Creating tasty food gifts for family and friends will immediately put you in a holiday mood. It’s more personal than a store-bought gift, and certainly more fun than shopping at The Mall this time of year.
These times just seem right for a return to handmade gifts. A holiday present of a delicious personally-created food item makes economic sense, and it makes for a greener holiday, too: less gas burned for shopping trips, less wasteful packaging—and you can be pretty sure it will be ‘used.’
And, sometimes, the recipient of your holiday cheer will even share some with the giver. Now that makes for a happy holiday!
Here at The Food Channel, we’ve gathered dozens of delicious foodie gift ideas. These are a few of our favorite things to give, submitted by members of the team here at the FC Kitchens. Each has a recipe and a little story behind it.
1. Quiche Lorraine>> from Gail, executive chef
Who wouldn’t want to receive a fresh-baked quiche during the busy holiday season? Arrange in a basket with a bit of greenery and warm holiday wishes.
“I love giving this gift to friends who I know are busy this time of year. They can enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s one less meal they have to prepare.”
2. Hot Apple Rum Wassail>> from Judy, chief culinary officer
This seasoned cider makes a delightful Wassail. An ideal gift to bring to the host/hostess of a holiday party.
“For many years, we helped host a Christmas caroling party and I loved serving this Wassail at that event. I remember the first time I served it we were in the middle of a blizzard and we had one of our biggest turnouts ever—everyone was in such a wonderful holiday mood. Now I love to give the Wassail as a holiday gift. It brings back such warm memories.”
3. Lemoncello>> from Cari, corporate chef/nutritionist
Using only a few ingredients you can create a distinctive lemon liqueur that makes a unique gift. It’s bright yellow color is a nice change of pace from the season’s usual reds, greens and silvers.
“The first time I tried lemoncello was when my soon-to-be husband brought some home from Italy. I wanted to create my own recipe and did a lot of research before I got it just right. It makes a really cool gift. I just love that yellow color!”
4. Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Wreaths>>“ from Bill, senior writer
Quick and easy to make, these cute little wreaths have the salty/sweet flavor so many people crave these days.
“This is a new family tradition for us. They’re just fun and easy to make, and even more fun to eat. They’ve got that sweet-salty combination that seems to be so popular right now, so they go over well as gifts. These babies are addictive.”
5. Peppermint Patties>> from Kay, editor
Sweets are always welcome this time of year, especially the handmade kind. These cool candy patties are a sure holiday hit.
“When I was a little girl, my father would occasionally bring home a huge box of candy, one of the many corporate gifts received at his office. One year he brought home a box full of mint creams. I was in heaven. There is nothing like biting into a chunk of rich chocolate and having your taste buds surprised with a cool, creamy mint. This recipe allows me to recreate that memory and share it with others.”
6. Blueberry Syrup>> from Bob, our founder and CEO
This is more than a breakfast syrup. It’s a versatile topping that can go on waffles, crepes, french toast—even ice cream. And it’s so quick and easy to make!
“I’ve become kind of famous for my blueberry pancake breakfasts that I serve from time to time to our team here at The Food Channel. The blueberries come right from the blueberry patch at our Rivercliff retreat. Put a few of those berries into some real maple syrup and you’ve got a treat. Bottle it up, add some ribbon and it makes a really nice holiday foodie gift, too.”
7. Grandma Nehmer’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars>> from David, creative director/photographer
We’re letting you in on a cherished family recipe. These yummy cookie bars melt in your mouth. Make them for a gift, but save some for yourself.
“This is a holiday favorite the whole family loves. We’ve tweaked the recipe a bit, trying to recapture the taste the way my mom made it. It took a while, but we finally got it right. We love sharing it.”
8. Preserved Lemons>> from Dennis, corporate chef
Here’s an unusual gift that’s perfect for the foodie in your life. Preserved lemons are simple to make and can add a delightful flavor boost to soups, stews and salads. View our Step-by-Step Photo Tour.
“Being a chef, I love introducing people to new foods and flavors. Preserved lemons is not something everyone has tried before. It uses familiar, simple ingredients and yet it’s unusual. I love the unexpectedness of it.”
9. Rosemary, Garlic & Sea Salt Dipping Oil>> from April, chief creative officer
Take some good quality olive oil, add a handful of select ingredients in a classy decanter, and you have a lovely gift. Pair it with a loaf of bakery fresh French bread and voila!
“This is a gift that looks lovely beneath the tree and has a personal connection to me because this blend of flavors has origins in Northern Italy, as did my ancestors. And, hey, my mother’s name is Rosemary.”
MORE TO COME! Check back in a few days. We’ll have another batch of fresh foodie gift ideas!