Friday, December 25, 2009


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Layer the ingredients for a nice presentation. This mix will fill a 1-quart jar (12 servings), but if your containers are different sizes, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant. You can include a book and/or nice mug with your mix.
Classic Cocoa Mix In A Jar

Yield: Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings hot cocoa

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows

Layer sugar, cocoa powder, powdered milk, salt, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.
Include the following instruction for preparation: "Mix contents in a large bowl. For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water. Store remaining mix in airtight container."


Need a quick last minute gift that won't cost your first born?
If you can't find a container as shown above, you can put it in a celophane gift bag or a mason jar. You can also tie a wooden spoon to your container. Be sure to include the directions for preparing the soup.
Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar

1/2 cup dry split peas
1/3 cup beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup quick pearl barley
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup dried onion flakes
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta or other tiny pasta
In a 1-pint or 1-1/2-pint jar, layer split peas, bouillon, barley, lentils, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, rice and bay leaves. Wrap pasta in plastic wrap and place in the jar. Seal tightly.

Attach a label to the jar with the following instructions:
Friendship Soup additional ingredients: 1 lb. ground beef; black pepper to taste; garlic powder to taste; 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained; 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste; and three quarts water.
To prepare soup: Remove pasta from top of jar and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, brown beef with pepper and garlic; drain excess fat. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water and soup mix. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Stir in the pasta, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barley are tender

Monday, December 21, 2009


Another recipe for Honey Baked Ham. This recipe also uses a small butane torch (like Julia Child used for Creme Brulee) to caramelize the sugar glaze. PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL using the torch.
As I mentioned in yesterday's post for Family Circles version of Honey Baked Ham you can save a tidy sum (approximately $35 on a 7lb ham) making your own.

Honeybaked Ham Glaze
1/2 spiral cut smoked ham (about 7 lbs. fully cooked)

1 Cup sugar
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon ground clove
1/8 Teaspoon paprika
1 Dash ground ginger
1 Dash ground allspice

Mix sugar and spices together in a small bowl.

Pour the sugar mixture onto 2-3 large pieces of wax paper and spread it around evenly.

Roll the ham in the sugar mixture, coating it evenly.

Place the flat end of the ham on a plate. Use a butane torch with a medium flame and caramelize the sugar. Move the torch quickly over the sugar mixture so the sugar bubbles and caramelizes. Be careful not to burn the ham. Rotate the plate to reach all around the ham and caramelize the sugar on the enire ham. PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL using the torch.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


This recipe is from Family Circle Magazine.
Starting with a spiral cut ham will make this easier. A (7) lb. Half Ham (Serves 10-14) from Honey Baked Ham will cost you $49.95 , if it is not shipped. A sprial cut ham from Safeway at 1.69 a pound (SALE PRICE) will be about 11.83 for the ham alone. If you make your own honeybaked type ham it will be well under 15.00, depending on the cost of the ingredients for the honey type glaze. That's approximately a $35.00 savings, so try making your own ham this year, it's worth it!

Knock-off Honey Baked Ham
1/2 spiral cut smoked ham (@ 7 lbs. fully cooked)
1/2 Cup pear juice
1/2 Cup orange juice
1/2 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup honey

Preheat oven to 375 ° F.
Place ham, cut end down, in a large baking pan.
Mix pear nectar and orange juice in a bowl. Bake ham for 15 minutes basting frequently with juices.
Mix brown sugar and honey together in a small bowl. Brush mixture over ham and bake for another hour or until internal temperature reads 140 °F.

Honey Baked Ham corporation uses a butane torch to carmelize the glaze to a crust. The ham is placed on top of a huge metal drum covered with foil and carmelized. It can be done aat home by turning the ham onto its flat end on a plate. Use a torch with a medium-size flame to caramelize the sugar. Wave the torch over the sugar with rapid movement, so that the sugar bubbles and browns. Be careful not to burn the ham. Turn plate so that you can run the torch over the entire surface of the ham. Be VERY CAREFUL when using the torch.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Though it doesn't compare to the original version Bold Party Blend is one of the more popular varations on Chex Party Mix.

Chex Mix® Bold Party Blend
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons powdered white cheddar*
1 teaspoon msg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
6 cups of a blend of Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, pretzels, mini crackers, cheese-flavored crackers, mini breadsticks

*You can use the cheddar from the package of macaroni and cheese or a cheddar popcorn seasoning.

Preheat oven to 250°F.
Melt butter or margarine and pour in roasting pan. Whisk in oil and Worcestershire sauce Stir in seasonings. Gradually mix in chex, pretzels, mini crackers etc. Stir to coat cearal-cracker-pretzel blend evenly coated.

Bake one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool mixture about 3-5 minutes. Add mix to a large zip-top bag and sprinkle in about a quarter of the powdered white cheddar into the bag, seal it, and give it a good shake. Repeat this process until powdered white cheddar has been used.

Store in air tight container.

Microwave Directions:
Melt butter or margarine in large microwavable bowl uncovered on High. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese, until evenly coated.

Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool about 3-5 minutes. Add mix to a large zip-top bag and sprinkle in about a quarter of the powdered white cheddar mixture into the bag, seal it, and give it a good shake. Repeat this process until powdered white cheddar is used.

Store in air tight container.