Tex Mex Vegetable soup mix in a jar gift idea

Tex Mex Vegetable soup mix
Tex Mex Vegetable soup is a yummy gift idea. Soups in a jar are one of our favorite gifts from the kitchen. They are fast and easy to make, taste great and are very budget friendly. There is also something special about taking time to make a handmade gift.

Layer all the ingredients listed below into a mason pint jar or 16 ounce jar.

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Ingredients for Tex Mex Vegetable soup:

    • 1/4 cup lentil
    • 1/4 cup peas
    • 1/4 cup barley
    • 1/4 cup dried vegetables This is hard to find in local stores.
    • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
    • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 3 chicken bouillon cubes – If you are watching your sodium use less bouillon cubes.

Clean the jar and dry completely. Do not wash the ring because that will can lead to rust. The lid can be washed. Layer the ingredients into the jar in the order they are listed from top to bottom. Once the ingredients are in the jar place on the lid and band, and tighten. You can embellish the exterior with ribbon or jute cording, buttons, stickers or anything you have in your crafty stash. The most important step is to give them the instructions listed below. Copy and past or hand write the directions for the gift recipient. I like to make these in bulk and keep them on hand for when I need a quick thank you gift or a hostess gift. If you are giving to a vegan you can use a vegetable bouillon instead of the chicken bouillon.

Instructions to make the Tex Mex Vegetable soup:

  1. Remove wrapper from bouillon cube and add them to the pot.
  2. Add all the all remaining ingredients add 10 cups of water into a large pot.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and let simmer for about 40 minutes or until peas are soft.   You can change the amount of water by a cup or two depending on how thick you like it.

Ranch bacon chive dip or dressing mix

Ranch Bacon and Chive Dip

Around here we like dressing and dips, especially ranch bacon and chive.  Salads become special meals when a great dressing is used.  We also like to use the powdered dressing mix dry as a rub on chicken and pork.  Nothing says homemade like well seasoned food.

Another reason I make my own is it is always fresh and there is no MSG in it. It can trigger my migraines and I will do most anything to avoid them.

This is a popular dish and when friends come over they ask for the recipe.  I make it in bulk and started making decorative jars to give it in.  I recycle glass jars and paint the lids and add embellishments.  When they are al decorated up they make great gifts.

Ingredients for ranch bacon chive mix:

  • 1 cup Dry Buttermilk
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Dill, divided
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon chives
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dried Onion Flakes
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Bacon Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne

For ranch bacon chive buttermilk dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 3 tablespoons Homemade Dressing Mix
  • 2/3 to 1 cup of Buttermilk

For ranch bacon chive dip:

  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Bulk Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix
  • Buttermilk to thin out as desired

Directions for ranch bacon chive mix:

In a small food processor or blender; measure and add in the dried buttermilk, 2 tablespoons dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried dill. Place the remaining 1/2 tablespoon parsley and 1 teaspoon dried dill and set off to the side. Measure and add in the onion powder, chives,dried onion flakes, bacon salt, kosher salt, sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Turn on the processor and let it run until all the spices are blended into the buttermilk powder.

Transfer the ranch mix into a jar or container {that has a tight-fitting lid} and add in the reserved parsley and dill. Whisk to combine.

**3 tablespoons of the ranch mix is equivalent to one packet.


Snack mix in a jar

snack mix in a jar

A Snack mix in a jar is a fun gift to give when you need just a little something.  It can be a “thank you” gift, “I am thinking about you” gift or even “here is a little snack to help you study” gift. This would also make something nice to give classroom aides. Most people like food so you can really give it for almost any occasion.  You can follow the recipe below or create your own favorite snack mix combination to place in the jar.

