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Make-A-Mix
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163 of 165 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2000
My husband has allergies to just about every preservative, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, and any other food additive on the market. All the stuff you really shouldn't eat anyway. I cook from scratch mostly, and this book has been a wonderful addition to my kitchen.
Last night I made the chocolate syrup; almost all the chocolate syrups on the market have artificial flavorings. My family loves the chocolate pudding from scratch (just three ingredients -- did you ever look at a pudding mix box?), and my kids are so used to tasting my home-cooked meals that they think the processed meals are gross.
The money we save is great, but the time I save in the kitchen is even better. I highly recommend this book.
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134 of 136 people found the following review helpful
This is a wonderful book for those who need delicious meals in less time. With over 300 recipes, it provides a wide selection of easy-to-follow family-style meals that can be partially prepared ahead of time.
Information on equipment, procedures, & ingredients as well as great tips on lowering fat are included in the beginning. Over 50 mixes follow, each listing the recipes it can be used in. Color photos show some of the finished dishes.
Recipes include appetizers, soups, salads, vegetables, side dishes, main dishes, breads, breakfasts, cakes, pies, & desserts. Some of my favorites are the lasagna, stroganoff, minestrone soup & white chili.
My kids & I love the many slice and bake cookies, especially the peanut butter one. They are just like the pre-package kind in the stores but are a lot cheaper. The soft pretzels, corn dogs, & cinnamon rolls are also great treats.
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107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 1999
I first purchased this cookbook in 1978 to use to simplify my life while working & raising 2 daughters. I am now raising two granddaughters and I am again using this book to simplify my cooking and provide healthy, additive-free food. The dry mixes always provide perfect results and the meat mixes are delicious and easy to prepare. My granddaughters will also eat everything since I let them help me prepare the mixes and they know what's in them. I buy the meats required when they are on sale and make up a batch at that time. I know the food is well-cooked and not full of "junk". I would recommend this book to anyone but especially working people with kids to feed at home. What a great alternative to "McDonald's".
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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2007
I own the earlier edition of Make-a-mix and More Make-a-Mix. Both copies were well used (pages falling out) but like most cook books I only used about one-third to one-half of the mixes in each book. So I ordered this new edition hoping to replace the two books that are falling apart.

I was overjoyed to find that this updated edition is full of my favorites from BOTH previous books! The mixes that I have used over and over again. In the former books they used shortening in a lot of their mixes. They have updated these mixes buy leaving the shortening out and adding melted butter or oil when making the mix. It seems like an extra step, but I love it because 1) when mixing up the base mix I don't have to measure shortening and then mix it in to a 11-17 cup batch of other ingredients and 2) I can vary the oils or replace with applesauce etc. to make the mix even healthier! The exception to this is the "Bisquick" type mix. It still uses shortening.

For anyone new to these books, don't be fooled by thinking this is just dry mixes! Oh,no! They have wonderful meat mixes that allow you to take advantage of great meat sales, cook it up, stick it in the freezer, and you have a huge batch of quick to fix meals just waiting. And yes, they offer a bunch of yummy recipes on how to use those meat mixes.

How about freezer pie crust? Pudding and pie fillings? Taco, spaghetti, and chili mixes? Dip mixes? You bet!

I use the cookie mix, brownie mix, snack cake and sweet bread mixes constantly.

If you love homemade bread there is a mix for the breadmaker or a hot roll mix that makes anything from rolls and bread to lovely sticky gooey pastries perfect for a weekend breakfast.

There are also whole grain mixes and tips on how to reduce fat even further.

My all time favorite has to be the slice and bake cookie logs for the freezer. These have been life savers when I needed cookies in a hurry and they are delicious!

If you are interested at all in cutting down on buying those prepackaged mixes at the store or you just want some quick and easy mixes to use this book is worth the money. You will not spend a ton of time putting them together either! The instructions are simple and there are pictures for some of the mixes.

My only complaint: I would like to see a spiral bound version. It is hard to get the book to stay open. I'm sure like my other two books the pages will eventually fall out from so much use.

