Friday, December 23, 2011

Gift Idea for Neighbors

Sometimes it's the smallest gifts that give us the most trouble during Christmas shopping. The past few years our neighbor has given us a bottle of wine for Christmas, and we have really enjoyed it and appreciated it. We have wanted to give them something as well but could not think of anything simple and useful, and we definitely cannot give them a bottle of wine too!

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauces have become a big hit at parties and get togethers; it's something a little different than the usual cheese and crackers. We decided to give the neighbors a gourmet bottle of extra virgin olive oil with a really good olive oil dipping sauce.

I found free Christmas recipe card printables online at

Then I wrote the recipe of choice on a recipe card.

(I forgot to take a picture of this step before tying it to the bottle)

Then I punched a hole in the card and tied it to the bottle with red ribbon. You could really get festive and tie small ornaments or whatever you have left over from your Christmas decorating.

We chose a bottle of gourmet olive oil from Central Market. They have a great selection of gourmet olive oils at different price points. We chose one for $10, but there were many that were less expensive and more expensive.

Here is the recipe that we chose:

Olive Oil-Balsamic Dipping Sauce


  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (16-ounce) unsliced multigrain bread loaf


Stir together first 5 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Drizzle oil and vinegar evenly over cheese mixture, and stir.
Place bread loaf directly on lower oven rack. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until heated. Cut bread into 1-inch slices. Dip bread slices into sauce.

This recipe uses both olive oil and balsamic vinegar so you definitely give one or other or you could give both!
This would also make a great hosts gift.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas with your family and friends!