The signs are all around you, parking lots are filled with fresh-cut trees, “Let it Snow”, and “Winter Wonderland” seem to be playing in every store, and those holiday extremists down the block have already turned their yard into Santa’s workshop. It’s inevitable; you are going to have to start thinking about holiday gift giving soon. If you are one of the many Americans whose stomach churns at the thought of venturing into overly-decked halls with the overwhelming scent of cinnamon around every corner then you probably aren’t going to be braving the shopping wars that accompany Black Friday. Perhaps you should think about staying in and making your gifts this year. Your family and friends will cherish the time and energy you put in these thoughtful gifts and you will maintain sanity! Below are five great culinary gift ideas from the GP staff. In case you run out of time, we've provided some ideas available through our store.
- Herb-Infused Olive Oils –Combine about 1 cup of olive oil and 6-10 sprigs of your favorite fresh herbs in a saucepan and stir over low heat. Once temperature reaches about 180 degrees, remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, use a funnel to pour oil into bottles. Quick Fix: O BLood Orange Infused Olive Oil $16.95
- Seasoning Packets- You know that specialty dish that you make that all your friends are “dying to get the recipe for”; why not give it to them? In your best writing, jot down the cooking instructions and staple a hand-made seasoning packet with all of the dry ingredients already measured out. Quick Fix: Garlic Salt Sensations $7.95
- Hot Buttered Rum Mix- This mix is easy to make: Soften 2 sticks of unsalted sweet cream butter, mix in 1 cup brown sugar, 1 TBSP each cinnamon and nutmeg and 1 tsp ground cloves. Freeze mixture in a hand-decorated container. Include instructions to pour 1 (or more!) shots of rum per drink and about ½ cup of boiling water into each cup. Yield- 8 Hot Buttered Rums. You can give the mixture along with a bottle of spiced rum, cinnamon sticks to use as stirrers/straws, or by itself. Quick Fix: Steve Smith BrahminTea $10.95
- Infused Vodka- Pick an ingredient to infuse into your vodka. We suggest vanilla beans, jalapeños, or ginger, but herbs work really well too. Simply place the ingredients in your bottles of vodka and let them sit for several days (3-5). Taste to make sure it is at peak flavor and remove the infusing ingredients. Quick Fix: Domaine Rosier Sparkling Wine $13.50
- Homemade Biscotti- Bake your favorite biscotti recipe and fill festive mugs. Wrap in clear cellophane and tie with a colorful bow. Quick Fix: BomBon White Chcolate Almonds $9.95