Every holiday for me is the same struggle. I typically wait up until Dec. 15 to even start thinking of gifts, then it’s a crazy stressed-out 2 weeks to get everything for everyone on my list. Well, last year I had a total breakthrough that changed the way I do gifting. I made things easier on myself by choosing an overarching theme for all of the gifts I give. For example, you could do a book theme and give everyone on your list their favorite genre of book, along with DIY bookmarks and cozy blankets and mugs for tea. Or a cooking theme and give everyone the best gadgets to make their favorite foods (i.e. my sister once got a ravioli maker with semolina flour from Italy and a jar of truffle pesto).
This year I’m going all-out DIY. I love receiving DIY gifts, especially ones that are food-related. They’re so thoughtful and you know the person put in the time to make it just for you. Plus, we all know that homemade jams are a million times better than the jellied versions you buy in the store.
See below my favorite gifts for diy-ing this year:
- Preserved Lemons
If you’re not familiar with preserved lemons, you need to be ASAP. They’re used primarily in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking but can be used in a variety of recipes (basically anything that calls for a salty lemon). These are extremely easy and cost-effective to make.
- Homemade Fruit-Infused Vinegars
Sure, you could go to a fancy olive oil store and get a fruit flavored vinegar OR you could make it yourself. Easily. These would be so great for making homemade vinaigrettes.
- Flavored Salt
This is one of my favorites because, well, everyone uses salt. And you can get as crazy or traditional on flavors as you want (like red wine and rosemary!). And think of all the creative ways you can package these!
- Homemade Cajun Seasoning Blend
My mother-in-law gave me a DIY jar of Cajun seasoning once and i use it ALL the time. It’s great for jambalaya, gumbos, and as a standalone chicken and potato seasoning.
- DIY Mushroom Risotto in a Jar
A great gift for your fellow foodies, this jar is filled with arborio rice, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and a variety of dried mushrooms. Just add broth and parmesan!
- Homemade Cashew Butter
Anyone who doesn’t love cashew butter is crazy. This stuff is the Cadillac of nut butters. Gift this liquid gold with a homemade jam (see #8) or a hearty bread mix.
- Roasted Sweet Vanilla Pecan Butter
Speaking of nut butter, this sweet pecan version is sugar-free and perfect for your health-conscious loved ones.
- Raspberry Chia Jam
Chia seeds are super trendy right now and make a great replacement for gelatin in puddings and jams with a major health boost.
- Maple Bacon Bourbon Popcorn
Bacon+booze+popcorn=can’t go wrong.
- Homemade Popcorn Seasoning
If you want a gift with a longer shelf-life, gift these unique popcorn seasoning jars. Flavors include gingerbread, chocolate, and a spicy fiesta flavor. YUM.
- Double Chocolate Coconut Cookie in a Jar
Cookie mixes in jars have been circulating around Pinterest for a while, but this version takes it to another level with the chocolate-on-chocolate-on-coconut combo.
- Chocolate Cherry Oat Scones in a Jar
It’s no secret how much I love scones. Gift this chocolate cherry version with an artisanal tea and a big cozy mug.
- Hot Cocoa in a Jar 4 Ways
Don’t underestimated the gift in a jar. These four cocoa recipes are amazingly decadent (like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup) and easy to throw together.
- 5-Minute Gingerbread Butter
Yes, you head that correctly. Gingerbread butter. For spreading on toast, pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, and pretty much everything.
- Guinness Glazed Nuts
Have a beer fan in your life? These Guinness glazed peanuts are super simple to make and would make a great gift paired with a 6-pack and pint glasses.
- IPA Pickles
Another great gift idea for beer lovers. These homemade pickles are simmered in your favorite craft IPA and would be perfectly accompanied by the rest of the 6-pack.
- Strawberry Flavored Vodka
For the more hard-core drinker in your life, you can DIY your own flavored vodka. Serve in a corked bottle with a custom label and their favorite mixer or drinking game.
- Homemade Chai Concentrate
Skip the Starbucks gift card and make this super simple Chai concentrate that you can keep in the fridge for several weeks. Just add warm milk!