Here it is! The announcement all you homemade bread lovers have been waiting for! (Who could NOT be a homemade bread lover!?)
My new KitchenAid (R) and stand mixer bread recipe book is live and available on Amazon! Get it now for under $3.00 – yes, for less than the cost of a decent loaf of bread!
This book truly does simplify the process and delivers more than just a KitchenAid version of a traditional recipe – it’s a completely different method that is a complete time-saver. It requires very little hands-on work and works up much faster than traditional homemade bread recipes.
There are a variety of recipes from the Everyday White Bread many of you have come to know and love to multigrain and wheat options, too.
Read more about Your Daily Homemade Breadhere or go straight to buy your copy now:
We’re in New England. Hot Chocolate is an absolute “must” for us. And with four kids, I go through a lot of it. The only trouble is, because we grow nearly all of our food here (with the exception of those staples like flour and sugar, etc.), I don’t actually go to a store all that often. In fact, I hardly ever do even for those things; I actually order most of my staples online from WalMart.com. I know we all have a love-hate relationship with Wal Mart but let’s face it – their prices beat almost everyone else, they employ large numbers of Americans, and if you spend $50 you get free shipping – so my staples cost me no more than a trip to the store; probably less considering the time I don’t lose and the gas I don’t burn.
But I digress. The short story is that I always seem to be out of hot cocoa mix. And then there is the added issue that I am buying something with unnecessary ingredients like dry milk, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavors, amongst other things that you personally may or may not be concerned with (for an example of what you’ll find in a leading brand hot cocoa mix like Swiss Miss, check this out).
And then there is the issue that I have this abundance of milk from those over-achieving little backyard Jerseys. An awful problem to have, I know. At any rate, it seems silly to me to be paying for a product with dry milk in it, which I’m not overly thrilled about, and wasting the perfectly good, healthy that milk I need to do something with anyway. And so I decided to go old-school and find an easy homemade hot chocolate recipe that is made with milk and minimal extraneous ingredients. After tweaking a few, below is what I came up with. It’s great for homesteaders, but of course it’s great for anyone who is just looking for a simplified homemade hot cocoa recipe. It uses only a couple common pantry staples, so odds are excellent that you already have everything you need at home.
Homemade Homestead Hot Cocoa Recipe
What we’re basically looking at here is a 2:1 ratio of powdered sugar to baking cocoa (powder). Using this basic ratio, you can make up your hot chocolate mix ahead of time in as large or small a quantity as you want for easy make-ahead use (a great recipe to add to your Make-Ahead Mix arsenal!).
The following recipe is enough to make a prepared half-gallon batch of homemade hot chocolate with milk. But what I like to do is crack out a quart or half-gallon mason jar and just keep alternating and filling until I have a jar full of mix ready for later use.
An easy, creamy homemade hot chocolate made with real milk and a couple common staple ingredients.
2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
1 cup powdered baking cocoa
½ gallon milk
Pour milk into a large saucepan. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Heat and stir over medium heat until steaming. Do not boil!
*You may also prepare this in a crock pot (on high or low, but obviously low will take longer and do keep an eye on it so that it does not boil when on high) and keep warm on the "Warm" setting.
**You may also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if desired.
Make-Ahead Creamy Homestead Hot Cocoa Mix
If you want to make a prepared make-ahead homemade hot cocoa mix, simply combine 6 cups of powdered sugar and 3 cups of powdered baking cocoa in a large (2 quart) canning jar or large container (yes, it will fit, but you may have to shake gently as you add ingredients to settle them). Shake to combine through until the mixture appears evenly distributed throughout.
Alternatively, if you are giving as a gift and you like the “sand art” appearance of the layers, alternate the cocoa and the powdered sugar, but do not shake. Do be sure, though, to include shaking as the first step in any attached instructions you give. You can cut the recipe in half to prepare in one-quart canning jars.
To prepare hot chocolate by the cup from the prepared mix, add 2 to 3 large teaspoons cocoa mix to a cup of hot milk. To make a batch, use 3 cups mix to each 1/2 gallon hot milk.
