Cliona Elliott,

Editor (Food)


A bit strapped for cash? Struggling with original gift ideas this Christmas? Sometimes you needn’t look further than your kitchen cupboards to create the perfect gift. Too often we end up buying gifts in a panic or because we have no idea what our loved ones would like. Homemade treats are great for putting a bit of love and originality into presents and will be sure to please the taste buds!

Chutney is delicious with cheese, or spread it on a sandwich and it turns into a pleasantly cheap and easy gift idea. You can make it sweet with mango or for those who like spice, tomato and chili is a great combination. They’re really easy to make – it’s a case of chucking the ingredients together in a pan and simmering for an hour. What’s also great is that chutneys will last for up to six weeks.


If you want to make something special, fudge is a very simple and tasty recipe. Like chutney, it’s simply a matter of heating ingredients together until thick and pouring into a tin to set. You can add rum, raisins, chocolate or whatever you fancy, and can put the fudge into a cute box – an excellent gift idea!

Chocolate Truffles


If made well, homemade truffles can be tastier than the chocolate purchased from a shop. You’ll only need good quality chocolate, double cream and butter (with a choice of liqueur) to make the actual truffles, and you can also roll them in pistachio nuts, coconut or chocolate powder for a fancy finish. Put the truffles into mini-cupcake cases and a fancy box for a simply but very impressive Christmas gift.



Image sources: Wikicommons