Food For Gifts


Are you looking for a unique and delicious way to say “thank you”? Do you want to give something special to a friend or loved one, but can’t afford to splurge on a pricey gift?.

We have carefully crafted our menu to include foods that are healthy, delicious, and easy to prepare. You can choose from our signature menus or customize your own box.

Each box contains three different meals with ingredients that are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free. Each meal serves two people and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare! We also offer a vegan option for those who are interested in avoiding animal products.

We believe that everyone deserves a delicious meal at an affordable price. Our mission is simple: we want you to be able to enjoy amazing food without breaking the bank or sacrificing flavor!

Food For Gifts

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Edible gifts are pretty much foolproof. There’s something out there for everyone from the accomplished home cook to the avid eater who doesn’t know the difference between a fish spatula and a rubber spatula. This is especially true come Valentine’s Day, when you can channel your love through something small but fancy (hello, truffle-flavored potato chips) or go all-out with something distinctly special, like a splurge-worthy jar of honey. Here, we’ve gathered the best giftable foods around so you can find the perfect fit for whoever you’re looking to treat.

For the food lover who enjoys a spicy snack

Matiz Piparra Peppers, 6.4 oz

Matiz Piparra Peppers, 6.4 oz


Your recipient can easily find a way to incorporate these traditional basque peppers into a meal. They’ll add a nice bite to any dish, but according to chef and food artist Laila Gohar (who introduced us to them when we asked chefs about the best canned foods), they also make a pretty good snack. “I just like to nibble on them plain, too,” she says.



For the food lover who enjoys a fancy snack

Danabella Torres Black Truffle Potato Chip

Danabella Torres Black Truffle Potato Chip

$13 for 3

Lydia Richards, sommelier and founder of Vino Concierge, suggested these chips for our story on the best gifts for wine lovers. “I came across these amazing chips while I worked with a wide range of Spanish wine producers and attended multiple events focused on Spanish gastronomy,” she says. The Torres line includes foie gras, Iberian ham, smoked paprika, and, of course, black truffle flavors. “In my mind, they are built to pair with wine, as flavors are elevated and amplified during the pairing experience.” Now these chips plus a nice bottle seem like a sure bet to win someone’s heart.



For the food lover who wants their truffle fix in a more traditional way

Regalis Foods White Truffle Arbequina Olive Oil

Regalis Foods White Truffle Arbequina Olive Oil


Day Joseph, executive chef of Apt 4B in Atlanta, loves this truffle olive, which she calls “an amazing gift, since it won’t spoil and can be kept in the pantry.”


For the food lover who prefers their olive oil sans truffles

Brightland Awake Olive Oil

Brightland Awake Olive Oil


If a straightforward bottle is more their speed, try this favorite from start-up Brightland, which Anna Hezel, senior editor at Taste, says “everyone in food media seems to be totally nuts for.” Brightland sources their olives from California and packages the final product in a bottle your recipient will be proud to keep on their counter. If you want to shop around for more kinds of olive oils, we’ve got you covered.



For the food lover who likes an all-in-one kitchen staple

Kayanoya Yuzu Fruit Preserve

Kayanoya Yuzu Fruit Preserve


Annie Shi, owner and manager at King restaurant in New York City, describes this sweet-and-citrusy yuzu preserve as a “more versatile and delicious orange marmalade.” She has made a gin spritz with it, but says you can also add it into baked goods. According to the description you can also try it as a glaze for poultry or stir it into your tea as a sweetener.


For the food lover who’s also a honey snob

Savannah Bee Company Acacia Honey

Savannah Bee Company Acacia Honey


 now 9% off

If they refuse to use honey from a squeezable bear, they’ll love this more-refined (and tasty) option. Acacia honey is a “delicate, floral, and ultranuanced honey,” says Lindsay Collins, host and creator of Effin B Radio. She learned about it while working at Per Se, where it was used “as an elegant way to finish desserts table-side or to garnish a decadent savory dish.” Collins suggests drizzling it on fancy blue cheese or a bowl of fresh figs.



