Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe for Gifting

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homemade-christmas-hot-cocoa-kit Fillmore ContainerContinuing our Homemade Christmas theme, we’re sharing a delicious trio with the amazing teachers in our lives! A jar of Hot Cocoa Mix, a jar of Homemade Marshmallows, and a little jar of crushed Peppermint Candy Cane.

This creamy dreamy Hot Cocoa just may be what snowy days are may for! This year, I learned that my kids are more persnickety about their hot cocoa than I ever realized. So, when we tested out this recipe from Alton Brown and they loved it, I knew it was the one! Since we had quite a few folks on our list, the recipe that we’re sharing here is for a bulk or gifting volume. It will fill  8 – 9  of the 26 oz Square Mason Jars.  You can find the original recipe here if you’d like to make a smaller batch.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-marshmallows-recipe.htmlHot Cocoa Mix

  • 10 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 5 Cups Dutch Process Cocoa
  • 12 1/2 Cups Powdered Milk
  • 5 tsp Salt
  • 10 tsp Cornstarch
  • 5  –  6 Pinches of Cayenne Pepper (optional!) I didn’t use this for our batch since I didn’t know if everyone would appreciate it.

In a very large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Package or store in air-tight containers.

 

 

To enjoy your Hot Cocoa: Mix 5 T with 8 – 10 ounces of hot water, stir well, top with a fluffy marshmallow, a dollop of whipped cream or some peppermint crumbles.homemade hot cocoa Fillmore Container

We’ve made free printables with the hot cocoa instructions for you to attach to your gifting jars.

 

Our jars of Hot Cocoa Mix were accompanied by these Homemade Airy Marshmallows. After a marshmallow disaster years ago, I’d kind of given up on them. But after seeing how easy Ina Garten made it look in her video, I decided to give it another try. Happily, there was only delight in the resulting billowy mounds of sweetness, which proved quite tempting to my helpers. It was difficult to ensure that we had enough to fill all of the pint gift jars!

 

A couple of tips once you flip that marshmallow mound into your powder sugar covered cutting surface:http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-marshmallows-recipe.html

  • On slicing, we found that a large chef knife used in a downward motion worked best.
  • Keep plenty of powdered sugar on your cutting surface and as you slice the initial long strips, roll the raw edges in the sugar to keep them from sticking to….well anything else they’d touch.
  • Toss cubes into a bowl with more powdered sugar to ensure that all sides are powdered.
  • Gently toss into a large sieve and tap off the excess powdered sugar back into the bowl before storing.

 

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We topped it off with little jam jars filled with crushed candy canes, topped with our festive red lids.

Are you doing some homemade Christmas or Holiday Gifts this year? We’d love to see what you’re making & gifting, so please share with us!

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Perfect Pancake & Waffle Mix for Gifting

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A few Christmas seasons ago, a friend of ours got the bright idea of selling this amazing Pancake & Waffle Mix as a fund raiser. She packaged it in our lovely Cracker Jars (for larger families) in addition to wide mouth Pint and quart jars. They made great gifts for teachers and coworkers that year! We even added a bottle of our own Vanilla Extract and some Maple Syrup to sweeten the deal!

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dry ingredients bulkAlthough I did need to run to the market to gather a few items (I usually don’t stock dry milk in my pantry), I was able to have this ready to gift in a flash! If you have a good bulk store in your area, this is one of those projects that will make this even more economical. I was thrilled to be able to do one-stop-shopping at our local Kauffman’s Fruit Farm.

Perfect Pancake & Waffle Mix

  • 6 C Flour
  • 2 C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2C Buttermik/Dry Milk Powder
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 3T Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 T Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Salt

Which all ingredients together in a large bowl and store in an airtight container.

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We’ve included free printables that include the recipes for Pancakes, for Waffles and for the dry ingredients – the part that you would mix together and then jar up – some for giving and some for your pantry!

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Do you have a favorite mix that you’d love to gift this Christmas? If you do, we’d love to hear about it!

