Uh-oh. Crunch time has passed for holiday shopping, but there are still a few people on your “nice” list. You’re afraid you’re out of time and money. But, no need to worry, you’re not quite out of options just yet.
When all else fails–or you want to give something especially heartfelt–you only have to go as far as your kitchen to cross off the rest of your shopping list.
While nearly every food and cooking magazine offers ideas for homemade gifts, these five are some of easiest to make and wrap–especially since you’re running out of time.
1. Quick-and-Easy Dip Mix. Taste of the South magazine’s quick recipe relies heavily on your spice rack, but you should have most of these ingredients on hand. There’s no cooking involved–just mixing–giving you time to work on the presentation. (Note: Don’t forget to include the directions for preparing the dip, which are printed in the magazine.)
2. BBQ Rub. This sweet and spicy rub from Cooking With Paula Deen combines Montreal steak seasoning, brown sugar, paprika and kosher salt–and that’s it. Simply mix, store in an airtight container and present to your favorite grill master. Be sure to let him or her know that this has a shelf life of about two months.
3. Infused Vodkas. No need to turn on the oven for this idea from Martha Stewart Living either. But it will take a few days for your chosen flavor (tangerine, vanilla-cardamom, or pine and juniper) to stand in the liquor before it is strained to remove the solids and gifted.
4. Cider Sachets: OK, so there is some “cooking” involved here, but this suggestion from Food Network Magazine only requires the microwave. These sachets with their blend of orange zest, cardamom, peppercorns, allspice, cloves and cinnamon sticks soaked in apple cider will brighten closets and drawers with their seasonal aroma.
5. Chocolate-Almond Bark With Sea Salt: No homemade gift list would be complete without something sweet on it. And while this DIY treat from Bon Appétit requires cooking, it doesn’t take long. You’ll have to caramelize the almonds and melt the chocolate before playing the waiting game until the mixture sets in the fridge.