For the food lover who doesn’t actually like to cook

Brodo Chicken Bone Broth

Brodo Chicken Bone Broth

$13Photo: retailer

This bone broth, a favorite of model Ashley Graham, comes from an NYC-based shop and ships nationwide, creating an easy meal for foodies across the country. The broths ship frozen, which means it can be used at the recipient’s leisure. “I keep it in the freezer, pop it out whenever I need it, throw it on the stove, and that’s it,” Graham told us. “I do not cook — it’s just not innately in me — so to know that I have bone broth in the freezer at all times is just a lifesaver for me because it requires no work.”



For the food lover who had to cancel their trip to Thailand

Omsom Southeast Asian Sampler

Omsom Southeast Asian Sampler


Sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham launched their company Omsom in collaboration with some of the most accomplished Asian chefs in New York City. The result is this spice kit of six flavor packets (equivalent to 16-plus meals) that allow any cook to easily create authentically flavored Southeast Asian dishes, including Vietnamese Lemongrass BBQ, Thai Larb, and Filipino Sisig, in 30 minutes flat. Omsom also has an East Asian sampler for fans of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines.


For the food lover who can’t get enough chocolate

Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate Almonds

Kirkland Signature Milk Chocolate Almonds

From $47

Last year, singer Bebe Rexha revealed her unexpected expertise on the topic of chocolate-covered almonds, and these are her favorites by far. “I’ve tried every type of chocolate-covered almonds out there, and I swear these ones are the best,” she says. “They’re so addicting, like it’s really hard to stop.” Plus chocolate is a classic Valentine’s gift, so you really can’t go wrong.



For the food lover obsessed with fermented foods

Yesfolk Jasmine Kombucha Vinegar

Yesfolk Jasmine Kombucha Vinegar


Last summer, Nikita Richardson, former Strategist writer and one of the authors of this article, reported on the sudden onslaught of fancy vinegars — and then happened upon this exceptionally fancy version during a coffee stop in Troy, New York. It’s a single-origin kombucha vinegar made with jasmine and fermented in oak barrels in the Adirondacks. According to Yesfolk Tonics, you can “enjoy as a digestif, in a cocktail, as part of a special dish and whenever life calls for delicious vinegar.”


Tony's Chocolonely Bundles

Tony’s Chocolonely Bundles

$30 for 3

If you’d rather go bar, you can’t do better than Tony’s Chocoloney’s substantial offerings, which come in tons of flavors and cocoa percentages (they even usually make a special V-Day one closer to the holiday, so keep an eye out). Not only is the chocolate particularly delicious but “the company’s mission is a really great one to support,” notes pastry chef Anna Selke. “They’re making chocolate humanely (working against child labor and slavery), which is an issue with cocoa farming across the world.”



For the food lover who has a sweet tooth for something other than chocolate

Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pies

Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pies


When we asked experts about their favorite pies to order online, this Brooklyn-based shop, which ships nationwide, came up again and again. “I still dream of their pie slices,” says Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin and a former New Yorker. Her personal favorite is the custardy salty honey pie.


For the food lover who takes pride in their salads

Katz Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Agrodolce Wine Vinegar

Katz Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Agrodolce Wine Vinegar


Anyone who makes salads regularly should have multiple vinegars in their arsenal. This one comes recommended via Harlan Turkell, author of Acid Trip and a true vinegar connoisseur. He calls it “big” and “bold” but says it’s so well-balanced you could add it straight to a salad with no oil.



For the food lover who puts hot sauce on everything

Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili-Crisp Sauce

Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili-Crisp Sauce


If your favorite food lover keeps a small bottle of hot sauce on them at all times, introduce them to the many wonders of chili crisp, which can be put on just about anything from supreme pizzas to ice cream. For purists, there’s Lao Gan Ma, the original chili crisp and a favorite of Strategist contributor Mia Leimkuhler.



Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp

Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp


Or for nontraditionalists, opt for Fly by Jing’s all-natural, non-GMO Sichuan chili crisp, which leans a little funkier and a little spicier.



For the food lover who likes their hot sauce a little more mild

Sol Food Pique Hot Pepper Sauce

Sol Food Pique Hot Pepper Sauce


A favorite of podcaster Roman Mars, this hot sauce comes from a Puerto Rican restaurant in the Bay Area. Mars says it’s light and vinegary and not too hot, perfect for the person on your list who is a little sensitive to spice. He uses it on anything that isn’t sweet. “It has made my home cooking so much better,” he says. “I cook and eat a lot of rice, and I can just pour this hot sauce on rice and that’s a meal.”


For the food lover who eats peanut butter by the spoonful

Macadamia Nut Honey Butter

Macadamia Nut Honey Butter

$15Photo: Retailer

Back in June, Richardson waxed poetic about the macadamia nut honey butter from Hawaiian company Banán, which had just begun shipping to the contiguous 48. This slightly sweet, incredibly fragrant nut butter is a game changer in the kitchen (she likes to add a little to her homemade dark chocolate pudding) and will be appreciated by anyone who loves a nice nut butter. Just be sure to purchase at least two jars.


CB’s Nuts Jumbo Inshell Peanuts

CB’s Nuts Jumbo In-Shell Peanuts


If you want to stick with peanut flavor, what could be better than actual peanuts? But not just any old peanuts. Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria, owners of New York City’s beloved design shop Coming Soon, are both obsessed with CB’s peanuts. “They taste like really good peanut butter,” says Faria. “They have a long shelf life. It’s a fun snack to put out when you have people over. They’re just delicious.” The brand also makes peanut butter, peanut brittle, and their own take on Cracker Jack.



For the food lover who’s obsessed with spices

Diaspora Co. Masala Dabba

Diaspora Co. Masala Dabba


Diaspora Co. has quickly distinguished itself as the place to go for high-quality single-origin Indian spices. The Masala Dabba makes a particularly nice gift, a gorgeous brass container filled with jars of turmeric harvested by fourth-generation farmers, cardamom grown without pesticides in the woods of Kerala, and black mustard cultivated by a tribe near the Bay of Bengal, among others.


For the food lover who adds salt to everything

Maldon Sea Salt Bucket

Maldon Sea Salt Bucket


If they’re the kind of person who puts flakes of sea salt on their steaks, chocolate chip cookies, and anything and everything else, you can’t do better than an entire bucket of cult favorite Maldon salt. Vogue sustainability editor Tonne Goodman told us it “seems a bit extreme, but then again, salt fanatics do exist. I gave it to my brother-in-law, who is a wonderful cook, and he laughed and loved it.”



For the food lover who wants to up their cocktail game

Current Cassis Black Currant Liqueur

Current Cassis Black Currant Liqueur


Regular Visitors co-founder Daniel Sorg told us if his Brooklyn shop was still around, he would stock this liqueur made with black currants. “Back in mid-March, I really leaned into the drinking thing, and I have to be honest: I wish this was around then,” says Sorg. “The black currants used in Rachael’s bottles are grown just a few miles down the road from where the product is made.”



For the food lover who’s working on their night cheese

Murray’s Cheese: The French Connection

Murray’s Cheese: The French Connection


As Nobu 57 executive chef Matt Hoyle put it to us not too long ago, “I live in New York City, so no room for more pans, knives, or KitchenAids. I want something to eat.” We couldn’t agree more. That’s why he recommends giving chefs (or people who just love to eat) the gift of the ultimate cheese platter. This one, from Murray’s Cheese, features Roquefort, Comté Saint Antoine, goat bucheron, as well as Jambon De Bayonne (a.k.a. French prosciutto) and Castelvetrano olives.


