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I love giving people homemade gifts.  It’s so much fun, and it’s a great way to share something you really love with someone you really love – anyone can buy a bottle of wine!

Plus, it’s cheaper, and I’m poor.

That’s another story, though.

You’ve seen me use blackening seasoning on everything in the world.  It’s great to have in the house for weeknights, and it’s fun to grill and make sauces with!  It’s also a great way to use up spices – why buy your own when it’s so easy to make?

This year I decided to make a bunch of blackening seasoning all at once, put it in cute jars, and give it as gifts.  People pretended to like it, so I think that’s a success.

The great thing about this project is that it was CHEAP – lots of dollar stores have the spices in this recipe, along with jars and wrapping stuff.  It’s fun, cute, and cheerful!

When I went shopping I got little bags and tissue paper for wrapping, and fun jars with decent seals (they were cheap, so it wasn’t fabulously airtight) along with extras of spices I knew I’d use up.

My jars came from Hobby Lobby and they were around $2 each – get them on a week when they’re half off!  Hobby Lobby has GREAT sales.

I gathered my spices all at once so I wasn’t running back and forth all the time….

Don’t get jars that are too big!  The spices go a long way and you don’t want to give someone something that will last 5 years – it won’t be good by then!  Jars that are 4-6 ounces are plenty big.

For the recipe, I 12x’d it to make enough for 4-ish jars.  If you need a refresher, that would be:

  • 3/4 cup paprika
  • 6 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 6 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 6 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 6 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt

Now, here’s something else cool about this:  you can alter the recipe for people with special needs or tastes!  My dad’s avoiding salt for health reasons, so I made him a jar with no salt or sugar – you could also add or decrease the cayenne pepper to suit the person receiving the gift.

Gently mix the spices together, then fill the jars about 2/3 with the seasoning.

Now, you’re an adult and can of course wrap these however you’d like.  I just placed each jar in the center of a piece of tissue paper, then pulled up the corners, then stuck it in a bag.  Easy!

Now, the fun part.  I made cards with the recipe, so no one ever has to buy blackening seasoning again!

Spice companies are going to love me!

Anyway.  It’s easy.  Any craft or office supply store will have pre-cut cardstock – buy whatever you like!  Then, print the recipe on regular printer paper.  Cut the recipe so it’s a little smaller than the cardstock, then glue, tape, or adhere it in a way that makes you happy to the pretty card.

Cute, huh?  You can, like, totally use my recipe without my name on it, I don’t care. That’s it!  Stick the cards in the gifts and keep them around to give to people that got you something that you weren’t prepared for and pretend like you totally made this just for them with them in mind because you like them so freaking much.

Or, plan ahead and give it to people because you want to, not because you have to.  Giving is fun.  🙂

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