Cooking and sharing food is something we do all year, so why not make it part of your holiday present selection, too? Whether you are seeking a small hostess gift or a bigger gift, look no further than your own kitchen. Here are some simple and special ways to show you care:
Taste Bud Trip
One of the best things about travel is trying the local cuisine. Use your travels as your guide to create a gift that follows the theme of a country or region. Make it healthy by focusing on vegetable dishes, broth-based soups and sauces, and including recipes with lean cuts of meat or skinless poultry.
- Italy with a pasta or salad sub-theme: Use a colander, pot, or salad bowl as your base. Fill it with items that don’t need to be refrigerated. Add a gift card for the fresh ingredients they can shop for later.
- Regional: Even within a country, the cuisine can vary. Choose a favorite destination within a country. If it’s a coastal city, focus on seafood. If it’s a colder area, do a soup or chili.
- Spice it up. Choose a type of cuisine and include the spices that are most commonly used in that area. Or, for someone who is new to cooking or perhaps just moved into his or her own home, create a gift that sets them up with common spices used in cooking. Make it more special by including a pairing chart of which spices go best with different foods the recipient likes.
- If favorite foods are local, create a box or basket that highlights these well-known items with a gift card (great for travel and ease of wrapping or carrying). If they are easily transported, buy the actual items and arrange them in a seasonal container. Ask your IGA store for ideas, too!
Fresh fruit baskets are a classic favorite. Create your own and add a vase of flowers. Fill it with fresh, dried, and canned/jarred fruit in 100 percent juice, because all of these count as fruit servings. If smoothies are a favorite, include different 100 percent juices and an ice cube tray.
Make Your Own Meal Kit
If you know the recipient's favorite meal, put together a kit with all the main ingredients and a gift card. Include a new pan or serving dish that this particular meal can be served in for a special touch.
If you or your family are known for certain meals or dishes that are crowd pleasers and you don’t mind sharing the recipes, print them on nice paper and create a little booklet or recipe box. If you like this idea but don’t have many of your own to share, check out www.iga.com/better-choices for inspiration.