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Homemade Holiday Gift Guide

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If you want to make some hand made gifts this Christmas, our Homemade Holiday Gift Guide is for you! We’ve pulled together our top DIY blog posts to inspire you in crafting and sharing something that lets your creativity shine.

Our friend Malia, over at Yesterday on Tuesday, created some charming holiday gift labels & tags that you can customize for your giving. holiday-mason-jar-canning-label-and-tag-close-up-698x465

 

To get these free holiday gifting labels, just click the links below, save to your computer and print. Yep, it’s that easy!

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Homemade Gift Ideas

1. Make some body butter, scrubs or bath salts for those that enjoy a little pampering.

2. A couple jars of apple pie filling makes for a great gift for the hostess on your list.

3. Make a terrarium for someone to observe, tend and love.

4. Make your own vanilla extract and gift in our new Swing Top bottles. (Tip: Since this extract is at its best after 2 – 3 months, consider tagging it with a little note to let your recipients know when it will be ready. Something like “Give me a shake whenever you walk by! Best if used after <insert date>” could work .

Vanilla Extract Holiday Gifting

5. Spice rubs are so easy to make the kids can do it!

6. Crochet a custom cozy for some Mason jar mugs.

7. Bring the outdoors in with these Mason jar lanterns.

8. Cranberry rosemary vinegar is a beautiful reflection of the holiday season!

9. Homemade spice mixes are always better than store bought!

10. This Hot Chocolate and Coffee Bar is a great way to welcome guests over the holidays!hot-chocolate-and-coffee-bar-

11. Make your own mulling spice and you’ll instantly warm up a cold winter evening.

12. Make a jar of Cookie Butter Reindeer Noses that are so cute and tasty, that your guests will be asking for the recipe and a how to, which you’ll find on Heavenly Cake Pops.

13. These Christmas Snow Globes are super easy and quite elegant with our Heritage Hill jars.

14. This wine lovers gift in a jar is sure to be perfect for someone on your list.

15. Homemade hot sauce, and other chili pepper preserves will surely spice up someone’s stocking.

Hot Sauce gifting

Need more holiday ideas? Check out all our gift guides here.

Fermenting Gift Guide

Canning Gift Guide

Mason Jar Accessories Gift Guide

Preserving Cookbook Gift Guide

 

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Top Preserving Cookbooks

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A preservers life is not complete without a library of resources to pull recipes and techniques from. Our preserving books cover topics from canning, to fermenting, to Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin, and more. Here are our top selling preserving books that will be perfect for the preserver on your list. And don’t forget all ‘book only’ orders ship for just $5.

Preserving Book Gift Guide

  1. Marissa McClellan’s has a wonderful trio of preserving cookbooks Food in Jars,  Preserving by the Pint and Naturally Sweet Food in Jars. All of these books teach the essentials of preserving in small batches.
  2. Ferment Your Vegetables, by Amanda Feifer of Phickle, is a must-have for the newbie or for the seasoned fermenter.
  3. Joel MacCharles & Dana Harrison; bloggers at Well Preserved, introduced Batch just this year. It provides recipes and tips on seven processes of preserving methods.
  4. Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy is a great resource if you’re already a Pomona’s Pectin convert or if you’re looking to reduce the amount of sugar in your preserves.
  5. As a Master Gardener and Master Preserver, Linda Ziedrich’s Joy of Pickling and Joy of Jams, Jellies and other Sweet Preserves collectively boast an impressive 400+ recipes for preserving!
  6. The Ball Blue book was probably a staple on your grandmother’s shelf, and it can be on yours too. The latest edition (37th) features 200 recipes, and step-by-step instructions for a variety of preserving methods.

Shop our entire our Preserving Library, and take a look at our other gift guides here.

