Christmas Day is fast approaching, and the malls are still swarming with people. But, not all gifts have to be bought. Some can be made. I love to give food gifts that are delicious, well-received, and that include healthier ingredients.
So, if you are looking for some beautiful food gifts to make, here are a couple of my favorite ideas.
I love, love, love lemony desserts. They are so bright and vibrant, especially in the winter. This recipe for lemon curd is my favorite for a couple of reasons. First, it is a frugal version because it uses whole eggs, instead of a bunch of egg yolks. Another reason I like it so much is because it’s sweetened with honey. Just make sure you use a decent honey, and you will have a delicious treat.
Package it in a small jar with a nice ribbon tied onto it. Give this gift with a card of ideas of how to use it, including slathered on scones, in a simple tart crust topped with berries, as a topping for blueberry pancakes, a spread for blueberry muffins, swirled into vanilla ice cream, a topping for gingerbread cake, or a scoop added to plain yogurt and sprinkled with granola.
For the family of five: Old-Fashioned Caramel Corn.
It can be trickier to give a food gift to a family with children. One consideration is that a small jar of lemon curd won’t go as far. Another consideration is the common likes and dislikes of children. For that reason, I suggest caramel corn (this recipe uses all-natural ingredients). Package it in a beautiful tin, and it will be a delicious, healthier treat enjoyed by all. One consideration: make sure that no one is barred from eating caramel because of braces.
For the not so "sweet" friend: Cerignola Olives with Hot Pepper and Rosemary oil
I know several people who would let anything sweet rot on their countertops (I don’t understand these friends at all). This makes giving them a food gift a little tricky. However, Martha Stewart has a delicious recipe for doctored up olives that would make a thoughtful and beautiful gift.
For the co-worker you hardly know: Candied Cinnamon and Vanilla Nuts
You know that person you know next to nothing about? Barring a nut allergy (ask beforehand), I’ve found candied nuts a perfect gift. This recipe has been a big hit, so it's a safe bet. Package in a cute jar or tin for giving. (By the way, these also make a great gift for people you do know well!)
For the tea lover: Chai Steeping Bag
Make a homemade chai spice and tea steeping bag presented with instructions, and a nice tea or coffee cup. This concentrated recipe is one of my favorite versions of chai.
Food gift ideas are inexhaustible, but these are a few of my top ideas for this year. I'd love to hear your ideas as well!