For the food lover who likes their ice cream adventurous

Noona's Top Sellers Collection

Noona’s Top Sellers Collection

$58 for 5

A good option for that foodie who’s always buying Ben & Jerry’s at the bodega. Grub Street staff writer Chris Crowley has recently become obsessed with Noona’s toasted-rice flavor. “It’s inspired by the Korean snack noo-roong-ji,” he says, explaining that it’s made by steeping toasted brown-rice in milk with some tamari for savoriness. “It’s caramelized, nutty rice, only in dessert form, so you can have your all-crunchy rice dinner without having to make dessert yourself.” This collection of their top sellers includes the original toasted rice as well as black sesame, golden sesame, green tea matcha, and turmeric honeycomb — one of author Jenny Han’s favorite flavors.


For the food lover who needs a night off

Egunsi Foods Introductory Bundle

Egunsi Foods Introductory Bundle

$80 for 4

Nothing says “I love you” like giving an overworked friend or spouse or partner or parent the night (or week) off — even if they usually enjoy cooking. These ready-made soups are a favorite of Eater cities editor Jesse Sparks who tells us, “I lean on Egunsi’s array of deeply comforting, soul-stirring soups and stew on days when I’ve barely had time to focus on one task for more than 15 minutes.” His favorite is the “robust and soothing Obe Ata,” which “channels my nostalgia for tomato soup on sick days, but elevates the cold-day classic with red and Habanero peppers.” This four-pack includes Sparks’ favorite Obe Ata as well as a melon seed Egunsi soup, peanut-based Groundnut soup, and brown-eyed-pea-based Gbegiri soup.


For the food lover who prefers a light breakfast

Trade Street Jam Co. Signature Gift Set

Trade Street Jam Co. Signature Gift Set


Any jam enthusiast would be thrilled to receive some small-batch, all-natural, vegan jams from Black-owned Trade Street Jam Co. This particular pack includes the company’s three bestsellers: Blueberry Lemon Basil, Smoked Yellow Peach, and Strawberry Chipotle & Fig. Throw in a loaf of superior sourdough to top it off and you’ll really win them over.


homemade food gifts

Our favorite holiday gifts are thoughtful, homemade, and most importantly, edible!


The Serious Eats Team

Updated Dec. 07, 2020

A jar of homemade chili crisp
Vicky Wasik
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When it comes to holiday gifts, there’s not much money can’t buy…provided you have it in the first place. But if you’re on a tight budget this season, a trip to the grocery store and a few hours in the kitchen can yield an impressive pile of presents for cheap. Homemade edible gifts aren’t just easy on the wallet; they’re heartwarming labors of love (or, at least, that’s what your friends and family will think). If you have the right recipes in hand, they’ll also be far more unique and delicious than their store-bought counterparts. And if you’re the least bit crafty, a spool of ribbon and a session of hand-decorating labels can transform even the most ho-hum of condiments, like mayo or barbecue sauce, into charming packages.

Read on for our favorite easy-to-make, easy-to-gift savory crowd-pleasers, from briny, punchy olive tapenade to homemade snack mixes like chaat and Cheez-Its. For a more substantial presentation, just whip up a handful of these recipes in big batches, portion them out into Ball jars and/or cellophane bags, toss them in a tissue-paper-lined wicker basket, and let the gifting commence.

