Honey Wheat Bread and Roll Mix
Spanish Rice Casserole
Chicken Rice Fricassee
Beef Rice Fricassee
Stroganoff Casserole Mix
Beef Flavored Noodle Soup
Pasta Pizza Sauce Mix
Vegetable Stew Mix
ABC Soup Mix
White Cream Sauce
This page has been two months in the writing with lots of people participating in taste tests and sharing their ideas about the different mixes. The fact that not everyone's tastes are the same is probably the most important thing we learned from the several families that participated in the testing. After following our directions to carefully prepare the mix according to the instructions on the can, some people said the same mix was too bland while other families said it was too strong flavored. With the flavoring baggies separate from the starches in the mix, we found it was easy to flavor the mix to the richness desired for each individual's taste. We'll give you hints in the individual mixes below on how to do this. Another thing we learned from the families that participated in the testing - You can do a lot of different things with these mixes. People got creative, throwing in lots of little extras that added a lot of variety to the same mix. This is also explained in a little better detail below in some of the comments we received from the testers. Feel free to get creative with these mixes. You never know what interesting dishes you might turn up. Let's begin with people's comments about the baked items.
The blueberry muffins I opened had been in my food storage room for four years and after making them, they tasted as fresh as if the mix had been put in the can yesterday. When mixing, there were some soft lumps in the batter that didn't stir in easily. However, after baking the muffins, the lumps disappeared. On the second batch, I ran the mix though a sifter which quickly got rid of the lumps in the mix before I added any water. With the lumps sifted out, this second batch of muffins mixed up in a matter of seconds. The whole family really loved these muffins. They were fluffy and melted in our mouths. They have a light vanilla flavor and in my opinion are good enough that they don't need butter to make them good.
We made both rolls and loaves with the Honey Wheat Bread And Roll Mix. The recipe suggests using only 6 cups of mix to make three loaves of bread. The instructions on the can doesn't mention that it was designed for 4-1/2" X 8-1/2" pans. If you have 5"X9" bread pans, use 7 cups of the mix instead to make three larger loaves, or 10 cups mix for a larger pan 4 loaf batch. Computing yeast and water requirements for these different sized batches, for each cup of mix you'll need 3/8 cup water and 1 teaspoon (1/3 tablespoon) yeast.
The SAF yeast is best as you can put the dry yeast in with the flour before adding the water. There's no need to put it in sugar water to bring it back to life.
We are big bread makers in our house. So naturally, we had fun playing with this mix that didn't need to be made from scratch. Me, I thought the bread from this mix had a nice spongy texture and had a fine, rich flavor. I wouldn't mind eating this all the time. The Honey Wheat Bread And Roll Mix made fine bread, better than the bread on the rack in the grocery store. Fresh, home baked bread, and really easy to make.
The brownie mix has everything in it. All you have to do is add the water and mix it up. The directions suggest 3 cups of mix and a 3/4 cup water should make enough batter for a 9" X 13" pan. In our family we put this same sized batch into a 9" cake pan instead which made it into a thicker brownie.
The brownies taste just like brownies are supposed to taste with a rich, chocolate flavor. If you want to make a 9"X13" pan, double the recipe using 6 cups of mix and 1 1/2 cups water. One of my neighbors has been using the brownie mix for some time now. She likes her brownies a little gooier and adds 2 tablespoons of margarine and an egg to the 3 cup mix. The brownies taste just like brownies are supposed to taste with a rich, chocolate flavor.
The Spanish Rice Casserole Mix makes up like regular Spanish Rice. On opening the can I noticed that much of the powder in the mix had settled to the bottom of the can. You should stir all the ingredients up before removing part of the contents to cook them. We made about seven cups the first time we made it. It cooked up just fine. During the taste test it tasted ok-but I've never exactly been a fan of rice. I finished my little 1/2 cup portion, sat there for a minute, then dug into the pot and spooned myself out about another 1/2 cup.
After eating that and talking with the wife for a bit I noticed myself reaching for the spoon in the pot again. Not really thinking about it, I must have eaten about 3 cups before I was done with it. Pretty good stuff. Depending on your taste, you may wish to add some tomato powder and Taco TVP. This mix also goes well with just about any kind of meat. One time we made it, we cut chicken into small pieces, fried it, then added this to the Spanish rice which made a really a tasty meal.
Chicken Rice Fricassee contains no meat but rather chicken flavored TVP. When you open up the can, you'll first see a large zip lock baggy on the top filled with the seasoning mix. Coming up about 2/3rds way in the can you'll see the rice and chicken TVP. You need to stir up the ingredients in the rice inside the can. This is because the TVP tends to settle to the bottom. First, you mix the seasoning in the water, then you add the rice/TVP mixture. After making this several times in our family, I ignore the amount of flavoring the mix calls for and flavor the water to what tastes good to me before boiling it.
Different families will use different amounts. There's enough seasoning in the zip-lock baggie to take care of all the rice/TVP even if you use extra. Add 1/2 has much rice/TVP as you added water. If you like it really dry, add 10% more rice.
So, how did this taste? Well, it tasted about like all the other Chicken Rice Fricassee I've eaten. Not everybody in the family likes Rice Fricassee but in spite of this, a fairly large pot of it disappeared. We've found that chicken breasts cooks up really nicely in this mix.
