homemade food gifts

Often times the best gifts are ones that are made and not bought. And since I have not one crafty bone in body, gifts from the kitchen it is! (Not everyone has the time to make thoughtful gifts, so if you aren’t Martha – here are my foodie gift guide & health obsessed guides.)

Last year, I made little gift bags full of cookies and treats, Citrus Salt, Pineapple Infused Vodka and fun vinegars and olive oils. I hope my friends and family enjoy this years gifts just as much as they did last year!

Here are some of my favorite ideas for homemade gifts this year!

Citrus Salt

Pineapple Vodka (need to start this now, it takes a few weeks!)

Lime or Lemon Cookies

Rosemary Olive Oil

Salted Maple Caramel Sauce

Lavender Bath Salts

Have any homemade gift links or ideas to share?

lost my cooking mojo


I’m not sure what the cause is, but I’ve kind of lost my cooking mojo.

I’ll blame it on the lack of natural light.

I’ll blame it on my hectic life – full time job, part time job, hobby, and planning a wedding.

I’ll blame it on the winter. It really makes going outside for pictures difficult. (2° F this morning!!)

I’ll blame it on my love of Punch Pizza take-out.

I’ll blame it on the lack of time for the Food Network.

But whatever the excuse, all I know is that I want it back. :(

The Taster and I are headed to Chicago today for a weekend full of family, a musical, some shopping and lots of food – I think it will be just the weekend I need!

I’ll see you on Monday – with my apron on. :)

Look for my last 2010 gift guide – homemade food gifts – tomorrow!

sweet potato latkes

I think part of me has always wanted to be Jewish. It started with a mild obsession with Anne Frank as a young girl, morphed into learning a lot about the religion while nannying and planning kosher menus and eventually led me to an interest in kabbalah. Now, exploring a culture or religion through food is my favorite way to learn more about it.

So on the sixth night of Hanukkah, the Taster and I celebrated (kind of) and we happily ate our latkes. And subsequently fell in love with them. I had to convince myself that making them the following night would be a bit much, but with one sweet potato left, I seriously considered it.

The crunchy exterior, the flavorful, mildly sweet interior are the perfect vehicle for a dollop of sour cream or apple sauce – be sure to try both – you might be surprised like I was!

Sweet Potato Latkes - 2 servings (about 10 latkes) inspired by Gourmet

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced (white part only – reserve green for garnish)
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/8 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil like canola (depends on size of pan, you want a decent layer of oil in the pan)
  • light sour cream
  • applesauce

Peel and shred sweet potatoes. Squeeze shredded potatoes with paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Add granulated garlic, garlic salt, onions, egg and salt & pepper.

Mix to combine ingredients.

Heat oil in pan. Form latkes with about 2 Tbsp of sweet potato mixture and place in oil. Gently flatten with fork. Cook for about 5 minutes until golden brown.

Flip over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with paper towel.

Serve with sour cream, apple sauce and garnish with green onions.

I have a feeling I’ll be making these again tonight, there’s a potato to eat you know.