Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Kitchen Gifts on a Dime

We are now on the downward side of preparing for Christmas.  Less than six weeks.  YIKES
Today I will list a few ideas for families or adults (and even teens), that come from your kitchen and will cost you only pennies for each gift.
I am a huge  giver of homemade goodies and that is probably my favorite gift to receive.  WE ALL HAVE TO EAT!!!!!

There are always the lovely gifts of homemade cookies and candy.  Homemade breads and jams and jellies are always a big hit too.  Any home canned item is a special treat.

1/3 C oil
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 1/3 C baking mix (homemade or something like Bisquick)
1 C sugar
1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional - can use your favorite nuts)

Beat all the ingredients together for about 30 second.  Pour batter into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.  350* oven for 35 - 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  I like to make in mini foil pans (I use over and over).  If making smaller loaves, adjust baking time. (I usually get 4 small ones per one recipe)

2 C baking mix
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 C milk
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c butter, melted
Stir together biscuit mix, cheese and milk until a soft dough forms.  Drop by heaping spoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 450* for 10-12 minutes.  Combine basil, garlic powder and butter:  Brush over the tops of hot biscuits.

Wrap up in plastic wrap and a bow and set into a Dollar Tree basket, bowl, or colander - maybe add a jar of homemade pepper jelly or a jar of homemade butter.

(The cost of a bag of apples)
5 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and sliced
4 1/2 C sugar
1 C cornstarch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
10 C water
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
Pack apples tightly into wide mouth jars.  In a large sauce pan cook sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and water over a med. heat until thick and bubbly, add lemon juice.  Cover apples in syrup, wipe jars, add lids.  Water bath for 20 minutes.  Makes 7 quarts.
This will make 7 gifts!  Maybe wrap in a Dollar Tree kitchen towel.

1.  Dip candy canes into melted chocolate or chocolate chips.  Dip about half way up the candy cane.  Let dry and wrap in plastic wrap with a ribbon or jute  (gift 5 or 6 each).  Gift in a pretty $1 mug.
2.  Dip the spoon end of plastic flatware into melted chocolate.  Let dry and package up as above (with candy canes).  Again gift with a $1 mug.
These are so simple to make - and they have always been appreciated and enjoyed when I have given them.
**You could also add a couple drops of peppermint extract to melted chocolate for a chocolate peppermint stirrer.

OTHER ideas:
**Make a batch of flavored croutons and gift with perhaps a jar of homemade dressing or attach a nice pair of salad tongs.

**Make up dressing bread, and gift with dehydrated celery and onions and a container of stock.

**Jar up any cookie, cake or brownie recipe (dry ingredients) with an attached card with instructions on wet ingredients needed and baking temp and time.  ** Remember to layer your ingredients to make for a pretty jar.  Attached a ribbon or jute tie to the top with recipe card.

**Dip pretzel rods in melted chocolate (cover about 2/3 of pretzel).  Dry and package up for giving.  OR dip small pretzel rounds or squares in chocolate.  Sprinkles can be added while chocolate is still wet.  If using almond bark or white chocolate, you can also add food color to make them more festive.
I LOVE getting chocolate covered pretzels.  They are always a hit with young and old alike.

**Use tins (bought at thrift stores or Dollar Tree) or large glass jars and fill with homemade cookies or candies.  Maybe gift someone special that much loved cookie jar or family dish filled with goodies (2 gifts in one).

** Never forget homemade pickles, soups, sauces, jellies, jams, relishes, etc. or any home canned goodies.  Odds are, it something they won't already have!

Gifts don't have to cost a fortune.  The best gifts are the ones that contain LOVE!

Have a blessed day!


  1. I so wish I could talk my family into a homemade Christmas. I am working on it, The older they get the easier they are to convince.

    1. It took several years for me to convince my family. No one wanted to do that - so I just started giving goodie baskets myself - and they fell in love with the idea. Now we all do things like that and the 'goodie baskets' are asked for - even as the teens get older - they want them too!

  2. Oh, there are some great ideas here, Cheryl. Thank you. We were out thrift store shopping today and I found a nick knack with your name on it and thought of you. Hope you have a blessed week. :)

    1. Aaaww thanks for thinking of me!
      Hope there are some ideas some can use.

  3. Love your ideas...they sound delicious!
    thank you!

  4. Thank you for all the ideas and the recipes too! I can't believe how soon Christmas will be here.

    1. I know right? So close and will be here in a blink of an eye.
      You are welcome.

  5. Yum more recipes to add to my collection. Love it. Thank you very much.
    Our neighbours heard me calling the Ambulance when Bluey was so ill. They were over here and were wonderful. I have bought a nice heavy salad bowl. Into this I have placed jars of jam, relish and chutney. There is a bottle of tomato sauce and a small bottle of vanilla extract. I lined the bowl with some tea towels(kitchen towels) from my gift cupboard. I am also baking a number of small Christmas cakes with one to go in this gift. Bluey will give them this Thank you gift tomorrow.

    1. Hi Jane. So glad to see you back here. Hope Bluey is continuing to improve!

      How wonderful of you to put together such a thoughtful gift. They will love it. They must think a lot of you two!
      I will be starting my baking AFTER our Thanksgiving.

      Continued blessings

  6. Your idea of giving kitchen gifts is great. One thing to be considered is if they have any food allergies. The other thing I wanted to mention is corn starch. I always use to can with that but I think you are suppose to use clear jel now. It is hard to believe Christmas will soon be here! Nancy

    1. Nancy -of course feed allergies should be taken into consideration.
      I know many say not to can with corn starch now - many still do.
      I have instant clear jell - but that isn't for canning either. I guess you could make without thickener and then add it when making the pie!

      It sure won't be long - once Thanksgiving is over it's Christmas!

  7. Those are great ideas. I also give a lot of baskets with home-canned items in them, and usually include a hand-embroidered dish towel, or crocheted dish cloth. This year, I've been focusing on other things, so don't have as big of a stash as usual...I'd better get busy or think up another thing to put in my basket! I have lots of jam, so that's good:)

    1. Becky, I bet all of your recipients enjoy those baskets!
      I often buy (on sale) a few items to add to the home canned goods, things they wouldn't probably buy for themselves.
      Maybe you could add a loaf of homemade bread or muffins to go with the jams.
      Have fun coming up with a unique gift!!!!!

  8. I love your ideas, Cheryl. I haven't started Christmas yet. Gasp! Last year, I started in July! I've been a little distracted this year. I guess you know why. ~smile~ I answered your comment on my blog. If you'd like, you can contact me with your email. That way I can respond personally as I'm able. God bless! lauraofharvestlane@gmail.com

    1. Laura I am so happy to see you post here. Yes, we know why you have been distracted, and you know what? Nobody you know will be a bit upset if they get no material gifts this year - they have you!!!

      I hope you get to check in more often, and please know we all have you in our thoughts and prayers for continued healing.
      Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings!

  9. These are all great suggestions. I always get a big shop how much stores are charging for "homebaked" style foods. I hope to get a lot of baking done in December. I already did my Christmas fruit cakes though.xxx