Saturday, December 21, 2013

Gifts in a Jar: Last Minute Food Gift Ideas!

Life sure is fun.  I wanted to post up these gift ideas before a couple of days ago before school let out, but life got so busy and hectic that I plain didn't have time.  But, bright side is that I got the package my mom sent of gifts for Christmas, the kitten is now fixed (probably the least appreciated Christmas gift I gave this year *laugh*) and the house is starting to resemble something other than a Mad Max style future where children have free run of your house (daughter was sick last week and the house suffered for it).  So, at least things got accomplished in the chaos.

Speaking of chaos, I know how hectic life can be (obviously), so I wanted to give you last minute gift types some ideas on things you could make on the fly and give away as holiday gifts.  So, here's some of the things I gave away as gifts this year to hopefully give you some ideas to make the holidays a little less hectic.

1.  Give the gift of a gluten free breakfast!
I have found more and more people having to switch to a gluten free diet due to gluten sensitivity, so I made up a batch of gluten free Bisquick measured out two cups measures and placed it in pint mason jars.  Than I just printed off some labels from Martha (direct link to PDF file of labels), using some sticker paper and I was good to go. 
If you want to get really fancy with this you could go to a cooking store like Allen and Peterson and find a pancake mold to secure to the outside of the jar for fun.  Be sure to include the recipe for gluten free pancakes, so that it's right on the jar for convenience.  The recipe is...
Gluten Free Bisquick Pancakes
  • 1 cup mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 1 egg
Prepare as you would traditional pancakes.

2.  Give the gift of hot cocoa mix...with some fun added in!
Right, so anyone can give the gift of a layered hot cocoa mix, but how about having some fun with it?  I just found a recipe for a simple hot cocoa recipe to layer online for this jar, but a lot of times I'll just make up a batch of Alton Brown's Hot Cocoa Mix and don't bother with the layering thing.

But, here's the fun part.  Add some fun in.  In this jar, that I was making for a corn allergic friend of mine, I placed a layer of crushed corn free candy canes, some corn free mini chocolate chips and then cut up some corn free marshmallows and placed them on top.  Another jar I pushed some candy cane sticks down into the center of the hot cocoa mix to use as mixers for cups of hot cocoa.  And another I pushed a small bottle of peppermint schnapps down into the mix for another friend of mine.  Get creative and make your jar of hot cocoa mix unique.  It's fun! 
Just be sure to include directions on how to mix up the hot cocoa on a label (on this one I just wrote the directions on a piece of heavy card stock and tied it to the jar, but forgot to take a picture of it after).  For those who don't have to worry about allergies, you could go to the store and buy some hot cocoa and just layers some goodies in a jar with the hot cocoa to switch things up a bit.

3.  Tell Your Friends to Go Nuts!
I made up huge batches of Roasted Candied Nuts this holiday, placed them in jars and put a label on them that read, "Go Nuts This Holiday Season".  Yes, I enjoy a good pun.  But, hey, at the same time everyone told me that the nuts I gave away lasted a total of about five minutes before they were consumed, so I'd say that's a gift that people enjoyed :).

By the way, buy pecans and other nuts at Three Bears, Costco or Sam's Club.  They are WAY cheaper!
Well folks, I have some more gift ideas that aren't food related, but that's another post.  Enjoy!

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