5 Recipes To Try On Any Special Occasion


Hostess gifts

What’s your usual go-to present for holiday parties, bottle of wine?   Here are some delicious, homemade food that you can give as holiday gift for other’s dinner table.

These unique and healthy gift ideas are sure to wow your hosts and guarantee a return invitation.

1.  Apple Pear Chutney


This is amazing with cheese and crackers or spooned on top of a roasted pork loin.

Calories: 65


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds red apples, such as Gala, Braeburn or Rome, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 pounds firm-ripe pears, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup honey
4 2-inch pieces lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries


1. In a heavy 4- to 5-quart pot, warm oil over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients except raisins. Raise heat to medium-high; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most liquid has evaporated, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in raisins; let cool. Divide among 6 clean and dry 1 1/4-cup-capacity jars with lids. Keep refrigerated.

2.  Chili Lime Pecans


Chili powder, cumin, and lime zest give these pecans a tangy twist. This recipe makes a batch of 7 1/2 cups, so it’s perfect for big parties or to freeze and eat later.

Calories: 160


2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 cups pecan halves
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with a rack in center. Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites with 2 Tbsp. water until very frothy and thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in brown sugar until completely mixed in, then stir in pecan halves until coated.

3. Stir together chili powder, cumin and salt. Sprinkle over nuts; toss until well coated. Spread nuts in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, sprinkle with zest and toss to mix. Let cool, tossing occasionally to break up clusters.

3.  Spicy Rosemary Walnuts


Try packaging these nuts in cellophane bags or silver tins for a festive touch.

Calories: 181


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups walnut halves


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with a rack in center. In a pan, melt butter with rosemary, red pepper flakes and salt.

2. Spread walnut halves on a large baking sheet. Pour butter mixture over and toss to coat.

3. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

4.  Apple Pie-Spiced Pumpkin Seeds


These can be done in 12 minutes and make for a snack that’ll last all week.  You can even munch this as your afternoon snack.

Ingredients: Dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ground ginger, ground allspice, freshly ground nutmeg, ground cloves, unsalted butter, raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas

Calories: 208


1 1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas


1. Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.

2. In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Toast seeds in skillet, stirring often, until golden and beginning to pop, about 4 minutes. Stir in spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant and nuts are coated well, about 1 minute longer. (Watch carefully to prevent burning.) Immediately spread in an even layer on a baking sheet; let cool completely, stirring occasionally.

5.  Herbed Spiced Olives


Pair this extra-special gift with gourmet crackers.

Calories: 131


6 cups mixed unpitted olives
6 sprigs thyme, rinsed and dried thoroughly
6 sprigs rosemary, rinsed and dried thoroughly
6 2-inch strips lemon zest
6 thin lemon slices, with skin, seeds removed
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, optional


1. Rinse olives under warm water and drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Dry thoroughly.

2. Transfer to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, tossing to combine well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

3. Fill clean and dry 2-cup-capacity jars with mixture. Cover tightly and keep chilled for up to a week, then discard any leftovers.



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