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Topic: Gourmet Gift Basket Ideas?  (Read 1281 times)
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Freckles
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« on: November 08, 2004 04:35:45 AM »

I am making gift baskets with goodies for the holidays.  Any ideas on recipes that can be canned, or have long shelf lives that I can get started?  I began yesterday by making and canning apple sauce....
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Freckles
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2004 04:46:17 AM »

I made apple sauce this weekend, apples are prime, and inexpensive right now.
These proportions are for 6 pounds of apples (2  one-half peck bags )

Peel and core, and cut into wedges, just cover with water and boil for 5-10 until soft.
Drain, reserving water, mash with potato masher, blenderize some or all to make it smoother, I blendered 1/2 and left the rest really chunky.

Add brown sugar to taste, I added 1 cup, 1/2 to 3/4 would have been okay, if not brown sugar, the same amount honey, then add 1-3 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2-1 tsp of nutmeg and cloves.  Voila Apple Sauce

I posted this twice...don't be mad.
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2004 06:30:45 AM »

dunking biscotti
http://www.recipezaar.com/13139
They're so dried out, you'd only have to worry about moisture getting into them and making them soggy/soft. Make sure people are fully aware that they're for dunking or else you might end up with angry people with broken teeth!  Tongue
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2004 10:22:52 AM »

How about infused oils or jams or jelly (fun to make).
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Freckles
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2004 02:19:46 PM »

I found a great recipe for FRUIT RHUMBA (in a Family Circle circa 1976)

1 Can Pear halves, 1 can Apricots, 1 can Peach wedges, 1 can pinapple rings/or chunks and 1 jar marichino cherries

1 stick of cinnamon, 1 tsp whole cloves, 1 tsp allspice

Of all the canned fruits, drain juice in one bowl together.
Arrange all the fruit into steralized 1 pint jars, with cherries wedged into the pears.

Bring to boil 2 cups of this mixture, then add the spices, then let simmer for 5.  Fish out spices, you can sew them in a cheesecloth or muslin bag.
Add 1/2 cup dark rum once the heat is off.

Cover the fruit with the rum syrup, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Add lid, and store in the fridge for one week to steep the flavor.  Or process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.
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knitster88
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2004 06:33:24 PM »

dunking biscotti
http://www.recipezaar.com/13139
They're so dried out, you'd only have to worry about moisture getting into them and making them soggy/soft. Make sure people are fully aware that they're for dunking or else you might end up with angry people with broken teeth!  Tongue

mm i love recipezaar.

anyway. my aunt cans stuff ever christmas for our gifts, weve gotten salsa, cake in a coffe cup mixes ( i have no i dea how that worked, we got a cup, some stuff. you stuck it in the oven and bam cake in a coffee cup) we still have the salsa, havnt opened it, but it looks fine. maybe ill try some and let you know how it is.
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2004 08:30:13 AM »

What about making infused vodkas and other liqueurs?  Some only take a week or so to cure, some no time at all, and most of them have very long shelf-lives.  www.Recipezaar.com has a lot of recipes.  You could add cheese straws or crackers and spiced nuts and homemade cocktail napkins for a cocktail party-themed basket.

Spiced nuts (makes 2 cups, takes about half an hour.  These keep up to 2 weeks.):

2    tablespoons butter 
1    clove garlic, minced fine 
2    cups unsalted assorted nuts 
1    teaspoon chili powder 
1    teaspoon curry powder 
1/2    teaspoon sugar 

1.  Preheat to 330 degrees F.
2.  In a small saucepan, melt butter with garlic over moderately-low heat and remove from heat.
3.  In a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, spread nuts, drizzle butter over, toss well to coat and roast, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.
4.  Combine dry ingredients and sprinkle over nuts.
5.  Stir to coat.
6.  Continue baking 3 minutes longer.
7.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.
8.  Sprinkle with salt to taste.
9.  Let cool and transfer to airtight container.
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lutheranchick
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2004 09:43:57 AM »

The Ball canning book has special occasion recipes, like brandied apples. I think canning.com (or is it homecanning.com?) has good "gourmet" recipes.
Don't forget to add in some quick breads to spread the homemade jams on! You can freeze quick breads ahead of time and thaw for gift giving.  The same goes for homemade hummus-- it freezes quite nicely.
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msinformation
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2004 03:31:16 PM »

I don't know how big of a gift basket you want.  My husband's family exchanges little stocking stuffers instead of big gifts, so I'm planning on making hot chocolate sets.  I'm going to mix up some homemade hot chocolate mix, make some homemade marshmallows (assuming they come out alright) and then include those both with a cheap christmas mug.  It's simple, inexpensive, can appeal to almost everyone, and is almost complete ahead of time (except for the marshmallows).  I haven't made the marshmallows yet, but I assume they will last at least a week (?), and since I can cut them into small-ish pieces I should only need to make 2 or 3 batches which I can do in an afternoon.

Last year I also made spiced nuts, which went over well.  There are lots of kinds of spiced and sweet nuts, so you could make a variety of them if you wanted to offer a bit more substantial gift. 
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