Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gifts from the Kitchen

The holidays are fast approaching and for me, what usually gets left to the last minute are all the little detail gifts;  teachers, bus drivers, hostess gifts - you get the picture!  One of my favourite things to do is to make these great Gifts from the Kitchen.

 Unique and economical, making these are an activity that the entire family can get involved in.  I like to use reusable glass cannisters and containers and pretty them up with some fabric and ribbon. 

No extra trip to the shopping mall is necessary, simply add a few basic staples to your grocery list and you are ready to go.
Jalapeno & Lime Sea Salt

Jalapeno & Lime Sea Salt
1 cup sea salt
Zest of 3 limes
3 Jalapenos (I used red ones, hence the colour)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Cut jalapenos in quarters.
Place jalapenos in a food processor and pulse until jalapeno is in smaller pieces.
Add salt and lime zest and pulse until combined.
Spread salt out on cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes (to dry out any moisture from chili or zest).
You may need to break salt up with back of fork when it comes out of the oven.
Let cool and transfer to small containers.
This salt is perfect on popcorn, potatoes, grilled meats and fish! Great as a Ceasar Rimmer!

Wild Mushroom & Herbed Rice

 Use quinoa or couscous, simply change cooking method on gift card.
2 cups long grain rice
1/4 cup dried, wild mushrooms
2 Tbps dried chives
1 Tbsp dehydrated onions
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt

Chop the mushrooms into small pieces.
Combine all ingredients in bowl and place in a 500ml mason jar.
If doubling the above recipe add the herbs and spices to each jar individually.  Otherwise they will fall to the bottom of  bowl and you will end up with uneven distribution of seasoning.
Make sure to add gift tag with ingredients and cooking instructions ~ simply follow instruction on rice package.

Sweet & Spicy Pecans

These are addictive so once you make them hide them ~ I speak from experience!
2 eggs whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
5 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk egg whites until frothy.  Stir in sugar, sea salt and cayenne.
Fold in pecans until they are evenly coated with mixture.
Spread evenly on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Place in oven for 20 minutes.
Lower temperature to 250 and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Remove and let cool!

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