Friday, July 4, 2008

Homemade Mixes

Here in Costa Rica, I can't always find some of the things I grew up with...for example, no one seems to sell Aunt Jemima's Whole Wheat pancake mix. This is not really too much of a shock, I had a hard time finding it in the States at times. Since, to me, whole wheat pancakes do really taste so much better than regular ones (even if I don't buy the >$4 bag of chocolate chips that the Walmart-owned store wants to sell me down here), I've resorted to putting together my own mix with a little help from Better Homes and Gardens. I'll put the recipe below, but my main point for this post is how surprising it always is to me at how few ingredients some of the mixes on store shelves have. How much extra time does it take to add 7 ingredients instead of just 4. Some mixes save us a lot of time; some can be whipped up at home in less than a few minutes. Keep them in tubs, give them as gifts in little bags or in jars, or just make a single batch.

On the other hand, there are some things that we have tried to replicate with a mix down here, that just don't cut it. Josh tried a spice mix he found online for chili powder (a rare sighting down here), and it just didn't make it. I was going to include it when I got around to writing this post, but I don't want you trying it. It's not worth ruining a good batch of chili. And Josh found the one store that sells overpriced imported chili powder; so we're past the chili powder emergency.

Do you have any good mixes that you would like to share? Put them in the comments; I would love to try them.

Whole Wheat Pancake Mix

For each cup of whole wheat flour, add:
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 salt

Store in an airtight container/bag in the refrigerator or freezer (don't forget: whole wheat flour will go bad over time if it is not kept refrigerated or frozen ... so, this mix will, too).

To make the pancakes:
1 cup of pancake mix
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil

This makes about 8 pancakes (or if you don't have a griddle because you left it in the States because of airline bag-weight limits, it makes about 4 huge pancakes, one by one, in a medium sized skillet).

Yummy Add-ins (anything dry can be added directly into your mix...this is especially nice if you use it as a gift...anything moist should wait until you make the pancakes)
  • chocolate chips (of course) or any flavored chip
  • apple bits
  • nuts
  • blueberries (mmm....blueberries...I can't buy these anywhere down here) fresh or dried
  • craisins
  • m & m 's (my daughter's personal favorite and one she talks about having when Grandpa makes her pancakes) - best added to the pancake after pouring it into the pan, otherwise the color runs away and the pancakes look scary

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