Tag Archives | Christmas

Toni’s Homemade Holiday Spice Sangria

The Holidays Enjoyed

Christmas Eve.  New Year’s Celebration.  Hostess Gifts.  Last-Minute Holiday Entertaining.  My recipe for Homemade Holiday Spice Sangria is perfect for all holiday occasions.

Homemade Holiday Sangria

Eat, Drink and Be Frugal

If you enjoy serving wine to guests for the holidays, the cost for bottled wine can certainly add up.  Having a batch of this holiday wine elixir on hand is not only more affordable, it makes a visually stunning holiday presentation and is absolutely delicious.

Homemade Holiday Sangria

Toni’s Homemade Holiday Spice Sangria Recipe

Toni’s DIY Holiday Spice Sangria

Toni’s DIY Holiday Spice Sangria


  • Basic Red Table Wine- I use a gallon of a basic red wine that I find in bulk at Costco. Trader Joe’s also has great deals for basic red table wine over the holidays.
  • Cranberry Juice- 1 bottle
  • Brandy- a little more than half a bottle (save some for your eggnog!)
  • Oranges- 3 or 4 large; sliced and halved (into half-moon shapes)
  • Pears- 3 or 4 large; sliced
  • Cinnamon Sticks- 4 or 5 whole
  • Cranberries, fresh- 12 oz.
  • Whole Cloves- put into a tea bag


  1. Combine ingredients in large mason or Sangria Jar
  2. Let this mixture “steep” for a 2-3 days in a cool place. If you live someplace cold, you can just leave it outside, unless it will freeze.




Homemade Holiday Sangria recipe


This year I found the perfect carafes from Rubbermaid to bottle my sangria in to give to friends, neighbors and family.  It made great hostess gifts this year for holiday parties I attended.

Homemade Holiday Sangria


Simply add a ribbon with a gift tag and you have a beautiful hostess gift for holiday parties.

homemade holiday sangria recipe from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

homemade holiday sangria recipe from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook


For an added touch, place a copy of the sangria recipe on the back of the gift tag card.  To download a copy of the recipe for your gift tags: DOWNLOAD SANGRIA RECIPE

homemade holiday sangria recipe from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook



Serve and Enjoy!  Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You!



Toni Spilsbury, The Organized Cook




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Win A Rubbermaid Carafe For Your Homemade Sangria

Homemade Sangria

I love homemade sangria, and my recipe for my Holiday Spice Sangria is beautiful and delicious.  Whether you’re serving sangria at home for holiday entertaining, or giving it away as a hostess gift for New Year’s Eve parties, this recipe is sure to delight.

homemade holiday sangria recipe from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Click the image for recipe

This year I found the perfect carafes for my sangria from Rubbermaid.  These carafes are lightweight, affordable and beautiful.  By simply adding a ribbon and gift tag, I used my Rubbermaid Carafe with Holiday Spice Sangria to create the perfect gift for neighbors.  And, I’m sure to be using this combination as a hostess gift for a New Year’s Eve party.

Homemade Holiday Sangria Recipe by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

We’re so excited to have Rubbermaid sponsor our giveaway this week with these fabulous carafes.  Four lucky winners will receive a Rubbermaid Carafe to use for your holiday sangria.  There are many ways to enter, simply follow the instructions below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Win A Picaboo Gift Card

Picaboo Gift Card Giveaway from The Organized Cook

We hope everyone’s holiday season is off to a great start.  To celebrate the season and  help with holiday shopping we’re excited to be giving away 3 $30 Picaboo gift cards.



Enter The Giveaway

We are so excited to share the giveaway with you just in time for the holidays.  Whether you’re creating cards, calendars or photo books, Picaboo is the perfect place to shop!  There are many ways to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Why Picaboo Is The Perfect Holiday Gift

Yes, a photo book can be a great holiday gift by sharing your favorite photos with friends and family.  Here are some other great holiday gift ideas using Picaboo.

Giving The Gift of Memories: Teenagers

I have a nineteen year-old daughter in college in addition to my twins- 7 and “baby”- 5.  She loves watching her younger siblings experience the magic of Christmas- with Santa, Rudolph and all the wonder she remembers from when she was that age.