  •  XO SauceHomemade XO Sauce, the Cook’s Condimentseconds of 15 minutes, 59 secondsVolume 90%15:59Homemade XO Sauce, the Cook’s CondimentWhat doesn’t taste better with XO sauce? It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves as we slather it on everything from pasta and ramen to clams to Mexican street corn. The sauce, which originally hails from Hong Kong, is packed with a long list of umami-rich ingredients, like dried seafood, aged ham, and oyster and soy sauces. Balanced with sugar, ginger, and other spices, it makes a condiment that can provide instant complexity and a savory boost to your favorite meals.Get the recipe for XO
  •  Chaat-Spiced Chex Mix20170921-chaat-vicky-wasik-70.jpgVicky WasikThere’s something for everyone in a classic batch of Chex Mix. But tossing it with some chaat masala is a great way to transform the crowd-pleasing snack into an extra-special gift. The South Asian spice blend is traditionally used to season chaat, a popular street food (and an excellent, if somewhat more involved and less shelf-stable, DIY gift unto itself). You may have to hunt around a bit to find all the ingredients, but the salty, tart, spicy combo is worth the effort—you could even give out batches of the spice blend alone.Get the recipe for Chaat-Spiced Chex Mix
  •  Tomato Raisins (Oven-Dried Whole Cherry Tomatoes)20180713-tomato-raisins-finished-vicky-wasik-16-Vicky WasikThese homemade tomato raisins are dramatically better than any store-bought alternatives. They’re juicy, plump, go with just about everything, and are undeniably special. A light glaze of salt, sugar, and olive oil seasons the tomatoes as they roast. A jar of raisins might not be the flashiest gift ever, but we guarantee whoever gets them will be impressed once they get a taste.Get the recipe for Tomato Raisins (Oven-Dried Whole Cherry Tomatoes)
  •  Oven-Dried Grapes (a.k.a. Raisins)20170109-oven-roasted-grapes-vicky-wasik-7.jpgVicky WasikOkay, admittedly, “homemade raisins” may not sound like the most exciting of presents, but these plump, juicy specimens just might surprise you. Drying grapes in a very low oven preserves their fresh flavor and gives them a more tender texture—they’ll be dry enough to store for several weeks, but far less hard and shriveled than their store-bought counterparts. Plus, this method allows you to mix and match grape varieties for a more exciting range of color and flavor.Get the recipe for Oven-Dried Grapes (a.k.a.
  •  Marinated Goat CheeseMarinated-Goat-Cheese-20170104_3.jpgEmily and Matt CliftonIf you’re especially short on time, or lack confidence in the kitchen, this is the project for you. Buy fresh goat cheese, slice it into portion sizes (or roll it into balls), and marinate it in jars with olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, bay leaves, and thyme. In a matter of hours, that unassuming store-bought log will be infused with herbal, citrusy flavor—a major upgrade, with virtually no effort required. The cheese should be consumed within a week’s time, so encourage your recipient to dig in sooner rather than later.Get the recipe for Marinated Goat
  •  Homemade Pickles20170808-preservation-acid-pickling-vicky-wasik-12.jpgVicky WasikLike marinated goat cheese, pickles are a low-effort, high-reward undertaking. But it’s worth noting that one of the biggest factors here is time—you’ll want to give yourself at least three weeks to let these babies ferment. Our Milwaukee-style cucumber pickles are simmered with vinegar, sugar, and spices before they’re packed up with garlic, onion, and dill to brine for several weeks. For a more sour pickle, try out some lacto-fermented dill pickles instead. A saltwater brine creates the ideal environment for lactobacillus bacteria. You can make half-sours in just three weeks’ time, or commit to a longer fermentation period (about six weeks) if you’d prefer full-sours.If your giftee isn’t a fan of cukes, or if you’re looking for a new project, homemade sauerkraut is a remarkably fun undertaking, and perfect for the sausage- or hot dog-lover in your life.Homemade
