Saturday, November 22, 2008

Handmade Holidays Idea #5 Mixes


Handmade Holiday ideas continue with mixes. Over the years we have tried a few of these. We have tried drink mixes, brownie mixes, popcorn seasoning, dip mixes and even dog biscuit mixes. A quick google search will get you a list of mix options in no time at all.......but here are some recipes that we have tried over the years.

Drink Mixes

Hot Cocoa Mix

2 cups powdered milk

1 cup sugar or (splenda sugar substitute)

3/4 cup cocoa

1/2 cup non dairy coffee creamer

Add all ingredients together in a food processor and process until mixture is powdered.

*To make raspberry cocoa, replace 1/2 of the sugar with raspberry powdered drink crystals.

*To make mint cocoa, add 6 hard peppermint candies and process. Use sugar free if you are making sugar free cocoa mix. To serve, add 2 heaping tbsp of mix to a cup of hot water.


Toffee Coffee Mix

1 cup instant coffee

2 cups milk powder

1 cup powdered non dairy creamer

1/3 cup cocoa

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup instant butterscotch pudding mix


Mix all together in food processor until finely powdered. To serve, add 2-3 heaping tsp to a mug and fill with boiling water.


Vanilla Spice Latte

1/2 cup instant coffee

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup powdered milk

1/4 cup dry non dairy creamer

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup vanilla instant pudding mix


Mix all together in food processor until finely powdered. To serve, add 2-3 heaping tsp to a mug and fill with boiling water.



Dip Mixes

Garden Herb Dip


1T dried parsley

1 tsp dried dill

1 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/4 tsp dried sage

2 T dehydrated onion

3-4 T dehydrated carrot, celery, scallions


Mix all together and store in Ziploc bag until needed. To make, use 3-4 T of dip mix and mix into 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt. Mix well and let sit in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving. If you cannot find dehydrated carrots, celery and scallions......you can make your own by mincing vegetables and placing them on a baking sheet in a 250 F oven for 45 minutes. Watch them carefully to make sure they dry completely but do not brown.

Ranch Dip Mix

1 1/2 T dried parsley

1 1/2 tsp dried chives

3/4 tsp dried tarragon

1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper

1 T salt

3/4 tsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix all together in a medium bowl and keep in ziploc bag until needed. For dressing, whisk 1 tsp dip mix together with 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 cup butter milk. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving. For a dip, Combine 2 tbsp mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream or lowfat yogurt. Refrigerate 2 hour before serving.


Special Brownie Mix

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white baking chips

3/4 cups chopped walnuts

1 50 mL bottle of liqueur like Baileys or Grand Marnier

Layer all ingredients in a one quart jar and screw lid on. Attach liqueur bottle with ribbon. Include directions.....

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease bottom of 8inch or 9 inch square pan. Melt 1/2 cup butter or margarine. Beat melted butter, two eggs, and the liqueur in a medium bowl until blended. If you are not using the liqueur substitute it with 1/4 cup water. Stir in brownie mix. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes for 8 inch pan and 25-30 minutes if using a 9 inch pan or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and slice into 16 squares


Popcorn Seasonings

Chili Cheese

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1/3 cup powdered cheddar cheese

1 tsp garlic salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all in a small bowl. Spoon into small jars with tight fitting lid. Makes 1/3 cup.


Mexican Blend

1 1/4 oz (one envelope) taco seasoning mix

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp basil

3/4 tsp garlic powder


Combine all in a small bowl. Spoon into small jars with tight fitting lid. Makes 1/3 cup.


Mediterranean Blend

1 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 0z ( one envelope) of spaghetti sauce mix

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all in a small bowl. Spoon into small jars with tight fitting lid. Makes 1/3 cup.

Dog Biscuits

1 3/4 cups flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rye flour

3/4 cup corn flour

3/4 cup bran

2 T kelp

2 T wheat germ

1 cup corn meal

2 T garlic powder

1 T parsley

1 1/2 tsp rosemary

1 T beef soup base powder

2 T skim milk powder

2 T instant yeast

Mix all together. Divide dry mixture into two equal portions. To prepare biscuits, add 1 cup tomato or vegetable juice to one portion of dry ingredients to make a stiff dough. Add an additional 2 T of water if necessary. Roll out dough, cut shapes and bake in a 300 F oven for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave in oven to dry.




As with all handmade gifts, the trick is in finding the right packaging or presentation. The coffee and Hot Chocolate mixes fit nicely into empty tins from General Mills 'Internationals Coffee'. I just printed up some paper labels to wrap over the sides of the tins. If your house is tidier than mine because you actually throw things out, you may not have any empty coffee tins laying about.......in which case a quick trip to the paint store may be in order. You can purchase empty paint tins there in a size you feel is appropriate and than print up your own custom label or decorate the tin in a scrapbook style.

For the dip mixes, I found the tall size baby food jar worked very well, and again if you don't have these floating around your house, there is probably a new mom in the neighbourhood who would love to part with some. For baby food jars, I again printed up a label to wrap around the jar and painted the lid with acrylic paints in a coordinating colour.

The brownies presented a problem for me as they are meant to be packaged in a canning jar, and I really was not overly fond of the country look associated with this packaging. I ended up packaging the brownie mix in clear cellophane bags from the dollar store, and then putting them inside a brown paper lunch bag with a personalized label glued to front and back with instructions on them. To close, I folded down the top of the bag inch, then again and punched two holes with a hole punch through the folded top about one inch apart. Run a piece of ribbon through both holes and tie in the front with a gift tag and you are done.

Popcorn seasonings were quite easy as you can purchase empty spice bottles from the bulk section of the grocery store or from your dollar store quite easily. Again a simple label from the printer and you're done. All my label making has been done with regular white paper which I cut to size and wrap the container with about a 1 cm overlap. Just enough to glue it in place. If you have scrap booking supplies at your disposal, two way tape will work well too.

The dog biscuit mix was packaged in the same fashion as the brownie mix with the addition of a bone shaped cookie cutter which I tied to the top of the bag closure.

Well, there are a few more ideas for you. Mixes are generally quite quick to prepare especially in larger numbers as you get a bit of an assembly line going.


1 comment:

Cathy | Mommy Motivation said...

good ideas!

I posted a scrapbook "perpetual calendar" and card organizer in one. I have the examples and instructions on my blog too!

This year I think I'm going to do home made dinner delivered! I am going to make freezer meals for the couples that both work and send them with ice and instructions so that they can have supper IN for a change! And darn it if I can't post it on my blog - cause they read it! :)