MIXES and MORE

     For some reason I have a fascination with homemade mixes. One time I even attended a Tupperware party just because the featured demonstration centered on that topic. I am especially fond of an “old” Extension pamphlet that is all about mixes, and even own several books dealing with the subject. Now I often use the key words “copycat recipe for ____” to locate a particular item on the Internet.
     I included lessons on mixes in one of my high school foods classes and these days we sometimes include mix recipes in the classes we teach at home or around the state.

Although I have lots of mix recipes, these are the ones we use over and over at home:
·      Taco Seasoning Mix
·      Baking Mix (similar to Bisquick®)
We’ve also provided some of our favorite recipes that use this mix – they follow the Baking Mix formula.
·      Biscuits
·      Pancakes or Waffles
·      Dumplings
And, we’ve also provided some links & other ideas for using this mix on our Home page.
·      Corn Bread Mix (similar to Jiffy® Corn Muffin Mix)
 ·      Long Grain Wild Rice Mix (similar to Uncle Ben’s®)


Our herb and spice cupboards are full so when I run across a recipe that calls for a blend, I would rather combine what I have on hand than buy yet another item. Here are the equivalents I use for several common blends:
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice = scant 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, scant 1/4 tsp. ground allspice, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Apple Pie Spice = 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. ground allspice, dash ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning = 3/4 tsp. dried sage, crushed, 1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed, or dried marjoram, crushed
  • No-Salt Seasoning  -- Need to cut down on salt? This herb blend will add flavor with the addition of sodium. Use for seasoning broiled fish, poultry, cooked vegetables, soup and stews, or put it in a small jar with a shaker top for use on the table.
    Combine: 5 teaspoons onion powder, 5 teaspoons white pepper, 5 teaspoons dry mustard, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon ground thyme, 1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed

    Other Mix Recipes
    Apple Pie Filling (ready for the freezer)
    Cinnamon-Oat Crunch Topping
    Gates Rib Seasoning (dry rub)
    Gates BBQ Sauce
    Ranch Dressing Mix (dry)
    Yellow Cake Mix, complete w/ directions on how to mix & bake
    Chocolate Cake Mix, complete w/ directions on how to mix & bake

    BATCH COOKING . . . 
    is a concept I sometimes use to organize meal components in advance so they are ready to use when we’re in a hurry. I've included recipes for a Chicken and Ground Beef Mix below and links to recipes that utilize these mixes.


    Chicken Mix      Yield: Makes about 6 pints (12 cups)
    Possible Uses:  Thaw prepared chicken and add to a sauce for pasta, make into chicken salad, use in a casserole, or check out our recipe links that use this mix:


    11 pounds chicken –breasts, other parts, or whole chicken
    3 tablespoons parsley flakes
    4 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed (optional)

    Original Preparation Method:
    1.  Combine all ingredients in a large kettle or Dutch oven with 4 quarts cold water. 
    2.  Cover and cook over high heat until water boils. Reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat. 
    3.  Strain broth and refrigerate until fat can be skimmed. 
    4.  Cool chicken, then remove any bones and skin; cut into bite-sized chunks. Put chicken into six 1-pint (2 cup) freezer containers, leaving 1/2” space at top. 
    5.  Pour skimmed chicken broth into six more 1-pint containers with 1/2” space at top. Seal and label containers with contents and date. Freeze. Use within 3 months.

     Slow Cooker Preparation Method:
    1.  Place 2 or 3 chicken breasts on a pieces of foil (see drug store fold directions that follows); divide seasonings among packets; wrap using the “drugstore” method illustrated below.
    2.   Stack several packets alternately in the slow cooker and add about 1 cup of water. Set on low for the day or on high for about 4 hours. Follow instructions in step 4 above for freezing cooked chicken.

    Drugstore Wrap:
    Cut off enough aluminum foil to wrap around the food about
    1 1⁄2 times or enough to make three 1” folds down when wrapping.
    1. Place meat (or other food) in center of wrapping.
    2. Bring two opposite edges of the wrap together centered above food.
    3. Fold the edges down in a series of folds 1/2” to 1” deep until the fold lies against the food.
    4. Press the fold down across the food, squeezing out the air.
    5. Turn package over. Press ends to remove air.
    6. Fold ends snugly with a double fold.
    7. Bring ends up and fasten securely with cord or freezer tape. Label.

    Ground Beef Mix     Yield: Makes about 6 pints (12 cups)
    Possible Uses: Thaw prepared Ground Beef Mix and use in tacos your favorite casseroles or check out our recipe links that use this mix:

    5 pounds lean ground beef, or substitute ground chicken, turkey, or even pork (1 lb. raw ground beef yields about 2 cups of cooked hamburger meat)
    1 tablespoon salt
    2 cups finely chopped celery
    2 cups finely chopped onions
    1 cup finely diced green pepper

    1.  In a large skillet or pot, brown ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring to break up meat. Drain; discard drippings. 
    2.  Stir in salt, celery, onions and green peppers. 
    3.  Cover, simmer over low heat until vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
    4.  Remove from heat and cool. Ladle into 6 one-pint freezer bags. Seal and label containers with contents and date. Store in freezer. Use within 3 months.


    SUBSTITUTIONS . . .
      If the recipe calls for:                        You can substitute this:           
      Baking Ingredients
      1 Tbsp. cornstarch .........................…2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (for thickening)
      1 tsp. baking powder......................…1/2 tsp. cream of tartar + 1/4 tsp. baking soda                                                                                    (Interchanging baking powder & soda may affect the shape 
      & texture of some products.)
      1 c. granulated sugar   ....................... 1 c. packed brown sugar or 2 c. sifted powdered sugar
      1 c. honey.......................................…1 1/4 c. granulated sugar + 1/4 cup liquid
      1 c. corn syrup..........................1 c. granulated sugar + 1/4 c. liquid
      1 c. dark corn syrup...................3/4 c. light corn syrup + 1/4 c. molasses
      1 c. molasses.............................1 c. honey
      1 c. cake flour............................1 c. minus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
      1 square (1 -oz.)  unsweetened chocolate....3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder + 
      1 Tbsp. vegetable oil                                                                    
      1.06 oz cake compressed yeast......1/4 -oz. envelope active dry yeast
      To make SELF-RISING FLOUR, combine 1 c. all-purpose flour + 1/2 tsp. salt + 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
      Condiments, etc.
      1 small onion, chopped (1/3 c.)..........1 tsp. onion powder or 1Tbsp. dried minced onion
      1 clove garlic......................................1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
      1 tsp. finely shredded fresh orange peel or lemon peel.....1 tsp. dried orange peel or lemon peel
      1 cup chili sauce .......1 c. tomato sauce, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. vinegar,1/4 tsp. cinnamon, dash of ground cloves & dash of allspice
      1 cup mayonnaise......1 c. sour cream, yogurt or cottage cheese pureed in a blender
      Dairy
      1 c. whole milk...............1/2 c. evaporated + 1/2 c. water or, 1 c. water + 1/3 c. dry milk powder
      1 c. light cream or half-and-half ...1 Tbsp. melted butter + enough whole milk to make 1 c.
      1 whole eggs ..................2 egg yolks
      1 c. buttermilk.................1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup
      Click here for a recipe for Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk