Gifts in a Jar!

 Give these away for Christmas presents and make extras to keep for a treat for yourself!   😉

Gifts in a Jar: Double Fudge Brownies and Bavarian Mint Coffee.

(I’m apologizing for the photo.  Nothing RED went into either jar!  It seems as though the glass jars were reflecting the red cloth I had them posing on.  Baaaahhhh…..  So tonight we are pretending the colors are correct!!)  Thank you!


eeeewwww…..not liking that pinky color!  lol  Ok, here are the recipes for Double Fudge Brownies (large qt size jar) and Bavarian Mint Coffee (small half-pint jars).

Double Fudge Brownies
*Put ingredients in jar in this order.
1.  1 ½ cups sugar
2.  3/4 cup cocoa powder  (clean inside of jar with a small pice of a damp paper towel wrapped around a knife after this layer)
3.  3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4.  3/4 cup chocolate chips
5.  1/2 cup chopped pecans (I put mine in a small snack bag in case the person does not like them)
**Layer the ingredients starting with the sugar on the bottom,  into a wide-mouth 1 quart canning jar.  Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient.  Put the top and band on, and attach a tag with the mixing and baking instructions (below).
Double Fudge Brownies
Makes 24 bars

1 jar Double Fudge Brownie Mix
3/4 cup softened butter or margarine
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and eggs.  Add the Double Fudge Brownie Mix and stir until the mixture is well blended.  Spread batter into a lightly greased or sprayed 9×12 inch pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Cool in pan.  Cut into 2 inch squares.   Note: Mix in jar is shelf safe for six months.  If using the nuts…use by 3 months.  Enjoy!!!

Thank you to Gifts in a Jar, distributed by CQ products.
Click here to go to their website.

Bavarian Mint Coffee

1.  ¼ cup instant nonfat powdered dry milk.
2.  1/3 cup granulated sugar
3.  1/4 cup instant coffee
4.  2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5.  2 hard peppermint candies, crushed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, chopper or blender.  Mix well to combine flavors and until mixture is a fine powder.  Store in a tightly covered container.
Makes 1 cup dry mix.

**Attach these directions to the jar:
Bavarian Mint Coffee
To serve combine 3 Tablespoons of mix with 1 cup boiling water; stir to blend.  Enjoy!

Thank you to Judy Wesener, “Hot Beverage Dry Mix Recipes” (and more) for sale on Amazon.

Enjoy making these gifts.
They are great for so many reasons:
1. The interiors are consumable and exteriors recyclable (glass)
2. They are an easy gift to make/can make several at once.
3. The recipient can use them whenever they wish.
4. They are a “feel good” gift….
5.  They don’t need to be returned!

Sorry for the long post today…..I hope you can make use of it!

Hamburger Soup~easy and delish!

Good evening dear readers~
I have a great recipe for you tonight.  Hamburger Soup is one of our family’s favorites.  It’s easy to put together and it simmers for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.   It’s a good one to make after coming home from work; add bread and a fruit salad and you’re ready to eat!   If you do some of the chopping ahead, it will go even faster.   It’s simple and delicious!


1. 1.5 lbs hamburger (ground beef)
2. 3 cups water
3. 3 medium carrots, chopped, about one cup (we leave baby carrots whole)
4. 2 medium stalks of celery, chopped, about one cup
5. 1 large potato, cut into 1/2″ pieces, about one cup
6. one cup chopped onions
7. 2 teaspoons salt
8. 1 teaspoon bottled brown bouquet sauce.  (I’ve never used that….instead I use Worcestershire sauce and put more than 1 teaspoon in…put it in “to taste”)
9. ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper
10. one bay leaf
11. 1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
12. one 28 oz can whole tomatoes (we use stewed)

Cook and stir hamburger in Dutch oven, or at least a 4 qt pot, until light brown; drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients; break up tomatoes with fork (if you use whole tomatoes).  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer just until vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes, depending how small you cut them.   Serves 6.  (about 1.5 cups each)

*this is another recipe that lends itself well to variations.  If we don’t have carrots, we’ll toss in green beans.  We sometimes use what we have in the fridge….I guess it could be called: Leftover Soup!
I gave you the original recipe from my very old Betty Crocker cookbook.  I also gave you our adaptations.  We sometimes add one or two cans of beef stock in place of the water.  If the soup tastes weak, I add a few tablespoons of ketchup.  Whenever I make something with tomatoes I always add a teaspoon of sugar.  This helps cut down on the acidity.
You can play around with the ingredients.  Add garlic, try ground turkey….be creative!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Good night and thanks for stopping by~