yummy homemade gifts

by whitneyinchicago on flickr

I love the holiday season, but this year, for some reason, I’m even more into the whole Christmas thing. Tonight I’m having a cozy evening at home, baking peanut butter balls and spiced nuts, burning a Christmas Cookie candle I bought at Yankee Candle and listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas CD (great gift idea, by the way). And it’s only December 6th! lol!

I love making consumable gifts and over the years I’ve received some pretty scrumptious homemade foodie gifts as well. Here are the recipes for what I’m making tonight as well as recipes for some of the best consumable gifts I’ve received. They’re easy to make, luxurious and won’t break the bank:

Homemade Baileys

Homemade Vanilla

Spiced Nuts

Ingredients for Black Truffle Popcorn

Peanut Butter Balls



What’s your favourite foodie gift to give and/or receive?


Eating In: Spicy Lamb Dry Curry

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my boyfriend’s skills in the kitchen and promised to share his Spicy Lamb Dry Curry recipe. The dish is from the Chettinad region, which is close to where he grew up in the South Indian province of Tamil Nadu. If you really want to impress your dinner guests you can show off your Tamil and tell them they’re eating Chettinad Mutton Chukka Varuval. Some recipes require that you cook the lamb in a slow cooker, but this one skips that step, and I find it tastes great. It can be a kicker, so adjust the number of spicy chilies to taste.

Ebe’s Spicy Lamb Dry Curry (Chettinad Mutton Chukka Varuval)

Ingredients for 4 Servings

500 grams lamb leg, cubed
2 small onions, chopped
1/2 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 small green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
4 cardamom seeds, crushed
Pinch cinnamon


Heat 2 tbsp olive oil on high heat.

Sautée green chilies, garlic and ginger for about 2 minutes or until light brown.

Add onions and sautée 10 minutes.

Add spices and cook for two minutes.

Add lamb. Cook on high heat for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and very brown.

Serve with basmati rice and paratha bread.

Did you try this recipe? How did you find it?

Eating in: South Indian prawn curry

Not only is my bf as cute as a button, but he’s a fantastic cook as well. When we first started dating, he would invite me over and cook extravagant South Indian feasts. I’ll never forget the first time he made what he calls Spicy Lamb Dry Curry. He made sure to leave out a few of the hot peppers in an attempt to respect my North American (but still adventurous) tastebuds.

Still, two minutes after digging in, my face was red and my mouth was on fire. But I didn’t mind. I had my emergency tub of cooling yogourt to ease the pain while I savoured every last morsel of the dry-fried, tender lamb and basmati rice, all of which I shovelled into my mouth (yes, very attractive when you first start dating) with paratha, best described as a  flaky, rich flattened croissant.

I was too squeemish to got for the full experience of eating the entire meal with my hands (including the stewy shrimp and rice) as bf was doing and as is traditionally done in India. Maybe I’ll try it if bf takes me to India one day, but for now, I like my cutlery, thank you very much.

Bf doesn’t normally use recipes (‘it’s all up here’, he tells me) but I watched him one night and wrote down what I could. Here’s the shrimp recipe. I’ll post the Spicy Lamb Dry Curry another time. Enjoy!

Ebe’s South Indian Prawn Curry

Ingredients for 4 Servings

2 onions, roughly chopped
1/2 tbsp ginger, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb of peeled, deveined prawns
3 hot green chilies
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp each turmeric, coriander, garam masala


Heat olive oil in a non stick frying pan over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes.

Add onion and chilies. Fry for 10 minutes, or until all ingredients are soft and brown, stirring occassionally.

Cut tomatoes while holding them over the pan, to ensure all of the juices make their way in. Add tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Add spices and prawns and cook until pink. Salt to taste.

Serve with basmati rice and flaky paratha (we like the Shana brand).

What are your favourite Indian recipes?