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DIY GIFT IDEA: Flavored Cooking Oils In Beautiful Bottles
Posted By Catherine Winter-Hebert On November 24, 2014 @ 12:20 pm In Design,DIY,Environment,Features,Green Holidays,How To,Innovation,News,Sustainable Food | 1 Comment
A gorgeous gift for the foodie in your life, flavored oils are easy to make, customizable in every way imaginable, and wonderful to use. If you get these steeping now, they'll be packed with flavor and ready to use in a few weeks; just in time to be thoughtful, handmade gifts from your kitchen to another.
People have been infusing oil with flavors and scents for thousands of years, so you can absolutely do this without mucking it up. Store-bought flavored oils tend to be quite pricey, so the people on your list who love to cook  will undoubtedly be delighted at the opportunity to test these out.
First and foremost, make sure the bottles, funnel, and spoons are clean.
For a cold-infusion method, add a couple of tablespoons of dried herbs/spices (according to the flavors desired) into the bottle using the funnel so they don’t scatter everywhere. Pour in oil to fill the bottle, cap it, and place it in a dark cupboard to infuse for 3-4 weeks to let the flavors develop. Then strain the contents into that spouted measuring cup, and funnel it back into the bottle.
For warm-infusion, heat your oil in a saucepan on med-high heat and add the same amount (or up to 1/4 cup) of dried flavorings. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, then set aside to cool. Strain through a fine metal strainer  or cheesecloth, funnel into your bottles, and store in your cupboard.
When using dried herbs and spices, these flavored oils will be good to use for up to a year. These oils should be used as dipping/drizzling oils rather than to cook with—they can taste a bit scorched if heated too much.
 Image by Jo Shontz 
Using fresh ingredients that still have moisture in them can lead to bacteria growth, and no-one wants to poison their friends. If you’re dead-set on using fresh herbs , then your method of oil-flavoring will be a bit different, and you’ll prepare this just a day or two before gifting it.
Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add the flavoring agents, and then remove from the heat to let it all steep. Once cooled, strain the oil and use your funnel to transfer it to your bottles, then refrigerate them. Tell the recipients to keep them in the fridge, and use them within 10 days. For fresh oils like this, it’s best to make smaller gift bottles so they’ll be used up quickly and nothing goes to waste.
If you do decide to use fresh herbs and spices, you can place sprigs of them into the bottles as decoration: since they’ll be used in a timely fashion, they’re not likely to go rancid or moldy, and the effect of branches of rosemary or tarragon along with whole peppercorns can really be quite beautiful.
 Image by Jenny Downing 
Think of the type of food that the recipient likes to cook the most, and use the herbs and spices from that region. Simple flavored oils can be made by just using one herb, or with an intricate mix  with several additives for something more complex.
Here are some ideas:
Be creative, be safe, have fun with this, and enjoy sharing the deliciousness of the holiday season with awesome people and fabulous food.
Lead Image: Assortment aromatic olive oil with herbs and spices  via Shutterstock 
Article printed from Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/diy-gift-idea-flavored-cooking-oils-in-beautiful-bottles/
URLs in this post:
 Powder spices on spoons: http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=herbs&search_group=#id=114095437&src=bc67cd9ae28925730e3055a57425eee4-1-3
 Shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com/
 love to cook: http://inhabitat.com/greenholidaygiftguide/green-holiday-gifts-for-the-home/cuisinart-green-cookware-set/
 olive oil: http://inhabitat.com/olive-oil-factory-by-guillermo-hevia-architects/
 strainer: http://inhabitat.com/amazing-cooking-strainer-portraits-mysteriously-pop-up-in-london/
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/diy-gift-idea-flavored-cooking-oils-in-beautiful-bottles/garlic-and-rosemary/
 Jo Shontz: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jshontz/
 fresh herbs: http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&ved=0CDYQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.inhabitatshop.com%2Fgarden-in-a-bag.html&ei=nqGmUKzTHMqu0AGO9YGwBg&usg=AFQjCNEtRlMSXB1WW-tu82aihhwQ2I3Fqg&sig2=-LvaeCYqwSGPcXSrYga42w
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/diy-gift-idea-flavored-cooking-oils-in-beautiful-bottles/herbed-olive-oil/
 Jenny Downing: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenny-pics/
 intricate mix: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/giftinajar/vinegar-oil.shtml
 Herbes de Provence: http://www.organicherbsdeprovence.com/
 Assortment aromatic olive oil with herbs and spices: http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?searchterm=flavored+oils&search_group=&lang=en&search_source=search_form#id=78024481&src=6420f8e73ce0144ac91097a8ae8809d6-1-3
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