave to me... 11 cups of coffee

But not just any coffee. Give them the best coffee on the planet (at least what you think is the best coffee). You might want to know if they like their coffee locked and loaded (with caffeine) or if they are discrete decaf-ers. Obviously the "best" coffee is highly subjective. But if you're looking for a company that sells coffee befitting fine restaurants around the world and that packages that fabulous coffee in sleek, festive-looking tins, give Illy at look.

Illy is not just for espresso machines anymore. They now sell coffee ground perfectly for a drip coffee system. For $26, you can get two tins (8.8 ounces each) of medium grind for drip coffee in medium or dark roast, with an Illy-engraved measuring spoon thrown in. The Illy company was founded in Italy in 1933, and now its coffee is brewed in more than 41,000 restaurants and coffee bars and is sold in over 100 countries around the world --- totaling over 6 million cups of Illy espresso a day! It's been my own experience that Illy offers coffee enthusiasts an authentic Italian experience in every cup. I will travel to Italy one of these years, but in the meantime, at least I've got my Illy coffee. Visit them at www.illy.com

12. On the 12th day of Christmas my FOODIE gave to me … 12 pieces of personalized fudge.

What candy says "Christmas" more than fudge? And this lighter fudge recipe is super-special because it literally takes 5 minutes to make in the microwave. The recipe also gives you some options to personalize your fudge. Your recipient will know the fudge was created just for him or her.

Personalized 5-Minute Fudge

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 portion light dessert (without mix-ins). With mix-ins, journal as 1 portion medium dessert.

3 cups chocolate chips, according to preference (such as 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips plus 1 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips)
14 ounces fat-free sweetened condensed milk
Dash salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix-ins to personalize your fudge, such as:

  • For Rocky Road Fudge: 1 1/4 cups miniature marshmallows + 1 cup walnut pieces.
  • For German Chocolate Cake Fudge: 1 cup flaked or shredded coconut + 1 cup pecan pieces.
  • For Peppermint Stick Fudge: 1 cup crunched-up candy canes.
  • For Choco Mint Fudge: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract instead of vanilla extract (same calories as vanilla fudge)
  • For Peanut Butter Fudge: 1 cup of peanut butter M&Ms.

 

  • Line an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch square baking dish with foil.
  • Add chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and dash salt to an 8-cup microwave-safe glass measure and stir to blend. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir and microwave 1 minute more. Stir until chocolate chips are completely melted and a smooth mixture has formed.
  • Stir in any mix-ins you're using to personalize your fudge (including vanilla extract) and spoon into prepared baking dish. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least two hours, or until firm. Pull foil out of baking dish so you can easily cut fudge into about 49 squares (cut 7 columns vertically, then horizontally).

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