Lorie Fangio with Slice of Heaven Cooking School and A Taste of Paris Culinary Adventures says crafting holiday gifts from the kitchen is a great way to stretch your holiday dollar. Making your own gifts is fun! The key is to wrap up the goodies in inventive ways.
Citrus Olive Oil
2 cups olive oil
Using a sharp knife remove the rind from the lemon and orange in strips leaving the pitchy white part behind. Push rind into a clean jar and pour oil on top. Let oil steep for 3-4 days, before straining oil. Store the citrus oil in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Walnut Thyme Honey
¾ cup honey
1 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
4 sprigs thyme
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Whisk the honey and zest until very well mixed. Place cooled nuts and thyme sprigs into a clean jar. Pour honey over the nuts. Store the nut mixture in the refrigerator for several weeks before using to allow flavors to meld.
Spicy Nuts Mix
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup almonds, whole
1 ½ cups cashews
1 egg white
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon oranges zest
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with non stick cooking spray. In a small bowl combine the salt with zest and spices. Beat egg white until foamy and add seasonings, mix well. Stir in nuts and toss to coat. Lay nuts out in a single layer on prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes checking them often. Store nuts in air tight container once completely cooled.
1 cup chocolate covered almonds
1 cup chocolate covered cherries
1 cup chocolate covered pecans
1 cup chocolate covered orange pieces
1 cup chocolate covered raisins
Mix all ingredients and tore in a jar
2 cups vodka
1 large jalapeno pepper
Score the pepper 5 or 6 times from stem to end being careful not to cut all the way through to the seeds. Pour vodka into a clean jar or container, add pepper. Shake 2-3 times a day for 1 week.
Remove pepper or leave it in for more intense flavor.