Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Holiday gifts from your kitchen to their hearts

In these days of tough economic times, homemade gifts not only make sense, they demonstrate a bit of extra love. The following are gifts from the kitchen that are always well-received.


I discovered this clever method of preparing a cookie gift jar when Paula Johnson of Christ The King Lutheran Church in Fallbrook created them to sell at the church’s annual bazaar. It is a unique gift and can be used with just about any cookie recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Layer in a wide-mouthed Mason jar or other large jar with a cap:

1 cup flour

¾ tsp. salt

½ tsp. soda (sift soda and salt with flour)

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 six-oz. pack of chocolate chips

Secure, then decorate cap with a swatch of holiday-themed material tied with ribbons. Attach a recipe card with the following information and a personal note.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Add to dry ingredients:

½ cup shortening

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla


Cream sugars, egg, vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix dry ingredients and add chocolate chips. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 min.


This relish is something that my grandmother Mary Hanner Bristol made for holiday meals.She did all the fine chopping by hand, but a food processor saves a lot of time. Packaged in an empty jam or jelly jar, it makes an unusual gift. The relish does need to be refrigerated.

Blend in food processor until finely chopped, but not pureed:

3 cups whole cranberries

2 oranges or tangerines (with rind)

1 lemon (with rind)

2 ½ cups of granulated sugar

Grandma Bristol said that allowing the mix to stand in the ‘ice box’ for a few hours will help blend and strengthen the flavors.


Packaging makes a gift more unique; and a homemade bread dough basket lined with a colorful cloth napkin or other flashy material makes a perfect nest for homemade cookies or candy. This basket recipe is from my high school friend Kathy Craig.


4 cups flour

1 cup salt

Add enough water to make the dough soft. Knead for 20 minutes. Take one-third of the dough, divide that portion in half and roll on floured surface with rolling pin, not too thin. Turn a glass cake or loaf pan upside down on a cookie sheet. Butter the outside of the pan. Cut two strips and twist to make the edge of the basket, then cut strips to create a lattice to drape over the pan to create the basket. Use a moistened fork to press the strips against the rim of the basket. Prick dough with toothpick to prevent bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Use holiday cloth napkin or other material to line bottom of basket before serving rolls or bread. Variation: Knead any color of food coloring or glitter into dough for a sparkly effect.


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