Food as Gifts 2009 - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,
I know there's a thread in the craft subforum, about homemade gifts, but I thought I'd start one here about gifts that specifically are food.

Last year I made and gifted vanilla extract and it was a huge hit. I'm still trying to figure out what to do this year. I love giving consumables at the holidays.
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#2 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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I always enjoy these threads.

I have a very large jar of sundried tomatoes (from costco) that I am going to use to make a sundried tomato bread dipping sauce. I cook with wine occasionally, so I buy these little 4-packs of wine with the cute little bottles. I've cleaned and sterilized the bottles and will use those to give the dipping sauce. It will have to be refrigerated, so I'll have to make it not long before assembling gifts.

I have a friend who is going to finally give up her toffee recipe and I'll give that a whirl.

And always the biggest hit... I make baklava. The recipe is how my MIL, passed on now, made it and it has been passed on to me from my dh's sister, who rarely makes it (because she still lives in Turkey and you can buy excellent baklava on any street corner) but has coached me through it. It is different than the way the Greeks make it because it has no honey in it.

I'm looking for other ideas, though, so will watch this thread carefully.
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#3 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I always enjoy these threads.

I have a very large jar of sundried tomatoes (from costco) that I am going to use to make a sundried tomato bread dipping sauce. I cook with wine occasionally, so I buy these little 4-packs of wine with the cute little bottles. I've cleaned and sterilized the bottles and will use those to give the dipping sauce. It will have to be refrigerated, so I'll have to make it not long before assembling gifts.

I have a friend who is going to finally give up her toffee recipe and I'll give that a whirl.

And always the biggest hit... I make baklava. The recipe is how my MIL, passed on now, made it and it has been passed on to me from my dh's sister, who rarely makes it (because she still lives in Turkey and you can buy excellent baklava on any street corner) but has coached me through it. It is different than the way the Greeks make it because it has no honey in it.

I'm looking for other ideas, though, so will watch this thread carefully.
Let's share recipes!!! I would love the sundried tomato recipe please!

I was going to make truffles, but on the frugality thread it was brought to my attention that some people really aren't thrilled with sweets as gifts... and then a friend of mine asked all of us to NOT give her any cookies/treats this year, as she's really trying to lose weight!

So...

I'm thinking of doing some nice vinegrettes. So far I'm thinking a pomegranete one and a citrus one, with little tags suggesting that they are more than salad dressing, they could be used to marinade with, to glaze etc.

Once I test them I will share my final recipe!

I am not crunchy enough for this forum. Everyday I get a little crunchier though! :
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#4 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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I can jams and find they make good gifts. This year I'm giving Autumn Pear Cranberry Jam and Apple Preserves.

A friend and I are going to be experimenting with Limonchello this week and may give that as well.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#5 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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I've made homemade salsa with homemade tortilla chips in the past.
I've also made jams and pear and apple butters with a loaf of homemade bread.
Little jars of cocoa mix with homemade marshmallows.
Chocolate covered and decorated pretzel rods.

Contemplating this year making flatbread crackers with a horseradish cheese spread. But would really like to find an idea that I can make and keep for a bit - some of mine have needed to be kept chilled or need to be given away quickly.

The Limonchello recipe looks interesting -- do you just drink that straight?

Also would love the sundried tomato bread dipping sauce recipe, please!

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#6 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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I'm making my husband's family their favorite candies. Their grandmother taught me a few years before she passed away this last december. It's not going to be the same, but I thought it would be nice to have their favorites on hand.

I'm going to make peanut butter balls, turtles, fudge, and (though not a candy) cheese crackers. I'm also making photo ornaments of the twins to give with them. I think it will be a very frugal holiday, since we're broke as anything.

Welcoming our twins :: born February 21, 2009 at 33 weeks! :
C-section due to pre-eclampsia and HELLP:
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#7 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 03:33 PM
 
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I'm doing mini loaves of bread....cinnamon raisin, banana pumpkin, herb, etc.

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#8 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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I think I'm going to do biscotti for some this year for sure- I have one recipe for Chinese 5 spice biscotti I like a lot, and another I do for more varied mix-ins. Also found the best granola recipe recently, though I haven't been sure if anyone would really be into that (other than dh - ha! He's been eating through it since I've been making it for us).

I've been scouring spiced nut recipes too, but have yet to make any kind of decision on them (found a tasty sounding chocolate and sugared almond one, as well as a variety of spiced mixes).

