A Little Home Made Gift Guide

It's the time of year when many of us are scrambling around searching for the perfect gifts. Rest your weary heads, I'm here to help out with some delicious home made gift suggestions, plus a couple of ideas for those foodies who love to tinker in the kitchen (so you don't have to).

Please don’t turn away with the thought that making something yourself might send you over the edge……..nothing here is complicated and they are certainly less time consuming than hours spent traipsing through shops or caught up in the on line scrolling – ordering – only to return – trap. There’s still time to steal a few hours one afternoon, make a few batches of treats that keep for at least a week (if not a lot longer), use up the stash of old ribbons and carefully saved jars, fill them up and get gifting.

So, without further ado (or convincing) here’s my current list, created from both new recipes and old favourites, separated into what I hope are helpful categories for you. For the recipes and details, simply click on the links and you are on your way.

Because a home made something always brings an even bigger smile to people’s faces…….

Things in Jars:

These are items that will keep for month or more in the fridge or pantry, can be delivered in an upcylced jar with a cute sticker or simply tied with a ribbon and delicious on just about everything and anything. Any of these would be a welcome gift for a foodie or consummate festive entertainer.

Hot Honey: the ultimate condiment, drizzled on cheese, vegetables pre (or post) roast, added to dressings, marinades, or schmeared on a sandwich, it not only tastes fantastic, it looks ever so pretty in the jar.

Marinated Feta: I’ve been making and gifting this for years……..cubes of feta, hanging out in a deliciously flavoured oil with a choice of aromatics…..this is always a huge hit.

Cranberry Sauce: nothing could be more seasonal or festively fabulous……

Maple Roast Pecans: this year’s addition to the gifting party and already a MASSIVE hit and forever staple. Make triple or quadruple the amount because you will need some for yourself too.

The Baked Gifts:

The Shortbread Cookie: every year I create a new iteration of an old idea for my holiday gifts. These cookies are a gift in many ways as the dough keeps in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for a couple of months, you can slice and bake as you need them, they last for at least 5 days and they actually taste better a day or two after they are baked. So no last minute gift panic. Here are my favourite flavours:

Triple Chocolate Pecan Shortbread

Spiced Shortbread

Double Chocolate Almond Shortbread

Buckwheat Cacao Nib Shortbread

It would be remiss of me to not include my staple, the Ginger Snap as part of the seasonal, lasts for ages, perfect gift cookie.

Filling your gift with a baked treat: for a very special person, you might decide to gift the perfect baking receptacle or tin. Wouldn’t it make it even more special to fill it with a festive treat? Brown Butter Cranberry Bars would be my choice….

Gifts for the foodie (and for those who do not have the time or inclination to home make)

Holiday Halva Coffee Cake Baking Kit: this is an ingredients kit from my favourite Seed + Mill with ingredients assembled by some of the best purveyors around and the recipe and recipe card by yours truly…….this is such fabulous gift for someone who loves to bake, loves halva and tahini, chocolate and pistachios (USA shipping only).

Pump Street Chocolate Rare Batch Box: for the chocoholic in your life you can either gift a one off box of rare batch chocolate delicacies including a bakery item, or stretch to give them a subscription – the gift that keeps on giving.

Cook with Building Feasts: and my chance for a shameless plug – for the keen cook or someone who wants to become one, a ticket for a class is an inspired gift. My early 2024 dates are now up (with an extra one added because the classes sold out in under 24 hours last week). Or please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to organise a private group class as a gift to yourself or someone you love.

For all those celebrating, have a delicious holiday season xx