For many this year, the emphasis during the holidays is restrained gift-giving and spending time with family versus spending money on lots of presents. Homemade gifts are nothing new, but they’re definitely being more widely appreciated, as is humorous regifting or recycled gift-giving. I smiled when I read Teresa Walker’s article in today’s Orange County Register where her family’s gift exchange is called the Make It-Bake It-Fake It (handmade crafts, baked goodies, or something re-gifted). Unfortunately, I could not find a link to the article on the Register’s online site.
With only three days until Christmas, Part Two of my posts about the Albertson’s Holiday Event is sharing several appealing homemade gifts ideas that we came away with. And if you don’t have time to make them now, gifts from the kitchen are gifts from the heart and are wonderful for any occasion!
You’ve probably seen the old-fashioned mason jars filled with layered cookie mix where all the lucky recipient has to do is add eggs, butter, and liquid ingredients and you have fresh cookies in a matter of minutes. Everyone in my house loves receiving these, and I plan on making up a few that will hopefully make it out of the house as gifts in the next day or so.
Heidi Diller, our hostess and corporate nutritionist for Albertson’s shared a recipe for a Blue Cornbread with Pineapple as a tasty alternative to cookie mix. You might also consider the Chai Tea – sure to please your tea-drinking Starbucks buddy or makes a great hostess or office gift. Recipes for both are below.
Blue Cornbread with Pineapple
(courtesy of Food Network)
4 chopped dried pineapple rings
1 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 cup blue cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-liter glass jar
Layer finer ingredients like flour and sugar at the bottom of the jar.
Attach a recipe card that says:
Butter an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish and line with parchment paper. Stir the Blue Cornbread with Pineapple mix, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs and 4 tablespoons melted butter in a large bowl until just combined. Pour into the prepared dish and bake at 425 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool, then slice into squares.
Chai Tea Mix
1 ¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder
1.4 cup black tea leaves
12 cardamom pods
4 2-inch pieces of cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons dried lemon peel
Divide all ingredients, layering equally between two 6-ounce jars.
Attach a recipe card that says:
To serve, place contents of one jar in a large saucepan with four cups of water. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat and let stand five minutes. Strain through a wire strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Add honey to taste.
A SUPER EASY, non-edible, but guaranteed-to-please gift – perfect for the beauty maven or pampered princess in your life. Invigorating and refreshing, I also love this one for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or any day when you want to make someone feel special!
You will need:
An empty jar with a lid
1 cup granulated white sugar
6 candy canes/peppermint candy (approx ¼ cup), finely crushed into a powder
1/2 cup olive oil
6 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
Pour the granulated white sugar and crushed peppermint into the jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake it to mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients into sugar mix. Put the lid on the jar and shake it to mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended. Label the jar as desired.