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Christmas Giving: The Handmade Foodie Way

Belinda Neame

I love traditions; it’s what really defines Christmas for me.

Whether it be a tradition with your family, friends or children it always builds the excitement around this special time of the year. I once shared a birthday and Christmas tradition with a couple of my girlfriends. Every year we would celebrate both occasions with a beautiful meal and indulge in some gift giving.

As part of this tradition, we had to include a handmade gift. As much as I loved receiving my ‘manufactured’ gifts, there is nothing quite like receiving something that is handmade. It’s so personal and it’s kind of like the happiness you feel when you receive a handwritten letter in your mailbox!


I’ve always had a love of baking and cooking so more often than not, my ‘handmade’ component was food focused!

If you are time poor and don’t want to spend the lead up to Christmas in the shops, why not look at this quick, easy, handmade gift.

Spiced Chilli Nuts


What you will need

2 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of mild ground chilli (or hot if you want an extra kick)

4 teaspoons of smokey paprika

2 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

150g of almonds

150g macadamias

100g peanuts

100g cashews



Weigh the nuts and put aside. In a fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the spices. Cook off for about two minutes or until the spices become fragrant. Add the nut mix and stir for 5-8 minutes or until the nuts are golden. Place on a baking tray to cool. Remove the leaves from the rosemary sprigs and toss through the nut mixture.

Gift Wrapping


This comes down to whom you are gifting them to. You can create something for everyone! Use your imagination, have a look around your house and see if you have any empty jars or try some of the local stationery shops for gift bags with windows. Finish it off with a personalised hand written or stamped gift tag.

All photography by Tim Bean Photography


Belinda Neame

Belinda is HerCanberra's Production Manager. A foodie and lover of handmade, Belinda enjoys nothing more than a good coffee and seeing Canberra businesses thrive. In her 'spare time', Belinda organises the quarterly Canberra street food event, The Forage with her husband Tim. More about the Author