Cynthia Ferris-Bennett: Gifts from the kitchen

The holidays are right around the corner and the seasonal shopping frenzy has begun. What a perfect opportunity to head to your kitchen and create some unique and edible gifts for family and friends. Folks truly enjoy receiving a gift that is thoughtful, homemade, and tasty.

One of the most popular seasonal classes at Sierra Chef is “Gifts From the Kitchen,” offered for both children and adults.

This year’s Gifts From the Kitchen classes offered homemade culinary gifts such as peppermint bark, gingerbread Bundt cakes, mulling spices, gingerbread houses, hot chocolate kits, cookie in a jar, cranberry orange compound butter, and fresh refrigerator berry jam just to name a few. The point is … get creative. Presentation is everything when making your homemade gifts. Add ribbons, a handwritten card, photos — make it fun and personal.

Even if you are not the world’s greatest cook you can still pull together a culinary masterpiece that will be enjoyed by all. Start with deciding your theme. This is one of our favorites: gourmet pasta dinner wreath.

Start with…

Green Garland Wreath

Floral wire


Glue gun


Faux flowers

Seasonal decorations

Wooden spoon

Bag of pasta

Spices and herbs

Pasta Sauce

Wrapped holiday candies

Handwritten recipe

Start by securing a hanging loop on the back of the wreath. Be sure to make it strong as the wreath will have some weight to it once all the items have been placed.

Flip the wreath over so you are working on the front. Wrap floral wire securely around the lid of the Pasta Sauce and tie it to the bottom of the wreath. This will give the proper weight to your wreath. Temporarily place the remaining items on the wreath until you like the placement.

Once you are happy with the item locations begin to secure them to the wreath with either the floral wire and/or glue gun. Glue the holiday candies in place. When all items are placed you will then wiggle the ribbon throughout all the items and finish with a bow at the top.

Don’t forget the final touch of a handwritten recipe or note tied to the bow.

Sierra Chef wishes everyone a lovely and safe holiday season.

Cynthia Ferris-Bennett is the owner of Sierra Chef Gourmet Market, Bakery and Cheese Shop in Genoa.

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