Spice up the holidays with personal gifts
(ARA) - Looking for an affordable gift with a personal touch? A spice gift basket can fit any budget and makes an ideal hostess or holiday gift for every cook. They are perfect for a birthday, housewarming or simple thank you, too. With just a little thought and a few supplies, you can assemble a personalized basket. With Internet and mail-order shopping, it's possible to buy everything you need without leaving the house.
Begin with a basket or any other useful kitchen container, such as a mixing bowl, cake pan, serving dish or colander. Vintage items you pick up at a second-hand store or garage sale can be charming. Line the container with a pretty cloth napkin, a colorful dishtowel or even a piece of fabric cut with pinking shears, or use tissue paper if you prefer. Add bottles or packets of spices, herbs, seasonings and other ingredients. For a special touch, include a favorite recipe, a cookbook, a wooden spoon, a potholder, or any related accessory.
With a little imagination, you can personalize a basket for almost anyone on your list. Kendall McFarland, research and development manager at Frontier Natural Products Co-op, has a few ideas to get you started.
* Mexican fiesta – Tuck a brightly colored potholder in with chili powder, cumin, dried peppers, taco seasoning or other Mexican spices. Add a jar of salsa, some tortilla chips and margarita mix if you like. For your “basket,” use an inexpensive sombrero, available at card and party stores.
* Mama mia – Line a colander or pasta serving dish with a red checkered tablecloth or cloth or paper napkins. Add seasonings such as garlic, basil, oregano and Italian blend and include a package of pasta. Supply a packet of spaghetti sauce or fettuccine alfredo seasoning mix or a favorite pasta recipe. A candle and bottle of Chianti add a special romantic touch.
* Beginner’s basket – Create a very basic basket for a new cook or someone just starting out on their own with a handful of popular and common spices – such as salt, pepper, cinnamon, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and turmeric. Include a cookbook, a recipe box or a file with copies of some favorite family recipes.
* Spice of life – Even the most experienced cooks need some variety. Try assembling some unusual or new flavor combinations or savory spice blends. Frontier Natural Products has just introduced a line of Pepper Fusion spice grinders that combine organic peppercorns with garlic, chipotle, cayenne and lemon. Add an unusual or interesting kitchen gadget to intrigue the seasoned cook, such as a set of garnishing spoons.
* Grill master – Place a variety of grilling spices and marinade mixes with a mitt and tongs or other grilling tools in a grilling basket. Add an apron, a roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil or a grill cleaning brush for an extra touch.
Small containers of spices are especially handy for gift baskets, because you can provide a variety of spices at a lower cost. Simply Organic brand offers attractively packaged organic mini-spices and other seasonings and mixes for those who want to add a natural touch to their baskets.
With the wide variety of seasonings and accessories available, the possibilities are endless. Just use your imagination and you can spice up your gift-giving with personal and original gifts. For more tips and suggestions for specific gift baskets made with spices, seasonings, mixes and cooking accessories go to www.frontiercoop.com/giftbaskets.
Courtesy of ARAcontent