Through My Kitchen Window - Homemade Gifts

Need a LAST MINUTE gift? Consider making, baking, or mixing something up with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

Homemade quick breads such as pumpkin or banana breads are inexpensive, fast to make, and a perfect gift for a child to bake and give. Wrap the loaves in several layers of saran wrap, and store in the frig. A few hours before giving, wrap them in tissue paper and decorate.

Mix up a customized batch of granola or trail mix. Add special ingredients such as nuts or dry fruit. Put it in a glass jar and decorate.

Make your own tea blend by mixing store bought teas till you find the perfect blend. Buy tea bags online, or put the loose tea in a pretty jar or canister. Make a label with stamps or on the computer.

Make homemade chai or hot chocolate with as many marshmallows as you want. Put the dry mix in a tin or jar. Top with a bow.

Decorate homemade jams, jellies, and butters.

Make your own dry rubs. Put in empty spice jars, and make labels out of wrapping paper.

Dip snacks like pretzels, peanuts, and crackers in chocolate.

Put the dry ingredients for a special soup, cookie, muffin, rice, or pancake mix in a jar. Attach the recipe and decorate.

This recipe for chocolate chip pancakes is adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown. Add dried fruit, cocoa, or nuts to customize it. It makes three jars.

Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix in a Jar

For the mix:

6 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3 tsp baking powder

1 Tb kosher salt

2 Tbs sugar

1/2 - 1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the ingredients, and put two cups in each sealable jar or container. Make and attach a recipe card with the following recipe:

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

2 eggs, separated

2 cups buttermilk

4 Tbs melted butter

Pancake mix

Heat an electric griddle to 350°.

Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Pour on top of the pancake mix. Mix the batter just enough to bring it together.

Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake, gently flip. Continue to cook 2 - 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.

Serve immediately or cover with a towel, and hold in a warm place up to 30 minutes. Yield: 12 pancakes