Thomasville Times Enterprise

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November 30, 2013

Cook up holiday gifts from your kitchen

—  The holidays are here, the shopping has begun and time is getting crunched.  Teachers, neighbors, friends, coaches and piano teachers: there are so many we want to remember each year.  Instead of fighting parking-lot mania and long lines at the mall, spend an afternoon at home turning your kitchen into a delectable smelling homemade gift factory.

It would seem that you could never have too many festive food gifts on hand during the holiday season. Everyone has got to eat, so get set to assemble some festive food for a unique gift that will make everyone smile.

 The gift of health is at your fingertips and right from your own kitchen.  Making Christmas gifts of food is a personal way to give a bit of your heart.  Not to mention that you may save a little money while passing on a tasteful, nutritious gift.

Enlist the help of your family for some family baking time. Cooking with the kids is a great way to bring the family together for a common cause- to show others you care.

Kids can start helping very young. Depending on their age you can let them measure, break eggs and stir batter. If they are older, teach them knife safety and let them help with the chopping. It is doubtful cleaning up will spark their interest, but you may get lucky.

 Find recipes that inspire you and your family and gather up the ingredients to your favorite pancake mix, make homemade granola or a few savory spice rubs.

Even a mini loaf of quick bread, wrapped in red or green cellophane tied with a big gold ribbon is a nice way to remember someone during the holidays.

Homemade biscotti offers a twist on the classic cookie package and pairs nicely with a gourmet bag of coffee.  Package your food gifts in reusable containers decorated with ribbon, a gift tab and the recipe. If you have family or friends far away from home, put together a personalized package of homemade goodies, pack them tightly and send them through the mail.

 Themed baskets are a fun way to let a special friend know you care.  Give breakfast in a basket with a loaf of quick bread, gourmet marmalade with a unique spreader, fresh grapefruit along with some special blend coffee or herb tea and a unique beverage mug.

A bean basket is an opportunity to send the mixings for nine bean soup with the herb mix and recipe.  You could also add corn muffin mix and some fun soup bowls or mugs.  The salad lover may enjoy a salad fixin’s basket with artichoke hearts and olives, herbed vinegar, herbed whole wheat croutons, a wedge of Parmesan cheese and a jar of colorful peppercorns.

Take the typical bottle of wine and add some fancy-shaped or flavored pasta, canned tomato or pasta sauce, sun dried tomatoes, an Italian cookbook and a red and white checkered tablecloth for the Italian lover you know.

 This year add a little pizzazz to the standard gift certificate and whip up some holiday gifts from your kitchen to give to family and friends.

Unleash your creativity with a few gifts from your kitchen and your heart. Only you need to know how healthy it is.

 

Crumpacker is a registered dietitian and owner of Go Nutritious. Visit Barbra at gonutritious.com or email her at rd@gonutritious.com.

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