Making Food Gift Baskets - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Nancy's Corner

Making Food Gift Baskets

Giving food baskets can be a welcome change. There are just times you don't really know what to give a person. They have enough "stuff" but you really want to give them something. How about a gift food basket? It's easy, economical, and everybody can use food.

A Taste of Italy

A nice spaghetti dinner is a welcome treat in most homes.  Young and old alike eat spaghetti.  Place a package of spaghetti pasta, jar or can of spaghetti sauce, grated Parmesan cheese and a loaf of French bread.  Don't forget to include fresh extras like mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic or onions.

South of the Border

On a cold winter's night a bowl of Taco Soup would be inviting.  In a brightly colored bag or cloth lined basket place an onion, 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, 8 oz. can tomato sauce, can of shoe peg corn or yellow corn, 14 oz. can kidney beans, pkg. taco seasoning, Tabasco sauce and tortilla chips.  Be sure to include the recipe that follows.

Taco Soup Recipe

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 oz.) can kidney beans (undrained)
  • 1 can shoe peg corn
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups water Tabasco sauce (optional)

Sauté ground beef and onion; drain.  Combine remaining ingredients in large soup pot.  Add beef and onion.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. Yield:  8 to 10 servings

A Quiet Evening for Two

Something special for a couple would be a wine and cheese basket.  Place a couple of kinds of cheese, a nice bottle of wine (or nonalcoholic champagne), French bread, assorted crackers and a pair of nice wine goblets or champagne flutes into the basket.

Southern Home Cooking

Red Beans and Rice are sure to be a hit when you need a break from rich holiday foods and just want some good ole southern cooking.  Include red beans (either canned or dried), rice (regular or instant), onion, garlic, cornbread muffin mix and bread sticks.

Soothing Sips

For the person who truly enjoys a cup of something warm to drink try a beverage basket.  Include hot chocolate mix, coffee, specialty creamer, miniature marshmallows, teas and a couple of oversized mugs.   You may want to put in a couple of flavored stirrers.  Simply coat the bowl of a plastic spoon with chocolate by melting the chocolate and letting it set on the spoon.  When used to stir the coffee or hot chocolate it melts into the warm drink for an extra special treat.

Sweets for the Sweet

There are some who just can't get enough sweets.  For these folks give a basket with the recipe and makings for a favorite cookie, cake, candy, or other dessert.  Don't forget to include a sample of the sweet so they will know what to expect.  It will also be a nice treat to enjoy while they make more for their family and friends.

Don't Have Time to Make A Food Basket?  Buy a gift certificate from a grocery store.  Include a note that it is to help with holiday meals or help make a trip to the grocery store a bit more fun.  The certificate may just be what is needed to have a few extras they may normally not buy.

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