The Christmas experience is different for older children than it is for younger.  So, in addition to her to sharing holiday traditions with her siblings by leaving cookies and milk out for Santa with them, I’m making a photo book this year for her with holiday memories of when she was younger.

I saved her letters to Santa along with photos from school plays and Christmas mornings.  That photo of her holding her favorite stuffed Rudolph with the biggest gleaming smile shouldn’t be kept away in a photo box.  With scanner fired up to scan in hand-written notes to Santa, I’m ready to create a gift for her that I hope will rekindle that Christmas magic in her heart.

Family Cookbook

My grandmother is 83 years old this year and has passed down so many great recipes to me and the family over the years.  I also have recipes from my great-grandmother, and in her original handwriting no less!  I thought this year would be the best time to take those recipes and add to them recipes from my aunts, cousins and sisters to create a family cookbook.

By combining various family photos of dinner gatherings and kitchen memories, this is the perfect gift to give my grandmother this year.

Family Birthday Calendar

Each year my mom creates a photo calendar listing each birthday in the family.  Photos of our family adorn each month as we’re reminded to celebrate those special days.



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Recipe For A Perfect Gingerbread Man

Gingerbread Man Cookie Recipe

This past weekend I baked 77 Gingerbread Man cookies as an annual family tradition (not the “77” part, but the baking gingerbread men part).  It was a lot of work, but it’s only once a year, right?

gingerbread man recipe

I love the smell of fresh gingerbread and my kids enjoy helping me prepare and roll out the dough, cut out the gingerbread men and watch them bake.  Of course, the best part is the last step when we get to decorate them.

If you’re in the mood for some fresh gingerbread cookies this year, here is a recipe that has never let me down:

Gingerbread Man Cookie Recipe

Gingerbread Man Recipe

ground ginger- the most important ingredient


  1. Flour- 6 cups
  2. Baking Powder- 1 tspn
  3. Ground Ginger- 2 tbspns
  4. Ground Cinnamon- 2 tbspns
  5. Ground cloves or allspice- 1 tspn
  6. Salt- 1/2 tspn
  7. Butter- 1 cup or 2 sticks, softened
  8. Brown Sugar- 2 cups
  9. Eggs- 2
  10. Vanilla- 2 tspns
  11. Dark Molasses- 1 cup
  12. Water- 1 tbspn


1.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves or allspice and salt

gingerbread recipe

dry ingredients


gingerbread recipe

whisk together dry ingredients

2.  Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy

gingerbread recipe

blend together sugar and wet ingredients

3.  Slowly add flour mixture and water

gingerbread recipe

slowly add flour mixture and water


4.  Place gingerbread onto sheet of plastic wrap and hand-form into a ball

gingerbread recipe

place gingerbread onto sheet of plastic wrap


gingerbread recipe

hand form into a ball


5.   Let gingerbread stand at room temperature for 2-6 hours.  I like to make mine a day or two in advance.  So, dough can be refrigerated and then brought back to room temperature before rolling it out.

gingerbread recipe

wrap in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2-6 hours; or it can be refrigerated and then brought back to room temperature


6.  Lightly dust surface with flour and roll dough with rolling pin that is also dusted lightly with flour

gingerbread recipe

roll out dough onto flour-covered surface

7.  Use cookie cutter to make cut-outs

gingerbread recipe


8.  Dip spatula into flour before scooping up cut-out and placing on an ungreased cookie sheet to bake

gingerbread recipe

dip spatula in flour first before placing cut-outs onto ungreased cookie sheet


9.  Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes and transfer to rack to cool after baking

gingerbread recipe

chilling out



Decorating Your Gingerbread Man

Use royal or buttercream icing to dress your gingerbread man.  My favorite Gingerbread Man candies are:

time to decorate!

  1. Red Hots for the eyes
  2. Spiced Gum Drops for the buttons
  3. Coconut for the hair


Every year, I take my Gingerbread Man cookies to Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation annual holiday party to let the kids decorate because it’s such a tactual experience.

Kids decorate Gingerbread Man cookies at Nevada Blind Children's Foundation


“And I had but one penny in the world. Thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.” – William Shakespeare, Love’s Labours Lost

“NO! Not the buttons! Not my gumdrop buttons!”Gingerbread Man, Shrek






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