10 Ways to Gift One Simple, Inexpensive Mix

Mason jar mixes are ideal for holiday gift-giving, especially when you have a long list of people to whom you care to show your appreciation. Gift jar mixes have the advantage of being affordable, appreciated, useful and attractive, all at the same time. They can fit the bill for a long line of gift recipients from coworkers to coaches, teachers, instructors, service providers, extended family members, and many more.

To be sure, having a variety of jar mix recipes to choose from is nice, but considering how busy and expensive the holidays can very easily get, it’s nice to have something a bit more versatile that can be worked up and packaged in short time, yet still deliver a number of excellent gift-giving options.

It’s All In How You Look At It

10 Ways to Gift Mason Jar Baking MixTake, for example, the homemade all-purpose baking mix in Make-Ahead Mix Day. This recipe requires a minimal amount of ingredients (a couple cups of shortening, a standard five-pound bag of flour, a bit of salt, sugar, and baking powder), but it yields better than five quarts; and it only takes about five minutes to do it. Cheap and easy. Exactly what the budgeting gift-giver needs. The thing is, this mix can be used in numerous ways. So while you might not really want to give someone a dressed-up jar of “all purpose baking mix”, you’ll feel good about giving a nice homemade “Country Quick Mix” or “Sunday Morning Waffle Mix” with a nice label and instructions attached.

If you take my meaning here, it’s all in the presentation and the suggestion. You’re still giving a great-tasting mix that you’ve put your own time, money, and effort into, but you’re giving it with style in a way you can afford.

You can search this site or the ‘net for different ideas and potential presentations, or go with one of your own favorite tried-and-true classics. Any recipe that uses Bisquick(R) or another biscuit or baking mix will work just fine with this recipe, so simply print the recipe to include with your festively-decorated jar mix (a nice parchment or holiday paper is a nice touch). To get the creative juices rolling, here is a list of ten great ways (in no particular order) to repackage this one simple mix and have a variety of gifting options:

  1. Morning Pancake Mix (what busy Mom or Dad wouldn’t appreciate that?)..top it off with a half cup of chocolate chips or dehydrated fruit and now you have flavored pancakes, to boot.
  2. The aforementioned “Sunday Morning Waffle Mix” (to which the same doctoring methods above apply)
  3. Home Style Country Biscuit Mix
  4. Quick & Tasty Cinnamon Roll Kit (gifted in a basket with a small jar of powdered sugar and nicely-tied baggie or small jar of cinnamon sugar)
  5. Muffin Mix
  6. Quick Bread Mix (with or without additions)
  7. Scone Mix
  8. Cornbread Mix (just add in the 6 TBSP of corn meal – especially nice with a bean mix for soup or chile)
  9. Cupcake Mix
  10. Tea-Time Coffee Cake Mix (throw in a sealed baggie with topping ingredients on top of the mix in the jar)

So you see with a little imagination giving a quality homemade gift does not have to be overly costly or time-consuming. You can feel good about giving gifts to everyone on your list without stressing yourself or breaking the budget.

You can find both an easy all-purpose baking mix suitable for these and many other recipes and a variety of other equally good jar mix recipes for Christmas gifts (or just healthier, more affordable pantry-stocking!) in Make-Ahead Mix Day: Complete Recipes and Instructions for On-Hand Homemade Quick Mixes. It’s available for Kindle and compatible eReader apps as well as in a downloadable PDF.

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Homemade Bisquick Recipes: Classic Biscuits

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Classic Biscuit RecipeEarlier this week I gave you a Classic Pancake Recipe to use with your homemade baking mix. Today, to continue our list of reliable stand-by recipes, I give you another necessary, a homemade Bisquick (R) biscuit recipe. You’ll come back to this recipe again and again as a side for soups and stews, a base for biscuits and gravy, a topping for pot pies, a base for shortcakes, or just to enjoy with some butter, jam, honey, maple syrup….

