Stories / Recipes

How to Get All Your Gifts at the Grocery Store

D.I.Y. presents to wow your friends and family

Erin Silva

December 18, 2018


Nine-Spice Mix from The Palestinian Table (Photo: Dan Perez)

It’s said that giving is better than receiving, but homemade presents offer the opportunity to make a little extra for yourself and have the best of both worlds. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up recipes that are easy, fun, and will go way beyond “it’s the thought that counts.” Here are nine ideas for delicious gifts you can make at home for your loved ones this holiday season.

Preserved Lemons
Requiring only salt and lemons, this easy project yields a versatile and refined ingredient that is perfect for seafood dishes and North African cuisine, and guaranteed to make any home chef feel like a professional.

Nine-Spice Mix (pictured above)
This authentic and easy-to-make spice mixture is key for achieving “a uniquely Palestinian flavor” in your dishes, according to Reem Kassis, author of James Beard Award–nominated book The Palestinian Table.

Garlic Vinegar
Andrea Nguyen, James Beard Award–winning author of the Pho Cookbook, shares this insanely simple recipe for garlic vinegar, which she says adds “a wonderful, delicate, bright note” to pho, noodle dishes, and just about anything needing some acid for balance.

Curry Paste
James Beard Award winner Abe Conlon’s restaurant Fat Rice is famous for its intriguing intermingling of cultures and cuisines. In this recipe, he crafts a homemade curry powder that will last in the pantry for months, and is perfect for the curry lover eager to experiment in their home kitchen.

JBF Award Winner Dorie Greenspan's Coffee–Cardamom Cookies (Photo: Davide Luciano)

Molasses BBQ Sauce
We all know that one person who stands by their grill through rain, sleet, or snow—why not make their day with a jar of this homemade barbecue sauce from Boot Camp alum Tanya Holland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen cookbook? It’s sure to run circles around their store-bought collection.

Seasonal Fruit Jams
Making jam is a tasty way to prolong the life of fresh fruit, and James Beard Award winner Emily Luchetti is here to walk you through this classic and delicious method for reducing food waste.

Coffee-Cardamom Cookies (pictured above)
Spice cookies have a certain seasonal appeal and taste great with a hot cup of coffee, but combining the coffee and spice in this recipe from James Beard Award winner Dorie Greenspan will make your cookies stand out alongside the ubiquitous gingerbread and molasses options.

Brownie Krinkles
For the chocolate lovers on your list, this recipe from JBF Award winner Mindy Segal combines the rich flavor of brownies with the chewy texture of a cookie, resulting in an unforgettable treat.

Limoncello Liqueur
This sweet, citrusy liqueur is a classic after-dinner drink and the perfect handmade gift for anyone looking to expand their home bar.

Hungry for more? View our entire recipe collection.


Erin Silva is media intern at the Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram.