Bean and Pea Soup Gift Jar

Bean  and Pea Soup

Bean and Pea Soup Bean Soup is a basic, healthy, yet oddly satisfying soup that is just perfect on a cold winter day! Who says comfort food has to be bad for you? This soup is all about whole, real goodness and it makes a perfect gift! How wonderful is that? The soup is what you make of it, but it’s always a big hit!

What You’ll Need for the Bean Soup Jar:
1 quart jar
6 types of beans, lentils and/or peas (Note: I used navy white beans, black kabuli chick peas, petite crimson lentils, scarlet runner beans, yellow split peas and black beluga lentils.)

You want to layer the beans,lentils and/or peas you choose so that no two of the same color are next to each other. The jar above has 1/2 cup of navy white beans, 1/2 cup of black chick peas, 1 cup of petite crimson lentils, 1/2 cup scarlet runner beans, 1/2 cup of yellow split peas and the rest of the jar is filled with black beluga lentils.

Dress up the jar however you like, but be sure to include the directions for the soup (see below).

What You’ll Need to Make the Soup:
1 Bean and Pea Soup Gift Jar (see above)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Broth or water

Dump contents of the Bean and Pea Soup gift jar into a large bowl and cover with water. Let sit overnight. (Note: If you choose only lentils and split pea varieties you can skip this step as they don’t need to soak overnight. They can soak, it won’t hurt them, but it isn’t necessary.)

In a large stockpot saute celery and onion with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper until just tender.

Drain beans and peas and rinse. Add to the stockpot with the tender celery and onions. Cover beans and peas until just covered with water or broth. (Note: Most of the time I use water. The beans and peas have enough flavor to more than make the soup, but if you want you can use chicken or vegetable broth instead.)

Cook for 2-3 hours until beans are tender.

Serve warm.

Bean and Pea Soup

Notes: You could also add in other veggies to the soup such as leeks of carrots. I even add in mushrooms from time to time. It’s completely a matter of personal taste. This soup is warm, hearty and oh so creamy. Who knew healthy could taste so good? I also ended up utilizing my Crock Pot for this soup. All you have to do is dump in the ingredients and cook for 4-5 hours on high and you’re good to go!

Hot Chocolate Gift Jar

Hot Chocolate Gift Jar

Hot chocolate immediately brings to mind snow, warmth and the holidays! What better present to give than a jar of chocolatey goodness? Throw in some cookies and you could even leave out a cup for Santa! He’d really love that! 😉

Hot Chocolate Gift Jar

What You’ll Need for the Jar:
1 quart jar
1 cup of powdered milk
1 cup of powdered cocoa
1 cup of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla powder, optional

Mix ingredients in a food processor or sift together and stir until completely mixed.

Dress up the jar however you like, but be sure to include instructions on how to make the hot chocolate (see below).

Hot Chocolate

To Make the Hot Chocolate:

Add boiling water to 2 or 3 heaping spoonfuls of hot chocolate mix to taste. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream or even just drink it straight up! For an adult kick add in some rum or Irish cream.

Three Bean Chili Gift Jar

Three Bean Chili Gift Jar

After a little something sweet, what better than to spice things up a bit with the gift of Three Bean Chili! This version is very basic, but basic doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This is the perfect meal on a snowy day and it just so happens today is just that! 😉

What You’ll Need for the Jar:
1 quart jar
3-4 tablespoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of paprika
1 tablespoon of onion and/or garlic powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 teaspoons of black pepper
1 cup of three different types of beans (Note: I used pinto. scarlet runner and navy white beans.)

In the bottom of the jar mix spices and then layer beans on top. Dress up the jar any way you like, with fabric, ribbons and bows, but remember to include the directions for the chili (see below).

Three Bean Chili

What You’ll Need to Make the Chili:
1 Three Bean Chili Gift Jar (see above)
Olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 pint of grape tomatoes, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 – 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 – 10 ounce can of Rotel
1 potato, peeled and cubed

Scoop beans out of the jar and leave the spices behind. Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Let soak over night.

In a large stock pot saute onion, tomatoes and garlic until onions are tender and tomatoes start to get soft.

Three Bean Chili: Veggies

Add seasonings from the jar and stir to mix.

Three Bean Chili: Veggies and Spices

Next add tomato sauce, Rotel, beans and 1 1/2 jars of water. Stir to mix and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 hours at least. The longer the better. Chili only gets better with time!

20-30 minutes before serving add the potato and cook until tender.

Three Bean Chili

Notes: The potato is a thing my dad does to chili. I think he got it from my grandmother. I don’t do it every time I make a pot of chili, but it adds a nice little surprise that most people don’t expect so I do it from time to time. You could also add in a cup or two of corn in place of the potato if you wanted. Depending on what type of canned tomato sauce you use you my need to add more salt. Taste the concoction as you go and modify the spices to your liking.

Chocolate Chip Brownie Gift Jar

Chocolate Chip Brownies Gift Jar

What’s better for a gift than something gooey and chocolatey? That’s exactly what you get with Chocolate Chip Brownies! If you have a chocolate lover on your gift list, this is the gift for you. It’s simple to put together and even simple to bake! That’s very important when you’re giving a gift. I’m sending them with Jamison to work tomorrow to share. After all isn’t that the fun part?

What You’ll Need for the Gift Jar:
1 quart jar
3/4 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups of organic cane sugar
1 cup of milk chocolate chips

Mix flour, salt and baking powder and add to the jar.

Next add the cocoa powder.

After that add the sugar.

On top put the chocolate chips.

Dress up the jar however you like…Ribbons, fabric, etc. and be sure to include the directions for how to make the brownies (see below).

Chocolate Chip Brownies

What You’ll Need to Make the Brownies:
1 stick of butter melted
1 Chocolate Chip Brownies Gift Jar (See above)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl melt butter in the microwave and set aside.

Scoop chocolate chips out of the jar and dump the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the butter, along with the eggs and the vanilla. Stir mixture until completely incorporated and then stir in chocolate chips until just mixed.

Pour brownie mixture into an 8 X 8 inch baking dish that has been greased or sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake brownies for 25-20 minutes or until fudgy.

Remove pan from the oven and let cool.

Chocolate Chip Brownies

Cut the brownies into squares. (Note: The brownies are very rich so you might want to cut them smaller, rather than larger.)

Store in an airtight container.

Notes: I was going to make these Peppermint Chocolate Chip Brownies, but I realized I was out of peppermint extract when I got ready to bake the brownies. If you want to make them peppermint omit the vanilla and add 1 tablespoon of peppermint extract instead.