Friday, December 24, 2010

Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

Last-minute gifts are usually crummy--but they don't have to be. Pretty much everybody likes treats, and a lot of people prefer homemade gifts (if only for the spirit of the thing).

Think about giving some delicious, homemade low-carb goodies. Just note that some people are sensitive to artificial sweeteners. Let them know if you've used that or any ingredients they might not expect.

No hidden carb fudge. I've made this, and it's fantastic. Easy, too. Recipe courtesy of the Blood Sugar 101 site, so this should be appropriate for diabetic loved ones, or anyone who absolutely has to watch their blood sugar.

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds. This sounds awesome, and it's highly rated. Substitute Splenda for sugar, 1:1. I just might make this tonight.

Homemade mayonnaise. An unusual gift, but my mother actually requested this. She needs a few spoonfuls of the good stuff because she doesn't want to use the lumpy, clumpy stuff from the store. She'll be pleasantly surprised to get a whole jar. Note--use extra light olive oil. If you use the extra virgin olive oil, it'll taste a little off. And I make mayonnaise in the blender, covering the top of it as best I can while it's mixing. It takes me about five minutes to make it. If you don't have lemon or lime juice, you can use vinegar, but to me, it's not quite as good.

Strawberry cups. I haven't tried this, but it sounds good, and it's by Dana Carpender. The recipe calls for putting it in cups, but you could put it all in one dish.

Cheese and wine. OK, not homemade, but easy, generally welcome, and in good taste. One of the best cheeses I've tried is raw goat milk smoked mild cheddar cheese made by Mt. Sterling. Some good wines: Mark West or La Crema pinot noir; white wine enthusiasts might enjoy Bex reisling from Germany, my favorite at a recent wine tasting.

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