Gift Giving Ideas: Giving Food

Not everyone can cook, but everyone likes to eat. I’ve found that my children don’t always have time to cook, and some of my older friends aren’t always able to cook. For them giving prepared meals, or easy to make recipes with all the ingredients for a quick meal or snack are really good gifts.

Homemade Hot Sauce

Here is a recipe for hot sauce. I am not a great lover of spicy hot things, but my son loves them. So when I found this recipe in the Bernardin guide to home canning book I just had to try it.

I went to the grocery store and saw so many different types of hot chilies I was lost. So I asked someone buying a few different types. He told me the Thai chilies were the hottest so I got those and hoped it turned out. When I tried it the heat was not very much. I have used it on burgers and eggs. So this time I made it with jalapeno peppers and it is much hotter.                                                                                                                                                      Here is the recipe.

Red Hot Sauce

8 cups 2000 ml chopped peeled tomatoes

1 1/2 cups 375 ml chopped, seeded hot peppers

4 cups 1000 ml vinegar divided

1 cup 250 ml granulated sugar

1 tbsp 15 ml pickling salt

2 tbsp 30 ml pickling spice

In stainless steel saucepan, combine tomatoes, peppers and 2 cups 500 ml vinegar. Cook until soft; puree.

Return to saucepan with sugar, salt and pickling spices (tied in a cheesecloth bag).

Stirring frequently simmer until thickened; add remaining vinegar and cook to desired consistency.

Tips I have done.

I use a tea ball instead of cheesecloth for the pickling spice.                             I also use my stick blender instead of a food process or stand mixer. It saves dishes and time.

I also used tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes. You could use canned whole or diced tomatoes as well.

This recipe will make 4 250 ml. jars and you process it in a hot water bath for 15 min.

Label it and keep it on a shelf put a card on it and give it as a gift or keep it for your own use. It has to be refrigerated once it is open.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix.

This is a good mix to have made up in advance. Make a quantity of it then pre-measure it and put it into snack bags or small containers to just add to the ground meat.
They make a nice gift for taco lovers when accompanied with a bag of taco chips and a jar of salsa. All they have to do is add the meat and toppings.


1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or slightly less ground red pepper

1 teaspoon ground coriander or cilantro flakes
2 teaspoons flour (this will thicken the juices of your ground meat)

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container. Use 2-3 tablespoons per pound of ground meat, according to your taste. Stores great in the freezer as well.

This is a link to katzcradul  on Youtube. She shows how she mixes it up. But the recipe is  here for you.

You can use ground chicken, turkey, pork or hamburg to make the taco. Top it with olives, lettuce, tomato chunks some green onions cheddar cheese or a spicy cheese and some sour cream.  My sons prefer taco salads so I buy the taco chips but you can use the traditional taco shells either dry or soft and make tacos with this.

It is an easy quick meal and by making your own seasonings for it you will almost certainly have most of the ingredients in the house.

About Grandma

I am a grandma of 4 I write stories for children I love to talk about children and give tested advice.
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