Note that this is the second of many guests post installments to be written by my seriously awesome foodie friend Darryl. If you missed her first, you can check it out here.
The holiday season is in full swing, and the deadline for getting gifts is drawing near. If you haven’t completed your gift shopping, are trying to find something for a person who has everything, or are just tired of the commercialism associated with the holidays, why not give some foodie inspired gifts this year?
Now when I am talking about foodie inspired gifts, I am not talking about plates full of cookies and other wonderful, decadent desserts that your recipients often end up tossing. While often delicious, those types of items do not typically keep well. Also, once the holidays are over, most of us enter the New Year’s resolution season and try for months to get rid of the extra weight we packed on during our holiday overindulgence. The foodie gifts in this post are simple, outside-the-box, and can be enjoyed long after the holidays are gone.
- Spice Blends – This is one of my favorites to give, and to receive. They are quick, inexpensive, and allow your recipients to be creative as they use them throughout the year. My parents host a large Christmas party every year, which always includes a token, parting gift. This year everyone is getting to choose from several different jars of spice blends. All you need to pull this off are some empty spice jars, spices from the grocery store, and a blender or food processor. I have included the recipe for my well-received homemade Montreal-style steak seasoning at the end of this post if you’d like to give this a try!
- Soup – Sounds strange, but people are busy and are looking for a quick, high-quality meal. My brother LOVES my chicken noodle soup, so guess what he’s getting! I’m making a large batch of soup (minus the noodles), putting it in quart deli containers, and freezing it. He’ll get some portioned bags of noodles (tied with a bow, just for fun) to add to the soup when he heats it up. Two things to consider when giving this gift: 1) You probably want to include some simple instructions, like how to re-heat the soup or how long to cook any additions like noodles. You don’t want someone ruining a cream soup by reheating it over a high flame. 2) Don’t freeze soup that contains rice or pasta already in it. The rice or pasta will turn to mush. You’ll have to give it as an add in.
- Pasta Sauce – If you make a killer pasta sauce, share it! Again, people are always looking for a quick yet delicious meal. When you are making a pasta dinner, the sauce is usually what takes forever. Your recipients will truly appreciate this outside-the-box gift when they are enjoying a gourmet meal in the time it takes to boil water and make pasta. Freezing sauce in deli containers is the simplest way to create this gift, but canning works too. However, I would not attempt canning for this unless you already know how to do it. (…hmm inspiration for a future guest post).
*Absofreakinglutely!!! Sorry, couldn’t help myself 😉 – Kristi*
- Catering/Personal Chef – Not everyone has your skill in the kitchen, so why not give the gift of your cooking skills for an evening? This is my standing gift to my dad, and he and my mom both love it! They have two large parties each year, and I plan the menu, shop, prepare, and serve the food. My parents don’t have to worry about anything other than mingling with their guests, plus I get to play in the kitchen! All you need to give this gift is a homemade gift certificate. If your printer is out of ink, go old-school and dig out the crayons and markers!
This is by no means an all-inclusive list of possible foodie inspired gifts, but I hope it gets your culinary and creative juices flowing.
Do you have any favorite DIY-style gift ideas for foodies? What sorts of gifts would you really enjoy? Please share them below the recipe. Thanks!
Montreal-Style Steak SeasoningPrint Recipe
- 1 cup sweet or smoked paprika - I would not recommend using hot (2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup crushed black pepper (2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup sea coarse salt (2 tablespoons)
- ½ cup garlic powder (1 tablespoon)
- ½ cup onion powder (1 tablespoon)
- ¼ cup coriander (1½ teaspoons)
- ¼ cup dill, dried not fresh (1½ teaspoons)
- ¼ cup crushed red pepper flakes (1½ teaspoons)
Pour all ingredients into a blender or food processor, and pulse until fully combined and the salt is a fine texture.
Store in air-tight spice jars.
This spice blend is fantastic on burgers, steaks, pork, chicken, eggs, roasted vegetables...you name it! The recipe is designed to make 10-12 4-ounce spice jars, but the measurements in the parenthesis following each ingredient are the conversion if you want to just make one jar for your own, personal use.