I make my friends holiday gifts every year. But every year, I have to dig around for new ideas. Last year, I made brown sugar bath scrubs and the year before, I made subversive cross stitch art (with sayings like "Homo Sweet Homo" and "Please Kill Me").
But this year, deciding what to make was easy! Because one of my favorite vegan cookbook authors, Joni Marie Newman, came out with her awesome Vegan Food Gifts book just before the holidays. After much dog-earring and deliberating, I settled on the following gifts for my friends and family.
The last chapter of Vegan Food Gifts is dedicated to homemade booze, so I knew I'd be making lots from that section. People love booze gifts. I made Vanilla Mint Vodka infused with vanilla bean and mint leaves:
And Homemade Kalua (vodka infused with vanilla bean and coffee grounds for 30 days):
I also made vegan Irish Cream, but I failed to photograph it. It had to be stored in the fridge, so I forgot to pull it out when I was shooting these pictures. And my friend Greg, its recipient, has the bottle now.
My mom looked through Vegan Food Gifts on our road trip to Atlanta VegFest in November, and she made it quite clear that she wanted the homemade Classic Margarita Mix and Lime Salt:
A few of my friends don't drink (gasp!). One is preggo, so she's excused, but the others are just teetotalers for no reason. It seems weird to me, but I respect their strange ways, so I made some non-booze gifts. My preggo friend Shay and my yoga-loving friend Lara (who does drink but only wine and not very often) got Roasted Garlic & Peppercorn-Infused Olive Oil:
And my never-had-a-drink-in-his-life-even-though-he's-42 friend Mike and my brews-her-own-beer-but-doesn't-drink-it friend Leslie got soup mixes — Cheezy Potato for Mike (made with nooch, veggie broth powder, and potato flakes) and Masala Soup Mix for Leslie (lentils, quinoa, rice, and masala spices):
Oh, and Vegan Food Gifts includes little recipe cards that you can copy and print and attach!
I also made Instant Vegan Mac & Cheese Mix (for Sheridan and Stephanie). It's made with cashews and nooch. And I made some Chipotle Ranch Dressing Mix (just add Vegenaise or sour cream!) for Steph:
Some friends also got a box of Saltine Toffee (saltine crackers cooked with butter and sugar and topped with chocolate and nuts):
(Others got jars of my homemade hot sauce, but it's not pictured here because it's my own recipe. You can find that here).
The best part? I made myself a jar of everything too! You know, for quality control. Anyway, all of Joni's food gifts were delicious and very well-received. I'll probably be making more stuff from this book next year since there's plenty more ground to cover.