Beef Rice Fricassee contains no meat but rather beef flavored TVP. (As the beef rice fricassee is so similar to the chicken rice fricassee, please see the instructions for chicken fricassee for cooking hints.) The first night I made this up a couple of friends happened to stop in. "Sure," they said, "We'll stay for supper." "Great," I thought. "Fresh victims."
After I dished it up, I ask, "As this is a taste test, you have to tell me exactly what you really think of it." One of them thought it was just great. The other one, well, I won't tell you what he said. But he did take a second helping, "Just because I'm hungry," he said. Just about then the husband and two of the daughters came in. They each dished themselves up some fricassee and before long the 10 cup pot I had made was gone. They also thought it tasted fine. I'd made enough so there would be left-overs, or so I thought. Maybe next time I'll have to make more.
When you open up the can you need to stir the mix to evenly distribute the different components. To make this easy, I pour it into a large mixing bowl, stir it up good, then empty it back into the can. The beef stroganoff mix cooks up really nicely. I love the gravy in it.
Several of us were sitting around the table eating this and making verbal notes about the flavor. Everyone liked it well enough. As we brainstormed about the flavor, someone suggested adding some sour cream. I went to the fridge, pulled out the sour cream, and added a spoonful of this and stirred it into the stroganoff in my bowl. Whereas this was pretty good before, with the sour cream in it, it became absolutely yummy. Good stroganoff!
Like several of the other mixes, the beef flavored noodle soup has a baggie in the top of the noodles and dehydrated vegetables. You need to mix up the ingredients underneath the seasoning mix baggie as the vegetables tend to settle to the bottom of the can. The noodles and vegetables cooked up nicely. The added vegetables gave the soup a nice, appealing look.
The first time I made this, I followed the instructions on the label using only the amount of seasoning mix that it suggested. For me, the result was a rather bland flavor. Instead of following the instructions on the label, add the seasoning mix until you get the taste 'just like you want it.' There's enough seasoning mix if you want to use extra. This soup is a good cantidate for adding other ingredients to. Try adding some bouillon, TVP, finely cut up meat or white cream sauce. All of these things inhance it's flavor and also adds variety to the same mix.
You can use our Pasta & Pizza Sauce Mix to make several different dishes. There's recipes on the outside of the can for spaghetti and meatballs, stovetop or microwave pasta sauce, pizza sauce, meat sauce and pizza burgers. I made up a quick batch of pasta sauce (see photo at lower right) using a cup of tomato powder and 3 tablespoons of the Pasta & Pizza Sauce Mix along with a cup dry hamburger TVP.
I was quite amazed when this made about 6 cups of finished spaghetti sauce - more than I expected. And as you can see from the picture, it is REALLY thick! I could have easily added even more water had I wanted. This spaghetti tasted as good as any Ragu I've eaten. The three tablespoons of Pasta & Pizza Sauce Mix actually gave it quite a strong herbal flavor. I expect I would have been just as happy had I only used 2 tablespoons of the mix. As the #2.5 can holds about 57 tablespoons of mix, you can see this will make many large batches of spaghetti sauce.
This product comes in a #2.5 cardboard can which isn't water proof or totally air tight. Please reduce your storage life expectations accordingly.
The first time I tasted this, it had such a full flavor I was surprised the only thing in it was vegetables. Stew made from this mix has a nice, rich vegetable taste. You can eat it like it is, or add whatever you'd like such as meat, other vegetables, bouillon, tomatoes or tomato powder. White cream sauce gives it a nice rich look and certainly adds to the flavor. Really, with this vegetable stew mix, your imagination is your only limitation.
The last time I made this, I used turkey broth for my liquid as the instructions suggested some kind of broth. I thought this was amazingly good. Everyone in the family loved it too. Much more hearty than other ABC soup mixes I've tried, this soup mix makes a good, complete protein all by itself with it's legumes and pasta. If you were making this and didn't have any broth, I think you'd get good results as well using bouillon.
Stew meat would also go well, and actually, it tastes pretty good all by itself without any other flavorings (aside from salt and pepper). Not a quick cooking meal, the directions suggested boiling it for 90 minutes. We cooked it this long just to see what it looked like when finished. However, I feel it could be ready for eating in as short a period of time as 45-60 minutes. It all just depends on the texture you like.
The White Cream Sauce seems a lot like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup but without the mushrooms. It has a great flavor all by itself. The wonderful, light flavor of this sauce seems to seamlessly mesh perfectly with just about everything except maybe cake and life-savers. This white cream sauce will make any vegetable, stew or casserole taste better. It also goes well with many meats. Hamburger made into a gravy with White Cream Sauce is totally scrumptious - as good of shepherd's pie as I've eaten anywhere. How many of you go through cases of Cream of Mushroom Soup as you put together your different recipes? One #10 can of white cream sauce has the same soup making capacity as 21 ten ounce cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. Get our 50 lb box to share among your group and get it at half price compared to the cost of a #10 can. It's really hard to make a sauce yourself that tastes as good as this.
For a couple of ideas on what else you can do with the white cream sauce, try adding sausage TVP to it and serving it over biscuits. Or you can add hamburger or taco TVP and make it into a tasty meat-free shepherd's pie. Add green beans, bacon TVP and dehydrated onions for a delicious green bean dish. Or you can add some potato dices and clams for some dynamite clam chowder. Try taking some canned corn, or you can always run some dehydrated sweet corn through a blender then cook it up in the white cream sauce. It makes delicious creamed corn. Really, the different things you can do with this sauce are practically limitless. You'll find White Cream Sauce one of the most versatile foods in your pantry.