Friday, August 14, 2009

Making Mixes From Your Food Storage

One of the things you can do to use your food storage on a day-to-day basis is to make mixes from it. Having a nice supply of mixes can make your cooking faster and easier (I'm all about fast and easy cooking--as long as it's good!). And it's cheaper to make your own than to buy them at the store.

To that end, the last time I was at the book store, I picked up a copy of Make-A-Mix, Over 300 Easy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day, by Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, and Madeline Westover.

So tonight I decided to try making my first mix. I made a half recipe of their Brownie Mix, only I substituted white whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour (so I can tell myself the brownies are a health food). Then, since the brownie and chocolate cookie recipe both call for 2-1/4 cups of the mix, I measured that much out into each of 3 quart-sized freezer bags. I had a little bit left in the bowl when done, so I mixed it with water and ate it. Yum!

I put the bags of mix into a #10 can (I finally polished off my dehydrated hash browns, so I used that can). Next, I made a label to fit the can. I used a full-page label from Avery, cut to fit the can. It didn't go all the way around, but that's OK. On the label, I added the recipes for the brownies and cookies I was interested in making, including the topping options. Then I added the ingredients in the mix. And finally I added the expiration date. The label looks awfully utilitarian, though. I need to add some pictures or something next time.

Once I get powdered eggs and shortening powder added to my pantry, I can add those to mixes and make them even easier to use.

The book also contains a baking mix recipe, similar to Bisquik, but I didn't make that because I have some Bisquik in the pantry. Might as well try that mix when I've used up the Bisquik.

The book also has a recipe for a Snack Cake Mix, and the recipe for several snack cakes you can make from it. The Applesauce Snack Cake sounds good, and I was thinking it might make a nice Christmas gift. Start with a nice jar, than add the Snack Cake Mix. Then add the dry ingredients for the Applesauce Snack Cake, including powdered egg and freeze-dried applesauce. It might be best to put the applesauce into a separate packet. Then it can be rehydrated, adding a little extra water for the egg (which will be mixed in with the mix).

Actually, I think my brother might like a #10 can full of brownie mix for Christmas, too.

Anyway, if you're at all interested in making mixes for yourself or for gifts, this is a good book. There are several others on the market. I went to yesterday and oggled them all. I finally ordered a copy of Mix-A-Meal Cookbook. It sounds like it's geared more toward using food storage, so it should be even easier than Make-A-Mix.

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