Homemade Holiday Gifts!

We’re talking yummy homemade gifts with Chef Nancy:

Posted by Atlanta & Company on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Everyone needs a little gift to bring cheer to a party! Here’s how to solve the dilemma of what to bring that is fun to make and give  is a healthier than the typical holiday candy and cookies.


  • Think about where the host will place it, and when. Gift something that doesn’t have to be fiddled with like a dish that must be cooked immediately or something too large for the fridge
  • Write a note to let your host know who the gift comes from
  • Include any instructions necessary – like place in fridge or freezer

Spiced Roasted Nuts

  • 3 Cups Raw Cashews
  • 1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt

Scatter the cashews on a sheet tray and slide into a 400F oven. Set your timer for seven minutes. After the timer has gone off – check to see if the cashews are lightly golden. If so, remove from the oven and drizzle, (or spray) with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with garam masala and sea salt. They will crisp up as they cool, but are roasty-toasty good right from the oven. Try this recipe with any kind of raw nut and your favorite spice or spice blend. Almonds with smoked paprika and sea salt or Pecans with five-spice powder and sea salt are two of my favorites.

How to Get Invited Back: FIVE-Ingredient Refrigerator Tomato Jam

This “fridge” jam can be doubled or tripled and will keep in your fridge for a week – if it lasts that long! You can serve it up as an appetizer or as a condiment for something meaty like roasted chicken or pork tenderloin. It wouldn’t even be amiss on the holiday table siding up to the rib roast.

Dump all 5 ingredients in a wide bottomed sauté pan, bring it up to a boil, and then turn it down and get ready for the party. When you come back about 30 minutes later, scoop it up and place it in a pretty jar, tie a ribbon on it and add a note that says – “keep in the fridge, good for one week”. If you want to be really fun, add it to a bag that also has a log of goat cheese – it’s ready for your host to enjoy an instant app later in the week.

  • 2 (15 oz) Cans Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Jalapeño, Ribbed Seeded and Minced
  • 1/2 Cup Turbinado or Raw Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Sherry Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt

In a medium sauté pan, combine the tomatoes with their juice, jalapeno, sugar, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lower to a simmer and cook and stir every once in a while, for about 30 minutes. When the jam is thick, mash any large chunks to make it a little smoother. Serve as a condiment  for something meaty like a pork tenderloin or as a topping for goat cheese.

Holiday WINE Spice Blends

These easy-to-make spice blends guarantee that your wine will go well with your dinner!

ACTION: Christine and I will make each spice blend and then taste the spice blends on a Chicken Breast for the Chardonnay Spice and a Steak Skewer for the Cabernet Sauvignon Spice Blend along with a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chardonnay Spice

  • ½ Tsp Orange Powder (the major spice brands make this – its sometimes called “California orange peel powder”
  • ½ Tsp Ground Celery
  • ½ Tsp Lemon Thyme
  • ½ Tsp Dill Weed
  • 1/8 Tsp Sea Salt

Mix all the ingredients together. Store in a cool dark place and use within a year.

Cabernet Sauvignon Spice

  • ¼ Tsp Allspice
  • ¼ Tsp Fennel Seed
  • 1/8 Tsp Mace
  • ¼ Tsp Rubbed Sage
  • ¼ Tsp Smoked Sea Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Store in a cool dark place and use within a year.


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