Sunday, December 5, 2010

Local Holiday Gifts and an Easy Gluten-Free Oat Bar Recipe

Local Holiday Gifts

Why not help out a local farmer or artisan, keep the money in Austin and give a great gift this holiday season?

Here are some of my favorite homemade and local picks. 

1. Gift certificates to local restaurants or coffee shops (especially those who source ingredients locally) like FoodHeadsFino, Foreign & Domestic, Uchiko or Uchi or Texas French Bread or Hyde Park favorite Antonelli's Cheese Shop

3.  Marie Louise Butter Brownies in Schnoman flavor. This little brownie is made with a little peppermint schnapps and love. Or, try a cake ball snowman from local Bird's Nest Bakery and pair it with Zhi Tea's Cacao Chai (available at Breed & Co.) or a membership to Zhi Tea's organic tea club.

4. Pottery made by local artisans at Clayways, affordable and so unique

5. Shop on and shop locally to find amazing handmade gifts like ornamentsChristmas stockings, gift tags, jewelry, aprons, soaps and candles and baby and kids' gifts without leaving your house

6. Donation to the Sustainable Food Center, Slow Food Austin or Slow Money Austin. Your money supports local farmers and gets fresh food to those who need it and helps reconnect people with the food they eat

7. Gift baskets from Confituras or Greenlings 

8. A basket with all the ingredients to make a Pear Noel and some Austin born Tito's vodka would make a great hostess gift. It might be a good idea to have on hand for a party, too!

9.Weekend breakfast basket with Kerby Lane Pancake Mix (available at local Kerby Lane locations, Central Market and Wheatsville) and some really good maple syrup OR a basket of local baker Bona Dea's muffin, pancake, scone and oatmeal cookie mixes (available at Wheatsville and Whole Foods or mail order) for your gluten-free friends and family.

10. Don't forget your pet! Shop at locally owned Bark & Purr or Olive Green Dog and find something special for the one in your life that loves you no matter what. Be sure to ask for which products are made locally. 

Gluten-Free Oat Bars

Ready for the easiest recipe yet? 

1. Buy some Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour at Central Market or Wheastsville and follow the directions on the back of the package.  

2.Pick a favorite jam from one of the vendors at Austin Farmers' Market like one from Confituras at the Austin Farmers' Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays who sources their ingredients from local farmers. 

Flavors include cameo apple & rosemary, fig & walnut, cranberry & tangerine, pear, sage & honey and salted caramel butter or use one of your own. We used some peach preserves that we made this summer from the amazing peach crop at Vogel Orchards in Fredericksburg. 

3. Enjoy all at once, store extras in an airtight container, or wrap some up for gifts. 

Do you have any local favorites to give for the holidays? Be sure to add a comment below!

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