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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


Christmas Ideas

Time to get started on some of those gifts for all the ‘extra’ people in your life. I’m talking about the people that make your life easier. Like teachers.

Do you know what happens when your kids go from grade school to middle school? I mean besides oozing hormonal juices all over your nerves. Well, something about the oozing hormones means they need a billion more teachers to help teach them learn how to keep the oozing in their heads.

So what are we going to do for the billions of teacher this year?


Yes, I said jars.

Jars of food to be more specific.

I’m certain most of you have seen the cookie mix in a jar. Right? Let’s do some of those and then a few others. Okay?

Hey! There’s my letter D key! Oh, D, I miss you under my finger. How’s life on the window sill?

Back to jar food.

The two jars up there are filled with Andes Creme de Menthe Chunk Cookie mix. Goodness they are sooooo good, I made them last year and my family couldn’t stop eating them. I use the recipe on the back of the package. These jars are waiting to be adorned.

Here’s what you do. Take the flour, baking powder and baking soda, mix together and pour on a piece of paper. Fold the paper in half and use it to funnel the mixture in the jar. Next is the brown sugar, then the sugar. Top it off with the chips. Using a spoon smoosh down the sides of the chips allowing room to pour in more chips.

Ta-dah!! That’s it.

Okay, not really.

Now you need to write out the recipe with the remaining ingredients which in most mixes will be vanilla, eggs and butter. Follow the baking instruction on the back of the bag. Put it on a little tag, tie with a ribbon or stick some cute fabric on the top and then you are done.

You can bake a batch of the cookies and give the jar with a few cookies on top and wrap with a bow.

One thing you should know…….never put the brown sugar on the bottom because it’s too hard to get out of the jar.

There are a ton of jar ideas on the Internet. TONS! I know, because I’m a food jar expert and also I’ve been googling jar recipes, jar gifts, cookie mix in a jar and jar jar can you do the jar jar.

If I had the extra moolah I would collect the antique blue mason jars throughout the year and put the cookie mix in those because I WOULD LOVE TO GET ONE OF THOSE!!!! Just sayin‘.

Here’s a couple more mixes I’ll be using this year.

Ginger Spice Muffin Mix
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour out mixture onto wax paper, use to funnel into a pint size jar.

Include this recipe with the mix;
1 package Ginger Spice Muffin Mix
1/4 cup butter melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup milk

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin tins. In a large bowl combine all ingredients in order given. Stir until blended, do not over mix. The batter will be lumpy. Fill muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes.

How about a drink with those muffins?

Cappuccino Mix
1 Cup powdered instant nondairy creamer
1 Cup chocolate drink mix
3/4 Cup instant coffee
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and package in a canister or jar. Include these instructions;

Use 2 tablespoons of cappuccino mix with 6 ounces of boiling water.

I’m also hoping to make a huge batch of my chicken and rice soup to put in the jars and include a loaf of homemade bread with it. I think some of the teachers would love to have a dinner to take home after a long day of teaching.

That’s it for now. Remember, be creative. Surf that wonderful web and look at some of the mix ideas. Most of the people I know love getting food gifts. Some of you probably have better ideas than these, so please share them in the comments. I would love to hear what you give your teachers without spending a ton of money.

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