What is baking mix?
What can I substitute for it?
Baking mix or biscuit baking mix
is a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt
and other ingredients. It is sold under a variety of
brand names, including Bisquick® and Krusteaz®. We have
a recipe for a homemade version on our site, called
Easy Biscuit Mixture.
Definitions of other cooking terms can be found in
I would like to
make meals ahead of time and freeze them for future use.
What's the best way to freeze them, and how do I reheat
In order to freeze meals and save
them for later, they should be fully cooked first. That
way, you only need to heat the dishes in the oven long
enough to heat up the food. We recommend buying some
disposable aluminum baking pans, since you don't want
all your good baking pans tied up in the freezer for
weeks at a time. Once you have cooked the dishes that
you want to freeze, first cool them off in the
refrigerator, UNCOVERED. (If you cover them, they will
take too long to cool off, allowing your food to stay at
unsafe temperatures where bacteria can grow). Once the
dishes are cool, wrap them tightly with plastic wrap,
then in aluminum foil. They are ready to stick in the
freezer until you need them. When you want to reheat
them, unwrap them, and put them in the oven at about 350
degrees F (175 degrees C). Depending on what you're
reheating, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an
hour to get your meal hot.
To learn more about freezing foods and make-ahead
meals, and to get lots of great freezable recipes, read
our informative articles
Just Freeze It! and
Freeze Now, Eat Later.
Take a peek at our
Cooking Basics articles for even more recipes, meal
ideas and cooking advice.
What can I do to
prevent the chicken in my chicken dishes from being dry?
Overcooking is the most common cause for chicken being
dry and/or tough. Recipes often state cooking times, but
these should only be looked upon as guidelines. Several
factors can affect the accuracy of the cooking time. The
thickness of the meat can significantly affect the
cooking time; thin selections of meat will cook more
quickly than thicker pieces. Heat settings can vary from
stove to stove. Even the size and shape of the pan can
affect the cooking time. So, the best way to avoid
overcooking your chicken is to regularly check on the
progress of the dish as it cooks.
What is the best
method for thawing meat?
There are several methods to thaw food safely -- in the
refrigerator, under cold, running water, and in the
microwave. To ensure that your food is safe to eat,
follow one of these methods:
In the refrigerator: Plan ahead as this is the
slowest thawing technique. Small frozen items may thaw
overnight in the refrigerator, while larger items will
take significantly longer.
In cold running water: Place the frozen food in a
leak-proof bag and place it under cold running water.
In a microwave on the defrost setting: Plan to
cook the food immediately after it has thawed in a
microwave, because some areas of the food may have begun
cooking during the defrost cycle.
I often find myself
adjusting recipes in order to make enough for my family,
but it doesn't quite work for some recipes. Do you have
any advice for me?
Changing recipes in order to make more or less servings
is called "recipe scaling." Whenever you alter the
amounts of ingredients for a given recipe, you may also
need to adjust the cooking temperature, cooking time,
pan size and seasonings. But for food chemistry reasons,
recipe scaling simply does not work well for some
dishes: delicate foods such as souffles, baked items
requiring yeast such as breads, and recipes for a single
large item that is meant to be later divided into
smaller portions such as cakes, pies, breads and whole
Recipe Scaling Page will give you a reliable
framework for successful recipe scaling: It offers
detailed guidelines for recipe scaling and easy
instructions for using the handy recipe scaling tool on
our site. You can always find this tool and a link to
our recipe scaling tips from any recipe at