 

…Obviously the possibilities and uses for classic biscuits are endless, but it all starts with a good, solid recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Homemade Bisquick Recipes: Classic Biscuits
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 Large
 
A good old-fashioned, classic biscuit for use with homemade All Purpose Baking Mix (homemade Bisquick).
Ingredients
  • 5 Cups Homemade All Purpose Baking Mix
  • 1½ Cups Milk (or buttermilk)
Instructions
  1. Simply mix the 2 ingredients together to form a soft dough without over-stirring (just until mixed through).
  2. Turn onto floured surface and knead about 8 times.
  3. Pat or roll to ¾ inch thickness.
  4. Cut and place on ungreased cookies sheet.
  5. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

What other Bisquick recipes or recipes for use with your all-purpose baking mix would you like to see? Contact me or leave a comment below and I’ll see what else is lying in my box!

Bisquick Recipes: Beer Batter Chicken Nuggets

One of my family’s favorite Bisquick recipes that I make with my homemade all-purpose baking mix is this one for Beer Batter Chicken Nuggets. I made it as a weekend treat one Saturday and it’s become a fast favorite. I was actually surprised by that because my husband is no fan of fried foods, but this one he loves. So it’s got to be good, right?

Beer Batter Chicken Nuggets Bisquick RecipeAThis recipe can be pretty quick to prepare (although the deep frying takes some time, I won’t lie). The batter itself is extremely easy to make with the homemade bisquick mix recipe here on this site (see link above). If you buy boneless chicken breasts and cut them to size it’ll be fairly short work. Here on the homestead, though, we try to use as much of our own home-grown meat as possible. We process and freeze between 60 and 80 meat birds every year so when I make these I bone out and chunk up the meat from some of my own. When I do this I use the whole bird – light and dark meat all goes into the mix and comes out delicious.

You, of course, should use whatever you prefer. Even if you do not have your own home-grown chicken on hand, buying a roaster and boning/cutting off the meat will still save you a lot of money and will give you a big batch for much less. Don’t worry about making too much, either. I’ve never had leftovers go past the next day, they reheat easily and deliciously in the oven, and once cooked they would be great to freeze and reheat later, too…a great make-ahead convenience treat!

So now, on to the recipe!

Homemade Beer Batter Chicken Nuggets

Bisquick Recipes: Beer Batter Chicken Nuggets
Author: 
Recipe type: Bisquick Recipe, Poultry
Cuisine: Comfort and Convenience Foods
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A sure family favorite that will leave you shunning freezer-aisle chicken nuggets.
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 pounds Chicken, cut into approx 1½ inch cubes (or approximate shapes)
  • 1 Cup Homemade All Purpose Baking Mix or Bisquick
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ Cup Beer
  • ¼ to ½ tsp Garlic Powder (to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
Instructions
  1. Beat egg slightly, then add beer.
  2. Add egg and beer mixture to measured baking mix.
  3. Stir to combine, until most of the lumps are gone.
  4. Cut chicken to desired size and add to wet batter mixture as you go.
  5. Let chicken chunks stay in the batter until you are ready to fry.
  6. Heat shortening, lard, or cooking oil in a deep frying pan or dutch oven.
  7. When oil is ready, add chicken chunks and fry until golden brown, turning when the first side is browned (about 3 minutes in 365 degree fat).

 

Bisquick Beer Batter Chicken NuggetsI generally do a lot of nuggets when I do make these, and I usually triple or even quadruple the batch. If you are planning to bone a roaster, plan for one recipe of batter for each whole bird you bone out (so if I bone 3 of my birds, I triple the batter batch). If the chickens you bone are large, you may need a triple batch of batter for every 2 birds. (No worries, though, it’s simple to mix up a bit more batter if you think you need more–takes just a minute!).

These chicken nuggets are also an excellent base for sauces either for dipping (we like honey mustard barbecue sauce) or to coat with for things like Buffalo Chicken Nuggets or Chinese foods like Sweet and Sour Chicken or General’s Chicken (just add sauce & accompaniments & toss).

As always, I hope you do enjoy!

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How to Make An Economical, Versatile Homemade All Purpose Baking Mix

Call it Bisquick®, Jiffy® mix, biscuit mix, baking mix, or what have you, it all amounts to the same thing. The one thing all of these have in common is that they all represent a very basic pantry staple designed to speed dinners and baking and make our lives easier. In this harried day and age, we’re all for that, right!?