Materials for Snack mix in a jar:

  • Ball Quart Jar (Jarden Home Brands)
  • Americana Acrylic Paint (DecoArt): Warm White; Espresso
  • Patterned papers: brown/white Swiss dot; red/white polka dot
  • White cardstock
  • White wool felt scrap
  • Wool roving: brown; white
  • Pink Tiny Alphas Alphabet Stickers (Making Memories)
  • Crystal acrylic gems, two
  • Long pearl straight pins, two
  • White miniature silk flower
  • Black pebble bead
  • Acrylic crystal
  • scissors
  • Duraclear Varnish (DecoArt)
  • Scallop-edge scissors
  • Tiny hole punch
  • Adhesives (Beacon Adhesives): Fabri-Tac; Zip Dry Paper Glue
  • Needle felting tool and pad

Directions for Snack mix in a jar:

1.Paint jar lid. Let dry. Apply varnish.

2. Cut 4″x12″ rectangle from paper to fit around jar. Adhere to jar. (Note: Wrap rubber bands around paper to secure while glue dries.) Use scallop-edge scissors to cut two 1″x12″ strips from cardstock. Glue to top and bottom edge of rectangle.

3. Print and cut out pattern. Punch holes in each scallop of cardstock edges.

4. Paint toothpicks Espresso. Set aside.

5. Needle felt bird white. Draw wing with marker. Needle felt wing and beak brown. Glue crystal (eye) to face and bird to jar. For legs, cut ends of toothpicks and glue to jar.

6. For label, cut 3/4″x4″ strip from patterned paper. Fold in half, adhere ends and cut fork at end with scissors. Adhere stickers to spell “bird seed”. Stick straight pin through label and bird. Stick remaining pin through silk flower and bird. Glue gem to bird.

7. Follow instructions on recipe and fill jar.
bird seed snack mix

by Melony Bradley 

19 Delicious Sriracha Recipes

Sriracha is a great way to add a little spice to any dish. Even in just a small amount, it adds a ton of flavor and is perfect for amping up the heat in a dish. I’ve collected 19 delicious recipes that use sriracha.

19 Delicious Sriracha Recipes

From snacks to main meals, this collection has a little something of everything. The one thing you will definitely need is a big bottle of Sriracha so you can work your way through them all.

01 - Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom - Sriracha Egg Salad
Sriracha Egg Salad from Scattered Thoughts of a Craft Mom

02 - Just Us Four - Sriracha Chex Mix
Sriracha Chex Mix from Just Us Four

03 - Copykat - Sriracha Guacamole
Sriracha Guacamole from Copykat

04 - Farm Fresh Feasts - Sriracha Butternut Squash Portobello Pizza
Sriracha Butternut Squash Portobello Pizza from Farm Fresh Feasts

05 - Peas and Crayons - Oven Roasted Potatoes with Sriracha Pumpkin Aioli
Oven Roasted Potatoes with Sriracha Pumpkin Aioli from Peas and Crayons

06 - Copykat - Sriracha Honey Glazed Leg Quarters
Sriracha Honey Glazed Leg Quarters from Copykat

07 - Raising Whasians - Crockpot Pineapple Sriracha Chicken
Crockpot Pineapple Sriracha Chicken from Raising Whasians

08 - Copykat - Parmesan Cheese Spread
Parmesan Cheese Spread from Copykat

09 - 3 Boys and a Dog - Coffee Honey BBQ Steak
Coffee Honey BBQ Steak from 3 Boys and a Dog

10 - Farm Fresh Feasts - Soy Sriracha Roasted Mushrooms
Soy Sriracha Roasted Mushrooms from Farm Fresh Feasts

11 - Kalyns Kitchen - Sriracha Beef Cabbage Bowl
Sriracha Beef Cabbage Bowl from Kalyn’s Kitchen

12 - 3 Boys and a Dog - Grilled Salmon Sandwiches
Grilled Salmon Sandwiches from 3 Boys and a Dog

13 - Sidewalk Shoes - Sriracha Honey Popcorn
Sriracha Honey Popcorn from Sidewalk Shoes

14 - Just Us Four - Thai Sweet Potato Nachos
Thai Sweet Potato Nachos from Just Us Four

15 - 3 Boys and a Dog - Sriracha Slaw Burgers
Sriracha Slaw Burgers from 3 Boys and a Dog

