Did the words “quick and easy,” “last-minute” and “homemade” in the title catch your attention? The week before Christmas, they always capture mine.
Despite my best efforts, I end up needing an unplanned gift or two. Before heading to the stores, I always check my pantry and kitchen for possible ideas – my friends really appreciate homemade food gifts from my kitchen. Over the years, I've learned that many gift-worthy recipes use readily available ingredients and take only an hour or two to make.
Here are several quick and easy homemade recipe ideas that are perfect for last-minute gifts. Granola is my go-to homemade food gift – look for my recipe at the end of this post.
Recipe Mix in a Jar
This gift is a popular way to share your best cookie, brownie, hot chocolate, bean soup, cornbread or barbecue rub recipe. Simply layer dry ingredients in a glass storage jar or canning jar for an eye-catching food gift. Don’t forget to attach the recipe.
Here are two sites to get you started:
CHEFS Mix Blog Posts
During the past few weeks, we've shared recipes that also make delicious gifts. Most use readily available ingredients. After a few hours in the kitchen, you’ll have homemade treats, ready to package, wrap and share. Here are the links, just in case you missed a post or two.
Recipes from the CHEFS Archive
The chefscatalog.com recipe page has savory and sweet recipes that make delicious gifts. Here are some of my favorites:
Skillet Granola Recipe from CHEFS Mix
My never-fail, last-minute homemade food gift is granola – it’s pantry-friendly and takes about 20 minutes to make and an hour to cool. My everyday recipe, below, turns gourmet when I add pistachios and dried Goji berries to the basic mix and use orange-infused olive oil for a stronger citrus flavor. I give our outdoor-loving friends a large jarful, enough to fuel an active weekend in the mountains.
1 cup rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
3 tablespoons raw flax seeds
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup sliced raw almonds
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral-tasting oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup, rice syrup, agave syrup or honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Zest of one orange, grated
½ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
1. Combine all ingredients except orange zest and cranberries in a large nonstick skillet. Mix gently to distribute oil and syrup evenly. Ingredients will look shiny.
2. Turn heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn down heat to medium-low and continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. When ready, granola will be toasted and lightly browned with a matte finish.
3. Turn down heat to low. Stir in orange zest and dried cranberries. Cook, stirring constantly, until fruit heats through and zest becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.
4. Spread hot granola on baking sheet and cool. Stir occasionally to break up clumps. When cooled completely, store in airtight container. Makes about 2-1/2 cups
Categories: Food & Recipes