Thursday, December 1, 2016

Jar Recipe Gifts & More - PART 2

Well here we are 24 days till Christmas!  The official  countdown has begun.
It is beginning to feel a little more like Christmas here, as the weather has cooled again.  Not as cold as it probably should be - but that is ok.

Today are a few more ideas for a homemade Christmas.  Hope they give you some ideas.

  • Dip some nice size apples in chocolate and cover with crushed nuts or candy.  Stick a popsicle stick in stem end and either drizzle or dip the apples.  Place in a cupcake pan liner to dry.  wrap in saran wrap for giving.
  • A pretty dollar store cup and several flavored tea bags for the tea lover
  • Dip plastic spoons in white or regular melted chocolate.  After dry, bundle up several and cover with plastic wrap.  Attach a note - saying coffee stirrers.
  • Use small jelly size jars - place wooden stick matches inside.  Cut the striker pad off box to fit the top of jar (under jar ring).  Great for campers
  • Make fire starters for campers or those with fireplace.  Dip pinecones in wax and let dry. (Pinecones can easily be found in parks and at the cemetery).    You can also stuff TP tubes with drier lint - then wrap the tubes in brown paper to look like wrapped gifts (or taffy candy).
  • Don't forget the pets of people.  A nice bag of treats would be appreciated - or a new toy.
  • Make some sweet breads (banana, zucchini, pumpkin, etc.).  Wrap in plastic wrap - then "gift wrap" in a dollar store kitchen towel.  2 gifts in one.
  • Dip pretzels in chocolate or almond bark.  SO EASY and yet a yummy gift
  • Homemade cookies and candies on a pretty dollar store plate

I mix whatever type of beans I have together.  Fill either pint or quart jars (depending on family size) or use any jar you have.  I leave space in jar for a small packet of dry ham base (I made a packet containing 5 Tbsp. per jar).  Make up a cute tag giving cooking instructions and attach to jar.  Cute and very useful.

Here are some I made up the other day.  Each pint jar has close to a pound of beans and a small packet of ham seasoning.  I used 8 lbs. of beans and made 10 jars.

(Layer items in a jar)
1 box (2 pkts.) onion soup mix (or equivalent of homemade)
1/2 C split peas
1/2 C small alphabet macaroni
1/2 C shells (pasta)
1/2 C colored pasta
1/4 C lentils

CARD;  "When you feel you are to busy and a meal you need to fix, get out a kettle, 7 cups of water and 1/2 pound hamburger and this jar."
"While you have your things to do, and when you sit and eat - REMEMBER  - WE LOVE YOU!"
**You could add a small can of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes too if you wish.

(I get requests for this mix from family - they love it)
1 package of Country Gravy Mix (2.75 oz.) - can be bought at most grocers (or equiv. of bulk mix)
2 Tbsp.  chicken bouillon granules
2 Tbsp. minced onion (dried type)
2 Tbsp. celery flakes
2 tsp. parsley flakes
2 1/2 - 3 C. dried noodles (like egg noodles)

Best to use a wide mouth quart jar.  Stir together first 5 ingredients and place in jar - top with noodles.  Give with can of chicken.

INSTRUCTIONS attach:  empty contents into a pan and add 8 cups water - heat to boiling on high.  reduce heat - add chicken and simmer till noodles are done.  Stir occasionally.

1 3/4 C instant potatoes
1 1/2 C dry milk
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
*(You could even a tablespoon or two of cheddar cheese powder if you have it on hand)
Combine all together and put in a quart jar.
INSTRUCTIONS attach:  Place 1/2 cup mix in a bowl and add 1 cup boiling water.  Stir till smooth.

***Great for taking to the office or a hearty after school snack.

NOTE:  These soups are all very hearty and yummy. 
Most of the ingredients can be bought at dollar stores or Big Lots cheaply.  You get several jars from purchasing a jar of most of the ingredients (spices, etc.).

I hope these give you some ideas for fun and different gifts.  There is not limit to what can be put in a jar and gifted.  Homemade is thoughtful and fun and FRUGAL!
If giving more than one item - you can gift in a small basket (thrift store) or a re-usable grocery bag (you could make that too!)
If you make up several - and don't give them all away - you are ready for a quick and simple dinner at home!!


Merry Christmas


  1. Great ideas Cheryl! I have so many lentils here and this is a perfect way to use some of them. Thank you my friend!

    1. You are welcome. Glad you can use some of them.
      Have a blessed day.

  2. Cheryl, What is dry ham base? What brand is it and where do you buy yours?
    I've never used it before.

  3. Ham base is wonderful! I use it in green beans, soup beans, soups, etc.
    I started getting it at the Amish store - then we bought from All Bulk I got it 8 lbs. at a time and it was around $60. It lasted a good 2 years and I gifted a lot too. (women in the family LOVE it)

    You can type in Boyd's Ham base in search and there are several places that sell it and in smaller containers - like 1 lb.

    I buy dry beef and chicken base as well - but use more of the ham.
    Hope that helps.