363. Heinens 4pm Panic: Homemade Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen

Home Newsroom 363. Heinens 4pm Panic: Homemade Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen

With Christmas coming up next week, “4PM Panic” is not just a mealtime phenomenon. There are parties to prepare for and thoughtful gifts to be found and it’s a comfort to know that some of the simplest solutions are as close as Heinen’s Grocery. Whether you’re shopping for neighbors, friends, school teachers, bus drivers, coaches, servers, hair dressers, secret santas, (and the list goes on), there are plenty of ingredients for homemade gifts found right in Heinen’s aisles. With a little festive wrapping, these gifts from the kitchen are just a few of our favorites…

Freshly Baked Bread

A fresh loaf of cranberry orange bread or banana bread is always a nice gift.  Add a jar of homemade jam, kitchen towel, and simple wooden spoon and spreader to make the gift of baked goods extra special.

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Homemade Jam

Fresh jam is easy to make and will be a wonderful addition to any gift.  And doesn’t everything look better in a mason jar?

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Shortbread Cookies

We love jars! They are the perfect container for just about everything. Who wouldn’t love a jar of bite sized shortbread cookies. You can get my favorite shortbread cookie recipe here. These are citrus shortbread and they are coated with flavored sugar that is equally easy to make in any flavor.

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Flavored Sugars

Flavored sugars are simple. They are perfect for topping cookies and cakes, adding to coffee, rimming holiday cocktails and more.

  • 1 pound turbinado sugar in the raw
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded.
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau orange flavored liquor
  • optional, rind of one fresh orange.

Mix all ingredients well and store in an air tight container. Every once in a while give the container a good shake to mix. Store for one week before gifting. put sugars in small glass jars with air tight lids.

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Flavored Sea Salt

Similarly, you can flavor sea salt with endless combinations to add extra flavor to both savory and sweets. Our favorite is Sea salt with fresh lavender and lemon zest. A bit of this on top of your fruit pies just before baking gives them a surprisingly delicious layer of flavor. Personally I love to give and receive unique food items to experiment with.

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Olive Oils or Flavored Vinegar

A bottle of wine has been the go to hostess gift for a long time.  Why not change it up with a bottle of good olive oil or flavored vinegar?

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7. Heinen’s Ready-made Gift Baskets

There are several gifts you can put together in your own kitchen but if you need something assembled and ready to give, Heinen’s has you covered with a selection of pre-made gift baskets in a variety sizes and price points. Heinen’s even has hand soaps bath gels, candles and more.  Not sure the individual taste’s of the hostess? How about a boxwood arrangement, Poinsettia or fresh holiday flowers.

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These are a a few of my favorite gifts from the kitchen, but Heinen’s also create their own list of recommended gift ideas:

  1. Santa loves cookies – so number one on our list is Ohio made “Servatii’s butter cookie tray (large tray – $26.99)
  2. As the song goes – a bottle of Red and a bottle of white – Our favorite picks for the wine lover is a French white burgundy- Grand Cru Corton Charlemagne and the red we love is Frank Family Vineyards Reserve – 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.
  3. Trio of Olli (brand name) Italian salamis
    Plus a wedge of Heinen’s aged Parmesan Reggiano
  4. A Root Candle (made locally in Medina) is perfect for anyone on your list and available in many different sizes and fragrances
  5. Flowers are always in style and appreciated. Try an orchid planter (or seasonal planter)
  6. A six pack of locally brewed beer for the craft beer lovers on your list
  7. If you’re an overnight guest bring breakfast items like – Stonewall Kitchen pancake mix, jams and Sugar Chalet’s Bourbon Maple Syrup
  8. Classic champagne is a great gift for anyone – we carry over 20 varieties of bubbles and especially like G. H. Mumm
  9. A pre-made Heinen’s gift basket – “Our Favorites Basket” – a collection of sweet and savory gourmet items.
  10. Heinen’s Own Beef Tenderloin – who wouldn’t love to have this amazing cut of beef.

And talk about a gift that keeps giving!  Have you heard about Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards™ program?  Sign up for free to receive exclusive weekly specials via email and earn Heinen’s rewards.  As a Tasteful Rewards™ membership benefit, Heinen’s will donate up to 1% of your qualified purchases made between September and April to a local school of your choice through their Teaming Up for Education Program. CLICK HERE to sign up for Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards™ and, trust me, this is one email that will always please your palate!


Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography.  She regularly shops at Heinen’s for the family dishes she features via Table and Dish on Instagram and on her website at  TableAndDish.com.


Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meatheads) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.

Heinen's Grocery Store in Barrington, Illinois

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