Fresh Mama Mason Jar Gift Party

 
If you continue to follow my blog, you will come to realize I have a slight huge obsession with mason jars. I use them for everything! I'm sure one day, I will do an entire blog post on my love for the simple mason jar, but today it is all about giving the perfect holiday gift. Cook up some lovely granola or gourmet popcorn, fill a mason jar, put a cute fabric topper and tag on it, then you have yourself an adorable gift for anyone on your list.

Thanks to the Fresh Mamas Cooking Club, a group of us got together and cooked up 60+ jars worth!
It was a very special day and I'm so thankful for every day I spend in the kitchen with these amazing women. A big thank you to my friend, Jen, for hosting the party!



Maple-Pecan Granola and Maple Popcorn

 

This was not our first time making the Maple-Pecan Granola, it was such a hit with all the families, we knew it was a perfect filler for the jar gifts. You can find the recipe for the granola here .

 
 
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
 
You will need an air popcorn popper, 2 large bowls or one very large bowl and 2 13x9 baking pans. One batch  fills 5-6 mason jars.
 
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
1. Pop all the popcorn and place in bowl(s)
2. In  medium saucepan, melt the butter, maple syrup, sugar, and salt.
3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes without stirring.
4. After the 5 minutes, add the baking soda and vanilla (it will bubble and foam up), then remove from heat.
5. Very slowly, pour the syrup mixture over the popcorn and stir until thoroughly and evenly coated. Place the popcorn mixture in the 2 pans and place in oven.
6. Bake for 1 hour, stirring popcorn every 15 minutes. Now, here I will mention that it is absolutely crucial that you spill a few pieces every time you stir, because a taste test is absolutely needed every 15 minutes, you know, just to make sure it is coming along nicely;)
 
Although I would love to take credit for this amazingly scrumptious recipe, all the credit belongs to the talented and inspirational Alana Chernila and her beautiful book The Homemade Pantry. If you have not read her book, please borrow from the library, a friend or put it on your Christmas list. Not only does Alana provide excellent recipes for getting back to basics in the kitchen (which I find so empowering!), but she writes beautifully and you get an elegant short story with every recipe. A truly special book for anyone who loves to spend their free time in the kitchen. 


So please, even if you can only find one friend to share the work fun with -- have your own Mason Jar Gift party and let me know how it goes!

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