Three DIY Gifts for Cooks and Foodies

Not going to sugar coat it…if you are going to make some gifts for your friends and family for the upcoming holidays it’s time to get busy.  I’ve been slowly nudging you along, but the time for nudging is over…you’ll thank me later if you start getting some gifts made now.

If you have friends or family members who like to spend time in their kitchen, you are so very lucky! Cooks and foodies are the easiest people to shop for…bar none. There is always some kitchen gadget, pot or appliance that a foodie ‘needs’. Am I right? (Yes, my family really should appreciate just how easy I am to shop for…and reward me appropriately!)

In addition to gadgets and gizmos, foodies also love trying different spices, oils and flavorings.

It was with my foodie friends and family in mind that I whipped up several diy gifts for cooks this past week.

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It all started with these Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels. I was starting to plan which treats we would be making this Christmas and decided I’d give this recipe a try. It’s been in my recipe binder for years, but I never made it because I didn’t have the requisite Vanilla Fleur de Sel. So that got me thinking…”what exactly is vanilla fleur de sel?” and then “surely I can make my own”. I had the vanilla beans and a bag of Fleur de Sel,…this was just the beginning of my adventures of making DIY gifts for cooks.

By the by…have you priced vanilla beans lately? Yikes…I have had a stash so haven’t had to buy any in years.

Vanilla Fleur de Sel is a crucial ingredient for decadent Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels...and an easy gift to make for the foodies and cooks in your world.

For what it’s worth, Fleur de Sel (literally ‘blossom of salt’) is typically used as a finishing salt.

Vanilla Fleur de Sel

for 3-6 ounce jars

  • 8 Vanilla Beans
  • 9 ounces Fleur de Sel
  • 2 TBS Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 175°
  2. Scoop the caviar (seeds) from your vanilla beans by slicing the pods lengthwise and scraping the seeds out with a spoon or butter knife. Save the pods and add them to your finished salt…you may need to cut them to fit.
  3. Add the vanilla flecks, the 2 tbsp of Kosher salt and the vanilla extract to a small bowl and mix well.
  4. Incorporate your Fleur de Sel with the vanilla mixture and mix well
  5. Spread on to an aluminum foil covered rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.  Turn the oven off after 30 minutes and let the salt cool down before removing it from the oven.
  6. Store in air tight containers.
  7. The flavor will intensify over time.

Recipe for Vanilla Fleur de Sel.

So, other than these ‘oh so decadent Chocolate Covered Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramels, what does one do with Vanilla Fleur de Sel? Vanilla Fleur de Sel is an easy gift to make for the foodies and cooks in your world

Well, you could use it for…

  • salted caramel
  • sprinkle it on roasted sweet potatoes, squash or carrots
  • sub out the smoked sea salt for your Vanilla Fleur de sel in these Dark Chocolate Pistachio cookies.
  • Have you ever grilled pineapple slices? Well…try a dash of your Vanilla Fleur de Sel over your grilled pineapple!
  • And while I’ve not tried it, I hear it’s quite tasty over pork and chicken!I love making gifts from my kitchen for the holidays. Vanilla Fleur de Sel is so easy to make but will be so appreciated by busy cooks this Christmas. One of three recipes for easy DIY gifts for cooks and foodies.

So…once I got on the flavored salt making train, I just couldn’t get off after one station. Hence…Rosemary Fleur de Sel…the second of our three DIY gifts for cooks.

Need a gift for the foodie or cook in your world? Make a batch of Rosemary Fleur de Sel.

Rosemary Fleur de Sel

makes 3-6 ounce jars

  • 4 TBS Fresh Rosemary (about 14 sprigs)
  • 3 TBS Kosher Salt
  • 9 ounces Fleur de Sel
  1. Preheat oven to 175′
  2. Pull leaves from Rosemary and mince…avoid getting the woody pieces
  3. Add minced Rosemary and kosher salt to bowl of food processor.  The small bowl with my emersion blender was perfect for this…I think this small quantity would get lost in a big food processor bowl.  Alternately, you could grind it with a mortar and pestle
  4. Once the salt and rosemary are incorporated such that it looks like damp, green sand, toss it with the Fleur de Sel
  5. Bake for 30 minutes then turn the oven off and let it set until cool
  6. Place in air tight containers once it is fully cool

Lovely jars of Rosemary Fleur de Sel...perfect for gift giving

Rosemary Fleur de Sel can be the finishing touch on just about anything because, well…Rosemary!