16 - Kalyns Kitchen - Sriracha Glazed Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Sriracha Glazed Grilled Chicken Kabobs from Kalyn’s Kitchen

17 - Peas and Crayons - Honey Sriracha Lime Dressing
Honey Sriracha Lime Dressing from Peas and Crayons

18 - Just Us Four - Roasted Onion Sriracha Dip
Roasted Onion Sriracha Dip from Just Us Four

19 - Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom - Tex Max Eggs Benedict
Tex Max Eggs Benedict from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Rosemary and Parmesan Crusted Potato Bites

Rosemary and Parmesan Crusted potato bites

A simple tasty and budget friendly side dish that looks and tastes gourmet. My kids love to dip them in ketchup and the adults like them in bruschetta.  If you really want to kick them up another notch you can serve sour cream and chives too.   If you have leftovers they are great the next morning with breakfast.

Ingredients for Rosemary & Parmesan Crusted Potato Bites.

  • 2 pounds petite potatoes, halved
  • 2 ½ tablespoons rosemary infused olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Shredded Regiano Cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions for Rosemary & Parmesan Crusted Potato Bites:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Coat the bottom of a 9×9-baking dish with the olive oil, and then evenly distribute the salt, pepper, garlic and thyme over the olive oil. Sprinkle on the cheeses over the seasoned oil.
  3. Place the potato halves, cut side down, on top of the cheese mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced. Precise baking time will depend on the thickness of your potatoes. (you can spay oil over the potatoes to keep skin crisp)

I like to serve the potatoes with sour cream my husband likes them with sour cream and chives.  The kids like to dip them in ketchup. Gasp, I know ketchup.  They are kids, what can I say but it goes on almost everything.  Occasionally they get fancy and add salsa.    You can accessories them with what ever your family likes.

potato recipe bloggersPlease join us and discover new recipes for potatoes this weeks secret ingredient.  There are over 40 blogger participating in the potato round up.  The cake in the image has me totally intrigued. I think I will try it. If you try my recipe I would love to know what you think.

An InLinkz Link-up

16 Recipes with Ranch dressing you can make

16 Recipes with Ranch – Ranch is one of those quintessential condiments. It works on everything from nachos to chips and has an almost cult following. Ranch goes way beyond your basic salad dressing or dipping sauce though and is used in tons of delicious recipes. I’m sharing 16 recipes with ranch to show exactly how versatile it is.  Plus a bonus recipe- mine. Originally learned to make the homemade ranch dressing because a friend had food allergies and could no longer eat pre-made dressings.  Turns out, my family loves homemade ranch dressing too.   It is not only used to make dressing but I use it to make, dips, in my chicken breading, in my buffalo dip and in a few other recipes too.  When other kids come over to our house it is often requested as a seasoning on popcorn.  After getting so many requests, I decided I would start making larger batches and give it as gifts. My ranch recipe shown in the image below. 
Buttermilk Ranch SeasoningEnjoy all the recipes with ranch included.  They are sure to be a hit.

16 Delicious Recipes with Ranch

This collection has everything from dips to dinners. I hope you find something you love.

01 - Thrifty Jinxy - Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken

Crispy Garlic Ranch Chicken and Potatoes from Thrifty Jinxy

02 - peas and Crayons - BBQ Ranch Sweet Potato Pizza

BBQ Ranch Sweet Potato Pizza from Peas and Crayons

03 - Just Us Four - BBQ Ranch Pull Apart Pizza

BBQ Ranch Chicken Pull Apart Bread from Just Us Four

04 - Peas and Crayons - Confetti Quinoa with BBQ Ranch

Confetti Quinoa Salad with BBQ Ranch from Peas and Crayons

05 - To Simply Inpsire - Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole

Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole from To Simply Inspire

06 - Connoisser Us Veg - BBQ Cauliflower Pitas

BBQ Cauliflower Pitas with Avocado Ranch from Connoisseurus Veg

07 - To Simply Inpsire - Ranch Cottage Cheese Dip
Ranch Cottage Cheese dip from To Simply Inspire

