You know who you are, oh you of the kitchen, who prefers to cook for your best pursuit of the holidays, to show people you love them, to feel jolly and creative and, well, just right with the world. To eat is human. To cook is divine. In my opinion. BUT, you don’t have to be a master chef to make delicious goodies.
What better way to avoid consumerism and meaningless gifts than to give the gift of yumminess? And with a little bit of effort, food can become a wonderfully special surprise for your friends and family. If you use the right ingredients, it can even be healthy, or vegan, or local, or organic, or all four!
Here’s a super easy formula you can follow:
1. Make three snacks. These should be relatively easy to store (no refrigeration). Keep in mind any allergies or food limitations of those whom you would like to give the gift.
2. Decorate three lunch size paper bags with stamps or stickers or drawings, or….don’t. But you should probably, at least, write the name of the snack on the bag so that it is visible before the person opens the bag.
3. Fill the paper bags with snacks and tie them with ribbons or raffia or twine or whatever you like to make it festive.
4. Write the recipe for each snack (or type it up and print it out if you don’t like your handwriting), and enclose them in a Christmas card. Write a sweet note to your giftee, too, while you are at it.
5. Put the snacks in a basket with some colorful tissue paper. Add things like pinecones, cinnamon sticks, and uncracked walnuts or pecans if you like. Or, and this is the one I like best, place the three snacks and card with recipies into a seasonally appropriate reusable grocery bag. Some of them are quite lovely, and when the food is gone, they can go get more with the bag! Yay!
Easy, right?! Of course there are so many variations to this that can make it less or more fancy. You could use tins or jars for the snacks. You can just give one snack, and maybe just put the recipe on a card and tie it like a tag to the bag. Maybe write it directly on the bag. Maybe don’t make a snack, but a drink mix instead. There are really so many possibilities.
Here are some snacks that might be good:
Granola, spiced or glazed or candied nuts, “real” Chex mix, cookies, trail mix, chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, spiced tea mix, cocoa, homemade marshmallows, and stuff like that.
Do note that anything with butter or oil as an ingredient will make a plain brown paper bag become spotted with oil…in this case, think about using a jar or tin. If you use any chocolate or white chocolate, make sure it is the kind that will essentially harden after cooling and don’t leave your gifts sitting in the car for too long.
And, to boot, check out the recipe tab of my blog for a good, healthy recipe for Pistachio Cherry Granola. I’ll likely add some more recipes as the season progresses, so check back often!
If you double or triple your normal recipes, this formula might take care of several people on your list. Don’t forget to include directions with your recipes so that someone could actually re-create the snack.
Most people love gifts like this, so take a chance and give some food. Be divine for a day.