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Garlic bread is a must for any spaghetti dinner! Whip up a batch of this Homemade Garlic Bread Seasoning to have on hand for pasta night and then share some in a pasta dinner gift basket, the perfect gift for a new neighbor!
As I have gone through this story called life, there are so many “lessons” I have learned and wisdom I have gained. I mean, that’s what it is all about, right? Well one of those life lessons that I finally learned several years ago, is that there is no need to “keep up with the Joneses” and that everyone’s life path is unique and their own. Some people go to college right out of high school, while others take a few years to “find themselves”. Some get married early on in their relationships and others date for many years. And so on and so on.
We all take different paths and that is what makes us who we are. I have loved watching and being a part of so many of my friends’ and family members’ accomplishments and have been blessed to be by their sides at different stages of their lives. Seeing them work full time while going to school at night, getting married, raising kids, buying their first home, getting a promotion at work and rising above challenges that life throws at them; well is humbling and magnificent at the same time.
Because I know how hard we all work to reach our goals, I can’t help but get super excited, proud and happy for my friends, family, and well, just about anyone who has worked hard and is receiving the fruits of their labors.
Right now, it seems like all my friends, family and neighbors are at the stages of their lives for having babies or moving into their first home! Since I know that moving into your first home and welcoming a new baby are not only a joyous time in one’s life but a hectic one as well, I always like to gift a creative, yet practical gift to the new home owners/parents. Since I love to cook, I often show up on a friend or neighbor’s door step with a home cooked meal to help them during these hectic times, when they may not have the time or energy to cook for themselves.
However, even though I love to cook and would love to gift every friend a hot, home cooked meal, my schedule doesn’t always allow it. That is why a few years ago, I started gifting themed dinner gift baskets. These gift baskets contain not only all the ingredients for a home cooked meal, but some of the basic kitchen utensils required for that specific meal as well. Yes, the gift recipient will have to do a little work to prepare the meal, but I have found over the years, that sometimes just having ingredients on hand for a complete meal (so they don’t have to go grocery shopping) is easier and more convenient (especially for friends with food allergies) than trying to give them a precooked meal.
One of my favorite dinner gift basket themes is a pasta dinner. Everyone loves spaghetti night, and this gift basket is so easy and affordable to put together, not to mention an easy meal anyone can make! For my pasta dinner gift basket, I usually include all the the tools and ingredients for a basic pasta dinner (colander, spaghetti server, dried spaghetti, jarred pasta sauce, and homemade garlic bread seasoning) and sometimes add a store bought salad and fresh bread, if I know the gift recipient will use it quickly.
Recently, a friend of mine bought their first home and I knew I wanted to give them a pasta dinner gift basket. As I was putting together my standard gift basket, I remembered I had picked up some Extra® Gum while running an errand at Walgreens. This new Extra® 35-stick pack features durable, recycled packaging and more gum; making it perfect not only for keeping on hand in my purse for sharing (a must for me!); but was a great addition to my pasta dinner gift basket… you know, to help combat all that after dinner garlic breath (seriously, why I haven’t I thought to include gum in my dinner gift basket before!)!!
Since many of you might have friends who are buying their first home, growing their family, or who may have had a bad day and just need to know someone is thinking about them, today I am sharing all a tutorial on how to make a Pasta Dinner Gift Basket of your own. Plus, don’t forget to check out the recipe for the Homemade Garlic Bread Seasoning!
What is your go to gift for a new parent or neighbor? Please share in the comments below!
Pasta Dinner Gift Basket:
Brown or white kitchen paper
Homemade Garlic Bread Seasoning (recipe below)
Small jar with lid
Loaf of French bread
Extra® Gum Spearmint 35-stick pack
Extra® Gum Polar Ice® 35-stick pack
Unfold kitchen towel and place in the bottom of the colander. Set aside.
Spoon homemade garlic bread seasoning into a small glass jar. Place lid on jar and seal tightly. Add top jar with a scrap of fabric and tie with a ribbon, if desired.
Leave pasta sauce and spaghetti in original packaging or remove pasta from package and tie kitchen twine around pasta. Wrap kitchen paper around jar of pasta and loaf of bread and tie with kitchen twine, if desired.
Carefully arrange all cooking items and food, in the colander and take to a friend, loved one or neighbor in need!
Homemade Garlic Bread Seasoning
by Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 5 minutes Yields: 1 cup seasoning
A homemade seasoning blend to create the perfect loaf of crispy garlic bread!
For Garlic Bread Seasoning:
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme or rosemary
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
For Garlic Bread:
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 loaf French bread
To make garlic bread seasoning: In a small bowl stir together all seasoning ingredients. Place homemade garlic bread seasoning in a small jar and seal tightly. Refrigerate until ready to use, for up to three weeks.
To make garlic bread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the butter and olive oil, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
Using a serrated knife cut the loaf of bread into 1-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices of bread, flat side down on the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the bread with softened butter. Sprinkle a generous amount of the prepared homemade garlic bread seasoning over the buttered bread.
Bake bread in preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until bread is toasted and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Pick up a few packs of the new Extra® 35-stick at your local Walgreens checkout line (or candy aisle) for yourself and to give to someone else! For more information about Extra® Gum visit their website and click here for more creative ideas on how you can “Give Extra, Get Extra”!