And just like that, we’re down to the latter part of the year. In less than 50 days, it’s finally Christmas! We can’t deny that our pandemic situation since March is insane, but hey, we can always choose to end this not-so-pleasant year with a festive spirit.
Some of us may not be able to celebrate with our friends and families physically, but there are tons of ways to express our love, like hosting virtual parties, video calls, and sending gifts via delivery services.
This Christmas 2020, let’s skip the expensive gifts and elaborate parties, which might not be necessary to make our loved ones feel loved. Why not give something tasty, homemade, and compact-sized? A dish in a jar made from the heart would make a perfect gift.
If you’re still thinking of great stuff to give this Christmas, we have a list of 12 great jar recipes for you.
1. Homemade Spanish sardines
Take this pantry staple up a notch by making a homemade version. Look for fresh sardines from your local fish market. You’re also going to need extra virgin olive oil, carrots, bay leaf red chili, black peppercorns, and some garlic cloves. As an alternative, you may use mackerel.
2. Gourmet dried or smoked fish in oil
If you’re a Filipino, you’ll also know how delicious Gourmet Tuyo (filleted dried herring in olive oil) and Gourmet Tinapa (smoked fish Infused with olive oil). You can eat these with fragrant white rice or put them on pasta, salads, and sandwiches.
3. Hot and spicy chili garlic oil
If you love dumplings and other Asian dishes, then you’ll know how chili garlic oil can make every time better. This deliciously fragrant, viscous, and dark red oil is easy to make too! The fundamental ingredients are neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola, red chili flakes (use fresh red chilies for more kick), 6 cloves of garlic, and salt.
4. Hearty pasta soup mix
Steamy and hearty soups are like warm hugs during frosty winter nights. You may express your warm love by packing a pasta soup mix in pretty glass jars, with colorful ingredients like pasta, spices, and dried vegetables layered thoughtfully. Be sure to include preparation instructions, a list of additional ingredients recommended, and a warm Christmas greeting, of course.
5. Homemade pasta sauces
No holiday banquet is complete without at least one pasta dish. Share a piece of you on your loved ones’ dinner table by giving them homemade pasta sauces. These include homemade pesto, herby tomato sauce, ragu, and oil-based pasta sauces.
6. Sweet jams and jellies
Jams and jellies are versatile and essential pantry staples. You can use them on your toasts and sandwiches, or punch up a fruity dessert. Gingerbread spice jelly, lemon or orange marmalade, pear jam, chutney, caramel apple jam, berry jellies, apricot jam, are just some of the best sweet things you can give.
7. Savory spreads, dips, and dressings
Homemade spreads and dips are always better than store-bought. Punch up your loved ones’ nachos, fries, potato chips, and toasts with healthy and flavorful sidekicks. Things that look awesome in jars include tomato salsas, vinaigrette, ranch, chili mix, dill mustard, lemon tahini, barbecue sauce, flavored soft cheese, nacho cheese sauce, pesto, and more.
8. Herby, spiced cheese in a jar
Sorry lactose intolerant peeps but a jar of cheese is something everyone would love to receive. You can use it for pasta, as a spread or dip, pair it with wine, or just eat it as is. For soft cheese, you may use Boursin cheese and add herbs and spices. Just make sure you indicate when it’s made since soft cheeses are easy to spoil. But if you can make cheese so good, the jar will be emptied in no time.
9. Ready-to-eat layered no-bake desserts
A jar isn’t just a container for storing food. It can also be used as a clear canvas for Pinterest-worthy layered desserts. No baking skill required!
Layered desserts on a jar may include cheesecakes, panna cotta, mango or fruit cocktail floats with crushed graham crackers, apple cookie crumble, and custards. Make sure to pair the jar with a cute spoon, always ready to dig in.
9. Cookie mixes for your baker friends
Of course, a good ‘ol jar of cookies and brownies would be delightful too but why not give your friends a bit of a challenge by letting them bake the goodies themselves? Layered ingredients look more attractive in jars than already-baked cookies.
Layer the dry ingredients like chips, flour, and other flavorings, like pretty sand art. Then attach a recipe tag for anything else they need to add. Some of the best cookie mixes for Christmas include chocolate peppermint cookies, oatmeal cookies, and classic chocolate chip cookies. You can also send mixes for cakes, muffins, and brownies.
10. Pickled or fermented fruits and veggies
Pickled fruits and vegetables are cool, tangy, briny, and delicious side dishes meant to clean the palate. They’re also ideal as gifts since they have a longer lifespan. Fruits and vegetables that are great when pickled include cucumbers, radishes, papayas, gingers, carrots, peaches, strawberries, beets, cherries, and peppers.
If your recipient is into Korean food, you may also learn how to make Kimchi, which gets its sour taste, not from vinegar but fermentation.
12. Freshly-prepared vegan condiments
Your vegan friends know how hard it is to find vegan ingredients in ordinary supermarkets. Not to mention, vegan alternatives to pantry staples can be quite expensive. This Christmas, make them happy by making vegan sauces they can use to spice up their dishes.
If you have a food processor, you can easily make flavorful plant-based sauces. These include vinaigrettes like maple mustard and mango, cheese-less pesto, creamy cashew, lime, and cilantro sauce, tahini sauce, coconut sriracha, or maple sriracha, peanut sauce, and vegan mayo.
And there you have it, a list of 12 tasty dishes that look awesome in jars. Just ribbons and tags, and they’re good to go.
Author Bio: Mina Natividad is a passionate daytime writer for Manettas Seafood Market, an online and interactive seafood delivery service which provides customers a true, first-class fish market experience without leaving home. Since she’s a seafood lover herself, she’s got a lot to say about food, well-being, and lifestyle.