/*from pinterest*/
Simple Gifts – Cookie Mix

Simple Gifts – Cookie Mix

Continuing from last week, here is another simple gift to make for Christmas. This week’s idea and recipe are from my cousin Katy. She got this from her friend Elizabeth as a shower gift. I know it will be perfect for Christmas too. Thank you Katy and Elizabeth!


Makes 3 – 4 dozen


  1. Empty entire jar of cookie mix into large bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly with fork.
  3. Add 1 ½ sticks butter softened ** (Note: a stick of butter = ¼ pound)
  4. 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla
  5. Mix with hands
  6. Shape into balls the size of walnuts.
  7. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350F for 9 – 11 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet then place on a rack to cool.

2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar *
1 cup white flour mixed with:
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
3/4 cup raisins

Layer in 1 quart mason jar in order given, tapping each layer firmly down before adding next ingredient.

Both brown and white sugars can be reduced slightly. *

cookie mix in a jar

cookie mix in a jarSo what colour of ribbon should we put on this one?

cookie jar photos from Katy

Simple Gifts – Soup Mix in a Jar

Simple Gifts – Soup Mix in a Jar

Yes, it’s only the first week of November, but you may be thinking about Christmas gifts. “Soup Mix in a Jar” is a simple one that’s fun to put together, doesn’t cost a lot, and is pleasing to receive.

Layer in a 1 cup Mason jar

¼ cup red lentils
¼ cup dried onion
¼ cup wild rice
¼ cup pearl barley
½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp onion salt
½ tsp garlic powder
1 heaping tsp mild curry powder
(add the next item last – to cover the spices)
¼ cup split yellow or green peas

If you are weight watching, ¼ of the batch is worth about 4 points.

Note: the pearl barley has no bran husk but it may have contamination with wheat. So if you want completely gluten-free, leave out the barley and substitute with a different layer.

Print the following on a tag:


Soup Mix

In a large soup pot, combine this mix with
  • 1 litre chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
Bring to boil, then simmer 1 hour.
May add crumbled, crispy bacon & parmesan.
Ingredients: red lentils, dried onion, wild rice, split green or yellow peas, pearl barley, celery salt, onion salt, garlic powder, curry powder


And then

Loop a ribbon around the jar, attach the tag and you’ve made a little Merry.

Do you like homemade gifts for Christmas?

Comfort Food 102

Comfort Food 102

Want to have some low-calorie “comfort food” on hand? First, find some 1 cup containers.

I buy the Kirkland brand of Red Grapefruit segments from Costco. They come in a 1 cup single serve size. These are also a great sensible snack at 100 calories each. Then I save the containers, because why not?

Buy two 500 ml (2 cup) containers of LIBERTÉ Greek yogurt 0% – the vanilla flavour.

¾ cup = 140 calories

If you use the Plain variety, it’s 130 calories, not much of a difference, and I like the vanilla flavour.

Buy one 540 ml can (~2 cups) Cherry Pie Filling. I use E.D. Smith Cherry Pie Filling – Light & Fruity. Apparently 40% fewer calories than regular.

1/3 cup = 60 calories

Take out your 1/3 and 1/4 cup measures.

In the 1 cup containers layer:

  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cherry pie filling
  • 1/4 cup yogurt

You will most likely have some leftover cherry sauce. For added delightfulness, dot each cup with some of the cherry sauce.

Each cup is about 150 calories.

Eat it partially frozen. It takes longer that way and extends the enjoyment factor.

Bon appétit!

How to Peel Garlic

How to Peel Garlic

You’ve all wondered about a more efficient way of peeling garlic.
Here it is: a YouTube about How To Peel a Head of Garlic . . .

Do you have any kitchen tricks?

(garlic from photos.com #160335182)

Fennel Soup

Fennel Soup

Last week, I wore a ski helmet for the very first time in my life. (I have worn a helmet snowboarding, but never for skiing.) Once I clicked it on, I hardly knew I was wearing it, and it kept my ears warm.

It was a great day of skiing until about 3 o’clock when I got tangled up getting off the Wolverine chair. So, also for the very first time in my life, I needed a toboggan to get off the hill.

I spent the next few days on crutches, being kind to my knee. I’m sure it will be all right. But, along the way, I caught a nasty head cold. Time for comfort food in the form of Fennel Soup.

Fennel is a weird looking vegetable, indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, with a flavour similar to licorice.  We eat the bulb, foliage and seeds, although the seeds are mainly used for flavouring.

To make Fennel Soup

1 fennel (the bulb and the fronds, but keep a few frond pieces for garnish)
3 potatoes, peeled
2 pears, cored

1 cup water
1 litre/quart chicken broth
½ tsp pepper, basil, dill

Bring to a boil, simmer till soft. Then mash it up with a potato masher, and whip it with a hand-held mixer until it’s creamy looking.

Garnish with frond pieces

Bon appétit!

Fennel from photos.com #87749950

Chicken Apple Gouda Salad

Chicken Apple Gouda Salad

  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts (2 breasts)
  • 1 ½ cups sliced Gala Apples (about 2 apples)
  • ¾ cup chopped red pepper
  • ½ cup sliced celery
  • ½ cup sliced red onion
  • One 6 oz bag fresh spinach
Toss with
  • ¾ cup fat free honey Dijon dressing
Divide into 4 servings
Sprinkle with
  • ½ cup (1 oz) shredded smoked Gouda
  • 8 tsp sliced toasted almonds

Colourful, nutritious, tasty and calorie-friendly—

Bon appétit!
 (apple from photos.com #135288534)