Easy Gifts, Easy Gift Wrap & Easy Recipes

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Notes From the Sofa

These are the easy gifts we’re loving right now! For the man who has everything: Nuance Ice Bucket // Horn Handled Bar Tool Set // Cheval Coasters. Perfect for your Mother–in–Law: Seda France Ceramic Candle // Wick Trimmer // Golden Toile Matches. A selection of our masculine home fragrance collection: Blackcurrant Agate Candle.

How to Wrap Your Unique and Useful Gifts

We love wrapping presents.  Love.  It.  But we also know that there are plenty who do not enjoy the holiday ritual.  If you’re one of those people, visit us at Collage Home to learn the easiest way ever to wrap gifts! There are instructions below, but we’re happy to show you when you visit the shop. Here’s our undisputed easiest, most festive-looking gift wrap solution.  Even your kids (or your significant other! Mais non!) can do this without supervision. C’est vrais!

Gift WrapPhoto Courtesy Neelam Meetcha

What you need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Cellophane bags OR a large roll of clear cellophane OR both, if you’re fancy
  • Decorative ribbon
  • Whatever else might be fun to attach to the ribbon (like the ornaments and fun tags available in our store!)

What you do:

  1. Cut a length of cellophane sufficient to cover the object plus about a 9-10 inches.
  2. Spread out enough tissue (about 3 full-sized sheets’ worth in thickness) onto the cellophane with extra to spare, overrunning the cellophane by a bit or place tissue in bag, with the center of the tissue in the bottom of the bag.
  3. Put the item in the centre of the tissue, or into the bag.
  4. Draw up all sides and secure with ribbon near the top of the object, using enough to tie a substantial single bow or tidy knot, depending on how thick your ribbon is. Use thinner ribbon for a bow, thicker ribbon for a knot.

How fun is that?  It looks like a Christmas sweet!  You could use a different color tissue paper for each person.  So festive under your tree!

Here’s something else:

The EASIEST dessert sauce recipe.  You’ll have most of the ingredients already. This will look like a lot, but once you’ve made it, you’ll start thinking of things to put it on for quality control purposes before you serve it.

Dessert Sauce

You need:

  • Brown sugar – about a cup
  • ½ stick of butter (Preferably unsalted, but who really cares?  Salted caramel is all the rage.)
  • Heavy cream about 250 ml – ish. (about half a small carton)
  • Pot
  • Spoon

Put it all in a pot on medium-low heat.  Stir until butter has melted, and sugar has dissolved.  If it’s too thick, add cream.  If it’s not thick enough, add sugar.

The. End. Serve this on just about everything.

And, another treat for the holiday season. This easy, easy, EASY cheater’s Tarte Tatin recipe, which suits the dessert sauce beautifully:

  • Apples, any type, sliced. Enough to cover the bottom of your pan plus a few more. You can peel them if you want to, but we often don’t bother.  You can also use barely-ripe pears.
  • Brown sugar
  • ½ T butter
  • Dash (a quick one) of balsamic vinegar OR Squeeze of lemon juice
  • A tiny bit of fruit juice (doesn’t matter which fruit, but maybe not tomato) AND/OR splash of brandy, amaretto, or Calvados (best with pears)
  • Puff pastry (store-bought of course)
  • Wide-bottomed pan with lid
  1. Heat oven to about 350-375. Whatever your oven might already be on over 325 will be fine.  You can even go up to 400 if you’re already using it for something else.
  2. Place everything in the pan except the pastry, and cook over medium-low heat.  Stir until butter is melted, and sugar is dissolved. (The amount of sugar is up to you.)
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for about 3-5 minutes.  The fruit should be just about fork-tender.
  4. Unroll the puff pastry.  Place the lid to the pan down on the pastry, and cut around it. Place the pastry right on top of the fruit, and prick with a fork.  You can brush with butter if you want, but may choose not to because this will be the bottom.  Don’t press the pastry down onto the apples.  Leave space where you can to avoid soggy pastry.
  5. Bake in your preheated oven until the pastry has puffed, and is a nice golden color. Resist the temptation to open the oven before the pastry puffs and colors.
  6. Remove from the oven.  Place a dinner plate straight on top of the pan, and when you can—without burning yourself—flip the whole contraption over so that the plate in on a flat surface, and the pan is on top.  Remove the pan.  Voila.  Tarte Tatin.  Serve with toffee sauce. 

So, so easy!  Impossibly delicious!