Giving from My Kitchen {Guest Post}

Guest Post from Emily - visit her blog here

I love being creative in the kitchen. I find it therapeutic. Unfortunately I no longer have the metabolism of a 13 year old so I can't eat all that I make. No, I can eat it all, I just shouldn't. In order to bake as much as I want to I give a lot of things away as gifts. From granola to jellies here are a few of the things I've done in the past, but didn't really get around to this year. Hopefully they will inspire you. 

CookiesWhether it's Espresso Shortbread or Vanilla Bean Icebox Cookies, a pretty bag or tin of cookies made with quality ingredients, (local unsalted butter, organic vanilla, free range eggs), is always appreciated. I find that the classic, old fashion cookies have great keeping quality so they work really well. Depending on the recipient I'll even tuck in a copy of the recipe.
See my previous post for a few recipes that are great for giving. 
BiscottiOne year I made custom flavours for family, everything from classic chocolate almond to spiced fruit and nut to blueberry white chocolate. I use a simple basic recipe and then jazz it up with  different flavour. I like to package these using paper coffee bags or in some cellophane.
SpicesI love making my own spice mixes. I keep a basic Tex-Mex one on hand that I use for tacos, chili and anything else that needs a kick. Hubby also is super at making different rubs of meat. Simply whip up a big batch of your favourite spice mix fill up some pretty jars and label. Include a few ideas for how to use it!
PreservesSince I can remember I've been involved in making jam. Strawberry season rolled around and I got the task of standing on a chair by the sink hulling the strawberries while mom and dad did the slicing and boiling. Then it was raspberries, apricots and blackberries. As I got older I graduated to using the food mill. Each summer and fall I look forward to socking up the pantry with jam. This year I only got a few batches made, the week before baby arrived, I made Strawberry Vanilla Bean jam and in August apricot. I`ve still got Roasted Garlic Jelly on the list. Hopefully next year I`ll get ahead of myself and get enough made to give away!
Because there is quite a bit of science involved in canning, and no one wants to get Botulism or other nasties that can appear in improperly canned goods, it`s important to use highly tested recipes. I find that the Bernardin website has a great selection of recipes and good instructions for beginners too!


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