Monday, October 02, 2006

Recipe Gifts: Make Your Own Baking & Soup Mixes

In today's world, where families are spread across the globe and family dinners are becoming more of a special occasion than a daily occurrence, it's important to share and cultivate family traditions, recipes, and stories. Recording favorite recipes into a Custom Heirloom Cookbook is one way to ensure that those precious memories and flavors stay with your family through the years and generations. An Heirloom Cookbook is also a great way to share your recipes and traditions with friends, family, and loved ones.

Another wonderful way to encourage your friends and loved ones to try some of your favorite recipes is to make it so easy for them that they can't say no! Making your own baking mixes and soup mixes is a simple way to give your friends and family a few new flavors to add to their meals.

The most important part of making your own baking mix is choosing the right recipes. You want to choose a recipe whose ingredients are primarily either dry or wet. Recipes with things like canned fruit, jam, canned tomatoes, meats, and other ingredients that your friends and family might not keep at hand, and that are impossible to pack and ship, are recipes to be avoided.

Baking Mixes:

Baking mixes are simple and fun to assemble, not to mention pretty!
Choose a container that you know will fit all the ingredients you need to use. I love using beautiful, antique canning jars.

Once you've chosen your container, look at your recipe. Write down all the dry ingredients in one list, and all the wet ingredients in a separate list. Ideally you should have just a few wet ingredients; eggs, milk, butter, vanilla, etc.

Using your list of dry ingredients, carefully measure and pour those ingredients into your container in layers, patting each layer smooth with your fingers. Once you're finished, cap the container, and your mix is done!

Be sure to include instructions for use that tell the recipient what they need to add to the dry ingredients (all the wet ingredients), how to prepare the mix, what to bake it in, at what temperature and how long. Decorate your container with a lovely satin ribbon, or a square of cloth screwed into the lid, and give a gift that will warm someone's heart and kitchen!

Soup Mixes:

Soup mixes are a wonderful seasonal gift, and especially good as we enter the colder months. To make a soup mix, first choose your recipe. You want to choose a recipe without a lot of prep work (for example, a meatball soup like Italian Wedding Soup would not work well), and with a lot of dried ingredients. Bean soups and stews and soups with pasta work great.

Choose a container or bag, and begin pouring in the dry ingredients in layers. Be sure to pour the fine ingredients, like herbs or cornmeal, first, and the big ingredients, like beans or pasta, last.
This way, the layers will stay crisp; if you reverse the order, the fine ingredients sift down through the spaces in between the larger ingredients, and your layers get jumbled.

Again, be sure to include all the instructions the chef would need to complete the recipe, and finish your packaging with a pretty detail.

Making mixes is also a perfect way to create economical, personal wedding favors! Make a mix that is relevant to the location of the marriage, or make a mix of the groom's favorite food! Wedding guests will be surprised and pleased to be given a favor full of the flavors of the area!

Secret Ingredients is currently offering free trial accounts. Set yours up today and explore the recipes in our Stock Pot! Some of them are perfect for baking and soup mixes, and your account is free.


At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love sending cookies to friends once the weather cools down but I had never thought of sending a baking mix. That is an AWESOME idea, very unique.

Ari (Baking and Books)


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