Gifts from the Kitchen

Whenever I need a gift for someone, I try to think of a food gift that they’ll enjoy.  It can be something that’s ready to enjoy right away, or something they can use later, but it’s always appreciated.  When the weather is cold, this Hearty Pasta Soup Mix recipe is perfect for gifting!  Whether it’s for an office party gift exchange, or for a friend, it’s a delicious, useful gift that can be saved until it’s needed.

Hearty Pasta Soup Mix

Hearty Pasta Soup Mix Recipe

14 Servings  Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1-1/4 hours

1/2 cup dried split peas
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 cup dried lentils
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 envelope savory herb with garlic soup mix or vegetable soup mix
2 cups uncooked tricolor spiral pasta

10 cups water
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained


  • In a 1-qt. glass container, layer the first seven ingredients in the order listed. Place the pasta in a 1-qt. resealable plastic bag; add to the jar. Seal tightly. Yield: 1 batch (4 cups).
  • To prepare soup: Remove pasta from top of jar and set aside. Place water in a Dutch oven; stir in soup mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the chicken, tomatoes and pasta. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes longer or until pasta, peas and lentils are tender. Yield: 14 servings (3-1/2 quarts).

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup equals 173 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 613 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 5 g
fiber, 15 g protein.

If desserts are more your style, this recipe for Christmas Cookies in a Jar is perfect for you!

Christmas Cookies in a Jar

Christmas Cookies in a Jar Recipe

18 Servings  Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min.

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup vanilla or white chips

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a 1-qt. glass jar, layer the sugar and brown sugar, packing well between each layer. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; spoon into jar. Top with oats, cranberries and chips. Cover and store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
  • To prepare cookies: Pour cookie mix into a large bowl; stir to combine. Beat in butter, egg and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Drop by the tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 3 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 188 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 102 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

2 thoughts on “Gifts from the Kitchen

  1. I’m already looking for ideas for next Christmas. The hearty pasta soup in a jar sounds great! Just wondering though, instead of lentils (which I’m not fond of) could I substitute the same amount of barley without affecting the cooking time too much?

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