This holiday, I'm trying to be a bit more frugal, er, savvy, with my dollar so I'm getting resourceful. In the coming month with a myriad of parties where hostess gifts are needed and during a time of year when it's always wise to have an extra gift on hand, I find culinary treats to be winners. You can keep many in the freezer or out of the way and if you don't end up needing them as gifts, then you just eat 'em.

I saw an easy demo on TV about making candied citrus peels and seeing as how my grapefruit was about a week outside of the "fresh" window, I figured "why not?"

With a quick google, I found an easy recipe on Epicurious and voila! It really was super easy and they are beautiful! Plus, the warm ones taste like candy orange wedges, but better. You know, fresh.

Another perk to this project is that instead of draining out all that simple syrup, you can bottle it for additional gifts to use it in cocktails or iced tea. A double double.

Here's the 411:
Gather 2-3 citrus of choice
Cut top and bottom of fruit
Score peel into 4 segments
Peel each segment carefully to avoid ripping
Cut peels into 1/4in slices
Add to boiling water and cook for 15min, then drain
Rinse and drain again
Boil 3C water with 3C sugar
Add fruit and allow to boil

Reduce to simmer and cook 45 min
Drain peels and reserve simple syrup
Place peels in 1C sugar, toss to coat

Move to a rack or place on foil lined cookie sheet
Let dry completely 1-2 days

Store airtight for 3 weeks
*dip in melted chocolate for added appeal
Jar simple syrup for gifts. Makes 2-3 jars.

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