Fermenting Gift Guide

Canning Gift Guide

Mason Jar Accessories Gift Guide


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Top Mason Jar Accessories

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There have been so many great creations to adapt Mason jars to be useful beyond their original purpose of preserving food. Here are a few of our top sellers!Mason Jar Gifts

1. The Cuppow folks continue to top our list with 3 pretty cool products.  The Cuppow Coozie is made with Pfelt, which is created from recycled plastic bottles. The Coozie insulates hot or cold beverages and fits a widemouth 16 oz jar. It boasts a stretch webbing to easily store a reusable straw, fork, or spoon and a loop for carrying. Pair it with a Cuppow lid and you’ll turn your Mason jar into a travel mug/cup. The BNTO, also made by Cuppow, fits inside a widemouth canning jar, separating the jar into two leak-proof compartments. Fill it with salad dressing, hummus, granola, nuts, salsa, for a snack or lunch on the go.

2. ReCAP lids make Mason jars the perfect multi-purpose container for everyday use. Transform your canning jars into on-the-go drinks, OR organize pantry items like grains, cereals, and rice. Check out some great gifting ideas with these versatile lids here. The company’s Flip Cap lids allows you easy access to your products. Use the flip cap to store opened refrigerated items, dry goods or organizing your pantry. Add an accessories kit to convert the lid to a shaker. Learn more here.

3. Our Paper Straw collection continues to expand! We now carry over 40 paper straw designs/colors! From polka dots, to gingham, to chevron, to stars and stripes, to camo and cow print, solid colors and so much more including some super cute new holiday designs. Combine our straws our fancy and fun lids in so many new colors and designs.

4. Our newest addition to this category is the Mason Bottle Kits which includes components to turn a Mason jar into a feeding solution for infants – to toddlers, and beyond. The kits available in both 8oz, and 4oz sizes includes, one set of silicone nipples (slow flow), one silicone sleeve (to fit the 8oz jars or 4oz jars, sold separately), and one plastic cap. Get all the details on this brand new product here.

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Mason Bottles are here!

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We’re so excited to have added the Mason Bottle Kits and additional Silicone Sleeves to our lineup! They certainly make the grade when it comes to our desire to carry items that facilitate healthier, chemical free, earth friendly consumer choices and give even more life to humble mason jars. We love that the components can be useful from infant bottle-feeding, to toddler and beyond.

Mason Baby Bottlesbabybottle-keyThe original Mason Bottle DIY Bottle kit  includes:

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  • one set of silicone nipples (slow flow)
  • one silicone sleeve
  • one plastic cap.

They are available in a kit to fit the 4oz jar or the 8oz jar. If you’re buying for a new mother, you could get one of each so that she can transition right into the 8oz. However, if you’re super thrifty, you could simple get one of the kits and then add the Silicone Sleeve of the other size. (Jars and Bands sold separately)

Details for a Mommy of a Newborn:

  • The wide breast-like nipples are designed to transition between breast and bottle and have a built-in ventilation system to reduce gas and colic.
  • The silicone sleeve adds protection and grip during feeding.
  • The silicone sleeve also serves nicely as a buffer when packing additional bottles for when you’re on the go or for childcare, so having a couple of sleeves on hand would be helpful!

Our colorful Plastisol Single Piece lids would make color coding for milk dating and rotation a breeze. They fit both the 4oz or 8oz jars and would be an economical choice for freezing/storing breastmilk.  For a rust-free option, the iLIDS will would also serve you well. While more of an investment, they would be recommended if proper washing & drying isn’t practical.

We recommend hand washing and thoroughly drying your mason jar rings to extend their lifespan. The good news is that everything else can go in the dishwasher: glass mason jars, our silicone nipples, silicone sleeves, and plastic caps! All components are BPA-free and Made in the USA.

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As baby begins to eat pureed vegetables and fruits, the 4oz jars from your bottles can be used with your plastisol or iLIDS to freeze your homemade baby food! Again, you could come up with whatever fun color coding system you’d like, or simply use a wax pencil or some masking tape to date & label your jars. This How to Make and Freeze Baby Food post will get you started!

