For years I used store bought mixes to make some of our favorite dips, drinks and meals. Then I found out how easy it is to make mixes at home. I use better quality ingredients, save money and they taste great. These homemade mixes were inspired by Leanne Ely, the founder of Saving Dinner. They have become a requested gift year after year from friends and family members.
The food processor makes these mixes in a matter of seconds, but a spoon and large bowl will work too. A wide mouth funnel makes filling the storage jars much easier, but you can make one out of paper if you need to. Our preferred storage container is a quart size canning jar because of their airtight seal, but a zippered storage bag or any other airtight container will keep the mixes fresh.
Hot Cocoa Mix
Directions: To make vanilla powdered sugar, place one whole vanilla bean and two cups of powdered sugar in an airtight container. Leave for a minimum of four hour or up to a day or two. If using within four hours, shake the container frequently, otherwise, shake occasionally. Combine all ingredients and incorporate evenly.
To serve: In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water or milk. Water will work, but milk will taste so much better. Fill your mug 1/3 to 1/2 full with the mixture, to taste, and pour in hot liquid. Stir to combine. Make your cocoa an extra special treat topped with whipped cream or marshmallows or stir in a tablespoon or two of cream or half and half. Great for a cold winter evening treat. If tea is more to your liking, check out my Friendship Tea Recipe. It’s another family favorite.
Ranch Dressing and dip mix
Directions: Combine all ingredients thoroughly and pour into airtight containers. Note: This recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled easily.
For dressing: Mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. If you are using sour cream or Greek yogurt thin the mixture to your liking with additional buttermilk or regular milk.
For dip: Mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. Mix a few hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.
Onion Soup Mix
This is a great substitute for the powdered onion soup mix you find in stores, especially if you want to avoid chemical additives to your food.
Ingredients: 2/3 cups dried minced onion, 3 teaspoons parsley flakes, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon ground pepper.
Directions: Combine all ingredients thoroughly and pour into airtight containers.
Shake the jar to mix ingredients before each use because some ingredients settle to the bottom. Use 4 tablespoons per 1 packet of onion soup mix in a recipe. Store mix in a cool dry place to keep items from clumping.
Taco Seasoning Mix
This mix is incredibly versatile and is definitely the one I use the most. Fortunately, it’s easy and quick to make. Combine all of the ingredients in the food processor and mix for 10-15 seconds. You can adjust the spiciness by adding the powdered chili of your choice.
Ingredients: 2/3 cup chili powder, 1/3 cup Cumin, 2 tablespoons Paprika, 2 ½ – 3 teaspoons Onion powder, 2 ½ – 3 teaspoons Garlic powder, 2 ½ – 3 teaspoons Oregano, 2 ½ – 3 teaspoons Red pepper flakes, 3 tablespoons salt, 3 tablespoons pepper
For dip: Add 1/2 to ¾ cup seasoning mix to any melted cheese or cheese and meat combination.
For seasoning: Add ¼ to ½ cup per pound of meat, chicken or fish for tacos, burritos and chili.
Try these mixes and let me know how you like them at firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you find ways to use them in addition to the ways I suggest here. For more ideas check out my book Happiest Holidays. Finally, sign up to be part of the Moving Toward Better community below to get all of the best news and ideas first. As always, thanks for being you and have a great day.