Fast and Yummy Christmas Gifts

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I am always trying to find gifts to make for the holidays that are different and not necessarily something anyone would do on a daily basis. In the past, I’ve made vanilla and different liqueurs, Kahlua being the favorite. This year I decided to do something with all the citrus we have so found a recipe for marmalades that’s quick and easy in addition to a Margarita jam I got from my friend, Rosy.

I have both of the recipes for you and included the Kahlua just in case. It is especially easy to make and I promise it has a big WOW factor!

Tangerine Marmalade


3 lb. tangerines, unpeeled, washed, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into thin slices
6 cups water
4 cups sugar


1. In large pot, bring tangerines and water to boil over high. Reduce heat to med and cook at rapid simmer until tangerine peels are tender, 20 minutes.

2. Add sugar, increase heat to med-hi, stir until sugar dissolves. Return to boil and cook, stirring often, until mixture is thick and darkens slightly, 40-45 minutes. To test for doneness, drop spoonful on frozen plate and freeze 2 minutes. Marmalade is done if it has a slight film that wrinkles when pushed with finger. If it spreads out and thins immediately, continue cooking. Transfer marmalade to airtight containers, cover and let cool completely. Refrigerate up to 1 month, freeze up to 6 months.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade

2 grapefruit
2 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ cup brown sugar
2 lemons, juice only (approx..  6 TBS)

1. In large pot, place grapefruit in just enough water to make them float freely.
2. Bring to boil, let boil for two hours (add water from a kettle if too much water boils away and grapefruit touch bottom.
3. Drain grapefruit, discard water and let fruit cool.
4. Slice grapefruit as finely as possible. You can chop it up more finely in a food processor, if that is what you want.
5. Place grapefruit, sugars and lemon juice in pot and dissolve sugars on low heat.
6. Bring to boil and let bubble until you reach the jell point, about 15 minutes.
7. Ladle in clean jars. Refrigerate for 1 month or freeze for 6 months.

Lime Marmalade

12 limes
7 cups water
7 cups sugar (approx.)

1. Cut off ends of limes. Slice unpeeled limes as thin as possible, discard any seeds.
2. Combine limes and water in bowl, cover, stand overnight.
3. Transfer to large saucepan, bring to boil, simmer, covered, for about 1 hour or until rind is soft.
4. Measure fruit mixture and add 1 cup sugar for each cup mixture. Return to pan, stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil, and continue boiling, uncovered, until marmalade jells when tested.
5. Ladle in clean jars. Refrigerate for 1 month, freeze for 6 months.

Margarita Jam


2/3  cup tequila
1/3 cup triple sec
2/3  cup fresh lime juice
2 TBS lime zest
3 cups sugar
1 envelope pectin (3 ounces)


In heavy saucepan, stir together tequila, triple sec, lime juice, zest and sugar. Bring to boil over med heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add pectin and stir for another minute. Ladle into sterilized jars and seal. If sealed with paraffin, will keep 2 months unrefrigerated. Refrigerator, jam will keep indefinitely.

This jam is great poured over cream cheese and served with crackers.



3 cups sugar
2 cups water
3/4 cup instant coffee
1/2 cups water
3 1/3 cups vodka
2 TBS vanilla


1. Make simple syrup, bring to boil for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. At same time mix coffee with 1/2 cup water and bring to boil and allow to cool. Combine together and put in air-tight container. Can be consumed immediately and stored unrefrigerated indefinitely. You can put the Kahlua in small jars or bottles as gifts.