Sweet Season for Giving Once Again

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Well SAS, you outdid yourselves once again! For 6 years running, we've been collecting and donating leftover and excess Halloween candy from SAS families. After last year's record breaking 450 pounds of donated candy, we challenged you to raise the {candy} bar even higher this year...and man did you do that, tipping the scales at just under 580 pounds of candy!  

That's 130 pounds MORE than we collected last year and brings us up to a total of 1,920 pounds of candy donated since 2012.  WOW!

@SASsoftware family generously donated nearly 580lbs of candy to the #troops. Talk about a season for #giving! Click To Tweet

So what happened to ALL that candy?

Well, we are happy to report that we donated the candy to NCPacks4Patriots. The candy, along with other items such as holiday decorations, games, food, toiletries, and more were packed into Christmas Goodie Bags and distributed to our deserving service men and women, both local and deployed. Check it out in action HERE (see if you can spot the boxes from SAS!).

Barbara Whitehead of NCPacks4Patriots said: "Thank you so much for all your hard work collecting this candy, to all those who donated the candy, and for helping to touch the lives of our troops serving overseas this Christmas!"

What a truly great season of giving! Thank you, SAS!

More Giving Ideas

If you're looking for a last minute gift idea for loved ones, try this amazing DIY infused oil and vinegar and Italian bread dip seasoning.  Place them in a cute basket with a fresh baguette and you have the perfect gift set for anyone on your list! We've even provided a label template that you can download, edit and print along with a printer-friendly version of the recipes- CHECK IT OUT!

 

DIY Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

Ingredients
4.25 oz air-tight glass jar (we used these glass swing top bottles)
4 oz olive oil
1-2 Tbsp dried rosemary

Directions

  1. Sterilize glass jar and let completely dry. Just one drop of water can cause your oil to go rancid! Bacteria doesn’t grow in oil alone but the presence of water can allow bacteria to live and grow.
  2. Fill jar ¼ way with dried herbs of choices (approximately 1-2 Tbsp or ⅛ oz dried herbs for 4 oz of oil) then top with oil and seal tightly.
  3. Allow oil to infuse 1-4 weeks or until the desired flavor has developed. You can strain off the herbs, if desired, or leave them for a decorative touch.
  4. Label and date and store in a cool, dark place. Use within 3 months.

Notes

  • If you opt to use fresh herbs, let them dry completely for several hours or overnight.  Just one drop of water can cause your oil to go rancid! Bacteria doesn’t grow in oil alone but the presence of water can allow bacteria to live and grow.  Fresh herbs need to be strained out of the oil in 1-2 weeks once the flavors have infused to avoid bacterial growth.  If you’re using fresh garlic, be sure to store in the refrigerator and use quickly.
  • Try different combinations of dried herbs and spices: sage, basil, tarragon, chili peppers, thyme, peppercorns, etc).

DIY Lemon Thyme Infused Vinegar

Ingredients
4.25 oz air-tight glass jar (we used these glass swing top bottles)
4 oz distilled white vinegar (or other vinegar of choice: apple cider, balsamic, etc)
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1-2 strips of lemon peel, about ½ of a lemon

Directions

  1. Sterilize glass jar and let completely dry.
  2. Place lemon and thyme in jar, top with vinegar and seal tightly (approximately 3 Tbsp dried herbs/spices for 3-4 sprigs of fresh herbs per pint of vinegar) then top with vinegar and seal tightly. If using fresh seasonings, thoroughly wash and dry before adding.
  3. Place in a cool, dark place and allow vinegar to infuse undisturbed for 3-4 weeks or until desired flavor has developed.
  4. Once finished, strain and discard all solids and pour infused vinegar back into rinsed jar. Hardier ingredients like rosemary, garlic, and ginger can hold up submerged in vinegar for longer periods of time so you may not have to strain those blends. Delicate fruits and herbs are best strained.
  5. You can decorate with a few fresh sprigs of herbs or fruit, if desired. Note that berries and some fresh herbs will begin to breakdown after a few weeks and should be removed when this occurs.
  6. Label and date and store in a cool, dark place. Use within 4-6 months or refrigerate up to 1 year.

Notes: Try different combinations of herbs, spices, vegetables and/or fruit of (fresh or dried): rosemary, sage, basil, tarragon, chili peppers, thyme, raspberries, orange, strawberry, etc.

Italian Bread Dip Seasoning
Recipe From: iheartnaptime.net

Ingredients
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp garlic powder
½ to 1 tsp black pepper (to taste)
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp dehydrated onion
½ Tbsp dehydrated garlic
Half pint glass jar

Directions

  1. Break some of the spices down in size. The more even the spices, the more evenly it will mix and stay mixed.  You can do this by placing the larger spices (rosemary, dehydrated garlic and onion, red pepper) in a sealable plastic bag and roll over it with a rolling pin.
  2. Mix all ingredients and pour into glass jar.
  3. To create an olive oil dip, pour a thin layer of olive oil in a flat dish and drizzle balsamic vinegar through the oil.  Then sprinkle a layer of spices on top.  Dip bread of choice and enjoy!
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About Author

Ashley Bailey, MS, RDN, LDN

Nutritionist

Ashley is a Nutritionist at SAS Institute in Cary, NC. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Biofeedback Instructor, and has a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, running, cooking and crafting. Follow @abaileyRD on Twitter.

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