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Old 11-21-2004, 11:26 AM   #1
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Holiday gift ideas wanted

Well, it's that time of year ago. My wife and I have decided to give mason jars filled with the dry ingredients for our recipients to make brownies. It's just so hard to give meaningful gifts to the many co-workers we have but that we want to acknowledge. I would appreciate input of ideas for other inexpensive but thoughtful gift ideas that you may have or that you practice at the holiday time. Anyone can buy a gift certificate ... I am looking for personal gifts that reflect the spirit of the season. Can you help me out here??? Thanks in advance and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL. /rayt721

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Old 11-21-2004, 04:31 PM   #2
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RAYT, I personally love receiving gifts such as these and enjoy giving them myself. For me, it says the giver spent a lot of time and energy to deliver a thoughtful one-of-a-kind gift. What a wonderful thing for you guys to do!

There are a plethora of ideas that can be found in this link started by jkath and I'm sure you can get some great ideas here!

http://www.discusscooking.com/viewtopic.php?t=4198

Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!
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Old 11-21-2004, 07:03 PM   #3
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WOW!!!

Thanks for the link. I have missed that thread completely. I searched for "gifts" and "gift ideas" before posting my request but THAT was exactly what I was looking for. /rayt721
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Old 11-21-2004, 11:44 PM   #4
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This is THE best soup from a jar I have ever had - or NOT from a jar I can only tell you that someone gave it to me and I was immediately on the phone getting the recipe. The only thing I do differently (and it's because I never know if someone has these spices) is I add the bay leaf, salt, chili powder, and ground cumin to the jar also. I just sprinkle it on the top of all the beans. IT IS GREAT - that's all I can tell you.


1 pound dried black beans
1 pound dried red beans
1 pound dried kidney beans
1 pound dried navy beans
1 pound dried great northern beans
1 pound dried baby lima beans
1 pound dried large lima beans
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 pound dried green split peas
1 pound dried yellow split peas
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 pound dried green lentils
1 pound dried brown lentils

What to do:

Combine all of the beans in a very large bowl.

Pour two cups of the bean mixture into pretty jars ( 16-oz.) jars- these jars should hold two cups of bean mix.

Give with the following recipe for holiday bean soup. You could also layer the beans in the jar for prettier effect. Just put a little of each of the beans in until you fill it to the top.

Print out the tag and attach it to the jar. (below)

It is an attractive label as well as the preparation instructions for the recipe.

Holiday Bean Soup

Preparation Directions

beans from jar
1 smoked ham hock
2 cans ( 14.5 oz each ) stewed tomatoes
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 bay leaf
6 cups water
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Cover the beans with water and soak overnight. Drain beans and place in a stockpot. Add ham, tomatoes, onion, garlic, bay leaf and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover & simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve warm. Makes 11 cups of soup.
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:24 PM   #5
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Cranberry-n-Spice Cider Mix
Makes 1 gift

1/2 cup dried cranberries
12 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon crushed whole cloves
2 tablespoons whole allspice

In a small bowl, stir the cranberries and spices together. Place in a pint jar and attach the following recipe:

Cranberry-n-Spice Cider
Makes 12 servings
Use within 3 months

2 quarts apple cider
1 quart water
1 package Spiced Cranberry Cider Mix
2 oranges, sliced

In a large saucepan combine the cider, water, and Cranberry-n-Spice Cider Mix. Heat through but do not boil. Add most of the orange slices, reserving some to garnish mugs of cider. Serve warm.
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:25 PM   #6
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French Vanilla Cocoa Mix
Makes 8 gifts

10-1/2 cups nonfat instant dry milk
4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 (8-ounce) jars French vanilla flavored nondairy powdered creamer
3-1/2 cups hot cocoa mix (not baking cocoa)
2-3/4 cup nondairy powdered creamer
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients. Scoop into approximately 8 pint size jars and attach the following recipe:

French Vanilla Cocoa
Makes about 8 cups
Use within 6 months

Stir 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa mix into 1 cup of hot water or milk. Stir to dissolve.

Christmas Morning Pancake Mix
Makes 1 gift

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Scoop into a quart jar, shaking down to fit it all in. Attach the following recipe:
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:25 PM   #7
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Christmas Morning Pancakes
Makes 12 medium pancakes

3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil
1-1/3 cups Christmas Morning Pancake Mix

Heat a lightly greased griddle. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, egg, and oil. Add 1-1/3 cups pancake mix, and stir just until moistened. It should still be somewhat lumpy. Cook on the heated griddle or in a waffle iron. Best if used within 6 months.
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:26 PM   #8
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Potato Soup Mix
Makes 1 gift

1-3/4 cups instant mashed potatoes
1-1/2 cups dry milk
2 tablespoons instant chicken bullion
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Scoop into a 1-quart canning jar and attach the following recipe:

Potato Soup
For 1 serving

1/2 cup Potato Soup Mix
1 cup boiling water

Place potato soup mix in a soup bowl. Pour in boiling water and stir until smooth.
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:27 PM   #9
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Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Cookie Mix
Makes 1 gift

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 large Reese's peanut butter cups candies cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. In a quart jar, layer the sugar, the brown sugar (compress), flour mixture, and finish off with the chunks of peanut butter cups. Tamp each layer firmly before adding the next ingredient. Attach the following recipe to the jar:

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Cookies
Makes 30 cookies
Use within 3 months

1 jar Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Cookie Mix
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Remove Reese's candy chunks from the jar and set aside. Empty cookie mix into a large mixing bowl and stir to mix. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in candy chunks. Roll dough into walnut sized balls. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 F for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:28 PM   #10
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Wacky Cake Mix
Makes 1 gift

2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups sugar

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Layer ingredients in a quart jar with the flour mixture on the bottom, then the cocoa powder, and topping it off with the sugar. Tap the jar lightly or tamp down each ingredient as it is added to ensure it all fits into the jar fit neatly. Attach the following recipe:

Wacky Cake
Makes 12 servings
Use within 6 months

1 Wacky Cake Mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. Pour into a greased 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. Frost as desired or sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fresh sliced fruit.
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