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One of the things I’m trying to do in 2009 is to learn to cook more from scratch, both because it is generally healthier and more cost-effective than eating out or eating pre-packaged convenience foods.  Plus, it is nice to be able to make up a meal from your pantry rather than not being able to make say, pancakes, if you’re out of the box mix.  And, total revelation for me– meals actually come from ingredients, not boxes and packages with instructions on them.  Woah!

So, I’m challenging myself to make 100 different things from scratch by the end of the year, and using my blog as a way to track my progress.  Feel free to jump in with suggestions for what to make, or your own from scratch recipes.  This whole cooking thing is new to me, so I’d be glad for the help.

Our munchkin is a finicky eater, and sometimes finding a meal he will eat is a feat not easily accomplished.  When he’s in one of those moods, one of my go-to staples is pancakes.  He’ll eat pancakes almost every time.  Which is why it really sucks to be out of Bisquick with a hungry two-year-old.

Never fear, surely there has to be a recipe for Bisquick.  Google points me to this link at Hillbilly Housewife for a made-from-scratch Bisquick mix.  Now, I know I said one of the good things about making from scratch is that you don’t have to run to the store, but this recipe calls for powdered buttermilk.  I mean really, who has that on hand?  Certainly not me, so I ran to the store and found the powdered buttermilk not far down the shelf from the actual Bisquick brand mix.  I left with the powdered buttermilk, not the Bisquick, on principle. 😉

So here’s what it takes to make your own Bisquick:

flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar (in canister), salt, buttermilk powder, shortening

flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar (in canister), salt, buttermilk powder, shortening

You measure it out, put it in a bowl and mix it with a mixer “until particles are small and uniform in size.”  I made a half-batch, since I wanted to be sure this was something we would eat before I used 10 and a half cups of flour on it!

One thing to watch out for: the Hillbilly Housewife tells you to use a large bowl, but she doesn’t specify that it needs to be a large, DEEP bowl, for those of us who aren’t sophisticated enough to have stand mixer.  Using a shallow bowl results in a fine dusting of flour all over your coutners, arms, shirt, etc.

shallow bowl = big mess

shallow bowl = big mess

As directed, I mixed until particles were small and even in size.

Well, small and mostly even in size.

Next, I heated up the griddle and used this recipe from the Bisquick box (found here) to make the “supreme” pancakes: 

2 c made from scratch baking mix

1 c milk

2 eggs

2 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

Heated up the griddle, and got to flippin flapjacks, and MMMMMM were these good!  Fluffy, sweet, and golden, just like a pancake should be!  Should’ve taken a picture of the pancakes, but was too busy wolfing them down!  I actually liked these pancakes, with the made from scratch mix, better than the ones I’ve made using Bisquick brand mix.  They were softer, or something.  Not as grainy as the name-brand-mix ones. Yum, ate way too many of them!  And they defenitely passed the munchkin’s taste test.  I had a few extras, so threw those in a ziplock in the fridge for munchkin’s breakfasts this week.

Put the rest of the homemade mix into a gallon ziplock bag, and used a permanent marker to write the pancake recipe on the bag.  Stored in cabinet.  Hillbilly Housewife says this will keep for 3 months.  We had enough leftover for 2 more batches of pancakes, but like I said, I halved the HBHW recipe.

So, the challenge has started.  1 down, 99 to go, but the first one is defenitely a keeper!  My days of buying boxed pancake mix are long gone.  Just have to remember to keep powdered buttermilk on hand 😉