Skip to main content

Delicious Gift Ideas

Homemade gifts are the BEST!   If you are wondering what to get someone why not make a delicious basket full of mixes!  Be sure to attach a recipe card to each of the mixes explaining how to use the mix.  These mixes could make a quick meal on a cold day, a snack during a movie, breakfast, or a plate of cookies. The sky’s the limit on what the basket could hold.  You can be very creative adding your personnel touches along with, adding favorite flavors or food items the person receiving the basket likes.  Make a basket with assorted mixes or have a theme such as soups, beverages, cookies, cakes, snacks, breakfast, bread, or a mix with a soup or coffee cup along with other items. These personalized touches of love are what make the gift extra special.  Here are some recipes for a soup basket.

Chili Mix in a jar

Country Chili Mix

1 lb. kidney beans
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. dehydrated onions
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. oregano
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
* To reduce sodium, substitute garlic powder for some of the garlic salt.
Pour the kidney beans into a clean quart-sized jar. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into a clear sandwich bag and place it on top of the beans. Cover the jar tightly with a lid, decorate and attach a copy of the recipe card.
Recipe Card for Country Chili
Ingredients:
• 1 container Country Chili Mix
• Additional ingredients:
10 c. water (for soaking beans)
1 (8-oz.) can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
1 (24-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
6 c. water (for cooking beans)
Directions: Remove the bag of seasoning from the jar and rinse beans. In a stockpot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add beans and return to a boil; let boil two to three minutes. Cover and set aside at room temperature for one hour. Drain and rinse the beans.  Fill a pot with 6 cups of water and add the beans. Cook beans until soft, about one hour; simmer gently with lid tilted. Brown meat; drain and add to the beans with tomatoes and sauce. Add in seasonings, stir and simmer, covered, for one hour. Add a little more water if needed to thin the broth. For best flavor, use mix within one year.  Makes eight servings. Each serving has 240 calories, 6 g fat, 21 g carbohydrate, and 290 mg sodium.

Soup mix in a jar. Great gift idea.

Friendship Soup Mix

Ingredients:
½ c. dry split peas
2 Tbsp. beef bouillon granules
¼ c. pearl barley
½ c. dry lentils
¼ c. dry, minced onions
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
½ c. rice
½ c. macaroni noodles
Directions: In a clean, quart-sized jar, layer all the ingredients except the macaroni. Place the macaroni in a sandwich bag and place it on top of the other ingredients. Cover the jar tightly with a lid, decorate it, and attach a copy of the recipe card.
Recipe Card for Friendship Soup
Ingredients:
• 1 container Friendship Soup Mix
• Additional ingredients:
1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
3 qt. water
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
Directions: Brown meat and drain. Place in a large pot and add the water and tomatoes. Add soup mix except for macaroni. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour. Add macaroni and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes (until macaroni is done). For best flavor, use this mix within one year.
Note: To avoid overcooked pasta in leftovers, add the appropriate amount of macaroni to the portion being served.  Makes 12 servings. Each serving has 150 calories, 4 g fat, 12 g carbohydrate, and 390 mg sodium.

Homemade Cornbread Mix

Homemade cornbread mix and hot buttered cornbread.

Ingredients:
1 c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
¼ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ c. dry milk powder
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
Directions:  In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. Place the mixture in a clean quart-sized jar. Cover the jar tightly with a lid, decorate it, and attach a copy of the recipe card.
Recipe Card for Homemade Cornbread
Ingredients:
• 1 container Homemade Cornbread Mix
• Additional ingredients:
1 egg
1 c. water
2 Tbsp. oil
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour dry mix into a large bowl. In a second bowl, combine egg, water, and oil. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir well. Pour into a greased baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is golden brown. For best flavor, use this mix within nine months.  Makes 10 servings. Each serving has 150 calories, 4 g fat, 25 g carbohydrate, and 330 mg sodium.

Have fun making gift baskets and be sure to follow all food safety guidelines with preparing and cooking food items.  For more information contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.  In Alachua County call 352-955-2402 or email mmaddox@ufl.edu for Martha Maddox, FCS CEA IV.