Anyone do herbed/spiced sugars? I'm considering doing some lavender and pineapple-sage (since they're still going well outside) but I'm not real sure how used they'd be. Maybe in small amounts though. . .
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#9 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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Usually I do jams and/or liqueurs. This year I've been using the dehydrator a lot, so I'll be giving away some dried fruit, too. Possibly some nuts.

I've also been thinking about mixing up a spice packet of my "famous chili" and giving that with instructions.

In the past I've also mixed up spiced/flavored hot cocoa mixes, made candies/chocolates, or baked, but this year I don't have the time for that, with a newborn.

Cristeen ~ Always remembering our stillheart.gif  warrior ~ Our rainbow1284.gif  is 3, how'd that happen?!?! 

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#10 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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For the "men in my life who I love but hate shopping for", I am knitting some oven mitts. With this I plan on putting BBQ rubs or sauces. I'd like to make my own blend of spices, we'll see if that happens. The only fresh herb I have left is thyme, but I have a beaucoup of that, so I was also thinking of doing a garlic and thyme vinegar. I'm not positive they would know how to use it, but it would be pretty (and oh so frugal)!

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#11 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 11:14 PM
 
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Great ideas everyone, thank you! I wanted to give some peach jam that I canned this summer but I'm looking at my pile and wanting to eat it myself, lol. I should have made a double batch. I'd like to make something just not sure what yet.

*formerly apecaut*, Mom to A, Calliope (stillborn 40 weeks 6/22/07), A and O
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#12 of 49 Old 11-08-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
But would really like to find an idea that I can make and keep for a bit - some of mine have needed to be kept chilled or need to be given away quickly.
I would like, too, also. I'd actually like to do more gifting of homemade foods but I'm not very creative or crafty in that way. Or in most ways. All I've done in the past is your standard pumpkin loaf and then I also have a spiced pecan recipe.

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Originally Posted by Evie's Mama View Post
I'm doing mini loaves of bread....cinnamon raisin, banana pumpkin, herb, etc.
Banana pumpkin sounds interesting! I just asked dh if it sounded good to him and he said "heck yeah!" I'll have to google a recipe.
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#13 of 49 Old 11-09-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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I put the recipe on my blog a few posts ago.

www.thebehrensfamily.blogspot.com

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#14 of 49 Old 11-09-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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I put the recipe on my blog a few posts ago.

www.thebehrensfamily.blogspot.com
Oh, thank you so much! And your baby is just adorable!!
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#15 of 49 Old 11-09-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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The Limonchello recipe looks interesting -- do you just drink that straight?
You can drink it straight or add it to seltzer for a fizzy lemonade or add it to tea rather than lemon. I've also seen people suggest using it as a dessert sauce for ice cream or pound cake.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#16 of 49 Old 11-09-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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Last year I did homemade granola, spiced nuts and herb mixes for dip. Have previously done chai tea sets (cellophane bag with good black loose tea and small containers of my own roasted/ground/blended garam masala and cardamom, with directions on a tag). One year a friend and I made our own mustards for everyone and that was a hit. Not sure about this year yet. Need to get on it!

Mama to DD (06/30/07).
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#17 of 49 Old 11-09-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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Oh, thank you so much! And your baby is just adorable!!
Thanks. We think so too.

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#18 of 49 Old 11-09-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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#19 of 49 Old 11-10-2009, 12:47 AM
 
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You can drink it straight or add it to seltzer for a fizzy lemonade or add it to tea rather than lemon. I've also seen people suggest using it as a dessert sauce for ice cream or pound cake.
Now this sounds like a gift that I would make and forget to give to friends...
Yum!

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#20 of 49 Old 11-11-2009, 09:49 AM
 
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I save bottles all year to make pepper vinegar for people. Yum.

I also make cheese straws.
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#21 of 49 Old 11-11-2009, 02:47 PM
 
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Fudge, candles, soaps, beads


but looking for somthing new this year I did see the lemonchello on the food network being made that looks interesting

Betsy, Mommy to DS (10) DD (4) DS (2) and DS (1)
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#22 of 49 Old 11-11-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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Limoncello looks interesting!
I'm thinking it would make a great gift in a decorated bottle : )
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#23 of 49 Old 11-11-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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My sister did chocolate dipped pretzels for my baby shower favors, and it was a big hit! I'm thinking about doing them for holiday gifts. Chocolate covered berries are a splurge compared to most food gifts, but so appreciated.

Last year I did gingerbread, peppermint/chocolate filled cookie sandwiches, and white chocolate peppermint bark. I am a sucker for peppermint!

