If you are running out of ideas for gifts this Christmas and you have a foodie in your family, we have put together some gourmet food gifts to give you some ideas.
Honey for your Honey
Local farmers markets carry a diverse selection of food products made and produced by locals. Cross Creek Honey from Interlachen produces local raw honey and sells it at the Riverside Arts Market, Fernandina Beach Farmers Market, Grass Roots Natural Market and The Market on Granada Street. Local raw honey can help seasonal allergies, asthma and boost your immune system. www.crosscreekhoneyco.com
Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: Spices, Sauces and Preserves
Other finds at local markets are jams, hot sauces, olives and pickled goods. Vendors like Evil Seed Sauces, Olive My Pickle, Jane’s Kountry Kitchen and many others can be found at weekly markets in Riverside, Fernandina and Neptune Beach. Spices can be a fantastic addition to a home chef’s tool chest. Specific spice blends work well with different meats and vegetables, so going to a store that knows all about different spices would be prudent. All Spiced Up in San Marco offers a wide selection of spice blends to suit any meal. For a wide selection of local vendors visit www.riversideartsmarket.com
Can’t go Wrong with Chocolate
Fantastic Fudge in Fernandina Beach offers some of the best local fudge for that perfect holiday treat. The smooth and creamy marble slab fudge has been a staple of Fernandina for the past 25 years. They offer a variety of styles for all types of taste buds. www.fantasticfudge.com
Along the same lines, Peterbrooke Chocolatier offers a variety of chocolate gift baskets to satisfy the nutty, the creamy and the dark chocolate lovers. They have locations all around the First Coast, from St. Augustine to Fernandina with many in Jacksonville. www.peterbrooke.com
A Cup of Joe to Warm the Soul
Last, but not least, local coffee roasters who sell beans by the bag give the coffee connoisseur in your life an exotic way to start the morning. Bold Bean Coffee Roasters has two locations in Riverside and Jacksonville Beach, where they sell their freshly roasted beans. www.boldbeancoffee.com
Pura Bean Coffee Co. sells their locally roasted coffee at RAM every week and the City Café in San Marco. www.purabeancoffee.com
Want to make the most of your holiday leftovers, without boring your family with turkey sandwiches every day? Here are some suggestions to try!
Totally Awesome Turkey Burritos
Drain a can of black beans, and heat it in a saucepan with 1 cup of your favorite salsa. Add shredded turkey to the mix until well-heated. Cook a pot of rice. Build a burrito bar with grated cheddar, sour cream, fresh sliced jalapeños, sliced limes, salsa, and flour tortillas. Enjoy!
Cranberry Cream Cheese
Great for spreading on toast for breakfast, or a quick snack on a cracker. Mix your leftover cranberry sauce with cream cheese in a mixer on slow, mixing it well. You can add as much cream cheese as you like, until you reach a good spreadable consistency.
Stuffing, Sunnyside Up
Take two cups of leftover stuffing and make into 2 patties, similar in shape and size to a large burger. Take a large frying plan and melt two tablespoons of lightly salted butter. Put the patties in the pan and cook until golden brown on bottom. Flip, and then crack an egg over each patty, and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until eggs set.
Sweet Pumpkin Carrot Squares
Adapted from SparkPeople
Yield: 48 Squares
Cook Time: 1 hour
Only 71 calories per serving, the bars are sure to put a smile on even the most ghoulish face at your Halloween party.
-2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup Earth Balance (or other butter substitute)
-2 large egg whites
-1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin pie filling
-2/3 cup finely shredded carrot
-Cream cheese topping:
-4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 tablespoon skim milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 15 × 10 inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. In a larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar, brown sugar, and Earth Balance until crumbly. Add the eggs, egg whites, pumpkin pie filling, and carrots. Beat until well blended.
4. Add the flour mixture and mix until well blended. Spread onto greased pan.
5. To prepare cream cheese topping, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and milk until thoroughly blended.
6. Drop teaspoons full of topping over pumpkin batter and swirl and cut mixture into batter with a butter knife.
7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Cool in pan completely on wire rack before cutting into squares.