Clutter Free Gift Giving – Bon Appétit Basket

I put a lot of time into finding gifts for people. I really feel like a gift should be heartfelt and useful to the recipient. I’d like to focus my next couple of posts on gift giving that is resourceful, useful, and won’t contribute to clutter. Hopefully, you’ll find inspiration to make your gift giving meaningful.

Bon Appétit Basket
This idea would be perfect for a bachelor/bachelorette, busy mom, or even someone who tends to order take-out often. You are giving a ready-to-prepare meal for a couple that would appreciate a night of stress-free dining at home.
To begin, select one of your favorite recipes that won’t require a lot of perishable items. Ideally, you want to provide an entire basket of ingredients minus the protein.
Include a recipe card to hang from the basket. For an experienced mommy, you could simply sketch out a general outline of your recipe, but remember to give very specific directions to a beginning cook.

Here is an example from my kitchen.
Roasted Red Pepper Chicken in Vodka Sauce
For this recipe – please purchase 1lb of chicken thighs or chicken breast.
Included in the basket:
1 jar of Vodka Marinara Sauce (I use Trader Joe’s but Classico also has one)
1 jar Fire Roasted Red Peppers (again, I use Trader Joe’s but most supermarkets will carry)
2 cloves Garlic (include a head of garlic or even minced the jar for an inexperienced cook)
½ large red onion (include the entire onion in the basket)
Olive Oil (include a small bottle)
McCormick or Trader Joe’s Sea Salt grinder
McCormick or Trader Joe’s pepper grinder http://tinyurl.com/yhpn4cq
Whole wheat pasta

Instructions/Recipe
1. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken
2. Heat 2-3 tbsp’s olive oil in large sauté pan on medium heat.
3. Add chicken to the pan once the oil is hot (remove pan from heat while adding the chicken to avoid the oil splashing)
4. Add 1 cup diced onion and 2 cloves minced garlic to the chicken pan, cook until chicken is browned on both sides and onions are translucent approx. 8-10 minutes, turning chicken once.
5. Drain the roasted red peppers and cut each pepper lengthwise so it lays flat.
6. Place one pepper over the top of each piece of chicken in the sauté pan.
7. Poor the jar of vodka sauce into the pan and simmer until chicken is cooked through, approx. 10-15 minutes.
8. Cook pasta as directed on the packages while chicken is simmering.

Serve either in a large family style pasta bowl with the pasta on the bottom, or scoop one serving of pasta on to each plate, top with chicken, red pepper and sauce. Serve with a green side salad or Cesar salad, and a warm loaf of bread. and you have a complete meal.

All of the contents and including the container are useful. The gift shows your thoughtfulness and creativity. What will this inspire you to do for the special people on your holiday list?

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