** About the previous review regarding the brownie mix: My original book is from 1978. The brownie mix used 2 cups veg. shortening. They have eliminated the shortening in this updated version and you add melted butter at the time of use. You also use 1/4 cup less mix. Hopefully that will eliminate the stiffness of the dough.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2002
This book allows busy individuals to make wholesome foods from scratch while saving up to 75% on premade store bought mixes. The mixes are easy to prepare ahead of time and easy to use. I spend one day each month or so and do all the mixes I will need for the month. I love the Snack Cake recipie which uses less sugar than commercial brands and I can customize the type on snack cake- chocolate, applesauce(my daughter's favorite), and more! Buy this book!
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2004
This book in SUPERB!!! I have used it many times and have loved everything I have made with it. I am a person who sometimes loves to cook and bake and sometimes wants the convienience items. This is a huge help with both. On the days you want to spend more time you can prepare the mix and make one batch that very day. A few days or a week or a month later you have the mix there to save you time. The other wonderful thing the authors have done is to let you know how to make the mixes more healthy, like whole wheat flours or cutting some of the fat. I have made the Slice and Bake Chocolate chip cookie Dough, the Slice and Bake Peanut Butter Cookies, the Whole Grain Pancake Mix (made waffles, delicious!!) and the Brownie Mix. For all of these I used King Arthurs White Whole Wheat Flour (which seems sweeter and not quite as heavy as the regular Whole Wheat they make but it has the same fiber content). I can't wait to make some of the Bean mixes. I am a Cook Book-aholic and this is one of my favorites. GREAT!!!!!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
I had the previous copy of this cookbook. I love it. I bought this new copy thinking that maybe there would be some new recipies to use with the base mixes and maybe even some new mixes. Nope, just the same book with a new cover. They still haven't fixed the brownie recipe yet. Here is how I use the Brownie mix: 1/2 c melted butter or oil, 2 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup water (or less), 1 tsp vanilla, 2.25 cups brownie mix. Hope this helps anyone else out.

Edited to add: The changes I suggest to make the Best Brownies are based on the ingredients added to a regular box mix. I agree with others who have said that there isn't enough liquid in the original recipe. Feel free to swap oil and water amounts if you are concerned about the amount of oil.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
I have to admit that I thought this would be another cookbook that I donate to charity. I was EVER so WRONG! My family of five, (with two always hungry pre-teen & teenage boys)was on the never ending phrase of "There is nothing to eat in this house!" I am a very big proponant of cooking in advance, but that only took care of dinner with some leftovers.

I can whip up a snack cake or muffins in 5 minutes, and twenty minutes later, everyone is happy!

This book not only lets you prepare mixes in advance that are VERY usable, it gives you recipes that work and are normal everyday eating. My favorite mix so far is the snack cake mix. It lets me pre-measure a snack cake packet with my own preference of flour, sugar, etc. My kids don't know it but they have been eating high fiber, reduced sugar, cake & loving it! I use a white whole wheat flour and substitute half the regular sugar for Splenda. Oh and get this....my youngest has tons of allergies & now that I make my own mixes, his allergies are greatly reduced. His allergist says that cooking using less food preservatives may be helping.

So my five star rating is THIS BOOK IS A MUST HAVE!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2005
The minute I received this book, I sat down and paged through the recipes and had about 1/2 the book marked with recipes I wanted to try. Upon further investigation I found that many had the main "mix" ingredient in common. I have already made one of the meat mixes (took about 30 minutes) and used it in one recipe - delicious. The mix will actually make about 5 recipes in the book, so the rest is in the freezer till I try something else next week. This book is a great asset for people with busy schedules and don't like to plan too far ahead. You can make one or two of the mixes and then pick recipes to use the in for the next few weeks. After the mix is made the rest of the prep is minimal.

The pros of the book include: ease of preparation, use of common food items that you already purchase at the grocery store, and variety of recipes. The cons: you will need to buy some things in bulk (5 lbs of ground beef for the meat mix) so make sure you have storage space for it, since mixes are prepared in large batches so chopping onions, carrots, and celery by hand can take quite awhile (I used a food processor and it worked great).
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2004
This book has changed the way I cook forever. I have several canisters of premade mixes in my pantry just waiting for me to decide what to make each night. It is easy and healthy since you control the amounts of sugar and salt. This is by far the best book I have ever purchased. It is covered in stains from the weekly use- but I will never give it up.
The mixes take about 10 minutes to mix up- have your kids help! Our family of four goes through the usual meat mix, chicken mix, snack cake mix, and biscuit mixes about every month or so. The sugar cookie recipie is the best I've found. If you want to save money, eat healthier and feel better about the food you serve- then get this book!
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