Friday, October 25, 2013

Gift in a jar: M & M brownie mix

It honestly went straight from summer to winter weather here, and now it's COLD. I've been packing away the bathing suits and sun hats and digging out all the coats and mittens and hats. I've also been thinking about... Christmas!

We mostly keep Christmas for the kids in our family- our daughters and nieces. But for the few adults- teachers and neighbors and family friends we stick to mix gifts in a jar. Last year we gave fajita mix and marshmallow hot chocolate mix, and the year before salsa mix and chai tea mix. This year I wanted to do something different so...

M & M Brownie Mix

Using a 2 cup (500 ml) mason jar, fill the jar with either 2 cups of my regular brownie mix or my gluten free brownie mix. If you want to make an individual jar, put in:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

I like to layer my ingredients in the jar to make them pretty.

On the outside of the jar, tie a small bag of M & M 's with a ribbon. If you are using bulk candies, tie 1/2 cup of M & M's into a baggie. Attach a tag or sticky label with the directions:

What else you'll need

1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend wet ingredients and stir in mix. Pour batter into a greased square baking dish. You can top with batter with M & M's before baking if you want them melted into the brownies, or halfway through if you want them more intact.

Bake at 350 for about 20-30 min (until brownies start to harden). Cool before cutting!

Easy, inexpensive and impersonal. The perfect gift for anyone you sort of know.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tandoori Seasoning Mix

Our thirteen year old car is due for an emissions test in January and there is no way it's going to pass. In the meantime we're frantically saving our money for the new car we're going to have to buy when the time comes. This means... no more take out!!

One of the most tempting and expensive forms of take out I crave is Indian food. We can easily blow $40 on just one meal for the two of us and right now that's not an option. So if I want Indian I have to make it myself. And yesterday I really, really wanted it...

Tandoori Seasoning Mix (single use)

1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon tumeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
pinch cardamom powder

What else you'll need

1 cup plain yogurt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into cubes

You can use this as a dry rub too, but it tastes more authentic if you marinade the chicken in yogurt first. Combine the mix and yogurt and stir well, then mix in the chicken. Marinade in the fridge for 8 hours.

String marinaded chicken pieces onto skewers and lay them on the grill to cook.

Grill until chicken is cooked through and marinade darkens in color.

I served the chicken skewers with basmati rice and cauliflower curry (seasoning mix found here).

Not only did this make a large and authentic meal inexpensively for my husband and I, it also made 2 small meals for the children and best of all?

2 big containers of leftovers for lunch today! Because everybody knows that Indian tastes even better the next day!