Speedy Lasagna Pie

A tender biscuit crust replaces the noodles in this lasagna pie.

Baking mixes were developed for the busy homemaker years ago to make it easier to produce home-baked products when time was limited. There are some baking mixes available in the super markets, but it is also possible to create your own. By creating your own, you know exactly what goes into it. I also think the DIY variety tastes better than the store-bought variety. It is handy to have some on hand in the pantry when you want to make pancakes or biscuits in a hurry, since with these, all you have to do is add some water and maybe an egg and you are set. 

DIY Master Mix

You can also use this Master Mix to make a variety of products like cakes, cookies, casserole dishes, pizza crust, crepes, pie and quick breads to name a few. I most frequently use it for coffee cakes, pizza crust and quick cinnamon rolls. The mix will keep fresh for two to three months stored in an airtight container. If stored in the refrigerator, it will keep longer. 

(yield: about 17 cups mix)


9 cups all-purpose flour (can use part whole wheat if desired)

1/3 cup baking powder

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons cream of tarter

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup non-fat dry milk

2 cups shortening which does not require refrigeration


In a large bowl, combine together all the dry ingredients; stir well to make sure all are evenly distributed. If desired, combine in a food processor. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives or a food processor, until mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Store in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for two to three months. If using butter for the shortening, the butter should be frozen first and then grated into the dry ingredients. If using butter, the mix should be stored in the refrigerator. The recipe can be cut in half if a smaller amount of mix is desired.

Biscuits: (15–20) 3 cups Master Mix combined with 2/3 to 1 cup water. Mix until blended; knead 10 times. Bake at 400 degrees 10 minutes.

Pancakes (18) or waffles (8): 3 cups Master Mix combined with 1 1/2 cups water. Mix until blended.

Muffins: (12) 3 cups Master Mix, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup water, 1 egg. Mix until ingredients are moistened. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Coffee Cake: 3 cups Master Mix, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 egg; mix until blended. Topping: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons butter combined. Bake at 400 degrees 25 minutes. Source: “Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers, Casseroles including Breads.”

Speedy Lasagna Pie

A tender biscuit crust replaces the noodles in this lasagna pie. It would make a great dish to take to a potluck to share with friends. If desired the recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9-x13-inch baking pan.

(Servings: 6)


1 pound lean or regular ground beef

1/2 cup small curd creamed cottage cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 cup milk

2 eggs

2/3 cup Master Mix

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Cook ground beef in skillet, stirring frequently, until brown; drain. Layer cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese in pie plate. Mix beef, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the Italian seasoning and tomato paste; spoon evenly over the top. Beat milk, Master Mix, salt and pepper in blender on high speed about 15 seconds, or with wire whisk or hand beater about 1 minute, until smooth. Pour over beef mixture. Bake 30–35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Source: “Master Mix Cookbook by EFNEP Montana State University Extension Service.”

Mainstay Inn Chicken Pies

Take the easy way out when making a chicken pot pie and try this Chicken Pot Pie recipe which is served at the Mainstay Inn in New Jersey. It was a top prize winner in the Bisquick Chefs Invitational Competition.

(Servings: 6)


3 cups cut-up cooked chicken

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup dairy sour cream

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

3/4 cup Master Mix

1/4 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces)


Heat chicken, 1/2 cup milk, the sour cream and soup to boiling. Spoon into six ungreased 10-ounce casseroles, custard cups or one 9x13 baking dish. Beat remaining ingredients except cheese with wire whisk or hand beater until almost smooth, about 1 minute. Pour evenly over hot chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and if desired, paprika. Bake uncovered until top is set and soup mixture bubbles around edge, 20–25 minutes. Source: “Chefs Create with Bisquick”

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake 

This coffee cake looks like you spent a lot of time making it, but it is as simple as dropping the batter with a spoon in a circle on the pan. Substitute other flavors of preserves if desired.

(Servings: 10)


2 cups Master Mix

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine or butter, softened

2 tablespoons sugar

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

5 teaspoons raspberry preserves


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet or 12-inch pizza pan. Mix Master Mix, margarine and sugar until crumbly. Stir in milk until dough forms; beat 15 strokes. Spread 2/3 cup of the dough into a 5-inch circle on center of cookie sheet; sprinkle with almonds. Drop remaining dough by 10 rounded tablespoonfuls about 1 inch from circle and 1 inch apart. Make a shallow well in the center of each with back of spoon; fill with 1/2 teaspoon preserves. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle warm coffee cake with glaze.

Glaze: 2/3 cup powdered sugar combined with 1 tablespoon warm water and ¼ teaspoon almond extract. Mix together until smooth. Source: “Betty Crocker Bisquick Makes it Easy.”

Bernie Mason writes the Local Flavor column for Lee Montana Newspapers. She was a Yellowstone County extension agent for 24 years. Mason grew up in Sidney in a family of German and Danish ancestry.