  •  Salmon RillettesWith their fancy French name and their fancy French flavor, salmon rillettes will make your recipient feel fancy—and think you’re fancy, too. In fact, the only thing that isn’t fancy about rillettes is that they’re incredibly easy to make (not that anyone else needs to know that). The spreadable hors d’oeuvre is made from gently poached and shredded salmon, combined with fresh herbs, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Not a fan of salmon? A pork-based rendition offers up a slightly richer rillette. Both versions can be stored and gifted in small Ball jars, and make a perfect addition to a cheese and meat platter, accompanied by cornichons and toast or crackers.Get the recipe for Salmon
  •  Homemade Carr’s-Style Crackers20170227-homemade-carrs-whole-wheat-crackers-vicky-wasik-16.jpgVicky WasikThese whole wheat crackers are incredibly versatile—thin enough to go with dainty hors d’oeuvres, but hearty enough to snack on by themselves, and equally well suited to both sweet and savory accompaniments. They’d make a wonderful gift on their own—perhaps packaged in some cellophane—but they’re also a great way to round out any of the homemade spreads and dips on this list, like rillettes, olive tapenade, or even cookie butter.Get the recipe for Homemade Carr’s-Style Crackers
  •  Spiced and Candied Nuts20160225-candied-pistachios-vicky-wasik-9-thumb-1500xauto-430624.jpgVicky Wasik Seasoning nuts is a time-honored way of dressing up profoundly simple ingredients with fairly minimal effort. If you’ve made our lemon syrup and have some to spare, try using it in a batch of crispy citrus-candied pistachios. For something a bit less labor-intensive, though, we have a few easy combos to spice up the holiday season. Ground ginger and cayenne pepper add a savory kick to our Mexican spiced chocolate pecans, bound in a light, crispy egg white coating. That same treatment gives our smoky candied almonds their delicate shell, spiced with smoked paprika, cayenne, and punchy Old Bay. If you’d rather avoid the sweetness of candied nuts, our savory, briny, and herbal olive-rosemary spiced cashews should hit the spot.Spiced and Candied Nuts
  •  Olive Tapenade20151016-tapenade-vicky-wasik-15-thumb-1500xauto-427236.jpgVicky WasikTapenade, as most of us know it, is an olive-heavy purée, typically spiked with garlic, anchovies, and fresh herbs. But traditional tapenade, created by a chef in Marseille back in 1880, takes its name from tapeno, the Provençal word for capers, and it’s flavored accordingly. With equal parts olives, capers, and fish (in our case, anchovies and tuna), it’s briny and intense, and it gets even more flavor from fresh herbs, Dijon mustard, and a splash of cognac. It’s not for everyone—which is why we have a recipe for the more commonplace variety as well—but it’s the kind of gift that’s guaranteed to please and surprise more adventurous palates.Get the recipe for Olive Tapenade
  •  Better-Than-Store-Bought Mayo20160815-mayonnaise-video-primary-3-thumb-1500xauto-433749.jpgJ. Kenji López-AltSure, most people already have a jar of mayo sitting in their fridge, but true mayonnaise connoisseurs will appreciate the substantial flavor improvements you can get from homemade. The traditional method, which calls for hand-whisking a slow drizzle of oil into a mixture of egg and mustard, takes some serious elbow grease and has a tendency to go awry. But if you have a hand blender, the process couldn’t be easier—simply combine your ingredients in a jar and blend. Two minutes later, you’ll have a rich, creamy, complex bowl of mayo. If that doesn’t sound quite exciting enough to gift, stir in some sriracha, garlic, or ‘nduja for added punch.Get the recipe for Better-Than-Store-Bought Mayo
  •  Homemade Garam Masala20150402-garam-masala-thumb-1500xauto-430932.jpgJ. Kenji López-AltThe key to a truly nuanced, full-flavored spice blend is toasting fresh whole spices before grinding them—a step that most likely won’t have gone into your average store-bought blend. With an aromatic mix of green cardamom pods, coriander seed, cumin, black peppercorns, cloves, fennel, cinnamon, anise, and nutmeg, garam masala is a bold, bright mix that can be used for a wide variety of curries, braises, and other Indian preparations.Get the recipe for Homemade Garam Masala
  •  Homemade Spicy Chili Crisp20180322-chili-crisp-vicky-wasik-22Vicky WasikChili crisp is good on just about everything. We’ve been known to dollop it on eggs, spread it over meat, and slather it all over pepperoni pizza. Sichuan peppercorns give the sauce their iconic numbing effect, while pieces of fried shallot and garlic chips, along with peanuts, bump up both the taste and texture. Your friends will be asking for another jar long before the next holiday comes around.Get the recipe for Homemade Spicy Chili Crisp
