Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last minute tasty gifts

Hi Friends,
You might have noticed that I did not get around to posting any more gift guides.  The holidays totally snuck up on me this year!  If you're anything like me, you've run out of time and don't have gifts for everyone on your list.  Here are a few easy, doable, last minute foodie gifts. 

Herb Salt

This is a method more than a recipe but here we go. 
1 Cup Coarse Sea (or Kosher) Salt
¼ - ½ cup of herbs or other flavorings (depending on the strength of the flavors)
I'll give you the method and then a couple of suggestions on flavor combos.
Blend up the herbs in a small food processor for 30 seconds and then add ¼ c of the salt and blend for another 15 seconds or until everything looks uniform.  Remove this from the food processor and stir back in with the other ¾ c of salt.  Lay the salt out on a sheet pan to allow the herbs to dry (if necessary) and then pour into small craft bags or ball jars with cute gift tags.   

Here are some suggestions for flavor combos:
Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme
Mushroom, Thyme (use dried porcini mushrooms)
Mushroom Truffle (use dried porcini mushrooms and 1 tbsp of truffle oil)
Rosemary Grapefruit (any citrus zest would work here)
Cilantro Garlic (use pre-dried garlic powder or granules)
These are so pretty in tiny ball jars and are great for non-cooks because they really dress up pasta, plain meats and anything else you can think to put them on.

Holiday Chocolate Bark

This one is SUPER easy.  Melt down some good dark chocolate (I like Trader Joes extra dark 72%) and some white chocolate separately.  Pour the dark chocolate on a sheet tray lined with a silpat or greased parchment paper.  Let it cool for a bit in the fridge and then drizzle the melted white chocolate randomly over the top like you're some crazed Julia Child/Jackson Pollock hybrid.  

After you're done with this, you can sprinkle anything your little heart desires on top.  I'm partial to crushed up candy canes and pistachios but you could do anything.  More citrus zest, any sort of nut, a bit of sea salt, m&ms… To quote the fake movie inside the movie home alone, "I could go on forever, baby".  Shove this whole shebang back in the fridge, let it cool (or let it sit on the counter – the cooling will take longer but it will be less likely to get those white spots that cooled chocolate can sometimes get), and then break it up into pieces and wrap it up in a little gift bag.


This recipe from Winnie at a Healthy Green Kitchen for Thai Cashew Brittle looks amazing!
As does this one from gastronomy blog for Bacon Almond Brittle (Though I would add a little rosemary to it for an extra savory touch.)

Hope that helps!  Now get cookin' slackers!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


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