Give the gift of food: Some tasty gifts that are easy and inexpensive

MILWAUKEE -- Give a sweater and it might not be their style -- but give something tasty -- and it will satisfy their taste buds. Chef Alisa Malavenda joins Real Milwaukee with some edible gifts that are easy and inexpensive to make.

Some ideas for tasty gift giving:

    Note: Be sure to include either the recipe or directions for serving as a personal touch.

    Also, a good idea to include if it has to be refrigerated or the shelf life.

    These are a few of my favorite things:

    You can copy these and print out the recipe cards to attach to your gifts.

    Recipe :Marinated Goat Cheese

    From the Kitchen Of :

      Cut goat cheese log into 4-6  pieces and roll  into balls. Pack all the  balls in a sterilized wide-necked jar. Sterilize by putting in boiling water and letting air dry . Cut chili in half, through the stalk or just add a pinch of pepper flakes.  Add chili, lemon zest, bay leaves, oregano or thyme and  fennel seeds to jar. Pour in olive oil to cover cheese. Seal jar and refrigerate until chilled at least 4 hours.

      Recipe: Olive Salad

      From the Kitchen of :

        Add all the ingredients to a bowl and toss well, cover and refrigerate overnight , giving it a stir occasionally. Place in sterilized jars and keep refrigerated. This is great to heat in foil in the oven and pour over cheese. Or just serve with some crusty toasted bread.

        Recipe: Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

        From The Kitchen Of:

          Mix all ingredients together and store in a sterilized jar under refrigeration. Use more or less of the v8 and the horseradish to desired spiciness.

          Recipe: Homemade Kahlua

          From The Kitchen Of:

            Mix water ,Karo syrup,  sugar and coffee crystals . Heat just until before boiling to make sure all the sugar has dissolved. Cool completely , Add vodka . Pour into large jar or bottle and drop in vanilla bean – if you want you could break it up in smaller bottles and cut vanilla bean accordingly. Cap. Turn the bottle once a week. Will be ready in 3-4 weeks.

            Recipe : Homemade Marshmallows

            From the Kitchen Of :

              Use a fine sifter, generously dust a 9x13 baking pan with powdered sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

              Combine the gelatin and ½ cup cold water in the bowl of a kitchen aide or electric mixer fitted with the whisk. While blooming the gelatin make the syrup.

              Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and ½ C water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until all the sugar dissolves.

              Raise the heat and cook until the candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees. About 8-10 min. Remove from heat and with the mixer on lowest speed along the side of the bowl, slowly pour the sugar into the dissolved gelatin.

              Turn the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick and fluffy, this will take at least 15 minutes.

              Add vanilla or other flavor and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into prepared pan, smooth it out and dust with more sugar mixture.

              Leave out overnight (uncovered) so it dries out.  Turn the pan up side down on a cutting board

              And cut into shapes or squares and roll them in more sifted powdered sugar. Store in a tight fitting container or in freezer.

              You can dip them in white or dark chocolate and also coat with peppermint candy or chocolate shavings for a fancy presentation

              Recipe: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix:

              From the Kitchen Of:

                Combine all the ingredients to blend well and put in an airtight, sterilized container.

                For other variations you can add a pinch of nutmeg or cayenne / chili.

                This will keep for about 6 months .

                To Serve: Place 2 T in a mug and add either hot water or milk just enough to mix smooth and then fill the rest of the way , stir and add marshmallows.

                Recipe :  Orange Cranberry Honey Compound Butter

                From The Kitchen Of :

                  Beat butter until fluffy . Add cognac if using . Add orange zest and honey and whip until combined and smooth. Add chopped cranberries and mix. On a piece of parchment paper . add butter and roll into a log. Tie the ends and Refrigerate

                  Recipe : Chocolate “Salami” Dessert

                  From The Kitchen Of :

                    Melt chocolate in a double boiler , until smooth .

                    Meanwhile chop biscuits and nuts , but not to fine as you want them to show up in your Salami.

                    After the chocolate is melted , let it cool a little ( not in the fridge ).

                    With a mixer cream , butter and sugar until fluffy , add eggs one at a time until well incorporated ( may look a little curdled , but it is ok. Add liqueur.

                    Sift the cocoa powder into the melted chocolate and stir . Add to the butter / egg mixture and blend well. Fold in the nut and biscuits until it is well incorporated and the cookies are coated.  Let it set in fridge for 15- 20  minutes and then place in the middle of wax paper or parchment . Roll in a log and refrigerate to set. Unroll and you can dust with icing sugar and use twine to tie like a salami .

                     Recipe : White Christmas Sangria

                    From the Kitchen Of :

                      In a saucepan combine 1 cup of wine with sugar . add cranberries and cook for 45 sec. right before they are ready to pop. Strain and reserve simple syrup. Add rosemary , cinnamon stick and ginger and set aside to steep the flavors.

                      Add the remaining wine, syrup , cranberries and remaining fruit.

                      Chill overnight . Garnish with sugared rosemary branch.

                      Recipe: Grams Foundation Gingerbread in a Jar

                      From the Kitchen Of:

                        Sterilize 6 ball jars and grease and flour.

                        Preheat oven to 350

                        Whisk flour , baking soda , spices and salt . Set aside. Beat together butter, molasses , sugar and egg until well combined. With the mixer on low add the flour mixture until smooth and then gently stream in the hot water. Pour mixture 2/3 way up the jars and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. While they are still hot seal the jars so they pop. These will keep for 1 week outside of fridge and 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

                        Recipe:  Easy caramel sauce for apples

                        From the Kitchen Of:

                          Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue to whisk for about 5-6 minute until it gets thicker. Add the vanilla ( you could also add a little bourbon  and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a sterilized  jar. Refrigerate until cold.