Gifts from the kitchen, Do Ahead Gift Ideas

Give yourself a little gift this year and take a day to do some advance prep for your holiday meals and gifts.

jar gift Collage

Instead of buying gifts or baking goodies for your neighbors and friends, why not re-think this a little and give them things that you can make now, before the holidays start closing in on you~


Do you like Everything bagels?  It is easy to make an “everything” seasoning to use on breads, eggs, pasta, salad, or everything!


Put equal amounts* of dried minced garlic, onion, poppy seeds, kosher salt and sesame seeds in a jar and shake to mix.  *Decrease garlic if you want a less intense flavor

everything seasoning mix

Add a cute label and a ribbon


or use a cupcake paper to decorate the lid

spice jar wrap up

Tie on a little spoon for an extra touch.  Done!

rosemary salt

Flavored salts, are so easy to make and they are great for hostess gifts, neighbors and friends.  Orange, lavender and paprika make wonderful finishing salts* as does a Mediterranean mix.  Rosemary Salt is my favorite this time of year, it is wonderful on everything.  [see below for recipes]

They mix up in minutes, all you need is a cute little jar and a tag and your gift is made, wrapped and ready!


I found these little jars at Hobby Lobby.

gift wrap idea

For the above seasoning gift, I bought large jars of Smokehouse Maple Seasoning at Costco and divided it into smaller spice jars.  I tucked the jars into mini buckets with a small kitchen towel and added a gift tag made on the computer.  The mini buckets were in the $1 bins at Target and the towels were 4 for $5.

Another great gift is a flavor infused oil, like Garlic Oil with thyme

garlic oil with thyme

You can find cute cruets at World Market, Pier 1, Sur la Table, even the grocery store.  Also, has everything under the sun!  To see spice jars from Amazon, click here.  To see cruets click here.  Check Target too, they are starting to carry a wide selection of Ball jars.

This mustard sauce would be a wonderful gift for anyone during the holidays, it goes perfectly with ham, pork or turkey

mustard sauce

Store the sauce in jars in the refrigerator for several weeks.  DD’s MIL shared this family recipe with me and HH loves it!  Thank you Sally!  For the post on making this Mustard Sauce click here

And for the BACON fans on your list, make them some bacon jam!  Bacon jam will keep for 4-5 weeks in the refrigerator.  Be sure to date your perishable jars~

bacon jam

You make it in a slow cooker.  It’s very delicious on grilled chicken sliders and makes a killer BLT~

bacon jam chicken sliders

and stirred into scrambled eggs~

eggs with bacon jam

For more information, recipe ideas and photos for making Bacon Jam, click here

Here are the recipes:

EVERYTHING SEASONING for a printable version click here

1 T dried minced onion

1 T dried minced garlic  [reduce if you want a milder flavor]

1 T poppy seeds

1 T sesame seeds

1 T kosher salt

Mix together and put in a jar.  Shake well to combine.  Use it on toast, breads, eggs, salads, pasta, everything!


* a finishing salt is simply a special salt used to season the dish once it’s cooked

FLAVORED FINISHING SALTS  for a printable version click here

4 cups coarse sea salt, divided

1 T orange zest
1 T organic lavender
1T smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried basil or 1 T Italian seasoning

In 4 small bowls, put 1 cup of salt.

Season with one with orange zest.

Season one with culinary lavendar

Season one with paprika

Season one with garlic, oregano, basil or Italian seasoning

Mix each salt well and pour into small jar with a lid.
Label salts with suggestions for use:
Orange:  chicken, vegetable, spring pasta, seafood , eggs

Lavender: lamb,[rub on before cooking too] salad, avocado tomato

Mediterranean: use in Marinara, on roasted potatoes, veggies, meat

Paprika:  potatoes and grilled meats


ROSEMARY SALT  for a printable version click here

1 cup  coarse sea salt

1 cup fresh rosemary leaves

3 cups Kosher salt

Combine coarse sea salt and rosemary in a food processor and process in short bursts until rosemary is about the same size as the salt crystals.  Mix in together with the Kosher salt in a large bowl.  Combine thoroughly and divide into small jars.   Makes enough for 8 4 oz jars.


SALLY’S FAMOUS MUSTARD SAUCE  click here for printable version
This recipe was generously shared by my son in law’s wonderful Mom, Sally.  It’s delicious!

1 T Butter
1 Egg
3 T Granulated sugar
3T Prepared Mustard (regular or brown)
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 cup Vinegar (regular or cider)

Melt butter & set aside.
In small bowl, with rotary beater, beat egg, sugar, mustard and paprika.
Add vinegar and beat again.
Blend into cooled butter.
Cook, stirring over low heat, just until thickened, about 5 minutes.

This recipe makes about 1 cup, or one 1/2 pint jar as pictured above.

Sally said she usually makes 2 or 3 batches of this for our Thanksgiving Ham and Turkey dinner, and to send some home with the family.  Keep any leftover sauce in a sealed jar in the fridge.


SLOW COOKER BACON JAM, adapted from Martha Stewart     for a printable version click here

1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup brewed coffee

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.

Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.  Makes about 4 cups.  Recipe can be halved to make 1 pint jar.


I am going to be making a lot of these treats in the next few weeks to give and to use for our family.  I will have some more “everything” recipes coming up soon too!


The Tablescaper

Alderberry Hill

Uncommon Designs

Between Naps on the Porch

The Gunny Sack

Memories by the Mile

Clean and Sensible

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Easy Life

Posed Perfection

Love Bakes Good Cakes

Rattlebridge Farm

16 Responses to “Gifts from the kitchen, Do Ahead Gift Ideas”
  1. Liz Mackie says:

    Thank you and have a great weekend! 

    >________________________________ > From: the Painted Apron >To: >Sent: Friday, November 8, 2013 3:02 AM >Subject: [New post] Gifts from the kitchen, Do Ahead Gift Ideas > > >the Painted Apron posted: “Give yourself a little gift this year and take a day to do some advance prep for your holiday meals and gifts. Instead of buying gifts or baking goodies for your neighbors and friends, why not re-think this a little and give them things that you ca” >

  2. Jacqueline says:

    What a great collection of ideas and your presentations are wonderful. I always like getting food gifts early in the month. It gets crazy and nothing is appreciated as much if it all comes on Christmas Eve.

  3. Mary says:

    Love the little chalk labels on your gift jars Jenna! The holidays always sneak up on me no matter how well-intentioned I am 🙂

  4. Mmmmm! This looks yummy! These would be perfect gifts for the office white elephant party that I never have any idea what to bring!!!

  5. Linda Nortje says:

    Excellent collection ! I think most of my gifts will be from the kitchen this year and your recipes come in very handy at the right time 🙂

  6. What great ideas and what cute packaging too! I can’t wait to try the Bacon Jam! Great post!

  7. Miz Helen says:

    What great recipes, I just love giving gifts from my kitchen, and people love getting them. Thank you so much for taking the time during this busy season to share your wonderful post with Full Plate Thursday. Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. Thank you for sharing. These are great – especially the flavored salts.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Everything Seasoning is a welcome addition to any kitchen, make up a big batch, put it in  jars, […]

  2. […] You can also make your own, see the easy recipe for Everything Seasoning here […]

  3. […] to make your own Everything Seasoning click here […]

  4. […] It’s easy to make your own, see recipe here […]

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