Let’s face it, every year there is always a person on the gift list that seems to be the most difficult person to buy for. Perhaps they are someone that has it all, or maybe they are just someone whom you want to know is in your thoughts during the holidays but you don’t necessarily know what they want or need. Over the years I’ve received home-made gifts and I do have to say that these are often the most special to me. Whether they are home-made crafts or some special gift from their kitchen, I always sincerely appreciate the time and thought that they put into my gift.
This year if you happen to have a difficult person to buy for consider giving a special gift from your kitchen. The obvious choices for food gifts are candy or cookie boxes or holiday quick breads. These are always a welcome gift but there are some other great ideas that go beyond sweets.
As a side note, everything I cook is always gluten-free and I have very few family members or friends who are gluten intolerant, yet still everyone is always delighted to receive gifts from my kitchen.
Great Kitchen Gift Ideas:
Recipes from your Kitchen: I gave this gift one year and my family and friends have thoroughly enjoyed it. I assembled the book by category with my favorite recipes and a small introduction to each recipe on why I like it, or a special memory that I have for that particular meal. You could either type the recipes, handwrite them, include photos, or add whatever personal touch you might like. To make this recipe book easy to use for those family members that are not gluten intolerant, I focused on recipes that are naturally gluten-free (not requiring any special gluten-free ingredients).
Rubs: Rubs can be used on any meat, fish or poultry and are easy to make in bulk, and can be packaged in adorable wrappings. I package rubs in decorative little tin cans or small holiday bags tied with fancy ribbons. To get you started, here’s a great rub that you can easily add a special twist to with your own signature ingredient(s): Kansas City Rub
Homemade Beef Jerky: This is a fun thing to make and is actually easy to do. You could find some fun western style containers and finish them off with a plaid bow for a festive touch. For complete step-by-step instructions on how to make your own beef jerky visit our on-line cooking class titled, Homemade Gluten-free Jerky.
Cookies: Always a popular Christmas gift during the holidays, cookies are easy to make and can be packaged in little decorative bags, boxes or tins. A few great choices from our archives are: Stained Glass Cookies, Lace Cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Spring Flower Cookies (decorated as Christmas Trees or other Holiday Shapes).
Candy: Candy is always fun to make, especially if you have little ones…they love to see how it’s actually done. Some great candy choices from our archives are: Bourbon Espresso Truffles (probably a good idea to not have those little ones sample these, unless you want to be up all night!), Rich Chocolate Truffles and Florentines.
Other Baked Gifts: Other baked gifts are great too, especially if you don’t have to ship them (they tend not to travel as well). Some wonderful sweet treats to consider as gifts are: Decadent Brownies, Orange Pecan Biscotti, Chocolate Almond Biscotti, Lemon Bars, Cranberry Nut Bread, and Chocolate Lemon Bread.
One last final note, when choosing food gifts, take into consideration the durability of the food item. In some cases, your gift will need to survive the post office and at minimum remain fresh for several days. Gifts like beef jerky, rubs, and candy are great “keepers” but cookies and other baked goods may get broken or perish quickly, especially when considering gluten-free items.
Use your imagination and you will find that gifts from your kitchen and your heart will be the most treasured gifts this season.
Happy gift giving!