08 - Homemaking Hacks - Slow Cooker Cheesy Ranch Chicken

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ranch Chicken from Homemaking Hacks

09 - The Frugal Fairy - Ranch Chikn Stuffed Cucumbers

Ranch Chick’n Stuffed Cucumbers from The Frugal Fairy

10 - Our Table for Seven - Chicken Bacon Ranch pasta Skillet

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Skillet from Our Table for Seven

11 - The Suburban Mom - Ranch Rosemary Chicken Kabobs

Ranch Rosemary Chicken Kabobs from The Suburban Mom

12 - Just Us Four - Jalapeno Ranch Black Bean Loaded Nachos

Jalapeno Ranch Black Bean Loaded Nachos from Domestic Superhero for Just Us Four

13 - A Cultivated Nest - Creamy Crockpot Chicken

Creamy Crockpot Ranch Chicken from A Cultivated Nest

14 - Gator Mommy Reviews - Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza from Gator Mommy Reviews

15 - Madame Deals - Ranch Turkey Pinwheels

Ranch Turkey Pinwheels from Madame Deals

16 - Spend with Pennies - Light Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Light Buttermilk Ranch from Spend with Pennies


Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea

Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea pecan pie iced tea cocktail

Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea, yes you read that right.  We are crafting cocktails in the kitchen. So, if you don’t want to craft a cocktail that is cool and refreshing as well as delicious then you should click around the other pages and find another type of craft to do.    I belong to a monthly dinner club and each month there is a different theme and we sign up for different courses.  Our theme this month was nut.  I signed up for a cocktail and had absolutely no clue what I was going to make.  I knew I could fall back on something expected with peanuts if needed.

The one of the best local places to go near Cincinnati is across the river into Kentucky and visit the Party Source  I purchased a brand of whiskey called Foggy Dog by Three Boys Farm Distillery  They make whiskey in small batches and sell locally around the region.


Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea Recipe

Supplies for making cocktail – approximately 60 ounces

Pitcher, long spoon, cutting board, knife,

10  packets Stevia
4    cups tea
3    cups Pecan Pie Whisky
1    cup orange juice
1    cup sweet and sour mix
7    dashes bitters
1    pinch of salt


Directions for making Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea:

Mix all the ingredients together in a large pitcher.  Stir in ice.  Then pour in a glass with a few cubes.  Garnish with lemon slices.  If you are making ahead, refrigerate the pitcher of iced tea then serve over ice.  If you would rather garnish with orange slices you can do that too.

I hope you enjoy the cocktail that was “crafted” in the kitchen.  If you like the idea of pecan pie iced tea they also make other flavors like blueberry cream, apple pie and other.   I look forward to trying a few more of the flavored whiskey.


Bacon Ranch Crackers Gift in a Jar

Bacon Ranch Crackers 2 gift in a jar

Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Crackers are totally awesome according to my kids and I think I might agree.  They make a great gift in a jar and a snack to have on hand for movie nights.  In my world bacon is like butter and it makes everything better.  When you combine bacon with buttermilk ranch powdered dressing you have hit the trifecta of flavor.  Excellent snack or appetizer to give as a gift for the food lover on your gift list.  They also make a nice simple hosts gift and a thank you gift when you do not know what to get the person.
The recipe below is a powdered mix I make in bulk and keep on hand.  It does not have to be used for Bacon Ranch Crackers only.  You can add it to sour cream or mayonnaise to make a dip or dressing, sprinkle it over chicken for a marinade or any way you would use a powdered mix from the store.

Homemade Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Dressing Mix:

2 Tbsp powdered buttermilk
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp bacon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
( 1/4 tsp salt optional)
5 cups oyster crackers  ( a standard bag from the store)

(equal to one packet of store-bought)

Add each of the dried spices to a bowl and mix carefully.   If you want to make the dressing mix in a double batch you can store the remainder in a canning jar or zip top bag.

Directions for Bacon Ranch Crackers Gift in a Jar:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spices.   Add oyster crackers and olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring gently after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool before serving.

