The Clever Reason Joanna Gaines Always Keeps Boxed Pancake Mix In The Pantry

Home design and cooking star Joanna Gaines knows how to get her hands dirty, but, like many busy people, she also doesn't shy away from a shortcut. In her cookbook "Magnolia Table," she outlines various cooking techniques and recipes that spruce up an assortment of store-bought ingredients. For example, she uses pre-made mayonnaise as a base for additional herbs and seasonings, transforming a simple pantry ingredient with an equally simple twist. Like many home cooks, she gravitates toward foods that work well in a pinch.

Another pantry staple Gaines takes full advantage of? Pancake mix, which she tends to keep on hand for one simple reason."I always have a boxed mix in the pantry for when I just don't have the time," Gaines writes in "Magnolia Table," though, naturally, she has a homemade pancake recipe of her own there.  While homemade pancakes don't have to be complicated, a pre-made mix is undeniably easy. 

Think outside the box with boxed pancakes

When it comes to boxed pancakes, the sky — not the box — is the limit. Luckily, pancake mixes come plain, so you can use it as a base for pancakes as well as other recipes. For pancakes, both the texture and taste of a pre-mixed package leave room for improvement. Whether you swear by chocolate chips or fruit, you'll have no trouble mixing — or topping — your pancakes with the ingredients of your choosing. If you'd rather stick to classic flavors, you can add the likes of milk, melted butter, and buttermilk to add a little more oomph to your boxed mix. But it's the richness of eggs that can often determine the texture of a pancake; if you're looking for something light, try just using egg whites, and for something that holds in more moisture, use just the yolks. Also, for ultra-fluffy pancakes, you'll want to sift your boxed mixture to aerate this dry ingredient properly.

Alternatively, you can use the boxed pancake mix in other recipes, like those that require breading. In a pinch, a pancake mix with herbs and seasonings tossed in for a dredge can transform a cut of fish or pounded chicken breast. No matter what you do with it, your boxed pancake mix is bound for success; while it makes for a great starting point, it's equally delicious as it comes.