 

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When baby is no longer in need of a nipple, we have several cuppow sippy cup or drink lid options that can take your 8 oz bottles and sleeves right into that next stage!

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The reCAP Flip Caps will turn that 4oz jar into a snack container which allows little fingers to easily access their bits of food. Put a reCAP Pour Cap on a the 8oz jar if you’d like to pour small, more regulated portions out.

 

Important Tips on thawing and warming milk or pureed foods: Don’t forget the thermal shock limitations of glass. We recommend moving frozen items into the refrigerator the night before, or allowing to at least partially thaw with supervision before attempting to warm the jar and its contents. The best way to warm both milk and food is to place the bottle/jar in a pan of warm water, or to use a bottle warmer. Breast-milk in particular, is sensitive to over-heating. *Always be sure to test the temperature of the baby’s milk or food before feeding.*

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Top Canning Gift Ideas

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Canning is the most popular way our customers preserve their food. We’ve hand-picked our top canning products, so you can put together a canning kit for someone on your list.

Canning Gift Ideas - Fillmore Container

  1. Water Bath Canner – The perfect gift for someone just getting started with canning, or for someone that needs to upgrade from their old agate canning pot.
  2. Canning Books  – A library of canning resources to choose from.
  3. Orchard Road Jars are a pretty popular choice for preservers. The sleek jars arrive in pretty packaging. The quart and pint jars are our best sellers. Learn more about them here and here.
  4. Regular Mouth Stainless Steel Funnel –  A must have for the kitchen and a favorite for canning! The stainless steel construction makes the funnels durable, stain resistant and dishwasher safe. We have funnels in a variety of sizes, so they can be used for filling canning jars, or for filling spice jars.
  5. This 6 Piece Canning Set contains the essential tools for canning.
  6. The 4th Burner Pot has become a favorite for small batch canning. The interior straining basket is perfect for canning, steaming vegetables or cooking larger pasta too. Read more about this versatile pot here and here.

Need more ideas, check out last year’s canning gift guide. If you plan to gift preserves for the holidays too, you’ll want to read our favorite holiday preserves blog post.

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Top Fermentation Gift Ideas

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Fermenting is a healthy, fun, and nutritious way to preserve your food. If you haven’t taken the leap yet, and are curious what some of the essential tools are, here’s a few of our favorites. These four items would be a perfect gift set for someone who is interested in getting started, or expanding their fermentation capabilities.

Fermentatioin Gift Ideas

 

  1. Ferment Your Vegetables, by Amanda Feifer of Phickle, is a must-have for the newbie or for the seasoned fermenter and will help to keep you in probiotic goodness all year around!
  2. Complete Mason Jar Fermentation Kit – This kit features 4 Pickle Pebbles, 4 Pickle Pipes and a Pickle Packer – packed in a custom and beautifully designed color box; perfect for gifting.
  3. Widemouth Jars are not included in the Fermentation Kit, so we suggest getting a case of Orchard Road wide mouth quart jars, as they come 6 to a case.
  4. Lids – We recommend using iLids, these lids won’t leave behind a metallic taste, like regular canning lids. iLids are BPA and phthalate-free, and are available in a variety of colors.

Shop our entire Fermenting Supply collection which includes the tools and resources to make the fermenting process, storing and sharing your ferments easier & more enjoyable! Check out our top fermenting tips, and recipes.Ferment Supplies

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Preserving Cookbook Giveaway

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We are deeply grateful to the incredibly creative and dedicated folks who have influenced the canning, preserving and fermenting world. Their expertise in the craft is why each of them hold a place in our library, but it’s their desire for helping others succeed along their food journey that has given them a special place in our hearts.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re giving two readers a chance to win their choice of books from our Library!

In case you’re not familiar with these fabulous books and their authors, we’ve pulled together some links that will give you a peek into the deliciousness that awaits!

