There’s something extra special about giving or receiving a homemade gift, made with love in the busy warmth of a friend’s kitchen. Here are some favorites from the team here at WOM in case you get a hankering to roll up your sleeves and produce something lovely and/or delicious from your own two hands.

Spiced Nuts

Great to add to a dinner party spread, or to give as a hostess gift.


  • 6 c nuts of choice—almonds or cashews work best (if you use salted nuts, be sure and reduce the salt called for in the recipe)

  • 6 T lime juice

  • 1 - 2 tsp Piment d’ville (to taste)

  • 4 - 5 T chili powder (to taste)

  • 3 - 4 tsp salt (to taste)

Toss the nuts in the lime juice. Sprinkle in the seasonings. Spread on a baking sheet (parchment
paper makes cleanup really simple) and bake at 250 degrees for roughly 45 minutes, or until done to your taste.

A Touch of Sweet

  • 4 c nuts—pecans and walnuts work well

  • 2 T butter

  • 3 - 4 T organic sugar

  • 2 T fresh chopped rosemary

  • 2 T orange zest

Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add nuts and toss well. Add sugar, rosemary, and orange zest and cook for 2-3 minutes. Spread out on baking sheet and let cool.

A South Asian Touch

  • 3 c nuts—pecans and cashews work well

  • 1 egg white whisked with 1 tsp water

  • 3 T organic sugar

  • 1-½ tsp garam masala (spice blend you can buy
    or make)

Mix all ingredients, spread on baking sheet (parchment makes cleanup simple), and bake at 300
degrees for 30 minutes.

hands kneading dough
holiday cookie cutters on dough

Salt Dough Ornaments

Super fun for kids of all ages, salt dough ornaments are easy to make. Pull out your holiday cookie cutters and acrylic paints, and mix up some dough with:

  • 1 c flour

  • 1/2 c salt

  • 1/2 c water (or more if needed)

Mix the dough, then move it onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Add extra flour
if it is sticky. Roll it to a thickness of 1/4” with a rolling pin, then cut out ornaments using cookie
cutters. Add a hole in the top of each with a drink straw, then bake at 250 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet. It can take two to three hours for the ornaments to dry completely. Flip them about halfway through.

Allow the ornaments to cool completely before glitzing them up with paint, glitter, and any other
fancy finds you might have around (I’m thinkin’ rhinestones, baby!).

Holly warning: decorative only. Not for eating.

Candied Citrus Peel

This recipe is crazy simple yet makes a delicious gift that you can almost pretend is good for you.

  • 10 various citrus—lemon, grapefruit, orange

  • 1 c sugar

  • 1 c water

  • Superfine sugar for coating

candied orange peel

Cut the tops and bottoms off each fruit. Peel the rind into long strips. Scrape off any excessive white pith which can turn bitter. Cut strips into uniform widths of 1/4" or so. Bring a small pot of water to boil, add peels and cook until tender. Strain peels and lay out on a wire rack to dry slightly. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until dissolved. Add softened peels and stir until syrup reduces, about 10 minutes. Remove peels and place on wire rack. Air dry. Sift superfine sugar over candied peels. Dry completely before packaging as a lovely gift.