I’ve been putting together several homemade mixes. I love the convenience of pre-packaged foods when the days are busy, I’m not so in love with the price tag or the additives that I can’t even pronounce.  So far I’ve come up with several things that I love!  I have my own pepper gravy mix, that makes delicious biscuits and gravy a snap. I have a mix for cornbread that tastes every bit as good as the blue and white box from the grocery store shelf. Homemade brownies are a snap to bake from my brownie mix. And, just today I found an awesome way to create my own chocolate milk mix that should keep the grandkids happy when they visit Nana and Papa.  I’ve also made my own taco seasoning, Brisket Rub and Ranch dressing mixes.  Having all these things I mix myself on hand makes cooking convenient and satisfying for the Modern Pioneer in me.  I get the modern convenience along with the satisfaction of making my own, not to mention the fact that I know what goes into each and every mix.  All these things are important to me when feeding my family and staying within a frugal food budget.  All of these recipes can be found on the internet and in other sources. Some have been passed on so many times that there is no way to give the proper credit to the original creator.  With that being said, know that each of these is something I have found and tweaked to meet the needs and tastes of my family. After the recipes I will share some of my storage suggestions.

Pepper Gravy Mix
5 Cups Flour
2 Cups Powdered Milk
1/8 – 1/4 Cup Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1/8 – 1/4 Cup Salt

Mix together and store in an airtight container.  Use 2 TBS bacon drippings or other fat, heat over medium heat. Add 3 – 4 TBS mix sprinkled over bacon grease using a fork or whisk, consistently blend until well incorporated and no lumps.  Add 1 1/2 Cups water or milk and whisk well.  Cook until thickened, stirring constantly.

Cornbread Mix
7 1/2 Cups Flour
4 1/2 Cups Cornmeal
1/3 Cup Baking Powder
6 tsp salt
2 Cups Sugar

Mix together and store in an air tight container.  Preheat oven to 350.
Combine:
2 1/3 cups mix
2 eggs
1/4 Cup melted butter
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 Cup milk
Pour into a 10″ iron skillet. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Brownie Mix
8 Cups Sugar
6 Cups Flour
1 1/2 TBS baking powder
1 TBS salt
2 Cups Cocoa Powder

Mix together and store in an airtight container.  Preheat oven to 350.
Mix:

2 1/4 Cups Brownie Mix
2 Eggs beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup nuts or chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 Cup melted Butter
Combine ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into a greased 8″ square pan. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the center is set.  Cool, Cut, Serve.

Taco Seasoning
1/2 Cup + 2 TBS Chili Powder
2 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
2 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
2 1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 Cup + 1 TBS Ground Cumin
1/8 Cup Salt
1/4 Cup Black Pepper

Use 2-3 TBS + 3/4 Cup water for each pound of browned ground beef.

Brisket Rub
2 TBS Brown Sugar
2 TBS Chili Powder
2 TBS Paprika
2 TBS Salt
1 TBS Garlic Powder
1 TBS Onion Powder
1 TBS Black Pepper
1 TBS Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Dry Mustard
2 tsp Ground Cumin

Mix ingredients and store in an airtight jar. Prepare meat for slow cooking in oven, on grill or in smoker. Rub dry mix over all exposed areas of the meat. Refrigerate overnight. Cook until done.  This mix has a slight kick that is outstanding!

Ranch Dressing Mix
1/4 Cup Black Pepper
1 1/2 Cup Parsley Flakes
1/2 Cup Garlic Salt
2 TBS Salt
1/4 Cup Granulated Garlic
3/4 Cup Granulated Onion
2 TBS Dill Weed

Mix and store in an airtight jar.  Mix 1 TBS mix with 1 Cups Mayo, 1 Cups Buttermilk, 3/4 Cup sour cream and 1/2 tsp lemon juice.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving and refrigerator any remaining dressing.  Makes a little less than 1 quart.

Chocolate Milk Powder
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Mix together and store in an airtight container. Use 1-2 Tablespoons per cup of milk.

Hot Chocolate Mix
11 Cups (8 quarts) powdered milk
3 Cups (6 oz) coffee creamer
8 Cups (2 lbs) Chocolate milk mix
3 3/4 Cups (1 lb) Powdered Sugar

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.  This makes a MASSIVE amount, thus making it a great project for a friend or two to bring the ingredients together and share the end result.  Add 1-2 TBS to a cup of hot water, stir to thoroughly mix. Enjoy!

Now that I’ve shared a few of the recipes, let me share some of the ways I store them.

I prefer to use glass containers because there is nothing to hold an odor that could taint a flavor in any of the mixes. However there are times that due the quantity of the mix, and/or the availability of glass jars I may use my Tupperware containers.   When I try something new, and am not sure it’s a keeper for the pantry, I will just write directly on the glass with a permanent marker.

When I am ready to create my label, I include the name of the mix for easy identification in the Pantry. I put the recipe for the main mix directly on the label so that when I run out, I can mix it up without having to hunt down the recipe.  I also include the instructions for its use, so that, again, I don’t have to track down a recipe to use the mix.  Yep…..guess I’m a little lazy organized when it comes to the kitchen.

For a jar that has an opening that will fit a canning jar ring, I can save the top of my salt boxes to place under the ring, giving me a convenient pour spout.  I started out with the instructions hand-written on this lid.  This is not as “pretty” as being on the label, but is just as useful.  I later added the label with directions included.

Enjoy! I will share more mix and other recipes as I think of ones you might find useful. If you have any special mixes you would like to share, feel free to post them in the comments. I am constantly looking for new ideas.

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