Holiday Gift Making

holiday spice rub: ingredients

holiday spice rub: ingredients

Every year, I whip myself up into a frenzy trying to make/bake gifts for teachers, coworkers and neighbors. I like to give something consumable, because I know people get overwhelmed with stuff during the holidays. I think it’s also nice to give non-sweet gifts, since so many people receive cookies, fudge, chocolate, candy, etc. for Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Festivus. Last year I came up with a brilliant plan to make spice rubs for gifts. There was only one problem: I came up with this plan way too late, and by the time I ordered and finally received the little jars, there was no time to mix the spices, design and print labels, and deliver the gifts. So, this year, I had no excuse. The jars were in a box in the garage just waiting to be turned into darling little gifts.

I made two versions: Sweet ‘n Spicy and Sweet ‘n Smoky. My little kitchen assistant helped mix up the spices:

holiday spice rub: zealous mixing

holiday spice rub: zealous mixing

 

Then I designed, printed, cut out, and applied the labels. The finishing touch was shrink wrap, which I ordered from the place where I got the jars. Of course I’ve completely forgotten where I got the tins, because it was a year ago and I’m disorganized. It was very rewarding to shrink wrap the little tins with a hair dryer (I failed to document this part of the process). For the teacher gifts, the kiddos got to decorate plain kraft paper gift bags:

Liliana with her teacher gifts ready for delivery

Liliana with her teacher gifts ready for delivery

Here are the mixes I used:

Sweet and Smoky Spice Rub

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup thyme
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/8 cup mild chili powder

Sweet and Spicy Spice Rub

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/4 cup mild chili powder
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/8 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 cup ground cinnamon

Both of the above rubs are great on all manner of meat, fish, and veggies.

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