Country Kitchen: Recipes Found on Boxes

Country Kitchen: Recipes Found on Boxes

By Mary Emma Allen

Recently a reader reminded me that you frequently will find recipes on the packages of various products. She shared with me how her mother saved these recipes and collected them in a box.

Finding this collection brought back many memories of her childhood and her motherÂ’s cooking from these recipes. I recalled, too, discovering in my momÂ’s collection of recipes and food ideas clipped from boxes, labels, and magazines.

Perhaps these were the days when money wasnÂ’t readily available for recipe books. Or our moms, as we sometimes do, came across recipes that caught their interest.

Sometimes Mother got around to making these recipes which often became our favorites. Other times the recipes simply remained in MotherÂ’s collection for use later.

Those who are looking for coupons and refund forms on packaging and labels, will find these recipes an extra bonus or "freebie" in their refunding/couponing worlds. Cooks who enjoy discovering new recipes will enjoy them, too.

Some Recipe Sources

YouÂ’ll discover a variety of sources of these "on box" recipes. Simply check out the packaging of the products you purchase. A few are mentioned below:

*The Bisquick boxes always have a variety of recipes so you can use the baking mix without looking further.

On the Reduced Fat Bisquick box I found these: Easy Chicken Pot Pie, Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie, Oven-Baked Pie, Pancakes, Waffles, Biscuits, Strawberry Shortcakes, and Dumplings.

*A Post grape-nuts box features these "Winter Recipes": Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, Low Fat Applesauce Muffins, and grape-nuts Hot.

*Duncan Hines cake mix variations: On the Red Velvet Cake Mix box youÂ’ll find the recipe for Red Velvet Cherry Torte. The Classic White Cake box features Captivating Caterpillar Cupcakes.

Check out other boxes, cans, and bottles to see the variety of recipes you can discover.

Cookbooks Utilizing Box Recipes

Cookbooks have cropped up, sometimes published by a particular manufacturer and other times by a private publisher, that include these "box" recipes. Some of the recipes might be used by cooks just as they appear on the boxes. With others you may want to develop your own variations.

A variation of these cookbooks are those produced by manufacturers utilizing as ingredients their particular products. Some of these are cookbooks and booklets such as Bisquick, CampbellÂ’s Soup, Pillsbury, and Kraft foods.

Cookbooks From Various Sources

Some of these cookbooks are obtained solely by sending for them as refunds by using proofs-of-purchase (UPCs, labels, box tops, net weight symbols). Sometimes a shipping charge will be required.

Other cookbooks are published by the manufacturer and then sold in stores or on web sites.

Cakes of Childhood

Tomato Soup Cake and Mayonnaise Cakes were two, using foods from jars or cans, I remember from childhood.

MAYONNAISE CAKE - Mix together 2 cups sifted flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 4 tablespoons cocoa, 1 cup sugar.

Then add 1 cup cool - lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 3/4 cup mayonnaise. Mix well. You may add chopped walnuts, if desired.

Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. in two 8- or 9-inch greased cake pans. Ice with vanilla or cream cheese icing. Some cooks like to use fudge icing on this cake. (YouÂ’ll find a number of variations of Mayonnaise Cake recipe.)

(C) 2002 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

Mary Emma Allen has been writing her "Cooking Column" for newspapers and online publications for 30 years and has compiled a family cookbook. SheÂ’s currently compiling a cookbook/story book, "Tales From a Country Kitchen." Visit her web site for more cooking articles. Contact her at

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