Happy Tasty Tuesday to ya!
I was thrilled to get so many good emails and comments
 about yesterday’s post on
Five Meals you can Heat and Eat using a pressure canner.
I know when we started making up basic meals it was like a lightbulb went on. I found myself walking through the grocery store looking at all the different items in cans and wondering how hard it would be to create my own recipes and stash them on the shelf.
Not long after that I started trying.
Not long after that I started cringing when I looked at the prices
of those things when we ran out at home.
And not long after that I just started canning weekly or bi-weekly.
It has been a trip and a half to get to the point we are, and looking at all those awesome meals on a shelf waiting for mealtime is like giving myself a pat on the back. My family is VERY vocal and tells me when they cant find “their favorite” and of course I am a villain if I can’t put it up within a couple weeks. However, they also make up for it with lots of compliments and loving kisses, so I don’t hold it against them for very long. 🙂
Today we are actually going to talk about making mixes up ahead of time that makes it easier to do things from scratch. Over a year ago, in my series Making DO without Missing a Thing where I blogged about feeding a family of five on $200 a month, I shared how I had sacrificed money for convenience as I struggled to juggle everything: working from home, homeschooling, having two babies at once, etc etc etc.
Once of my biggest “set-free”moments was realizing I simply didn’t have to pay a ton of money for all those little boxes of cookie mix, and biscuit mix, and brownie mix, and cake mix, and on and on. In fact, it was that moment that my idea for my very first book, The Master Mix Way was born, and I began a quest to find how I could make more things from home and put the money in my pocket, or back into the grocery budget for other things.
But I also have a lot of things simply on the shelf waiting to be used, grabbed at a moment’s notice, thrown together, and baked for the meal. Whether that is for a biscuit topping, a pie crust mix, a skillet of cornbread made with creamed corn and green chilies, all the way to sweets like cookies or brownies, my kids (and some of the kids in the neighborhood) know exactly where to go to pick what they want out and make it up.
Now for some of you who have followed me for a while, you may wonder why I do that. I mean, isn’t a large coffee can of Master mix of something waiting to be used enough to store up?
And to that I say, you have never had the blessing of a tween with hungry friends, and two toddlers who catch on that Mom is too busy to FEED THEM NOW.
Enter in my “homemade” box mixes, and simple directions, and those kids are fed just as quickly as if I had dumped something from the store into the mixer and made it. But without all the stabilizers, and chemicals, and on and on. I control what goes in, and that means, all the previous times when I was paying money for the box, now I can pay that money into better and healthier ingredients. 🙂
As many of you know, I have an honored affiliate position with my WonderMill, and often try to blog on Tuesday about things I make with it. Today is no exception. If the recipes below call for ground grains, such as cornmeal, or flour, I can assure you, my WonderMill is doing all the hard work for me while I am making them up. I would encourage you to check into purchasing a grain mill to cut back on the expensive processed ingredients as we eventually did (and then were given the WonderMill). It makes creating things from scratch SO much easier and simpler in the long run, and the flour is fresh and full of nutrients. You can check out the WonderMill site right here to start your research.
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So here are my top six things that are literally jarred up, on the shelf, waiting for someone to go snag one and bring it up. ALSO, just a simple encouragement. I use my Food Saver machine to seal the tops, and make them shelf stable, but they stay tolerably well sealed if you just put a lid and ring on and tighten it down. If you dont have a lot of room, then do what I used to do, and make it up in bags, seal, and set them in the cupboard in baskets or cardboard trays from cereal boxes. Label bags and jars with the contents, and add a simple tag or slip of paper inside telling you what to mix in and how to bake it. I promise you, once you start, you simply wont go back. You will learn that when you paid for that 50 cent box of Jiffy cornbread mix, you can make it for less than 10. And that makes a BIG difference. Each of the recipes below are either linked from elsewhere on the blog, or are for a single jar that you multiply out for however many jars/bags you want on the shelf. I try to go for ten of each kind available at all times…and writing this made me realize we are out of my White Chocolate Cranberry cookies (my favorite), so I had better get cracking. 🙂
Many Blessings to you and yours,
Cornbread mix
1 cup AP flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup dry milk
1 Tbs Baking Powder and Sugar
1 tsp salt
 Mix all ingredients well and then place into a pint jar using a funnel, tamping down as necessary to fit everything in. On lid of jar I write the following: Add 3 eggs, one can creamed corn, and one small can green chilies. Bake 350* for 25 minutes. If I bag it, I write the directions and ingredients on an index card and slip it into the bag, then take it out when used to keep track of what I need to make.
 Pie crust mix
1 cup AP Flour
1 cup flour from soft white wheat
1/2 cup shortening or coconut oil
1 tsp salt
Mix ingredients really well, then tamp into the jar. On lid write: Add 1/4 ice cold water and mix well until holds together. Roll out. Makes a double crust.
Brownie mix with additions
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cups flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder and salt
1/2 cup additions (nuts, chocolate chips, toffee bites, candy bits)
I dont need to tell you that the rainbow colors of MandMs are the first one to disappear off the shelves, but this mix is the first one to go because it is simple for my 13 year old to grab one and make it up for snack when she is in the midst of a chocolate craving moment. On the lid or tag write:
add 1 stick butter, 2 eggs, vanilla extract (1 tsp) and 1 Tbs water/whey/milk. Spread into a pan and top with the goodies. Bake at 350* for 18-22 minutes.
Cinnamon Chocolate Chip cookie mix
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups soft white wheat flour
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup cinnamon chips
Mix all ingredients but the chips well, then pack into a jar, topping with the chips that you have mixed together. On lid of Quart jar write: Add 2 eggs, 1 stick butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 Tbs milk. Drop onto greased pan and bake at 350* for 8-10 min.
White Chocolate Cranberry cookie Mix
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups soft white wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda, salt
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup craisins
Again, mix all ingredients well, then pack the chips and craisins on top. On lid write: add 2 eggs, 1 stick butter, 1 tsp each almond and vanilla extract, and 2 Tbs Milk. Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes.
Cherry Almond Oatmeal Mix
Quart jar for six servings, place the following:
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats + 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup almond slivers
1/4 cup brown sugar + 1/4 tsp nutmeg and cinnamon in a bag set on top
To use, dump into a pot (setting bag of sugar aside), and add 3 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil and cook for about five minutes. I bring it to a boil, rapid simmer, then shut it off and cover, removing from the heat. Top pan with brown sugar, and serve at table.
If this idea appeals to you, I would greatly encourage you to check out my book The Master Mix Way as it simplifies this process even further.
More ideas you might like from The Welcoming House Past Posts:
Click on the pictures below to see the products I use often for making these jars up.
Shared with the Homestead Barn Hop, 
Walking Redeemed Wednesday Linkup
Teach Me Tuesdays