  • A fresh tomato with a sprinkle of Rosemary Fleur de Sel! Are you kidding me?
  • Sprinkle it over your grilled meats
  • Dust it over your veggies
  • What about over your popcorn? You are welcome!
  • Finish your omelet or scrambled eggs with a few flakes
  • Your roasted potatoes will be ever so grateful with a dashI love making gifts from my kitchen for the holidays. Rosemary Fleur de Sel is so easy to make but will be so appreciated by busy cooks this Christmas. One of three recipes for easy DIY gifts for cooks and foodies.

If you are going to gift…finish your jars with a lovely label and maybe a tag with all the delicious suggestions. Once again, my Cricut came in handy for these labels, as well as for the Vanilla Fleur de Sel labels.Rosemary Fleur de Sel...easy gift for foodies and cooks

And while completely unrelated to salty things, this next diy gift for cooks came about as I prepared a batch of Peppermint Bark for my daughter. She’ll be home for Thanksgiving and I want to send her back to school with some of her favorite snacks as she prepares for her finals.

As I spent way too much time peeling candy canes to chop them up, it dawned on me that my foodie and cook friends might really appreciate a jar of already crushed candy canes! AND…not for nothing…they may be more inclined to prepare batches of dark chocolate peppermint bark to send my way .Chocolate Peppermint Bark

(by the wayif you are reading this and thinking “Oh what a great idea! I’ll send Lynn some peppermint bark next week”..just a little reminder that I really don’t like White Chocolate…ugh! I mean…you could have a bowl of white chocolate sitting on my kitchen counter day in and day out and no part of me would be tempted to steal a morsel. Just saying! But dark chocolate…that’s a whole ‘nother story)Peppermint Sprinkles

But back to these little jars of pepperminty goodness, our third of the three DIY gifts for cooks!  I’d really feel a little silly writing a recipe for Peppermint Sprinkles; you unwrap candy canes and pop them in your food processor and turn it on.  I will say that you want to do it in small quantities or you will have some really fine sprinkles and some larger chunks.  Peppermint Sprinkles are a crucial ingredient for decadent Chocolate Peppermint Bark...and an easy gift to make for the foodies and cooks in your world.

Don’t they make you want to grab your apron and get baking? And not only can you use them on your Peppermint Bark, but…

  • Sprinkle it on your ice cream, with our without chocolate sauce (not sure who would have it without…but I hear that there are people like that)
  • Sprinkle over your brownies and chocolate cookies
  • A little dash in your hot chocolate!

The only problem I see with making all these treats is that your friends and family will start expecting you to up your game each year! Not to worry…we’ll noodle some more DIY gifts for cooks for next year.

Peppermint Sprinkles, One of Three ideas for DIY gifts from your kitchen for cooks and foodies.VERY IMPORTANT TIP! (you will definitely thank me for this one!) Pull those little packs of desiccant that come with your prescriptions and that are in many vitamin bottles and tuck a small one in the middle of your Peppermint Sprinkles.  It was a humid day when I did this and the sprinkles started getting sticky rather quickly. I put them in a jar with a pack of desiccant and it took care of the stickiness in no time.  I had 3 small packs so each of my jars has one tucked in the center of it. You are welcome..I love making gifts from my kitchen for the holidays. These Peppermint Sprinkles are so easy to make but will be so appreciated by busy cooks this Christmas. One of three ideas or easy recipes for DIY gifts for cooks.

Oh, and another TIP (wow…this is post is overflowing with wonderfulness today!)…when you make your Peppermint Bark, check out this post on tempering chocolate. You need to temper it if you want it to stay stable at room temperature.

So there you have it…3 pretty easy DIY gifts for cooks and foodies to get you started with your gift stash for the holiday.

If you are looking for more gifts from your kitchen, check out these:

Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today. Know that you are appreciated and that I welcome each and every comment that comes my way. If you want to make sure you don’t miss future content, pop your email in the beige box up on the right or click here.  I usually send out 2-3 emails a week, so I won’t inundate your inbox…believe me, I’m sensitive to an overflowing email inbox!

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Until next time…

Hugs,



4 Comments

  1. MrsSW

    November 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    What a fun post, Lynn! Almost makes me wish I had a reason to make some foodie gifts. 🙂
    LOL – the dollar store should have lots of small (pre-broken) candy canes after C’mas.

    Sheila

    Reply
  2. Claire

    November 8, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I’m intrigued by the vanilla salt, I’ve never heard or tried it before. I make vanilla sugar but I’ll have to give the salt ago.

    Reply
  3. Sam - Raggedy Bits

    November 8, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Oh, my goodness!! I just LOVE all of these goodies and know lots of people to give these too!! Thank you so much for sharing Lynn! You just finished all of my Christmas shopping!!

    Reply
  4. Sarah

    November 14, 2017 at 11:33 am

    This is a wonderful gift idea, I would even make them for myself. Great combinations to have in the kitchen.

    Reply

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