Materials for Pyrography Spoon:

  • Wood Spoons
  • Pattern Hot Stamp
  • Creative Versa-Tool
  • Twine
  • Button
  • scissors

Then I used a pattern Hot Stamp from the Creative Versa-Tool to add the circles on the back and the front of the spoon.
wood burning spoons
You can draw images or stamp images and the follow the lines with the wood burning tool
draw pattern on spoon before wood burning

If you are interested in learning other ways to do a wood burn spoon you can check out this thinks to Pyrography Spoons

I hope you enjoy the Bacon Ranch Crackers as much as my family does.

Creamy Salad dressing trio- MSG FREE

Creamy Salad Dressing in a jar trio

The creamy salad dressing recipe trio makes a great gift.  You can choose the base for your salad or dip.  It pairs well with bases like sour cream, mayo, plain yogurt or kefir.
If you are used to using the packets from the store  – about 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of homemade Ranch seasoning equals one (1 oz.) packet of Ranch seasoning.

However, I’d suggest starting with about 2 tablespoons to your recipes then add more to taste.  You might also have to adjust the quantities of the herbs and spices for your family’s personal taste.  Mine likes less salt.  Results may also vary a bit depending on how fresh or old your herbs and spices are so adjust accordingly.
The herbs add great flavor and you can use the seasoning blend in a variety of ways.  Make a great salad dressing, marinade, oil and vinegar dip or top dressing by using your favorite base like sour cream, mayo, plain yogurt or kefir.  Enjoy your creamy salad dressing recipe trio in a variety of ways.

Creamy Italian:

  • ½ cup dried buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Creamy Greek Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
  • 2  teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2  teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2  teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pepper
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons onion powder

I like to add it to 3/4 cup olive oil and 3/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup balsamic

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Mix:

  • ½ cup dried buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Add each of the dried spices to a bowl and mix. Place in an airtight container.

Tools and supplies for Creamy Salad dressing Trio:

Glass jar with lid for each variety
Scrap fabric for decorative trim
basket filler
Wood burning tool
Hot Glue gun
wood spoon

1.  Follow the instructions for wood burning here.  That is the technique used on the spoon.

Fill the basket with filler add a drop of hot glue to hold the glass jars in place.  Tie the bow around the package and then secure the wooden spoon.  Secure it with a drop of hot glue too.

Italian Dipping Oil

Italian Dipping Oil - hot
I love to bake bread and one of our favorite toppings on a piping hot fresh loaf of crusty Italian bread is to dip the stay goodness into an Extra Virgin Olive oil that has been flavored with an Italian herb blend.  We also like things a little spicy too so we kick ours up a notch with pepper and crushed red peppers.  If you do not like things spicy hot then you can omit the peppers from your mix.  Many of my friends complement my dipping oil so I thought I would give them as gifts this year.  Also if you want to add a little Balsamic vinegar to the oil when serving you can.  It makes it extra tasty.

Tools and supplies for Italian Dipping oil – Hot Italian Blend:

  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt (or according to your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (about 6 oz was enough to fill mini wine bottle)
  • Funnel
  • Cork
  • Bottle
  • Twine
  • Empty mini wine bottle
  • Ad Tech Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Polymer Clay charm ( instructions to make them here)
  • Handmade sticker
  • Labels for back.

Instructions to make Hot Italian Blend:

1.  Clean and sterilize bottles.
2.  Use a funnel to pour in spices and olive oil. Add the cork.
3.  After filling and corking bottles, wash and dry them well.
4.  Apply label to front of bottle.
5.  Wrap twine around the neck of the bottle and adhere with Hot Glue and
6.  Add sticker to front.  Add another sticker to the back with name and expiration date.  .

To prolong the life of the oil, refrigerate bottles. If you are using fresh herbs and spices make sure you wash and dry them.  If you are using dried spices the shelf life is 3 months and fresh herbs 1 month after making .   I add a label on the back of each bottle so the recipient knows what they are getting and when to use them by.

 spices added then olive oil