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Gifts from the Kitchen

Help your child create homemade goodies and simple packaging for memorable gifts friends and family will love.



Looking for the perfect present? Look no further than your kitchen cupboards and you’ll find much inspiration. A cherished cookie, candy or bread recipe that you make might become an annual tradition, packaged simply in plastic wrap and a pretty ribbon. Try cello bags for cookies or decorate Chinese food takeout containers. Experiment with repurposed items like jars and small boxes, too. Include a recipe card as part of the gift for a special touch. If you’d rather not cook, purchase a jar of homemade jam or local honey from a farmers’ market for a special gift. You’ll be supporting local farmers and spreading the word about their products. Following are two recipes to try that require no cooking: Orange-Clove Pomanders and our Brownies in a Jar.


Making your own gifts is a fun project to share with your kids. For a low cost, and a little creativity, you can turn jars, bottles, pieces of fabric, paper and ribbons, and pantry staples into colorful, holiday offerings filled with the most important ingredient: love.




Brownies in a Jar

1. Take your favorite brownie recipe and layer the dry ingredients in a large wide-mouthed canning jar creating a striped affect by alternating the sugar, cocoa powder and flour. This is the brownie mix.


2. Write a recipe card or label with the recipe directions and attach to the jar. Your label or card might read like this:


Makes 1 dozen


1. Heat oven to 350°F.


2. Grease a 9-inch square pan.


3. Whisk brownie mix in a bowl.


4. Stir in ½ cup melted butter, 3 eggs beaten and ½ teaspoon vanilla.


5. Spread in pan and bake 35 minutes. Happy Holidays!


Making your own gifts is a fun project to share with your kids.


Orange-Clove Pomander





For each pomander you will need a thin-skinned orange, approximately 24 inches of ribbon and a few handfuls of cloves, depending on the pattern you want to make.


1. Cut a piece of ribbon long enough to make an “X” around the orange and tie with a bow. Use hot glue or a pin to fasten if necessary.


2. Poke the long portion of the cloves into the orange skin in any pattern you like. Try lines up and down or fill the entire orange. The cloves will begin to absorb the orange oil and the scent will be pure holiday.


3. Give it as a gift with instructions, hang the pomander or place it in a bowl to display. It will eventually dry out although you can boil it before discarding to enjoy the scent one more time.




Written and photographed by Hillary Black



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