Homemade Mixes to the Rescue

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I don’t keep cake mixes or Bisquick in the house. I prefer to bake from scratch so I know exactly what is in my food, and because I like the results better. That is not to say that I don’t need the convenience of a mix sometimes.

Last Thursday evening I realized I had just set myself up for two days worth of baking on Friday. Of course, Friday is still only one day, so I was up a little creek without a paddle. I needed to bake Vanilla Shortbreads and Chocolate Oat Bars for church coffee hour treats on Sunday, make brownies and peach cobbler for a family gathering on Saturday and make something for a quick breakfast on Saturday, along with the biscuits I wanted to have with dinner on Friday.

I could have bought treats for church, made only one dessert for Saturday and changed the menu for dinner and breakfast, but I didn’t. I’m not sure if it has come through in my posts, but I can be just a tiny bit stubborn sometimes. I needed a plan to make it all work, with a minimum of stress.

Solution: homemade mixes. Thursday night I mixed up the dry ingredients for my muffins, the biscuits and the cobbler topping (basically biscuits with a bit of sugar). I cut the butter into the biscuit mix and cobbler topping and put those in the fridge. The muffin mix was fine to stay on the counter.

On Friday I mixed up my muffins in five minutes. The biscuits took even less time than that. I decided to take the cobbler mix and the peaches with me on Saturday, so we could have fresh, warm cobbler. And so I would have help peeling and slicing the peaches. I may be stubborn, but I never pass up extra helping hands. With three of my projects out of the way, I got my other baking done in no time.

Take a look at your favorite recipes and see which ones you can use to make your own mixes. The dry ingredients for muffins, quick breads and cakes can be mixed together and stored at room temperature almost indefinitely. Just be sure to label the container or bag, and list what is in it. Trust me, you think you will remember, but you won’t. Store biscuit mix in the fridge or freezer, since there is a chance that the added fat could go rancid if you leave them at room temperature.

What tricks do you have for saving time in the kitchen?

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