Easy gifts from the kitchen are always welcome this time of year. If you need a quick hostess gift or just want to give a small tasty something to someone who has been good to you, try one of these recipes. Seek out small pretty jars or bottles or remember to buy a few when you see them for sale.

Chocolate peanut butter sauce

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

Melt chocolate in milk; stir until smooth. Add brown sugar; continue cooking until it boils.

Cool slightly and then stir in vanilla and peanut butter.

Serve over vanilla ice cream.

Serves six, store in a jar in the refrigerator.

Tex-Mex spice mix

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper

Stir together all ingredients and store in an airtight container up to six months.

Sprinkle on chicken, beef, potatoes, corn and popped corn.

Makes 1/2 cup.

Easy sweet-tangy mustard

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (8-ounce) bottle prepared mustard

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Stir together all ingredients until blended. Store in refrigerator for up to three months.

Serve with pretzels or egg rolls and as a sandwich spread.

Makes 3 cups.

Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 20 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.