-1- Introduction

How Vegan Glass Jar Goodies Came To Be In 2001, my mother and stepfather owned a gourmet foods and gift basket company in Windham, New Hampshire. They sold a number of locally made food items in addition to things like antiques and rustic decorations. One of the companies whose products they sold was called Glass Jar Goodies. My parents became good friends with the owners and when their friends decided to retire from the Claremont based company our family purchased it and their other company from them. My folks set out on a new journey running these businesses. Mom was in charge of Glass Jar Goodies while my stepfather, Richard, became the head of Better Than Freds Salsa, their original product line. The couple who owned Better Than Freds established it when their 17 year old son developed an amazing recipe for salsa while on vacation from school. They added Glass Jar Goodies later, providing local gift shops and grocers more options for locally made gourmet food items. My brothers and I joined our parents as their employees and we worked together making salsa and cookie mixes for many years after that. Working in a manufacturing kitchen was a unique experience! I learned a lot about what it takes to develop recipes, market a business, fill orders, and make deliveries. Customer service and integrity were some of our top priorities and we prided ourselves on making a natural product with the freshest ingredients possible. Glass Jar Goodies was New Hampshire's premiere gifts in a jar company. Layered cookie mixes can be found nearly anywhere come the holidays now, but back in the day the Glass Jar Goodies brand was New Hampshire's most popular and readily available. My mother worked diligently to grow her company over the years to the point where Glass Jar Goodies could be found nationwide. Gifts in a jar are extremely popular with a diverse group of people but are often expensive, and not all of them use natural ingredients. Items like sprinkles and even chocolate chips can contain chemicals and artificial flavors. These are just a couple of reasons why making gifts in a jar at home has become as or more popular as the alternative. In 2009, mom decided to move on to other things. Instead of closing things down and making Glass Jar Goodies disappear, I convinced her to publish the recipes she used in her mixes as a cookbook. Her customers regularly requested copies of her recipes! She and I spent several months refining her recipes and creating Inside Glass Jar Goodies, which was published that November. The book contained each recipe she used to make her jars so that her customers would be able to make them in their own kitchens and enjoy them on an everyday basis. I was going through a lot of life changes at that time as well. I realized that cooking was one of my favorite things to do and experimented with a few home and lifestyle blogs and freelance outlets over the next year and a half while trying to find my path. In December of 2011, I received nearly 100% food-related gifts for Christmas and took it as a sign! I created a vegetarian blog and dubbed it lizz delicious just a few days later. My goal was to show people how easy it was to become vegan and also remain that way. It has become my favorite hobby and I enjoy every aspect of it! In the spring of 2012, I published my first little cookbook. Summertime Sippers, a collection of 15 irresistible recipes for wonderfully refreshing ice cold drinks. I needed a direction upon its completion; I thought my best bet might be to write what I know (as that old adage goes) and create Vegan Glass Jar Goodies as my second publication. This book was a joy to make and I hope that it brings you some great ideas. I love giving people food as gifts, but there aren't any gifts in a jar on the market that are vegan-friendly. We vegans have to make our own. The recipes in this book would make great gifts for any occasion in any season and can be adjusted with experimentation. What's great about the recipes in this book is that you needn't make these recipes as gifts at all. If you so desire it, you can whip up a batch of my Christmastime Sugar Cookies whenever your heart fancies! After all, any time is a great time for things like sugar cookies, banana bread, and hot cocoa. Thank you for purchasing this book. I sincerely hope it helps make your holidays happier, healthier, and more vegan, too!