What we’re NOT all for is overpaying for our baking needs. Baking from scratch is, for http://thehomemadehomestead.com/?p=37sure, the cheapest and most wholesome way to go, and the easiest way to control what goes into your food. Unfortunately it’s not always the fastest or most convenient. And unfortunately we pay a lot for anything that is deemed convenient in the grocery stores. It makes it tough to balance a family budget.

So what if I told you you could make your own homemade Bisquick; you’re own all purpose baking mix that can be used for a range of recipes, meals and treats for a fraction of the cost and with an investment of only a few minutes of your time?

Honestly, once you learn how to make Bisquick on your own, you’re not likely to go back to overpaying for undersized boxes of the stuff in the store. I promise it’s not at all hard and it will not take you long. A big batch with this faked Bisquick recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make (and I’m being generous here–in 20 minutes you’ll have it mixed and packaged and be on to a nice batch of warm biscuits, ready for the honey and butter).

How To Make Bisquick ®

It’s not hard to find a baking mix recipe online or even in some cook books. I’ve been through a few goods ones but this is one I have tried, prefer, and know that it meets all my requirements for an all purpose baking mix:

  • It is affordable and cheaper than buying boxed mixes
  • It is simple to make
  • It requires few ingredients
  • It stores well
  • It is versatile and can be used to make many things (in future posts we’ll see just how versatile it can be–so do follow along and come back often!)

So without further ado here is my preferred recipe; print and use it well and often:

Homemade Baking Mix Recipe

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

How to Make An Economical, Versatile Homemade All Purpose Baking Mix
Author: 
Recipe type: Make-Ahead Baking Mix
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 gallons of mix
 
Homemade Bisquick or all-purpose baking mix recipe that can be used to replace Bisquick (R), Jiffy Mix (R), pancake mix, or any other basic baking mix. Use for a variety of recipes and dishes (anywhere you would use Bisquick or anything similar!).
Ingredients
  • 20 Cups All-Purpose Flour (equivalent to a 5 pound bag)
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 7 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ⅔ Cup Baking Powder
  • 2 Cups Lard or Shortening
Instructions
  1. Combine and mix through all dry ingredients in a LARGE bowl (even a roasting pan works well, or large Tupperware–just leave yourself room to work).
  2. Add lard (or shortening) to the mix.
  3. Cut lard into the mix until thoroughly combined and you have only about pea-sized pieces of shortening throughout.
  4. (This is not nearly as bad as it sounds like it would be to do; using a pastry cutter or mixing with clean hands works well; you could also do 2-3 cups of dry mix and about ½ cup of lard at a time in a food processor, pulsing to combine, then mix the final batch all together and stirring well to distribute).
  5. Store in air-tight container and use as you would a brand-name baking mix.

 

(*I use lard because it is stable at room temperature and I believe in using the most natural products I can, including animal fats. However, I’ve recently learned that only store-bought lard is shelf stable [because it is hydrogenated :(]. The “real thing”–lard rendered without manipulation or additives, mostly only available now if you render your own lard at home–is not shelf-stable. You can still use it and I will do so as soon as I’ve made a batch of my own homemade rendered lard [coming soon!]; but I will keep the mix in the refrigerator and freeze any extra. Vegetable shortening could also be used and will make the mix shelf-stable at room temperature. Just remember that if you use a fat/shortening that normally requires refrigeration [like butter], your mix will need refrigeration as well.)

And that, folks, is all there is to it. Once done simply store in a sealed container (I usually use half-gallon mason jars [Half Gallon Wide Mouth Canning Jar (Set of 6)]
or a large Tupperware cereal container [Rubbermaid Home 1777195 Cereal Keeper]). Store as usual and use at the same measurement for any recipe that calls for Bisquick, all purpose baking mix, biscuit mix, etc. And do keep coming back as I’ll be sharing some great recipes for this mix in the future!

(Bisquick® is, of course, a name-brand and is a registered trademark of the General Mills company.)