Book Review & Giveaway: Gifts from Your Kitchen by Deborah Nicholas

I’m so happy to be able to draw your attention to this lovely book which the publishers, How To Books, have sent for me to review. I am very keen to keep it for myself actually, but I feel like long-suffering readers deserve a little treat from me, given my slightly sad blogging record recently…!


Gifts from your Kitchen is just the thing for this time of year, when you are racking your brain thinking about sweet little gifts for neighbours, teachers, friends and family, that don’t cost an absolute packet. The great thing about all of the ideas is that they are often just a little bit out of the ordinary, and they always have that ‘mmm, what a treat’ quality, that’s so important for home made gifts.


The author is Deborah Nicholas, of the lovely blog, Country Heart and Home, which is also a great source of inspiration and ideas – you can also find her on Facebook at the Gifts from your Kitchen page.


The book is divided into eight sections – Biscuits and Cookies, Cakes, Sweets, Bags, Jars, Bottles, All Sorts and Packaging Ideas – just the chapter headings give you an idea of the variety of  possibilities here. Some of the stand out ideas are Banoffee Bites, S’More Bars, Mini Rose Meringue Kisses, Homemade Herbal Tea, Sweet and Salty Caramel Nuts, Raspberry Gin, and Sicilian Orange and Wheatgerm Soap…  If that doesn’t get your mouth watering (apart from the soap obviously – although that does look good enough to eat!), then you have more will power than me! I shall be photocopying the recipe for Sweet and Salty Caramel Nuts before this book leaves my house…


I particularly like the chapter on packaging, because I think this is where the books stands out among other homemade Christmas gift books. I know from my own experience that it is too easy for packaging to really detract from the deliciousness of the contents. I am totally at a loss with cardboard, ribbon and gift tags, but armed with the brilliant instructions here (there are loads of photos), I think that even I could produce some stylish gift boxes.  I’m beginning to change my mind about giving this book away now….

….oh, go on then, it is nearly Christmas after all…

The Giveaway

All you need to do, to be in with a chance of winning a copy of this book, is to leave a comment on this blog post, telling me your favourite Christmas bake or crafted treat if you like (shouting ‘PICK ME!’ is another option), before Tuesday 11 December. I will announce the winner on 12 December, and promise to have the book in the post to the winner asap, so you might have chance to use it before the 24th….


62 thoughts on “Book Review & Giveaway: Gifts from Your Kitchen by Deborah Nicholas

  1. I always try and make gingerbread muffins for Christmas morning but I have never been organised enough to make things early enough to send as gifts!

  2. Really like the look of this one as I love to give foodie as well as sewn gifts to friends and family at Christmas and it would be great to get a few more ideas for that! Light, decadent, melting, gooey, rich chocolate fondant puddings are a favourite in our house for Christmas Eve dinner, quick and easy to make in advance when you are busy and can be cooked in 10 mins! Thank-you

  3. Ooh my fave bake at Christmas is a lovely, gooey, chocolate log complete with a little robin perched on top – yummy xx

  4. I make a sticky Gingerbread that goes down a storm. Was thinking of trying some Cinnamon Rolls this year if I get time. “Pick Me!”
    thanks for a great giveaway.

  5. What a lovely book! I always have to make Tiramisu for Christmas Eve and then my sister finishes it off for breakfast the next morning and the morning after etc until it is finished. She always says that it wouldn’t be xmas without a tiramisu breakfast.

  6. opps forgot to say – this year’s home made gifts are soaps that I made with my daughter using petals and herbs from the garden.

  7. A much begged for brownie recipe that my former boss was loathe to share, but I wore her down and now I can share the love!

  8. Nigella’s christmas muffins – I measure the dry ingredients before going to bed on Christmas eve, then mix them up on Christmas morning for breakfast! This book looks fab! Thank you for being willing to part with it!

  9. Last year my sister and I made biscuits in the shape of christmas baubles. Went down really well. Could do with some inspiration for this year. Lovely book.

  10. PICK ME!!
    I love Christmas cookies of any kinds. I usually don’t make cookies thru out the year. This is my time to splurge. And I love giving/getting homemade gifts. It feel much more authentic. Thanks for the chance to win!

  11. Oh this book looks lovely! I’m creating more presents this year- bags and jewellery plus attempting home made sweeties as well as some of the christmas day food. PICK ME.

  12. I’ve just put together some layered homemade hot chocolate mix in kilner jars. Looks pretty, and heavy on the marshmallows and chocolate chips, perfect 🙂

  13. My husband started making homemade Irish Cream a couple of Christmases ago and now it’s a staple. Coconut date balls are also fantastic and great for gifts. In fact anything cakey or biscuity always goes down well!

  14. We always give homemade Christmas presents to teachers, family and friends but could do with a few new ideas. I’m sure this book would make a very useful addition to our book shelf. Thanks.

  15. I’m not much of a cook. If I won this book, I might be able to produce something presentable! Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. Last year we made Chocolate Bark as a present for teachers which was yummy, and we usually make some truffles too. This year I am looking for an alternative mince pie recipe as they didn’t go down too well last year.

  17. This looks like a lovely book 🙂 I’ve never baked for people for Christmas before, I’m never sure quite what to make or how to package it nicely! Going to have to check this book out 🙂

  18. My new Xmas craft is Scandinavian style felt deccies! I treated myself to a class last month and now I have Xmas Scandinavian bunting and a stocking for my hall. I’m obsessed! Ive done them with knitted backs, felt backs, star shapes, snowflakes, reindeers, birdies, and hearts! Oh yes……PICK ME…(pretty please)

  19. I love to make dozens of gingerbread cookies with my girls and then we have a marathon decorating session. The cookies are lovely to eat, but the memories attached even better. Thanks for the chance to win.

  20. Very yummy…
    We make ‘speculaas’ ourselves, wrap them nicely and share them with friends, family, neighbors.
    This book could give us plenty of ideas….

  21. My Mum always make gotgeous truffles at Christmas – this year I found some lovely cupcake boxes in the pound shop, so I’m going to make Christmassy cupcakes!

  22. Following your blog is never arduous Ali, and I hope you are now thoroughly refreshed – just before you wear yourself out creating a wonderful Christmas for your family, as all us creative types try to do! My DD and I love wreaths, so that is always a must-make here. My favourite was the year we wired lots of tiny china animals into evergreen leaves, as if it were a tiny ark! This year I am ‘into’ dyed and stained newspaper roses. I am way way behind you in the ‘good blogger’ queue, but I may post pics! New Year resolution is to ‘do better’!!!!!
    Annual Twinklemas edible treats here always include chocolate truffles and fruit infused alcohol – one year Rowan berries in Brandy, (not to be recommended), another year Elderberry Vodka, (to be recommended not least because it felt virtuous Vit-C-wise, whilst still being naughty!).
    Thank you for a wonderfully entertaining read!

  23. My favourite Christmas goodie to eat is florentines. My friend always has absolutely delicious florentines for me to eat when I visit at this time of year [plus heavenly truffle-stuffed figs covered with dark chocolate]. Mmmmhmmmm.

  24. I love Rice Krispie squares that are the red and green ones – they are festive when you use a shaped cookie cutter to shape them then stack ’em on a nice plate and presto = festive crunchy sugary treats! YUM! Oh yah – PICK ME!!! 😉

  25. I always make jars of Nigella’s suet free mincemeat. It is fab and doesn’t leave that horrible- stick to the roof of your mouth- feeling that some mince pies give you.

  26. Ooh, this looks like a great book. Last Christmas I made Sloe Gin, damson Gin and Damson Vodka which I gave away in sets of three little bottles. They went down very well!

  27. Got to be Christmas Cake, brandy soaked fruit, dark, moist cakey deliciousness. Topped off with marzipan and snowy, white icing. Yum Yum.

  28. I always make the mince pies and the brandy butter to go with the pudding (my mum’s pastry is AWFUL, although she’s generally a good cook otherwise)

  29. I usually make something simple foodwise like shortbread stars or cinnamon hearts for our neighbours. For close friends I like to sew gifts, 2012 has been the year of the bag and the pincushion. It looks like a lovely book, thank you for sharing.

  30. It has to be mince pies – It wouldn’t be the same without them. I’d love to win this book because I’d give it to my daughter. She was looking for recipes to make gifts like this recently but unfortunately won’t be able to make any this year because the council are replacing their kitchen at the moment. We just hope they’ll be finished before Christmas at least.
    Teresa x

  31. I usually make a lovely cake which is made in one saucepan saving on washing up, but this year my husband has asked for a yule log, wish me luck x

  32. I’ve made an apron & bag set for my niece this Christmas & I’m about to start on making some Tree Fu Tom outfits for my boys xx

  33. It has to be Nigella’s Christmas Cupcakes, a little bit gingerbread, a little bit chocolate and a whole lot moreish! I give these as xmas gifts each year, and they are very much looked forward to, especially as most of my family don’t do mince pies, pudding or xmas cake. (their loss – I love mince pies!)

  34. I have made some Christmas tree ornaments to hang from my window blinds and a lovely Christmas table runner this year. My mince pies are delicious, recipe courtesy of my mother.

  35. This book sounds brilliant. I haven’t really made Christmas presents before other than a few needle cases, but I would love to start and I’ve been looking for a book like this to try out some cookies etc. The packaging section is a bonus 🙂

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