  • Marisa McClellan’s trio of preserving cookbooks have known to get people addicted to preserving! My copies of Food in Jars and Preserving by the Pint are well marked up from such regular use . Naturally Sweet Food in Jars is an essential if you’re trying to reduce your processed sugar consumption. I’d say take your pick, but you really should have all 3 in your library!

  • Ferment Your Vegetables, by Amanda Feifer of Phickle, is a must-have for the newbie or for the seasoned fermenter and will help to keep you in probiotic goodness all year around!

  • Joel MacCharles & Dana Harrison; bloggers at Well Preserved, introduced Batch just this year. (Spoiler: it’s so much more than a preserving cookbook!)

  • Simple Bites blogger, Aimee Wimbush-Bourque’s book Brown Eggs and Jam Jars continues to be a heart-warming favorite.

  • Autumn Giles’ Beyond Canning contains recipes for a wonderful blend of preserving techniques & recipes sure to keep you intrigued.

  • Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy is a great resource if you’re already a Pomona’s Pectin convert or if you’re looking to adjust the level of sweetener in your preserves.

  • As a Master Gardener and Master Preserver, Linda Ziedrich’s Joy of Pickling and Joy of Jams, Jellies and other Sweet Preserves collectively boast an impressive 400+ recipes for preserving!

The Giveaway:
2 lucky winners will get to select a cookbook from our Preserving Library! Enter below.

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Holiday Shopping and Shipping Tips

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It’s hard to imagine, but the holiday shopping season is here! It is very important to us that you receive all your orders when you need them. Here are a few tips to help ensure your entire order arrives as expected.

shipping-estimator#1. Order early to allow for unforeseen delays! Winter happens and weather trumps delivery guarantees with carriers. Peak holiday shipments also cause delays.

#2. Use our shipping estimate tool to determine estimated arrival dates, and to determine which shipping method will work best for you. You’ll find the shipping estimate tool in your shopping cart. If you are wondering about shipping discounts, or why we don’t offer “free” shipping, it’s important to read this.

#3. Double check your order to ensure the lids will fit the style of jars you’ve selected. When ordering jars, the matching lids will be listed on the right-hand side of your screen under accessories. Be sure to also make sure you’ve ordered the proper number of lids for your jars.

#4. Re-Stock Alerts. We do our best to anticipate the needs of our customers, but we can’t always control the efficiency in which our manufacturers produce and distribute their products. We apologize if we are out of stock of your favorite item. Once it is back in stock, we will announce on our Facebook page.

UPS My Choice#5. Get home delivery on your schedule with the My Choice Program from UPS. It is simple to register, and it’s free! You’ll get alerts a day in advance of any UPS shipment coming to your address, have the option to instruct where to leave your package, sign for packages online if you might not be home, or even have them leave it with a neighbor (within walking distance). You only pay nominal charges if you change the delivery address (like to your work address), need to change the delivery date, upgrade the service level, or need a 2-hour delivery window.

#Fillmore Box6. Check out to ensure you get the items you want. Items placed in a shopping cart are not reserved. We cannot guarantee the stock of a product until the purchase is made. Once you’ve gone through the checkout process, you can be assured your items are being pulled from our shelves just for you.

#7. Provide a valid email address and Track your Package. A valid email address will ensure that you receive a shipment tracking email, which will allow you to track the timeline for delivery once it leaves our facility. Tracking information comes directly from UPS Quantum View Notify, so keep an eye on your email and you’ll know exactly when your package will arrive. This can be invaluable in situations when the timeliness of delivery is crucial.

#8. We celebrate the holidays, too (plus the ever-popular year-end inventory reconciliation)! Please note that we will be closed on November 24 & 25, 2016, and December 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 2016, and January 1, 2, 2017.Cookbooks Fillmore Container

#9. Books ship for just $5 with our media shipping option. So, if you are considering making a book only order, be sure to take advantage of the $5 media shipping rate.

Happy Shopping!

 

 

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