Homemade Gifts for the Season

  in Blog

Home made gifts are fun to make and people really appreciate the time and effort you put into it. Nothing says “I care about you” more than a gift that took thoughtfulness, time, and attention to make. Here are a few ideas to get you rolling:

Made-from-scratch cookie kits


Layer all the dry ingredients in the mason jar, screw on the lid and print or hand-write the recipe on the notecard and then tie it to the jar with the ribbon. Very pretty with the separate layers of ingredients in the jar.

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Easy Spiced Nuts

2 cups pecan halves or any combination of nuts
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
1 tablespoon ground chili pepper, such as ancho or pasilla

Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with foil; set aside. In a medium bowl combine nuts, maple syrup and oil. Stir in sugar and chili powder. Spread in prepared pan. Bake at 250 degrees  for 45 minutes, stirring a couple times. Spread on a large piece of foil to cool. Place in a pretty glass jar or decorative airtight tin. Makes 2-1/2 cups


Who wouldn’t love a quart jar of delicious, made-with-love soup!? Buy some pretty dish towels to wrap the jars in. Here are a few of our favorite soup recipes:

Chicken Soup with Rice and Kale
Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons
Winter Vegetable Soup with Dumplings


Flavored Vinegar

Making flavored or herbed vinegar is easy.  Find a decorative bottle with a lid or purchase a new cork. Sterilize the bottle by running it through a dishwasher cycle or boiling it in a large stock pot.

Choose fresh herbs that are free from dirt and brown spots or mold. You can use apple cider, red wine, white, or rice wine vinegar.

For flavorings try bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, fresh ginger, chili peppers, rosemary, dill, tarragon, sage, thyme, lemon or orange peel, or peppercorns. Place fresh, clean herbs in the sterilized bottle and pour heated (not boiling) vinegar to fill. Cork or lid the bottle. Tie a pretty ribbon around it to make it festive.

Fresh Baked Cookies

Cookies are always a welcome gift. But instead of the traditional (boring) decorated sugar cookies, try something a little different. Here are a few unique cookie recipes:

Almond Crescents
Coconut Orange Macaroons
Danish Cardamom Cookies
Nutty Thumbprint Cookies

Other ideas:

  • Give the gift of time or skill. Offer to clean an older relative’s house, or give a friend a massage, or wash their car or their dog!
  • Assemble a themed gift basket i.e. a coffee mug with gourmet coffee, sugar swizzle sticks, instant espresso for coffee lovers, or camping gadgets and freeze dried food for friends who love to camp.  You can get cheap, attractive baskets from Goodwill and stores like Michael’s have good selection of baskets and decorative boxes and bags. Oryana will make a gift basket for you as well. Just give us 24 hours notice.