Foodie Holiday Gift Suggestions: Homemade
Looking for that special gift for a foodie friend? Someone on your list is hard to please? Maybe something to give someone with everything?
Try these suggestions on making your own unique gifts. There are many great websites you’ll find under each section, but there are an infinite number of possibilities.
The queen of the holiday homemade is definitely Martha Stewart – click HERE to see her array of hand-crafted holiday gifts.
Another great website we found was AllRecipes (click HERE to see their DIY gifts). With each of these homemade gifts, packaging can really make the difference. Tins, bottles, and festive boxes can be found on-line or at cookware stores.
Here are our suggestions for easy to make, Serious Foodie quality hand crafted gifts – especially for those on your list who have everything.
Simple syrups are just that – simple. Once made, they last a long time, and can be used to flavor cocktails, desserts, or just used as a condiment over ice cream. We found a very nice, festive holiday syrup on MidWestLiving.com using cranberries (click HERE). While we like the fruit syrups a lot (try guava, passion fruit, kiwi, or Meyer lemon for some exotic flavors), there are also some savory and/or spicy versions. The best list we found was on Imbibemagazine.com (click HERE).
Alcohol infusions are a lot like flavored simple syrups – you can find sweet, savory, spicy, herbal, and many mixtures. We found a great article on Yummly (you’ll need to have an account, but it’s free – click HERE for the recipes), and we really loved the mixtures on BoozedandInfused.com (click HERE). Be creative – think about fun cocktail combinations, dessert flavors, even savory flavors (bacon?!). One of our favorites is vodka with honey, lemon grass, and kumquats (our version of a bee sting cocktail).
Flavored oils are probably the easiest of all the homemade gifts – but they come with a lot of qualifiers. The best versions start with fresh ingredients, but many have a short shelf life, and some infused oils will need to be refrigerated. We found a nice list on CDKitchen.com (click HERE), as well as on the Food Network (click HERE). WE like to mix ingredients a bit – rosemary and garlic oil, Szechuan peppercorn and basil oil to name a few – which will give the recipient something they will never find in the store.
Spice rubs are a very easy – and often much appreciated – homemade gift project. You’ll find some excellent spice rub recipes on RealSimple.com (click HERE), SouthernLiving.com (click HERE), and KaylnsKitchen.com (click HERE). You can use Ball jars, jars you’ve cleaned and kept for just this occasion (we love to recycle spice bottles and jelly bottles), or you can buy your own tins. We really like the folks at TinWerks.com for all sorts of creative packaging (click HERE).
Pesto sauces are easy – and taste so much better when hand crafted versus store-bought. The Serious Foodie posted a how-to video, and three versions of pesto, including the classical version with basil and pine nuts (click HERE). The BonAppetit.com, FoodNetwork.com, and Epicurious.com websites have lots of pesto recipes. Check out sunflower seed pesto (click HERE), walnut-mint pesto (click HERE), Asian pesto (click HERE), or the tomato-based pesto Trapanese (click HERE). As an added touch, supply the pasta.
Holiday cookies – a ritual of the season that is often passed along generations. There are so many websites that offer cookie recipes – try the Food Network’s 50 holiday cookies (click HERE), the selection of Christmas cookies on TasteofHome.com (click HERE), or the encompassing ChristmasCookies.com (click HERE). Check out some nifty packaging ideas at the ABC website (click HERE).
Vinaigrettes Rock! They are simple, flavorful, and versatile. We use them over grilled and smoked fish, with grill pork and chicken, and even sometimes use them on salads. The Serious Foodie has a post to make some of our favorite vinaigrettes that you put in pretty bottles, with a little bow, and save some for yourself (click HERE). TheKitchn.com website has a few nice ideas (click HERE). Try the festive strawberry vinaigrette at TheTasteofHome.com website (click HERE).
You can be so creative with granola. After trying your own, you’ll wonder why you haven’ switched to hand-crafted versions sooner. One of our favorites is the pumpkin granola with cashews and cranberries on the HealthyGreenKitchen.com website (click HERE). There’s a good general granola primer at Allrecipes.com (click HERE). A high-protein version can be found on the WholeFoodsMagazine.com website (click HERE).