  •  Great Barbecue SauceDaniel GritzerSome traditional varieties of barbecue sauce can be pretty time-consuming to prepare. But these three variations take just minutes to complete. All start with a base of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, but they quickly diverge from there. Our coffee-ginger barbecue sauce is smoky and rich thanks to a touch of paprika, a little dark chocolate, and a drizzle of molasses; it’s great for pairing with pork shoulder or brisket. For something more acidic and hot, give our buffalo barbecue sauce a shot—with Frank’s RedHot and butter, it’s the perfect vinegary topping for wings, smoked chicken, or pulled pork. Funk-lovers will revel in this Korean kimchi barbecue sauce, packed with the intense, tangy heat of kimchi and gochujang (Korean chile paste). We love it on grilled chicken, pork, and shellfish.Great Barbecue Sauce
  •  DIY Cheez-Its20160822-homemade-cheez-itz-vicky-wasik-15-thumb-1500xauto-434241.jpgVicky WasikFans of Cheez-Its will get a kick out of these homemade crackers, which deliver the same buttery, cheesy, utterly absorbing crunch of the snack time classic, but made better with higher-quality ingredients and some TLC. To replicate the Cheez-It look, you can slice them with a fluted pastry wheel and use a skewer to add the signature center dimple. Alternatively, just grab a cookie cutter and go to town, stamping them out in any shape you’d like.Get the recipe for DIY Cheez-Its
  •  Superior Sauces20140919-easy-italian-american-red-sauce-vicky-wasik-19.jpgVicky WasikWhether it’s an easy Italian-American red sauce or the best slow-cooked bolognese, a homemade pasta sauce is virtually guaranteed to taste better than whatever you’ll find in a supermarket jar. No matter which recipe you choose, though, take the time to properly can it, or be sure to tell the recipient to use the sauce within a week or so. We doubt they’ll have much trouble following through.See all our pasta sauce recipes
  •  Traditional Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)20170919-toum-garlic-sauce-vicky-wasik-6.jpgVicky WasikToum is a little bit like mayonnaise, but we find ourselves using it way more often. It works equally well as a sauce, a condiment, and a dip. Raw garlic not only gives toum its kick; it also helps emulsify the mixture and keeps it stable for up to a month in the fridge. Even your friends and family who don’t like mayonnaise will get hooked on this bold, all-purpose garlic sauce.Get the recipe for Traditional Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)
  •  Yeolmu Kimchi (Quick-Fermented Young Radish Greens)20180822-yeolmu-kimchi-radish-greens-liz-clayman-2Liz ClaymanGiving a jar of this beautiful young radish kimchi will impress even your most hard-to-shop-for friends. The addition of a potato porridge speeds up fermentation while also counterbalancing the grassy flavors in the greens. Unlike some kimchis that take much longer to ferment and become pungent, this one is ready to eat in as little as one day, though it develops maximum flavor after the first week. It’s perfect on rice, or eaten just as it is.Get the recipe for Yeolmu Kimchi (Quick-Fermented Young Radish Greens)
  •  Fresh (or Dried) Chile Harissa20180327-fresh-harissa-vicky-wasik9Vicky WasikThis punchy North African chile paste can be made with either fresh or dried chiles. In one version, an assortment of fresh chiles are charred and blended together for smoke and spice. The peppers are then seasoned with the traditional additions of caraway and coriander, but they can be jazzed up with anything from diced preserved lemon to pungent raw shallots. The dried chile version, which takes even less time to make, is just as flavorful, and they both can be used in any number of ways.Fresh (or Dried) Chile Harissa
  •  Dukkah (Middle Eastern Nut and Spice Blend)Vicky WasikThink of dukkah, the versatile Middle Eastern spice blend of seeds, nuts, and spices, as a savory fairy dust: It’s great sprinkled over pretty much anything, from soups and roasted and grilled vegetables to fish and meat dishes. Your giftee can even mix some with olive oil and use it as a dip for a crusty baguette.This rendition features warming spices like cumin and coriander, toasty sesame seeds, and roasted peanuts, all blended together with kosher salt to your desired consistency. Packed up in an airtight container, it’s good for up to two weeks.Get the recipe for Dukkah (Middle Eastern Nut and Spice Blend)
