Festive Season Roundup: Homemade Gifts!


You can run but you can’t hide – it’s time to celebrate! September till the end of 2013, we are going to be running on 4 hours of sleep, wearing the finest and eating to be “polite.” With Ganesh puja, Navratri, Diwali, Christmas, New Years up and coming, you’re going to need a handy gifting guide. Because you should never go empty handed, I have a list of few things that are easy to make and make you very popular. Now, you’re RSVP ready!

#1 Chocolate Cinnamon Wontons

The old picture doesn’t do justice to just how many times this recipe has been made. It’s a lifesaver. I always seem to have a stash of wonton sheets in my freezer (I’ve discovered a dual use – they’re great as roughly torn and baked to use in place of chips for a dip or cut into strips and deep fried in salads) as well as good chocolate. What’s more is, you can make them and serve it alongside an assortment of ice-cream to round off your fancy dinner party if you aren’t attending one. They’re equally well received by adults and kids, although when it comes to dessert the line is blurred really.

#2 Moutabal


Moutabal is universally recognised as one of the greatest dips in the world. Or should be anyway, because it is just that good. Even those who don’t like eggplant will be double dipping their chips and forever be in your debt. It is a breeze to make and if there were to be a contest at said party for best dip, this one would easily wear the crown for easiest to make and so good to eat. Roasting the eggplant is easier than it sounds. I simply use tongs and roast it over open flame on my gas hub. You could also use the broiler setting in your oven. Then, it is pretty much the standard dip procedure – dump all contents, blitz and serve. They’re exceptionally good alongside fattoush salad.

#3 Fiery Guacamole


You know you got the party started if you bring Guacamole. It’s only common knowledge. This is just like any other recipe, except it uses tiny bird’s eye chilli for something fierce. It doesn’t even need a blender or anything – just a very ripe avocado and a sturdy spoon. It also makes really good leftovers – scooped and spread on toast with your morning tea.

#4 Nutella Oreo Pie

Nutella Oreo Pie is the reason some people might still be friends with me. I think. The bonus is that it’s egg free and you can make it the night before, taking the stress out of baking etc. It’s also fridge set so there’s no need for oven involvement. I like making it in individual tart dishes but you can always make it in a large pan for easy party sharing.

#5 Cake


Forget raindrops, roses and rainbows. Cake is my only favorite thing. This one is simple, sweet and lightly adorned with warm ganache and a generous sprinkling of grated chocolate making it adaptable to any or all occasions. Nobody says no to chocolate cake and if they do, would you really want to be hobnobbing with them? Just to mix things up once in a while (when I’m not restricted to egg-free baking), I also like to make this simple custard scented cake with a simple, tangy cream cheese glaze. If you are attending a grown-up party then my Kahlua pound cake is it.

Happy celebrating!


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