I'm thinking of this year to do the pretzels (with peppermints and nuts), dipped fruits, and for dieters homemade breads. Much less work intensive- since I'll be 37-38 weeks by chanuka.

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#24 of 49 Old 11-11-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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Last year I did gingerbread, peppermint/chocolate filled cookie sandwiches, and white chocolate peppermint bark. I am a sucker for peppermint!

I'm thinking of this year to do the pretzels (with peppermints and nuts), dipped fruits, and for dieters homemade breads. Much less work intensive- since I'll be 37-38 weeks by chanuka.
You've inspired me! I think I'll do chocolate-dipped pretzelswith crushed candy canes on them!

Or how about store bought cookies (like Oreos or Newman's Own sandwich cookies) dipped in melted chocolate and then into the crushed candy canes?

You could totally get away with only dipping one side.

This could be fun!
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#25 of 49 Old 11-12-2009, 01:34 AM
 
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For closer friends I usually do a treat basket: white choco pretzels, fudge, homemade thin mint cookies, divinity, pumpkin bread, 7 layer bars, sugar cookies (pretty much whatever I feel like making with the kids). Every year I make this pumpkin bread for DH's co-workers. . .which they love and always ask me to make them.

One year FIL gave us jars of homemade taco seasoning, some "instant" oatmeal, soup mixes. We were so poor, we really needed food and it was the perfect gift. We now make our own taco seasoning and have thought about jarring it up for people.

Barbara:  an always learning SAHM of Ilana (11) and Aiden (8) living in Belgium with my amazing husband.

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#26 of 49 Old 11-13-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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I was thinking about mixing up dry ingredients for carmel rolls into a few containers and putting them in a gift basket with instructions on how to make them homemade since most of my family doesn't do well with homemade breads. Trying to be more frugal this year.
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#27 of 49 Old 11-15-2009, 06:38 AM
 
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Sorry to those that asked about the dipping oil. I hadn't been back to this thread in a while.

I don't really have a specific recipe for the sundried tomato dipping oil. I use oil-packed sundried tomatoes, olive oil (not extra virgin), balsamic vinegar, dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, fresh jalapeno and crushed garlic (fresh... which is why it has to be refrigerated), salt, and pepper. You can change the herbs you use and the amount of pepper based on your tastes. I've used fresh herbs when my herb garden is going gangbusters. Just puree it all together to the right consistency and flavor. The balsamic adds some zing, but also sweetness, so be careful with it. Of course, it gets better over time. It does congeal in the fridge and you have to let it sit out for about 10 minutes before shaking up and using.
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#28 of 49 Old 11-15-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Stuff I've made that seems to go over well:

Homemade marshmallows with hot cocoa
Honey-Chipotle Pecans
Cinnamon Popcorn
Holiday Granola (pistachios, dried cranberries, M&Ms )
Dinner Rolls

This year I'm giving frozen cookie dough. I figure it can be used for after the holidays when the rest of the goodies are gone.

B.
Mama to : July '06
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#29 of 49 Old 11-15-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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I made peppermint bark one year and it was a huge hit, and every year I give out some pickled garlic and people go crazy for it. At first they're all "Um, pickled garlic?" and then after they try it they're "OMFG PICKLED GARLIC!!" Haha... This year I also put up some lavender jelly and rosemary jelly, and I think I'm going to make some vanilla jelly as well and give it out in little sets. I'm also thinking of putting up some wine jelly and other herbal jellies for gift sets and little baskets. My grandparents don't do sugar or fatty foods so last year I sent them some hazelnut-fig bread and a bag of hazelnuts and they loved that; I'll probably do that again this year.

I never buy holiday gifts, I just send people cookies, breads, and other homemade foods. I've never gotten a complaint.
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#30 of 49 Old 11-15-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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I made peppermint bark one year and it was a huge hit, and every year I give out some pickled garlic and people go crazy for it. At first they're all "Um, pickled garlic?" and then after they try it they're "OMFG PICKLED GARLIC!!" Haha... This year I also put up some lavender jelly and rosemary jelly, and I think I'm going to make some vanilla jelly as well and give it out in little sets. I'm also thinking of putting up some wine jelly and other herbal jellies for gift sets and little baskets. My grandparents don't do sugar or fatty foods so last year I sent them some hazelnut-fig bread and a bag of hazelnuts and they loved that; I'll probably do that again this year.

I never buy holiday gifts, I just send people cookies, breads, and other homemade foods. I've never gotten a complaint.
So how do I pickle garlic!?!

I am not crunchy enough for this forum. Everyday I get a little crunchier though! :
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