Saturday, November 29, 2008


Oops! I missed Friday, but thought I would post this today anyway.

One of the advantages of having my Christmas gifts ready early is that I can avoid mailing them when I can give them to guests at Thanksgiving who are not returning for Christmas. This year it did not work out too well because my sister and her family did not come due to illness, but I have her gifts ready and she may come for a visit before Christmas. I did have gifts ready for Son #3 and was able to send his box of gifts home with him. He also has an early December birthday, so we had his birthday party while he was here.

My Thanksgiving company (Son #3 and Nero) left about noon and it is a cold, dreary day, so I am busy making up some of my soup mixes and cornbread mixes for future gift giving. I will include these gifts in boxes that I am mailing to friends and relatives, but will also give them as gifts here in town. I put the mixes in plastic bags with directions, put them in red paper sacks and attach one of my hand-painted Christmas ornaments. I am making up a bunch, labeling them for people on my list and will keep a number of them for those surprise people who turn up with a gift for us at the last minute. I will include one of my recipes below.

Recipe for Texas Two-Step Soup Mix

1 package brown gravy mix (regular or no-fat)
2 tablespoons mild red chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
10 to 12 tortilla chips, crushed
Enough medium-size pasta (such as wheels, shells, macaroni) to fill jar or plastic bag.

Pour gravy mix into wide-mouth pint jar. In small bowl, stir together chili powder, oregano, cumin, onion and garlic salt. Pour mixed spices into jar to make second layer.
Add tortilla chips and pasta to fill jar or plastic bag. Seal.

Attach a gift tag with the following instructions:

Texas Two-Step Soup

Brown 1/2 pound ground beef in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add contents of jar and 7 cups water; heat to boiling. Stir in 1 (15 ounce) can corn with red and green bell peppers and 1 (16 ounce) can chopped tomatoes. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, if desired. Makes approximately 8 servings.


  1. You are so organized! I would love to be more like you!
    And your son's dog is so cool looking. What kind is it? I'm trying to convince myself I need a pet!

  2. It sounds like you all had a very nice Thanksgiving! And you are busy again:) We didn't sleep well around here last night and were up very early to see my family off. And on top of it I have a scratchy throat, probably due to my new training regime:)