Unique Hostess Gifts
- Pickled Jalepeños: If you are attending a gathering and the host/hostess loves a little spice in their life, may I suggest some pickled jalapeños. Using the abundance of jalapeños I harvested this year, I decided to use a basic pickling recipe and save them for times like these or for a little spice on top of some homemade nachos. If you did not can any of your produce this year, you can find some homemade pickled goods at your local market or artisan show. Simply wrap the pickled goods in a theme appropriate tea towel and tie with a bow.
- Homemade Vanilla Extract: This is actually incredibly easy and is BY FAR tastier than store bought vanilla. I made a simple vanilla cake for my daughter's birthday last year with RAVE reviews- when I said it was just a basic vanilla cake, the consensus was it must be the vanilla extract. I agree. Simple grab a few vanilla beans, open lengthwise, scrape out the bean pod and add the pod scrapings and pods to alcohol of choice (I used Smironoff vodka). Let the vanilla sit for 4-6 weeks before using. I just leave the pods in indefinitely as I use the vanilla which continues to extract vanilla into the alcohol. Yum! Cost Saving Tip- Vanilla beans are PRICEY, however, there are a lot of great online sellers who offer beans in bulk for a price that is much less per bean than the grocery store (Bulk Barn sells 2 beans for about $6, while online you can get 25 beans for about $35). Try Beanilla, Vanilla Food Company or World Class Vanilla Co. Also, for making vanilla extract, Grade B beans work fine!
- Homemade Granola: This is a such a nice gift and super easy to mix up. Customize it with whatever additions you'd like- nuts, seeds, coconut, dried fruit, etc. I use one of two recipes from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, one which is grain based with oats (recipe here) or another which is grain free/paleo (recipe here).
- Homemade Sauces: Mixing up some simple apple sauce, apple butter (sugar free recipe) or a cranberry sauce is another easy, quick, tasty hostess idea. Add to a mason jar with some ribbon or pretty fabric and you have a personalized quick hostess gift!
Hopefully our list gives you a bit of inspiration this holiday season!
~The Coach House Team~