I consider myself to be a decent cook. I have kept my husband fed and happy several times a week for the past 8 years, and I make food that my children seem to like. I’ve never had any complaints about my cooking, and even have a few dishes up my sleeve that get rave reviews. I know my way around a kitchen pretty well, I’d say.
But I really fancy myself a baker. I have a big sweet tooth, and I love whipping up desserts and cakes and cookies for parties and gatherings and just because. In the past, I’ve just gone the boxed mix route. It’s easy, fast, and tastes pretty good. For a gal who didn’t know any better, a boxed mix was reliable and safe.
Thanks to the dawn of the Pinterest era, my burgeoning love of all things DIY, and a desire to actually know what is going into the food I serve my family, I’ve started making all my desserts from scratch. Cookies, cakes, doughs, cobblers, frostings, all of it made from actual ingredients and not poured out of a Duncan Hines box. Things I have baked from scratch always taste so much better than anything I’ve ever made from a box.
My favorite part about baking from scratch is that it’s practically free and I can whip something up at any time from pantry staples that I already have on hand. Last night I got a hankering for some brownies. I told Zac that I was in the mood to bake some brownies, and he said “but we don’t have the stuff to make brownies.” Meaning we didn’t have a box of brownie mix. Silly husband, what does he think is in the box of mix? Ingredients! Ingredients that I keep in my kitchen at all times. Flour, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt, and eggs. That’s all I needed to throw together a batch of brownies. And it took no more time than using a boxed mix has ever taken to mix or bake. It smelled like brownies baking, just like a box mix. Still, I think the hubby was a bit skeptical.
Until he bit into that first brownie. He then told me I am no longer allowed to make brownies from a box ever again. So we’ll add that to the cookies I’m no longer allowed to buy a tub of cookie dough to make. I don’t know why he doubts my baking prowess. I’ve never baked anything that was inedible, and most things are downright delicious. Which is why I’m quite chunky. I’m a lover of dessert, and I’m not ashamed of it. But I also find that when I make something from scratch, I don’t want as much of it. Which is strange, because it tastes so much better.
Cooking and baking from scratch is something that I really hope to do more of in the future. I feel like it gives me a bit more control over what I am feeding my family. Knowing what is in the food ingredient by ingredient, I don’t know, there’s something really satisfying about that. Hopefully this leads to cleaner eating in general – more trips to the farmers market for fresh fruits and vegetables, buying locally raised meat, and less time spent in the grocery store aisles.
As an aside, I also have no idea how I can call myself a baker and have just bought my first silicone spoonula this past weekend. Having that throughout my maternity leave and the holiday season last year would have been infinitely helpful.
Oh, here’s the recipe for the brownies that I used. It’s a good basic recipe that can be easily modified. Give it a try!