homemade food gifts
Any homemade food gifts out there? I remember my mom used to make jars of "Russian Tea" it had cinnamon, sugar, iced tea mix, and tang...there might have been other ingredients as well. I have made infused vodkas and olive oils. Any other ideas? The holidays sort of crept up on me so I am looking for something quick.
I made a few homemade spice rubs to send to people with serving suggestions -- one of my favorites is equal parts sugar, salt, cayenne, mustard, cumin, cinnamon, and ginger. It's great on salmon.
Just handed out my baskets today. I did a pink-white-red theme. Baskets were made up of an assortment of the following, all homemade:
Peppermint marshmallows (pink)
Lollipops (cinnamon flavored, colored pink)
Mexican Wedding Cakes
White chocolate bark with dried cherries and pistachios
Snowflake sugar cookies (iced pink, with pearl sugar sprinkles)
And so far, everyone is most excited about the lollipops, which took about a half-hour to make. I did have to go buy lollipop sticks, but after that it's just a matter of bring 2 c sugar, 1 c water, 1 c corn syrup to hard-crack stage, adding food coloring and flavoring (oil of cinnamon, in this case), and pouring rounds onto an oiled sheet. I was amazed at how easily perfect rounds formed. They're very pretty, cheap, and taste better than store-bought lollipops. I'm a big convert.
The second place winner are the marshmallows, about which there have been several threads here.
I didn't do anything savory this year - pure sugar. Next year I'll reverse gears and give pickled onions or something.
I do an Herbs de Provence herb salt since I don't have any lavender only, and my goal is to make something similar similar to lavender salt.
The varieties of herb salts are pretty much endless since you can do any combination of herbs. Dill, rosemary, chives, tarragon, thyme, oregano, basil, cumin, and marjoram (or combinations of them) seem to be the most popular ones. I also like Rosemary Herb Salt, since I use rosemary quite a lot in my cooking.
Proportions range from 1:1 to 1:5, depending on how salty or herby you want your herb salt.
It is quite a lot of fun to play with... and you can even try out the differences between using mortar&pestle versus food processor. If you don't have sea salt lying around, you can use kosher salt.