Last week I continued the series I’ll Be Homemade for Christmas with some fun tips about making special gifts that use plants. I’m excited today to get to talk about something completely different, food! It’s hard to go wrong with food gifts because who doesn’t love to eat and enjoy something homemade and delicious! And another great thing about a homemade food gift is that it is consumable, which ultimately means less clutter. So food gifts can actually help your recipient stay more organized in a manner of speaking! Let’s start by brainstorming a little when it comes to gifts that can be made using food.
Brainstorming food gift ideas
Whether you are an expert chef or you just know how to bake a frozen pizza, there are several great homemade food gift ideas to choose from that will suit your lifestyle and skills. Here are just a few to get you started:
- Bake and decorate special Christmas cookies
- Make fun Christmas candy or other holiday dessert
- Prepare a homemade spice blend
- Share some of your summer garden harvest canned or frozen goods
- Make a special homemade soup and freeze small containers to give away
- Arrange a food gift basket
- Prepare a collection of favorite or easy recipes
- Make homemade hot chocolate or other beverage mix
- Prepare base recipes in containers to give away
An example of a homemade gift using food
The sky is the limit with food gift ideas, but I’d like to focus on one in particular that makes a perfect gift for people who are busy, people who don’t cook much, or people who don’t know how to cook very well. That gift idea is the last one on the above list: preparing base recipes in containers you can give away.
To get started you just need to find any good recipe (baked desserts are best) and prepare only part of it, the dry ingredients. Place the mix in a decorative jar or other container that seals well. All the recipient has to do in turn is add the wet ingredients and bake. You will need to provide a list of the necessary wet ingredients, in addition to baking instructions. An easy and creative way to do this is to print a small label for the container. You might also choose to add a personalized message too!
Mixing all the dry ingredients together ahead of time into a nice base recipe is great for at least three reasons. First, preparing dry ingredients it is often tedious and perhaps the hardest part of any given recipe so you end up doing a significant portion of the work for your recipient. Second, certain people who don’t cook much might not even have special dry ingredients on hand, so you’ve saved them a trip to the store. Third, you will save the recipient a lot of time because adding a couple of wet ingredients to your base recipe takes hardly any time at all!
Now let’s take a look at some examples. A popular choice is to prepare a base recipe for cookies or brownies. But think outside the box a little too and consider food like homemade bread, quickbreads, or even cornbread. Consider making more than one base recipe for any given recipient so they don’t run out too quickly.
Cornbread base recipe
(from the back of the Quaker Yellow Corn Meal Box)
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup Quaker Enriched Corn Meal
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
In your directions you would have the recipient simply add 1 cup of skim milk, ¼ cup of vegetable oil, and one beaten egg. Bake mix in a greased 9-inch pan at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. It’s a piece of cake! Well, more like a piece of cornbread.
Homemade food gift ideas from around the web
There are many great ideas on the Internet when it comes to creative homemade food gifts. Here are just a few I’ve found:
- The Wisdom Journal (via guest post on Simple Mom) offers several recipes in the post Make Your Own Seasoning Blends
- Don’t forget to stop by Vintage Mommy next week (Dec. 9) when she hosts the final Holidays By Hand topic, food!
Have you ever made homemade gifts using food? Feel free to share any ideas here.
Coming up next week
Next week we will learn about creative gifts you can make using your words!