Some of the best gifts I’ve given and received have been homemade. The effort that goes into them make the items more meaningful, and the money you save is a gift to yourself in return.
As a chef, I love using my culinary creativity when giving gifts, and these are a few ideas I’ve tried that foodies will appreciate and be sure to use.
I can’t get enough of all of the gourmet salts at the markets these days. Buy some colorful flavorful salts in bulk — I like Himalayan, Hawaiian or smoked sea salt. Put a bit of each into small candy bags, and arrange then next to one another in a little box (make sure you label them). Tie a bow around the box and that’s it!
This is a quick and easy gift that looks beautiful. Your local craft store probably sells a variety of bottles in different shapes and sizes with cork lids. They are usually about $1.00 each. Fill each bottle with a decent-quality olive oil then add some flavor. I do that by throwing in some fresh rosemary, thyme and/or dried chili peppers — I love the way look and taste in oil. Tie a ribbon around the top, add a holly leaf or a decorative holiday charm and it’s good to go.
Homemade Dog Biscuits
Who says the food has to only be for humans? This is the perfect gift for dog lovers because healthy pets are important, too! Make your own dog biscuits and wrap them up in a colorful bag or box with a handmade label. For good recipes, check out ThePoop.com (the treats are more appealing than the name!).
Gift-wrapping tip: Wrap your gift in a re-usable grocery bag, an old food magazine or even some colorful comics. I went this eco-friendly route last year and it was a big hit.