Homemade Gifts.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not super artsy.  So normally the thought of making a gift would scare me.  I give people thing I make practically every day.  In fact, when  I show up to work without something people ask, “Where is the food?”  But actually giving something as a gift, that scares me.  It means that it can’t taste/look/smell bad.  Normally if someone doesn’t like my food I think, too stinking bad – it’s free food!  But a gift, well a stinky gift is just rude.
My first attempt was salsa.  I didn’t exactly intend to give this as a gift but when I made Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Salsa I didn’t realize how much it would make!  It turned out so tasty and there was a mass amount of it, so I decided to give  canning a whirl.
I’m no professional canner but I made it work.
First homemade gift, jarred salsa… well I’d call it a success 🙂
Next up, homemade rosemary rolls.  I actually found the recipe for rolls in The Joy of Cooking and improvised by adding my own touch.
Preheat oven to 400°
You will need:
•2 cups bread flour
•1 TBS sugar
•1 package (2 1/4 tsp) quick rising active dry yeast
•1 1/4 tsp salt
Mix these ingredients in a large mixing bowl or in a heavy duty mixer.
I also mixed in some fresh rosemary for  some added flavor.
Next, add:
•1cup very warm water (115° to 125°)
•1 TBS olive oil
You can knead by hand or use the dough hook on low to medium until dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer dough to a bowl with enough oil to cover the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes.
In the meantime, slice about a half of a vidalia onion into strips and spray in a pan with cooking spray.  Cook at a low heat until they have caramelized and cooked down.
After dough has risen, punch down and allow to rise again for another 30-45 minutes until it has doubled in volume.
Cut dough into 12 even pieces and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 °.  At this time add the caramelized onions on top of each roll. Bake for about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.
I wrapped each roll in a plastic gift bag and tied some straw ribbon around.  I also cut a few holly leaves from a bush  in front of my house for an added touch!
Threw them all in a basket and hoped for the best!  And so?  I’d say another gift success 🙂
So maybe creating gifts isn’t so hard after all.  It helped that everything wound up tasting good.  And  if it comes from the heart that’s all that matters right?



20 thoughts on “Homemade Gifts.

  1. Canning is so much fun! I taught myself how to do it three summers ago. Who doesn’t love homemade jam? Especially when you can use locally grown berries. I’ve made PW’s salsa a few times, and wondered how well it would do being canned. Well, Allie, you just showed me. Nice job!
    PS (9 pounds down and well on my way.)

  2. Thanks, Allie. At the Foodbuzz Festival, I had this nagging feeling that I really needed to be more open to eating healthier foods– and that giving up my gourmet recipes wasn’t going to kill me. In fact, I knew that it would be better for me. You were a part of my inspiration, Allie. I read your story, you see. Being diagnosed with diabetes was the sledgehammer I needed. I’m destined to cook more ethnic foods with lots of flavor, and healthier. Plus, I’m an exercise maniac, once again. I do feel better, and thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Youre welcome! My friends were so excited about the salsa. It’s a great recipe so when you make a lot it’s awesome having some leftover for later! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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