DIY Holiday Gifts for Food Lovers

Do you enjoy creating your own holiday gifts? 
Then you’ll love these easy DIY ideas sure to please the food lovers on your list. 

Shrub – Perfect for your favorite imbiber.  Non-drinkers also enjoy shrub mixed with ginger ale. This recipe features The Tubby Olive Pomegranate-Quince White Balsamic Vinegar

Pomegranate-Quince Shrub
2 Cups Pomegranate Juice
1 Cup Pomegranate-Quince Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

In a small pot over medium heat combine the juice, vinegar and sugar. Heat and stir until sugar has all dissolved. Allow to cool completely. Transfer to a tight sealing jar and refrigerate. Will keep, refrigerated for up to a year. Makes 48 drinks

To use:
For each drink, start with 1 Tablespoon of the Shrub in a glass filled with ice, then top with water, club soda, seltzer water, ginger ale or 7up. Can also be made into a cocktail, start with 1T of Shrub, add a shot of gin, rum or vodka and top with soda, seltzer or ginger ale.
Or in a champagne flute, add 1T Shrub and top with your favorite champagne for a festive start to your holiday!

Nut Brittle – For something more adventurous than peanut brittle try this recipe for Fragrant Indian Brittle featuring an exotic blend of cashews, pistachios and almonds sweetened with honey and lightly spiced with cardamom.

Pickled Foods – Fermentation is all the rage in the kitchen!  Try this Daikon and Carrot quick pickle for a fun Asian-style condiment alternative. 

Compound Butter – Who doesn’t enjoy a little flavored butter at the holidays?  Savory varieties are great on steaks, fish, sauces, pasta and grains.  Sweet varieties are perfect addition to breakfast on waffles, pancakes and bagels.  There’s no real rule. But, here’s a simple guide:

1 stick (8 Tbsp) of unsalted butter, softened : 1 ½ tsp liquid (e.g. honey, wine, mustard): 1 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs or 2 Tbsp dried fruit or nuts.  Salt to taste.  If you want to mix the butter with cheese then use equal parts of each.

Mix whatever you want into softened butter – lemon and thyme, garlic and herbs, chives and mustard, cinnamon and raisins, orange and cranberry -  then shape it and chill it. Roll your finished product into a log and wrap in wax paper or parchment.  Tie the ends with kitchen twine.  Or transfer the butter to a small ramekin or wide-mouthed jar and smooth the top with a butter knife then cover.  Add a crafty label with the ingredients and gift it with a loaf of fresh artisan bread.  Here’s one of our popular favorites.

Blue Cheese Walnut Butter:  Combine 1 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened, with 4 oz blue cheese and ¼ cup walnuts, toasted.  Voila!  Pairs well with apples, pears, crackers and poultry or fowl.

Lastly, here are two unique gifts to put on your own wish list or to give to a fellow DIY-er.

Mushroom Kits – Grow portabella, button or oyster mushrooms right in your own kitchen!

Cheese Making Kits – Urban Cheesecraft has everything you need to make your own ricotta, mozzarella, goat cheese and more.