This is the first in a new books series of four featuring selected cocktails and adult beverages (including party-worthy punches and eggnogs) that fit the tastes and moods of the season. It’s available right now on Kindle, and also in paperback via Amazon or the CreateSpace eStore just in time for all your holiday entertaining!
Please don’t think that it will only last you through the rest of this month, though. This is not only a book of Christmas drink recipes; it’s truly a collection of adult winter drink recipes to see you through the whole long winter.
The paperback version has all of the same great mason jar mix recipes and also includes an appendix of copy-ready labels (two per page for each recipe). Just in time for Christmas, and Christmas jar mix gifts!
Just a quick note to share recent relevant articles and activity with all my readers here…
I recently had the honor of being welcomed as a guest writer on RuralMom.com. This site has lots in common to share with us here, and most recently has posted some excellent holiday gifting recommendations. Be sure to check them out, and add them to your list of follows!
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
Take, 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:
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.
The aforementioned “Sunday Morning Waffle Mix” (to which the same doctoring methods above apply)
Home Style Country Biscuit Mix
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)
Quick Bread Mix (with or without additions)
Cornbread Mix (just add in the 6 TBSP of corn meal – especially nice with a bean mix for soup or chile)
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.
Be sure to Subscribe to The Homemade Homestead keep up with all the recipes and posts from The Homemade Homestead. You’ll get only updates from this site, and your information will not be sold!
Of course all the recipes are there ready to be printed, too, but the biggest advantage of the printable Companion PDF, and the sole reason it was designed and made available, is to deliver to you an easy-to-use set of labels for every homemade mix recipe in the book. When it comes time to actually use your mix and bake your goodies, you don’t want to have to go searching for the instructions.
Convenience is the first motivation behind the book, and convenience is what you have with your shelves stocked with wholesome, homemade baking mixes complete with labels and instructions. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll get!
These labels couldn’t be easier to use – just print them on your printer, trim the circle with any old pair of scissors (old school!?) and they will fit between the lid and the ring on two-piece canning jar lids. No need to glue them, and they if you save them when you use your mix you can use the same labels again and again.
Ready to buy the PDF? You’ll find all the Make-Ahead Mix Day purchasing options here:
The Companion PDF is ready and waiting for you! And because there was such a large amount of interest in a non-Kindle eBook version, I’ve also made a PDF version of the full book available. Everything is accessible via the Make-Ahead Mix Day page here on this site. All the details are on the page and everything is 99 cents during launch (prices will be climbing at some unknown point, so now’s your bargain!).
Please know that any and all feedback is appreciated, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on any version of the book, either in the comments below or via the contact page.
Yes the blog’s been quiet – apologies! But with good reason…I’ve been working on getting all my homemade baking mixes, those that I keep stocked up on-hand for week-night baking and morning meals (and more), into a book! It is available now on Kindle, and in the future will be available on other platforms as well, but for now we’re here and that’s a start!
This book is designed for ease-of-use and affordability. In it are 21 recipes for things like homemade cookie mixes (sugar, gingerbread, chocolate chip, peanut butter…), homemade brownie mix, instant oatmeal mix, muffin mixes, and homemade all purpose baking mix. Basically these are all the recipes I work up in an afternoon to stock up my pantry with preservative-free baking mixes for a month or more. Mason jars are my storage container of choice (they are the best!) and so the recipes are listed specifically for one- and two-quart mixes that come together quickly, store well, and taste great.
And A Bonus For You, Too!
Now here’s the deal – there is a printable companion PDF that is in the works and will be available for sale via my this site in the upcoming days. It is intended as an accompaniment to this book and a way to give you printable copies of the recipes and sets of labels to use when you prepare your jars that include the preparation (baking) instructions (very simple, no muss, no fuss).
BUT like I said, the PDF isn’t ready quite yet. So for your patience, if you download the full book before it is ready and follow the links at the end, you will be given a link that allows you to sign up for a FREE bonus copy of the PDF when it becomes available. Anyone on my subscription list before the PDF goes live will be emailed a copy of the PDF for free before I activate the sale module. After that time, it will be available for full price. So better to get while the getting’s good 😉
Be sure to Subscribe to keep up with all the recipes and posts from The Homemade Homestead. You’ll get only updates from this site, and your information will not be sold!
Earlier 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!