I don’t know about you, but nothing fills me more with anxiety than trying to figure out a fabulous Christmas gift for my daughters’ teachers. How can I possibly give them a gift that truly reflects how thankful I am for the wonderful care they give my girls that’s also affordable? With three daughters’ who each have two teachers (they’re in French Immersion so they have both an English teacher and a French teacher), 6 gifts can become expensive!
This is why this year I decided to make the teachers something special, affordable (and healthy) Beefy Bean Soup Mix:
The girls and I had an absolute blast making these! We started off by using picmonkey.com to design the recipe cards – the girls really like learning basic graphic design and photo editing skills, and were very helpful in choosing the layout for the cards:
Next we purchased all the dry goods from the Bulk Barn. (That store is my new BFF!). Normally I hate cooking because I can never find the spices I need – but Bulk Barn had everything! And the price was right too. I was able to buy all the dry goods for the mix for $22.
We then headed to Canadian Tire (yes, it started out as an automotive store), to buy the 1 qt Mason Jars. Unfortunately they don’t sell them individually, so we had to buy an entire case of 12. (I guess I’ll have 6 for next year’s Christmas craft). The jars were $13. We then headed over to WalMart and bought the spoons ($3.99 for 4, but we needed 6, so we bought two packs) and a spool of ribbon ($2).
Grand total for all of our supplies = $45
I really liked that this “craft” for lack of a better term, was well within both my two older daughters’ skill levels. I had tried making the layered jar for chocolate chip cookies two years ago and that was a complete disaster – we had flour everywhere! (And Sierra wouldn’t stop eating the chocolate chips). At only 25 mos old, Amber wasn’t old enough to help out, so we did this while she was taking her afternoon nap.
Brooke took her job very seriously! Though we still ended up with barley and lentils all over the floor *grin*. All in all the girls greatly enjoyed their time with me, and are very proud to bring the gifts to school for their teachers!
Beefy Bean Soup Mix in a Jar ~ Nothing says Mmmm Good like homemade soup! Make the Beefy Bean Soup mix ahead of time for a quick go-to dinner or give them out as gifts.
- 1/2 cup(s) elbow macaroni
- 1 cup(s) green split peas
- 1 cup(s) lentils (any kind)
- 1 cup(s) pearl barley
- 1/2 cup(s) dried onion flakes
- 2 teaspoon(s) celery flakes
- 2 tablespoon(s) dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon(s) ground pepper
- 1 pound(s) ground beef
- 12 cup(s) (3 quarts) beef broth
- Wash and thoroughly dry a 1-quart, wide-mouth canning jar. Place the macaroni in a plastic sandwich bag.
- Layer the ingredients as level as possible in this order: split peas, lentils, pearl barley, onion flakes, celery flakes, parsley, pepper and bagged macaroni.
- Secure the lid and decorate the jar as desired. Be sure to attach the recipe for making the soup!
- Coat a large pot or Dutch oven with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes, or until no pink remains. Drain off excess fat.
- Add broth and all of the jar ingredients (except the bag of macaroni) to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add macaroni and continue to simmer another 10 minutes, or until peas are tender and macaroni is cooked. Serve hot. Refrigerate any leftover soup in an airtight container for up to a week.