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Essential items in a Christmas food basket for under $40

We are exchanging gifts with friends for Christmas and they are very much into food, as are we. I'm trying to think of good items to put in the basket for a total of $40(or under). If you were to get a small basket containing food items what would you like to recieve? Or if you were giving such a gift what would you give? For starters I was thinking a small jar of homemade pesto, maybe some good nuts, and a link of fresh pepperoni, other than that I'm stumped.
PS. How long will a homemade pesto stay in the fridge?

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  1. This year I'm preparing a dinner in a basket.
    Fresh homemade dried pasta, a homemade jarred tomato sauce, hunk of pecorino, baguette, infused olive dipping oil and bottle of wine.

    1. Olives, nice crackers, a good chocolate bar, tea and jam, holiday cocktail napkins, etc. However, I really like lollya's meal in a bag suggestion too. I've done martini in a bag before: vodka, olives, vermouth, toothpicks, cocktail napkins, martini glasses.

      1. thanks ellen!
        it's pretty easy with the pasta roller deal. man, one of the best purchases i've made actually. it's fun too.

          1. Truffle salt - SO GOOD and great on so many things!