  •  Romesco SauceHow to Make Romesco seconds of 9 minutes, 34 secondsVolume 90%9:34How to Make Romesco SauceRoasted tomatoes, dried peppers, almonds, and garlic unite in this bright, nutty Spanish sauce. Slather it on sandwiches, roasted or grilled meats and seafood, or serve it with crudité. Your recipient will want to eat it within five days, but that’s hardly been a challenge in our experience.Get the recipe for Romesco Sauce
  •  Pickled Mustard Seeds20190524-wursthall-deviled-eggs-pickled-mustard-beautyJ. Kenji Lopez-AltWhole mustard seeds are cheap…but not exactly snack-worthy. By simply cooking them down in vinegar with a bit of whiskey and salt, we plump them up and rein in their sharp bite in one fell swoop. The result is a sweet-hot garnish that’s welcome on roasted marrow bones, roasted meats, or deviled eggs. Make a big batch and spread the mustardy cheer—these pickled seeds will last months in the refrigerator.Get the recipe for Pickled Mustard Seeds
  •  Garlic Confit20180703-garlic-confit-vicky-wasik-2Vicky WasikWhether you buy garlic expressly for this project or you’re looking to put spare cloves to good use, this simple project yields buttery-soft, sweet garlic that’s ideal for spreading on bread, blending into soups, stirring into sauces, and pretty much anything else you can think of.For safety reasons, garlic confit should be made according to our specifications, stored in the refrigerator, and consumed within two weeks.Get the recipe for Garlic Confit
  •  Sourdough Rye Crackers With Coriander and Fennel20200716-sourdough-discard-crackers-tim-chin2Tim ChinIf you’ve been baking up a sourdough storm recently, chances are you’ve found yourself with excess sourdough starter. And if you’ve got bread fatigue, you can use the starter in these elegant sourdough rye crackers instead. The dough uses rye flour for a nutty, earthy flavor, as well as sparkling white wine for a sweet and fruity kick. Cracked coriander and fennel seeds, along with flaky salt, add the final touch of flavor to the crackers before they’re baked. The resulting crackers are thin, crisp, and perfect for your giftee’s next cheeseboard.Get the recipe for Sourdough Rye Crackers With Coriander and Fennel
  •  Everything-Bagel Rugelach With Onion Jam20171201_Rugelach-EmilyDryden-61.jpgEmily DrydenFor a savory take on rugelach that’ll impress any gift recipient, try these everything-bagel rugelach. Cooking the jam low and slow helps bring out a slightly sweet flavor. The dough incorporates cream cheese for a touch of tang and easier rolling. Before baking, the rugelach are topped with an egg wash to ensure a shiny finish, as well as everything-bagel seasoning—a delightful mixture consisting of poppy, caraway, and sesame seeds; dehydrated onion and garlic; and salt. You’re left with a treat so tangy, sticky, and rich, that you might have to keep some for yourself.Get the recipe for Everything-Bagel Rugelach With Onion Jam
  •  Sourdough Anchovy Croutons20200526-anchovy-croutons-sasha-marx6That sourdough loaf on your counter that’s threatening to go stale can easily be turned into these crispy croutons. In addition to the bread, the recipe only calls for olive oil and anchovies—ingredients you likely have on hand already. Start by breaking down the anchovies to infuse the olive oil with a deep umami flavor. Then, simply coat the bread pieces with the oil and toast them until golden brown. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to use up old bread and introduce your friends and family to their new favorite snack.Get the recipe for Sourdough Anchovy Croutons
  •  Alguashte (Salvadoran Pumpkin Seed Seasoning)20200905-mango-alguashte-karla-vasquez-2Karla VasquezWith just two ingredients, you can make this versatile Salvadoran condiment and bottle it up for an easy but special gift. All you need to do is toast hull-on pumpkin seeds, grind in a blender or spice grinder, sift through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any larger pieces, then mix with salt. The powder adds an earthy, nutty flavor to everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to savory dishes.

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