Gifts from the Kitchen: Meal in a Basket

Posted by the Mom (aka Kelly Biedny)

If your looking for a way to spread the joy of cooking this holiday, why not give the gift of a meal! We’re not talking a restaurant gift card here, we’re talking a Meal in a Basket (or other container of your choice). The cool thing about these, is that you can customize them to the person you’re giving them to–if it’s for a pizza lover, a pizza basket; for pancake lover, a breakfast basket, etc.

Another thing about these, if you are a coupon shopper like we are, you can plan ahead and get many of the items for the baskets at great prices. The ‘baskets’ don’t have to be baskets either, you could use a tray or a box wrapped in gift wrap–be creative!

Here are some of the Meal in a Basket ideas we’ve come up with:

Spaghetti Dinner Basket:
Along with ingredients like those suggested below, make sure to include your favorite pasta sauce recipe. You could also include a jar of your own homemade sauce, and instructions for how to prepare the meal.

  • Spaghetti Noodles
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Italian Herbs
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • French Bread
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic

Pizza Party Basket:
With this basket, you can include recipes for any homemade items you include, along with instructions for the crust if it’s a make-it-yourself from a recipe type. Just remember if you include things that need refrigeration, well, you’ll need to store it in the fridge before delivery.

  • A box of pizza crust or a jar with the dry ingredients for pizza crust
  • Pizza sauce (homemade or from a jar)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza fixings you know they’ll like (Pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives, etc.)
  • Bread sticks
  • Salad in a bag

Chili Basket:
You can include whatever ingredients are appropriate for the recipe you include with this basket. If you decide to include a meat-chili recipe, you don’t have to include the meat, just point out the need for it in the recipe you include.

  • Canned tomatoes (home canned or from the store)
  • Chili and/or Kidney Beans
  • Onion
  • Chili spices (whatever our recipe calls for)
  • Cornbread muffin mix (your own mix or a packet from the store)

Pancake Breakfast Basket:
If the person you’re giving this to prefers waffles, include a waffle mix instead. Make sure to include the recipe with additional ingredients and instructions.

  • A jar filled with the ingredients for homemade pancakes
  • A bottle of real maple syrup
  • A couple other bottles of fruit flavored syrups
  • Some pancake add-ins like: Chocolate Chips, Bananas, Blueberries
  • Some Fruits for Fruit toppings: Strawberries, Blueberries, Bananas
  • Any other pancake topping your giftee might like

Veggie Soup Basket:
Again with this one, include veggies that match the recipe you include.

  • Chicken, Beef or Veggie Stock
  • Veggies for the soup: Carrots, Potatoes, Onions, Beans, Peas, etc.
  • Noodles, rice, barley, if your recipe calls for it.
  • A loaf of homemade bread (or a store bought bread that goes well with soup)

Stir-fry Basket:
For this one, include the stir-fry veggies you know the recipient will love, here are a bunch of different things you could include, but limit the actual thing in your basket to those that match the recipe you’re including.

  • Stir-fry Veggies: Broccoli, Onions, Colored Peppers, Snow Peas, Green Beans, Water Chesnuts, Carrots, Asparagus….the list goes on
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ginger
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Rice
  • Noodles

Dessert for Dinner Basket:
Who doesn’t like dessert for dinner? For this one, you can either include ingredients for recipes, or do some baking and include your treats and the recipes you used in the basket. Here are some dessert type ideas…just in case you couldn’t think of any yourself ;D

  • Ice Cream Sundae – Chocolate Syrup, Carmel Sauce, Fruit Sauces, Nuts, Sprinkles, Whip Cream, Ice Cream Scoop
  • Brownies – A homemade brownie mix with add-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, caramel
  • Cookies – A couple of homemade cookie mixes and the recipes/instructions for them
  • Cake – A homemade cake mix with frosting/filling (homemade or storebought) and decorating ‘stuff’

These are justĀ  few ideas, use your imagination and we’re sure you can find the perfect combination for those on your holiday shopping list!

Happy Holiday Cooking Everyone!

Kelly, Alex and Sophia

P.S. For gift ideas for the little cooks in your life, check out ourĀ  2011 Gift Guide now!

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Chris Downs Says:

    I like the way that you are teaching children about their food. Have you thought about teaching them to also grow some of the smaller items to raise their interest in gardening or farming? I loved to pick fresh onions, strawberries and of course tomatoes from the garden. My Mom and Grandma would plan our evening meal around what we were picking that day. Except for the fact that some days there just did not seem to be as much produce from the garden when we brought it in the house. It also always linked t the fact that us kids were also not as hungry for supper that day!

    If you would like to use some of our ideas, you can go to hisfarm.org and look for some inspiration for your children. Maybe their parents also.

  2. the Mom Says:

    Chris,
    I just checked out your site….lots of great info! And, yes, we actually are currently in the process of expanding our site to include information on kids and family gardening and crafts, too! I’ve subscribed to your email list and I’m sure we’ll be using your site as a reference in the future.

    I actually grew up on a farm of sorts. Although my dad is a teacher, every summer we had a HUGE garden (seriously…HUGE). My siblings and I grew up on fresh produce and we know all about the product ‘loss’ that happens from picking to getting to the house (fresh peas are my favorite!).

    Thanks for sharing your site and for stopping by!

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