It’s that time of year again. Time to make sure you have everyone covered on your holiday shopping list. As my family members get older, it gets more difficult to find gifts that they don’t already have or want. Over the last few years, I’ve solved this problem by preparing edible gifts from my kitchen for family and friends that have been received with great appreciation and eagerly gobbled up.
If you’ve got a little time, gifts from your kitchen can be some of the season’s most cherished gifts. It doesn’t hurt that they are usually much easier on the budget as well. You can spend a little extra on beautiful boxes and wrappings that will make your heart felt gift even more special.
If you’re new to the gluten-free diet or an old pro, once you’ve experimented with the recipes at Glutenfreeda.com, you’ll come to see how delicious a gluten-free diet can be. Our focus has always been to show people through our recipes that a gluten-free diet can and should be delicious, nutritious and one that you are proud to share with your family and friends. Gluten-free gifts from your kitchen are another way to show how wonderful gluten-free food can be.
Personalized Cook books
One year our family drew names for gift giving. I drew my brother-in-laws name, who just happens to be a rocket scientist, really. What does one buy for a rocket scientist? After a lot of bad ideas, I came up with the perfect idea, I made him a personalized cookbook, “Cooking for Rocket Scientists”. I selected some of my favorite recipes and wrote amusing introductions to each recipe explaining why the particular recipe was perfect for a rocket scientist. When he opened his gift, he read the title to everyone and everyone laughed. The book was passed all around and everyone started putting in requests for their own personal cookbook for next Christmas! My brother-in-law is not gluten-intolerant, so I modified my gluten-free recipes by adding the gluten back in when necessary.
One year we smoked several salmon filets with brining them with different flavorings and gave them as gifts. We created beautiful packages with pictures of salmon all over them. This is a terrific gift and easy to do, it just takes a little time.
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): BBQ 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!
- Chef Yvonne