Whitney Miller Makes a Sweet Gift Basket

For the past few Thanksgivings, I’ve traveled from southern Mississippi to Memphis, Tenn., where my grandmother opens up her home to the family. I like to give her a gift to show my appreciation for her graciousness. She always appreciates the gift of food, because she cooks a lot for Thanksgiving.

I suggest creating a breakfast gift basket for your host. Prepare a homemade treat such as my cinnamon and pecan granola. Presentation is everything, so enclose the granola in a cellophane bag with ribbon or string. Add your host’s favorite beverage to the basket, such as fruit juice or iced coffee. Lastly, the gift of Entertaining Collection tumblers is something your host will enjoy over and over. Choose your host’s favorite color from the Collection to add a personal touch. My grandmother’s favorite color is purple, so I knew she would love the tumblers in Plum Twist .

Cinnamon & Pecan Granola

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a medium microwave safe bowl.

Mix the oats, pecans, cinnamon, salt, sugar and honey in the bowl. Pour the granola on a baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Toss the granola with a spoon. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the granola again. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Serve the granola in a bowl with fresh fruit and milk or yogurt.

Yields: about 1 ½ cups

Whitney MillerWhen she was just 22, Whitney Miller won the first U.S. season of the Fox show MasterChef. She is the author of Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm. While working on her second cookbook, she frequently travels around the U.S. and as far away as China to conduct cooking demonstrations and culinary classes. For more, visit whitneymiller.net, connect with Whitney MillerH on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @whitneymillerH.