Anytime anyone gives you a gift, no matter what, it is to be treasured and appreciated. When someone goes to the effort to think about a gift shop for the gift have it delivered wrapped or delivered to you in addition to spending resources or money on it what time it truly is a gift from the heart. So, whether a gift is purchased, made or a service of ours, they are gestures of kindness and love. There are times when you see the perfect gift in the store or online and sometimes the perfect gift might be something that you make.  When it comes to Christmas gifts, I have done both. 

Making Bircher-Muesli (recipe below and full story on a previous Marvelous Monday on my RECIPES Page here on

     Should you decide on gifts of food, here are a few ideas and tips. Now remember, these gifts do take time, so if you are short on time, these might not be gifts to consider for this season.  However, for a Birthday or another special occasion at a later time, maybe they would work for you then. Here we go…

  1. When a container is needed to place the item in, include the container as the gift as well, buying new from the grocery store or otherwise.  Or using disposable ziplock freezer bags so that the items could be stored in the freezer if necessary for use at a later time.  (Tell the recipient that the container need not be returned, and always wash prior to use and take tags of).
  2. Find out if the recipient or any family members have any food allergies.  Unless I know nuts are not a problem I omit them and if applicable, I send a little zip close bag of nuts to be added if desired.  
  3. Consider refrigeration if necessary if the recipient will not be going home right away, unless you are delivering the gift.  
  4. Make sure you follow all cleanliness rules in preparing food as in washing hands, hair pulled back all utensils adequately cleaned. etc.
  5. Place your idea in a sturdy little shopping bag with a card with any direction for the dish or item and a list of ingredients, or text/email to them is nice.  

Ideas for Gifts of Food

Pancakes and Good Maple Syrup

     One year I made Orange Pancakes, let them cool on a wire rack and placed them in freezer bags.  I purchased bottles of Maple syrup and gave it with the pancakes as gifts.  Since the pancakes were in the freezer bags the neighbors could use them immediately, warming them in a toaster or they could freeze them until they were needed.  I placed both the bag of pancakes and the little bottle of maple syrup in a small brown paper shopping bag tied with pretty ribbon and a card attached with my ideas of how they could be used.


-2 eggs whisked until fluffy 

-2 cups unbleached flour

-2 teaspoons baking powder

-1 teaspoon baking soda

-3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

-1 teaspoon salt (I like sea salt)

-1 cup plain Greek yogurt (any variety)  

1/4 cup milk (any variety is good, I use skim)

-1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter melted

-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest


Pour the frothy eggs into a large bowl.  Sift in 1 cup of flour, then the baking powder, baking soda and salt then sift in the final 1 cup of flour.  Stir to combine the mixture and add the yogurt, milk, butter, vanilla and orange zest until smooth.  Heat a griddle, (I use a Griddle) or sauté’ pan over medium high heat.  Add a little unsalted butter, or spray with a non-stick cooking spray, depending on your preference or pan.  Pour about 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake onto the heated surface.  Cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles form and the batter is set.  Flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook until the other side is also golden brown, about another 2 minutes.  Cook remaining batter, applying more butter/cooking spray as needed.  Keep pancakes warm until ready to serve.

How About a bag of Protein Balls? 


1 1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup peanut butter (or almond or cashew butter)

1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup

2 scoops protein powder (I use either chocolate or vanilla)

2 Tablespoons dark chocolate chips

2 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

Optional: Dried cherries or walnuts 1 Tablespoon each


  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl to combine. Stir with a spatula. It may take a little time to break it all down and get it to blend in. If necessary, knead with your hands to get mixture blended.
  2. If you feel the mixture is too dry, add a teaspoon of water or almond milk at a time to blend ingredients. This will vary depending on the variety of peanut butter you use.
  3. Once blended, use an ice cream scoop, a watermelon scoop or you hands to roll into balls with your hands.
  4. Place balls on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer for a couple hours.
  5. Store in an air tight container or ziplock bags. If giving as a gift, choose a container that need not be returned. These may be stored in the fridge to be used for about a week or in the freezer for about a month. I like to take these on the go when I’m in a hurry, like on my way to the gym or heading out for errands in a plastic zip lock storage bag.

Bircher Muesli

I like to add additional fruit when serving.

   I just made a few batches of this, this past week.  Containers were purchased from the grocery story.  The second batch I made, I was not sure if recipients had a nut issue so I chopped the walnuts and placed them in a sandwich bag. If giving a gift that is messy, make sure a lid fits properly or that a bag will not leak.


-2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

-1 cup strained/Greek yogurt

-1 cup of your choice of milk

-2 apples grated 

-1 cup fresh blueberries washed and dried with a towel or paper towel

-4 Tablespoons dried fruit (dates, cherries or apricots)

-4 Tablespoons chopped pecans (if you do not have a nut allergy)

-1/2 banana, sliced, as a garnish, on top

-1/2 cup of fresh strawberries for garnish

-maple syrup to drizzle atop before serving (about 1/2 teaspoon per 



  1. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl or container except for strawberries, bananas and maple syrup.  
  2. Stir, cover and store in the fridge, over night or a couple of hours. 
  3. Spoon into bowls, add strawberries and maple syrup.  If necessary, add additional milk to cover oat mixture before adding garnish ingredients, or to your liking.
  4. Adjust recipe to fit your favorite ingredients or ingredients you are not allergic to. 
  5. Store in the fridge covered for a few day and enjoy as a meal or a quick snack.

Additional Food Ideas to give as gifts…

  Of course there are your favorite quick breads, like your family Banana Bread recipe.  Often I will bake Cinnamon Bread, Brioche or Honey Bread to give as a gift.  Sometime giving the recipient the bread sliced makes it easy for them to place the bag of bread in the freezer and take out a slice as needed, if you feel this would be a good idea based on the recipients needs. Or a gift of bread either from your kitchen or the bakery with a good jam (either store bought or yours), can be a very welcome gift. Cookies of any kind, my favorite being the cutouts, are a welcomed gift on a plate or in a box. Lastly, depending on the size of gift needed or who it’s going to, who doesn’t like a ham? Lots of good gifts to consider. Next week, food to have on hand for the Holidays for yourself or if you are having guests at your house. It’s good to have good food on hand for them to help themself.

No matter what you decide to give your gift will be thoughtful and appreciated making for someone to possibly say when they see it, or shortly after…Or…consider my book, It’s a Great Day To…Gather Around a Table available here on my website or on amazon. It’s a Great Day ❤️ 


P.S.  If it just isn’t a year for you to spend time making a gift, consider a cookbook, either your favorite or mine.  Message me for a signed copy or order one off of my website.


Food for Thought (or Gift)