Tuesday, December 15, 2015

mason jar cookie mix gifts for the holidays

i love the holidays. there is something magical about this time of the year and i absolutely love it. i do struggle, however, to find fun little gifts to give to neighbors and friends that are festive and thoughtful but reasonable as well. enter ALDI. this year i was helped by the team at ALDI with the idea for these adorable cookie mix jars. with these semi-homemade creations, i can quickly and easily make sweet, personal treats for people in my life without breaking my back or the bank. it's a complete win.

mason jar cookie mix gift

what you need:

  • large mason jars (there are a ton of these at stores like michael's or hobby lobby)

  • Baker's Corner or liveGfree cake mixes (these can be either vanilla cake mixes or chocolate. either works fine for these.)

  • a large variety of mix-ins: these can all be found at your local ALDI store. the options are really limitless. if you have ever wondered what something would taste like in a cookie, give it a try! my favorite options are the Baker's Corner chocolate morsels, white chocolate morsels and butterscotch morsels, Southern Grove pecans or walnuts, and any of the Moser Roth chocolate bars cut into chunks. seriously, all of those options in a cookie are to die for.
  • ribbon, twine or other decorative items.
  • tags printed with baking instructions.

preparing the jars:

  • fill each of your mason jars with two cups of cake mix. if you have a friend with gluten sensitivities, use the liveGfree cake mix. it's a fantastic option. 

  • it's best to create several jars at once to facilitate the process and create a large number of gifts to give to friends, teachers or neighbors.


  • add your mix-ins. this can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like. as you wander the aisles of ALDI, pick out several options that would work in cookies. 
  • place these in bowls and then scoop them in layers over your cake mix in the jars. these make really beautiful jars full of goodness.
  • create tags with baking instructions for each jar. the instructions should include the following:
  • add some decorative ribbon or twine and pass out some holiday joy! it's as simple as that. 
  • this would be a fun task to complete with girlfriends as well. holiday happiness all around!

that's it! simple, delicious, and cost effective. they are a great little treat for all the people in your life. happy holidays indeed.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

holiday hostess gifts for any party

'tis the season for holiday parties. i love them...each and every one but i struggle to find something to bring for the hosts and hostesses. this year, i have it covered. i made a trip to ALDI and was able to purchase a beautiful basket full of products that anyone would love for their holiday meals or just to snack on while preparing for meals with friends. i know i would love to receive a basket full of this goodness so i'm counting on others feeling the same.

holiday hostess baskets

making your basket:

  • you will need a large basket. you can find these at a variety of places. one of my favorite locations to purchase baskets is at marshall's or home goods. we have both about two miles from my house and they always have a wide variety of baskets at reasonable prices.

  • purchase a couple of beverages of your choice. ALDI has a great selection of reasonable wines. during this time of the year, i am also able to find sparkling juices for gift baskets for friends of mine who do not drink alcohol. these are always a great place to start and do wonders for making a basket look festive.

  • buy a large selection of holiday and seasonal items from ALDI. i love this time of year at ALDI as they have a huge selection of their Specialty Select items for the holidays. we found a beautiful orange cranberry sauce, adorable striped bowtie pasta, chocolate covered cashews, chocolate coated butter cookies, lacey dark chocolate almond crisps, delicious Moser Roth chocolates and a host of other items to include. 

  • load up your basket. i like to place the wine bottles/sparkling juices in the back of the basket followed by the larger and taller items and concluding with the smallest items in the front. i want everything to be visible from the front of the basket.

  • end with something festive. add a lovely red bow. i included a simple christmas ornament that can be added to their christmas tree. something small will be perfect to accompany all the food goodness and will add something personal to your gift to others.

the basket took no time at all to put together and, as the majority of the purchases were made at ALDI, it was extremely easy to gather all the necessary items as well. it is the perfect little "something" to say thank you for a holiday invite and it is sure to bring holiday cheer wherever you go. i feel merry, bright and hungry just looking at it!