Need a gift in a hurry? Go to your stash of jars then head to the pantry and start packing that jar with all the ingredients to make Simple Shortbread or Snickerdoodles and voila you have a gorgeous, very useful, very inexpensive gift in a jar!
FROM THE MEMBERS CENTRE: GIFTS IN A JAR
Gifts in a jar can be as simple or as complex as you like. They can be in jars or boxes or buckets or any other container suitable for the contents of your gift. They can be for eating or gardening or sewing or relaxing in the tub. Gifts in a jar are only limited by your imagination. Here are two of my favourites:
Simple Shortbread Mix
1 cup SR flour
1/2 cup ground rice
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup castor sugar
Combine ingredients and pack into a jar. Attach label with instructions as below.
1 jar Simple Shortbread mix
1 cup butter
Heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Cut cold butter into flour with a knife. Using fingertips knead shortbread mix and butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Use a knife to mix into a dough. Press mixture into a shortbread mould (if you have one) and cook on a baking sheet or press and cook in a greased, 20cm round cake tin. With a butter knife mark out wedges (you should get 12). Bake for approximately one hour, or until light golden on top. Do not brown. Cut into wedges while still warm.
2 3/4 cups SR flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Combine ingredients and pack into a jar. Attach label with instructions below.
1 jar Snickerdoodle mix
1 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cream butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is smooth and creamy. On low speed, add Snickerdoodle mix and beat until a dough forms. Roll dough into balls about the size of a 20 cent coin. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and then place on ungreased cookie sheets, about 5cm apart to allow room for spreading. Bake 8 - 10 minutes until light brown. Cool on wire racks.
Cranberry Orange Nut Bread
2 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg, beaten
2 cups craisins* chopped roughly
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and bicarb soda into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, melted butter, and beaten egg. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined - do not over stir. Add the craisins and the walnuts and fold in until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in loaf pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let rest for several hours before serving. Makes 1 loaf.
*Craisins are dried cranberries and are available in the dried fruit aisle of your supermarket.
Raspberry Jelly Pops
1 raspberry jelly
1 cup boiling water
1 cup vanilla yoghurt
Dissolve jelly in boiling water. Cool for a few minutes. Add the vanilla yoghurt mix well. Pour into icy pole moulds, leaving 1cm at top for expansion. Freeze.
Strawberry Banana Icy Poles
1 punnet strawberries, hulled
1 banana, peeled
1 cup apple juice
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into icy pole moulds and freeze.
Fruit Salad Icy Poles
2 cups fruit salad
1 cup pineapple or apple juice
Blend fruit salad and juice until smooth. Pour into icy pole moulds and freeze.
Watermelon Icy Poles
2 cups watermelon chunks
2 cups orange or apple juice (or 1 cup of each)
Blend until smooth. Pour into icy pole moulds, leave 1cm gap at top for expansion and freeze.
Lemonade Icy Poles
This was my mother's favourite icy pole - just plain old lemonade, frozen. Nothing else added, it really is refreshing and cooling.
Simply fill icy pole moulds with lemonade. Leave 1cm gap at top for expansion. Freeze.
Fill an almost empty jam jar with milk. Shake until all the jam is off the sides and bottom of the jar. Pour into icy pole moulds and freeze.
You can use any flavour jam, but we prefer either strawberry or raspberry.
Pineapple Kiwi Fruit Icy Poles
4 kiwi fruit, peeled
1-1/2 - 2 cups pineapple juice
Blend kiwi fruit and pineapple juice until smooth. Pour into icy pole moulds, leave 1cm gap at top for expansion and freeze.
You don't need to have a hot air corn popper to make fresh popcorn at home. You don't even need a microwave. You can easily pop popcorn the old fashioned way - in a pot with a lid on the stove! Popcorn popped on the stove has a smokier, much richer flavour and much less un-popped kernels than corn popped in a hot air popper or the microwave.
To pop popcorn on the stove:
1.Pour approximately two tablespoons of vegetable oil into the bottom of a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
2.Add enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the saucepan in a single layer.
3.Put the lid on and cook over a medium heat until you hear the first "pop".
4.Using the saucepan handle, carefully and gently shake the entire saucepan over the heat until the popping stops. Keep the saucepan moving or the corn will burn.
5.Remove from heat, take the lid off and tip the popcorn into a serving dish. Season if you wish to.
To pop popcorn in the microwave:
1.Using a brown paper lunch bag, cover the bottom of the bag with popcorn. Make sure that the entire bottom of the bag is covered.
2. Fold over the top of the bag and staple it closed. Yes, the staple is metal, but it won't spark.
4. Place the bag in the microwave, lying down.
5. Cook on high until the popping stops. This will vary depending on how powerful your microwave is. I suggest that you start at two minutes and check. It may need another 30 seconds or so to complete the popping process.
Store your popcorn in the freezer. This helps all the kernels to pop.
Buy your popcorn loose from your local wholefoods or health food store, rather than in packets from the supermarket. You can buy as much or as little as you need. Remember, 200g un-popped popcorn makes an awful lot of popped corn, a little goes a very long way.
You can re-use the paper bag for microwave popcorn if you are very careful opening it.
To add butter to freshly popped corn, melt the butter and pour it over the hot popcorn. Stir quickly to cover all the kernels.
20 cups pop corn
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup condensed milk
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
Spread the popcorn in a thin layer in shallow, greased baking pans. Preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius. Combine the brown sugar, condensed milk and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over a medium heat. Boil for five minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and stir in the bicarb soda and vanilla essence, beating well. The mixture should be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn. Stir with a fork to mix. Don't worry too much if not the popcorn isn't completely covered with the caramel. Place into preheated oven and bake for one hour, stirring completely every fifteen minutes. Remove from oven and empty onto sheets of baking paper. Break the caramel corn into bite size pieces. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Variation: Bliss Bombs - add 2 cups unsalted peanuts to the popcorn before covering with the caramel mixture.
This is a great weekend brunch or Saturday night tea, another one you can put together and let it cook while you relax. I serve it with a tossed salad and crusty bread.
6 potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated tasty cheese*
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese*
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
While preheating oven to 175 degrees Celsius, peel the potatoes and quarter. Place them in a large pot and fill with water to cover. Bring potatoes to a boil and continue boiling for 7 to 10 minutes (you want the potatoes to be soft but not so soft that you can’t slice them).
While the potatoes are boiling, put 4 tablespoons butter in a baking dish and melt in oven, then tip baking dish to make sure butter is distributed.
In a bowl, toss together the cheeses; set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the sour cream and eggs together; set aside.
Once the potatoes are done, drain them and slice each piece in half.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and dump half the potatoes into the pan and layer as evenly as possible on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
Take the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and place it in the same pot you boiled the potatoes in. Add the onion and sauté until tender, approximately 3 minutes.
While the onion is being sautéed, chop the ham. Mix the ham and onion together in the pot with the heat turned off, and then layer half the mixture over the potatoes in the baking dish.
Scatter half the cheese mixture evenly over the ham-onion mixture, then put the remaining half ham-onion mixture on top, then use the remaining cheese mixture and sprinkle on top, then pour the egg mixture over all evenly.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
*Note: I don’t keep Gruyere in the house as a rule so I will often just use two cups of whatever cheese is in the fridge, or a combination of tasty, mozzarella and parmesan.
From the Cheapskates Club Gluten Free Recipe File