Best Homemade Food Gift Ideas: Mother's Day

Be sure to make a double batch of cheese straws - you will want to eat ALL of this gift!
Be sure to make a double batch of cheese straws - you will want to eat ALL of this gift!

If your Mother is like mine, she always wants the same thing for Mother's Day: "nothing!" But I can never just come to her house on Mother's Day completely empty handed, so I love to make something homemade that she can display and enjoy.

When I think of Mother's Day, I think of a delicious brunch. So my favorite Mother's Day gifts are dainty, delicate foods that you can eat while still being ladylike. I like to pick pretty bottles and jars to display the treats and I have even been known to make customized labels on my computer to print out with the items name and a pretty design for an added special touch.

Infused Oil

This recipe works with any herb or spice pretty much – my favorite is the taste and look of fresh rosemary sprigs. It is great to use on pastas and even on a simple treat like popcorn! Make this in a small quantity, not a huge amount, because it is best as fresh as possible. Experiment with thyme, basil, oregano or chili pepper.


1 cup olive oil

6 sprigs of fresh rosemary


1. Cook olive oil and rosemary in a small saucepan on medium-low heat for about 5-7 minutes.

2. Take off heat and let cool.

3. Transfer the sprigs to a bottle or cruet and add the oil on top.

4. Seal and refrigerate for up to one month.

Lemon Curd

This is a Mother’s Day brunch special – whether you have toast, biscuits, scones or any other breakfast treat, this is a wonderful, light complement that reminds me of the springtime.


2 large lemons

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

4 eggs

1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Use zester or peeler to remove the zest of the lemons. Cut the lemons in half and juice them. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.

2. Beat the eggs and add in the butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix until combined.

3. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened – make sure to stir constantly. Pour lemon curd into jars and refrigerate for up to three months.

Cheese Straws

Being from the South, I have tried pretty much every versionof cheese straw there is, including my own recipes. But, the following recipefor spicy cheddar cheese straws is from TheCheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide written by Paula Lambert, a localcheese expert in Dallas!


8 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded (2 cups)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ teaspoons grated onion

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3 dashes Tabasco sauce

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (1/4 cup)


1. Place the Cheddar, butter, onion, Worcestershire, Tabasco,dry mustard, cayenne and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted witha steel blade. Process until combined and smooth. Add the flour and pulse justuntil the flour begins to disappear and the dough is in pea-sized balls; becareful not to overmix the dough.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Kneadit quickly and gently until the dough comes together. Divide the dough intothirds. Wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet withparchment paper.

4. Pat or roll each piece of dough into a rectangle about6x4x1/2 inches. With a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 1/2-inchstrips. Pick up each strip of dough, gently twist it like a corkscrew, and seton the parchment-lined baking sheet, placing the strips 1 ½ inches apart. Sprinklethe strips with the Parmigiano.

5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Letstand for 5 minutes, then transfer the cheese straws with a spatula to a wire rackto cool.

6. Serve, or store in a tightly covered container.

Pickled Green Beans

This is a favorite snack of mine and my mom loves anything pickled – I think I probably got it from her! The hardest part is waiting for the green beans to pickle after you have made them.


2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans

2 1/2 cups cider vinegar

2 tbsp pickling spice, in cheesecloth

2 cups water

1/4 cup salt

1 ½ tbsp whole peppercorns

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 bunch fresh dill weed

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1. Put vinegar, water, salt, peppercorns, pickling spice and garlic to a large saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove and discard cheesecloth and garlic.

2. Divide dill weed and red pepper flakes between each sterilized jar. Pack green beans into the jars so they are standing on their ends.

3. Ladle the hot brine into the jars, filling to within 1/2 inch of the tops. Discard garlic. Seal jars with lids and rings. Seal the jars and process in a hot water bath 15 minutes. Let pickles ferment for 2 to 3 weeks before eating.

Apple Liqueur

Like the infused oil, a flavored liqueur can be made with a variety of fruits depending on what your Mother likes. Experiment with different flavors and remember that liqueur can be used in desserts or other cooking, not just for drinking. This takes a couple months to completely finish, but it is a special gift!


2 1/2 pounds apples, preferable a sweet variety

2 cups vodka

2 cups brandy

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup water

2 cinnamon sticks

10 whole cloves


1. Cut apples into wedges removing stems and cores, put in an aging container.

2. Pour vodka and brandy over apples. Add cinnamon and cloves.

3. Cap and age in a cool place for one month. Strain and filter.

4. Combine sugar and water. Boil to make a simple syrup and then cool.

5. Combine liqueur and syrup into aging container and age for a month. Strain as needed.

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Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Great ideas! I will have to try some of these...Nice Hub!

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