A virtual cooking class on wheels, the RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little known RV locales then creates a healthy, easy destination-related RV recipe in host Evanne Schmarder's RV kitchen. Tune in to our RV TV...it's always delicious!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fast Fabulous Food Gifts From My RV Kitchen

Whether you're looking for a fabulous gift for your foodie friends, a delicious hostess gift that stands apart from the crowd, or a tasty treat to serve at your gathering or dinner party, these homemade food gifts - direct from the RV Cooking Show kitchen - are sure to please. Not only are they unique and personalized but they are fast to prepare and easy on the wallet.

Package these food gifts in pretty containers, add a ribbon, and a handwritten "how-to" card and you've got yourself something you'll be proud to give and the recipient will fondly remember.

From savory to salty to sweet, take a look at these four simple recipes, add a few items to your grocery list and get ready to give the gift of flavor!

Herb Vinegar

Makes one bottle

1 bottle of white wine vinegar (I like Star brand...pretty bottle) generous handful of store bought fresh herbs - choose from or mix and match - thyme, oregano, basil, opal basil, rosemary, sage, tarragon, chive flowers, lavender – organic is always best. You can even add peppercorns, peeled garlic, chili peppers, lemon zest, or cinnamon sticks, etc. 

Rinse and dry herbs. Remove plastic shaker top from the vinegar bottle and pour about a half-inch of vinegar into a glass bowl. Feed the herbs into the bottle - gently bruising them as you go, cap, shake, and note the herb/herb-spice combo on the bottle. Set aside and allow the flavor to meld at least one week before using.

How-to card: This (type of vinegar/herb mixture) vinegar is delightful in salad dressings, marinades, combined with oil for bread dipping or drizzled over steamed vegetables or broiled fish/meat. Enjoy, you lucky dog you!

More details on how to make herb vinegar in this RV Cooking Show blog post.

Tamari Almonds

1 pound shelled raw almonds

2 T tamari soy sauce

Spread almonds in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes or until the almonds are brown and toasted. Careful, don't burn them! 

Place hot almonds in a large bowl and pour tamari over them. Stir well to coat.

Return almonds to baking sheet allowing the almonds to soak in the tamari and cool.

How-to card: These crunchy, slightly salty, and thoroughly addictive nuts are perfect for parties, picnics, and backpack snacking. Good and good for you!  

Watch me make delicious Tamari Almonds and learn about some of my favorite kitchen gadgets in this "From the Vault" RV Cooking Show episode.

Gourmet Flavored Salt

Let your imagination run wild with this RV kitchen gift using a general recipe of 1/4 c sea salt - fine to coarse, your choice - and 1 teaspoon of each flavoring. To help get the flavor ideas flowing, consider the following:

  • dried lemon zest and finely chopped rosemary
  • smoked paprika
  • roasted and ground Szechuan pepper
  • Chinese 5-spice or garam masala
  • dried ginger and ground kefir lime leaves
  • 1/2 oz. dried and ground porcini mushrooms
How-to card: Use this delish (herb/combo) flavored salt as a finishing salt, sprinkled over your dish to add an extra and unexpected pop of flavor! Get crazy, be adventurous, live a little!

Visit this Rosa's Yummy Yums blog post for more flavored salt ideas as well as food pairings. It's a beauty to behold, as well.

Haute Fudge

Makes 2-3 cups

6 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
3 oz. unsalted butter - cubed
1/3 c light corn syrup
1 c sugar
1 c water - boiling
2 t pure vanilla extract (can substitute mint, rum, banana, etc. extract)

On very low heat, melt chocolate and butter. Stir to combine chocolate/butter mixture and add corn syrup, sugar and boiling water. Stir well making sure everything is completely blended.

Gently boil 8-10 minutes - without stirring...and I mean it! - until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla or other flavored extract.

Pour into half pint (1 cup) jars.

How-to card: Will keep in refrigerator for several months...but good luck with that! Heat servings in microwavable bowl or cup. Serve over ice cream, poundcake or as a dip for bananas or strawberries.

Watch me make Haute Fudge, check out some of my favorite chocolatiers, and learn about some very romantic RV escapes in this "From the Vault" RV Cooking Show episode.

Fast Fabulous Food Gifts Make Giving Fun

Enjoy making and giving these easy, delicious, homemade RV kitchen gifts of food. Fast, simple, sensational...there's so much there to love.


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