Thursday, February 26, 2009

Creative Home Mixes

There are so many mixes that have come about over the years to make our lives easier and more convenient. Often these items don't seem expensive until you actually figure what it would it cost you to make the mixes yourself.

One such convenience item is Shake 'n Bake. You may think the box at the store is reasonable. I honestly haven't priced it lately, but I'm sure it's somewhere in the $1 to $1.50 range. However you can make the same stuff at home for probably less than $0.50. The main ingredient is bread crumbs. Keep the ends of your bread loaves in a plastic bag in the freezer till you have enough for a cup. Grate them into an freezer safe container. Use 1 cup for this recipe, store the rest in the freezer for another use.

Home version of Shake 'n Bake
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour (I use a 50/50 mixture of white and whole wheat)
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp pepper
4 tsp onion powder
1/2 cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use as needed. You may want to adjust the amounts of the spices to your taste.
Another convenience item that gets expensive is instant oatmeal packets. I usually make our own packets, using sandwich or snack ziploc bags from the Dollar Tree to store them. The measurements of the additions to the oatmeal are going to vary according to what you like. Some people like more fruit or they like their oatmeal pretty sweet. The measurements I have below are simply guesses cause quite honestly I don't actually measure - I just add whatever ingredient till I think it's looks right.

Apples & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
1 container of instant oatmeal (I do like to use Quaker Oats because it doesn't get as gummy.)
2 cups of dried apple chunks
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Peaches/Blueberries/Strawberries & Cream Oatmeal
1 container of instant oatmeal (again... I'm partial to Quaker)
2 cups dried fruit
1/2 cup non-dairy powdered creamer
1/4 cup sugar
Honey Mustard is yet another example of overpriced convenience food (well, condiment). It's so easy to make. Again - taste it as your making it and adjust the measurements to your taste.

Honey Mustard
2 cups dijon mustard
1/2 c honey
1/2 cumin (to give it a little smokey depth to the flavor)

Mix well. Store for up to a month in the fridge.
Honey Butter

This is by far the easiest thing to make. Simply mix together equal parts of honey and butter. It's easiest if the butter is softened. Whip together and store in an airtight container in the fridge.


I hope you can benefit from at least one of these. By the way, the Honey Butter & Honey Mustard could be mixed and put into a cute jar, add a spreader, and pretzels and you have a great gift for someone!

If you want some other great recipes go check out The Grocery Cart Challenge!

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