Cooking Tips: Easy Jar Mixes

Send your favorite recipe to a friend by adding the dry ingredients to a quart canning jar, then letting the recipient add liquids and such.

Who doesn't love receiving jar mixes? Everything you need to get started is already in the jar - flour, sugar, coconut, walnuts - all you do is add the liquids. No matter if you're on the giving end or the receiving end, a jar mix is a wonderful gift. Most jar mixes fit in a quart size canning jar but smaller mixes can be given in a coffee cup. Before making jar mixes, be sure that all ingredients together won't come to more than 4 cups, or you will be unable to fit it all in the jar.

Just about any store-bought cake mix, brownie mix or muffin mix can be put in a jar to give as a gift. You can make it even better by including a small zipper bag filled with walnuts, candies or coconut in the jar. Then cut a pretty piece of cloth a little larger than the lid and tie the fabric onto the lid with a ribbon. You can use a hole punch to hang the instructions card on the ribbon.

If you prefer to give something you've created, layer the dry goods in the jar, list the wet ingredients on a cute card and tie the card onto the lid. Remember to keep separate those ingredients that need to be. For instance, if one ingredient, like brown sugar, should be added last, but first there has to be some mixing done, lay all the dry ingredients that will be mixed at once, then place the brown sugar in a small bag and place it on top of the mix. Be sure and state the instructions on the card. Jar mixes don't necessarily have to be sweets. You can make jar mix soup, breads or even casseroles.

Here are a few recipes that will fit in a quart jar, just to get you started:

Carrot Cake:

Layer these ingredients in the jar:

2 cups sugar

½ cup chopped pecans

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 T. cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

On a card attached to the jar, write:

Carrot Cake

Makes a 13"X9" cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease baking pan.

Pour ingredients into the jar

Add ½ cup of vegetable oil

3 large eggs

3 cups grated carrots

2 tsp vanilla

1 - 8 ounce can pineapple, crushed

Place dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add oil, eggs, carrots, vanilla and pineapple. Blend until smooth. Pour into oiled pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Frost cooled cake, if desired, or dust with confectioners' sugar.

Coffee Coca Mix

Instead of layering these, mix them altogether in a bowl, then pour into quart jar:

2 C. Sugar

1-1/2 C. Instant coffee

1 C. Non-dairy powdered creamer

½ C. Cocoa powder

On the card, write:

Coffee Cocoa Mix

Makes 40 cups

1 Cup hot water

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of mix

Stir well.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 C Dry egg noodles

1-1/2 T. Chicken flavored bouillon

½ tsp. Pepper

1/4 tsp. Dried whole thyme

1/8 tsp. Celery seeds

1/8 tsp. Garlic powder

1 Bay leaf

1/4 C. Minced onion

On the card write:

Mix the dry ingredients along with:

8 Cups of water

2 Diced carrots

2 Celery stalks, diced

3 Cups cooked and diced or canned chicken

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