Friday, April 12, 2013

Using My Food Storage: Making Mixes

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My goal when grocery shopping is to stock up when an item is at its lowest price point.  This way I am getting the most bang for my buck.  I usually can keep my pantry stocked using this method but lately I haven't been able to find brownie mixes for under $1.00.  I  know it isn't that difficult to make brownies from scratch, but my children usually want them after dinner and I don't want to mess up the kitchen again getting all the baking ingredients out.  So my goal for today was to mix up a big batch of brownie mix and only make the big mess one time.  Now we have a container of brownie mix that will make at least 7 batches of 8x8 size pans.  

I am not a huge user of  homemade mixes, but there are a few that make my life a little easier.  I use the book "Make-A-Mix" for most of my recipes and mixes. The brownie mix has always sounded so good, and....
...the brownie mix can be used for more than brownies too!!!  How about chocolate chewy cookies, Texas sheet cake or Brownie Alaska. These all sound so good, can you tell I really love dessert!!!  (Click HERE to view a previous post I wrote on making mixes.)

The original recipe calls for melted butter and eggs when you mix up the brownies, but I food storagized the recipe and used powdered butter and powdered eggs.  If I was a math whiz I would've figured out how much to add to the dry mix, but I freely admit math isn't one of my talents, so I just added it in when we mixed up the batch of brownies.   It worked great and the brownies cooked up fluffy and looked just as brownies should.  Although as I type this I remembered that I totally forgot to add the vanilla in.  I had "help" making this (my 5 year old was mixing) so I can blame it on that :)


My other new find that I am using all the time is chalkboard contact paper.  This may be too crafty for some of you but stay with me.  I bought the chalkboard contact paper, chalk paint pen, and a cute punch out stamp on amazon.com and I have been labeling everything.  It started with my flour and sugar canisters and now I am labeling my food storage containers.  What is so wonderful about the contact paper is it is removable and the chalk pen ink is erasable!!!!  

 All the items in the picture (not the container) were purchased on Amazon, but I assume craft stores would carry these supplies as well.  When the brownie mix is all gone I may want to fill the container with corn meal, and all I have to do is rub the chalk ink with a damp paper towel and rewrite the label.  I am in love with this stuff!  I even made labels for my dehydrated food...
My dehydrated food jars will always be changing depending on what I am dehydrating and the labels are so easy to change.  Plus I can peel off the contact paper label so easily if I need to water bath or pressure can with these jars.  Maybe I am a little to excited but this has been so fun to do!  And I am not usually a crafty person, but I like to be really organized and this system really makes the pantry look put together. 

Here are our brownies made from a mix using butter and egg powder.  They are definitely more of a cake-like brownie, but we did add chocolate chips to our batch and that helped to make them more fudge-like.  (and I had no idea how to reconstitute the butter powder.  I probably did it wrong and so the brownies aren't that fudgy )And I don't know if it is me or the butter powder but I can totally taste it, even when it is cooked.  I have heard great things about Thrive's butter powder so I may look into trying that brand.  For the next batch I will make them with real melted butter and see if I can taste the difference. And as I was putting this in the oven I mentally smacked myself because I could've made this in the sun oven today, it was so sunny outside.  Next time....

I'm sorry that there is no mix recipe in this post, but I highly recommend buying the Make-A-Mix book for all of the recipes in it. I just wanted to give you all an example of what I do daily to use my food storage.  This may inspire you to do something today with your storage!!  If you would like a brownie mix recipe, I found this one on pinterest and it seems to be really popular.  CLICK HERE  to view it. 

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