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Edible Gift Ideas

Handmade gifts show your recipients that you care enough to invest time and effort in their presents. They often come across as more personal than store-bought gifts, and can be tailored to fit the recipientís taste. While there are several ideas for handmade gifts (for example, candles, bath salts, scarves and pillows), my focus is always on edible gifts.

Edible gifts are perfect for family, friends, neighbors, hosts, and colleagues. The closer you are with the recipient, the more able you are to personalize the gifts in light of allergies and other dietary restrictions, preference for sweet or savory, and absolute favorite treats.

Here are a few ideas for edible gifts as well as tips on packaging and presentation to get your creative juices flowing:

- Spiced nuts or homemade nut butters

- Caramel popcorn, chocolate covered popcorn, or homemade Cracker Jack

- Cakes or cupcakes (presented on an antique, classic, or seasonal plate, cake platter, or other serving dish)

- Cookies, barks, brittles, truffles (date truffles for the health conscious!), or other homemade baked good or candy, served in a recycled parchment paper, foil, or plastic wrap box (cover with a seasonal wrapping paper and seal with a festive ribbon)

- A jar of nice pasta sauce and lasagna noodles packaged in a ceramic or glass lasagna dish along with your favorite lasagna recipe)

- Infused olive oils, vinegars, and vodkas

- Scones, muffins, breads, or cinnamon rolls packaged in a basket with a pair of coffee mugs and a bag of local or store-bought coffee beans

- A specialty or gourmet item along with a suggested recipe using the ingredient (for example, truffle oil with a recipe for a roasted vegetable and truffle oil pizza or pasta, or hazelnut meal with a recipe for hazelnut pancakes or crackers)

- A formal invitation to a special home-cooked meal prepared and served by you

- A nice bottle of wine, a baguette, and a variety of cheeses (and possibly a pair of wine glasses so that the two of you can catch up and relax together)

- A food or drink reminiscent or symbolic of a shared memory

- Mason jars filled with a recipeís dry ingredients and affixed with instructions on how to prepare the item

- A favorite dish together with a cookbook that includes the recipe

All in all, have fun and be creative with your edible gifts. Your time and effort will be greatly appreciated!

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